Friday, February 05, 2016

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: A (much) better year
On Wednesday the US media interrupted its saturation coverage of the presidential primaries to report on President Barack Obama’s visit to a mosque in Maryland. The visit was Obama’s first public one to a mosque in the US since entering the White House seven years ago. The mosque Obama chose to visit demonstrated once again that his views of radical Islam are deeply problematic.
Obama visited the Islamic Society of Baltimore, a mosque with longstanding ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. During Operation Protective Edge, the leaders of the mosque accused Israel of genocide and demanded that the administration end US support for the Jewish state.
According to The Daily Caller, the mosque’s former imam Mohammad Adam el-Sheikh was active in the Islamic American Relief Agency, a charity deemed a terror group in 2004 after the US Treasury Department determined it had transferred funds to Osama bin Laden, Hamas, al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.
According to terrorism expert Steven Emerson, before Obama visited the Islamic Society of Baltimore, he asked the FBI for its opinion of the mosque. FBI investigators informed Obama of the mosque’s ties to terrorism. They urged him not to confer it with the legitimacy that comes with a presidential visit.
Obama ignored the FBI’s advice.
The next 11 months will be miserable for Israel.
But we should take heart. By all accounts, next year will be better. And judging by the way the presidential race is shaping up, next year may be a much, much better year.
PMW: PA cartoon: Israel is snake, its head a rifle targeting Muslim and Christian holy sites
Depicting Israel as a snake with its head a rifle, this official Palestinian Authority daily cartoon expressed visually the PA libel that Israel is targeting Muslim and Christian holy sites. The cartoon shows a snake with the head of a rifle coiled around a mosque and a church while aiming the rifle at the towers.
Palestinian Media Watch has documented this libel as well as the PA's portrayal of Israel as a snake, an octopus, wolves and rats threatening Jerusalem and the holy sites.
The libel that Israel is working to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque to build "the alleged Temple" as well as the PA message that Israel seeks to "Judaize" the Old City of Jerusalem are constantly kept alive by PA and Fatah leaders to instill fear, anger, and hatred in the Palestinian population. Whenever the PA leaders want violence and terror attacks, they build on these feelings, intensify the libels and use them to justify calling Palestinians to use violence to "defend" and "protect" the holy sites.
Thus PA Chairman Abbas used these libels as a pretext for encouraging Palestinians to use "everything in our power" to "protect" the Al-Aqsa Mosque in a speech in September 2015, leading to the onset of the current wave of terror attacks:
Netanyahu visits wounded border policewoman
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited a wounded border policewoman at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital on Wednesday, describing her conduct during an attack in the city a day earlier as “heroic and resourceful.”
The policewoman, Ravit Mirilashvili, was hospitalized with serious injuries along with another officer, Hadar Cohen, after three Palestinians shot and stabbed them outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on Wednesday afternoon.
Cohen, 19, suffered from multiple wounds to her upper body and died hours later. Mirilashvili left the hospital to attend her funeral on Thursday.
“The officers, together with their commander, prevented a much greater disaster,” Netanyahu told Israeli media following the visit, stressing that he admired the injured officer’s “courage and tenacity.”
He praised Cohen as “a genuine hero.”

Arab Israeli MKs meet relatives of Palestinian terrorists
Knesset members from the Joint (Arab) List met this week with relatives of Palestinian terrorists killed by Israeli security forces as they were carrying out attacks, including some who had killed Israelis.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the Knesset members on Thursday evening, saying they were “unworthy of serving” as lawmakers.
An organization representing the families of Palestinian “martyrs” invited all lawmakers from the Joint (Arab) List, which comprises three parties, to meet in Jerusalem. Three MKs — Hanin Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka and Basel Ghattas — showed up at the meeting Tuesday, all members of Balad, an Arab nationalist party whose members have identified with Palestinian violence in the past.
Some Israeli reports said that the meeting began with a moment of silence for the “martyrs.”
