Monday, April 04, 2016

  • Monday, April 04, 2016
From Ian:

Netanyahu: 'I'll clear my schedule this week to meet Abbas'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once again invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Jerusalem for talks, four days after Abbas said in a Channel 2 interview that he was waiting for such an invitation.
“A few days ago on Israeli television, I heard President Abbas say that if I'd invited him to meet, he'd come,” Netanyahu said before a meeting with Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek. “So, as I said this morning to an American Congressional delegation, I'm inviting him again. I'm clearing my schedule this week. Any day he can come, I'll be here.”
Netanyahu said that he and Abbas have “a lot of things to discuss, but the first time is ending the Palestinian campaign of incitement to murder Israelis.” Netanyahu said his door “is always open to those who want to pursue peace with Israel.”
During Thursday’s Channel 2 interview, Abbas said that he had offered to meet Netanyahu. “I will meet with him, at any time. And I suggested, by the way, for him to meet,” he said in English. Asked what became of that overture, Abbas said: “No, no - it’s a secret. He can tell you about it.”
Rivlin calls for talks with Palestinians, says he would meet Abbas
President Reuven Rivlin spoke on Monday of the need for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and said he was willing to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to further this goal.
"Without mutual trust between the sides there won't be negotiations and there won't be a solution," Rivlin said during a statement in the presence of visiting Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek
The president said that he listened to Abbas' recent address, calling the Palestinian leader's words a "little more promising." 
Abbas Rejects Peace and Palestinian Statehood, U.S. Media Rejects Coverage
This is the third known occasion in which Abbas has rejected a potential opportunity to gain a new Palestinian Arab state. (Jordan, with a majority Palestinian Arab population, at least until the current Syria refugee influx, occupies a majority of the land originally designated for the post-World War I Palestine Mandate.) The Palestinian leader—currently in the tenth year of a single, elected four-year term—dismissed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s proposal to restart negotiations for peace with Israel and a Palestinian state in 2014 and an Israeli offer in 2008 after the Annapolis conference, which he acknowledged was refused “out of hand” (“Abbas admits for the first time that he turned down peace offer in 2008,” The Tower, Nov. 17, 2015). Abbas’ predecessor, Yasser Arafat, also rejected statehood and peace with Israel in 2000 at Camp David and 2001 at Taba.
Major U.S. news outlets failed to report Abbas’ rejection of Biden’s offer. According to a Lexis-Nexis search, not a single article appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times or USA Today, among others, on the latest Palestinian rejection of statehood and peace.
This is not to say that there wasn’t any coverage of Israel in the days following Biden’s visit. In a March 14 editorial entitled “Mr. Netanyahu’s Lost Opportunities,” The New York Times blamed the Israeli prime minister for the lack of a “two-state solution” while excusing Abbas as “a weak and aging leader.” The “newspaper of record” failed to specifically note any of Abbas’ refusals of statehood and peace.

IDF records drastic drop in Palestinian terrorism in March
The month of March has experienced a drastic drop in Palestinian terrorism attacks in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and in Israeli cities within the Green Line, according to IDF data.
March saw an overall number of 6 terrorism incidents (including shootings, stabbings, and vehicle rammings), compared to 56 in February, 45 in January, and 40 in December.
In the West Bank, where most of the violence has occurred in recent months, the IDF saw a major drop in shootings, stabbings and ramming attacks.
March saw one shooting attack in the West Bank, compared to 13 in February, 11 in January, and 13 in December. There were three stabbing incidents in the West Bank in March, compared to 27 in February, 15 in January, and 12 in December.
Vehicle ramming attacks plummeted to two in March, compared to four in the previous month, nine in January, and 11 in December.
Security forces demolish homes of policewoman’s killers
Israeli security forces early Monday morning destroyed the houses of three Palestinians who killed Border Police cadet Hadar Cohen, 19, in a shooting and stabbing attack outside Jerusalem’s Old City in February.
Cohen, from Or Yehuda, died hours after being shot in the head and stabbed in the neck. A second policewomen was wounded in the attack.
