Evelyn Gordon: The Obama/Kerry Tailwind to Terror
A few weeks ago, the security threat Israel faced from Palestinian terror looked relatively low. But then Barack Obama and John Kerry decided to meddle. The consequences were eminently predictable: They got to enjoy feeling self-righteous, while Israelis and Palestinians pay the price in blood.PMW: Trump responsible for blood in Jerusalem if he moves embassy
Consequently, the PA felt free to ramp its incitement back up to full force. And it did, to deadly effect.
Shortly before the resolution passed, for instance, a Jerusalem Post reporter who asked more than two dozen east Jerusalem Palestinians what they thought of reported plans to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem couldn’t find a single one who cared. But then the PA, bolstered by the resolution and Kerry’s speech, ordered all imams under its control to devote their sermons on Friday, January 6 to why the embassy move was unacceptable and would/could/should lead to violence. After all, the world could hardly object to that. Kerry himself had said exactly the same thing. And on January 8, an east Jerusalem Palestinian carried out the car-ramming that killed four soldiers. His relatives said he did so after hearing a local imam assail the proposed embassy move in his Friday sermon.
But Palestinian incitement isn’t just deadly to Israelis; it’s even deadlier to Palestinians. Whenever violence breaks out, Palestinians always end up with the higher death toll; that’s inevitable, given Israel’s superior weaponry. Unfortunately, that has never yet deterred the Palestinian leadership from fomenting it. Thus, by reassuring the PA that it will face no international consequences for inciting, the Obama/Kerry team guaranteed bloodshed on both sides.
Two and a half years ago, I detailed how another Obama/Kerry effort to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace ended up sparking a war instead. But either they learned nothing from that fiasco, or they simply don’t care how many Israelis and Palestinians die for the sake of enabling them to posture self-righteously on the world stage. After all, they’ll be out of office at the end of the week. Israelis and Palestinians will still be here bleeding.
When the Palestinian Authority wants to prevent a political action either by Israel or other governments, one PA tactic is to threaten violence. That is precisely what is happening following US President-elect Trump’s pledge to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.Trump will be responsible for blood spilled in Jerusalem if he moves US embassy warns PA news agency
The following are 25 statements, threats and warnings from official Palestinian Authority and Fatah sources, selected from among many more. These are in addition to the PA threats of religious war and bloodshed that Palestinian Media Watch reported last week.
There has not been this high a concentration of warnings and threats of violence by PA and Fatah officials, since September - October 2015. At that time, the PA and Fatah leadership warned and threatened violence because Israel, they alleged, was defiling and planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The PA’s political goal at that time was to try to prevent visits by Jews to the Temple Mount. That PA incitement, which was subsequently intensified by private social media incitement, sparked many months of Palestinian terror which left over 40 Israelis and hundreds of Palestinians killed.
Trump responsible for blood
The official news agency of the Palestinian Authority, WAFA, warned in a video report that if Trump moves the embassy, he will be responsible for blood spilling in Israel/Jerusalem and the West Bank:
Trump's UN nominee to slam world body over approach to Israel
US President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to be US ambassador to the United Nations will blast the world body over its treatment of Israel at her Senate confirmation hearing, reports claimed on Wednesday, citing a testimony seen by Reuters.
"Nowhere has the UN’s failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally Israel," Republican South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said in the opening remarks for her appearance on Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
According to Reuters, Haley's speech also said that "any honest assessment also finds an institution that is often at odds with American national interests and American taxpayers."
Haley's expected remarks arrive at an especially strained period in the relations between the US and Israel, serving as a potential indication to the possible shift in the nature of the rapport between the world power and the Jewish State as US President Barack Obama is expected to officially leave the White House later on Wednesday, with President-elect Trump assuming office this coming Friday.
Who’s the Fool on the Middle East?
