Friday, August 05, 2016

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Obama's legacy
Last week’s statement demonstrates that shaping the US’s future policy toward Israel is a major component of the legacy he is building. And what is the shape he is giving to that policy through his actions? By openly employing anti-Jewish policy rationales, Obama shows that the legacy he intends to pass on to his successors is a US policy toward Israel based neither on US interests nor on American values. Rather, it is predicated on unabashed anti-Jewish discrimination.
In other words, Obama’s presidential legacy is the promotion of anti-Semitism as the guiding principle shaping and informing US Israel policy.
This is, to be sure, a stunning – indeed shocking – conclusion. It points to the depth of Obama’s hostility to Jewish national and civil rights. But as his administration’s statements make clear, the conclusion that anti-Semitism is the guiding principle of his policies is unavoidable.
Those running to succeed Obama should be urged to denounce his bigotry and renounce his legacy. By the same token, the Israeli pro-Palestinian Left and the American pro-Obama Left should be urged to distance themselves from him.
As long as they refuse to do so, as long as they continue to support Obama, they make clear that for them, anti-Jewish bigotry is no big deal. As far as they are concerned, Jewish rights should only be respected when doing so advances their political goals.
This means that Obama’s supporters can no longer claim to be liberals. Now that we understand that anti-Jewish bigotry, and the rejection of Jewish civil rights, is the rationale informing Obama’s policy toward the Jewish state, it is clear that it is no longer possible to be both a liberal and an Obama supporter.
This is his legacy. And this is their choice.

The Next Generation of Killers
At UNRWA summer camps, incitement is as normal as swimming and sports. The Times of Israel found that the staff teaches young Palestinians that “Jews are the wolf” and “with God’s help and our own strength we will wage war. And with education and jihad we will return to our homes!” A young camper told the creators of the documentary Camp Jihad that “the summer camp teaches us that we have to liberate Palestine.” A little girl eagerly asserted to filmmakers that she will “not forget my promise to take back my land.” Contributing to the culture of incitement and violence, the UNRWA and its camps have, since their inception, furthered the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
No one is born a terrorist; they are taught to become one. Worse than most people can imagine, the summer camps of Gaza turn children into soldiers and violence into a way of life. Play and personal growth activities are replaced with military training, and while children elsewhere in the world are learning new skills and knowledge, the children of Gaza are learning to dedicate their lives to a violent ideology and, for some, perpetuating an armed struggle.
Searching to explain the “intifada of the knives” in 2015 and 2016, The Wall Street Journal editorial board suggested that “the taste for violence emerges from a deep-seated culture of hate, nurtured by Palestinian leaders over many years in mosques, schools, newspapers, TV channels, and social media.” Summer camps reinforce this culture; even children’s play has become an opportunity to further the Palestinian terror groups’ causes. Campers are given terrorists to serve as role models, military training as a substitute for games, and a pre-packaged, violent ideology that destroys their innocence. While it is only one component of the culture of terror in Gaza, the summer camps give children both the ideology and the technical expertise to act on it. And that’s no way to spend a summer.



Shurat Hadin: We’ve been warning about World Vision for years
The Shurat Hadin – Israel Law Center said Thursday that it had been issuing warnings for years that “funds provided to Gaza by Christian mega charity World Vision were being utilized for terrorism.”
“In 2012, Tel Aviv based civil rights center Shurat Hadin notified the Australian government that its aid money being administrated by World Vision was being transferred to front charities of Palestinian terror groups in Gaza. Both the Australian government and World Vision denied Shurat Hadin’s warning,” the organization said.
“In 2015, Shurat Hadin again cautioned the Australian government that World Vision was operating as an active arm of the PFLP [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine] and other terror groups. World Vision [Australia]’s chief executive, Tim Costello, vehemently denied the charges and claimed that WVA had ‘no interest in supporting terrorism.’ However, as of this week, Shurat Hadin’s warnings against WVA have been proven true,” it added.
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, president of Shurat Hadin, said: “For years we have been warning that World Vision is funding Palestinian terror groups in Gaza... Who knows how many of Hamas’s missiles and stabbing attacks were funded by World Vision after they were put on notice that there were financing Palestinian terror.”
