Thursday, August 25, 2016

From Ian:

Jews are 'adept at working the American political system' aided by 'the memory of the Holocaust' - extraordinary claim made by journal where Huma Abedin was assistant editor
An Islamic journal where Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's top aide, was assistant editor published an article accusing Jews of 'working the American political system' – and being aided by the 'memory of the Holocaust'.
Abedin, who is vice-chair of Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, spent 12 years as an assistant editor for Journal of Minority Muslim Affairs.
Her mother, Saleha Mahmood Abedin, is the journal's editor-in-chief and has been accused of espousing the views of the Muslim Brotherhood through the publication.
Huma Abedin's brother, Hassan, is an associate editor and her sister, Heba, is an assistant editor.
Huma Abedin was listed on the journal's masthead for more than a decade after she joined Clinton's team in 1996, rising from White House intern to one of the presidential nominee's closest confidantes.
She is a likely pick for chief of staff in a Clinton administration.

Khaled Abu Toameh: The "Mountain of Fire" Erupts Against Abbas
Five Palestinians, including two PA police officers, were killed in the worst scenes of internecine violence to hit the West Bank in recent years. Abbas was either playing the businessmen for fools or hoping that they share his deaf and blind state.
The violence in Nablus did not come as a surprise to those who have been monitoring the situation in the West Bank in recent months.
In fact, scenes of lawlessness and "security chaos" have become part of the norm in many Palestinian cities, villages and refugee camps -- a sign that the PA may be losing control to armed gangs and militias. Palestinians refer to the situation as falatan amni, or "security chaos." An article published in Gatestone in June referred to the growing instances of anarchy and lawlessness in PA-controlled areas in the West Bank, first and foremost Nablus.
Palestinians refer to Nablus as the "Mountain of Fire" -- a reference to the countless armed attacks carried out against Israelis by residents of the city since 1967. Current events in Nablus, however, have shown how easily fire burns the arsonist. The Palestinian Authority is now paying the price for harboring, funding and inciting gang members and militiamen who until recently were hailed by many Palestinians as "heroes" and "resistance fighters." Unsurprisingly, most of these "outlaws" and "criminals" (as the PA describes them) are affiliated in one way or another with Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction.
Nablus, the so-called Mountain of Fire, is now threatening to turn into a volcano that is set to erupt in the face of Abbas and his PA government.



