Monday, March 07, 2016

From Ian:

How the US foiled a Black September plot to assassinate Golda Meir
The Black September terrorist organization hatched a plot to assassinate then-prime minister Golda Meir during a visit to New York, a former National Security Analyst told a radio talk show on Sunday.
In 2009, news reports revealed that the plot by the group, an offshoot of the Palestine Liberation Organization, was uncovered by the NSA.
James J. Welsh, who was an NSA analyst of Palestinian communications, told weekend US talk show host and Breitbart Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein that Black September built three car bombs that it planned to detonate in three separate New York locations during Meir's trip to the city on March 4, 1973.
According to Welsh, one of the bombs was placed in El Al's cargo terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport. The other bombs were placed at locations in Manhattan.
“That could have been a really terrible situation had Golda Meir’s motorcade been passing by one of the vehicles parked alongside outside the airport,” Welsh told Klein.
“And then of course if she had visited over there in downtown New York, where those could have been detonated if the first bomb hadn’t succeeded.”
Welsh told Klein that it was "another intelligence agency that the US works with" – and not the NSA – that intercepted messages "from the Iraqi United Nations office to the Iraqi embassy in Washington."
These messages contained very specific details about the plot, including the precise locations of the bombs.
Carlos the Jackal says Switzerland protected the PLO
Carlos the Jackal, the Marxist guerrilla who became a symbol of Cold War anti-imperialism, has told a newspaper that he moved freely through Switzerland in the 1970s under a "non-aggression pact" between the government and the Palestine Liberation Organization.
He felt so safe that he flew to Zurich rather than Vienna airport on his way to neighboring Austria for his most spectacular coup: the kidnapping of oil ministers at OPEC headquarters in 1975, he told the Neue Zuercher Zeitung (NZZ) in a telephone interview from his prison in France.
His comments, published on Monday, seem sure to inflame a debate about whether Swiss authorities secretly agreed to turn a blind eye to PLO activity in the 1970s and give it diplomatic support in exchange for an end to attacks on Swiss targets.
Palestinian incitement watchdog back on YouTube
Less than a day after it was summarily kicked off YouTube, an Israeli media watchdog that reports on Palestinian incitement was back on the video platform on Monday.
The account of Palestinian Media Watch was closed on Sunday for violating YouTube’s terms of service, which include a prohibition on hate speech.
On Thursday, the organization posted a video showing a Palestinian girl reading a poem on official Palestinian Authority TV calling for “war that will smash the oppressor and destroy the Zionist’s soul.”
“I want to personally thank everyone who reached out to PMW and to YouTube,” the organization’s director, Itamar Marcus, said in a statement Monday, adding that “the cumulative effect of individual actions can make a difference.”
PMW said Sunday that the closure of its account was “a blow to the war on terror,” claiming “PMW’s exposure of Palestinian incitement and hate speech is recognized and used by parliaments and governments around the world.”
Songs promoting violence on PA TV: “Where is the Arab rage?” “I'm coming towards you, my enemy"

Terror victim's wife spars with state over characterization of husband's death
Despite her state of mourning, widow Yael Weissman has been forced to take on another burden following the murder of her husband St. Sgt. Tuvia Yanai Weissman. Her 21-year-old husband was killed while trying to stop two teenage terrorists at a Rami Levy supermarket in Sha’ar Binyamin in the West Bank on February 18.
She wants her slain husband to be recognized as a soldier who died in action, while the Ministry of Defense wants her to sign off that he was killed in a terror attack. Whatever is agreed upon would be written on his gravestone's epitaph.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Monday, Weissman said the issue first came to light when the Ministry of Defense told her that the IDF had carried out an investigation into her husband's death and came to the conclusion that he was killed in a terror attack.
She refuted this and thus ensued what she said was a series of transfers between officials who each passed the responsibility onto someone else.
To her shock, however, Weissman was told by the IDF shortly before speaking with the Post, that no such investigation into her husband's death had taken place, as the ministry claimed, and was told that it was not the IDF's responsibility to do so regarding this particular incident.
“We all saw what happened and we all heard what happened,” she said. “There is no doubt here that he died in a type of battle against the terrorists.”
Work set to begin on protecting Gush Etzion’s bus stops
Authorities will be taking steps on Monday to reinforce security at bus stops in the Gush Etzion region in Judea which have seen multiple knife and vehicular attacks in the recent wave of terror.