That was bad enough but the Paris conference, which was held with the connivance of the lame duck Obama administration was particularly ill-timed because the 70 nations attending know very well that the only power that can guarantee any theoretical peace deal is the United States. The notion that the Europeans or any other combination of nations can impose a solution on the parties in defiance of U.S. wishes is an absurdity. But that was, more or less, the point of the extravaganza in the City of Light. The international community was seeking to signal to the incoming Trump administration that the rest of the world wasn’t interested in waiting to hear what his ideas about the Middle East might be. That’s because they believe the new administration doesn’t understand the complexities of the conflict and ought to be ignored rather than consulted, let alone shown the deference the world’s only true superpower deserves.Betraying Israel
Trump may be no sophisticate or policy wonk but, unlike his supposed betters, he knows why a two-state solution hasn’t yet been achieved. The Israelis offered the Palestinians a state including almost all of the West Bank, Gaza, and a share of Jerusalem in 2000, 2001, and 2008. Each time the Palestinians refused to accept the deal that gave them more or less what the world thinks they deserve. Worse than that, they have answered offers of peace with terrorism and even the supposed moderates of the PA continue to honor and subsidize terrorists and foment hatred of Israel and the Palestinians every day. Even the supposedly hard-line Netanyahu offered, according to the Americans, a withdrawal from the West Bank during the 2014 talks sponsored by Secretary of State John Kerry. Constrained by a political culture that makes it impossible for their leaders to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state, what the Palestinians want is to orchestrate the isolation of Israel; not peace with it.
As Trump said this week, the international community has coddled the Palestinians. They have subsidized their corrupt, violence-prone government and never forced them to come to grips with the need to accept that their century-old war against Zionism must end if they are to gain the independence they say they want. For all of the opprobrium directed at Trump, if he pursues—as it appears he is inclined to do—a policy in which pressure is put on the Palestinians rather than the Israelis that would actually be a constructive change from Obama’s futile quest to tilt the diplomatic playing field in their direction.
On Sunday, January 15, top diplomats from as many as 70 nations, led by the departing United States secretary of state, John Kerry, gathered in Paris to express once again their sick obsession with the creation of a Palestinian State at the expense of Israel.Kerry Lectures Netanyahu: ‘You're Affecting the Ability to Make Peace’
With all the recent catastrophic challenges facing the Middle East, Europe, and the world, such as brutal wars of massive death and destruction, terrorism, and an ever-deepening refugee crisis, the international community has accepted the invitation of French President François Hollande to come together again to hammer out what despite all logic, they seem to think is the most monumental challenge facing the world today: the two-state solution. Sadly, the Obama administration, with Kerry’s anti-Israel speech and failure to veto an anti-Israeli UN Security Council Resolution, seems to have made a decision to spend its last few weeks galvanizing the international community to isolate and scapegoat the Jewish State and the only democracy in the Middle East.
History teaches us that after evil entities and ideologies finish with the Jews, they then go after everyone else. The establishment of a Palestinian state or even the total destruction of the only Jewish State will not stop the Islamist Jihadi cancer from spreading throughout Europe and the world. This enemy opposes the whole civilized world while Western nations foolishly focus on appeasing it in regard to pressuring Israel to sacrifice its security.
The international community must wake up soon and acknowledge the truth that a religious war is in progress between Radical Islam and the civilized, democratic, and free Western world, which includes Israel. Israel has been in the forefront of the war on Jihadist terror because it is a Western, democratic, nation located in the barbaric, primitive, Islamist neighborhood where Radical Islam originated.
In his final public remarks as secretary of state, John Kerry called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a friend. But he had a message for the Israeli leader that he explained he has repeatedly offered in private.Israel’s UN Envoy Tells Security Council Anti-Settlement Resolution Emboldens Terrorists
“You’re affecting the ability to make peace,” he said. “You’re changing the peace map, and you’re doing it unilaterally. And if you continue to do that, you’re going to have trouble also with us, because our credibility is on the line – we can’t say we’re against settlements and then turn around and turn away from an effort to try to do something about it.”
The outgoing statesman spoke with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who, in their short time on stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos, focused his questions heavily on the issues of climate change and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Kerry’s responses were familiar: His only major foreign policy address since the November presidential election has been on this topic, and he is repeatedly pressed on Israel policy, including by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour this week.
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations told the UN Security Council Tuesday that the body’s condemnation of Israeli settlements last month has emboldened Palestinian terrorism.Trump: Mideast peace elusive because Palestinians are ‘given so much’
Danny Danon — who made his comments in the wake of the Jan. 8 Palestinian truck-ramming terror attack in Jerusalem, which killed four Israeli soldiers — said, “Hamas and Islamic Jihad, murderous terrorist organizations who are openly committed to the destruction of the state of Israel, joined the [Security Council] in welcoming” the resolution that labeled eastern Jerusalem — including the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, Western Wall, and Temple Mount — “occupied Palestinian territory.”
“The day after the Security Council vote, Fatah, the movement of [Palestinian Authority Chairman] Mahmoud Abbas, posted a cartoon on their official Facebook page. It showed a dagger in the shape of a map of Israel, colored with [a] Palestinian flag. Not Judea and Samaria — all of Israel. Under the dagger was a pool of blood and next to it said, ‘Thank you,’ and listed each council member who voted for the shameful resolution,” Danon said.
US President-elect Donald Trump said his prospects of negotiating an Israeli-Palestinian deal during his presidency have been hampered by the fact that the international community has been “giving so much” to the Palestinians.How New UN Secretary-General Plans to Pressure Israel
Speaking to The Times of London and Germany’s Bild just days before his inauguration, Trump further said the December UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements would only serve to harden Palestinians’ ideological positions in future peace talks.
“The problem I have is that [Resolution 2334] makes it a tougher deal for me to negotiate because the Palestinians are given so much — even though it’s not legally binding it’s psychologically binding and it makes it much tougher for me to negotiate,” he said. “You understand that? Because people are giving away chips, they’re giving away all these chips.”
But, Trump went on to say, if anyone could broker an elusive Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, it would be his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
According to [a] UN source, Guterres has five measures in mind to advance a two-state solution:Obama pardons Cartwright, source of Stuxnet virus leak
• UN reporting on Israel's settlement activities in relation to Security Council Resolution 2334.
• Increased UN assistance to the Palestinian Authority through the international donor mechanism and the UN specialized agencies.
• Cooperation with the French and the other four members of the Security Council to make the two Paris conferences (June 3, 2016, and Jan. 15, 2017) a basis for a sustainable international two-state solution process.
• Dialogue with the five Security Council heads on a two-state solution process based on all Security Council resolutions.
• Establishing a P5+1 (five UN Security Council permanent members, plus Germany) framework for an Israeli-Palestinian two-state solution process (in addition to the P5+1 group on the Iran deal)...
US President Barack Obama pardoned 64 people and commuted sentences for an additional 209 on Wednesday, among them retired Marine Corps four star general James Cartwright, the alleged source of leaked information to the press detailing a cyber attack on Iran's nuclear facilities in 2010.Ministers to discuss Israeli sovereignty over Maaleh Adumim
Cartwright pled guilty last year to providing false testimony in 2012 to FBI agents on the matter. Obama cleared him of punishment for that transgression, the White House said.
Cartwright allegedly leaked documents on the Stuxnet virus– a sophisticated computer program that destroyed thousands of Iran's uranium-enriching centrifuges– to David Sanger, a senior New York Times reporter who wrote a book on Obama's secretive wartime tactics.
The Ministerial Committee on Legislation plans to discuss applying Israeli sovereignty to Maaleh Adumim, Knesset Land of Israel lobby heads MKs Yoav Kisch (Likud) and Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayedudi) said Tuesday during a discussion in the Knesset plenum.Israel, Jordan begin building free trade zone
Kisch and Smotrich said it had been decided to present a bill on the issue to the committee this Sunday, for immediate approval after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in on Friday.
"Anyone who thinks that applying [Israeli] sovereignty to Maaleh Adumim is an obstacle to peace is talking about a peace I don't want," Kisch said. "We aren't talking about annexation, but about applying sovereignty to what is already ours. I promise [Maaleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kasriel] that we will put everything we have into promoting this bill."
Smotrich said: "The vast majority of the public supports applying sovereignty over Maaleh Adumim, regardless of any peace deal. I believe that it's a gift the Israeli people deserve as President-elect Trump is sworn is and [U.S.] policy on Judea and Samaria changes."
When the sun emerged last Thursday after several rainy days in the Ta'anakh area in the Beit Shean Valley, the springs sparkled with a bewitching spectrum of shades of green. The air was crisp, with a pleasant odor. We passed east of Kibbutz Tirat Zvi through fields of palm trees and crops along the border fence until we reached the Jordan River and the Bezeq River. Three weeks ago, they began building Shaar Hayarden - a bridge between Israel and Jordan over the Jordan River - the only joint Israel-Jordan infrastructure project since the two countries signed a peace treaty more than 20 years ago. The enclave will become a shared industrial and business enclave with 700 dunam (175 acres) on the Jordanian side, where factories will be built, and 245 dunam (61.25 acres) on the Israel side (expropriated from the kibbutz), where the logistics support, delivery, customs, etc. will be located - including the 352-meter bridge. There is little to see so far. The bulldozers are cutting away part of the hill on Israeli side. The sand is transferred to the Jordanian side on trucks, and is steamrollered into what will be a bridge when the work is finished 18 months from now. Up until recently, the entire area was one big mine field, but the mines have been removed on both sides of the border.Clashes ensue after cop, his alleged attacker killed in Negev
Why is it an enclave? Because the area will be a closed aquarium where Israelis and Jordanians will not need passports to enter; at the same time, it will not be a border crossing between the two countries. The word "shared" is also not very accurate, because Israel is paying for all of it. The budget for building the bridge is NIS 60 million (allocated from the Ministry of Transport through the Ministry of Regional Cooperation), and the total budget for the industrial zone (on the Israeli side) is NIS 200 million.
A policeman was killed Wednesday in a suspected car-ramming attack during clashes over home demolitions in the long-contested Bedouin town of Umm al-Hiran, police said. The driver was shot and killed by security forces at the scene.Sarona Market terrorists admit to 3 murders, deny link to 4th death
Police identified the slain officer as 1st Sgt. Erez Levi, 34, from Yavneh, saying he was “murdered in a car-ramming attack.”
According to police sources, the driver of the ramming vehicle, identified as Yaqoub Mousa Abu Al-Qia’an, was shot and killed after driving into the police line in the southern town. “It was a terror attack that murdered a policeman,” Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told Israel Radio.
Local residents and activists opposing the demolitions insisted that Abu al-Qia’an was not trying to ram officers, but had already been shot and lost control of his vehicle when it plowed into Levi and another policeman. Local resident Raed Abu Jihad told Israel Radio that police shot at the driver first.
The two terrorists who carried out the deadly shooting attack at Tel Aviv's Sarona Market in June pleaded guilty on Wednesday to three counts of murder, but denied responsibility for the death of the fourth victim of the attack.Syrian opposition figures in Jerusalem call for more Israeli aid
Muhammad and Khalid Muhamra, 21-year-old cousins from the Palestinian village of Yatta, near Hebron, admitted to the murders of Ido Ben-Ari, 42, of Ramat Gan; Michael Feige, 58, of Midreshet Ben-Gurion; and Mila Mishayev, 32, of Rishon Lezion.
The prosecution plans to present evidence of the causal connection to the death of the fourth victim, Ilana Naveh, 39, of Tel Aviv, who died of a heart attack after the attack. The defense will seek to disprove any connection.
The third person accused over the attack, Younis Zayn, also of Yatta, has admitted to assisting the cousins but was not at the market. The court will determine whether he is guilty of murder or of being an accomplice to the crime.
Two Syrian opposition figures making a rare public appearance in Israel called Tuesday for stepped up Israeli assistance to the Syrian opposition, including help in establishing a safe zone for rebel elements in southern Syria along the Golan Heights.Syrian oppositionist says Palestinians are ‘living in paradise’
Speaking to a packed auditorium at an event sponsored by the Hebrew University’s Truman Institute, Germany-based opposition activist Issam Zeitoun made a blunt appeal for help. “All Syrians have suffered under this regime. Something must be done. The Syrian people are too weak. We need the help of the international community.”
Sirwan Kajjo, a Syrian- Kurdish journalist who is wanted by the Assad regime, sought to give the audience a sense of the devastation in Syria. He said that in Iraqi Kurdistan he had met a woman who fled Damascus who had sons drafted into mandatory military service fighting for the regime and a son fighting for the rebels.
Another son had been killed and her two daughters had been forced to flee with her.
“Half a million people, mostly civilians have lost their lives,” Kajjo said. “People now say, ‘just fifty people died today.’ But one is too many. Assad has turned the deaths into numbers. I have a nephew who died fighting ISIS and a relative arrested in Damascus.”
A rare public meeting between Israelis and Syrians in Jerusalem on Tuesday was interrupted by Palestinian protesters who expressed outrage that Syrians would work with Israelis. The protesters met with a furious response from the Syrians, who accused them of failing to understand true oppression.Joint Arab List MK attends rally for outlawed Islamic leader
“You are living in a paradise compared to Syria,” Issam Zeitoun, a liaison for the Free Syrian Army with the international community, told the protesters as they refused to stop shouting and allow the event to continue. “You should be ashamed.”
The altercation occurred at a packed hall at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where a Free Syrian Army liaison and a Syrian Kurdish representative spoke to students at an event organized by the university’s Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace.
“I wasn’t surprised by what happened. I expect that people will behave like this when I speak at an Israeli institution because it is really a serious matter,” Zeitoun told The Times of Israel afterwards.
MK Jamal Zahalka (Joint Arab List) has come under fire for attending a rally in honor of the release from prison of Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the outlawed northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.Hamas, Fatah announce deal to form Palestinian unity government
Zahalka sat in the first row at the event in the northern town of Umm al-Fahm on Tuesday, shortly after Salah's release. When Salah took the stage to speak, Zahalka rose to his feet and joined the crowd in their impassioned calls of "In spirit and in blood, we will redeem Al-Aqsa," referring to the mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Israel outlawed the Islamic Movement's northern branch in November 2015 on the grounds that it incited to violence, after the group repeatedly accused Israel of trying to take over the Temple Mount.
After the rally came to a close, Zahalka posted a picture of the event to his Facebook page, which he captioned, "In our unity, we will thwart the political persecution. Freedom for prisoners." In the picture, Palestinian and Islamic Movement flags can be seen.
Maor Tzemach, chairman of Go Jerusalem, an organization that advocates for the implementation of Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem, blasted Zahalka for the move.
After three days of reconciliation talks in Moscow, the main Palestinian parties on Tuesday announced a deal to form a national unity government prior to the holding of elections.Abbas Poses With Photo of Palestinian Terrorist Who Massacred 38 Israelis, Including 13 Kids
“We have reached agreement under which, within 48 hours, we will call on [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas to launch consultations on the creation of a government” of national unity, senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad told a press conference, speaking in Arabic.
After the government is formed, the Palestinians would set up a national council, which would include Palestinians in exile, and hold elections.
“Today the conditions for [such an initiative] are better than ever,” said Ahmad.
A picture posted Thursday on the official Facebook page of Fatah, the ruling political party of the Palestinian Authority, showed PA President Mahmoud Abbas posing with a child holding a photo of a terrorist who led the 1978 Coastal Road massacre, the deadliest terror attack in Israeli history.PreOccupiedTerritory: Rock Thrown By Arab Magically Transforms Into Sponge-Tipped Police Bullet (satire)
The photo was taken at a youth rally held in Bethlehem last month in honor of Fatah’s 52nd anniversary. Fatah marked the occasion by celebrating Palestinian terrorists, including Dalal Mughrabi, who was a Fatah member, as well as deceased leaders of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The photo was shared by Fatah with the caption “Holiday of the martyrs.”
Abbas posed with a similar poster in a photo uploaded to Fatah’s Facebook page on Friday.
Israeli defense officials expressed concern today that terrorist groups may have developed technology to change projectiles in mid-flight, after a rock thrown by a Bedouin protester struck an allied politician and was then reported as a sponge-tipped projectile used by police to disperse riots.Marketing Madness or Economic Gambit: A New Mall Comes to Gaza
MK Ayman Odeh, head of the parliamentary Joint List of Arab parties in the Knesset, suffered head injuries during a protest over demolition of illegal structures in this Negev Bedouin village last night. Protesters insisted his injuries came from a sponge-tipped projectile, whereas the medics and hospital staff who treated him reported that his wound resulted from being hit by a rock. The sudden transformation of a rock into an incriminating bullet-type object has police and military experts concerned that hostile forces may be close to developing the means to change rocks into more dangerous objects even before impact, as well.