The father of Baha Alian, who along with Bilal Ranem killed three Israelis in an attack on a bus in Jerusalem in October, was among the Palestinians who attended the meeting, which he described as “warm and productive.”
Referring to the Israeli lawmakers as “Palestinian brothers,” he said “they listened to the suffering and pain of the martyr families whose bodies are held by Israel.”
Netanyahu: Those who comfort terrorists’ families don’t deserve to be MKs
Palestinian Media Watch brought to light on Thursday a Facebook post by Balad, calling Alian a shaheed, or “martyr” in Arabic. The same title was used to describe other terrorists whose families were in the meeting.
The Facebook post featured a video clip of Alian’s father, Muhammad, saying that the visit was “warm and productive” and that the lawmakers “listened to the suffering and pain of the shaheed’s families,” and promised to make every effort to pressure the government to release terrorists’ bodies.
In addition, Alian said the MKs planned to meet with the families again, to update them on their efforts.
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid said the Balad MKs visit was an act of “hatred and subversion” that supports the murder of innocents.
“We must denounce the MKs who met with vile terrorists’ families,” he continued. “The MKs from Balad are harming an entire population group in an unprecedented manner.”
MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin (Zionist Union) said the Balad lawmakers were “cutting the last strings attaching them to Israeli society, with their own hands. We cannot stand by while MKs visit the families of terrorists who hurt and murdered Israelis.”
MK Anat Berko (Likud) said: “I can’t imagine a possible parallel situation, in which members of Congress visited the family of Muhammad Atta, who was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.”
“Who do Balad members identify with? With the murderers of our people?” she said.
MK Michael Oren (Kulanu) tweeted: “Let me get this straight: Israeli MKs meet with terrorists’ families and not the victims’, and we’re still paying their salaries?”
Knesset Speaker urges public: submit complaints against Arab MKs
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) on Friday morning called on Israeli citizens to file complaints to the Knesset Ethics Committee against the three Arab MKs who met this week with the families of terrorist murderers.
The three MKs are Hanin Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka and Basel Ghattas of the Joint List party's Balad faction.
"I call on every citizen who feels harmed by the conduct of a Knesset member to submit a complaint to the Ethics Committee," said Edelstein.
"The Knesset is the house of the people. It listens to them and works for them, and therefore it is the right of everyone who was harmed to contact it (the Knesset) for clarification," added the Knesset Speaker.
Among the terrorist family members the three MKs met with was the father of Baha Alian, who together with another accomplice conducted the lethal shooting and knife attack on a bus in Jerusalem's southeast Armon Hanatziv last October, murdering 78-year-old Haim Habib, 51-year-old Alon Guvberg and 76-year-old US immigrant Richard Lakin.
Arab MKs hit back at ‘fascist’ criticism over meeting with terrorists’ families
Three Arab MKs on Friday defended their meeting earlier in the week with the relatives of Palestinian terrorists who carried out attacks against Israelis in recent months. The meeting drew condemnation from across the Israeli political spectrum.
“We are defending national and human dignity. It is our duty and our right,” MK Hanin Zoabi wrote in Arabic on Facebook on Friday. “The real crime is holding onto bodies. It is our duty to do our utmost to get the bodies released.”
The lawmaker was referring to Israel’s policy of delaying the return of bodies of Palestinians killed while carrying out attacks on Israelis, in an effort to prevent their funerals from becoming a source of further incitement to violence.
Israel returns bodies of Hadar Cohen’s killers to families
Israel on Friday returned the bodies of three terrorists who killed a Border Police officer earlier in the week to their families.
Military officials told Channel 2 news that the bodies were returned after the families promised the funerals of the three would not be transformed into rallies of incitement to further violence.
The three attackers, Ahmed Abou Al-Roub, Mohammed Kameel and Ahmad Rajeh Ismail Zakarneh of Qabatiya in the northern West Bank, carried out Wednesday’s attack in Jerusalem’s Old City, in which 19-year-old Hadar Cohen was killed. A second policewoman was seriously injured.
