Friday, May 27, 2016

From Ian:

Some Help That Israel Doesn’t Need
When it comes to reinventing the wheel, some people just never tire of the exercise. That’s the only way to view a new Middle East peace initiative that its sponsors are touting as the proposal that the world has been waiting for that will finally solve the problem that has resisted every previous initiative. But in this case, the solution isn’t coming from unfriendly outsiders like the European Union, the United Nations, or even the Obama administration. It’s a group of American Jews who not only believe they are acting in the best interests of Israel but are pushing their ideas forward in cooperation with an organization of retired Israeli military and security officials as well as a Washington security think tank. Buoyed by the bad press that the current Israeli government has been getting, these people think now is just the moment to push forward a peace plan that will help prepare the way for change despite the opposition of the elected leaders of the Jewish state.
But even if we were to concede that their motives are pure, what they are doing is not only a waste of time, it is also actually counter-productive.
The group in question is the Israel Policy Forum, an organization supported and staffed by people with records of support for the Jewish state but which has been out of the news for a long time. Created at the behest of the late Yitzhak Rabin in 1994, the IPF’s original intent was to serve as a counterweight to AIPAC because the prime minister thought it was insufficiently enthusiastic about the Oslo Accords. Supported by heavyweight American Jewish donors, the group had a big initial splash, but its backers didn’t have the stomach to compete with the umbrella pro-Israel lobby. It was also soon outpaced by events as the Oslo process unraveled and was ultimately discredited in the eyes of the Israeli public by the deceit of Yasir Arafat and the horror of the Palestinian terrorism that he unleashed in the years that followed.
Since then, the IPF has been eclipsed among liberals by J Street, a group that didn’t shrink from seeking to support the Obama administration’s policy of pressure and more “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel as well as backing an Iranian nuclear deal that was opposed by Israelis across the political spectrum from left to right. Indeed, for many on the Jewish left here even J Street isn’t radical enough since it still puts itself forward as a “pro-Israel” group and opposes the BDS movement that aims at waging economic war on the Jewish state even as it supports those who practice more selective boycotts. But the IPF has just gotten fresh blood in the form of faithful Obama loyalist, apologist and funder Alan Solow and other liberal big shots. Yet though this effort is aimed at a more mainstream audience, the IPF initiative is based on the same bogus notion that Israel needs to be saved from itself and forced to make concessions to the Palestinians in order to preserve it as a Jewish state.
The dream museum of the Palestinians
There’s no better example of this then the French peace conference planned to proceed without any Israeli or Palestinian participation, a virtual diplomatic equivalent of the empty museum at Bir Zeit, all showy exterior with no underlying substance.
With the fading Abbas nearing the end of his futile tenure, the PA’s foreign funders in the US and Europe would make better use of their leverage at this time to apply real pressure on the Palestinians to usher in a younger, more dynamic, less corrupt, and genuinely moderate leadership – one that perhaps that will dedicate itself to laying the foundations of a viable Palestinian nation ready to live in real peace beside a Jewish state, and to offer its own people more than just yet another failed Arab nation.
Before the world expends even more efforts on the Palestinian national project – and asks Israelis to take real risks in allowing that to happen – it’s time to first demand exactly what will be the content of that still empty Palestinian museum.
Or, as scholar Foud Ajami put it in The Dream Palace of the Arabs, his intellectual study of the faltering dreams of modern Arab nationalism across the Middle East: “As the world batters the modern Arab inheritance, the rhetorical need for anti-Zionism grows. But there rises, too, the recognition that it is time for the imagination to steal away from Israel and to look at the Arab reality, to behold its own view of the kind of the world the Arabs want for themselves.”
Caroline Glick: Liberman’s first challenge
As for Hamas, in formulating a strategy for cutting the terrorist regime down to size, Israel should take a lesson from Syria. There are a half dozen Islamic State-like militias operating along the border on the Golan Heights. But they are too busy fighting one another to attack Israel.
Such militias operate in Gaza as well and are already engaged in an internecine battle with Hamas.
Israel should constantly check and diminish Hamas’s military capabilities to prevent it from rebuilding its arsenals and offensive capabilities.
It should also help to destabilize it as a coherent fighting group. The presence of other jihadist militia in Gaza facilitates the accomplishment of this goal.
Finally, Israel needs to realize that there is unlikely to be a clear-cut resolution of this struggle, at least in the next generation.
