Saturday, January 04, 2020

From Ian:

Ben Shapiro: Trump Taking Out Soleimani Just Made The World A Better, Safer Place
On Thursday, in the most audacious and brave move of his presidency, President Trump ordered the killing of Iran’s top terrorist, Qassem Soleimani — a man who was also the top general of the country. Commentators have compared Iran’s loss of Soleimani to the loss of the Defense Secretary, head of the CIA, and the head of the FBI simultaneously. Soleimani was the man closest to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and some speculated that he would succeed Khamenei at some point. Now, he’s been reduced to pulp.

His death makes the world a significantly better and safer place. Soleimani was responsible for the killing of hundreds of American troops in Iraq (by State Department estimates, 17 percent of all Americans killed in Iraq were Soleimani’s handiwork), the arming of Hezbollah in Lebanon with tens of thousands of rockets, the Houthi terrorism in Yemen, the building of Islamic Jihad, and a bevy of terror plots all around the world, including the latest assault on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Speculation that this represents an “act of war” is utterly baseless — Soleimani is a terrorist who was killed while abroad, in Iraq, planning further acts of terrorism.

Suggestions that the Trump administration is responsible for “escalation” with Iran — after months of Iranian aggression in international waters and in foreign countries, after downing an American drone and attacking an American embassy — are absurd and morally disgusting. When Nancy Pelosi tweets that it is “disproportionate” to kill a terror leader planning action against Americans and our assets and allies, she’s not just reflecting moral confusion — she’s evidencing moral foolishness of the highest order.

There is a lot to be nervous about here. Is the Soleimani killing part of a broader American strategy with regard to Iran, or a supposed one-off? Has the U.S. hardened its assets on the ground in the Middle East in preparation for Iranian retaliation? Are America’s allies ready for the surge in terrorism that will surely follow, given the Iranian government’s need to show strength in the face of this devastating loss?

With all of that said, it’s obvious that President Trump was attempting to restore a deterrence against Iran that had been completely disintegrated by the Obama administration. History didn’t begin with Trump, and Iranian aggression didn’t start with the end of the Iran nuclear deal. Far from it. Iran has become more powerful and aggressive thanks to the overt planning of the Obama administration.

President Obama’s preferred strategy with Iran was wishful thinking and bribery. The Obama administration openly lied to the American people, claiming that there was a “moderate” faction inside the Iranian government that would be elevated through signing them checks and ushering them into the world economy. That was utter nonsense, as national security aide Ben Rhodes later admitted. The Obama administration engaged in the worst sort of appeasement, guaranteeing billions of dollars in economic growth to a regime dedicated to the destruction of American interests around the world and hell-bent on regional domination.
Trump: Soleimani's Reign of Terror Is Over
President Donald Trump on Friday said the United States should have taken out Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani a long time ago noting the violent acts recently led by the terrorist leader. The Washington Free Beacon is a privately owned, for-profit online newspaper dedicated to uncovering the stories that the powers that be hope will never see the light of day.


Commentary Magazine Podcast: The Day After Soleimani’s Death
A special episode of the COMMENTARY podcast unpacks the events of the last several weeks in the Middle East, culminating in a targeted strike on Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Commander Qasem Soleimani.
In Just A Few Months, Trump Has Taken Out Some Of The World's Top Terrorists
President Donald Trump has taken out some of the world’s top terrorists in a matter of months, approving military raids and strikes that have decapitated the leadership of various terror-affiliated organizations.

The death of Qasem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force, on Thursday night, was just the latest in a line of successful assassinations by the Trump administration.

Hamza bin Laden
While it is unclear when exactly Hamza bin Laden, the son of late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, was killed, Trump confirmed his death in mid-September. The younger bin Laden was taking on a more prominent role in al-Qaeda before he was killed in a U.S.-led counterterrorism operation in South Asia.

The State Department had put out a $1 million reward for information on bin Laden’s whereabouts in early 2019, but reports say he may have been killed anytime between 2017 and 2019.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed during a Trump-approved U.S. special forces raid in late October.

The raid reportedly lasted about two hours and took place at al-Baghdadi’s compound in Syria. al-Baghdadi was chased into a tunnel by a special forces canine and, after reaching a dead end, the ISIS leader killed himself by detonating a suicide vest. Three children were also killed in the blast.

Trump later gave a medal to Conan, the dog who successfully chased down al-Baghdadi.

Noah Pollak: Yes, Targeted Killings Work
One of the main arguments against the strike that killed Qassem Soleimani is that targeted killings of terror leaders are ineffective: They invite escalation and reprisals, and the removal of senior terrorists doesn’t degrade the effectiveness of the groups they lead because they can be quickly replaced.

But this argument doesn’t hold up to the experience of recent history. Take two examples of targeted killing campaigns against terrorist groups in the past 20 years: Israel during the Second Intifada, and the Obama administration campaign against al-Qaeda.

In both campaigns, Israel and the U.S. combined precise intelligence with precision-guided munitions to systematically eliminate the leadership and top operatives of dangerous terrorist groups. The key to these campaigns was that they weren’t one-offs — they were sustained over the course of years.

During that time, in places like Gaza, Afghanistan, and the tribal regions of Pakistan, targeted killings did much more than symbolically remove terror leaders from the battlefield. They helped cripple the effectiveness of terror groups by forcing them to shift from offense to defense.

Instead of recruiting followers and planning attacks, they had to spend time and energy worrying about security. The sophisticated intelligence employed by the U.S. and Israel raised suspicions of informants. Distrust grew. The ability of operatives to propagandize, communicate, plan, and move freely was undermined as every phone call and meeting raised the specter of surveillance or a missile strike. As leaders were killed off and replaced, only for the replacements themselves to be killed, morale suffered.




Professor Phyllis Chesler: The Attacks on Identifiable Jews in NYC Have Only Just Begun
One must ask: Why are Jews being targeted? Why not Christians or Muslims?
That’s because our entire culture, country, and world has been marinated in Jew hatred. Bits and pieces of it are flying all around just waiting to be snatched up and acted upon. That’s the genie.

Mentally ill people take certain ideas quite literally. Someone who is very bright may also be a paranoid schizophrenic or a manic-depressive who can latch onto a designated scapegoat and act upon what’s out there in the consciousness of the collective.

We assume, wrongfully, that a mentally ill person is so disabled by his or her illness that they are incapable of planning such attacks against Jews. And yet, clearly, they do scope out the best territory, buy weapons, plan a strategy, and carry it out. And, they also attack Jews spontaneously. There is an electrifying permission all around us.

Several conclusions.
-Mental illness should no longer be a “get out of jail card” in such instances.

-Jews must defend themselves as individuals and as communities. It must be made clear that we can do this, that there will be a price to pay for attacking a vulnerable and visible Jew. True, there is always the danger that Jewish self-defense will be seen and treated as provocation and retaliation might be far out of proportion. Our Israeli brethren deal with this problem every hour of every day. It is time for American and European Jews to seek their advice and consider how they “manage” the “matzav,”

-These recent attacks upon Jews in the United States are not similar to what happened in Nazi Germany in the 1930s. There is no political mandate, no politician who is planning to exterminate every single Jew in the West. However, there is a dangerous brew of anti-Zionism in the media, among European leaders, and, with many exceptions, in our current Democratic Party. This is part of the marinade in which lone and mentally ill people are stewing.

-There are also ideological Jew haters and Jew killers in the United States. So many Jihad attacks beginning with 9/11 have afflicted us. Calls for both Jewish and infidel deaths are rampant among fundamentalist and extremist Muslims. Certain Imams in American jails call for our deaths every day. To the extent to which African-American and Hispanic-American men are jailed (rightly, wrongly, unfortunately, unjustly), they sometimes re-enter society as Muslim soldiers. Or as supporters of Jihad. Similar calls are made in certain mosques every Friday or five times a day, every day.

The good news: Earlier today, a seventeen year-old Muslim boy, Ahmed Khalifa, saw a much taller, 31 year old African-American man suddenly assault a visibly Orthodox Jewish woman on the train. There was blood. She was crying. Her glasses were broken. Guess what? Khalifa-the-hero followed that man, Rayvon Jones, as he fled and managed to help the police find and arrest him. God bless this young man from Sudan who was trained to know right from wrong and who refused to act as a bystander at this moment in history.
Thousands to march in NY, Jerusalem against antisemitism on Sunday
Thousands of Jews are expected to march in New York City Sunday under the banner “No Hate. No Fear.” A similar march will take place in Jerusalem with hundreds expected to attend.

The events come in the wake of a series of violent attacks against Jews in New York and New Jersey, including a stabbing attack over Hanukkah that left five people injured, one critically.

The New York march is organized by the UJA-Federation of New York, together with the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, the Anti-Defamation League of New York, the American Jewish Committee of New York and the New York Board of Rabbis. As of Saturday night Israel time, some 2,100 people were listed as “going” on the main Facebook page for the event and another 5,300 had expressed “interest.”

Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency, Isaac Herzog said: “Sunday’s solidarity rally in Jerusalem will send a message of strength to our sisters and brothers in New York as they set out to proudly march across the Brooklyn Bridge. We will not stand for this hatred of our people and are united, as one people, in the fight against antisemitism.”

“When antisemitism strikes our community, we stand up and stand together,” the Facebook page reads. “We will march through our streets — proud, united, and strong. The 1.5 million Jews of our great city and region will not stand down. We will not be intimidated.

“We invite New Yorkers of every background to stand with us and say no to hate and no to fear,” the organizers’ statement concludes.

Participants will gather in Foley Square and march from lower Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge to Cadman Plaza, culminating in a rally in Columbus Park.
Hanukkah Machete Suspect Indicted in New York on Six Counts of Attempted Murder
The man accused of going on a machete rampage at the New York-area home of a Hasidic rabbi during a Hanukkah celebration was indicted on Friday on six counts of attempted murder, up from five counts the suspect was charged with previously.

The indictment also charges Grafton Thomas, 37, with three counts of assault, three counts of attempted assault, and two counts of burglary stemming from the Dec. 28 attack, Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Walsh announced at a brief news conference.

The original criminal complaint filed the day after the assault charged Thomas with five counts of attempted murder — one for each victim authorities then said was stabbed or slashed in the incident — plus a single count of burglary.

Walsh declined to take questions from reporters, and a copy of the indictment was not immediately provided.

But the sixth attempted-murder count indicates investigators have revised their tally of victims, the most gravely injured of whom is reported to be a 72-year-old man who suffered machete blows to his head, leaving him partially paralyzed, comatose, and breathing on a respirator.
Woman charged in alleged anti-Semitic attack on ultra-Orthodox man in Brooklyn
A suspect in an alleged anti-Semitic attack in New York City pleaded not guilty and was being held on $10,000 bond.

Jasmine Lucas, 24, was charged Thursday in Brooklyn criminal court with second-degree robbery as a hate crime and second-degree assault, among other counts, for allegedly assaulting a 22-year-old Jewish man the previous afternoon in the Williamsburg neighborhood.

During the alleged assault — one of multiple reported anti-Semitic attacks in the New York metropolitan area since December 24 — Lucas is said to have used racial slurs and shoved the Hasidic man to the ground when he tried to film the incident.

Sources said she shouted “Fuck you, Jew” and “I will kill you Jews” at the victim at Gerry and Rutledge streets, the New York Post reported. She was there with another woman.

The victim tried to film the women but they allegedly knocked him over and broke his cellphone.


Congresswoman Sherrill Calls For Apology From Montclair Leader for Comments on Hasidic Jews
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) called for an apology on Friday from Montclair leader James Harris following comments he made about Hasidic Jews during a local community forum on Monday.

According to the New Jersey Globe, Sherrill said, “It’s always awful to see division, racism, and anti-Semitism in this country, but especially heartbreaking when it is here at home.”

“James Harris’ comments were shocking not only because of the anti-Semitism that seems to be drawn from issues in no way related to the affordable housing problems in Montclair, but also because I would assume his work to stand up against racism would apply equally to all forms of hatred,” she added.

Sherrill said on Friday, “I have pledged to fight hatred anywhere and everywhere, but especially in Montclair where I’m raising my kids.”

“I think Mr. Harris needs to apologize for his hurtful words and I hope we use this as an opportunity for the community to come together in support of the values that Montclair is well known for: diversity, inclusion, and compassion,” Sherrill concluded.
Montclair Rabbi Calls Out NJ Association of Black Educators President For Publicly Criticizing Hasidic Jews at 4th Ward Meeting
Rabbi David Greenstein of Congregation Shomrei Emunah censured remarks made by the president of New Jersey Association of Black Educators James Harris (Harris is also the Education Committee chair for the Montclair NAACP), who criticized Hasidic Jews at a community forum held by Fourth Ward Councilwoman Dr. Renee Baskerville in Montclair Monday night.

The goal of Baskerville’s forum was to welcome the new decade with “a more just, respectful, secure, sustainable, prosperous, peaceful environment: a place where everyone can become independent and be mutually dependent; a place where everyone can be at their best, on their own, and a vital part of the whole.”

Harris thanked the mayor, the council, and members of the Board of Education for the invitation to speak. After speaking about his early years and experiences growing up in Montclair, Harris brought up Lakewood, New Jersey and stated that it was the Orthodox Center of the U.S.

Harris recalled how he had learned that the biggest Baptist church in Lakewood was sold and how the town had increased in population but that there were “very few black folks left.”

“Lakewood now has over a hundred thousand people, little old Lakewood,” Harris continued. “But what is kind of amazing to me as the president of the New Jersey association of black educators, and by the way I’m speaking tonight as the president of the New Jersey Association of Black Educators, is that they, the Jewish community controls the Board of Education and the city council and they spend huge amounts of money sending their kids to the yeshivas and they got the budget for the black and Latino students who are left in the public schools.”

Harris then discussed how he observed something similar in Jersey City.
NY Times Reporter Blames White Nationalism for Anti-Semitic Attacks in New York
New York Times political reporter Astead Herndon blamed white nationalism for the spate of anti-Semitic attacks that have broken out across New York City.

In an interview on NPR’s 1A, host Todd Zwillich asked Herndon how New Yorkers were reacting to these incidents and the "growing national trend" of anti-Semitic violence.

Herndon said that what’s important is "naming [anti-Semitism] for what it is," which is why we are now seeing policies that "target white nationalism and to really root it out at its core, and that’s going to continue because we have seen this spike in hate crimes, particularly against the Jewish community."

The apparently confused host responded that the attackers in these incidents were not white supremacists, as in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, but African Americans "maybe with a different world view."


Raphael Ahren: Why doesn’t the US try to repeal the UN’s anti-settlements resolution?
Three years ago, the United Nations Security Council passed a seminal resolution condemning Israel’s settlement enterprise. Resolution 2334 passed with the help of then-US president Barack Obama, who decided to abstain rather than vote against it. The current US administration has consistently condemned the controversial resolution, but has failed to repeal or revoke it.

US President Donald Trump and his team have taken unprecedented steps to express their support of the settlements, including declaring that they are not necessarily illegal under international law.

But they have made no known effort to strike Resolution 2334 from the books, likely because they are cognizant of the sheer impossibility of repealing a Security Council resolution — not to mention the broad international consensus against the settlements.

There is no formal mechanism for repealing a Security Council resolution. The only way to get rid of Resolution 2334 would be to pass a new one. But given that nearly all countries in the world staunchly oppose Israel’s settlement movement, there is virtually no chance of that happening.

“The Trump administration has been clear that the previous administration’s abstention on UNSCR 2334 — thereby allowing the resolution to pass — was a very serious mistake. I am proud that the administration has reversed the erroneous policy underlying this misguided and unhelpful resolution,” US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told The Times of Israel on Tuesday.

“We remain strongly committed to combating all forms of anti-Israel bias, and all attempts to isolate and de-legitimize Israel, in the United Nations and other international fora.”

‘Zionism is racism’ resolution took 16 years to reverse
Bernie Sanders taps ex-Obama official as Jewish community liaison
The Bernie Sanders campaign has named an insider in both the Jewish and Democratic establishments — entities that the presidential candidate has previously kept at a distance — as its liaison to the Jewish community.

The appointment of Joel Rubin, 48, a former Obama administration official with longstanding ties to an array of Jewish groups, was announced Thursday to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Rubin was a co-founder of J Street, the liberal Jewish Middle East policy group, and recently served on the board of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, a group that slots into the mainstream both of the pro-Israel community and the Democratic Party.

“It’s really exciting because Bernie is building a movement here that is one that is essentially engaging the diversity of America,” Rubin told JTA in an interview. “What we’re going to do is make sure that the Jewish voice and community is part and parcel of that movement.”
Austria commits to fighting anti-Semitism, supporting Israel
The new government of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, which in the coming days will be sworn in, reaffirmed on Thursday its strong commitment to Israel and its security, as well as to fighting anti-Semitism.

Two clauses appearing in a document outlining the new Austrian government's national agenda, which it published on Thursday, pertain to the Jewish people and their national home, Israel.

The new government said it was committed to fighting anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on its soil and across the globe, and has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism.

In the clause relating to Israel, the incoming government said, "Austria has a unique historical responsibility to the State of Israel and the alliance with it. We are committed to the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and particularly to its security."

The document continued: "Israel's existence isn't given to question."

On the practical level, the document stipulated that "Austria will not support any initiative or decision in international forums that contradicts this commitment to Israel."
Canadian NDP Party Leader Seeks ‘Very Strong’ Relationship With Jewish Community, Says BDS ‘Not Path to Peace’
Jagmeet Singh, leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP), recently spoke to members of the country’s Jewish community on the rise in antisemitism and the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, which he said is “not the path to peace” and will not be his party’s “path forward.”

The left-leaning NDP lost its position as Canada’s second opposition party in the 2019 federal elections, earning nearly 16 percent of the vote and dropping to 24 seats from the 44 seats it won in 2015. It is now the fourth-largest faction in parliament, behind the Bloc Québécois, Conservative, and ruling Liberal parties.

In a round-table conversation hosted last month by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), which has since been published as a podcast, Singh said he wanted “to have a very strong relationship with the Jewish community, it’s something very important to me.”

“Hate is not something that’s isolated, once it’s allowed to take hold, it grows and spreads like a fire and that’s why I think we’ve got a collective responsibility … to stop it together,” Singh said after acknowledging a rise in reported hate crimes.
‘No Evidence It Was a Murder’: Argentine President Fernandez Reverses Position on Killing of AMIA Bombing Investigator Alberto Nisman
Argentina’s recently-elected president questioned on Wednesday the “scientific rigor” behind a 2017 police investigation which concluded that Alberto Nisman — the late federal prosecutor investigating the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires — had been assassinated.

In a New Year’s Day interview with the Argentine news outlet Clarin, Alberto Fernandez — who was elected president of the Latin American country in October — revived the claim of the former administration of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner that Nisman had committed suicide. The interview coincided with the release on Netflix of a six-part documentary on the murder of Nisman.

Nisman’s body was discovered in his Buenos Aires apartment on Jan. 18 2015 — hours before he was due to formally unveil a legal complaint against Kirchner and several of her colleagues for allegedly conspiring with the Tehran regime to block efforts to extradite the Iranian suspects behind the AMIA atrocity, in which 85 people were killed and more than 300 wounded.

“The accumulated evidence does not suggest that there was a murder,” Fernandez told Clarin. He then added that “the only thing that contradicts this claim was a Gendarmeria investigation that seems to lack all scientific rigor.”

For nearly a year after his death, Nisman’s demise was depicted by the Argentine authorities as a suicide, rather than a murder.

However, an independent investigation in 2017 by the Gendarmeria, a national law enforcement agency, concluded definitively from its examination of the crime scene that Nisman was murdered.

A few weeks after the publication of the Gendarmeria report, Federal Judge Julian Ercolini issued a 656-page ruling determining that Nisman had been murdered.
Eli Lake: Trump’s Deadly Message to Iran’s Terrorist Regime
For 40 years American presidents have pondered a fundamental question about Iran, best summed up by Henry Kissinger: Is it a country or a cause? On Thursday evening, Donald Trump gave his answer: Iran is a cause, a terrorist cause, and it will be treated as such.

That could be the lasting implication of the drone strike Trump ordered that killed Iran’s indispensable General Qassem Soleimani. Since Jimmy Carter, U.S. presidents have sanctioned Iran and its leaders for sponsoring terrorist groups responsible for mayhem and murder worldwide. Until Thursday, however, those leaders have been spared the grisly fate of Osama bin Laden or Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Nation-states are generally expected to cooperate against terrorists, but with Soleimani’s leadership Iran has been a major facilitator of terror. Starting in 2003, he built up a network of proxies throughout the Middle East that tipped the balance of power in Iran’s favor. Under his command, Shiite militias in Iraq injured or killed thousands of U.S. troops with powerful roadside bombs. He orchestrated the arming and training of Yemen’s Houthi rebellion. He planned the intervention in Syria that saved Bashar al Assad’s brutal war machine. He helped plan the Iraqi government’s crackdown against anti-Iranian protesters.

And yet Soleimani saw himself as untouchable. He did not take the precautions of a marked man, cloaking his movements and hiding his location. In fact, he would often post selfies from various fronts in Iran’s regional war, taunting his adversaries.
Col. Richard Kemp: Assassination of General Qassem Soleimani
What are Iran’s military options? Soleimani put in place a network of terrorist proxies, not just in the Middle East but around the world. These might be used in a calibrated response to his death. The most powerful is Lebanese Hizballah, with tens of thousands of missiles in southern Lebanon, pointing at Israel. They exist to react to a US or Israeli attack on Iran. But they are a one-shot weapon: if launched they would be obliterated by Israel’s massive retaliation.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards could strike US warships or aircraft in the Gulf. Soleimani’s militias in the Middle East, especially Iraq, could attack US forces and diplomats. The same might happen in the US, Europe including the UK or elsewhere where sleeper cells await orders.

What should Britain do? We do have a dog in this fight. Apart from the ongoing threat to our interests in the Middle East, including from Iran’s nuclear programme, Soleimani’s proxies killed more than 1,000 British and US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan during the conflicts there. At the time I put forward to the prime minister an intelligence case for military action against this aggression.

Last July Iran seized a British-flagged tanker in the Gulf and in 2007 illegally captured two Royal Navy vessels and publicly humiliated their 15 crew members. Last June we learnt that our intelligence services had discovered a bomb factory containing tons of explosive materials in London in 2015. This was also Soleimani’s handiwork.

Our government should now publicly support President Trump’s actions against Iran, and must stand ready to back the US up with military forces and diplomatic pressure as the situation unfolds.






Soleimani was a monster, wanted atomic cloud over Tel Aviv - German newspaper
Julian Reichelt, the editor-in-chief of best-selling German newspaper Bild, on Friday authored a barn-burning commentary praising US President Donald Trump for authorizing a military strike to eliminate Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

"President Trump has freed the world of a monster whose aim in life was an atomic cloud over Tel Aviv. Trump has acted in self-defense – the self-defense of the US and all peace-loving people," wrote Reichelt.

He added that “the Iranian terror godfather Qassem Soleimani stood for a world that no peace-loving person can want: a world in which you can be torn apart by a bomb at any time because you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The commentary singled out Soleimani’s scorched-earth campaign in the Syrian war: "A world in which entire cities are wiped out – like Aleppo. In which bloodthirsty militia go from door to door and execute civilians."

Reichelt noted the potential of Iran’s regime to carry out terrorism in Germany and Israel, "in which the kindergartens in Germany could burn up in fireballs at any time because its children are Jewish. In which Israel is under threat of extinction every day."

The title of Reichelt’s commentary was, “Trump has freed the world from a monster.”
Iran’s UN Ambassador: US virtually declared war on Iran
Iranian Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi told CNN that the US killing of Qassem Soleimani, the top commander of the elite Quds Force of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, was tantamount to opening a war against Iran.

"The response for a military action," he said, "is a military action."

Iran told the United Nations Security Council and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday that it reserves its right to self-defense under international law after the United States killed Soleimani.

Ravanchi wrote in a letter that the killing of Soleimani "by any measure, is an obvious example of State terrorism and, as a criminal act, constitutes a gross violation of the fundamental principles of international law, including, in particular, those stipulated in the Charter of the United Nations."
Rocket lands near U.S. embassy in Baghdad as Soleimani funeral kicks off
A siren sounded in the US embassy in Baghdad following a reported rocket attack on Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone which houses government buildings and foreign missions, Reuters reported Saturday evening.

Two loud blasts were heard early Saturday evening shortly after IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani's funeral kicked off, after having been assassinated during a US airstrike in Baghdad International Airport.

It was not immediately possible to confirm the causes or locations.

Early reports claim that the siren was sounded due to a katyusha rocket impact inside the Green Zone's Celebrations Square, near the US embassy. According to Iraqi military, several rockets landed inside the Green Zone.

According to Reuters, two katyusha rockets fell inside the Iraqi Balad air base housing US soldiers. Other reports by Arab media claim four rockets landed in the base.

No casualties were initially reported in the attack on the embassy, according to Iraqi police. Other reports claim that three people were injured.

No deaths were reported in the Balad air base as of yet.
MEMRI: Turkish Government, Press Respond To U.S. Killing Of IRGC Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani: 'The Bandit U.S. Is Pursuing A New Order In The Middle East,' U.S. And Israel 'Will Drown In The Clean Blood Of [Soleimani] And All The Martyrs'
On January 2, 2020, the U.S. Defense Department announced that the U.S. military had killed Qassem Soleimani, leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force. News outlets reported that Soleimani had been killed in a drone strike at Baghdad International Airport.[1] While the reaction of the government was mild, other political figures and the press, including the press affiliated with the government, responded harshly to the killing.

Turkish Government Response Slow And Mild: "We Are Inviting All Sides To Act With Common Sense And Restraint"

On January 3, 2020, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said in a statement: "We feel a deep concern over the escalating U.S.-Iran tensions in the region. We forcefully emphasize again the warning that the conversion of Iraq into a battle zone will harm the peace and stability of both Iraq and our region. In this context, it is clear that the U.S. air operation carried out in Baghdad this morning against a convoy carrying Iranian [sic] Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Forces Commander Qassem Soleimani and those with him will increase the insecurity and instability in the region. It should be known that these escalating steps, which threaten the stability of our region, will increase the spiral of violence and that all sides will be harmed by this situation. Turkey has always been against external interventions, assassinations, and sectarian efforts in the region. For this reason, we are inviting all sides to act with common sense and restraint, to avoid unilateral steps that will endanger the peace and stability of our region, and to give priority to diplomacy."[2]

Turkish news website Birgün.net commented on the slow response of the Foreign Ministry, which apparently released its statement ten hours after news of the strike became public.[3] Responding, before the statement was released, to another writer's comment about the delay, Turkish journalist Can Dündar joked: "It is expected that Erdoğan will make a statement, saying: 'And we captured Soleimani's wife but we didn't make a big fuss about it.'" Dündar included a link to an article titled "President Erdoğan: We Captured Al-Baghdadi's Wife, Sister, And Female Relative," following the death of Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in the course of a U.S. operation in October 2019.[4] Can Dündar, who had previously been imprisoned for his reporting related to Turkish intelligence shipments of weapons into Syria, now lives in Germany and a "capture resolution" has been issued for him in Turkey.[5]

Harsh Reactions In Media To Soleimani's Killing: "The Bandit U.S. Is Pursuing A New Order In The Middle East" – "The Imperialism Of The U.S. And The Zionism Of Israel Will Drown In The Clean Blood Of [Soleimani] And All The Martyrs"
Biden Sided With Terror Leader Soleimani in Handing Control of Iraq to Iran
Former vice president Joe Biden reportedly played a decisive role in enabling recently assassinated Iranian terror leader Qassem Soleimani to push the United States out of Iraq and deliver the country into the hands of Iran.

In 2010, as Iraq faced pivotal elections that decided the country's direction, Soleimani went to great lengths to ensure Iranian-backed politicians won control of the government, according to a comprehensive 2013 New Yorker profile of the terror leader by Dexter Filkins.

During that time, Filkins reported, then-vice president Biden called pro-America Iraqi politician Ayad Allawi to demand he stop trying to form a government. This crucial call paved the way for Soleimani to orchestrate an Iranian takeover of the Iraqi political system, according to interviews Filkins conducted with numerous sources.

Following the assassination of Soleimani late Thursday evening, now-Democratic presidential contender Biden issued a statement accusing the Trump administration of tossing "a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox."
In 1996 Interview, Biden Called Iranian Bombing ‘Act of War,’ Called for Tough Response
As a U.S. senator in 1996, Joe Biden characterized a deadly bombing orchestrated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as an "act of war" that gave the United States latitude to respond with any level of force it deemed necessary, a far cry from his current calls for President Donald Trump to explain his decision to kill Qassem Soleimani.

Biden's view, expressed during an Aug. 4, 1996, interview with ABC News's Sam Donaldson—before the United States determined that the IRGC was responsible for the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia—was that, were Iran involved in the attack, it would yield its sovereignty. The attack on the U.S. Marine barracks left 19 dead and hundreds wounded.

"[The United States] could take whatever action it deems appropriate," Biden said at the time. "They yield their sovereignty if they are [behind the attack] … it's an act of war."

The strong stance differs greatly from his response to Thursday night's deadly strike on Soleimani—itself a response to Iran's attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad that killed an American contractor and wounded American troops.

The former vice president condemned the strike on Soleimani as "a huge escalatory move in an already dangerous region."


Sanders, Khanna seek to block funding for US military strike against Iran
Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders and California Representative Ro Khanna introduced legislation on Friday that would prohibit funding “for offensive military force in or against Iran without prior congressional authorization.”

In their joint statement, they argued that measures to restrict funds for such military activities were passed by a bipartisan, 251-margin vote in the House of Representatives, but were later stripped from the National Defense Authorization Act adopted by Congress in December.

“I am introducing a bill with Rep. Khanna to stop [President] Donald Trump from illegally taking us to war against Iran,” Sanders tweeted. “It’s working-class kids who will have to fight and die in a disastrous new Middle East conflict – not the children of billionaires.”

“Today, we are seeing a dangerous escalation that brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East,” Khanna said in a statement. “A war with Iran could cost countless lives and trillions of more dollars - and lead to even more deaths, more conflict, [and] more displacement in that already highly volatile region of the world.

“Our legislation blocks Pentagon funding for any unilateral actions this president takes to wage war against Iran without Congressional authorization,” he continued. “We must invest in the needs of the American people, not spend trillions more on endless wars.”
Pelosi Stands Up For Brutal Terrorist, Scolds Trump For ‘Disproportionate’ Hit On Soleimani
On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took a stand for brutal terrorist and Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, scolding President Donald Trump for taking a “disproportionate” hit on the terrorist.

“American leaders’ highest priority is to protect American lives and interests,” the Democrat leader posted via social media hours after the Soleimani-kill was confirmed. “But we cannot put the lives of American servicemembers, diplomats and others further at risk by engaging in provocative and disproportionate actions.”

Soleimani, a man responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans (an estimated 608), was killed in a Trump-ordered airstrike carried out on Friday near Baghdad International Airport.

“Soleimani was the head of the Iranian and Iranian-backed forces carrying out those operations killing American troops” during the Iraq War, Fox News reported. “According to the State Department, 17 percent of all deaths of U.S. personnel in Iraq from 2003 to 2011 were orchestrated by Soleimani.”

Moreover, as reported by The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra on Friday afternoon, Soleimani was in the process of “coordinating” attacks on U.S. personnel, according to the State Department.
De Blasio Rips Trump For Airstrike Killing Soleimani. Dov Hikind Shreds Him.
On Friday, New York mayor Bill de Blasio ripped President Trump for the airstrike on Thursday that killed Qasem Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. De Blasio’s comment triggered a withering blast from former New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who had previously ripped de Blasio for his inaction targeting anti-Semitism.

De Blasio tweeted, “Worried for our city + our nation. Without the approval of Congress, the US Government effectively declared war on Iran tonight. The American people had no say in the matter, despite voting time + again to stop endless wars + bring our troops home. This one will not end soon.”

Hikind angrily replied, “That Shabbat when my mother recounted her horrors in Auschwitz, you vowed to always stand up against those who want to harm Jews. No one person posed a bigger threat to the Jewish people than ‘We will wipe Israel off the face of the earth’ Qasem Soleimani. You lied to my mom.”

Last week, Hikind appeared on Fox & Friends, where he ripped de Blasio for blaming President Trump for the recent rash of anti-Semitic attacks. Hikind named the Jewish communities that had been hit by the attacks, then asserted, “All of these communities: they love the president. They are his greatest supporters.”
Ocasio-Cortez Responds To U.S. Killing Qasem Soleimani, Ignores Basic Facts
Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) responded to the U.S. military killing top terrorist targets in Iraq on Thursday by ignoring the facts of the situation and going all in to stop the Trump administration from further targeting enemies of the United States that have killed Americans.

“Last night the President engaged in what is widely being recognized as an act of war against Iran, one that now risks the lives of millions of innocent people,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Now is the moment to prevent war & protect innocent people – the question for many is how, publicly & Congressionally.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks come after the U.S. military used an MQ-9 Reaper drone to fire missiles on a convoy that was leaving Baghdad International Airport. The strike netted the deaths of Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, and top Iraqi paramilitary commander Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, who headed the Iranian-linked Popular Mobilization Forces.

“Right now is the moment to decide if you are pro-peace or not. The cheerleaders of war, removed from its true cost, will gladly convince you that up is down – just as they did in Iraq in ‘03. But war does not establish peace. War does not create security. War endangers us all,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “War advocates start off saying ‘we all want peace, but…’ or ‘it’s too late…’ & frame a pro-peace agenda as naïve to realpolitik. Don’t give into this gaslighting. The same folks selling us Iraq and selling us this latest provocation of violence. We cannot repeat this cycle.”
Tlaib Attacks Trump After Killing Of Iranian Terrorist; Omar Solicits Donations Attacking Trump On Iran
Far-left Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) attacked President Donald Trump on Friday for killing a top Iranian terrorist who was responsible for killing hundreds of American soldiers and wounding thousands more.

Tlaib tweeted, “We cannot stay silent as this lawless President recklessly moves us closer to yet another unnecessary war that puts innocent lives at risk at home & across the globe. Congress alone has the authority to declare war, & we must reclaim our responsibility & say no to war with Iran.”

Tlaib’s tweet came in response to Trump authorizing a U.S. drone strike on Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). The strike also killed top Iraqi paramilitary commander Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, who headed the Iranian-linked Popular Mobilization Forces.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) repeatedly attacked the Trump administration for killing Soleimani and later solicited donations for her re-election campaign based on her position.

Omar stated that she was “outraged” over Trump’s decision to kill Soleimani and promoted a conspiracy theory that Trump authorized the strike to create a “distraction” from the upcoming Senate impeachment trial.
Death of Qassem Soleimani inspires predictably stupid behavior from media
The killing of Iranian Quds Force leader and terrorist mastermind Qassem Soleimani has inspired some great work by the members of the national press.

It has also inspired some breathtakingly stupid reactions.

CNN, for example, alerted its more than 3 million followers on Twitter Friday afternoon with a headline that reads, “President Trump dined on ice cream as news of the airstrike broke.”

I promise you this is a real headline published by a real news organization. If you can believe it, the accompanying report is even dumber than the news alert.

“As news broke that the US struck and killed Qasem Soleimani, President Trump was dining at his Mar-a-Lago club, surrounded by old friends and others like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy,” reads the opening portion to CNN’s live updates. “As meatloaf and ice cream were served, the Pentagon confirmed that the US was behind the strikes, the only statement from the administration throughout the night.”

In other words, the president ate dinner long after the U.S. operation to take out Soleimani had taken place. CNN is reporting that the president had dinner at the same time that reporters learned of the Iranian general’s targeted killing. News you can use.
Murphy: Killing Soleimani Equivalent to Iran Assassinating Secretary of Defense
Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) equated the U.S. killing of Iranian general and designated terrorist Qassem Soleimani to Iran assassinating the U.S. secretary of defense on Friday, just days after criticizing Trump for not responding forcefully to Iranian attacks.

"The question moving forward is whether the administration has given any thought as to how to manage the fallout that comes from such a drastic action," Murphy said in Connecticut. "This is the equivalent of the Iranians assassinating the U.S. secretary of defense."

He made similar remarks to Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent.

"It's not clear whether it was defensive in nature or a declaration of war," Murphy said. "If a foreign country assassinated our secretary of defense, we would unquestionably consider that an act of war that demanded a disproportionate response."

Murphy also said Soleimani could be more dangerous to the U.S. as a "martyr," according to Politico‘s Burgess Everett.

Dem Rep: Assassination of Soleimani Happened Because of Impeachment
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) said President's Trump authorization of a strike killing former Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was a result of recent developments in the impeachment inquiry.


Embarrassing: ‘NBC Nightly News’ Turns Itself into Infomercial for Iranian Regime
Holt’s piece included soundbites from two Iranian officials bashing America and then a warning from Hillary Clinton supporter and retired Admiral James Stavridis predicting one possible Iranian response could be the murder of a U.S. ambassador.

There was also a cameo from NBC News Tehran bureau chief Ali Arouzi, who stated: “Soleimani was a cult figure. There is a real sense of shock here. State TV is commemorating him on a loop and one general even wept after the news of his death.”

Holt also framed Thursday night in a way that could very well earn him another trip back to Iran, calling the airstrike “brazen” (even though he said Iran might have underestimated Trump) and has led to Iranians uniting to direct “its rage on America.”

All told, someone needs to send a tape of Friday’s show to Iran’s English-language Press TV. Perhaps they’d decide to run it on their airwaves.
NY Times reporter's tweet of Soleimani reciting poetry draws backlash
A New York Times reporter received backlash Friday after posting a video on social media showing slain Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani reciting poetry.

Farnaz Fassihi, an Iranian-American journalist who covers Iran for the paper, shared the video in the early morning hours after the Pentagon confirmed President Trump ordered a targeted drone strike that killed Soleimani and other military officials at Baghdad International Airport in Iraq.

“Rare personal video of Gen. Soleimani reciting poetry shared by a source in #Iran. About friends departing & him being left behind,” she wrote in a tweet with the video.

Social media users accused Fassihi of spreading Iranian propaganda and attempting to garner sympathy for the “shadow commander” who the U.S. State Department says is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. Washington confirmed that Soleimani, as leader of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, orchestrated the Iran-backed militia attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on New Year’s Eve and was planning other imminent attacks on U.S. forces.




Dems Support Airstrike After Soleimani’s Old Tweets Emerge (satire)
Democrats initially opposed to President Trump’s decision to take out Iran’s Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani have reversed course after decade-old offensive tweets by the general emerged.

Leading Democrats now call the strike long overdue after the tweets – described as sexist, homophobic, and Islamophobic – were discovered by a blogger for the Huffington Post.

“Just watched 45 minutes of the new Ghostbusters movie – boring!” one tweet declared. “Sorry broads, but Tina Fey is no Dan Aykroyd.”

“Is it just me, or is Ilhan Omar just a little too enthusiastic about female genital mutilation?” he asked in another tweet, leading the Southern Poverty Law Center to designate him an anti-Muslim extremist.

“I’m not a fan of the United States by any means, but sometimes surprising things inspire you,” a 2011 tweet stated. “Just watched video of Bruce Jenner’s 1976 Olympic performance, and… wow.”

With a slew of blue-check journalists tweeting their outrage, Democratic presidential candidates were forced to backtrack from their initial remarks condemning the strike.
Lithuania drafting bill exonerating nation from Holocaust crimes
A committee of the Lithuanian parliament is drafting legislation declaring that neither the Baltic nation nor its leaders participated in the Holocaust, a lawmaker working on the bill said.

Arūnas Gumuliauskas, chairman of the Freedom Fights and State Historical Memory Commission at the Seimas, said this at a conference last month, the 15min.lt news site reported on Dec. 28.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Eastern Europe director, Efraim Zuroff, protested the planned legislation, calling it an “outrage” and the “final stage of a long attempt to whitewash massive complicity by Lithuanians” in the murder of more than 95 percent of about 250,000 Jews who had lived in Lithuania when the Nazis invaded in 1941.

The bill will be titled “The Lithuanian state, which was occupied in 1940-1990, did not participate in the Holocaust,” according to Gumuliauskas. He is a member of Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis’ Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union party.
Rantz: Seattle-area Imam smiles in anti-Semitic video comparing Jews to apes, pigs
As American Jews cope with an alarming uptick in high profile anti-Semitic attacks across the country, a Seattle-area mosque featured a smiling imam comparing Jews to apes and pigs in a viciously anti-Semitic lecture in front of congregants, including children.

Just two weeks before the New Year, Imam Mohamad Joban of the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) in Redmond delivered a lecture about the transformation of Jews into apes by Allah for having rebelled against Him.

The video was originally posted to YouTube by MAPS, but was pulled. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), however, saved a cop of the video and posted an edited down version to their website.

In the lecture, Imam Joban recounts a little known story kept from the public because, he claims with a smile, “The Jews… any bad story there, they cover up. They always tell people: ‘We are good people, we are heroes.’”

The story involves Jews setting fishing nets on the Friday before the Sabbath, then collecting the fish on Sunday. Imam Joban explains the Jews were punished for this behavior.

The imam then leads the congregation in a chant: “‘Then, when they rebelled against the commands to refrain, We said to them, ‘Be despicable apes.’” On a screen behind him, there’s a picture of macaque monkeys.
12 public figures that defended Israel in 2019
2. Sarah Idan, Former Miss Iraq and human rights campaigner
After escaping Iraq due to her refusal to withdraw her support for Israel, Sarah Idan, who was Iraq’s representative at the Miss Universe 2017 pageant, gave a bold speech at the UN in which she criticised the “biased media” coverage against Israel.

Idan recalled the Iraqi government ordering her to take down a photo she had posted to social media of Idan and the 2017 Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman. The Iraqi government also forced her to condemn Israel. She later received death threats.

“Since then, I have no longer return to my homeland,” Idan said. “Why did the Iraqi government fail to condemn the threats, or allow my freedom of speech?”

She added that conflicts between Israel and myriad Arab countries stem from “belief systems taught in Muslim countries that which are anti-Semitic.” A “biased media” reinforces these beliefs, Idan said.

“When I watched the news last month, why did they never report that the Hamas terrorist organization fired nearly 700 rockets at Israeli civilians in one weekend, or that Hamas used Palestinians as human shields?” Idan said. “Why do they never condemn Hamas for initiating the attacks? Instead, they only show those killed by the response, in self-defence, and blame Israel.”

1. Donald Trump, President of the United States of America
President Trump has continued fulfilling his election promises relating to Israel with more decisions strengthening the US-Israel relationship and correcting historic wrongs.

For example, in March President Trump announced that the United States officially recognises Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, signalling a significant change in US policy towards Israel.

“After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognise Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!” Trump tweeted.



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