Tuesday, March 22, 2016

From Ian:

At least 34 said killed as terror attacks rock Brussels airport, metro
At least 34 people were reportedly killed and dozens were wounded in twin attacks Tuesday morning on Brussels’s airport and metro, authorities said.
By mid-afternoon official figures put the death toll at 26. But local media was reporting a total of 34 dead, 14 in twin bomb blasts in the departure terminal of the airport and 20 more in a bomb attack a short while later at the Maalbeek metro station.
Dozens were injured in both incidents.
Authorities defined the explosions as terror attacks and the public transport system in the city was shut down in the wake of the blasts.
According to the Belgian VTM TV channel, police discovered an unexploded suicide vest at the Brussels airport. The report said a Kalashnikov assault rifle had also been located at the site.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, speaking on national television, described the attacks as “blind, violent and cowardly.”
Netanyahu to AIPAC: Brussels attack and terror in Israel part of same assault
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed AIPAC's annual policy conference on Tuesday, sending his condolences to the families of those killed earlier in the day in a string of terror attacks in Brussels, Belgium.
Speaking via live video feed, Netanyahu said that the chain of attacks currently being seen from Paris to San Bernadino and now in Brussels is one continuous assault that includes the daily terror attacks in Israel.
"In all these cases the terrorists have no resolvable differences," Netanyahu said.
"What they seek is our utter destruction," he added.
"Their basic demand is that we should disappear," Netanyahu told the conference. "That's not going to happen," he vowed.
Netanyahu said that political unity and moral clarity were needed to defeat terrorism.
Muslim police refuse to protect French synagogues
Muslim police in France refuse to protect synagogues as growing support for Jihad is affecting law enforcement, according to a Gatestone Institute report.
The report claims that a leaked confidential memo from the Department of Public Security, published by Le Parisien, detailed 17 cases of police officers radicalized between 2012 and 2015, noting that the police officers listen to and broadcast Muslim chants while on patrol.
According to the anti-terrorist unit of the French Interior Ministry, as of January 2016, France is already host to 8,250 radical Islamists (a 50% increase in one year). Some have gone to Syria to join ISIS while others have infiltrated all levels of society, including the police and the armed forces.
Some of these police officers have openly refused to protect synagogues or to observe a minute of silence to commemorate the deaths of Jewish victims of terrorist attacks.
The fact that police officers are armed and have access to police databases only intensifies the anxiety among France’s Jewish communities.



Israel won’t recognize Istanbul casualties as ‘victims of hostilities’
Ya’alon and other politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have cast the Saturday attack as identical in nature to the terrorism that has rocked Israel for decades.
“The State of Israel is fighting terror that strives to harm its citizens, not only within its borders but everywhere,” Ya’alon said a few hours after the attack.
That message, however, appears to be more rhetorical than practical, as the three Israelis killed and 11 injured have not been granted the special status awarded to other Israeli victims of terror, the Defense Ministry announced Tuesday.
Israeli victims who die or are injured in terror attacks either within Israel or abroad are considered “victims of hostilities” by the state, under a law drafted in 1970. Those injured receive special benefits from Israel’s tax authority and compensation from Israel’s social security, as do the families of those who are killed.
IDF closes off West Bank for Purim holiday
Israel will close off the West Bank from Wednesday to Saturday as a preventative measure against attacks during the Jewish holiday of Purim, the IDF announced on Tuesday.
The closure will begin at 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday and is expected to end at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, the army said.
Entering and exiting the West Bank will be forbidden for Palestinians during those three days, with the exception of “humanitarian, medical and exceptional cases,” according to an IDF statement.
Those special cases will require the approval of the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of the Government’s Activities in the Territories.
Last year, the West Bank was not closed off for the Purim holiday. The decision was made this year in light of “a directive from the political leadership” and following a situational assessment, the army said.
Poll: Palestinian support for knife attacks waning
Palestinian support for knife attacks against Israelis in the West Bank has sharply fallen, while a majority have come to support a two-state solution, according to a Palestinian poll released Monday.
While 57% of Palestinians in the West Bank supported knife attacks three months ago, that number has fallen to 44% today, according to the survey by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.
Support for knife attacks dropped in Gaza as well, but only minutely, from 85% three months ago to 82% today.
