Ex-president Peres said fighting for life as condition worsens
Former president and prime minister Shimon Peres’s condition has significantly deteriorated over the past 24 hours, leaving the 93-year-old “fighting for his life,” according to sources and doctors who have been treating him since he suffered a serious stroke two weeks ago.Caroline Glick: Ending the Palestinian Exception
“Peres’s condition continues to be very serious and the lack of progress at this stage is a source for worry,” doctors at the Sheba Medical Center outside Tel Aviv said Tuesday, according to reports carried by several Hebrew-language media outlets.
Doctors say his breathing, kidney function and several other indexes have dropped over the past few hours, raising concerns that he could be headed for multiple organ failure, according to reports.
“The president is fighting for his life,” a source close to Peres told AFP on condition of anonymity. “His health position is very, very difficult. His doctors are worried about his health.”
His spokesperson could not be reached for comment.
Peres, 93, was hospitalized at the Sheba Medical Center on September 13 after suffering a major stroke. He has been under sedation since then, with doctors reporting slight progress in his condition.
It was never about building “Palestine.”Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Holidays, Motivation and Shaheeds
This then brings us to the US and Europe, and their unstinting support for Palestinian demands for the release of terrorists. What are they thinking? Earlier this month Prof. Eugene Kontorovich of Northwestern University Law School and the Kohelet Forum published a paper on the international community’s general interpretation of paragraph 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Protocol from 1949. The relevant clause states that an “Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”
As Kontorovich noted, this clause the forms the basis of the international community’s constant refrain that Israeli communities built beyond the 1949 armistice lines in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria are illegal.
In other words, it forms the basis of the West’s case against Israel and, by extraction, for the Palestinians’.
Just last week during his speech before the UN General Assembly, Obama attacked Israel for its continued settlement activity.
Kontorovich investigated the same international community’s view of communities built by citizens of a dozen other states in lands occupied by their governments in armed conflicts.
He noted that the activities of Moroccans in the Western Sahara, of Turks in Northern Cyprus, of Indonesians in East Timor and of other nationals in multiple other territories are legally indistinguishable from Israel’s activities in the areas it took control over from Jordan in the 1967 Arab-Israel war.
In none of these other cases, however, has the US, EU, UN or any other international or national authority ever invoked the Fourth Geneva Convention or otherwise claimed that those activities are a breach of international law. In other words, the legal basis for the criminalization and political condemnation of Israel in relation to the Palestinians is entirely specious and discriminatory.
In other words, US support for the so-called twostate solution, like the international community’s support for it, is really just a means of discriminating against Israel. It does not advance the cause of peace or justice, for Israelis or for Palestinians. It merely empowers terrorist gangsters to kill Israelis and extort both the Palestinians and the international community.
When the Muslim holidays coincide with Jewish or Christian festivals, the maelstrom in the heart of potential terrorists is at an even higher level than usual, because the two religions which monopolize the public space were supposed to have disappeared, according to Islam. The gap between reality and the Islamic message of the destruction of Christianity and Judaism drives some of the jihadists to the point of madness in their readiness to attack and bring about the realization of the Koranic ideal "the religion of Allah is Islam." (19:3)
It follows that the common denominator of all Jihadists today and the topic that feeds their frenzy, is the commandment to take part in Jihad. Each terrorist feels – whether he is part of a cell or one of those called lone wolves – that his individual duty is Jihad for Allah in order to eliminate the heretics, whether or not he can complete the job and even if he pays with his life.
As far as he is concerned, this is the right and logical thing to do. Who would not sacrifice temporal life in a miserable and cruel world for eternal life in a world of pleasure?
Despite all this, there are other considerations that motivate not a few attackers, such as the desire for revenge or a need to prove courage and manliness. Women terrorists usually are trying to escape a cruel fate at the hands of family who feel their honor has been sullied because of the liberal behavior of the women of the family.
There are a good many internet sites that support the idea of the paradise awaiting the shaheed and color it with green grass, blooming trees and blue waters. When juxtaposed with the arid deserts that characterize most of the Arab and Islamic world, that verdant picture can exert a good deal of influence.
The world must own up to the truth about the terror attacks perpetrated by Muslims, admit the motivation behind them and the goals which bring them to go out to war against those whom they perceive as enemies.
