On Independence Day, UNESCO okays resolution denying Israeli claims to Jerusalem
The United Nation’s cultural body on Tuesday passed the latest in a series of resolutions that denies Israeli claims to Jerusalem, in a move both forcefully condemned by Israel and touted as a diplomatic feat due to the growing number of countries that opposed it.Ahead of UNESCO vote, Netanyahu says Jews closest to Jerusalem
Submitted to UNESCO’s Executive Board by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan, the resolution on “Occupied Palestine,” which indicates that Israel has no legal or historical rights anywhere in Jerusalem, was expected to pass, given the automatic anti-Israel majority in the 58-member body.
The vote, which coincided with Israel’s Independence Day, passed with 22 countries in favor, 23 abstentions, 10 opposed, and the representatives of three countries absent.
The 10 countries that voted against the resolution were the US, UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Greece, Paraguay, Ukraine, Togo, and Germany.
Its wording was slightly less harsh on Jerusalem than previous resolutions, in that it does affirm the importance of the city to the “three monotheistic religions.”
In the moments after the vote passed, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, draped in a large Israeli flag, addressed the meeting.
“Even now, after this miserable vote, this blue and white flag is flying high above the Temple Mount and throughout Israel’s eternal capital city, Jerusalem, waving in the wind, saying to all ‘here we are, and we are here to stay,'” Shama-Hacohen said.
“This biased and blatantly deceitful decision, and the attempts to dispute the connection between Israel and Jerusalem, will not change the simple fact that this city is the historic and eternal capital of the Jewish people,” Danon said in a statement. “Israel will not stand silently by in the face of this shameful resolution.”
Full text of May 2017 UNESCO resolution on ‘Occupied Palestine’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday harshly criticized a resolution by the UN’s cultural agency that seemingly rejects the Jewish state’s sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem, saying the measure ignores the strength Jewish people’s millennia-long bond to Israel’s capital city.UN Watch: UNESCO’s Anti-Israel Resolution Gets Least Votes Ever
Speaking at the Bible Quiz held annually on Independence Day, Netanyahu said that despite the text of the resolution, Judaism has deeper roots in Jerusalem that any other religion.
“There is no other people in the world for whom Jerusalem is as holy and important as for the Jewish people, even though a meeting will take place at UNESCO today that will try to deny this historical truth,” he said.
“We denounce UNESCO and uphold our truth, which is the truth,” that “throughout Jewish history Jerusalem was the heart of the nation.”
UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights NGO, condemned the “hijacking” of UNESCO’s agenda by the Palestinians and Arab states, after the agency’s 58-member board singled out Israel today for condemnation—the only nation to be criticized—as the Jewish state celebrated it 69th Independence Day.
“Israel lost the vote today, but it did score a small moral victory: despite reported fears that Germany’s negotiations with the Palestinians would erode support, Israel in the end won more votes than ever before, including from major democracies like the U.S., Britain, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.
“The Palestinians at UNESCO are hemorrhaging support for their ritual anti-Israel resolution: last April they had 33 yes votes, then in October it was down to 24, and today it’s down to 22. The no votes increased substantially from 6 to 10.”
“And once again, India—an increasingly important friend and ally of Israel—has voted to abstain, showing that its recent break from decades of lockstep voting with the Arab states is now a fixed policy.”
UNESCO Condemnation of Israel Passes, Despite Unprecedented Lack of Support From African, Latin American and European Nations
Israeli officials were likely to be pleased with the list of countries that either abstained from the vote or opposed the resolution.Italy first EU country to publicly reject UNESCO’s anti-Israel resolution
Abstentions included Albania — which has a Muslim majority — and four African states with whom Israel now enjoys revived relations: Ghana, Guinea, Kenya and Uganda.
The US voted against the resolution, as did key European nations like France, Germany, Greece, Lithuania and the Netherlands.
There was a similar lack of consensus among the Latin American delegates. Paraguay voted against, while Argentina — an ally of Iran before current President Mauricio Macri defeated incumbent Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in the November 2015 election — also abstained. Other abstentions included the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. Brazil was the only Latin American country to vote “yes.”
Arab and Muslim states, among them Qatar and Iran — both of whom have extensive financial and political ties with the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas — voted overwhelmingly in favor.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon condemned the passage of the resolution, which was entitled “Occupied Palestine.”