The three were shot and killed by security forces.
Deri cancels Israeli residency for father of terrorist
Interior Minister Arye Deri signed an order on Thursday canceling the residency permit of the father of a terrorist who carried out an attack in October.
Deri’s predecessor at the ministry, Silvan Shalom, had announced following the attack that he would not renew the permit of Riad Zwid, the father of Ala Zwid, who on October 11 drove his car into a female soldiers on the side of Route 65 at the entrance to Kibbutz Gan Shmuel, east of Hadera, exited the vehicle and stabbed three people.
Ala Zwid, who had been living in Umm al-Fahm, badly wounded a 19-year-old female soldier and lightly-to-moderately wounded a 14-year-old boy and two men aged 19 and 45.
Ala Zwid is originally from the Palestinian village of Masilat a-Hartaiyya near Jenin, and moved to Israel a few years ago with his father under the Family Unification Law, after his father married an Israeli woman.
As a result of Deri’s order, Riad Zwid will lose his residency status and the medical and social benefits he receives from the state.
Palestinian Authority rejects criticism of Abbas meetings with families of terrorists
The Palestinian Authority on Thursday rejected criticism of President Mahmoud Abbas’s meeting with families of Palestinians who attacked Israelis.
A senior Palestinian official in Ramallah said the meeting, which took place on Wednesday, came at the request of the families.
“The families asked for the meeting because they wanted President Abbas to help retrieve the bodies of their dead sons,” the official told The Jerusalem Post.
The families from east Jerusalem had previously accused the PA leadership of failing to intervene with Israeli authorities to release the bodies of their sons.
'We cannot allow Jerusalem to be a pilgrimage site for terrorists'
Following Wednesday’s terrorist attack that took the life of a 19-year-old female Border Police officer and seriously wounded another young female officer, Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Dov Kalmanovich requested that IDF troops help buttress security in the capital.
Deeming Wednesday’s attack a clear intensification in Jerusalem’s now four-month-long terrorism wave, Kalmanovich said that the city’s police – already spread thin – need reinforcements to stem the increasingly coordinated violence.
“Today’s attack represents an escalation,” he said in a statement.
“When terrorists from Jenin come to Jerusalem armed with knives, guns, and explosives, we cannot continue to claim that it is individual terrorism. [The attacks] are clearly coordinated, and Jews being attacked every day for the last four months is not a coincidence.
“It is time to act,” Kalmanovich said. “As I have said before, we must act against terrorism and not just defend ourselves.” According to the deputy mayor, the unspecified number of troops must be deployed in every sector of the capital.
UNICEF Israel head condemns use of child terrorists
The head of the Israeli Fund for UNICEF (The UN Children's Fund) has condemned the culture of incitement which encourages children to carry out terrorist attacks, as "child abuse."
Jonny Cline, Executive Director of UNICEF's Israeli Fund, made his comments following this morning's attack in which two 13-year-old Arab girls stabbed a security guard in Ramle, central Israel.
While the pair were Israeli-Arabs, most other attackers - including children as young or even younger - have been residents of the Palestinian Authority. In this case as in previous attacks, the terrorists were inspired by ceaseless anti-Semitic incitement emanating from Palestinian terrorist groups and the highest levels of PA leadership.
"The exposure of these two children to the type and intensity of incitement and violence that would lead to this kind of act is unadulterated child abuse," Cline told Arutz Sheva.
"Every child is to be protected from exposure to violence. Every child. It is their right, and our responsibility."
Palestinian youth said killed in Hebron clashes with IDF
A Palestinian teenager was killed Friday by IDF fire during clashes near the West Bank city of Hebron, Palestinian media reported.
According to the Ma’an news agency, the incident occurred in the town of Halhul, some five kilometers from Hebron.
An army spokesperson told Army Radio that troops had fired at one person in a group of rioters preparing to attack them with Molotov cocktails.