The incident occurred after a policeman at the scene was killed, and another moderately injured, in an automotive attack. Police are investigating whether the perpetrator, who was shot to death as a result, has ties to extremist organizations. According to police reports, the stone-throwing began after the fatal SUV attack, and heightened the tension between the protesters and the police who had been dispatched to provide security for demolition crews enforcing court orders to demolish the structures.
The very idea seems irreconcilable: a brand new shopping mall offering more than thirty retail outlets, upscale restaurants and a food court opening in the Gaza Strip — in a location, Gaza City, synonymous with poverty, unemployment and danger. In fact, according to news reports, the amount of time the new Capital Mall is open for business during it pre-opening shake-down period – from 5 to 10 pm daily – exceeded by an hour the amount of time electricity is available to the Gaza Strip.Anniversary of a Shameful Day
Nevertheless, thousands of people stormed Gaza’s newest attraction, The Capital Mall, on opening day. Hundreds of shoppers from Rafah in southern Gaza to Beth Hanoun in the north have been coming to Gaza City each day to visit the new mall before the official launch.
Even the reason for the delay of the grand opening bodes ill for the project’s success: containers loaded with equipment needed to complete the mall’s construction had not been allowed to cross into the Gaza Strip from Israel and the Kerem Shalom crossing point, Mohammed Hania told The Media Line. Hania is a partner in the Badri and Hania Company, a local Gaza corporation that has been doing business there for more than fifty years and is now betting — $15 million so far — that despite the failure of two previous attempts to operate shopping malls, Capital Mall with its multiple-stories, shops, eateries, central air conditioning and modern escalators, will succeed.
Yesterday, the White House released a “Statement by the President” marking the one-year anniversary of the Iran Deal. The White House will probably not celebrate today’s anniversary, marking President Obama’s $1.7 billion payment to Iran, tied to the release of American hostages, which the President’s press secretary at the time called a “very good deal”–before we found out that it was paid in untraceable cash, violated a federal statute, and ignored a U.S. counterclaim–all of which combined to make January 17, 2016 a shameful day in American diplomacy.Iran Puts Up Enormous Billboard Starring Kidnapped American Sailors
The administration characterized its payment as a settlement of a claim at The U.S.-Iran Claims Tribunal at The Hague. During the past year, though, the administration has adamantly refused to release to the public any documents relating to the payment–not even the settlement agreement itself–stiffing the request for documents at a congressional hearing and written requests from congressional committee chairs and other members of Congress.
At the September 8 hearing of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Chairman Sean Duffy had this colloquy with a State Department witness as he sought to ferret out the basic document pertaining to a purported “settlement.”
Roughly one-year after Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) kidnapped 10 US sailors, Iran is still flaunting its ability to humiliate the world’s sole superpower. The Islamic Republic has put up an enormous billboard depicting American navy men on their knees with their hands over their heads. The text on the bottom right corner of the billboard reads, “The better power.”
The now-infamous photo represenetd on the billboard was taken by IRGC thugs. This image has been used in countless propaganda materials.
According to a senior Iranian military officer, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is planning on erecting a statue of the ten US sailors, whom they briefly held captive in January. The IRGC is the branch of the Iranian armed forces responsible for capturing and humiliating US personnel found in the Persian Gulf on the eve of President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union address.
The Telegraph (UK) reports, “Commander Ali Fadavi, the head of the Guard’s naval forces, said the monument of the surrendering Americans would be a ‘tourist attraction.’”
Iranian President Calls Trump’s Vow to Rip Up Nuclear Deal ‘Empty Talk’
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that US President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to dismantle the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers is “only empty talk.”House bill would target Iran's airline and test its nuclear deal
“I don’t think he can do much when he goes to the White House,” Rouhani said at a news conference on the one-year anniversary of the lifting of international sanctions against Iran, Reuters reported. He noted that Trump cannot unilaterally end the international agreement, signed between the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran in July 2015.
Trump “doesn’t understand” that the pact — or, as the president-elect repeatedly called it on the campaign trail, “the worst deal ever negotiated” — is actually “good for the United States,” Rouhani added.
“[I’m] optimistic about the future of the nuclear deal,” the Iranian leader said.