“This biased and blatantly deceitful decision, and the attempts to dispute the connection between Israel and Jerusalem, will not change the simple fact that this city is the historic and eternal capital of the Jewish people,” Danon said. “Israel will not stand silently by in the face of this shameful resolution.”
Italy on Tuesday became the first European state to publicly state that it planned to reject a Palestinian backed resolution disavowing Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.Evelyn Gordon: Oslo Doubled Israel’s Terror Toll
Late this afternoon, while Israelis celebrate Independence Day, UNESCO’s 58-member Executive Board is set to approve the text.
Israeli and Palestinians, however, have battled for the support of the 11 EU member states on the board, whom they believe lend extra credibility to the final results of the vote at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
It’s presumed that the US will oppose the resolution.
Italy, which abstained from last years anti-Israel resolution at UNESCO, had promised Israel that in the future it would change its stance, including during a March visit of Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano.
On Tuesday he kept his pledge. He said he had instructed Italy’s UNESCO representative to vote “no” against “another politicized resolution on Jerusalem.”
“Our opinion is very clear,” he added. “UNESCO cannot be the place for a permanent ideological confrontation.”
Today is Israel’s Memorial Day, which is always marked by the release of official statistics on the number of Israelis killed in wars and terror attacks. If the Trump Administration is serious about wanting to revive an Israeli-Palestinian peace process, reviewing those statistics would be a good place to start. What those numbers show is that Israel’s annual death toll from terrorism has more than doubled since it signed its first “peace agreement” with the Palestinians. And that simple fact sheds light on both why the process has consistently failed and what would be necessary to reverse this pattern of failure.Shmuley Boteach: Rivers of Tears for Israel’s Fallen Soldiers
According to the official statistics, more than 3,100 Israelis have been killed in terror attacks since Israel’s establishment in 1948. The press releases don’t offer any breakdown of this statistic, but more detailed information is available on the Foreign Ministry’s website. Those numbers (located here for 1949-99 and here since 2000) show that terrorists killed 1,176 Israelis from 1949 through 1992, a period of 44 years. But since 1994, they’ve killed another 1,538 people–a significantly larger number of victims in a period just over half as long. (My tally omits the 45 deaths from 1993 because I don’t know whether they occurred before or after the Oslo Accord was signed on September 13, 1993, as well as 379 deaths from 1948, most of which took place either prior to or during the War of Independence.)
In other words, prior to the Oslo Accords, the number of terrorist deaths averaged 27 people per year. But in the post-Oslo period, terrorist deaths have averaged 66 people per year–almost two and a half times as many. And the real increase is slightly higher, because the ministry’s figures don’t include 75 soldiers killed in two wars in Gaza in 2009 and 2014, although they, too, are attributable to the Oslo Accords. Pre-Oslo, Israel didn’t fight wars with the Palestinians, because the Palestinians controlled no territory from which to launch a war.
Needless to say, this isn’t what a “peace process” is supposed to look like. Pace deals are supposed to produce peace, not to double the number of casualties. Moreover, these casualty figures show that the Palestinians have blatantly violated the one promise they made Israel in both the original Oslo Accord and every subsequent accord–an end to Palestinian terror.
I did not cry upon my third visit to Auschwitz last week. My daughters did, but I didn’t. I can’t quite explain why. Perhaps it was because I cannot wrap my head around the magnitude of the tragedy of the Holocaust. Perhaps because one million Jews dying in a death camp is an impersonal statistic. Perhaps because the crematoria are rubble, destroyed by the Nazis to hide their crimes. Or perhaps, ironically, because I felt guilty at feeling inspired by the March of the Living, in which I participated. Ten thousand young Jews joining senior IDF officers at Auschwitz was incredibly uplifting. But I did not feel that I had a right to feel uplifted in a place of such horror.Veteran US Diplomat: At White House Meeting, Trump Must Push Abbas to End Financial Support of Palestinian Terrorists and Their Families
Regardless, I did not cry at the most horrible place on earth.
But last night, in my hometown of Miami where I was raised, I cried bitterly as I attended a ceremony for Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, mourning Israel’s fallen soldiers. I unexpectedly found my face wet with tears. At one point I worried about sobbing too loudly for fear of embarrassing myself in front of the people around me.
And yet, the numbers of soldiers lost in all of Israel’s wars over 70 years — about 24,000 — is not even three days work at Auschwitz where 10,000 Jews were gassed and incinerated every day.