PMW: New PA libels - Israel gave a Palestinian prisoner muscular dystrophy, spreads weapons to cause chaos among Palestinians
The newest Palestinian Authority-Fatah libel is that Israel caused the muscular dystrophy of a Palestinian terrorist murderer, through an injection he received during his dental treatment in prison. Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki explained "that medical reports have indicated that this injection is life threatening... this injection causes muscular dystrophy, and then the lifespan is limited to a period of four years." [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 18, 2016] Although Palestinian terrorist Na'im Al-Shawamreh, who killed an Israeli policeman, died in a hospital of muscular dystrophy three years after being released from prison, Zaki declared him a Martyr.
In addition, Zaki praised the terrorist murderer: "Al-Shawamreh is a patriot and a man of culture... He was beloved and a model of morals."
A second new libel is that Israel intentionally supplies Palestinians with guns so that they will use them to fight amongst themselves and create internal chaos. This new libel comes in response to recent fighting and deaths among Palestinians often involved in power struggles. PLO Executive Committee member Dr. Ahmed Majdalani who is promoting the second libel explained: "The Israelis have never ceased their efforts to infiltrate Palestinian society and destroy it. There are two means for the destruction: Weapons which created the chaos, and drugs." [Official PA TV, State of Politics, Aug. 21, 2016]
His reference to drugs is another common libel that has been expressed by the PA for a number of years. The PA accuses Israel of spreading drugs among Palestinian youth so that they will not be willing or able to fight against Israel.
These new libels are in addition to many other libels that are expressed regularly by PA officials and promoted by their official media.
Yair Lapid: The Invaluable U.S.-Israeli Alliance
Israel and the United States are putting the finishing touches on an agreement that will cement our alliance for years to come. The latest Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), set to go into effect in 2018, will provide Israel with about $3.9 billion a year in military aid for 10 years. The real value of this agreement, however, isn’t in the dollar amount, but in the defense technology that Israel will receive and the depth of the security cooperation between the two countries.
The first words that need to be said from the depths of our hearts are “thank you.” This agreement is critical to Israel’s security and the safety of its citizens. We live in the worst neighborhood in the world, surrounded by fundamentalist Islamists who would like nothing more than to see us killed. This agreement is a crucial component of our ability to defend ourselves.
The agreement is also part of a deep and long-standing strategic alliance between Israel and the United States. The foundations of the alliance are emotional and moral. In the two great struggles the West has faced since World War II — the Cold War and the war on terror — we stood together, shoulder to shoulder. And we also share many of the same values: a deep commitment to democracy; the protection of women’s rights, gay rights, and minority rights; and the understanding that freedom must be protected, sometimes with blood.
But as always happens in relations between countries, the agreement also advances both parties’ national interests. The Israeli interest is clear: Without the qualitative and technological edge over our enemies, Israel’s existence would be at risk.
On the American side, there have been critics who have asked out loud, “What does America get from this?”
The real answer isn’t economic, of course. Former President John F. Kennedy said, “The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it.”
Hezbollah rocket victims lose U.S. suit against Lebanese bank
A U.S. appeals court ruled against victims of Hezbollah rocket attacks in Israel who wanted to hold a Lebanese bank liable.
Wednesday’s 3-0 ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York stymied efforts to hold the Lebanese Canadian Bank SAL responsible for financing the Lebanon-based Islamic terrorist group through its New York account with American Express Bank, Reuters reported.
Citing the dismissal of a similar case against Arab Bank Plc., the court said it lacked jurisdiction over the Lebanese bank, which is immune from liability claims under the federal Alien Tort Statute.
Among the dozens of plaintiffs in the case are American, Canadian and Israeli citizens who were injured or lost family members in the 2006 attacks. They argued that the Lebanese bank helped Hezbollah by wiring millions of dollars on behalf of the terrorist group’s Shahid (Martyrs) Foundation affiliate.
Robert Tolchin, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said he plans to appeal.
We shouldn’t get carried away by Egyptian FM’s pro-Israel comment, says ex-envoy
Shoukry’s words should not, however, be interpreted to mean Egypt was turning its back on the Palestinians, or favoring Israel, he said.
“The Egyptian position on the Palestinian issue has not changed for the last 30-40 years,” he said. “And this position is simple: ‘We will support what the Palestinians decide.’” By “Palestinians,” Levanon pointed out, the Egyptians mean the Palestinian Authority, and not Hamas.
Levanon said there has been evidence of a change of attitudes inside Egypt toward Israel over the last two years since Sisi took power that are more significant than Shoukry’s comment.
For instance, he said, Egypt has been granting more visas to Israelis wanting to visit; there is strong security cooperation between the two countries; there are reports Egypt will not bring a traditional anti-Israel resolution to the International Atomic Energy Agency in September; and there are fewer anti-Semitic attacks against Israel in the Egyptian press.