The three attackers, in their early 20s, were identified as Ahmed Abou al-Roub, Mohammed Kameel and Ahmad Najah Ismail Nazar, from Qabatiya in the northern West Bank. They arrived at the Damascus Gate — a flashpoint for Palestinian attacks over recent months — with rifles, knives and two pipe bombs, police said.
Cohen had been drafted into the Border Police only two months earlier, and was still in training at the time of the attack.
IDF prepares for shooting attack on Jerusalem highway
The Ram Brigade of the Homefront Command, which this week entered operational activity with the Binyamin Battalion in the region surrounding Jerusalem, held a wide drill on Monday near the gas station on Highway 443 just northwest of the capital.
The gas station has become a perennial terror target in recent months. Just last November IDF soldier Ziv Mizrahi was murdered in a stabbing at the station, after which a security fence was built around the area.
As of last August Highway 443 had already become a terror hotspot, amid numerous rock attacks and a stabbing at the station during which Arab employees of the gas station watched and "chuckled." The victim was wounded but survived the attack.
Highway 443 was opened to Arab traffic by a Supreme Court order in 2010.
In the drill on Monday, the forces simulated a shooting attack conducted by two terrorists in which they lightly wound two IDF soldiers.
The Mottle Wolfe Show: Senator Patrick Leahy is Siding with the Terrorists
Senator Patrick Leahy has sent a letter to Secretary of State, John Kerry, asking that military aid to Israel be cut, because Israel engages in ‘extrajudicial executions’ of Palestinians. The letter was sent before the current controversial video appeared. Also Sam Harris on the difference between Jews and Muslims.
In Journalism 'Attempt,' Reuters Misses Genadi Kaufman's Murder
A series of Reuters photo captions March 31 grossly mischaracterize the Dec. 7 fatal Palestinian stabbing attack on Genadi Kaufman, an Israeli civilian, as an "attempted" stabbing of a "soldier."
The inaccurate captions are wrong on two counts. They err: "According to the Israeli military, Ihab Maswadeh was shot dead by Israeli troops after he attempted to stab an Israeli soldier last December." (Emphasis added.)
First, Maswadeh not only "attempted" to stab an Israeli. He actually succeeded, striking his victim several times in the upper body and inflicting fatal wounds. The victim, Genadi Kaufman, died of his wounds three weeks later. Second, Kaufman was a gardener working near the Cave of the Patriarchs, not a soldier.
Scottish paper: extremist settlers conduct “Jewish ceremonies” in Al-Aqsa Mosque
We recently came across an article in The Herald (of Scotland) by former MSP Colin Campbell, titled ‘The power keg that is East Jerusalem‘, which recounts his tour of Jerusalem as part of a delegation funded by the Palestinian Committee of the Jordanian Parliament.
Its propaganda value is truly off the charts, as Campbell repeats nearly every Palestinian talking point about Israel’s alleged “desecration” of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City. He also notes that al-Aqsa is Islam’s third holiest site, while failing to even acknowledge the holiness of the Temple Mount complex for Jews (It’s of course Judaism’s holiest site.)
However, the most egregiously false claim is found in the context of his complaint about Israel’s ‘encroachment’ on the al-Aqsa mosque
Extremist settlers have been allowed, many would say assisted, in entering and occupying the mosque and using it to conduct Jewish ceremonies.
However, as anyone familiar with the rules in place at the Temple Mount / Al-Aqsa Compound would surely know, Jews (and all non-Muslims) are not allowed inside the mosque, and are only allowed to tour the larger compound. Indeed, even within the larger compound, Jews are not allowed to (even silently) pray.
Israel ‘our indispensable ally’ in war on Islamic terror, says Paul Ryan on visit to Jerusalem
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mitt Romney’s 2012 running mate, and the Republican Who Didn’t Run for the Presidency this time — broadly holds to the principle of not being too critical of the US government when traveling abroad. But his very decision to come to Israel on Sunday and Monday — on the first days, that is, of his first foreign trip since taking the Speaker’s job last October — is an implied rebuke to President Barack Obama, and an overt reassertion of American solidarity with Israel.
