Thursday, July 14, 2016

From Ian:

Amb. Alan Baker: International Funding for Salaries and Benefits to Terrorists
The direct and indirect channeling by the Palestinian official bodies of international donor funding to pay salaries of Palestinians imprisoned for acts of terrorism raises serious legal and moral issues that must be addressed.
Such financial support for Palestinian terror prisoners is a formal component within internal legislation of the Palestinian Authority.
In attempts to sidestep international criticism of such direct funding, the Palestinians have tried to conceal it through channeling donor funding through the PLO, the Palestinian umbrella organization.
Financial or other support for terrorists is a clear violation of PLO obligations pursuant to the Oslo Accords, and as such, an abuse of the bona fides of the U.S., European, and other government signatories to the Oslo Accords.
Transferring funding to terrorists runs counter to international counter-terrorism conventions and resolutions of the UN calling upon the international community to prevent terrorism financing.
Matti Friedman: How Lebanon humbled, but didn’t break, Israelis
Author and journalist Matti Friedman spent much of his IDF service in the late 1990s in South Lebanon at an isolated base called Outpost Pumpkin, an experience he details in his acclaimed new book, Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story. In this excerpt, published here to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War, Friedman examines the effect that Israel’s Lebanon entanglements have had on its leaders and people. The years of the Lebanon “security zone,” he believes, taught Israelis that they cannot shape the Middle East to their will and that their fate is not entirely in their own hands. Instead of despairing, however, Israelis have found an admirable way of living with a profoundly troubling reality.
I was sitting not long ago along one of the boulevards in Tel Aviv. The Middle East had succumbed in recent years to chaos and butchery dwarfing our own conflict in one tiny corner of the region. But our country was relatively calm, at least for a time, thanks not to anyone’s goodwill but to the force of our arms.
The promenade was full of teenagers in tank tops, tattooed riders of old-fashioned bikes, men with women and men with men and women with women, speaking the language of the Bible and of Jewish prayer. There were old people sipping coffee outside a restaurant, and some music. The country was going about its improbably cheerful business on a weekday evening.
Beyond the city were the neighborhoods of middle-class apartments with parking lots of company Mazdas, the kinds of places where I found many veterans of Outpost Pumpkin when I went looking for them to write this book, most having first passed through Goa or the Andes for decompression before coming back to their families, finding work as programmers and accountants and settling down to watch their kids on the swings. All of this is more than our grandparents, the perpetual outsiders of the ghettos of Minsk and Fez, had any right to expect.
But it seemed for a moment — and this can happen to me in a cafe in my corner of Jerusalem, or picking up my children at school, anytime — that the buildings on either side of the boulevard were embankments, and the sky a concrete roof.
10 years after the Second Lebanon War, Israel isn’t in Hezbollah’s sights
Another war with Israel? Not so fast
In early July 2006, it was hard to find a Lebanese or Israeli commentator who would have bet that a war between Israel and Hezbollah was imminent. The prevailing assumption was that Hezbollah would not dare to start anything just before Lebanon’s tourist season. We were all wrong. A foolhardy attack by Hezbollah on the morning of July 12, 2006, near Milepost 105 led to a war that lasted for 34 days. Since then, Hezbollah has taken care to avoid attacking Israeli targets except in retaliation for Israeli attacks inside Lebanese territory.
Despite the mistake we commentators made back then, we can cautiously venture that Hezbollah has no intention of starting a war this summer. One consideration may be, as it was then, the economic issue and the tourist season that is about to begin in Lebanon, which enjoys an average of 2.5 million tourists per year, though the numbers are in decline due to the tough security situation. A war with Israel would definitely not improve those numbers.
But unlike the Second Lebanon War, that is not the main point. The most important issue in Hezbollah’s decision-making, it is clear, is the situation in Syria and the war against Islamic State. As long as its people are fighting and dying in battle in Syria, it is hard to imagine Nasrallah being dragged once again into another stupid escapade against Israel. He has the ability to bombard every point in Israel with the abundant store of rockets and missiles in his possession. But even he realizes that in the new reality that has been foisted upon him, opening a new front with Israel could lead to his military defeat not only against the Israeli army but also against the radical Sunnis in Syria.