Israel is in the midst of a six-month-long wave of Palestinian terror attacks characterized mostly by knife assaults, though officials have noted the number of incidents has dropped since the fall, when Palestinians carried out near-daily attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Newsweek: Israelis Shooting Dead Suspicious Palestinians
In a negative piece in Newsweek‘s Jack Moore focuses on the past several months of Palestinian violence, one statement really stands out:
In response to the attacks on Israelis, the country’s security personnel have been shooting dead or injuring any Palestinian targeting or suspected of planning to target Israeli civilians.
It’s one thing to shoot in self-defense at Palestinians who are carrying out terror attacks. It quite something else to shoot at Palestinians because you simply “suspect” they may be planning to target Israeli civilians.
Newsweek’s inference is a very serious charge and there is no evidence to back it up. While there is a legitimate debate in Israel over the limits of using lethal force against terrorists armed with knives, there is no policy, official or otherwise, of shooting Palestinians simply because somebody thought they might be suspicious.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Human Rights Watch: Allowing Jews To Defend Selves Would Violate Haman’s Rights (satire)
Susa, Persian Empire, March 22 – The director of a prominent rights organization cautioned against allowing Grand Vizier Haman’s genocidal decree to be contradicted, saying that any impingement on the ability of Haman and his loyalists to exterminate all the Jews would constitute a flagrant violation of his rights.
Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth told journalists that while King Xerxes might have legitimate political reasons to address by modifying or rescinding his original decree, the overriding concern must be that of Haman’s legitimate rights to foment the massacre of all Jewish men, women, and children, and to plunder their property in the process.
“If history shows us anything, it is that rights, once revoked, are exceedingly difficult to restore,” explained Roth. “If the king rescinds the decree to destroy the Jews, he will no longer have the political capital or credibility to reinstate the rights of Persian subjects and client states have heretofore enjoyed to despoil the Jews, torture them, and ultimately kill them. This organization fears not only for Haman’s rights in this specific case, but for the rights of anyone throughout history who might wish to mete out similar treatment to a distinct minority population.”

PodCast: TOI talks: Donald Trumping the AIPAC agenda while Netanyahu stays home
On this week’s episode: Presidential candidates break the paradigms of the US pro-Israel lobby; a conversation with iconoclastic Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo; and foraging for coexistence in the rainy Galilee
The surprise winner of AIPAC’s big showdown
For the first time ever a sizeable portion of Americans got to know what’s it’s like for Israelis to be living in a bloody hard-hearted neighborhood.
This was an unintended but highly productive consequence of AIPAC’s big showdown that featured our major candidates for president as each made his or her case as Israel’s best friend. They all spoke well, but that was expected. The surprise was the news -- news that finally got to open some eyes across the country.
This must have been shocking for so many who’d been in the dark.
Because ever since the Arab conflict against Israel began, the networks made it a point to nurse along a policy that either blames Israel for defending itself, or at best measures out moral equivalency. In any case, Israel seldom (actually never) caught a break.
Monday was different… elaborately different as candidate after candidate spoke forthrightly about Radical Islamic bloodlust and Palestinian Arab atrocities.
Cruz Vows to ‘Unapologetically’ Back Israel, Mocks Trump’s Use of ‘Palestine’
Speaking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference on Monday, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) said he “will not be neutral” on Israel as president, taking a swipe at GOP opponent Donald Trump’s past statements about being a neutral broker in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“America will stand unapologetically with the nation of Israel,” said Cruz, who also mocked Trump’s use of the term “Palestine” in the preceding speech at the same AIPAC session. “Palestine” has not existed since 1948, Cruz said upon arriving on stage.
Cruz said America needs a president “who will be a champion for Israel,” noting his actions in the Senate such as staunchly opposing the Federal Aviation Administration’s 36-hour ban on flights to Israel during the 2014 Gaza war. Cruz recalled that at the time, he raised the question, “Did this [Obama] administration just launch an economic boycott against the state of Israel?” Ukraine, noted Cruz, had just seen a passenger airline shot down by a Russian missile but experienced no flight ban, yet Israel received such a ban when one rocket fell a mile from “one of the safest airports in the world.”
Offering specific on how he would stand with Israel as president, Cruz said he would rip the “catastrophic” Iran nuclear deal to shreds.
David Horovitz: Trump castigates Obama, savages Iran deal, vows support for Israel, conquers AIPAC
When Donald Trump made his entrance to the packed Verizon Center on Monday night, the applause from the 18,000 AIPAC conference participants was polite, even warm, but certainly not overwhelming. There was a half roar from the higher reaches of the stadium, and a few isolated cheers.