Ma’an also reported that the West Bank village of Qabatiya, near Jenin, was closed off by the IDF for the second consecutive day, following an attack in Jerusalem by three of its residents on Wednesday that killed 19-year-old Border Police officer Hadar Cohen and wounded several members of the security forces.
Obama: “Islam prohibits terrorism, for the Qur’an says whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind”
Obama said: “The Qur’an says whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind.”
This is what the Qur’an really says:
Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption in the land — it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one — it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, after that, throughout the land, were transgressors. (5:32)
First, note that this is not a general moral principle applying to everyone, as Obama implied, but one only for the Children of Israel. Nor is it is not a general prohibition of killing: there are big exceptions for those who kill “for a soul or for corruption in the land.” And it concludes that even after this command was given, “many of them, after that … were transgressors” — so all it is really saying is that Allah gave a command to the Children of Israel and they transgressed against it. It isn’t anything more than yet another Qur’anic castigation of the Jews.
Also, it is followed in the Qur’an by 5:33, which specifies the punishment for the corruption and transgressions of the Children of Israel: “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.”
Thus this passage is explaining what must be done with Jews who reject Muhammad, not dictating lofty moral principles. Ibn Warraq sums it up: “The supposedly noble sentiments are in fact a warning to Jews. ‘Behave, or else’ is the message. Far from abjuring violence, these verses aggressively point out that anyone opposing the Prophet will be killed, crucified, mutilated, and banished!”
Clinton's 2016 Website Whitewashes Her Foreign Policy Debacles
Gaza ceasefire scrubbed
Meanwhile, Clinton’s campaign website was caught removing a passage from her official biography touting her role in brokering a 2012 ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
That truce fell apart when Hamas started rocketing Israeli cities in the summer of 2014, leading to the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, also known as Operation Protective Edge, in which Israel acted to minimize Hamas’s terrorist infrastructure.
The Independent Journal Review noticed a discrepancy between Clinton’s current bio and the official bio that can still be seen in the Wayback Machine web archive.
Revealed: The mystery kibbutz that once hosted Bernie Sanders
The identity of the kibbutz on which Bernie Sanders spent several months in 1963 has finally come to light, after a veteran Israeli journalist announced that the Democratic hopeful had named it in an interview with him more than 25 years ago.
Sanders, a senator from Vermont now running for the Democratic presidential nod, spoke to then-Haaretz correspondent Yossi Melman in 1990, on the eve of his election to the US House of Representatives as a socialist. He named the kibbutz where he volunteered as Sha’ar HaAmakim.
The newspaper, like others in Israeli and Jewish media, had tried previously to locate the kibbutz as Sanders’ campaign gained traction, but until Melman said Thursday on Twitter that Sanders had named the kibbutz, no one had tracked this particular story in its archive.
In the article, reproduced Thursday on Haaretz’s website, Sanders tells Melman that he visited Israel in 1963 as a guest of the leftist Zionist Hashomer Hatzair movement and stayed at its affiliated kibbutz, northeast of Haifa.
While Brazil rejects Israeli envoy, it inaugurates Palestinian embassy
A new building housing the first Palestinian Authority embassy in the Western Hemisphere was inaugurated in Brasilia.
The PA’s envoy to Brazil, Ibrahim Alzeben, led Wednesday’s event, which was attended by leftwing Brazilian government officials, representatives of Arab countries and members of the local Arab community.
A week earlier, Alzeben attended the International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony held by the Jewish community in the Brazilian capital, saying “I could not be absent. It is very important to remember this date.”
The inauguration of the embassy comes as Brazil and Israel tussle over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s nominee to fill the vacant Israeli envoy position.
The closeness of the new embassy to major Brazilian governmental buildings, including the Planalto Palace, Congress, Supreme Court and ministries, has been widely criticized due to security concerns.
“Diplomats and their vehicles cannot be checked. The embassy is a sovereign Hamas area now,” an unnamed military source told Brazil’s Veja magazine in an article published last year. “The site is strategic. Terrorists could access the whole governmental structure in a half an hour.”