Talking to The Times of Israel from the balcony of his Jerusalem hotel room, Ryan’s first order of business is to make clear that he very deliberately chose to visit Israel now so as “to reinforce our alliance” and to underline his conviction that the US-Israel partnership should and will grow stronger in the future.
The 46-year-old father of three from Wisconsin, who was last in Israel late in Ariel Sharon’s prime ministership in 2005, emphatically endorses Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s view that Palestinian terrorism directed against Israel is ultimately no different from the Islamic terror afflicting Europe and threatening the United States, and that the civilized world must unite to fight it. “They’re coming at Israel but they’re ultimately coming for us,” he says. “So we are partners in this war on terror, radical Islamic terrorism. Israel is an indispensable ally in that. Israel is on the front line in so many ways with respect to it.”
Rather than wishing the Islamist extremism away, or seeking desperately to avoid calling it by its name, Ryan sets out an agenda for confronting it — not only militarily, when it rears its violent head, but at the grassroots level, where the brainwashing and indoctrination are taking place. “We need a generational strategy about winning hearts and minds in the Muslim world,” he argues, and specifies the imperative to form “a coalition of governments in moderate nations” to prevent the creation of the next generations of killers. “We don’t have a current strategy to deal with ISIS right now,” he laments, “let alone how do we prevent the five-year-old in Pakistan from becoming a radical.”
Islamist Terrorists Couldn’t Care Less About the Palestinian Cause
President Obama was right when declaring in June, 2009, at Cairo University, that “Islam has always been part of America’s story.” Indeed, Islamic (Barbary) terrorism targeted US ships between 1776 and the beginning of the 19th century. John Quincy Adams, the sixth US president (1825-1929), researched the causes of anti-US Islamic terrorism, concluding that the core cause was Islam’s endemic hostility toward the “infidel” as expressed in the Quran.
The US is the role-model of democracy and civil liberties, and therefore, it is perceived as a lethal threat by repressive, rogue, anti-democratic Muslim regimes, which have terrorized their own people and other Muslim communities since the 7th century. They, also, consider the US to be the biggest hurdle on their way to regional and global domination. US prominence has made America the chief scapegoat, blamed by rogue Muslim regimes for their own social, economic, and moral failures.
Islamic terrorists believe that their victory over the USSR, in Afghanistan, caused the disintegration of the Soviet Union. They are convinced that defeating the US would be easier, in view of recent US retreats from Vietnam (1973), Iran (1979), Lebanon (1983), Somalia (1993), Iraq (2011), and Libya (2012), and the expected evacuation of Afghanistan. Islamic terrorists assume that the US policy-makers and public tend to cave under intensified terrorism — increasingly on the US mainland — which will, therefore, trigger further US retreats.
ISIS in Europe: How Deep is the "Gray Zone"?
Among young European Muslims, support for suicide bombings range from 22% in Germany to 29% in Spain, 35% in Britain and 42% in France, according to a Pew poll. In the UK, one in five Muslims have sympathy for the Caliphate. Today more British Muslims join ISIS than the British army. In the Netherlands, a survey shows that the 80% of Dutch Turks see "nothing wrong" in ISIS.
Even if these polls and surveys must be taken with some caution, they all indicate a deep and vibrant "gray zone," which is feeding the Islamic jihad in Europe and the Middle East. We are talking about millions of Muslims who show sympathy, understanding and affinity with the ideology and goals of ISIS.
How many Muslims will this ISIS virus be able to infect in the vast European "gray zone"? The answer will determine our future.
Massachusetts Islamism
The response of "non-violent" Islamists to counter-extremism programs displays a master class in deception. The greatest mistake made by the Obama administration is to treat groups such as CAIR and the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) as genuine representatives of the Muslim community.
Very few American Muslims believe that CAIR is a legitimate voice of American Islam. A 2011 Gallup poll revealed that around 88% of American Muslims said CAIR does not represent them.