Unlike the previous speaker, Paul Ryan, Trump did not bound onto the stage. He approached the microphone slowly, even hesitantly. Was the indomitable Republican front-runner perhaps a little nervous about addressing what CNN had described as arguably his most challenging audience?
As it quickly turned out, not a bit.
Trump delivered a river of emphatically pro-Israel sound bites to a crowd that applauded with increasing enthusiasm as he progressed. Soon he was having to pause for brief standing ovations. Then he was giving the thumbs-up signal. Now he was waiting, lips pursed, shoulders shrugging, palms out, as if to say: You know I’m right, and I’m the only one with the guts to say it.
By the mid-point, he was able to castigate Hillary Clinton as “a total disaster, by the way” — hours after she had delivered a carefully crafted, thoroughly pro-Israel and well-received address here — and garner what sounded like as much applause as howls of disapproval. And by the end, many were cheering him — emphatically not all, but many — sorry it was all over so soon.
Aaron David Miller: At AIPAC, Unconventional Donald Trump Gave a Conventional Political Speech
Donald Trump’s presentation at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference was notable for four reasons.
Mr. Trump spoke from a prepared text. It’s not clear whether the prepared draft indicates the importance of the audience and AIPAC to Mr. Trump or a new phase in his campaign. But this may well be considered his first true policy speech. His remarks were well-ordered and structured, not a series of random soundbites (though Trumpisms about how well he’s doing in the polls and that he wrote “The Art of the Deal” were also peppered in). The address used facts and figures. It conveyed a set of assumptions about the issues, particularly with regard to Iran, Hezbollah, and the peace process, that might have fit in well with speeches by other mainstream candidates.
The ultimate unconventional candidate became the epitome of convention. I’ve written before about Mr. Trump’s striking willingness to adopt measured positions toward Israel during an election year. In front of the pro-Israel lobby Monday evening was not the Donald Trump who has repeatedly stated his willingness to be neutral during Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Mr. Trump spent the better portion of his speech railing against Iran and the international deal over Tehran’s nuclear program, perhaps the most resonant issue for the AIPAC audience. There was no language about how difficult it would be for the next president to tear up the deal. Mr. Trump spoke not of renegotiation but said his No. 1 priority is “to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.” Gone were the nuances Mr. Trump had cultivated previously. His positions on the Middle East conformed to those of conventional U.S. politicians in an election year. He said he didn’t come to pander, but that was contradicted by most of his presentation.
 On the Question of Trump’s ‘Antisemitism,’ the New York Times Contradicts Itself
Two articles in the New York Times, published on successive days, have served up diametrically opposed accounts of whether people think Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, is antisemitic.
Monday’s article, by my former New York Sun and Forward colleague Jonathan Mahler, reported, “Virtually no one thinks Mr. Trump is anti-Semitic.”
Tuesday’s article, which carried the joint bylines of Mark Landler and Maggie Haberman, reported that Trump mentioned in his remarks at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that his daughter Ivanka “is about to have a beautiful Jewish baby.”
The Tuesday Times article goes on: “The remarks reflected Mr. Trump’s genuine frustration at being labeled anti-Semitic by some critics.”
Who are these “critics”? The Times doesn’t say. But it is a jarring juxtaposition. One day, the newspaper tells us that “virtually no one thinks Mr. Trump is anti-Semitic.” The next day, the paper turns around and announces, to the contrary, that enough “critics” have labeled Mr. Trump “anti-Semitic” to have genuinely frustrated the candidate himself.
How the Times was able to determine that Trump’s frustration was genuine is another interesting question, one upon which, alas, the newspaper doesn’t share any answers with readers.
Clinton Distances Herself from Obama on Israel, Assails Palestinian Incitement
Former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton blasted Palestinian incitement and the anti-Israel boycott campaign during a speech laying out her vision of American foreign policy in the Middle East on Monday.
Speaking at the AIPAC policy conference, Clinton emphasized the importance of America’s “indispensable” alliance with Israel in the fight against “turmoil” in the Middle East. She also argued that the United States could not walk away from the region, nor “outsource Middle East security to dictators.” While this criticism was directed at “candidates,” it also served to distance her from President Barack Obama, whose administration oversaw growing rapprochement with Iran. In an interview at the end 2014, Obama spoke of his hope that Iran would become a “successful regional power.”