Turks' Unrequited Love for Palestinians
First, the flag. The colors of the Palestinian flag (red, white, green and black) are pan-Arab colors. The Palestinian flag is almost identical to that of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party. It is also very similar to the flags of Jordan and Western Sahara. Before being the Palestinian flag, it was the flag of the short-lived Arab Federation of Iraq and Jordan. All of these flags draw their inspiration from the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkey (1916-1918).
In short, the flag the Turkish prime minister proudly witnessed while being hoisted at the UN is an inspiration of the flag used by the Arab Palestinian nationalists in the first half of the 20th century, which was the flag of the 1916 Arab Revolt against Davutoglu's beloved Ottoman Empire. The Arabs, including Palestinians, joined the Allies to fight the Turks during the war.
Similarly, Davutoglu's emotional encounters with Mahmoud Abbas do not sound as if they are being shared by the Palestinian leadership. Abbas's Christmas message, which went unnoticed in Turkey, contained references to the Armenian genocide (still largely a taboo topic in Turkey) that would have caused a small political earthquake in Turkey, along with fits of anger and threats, had they been spoken by an Israeli or European politician. Displaying the usual hypocrisy, Turkish leaders preferred not to hear what the Abbas said:
"We, Palestinians, have gone through similar experiences as the Armenians; both of us have been repressed, terrorized and banished. As the Armenian people emigrated from their country to ours and then to another place, we too are experiencing the same struggle; we emigrated in 1948 and the refugees in Syria are migrating to the sea, into exile and to places only God knows about."
A roving ambassador
On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, and the two discussed increasing the already lucrative ties between the two countries. But the road to cooperation between the two democracies was not without struggle.
Until 1992, India refused to grant full diplomatic relations to Israel. Even though the two nations shared much in common, and despite efforts made by Jewish leaders, including key Australian figure Isi Leibler, there seemed to be no chance of change.
However, in 1991, a number of factors led to a dramatic change. Leibler and Australia’s role in India’s granting full diplomatic statues to Israel has been largely forgotten. With the full realization of Levenberg’s hope – thanks to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – it is worthwhile recalling this history.
IN 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru became India’s first prime minister. He was concerned with maintaining India’s neutrality in relation to the Cold War and with building the block of Third World nations. In November 1947, India voted against the partition of Palestine, but in 1950 Nehru granted de facto and de jure recognition to Israel. Yet, for reasons of expediency, he left the question of diplomatic recognition unresolved due to concerns about the Arab world, India’s 40-million- strong Muslim minority and the conflict in Kashmir.
Foreign Ministry rejects ‘untruthful allegations’ against ex-envoy to UK
The Foreign Ministry on Thursday “expressed disgust at the reports that include untruthful allegations” about former ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub, also calling him “one of the finest members of the foreign service.”
On Thursday, The Guardian reported that Taub was returned to Israel after repeated security breaches were reported at his London residence.
According to the report, Israeli officials repeatedly raised the issue with the former envoy after he had several late night visitors.
Ynet reported that the visits were unauthorized and were made without informing the embassy’s security officers.
Taub served four years as ambassador, and, since his return to Israel in the summer, has been mentioned as a candidate for a senior position in the Prime Minister’s Office, or as the Foreign Ministry’s next legal advisor.
In DC, Arab MK blasts Israel’s ‘systemic’ discrimination
Ahmad Tibi of the Joint (Arab) List held talks with senior American officials at the White House Thursday and spoke out against “systemic” Israeli discrimination against its Arab minority.
During meetings with White House and State Department officials, Tibi slammed Israel’s plan to demolish the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev desert and replace it with a Jewish town.
“The objective of the Joint List is to fight discrimination and racism, and exclusion on a civil and national level in order to improve the standing of the Arab community in all aspects of life in the absence of equality between Arabs and Jews,” Tibi said, according to a statement put out by his office.
“Systemic discrimination against Arab civilians reaches all aspects of life,” Tibi’s spokesperson, Ahmad Muhana, said after Thursday’s meetings.