David Singer: China Can Exploit United Nations' Double Standards on Palestine
International support for the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) – despite its rejection of the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and Article 80 of the United Nations Charter – could be exploited by China to blunt international action following an unfavourable ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration against China in The Hague.
Having boycotted those proceedings, Chinese President Xi Jinping then immediately dismissed the decision – which denied China had any legal basis to claim historic rights to the bulk of the South China Sea:
"China will never accept any claim or action based on those awards”
His rejection was as peremptory as that of the PLO – which declared in Article 18 of its original 1964 Charter:
“The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate system and all that has been based upon them are considered fraud.”
This position was revised when the Charter was redrafted in 1968 – Article 20 declaring:
“The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void.”
These provisions have been a major contributing factor in preventing a resolution of the Jewish-Arab conflict for the last 52 years.
The international community has not punished the PLO for its unilateral demolition of these international-law building blocks but to the contrary has granted the PLO diplomatic recognition whilst also welcoming the PLO into the United Nations.
Should China be demonised because it also chooses to ignore a determination in international law that it regards as inimical to its national interest?
Palestinian pre-conditions for Cairo summit a non-starter, official says
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to go anywhere to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to negotiate, but the setting of preconditions for such talks is a non-starter, a government source said Wednesday amid speculation of a fourway summit in Cairo.
The idea of a summit hosted by the Egyptians that would include Netanyahu, Abbas, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordanian King Abdullah gained currency following two surprise meetings Sunday in Jerusalem between Netanyahu and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.
Shokry visited Ramallah on June 29, and according to a report in Walla, set a list of demands as preconditions for such a summit: a settlement freeze, a firm timetable for the negotiations, and an Israeli agreement that the pre- 1967 lines will be the basis for the negotiations.
An Israeli government official expressed skepticism that the Palestinians would join a Cairo summit, and said that the preconditions were a way to avoid negotiations.
“I get the feeling that the Palestinians are not going to go to the talks,” he said. “They will run away as they have in the past if it gets real.”
Former Palestinian PM draws fire at home for new reconciliation plan
A confrontation has developed between the former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority Salam Fayyad and the PA’s President Mahmoud Abbas.
On Tuesday, Fayyad presented a plan to end the split between Fatah and Hamas and open a path intended to lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state. On Wednesday, the official PA news agency criticized Fayyad and described his plan as a “failed attempt to destroy decades of Palestinian struggle.”
Fayyad unveiled his plan on Tuesday night in Ramallah at an event attended by senior Palestinian politicians and academics. According to Fayyad, his plan is aimed at breaking the political stalemate in the PA and and facilitating an end to Israeli control of the West Bank.
His proposal includes declaring an interim, time-limited period during which the political divisions between the Hamas-run Gaza Strip and the PA/Fatah-run West Bank would be solved, and the various Palestinian factions, including Hamas, would all come under the auspices of the Palestine Liberation Organization. In a second stage, a new Palestinian leadership would be formed from representatives of all factions.
Someone Actually Wrote a Play About the Oslo Accords (Even After They Turned Out To Be So Disastous)?
Yup. The play is called--what else?--"Oslo," and has opened off-Broadway to rave reviews, including this one:
The Israelis are the comedians, deadly serious, but always calculating how to disarm their enemies. When given the stage, they stun their PLO counterparts by telling jokes — which leaves the Palestinians to draw on their own ancient tongue and to play the poets. No wonder it takes these guys three acts to find a common language.
The PLO finance minister Ahmed Ourie, known as Abu Ala, is a riveting presence in Anthony Azizi’s wrenching performance. Not to give too much away, because the play is constructed very much as a suspense drama, but it’s a jaw-dropping moment when the Norwegians realize that Ourie’s hushed phone calls home, asking for permission to make deals, are all a sham. The man is acting entirely on his own, which could mean his life.