The plan for surrounding bus stops with concrete barriers or metal poles has been in the offing for several years to prevent terrorists from ramming their cars into bystanders.
Yehudah Shaipra, spokesman for the Gush Etzion Regional Council, explained to Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that the authorities decided to secure the transport stations in 2014 shortly after three youths, Eyal Yifrah, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16, and Gilad Sha’er, 16, were kidnapped by terrorists in the region and later murdered.
“It’s an old plan. When the three boys were kidnapped in Gush Etzion two years ago, everybody asked where the cameras were at this junction. Even to this day, the army has not installed cameras at the junction at which the kidnapping took place, and it has been two years already,” Shapira said.
He explained that following the kidnappings, the IDF decided to install cameras at junctions throughout Judea and Samaria, starting with the largest. Moreover, given the number of stabbing and car-ramming attacks that have struck the region, Shapira added that the army has been slow to deliver on its plans to protect bus stops with sufficiently protective and robust barriers.
Tourist lightly hurt in Jerusalem rock-throwing attack
A tourist was taken to hospital with light injuries on Monday after being hurt in a rock-throwing attack near the Old City of Jerusalem’s Lions’ Gate, paramedics from the Magen David Adom rescue service said.
The woman, 60, suffered injuries to her upper body and was bleeding from a cut. The authorities did not specify the nationality of the victim, who was taken to Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem for treatment.
The Lions’ Gate, on the eastern side of the Old City, was the site of several stabbing attacks last year.
Police officer keeps Jews from drinking water
The accompanying video was filmed on the Temple Mount Sunday by Tom Nisani, an activist for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount.
In it, Nisani and another activist simply ask to drink water at the water faucets on the Temple Mount but are prevented by a senior police officer from doing so.
Muslims justify their objection to Jews' drinking on the Mount by claiming that they then utter a blessing – and are therefore violating the "status quo" on the Mount, which forbids Jewish prayer.
This incident demonstrates the absurd degree to which Israel has capitulated to demands by the Muslim Waqf to limit Jewish rights on the Mount, which is the most sacred site in Judaism, and the location of the First and Second Jewish Temples.
In January, a 13-year-old boy who recited the Shema prayer was arrested by police, and in late December an activist was arrested for having his hands upraised. A hidden camera expose recently revealed how police discriminate against religious Jews on the Mount.
Abbas says Israel trying to ‘Judaize’ Temple Mount
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has again accused Israel of attempting to “Judaize” the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Addressing a meeting that he initiated of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Monday, Abbas also attacked Israel for expanding settlements, the Iranian Press TV new site reported.
The Mount, sanctified by Jews as the place where the Jewish temples stood in biblical times, is the location of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest shrine in Islam.
Tensions at the tinderbox site were one of the main catalysts for the current round of Palestinian violence in Israel and the West Bank, in which 29 Israelis and three foreign nationals have been killed since October. Some 180 Palestinians have also been killed, about two-thirds of them while attacking Israelis and the rest during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army.
Jordan's King Abdullah: 'Israeli violations on Temple Mount dangerously increased lately'
Jordan's King Abdullah II has fiercely condemned “Israeli violations on Temple Mount,” claiming that they have recently increased “systematically and dangerously.”
In a speech delivered on Monday by Prince El Hassan bin Talal on the king's behalf during the extraordinary session of the Islamic Summit conference currently taking place in Jakarta, the king stated: "Israeli infringements of international law in occupied Jerusalem have recently increased in a dangerous way."
The king stated: "As the defender of Jerusalem's holy places, Jordan acted and will keep acting against Israeli violations until east Jerusalem will be liberated from Israeli occupation."
He also emphasized Jordan's support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on limited timeframe negotiations with international inspection during which the two parties will avoid taking steps that might threaten the negotiations' success.
Surveillance cameras to be installed on Temple Mount
Israel and Jordan agreed over the weekend to install surveillance cameras on the Temple Mount, which would enable both parties to monitor security incidents at the Jerusalem holy site. The closed-circuit TV grid is expected to become operational before the Passover holiday, in mid-April.
Israel considers the move an achievement, as according to one senior Jerusalem source, it would enable Israel to monitor and document Muslim rioters. "This is a significant supervisory measure to maintain order on the Temple Mount," he said.