So why did Israel’s Memorial Day touch me so much more deeply? No doubt part of the reason was seeing the individual stories told with faces and grieving families.
But there is a deeper reason.
President Donald Trump boosted the “relevancy” of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas by inviting him to Washington for a White House meeting this week and now needs to lean on the Palestinian leader to take “hard steps” — including an end of payments to terrorists and their families, a veteran US diplomat said on Monday.Israeli Expert On Islam To Trump: Tell Abbas To Tell His People, In Arabic, That He Recognizes Israel
In a conference call organized by The Israel Project, Ambassador Dennis Ross — who has worked on Middle East issues for numerous administrations since the Carter era and is now the William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy — said Abbas had been in the doldrums before being summoned by Trump.
Arab leaders, including King Abdullah of Jordan, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt and the heads of the Gulf states had all been marginalizing Abbas, Ross pointed out.
“But Trump has made him more relevant again, which is important at a time when he doesn’t have much popularity within the PA,” Ross noted.
Ross argued that the conditions for a revived Israeli-Palestinian peace process could hardly be less opportune. “I don’t think we’ve ever been at a lower point, not because of violence, but because the level of disbelief between two sides has never been greater,” he said. “More than 60 percent of Israelis want a two-state outcome, but over 90 percent don’t believe it will happen.”
Ross explained that if Trump was serious about pursuing an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, he should avoid a “big initiative” that could end in failure and mutual recriminations.
Trump would also, Ross said, have to “make difficult asks of both sides.”
Anticipating President Trump’s meeting on Wednesday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Gideon Israel of MIDA interviewed Professor Moshe Sharon, professor emeritus at Hebrew University and world-renowned expert on Islam, about the possibilities of President Trump striking a peace agreement in the Middle East.Jordan to Israel: Withdraw From West Bank And Arabs States Will Guarantee Security
Sharon’s position as a commentator on the situation is unassailable. He is fluent in Arabic and Farsi; over 50 years ago, Sharon lived with the Bedouins in Southern Israel and Israeli Arabs from the Galilee in order to understand their culture. Sharon recalled, “I had my own sheep, my own little flock, I spoke their language, I was like one of them. The most important thing was to learn their language, their habits, their nuances, and once that happens you hear not only what they say to you, but also what they don’t say, which is just as important.”
After living with the Bedouins, Sharon lived with the Arabs. He pointed out that conflating Arabs from Gaza and the West Bank is a mistake. He asserted:
Arabs from Gaza and the West Bank are from two different worlds. If you say to the West Bankers that the Gazans are coming to live with them, they will be absolutely flabbergasted; they won’t believe you. If a Gazan went to live in Nablus, he would be in a bad situation. Even more than that, if an Arab from Hebron went to live in Nablus (60 miles north of Hebron), he wouldn’t be in a good situation, because these cities are made up of families, clans, and tribes, they aren’t homogenous societies.
Sharon wrote a guide for negotiating in the Middle East. He noted that English should not be used in negotiations. He cogently stated, “I want negotiations to be in two languages: Hebrew and Arabic. Israel will speak Hebrew and they will speak Arabic. Because then you will really hear what the Arabs have to say, and what they don’t have to say. The Arabs know that what they say will be quoted in their media and therefore they will be very careful what they say and you will hear their true positions. In English, they can say anything they want, and then later when confronted with what they said they will say it wasn’t understood correctly and taken out of context.”
Jordan’s Foreign Minister said Saturday that Arab countries would ensure Israel’s security in a future peace deal with the Palestinians as long as it withdraws from the West Bank.Anne Bayefsky: Germany's roguish stand against US, Israel must be stopped
During a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, Ayman Safadi said “in order for Israel to live in peace with the Arabs, it is necessary for them to leave the territories occupied after 1967. So if this happens, the Arab countries will be ready to give security guarantees to Israel,” Russia’s state-sponsored Sputnik news agency reported.
Safadi did not explain what form those guarantees would take or explain how such a consensus was arrived at by leaders of countries which have invaded Israel on more than one occasion.
Safadi said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was a key problem in the Middle East.
“We consider the settlement of the Palestinian problem as a core of tensions in our region. That is why we definitely plan to create additional conditions for security and stability in our region and in the whole world,” he said.