Clinton added that she would “never allow Israel’s adversaries to think a wedge can be driven between us,” an apparent reference to Obama’s 2009 declaration that it wasn’t good for there to be “no daylight” between the U.S. and Israel. Towards that end, Clinton mentioned that when differences emerged between the two nations, they would be resolved “quickly and respectfully.”
In a more direct criticism, Clinton stressed that while she supported the nuclear agreement with Iran, it had to have “vigorous enforcement, strong monitoring, clear consequences for any violations and a broader strategy to confront Iran’s aggression across the region.” There are no consequences for Iranian violations spelled out in the deal. “We cannot forget that Tehran’s fingerprints are on nearly every conflict across the Middle East, from Syria to Lebanon to Yemen,” she added.
Can Hillary Shed Obama on Israel?
As for the Palestinians, Clinton made the usual bow in the direction of a two-state solution as well as a brief mention of her disagreement with Israel about settlement building. While condemning the Palestinian leadership for its role in fomenting violence and terror, she failed to speak of any tangible steps by which the Palestinian Authority might be held accountable for its behavior, including aid cutoffs.
But here again, she tried to pivot away from Obama by giving an ironclad commitment to back up Israel at the United Nations if the Palestinians tried to circumvent the peace process with an end-around maneuver in which they got recognition without first having to make peace. The administration has issued clear threats to Israel that it might not veto anti-Israel resolutions at the Security Council this fall. Clinton’s purpose was to make it clear that she wanted no part of the president’s obsessive pursuit of his vendetta against Netanyahu.
It needs hardly be said that Clinton’s remarks ought to be taken with the usual truckload of salt that is required to understand any presidential candidate’s pre-election promises regarding Israel. Having been all over the place in terms of her record on Israel in the last 20 years, Clinton’s credibility isn’t good. But as much as she is counting on being seen as Obama’s heir in order to motivate minority voters to turn out for her this fall, she’s also hoping that pro-Israel voters won’t hold her association with the president’s Middle East policies won’t be held against her.
One final point needs to be made about Clinton’s speech. For the last two decades, Republicans have become the pro-Israel party while increasing numbers of Democrats moved away from support for the Jewish state. But Democrats have called foul on GOP efforts to bring this fact to the attention of the voters. Democrats have treated any inference that one party was better than the other on Israel as an instance in which the Republicans were attempting to “politicize” an issue that ought to remain bipartisan. But by going after Trump for his neutrality remarks, Clinton was signaling that politicization is fine so long as the object of the barb is a member of the GOP. Coming from the leader of the party that whipped the vote on the Iran nuclear deal while blasting the GOP for uniformly opposing a deal that was bad for Israel and the United States, that appeal to partisanship is evidence that Clinton’s hypocrisy knows no limits.
Watch: Boteach slams Clinton links with 'extreme anti-Semite'
In a broad swipe at the Democrat Party, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach questioned the sincerity of Democrats' statements of support for Israel given the party's backing of the nuclear deal with Iran - and warned of Hillary Clinton's ties with an "extreme anti-Semite."
Boteach spoke with Arutz Sheva on Monday during AIPAC's annual policy conference in Washington D.C.
Speaking hours prior to addresses by the three Republican presidential candidates, and just after speeches by Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden, Boteach called out the "contradiction" between the latters' statements of support for Israel, and their actions in backing the Iran deal.
"They signed an agreement which legitimizes a genocidal regime which openly calls for killing all the Jews," he noted, referring to regular calls by Iranian leaders to wipe all Israeli Jews off the map.
Signing an agreement with such a country serves to legitimize those murderous statements, he said.


Clinton's Convenient Evolution on Israel
While Obama never went as far as the academic left in demonizing Israel, he was happy to publicly chide Netanyahu and warn Israelis that they were on the path to becoming a pariah if the occupation of Palestinian territory continued indefinitely.
These stark warnings were missing from Hillary Clinton's speech Monday to Aipac. She expressed her desire for a two-state solution, and she warned against "damaging actions, including with respect to settlements." But she also pledged to oppose any efforts by the United Nations or other parties to impose a two-state solution on the parties. She was also more specific in her condemnation of the Palestinians. "Terrorism should never be encouraged or celebrated, and children should not be taught to hate in schools. That poisons the future," she said.