Such moments, in fact, are what director Sher draws on to make “Oslo” so compulsively watchable. The moment when two of the men realize they have given their daughters the same name; when the private talk turns to fathers; when the Palestinians try to top an Israeli joke (can’t be done, but please recite another poem); when one man puts a friendly hand on another’s shoulder and they go for a walk together; when they toast each other for their “constructive ambiguity.” And in the end, when the searing image of a handshake of peace between two enemies makes the entire audience gasp.
No going back to the 'good old days' for Israel and Turkey
According to foreign reports, Turkey fed Israel with information it obtained about Syria, Iraq and to a certain extent Iran from its spies and listening posts built by the US. In return, according to the same foreign sources, Turkey requested and received information obtained by Israeli intelligence on Kurdish organizations, especially the PKK.
Mossad officials met regularly with their MIT colleagues in either Ankara, Istanbul or Tel Aviv. During some of these sessions, senior MIT officials in charge of monitoring PKK even felt enough at ease to ask their Israeli counterparts if they would be willing to help them assassinate Kurdish terrorists. The Israelis listened politely, didn’t comment and ignored the requests.
It all ended when then Turkish prime minister and now President Recep Tayyip Erdogan changed the course of Turkish foreign policy and orientation.
More than six years after relations between the two countries deteriorated as a result of the tragic incidents of the Mavi Marmara, representatives of the two governments signed the agreement in a Rome hotel.
Egypt outraged over reports minister watched soccer game with Netanyahu
The Egyptian government on Thursday issued a denial that its foreign minister and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had watched the Euro 2016 soccer final together in Jerusalem after the premier posted a photo of occurrence on social media, according to Iranian state news agency Press TV.
The denial was issued following a fierce backlash from the Egyptian public, targeting Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry's apparent fraternizing with the Israeli leader.
A spokesperson for Egypt's Foreign Ministry issued a statement shortly thereafter saying that Shoukry had merely stumbled into the living room where the game was playing while visiting the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem.
“Netanyahu brought a cameraman to record everything that was happening," the spokesperson claimed in the statement. "The Egyptian foreign minister doesn’t watch soccer games during a formal and important visit such as this."
Netanyahu had posted to Facebook and Twitter a photo of the two watching the match between Portugal and France on Sunday, with the former winning 1 to 0.
Egyptian newspaper under fire because of Israel's capital
The Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram came under fire this week for a simple mistake it posted on Twitter.
Following the visit of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to Israel, the newspaper posted a tweet stating that "the Egyptian foreign minister watched the Euro finals with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem."
But the newspaper came under fire from the Egyptian public because it used the word "Jerusalem" instead of “Al-Quds”, as the Israeli capital is known in the Arab world. Many Egyptians, including government officials in Cairo, were outraged over the error and blasted Al-Ahram for it.
Following the attacks, the tweet was removed from the newspaper's account, but it did not apologize for posting it to begin with.
Summer Project: Flood the Internet with Subversive Temple Mount Images
“How bored is the Israel police?” Facebook user Haim Brosh was wondering, after a meme he posted, showing a photoshopped image of himself, carrying an Israeli flag in front of the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount, with the title of the Zionist song “Carry a flag unto Zion” and a call for the Israeli government to finally raise the flag on the Temple Mount — ended up with his arrest in the middle of the street by police detectives.
The cops could not tell a photoshopped image from the real thing, and warned Brosh to cease and desist his subversive activities, such as, we assume, getting his picture taken with an Israeli flag in front of the Al Aqsa mosque with no one noticing.
Since then, a new genre of memes has evolved in the pro-Israel side of Facebook, which we would like all of us to join, because, hey, it’s hot outside and we don’t feel like watching TV right now. Also, we’re patriotic, imaginative, and we know Photoshop.