World Vision Charity, Long Accused of Anti-Israel Bias, Caught Up in Hamas Funding Controversy
As long ago as 2004, NGO Monitor, an Israeli group that monitors the work of civil society groups working in the region, summed up World Vision as follows: “Tacit support for terror and a highly politicized agenda reflecting anti-Israel rhetoric and biased history, under the guise of ‘development assistance and justice.’”
‘Lies, ignorance, and half-truths’
Last year an evangelical publication carried an article comprising excerpts of a speech by World Vision vice president Steve Haas, in which he criticized both Israel and Christians who support in on theological grounds.
“[F]or over 60 years, many evangelicals have clung to a very narrow theological narrative that weds Christian theology with a political ideology known as Zionism. This is a national movement to return Jews to Israel, which Jews perceive as their sovereign homeland,” Haas said.
“This theological position has backed the largest and longest occupation of another people group in modern history, an oppressive Israeli legal system which [former South African Archbishop Desmond] Tutu and many other church leaders have called ‘apartheid on steroids,’” Haas said.
The statements caused a stir in some Christian and Jewish circles.
“World Vision needs an eye exam,” Robert Stearns, founder and executive director of Eagles’ Wings, a pro-Israel Christian ministry, wrote in a Jerusalem Post op-ed.
“The toxic mix of lies, ignorance, and half-truths that drive the global movement to delegitimize Israel have washed up at one of the most widely known international Christian aid organizations,” Stearns charged.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center also condemned Haas’ remarks. It called “on World Vision to reconsider its hostile stance on Israel, on evangelicals to reaffirm their historic friendship to the Jewish State, and on Jews to speak to their Christian friends about where they can better direct their charitable contributions without damaging the interests of Israel and of Jewish-Evangelical relations.”
World Vision Collusion with Hamas Throws Harsh Light on Its Israeli Partner NGOs
Eugene Kontorovich, a professor at Northwestern University School of Law and an expert on constitutional and international law, tweeted Thursday night, following the indictment of the director of the World Vision charity in Gaza for diverting to terrorist ends the millions in charity contributions from evangelical Christians intended to support Gaza’s indigent population, noted Thursday night that WV was not an innocent bystander in this story of deception and terror. He pointed to a World Vision official publication titled, “Advancing a Just Peace in the Holy Land,” which states clearly:
“WV is committed to supporting initiatives, whether exclusively Palestinian, Israeli, or joint, operating from a framework of ‘coresistance.’ We welcome Israeli actions that resist the occupation and work towards restoring rights for Palestinians living in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.”
Clearly, despite their hectic claims to the contrary, WV saw its mission in Gaza, Judea and Samaria as going much farther than feeding the children of the Holy Land, as its Australian CEO claimed Thursday.
Kontorovich then asked, speaking of innocent bystanders, “Can Israeli ‘human rights’ organizations that are World Vision’s ‘partners’ in ‘co-resistance’ please comment on that partnership?”
The same WV publication lists the charity’s numerous local partners in supposedly improving the lives of the suffering civilian population in Gaza. In a separate section headlined “OUR PARTNERS,” the charity lists “a number of local Israeli and Palestinian partners” with whom it collaborates, “along with international partners,” on “advocacy campaigns that focus on issues affecting the wellbeing of children in the Holy Land.”
Security officials: Hamas likely has plants in more NGOs
Israeli officials are calling on international aid organizations and governments to ensure their funds are not being diverted to terrorist activities, following allegations that relief group World Vision's Gaza representative funneled up to $50 million to Islamist terrorist group Hamas.
Mohammad Halabi, World Vision's manager of operations in the Gaza Strip, was arrested by Israel on June 15 while crossing the border into the Hamas-ruled enclave.
A senior Israeli security official on Thursday said Halabi, who has run the group's Gaza operations since 2010, had been under extended surveillance and had confessed to siphoning off some $7.2 million a year to Hamas.
"In view of this dangerous development, I call on you to help Israel in preventing the terrorist organization Hamas from undermining the security, stability and wellbeing of Israelis and Palestinians alike," Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold wrote in a letter to foreign ministries worldwide.