Terror Prevention Isn’t Impossible
What to do? The answer is two-fold.Daphne Anson: Ex-CIA Officer on Islamic Antisemitism in Europe (video)
First, the FBI needs to get larger to handle the terrorism caseload. As Politico noted, the FBI is a fairly small agency whose mission extends far beyond fighting terrorism: “Its agent corps of around 13,000 is roughly equivalent to the size of the Chicago Police Department and about 40 percent of the size of the NYPD. Despite the billions poured into counterterrorism, the agent corps is only about 20 percent larger than it was before 9/11, and those ranks have been worn down: Washington’s budget squabbles and sequestration led in recent years to a lengthy hiring freeze.”
Second, local police departments need to step up. Michael Shaheen, former deputy commissioner for counterterrorism at the New York Police Department, wrote that other police departments, including those across the river in New Jersey, need to emulate the NYPD by devoting more resources to antiterrorism investigations. He notes: “Most local police departments will say they lack resources to pursue such leads — but that is simply no longer an excuse. As was done in the NYPD, priorities must be set and assets re-deployed to meet the terrorist threat — and that means deploying experienced detectives capable of running investigations against potential terrorist cells. Departments need informants, undercovers, and wiretaps. That is what it is all about. It can be done and should be done now in most major cities within the United States.”
Given the magnitude of the terrorist threat that we face–and Shaheen believes that “the threat of terrorism in the nation’s homeland is worse now that it has been since 2001”–we simply cannot allow a “business as usual” mindset on the part of law enforcement and the legislators who fund their operations. Federal and local agencies need to devote the necessary resources to stop future attacks–and appropriators from Congress to the city council need to make sure they have what they need. Even so, law enforcement will not be able to prevent every attack, but they should at least be able to keep more suspects who were already on their radar screen as potential terrorists from carrying out actual attacks.
Former CIA operative Clare Lopez is a strategic policy and intelligence expert specialising on such issues as the Middle East, national defense, weapons of mass destruction, and counterterrorism. Vice President of the non-profit forum the Intelligence Summit, she teaches courses at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies (CI Centre) on the Iranian Intelligence Services, and the expanding influence of Jihad and Sharia in Europe and the U.S. She's co-author of two published books on Iran.
At the current OCSE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) Conference in Warsaw regarding Human Rights she pulled no punches in attributing the "resurgent and savage waves of antisemitism" in Europe, especially France, to Muslims and cites as a driver "scriptural writing of the Islamic canon".
NY Bomber Rahami Received ‘Islamic Education’ at Taliban-Linked Madrasa
The Guardian, citing a Pakistani security source, has confirmed that New York and New Jersey bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami spent time receiving “Islamic education” at a Taliban-linked seminary in Pakistan during his extended stay there.Newly Released Transcript Proves Orlando Terrorist Was Avenging ISIS
Rahami, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Afghan descent whose writings strongly indicate a jihadist influence behind his plan to bomb multiple locations in the tri-state area, reportedly attended jihadist lectures and had some involvement to the Taliban community in Quetta, a known terror hotbed in Pakistan.
The Guardian identifies the school in question as the Kaan Kuwa Naqshbandi madrasa in the outskirts of Quetta, which the official noted Rahami may have visited on two separate occasions in which he was in Pakistan – in 2011 and 2013. On one visit, Rahami reportedly stayed for three weeks, indulging in “lectures and Islamic education.” The official revealing the information told The Guardian he felt the government was being overly careful in releasing information regarding Rahami’s time in the country, trying to “hide all the details of his visits to Quetta” instead.
Shortly after his second visit to Pakistan in 2013, Rahami’s father Mohammed reported him to the FBI as a potential terrorist threat. Ahmad Rahami had a fight with his siblings and was charged with stabbing his brother, but those charges were dropped after the family refused to continue on with the case. The FBI investigated Ahmad Rahami but told his father they found no evidence of jihadi radicalism, so the father recanted his complaint. The nature of the domestic dispute in question remains unknown. Mohammed Rahami insists the FBI failed his family, while FBI officials have said that Rahami merely called his son a “terrorist” while providing no evidence or mentioning his reportedly obsessive viewing of jihadi materials online, giving law enforcement little to work with.