It is little wonder that groups such as CAIR disparage genuine moderates. They perceive moderates as a threat to their self-styled reputations as representatives of American Islam. Many in them have learned to speak the language of liberalism and democracy in their pursuit of an ultimately illiberal and anti-democratic ideal.
Counter-extremism work is best achieved by marginalizing such groups -- by freeing American Muslims from their self-appointed Islamist spokesmen, and by working instead with the genuine moderates.
What Islamophobia?
‘Islamophobia’: U.S. cities face anti-Muslim backlash, shouted the USA Today headline two days after the Brussels airport and metro assault. “Cities across the USA are preparing for the next phase that inevitably follows a terror attack: anti-Muslim backlash,” the article began.
Longtime Council on American-Islamic Relations spokesman Ibrahim Hooper conceded brutal attacks on Muslims since the Brussels attack had not been reported. Not yet. But bullying and hate speech were growing, he warned. Politicians “have mainstreamed Islamophobia,” he added.
Inevitable backlash! Brutal attacks! Islamophobia! How awful! Be very afraid!
None of this happened, mind you, but CAIR assured us it’s coming if we don’t watch our step, USA Today serving as its megaphone.
Woman admits she was not slashed; confesses wound was self-inflicted
A woman of Middle Eastern descent told police she was slashed in the face by man who called her a “f–king terrorist” on a lower Manhattan street Thursday afternoon — only to later confess that her wound was self-inflicted, cops said.
She claimed her assailant grabbed her arm from behind and cut her face.
The “attack” happened just steps from the Make-up Designory school, where she is a student, she said.
“She’s got a noticeable-sized cut to the left side of her cheek,” said a police official afterward.
But cops scoured the area and checked surveillance video without finding any evidence of the attack, sources said.
After being questioned at Bellevue Hospital Center, the woman eventually told police that she had slashed herself, according to sources.
She was being held at Bellevue for a psychiatric evaluation.
Former ICC chief prosecutor talks Israel, the Palestinians and ISIS
Moreno Ocampo became a household name, and for many a beacon of light when, in 1985, he argued the case against the Argentine military leaders who had murderously ruled his country from 1976 to 1983.
But he is better known these days as the first Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and as such, the man to whom both Israelis and Palestinians looked, with a mixture of fear and hope, for a possible legal framework for the ongoing regional conflict.
The ICC, he says, “is basically a Nuremberg tribunal, but permanent.”
This week, alongside several US lawmakers, the Palestinians requested that the United Nations initiate an official investigation into Israeli extrajudicial killings of Palestinians following the death of Abed Al-Fattah Al-Sharif in Hebron.
Senior PA official: US is number one enemy of the Palestinians
A senior official in Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party has labeled the United States as "the number one enemy of the Palestinian people."
Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muhaisen made the comments in a recent interview with official PA TV, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), during which he also espoused the anti-Semitic canard that Jews control America.
"The American people in the US are under Jewish-Zionist occupation," he said, citing as proof the fact that all but one US presidential candidate spoke at the recent AIPAC Policy Conference.
Muhaisen then accused the US government of attempting to "partition" the Middle East "so that Israel will control the region," and blamed the Arab regimes for losing site of their battle against the Jewish state. The rise of ISIS and particularly the emboldenment of Iran following the nuclear deal with western powers, has indeed led many Sunni Arab states to ally with Israel to confront such mutual threats.
US criticized over backing illegal EU building for Palestinians
Regavim, an organization that tracks illegal Palestinian construction, has criticized the US State Department for supporting the European Union's funding for Palestinian building in violation of the Oslo Accords.
A State Department spokesperson recently claimed that Israel's destroying the building, a school near Ma'aleh Adumim, "calls into question the Israeli Government's commitment to a two-state solution."
Similarly, another spokesperson made a similar comment last month in response to Israel's efforts to rehouse illegal Bedouin squatters.
Ari Briggs, Regavim's international director, says: "For the second time in less than a month, the U.S. State Department has chosen to repeat their go-to anti-Israel mantra, instead of researching the reality on the ground and responding appropriately. This blatantly ignorant and anti-Israel behavior empowers those bent on Israel’s destruction and is absolutely unacceptable.