Ministry warns: Hamas NGO scandal deeper than imagined
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director Dore Gold condemned the NGO World Vision's transfer of funds to Hamas.
In a published statement, Gold expressed his horror that "one of the largest charitable and humanitarian aid organizations in the world" gave "approximately $7.2 million to the military wing of Hamas...mainly to strengthen its terrorist arm."
That adds up to around 60 percent of the World Vision's annual budget for Gaza.
"Hamas is closely linked to the security apparatus of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is seeking to spread its military influence through its Middle Eastern surrogates," explained Gold, denying suggestions that money given to Hamas was used humanitarian purposes.
"These funds were utilized to finance the digging of terror tunnels, the construction of military bases, and the purchase of weapons."
Gaza aid worker accused of funneling millions to Hamas was UN ‘humanitarian hero’
The Palestinian aid worker accused by Israel of diverting tens of millions of dollars to fund the Hamas war machine in the Gaza Strip was profiled by the United Nations in 2014 as a “humanitarian hero,” according to the charity that employs him and a now-removed page on the website worldhumanitarianday.org that is still archived online.
Muhammad Halabi, a Hamas member and manager of operations for World Vision in Gaza, was indicted in a Beersheba court on Thursday on a number of security-related charges for his alleged role in the scheme. He was arrested on June 15 in a joint operation between the Shin Bet, the Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Police at the Erez Crossing from Israel into Gaza as he tried to return to the Strip.
Halabi, a member of Hamas from a young age, was handpicked to infiltrate the international charity in 2005 in order to steal money for the terrorist organization, according to Israeli investigators. “This was a meaningful and important investigation that showed — above all — the cynical and crude way in which Hamas takes advantage of funds and resources from international humanitarian aid organizations,” the Shin Bet said.
In an August 2014 interview on the World Vision website to mark his nomination, Halabi says he became a humanitarian during the Second Intifada at the turn of the millennium, when he “saw the victims among civilians and saw how people were suffering.” This, he said, “motivated me to volunteer in one of the local NGOs.”
The interview says he “has been profiled as one of the UN’s Humanitarian heroes.”
Eric Pickles: British taxpayers let down by gross abuses of Palestinian aid
The allegation that the director of an internationally respected and funded NGO has been brazenly siphoning international aid money to the terror activities of Hamas is chilling.
The Hamas-trained director of the Gaza branch of World Vision, Mohammed el-Halabi, has allegedly diverted up to $50 million to the terror organisation over a period of years. Hamas has reportedly been receiving as much as 60% of the NGOs annual budget through the creation of fictitious humanitarian projects.
The alleged misappropriation and abuse of international aid is the latest demonstration of Hamas’s contempt of its own people. Instead of building schools and hospitals, Hamas continues to build terror tunnels and rearms in preparation for another attack on Israel.
Worryingly, the UK – via the Department for International Development – reportedly gave £2 million to groups in Gaza in 2014, including World Vision, when they matched charitable contributions pound for pound made by well-meaning Brits to a Disaster Emergency Committee appeal. The Department has conceded that it cannot guarantee that British taxpayers money has not been given to Hamas. There will be some very red faces on Whitehall in the wake of these reports.
This tragic story is symptomatic of the wider abuse of aid money.
Danon: UN breeds 'incubators of terrorism'
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon issued a statement today following the arrest of Mohammad El Halabi, World Vision's manager of operations in Gaza.
Halabi is accused of diverting 60% of World Vision's annual funds in Gaza to the military branch of Hamas.
This included the use of projects such as the construction of greenhouses to conceal terror attack tunnels.
“An organization which received UN support was caught funding terrorism. The UN must ensure that other organizations supported by the international community are not aiding terrorists,” said Ambassador Danon.
“Instead of building greenhouses, World Vision’s Gaza director funded incubators of terrorism and helped Hamas threaten the citizens of Israel,” the Ambassador concluded.
Hamas Burying You,’ Says Israel’s Coordinator of Gov’t Activities in West Bank, Gaza to Residents, Following Indictment of Terrorist Who Infiltrated Int’l Charity (VIDEO)
The head of the office of Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) addressed the residents of Gaza in an Arabic video message, warning them that Hamas is destroying them, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Thursday.
COGAT chief Major General Yoav Mordechai posted the clip on the authority’s Arabic-language Facebook page, just as news broke of the terror group’s theft of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid, sent to the populace in Gaza by the American NGO World Vision.
“I am addressing you today to talk about the terrorist organization, Hamas, which steals your money in order to promote terrorism,” Mordechai began, continuing,
What I want to reveal to you has crossed the line. After a long investigation, we discovered that Hamas has been systematically using money that countries abroad transfer to international organizations, like World Vision in the Gaza Strip, evidence of which was revealed in the confession of Mohammed Halil Mohammed El-Halabi, director of the organization in Gaza. Millions of dollars — which were intended for initiating projects, providing financial assistance for residents, and even for food packages for the needy — were transferred by Hamas to its military wing to build [terror] bases, to pay bonuses and salaries and to dig the death tunnels that will bring about your destruction and Gaza’s – something that cannot be. Hamas is burying you and your hopes of living like everyone else. I want to say clearly: the continued exploitation of Israeli policy is harming you. And we will not sit back with our arms crossed. Israel has the right to safeguard the security of its citizens and borders!
Australia suspends aid to charity over Gaza terror funding charges
Australia said it was suspending funding for major charity World Vision late Thursday, hours after Israeli officials accused the group’s manager in Gaza of funneling tens of millions of dollars in aid money to terror group Hamas.
The decision by Canberra came as Israeli officials fumed over what the Shin Bet security service said was a “systematic and sophisticated mechanism” built by senior employee Mohammed el-Halabi to divert up to $50 million over the years to the group, which rules Gaza, creating fictitious humanitarian projects and doctoring inflated receipts in order to get the funds to Hamas.
“Any diversion of the generous support of the Australian and international community for military or terrorist purposes by Hamas is to be deplored,” the Australian government said in a statement.
Australia has donated some $3.8 million to World Vision in Gaza over the past three years, according to Australian network ABC. Last year, Halabi took ambassador Dave Sharma on a tour through strawberry fields supported by the Australian aid.
The station reported that the foreign ministry in Canberra was treating the probe with the highest priority.
‘My Israeli instincts kicked in,’ says teen knifed in London attack
An Israeli teenager who was injured in a stabbing attack in London on Wednesday night said her “Israeli instincts kicked in” as the incident unfolded.
Yovel Levkovski, 18, was among five people wounded in the stabbing spree in London’s Russell Square, in which one American woman was killed. British, American and Australian nationals were also among the wounded, and none suffered life-threatening injuries.
British police said the perpetrator, a Muslim Norwegian man of Somali origin, 19, engaged in a “spontaneous attack” and selected the victims “at random.”
Police said they had found no signs of radicalization as a motive and suspected that “this tragic incident [was] triggered by mental-health issues,” according to Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley. London Mayor Sadiq Khan also said that “there is no evidence at all” that the attacker was motivated by terrorism.
Fathers of AMIA victims added as plaintiffs in Nisman probe
The fathers of two AMIA Jewish Center bombing victims have been named as plaintiffs in a case against former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, which could reopen the investigation of the late prosecutor Alberto Nisman into a cover-up of Iran's role in the 1994 bombing.
Nisman was found dead on Jan. 18, hours before he was to present his allegations of a secret deal to cover up Iranian officials’ alleged role in the AMIA bombing to Congress against Kirchner, former Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and their government. Whether Nisman's shooting death in his own apartment was murder or self-inflicted has yet to be determined.
Argentinean federal judge Claudio Bonadio on Tuesday accepted a request made by two fathers of AMIA bombing victims to be considered as plaintiffs in the case against Kirchner and Timerman, along with members of Congress who in February 2103 voted for the controversial memorandum of understanding with Iran that initiated the joint investigation of the AMIA attack.
The memorandum of understanding was voided in December by Argentine President Mauricio Macri a week after he took office.
Since December, Bonadio has been in charge of investigating a complaint based on secretly recorded phone conversations from 2012 in which Timerman said that Iran was responsible for the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires while he was negotiating the agreement with Tehran.
Indonesian Counterterrorism Squad Foils Islamic Terror Rocket Attack on Singapore
Indonesian counterterrorism police have thwarted a jihadist missile attack early Friday, arresting six terror suspects who reportedly planned to fire a rocket from the nearby Indonesian island of Batam into downtown Singapore.
The target of the missile attack was Singapore’s Marina Bay, a busy tourist district and home to one of Asia’s biggest casinos, according to National Police spokesman Maj. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar.
“Yes, there were indeed plans for the attack. But the plans did not materialize,” Amar said.
The six men, between the ages of 19 and 46, allegedly belong to the ISIS-affiliated Islamic terrorist group Katibah Gigih Rahmat (KGR), which helps Indonesian militants travel to Syria. Among the six was 31-year-old KGR ringleader Gigih Rahmat Dewa.
In their plan to fire the rocket missile from Batam, the terrorists allegedly received financial assistance from Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian fighting for the Islamic State in Syria. Naim is thought to be the chief architect of last January’s attack in central Jakarta, which killed eight people.
The arrests took place at various locations across Batam, one of which held a weapons stash.
IDF chief Eizenkot receives US Legion of Merit award
Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, who is on a working visit to Washington, received an unexpected honor on Thursday when he was presented with the second-highest degree of the Legion of Merit award by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford.
A statement that accompanied the citation hailed Eizenkot's "exceptionally meritorious service as chief of the General Staff of the IDF" from February 2015 to August 2016.
Eizenkot's "contribution to the strategic cooperation between the United States and Israel will have a lasting effect on both countries," the statement said.
The statement said Eizenkot's exceptional leadership and personal involvement are a credit to him, to the IDF, and to the State of Israel.
Eizenkot is not the first head of the IDF to be awarded the Legion of Merit. Former IDF chiefs Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi were also given the award during their terms as heads of the Israeli military.
'Would-be Jerusalem bomber learned to make explosives on YouTube, infiltrated Israel'
An indictment was filed on Friday against Ali Abu Hassan, a Hebron student who allegedly planned a terror attack on Jerusalem's light rail.
According to the indictment, he equipped himself with pipe bombs, nails dipped in rat poison and knives, and was looking for a target to attack. After arousing the suspicion of security guards, he was arrested.
The indictment was issued by the Jerusalem District Attorney.
20-year old Abu Hassan, a resident of Beit Ila and a civil engineering student in Hebron, was indicted for: attempted murder, weapons production, carrying a weapon, possession of a knife and entering Israel illegally.
According to the indictment, during Ramadan in the summer of 2016, after seeing news websites and Facebook posts showing Jews entering the Temple Mount complex, he made up his mind to attack, kill Jews and become a martyr.
According to a joint police and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) investigation, Abu Hassan entered Israeli territory the day before the attempted attack through nearby Wadi Sur Bahir, and then changed his clothes into sportswear “to blend into the population,” police said.
Palestinian teen arrested for allegedly attempting knife attack on Jerusalem light rail
Two weeks after alert security guards prevented a West Bank Palestinian civil- engineering student from detonating three pipe bombs packed with nails and rat poison on the Jerusalem Light Rail, guards thwarted another attack on Thursday morning.
“A 17-year-old illegal Palestinian worker made his way into Jerusalem and was spotted acting suspiciously by security guards near the light rail stop at Mount Herzl,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
“He was immediately approached by security personnel guarding the area, who questioned him. [The suspect] was found to be in possession of a knife, and indicated that he intended to board the tram to carry out an attack.”
It remains unclear where the suspect resides, Rosenfeld said.
Report: IDF attacked Hezbollah convoy in Syria
The IDF attacked a convoy of Hezbollah vehicles in Syria, Arab media reported Thursday.
The convoy was reported to be transferring weapons in the Damascus area.
In May, a top commander for Lebanese-based terror organization Hezbollah was reportedly killed in an IDF military operation in Syria, according to The Lebanese TV station al-Mayadeen.
Mustafa Amine Badreddine was reportedly killed near the Damascus airport. Badreddine was said to be the highest ranking official in the Shi'ite paramilitary group behind the organization's leader, Hassan Nasrallah.
Palestinian dad accused of child abuse fires back at Netanyahu
A Palestinian father accused by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “inhumane” child abuse fired back on Thursday, accusing the Israeli leader of taking his words out of context and detailing years of alleged maltreatment against him and his family by the Israeli soldiers.