Suicide Bomber Turned ‘Peace Activist’ Refused Entry into Israel
Shifa al-Qudsi was 24, a beauty technician from Tulkarem, when she was planning to blow up a supermarket in the Israeli coastal town of Netanya. Back in 2007, while still in Israeli security prison, she told Judith Miller that although the suicide vest that was stuffed with explosives, nails, ball bearings and various metal fragments, weighed close to 40 pounds, it felt “like roses on my shoulders. I was even more eager to do it after I put the vest on. Many would have died. No fence in the world would have stopped me.”
With that kind of a self professed reputation, is it any wonder that the same Shifa al-Qudsi was refused entry into Israel Thursday, when she wanted to attend the world premiere of a new documentary titled “Disturbing the Peace,” in which she appears.
According to the official press packet, “Director Steve Apkon’s documentary conveys a universal story about the human ability to see beyond the narratives which we tend to accept as reality, and challenging convention in the struggle for freedom.” In essence, the film’s protagonists liberate themselves from the war stories that no longer serve their purpose, because, let’s face it, most Israelis are not buying the Arab peace offers — in favor of an alternative narrative and a new vision which sees Israel giving up through peaceful means what it has been refusing to abandon in battle.
Palestinian convicted of double stabbing murder in Tel Aviv
A Palestinian man who stabbed two Israelis to death in Tel Aviv last year was convicted by the Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday on two counts of murder and three of attempted murder after confessing to the charges.
Raed Masalmeh, 36, a father of five from the Hebron-area town of Dura in the West Bank, previously pleaded not guilty to murdering Reuven Aviram and Aharon Yesiav in a Tel Aviv office building synagogue on November 19, 2015.
The prosecution is seeking two life terms for Masalmeh.
Masalmeh had told investigators he was driven to carry out the attack for nationalistic reasons and said he wanted to die as a martyr. During a December court hearing in which he reenacted his crime, he expressed regret for his actions and cried.
At an earlier hearing, state prosecutors rejected Masalmeh’s request to have the charges downgraded to manslaughter, telling the judge that “multiple eyewitness accounts and the defendant’s previous testimony prove his intention to murder.”
Knife-carrying Palestinian shot by police in Shuafat
A Palestinian man approached officers with a knife and was shot by police Thursday morning in the East Jerusalem refugee camp of Shuafat, police said.
Police and Border Police officers came to the refugee camp to arrest a suspect.
During the arrest, residents of Shuafat attempted to hinder the arrest, and at one point the Palestinian approached the officers holding a knife and was shot, police said.
No police officers were injured in the incident.
The Palestinian man, identified by local media as Yihya Hijazi, was lightly injured and taken to a Jerusalem hospital after being treated by Magen David Adom medics, a police spokeswoman told The Times of Israel.
Police said they completed the arrest of the suspect and exited the refugee camp
'The IDF has lost control over the Hebron area'
The IDF has lost control over the portions of Area C around the Hebron area, Kiryat Arba Council head Malachi Levinger said at a parlor meeting between politicians and settler leaders on Thursday afternoon.
“Something has to change,” Levinger insisted, speaking in the home of South Hebron Hills Regional Council head Yochai Damri in Otniel.
Members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee were also present, coming to the area in the aftermath of the two recent terror attacks that claimed the lives of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13, and Rabbi Michael “Miki” Mark, 47.
Ariel was stabbed to death on June 30 by a Palestinian teenager who broke into her bedroom in Kiryat Arba, while Mark was killed on July 1 by Palestinian gunmen on Route 60, outside of Otniel. In January a Palestinian teenager infiltrated the Otniel settlement and killed a mother of six, Dafna Meir, in her home.
Levigner told the politicians that on the way to the meeting he had thought of the dozens of attacks that had occurred in the Kiryat Arba, Hebron and South Hebron Hills area since the wave of Palestinian violence against Israelis began in October.
Nahal battalion trains for urban combat against terrorist threats
In the dreadful heat, squads from the Nahal Brigade’s Battalion 50 were training for urban combat in several houses under construction in Samaria.