He also said that Sisi has less “political complexes” than former president Hosni Mubarak,” complexes” that constrained the deposed leader from pushing for closer ties with Israel.
“If Sisi thinks it is in Egypt’s interest to get closer to Israel, he will do so,” Levanon said.
“Mubarak had a complex. He never came to Israel, he wanted to keep his ties with Arab leaders, return to the bosom of the Arab world, lead the Arab League, be seen as the Arab world leader.”
Sisi is not motivated by the same things, Levanon said. “The interests and good of Egypt, not the whole Arab nation, are what is foremost in his mind.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Burqini-Banning France: Trump Racist For Restricting Muslim Entry (satire)
A country where ten separate municipalities have enacted a prohibition against attire traditionally worn by Muslim women is calling the American Republican presidential candidate racist for proposing tighter controls over Muslims seeking to enter the US.
Police in various locations along the French Riviera could be seen yesterday and today enforcing local ordinances that outlaw the burqini and other sartorial manifestations of Islamic belief. At the same time, numerous French governmental figures have voiced opposition to GOP nominee Donald Trump’s statements that his administration would bar many Muslims from immigrating to, or even visiting, his country.
French officials attacked Trump’s pronouncements regarding his ideas to prevent terrorist attacks on US soil. “There are ways to act against threats without alienating an entire class of people,” charged Mayor Philippe Pradal of Nice, whose city began enforcing a burqini ban this week. “If American really wants to affirm that it is a tolerant, open society, it cannot elect a man who is so outspoken about his intention to close off that society to so many, and to make a billion people feel unwelcome on its shores.”
Cannes Mayor David Lisnard echoed Pradal’s criticism. “It goes against everything Western society stands for, to discriminate against Muslims like that,” he said of Trump’s proposal. “It’s also just irresponsible from an optics standpoint. It really doesn’t look good, even if the value behind it is concern for public safety and order,” he added, referring to the very considerations French municipalities have cited in multiple successful defenses of Islamic-attire bans in European courts.
IDF exonerates soldiers in 14 probes concerning 2014 Gaza op
The Israeli military on Wednesday cleared soldiers of suspected wrongdoing in 14 investigations pertaining to Operation Protective Edge, waged in the Gaza Strip in 2014. Seventeen investigations are still ongoing.
According to the IDF, 360 complaints suggesting conduct unbecoming or excessive use of force were filed with the Military Advocate General following the 2014 campaign.
The military stressed that any such complaint is reviewed thoroughly, and if the allegations are found to have merit the matter is handed over to the military judge advocate, who then decides whether a criminal investigation is warranted.
The IDF's investigative process is at the heart of a Palestinian demand for an official war crimes investigation against Israel by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The Palestinians argue that Israel has a poor record of prosecuting wrongdoing among its ranks.
The 14 cases that were closed included the investigation into the deadliest incident of the fighting: The Aug. 1, 2014 airstrike in the southern Gaza town of Rafah that killed 15 members of the Zoroub family.
The IDF maintains the building targeted in the strike had been used as a Hamas command and control center. While its statement suggested that the civilian casualties were higher than expected, it said the airstrike was in line with international law, which allows targeting residential areas used for terrorist and hostile military purposes, and that Nazmi Zoroub, a senior Hamas operative, was among the dead.
Electronic Intifada Performs Mental Gymnastics To Paint Terrorist As Innocent Victim
Online terror mag the Electronic Intifada – run by Hamas (and elk) fan Ali “Abumination” Abunimah – has published a conspiracy theory around the events surrounding the killing of Sari Abu Ghurab (the first event Brian mentions in this post).
The author of the piece, EI managing editor Maureen Clare Murphy, tries to cast doubt on IDF claims he was shot while attempting to stab a soldier, relying primarily on “photographic evidence.”
There is nothing in the IDF account which contradicts the scenario that Ghurab would end up dead in the front seat of the car. He was throwing rocks from the moving car, causing the IDF to give chase. A soldier approached the vehicle, at which time Ghurab stabbed him (I assume by lurching up from his seat with a knife). The soldier pushed him backwards (apparently back in to the car) and shot him. Ghurab ended up dead in his seat.
It seems all the more likely given the dead man’s identity was provided by Islamic Jihad. They are not forensic scientists but rather a terrorist organization. I am assuming Ghurab was a member, and thus even more unlikely to have been driving, minding his own business, when gunned down for no apparent reason.
Plus how stupid would the IDF have to be to invent a false excuse, while allowing photos of their victim to surface, which would contradict their account?
Reuters Headline Describes Palestinian Attacker As "Driver"
The Israeli army today reported that a Palestinian attacker was killed after he stabbed a soldier.
But a Reuters headline about the attack suggests the man was killed while doing no more than driving his car: "Israeli soldier shoots dead Palestinian driver in West Bank: army."
By contrast, here's how Reuters described an incident in Belgium earlier this month in which an attacker was killed after slashing police officers:

Israeli warplanes said to hit Hezbollah targets in Syria
Syrian opposition figures said Israeli warplanes struck targets belonging to the Shiite terror group Hezbollah in the Qalamoun Mountains along the Syria-Lebanon border, on Wednesday, according to Hebrew news sites citing Arab media.
The reports gave few details, saying only that the targets had been hit from the sky three times.
The Israel Defense Forces said Wednesday night it “will not comment” on the reports of a strike in Syria.
A Twitter account linked to Hezbollah denied that there had been any attack on its headquarters in Qalamoun.
The Qalamoun range is considered a key stronghold for Hezbollah, linking Damascus to eastern Lebanon, and is suspected to be used as a supply route for arms transfers between the regime and Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces.
Ex-Shin Bet Chief: Hezbollah “Learning to Fight on a Large Scale” in Syria, Threatening Israel
The Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah is gaining valuable experience while “learning to fight on a large scale” in Syria, a former Shin Bet chief told a visiting delegation of U.S. congressional advisers on Monday, Israel Hayom reported. The warning came just days after Israel uncovered a bag of explosives near the Lebanese border, which security officials believe were smuggled in by Hezbollah.
Avi Dichter, the former head of Israel’s security agency Shin Bet and current chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, told the delegation that “Hezbollah’s participation in the Syria fighting is both bad news and good news for Israel.”
“The good news is that thus far, Hezbollah has lost more than 1,600 terrorists in battle and has about 5,000 wounded. [Syrian] rebels are taking terrorists from the group captive, including in Aleppo last week,” he said. On the other hand, Hezbollah and Syria are “learning to fight on a large scale, in platoons and battalion, while using sophisticated weaponry and heavy, precise arms that they receive from Iran,” Dichter added. These new capabilities will ensure that the “next round” in the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel will be much different, although “that also holds advantages for Israel,” he continued.
Similarly, Nadav Pollak of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy assessed in a paper published this month that Hezbollah’s position within the so-called “resistance axis” of Israel’s enemies “has been strengthened” due to its participation in Syria’s civil war.
Iranian military official: We have 100,000 missiles in Lebanon ready to hit Israel
President Hassan Rouhani said the last year’s nuclear deal “was the cheapest way to achieve Iran’s goals and interests.”
Speaking in Tehran on Saturday at an iftar meal breaking the Ramadan fast, Rouhani said the pre-Iran nuclear-deal era is past and Iran now needs to take advantage of the new atmosphere to pursue its “national interests more than before,” Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
The country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday called for student associations to establish a “unified anti-US and anti-Zionist front” among the Muslim world’s students, Tasnim News Agency reported.
“By using advanced means of communication and in cyberspace, general campaigns can be formed by Muslim students based on the opposition to the policies of the US and the Zionist regime of Israel so that when needed, millions of young Muslim students create a big movement in the Islamic world,” he said.
Palestinian teen indicted for East Jerusalem stabbing
A 19-year-old Palestinian was indicted in Jerusalem District Court on Thursday for allegedly stabbing a young ultra-Orthodox man in East Jerusalem earlier this month.
Ahmad Na’im A’shayer, a resident of A-Tur, was charged with attacking the victim, reportedly a Jewish seminary student, outside a grocery store near the Mount of Olives cemetery.
According to the charge sheet, A’shayer was empty-handed when he approached the student, but picked up a “sharpened wooden plank” that was on the ground nearby, and stabbed his victim with it.
The student sustained light-to-moderate injuries. He fled, flagged down a vehicle and traveled to a nearby Border Police station. He was taken to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus, but has since been released.
A’shayer was arrested some days later.
What Those Captured Palestinian Weapons Really Mean
It’s one of the most disturbing photos from Israel that I’ve seen in years.
I’m referring to this week’s image of the hundreds of Palestinian terrorist weapons captured in Israeli raids. It was enough to send shivers down one’s spine. And it revealed more about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than all the panel discussions, research papers, and expert analyses with which we are always being bombarded.
Friends of Israel often complain about what they say is the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s inadequate effort to make Israel’s case to the international community. And those complaints are not entirely without merit. But somebody in the foreign ministry’s “hasbara” division deserves credit for coming up with a simple, yet incredibly effective way of demonstrating what Israel is up against: show their weapons.
Telling the world that hundreds of terrorists have been arrested, or thousands of weapons captured is mind-numbing. They’re just numbers. The public yawns and turns the page. But recall what the Israelis did after capturing in Jan. 2002 the Karine A, the Palestinian ship seized by Israeli commandos. They didn’t just issue a press release about the 50 tons of arms, or the 700,000 rounds of ammunition on board. They actually spread the weapons out, on the ground, for the photographers and television cameras. And they reached as far as the eye — and the lens — could see.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Seeing Iran’s Success, Israel Mulls Kidnapping Americans Also (satire)