Israel Prepares for Cyberattack Aimed to ‘Punish Zionist Entity’ for ‘Crimes Against Humanity’
Ahead of what has become an annual cyberattack against Israel by pro-Palestinian hackers, video clips have been circulating in various languages warning about Thursday’s imminent disruption of networks identified as being associated with the Jewish state, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Sunday.
According to the report, on April 7 – the day designated by the hacker collective calling itself “Anonymous” for a yearly demonstration of support for the “Palestinian cause” – there will be an online assault on Israeli targets. Though such attacks have not caused significant damage in previous years, Walla said, this is not reason for Israelis to remain apathetic or complacent.
In the videos, which have been circulating for more than a month in English, Arabic, French and German, the group’s members are threatening Israel with the cyberattack “to punish the Zionist entity for continuing its murderous assaults and crimes against humanity that it commits against the Palestinian people.” The clips also call on the world to join the planned cyberattack, “and to unite in solidarity with the Palestinians against Israel.”
Hamas' weak hand
Hamas is playing a ridiculous poker game against Israel and Egypt; it threatens Israel with "surprises" but its cards are actually worthless. Earlier this week, Egyptian daily Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported that Egyptian intelligence had demanded information on the Israeli prisoners, held by a secret Hamas unit.
Hamas commentator Mustafa al-Sawaf believes that Egypt will continue pressuring Hamas on the issue of the Israeli prisoners, while Hamas will once again seek an Egyptian-brokered prisoner swap, relying on the anachronistic explanation that a similar deal was successfully reached in the past.
Hamas, which had promised the Palestinians a "fair deal," is going out of its way to fawn over Egypt. Its spokesmen denied any cooperation with the Muslim Brotherhood, removing all visual signs of an affiliation with the group, and denied any alliance with Islamic State in Sinai.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri stressed that Hamas is a national Palestinian movement that operates solely in "Palestine," contradicting the organization's treaty, according to which Hamas is part of the Global Muslim Brotherhood movement.
This is how Hamas is living up to the old Arab proverb: A hand that you cannot break, kiss it and pray that it breaks on its own.
Israeli Beduins call on Hamas to release mentally disabled prisoner
The community of Israeli Beduins has demanded that Hamas release a mentally disabled prisoner it has been holding for a year together with the Ethiopian-Israeli prisoner, Avera Mengistu.
The Beduin prisoner, whose name remains under gag order in Israel, is a resident of the Negev town of Hura. He crossed the border to Gaza in April 2015, when he was captured by Hamas' military wing, al-Kassam Brigades. In February 2010, he previously crossed the border to Gaza, but was arrested by local police who noticed that he was mentally disabled and returned him to his hometown.
On Monday, a letter written by "the community of Israeli Beduins" and addressed to the Kassam Brigades was spread on Palestinian social media networks.
The letter's authors state that one of the Israeli prisoners whose image was recently presented by Hamas along with three other Israeli hostages is a mentally disabled person who has previously infiltrated into the Gaza Strip.
PreOccupiedTerritory: April Fools Over, But Zoabi Still Claiming To Represent Israeli Arabs (satire)
April Fools Day ended at midnight as Friday became Saturday last week, but local residents are reporting that MK Haneen Zoabi of the Joint Arab List delegation to the parliament has not yet let go of the pretense that she represents or serves the interests of Arab citizens of Israel.
Residents of this northern town, traditionally accepted as the birthplace of Jesus, depend economically on good relations between Arabs and Jews in Israel, and have made plain their disgust at various members of the Joint List – including its leader, MK Ayman Odeh – for exacerbating the ethnic tensions and jeopardizing both the coexistence and prosperity that anchors Nazareth. On April Fools Day, Ms. Zoabi, known for threading the fine line between free speech and treason, claimed to be serving as the duly elected representative of her constituency, a farce that amused hundreds of thousands of Israelis, in keeping with the date. However, as April 1 turned into April 2, and then to the third, Israelis noticed that Zoabi had yet to bring the joke to an end.