The move followed an agreement reach between Israel and the Islamic Waqf, a Jordanian trust that manages the Islamic edifices around Al-Aqsa mosque, after several weeks of violent riots on and around the Temple Mount. The riots were incited by false Palestinian propaganda alleging that Israel seeks to change the status quo at the site and that Al-Aqsa mosque was "in danger."
Installing surveillance cameras across the compound was at the heart of a compromise brokered between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah of Jordan by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
According to the deal, live-streaming footage from the closed-circuit TV grid installed across the holy site will be monitored by Israeli and Jordanian officials at all times.
Sweden refuses to condition aid to PA on curbing incitement
Financial aid to the Palestinian Authority should be granted irrespective of its educational policies, anti-Israel or anti-Semitic incitement, a Swedish minister said.
Speaking in parliament at a debate Friday about Stockholm’s assistance to Ramallah, Minister for International Development Cooperation Isabella Lövin said that “support to the education sector or education ministry is not included in the strategy for Palestine decided by the government.”
An MP from the pro-Israel Christian Democrats opposition party, Mikael Oscarsson, had challenged Lövin over the government’s support for the PA. In a written query, he asked how Swedish aid money could be used to get the Palestinians to change the names of 25 schools named after terrorists, how Stockholm could stipulate that payments do not go to causes supportive of terrorism, and whether it would be possible to create a mechanism to ensure Swedish money is not used to further incitement.
In her response Lövin, a member of the Green Party, reiterated her position, first stated in May 2015, that promoting education is not part of Sweden’s development strategy regarding Palestine. Financial aid provides Stockholm with a “possibility to reach out,” she declared in a parliamentary session at the same. “A constant threat to pull back aid is not a way forward.”
Netanyahu rebuffs claims of rift with US ahead of Biden visit
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Sunday of “strong” ties with the United States ahead of a visit by Vice President Joe Biden, despite deep disagreement over the nuclear accord with Iran.
“This visit expresses the strong relations between Israel and our ally the US,” Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting.
“There are those who have predicted the collapse of these relations. It is not so. The relationship is strong in all areas, including in the face of the challenges that we are standing together against in our region.”
Biden is set to arrive on Tuesday for talks with Netanyahu as well as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.
Gaza Belt towns invite US Vice Pres. to Hamas 'front line'
The leaders of southern Israeli communities bordering Hamas-controlled Gaza have issued an invitation for US Vice President Joe Biden to visit during his upcoming trip to Israel.
Biden will arrive in Israel tomorrow (Tuesday), in what will likely be the final high-level Obama administration official to visit the Jewish state.
He will shuttle between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, holding talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, among other top Israeli officials, on issues including defense aid, the ongoing wave of Arab terror and the conflict in neighboring Syria.
But the heads of the Sha’ar Hanegev, Eshkol, Hof Ashkelon, and Sdot Negev Regional Councils have invited Biden and his wife to take a detour through Israel's Negev Desert, and witness the challenges and resilience exhibited by Israeli civilians living under constant threat of Palestinian rocket attacks.
"As you know, Israeli towns, kibbutzim and villages close to the Gaza border have for some time absorbed the brunt of violence directed towards Israeli civilians from extremist forces within Palestinian society. We have paid a heavy price, both in lives and quality of life, during periods of conflict," council heads Alon Schuster, Gadi Yarkoni, Yair Farjun and Tamir Idan wrote in a joint letter to Biden Monday.
Netanyahu: Israel is a ‘beacon of democracy’ that protects Europe from Mideast radicalism
Israel is a beacon of democracy that protects Europe and the entire world from the dangers of Iran, ISIS and a radicalized Middle East, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting Romanian President Werner Iohannis on Monday.
“When you look at the Middle East there isn’t one country, a beacon of freedom, of democracy, of human rights, that protects not only itself, but by so doing protects everyone else, including Europe.
“It is this basic understanding that we want to impart to our European friendship,” Netanyahu said.
The two men made brief statements to the press at the start of their meeting in Netanyahu’s Jerusalem office.
The prime minister told Iohannis that he appreciated Romania’s long standing support for Israel and its strong stand against anti-Semitism.
This is particularly important at a time when the Jewish people and the state of Israel is persistently slandered.
New Proposal to Divide Jerusalem Unites People Against It
A new plan on how to divide Jerusalem’s Jewish and Arab neighborhoods has had the peculiar distinction of uniting people against it.