After a year in the army and three months of service in Hebron, these soldiers knew the drill. But in this special weeklong training exercise they were escaping the routine and training both in open country and in house to house fighting for an enemy more sophisticated than the lone-wolf Palestinians carrying out stabbings in the West Bank.
Using paint ball guns, an expensive luxury for training, gave a unique feel to the mock combat.
“This is a very important week,” explained Sec.-Lt. Nir Dinar. “When you deal with day to day routine you may lose your abilities and this is important because it allows us to train, learn and develop organically as a unit.”
Many of the members of this Nahal unit did a year of pre-army community service with different organizations.
For Sharron Lachman, a 20-year-old, the work in the community beforehand gives the men special cohesion.
His comrade Yosef Getahun agrees that working in communities in Israel helped give the unit purpose before being drafted for combat duty.
Palestinian doctor receives gift for saving Jewish terror victims
Rescuers Without Borders and the Hatzalah Yehuda and Shomron emergency team of Judea and Samaria have gifted Dr. Ali Abu Sherech with a first responder bag containing over a thousand dollars' worth of medical equipment.
The organizations decided to bestow Sherech with the first responder bag as a token of appreciation after learning how he cared for the late Rabbi Michael Mark's wife and daughter following an attack in the South Hebron Hills two weeks ago. The Palestinian doctor was among the first to arrive on the scene after seeing an overturned car on the side of the road.
The emergency care Sherech gave Mark's wife Hava and his daughter Tehila is believed to have saved their lives. Mark was killed in the attack.
Activists attacked during protest for IDF soldier
Activists from the nationalist Otzma Yehudit party were attacked on Wednesday evening during a protest march in Tel Aviv in support of IDF soldier Elor Azariya, who is on trial for shooting and killing a wounded terrorist in Hevron.
During the march the youth and activists were attacked by five masked individuals who beat the participants and sprayed them with tear gas.
The suspects were arrested by the police.
Several youths and former MK Michael Ben-Ari, who participated in the march, were injured and required medical treatment. They were taken to the Ichilov Hospital.
In response, Otzma Yehudit said that “the assault this evening of young nationalists led by Dr. Ben-Ari by leftist thugs crossed a red line and is very serious." (h/t YOSEF22ADAR)
3 Jewish teens busted for anti-Arab vandalism in Galilee
Three Jewish Israeli teens were arrested earlier this week for allegedly torching and vandalizing cars last month in the Galilean Arab village of Yafia, law enforcement authorities said.
The three 15-year-olds were nabbed by the police’s nationalist crimes unit for setting two cars on fire and spray painting “price tag” and “revenge” on other vehicles in a car dealership in the community near Nazareth, the police and Shin Bet security agency said Thursday.
So-called price tag attacks, usually arson and graffiti, have been carried out by Jewish extremists against non-Jews and against IDF army targets in response to terror attacks as well as Israeli policies they don’t like.
The teens were from the northern communities of Carmiel and Balfouria and the West Bank settlement of Alon Moreh. They have not been identified because they are minors.
2 Israeli Arabs charged with trying to join Islamic State
Two Arab men from northern Israel have been charged with supporting the Islamic State, with each of them separately making plans to join the jihadist group in Syria.
Abed al-Fatah, 24, from Nazareth, visited jihadist websites, expressed support for the terror group online, and discussed joining the Islamic State with his friends, according to court documents.
Earlier in 2016, according to a charge sheet, Fatah also contacted a former Islamic State fighter and made plans to join the group in Syria after he got married.
The second man, Ashraf Arbe’e, 35, from nearby Shfaram, also made contact this year with a jihadist known to help people enter Islamic State-controlled territory, according to Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security agency, which arrested the two would-be jihadists.
Arbe’e is also accused of illegal arms possession and selling guns.
Fatah throws victory celebration for Jerusalem terrorist
Fatah recently organized a victory parade in honor of Ashraf Hani Rith, who was released from prison after serving 15 months for throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails.
The celebration took place in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.