Clinton didn't say this sort of thing when she was secretary of state. She emphasized how the two-state solution was important to both Palestinians and Israelis. In a speech in 2010 before the American Task Force on Palestine, Clinton spoke about "the indignity of occupation," and the "right of Palestinians to chart their own destinies."
Clinton as secretary of state appeared to be neutral on the conflict that has vexed Israel since its founding. She supported a peace deal for the sake of both sides. As she runs for president in 2016, though, Clinton chides Trump for promising this same kind of neutrality. No wonder Republicans are hoping pro-Israel voters will question her sincerity in November.
Hillary Tells AIPAC She Won’t Be Neutral (Because She’ll Be Anti-Israel As Always)
If one looks at Hillary Clinton’s public history one finds a lifetime of anti-Israel positions. But wait some might say, Hillary was a big supporter of Israel when she was in the U.S. Senate. Indeed, she was. With the possible exception of the time from her first campaign New York’s Senate seat in 2000 to her resignation from the Senate to become Secretary of State in January 2009– except for the time she needed New York’s Jewish voting bloc, Hillary Clinton has never been pro-Israel. Some might even claim that she is also anti-Semitic.
Even before her marriage to Bill, Hillary Clinton was anti-Israel and promoting the forces of terrorism. In his book American Evita on page 49, Christopher Anderson writes.
At a time when elements of the American Left embraced the Palestinian cause and condemned Israel, Hillary was telling friends that she was “sympathetic” to the terrorist organization and admired its flamboyant leader, Yasser Arafat. When Arafat made his famous appearance before the UN General Assembly in November 1974 wearing his revolutionary uniform and his holster on his hip, Bill “was outraged like everybody else,” said a Yale Law School classmate. But not Hillary, who tried to convince Bill that Arafat was a “freedom fighter” trying to free his people from their Israeli “oppressors.”
On page 50 of the same book, the author relates a 1973 anti-Semitic incident where she Hillary refused to enter a home that a menorah on its door.
AIPAC Policy Conference: Israel Targeted by Hate Group for Being Pro-Gay Rights
On Sunday afternoon, as participants at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference made their way to the Verizon Center in Washington, DC, anti-LGBTQ activists from the Westboro Baptist Church voiced their disdain for the Jewish state’s support of LGBTQ communities.
One protester held a sign proclaiming that Israel and America are doomed because of their support for same-sex marriage. Her sweatshirt read: “Jews Killed Jesus.” Behind her was a woman standing on the American flag with signs that read, “Some Jews will repent” and “Repent or perish.”
Another woman, standing on an Israeli flag placed on the ground, held a sign proclaiming, “What would Jesus do? Jesus destroyed Sodom!”
They sang songs about Jews and gays going to hell for their sins.
 Poll: Two-thirds of Palestinians want Abbas to resign
Poll results have been consistent over the past six months and were affirmed Monday: Two-thirds of Palestinians would like Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to resign, after a string of policy failures. Yet the Palestinian leader does not appear to be under palpable domestic or international pressure to step down.
The prospect of a chaotic succession battle might put off some Palestinians, while Abbas' Western backers view him as a guarantor of relative stability in a region engulfed by conflict. Potential successors from Abbas' Fatah party have not challenged him openly for fear of hurting their chances later.
They might also be deterred by anemic popular support for them, particularly if competing against a candidate from Hamas, Fatah's main rival, said pollster Khalil Shikaki.
"Abbas is weak, but his contenders are weak, too," Shikaki told reporters as he released his latest poll. The survey was based on responses from 1,270 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with an error margin of 3 percentage points.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Gaza professors loses position after publicly criticizing Hamas
A Palestinian professor has been suspended by The Islamic University in the Gaza Strip because of Facebook posts criticizing Hamas and the university administration.
Professor Salah Jadallah, who teaches at the Biology and Biotechnology Department, is one of the founders of Hamas in the Shati refugee camp, where Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh lives.
On March 19, he received a letter from the university administration notifying him of the decision to suspend him and bring him before a commission of inquiry. The decision has drawn sharp criticism and protests from many of the Manchester-educated professor’s colleagues and students.
Professor Jadallah posted several comments on his Facebook account in which he complained about Hamas’s autocratic rule over the Gaza Strip. He has also accused Hamas of corruption.