The contentious plan, promoted by a group of liberal Israeli Jews and adopted in principle by the center-left Labor Party, would unilaterally fence off most of East Jerusalem’s Palestinian neighborhoods and transfer responsibility for their 200,000 residents from City Hall to the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank.
Kicked off with advertisements under the heading “Saving Jewish Jerusalem,” the campaign’s almost jingoistic tone seems intended to appeal to the broadest Jewish constituency, including Israel’s growing political center and conservative “nationalist camp.”
Instead, it has been rejected at both ends of the political spectrum, as well as by Palestinian leaders.
Continue reading the main story
The new campaign describes Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents as imperiling the security, demographic balance, standard of living and economy of the city. It argues that a majority of people 18 and under in the city are Palestinian and plays on fears raised by the recent surge of Palestinian attacks against Israeli Jews.
Muslim body calls for economic war on Israel
A global Muslim body called Monday for a ban on products from Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria and pledged full support for the "inalienable rights" of the Palestinian Arabs.
The call came at the end of an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, which brought together representatives from 57 states.
At the start of the summit, Indonesian President Joko Widodo demanded that the Muslim world unite to fight Israel and support the Palestinians.
An OIC resolution sealed during the meeting urged "member states and the wider international community to ban products produced in or by illegal Israeli settlements from their markets."
However, the move was not binding on member states.
Indonesian president calls on Islamic states to unite for 'Palestine'
The 5th Extraordinary Summit of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation continued in Jakarta on Monday to discuss the Middle East peace process.
The OIC meeting comes as a wave of Palestinian-Israeli heightened tension has shown no sign of abating and has raised concern of further escalation.
Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, welcomed all the delegates on the summit's last day which is aiming to work on a resolution over Palestinian issues.
"As part of the international community, Israel must end its illegal activities and policies in the occupied territories. Indonesia and the Islamic world stands ready to take concrete actions to urge Israel to end its colonization to Palestine," Widodo said in his opening remarks at the plenary.
Widodo quoted the late president Sukarno, who asserted that as long as Palestine had not achieved its independence, Indonesia would continue to fight against Israel’s occupation of 'Palestine,' The Jakarta Post quoted him as saying.
Can YOU spot the roadside bomb disguised as a rock? In the Middle East, the answer could mean life or death... Secrets of the Bedouin terrorist hunters who patrol Israel's tense borders
Bedouin nomads have lived in the desert for centuries and have developed extraordinary tracking abilities
In Israel, many have sworn allegiance to the state and volunteer their tracking skills to the army
They are deployed along Israel's borders where they track terrorist infiltrators to keep the country safe
At first glance, this stretch of rocky ground beside a path in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights does not seem to be a threat.
To the expert eye, however, it is potentially deadly. That's because an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) has been planted inside a hollow rock, a tactic commonly used by the terror group Hezbollah.
For the elite unit of Israeli army trackers based on the border with Syria and Lebanon, the ability to identify such threats can mean life or death. Or as Major Guy Gadir, 41, the commander of the unit puts it, 'it can mean the difference between a good day or a very bad day'.
MailOnline joined Major Gadir and two of his men on patrol at a secret location close to the tense border with southern Lebanon, Hezbollah's stronghold, where he revealed some of the secrets used by his unit to track down terrorists seeking to kill civilians or capture soldiers across the border.
Two Knesset factions condemn Gulf States for labeling Hezbollah a terrorist organization
Two East Jerusalem lawyers were handed prison sentences on Monday for relaying messages between Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza and security detainees in Israeli prisons.
Medhat Issawi, 42, and his sister Shireen Issawi, 37, were sentenced to eight and four years, respectively, by the Jerusalem District Court.
They were charged in 2014 for conveying messages to terrorists in prison, and were arrested along with four other attorneys earlier that year by the Shin Bet security service and Israel Police.
They two, who have a law practice in the city’s Isawiya neighborhood, are accused of taking advantage of lawyer-client confidentiality permitted by Israeli authorities to act as couriers between Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and Palestinians incarcerated by Israel.
Police nab 3 Turks entering Israel through Jordan
Israeli forces arrested three Turkish nationals who had crossed into Israel from Jordan overnight Sunday, police announced Monday.
IDF soldiers first spotted the three men and signaled to Border Police officers to investigate, the police said in a statement.
Police fanned out on a stretch of Arava Valley road that runs parallel to the border to nab the three, an Israel Police spokesman said.