With the traditional Arab regimes still in place fighting for their survival, and Iran ascendant, Israel needs to assume that more terrorist regimes like Hezbollah, ISIS and Hamas will be formed from the wreckage of the Arab state system in the future. Instability, then, can be expected to remain a chronic condition of the Arab world.
The good news is that Israel has the capacity to adapt and forge constructive strategies for weakening and dividing our enemies. The bad news is that so long as we insist on obsessing over ourselves, we are unlikely to do so.

Melanie Phillips: Democracy in turmoil
Golan and Ya’alon, however, reflect a wider problem. The IDF and Israeli security circles behave as a superior and untouchable elite that puts itself above democratically elected politicians.
In an extraordinary article in last weekend’s New York Times, the Israeli military affairs journalist Ronen Bergman suggested the “last defenders of Israel” were the heads of the IDF. Politicians, he wrote, “blatantly trample the state’s values and laws and seek belligerent solutions, while the chiefs of the Israel Defense Forces and the heads of the intelligence agencies try to calm and restrain them.”
Israel’s defense establishment, he claimed, was motivated only by the national interest rather than ideology, religion or electoral considerations.
Above all, he said, many military and intelligence officers simply detested Netanyahu.
According to the former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, while all other prime ministers had been motivated ultimately by the national interest, Netanyahu was motivated by self-interest alone.
The arrogance and disloyal insubordination of such views are startling. As Bergman notes in the same article, the unelected military and security establishment blocked one government initiative after another, including an attack on Iran’s nuclear installations.
Sanders' pro-Palestine backers could spark uproar at Dem convention
Hillary Clinton, who is on the verge of locking up the nomination, will insist that the party platform reflect her views on the Israel-Palestinian matter.
“Hillary Clinton’s views on Israel and the US-Israel relationship are well documented, and she’s confident that her delegates will work to ensure that the party platform reflects them,” Jake Sullivan, Clinton's foreign policy adviser, said.
The drafting committee presents the document to the full platform committee, which votes on it during the convention. Usually there are few objections. In 2012, however, the drafting committee omitted from the draft platform recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. New language including the recognition was passed during the meeting of the full committee, but not without objections and boos.
All four of the Congress members on the drafting committee – Cummings, Lee, Ellison and Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., a Clinton appointee – are endorsed by the political action committee affiliated with J Street, the liberal Middle East policy group.
Sanders expects ‘consensus’ on Palestinian rights at party convention
Bernie Sanders said he expected his views on Palestinians rights to be reflected at the Democratic National Convention, and his appointees to the party’s platform drafting committee pledged to push for acknowledgement of the Israeli occupation.
“I have always and will always be 100 percent supportive of Israel’s right to exist and live in peace and security,” Sanders, the Independent senator from Vermont who is vying for the Democratic presidential nod, said in a statement reported Thursday in the New York Times.
“I also believe that lasting peace in the region will not occur without fair and respectful treatment of the Palestinian people,” he said. “I believe that most Democrats agree with that position and that a strong consensus will be achieved at the Democratic National Convention.”
Sanders, the first Jewish candidate to win major party nominating contests, has said that he is “100 percent” pro-Israel and has argued in left wing circles for the need to preserve Israel’s security. He has also chided fellow Democrats, chief among them his rival, Hillary Clinton, who is the front-runner in the nomination stakes, for not paying enough attention to the Palestinians. He has decried Israel’s settlements policy and has said it uses force disproportionately in dealing with Palestinian violence.
Another Radical Islamist in the Sanders Camp
Last month, we focused on Sanders' reliance on Linda Sarsour as a campaign surrogate. Sarsour also is a Palestinian activist with a history of vitriolic anti-Israel statements. "Nothing is creepier than Zionism," she wrote on Twitter about the idea that Jews can return to their ancestral homeland as a refuge from global anti-Semitism. To Sarsour, that ideal is racist.
Memorial Day weekend's approach brings to mind another prominent Sanders supporter, Zahra Billoo, who has repeatedly expressed discomfort with the holiday. "Many of our troops are engaged in terrorism," she wrote in June 2012.
Billoo heads the Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) San Francisco office. CAIR has roots in a Hamas-support network created by the Muslim Brotherhood in American, internal documents and eyewitness accounts show.
Two weeks ago, Billoo made it clear her views about American troops have not changed, questioning the holiday's value: "You think we should honor people who commit war crimes?" she asked an incredulous questioner. She "proudly stands by" her opinion, she also wrote.
Despite these extreme views, or perhaps because of them, Billoo appears to be playing a significant role in the Sanders campaign. Her social media accounts are filled with pro-Sanders messages – including repeated reminders about the registration deadline to be eligible for June 7 California primary. She was granted backstage access to a Sanders rally last week in San Jose where she was photographed with the candidate.