On Wednesday, in a video uploaded to his Facebook, Netanyahu said he was shaken “to his core” by a clip showing a Palestinian father pushing his 3-year-old his son Mohammed toward Israeli soldiers while shouting “shoot him.”
The incident occurred during a protest last week in the West Bank village of Ni’lin, west of Ramallah.
“Today I appeal to every father and mother around the world. I ask you to join me in calling for an end to this abuse of children.” Netanyahu said, adding, “The Palestinian leadership must stop encouraging children to kill. They must stop encouraging Palestinian parents to call for the death of their own children. It’s horrendous!”
Gaza sewage plant will receive electricity from Israel
Just a week after US congressmen pressed Israeli officials to provide sufficient electricity to Gaza’s sewage treatment plant, Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan said that the country is committed to meeting the facility’s increasing needs.
The treatment facility in question is the Northern Gaza Emergency Sewage Treatment (NGEST) Project, a World Bank plant in the strip’s Beit Lahiya area, which has been largely inoperative due to electricity shortages. In response to a question posed by MK Merav Michaeli (Zionist Union) in the Knesset plenum on Wednesday, Ben-Dahan said that the government has approved three different solutions that could fulfill the electricity needs of the wastewater treatment plant.
Last week, a bipartisan group of congressmen sent a letter to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz, demanding that Israel provide a solution to the electricity supply problem that the future plant faces, Globes first reported.
The congressmen wrote the letter in response to a recent government decision to increase the power supply to Gaza by 6 MW. Although the congressmen praised Israel’s decision to sell additional electricity as “an emergency means to power NGEST operations,” they argued that this amount “cannot sustainably power NGEST over the life of the project.”
Michael Lumish: ISIS as a Strategic Tool?
Professor Efraim Inbar of Bar-Ilan University, in Israel, and the Director of its Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies has a piece for Israel National News entitled, "The destruction of ISIS is a strategic mistake."
When I first glanced at that headline I thought, "Good lord, man, you must be joking."
ISIS is the foremost Islamist organization operating in the world today with the possible exception of the Muslim Brotherhood who they make look like a bunch of pansies.
ISIS has buried Yazidis - men, women, and children - alive in mass graves.
ISIS sells prepubescent girls into sexual slavery.
ISIS is committing a genocide against the Christians of the Middle East and it does not take much imagination to understand what they would likely do to the Jews in the region if they could get their claws on them.
ISIS bulldozes, and otherwise destroys, priceless antiquities that represent the very birthright of humanity, such as the ruins at Palmyra.
Obama Will Never Give up on Iran
There is a much simpler and less conspiratorial explanation for what’s going on. President Obama understands that Sunni terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS are our enemies, but he continues to hold out for hope that Iran will be our ally. There is, alas, scant reason to reach any such conclusion. Iran’s militancy certainly has not decreased since the signing of the nuclear deal more than a year ago. Tehran is providing more aid than ever to its proxies in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and elsewhere. But Obama continues to hold out hope that somehow the Iranian regime will moderate, and that, even in its current extremist form, it can be a useful ally against Sunni terrorist groups.
These calculations are tragically misbegotten, but they explain how the White House talked itself into believing that it wasn’t really offering a ransom payment. This is the same mistake that Ronald Reagan and his aides made. They imagined that they were shipping weapons to Iran not merely to win the release of hostages. They saw the hostage release as but a small goodwill gesture on Iran’s part on the way to improved U.S.-Iranian relations.
The dream of Iranian moderates never seems to die! The reality is that such moderates exist in abundance, but they have no impact on the foreign policy of a regime run by a Supreme Leader who imagines he is accountable to no one but Allah. Only by closing his eyes to this uncomfortable reality can President Obama proceed on his present path of accommodation with Iran.
Obama challenges Israel to rethink opposition to Iran deal
One year on since world powers signed a landmark nuclear agreement with Iran, the deal is working– and Israel knows it, US President Barack Obama said on Thursday.
Pushing back against criticism of a legal settlement the US reached with Iran in January– a report this week in the Wall Street Journal suggested that a deal to deliver cash toward that settlement coincided conspicuously with Tehran's release of four American hostages– Obama said the real story was that improved relations with Iran were proving fruitful, and that opponents of the deal should own up to it.
