Friday, March 02, 2018

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: ABOUT TIME!
Whether this momentous change is permanent, or merely a tactical alliance with Israel which won’t make even a dent in the profound Jew-hatred which is the default position in the Muslim world and which will in due course revert once again to hate-mongering rejection of Israel, remains to be seen.

For now, though, this geopolitical landscape has been altered in a way that was unthinkable until very recently. And that will undoubtedly have eased the way for a royal visit which Theresa May, as a genuinely warm Israel supporter, will have wanted to happen.

Prince William’s visit will be, however, extremely sensitive. Already the Palestinian Arabs and their cheerleaders in NGO-land are stirring the pot to make trouble.

The British are stressing that Prince William’s visit will be apolitical. The ambassador to Israel, David Quarrey, says : “It would be a visit about the strength of the contemporary partnership and relationship between the UK and Israel. It won’t be a visit about the peace process or issues like that”. He hoped that the prince would get “to see a bit of Israel and to meet as many Israelis as possible,” adding he wanted the prince to get “a flavour of this country, because I think that’s really important when visitors come that there are very special things about Israel, including the people.”

This royal visit to Israel, the west’s sole genuine ally in the Middle East, is not just long overdue. Prince William doesn’t have to say a word about the politics of the place. By bestowing upon Israel such a seal of approval, the visit will in itself send a message to the Arab and Muslim world that the the decades-long attempt by the Palestinian Arabs and their odious British and European supporters to delegitimise Israel has failed.

Israel is not a pariah state, it is not shunned and it is not alone. On the contrary, it is an important and valued ally of one of the most powerful countries in the west – which is now making plain its support, friendship and powerful ties to Israel by sending the Queen’s grandson to advertise this to the world.

About time.
Royal visit to Israel breaks a long-standing taboo
The news that HRH Prince William is going to visit Israel is to be wholeheartedly welcomed. A long-standing Foreign Office taboo has been broken, only four months after Theresa May’s extremely warm words about Israel at Lancaster House during the celebration of the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.

Royal visits have always been a central plank of Britain’s diplomacy over the centuries, and this one is a statement that Israel is no longer going to be treated like the pariah nation it so long has been by the Foreign Office. It is no therefore coincidence that although Her Majesty the Queen has made over 250 official overseas visits to 129 different countries during her reign, neither she nor one single member of the British royal family has ever yet been to Israel on an official visit.

Even though Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Greece, who was recognised as “Righteous Among the Nations” for sheltering a Jewish family in her Athens home during the Holocaust, was buried on the Mount of Olives, the Duke of Edinburgh was not allowed by the Foreign Office to visit her grave until 1994, and then only on a private visit. The Duke of Cambridge’s visit – which will be official – is therefore a splendid opportunity to right decades of wrong done to Israel in this regard.

“Official visits are organised and taken on the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth office,” a press officer for the Royal Family explained when Prince Edward visited Israel privately – and a spokesman for the Foreign Office replied that ‘Israel is not unique” in not having received an official royal visit, because ‘Many countries have not had an official visit.’ That might be true for Burkino Faso and Chad, but the Foreign Office has somehow managed to find the time over the years to send the Queen on State visits to Libya, Iran, Sudan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan and Turkey. So it can’t have been that she wasn’t in the area.
Finally, the royal boycott of Israel ends. Tom Gross comments
The queen was happy to warmly embrace President Assad but not to visit the Jewish state.

Mark Regev: Prince William's visit - a testament to good ties
As early as several months ago, we received hints from the British that a historic visit from Prince William was possibly in the works. We were asked to be discreet about it. We are thrilled this visit has now been made public and official.

This visit is not materializing in a vacuum. It comes amid the backdrop of intensive talks at the highest levels between the two countries and their respective governments on sensitive matters pertaining to national security and Israel's role in matters of defense and the war on terror, in the private sector as well.

Relations between the two countries are exceedingly positive and healthy, as illustrated by the prince's upcoming visit. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has visited Great Britain twice in the past year, in February and November. At the same time, London officially commemorated the centennial anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

Additionally, bilateral trade between the countries stood at a sum of $10 billion in 2017. This marked a 25% increase in one year. Great Britain is the second largest destination of Israeli exports after the United States and there many more examples of the countries' strong commercial ties.

For instance, one in every six medications sold within the framework of the British public healthcare system is Israeli-made. There are 300 Israeli companies with offices in Great Britain, 29 of which are publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.

We will soon sit down with representatives of the British royal family and together build the prince's Israel itinerary, in a fashion befitting the lofty occasion. I will tell those representatives that when the red carpet is laid out, it will be more than just the Israeli government doing so. Indeed, a large number of Israelis have great interest in and affection for the British royal family.

Leading Palestinian News Agency Ma’an Marks Purim Holiday With ‘Blood Libel’ Accusation
A veteran Palestinian proponent of the antisemitic “blood libel” marked the Jewish festival of Purim on Thursday with an article that accused Jews of preparing the special pastries for the festival with the blood of non-Jews.

In an article for the independent Palestinian news agency Ma’an — a multi-language network that has received generous funding from the United States and the European Union since its launch in 2002, according to the Israeli research group NGO Monitor — Dr. Mustafa al-Lidawi, a former senior Hamas official, claimed that the Palestinians “hate and fear” Jewish festivals like Purim.

This was “the same holiday that the peoples of Europe hated and detested [and because of it] wished that the Jews would leave their countries so they could be saved from their wickedness,” al-Lidawi wrote, in a piece translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

He continued: “This is because the Jews who lived in Europe would always bake a large pastry on the occasion of the holiday, and everyone would eat it. However, this pastry was mixed with the blood of a victim they chose from among those who were not Jews. Most of the time the victim was a little boy, whom they would place in a perforated barrel full of spikes.”

Al-Lidawi was the author of a similar piece written on the occasion of Passover in 2013, in which he wrote, “Palestinians hate the Jewish festival of Passover…The Jews have not forgotten their blood-soaked past and their perverted rituals. In the past they would seek out a Christian child in order to drain his blood for their matzas, which they would feed to their children.”
Senior Palestinian Official: World Ruled By U.S. Will End in Three Years
A senior Palestinian official said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is locked in “confrontation” with the Trump administration over its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and that the days when the world is led by the U.S. are numbered, the London-based Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported on Wednesday.

“President Mahmoud Abbas is in a position of full confrontation with the United States and Israel in the wake of the Israeli government’s intransigence and the recent US administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfer its embassy to it,” Abbas’ Adviser for International Affairs Nabil Shaath said during a gathering at the Palestinian Embassy in Cairo.

“We will not establish our state but on our national soil. No state in Gaza, no state without Gaza; no state without Jerusalem as the capital, not a capital in Jerusalem, but Jerusalem is the capital,” Shaath added.

He also predicted that within three years, “the world ruled by the United States will end and a multilateral leadership will be established.”

“We will be part of this new world,” he added.

Shaath’s remarks came amid Palestinian anger at Washington’s announcement that it will be moving its embassy to Jerusalem in time for the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence in May.
Watching the Strange Spectacle of Palestinian Made-for-Media Outrage
We’re not unique in any way, but, sadly, you’re not likely to read about us in the papers. The headlines, I learned the hard way this week, are reserved for violent provocateurs. Last Wednesday, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed an Israeli citizen, wounding him lightly before being shot and killed by a nearby security guard. On Friday, Israel returned the terrorist’s body to his family, a basic humanitarian act that Hamas, for example, denies the families of the Israeli soldiers it had kidnapped and killed. We were told to expect trouble.

The next day, Saturday, my men and I, about 100 of us in total, arrived to find about 400 Palestinian rioters throwing Molotov cocktails, hurling large rocks, attacking us with slingshots, and burning tires. They were documented by something like 40 cameras representing every foreign press outlet you can think of. They were shouting slogans about Muhammad’s army coming to avenge itself on the Jews, and pranced bravely in front of the photographers, knowing full well that the IDF’s strict regulations prevent us from doing much more than trying to disperse the violent mob by shooting canisters of tear gas.

We did the best we could to keep anyone, Israeli and Palestinian, from getting seriously injured. And then, magic: A short while into the demonstration, the media, getting what it came for, decided to leave. As soon as the last cameraman was gone, the very same Palestinian rioters who were, just a moment earlier, so passionate and furious and violent tossed aside their gasoline-soaked rags and their boulders and cheerfully walked away. They weren’t interested in a real confrontation. They weren’t truly mad. They were putting on a show for the press. An hour later, a friend sent me a photograph of myself, just published by the Arab media, holding a tear gas gun and looking menacing.

To be honest, I’m amused by the incident, but also incensed by it. I know this is hardly a new story, but when your own well-being and that of your friends is on the line, it feels just a touch more urgent than usual. I’m very proud to do my duty and serve my country, but I wish members of the media were as serious about doing theirs, taking the time to accurately reflect what’s happening on the ground rather than buy into fake news narratives set up by cynical propagandists.
Friends and Family of Taylor Force Lobby Senators for Passage of Law in His Name
Family and friends of Taylor Force, a West Point graduate killed by a Palestinian terrorist in 2016, lobbied a group of bipartisan senators this week to pass the Taylor Force Act, which would end U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stops rewarding terrorists.

"It is bipartisan, it’s not political, and it should be bipartisan. It needs to change," Force's mother Robbi told Fox News.

Force was killed in Tel Aviv, Israel, after walking with friends from college. A terrorist attacked the group with a knife and stabbed Force to death.

His sister, Kristen Force, collapsed on a sidewalk in shock upon learning of her brother's death. Learning about the financial incentives for such attacks compounded her grief and motivated the family.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), called his meeting with the Force family "very powerful."

"I’m more dedicated than ever to make sure that the Taylor Force Act is signed into law by President Trump," Graham said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said the bill is "long overdue."

Multiple senators in meetings with Force's family and friends, including Sens. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), and Bob Corker (R., Tenn.), have spoken up about the bill.

Caroline Glick: There is no there here - Opiniont
The final problem with the investigations of Netanyahu is that as we saw this week, the police’s openly obsessive desire to “get” Bibi is corrupting the law enforcement and judicial community.

This week Channel 10 published text messages sent between magistrate’s court judge Ronit Poznansky-Katz and Israel Securities Authority investigator Eran Shaham-Shavit. In their text exchange, the two discussed and agreed on the length of continued confinement of suspects detained in Case 4000.

It is possible to read their exchange, in which they discuss the police investigators’ obsession with keeping the suspects remanded to jail, as friendly banter. It is also possible to interpret their text exchanges more critically. Shaham-Shavit wrote: Police investigators “almost beat me up or arrested me.” He angered them because he supported releasing the suspects earlier than the police investigators did. Poznansky-Katz’s responded sympathetically, “I think there is nothing scarier than that.”

It’s easy to read this as two colleagues commiserating about out of control police investigators ready to run over anyone who stands between them and their prey – Prime Minister Netanyahu.

However you interpret their exchange, the fact is that their messages were a crime. They coordinated Poznansky-Katz’s rulings before the defendants were allowed to present their cases. Yet, whereas Netanyahu’s advisers and friends are treated like mafia bosses for advancing legal policies, Poznansky-Katz and Shaham-Shavit were let off with administrative slaps on their wrists.

And we’re supposed to believe in the justice system.

It is easy to get swept away in the flood of prejudicial leaks and biased reporting that have already indicted, tried and pronounced Netanyahu’s guilt. But when you analyze the actual cases being assembled against him, it becomes clear that not only is there nothing there, these probes themselves represent an unprecedented assault on the basic norms of Israel.
Israel said frustrated with US inaction on Iran entrenchment in Syria
A rift between Israel and the United States regarding Iranian entrenchment in Syria appears to be widening, ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scheduled meeting on Monday with US President Donald Trump.

Israeli officials have reportedly been complaining the Americans aren’t doing enough to limit Tehran’s influence in neighboring Syria. While the issue is seen in Israel as an acute and critical threat, the US officials were downplaying it as a minor concern for Washington.

“There is a big gap between Washington’s talk and their actions,” a senior Israeli official dealing with the Syrian front was quoted as saying Wednesday by Channel 10.

“It is convenient for the Americans to let us be their proxy against Iran in Syria,” the official added. “We are very worried.”

In recent years, Israel has repeatedly warned that Iran is trying to entrench itself militarily in Syria and provide Hezbollah with increasingly accurate missiles, with which the terrorist group can threaten the Jewish state.

General Joseph Votel, head of the US’s Central Command, said on Tuesday that the US mission in Syria was to defeat the Islamic State terror organization, rather than acting against Iran.
Israeli and U.S. establishments waste time pondering Abbas successor; all will act the same towards Israel
The Israeli and American establishments spend a lot of time over who should replace Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas when he’s gone.

This establishment thinking was expressed in a recent article titled, “Jibril Rajoub vs. Muhammad Dahlan to replace Mahmoud Abbas” by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and published on JNS.

Any Palestinian (Muslim) will end up acting the same towards Israel.

Why? Because the root problem is that no Muslim leader can sign a final peace agreement with the non-Muslim state of Israel and remain alive. He would be labeled a traitor because according to the Shari’a, once a land is conquered by Muslims, it must remain Muslim forever. Muslims conquered all of these lands in 637 CE.

All of pre-1967 Israel, the West Bank and Gaza must, therefore, remain under Islamic rule. The non-Muslim Jewish state of Israel, from their perspective, has no right to exist because it is not Muslim.

If a Palestinian leader would sign any such agreement, the people he supposedly would lead would destroy him.

That is why former Palestinian head Yasser Arafat rejected the generous peace offer made by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at Camp David in 2000 with U.S. President Bill Clinton, and was quoted as saying he did not want to end up drinking tea with assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. In other words, the Palestinians would kill him if he signed a peace deal to end the conflict.
Trump the Deal-maker and the Middle East
Deal-makers who try to solve the "Middle East problem" often sacrifice the existential reality on the ground to the essential abstraction of elusive ideals. There are many reasons why so many deal-makers have failed. The first is that peace is never negotiated and is always imposed by the side that wins a war. There is not any instance in history, which is primarily a narrative of countless wars, in which an outsider has imposed peace on unwilling belligerents.

Deal-makers do not fully appreciate the importance of the status quo, the reality on the ground. Whenever a status quo is at least tolerable for both belligerents, the desire for risking it in the hope of an ill-defined peace is diminished. Many people in the world live with a status quo they don't regard as ideal.

Russia and Japan coexist, trade with each other, and maintain correct relations despite being technically at war after the Russian occupation of chunks of the Kuril Islands. China and India coexist despite the Chinese annexation of large Indian territories along the border. By one count, 89 of the 198 members of the UN are involved in territorial disputes or are home to restive, sometimes secessionist, minorities.

If we add irredentist claims rooted in history, almost all UN members are in dispute with their neighbors. I haven't met a Mexican who didn't think that California and Texas belonged to Mexico.
Jerusalem Mayor: Israel ‘Will Seriously Consider’ Naming Western Wall Train Station After Trump
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said Friday that the Israeli government "will seriously consider" naming a train station near the Western Wall after President Donald Trump.

Barkat said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that Israel wants to thank Trump for officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December. Trump at the time called his decision an "overdue step" for peace efforts between the Jewish state and the Palestinians, and also announced that he began making preparations to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Daily Beast political editor Sam Stein noted on Friday that news reports from late December said that Israel would name a new train station near the Western Wall after Trump. Barkat indicated that the idea may very well come to fruition, but added that it is still too early in the planning process to say for sure.

"There was a news report late last year that the train station near the Western Wall was going to be named after Donald Trump. Is that actually happening?" Stein asked.

"It's too early," Barkat responded. "But we would like to recognize President Trump, and commend him and thank him for what he has done, for the fact that he's moving the embassy and the recognition, the deep recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people."

"So you'll name the train station after him?" Stein asked.

"We will seriously consider this; it's a process, but we'll seriously consider it," Barkat said.

Netanyahu Expected to Visit Brazil in June, as Ties Continue to Warm
Following an invitation from Brazilian Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes, who arrived in Israel this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has conditionally accepted an invitation to visit Brazil in June, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

According to Israel’s Ambassador to Brasilia Yossi Shelley, Netanyahu accepted the invitation on condition that the two nations successfully upgraded their trade agreement currently being negotiated. The negotiations are expected to be completed by June.

Netanyahu’s trip to Latin America this past September was the first by a sitting Israeli prime minister and, according to the Post, he has been talking about visiting the South American nation for months.

Israel’s ties with Brazil have improved since President Michel Temer took office in August 2016, replacing his predecessor Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached and removed from office. Both Rousseff, and President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, who preceded her were less friendly towards Israel.

Brazil is scheduled to have presidential election in October, and, according to Shelley, all major candidate are believed to be as favorably disposed towards Israel as Temer, so ties are expected to remain warm.

Netanyahu and Nunes discussed the growing ties between Israel and Brazil in the areas of “security, education, culture and academia.”
CAMERA: Popular Resistance Committee Backgrounder: 2018
On Feb. 17, 2018, an improvised explosive device (IED) was set off near several Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers at the Gaza Strip border, wounding four. The New York Times reported that the attack was both “praised” and perpetrated by the “Popular Resistance Committees, a militant offshoot of Fatah that has specialized in setting roadside bombs and other explosive devices (“Four Israelis Hurt By Bomb Set in Flag at Gaza Fence, Igniting Night of Fighting,” Feb. 17, 2018).” Yet, this barely suffices as a description of a group that has committed dozens of terror attacks since its creation in 2000, and seems likely to commit many more.

Former members of Fatah, the movement that dominates both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a U.S.-designated terror group, formed the Popular Resistance Committee (PRC) in September 2000. The PRC also included operatives from Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), both U.S.-designated terrorist organizations. Members of the PA's security forces comprised much of the PRC's early makeup. Accordingly, the PRC could be—and often is—characterized as a “coalition” of various anti-Israel terror groups. According to Lt. Col. Jonathan Halevi, an analyst with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the name Popular Resistance Committee was chosen to express the “concept of the organization's founders that the struggle against Israel should be waged by a military force combining all of the organizations.”

According to the Jewish Virtual Library, Jamal Abu Samhadana, a former member of the Tanzim faction of Fatah, created the PRC. As CAMERA has detailed (see, for example “Backgrounder: Tanzim,” Sept. 5, 2017), the Tanzim faction is made up of a different, younger clique—one that is frequently critical of Fatah's founding generation.
Arabs break into artillery base, steal equipment
Arabs broke into the IDF's Shivta Camp on Thursday night, stealing army equipment.

The thieves broke the lock on one of the camp's gates, entering and stealing logistical equipment such as uniforms, army coats, and army boots.

They did not steal weapons or ammunition. Some of the equipment they stole was found in an open field near the base.

Israel Police have opened an investigation.

The Negev's Shivta Camp includes an Artillery Coprs training center, where the Artillery Corps' basic training and part of their specialized training are held. It also includes an advanced training park, a general IAF commanders' course, and other courses.

Last January, the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee held a meeting on dealing with the thefts from IDF bases and firing ranges. At the discussion, someone pointed out that in the past two years, the IDF's ground forces have seen fifty such thefts occur annually.
Hamas and Abbas rival discuss forming joint Gaza government
Hamas is not ruling out the possibility of forming a “national salvation” government with deposed Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan, who is an archenemy of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, a Hamas official was quoted on Thursday as saying.

A senior Hamas delegation headed by Ismail Haniyeh met in Cairo recently with representatives of Dahlan and discussed possible collaboration efforts.

It was unclear whether the Hamas officials had also met with the Egyptian-backed Dahlan personally.

The delegation, which also held intensive discussions with Egyptian government officials in the past three weeks, returned to the Gaza Strip on Wednesday.

The discussions focused on ways to end the ongoing dispute between Hamas and Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction, as well as what many are calling a humanitarian crisis inside the Gaza Strip and security issues related to Egypt’s war against jihadists in Sinai.

Upon their return to the Gaza Strip, the Hamas officials said their talks in Egypt were “successful,” but did not provide further details.

This was not the first time that Hamas and Dahlan had discussed the possibility of working together in the Gaza Strip.

Last year, the two sides were said to have reached an agreement that would allow Dahlan to play a role in a new administration in the Gaza Strip. Dahlan, who lives in exile in the United Arab Emirates, enjoys the financial and political backing of Egypt and several other Arab countries.
Trump Admin Preparing to Kill Iran Nuclear Deal If Europeans Refuse to Fix Agreement
The Trump administration is laying the groundwork to abandon the landmark nuclear deal with Iran if European allies fail to fix the agreement and close key loopholes that have allowed the Islamic Republic to continue sensitive nuclear research and develop advanced ballistic missiles, according to senior administration officials and top lawmakers who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon about sensitive ongoing diplomatic talks.

Senior Trump administration officials have been pressuring European allies to agree to a range of fixes to the nuclear deal that would address Iran's military intervention across the Middle East, as well as its ongoing efforts to develop advanced ballistic missile technology that could be used to carry a nuclear weapon.

Key European governments in recent days have expressed opposition to Trump administration efforts to impose new sanctions on Iran, instead pushing the United States to go along with weaker, cosmetic changes that insiders view as appeasing Iran.

If these allies fail over the next several months to fix a range of flaws with the deal that the Trump administration views as vital, America will walk away from the agreement, senior administration officials made clear in a range of comments to the Free Beacon.

U.S. officials say they are already making clear their intent to abandon the nuclear accord and are preparing the international community for such a reality, which will come within the next 90 days, according to those officials apprised of the situation.
Europeans working to limit Iran’s Mideast aggression in bid to save nuclear deal
Several major European powers have reportedly initiated discussions with Iran to address fears of its growing regional aggression, while working directly with the US in a bid to keep the landmark 2015 nuclear deal alive by imposing several additional limitations of the Islamic Republic.

Representatives from Britain, France and Germany have been meeting with US officials to draw up a strategy to improve the deal in return for US President Donald Trump renewing sanctions relief on May 12 and preventing the agreement from lapsing, the Reuters news agency reported Thursday.

At the same time, those countries, joined by Italy and the European Union, have initiated discussions with Iran to address regional issues amid Western, Gulf Arab and Israeli concerns over its destabilizing role across the Middle East, the report said.

In recent years, Israel has repeatedly warned that Iran is trying to entrench itself militarily in Syria and provide Hezbollah with increasingly accurate missiles, with which the Lebanese terrorist group can threaten the Jewish state.
AIPAC-backed US House bill seeks to broaden Iran sanctions
The top Republican and the top Democrat on the US House Foreign Affairs Committee have introduced a bill that would broaden sanctions targeting the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The bill was proposed Thursday, three days before the start of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference in Washington, DC.

Republican Ed Royce, the Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, and Democrat Eliot Engel, its ranking Democrat, sponsored the measure, which would remove the 50 percent threshold for Revolutionary Guard ownership that currently makes companies eligible for sanctions. Its sponsorship by two party leaders boosts its chance of passage.

The measure will be featured on the AIPAC conference’s legislative agenda.

The pro-Israel lobby also wants to address US President Donald Trump’s concerns with the 2015 deal between the international community and Iran, trading sanctions relief for a rollback of Iran’s nuclear program.

Like Trump, AIPAC wants easier access for inspectors to Iran’s military bases, an extension or a lifting of “sunsets” for some of the provisions (currently between 10 and 15 years) and the expansion of the deal to roll back Iran’s ballistic missile program.
Boeing ordered to give Israeli terror victims details of $16b Iran deal
A federal judge in a civil case focused on a 2003 attack by terrorists backed by the Iranian government ordered the Boeing corporation to turn over to the family of an Israeli terror victim details of a $16 billion contract with Iran Air, Iran’s flagship carrier, to purchase 80 commercial planes.

The relatives of 7-year-old Israeli girl Noam Leibovitch are suing. She was killed by members of the Palestine Islamic Jihad, which the US State Department has described as an Iranian-funded terrorist organization, when they fired on the Leibovitch family as they traveled on a highway in Israel. Her sister, Shira Leibovitch, and other members of the family were injured.

They’re seeking to collect on a longstanding, $67-million civil judgment against Iran.

The disclosure came in a ruling this week by Chief US District Judge Ruben Castillo in Chicago, which stated that the Trump administration had notified the court that it is complying with the 2015 multiparty deal designed to restrict Iran’s nuclear program.

US President Donald Trump has sharply criticized the nuclear deal hammered out during the Obama administration. In turn, Iran has accused the US of not complying with terms of the deal, which also involved France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia and China.
FIFA says women will ‘soon’ be allowed at games in Iran
FIFA President Gianni Infantino received assurances from Iran that female fans will “soon” be allowed into soccer stadiums after they were blocked from getting into a game he attended in Tehran.

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency cited the interior ministry as saying about 35 women were stopped from entering the Azadi Stadium on Thursday for a game between Esteqlal and Persepolis and “were instructed to a proper place by police.”

Amid criticism of the trip, Infantino opened a FIFA equality conference on Friday by claiming the trip could help “many women around the world” while acknowledging he was reluctant to be heard “criticizing anyone.”

“I hope, I am confident, I was promised that women in Iran will have access to football stadiums soon,” Infantino said at FIFA headquarters in Zurich. “We will see but I hope this experience which I made only yesterday afternoon can maybe help many, many women around the world.”

Infantino did not specify who made the pledge, nor did he address the fact only men are allowed into Iranian stadiums during a speech in the country on Thursday. There was only passing reference to women’s soccer in the address in Tehran.

“Of course for a big country like Iran much more can be done,” Infantino said. “So my plea to all of you men and women, let’s develop and encourage women’s football because we need to care about 50 percent of our population.”
Israel Youth Delegation Returns from Qatar with Handball Tournament Trophy
Their participation brought renewed scrutiny to Doha's foreign policy amid diplomatic row with Arab neighbors

An Israeli sports delegation consisting of two youth high school teams and sponsored by the ministry of education, returned from Qatar on Thursday with a third place trophy in the World Handball Championship for Schools, held in Doha.

“The delegation was received in Qatar by the Organizing Committee and participants with great respect and warmth, Israel’s Ministry of Education said in a statement offering a hero’s welcome as the 35-member delegation returned home Thursday.

"The organizing committee provided the Israeli delegation with excellent accommodation conditions, and they did everything in their power to entertain the Israelis in the best possible way. The delegation was secure, and all the arrangements were exemplary,” the statement added.

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