Maor Tzemach, the head of the group Lach Yerushalim, told Arutz Sheva: "Again we are exposed to the glorification of terrorists in Jerusalem. The youth who threw firebombs a year and a half ago was released from prison and received a hero's welcome."
He added that Fatah gave Rith an award plaque and waved flags in the triumphant procession. "He became a local hero and an object of admiration among neighborhood youths. According to these social values, attacking and murdering Jews is a source of great pride, and no one stopped this parade."
Palestinians call to boycott Ariel University
Sabri Saidam, the Minister of Education of the Palestinian Authority, called for European countries and their academic institutions to boycott universities and colleges that function within Judea and Samaria.
At a convention in Brussels this week which saw the convening of Institutes of Higher Learning in southern Mediterranean countries, Saidam asserted that European academic institutions maintain friendly ties with Israeli academic institutions within Judea and Samaria, and claimed that stood in contrast to the official policy of European countries.
In a similar vein, substitute speaker for the Palestinian parliament Ahmad Bahar emphasized that the struggle of "the Palestinian nation" is not confined to the borders of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Bahar has previously expressed support for violence against Jews. At a convention for the Al-Ahrar movement, which broke off from the Palestinian Authority and now identifies with Hamas, Bahar said, "The Intifada will continue until Palestine is liberated."
Israel opens Erez Crossing for transfer of goods into Gaza
Israel on Wednesday opened the Erez Crossing between Israel and Gaza to allow the transfer of vehicles carrying goods for the first time in nine years, officials said, according to AFP.
An AFP photographer saw deliveries arriving through the crossing, which has been restricted to individuals since 2007, with goods going through Kerem Shalom in southern Gaza.
Residents of the Israeli towns in the area had for months complained about the hundreds of trucks passing through the area daily, which caused heavy traffic and endangered motorists.
In May, then Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Erez would be opened in order to enable a better flow of goods into Gaza and ease congestion at Kerem Shalom, though at the time he did not specify a date on which the crossing will reopen.
A spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) confirmed that vehicles had entered Gaza through the Erez Crossing.
"This measure has been taken to facilitate the work of Palestinian importers and thus help the economy of the Gaza Strip," the spokesman told AFP.
An association of Palestinian vehicle owners in Gaza said 110 vehicles arrived on their side through Erez.
Year after Iran deal, US says world safer, skeptics proven wrong
On the one-year anniversary of the Iran nuclear deal, US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday said the accord has successfully curbed the Islamic Republic’s nuclear capabilities and has made the world safer, proving the critics wrong.
“As of today, one year later, a program that so many people said will not work, a program that people said is absolutely doomed to see cheating and be broken and will make the world more dangerous, has, in fact, made the world safer, lived up to its expectations, and thus far produced an ability to be able to create a peaceful nuclear program with Iran living up to its part of this bargain and obligation,” said Kerry, one of the main architects of the accord.
However, as he touted the diplomatic victory, Kerry conceded that deep differences with Iran remain.
“Nobody pretends that some of the challenges we have with Iran have somehow been wiped away,” he said.
German government agency involved in violation of Iran sanctions
A German government quality control agency and a private certification agency that works with it both violated EU sanctions and the federal agency’s policy by providing certificates to Iranian banks, constructions companies and energy firms, a joint investigation by The Jerusalem Post and the Federal Republic’s largest daily, Bild, reveals.
The quality control certificates make it easier for the Iranian firms to conduct business, because of Germany’s reputation for high industrial standards.
The violations occurred between late October 2012 and January 2016, when the Iran nuclear agreement was implemented.
After accusations of sanctions violations emerged in 2012, Kurt Lindenblatt, the head of certification for the Bonn-based TÜV InterCert SAAR private agency, wrote, in an email obtained by the Post and Bild: “The list of the companies that are under an embargo was briefly scrolled through... there are several Iranian companies... that possess certificates from us.”
House votes to bar heavy water purchases from Iran
The House of Representatives passed legislation on Wednesday to block the purchase of "heavy water" from Iran, defying President Barack Obama's veto threat a year after the announcement of the landmark Iran nuclear agreement.