The Joint List, a coalition of the Arab parties in Israel, was formed in the lead-up to elections in March last year and is now the third-largest faction in the Knesset.
Turkey planning $5 billion for Gaza seaport
In the midst of ongoing normalization talks with Israel, Turkey is planning to invest $5 billion in reconstructing the Hamas stronghold of Gaza including a seaport - which Israel has fiercely opposed due to the blatant threat of weapons smuggling.
The Turkish Hurriyet Daily News on Friday reported that a team of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) announced the expensive rebuilding plan, which is being prepared by the Center for Multilateral Trade Studies at the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV).
The plans to reconstruct the Hamas-held region came after meetings with Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas officials, as well as Israeli officials.
“As the Turkish business world, we can fulfill this work,” said TOBB chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu, who led the group. TEPAV claims that by 2020, Gaza will be "unlivable" with no drinking water left.
Indicating the subversive nature of the plan, TEPAV Executive Director Guven Sak said, "we made a strategic plan. A Gaza port will be one of the most important projects in this plan."
A Prize for Fooling Peace Seekers
For those who care about such things, the informed speculation about the winner of the next Nobel Peace Prize has already begun. Kristian Berg Harpviken, the head of the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, spoke earlier this week to give handicappers his assessment of the candidates. International headlines about his comments centered on the fact that some jokester had nominated Donald Trump for the award. But the smart money seems to be betting on American traitor Edward Snowden and the joint candidacy of Ali Akbar Salehi of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency and U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz for their work in brokering the nuclear deal between the Islamist regime and the West.
Given that such prizes are generally handed out for the mere signing of agreements rather than actually accomplishing something that might bring peace to the world (think Le Duc Tho and Henry Kissinger for a treaty that “ended” the Vietnam War before the North Vietnamese made a mockery of it, or Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Yasir Arafat for the Oslo Accords) or the hope that someone might do something along those lines (see, Obama, Barack), I’d say Salehi and Moniz have a great chance if Snowden doesn’t get it.
If he and Moniz do get their Nobels this fall, we can expect an orgy of self-congratulation from the Obama administration during its last months. But Salehi’s boasts and that of Iran’s army chief make clear that any breathing space for those in Iran’s crosshairs will be of limited duration. Like the Nobels awarded for a Vietnam peace deal or the Oslo Accords, prizes for what is, at best, a ten-year break from the Iran nuclear threat will be viewed differently once Iran breaks out and gets its bomb. In the meantime, Iran won’t have a bomb but it will become immeasurably strengthened and have the financial clout to use Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists to spread violence and help Tehran’s push for regional hegemony.
Short-term benefits notwithstanding, the prize that might wind up on Moniz’s mantle will be worth as much as the ones given Kissinger, Rabin, and Peres. More to the point, Salehi’s award will be seen as very much in the grand tradition of Le Duc Tho and Arafat’s ability to hoodwink credulous peace seekers. We can only pray that the suffering that might follow from this peace prize will not ultimately dwarf the oceans of blood shed as a result of those failed efforts.
Next US president could cancel Iran deal – Hoenlein
The Iran nuclear deal passed in the US because of a “parliamentary maneuver,” and as a result the next president might not feel bound by it, Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said on Tuesday.
Hoenlein told The Jerusalem Post ahead of the conference’s annual meeting here in two weeks that although the deal went through, it was not a signed treaty and therefore the next president could rethink it. He pointed out that polls showed that 80 percent of the public was opposed.
The deal went through on the strength of a parliamentary maneuver, “but you don’t have a signed agreement, “ he said. “You don’t have a treaty the president could sign, because he knew it couldn’t get passed. And the next president might not be bound by the deal.”
According to Hoenlein, “I could see the next president want to reconsider it, look at the terms and see what steps have to be taken.”
Hoenlein said it was not right to frame the deal as a defeat for the pro-Israel community in the US, since the debate was not about Israel, and that America is also threatened by an emboldened Iran flush with sanctions relief money and able to fund its proxies around the globe.