“I’m not entirely sure how long she intends to play this, but eventually it will get old and she’ll go back to undermining the state that pays her salary,” predicted Nazareth resident Yousef Jabri, the proprietor of a tourist kitsch establishment. “For now, it’s still pretty funny.”
Why Are Christians Leaving the Holy Land?
People who reflexively blame the wrong party for criminal acts are either misinformed or disingenuous.
The sad truth is that in the Palestinian territories, Christians are forced to live like dhimmis -- second-class citizens who survive largely by the protection-money they are required to pay to buy their daily safety. These barely-tolerated citizens exist only at the whim and pleasure of the ruling Muslim majority. Muslim Arab discrimination against non-Muslims includes economic and socially prejudicial behavior that makes it difficult or impossible for Christian Arabs to run a profitable business or for their families to be fully integrated into society.
It is also appropriate for Catholics to raise with Vatican authorities the issue of Father Twal's continued representation of the Faith in the Holy Land: Who is he serving first, God or man?
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinian Authority arrests prominent Christian clergyman
Palestinian Authority security forces over the weekend arrested the head of the Syriac Orthodox Church, Archbishop Swerios Malki Murad.
Murad is the highest-ranked Christian clergyman to be arrested by the PA since its inception in 1994. He holds the title of “Patriarchal Vicar of the Holy Land and Jordan,” a post he has been serving in since 1996.
One of 13 official churches in the Holy Land, the Syriac Orthodox Church of Jerusalem has widespread membership and influence, with significant numbers of followers not only here, but also in Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and India.
The Syriac community in Jerusalem and Bethlehem consists of some 5000 Christians.
Rasem Badawi, head of the Bethlehem prosecutor’s office, said that the senior church official was arrested following a complaint lodged against him by a woman belonging to the Syrian community.
Israel returns power to Jericho despite debt
Israel’s state-run electricity company has restored full power supply to the Palestinian city of Jericho in the West Bank after reducing the supply over an outstanding debt, officials said Sunday.
The cut on Thursday led to blackouts, but full supply was restored later the same day, according to Mansour Nassar of the Palestinian Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JDECO).
The Israel Electric Corporation had reduced supply to Jericho over a debt of 1.7 billion shekels ($450 million, 397 million euros) owed by the private JDECO and Palestinian Authority.
An Israeli official said supply was reduced by half, while JDECO said it had been cut by two-thirds.
Palestinian Authority Officials Under Fire for Extending Condolences to Top Israeli Officer’s Family
Palestinians from across the political spectrum condemned an official delegation that visited the family of a top Israeli officer after his death in a plane crash last week.
The outcry broke out after Palestinian officials, headed by Fatah leader Abbas Madani, paid tribute to Brig.-Gen. Munir Amar, the head of the Israel Defense Forces’ Civil Administration in the West Bank and one of highest-ranking Druze officers in Israel’s history, who was killed earlier this week after his ultralight plane crashed.
Criticism came from Islamic and left-wing opponents of Fatah, but also from the ruling party’s own base.
“The treason clause should be removed from the Palestinian legal code,” wrote lawyer and Fatah activist Ahmad Faraj on his Facebook page. “The court system enforces it when ordinary citizens collaborate with the enemy, but looks the other way when officials do it. The principle of equality before the law simply doesn’t exist.”
Builders find remnants from Byzantine period in Gaza
The discovery was first made on Saturday, as construction workers prepared the ground for a shopping center.
Construction workers in Gaza have discovered ancient ruins that archaeologists say may be part of a Byzantine church dating from around 1,500 years ago, the Palestinian tourism and antiquities ministry said on Monday.
The findings include segments of marble pillars with ornate Corinthian capitals, one nearly three meters (yards) long, and a 90 cm (35 inch) foundation stone bearing a Greek symbol for Christ. Fifteen pieces have been uncovered, with excavations continuing.
"Our first thought is that the site is a cathedral or a church from the Byzantine period," said Jamal Abu Rida, the general director of the antiquities ministry.