The military and intelligence communities in Israel– "the country that was most opposed to the deal," Obama said– had come to the conclusion that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was a "game-changer" that had successfully put a lid on Iran's nuclear program and expanded the time it would require for Tehran to produce fissile material for a nuclear weapon.
Opponents of the deal from last year should be challenged by reporters to say, "you know what, we were wrong," Obama added, criticizing "the manufacturing of outrage" over stories tangential to the deal.
While the JCPOA, the formal name for the agreement, was signed in July of 2015, the deal itself was first implemented in January– alongside the release of American political prisoners in Tehran, and the settlement of a decades-old dispute between the US and Iran at a Hague tribunal over a shah-era weapons sale.
"By all accounts, it has worked exactly the way we said it was going to work," Obama said of the nuclear agreement.
Netanyahu rejects Obama’s assertion that Israel now supports Iran accord
Israel on Friday firmly rejected US President Barack Obama’s claim that its officials now support last year’s nuclear deal with Iran. Far from accepting Obama’s assertion, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s stance had not changed, while the Israeli Defense Ministry compared the accord to the Munich Agreement signed by the European powers with Nazi Germany in 1938.
Obama said Thursday that Israeli defense officials are now behind the deal signed by world powers and Iran, and that they recognize the efficacy of the accord. The “Israeli military and security community … acknowledges this has been a game changer,” Obama said. “The country that was most opposed to the deal.”
In a statement issued Friday by his office in response, Netanyahu stressed that Israel “has no greater ally than the United States” but made plain nonetheless that Israel’s position on the Iran nuclear deal “remains unchanged.”
What mattered most now, Netanyahu went on, however, was to ensure that supporters and opponents of the deal alike work together for three goals: “Keep Iran’s feet to the fire to ensure that it doesn’t violate the deal; confront Iran’s regional aggression; and dismantle Iran’s global terror network.”
Netanyahu said he “looks forward to translating those goals into a common policy, and to further strengthening the alliance between Israel and the United States, with President Obama, and with the next US administration.”
Israeli minister hit backs at Obama: We’re more worried now by Iran deal than a year ago
Likud minister Tzachi Hanegbi dismissed US President Barack Obama’s claim that Israeli defense officials are now on board with the Iran nuclear deal, telling The Times of Israel that, in fact, Israeli concerns about the deal were “justified” in the past year.
Hanegbi’s comments Friday came as the Defense Ministry bitterly rebuffed Obama’s claim that Israeli officials consider the deal a positive “game changer.” The ministry, headed by hawkish Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman, compared the year-old accord aimed at curbing Iran’s rogue nuclear program to the 1938 Munich Agreement with Nazi Germany.
Obama on Thursday defended the US-led deal with Iran by asserting Israeli support for it. The “Israeli military and security community … acknowledges this has been a game changer,” Obama said. “The country that was most opposed to the deal.”
“I don’t know to which Israelis he [Obama] spoke recently,” said Hanegbi. “But I can promise you that the position of the prime minister, the defense minister and of most senior officials in the defense establishment has not changed,” Hanegbi told The Times of Israel. “The opposite is the case. The time that has elapsed since the deal was signed proved that all our worries that, regrettably, we had before the deal was made, were justified.”
Iran Is Cheating on the Nuclear Deal, Now What?
One year into the nuclear deal, two credible and timely intelligence reports reveal that Iran has no intention of honoring the terms of the deal, which, anyway, it never signed.
Germany's domestic intelligence agency revealed that the Iranian government has pursued a "clandestine" path to obtain illicit nuclear technology and equipment from German companies "at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level."
A secret agreement, obtained by the Associated Press, discloses that Iran's nuclear deal would not only lift constraints on Iran's nuclear program after the nuclear deal, but it will also do so long before the deal expires -- including the installation of thousands of centrifuges, five times more than what it currently possesses, as well enriching uranium at a much higher pace.
The more the White House ignores Iran's violations of the nuclear accord, the more Iran will be emboldened to violate international laws and the terms of the nuclear agreement.



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Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

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