Billoo also has argued that American citizens who move to Israel and join the army are no different from those who join ISIS. "Is one genocidal group different than the other?" she asked last year.
Sanders' DNC Platform Committee Nominee: Netanyahu Guilty Of ‘War Crimes,' Obama A 'Rockefeller Republican In Blackface'
[Cornel] West is as radical as they come. He has even been effectively excommunicated by the mainstream Left. West holds positions so far outside of the American political spectrum that he makes Hugo Chavez look sane.
The pseudo-intellectual has insulted nearly every major leader of a Western democracy. Not only has he asserted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is guilty of “war crimes,” but he’s peddled Protocols of the Elders of Ziyon-inspired anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about rich American Jews pulling the strings in Washington.
However, West has saved his most acerbic vitriol for those closer to him on the political spectrum. When the fringe academic talks about President Obama he sounds exactly like an Alt-Right white supremacist. According to West, Obama is nothing less than “Rockefeller Republican in blackface” and a “brown-faced Clinton.”
West’s grotesquely racist diction is not surprising, given the fact that he has built a career on race-baiting.
As a thinker, West used to be respected by the mainstream Left, despite his shoddy academic work. Lately, however, West’s characteristic quirkiness has evolved over into full-blown lunacy. In fact, the mainstream Left has recently taken precautionary measures to distance itself from Cornel West’s psychotic brand of “activism.”
NY Times editor calls out Trump for ignoring supporters’ anti-Semitic tweets
A New York Times editor who has received a deluge of anti-Semitic tweets from supporters of Donald Trump is calling on the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to denounce the invective and support its targets.
In an article published in the paper’s Sunday edition, Jonathan Weisman summarizes the deluge of tweets he has received from writers identifying themselves with handles like “Trump God Emperor,” “CyberTrump” and “@DonaldTrumpLA.”
Their tweets have insulted his “Ashkenazi intelligence,” included a doctored image of the gates of Auschwitz and featured a menorah made of the number 6 million.
Others show Weisman as a concentration camp inmate being guarded by an image of Trump in a Nazi uniform, a grotesque caricature of a Jew labeled “The Holocaustinator” and a Nazi-era cartoon of an Aryan roughing up a stereotypical Jew.
“And still, we have heard nothing from Mr. Trump, no denunciation, no broad renouncing of racist, anti-Semitic support, no expressions of sympathy for its victims,” writes Weisman, an editor in the Times’ Washington bureau. Weisman is also critical of a statement by the Republican Jewish Committee, issued Tuesday, that criticized “anti-Semitic invective” in the presidential race but without singling out the actions of Trump supporters.
Weisman describes the RJC statement — which abhorred abuse of journalists “whether it be from Sanders, Clinton or Trump supporters” — as “equivocation as an art form.”
UN demands Israel pay restitution for 1996 Qana shelling
A major U.N. body has demanded Israel pay restitution for the accidental shelling of a U.N. compound in the south Lebanese village of Qana in 1996.
During Operation Grapes of Wrath, the Israel Defense Forces, while engaged in heavy fighting with Shiite militant group Hezbollah, accidently bombarded a UNIFIL compound that also served as a refugee camp. The compound provided shelter for some 800 Lebanese civilians, 106 of whom were killed in the attack.
The Fifth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, which is responsible for administration and monetary matters, has been urging Israel to pay compensation of $1.17 million.
Danny Danon, Israel's envoy to the U.N., said in a statement that Israel is refusing the U.N.'s demand. "Hezbollah terrorists were those who had attacked Israel and its civilians, while using the citizens of Lebanon as a human shield, and Israel is the one that ends up with a restitution demand," said Danon.
"This is an absurd situation in which Israel is urged to pay for the war crimes of a terror organization," he added.
UN Middle East "Peace" Coordinator Equates Palestinian Bus Bombing and Israel Foiling a Terror Attack
At a meeting of the UN Security Council on May 25, 2016, the UN "Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process" Nickolay Mladenov claimed that Israel's foiling of a stabbing attack by two Palestinian siblings on April 27, 2016 was "questionable," and equated it with a Palestinian bus bombing on April 18, 2016 that injured over 20 people. He also perpetuated the inflammatory and erroneous Palestinian narrative the Palestinian Authority was against incitement of terror attacks against Israel and it is the democratic state of Israel that has a suspect legal system.