Inside Hamas, a bitter and very personal battle for control
As The Times of Israel reported in December, a new leader by the name of Yahya Sinwar has emerged in the Strip. A charismatic man, Sinwar is leading an intensifying challenge to Mashaal’s leadership and to Hamas’s senior echelons abroad. While Mashaal, who was born in the West Bank village of Silwad, stays in luxury hotels in the Gulf states and meets with world leaders such as the president of Turkey, Sinwar lives in the Khan Younis refugee camp and is seen as the champion of the oppressed, suffering alongside them.
Sinwar spent 22 years in Israel’s prisons until he was released in the 2011 Shalit prisoner-exchange deal. A man who avoids the limelight, he is considered a radical hardliner who inspires the loyalty of the leadership of Hamas’s military wing.
The clash between Mashaal and Sinwar is at the heart of a growing rift between Hamas’s “Gazans” and the “ones abroad.” The resolution of issues such as Hamas’s reconciliation with Fatah, its relations with Egypt and its own broad strategy hinges on the result.
EXCLUSIVE: Two Hamas Commanders Defect to Islamic State
Hamas’ military wing suffered a blow last week as two of its top commanders crossed the Gaza-Egypt border and joined Islamic State in Sinai, senior militant sources in Gaza told Breitbart Jerusalem.
Abu Malek Abu Shawish, co-founder of a commando unit that carries out what Hamas calls “missions behind enemy lines,” and Khaled Abu Azra, one of the movement’s regional commanders in the Rafah area, crossed from Gaza into Egypt via one of Hamas’ cross-border tunnels accompanied by their families, the sources said.
It remains unclear whether the duo plan to collaborate with IS in Sinai or continue on to Syria, Iraq, or Libya, IS’s most recently established stronghold.
Contacted by Breitbart Jerusalem, Gaza sources confirmed the report and said that Hamas’ top brass were shocked at the news, all the more so given the movement’s recent efforts to “educate” its activists in the justice of its cause.
MEMRI: ISIS: Jihad In Palestine Does Not Take Precedence Over Jihad Elsewhere
The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM).
An article in the 22nd issue of the official Islamic State (ISIS) mouthpiece Al-Naba, titled "Beit Al-Maqdis – First and Foremost an Issue of Shari'a Law," sets out the organization's position on Palestine and the war on Israel, from both the ideological and practical perspectives. The article states that the fight against Israel does not take precedence over jihad against the infidels elsewhere, and, furthermore, that the fight against the infidels within – that is, against the Muslim rulers and governments – is even more important. According to ISIS, prioritization of the war on Israel is a deviation from the principles of Islam, because jihad is aimed at establishing the religion and implementing shari'a law. Since the entire world except for the ISIS-controlled areas is ruled by infidels, the article asks why war against the Jews is being prioritized over the war against other infidels. It also states that restricting jihad's target to war solely against the Jews is a forbidden alteration in the laws of Allah. In ISIS's view, if there is to be any prioritization of jihad in any one place, then it should be to liberate the Islamic holy sites of Mecca and Medina from the clutches of the Saudi royal family.
The article posits that in every location, waging war against the infidels is the duty of the Muslim residents in the closest region; thus, at this stage, most of these efforts should be devoted to toppling regimes in the countries that neighbor Palestine and fighting Israel should be left to the Palestinians. However, ISIS calls on Muslims worldwide to help them, including by attacking the Jews and their allies wherever they can.
Lebanon's Hezbollah says Europe burnt by Mideast fire
The Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah responded to attacks in Belgium on Tuesday by saying Europe was being burnt by "fire" from Syria and the Middle East which showed the growing threat posed by ultra-radical "takfiri" groups.
Tuesday morning saw one of the deadliest attacks perpetrated against Belgium in the country's history, after a suicide bomber blew himself up at Brussels airport on Tuesday killing at least 14 people. A further blast tore through a rush-hour metro train in the capital shortly afterwards, claiming 20 lives, according to public broadcaster VRT.
CNN reported that up to 130 people were also injured in the attacks.
"The fire that Europe in particular and the world in general is being burnt by is the same one that some regimes ignited in Syria and other states in the region," Hezbollah said in a statement condemning the attacks.
Nasrallah: Hezbollah will strike Israel's nuclear facilities if war breaks out
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened on Monday that if a future war breaks out with Israel, his Shi'ite Lebanese terrorist group will strike all targets in the Jewish state "without any limits."