The men were found near the Grofit Kibbutz, just outside of Eilat, and taken to the southern city for questioning.
In the West Bank, Israeli security forces arrested 14 Palestinians overnight.
Of them, 12 were arrested for so-called “popular terrorism” — Molotov cocktail and rock throwing or participation in violent demonstrations. The other two were arrested for undisclosed reasons, the IDF said.
Arch-terrorist Barghouti a Nobel Prize candidate
Palestinian arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction has been submitted as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Fatah spokesperson Fayez Abu Aita announced Barghouti's name was submitted for the Nobel Peace Prize by Adolfo Perez Esquivel of Argentina, who won the Nobel Prize back in 1980 for his human rights work.
"This is a victory for the struggle of our people and an expression of the deep faith in the justice of the Palestinian issue and the legitimacy of the international Palestinian struggle to return the rights of our people," said Abu Aita.
The Fatah spokesperson praised the "great" role that "the warrior" Barghouti played along with other jailed Palestinian terrorists, calling on the international community to demand their release from Israeli prisons.
Barghouti was sentenced to five life sentences in 2002 after being convicted of multiple murder and attempted murder charges for attacks carried out by Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades on Israeli civilians and soldiers during the Second Intifada.
Policewomen Training in Gaza Gain Sniper Skills, Perform Duties "in the Spirit of Jihad"

This Is What Life Is Like For Egyptians Caught In A War
Al-Lafitat, a small village in the southern side of Sheikh Zuwayed, was once lively with green olive groves and sheep farms. But it’s easy to see why Khaled now calls it a battlefield — al-Lafitat lies in ruins, its walls pockmarked from repeated shelling, and there are few signs of life.
A chieftain in the village, a tall man in his late fifties, agreed to speak to BuzzFeed News on the condition that he and the villagers were not identified because he feared retribution from the army. He said he would arrange a meeting with the local militiamen who fought for Wilayat Sinai.
On the way to meet the militiamen, the chieftain painted a grim image of the village. The army shells the entire village rather than specific targets, he said, because the militia are in control, with armed men patrolling the streets. “The militiamen often come to our houses and ask us to hide or store their weapons. If we refuse, they kill us. If we agree, the army will eventually find out and either arrest us or bomb our house,” the chieftain said. “Death is the only thing our children here see.”
Shooting the messenger in Egypt's parliament
Analysis: Tawfik Okasha, voted out of the Egyptian parliament for promoting normalizing relations with Israel, is in indeed a bigmouth who seeks self-publicity at all costs; conspiracy theories abound about how he was being used to see if relations with Israel could be taken to a higher level.
The good side to this story, if there are any, is that it opened the wound of the countries' relations and pointed the radar at it. 40 years after Sadat's historic visit to Jerusalem, when he pledged to "get into the hearts of Israelis and break Egypt's psychological barrier," we remain stuck. All Egypts professional unions reacted to the surprise which Sadat hit them with by an all-out strike and a strict interdiction to collaborate with the "Zionist enemy." The ones who were caught in the act of "normilazation" were forced to apologize and pledge not to repeat the "sin". The few who refused ran away in disgrace and lost their jobs and livelihoods.
Cairo's political salons are buzzing with conspiracy theories about the trial the government orchestrated using Okasha – in order to check if the time has come to take the relationship with Israel beyond security matters. What would the reactions be, for example, if President Reuven Rivlin or Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were invited to Cairo? Such an invitation is considered necessary, especially in Jerusalem, to signal that normalization is not something that results in punishment.
We received the answer: Peace will prevail only between the leaders. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is currently visiting Japan and Korea, was quick to announce that Egypt is committed to the agreements with Israel, and didn't say a word for or against Okasha. Jerusalem understands that he cannot afford to quarrel with parliament which making comparisons between their expulsion and the Israeli discussion of distancing of Arab MKs.
Only al-Sisi can save Okasha. One can't be sure he is going to make any efforts given that latter, with his big mouth, rudely trampled the authority of the presidential palace and mocked the top of the pyramid.
Egyptian MP Seeks to Ban Face Veil, Says It’s a ‘Jewish Custom’
A female Egyptian lawmaker is supporting a bill that would ban women from wearing a face-covering veil, a custom increasingly common in hardline Islamist circles.