The Obama administration’s accommodating attitude toward Iran’s hostage-taking of Americans has prompted Israeli military and political policymakers to consider adopting a similar pattern of imprisoning Americans in exchange for generous ransom packages, Kol Israel radio reported today.
Mossad officials, senior military officers, and representatives of the Ministry of Defense and Prime Minister’s Office met several times this week to discuss the possibility of arresting and holding US citizens, either without trial or on trumped-up charges, as a way of gaining leverage in any dealings with Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. The report noted that Iran has increased its hostage-taking efforts after the Obama administration paid hundreds of millions of dollars in ransom money, and that if adopted by Israel, that approach could yield significant financial, diplomatic, political, and strategic benefits.
Military and government officials declined to comment on the story, but in her report, Kol Israel military affairs journalist Carmela Menashe detailed several proposals under consideration. The first, and, according to Menashe, the one that enjoys the most support among the policymakers, is a straight-up imitation of Iran’s methods: take American citizens, preferably military personnel, captive, and demand financial or political concessions from Washington.
The second, slightly less popular, policy, involves manufacturing tensions in the form of Americans “caught” spying against Israel or otherwise engaged in illegal activities against the Jewish State, also to generate diplomatic leverage. The third, and least likely to be adopted, calls for the torching of American consular facilities in the country, followed by claims that it was perpetrated by radicals, and that only by giving Israel billions of dollars, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital, and siding unequivocally with Israel in all international forums would empower the moderates to prevail.
Mideast Analyst: PA President Views New Israeli Defense Minister’s ‘Carrot-and-Stick’ Plan as Threat to His Rule
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas feels threatened by the “carrot-and-stick” plan forged by new Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, a Mideast expert assessed on Tuesday.
In an analysis for the think tank the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Yoni Ben Menachem wrote that Abbas views the initiative – involving dialogue with the business and academic sectors of Palestinian society alongside punitive measures against radical elements – as a move that “undermin[es] his legitimacy as leader of the Palestinian people.”
According to Ben Menachem, former director general and chief editor of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, it is thus that “the PA has hastily put pressure on the Private Sector Coordination Council, which has issued a statement that ‘the PLO is the sole and exclusive representative of the Palestinian people.’”
Ben Menachem asserted that the main goal right now of 81-year-old Abbas “is to remain in power while seeking an appropriate successor, one who will allow him to retire honorably and will ensure the well-being of his family and his two sons’ economic interests.” Any action on Israel’s part that indicates he is easily replaceable poses a serious danger to him, said Ben Menachem.
Palestinians Refuse to Discuss with Israel Solutions to West Bank Water Shortages
Younis said there was water in the ground near his village, home to around 1,600 people and many animals. But he said Israeli authorities prevented villagers from accessing the water by denying them permits to dig. Israel says unregulated digging of wells would do severe damage to the water table.
The villagers have approached the Palestinian Water Authority, which said it had made appeals to the Israelis, but the requests were apparently unanswered.
Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, a branch of the military that administers Palestinian civil issues, said Israel provides 64 million cubic meters of water to the Palestinians annually, even though under the 1995 Oslo accords it is only obliged to provide 30 million.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the Palestinians had consistently refused to meet to discuss water issues or work to resolve the long-standing problem.
"The Palestinian allegations... are simply a lie," he said. "Under the Oslo accords we agreed to establish together a joint working committee on water. Unfortunately, the Palestinian side has refused systematically to participate."
He added that the water needs in the West Bank, which the Palestinians want for a state together with East Jerusalem and Gaza, are greater than the infrastructure can handle.
Mazen Ghuneim, head of the Palestinian Water Authority, said the Palestinians had halted water negotiations with Israel five years ago because Israel had not frozen settlement building.
Shots fired at Israeli Navy during arrest of Palestinian fishermen
Shots were fired from the shore of a Gaza beach toward an Israeli Navy ship on Thursday during proceedings to arrest a Palestinian fisherman who had breached waters deemed illegal by Israel.
The Israeli forces stopped a fishing boat that had exceeded the permitted area for fishing off the northern coast of the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli Navy ship was then fired upon from a beach in the Gaza Strip after the fishing boat was detained.
Naval security forces called for the suspects to return to the permitted waters and prepared to make arrests. During the arrest one suspect was lightly wounded from the fire emanating from the shore.
The suspect was taken for medical treatment and will be handed over to Israeli security forces for further questioning.
No one was injured and no damage was sustained. The Navy ship distanced itself from the scene.
Terrorist Serving Multiple Life Sentences for Murder May be Next Palestinian President
Last Thursday, Israel National News (Arutz Sheva) reported that Arab-Israeli MK Yosef Jabarin traveled to Hadarim Prison to visit with top Palestinian terror mastermind Marwan Barghouti.