According to the UN press release:
"Despite a general downward trend in violence, a bomb attack on a bus in Jerusalem that had caused serious injuries had been criticized by President Mahmoud Abbas, but unfortunately praised by some Palestinian factions. Days later, a pregnant Palestinian mother and her young brother had been shot and killed under questionable circumstances, he said, urging a swift and transparent conclusion of the investigation already initiated."
EU justifies singling out Israel at UN's World Health Assembly, says it was "technical"

Canada to replace outspoken pro-Israel envoy with career diplomat
The Canadian government is reportedly recalling its current ambassador to Israel and replacing her with a career diplomat.
According to Canadian media, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has decided to recall Ambassador Vivian Bercovici, a political appointment of the previous Conservative administration of Stephen Harper. She will be replaced by Deborah Lyons, currently serving as Canada’s ambassador to Afghanistan, the Globe and Mail reported on Wednesday.
Bercovici, an outspoken friend of Israel, on Thursday refused to confirm or deny the reports. “All I can say is that I serve at the pleasure of the prime minister. I continue doing my job every day,” she told The Times of Israel.
Before she was appointed in January 2014 by then-foreign minister John Baird, Bercovici was a lawyer in Toronto and a part-time columnist for The Toronto Star. During the 2014 war in Gaza, she raised eyebrows in some quarters for her unapologetic support of Israel’s actions and harsh criticism of Hamas.
Canadian governmental sources said it was normal for an incoming government to replace the political ambassadorial appointments of the previous administration and that the move in no way signals a change in Ottawa’s staunch friendship with Jerusalem. Canada has been one of Israel’s closest allies on the international stage, and despite fears that Trudeau’s new government would recalibrate Ottawa’s policies, so far no material change in Canada’s traditional support for Israel has been registered.
Rabbi Who Recently Immigrated to Israel Recounts Son’s Near-Death Experience After Palestinian Terrorist Opens Fire on Bus
A prominent New York City rabbi who moved to Israel in 2015, and whose teenage son narrowly escaped death on Saturday night when a terrorist opened fire on the bus he was riding told The Algemeiner he has no regrets about making Israel his home.
“We moved to Israel this past summer to fulfill a decades-long dream to live in our homeland,” Rabbi Yaakov Kermaier, the former spiritual leader of the prestigious Fifth Avenue Synagogue said. “We have visited Israel over the years during times of war and waves of terror. We knew that we were coming to a place, where our enemies never let us take our blessings for granted. While this experience was unnerving, the beautiful way that the kids and the school responded reminded me that this is a very special place. And in general, we feel very safe in Israel. We do not have any regrets about moving here.”
On Saturday, Kermaier’s 16-year old son, Binyamin, was riding in a private bus after spending Shabbat in the Judean town of Tekoa, when a Palestinian car pulled in front and a terrorist opened fire on the bus. The bullet struck the window directly in front of the driver’s seat, but “blessedly,” he said, it didn’t penetrate because the window was bullet proof. “Though the bullet impact was strong,” Rabbi Kermaier wrote in an email to friends, “the driver maintained his composure and did not lose control of the bus. We were told afterwards, that the likely agenda of the terrorists was to force the bus off the road so that they could then murder the kids, and perhaps kidnap some of them.”
Found in translation: Arabic language wins unexpected approval in Knesset
MK Taleb Abu Arar was caught off guard. He had just finished a fiery Arabic-language speech in the Knesset about police brutality against a young Bedouin in Tel Aviv, when, out of force of habit, he began to translate his words into Hebrew for Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.
“Please,” Edelstein interrupted, “There is no need for your translation. I already understood what you said.”
The Arab Knesset member laughed, shrugged his shoulders, and launched right back into his passionate denunciation of the police in his mother tongue.
The Knesset on Tuesday marked its first-ever Arabic language Day, which saw Arab and even a few Jewish lawmakers speak in the plenum in Arabic with simultaneous translation into Hebrew, and committee meetings dedicated to the use of Arabic in the public sphere.
Arab MK promises Hamas he will defy Netanyahu
Arab MK Taleb Abu Arar (Joint List) on Friday declared in an interview with the Hamas paper Palestine that his party's Arab MKs will defy Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's order not to visit the Temple Mount.
Last October, Netanyahu instructed Jerusalem police not to allow any ministers or MKs, either Jewish or Arab, to visit the Mount, which is the holiest site in Judaism. Arab MK Basel Ghattas (Joint List) visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount later that month in an open challenge.