Dr. Amneh Nusseir, a philosophy and religious studies professor at Cairo’s Al Azhar University, welcomed the Coalition For Egypt’s sponsorship of a bill to ban the niqab – a veil that covers the face – which she says is a Jewish custom that somehow migrated to Islam, but was never part of Islamic law.
“For 25 years I’ve been trying to advance this bill,” she said, citing verses from the Quran in support of it.
“Modesty is not a function of wearing masks,” she said. “It means averting your eyes from something you’re not supposed to look at. Therefore, the bill gives a tailwind to moderate Islam.”
White House Making Up Iran Data?
Colin Kahl, Vice President Joseph Biden’s National Security Advisor, reportedly told a conference at the RAND Corporation that the $100 billion released to Iran under the terms of the Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action (JCPOA) were “being used for domestic investment, to the dismay of [Qods Force chief] Qassem Soleimani.” Really?
It would be useful for Kahl and the White House to provide details — perhaps even a balance sheet — to justify that statement because, frankly, it appears to be based more on wishful thinking than reality. Reporting in the Iranian press paints a far different picture:
- Over the past few months, for example, the Gen. Hassan Shah-Safi, the head of the Islamic Republic’s air force, has traveled to Beijing to discuss with his Chinese counterpart about how to upgrade Iran’s air force with the latest Chinese jet fighters.
- Nor does it seem that Qassem Soleimani is all that dismayed at the new drones Iran has shipped to Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Just last week, the Iranian press announced the start of Iranian drone operations around the Syrian city of Aleppo.
- Iran has also undertaken a massive, multibillion-dollar military shopping spree in Moscow.
- Then, of course, the money to hold recruitment drives to sign up Iranian students to ‘volunteer’ in Syria has to come from somewhere. Funny how Iran stepped up such activities after it received its cash rather than before.
In addition to the $100 billion Iran receives in unfrozen assets, of course, there’s also the fact that the new foreign investment Tehran now attracts goes disproportionately into the coffers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Family, friends of Jewish ex-FBI agent demand Iran release him
The family and colleagues of a former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran nine years ago while on a CIA mission expressed anger and disappointment at a rally Saturday that he wasn’t part of a January prisoner exchange with Tehran.
Several hundred people attended the rally for Robert Levinson, 67, who disappeared from Iran’s Kish Island in March 2007. A 2013 Associated Press investigation revealed that the married father of seven was working for the CIA on an unauthorized intelligence-gathering mission to glean information about Iran’s nuclear program.
If Levinson remains alive, he has been held captive longer than any American — longer than then-AP journalist Terry Anderson, who was held more than six years in Beirut in the 1980s. Unlike Anderson, Levinson’s whereabouts and captors remain a mystery. US officials believe the Iranian government was behind his disappearance. It has denied that.
Why Boeing’s Iran Deal Matters
What could be wrong about the possibility of an American aircraft manufacturer gaining a lucrative foreign contract? In an era when the Obama administration has been cutting back on defense spending and airlines have been a troubled industry, opening a new market would be a bright spot for any major company. It would mean more jobs and also decrease the trade deficit. Everybody would be happy right? Except, in this case, the people who would be the happiest about the deal would be the theocrats of Tehran.
The deal in question is the very real possibility that the Boeing Company will soon be selling aircraft to Iran. As the New York Times reports, Boeing officials have been invited to discuss such a wide-ranging transaction with the Islamist regime. It would be the first major business transaction between a U.S. company and Iran since before the Islamic Revolution of 1979. That’s why rather than viewing this merely through the lens of a large company looking for more business, we must understand the potential Boeing-Iran deal as the next stage of progress towards détente with the Islamist regime that was always the real purpose of the nuclear accord.
Though Iran is eager to break down every vestige of the international sanctions that isolated it prior to the adoption of the nuclear deal, this particular arrangement should come as no surprise. Though little noticed at the time, the Iran deal contained a specific provision that the United States would permit “the sale of commercial passenger aircraft and related parts and services to Iran.” Indeed, last month Boeing announced that the U.S. government had granted it a license to begin talks with Iran about selling them a brand new fleet of planes. Modernizing their transportation industry is a top post-deal priority for Iran, so that makes Boeing the perfect partner for the ayatollahs even as they are also shopping for clients and vendors in Europe.
Qatari Educational Software to Girls: Not Wearing Hijab Defies Allah, Brings You Closer to Satan

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