After the visit, Jabarin reportedly claimed to be “impressed” by the terrorist’s “serious intention” to run for chairman of the Palestinian Authority (PA), despite being holed up in an Israeli jail cell:
During their meeting, Jabarin and Barghouti discussed efforts to reconcile split Palestinian factions before the upcoming municipal elections, which are set for October. Barghouti emphasized that the success of the local government elections could pave the way for democratic elections in the Palestinian Legislative Council, and the office of the chairman of the Palestinian Authority after Abbas—which would give him a chance to supersede Abbas”.
Other than this brief mention in Arutz Sheva and an editorial in a website catering to religiously-observant Jews, I couldn’t find this news item covered by any other mainstream media outlet.
That’s not surprising.
These are the type of newsworthy stories that the Western media usually avoids because Israeli Jews aren’t involved and they aren’t the ones behaving badly.
Turkey -- preventing Kurdish independence at all costs
Turkey launched an unprecedented attack on Syria Wednesday in an effort to liberate the town of Jarablus from the clutches of the Islamic Sate group and to distance terrorists from its borders to prevent future attacks on Turks. This is the official version. But there are, of course, additional reasons behind Turkey's most significant action in Syria since the beginning of the civil -- and religious -- war there, which has now entered its sixth year. When it comes to Turkish military operations, always look for the Kurdish angle.
Since Turkey entered the fighting in Syria in the summer of 2015, when it allowed coalition forces to use its Incirlik air base in the country's south, it has been focused on the Kurdish underground fighters. Islamic State was never a main target. Moreover, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's regime had a perverse policy when it came to Islamic State. He never saw the jihadi terrorists as a threat, but rather as an opportunity.
Erdogan viewed the Islamic State terrorists as mercenaries who would attack the Kurds instead of him. He wasn't even concerned when Islamic State operatives began running around Turkey. The Turkish intelligence services noted that in January, 2015, there were 3,000 of them in Turkey. The border between Turkey and Syria served as a porous sieve for Islamic State members. Ankara turned into the jihad highway.
If anyone has any doubt regarding Erdogan's clear preference of Islamic State over the Kurds, they are welcome to bring to mind the difficult events of October, 2014 in the Kurdish city of Kobani in Syria. Islamic State massacred the poor Kurds while Erdogan's army watched on the sidelines in complete indifference just across the border. Erdogan was convinced at the time that he could accommodate Islamic State -- that is, until the terrorist attacks began and Islamic State gunfire and rockets began crossing the Syrian border into Turkey.
Analysis: Turkish fury - Syrian invasion will escalate to encompass Kurds
Even as the Syrian rebels are operating in the center and west of Jarabulus, the Turkish political echelon is talking about the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which controls eastern Syria and has been the central force in the fight against Islamic State, having recently taken Manbij and pressed toward the Islamic State capital of Raqqa. Its forces, the YPG, and Syrian Democratic Forces work with US special forces in the area.
But for Erdogan they are terrorists, and Turkish Foreign Minister Devlut Cavusoglu warned PYD to withdraw east of the Euphrates.
While the Syrian Democratic Forces have been supported by the US, their continued progress west of the Euphrates is now a bone of contention.
They sought to move further west into Al-Bab toward the Kurdish canton in Afrin. The Turks want to push them back across the Euphrates, and the Americans would prefer they head south toward Raqqa. This creates a complex and combustible situation. If Turkey uses the attack on Jarabulus to expand its operations against the Kurds in Syria, it will have widened the war already taking place with the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey into Syria.
The Turks have long said the PKK and PYD are the same, but the boots on the ground will pave the way for a cross-border conflagration. The Russians are close to the Assad regime, which Turkey opposes. The YPG has also just finished clashing with a pocket of Assad-aligned forces in the Syrian city of Hasaka. This brings the Russians and Americans into the picture forming at Jarabulus. If all sides are not careful, a major escalation could ensue.
The Turks want breathing space from Islamic State and the YPG.
Whether this operation will bring that, or merely suck Turkey deeper into the Syrian morass, will be clear in the coming weeks.
Biden warns Kurds not to seek separate enclave on Turkish-Syrian border
The Obama administration will cut all U.S. support for its Syrian Kurdish allies, considered the most competent rebel force fighting the Islamic State, if they do not comply with Turkish demands that they withdraw to the east of the Euphrates River, Vice President Biden said here Wednesday.
Biden said the Kurds, who Turkey claims intend to establish a separate state along a border corridor in conjunction with Turkey’s own Kurdish population, “cannot, will not, and under no circumstances will get American support if they do not keep” what he said was a commitment to return to the east.
The primary goal of Biden’s day-long visit here was to convince Turkey that the United States had no role in, and did not condone, a July 15 coup attempt that has sent the country into a whirlwind of conspiracy theories, mass arrests and estrangement from Washington at a key moment in the campaign against the Islamic State.