"If the Israeli army escalates its aggression against Lebanon, Hezbollah will strike all the strategic targets in the occupied Palestinian territories, including the nuclear facilities," Hezbollah-linked TV station Al Manar quoted Nasrallah as saying in a televised interview on Al Mayadeen.
The Hezbollah leader continued, stating that Israel is aware of Hezbollah's possession of rockets that can strike anywhere in the country.
In addition, he claimed that: "Hezbollah possesses all the details about the positions of the petrochemical, biological and nuclear facilities across Palestine."
Kuwait expels 14 suspected members of Hezbollah
Kuwait has expelled 11 Lebanese and three Iraqis suspected of belonging to Hezbollah, Reuters reported on Monday, citing a Kuwaiti newspaper.
The move comes nearly three weeks after Kuwait joined other Gulf Arab states in designating the Lebanon-based Shiite Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
The local Al-Qabas newspaper cited a security source as saying the 14 people had been expelled at the request of the state security service. The Interior Ministry was not immediately available for comment.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) named Hezbollah, an Iranian-allied group that is fighting alongside President Bashar Al-Assad in Syria's civil war, a terrorist group on March 2.
The GCC, which groups six Sunni-ruled states - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar - had already imposed sanctions on Hezbollah in 2013.
Revolutionary Guards commander demands that Iran annex Bahrain
General Saeed Qasemi, a Revolutionary Guards commander and the commander of Ansar Hezbollah, a paramilitary conservative Islamic group in Iran, has demanded that Iran annex Bahrain, the Revolutionary Guard-affiliated news agency Tasnim reported Sunday.
Speaking at a forum in the city of Bushehr, Qasemi urged the annexation of Bahrain to Iran, explaining that "Bahrain is an Iranian province that was detached from the Islamic Republic of Iran due to the Western colonialism."
"Iran must make efforts to bring Bahrain back into Iranian territory and transform it into a part of Bushehr province," Qasemi further stated.
General Qasemi was a senior commander during the Iran-Iraq war that erupted in September 1980, and is also considered a crony of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Similar declarations regarding the dire need to annex Bahrain to Iran are recurrently voiced by senior Iranian officials. While Sunni-ruled Bahrain specifically, and Iran's opponents in the Arab world generally, consider such declarations as evidence of Iran’s expansionist policy, Iranians view them merely as "historic justice."
Saudi Arabia to Join Nations in Freezing Oil Output Without Iran’s Participation
Saudi Arabia is prepared to join an oil output freeze next month without Iran taking part, a senior Opec delegate said, making a deal among big producers more likely.
Some of the world’s largest oil nations will meet in Doha on April 17 to discuss restraining output. It follows a provisional agreement reached in February by Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela to keep production at January levels.
The Book of Esther, as told by Barack Obama (satire)
Sometimes I feel that after 7 years of my reign as King of Shushan, I am still cleaning up a big mess. A mess that’s not my fault. I inherited the worst economy in the history of Persia. Wars with the Babylonians and the Chaldeans. And the climate was changing from burning too much cow dung. So it would be a mistake to hold me responsible for the current situation. Context, people.
And now people are complaining about Haman. Saying he wants to kill the Jews. But Haman was in fact appointed by the previous Administration’s King. Not naming any names, but he goes by “W the Younger”. So a lot of folks are getting upset about Haman. And to be truthful, for outsiders like Mordecai to pop off with their opinions. Without the facts….. well it just isn’t helpful. And it makes my job as King more difficult.
Now back to Haman….
'Israeli-Houthi secret deal' to airlift Yemenite Jews arouses furor in Yemen
The arrival of a final group of Yemenite Jewish immigrants in Israel Monday morning aroused widespread criticism from Yemenite citizens on social media networks, claiming that the move was a result of a secret understanding between Israel and pro-Iran Houthi militias.
The opponents to this "secret deal" between Israel and the Houthis launched a social media campaign defaming Houthis as traitors under the hashtag, "The Houthis are Israeli agents."
On Monday morning a group of 19 Yemenite Jews that lived in the Houthi-ruled cities of Sana'a and Raida landed in Israel after being airlifted from Yemen in a secret mission reportedly administered by the Jewish Agency, in collaboration with the US State Department.
Among the new immigrants was Rabbi Saliman Dahari, who brought with him a Torah scroll that is 500-600 years old.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

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