The Arab MKs vowed to breach the conditions again in a letter this Wednesday, saying they intend to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan next month. In response, Knesset Guard Sergeant-at-Arms Brig. Gen. Yossi Grif on Thursday warned the Arab MKs not to visit the site.
Speaking to Palestine, Abu Arar said, "this decision (banning entry to the Temple Mount) harms freedom of religion, and it was made in the framework of the political persecution of the Arab Palestinian citizen and those who represent them. ...There is no right to prevent a Muslim of any sort, whether they are a regular citizen or a parliament member, from their religious rights at Al-Aqsa Mosque."
Abu Arar's claims of "political persecution" belie the fact that the decision was made to tone down the Arab terror incitement around the Temple Mount.
Exposing his own hypocrisy regarding "freedom of religion," Abu Arar then went on to tell the Hamas paper that Jewish MKs should be banned from the Mount.
The day after Abbas
The day Mahmoud Abbas departs his post as president of the Palestinian Authority, or is deposed from his dictatorial perch, could be a watershed moment. It could and should force a reassessment of conventional thinking about the feasible contours of accommodating Palestinian independence.
That moment may be coming soon. Abbas is old, sick and tired. He has little to show for his incorrigible effort at isolating Israel diplomatically or forcing Israel into hasty withdrawals. His regime is viewed as utterly corrupt by 95.5 percent of Palestinians (according to a recent Palestinian poll). The tens of billions of dollars in international aid he has swallowed have failed to build any real institutional basis for good or democratic Palestinian government.
Abbas’s thuggish underlings are jockeying aggressively around him for pole position in the battle to succeed him as West Bank despot. Hamas, too, smells blood.
On the diplomatic front, Abbas leaves scorched ground. He has fled from real negotiation and compromise with Israel, espoused maximalist positions, stoked hatred of Israelis and Jews, venerated terrorists, and pushed the criminalization of Israel internationally.
He basically convinced most Israelis that there is no reasonable deal with the Palestinians to be had.
And yet, the Obama administration and much of the global community nonsensically still considers Abbas and his gang as partners for a two-state peace arrangement.
PA blasts 'unlawful' Hamas death sentence rule
The Palestinian Authority (PA) responded furiously to a declaration by Hamas late Thursday, according to which they can execute Palestinian Arabs in Gaza without the consent of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Such a declaration is "illegal" and "against basic Palestinian law," Ramallah stated Friday - adding that death sentences can only be handed down by the "Palestinian parliament."
Hamas announced the decision in a statement from parliament members in Gaza, but it was unclear how many lawmakers of the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Legislative Council were in attendance or how they claimed the authority to rule.
The full Palestinian Legislative Council has not met since Hamas took over Gaza in a bloody coup in June 2007, ousting Fatah forces loyal to Abbas.
The announcement of the public executions for convicted criminals is a change in policy by Hamas, which in the past has rarely carried out public executions in Gaza, and when it did, it was mainly of people accused of collaborating with Israel.
Elderly Christian woman stripped naked and paraded through streets by mob
A 70-year-old Christian woman has been stripped naked, beaten and paraded through the streets by a mob of around 300 Muslim men in a village in southern Egypt.
The mob also burned down seven homes belonging to Christian families, according to an unusually outspoken statement issued by the local Orthodox Coptic church, after rumours circulated in the village that a Christian man was having a relationship with a Muslim woman.
The violence started at around 8pm on 20 May, and the local diocese said it was two hours before police responded, by which point the mob had already dispersed.
The woman who was stripped naked was reported to be the mother of the man involved in the rumoured affair. She has since met with church leaders, the Diocese of Minya and Abu Qirqas said.
The violence is representative of the tensions between the two religions in the province south of Cairo, where extra-marital affairs between Muslims and Christians are strictly taboo.
But it appears the Coptic church has finally had enough of what they say is unfair treatment from the authorities over such cases. Christians only make up around 10 per cent of Egypt’s population, the majority being Muslim.
Hezbollah is broke thanks to US sanctions, says White House official
Non-nuclear US sanctions against Iran and its allies have led to Hezbollah being in “its worst financial shape in decades,” the top sanctions enforcement official told Congress.
“After many years of sanctions targeting Hezbollah, today the group is in its worst financial shape in decades,” Adam Szubin, the acting Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence told the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. “And I can assure you that, alongside our international partners, we are working hard to put them out of business.”
Szubin described sanctions introduced in recent months to further isolate Hezbollah, a Lebanese militia that in 2006 fought a war against Israel and that Israeli intelligence believes has tens of thousands of missiles in place for the next war.
The House committee asked Szubin and two other top officials handling the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal to testify.
Congressional Republicans and a number of Democrats have expressed concerns about reports that the US is going out of its way to accommodate Iran in the sanctions relief for nuclear rollback deal.
Congress warns: Obama can stop S-300 transfer to Iran but isn't
US President Barack Obama's administration has not exercised its right under US law to sanction the Russian sale of an advanced weapon system to Iran, leading some in Congress to demand clarifications and accuse the administration of appeasing Tehran.
Obama can declare Russia's sale of the S-300 missile defense system as illegal and enact sanctions against it. The deal, said to be completed by the end of the year, is highly controversial because the advanced missile system would leave Iran's nuclear system - and potentially its nuclear arsenal - nearly impervious to attack.
Aside from declaring the sale illegal under US law, Obama can also veto the arms sale at the UN Security Council - he has so far refused to take either action, and his administration has not responded to repeated queries as to whether it intends to take action.
In response to a query, a State Department official told the Washington Free Beacon that the administration has not yet decided whether or not to issue sanctions on the imminent S-300 sale.
“We’re continuing to closely follow reports concerning the delivery of the S-300 defensive missile system from Russia to Iran‎,” the official said.
“We have not made a determination as to whether this delivery, if and when complete, would trigger any actions under US authorities.”
House Votes to Bar Purchases of Heavy Water from Iran
The House voted Wednesday to bar the U.S. government from future purchases of heavy water from Iran, undercutting the controversial nuclear pact with that nation and earning a certain veto threat on a key government funding bill.
Wednesday night's 251-168 vote came on an amendment by Florida GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis to a funding bill for the Energy Department.
A similar amendment died in the Senate after a major dust-up earlier this year, when Democrats filibustered a companion proposal by freshman Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.
Last month, the Obama administration completed an $8.6 million deal to buy 32 tons of heavy water from Iran. The amendment wouldn't affect that deal but would thwart purchases next year. Nonetheless, the White House has weighed in strongly with a veto promise that may get the proposal removed during House-Senate negotiations.
The sale will help Iran meet the terms of last year's landmark deal, in which Iran agreed to curb its atomic program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.
Heavy water, formed with a hydrogen isotope, is a key component for one kind of nuclear reactor. It is not radioactive but has research and medical applications and can also be used to produce weapons-grade plutonium. Under the nuclear deal, Iran is allowed to use heavy water in its modified Arak nuclear reactor, but must sell any excess supply of both heavy water and enriched uranium on the international market.
IAEA: Iran Uranium, Heavy Water Stockpiles Stay Within Limits of Nuclear Deal
Iran has stayed within the limits of a nuclear deal it reached with six world powers last year on its stockpiles of uranium and heavy water, two chemicals that could be used in an atomic weapons program, the UN nuclear agency said on Friday.
In exchange for sanctions relief, Iran last July committed to keeping its stockpile of low-enriched uranium below 300 kg (662 pounds) and its stock of heavy water, a non-radioactive product, at less than 130 metric tonnes.
Iranian Students Arrested, Given 99 Lashes for Attending Mixed Men, Women Graduation Party
More than 30 college students were arrested, interrogated and within 24 hours were each given 99 lashes for attending a graduation party that included men and women, Iran’s judiciary has announced.
The punishments, which were believed to be part of a wider crackdown by a judiciary dominated by hard-liners, were meted out in Qazvin, about 90 miles northwest of the capital, and were carried out in record time, Mizan, a news agency affiliated with the judiciary, reported on Thursday, citing the city’s prosecutor.
Male doctor helps Saudi woman deliver baby - and is then shot by husband
A Jordanian doctor who helped deliver a baby at a Saudi hospital was shot by the woman's husband who was angry that a male obstetrician tended to his wife, according to a report in the London-based Al-Araby newspaper.
Dr. Mohannad al-Zubn helped a woman give birth in the King Fahd Medical City in the Saudi capital of Riyadh last month.
According to Al-Araby, the father went to the hospital in order to "thank" the doctor, only to pull out a gun and shoot him at close range.
The doctor's wounds appear to be non-life threatening.
The shooter was soon after arrested by the authorities.
"The husband came to the hospital looking for the doctor and shot him in the chest in an attempt to kill him for helping his wife deliver a baby," said a hospital spokesperson.
Saudi Arabia, the desert kingdom governed by an austere form of Islam, is said to enforce strict gender segregation in public places.
Some Saudis on social media expressed support for the husband.

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