In statements and news conferences following lengthy separate meetings with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Biden, the first senior U.S. official to visit Turkey since the coup attempt, said he understood “how some of your countrymen feel the world didn’t respond . . . rapidly enough or with the appropriate amount of solidarity and empathy.”
“I personally, [President Obama] personally, and the American people stand in awe at the courage of your people” in standing up to the plotters, Biden said, as Erdogan sat stone-faced beside him.
Obama, Biden said in a news conference with Yildirim, had asked him “to come today in order to remind the world of the paramount importance that we place on the relationship between our two nations, as allies, as partners and friends.”
UN report determines both Assad and ISIS used chemical weapons
A UN investigation has determined that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's forces carried out at least two chemical attacks in Syria and that Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists used mustard gas as a weapon, according to a report seen by AFP on Wednesday.
The panel was able to identify the perpetrators of three chemical attacks carried out in 2014 and 2015, but was unable to draw any conclusions in the other six cases that it has been investigating over the past year, according to the news agency.
The report from the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) found that the Syrian regime dropped chemical weapons on two villages in northwestern Idlib province: Talmenes on April 21, 2014 and Sarmin on March 16, 2015.
In both instances, Syrian air force helicopters dropped "a device" on houses that was followed by the "release of a toxic substance", which in the case of Sarmin matched "the characteristics of chlorine".
The panel found that ISIS "was the only entity with the ability, capability, motive and the means to use sulphur mustard" in an attack on the town of Marea in northern Aleppo province on August 21, 2015.
Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013 under a deal brokered by Moscow and Washington, but the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has since found chlorine has been "systematically and repeatedly" used as a weapon.
US vows to ‘seek accountability’ for Syria chemical attacks
After a scathing UN investigation, the White House said Wednesday it was “impossible to deny” that Syria had launched chemical weapon attacks, while calling for President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to be held accountable.
“It is now impossible to deny that the Syrian regime has repeatedly used industrial chlorine as a weapon against its own people,” National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said.
“The United States will work with our international partners to seek accountability through appropriate diplomatic mechanisms, including through the United Nations Security Council.”
A UN investigation has established that President Bashar Assad’s forces carried out at least two chemical attacks in Syria and that Islamic State jihadists used mustard gas as a weapon, according to a report seen by AFP on Wednesday.
The panel was able to identify the perpetrators of three chemical attacks carried out in 2014 and 2015, but was unable to draw any conclusions in the other six cases that it has been investigating over the past year.
Price said the findings “present yet another opportunity for all nations to speak with one voice to address these heinous crimes and to make it clear that the use of chemical weapons is intolerable.”
Aaron David Miller: Why ‘Cash for Prisoners’ May End Up Being Least of U.S. Concerns Over Payment to Iran
It’s not clear how much worse things will get for the Obama administration over its $400 million payment to Iran in January, but the cash-for-prisoners scandal may end up being the least of U.S. concerns in all this.
I write that knowing that Congress plans to hold hearings in September. I also know that so close to Election Day, this issue is likely to remain a highly politicized he-said/she-said among Republicans eager to take aim, an administration on the defensive, and a Democratic nominee in an increasingly difficult position because of the optics: a choreographed and sequenced transaction in which cash was delivered after U.S. prisoners were released, regardless of whether you consider it ransom.
Here’s the larger and more potentially damaging perception beyond the general embarrassment: In the Middle East, strength and negotiating acumen are prized; they demonstrate power and credibility. And the region tends to consider actions and strategy in a time frame that stretches far beyond the four- and eight-year scale of U.S. politics. Meanwhile, the Obama administration’s handling of Iran in this situation plays into the narrative that the U.S. is weak and feckless and behaving as if it doesn’t know what it’s doing.
Some will see this as proof that the U.S. is unable or unwilling to contain Iran’s influence in the region, whether because the administration fears that pushing the Iranians too hard on Syria might jeopardize the international agreement over Tehran’s nuclear program–a seminal achievement for Mr. Obama–or because the U.S. is wary of deeper involvement in the region.
Bloomberg View: Obama Ignored Iran’s Green Revolution to Protect Secret Outreach to Tehran
President Barack Obama didn’t support the pro-democracy “Green Revolution” protests that swept Iran after its disputed 2009 presidential election because he feared that they would “sabotage his secret outreach to Iran,” Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake wrote on Wednesday.
In his review of The Iran Wars, a new book by Wall Street Journal chief foreign correspondent Jay Solomon, Lake noted that it was “well known” that Obama did not react quickly to the protests that broke out on June 12, 2009 following the announcement that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been re-elected as Iran’s president. Obama minimized the significance of the protests, saying simply on June 15, “The world is watching and inspired by their participation, regardless of what the ultimate outcome of the election was,” without even giving credence to the widespread belief that the election had been stolen.