BBC ignores Iranian Holocaust denial yet again
Back in September 2013 the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus was to be found promoting the notion of ‘moderated’ Iranian Holocaust denial on the corporation’s website. As was noted here when translations knocking the bottom out of that claim later came to light:
“Marcus’ conclusion was apparently reached after listening to the linguistic gymnastics of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif, with the latter having claimed that Holocaust denial appearing on the official website of Iran’s Supreme Leader was a case of ‘lost in translation’.”
More recently, when the BBC’s Stephen Sackur asserted that BBC audiences are in a position to “judge for themselves” the validity of Iranian denials of antisemtism and Holocaust denial, we noted that the BBC has made no effort to inform audiences of this year’s Tehran municipality organized Holocaust denial cartoon contest.
Another recent story which the BBC has refrained from reporting is that of the release by the Iranian ‘Supreme Leader’ of a Holocaust denial video on January 27th – International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Expert: U.S. Must Ground Iranian Airline that Transports Troops, Weapons to Syria
The United States’ failure to ground a sanctioned Iranian airline that provides logistical support to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Syria underscores a severe loss of American credibility, which the Obama administration should immediately act to restore by penalizing companies and financial institutions that allow the airline to operate, Emanuele Ottolenghi, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote in an op-ed published Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal.
Ottolenghi observed that although the U.S. government “has repeatedly committed itself to grounding” Mahan Air, which the IRGC uses to transport troops and weapons to support the regime of Bashar al-Assad, the airline continues to fly and is in fact expanding its international routes. He added that Mahan is the most “significant” Iranian entity remaining under American sanctions, explaining:
The U.S. Treasury sanctioned it in October 2011 for “providing financial, material and technological support to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF)” and for providing transportation services to Iran’s Lebanese terror proxy, Hezbollah. In October 2012, Treasury blacklisted 117 Iranian commercial planes, including all of Mahan’s aircraft, because “Iran used Iran Air and Mahan Air flights between Tehran and Damascus to send military and crowd control equipment to the Syrian regime.”
The ‘Washington Post’ Pulls Out of Iran, While the ‘New York Times’ Cashes In
Washington Post editor-in-chief Marty Baron says that moving forward, the Iranian government’s treatment of Post correspondent Jason Rezaian—who was imprisoned for nearly two years on trumped-up charges before his release last month—will definitely affect how his paper covers Iran. “Right now we’re not in a position to be able to put a correspondent there,” Baron told the Voice of America. “We’ve had no discussions with the Iranian government about having another correspondent there, and we would need some good assurances from the government that a correspondent there would not be arrested, as Jason was.”
If Baron sticks to his guns, the Post probably won’t have a reporter in Iran for quite a while—proving that, from the Iranian government’s point of view, holding Rezaian hostage was a smart move. By jailing Rezaian, the regime shaped how every Western media organization with a correspondent or even a stringer on the ground covered Iran for two years—or the entire duration of the public debate over the Iran Deal. If you wanted to keep your reporter from being tortured in Evin prison, you’d better not print news that made the Iranian government angry.
Baron also noted that there are factions within the regime itself. In the standard reading, there are moderates, like President Hassan Rouhani, and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who oppose hardliners, like the Revolutionary Guard Corps and the office of the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei. In this reading, the hardliners are responsible for every bad thing that Iran ever does—from funding terrorism to detaining American sailors. The hardliners do bad things because they’re bad guys and because they’re competing with the moderates. They tossed an American journalist in jail to show the Rouhani clique who really calls the shots, which is why Western journalists were so sympathetic to the moderates and took their side against the hardliners. Except it wasn’t the hardliners who put Rezaian in jail, it was the moderates—because that’s how they won the hearts and minds and terrified the imaginations of the Western media, which played a key role in buttressing their position.
Rising number of Iranian girls as young as 10 forced to marry
A growing number of young girls are being forced to marry in Iran, UN rights experts warned Thursday, decrying laws permitting sexual intercourse with girls as young as nine.