The House passed the "No 2H2O from Iran Act" by 249-176, with support coming almost exclusively from Republicans, who hold a majority of seats in the chamber.
Every congressional Republican, and a few of Obama's fellow Democrats, opposed the nuclear deal between Iran and the United States and other world powers announced last July 14 in which Tehran agreed to curtail its nuclear program in exchange for relief from crippling international sanctions.
They argued that Obama was so eager to bolster his foreign policy legacy that he agreed to sanctions relief Iran did not deserve because it lied about its nuclear program, supported militant groups that attack U.S. allies and perpetrated human rights abuses.
Deal opponents have repeatedly introduced legislation that the administration sees as efforts to undermine the international agreement. Deal supporters said the agreement was the best way to defuse a dispute over Iran's nuclear program that threatened further Middle East destabilization.
ISIS confirms its top commander was killed
A top Islamic State (ISIS) group commander, Omar al-Shishani, has been killed in Iraq, the jihadist-linked Amaq agency confirmed on Wednesday.
Citing a "military source," Amaq said Shishani was killed "in the town of Sharqat as he took part in repelling the military campaign on the city of Mosul," referring to the last ISIS-held city in Iraq.
Amaq did not specify when Shishani was killed, but the loss of the commander is a significant blow to the jihadist group, which has suffered a string of setbacks in Iraq this year.
The Pentagon announced in March that American forces had killed Shishani and said his death would likely hamper ISIS's ability to carry out operations inside and outside of Iraq and Syria.
But it did not specify how or where he was killed.
Laptops recovered from ISIS jihadists are filled 'up to 80%' with PORN, reveals former US intelligence director
A former US intelligence director has revealed that laptops seized from ISIS jihadis are filled up to 80 per cent with porn films.
Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, an ex-chief of the Defence Intelligence Agency says the graphic films inures extremists to carry out their hideous brutality.
And he adds that intelligence gathering and the closing down of the fanatics' communications channels is key to beating them.
Flynn made the claims in the German newspaper Bild, where his book on winning the war against radical Islam is being serialised.
The veteran, who is a potential running mate for Donald Trump in the US election later this year, wrote: 'We looked a ruthless enemy in the eye - women and children, girls and boys, raped and exploited, the beheadings stored on a laptop next to pornography.
'At one point we actually had determined that the material on the laptops was up to 80 per cent pornography.
PreOccupiedTerritory: ‘Students For Justice In Western Sahara’ Protests Nonexistence (satire)
While the plight of the Palestinians gets much attention on college and university campuses across the US, grassroots student movements in support of other people facing occupation find themselves not existing.
Students for Justice in Western Sahara, a group dedicated to generating solidarity with the Sahrawi people under Moroccan occupation since the 1970’s, voiced objection today to the support that Students for Justice in Palestine receive, owing to the difference between SJP existing and SJWS not existing.
“We should exist, by the logic of the Palestine activists themselves,” argued Mohammad, an imaginary advocate for the sovereignty of the North African territory. “If it is a moral obligation to protest against foreign occupation and oppression, then surely it is a greater moral obligation to protest Moroccan occupation and treatment of Western Sahara than Israeli policies beyond the 1949 Green Line, since Morocco has done much worse by any objective measure. So why aren’t there any chapters of Students for Justice in Western Sahara? Or in Tibet? Or Turkish-occupied Cyprus? Or Russian-occupied Ukraine?”
Other figments of imagination echoed Mohammed’s sentiments. “It’s upsetting enough to see SJP at NYU blame Israel for American police shootings of black people,” lamented Anastasia, who only exists in the minds of people reading this article. “Talk about undermining the credibility of the Black Lives Matter movement. But to do so as part of monopolizing liberal rage and thinly veiled prejudice at the expense of causes that are just as worthy, if not more worthy, than Palestine? If I existed, I’d be banging my head against the wall in frustration and bitterness.”

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