"During that era, there was a great interest among the Byzantine rulers to build churches in the Gaza Strip."
Congress Investigating Obama Admin Deception on Iran Nuke Deal
Congress is investigating whether the Obama administration misled lawmakers last summer about the extent of concessions granted to Iran under the nuclear deal, as well as if administration officials have been quietly rewriting the deal’s terms in the aftermath of the agreement, according to sources and a formal notice sent to the State Department.
The concerns come after statements from top officials last week suggesting that Iran is set to receive greater weapons and sanctions relief, moves that the administration had promised Congress would never take place as White House officials promoted the deal last summer.
“When multiple officials—including Secretary Kerry, Secretary Lew, and Ambassador Mull—testify in front of Members of Congress, we are inclined to believe them,” Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) told the Washington Free Beacon.
“However, the gap between their promises on the Iran nuclear deal and today’s scary reality continues to widen. We are now trying to determine whether this was intentional deception on the part of the administration or new levels of disturbing acquiescence to the Iranians,” Pompeo said.
Congress is believed to be investigating what insiders described to the Free Beacon as a range of areas in which administration officials may have understated the breadth of concessions made to the Islamic Republic when trying to persuade lawmakers to sign off on the final deal.
Multiple disputes have surfaced in the last week.
Iranian military official warns US: Stay away from Iran's red lines
Iran warned the US on Monday that any attempt to encroach on the Islamic Republic's ballistic missile program would constitute the crossing of a "red line."
"The US calculations about the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation are fully incorrect," Iranian Deputy Chief of Staff Brig-Gen Maassoud Jazzayeri was quoted by the Fars News Agency as saying.
"The White House should know that defense capacities and missile power, specially at the present juncture where plots and threats are galore, is among the Iranian nation's red lines and a backup for the country's national security and we don’t allow anyone to violate it," Jazzayeri said.
Jazzayeri accused US President Barack Obama of making vows and breaking them by saying removal of sanctions on Iran would be conditioned on the Islamic Republic halting its ballistic missile program.
Khamenei Criticizes Top Political Rivals: Favoring Talks over Missiles Constitutes Treason

Iran Faces A Huge Water Crisis, 37 Million At Risk Of Dehydration
Iran’s government admits that the country will face a serious water crisis this summer, putting 37 million people at risk of dehydration over the summer.
Iran’s vice minister of energy for water announced Wendesday that several of the country’s major cities will have a water crisis this summer and that little could be done to prevent it. The minister pointed out that Iran’s per-capita water consumption is nearly twice the global average. The crisis has been largely caused by improper use of groundwater resources, a rapidly growing population, and decades of mismanagement by the government.
“Iran’s environmental issues are getting worse, and they’re a serious political problem,” John Gay, an editorial staffer at The National Interest who covers Iran, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The real question is how much worse they can get before they start becoming a stability problem, too.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Obama To Delay Formal Conversion To Islam Till Retirement (satire)
Barack Obama has decided to wait until after he completes his presidency to undergo formal adoption of Islam as his faith, White House sources announced today.
At the daily press briefing this morning, spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that while the president obviously maintains deep affection for the followers of Muhammad and aspires to join their faith community soon, political considerations make it wiser for him not to convert until he leaves office this coming January.
“The president has on many occasions expressed affinity for Islam and its practitioners,” noted Earnest. “It seems only fitting, especially after his famous address in Cairo that changed the entire region’s attitude toward the US, that this be the next step in his spiritual journey. However, doing so formally right now, in the midst of a presidential campaign with much at stake, would only distract the country from the important issues at hand.”
Commentators explain that Earnest was referring to the negative fallout for Democratic candidates. “If Obama converts to Islam now, that will hand rhetorical ammunition to the likes of [GOP nomination frontrunner] Donald Trump, whose bread and butter is the exploitation and exacerbation of ethnic tensions,” said New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. “And it’s basically a formality at this point. Given the president’s accommodation of Iran’s political, territorial, military, economic, and diplomatic ambitions, it isn’t even a question anymore whether he favors Shia or Sunni Islam.”

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