Orlando police released the full transcripts of terrorist Omar Mateen’s phone conversations with police the night he killed 49 people and injured 53 others on June 12 at a gay nightclub in Orlando.Two Teenage Girls Arrested In France After Planning To Carry Out Terror Atrocity
Throughout multiple conversations with authorities, Mateen repeatedly states he sought to kill and terrorize Americans as payback for drone strikes in Iraq that killed a key ISIS leader, Abu Waheeb, in early May.
Mateen told the negotiator that Waheeb’s death is what “set him off.” Rukmini Callamachi of The New York Times explained his fixation with Waheeb reveals how intensely interested Mateen was in the terror group, as the leader is a lesser-known figure in ISIS.
Mateen repeatedly told police he wanted to send a message to Americans and get them to stop aerial drone strikes against ISIS forces.
“You have to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq,” Mateen said.
In another portion of the phone call, Mateen called Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev his “homeboy,” and when police asked the Orlando terrorist what his name was, he called himself an “Islamic soldier.”
Authorities are holding two teenage girls in France suspected of plotting to carry out a devastating terror attack.Israeli Professor: Palestinian Leaders Want One State, Not Two
The two girls, aged 17 and 19, are from Nice, the same city where the terrorist Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel killed 86 people in July with a truck. Bouhlel was from Tunisia.
Although law enforcement did not immediately find any weapons in the girls’ respective homes, they did discover the two were under the influence of Syrian jihadist Rachid Kassim, who was directing their actions and giving them terror guidance, The Local reports.
“They admitted they had been planning a violent attack under the influence of Rachid Kassim before abandoning their plans,” an investigation source told The Local
Of the two teenage girls, only one was known to police. The 17-year-old, a Muslim convert, had not been on any law enforcement radars prior to this incident. She was charged in September for associating with terrorists.
Palestinian Authority officials have been using a deceptive version of the “two states for two peoples” motto when they speak to different audiences, according to a leading Israeli scholar.Bibi’s Problem Is Still Obama
Eytan Gilboa, professor of international communications at Bar-Ilan University and former consultant to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, made the charge in his remarks at the 2016 National Israeli-American Conference held in Washington, DC this weekend.
More than 2,000 Israeli-Americans from around the country attended the conference. Gilboa’s panel, which attracted a standing-room only audience of about 150, also included Ron Prossor, Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations; Dennis Ross, a former US Mideast envoy; Koby Huberman, co-founder of Israel Peace Initiative; and Dana Weiss of Israel’s Channel 2 news.
Gilboa said that PA officials leave out the words “for two peoples” when speaking in Arabic about statehood. “That’s because they do not accept the idea that the Jews are a national people with a right to national self-determination,” Gilboa said. “They still do not recognize the right of Israel to exist as a permanent Jewish state.”
This Palestinian rejectionism, Gilboa said, is reinforced by “the PA’s official maps, which still do not show Israel, and the textbooks they use in their schools, which do not recognize Israel’s right to exist.”
While it’s not clear if either Trump or Clinton will gain much by their meetings with Netanyahu, the prime minister came away a big winner, at least for the moment. The willingness of both candidates to pose as Netanyahu’s friends indicates that, at least for now, the bipartisan pro-Israel consensus that is the foundation of the alliance remains intact. But what Netanyahu must ponder is not so much whether he can count on future support from either Trump or Clinton but what impact these pledges might have on a lame-duck Obama administration’s willingness to torch the alliance on its way out the door?IsraellyCool: Photo Of The Day: Bibi Netanyahu’s Speech Critic
The really interesting dynamic here is whether, like Kerry, Obama is so angry at Israel that he’s willing to end his time in office by stabbing it in the back at the UN. Last week, former State Department staffer and veteran peace processer Dennis Ross predicted that if Trump were elected rather than Clinton, Obama might be more inclined to do something that would hamstring his successor and create pressure on Israel via a UN resolution that couldn’t be walked back by the next president. But assuming that Clinton means what she says about opposing UN intervention in the conflict, it’s not clear whether that will deter Obama or convince him to act against the Jewish state no matter who wins in November.
Netanyahu would do well not to completely trust either candidate. But considering that Obama came into office pledging to create more “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel, Trump and Clinton’s statements both seem to portend at the very least a slight improvement on the last eight years regardless of the outcome of the election. If Kerry’s intemperate outburst about trying to rally the world to crack down on Israel is any indication, the problem remains of how to get through the next 116 days without the U.S. helping to pass the kind of resolution that will brand Israel as an outlaw state. Until then, Obama still has the power to create havoc in the Middle East, and there may be nothing that Trump, Clinton, or Netanyahu can do about it.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu posted this on Facebook today:Saudi paper chides Palestinians for rejecting Netanyahu’s Knesset invite
This is a good opportunity to thank Matthew and all of you for your support and blessings. It was my great privilege to stand in front of the representatives of all the countries of the world and tell them the truth about Israel
I’m willing to bet Matthew was not a huge fan of Abbas’ speech.
A Saudi daily newspaper mildly chided the Palestinian leadership and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for “automatically” rejecting an invitation by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address the Israeli Knesset.In Coverage of UN Speeches, New NY Times Bureau Chief Peter Baker Follows Old Pattern
Netanyahu issued the invitation to Abbas on Thursday during his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Calling for a return to direct negotiations and a stop to Palestinian incitement, the Israeli leader said he would in turn speak to the Palestinian parliament in Ramallah.
In its editorial published Sunday, the Saudi Gazette wrote that the Palestinians “should not be too quick to dismiss the invitation,” arguing that it was “reminiscent of the one issued by former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to visit Israel — and the rest is history.”
The paper said the invite led to the Camp David Accords — and the signing of a peace treaty — which “demonstrated that negotiations with Israel were possible and that progress could be made through sustained efforts at communication and cooperation.”
Contrary to Baker's attempt to impose an equivalence between the two speeches, then, there was a qualitative difference between them. Readers of The New York Times, though, were provided with only one hint of a difference between the two leaders. This came in a separate set of articles, also by Peter Baker, published online shortly before the two leaders gave their speeches. The opening sentence of one piece made clear it was about "Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority." That's straightforward enough. By contrast, the opening sentence of the other piece signaled it was about "Benjamin Netanyahu, the brash prime minister of Israel."Passive-Aggressive Obama Facebook Tags Everyone but Netanyahu in UN Group Photo (satire)
CAMERA has previously drawn attention to the newspaper's habit of editorializing by employing derogatory adjectives in news stories about Israelis. In one month in 2013, for example, supposedly objective news reporters charged Israeli leaders with being "shrill," "stubborn," "cynical," "strident," "abrasive," and "derisive."
And now Peter Baker does the same, gratuitously inserting the word "brash" into the Israeli prime minister's title, but refraining from such subjective language when describing the Palestinian leader. (If he wanted to, Baker could surely find plenty of observers who describe Abbas with unflattering adjectives.)
Whether wiping out actual distinctions in speeches, or imposing particular opinions when characterizing the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, recent reporting by the new Jerusalem bureau chief has left those hoping for a more evenhanded approach by the New York Times continuing to wait for an improvement.
In yet another sign of their frosty relationship, U.S. President Barack Obama neglected to tag Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a group Facebook photo of world leaders at the recent United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.As Gaza spirals downward, the IDF watches, digs in for the next fight
Calling the incident “a grave insult to every Jew, Holocaust victim and democracy-loving fighter of global terror,” Netanyahu told the Sheldon Adelson-owned Israeli newspaper, Israel Hayom, that “Obama tagged every world leader except me – including genocidal Islamo-fascists like Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and absolute nobodies like Slovakia’s Andrej Kiska!”
The perceived slight follows years of mounting diplomatic tensions between the two leaders over Iran’s nuclear program and Palestinian statehood, and analysts are calling the latest incident one of the pettiest yet, with a foreign policy expert at the Brookings Institution saying it even tops Obama’s infamous Facebook ‘unfriending’ of the Israeli PM last year.
According to the New York Times, Netanyahu subsequently tried to call Obama to ascertain whether “Tag-gate” was intentional or simply an oversight. “It went to voicemail after one ring, so I know he saw the call and pressed decline,” the Israeli leader reportedly complained to an aide within earshot of a NYT reporter, before adding, “Thank god we’ve only got a few months left with this jihadi-appeasing anti-Semite!”
The Gaza Strip and its residents are barreling towards disaster, brought on by crippling unemployment, a nonexistent economy, water and electricity shortages, a growing population and the “Islamic dictatorship” of Hamas, while the IDF is trying — and thus far succeeding — to keep the coastal enclave’s terrorist leaders deterred and contained, a senior IDF officer from the Southern Command said Sunday.PreOccupiedTerritory: Waqf Horrified To Discover Every Moment Of Jewish Day A Talmudic Ritual (satire)
The army official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, rattled off worrying statistics from the Gaza Strip: 41.2 percent unemployment, the highest unemployment rate in the world, according to the World Bank; a per capita GDP of NIS 6,488 ($1,725), which if Gaza were a country, would put it near the lowest in the world, between Haiti ($1,750) and Burkina Faso ($1,724), according to the International Monetary Fund; an economy that is mostly made up of foreign aid and charity from international organizations; and a population of 1.9 million — and growing.
Moreover, reconstruction following the 2014 Gaza war, known in Israel as Operation Protective Edge, has been slow, in part because Hamas has siphoned off a substantial portion of the reconstruction materials in order to create new attack, defense and smuggling tunnels, according to Israeli authorities.
“Hamas is not rebuilding Gaza, it’s rebuilding its military capabilities,” the officer told reporters.
As Hamas is working around the clock to rearm and dig deeper fortifications and attack tunnels, the IDF and Defense Ministry are shoring up Israel’s protection against the threat of terror attacks and rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and preparing for the next round of conflict, he said.
Members of the Islamic religious council governing affairs at the Temple Mount compound found to their shock and dismay today that not only do Jews who visit the site perform Talmudic rituals, but that virtually every second of observant Jews’ lives is grounded in and governed by the Talmud.Imminent and ominous: The Facebook-Jihadi nexus
Waqf officials have raised frequent and voluble objections to the behavior of Jews on the Temple Mount, the plateau on which both ancient Jewish Temples once stood and which now houses the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. The accusations of Talmudic rituals have been used to incite violence against Jews throughout the country, and formed a central element of Palestinian rhetoric during and immediately before the current spate of stabbing attempts targeting Israelis.
To their chagrin, Waqf members have now been informed that Jews are continuously performing Talmudic rituals as part of their daily routine, from the moment they wake up in the morning to the moment they close their eyes at night – and often in the middle of the night if they are for some reason awake. The revelation has shaken the Waqf to its core, and the group agrees it must find a way to counter these powerful rituals that are obviously so dangerous that they are used to justify the current Knife Intifada.
“Talmudic ritual is everywhere,” observed a perturbed Ayama Diqedd. “Jews do it even when it looks like they’re doing nothing else. It could be a consciousness thing, just an internal effort to perceive the divine in things – something that’s completely invisible to anyone looking on. Even our vigilante – I mean vigilant – guards whose job it is to prevent prayer and other rituals near Al Aqsa cannot hope to catch every instance. It’s horrible.”
However, although Kutnicki and Newby recognize that Israel has long been at the epicenter of the battle against militant Jihadi Islam, they do not limit the focus to the Israeli sphere alone. They expand their study to the pernicious impact of this radical ideology world-wide, with particular emphasis on the West in general, and the US in particular.Palestinian activists boycott Facebook for two hours
But the real crux of “Banned” is the exposure of the divergent and discriminatory standards that Facebook appears to employ in its attitude towards posts, pages and groups that are sympathetic towards militant Islam on the one hand, and those critical of it, on the other.
Kutnicki and Newby catalogue numerous cases in which Facebook groups that opposed, or warn of, the malevolent aspects have been removed—often without reason or explanation. By contrast, posts that expound venomous—even violent—pro-Jihadi content have been allowed to continue to spread their hateful message—despite complaints as to their objectionable and intimidating nature.
Similar bias prevails against pro-Israeli postings and in favor of anti-Israel ones. Indeed the authors relate in accurate detail a case, which I personally experienced, when a fast growing pro-Israel group I established, “Support Israel’s Intellectual Warriors”, was subjected to a late night barrage of hard-core porn and repulsive horror images from Muslim sources.
As Kutnicki and Newby report, I immediately expunged the offending material, but Facebook removed the group stating I had violated its standards. Explanations from me and numerous outraged protests from angry members were all to no avail. The group was never reinstated—thus punishing the victim of the actions of the transgressors.
In summary then, “Banned” should be seen as a timely clarion call to all lovers of liberty, tolerance and diversity—and a jarring wake up call for action by the West—before it is too late
Palestinian activists called on Facebook users to boycott Facebook and instead post tweets on Twitter under the hashtag #FBCensorsPalestine between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Sunday to protest the closure of a number of Palestinian Facebook accounts.Facebook apologizes for suspending Palestinian journalists’ pages
Facebook, in cooperation with the Israeli government, has disabled over the past several months a number of Palestinian accounts that it has said “promote violence,” including those of top Hamas officials, such as Ezzat al-Rishq and Salah Bardawail.
Palestinian activists say Facebook intensified its campaign to close Palestinian accounts on Friday, disabling accounts of multiple editors of the al-Quds al-Ikbariyyah News Network and Shehab News Network pages in addition to those of many activists and journalists.
Facebook executives, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan met September 11 in Israel and agreed to work together to combat incitement.
Bassam Shweiki, a Palestinian activist from Hebron, who received notice on Sunday that his account has been disabled for three days, told The Jerusalem Post that Facebook is disabling “anything that smells Palestinian.”
Facebook apologized Monday after temporarily disabling accounts linked to two Palestinian news sites critical of Israel.IsraellyCool: AJ+ Defends Terror Supporters And Inciters
Facebook pages of a number of editors of Quds News Network were suspended for several hours last Friday, a campaigner said, in what the social media giant later called a “mistake.”
Pages linked to the Shehab News Agency were also disabled, an editor there said.
Quds has 5.2 million likes on Facebook, while Shehab has 6.35 million.
The Arabic versions of the online newspapers are supportive of the Hamas terror group and have been accused of incitement to violence against Israelis.
“The pages were removed in error and restored as soon as we were able to investigate,” Facebook said in a statement.
AJ+, that oh-so-edgy offshoot of Al Jazeera, has come out with a video bemoaning Facebook “blocking Palestinian media from sharing their views on the platform.”Jordan Imposes Media Blackout After Anti-Islam Cartoonist Assassinated
It is clear where Al Jizz Plus stands on this issue.
But let’s look at the pages featured in the video.
There’s Shehab News
the Hamas-affiliated news agency that is constantly publishing incitement and pro-terror posts.
Then there’s Quds News Network
..which does the same thing.
Jordan’s judiciary Monday slapped a media blackout on the murder of a Christian writer shot dead outside an Amman court where he faced charges over an anti-Islam cartoon.Support for writer’s assassin triggers alarm in Jordan
The information ministry said the aim was to preserve “the secrecy of the investigation” and that the blackout applied to both social and traditional media.
Nahed Hattar was hit by three bullets before the alleged assassin was arrested at the scene of Sunday’s shooting in Amman’s central Abdali district, official media said.
The assailant — bearded and robed like a conservative Muslim — shot the a 56-year-old as he made his way up the steps outside the court.
The gunman, identified as a 49-year-old Jordanian, gave himself up to police, a security source said.
A judicial source said on Sunday that the assailant was remanded for 15 days and charged with premeditated murder, meaning that he could face the death penalty if convicted.
The suspect had acted alone and was not linked to any “terrorist” group, a source close to his interrogation said, asking not to be named.
The arrest of a gunman directly after the assassination of writer Nahed Hattar in Amman on Sunday is no consolation to an increasingly troubled country that now must come to terms with its own extremism.Jordanian Author: U.S. Soldiers and Their Collaborators Are a Legitimate Target in Iraq
Hattar was shot on the steps of the Palace of Justice before a session of his trial for allegedly insulting Islam. He had posted on Facebook a cartoon of a bearded man from ISIS in bed with two women ordering God – shown as a kindly looking white-bearded man – to bring him wine and cashews. The cartoon flew in the face of the Muslim belief that God is not to be depicted.
After an uproar on social media, Hattar removed the cartoon and clarified that it was against ISIS, not against God. But the Jordanian government, in an apparent nod to the outcry, arrested him.
He was released on bail, and despite what relatives say were numerous threats against his life, the government did not offer him protection.
Until the shooting, Jordanians could perhaps still take some comfort in the fact that their country is a relative island of stability in a tumultuous region, which is punctuated by civil wars in neighboring Iraq and Syria.
Social problems and tensions could be blamed, among other things, on the strain of absorbing more than 630,000 registered refugees from Syria.
How Obama Sold the Iran Delusion
As the dusk closes in on Obama’s final months in office, its Iran delusion – the lynchpin, as Ben Rhodes himself said, of Obama’s foreign policy doctrine – carries on at full speed. Its latest manifestation surfaced in September, when the hapless Kerry announced alongside Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that Washington and Moscow would now be cooperating in the fight against ISIS – an astonishing reversal of a policy that, at least on paper, contained the demand for al-Assad’s removal. While the relationship between Iran and Russia has historically been tense, their interests in Syria align to the extent that Russian fighter planes have been using Iranian bases to launch horrific bombing raids against largely civilian targets.Congress looks to override Obama veto of 9/11 bill
The expectation that the JCPOA would lead to a new era of Iranian power has come to pass. The Iranians do not have carte blanche to do as they please, but any restraints on them are likely to be imposed by the Russians rather than the Americans. Clinton has remained silent on the details of her Iran policy, beyond making her basic scepticism about the Iran deal known, while Trump has used bombast to camouflage his reluctance to offend Russian President Vladimir Putin, warning the Iranians that their ships will be attacked if they approach US naval vessels, but studiously avoiding the implications that would come from such a clash.
What started as a delusion stoked by the Obama administration has now become a strategic point of departure. The two key measures for dealing with Iranian aggression – robust sanctions and military action – have virtually disappeared at a time when the war in Syria is intensifying and fears of a new Hezbollah assault on Israel are increasing. For that reason, the question of why so many American influencers bought into the Iran delusion will be superseded by a much more urgent one: how to stop the Iranian advance during the next American presidency.
Congress is poised to override President Barack Obama’s veto of a bill that would allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for the kingdom’s alleged backing of the terrorists who carried out the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.Iran Begins Mass Producing New Ballistic Missile After Successful Test Launch
The showdown is scheduled for Wednesday. Proponents of the legislation say they have enough votes for what would be a first: During his nearly two full terms in office, Obama has vetoed nine bills. None has been overridden.
While there is broad and bipartisan support for bucking the president, the bill’s opponents also are pushing hard to keep the measure from being enacted. They’re warning the US will become vulnerable to retaliatory litigation in foreign courts that could put American troops in legal jeopardy.
Here’s a look at the key issues surrounding the bill, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, as the veto override vote nears:
Iran released a video on Sunday showing the test-firing of a new ballistic missile that it has started mass producing, Tasnim News Agency reported.Iran Denies US Navy Harassment Allegations, Claims Patrol Ships Begged for it (satire)
The domestically-designed missile, named Zolfaqar, is seen successfully hitting its intended target in the recording, which was released hours after Iran’s defense minister inaugurated a production line for the weapon.
Zolfaqar is powered by solid fuel and can hit targets up to nearly 470 miles away “with pin-point accuracy,” according to Tasnim, which is affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The agency also claimed that the missile can resist electronic jamming signals.
Iran plans to put the Zolfaqar into service on March 2017, to coincide with the end of the current Iranian year.
The Pentagon charged in a report released last month that Iran had significantly upgraded its ballistic missile capabilities since last year’s nuclear deal. Weeks later, Emanuele Ottolenghi, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s recent visit to Latin America was partially intended to boost Iran’s ballistic missile program.
As the US military continues to accuse the Islamic Republic of harassing US Navy ships in the Persian Gulf, Tehran maintains that American vessels are actually leading Iranian forces on.
“These American military officials: their lips say ‘no’ but their ships say ‘yes’,” Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Freddie Farhadi asserted. “American patrol ships are the whores of the high seas. You got a bunch of horny sailors, stuck together on a giant tin can, thousands of miles from the nearest happy ending from a Chinese hooker at a massage parlor. Of course they’re gonna want us to show them a good time. Nothing will make you forget how long it’s been since you’ve gotten laid faster than seven Iranian fast attack boats blasting salt water in your face,” Farhadi added.
In response to the escalating tensions, Donald Trump stated that “Those Iranians are so rude. No class, folks. You want class? Just check out the gold-plated, thronelike chairs in my Trump Tower office. I use the same interior designer that Saddam Hussein used for his palaces. Now that guy knew how to handle smart ass Persians: bomb the shit out of them now, ask questions never.”
Meanwhile Hillary Clinton claimed that “since Iran hasn’t donated a single cent to the Clinton Foundation, I’m in the unusual position of having to actually speak my mind. So, I will deliver an instantly forgettable statement as soon I receive medical treatment for another undisclosed illness that I will fight like hell to make sure you never learn about.”