“Behind the scenes,” Lake wrote, “Obama overruled advisers who wanted to do what America had done at similar transitions from dictatorship to democracy, and signal America’s support.”
Solomon noted in his book that the White House instructed the CIA to offer no help to the protesters. “The Agency has contingency plans for supporting democratic uprisings anywhere in the world. This includes providing dissidents with communications, money, and in extreme cases even arms,” Solomon wrote. “But in this case the White House ordered it to stand down.”
Iranian ex commander: New militia formed to destroy Israel in 23 years
The eradication of Israel in "23 years" is the main objective of a recently-created Iranian military unit formed to fight in Arab countries in the region, one of Iran's former most senior military commanders has said.
Retired Iranian Revolutionary Guards general Mohammad Ali Al Falaki made the comments last week while speaking of Tehran's so-called 'Shi'ite Liberation Army' that conducts extraterritorial military operations, Al Arabiya reported, citing an interview with Iran's Mashregh news agency.
The former leader of the Islamic Republic's ideologically-driven military branch noted that the Iranian special forces are fighting abroad in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
Falaki claimed that the forces are specially positioned to destroy the Jewish state because they are fighting near Israel's borders.
The establishment of the first nucleus of the militia is tasked to “eradicate Israel after 23 years, especially that these battalions are now on Israeli borders,” he was quoted as saying in an invocation of prior remarks made by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
In 2015, Khamenei asserted that Israel will cease to exist within three decades.
After chasing US ship, Iran vows to confront anyone in its waters
Iran’s defense minister said Thursday his country would confront any foreign vessel that enters its territorial waters, after four Iranian warships sped close to two US Navy destroyers with their weapons uncovered in the Strait of Hormuz.
Hossein Dehghan did not comment directly on Tuesday’s affair. Though he insinuated that the incident occurred inside Iranian territory, US officials have stated it took place in international waters.
The USS Nitze shot warning flares, sounded its whistles and attempted unsuccessfully to communicate with the Iranian boats during Tuesday’s incident, which American defense officials called “unsafe and unprofessional.”
Dehghan said that his country’s “naval units have the duty of safeguarding the country’s security in the sea and the Persian Gulf.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Seeing Iran’s Success, Israel Mulls Kidnapping Americans Also (satire)
The Obama administration’s accommodating attitude toward Iran’s hostage-taking of Americans has prompted Israeli military and political policymakers to consider adopting a similar pattern of imprisoning Americans in exchange for generous ransom packages, Kol Israel radio reported today.
Mossad officials, senior military officers, and representatives of the Ministry of Defense and Prime Minister’s Office met several times this week to discuss the possibility of arresting and holding US citizens, either without trial or on trumped-up charges, as a way of gaining leverage in any dealings with Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. The report noted that Iran has increased its hostage-taking efforts after the Obama administration paid hundreds of millions of dollars in ransom money, and that if adopted by Israel, that approach could yield significant financial, diplomatic, political, and strategic benefits.
Military and government officials declined to comment on the story, but in her report, Kol Israel military affairs journalist Carmela Menashe detailed several proposals under consideration. The first, and, according to Menashe, the one that enjoys the most support among the policymakers, is a straight-up imitation of Iran’s methods: take American citizens, preferably military personnel, captive, and demand financial or political concessions from Washington.
The second, slightly less popular, policy, involves manufacturing tensions in the form of Americans “caught” spying against Israel or otherwise engaged in illegal activities against the Jewish State, also to generate diplomatic leverage. The third, and least likely to be adopted, calls for the torching of American consular facilities in the country, followed by claims that it was perpetrated by radicals, and that only by giving Israel billions of dollars, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital, and siding unequivocally with Israel in all international forums would empower the moderates to prevail.



We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz

Loading...

comments

Speaking

follow me

Follow by Email

translate

Share on Whatsapp


E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options


One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Tweets

Compliments

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

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

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

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review breaking the silence Cardozo Chanukah Christians conspiracy theories Cyprus Daphne Anson Davis report DCI-P double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada EoZNews eoztv Erekat EU Euro-Mid Observer Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness Haaretz hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Natural gas Nazi News nftp NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peter Beinart Petra MB poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Yemen zahran zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive