Balfour 100 - Website
May I offer you our heartiest thanks - I am sure that when the history of this time will be written it will be justifiably said that the name of the greatest House in Jewry was associated with the granting of the Magna Carta of Jewish liberties.Red tape, blunders keep Balfour Declaration away from the homeland it promised
Balfour 100 is the official tribute of the British Jewish community marking the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, issued on November 2nd, 1917.
Balfour 100 was initiated by Lord Jacob Rothschild and is managed by a Steering Committee representing Jewish communal organisations.
The Balfour 100 tribute is a comprehensive set of activities including a range of digital resources, educational programmes, communal events, and the Balfour 100 Tribute Lecture by Professor Simon Schama.
Balfour 100 acknowledges with gratitude the foresight of Lord Arthur Balfour and the British government of Lloyd George. In the midst of the Great War, they looked to the future and chose to recognise the longing of the Jewish people to re-establish its national homeland in the land of Israel. We express our deep appreciation to all those British leaders in the subsequent one hundred years, who have shared in their vision.
It took decades to bring the Balfour Declaration, which enshrined London’s support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine, to fruition. Bringing the actual document to Israel for a second visit may take even longer.
Plans to bring the Balfour Declaration to Tel Aviv for its second-ever display in Israel were announced by the Israeli government six and a half years ago, but they are held up in a dust of renovation rubble and bureaucratic misunderstandings, with no horizon for getting it to Tel Aviv for at least another year.
The document, which was issued exactly 99 years ago Wednesday, is now expected to arrive in Israel in 2018. That is just in time for the country’s 70th anniversary — but one year after the declaration’s centennial in 2017.
Originally, the Israeli government expected to host the document in 2015 on the occasion of the grand opening of the renovated Independence Hall in Tel Aviv, where it was supposed to be displayed together with Lord Arthur Balfour’s desk.
In a press release issued in April 2013, the Prime Minister’s Office announced that then-cabinet secretary Tzvi Hauser “received agreement in principle from the British Library for the original copy of the Balfour Declaration.”
The British Library, however, insists that no such agreement was ever granted. Indeed, Israel never formally asked for a loan, according to library spokesperson Ben Sanderson.
“We received an initial enquiry from the Israeli government, as to the conditions that need to be met to enable a loan of the item,” Sanderson wrote in an email to The Times of Israel. “The Library responded to this request, outlining our loans policy and indicating the issues that need to be considered in order to facilitate the loan of the Declaration. We have yet to receive a formal loan request. Any decision on a loan of the item will ultimately be made by the British Library Board.”
Once a formal loan request is made, Sanderson added, “we’ll be able to give proper consideration to whether the institution making the request is able to fulfill the requirements of our loans policy.”
Apologizing for the Balfour Declaration Won't Achieve a Two-State Solution
If love means never having to say you are sorry, then the renewed push for the U.K. to “atone” for the 1917 Balfour Declaration is yet another reminder of the bad blood between Israelis and Palestinians—and of how elusive peace remains.What Is The State Department’s Position On The Balfour Declaration?
Today, on 99th anniversary of the letter, which endorsed “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people,” Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, has published an op-ed urging Britain to apologize for the document, which was incorporated into the British Mandate for Palestine.
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“In order to build a future of peace between Israel, Palestine and the rest of the world, justice must be honored,” Erekat argues. “The United Kingdom cannot continue to avoid its historic responsibility in Palestine.” President Mahmoud Abbas also raised the issue at U.N. General Assembly in September. “This is the least Britain can do,” he said.
In the U.K. last week, a 2013 campaign supporting this plea was relaunched at the House of Lords. “Britain’s legacy in Palestine marked an historical breach against the aspirations of the people of Palestine and shattered its hopes for freedom and self-determination,” the campaigners from the Palestine Return Centre argue. “Our mission is to seek an official apology from the British government for issuing the catastrophic Balfour Declaration.”
It runs on into more yakety-yak about Jews building homes. Here’s a full transcript (which starts before where I cut the video to start). You can see the whole thing starting around 14:30 on the State Dept website:Balfour Declaration Q State Daily Press Briefing November 2 2016
QUESTION: And finally, I want to ask you, today marked the 99th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. I am sure you’re aware of the Balfour Declaration.
MR KIRBY: I am. I studied history in college.
QUESTION: Which basically launched this thing into – began this whole process and so on.
MR KIRBY: Yeah.
QUESTION: And I wonder, the Palestinians are going to sort of demand that Britain apologizes for the Balfour Declaration. Will you support them in that effort? Will you support the Palestinians if they go to the UN to say that Britain must apologize for that and must do everything that it can to rectify the wrongs that have been inflicted on the Palestinians as a result?
MR KIRBY: This is the first I’ve heard that there’s an interest in doing that at the UN, Said, so I’m not going to get ahead of proclamations or announcements or proposals that haven’t been made yet at the UN. Look, I’ll tell you, not that I’m saying history is not important. Believe me, as a history major and still a lover of history, I get the importance of history. But I’ll tell you where we’re focused is on the future here. And this gets back to your first question about settlement activity. We want to see a path forward to a two-state solution, and the Secretary still believes that that path can be found. But it requires leadership and it requires a forward vision in the leadership there.
So we are very much wanting to look forward here to a meaningful two-state solution, and I think we’re a little less interested in proclamations about the past. Not that I’m saying the past isn’t important or that we’re not a product of history. I am not at all suggesting that. I’m just saying that we are more focused on moving forward.
QUESTION: So okay, recognizing that —
MR KIRBY: I knew something was coming.
QUESTION: — does the Administration have a position on the Balfour Declaration – good, bad, indifferent?
MR KIRBY: I don’t know.
Obama’s foreign policy has won
In the past few years, however, these countries have experienced a disaster: Oil prices have dropped by more than 50 percent compared to the situation five years ago, following the huge increase in production which was caused by American pressure (yes, Obama’s pressure) on Saudi Arabia and OPEC to pump more from the bowels of the earth. Saudi Arabia agreed, although it would be negatively affected, because of its dependence on the US and because the sharp drop in oil prices critically damaged the Iranian economy. In Iran, it prompted the government to sign the nuclear agreement, and in Russia it was reflected in moves aimed at signaling to the West (without going too far) that it is still a player which should be considered.J-Street 'anti-Trump' video backfires
It was actually Obama’s policy which made Russia weaker and led to a rise in the “international fever.” This is similar to the difference between the cause of an illness and the temperature it creates. Acetaminophen can bring down your temperature, but can't cure the actual illness. The weaker Russia becomes, the more eager it is to raise the international fever, and not the other way around.
Even when it comes to the Middle East, the situation is the opposite of what is usually perceived by the broad public. Obama refused to send his soldiers to a ground war on ISIS, and many believed that he was losing precious time in which the Islamic State organization would managed to create a strong basis in the Middle East. Instead, he stuck to a strategy of building a local power (mainly Iraqi and Kurdish). These days, it appears that he was right and that this strategy is succeeding. We see a direct lesson here from the mistake made by his predecessor, President George W. Bush, who did not settle for toppling Saddam Hussein but also dismantled the local military powers, thereby allowing the rise of ISIS.
Violent talk is not similar to leadership; deliberation and dialogue are not a sign of weakness. The illusion that the fever is the illness makes many people underestimate and misunderstand Obama’s policy—a policy which eventually weakened Russia and led to the elimination of key radical elements in our region. It’s no wonder that Russian President Vladimir Putin supports Trump. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
The organization J-Street, seen as representing the Jewish far-Left in the US, has publicized in recent days a video which attempts to label Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as holding positions equivalent to those of the Israeli Right.Uncovering Trump's Connections to the Settlement Movement
The video, however, may have backfired for J-Street, as it has gone viral - and representatives of the Trump camp claim that it only serves to bolster support for Trump.
Representatives of the Trump campaign in Israel told Arutz Sheva: “We thank J-Street for saving us the budget for another video about the warm relationship between the US Republican Party and the State of Israel.” (h/t Elder of Lobby)
WATCH: J-Street Makes Best Pro Trump Israel Video Ever
There’s a pretty big gulf between how J-Street Jews think of Israel and indigenous Jewish lands and how I think. This video brings that gulf into sharp relief.Trump’s strong connections to the indigenous lands of the Jews: Judea and Samaria
J-Street made what they thought was an anti Trump video to scare American Jews. I saw the video and immediately thought what a great pro Trump video it is! All I had to do was change the sound track to something a bit more exciting, add a couple of annotations and voila: my massively pro-Trump video.
Trump Releases Israel Policy Platform
The Trump campaign released a 16-point policy document Wednesday outlining the candidate’s positions on key issues in U.S.-Israel relations, including security aid, relations with the Palestinians, the European Union, and the United Nations, the movement to boycott Israel, and the Iran deal.Advisers: Trump will move US Embassy to Jerusalem
Announced via Medium by campaign advisors Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman, the platform contains one of the most detailed policy statements released so far by the Trump campaign. It envisions a sharp departure from U.S.-Israel relations under the Obama administration, which were often defined by diplomatic crises and administration attacks on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The platform’s foreign policy views on Israel are more in line with traditional conservative thinking than Trump’s statements on NATO and Russia, among others.
The document declares that “Military cooperation and coordination between Israel and the U.S. must continue to grow,” adding that a Trump administration would not be constrained in the amount and kind of aid it provides Israel by the Memorandum of Understanding reached this year between Israel and the Obama administration.
The platform commits a Trump administration to combating anti-Israel initiatives in the UN and by the EU, and calls boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) activism on U.S. college campuses “inherently anti-Semitic.”
The sharpest break with Obama and Clinton policy on Israel is reserved for the Palestinians. Whereas the Obama administration has sought to champion the Palestinian cause and has, as a matter of policy, refused to criticize the Palestinians for rejecting diplomacy or for inciting violence and terror, Trump lays blame for the failure to achieve peace squarely on them.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's top advisers on Israel, David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, released an article on Wednesday detailing Trump's unequivocal support for Israel.Unaffilitated Jewish Newspaper Group Endorses Trump, Citing Clinton’s ‘Obamian Threat to Israel; Corruption, Greed and Lies’
The elaborate plan, which was posted on self-publishing platform Medium, includes recognition of Jerusalem as the indivisible capital of Israel and the lifting of any restrictions on U.S. defense aid to Israel.
"The U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state, and Mr. Trump's administration will move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem," Friedman and Greenblatt wrote.
The advisers stated that "the U.S. should cut off funds for the U.N. Human Rights Council, a body dominated by countries presently run by dictatorships that seems solely devoted to slandering the Jewish state.
"UNESCO's attempt to disconnect the State of Israel from Jerusalem is a one-sided attempt to ignore Israel's 3,000-year bond to its capital city, and is further evidence of the enormous anti-Israel bias of the United Nations."
The Long Island Jewish World newspaper has endorsed Donald Trump for president.Netanyahu, on 2015 election day, claimed US part of scheme to unseat him — report
In an editorial set to appear in its Nov. 4 issue, the newspaper is backing the Republican presidential nominee over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, due to “her consistently poor judgment as secretary of state and the Obamian threat she poses to Israel,” among other reasons.
“Trump has engaged in troubling behavior, to be sure, but he brings to the national scene the ability to reset the table – domestically, internationally, economically,” the newspaper states. “Hillary Clinton would bring with her a failed career characterized by corruption, greed and lies.”
The editorial continues, “Clinton has no business being near the White House because of an apparently systemic lack of integrity and, even more alarmingly, her apparent inability to determine where the ethical ‘line in the sand’ starts, much less when she has crossed it.”
In March 2015, as Israelis went to the polls, Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly accused the Obama administration of taking part in a vast conspiracy to topple him.Danny Danon: A whole new level of absurdity: UNESCO and the obsession with Israel
According to a report published Wednesday in the daily Haaretz, Netanyahu told an unnamed journalist in a phone call that “what’s happening today is election stealing” and claimed that “nothing like this has ever happened in any democracy anywhere.”
Sources close to Netanyahu denied the report, suggesting that it may have emerged from Nazi sympathies among Haaretz’s owners.
In the final days before the elections, polls indicated that the opposition Zionist Union faction could win more seats than Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party and go on to be the linchpin of the next governing coalition. However, bucking the polls, Likud went ahead to win 30 seats to the Zionist Union’s 24, allowing Netanyahu to form a new coalition with relative ease and continue as prime minister.
But on the day of the election, when polls still indicated a possible victory for the Zionist Union, Netanyahu reportedly told the journalist by phone that he was “about to lose the election,” and alleged that the left-wing V15 group, a get-out-the-vote movement, “backed by the American administration,” had brought to Israel “super-software that locates voters.”
The recent UNESCO decisions to rewrite history shattered previous records for irrationality. UNESCO and its members passed resolutions recognizing a history where there is a Jerusalem without a Jewish people. Jerusalem without the Jewish people is like water without oxygen. It simply is not possible.Christian supporters of Israel plan to flood UNESCO with bibles
UNESCO was founded to celebrate the richness and diversity of cultures and heritages in our world. Instead, it has abandoned this seemingly noble calling for another mission: to ignore and rewrite the holy and undeniable connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem. What other people or nation has underdone the ridiculous questioning of their history and heritage by UNESCO nonetheless in the past year? The answer is obviously none.
The very notion of questioning and rewriting other people’s history is at odds with UNESCO’s stated goal to “build intercultural understanding through protection of heritage and support for cultural diversity.” When the eternal capital, not only of a state, but also of an entire people, is questioned and deemed illegitimate, there is no understanding; only bigotry. When the rights of a more than three-thousand-year-old people, not only to their city, but to their history as well, are overturned and deemed a farce, there is no ground for cultural diversity; only politically motivated anti-Israel slander.
As with so many of the United Nations’ bodies, organizations and committees, Israel has become such a target of criticism that even its ancient foundational stones are now called into question for the crime of merely existing as a sliver of religious tolerance and as a sliver of Jewish life in a Middle East tens of thousands of times the size of Jerusalem and Israel itself.
A group of evangelical Christians has called upon members of the faith to mail bibles to the UNESCO leadership in Paris in response to the recent UNESCO resolutions which ignore Jewish and Christian ties to the Temple Mount.US pans expansion of Jerusalem's contested Jewish neighborhood of Gilo
In an appeal on its website, the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem asked “Christians all over the globe to take a Bible, use a highlighter and mark some of the many passages where it speaks of ‘Jerusalem’ and the ‘Temple,’ and then mail it to the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.”
The call also states, “We are hoping to inundate UNESCO with tens of thousands of Bibles to drive home the message that Jews and Christians have a much more genuine, historic connection to Jerusalem and the Temple than Muslims.”
The website provides the address of Michael Worbs, the Chairperson of the Executive Board of UNESCO, to which the bibles may be mailed, and recommends that the senders include a letter of disapproval.
The ICEJ, a Christian Zionist organization, was founded by evangelical Christians in 1980 with the stated goal of showing support for the modern state of Israel. According to the group’s website, it represents churches and denominations around the world and has branches in 80 countries.
Nearly six weeks after abruptly postponing a municipal planning meeting to approve housing construction in Jerusalem’s contested Gilo neighborhood while the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with US President Barack Obama, the project was partially approved on Wednesday night.UNRWA Report Ignores Hamas Threat, Blames Israel for Security Measures
Citing diplomatic delicacy at the time, Jerusalem’s Planning and Construction Committee’s Chairman Meir Turgeman said a brief moratorium was called on all politically-charged decisions to approve construction in Jewish communities beyond the Green Line.
The September meeting was intended to discuss the construction of some 770 units in Gilo, although only 181 were approved on Wednesday.
In July, the US, EU and UN criticized Israel for building plans there as counterproductive to peace negotiations for a future Palestinian state with a capital in east Jerusalem.
Wednesday’s approval was swiftly met with criticism by US State Department spokesman John Kirby, who has previously said the development “raises serious questions about Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful, negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.”
On November 2, 2016, Pierre Krähenbühl, the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), presented UNRWA's report to the UN General Assembly's Special Political and Decolonization Committee. The report presents a one-sided, political account that lays all blame on Israel while avoiding accountability of Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and UNRWA itself for the situation of Palestinian refugees.#ExpelSaudi Arabia from the UN Human Rights Council
The 36 page report only mentions Hamas once, and in a context which ignores Hamas launching thousands of rockets against Israel, diverting materials designated for reconstruction of Gaza to terror tunnels and rocket constructions, and violating the rights of Palestinians within Gaza:
"2. On the political stage, the Palestinian national consensus Government, formed in 2014 following an agreement on 23 April 2014 between Fatah and Hamas, faced considerable challenges and was unable to fully exercise leadership in the Gaza Strip owing to a lack of political unity. Civil servants employed by the de facto authorities continued to receive only partial salaries, a state of affairs that undermined service delivery and created tensions with Palestinian Authority employees.
3. Security remained volatile with recurring incidents, the firing of rockets and frequent unrest..."
- The report never mentions UNRWA staff who have incited Palestinians to murder Israelis on social media and celebrated terrorist attacks against Israelis
- The report notes Israel restricts entry of goods into Gaza while ignoring the context that Hamas regularly confiscates resources to dig terror tunnels and manufacture rockets:
Assailant shot dead as he attempts to stab soldiers — army
Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian assailant as he attempted to stab them near the West Bank settlement of Ofra, the Israeli military said.Suspects nabbed for 2015 firebombing that wounded 3-year-old Israeli
The Palestinian approached the servicemen with a knife near a bus stop outside the settlement northeast of Ramallah, where the soldiers had been standing guard, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
In response, the soldiers opened fire at the attacker, killing him, the army said.
“There were no injuries among our forces,” the IDF added.
The assailant was identified by the Palestinian health ministry as Maan Nasser al-Din Abu Qara, 23, from the nearby town of Mazra’a al-Qibliya.
A video from the scene was posted on social media shows the Abu Qara sprawled on the floor of the bus stop, with a knife next to his body.
More than a year after a firebombing attack on a car outside Ramallah left a 3-year-old moderately wounded, the Shin Bet security service announced Thursday that it had arrested three Palestinian men suspected of being responsible for the attack.Teen given life in prison for ‘cold-blooded murder’ of Dafna Meir
On October 23, 2015, an Israeli couple was driving with their three young children near the West Bank settlement of Beit El, north of Jerusalem, when their vehicle was attacked with Molotov cocktails.
The 3-year-old daughter was moderately wounded, while her parents and two siblings sustained light injuries. (In initial reports on the incident, the daughter was incorrectly identified as being four years old.)
On Thursday, the Shin Bet revealed that they had caught the alleged perpetrators of the attack, as part of a joint operation with the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police.
The suspects were named as: Khaled Badha, 43, from the Kedura refugee camp in Ramallah, who had previously served time in Israeli prison for rock throwing and taking part in riots; Abdel Majid Badra, 27, from Beituniah, in the central West Bank; and Louie Nimr, 34, of the el-Amari refugee camp in Ramallah.
According to the Shin Bet, the three suspects told interrogators that the firebombing had been “part of a series of terror attacks carried out by assailants in the area.”
An IDF court on Wednesday sentenced 16-year-old Palestinian Morad Bader Abdullah Adais to life imprisonment and an NIS 1.75 million (about $458,500) fine for the January slaying of Israeli mother of six, Dafna Meir, in her West Bank home.PreOccupiedTerritory: Tower Of Babel Clearly A Zionist Plot To Sow Division (satire)
Meir was murdered by Adais as she painted the outside of her home in the Hebron-area settlement of Otniel on January 17. Three of her children were home at the time.
A statement from the IDF said the court found that Adais should never be set free, calling it the appropriate punishment for carrying out such a murder “with abnormal cruelty and in cold blood.”
The court recommended that any panel which considers the case in the future not grant him early parole.
Evidence is emerging that the failure of the collaborative project known as the Tower of Babel was the work of Zionists trying to weaken civilization by exacerbating differences, local sources reported today.Palestinians warn bringing train to Western Wall will ‘explode’ conflict
The sudden inability of workers on the edifice to communicate with one another in the same language resulted in cessation of the infrastructure project and a fracturing of society into separate peoples with distinct languages, a development that some analysts say can only be explained by an engineered process conducted by an organization with immense technical skill and nefarious motives. Only the International Zionist Conspiracy answers to that description.
King Nimrod mobilized the population of Shinar to construct the tower and a surrounding metropolis as a unifying national project, but in the midst of the construction, the population that formerly spoke a single language, and shared one cultural context and set of assumptions, without warning began speaking vastly different tongues and discovering they had insufficient shared experience for meaningful interaction. The sudden onset of the linguistic dysfunction led analysts to point an accusing finger at the International Zionist Conspiracy and its Mossad operations arm, which has a reputation for sowing discord so that the Zionist movement and global Jewry can exploit the ensuing instability to consolidate assets and power.
“The fingerprints are everywhere,” noted Akkadian political commentator Jennitong II. “It takes massive logistics and planning to be able to pull off something of this scale and at this speed, and everyone knows there’s only one outfit with both the means and the motive to execute. It’s the most obvious anything has been since the Deluge back in Noah’s time ‘miraculously’ skipped the Holy Land. You have to be blind or lying to say that doesn’t look awfully suspicious.”
Palestinian officials said Wednesday reported plans to extend a train line to the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s highly sensitive Old City have the potential to lead to a dangerous conflagration, while also slamming a proposal to run the capital’s light rail to several settlements surrounding the city.Israeli official: Iran commands 25,000 Shi'ite fighters in Syria
On Tuesday, the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz was floating a plan to extend the new express train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem into the heart of the capital, where it would reach the holy site of Western Wall.
The line would be extended via a tunnel that would skirt the Old City and end near the sacred site.
In a statement, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry called on the international community and the United Nations, particularly UNESCO and the UN Security Council, to take action to thwart “this dangerous settlement escalation, which threatens to explode” the conflict.
UNESCO recently passed a resolution condemning Israeli construction projects in the Old City, which Palestinians claim as territory for their future state, as well as casting doubt over Jewish links to the Temple Mount and Western Wall, Judaism’s two holiest sites.
Iran now commands a force of around 25,000 Shi'ite Muslim militants in Syria, mostly made up of recruits from Afghanistan and Pakistan, the former head of Israel's domestic intelligence agency has told a visiting Swiss delegation.Senior Iranian general: US in ‘strong decline’
Avi Dichter, chair of Israel's foreign affairs and defense committee, told members of the Swiss parliament the Iranian-backed force was focused on fighting Sunni rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, not Islamic State.
"This is a foreign legion of some 25,000 militants, most of whom have come from Afghanistan and Pakistan," Dichter told the delegation during the briefing on Wednesday, according to details provided by his office. "They are fighting in Syria only against the rebels and not against ISIS."
It was not clear what the source of Dichter's information was, but he receives intelligence briefings in his role.
In Syria, Iran also has the support of the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, which has long experience in the region, particularly against Israel. It is not clear how many Hezbollah fighters are in Syria, but Dichter said 1,600 had been killed.
"The Iranians enlisted Hezbollah ... to fight in Syria because the Iranian army is better suited to fight as an army against another army, while the Hezbollah militants are adept at fighting against terror groups," he said.
A senior Iranian military official welcomed Thursday what he said was the “strong decline” of the United States, during celebrations marking the start of the 1979 US embassy siege.ISIS leader in rare recording: Jews give everything to fight against jihad
“America is no longer number one and the first power of the world,” deputy Revolutionary Guards commander Hossein Salami told thousands gathered outside the former US mission in Tehran.
“America’s political will can no longer manage political and military development in… the world of Islam. America’s political power has strongly declined.”
Every year on November 3-4, Iran celebrates the 444-day siege of the embassy when more than 50 diplomats, staff and spies were taken hostage by Islamist students demanding the extradition of the shah, who had fled to America after being deposed a few months earlier in the Islamic revolution.
The crisis severed US-Iranian diplomatic ties for decades, but Tehran last year clinched a deal with world powers to curb its controversial nuclear program in exchange for an easing of economic sanctions.
Elusive Islamic State leader Abu Bkr al-Baghdadi called upon residents of Mosul on Thursday to fight what he said are the enemies of God, and called on ISIS fighters to destroy the Iraqi city's "infidels" and invade Turkey.
In a 31-minute audio recording published by the organization "Al-Furkan" under the title "This is what we were promised by Allah and His messenger," two weeks after the beginning of the Iraqi military's operation to liberate Mosul, Baghdadi mainly addressed the battle for the ISIS-held city.
He warned his men against retreat or escape from battle.
"Total war and the great Jihad is waged by the Islamic State today, with Allah's help we amplify our strong belief that everything is dedicated to the great victory," said Baghdadi in his first released tape of this year. "It is a sign heralding the victory that Allah revealed is assured to His followers."
Baghdadi added that "Jews, Christians, Shiite heretics and all nations have allocated their media, all their money, all their equipment, and all their armies to fight against Muslims and jihadi fighters in Mosul after they saw it as one of the bases of Islam and a beacon of the caliphate."