Israel and the Trump administration have a German problem, ironically manifesting itself on Israel’s 69th birthday. Just as President Trump’s emissaries and his UN Ambassador Nikki Haley are rightly insisting that Israel-bashing at the UN cease, Germany is moving in the opposite direction.Blaming ‘mercurial’ Trump, UK lawmakers urge Palestine rethink
On May 2, 2017, in Paris, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is scheduled to adopt one more resolution singling out the Jewish state for criticism and attempting to deny Israeli sovereignty over its capital, Jerusalem. The Palestinians want Germany’s vote and are playing the old UN game of floating a terrible resolution and modifying it to just plain awful to win European support. That Germany is playing this game is a repudiation of everything the United States is trying to accomplish – not to mention the allegedly special relationship between Germany and Israel.
This is not the first time that Germany has turned its back on Israel and America at the UN. In March, Germany joined the jackals at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and voted for a resolution that promotes the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. It was a stunning move, particularly since on the BDS resolution Germany split from both the United States (that voted against) and the United Kingdom, which at least abstained.
The Human Rights Council is composed of such UN human rights luminaries as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and China. The intent of these UN resolutions is to put a UN fist on the scale absent negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and the consequence is to push the prospect of any negotiated settlement into the distant future.
Germany, therefore, is playing with fire.
The United Kingdom can no longer rely on the US as a global leader in the region and should seriously consider recognition of a Palestinian state, a UK parliamentary committee said Monday, urging a rethink of London’s policies toward the Middle East.French Elections: Emmanuel Macron, a Disaster
A major report by the House of Lords International Relations Committee pointed a finger at US President Donald Trump, saying his moves could further inflame the volatile region.
“The mercurial and unpredictable nature of policymaking by President (Donald) Trump has made it challenging for the UK government to influence US foreign policy so far, a challenge that is not likely to ease,” the report stated.
“The new US administration has the potential to destabilize further the region… The US president has taken positions that are unconstructive and could even escalate conflict.”
Committee chairman David Howell said in light of Trump’s unpredictability in dealing with Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other challenges, “We can no longer assume America will set the tone for the West’s relationship with the Middle East.”
This terrorist attack summarizes everything that is broken in terms of security in France today.John Bolton: Trump Must Not Fall Into Obama’s Iran Trap
Men with a profile similar to that of Karim Cheurfi have, in recent years, been responsible for most of the terrorist attacks in France and Belgium: Mohamed Merah, who killed three Jewish children and the father of two of them in Toulouse in 2012; Mehdi Nemmouche, who attacked the Brussels Jewish Museum in 2014 ; the Kouachi brothers, who committed the Charlie Hebdo massacre in 2015; Amedy Coulibaly, who murdered four Jews in the Saint Mandé grocery Kosher store Hypercacher; Samy Amimour and others who maimed and murdered 130 innocent people in the Bataclan theater in November 2015; Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who drove a truck into the crowd in Nice in July 2016, killed 86 people and wounded many others, and, among others, those who beheaded a priest in Normandy a few weeks after the attack in Nice.
The successive French governments under the presidency of François Hollande showed themselves to be appallingly weak and impotent.
A climate of fear has overtaken the country. Attendance at theaters has declined. The particularly targeted Jewish community -- two-thirds of the attacks in France in the last five years targeted Jews -- feels abandoned. When a Jewish cemetery was vandalized on March 30 in Waldwisse, eastern France, neither the media nor the political leaders reacted. A week later, in Paris, a Jewish woman, Sarah Halimi, was tortured and then thrown out of a window by a non-radicalized Muslim, simply because she was Jewish: the French media and political leaders, with the exception of the courageous MP Meyer Habib, also did not react. A silent gathering below the window was organized by some leaders of the Jewish community. Only Jews came; they were greeted by anti-Semitic insults by Arab Muslims in the neighborhood. The implantation of radical Islam in the country is intensifying. The annual meeting of "Muslims of France" (the new name of the French branch of the Muslim Brotherhood), took place on April 14-17 in Le Bourget, ten miles north of Paris. Anti-West, anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish diatribes were delivered to enthusiastic crowds of bearded men and veiled women. One hundred and fifty thousand people attended.
VC (Verification and Compliance) was never accepted by State’s arms-control bureaucracy. When Mr. Obama took office, his appointees immediately and effectively downgraded VC. Knowing that repeal of the Helms-Biden legislation was politically impossible, the Obama administration instead merged VC into State’s arms-control bureau, creating the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance.Israel says Hamas trying to fool the world with new policy paper
The verifiers were thereby all but silenced. In fact, the merger essentially recreated the situation that had given rise to the Helms-Biden legislation in the first place. As a result, there was no institutional check on the Obama administration’s desire to get a deal with Iran at any cost, particularly when it came to verification. As assessed in the Sept. 2, 2015 Letter of Experts to Mr. Obama, verification of the JCPOA, is “completely ineffective.” Thus, the very bureaucracy that negotiated the deal now gets to assess Iran’s compliance.
In addition to the vagueness of many of the JCPOA’s terms, the agreement expresses many Iranian commitments as being voluntary, based on Iran’s “plans.” For example, “Iran will abide by its voluntary commitments, as expressed in its own long-term enrichment and enrichment R&D plan to be submitted as part of the initial declaration for the Additional Protocol to Iran’s Safeguards Agreement.” That is, after Iran’s nuclear program is declared to be peaceful in eight years.
Candidate Trump called the JCPOA “the worst deal ever negotiated.” Now, the State Department personnel who helped John Kerry ensure it was a US diplomatic Waterloo will be free to color the Trump administration’s review of their work. President Trump and his team should urgently address this critical deficiency, or with absolute confidence, we can predict it will return to bite them again.
Israel said Hamas was trying to delude the world by issuing a new policy document on Monday that purportedly softens the Palestinian Islamist terror group's policy towards Israel.2 IDF soldiers barred from Temple Mount after saluting
The group will drop its long-standing call for Israel's destruction as well as its association with the Muslim Brotherhood in a new policy document to be issued on Monday, Gulf Arab sources said.
However, the move, whether true or not, has been dismissed in Israel. "Hamas is attempting to fool the world but it will not succeed," said David Keyes, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"They build terror tunnels and have launched thousands upon thousands of missiles at Israeli civilians," he said. "This is the real Hamas."
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan responded ahead of the document’s publications, also dismissing it as a charade designed with the sole aim of “gaining international legitimacy. In practice, Hamas continues all the time to advance terror attacks and wildly incites for the murder of Israelis. It continues to refuse to recognize the right of Israel to exists,” Erdan said in a statement on Monday evening.
On Sunday, a Hamas political document that was leaked revealed plans to soften the organization’s charter to recognize a Palestinian state on 1967 borders—but still without recognizing Israel.
Two Israeli soldiers were barred on Tuesday from future visits to the Temple Mount after saluting the area where the ancient Jewish Temples were situated.Police: Jewish man believed trying to attack soldiers near Jerusalem is killed
The two, in uniform and wearing berets of the Kfir Brigade, toured the holy site on Israel’s Independence Day. As the pair passed close to the spot where the biblical Ark of the Covenant is thought to have been stored, they saluted, a police spokesperson confirmed.
At the conclusion of their tour, they were informed by a police officer that they may not return to visit the site. The soldiers told the Israel National News website that police told them they were banned over the salutes.
The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism. Known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif or the Noble Sanctuary, it is the third-holiest site in Islam.
A Jewish man who it was feared was attempting to attack security forces at a West Bank checkpoint on Tuesday was shot and killed by Israeli troops manning the site, police said.Terror victim Ezra Schwartz posthumously inducted into Jewish frat
Police said he was a 20-year-old Jewish Israeli resident of Jerusalem.
The man approached the Hizme checkpoint near Jerusalem on foot and then apparently tried to stab a member of the security forces, police said in an initial statement.
A later statement said he ran toward troops, and was holding something. Security forces opened fire as they believed they were in “immediate and concrete danger,” the police statement said.
Police said they later located the knife the suspect was holding.
Ezra Schwartz, who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist in Israel in November 2015, was inducted posthumously into the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity at Rutgers University.Palestinians take ‘salt water challenge’ for hunger-strikers
The induction ceremony was held Sunday night, at the start of Memorial Day in Israel, which commemorates fallen soldiers as well as victims of terror.
At the Sunday ceremony, Ari Schwartz, the father of Ezra, was inducted as an honorary brother of the Rho Upsilon chapter of the Jewish fraternity, which has chapters throughout the United States and around the world.
Ari Schwartz said at the ceremony that unlike others in his son’s memory since he died, the fraternity ceremony “represents who he could have been,” the news website MycentralJersey reported.
“He could have been sitting here. He could have been roommates with one of you,” he said,
Last week at the 5-star Grand Park hotel in Ramallah, the entire staff — management, chefs, busboys, waiters and cleaners — gathered in the dinning hall. Each person had next to them a small glass of water and a shot glass full of salt. On the boss’s mark, they poured the salt into the water, mixed it with a fork, and slammed the salt water back into their mouths.PA blames Israel after ex-inmate dies from kidney failure
The whole affair — known as the salt water challenge — was meant to be a display of solidarity for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, who are entering their third week of a hunger strike.
For hunger strikers, salt water is their only source of daily sustenance.
With participants posting videos of them downing glasses of salt water to social media, the challenge has gone viral, and spread from Palestinian social media across the Middle East and the world, bringing attention to the hunger strike.
According to Palestinian figures, around 1,500 prisoners, mostly from the Fatah organization and including many convicted terrorists, are taking part in the open-ended hunger strike announced last week in a bid to improve their conditions in Israeli prisons.
The Israel Prison Service puts the current number of strikers at around 820, and said 300 have already dropped out.
A Palestinian man who was previously imprisoned in Israel died on Tuesday in what a top Palestinian official said was the result of “medical negligence” while in Israeli custody.Citing ‘Protocols,’ Jordanian TV tells viewers Jews are an ‘abhorred’ people
Mazen Muhammad al-Mughrabi, a 45-year-old resident of the northern West Bank village of Abwein, died from kidney failure as a result of health issues contracted while imprisoned in Israel before his release two years ago, Issa Qaraqe told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.
Qaraqe heads the Palestinian Authority’s Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs.
Israel Prisons Service spokesman Assaf Librati cast doubt on the report, telling The Times of Israel that “we would be happy to get proof that supports this claim.”
Although earlier reports said that Mughrabi died while fasting in solidarity with Palestinian security prisoners on a mass hunger strike in Israeli prisons, Qarage told Ma’an that Mughrabi was not himself on a hunger strike but had visited a protest tent in Ramallah supporting the prisoners.
A program broadcast on Jordan’s Prime TV channel in April examined “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” treating the notorious anti-Semitic document as an authentic Jewish text proving Judaism’s efforts to secretly control and manipulate the rest of the world.EXCLUSIVE - Arab Intelligence Source: Jihadists Are Wearing Down Hezbollah on Syria-Lebanon Border
The “Protocols,” a forged text produced in Russia at the turn of the last century, purports to outline Jewish plans to take over the world. It has been used by anti-Semites throughout the 20th and 21st centuries as justification for their views.
Host Ayed Alqam opens the three-part series by calling Jews “an ostracized and abhorred people” known “for their lying, fraud, and deception, and their sowing of strife.”
He goes on to introduce the “Protocols” and to cite them as proof of Judaism’s culpability for any and all hardship experienced by Arab countries.
Fighters of the Al Nusra Front, Al Qaida’s affiliate in Syria, or as the group now calls itself, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, have recently been posing a serious challenge to Hezbollah in the border area between Lebanon and Syria, a senior Arab intelligence official told Breitbart Jerusalem.Turkey bans television dating shows
“Dozens of Hezbollah fighters have been wounded in engagements over the last few weeks between the two sides,” the official stated. “The jihadists decided to switch their offensive from Syria to Lebanon. “
“In the area of Arsal and in other regions, they’ve continued to surprise Hezbollah and force the group to send many soldiers to the area.”
The challenge presented by the jihadists has forced Hezbollah to reconsider the positions of their troops in Syria and at home in Lebanon, according to the intelligence source. “According to intelligence reports, Hezbollah is taking the most recent engagements very seriously,” said the intelligence source.
“The slow stream of jihadists into Lebanon represents a disruption of the relative stability within the country’s borders, especially just before the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan next month,” said the source.
Turkey on Saturday banned television dating shows, adding to fears of a crackdown after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s victory in a referendum on enhancing his powers.Iran’s Real Race isn’t for President
“In radio and television broadcasting services, such programs in which people are introduced to find a friend…. cannot be permitted,” said the text of the decree.
Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said in March that the ban was in the pipeline, arguing the shows do not fit in with Turkish traditions and customs.
“There are some strange programs that would scrap the institution of family, take away its nobility and sanctity,” Kurtulmus said at the time.
Opponents of the ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) government frequently voice fears that Turkey is sliding toward conservative Islam under Erdogan.
Normally, the incumbent wins re-election in Iran and, so, despite the theater of the campaign, this should mean Hassan Rouhani wins a second term. The question in this month’s election, however, revolves around the presence of Ebrahim Raisi, custodian of Astan Quds Razavi, who many analysts believe could replace Khamenei, Iran’s aging and ailing supreme leader.National Security Adviser McMaster Highlights ‘Tremendous Opportunity to Confront Iran’s Destructive Behavior’
For Raisi to become president before the ascending to the supreme leadership makes sense: after all, that’s the path Khamenei took to the supreme leadership. But, conversely, if Raisi is to lose, it seems unlikely that he could ever be supreme leader for the simple reason that the theological basis of the supreme leadership is that the occupant of that position acts as the deputy of the Messiah on Earth. For the deputy of an infallible imam to lose an election would be de-legitimizing for life.
This then raises the question: Is Raisi really the supreme leader’s pick or is he just being promoted by Iranians falsely claiming Khamenei’s blessing? If the latter, then there is no better way to be rid of the ambitious challenger than by letting him run and delegitimize himself. Conversely, if he unseats Rouhani—the consummate regime loyalist—than that signals a relatively quick transition will be at hand for the true leadership.
Make no mistake: When Iranians go to the polls this month, they may cast their ballots for a president, but the race is about anything but.
A visible shift in American policy towards Iran is taking place under President Donald Trump, his national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster said during a wide-ranging interview on Fox News over the weekend.UAE Sentences Man for Smuggling Nuclear-Related Items to Iran
Speaking to Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, McMaster was clear that the US had developed the political will to back up any warnings directed at the Tehran regime.
“I think all we have to do is pull the curtain back on Iranian behavior,” McMaster said. “This is a regime that is supporting the murderous regime in Syria, that’s committing mass murder of its own people. This is a regime that is really applying what you might call a Hezbollah model to the greater Middle East, in which they have weak governments, that they want to depend on Iran for support, while they grow militias and other illegal armed groups outside.”
Wallace questioned whether America’s allies would even be “interested” in enforcing sanctions against Tehran.
“Our allies will be interested in doing that, and I think what you’ve seen, what has happened in the last eight years, is US policy has unwittingly maybe empowered Iran across the greater Middle East and beyond. Now, we are seeing the effect of that with this humanitarian political catastrophe in the greater Middle East that Iran has helped to foment,” McMaster said.
The national security adviser pointed to Trump’s “really strong relationships across the Arab world” as a positive sign that Iran’s regional ambitions will not go unopposed. “I think that there’s going to be a tremendous opportunity to confront Iran’s destructive behavior in the region and beyond the region,” he said.
The United Arab Emirates sentenced a man to ten years in prison for smuggling parts to Iran for use in its nuclear program, the Associated Press reported Thursday.Read One Iran Deal Opponent’s Tweetstorm That Brilliantly Exposes Iran Echo Chamber
The man, an Iranian citizen identified only by his initials S.M.A.R., was convicted of smuggling an electric motor and other devices. While the UAE’s official press agency WAM said the man was convicted of “violating the international ban on nuclear weapons,” it didn’t specify how the items smuggled related to Iran’s nuclear program.
Earlier this week, a report in Politico revealed how Iran used operatives all around the world to help smuggle materials and technology in order to boost its nuclear program.
Iranian agents have frequently been caught attempting to smuggle nuclear-related items. German intelligence last year reported that in 2015 Iran engaged in secret efforts to procure nuclear-related materials that spanned at least half of Germany’s states. A year earlier, Germany’s federal intelligence agency warned that Iran was still trying to procure illicit technology for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, despite then-ongoing nuclear negotiations with world powers.
"As Malley and representatives of the State Department, including Wendy Sherman and Secretary of State John Kerry, engaged in formal negotiations with the Iranians, to ratify details of a framework that had already been agreed upon, Rhodes’s war room did its work on Capitol Hill and with reporters. In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. ‘We created an echo chamber,' he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. ‘They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.'"
That comes from David Samuels' New York Times profile of Ben Rhodes, Obama administration deputy national security adviser, published one year ago.
How did the pro-Iran deal echo chamber work in practice? Omri Ceren of The Israel Project uses a current example—a coordinated attack on the reporter who exposed a secret giveaway to Iran hidden in the nuclear deal—to lift the curtain on the mechanics of the echo chamber.
How the Iran echo chamber is coordinating attacks vs @JoshMeyerDC for story on Iran side deal that killed yrs of anti-nuke work— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) May 1, 2017
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