House Democrats and Republicans are considering a bill that would require incoming president Donald Trump and his intelligence chiefs to investigate Tehran's use of its state-run civilian airline to ferry military parts and figures to its battleground in Syria.Turkey: Reina Nightclub Jihadi Captured with $200,000 and Islamic State Women
The bill is part of a larger effort by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Illinois) to interrupt Iranian business with two of the world's largest aerospace companies, Boeing and Airbus. His new bill, titled the Terror-Free Skies Act, was introduced with Brad Sherman (D-California) and Lee Zeldin (R-New York).
Iran argues that blocking or impeding its access to Boeing and Airbus products would violate a nuclear deal it brokered with world powers in 2015. That agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, includes a provision which commits the US to "allow for the sale of commercial passenger aircraft and related parts and services" for "exclusively civil aviation end-use."
But that last clause– "exclusively civil aviation end-use"– has some members of Congress convinced that Iran's airline deals can legally be halted, in full compliance with the JCPOA. That's because the US Treasury Department, State Department, and intelligence agencies all assess that Iran Air and its subsidiary, Mahan Air, are complicit in illicit arms transfers to Lebanon-based terrorist organization Hezbollah and in the assistance of Syria's embattled president, Bashar Assad.
The Treasury Department marked Iran Air in 2011 for providing services to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. "Commercial Iran Air flights have been used to transport missile or rocket components to Syria," the department warned.
The Turkish government has announced the capture of Abdulkadir Masharipov, who reportedly confessed to the massacre of 39 people at Istanbul’s Reina nightclub on New Year’s Eve.Ft. Lauderdale Terrorist: I Carried Out Attack On Behalf Of ISIS
Authorities have allowed multiple media outlets into the apartment where they arrested Masharipov and found piles of money in different denominations and desperately scribbled notes, believed to have been written by the female Islamic State recruits sharing the space with Masharipov.
The suspect was arrested early Tuesday morning in Esenyurt district, Istanbul, in an operation that witnesses told the anti-government newspaper Cumhuriyet was extremely noisy and lasted approximately 20 minutes. To find the perpetrator, Turkish authorities said law enforcement officials screened more than 100,000 hours of surveillance camera footage in the two weeks following the attack. Turkey deployed 2,000 police officers to Istanbul to work on capturing Masharipov, who eluded law enforcement for an excess of two weeks.
In addition to Masharipov, police found three female Islamic State recruits in the apartment, who have also been detained. The pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak has identified the women as “Dina A. from Senegal, Aysha M. from Somalia and Tene Trare from Egypt.” Masharipov’s son reportedly was also present in the apartment.
After confessing to his crime, Fort Lauderdale terrorist Esteban Santiago told the FBI that he carried out his attack on behalf of ISIS.BREAKING
At a bond hearing Tuesday, FBI special agent Michael Ferlazzo testified that Santiago claimed he had been in contact with fanatic Muslims via jihadi online chat rooms.
The FBI agent didn’t reveal details of the agency’s ongoing investigation, including whether Santiago was directly in contact with ISIS militants, but he did make clear that the terrorist who took the lives of five people at an airport in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on January 6 believed he was fighting for the Islamic State.
At the very least, Santiago was inspired by ISIS. So far, ISIS has not claimed responsibility for the attack.
One thing is clear: Santiago’s airport attack wasn’t a spontaneous expression of lunacy. In fact, the would-be terrorist may have revealed his jihadist inclinations before the mass shooting. “Federal authorities in Alaska said Santiago told them prior to the attack that he was hearing voices and that his mind was being controlled by the CIA,” reports CNN.
After Commuting Manning’s Sentence, Obama to Resuscitate Bin Laden (Satire)
After commuting the prison sentence of former army intelligence analyst and WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning, President Obama announced Tuesday that he planned to also reverse the 2011 killing of former al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
“Mr. bin Laden’s 10 years on the run and six years of death are more than enough punishment for his offenses,” Obama said in a statement announcing his decision to find bin Laden’s body and attempt to bring him back to life. “Like Ms. Manning, Mr. bin Laden is the true victim here. He was not a terrorist; he was just confused.”
Details on Obama’s decision were sparse, as bin Laden has been deceased for more than five years, with his body deposited in the Arabian Sea. Details of the recovery and resuscitation, Obama said, will be left to his successor.