Following a review of the situation in Iran, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) urged the country to “repeal all legal provisions that authorize, condone or lead to child sexual abuse.”
The committee, which is made up of 18 independent experts who monitor the implementation of international children’s rights treaties, said it was “seriously concerned” over reports that child marriages in Iran were on the rise.
A growing number of “girls at the age of 10 years or younger … are subjected to child and forced marriages to much older men,” CRC said.
5 Reasons Why Saudi Arabia Is Driving Oil Prices Through the Floor
1. Saudi Arabia is plotting against Iran.
Now that the sanctions against Iran have been lifted and Iranian oil can return to the world market, some people are wondering if Saudi Arabia is trying to sabotage Iran by holding down oil prices. Iran is poised to re-enter the global economy with a highly educated and young workforce and a strong manufacturing base and Saudi Arabia may be maneuvering to prevent Iran from reasserting itself and gaining more influence in the Middle East.
2. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia are punishing Russia.
Both Saudi Arabia and the U.S. are at odds with Russia. Russia is supplying Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with billions in weaponry and military support, placing it in conflict with Saudi Arabia, which vehemently opposes Assad’s regime. Putin’s territorial moves in the Ukraine have angered the U.S. government, as well as leaders of the European Union.
3. Obama is at war with the U.S. shale oil industry.
One theory suggests that President Obama is working with Saudi Arabia to flood the global oil market, killing the U.S. shale oil industry in the process. One of Obama’s key concerns is the environment and the shale oil boom could slow the development of renewable energy.
MEMRI: Iraqi Journalist Comes Out Against Claim That ISIS Has Nothing To Do With Islam
In an article titled "Does Terror Truly Have No Religion?" in the pro-Iranian Iraqi newspaper Al-Akhbar, Iraqi journalist Fadel Boula came out against the claim, which is frequently heard in the Arab world and outside it, that the terror of the Islamic State (ISIS) and its ilk is completely unrelated to Islam. He pointed out that these terror organizations are motivated by an extremist Salafi ideology and claim that their atrocities represent Allah's will and directives.
"[Does terror truly have no religion?] This slogan is uttered regarding terror, as though [terror] reflects a picture that is completely unrelated to its perpetrators' religious affiliation, and as though there are no religious goals or values behind it, but only a state of insanity that causes those afflicted with it to run amok, unaware of what they are doing or what [they seek] to achieve by their actions – [actions] that disgust not only human beings but [even] the beasts of the jungle.
"The terror that is shaking the world today is not a natural disaster like a tornado, a thunderstorm or an earthquake, and it is not perpetrated by savage tribes. It is perpetrated by people who enlist [because they are] inspired by a religious ideology. [These people] advocate enforcing and spreading [this ideology as a set of] dogmatic principles that must be imposed by the force of the sword, and which [mandate] killing, expulsion and destruction wherever they go.
"Since its inception, this movement of terror has espoused a Salafi ideology that champions religious extremism, and brainwashed people of all ages have rallied around its flag, [people who were] trained to kill themselves and kill others in order to attain martyrdom.
Guess Who Got Sucked Through His Own Bomb Hole?
Some days the news just makes you feel good. The airliner that landed yesterday in Somalia with a big hole in the side was, in fact, attacked by a bomb.
After the explosion, witnesses reported that one person was sucked out through the hole in the plane. As it turns out, the person sucked out the hole was the Islamic terror bomber himself, who authorities believe was Abdullahi Abdisalam Borleh.
The bomber apparently sneaked his ordnance through security in his wheelchair, a "Western diplomat" who was briefed on the matter told the Wall Street Journal.
The Daallo Airlines jet was struck just after takeoff and landed quickly. Aside from the bomber, only two other people were injured and on one else was killed.
All in all, we'd say the jihadist is less likely to win a bevy of virgins and much more likely to get a Darwin award. File this one under "Fail."

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