Wednesday, September 25, 2013

From Ian:

Obama is Playing Texas Fold ‘Em
So forget about stopping Iran from acquiring the bomb. We have now proven that, even after using weapons of mass destruction, we will not move to punish those responsible. To put it bluntly, it would be a tragedy if Iran were to detonate a nuclear device in Israel, but Obama will hold no one responsible so long as all such weapons are then surrendered to the various powers (i.e. the Russians) that helped provide the weapons in the first place. If we have learned anything over the last few weeks, it’s that, despite his stern rhetoric, President Obama has proven that his policy is not “containment,” but actually “avoidance.” That sound we just heard was the Iranians pushing their chips into the pot… they’re all in.
Iran could use a nuclear weapon against Israel and get away with it
With diplomacy and sanctions failing, world leaders still give lip service to the dangers of a nuclear Iran. But they often dismiss the idea that Iran would actually use a nuclear weapon against Israel. They believe that Iran is a rational actor, and that Israel’s strong nuclear deterrent is sufficient to safeguard the Jewish state. It is not.
Israel’s deterrent capacity is only effective against conventional nuclear attacks. If Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, or one of its terror proxies, detonated a suitcase bomb inside of Israel, it would be nearly impossible to prove that Iran’s leaders ordered the attack. And without conclusive evidence of Tehran’s direct involvement, an Israeli counterattack would be illegal, unjust, and unwise. Therefore, it is plausible that Iran could use a tactical nuclear weapon against Israel without a serious fear of an Israeli reprisal.
Obama’s message to Netanyahu: Palestine for Iran
With Obama having specified Tuesday that the Iranian nuclear issue and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are the two current key focuses of his foreign policy, Netanyahu will likely hear from the president, at their meeting in the White House scheduled for next Monday, the promise of a firm American stance on the nuclear issue and the expectation of a generous Israeli position regarding Palestinian peace negotiations.
“Real breakthroughs on these two issues — Iran’s nuclear program, and Israeli-Palestinian peace — would have a profound and positive impact on the entire Middle East and North Africa,” Obama promised on Tuesday, linking the two again.
Minister to Obama: Israeli Existence Not ‘Dependent’ on PA State
Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) expressed concern Tuesday following United States President Barack Obama’s speech to the United Nations, in which he referred to Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria (Shomron) as “the occupation of the West Bank” and argued that “Israel’s security… depends on the realization of a Palestinian state.”
“I believe this is one of the most disturbing statements that a United States president has ever made,” Katz wrote on his Facebook page.
“Mr. President, the existence of the state of Israel is unconditional, and does not depend on the Palestinians,” he declared.
Obama to Palestinians: Peace won’t be easy
Obama praised Abbas, saying, “President Abbas I think has consistently rejected violence, has recognized the need for peace, and I’m grateful to him for his efforts.”
The US president was also careful to emphasize American support for the fragile rule of the Palestinian Authority.
400 Killed in Terror in 5 Days and Obama Says ‘World More Stable’
Islamic terrorists killed 70 plus people in Kenya, 78 Christians in Pakistan, 142 people in Somalia and about 100 in Iraq the past four days, but President Barack Obama told the United Nations Tuesday, ”The world is a more stable place than it was five years ago.”
Elliott Abrams: Obama’s U.N. Speech Showed Indifference to Freedom and Religious Minorities in Middle East
What is the message here to Christians, Baha’is, Zoroastrians, and other religious minorities who live in the Middle East? Tragically the message is that they don’t even exist in his eyes. He actually made a reference to Christians in the very next sentence, apparently unaware that Christian communities are under attack every day in the region — most recently in Egypt. “Sectarian tensions” are not the problem; attacks on religious minorities are the problem that is destroying Christian communities, and the solution is not for it to be “addressed by Muslim communities” as if the non-Muslims were not citizens with equal rights and greater antiquity.
JPost Ed: Rouhani's charm offensive
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has his work cut out for him as he prepares for his speech before the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, October 1.
As was the case last year, the danger to the world presented by Iran’s nuclear-weapon ambitions will be the main focus of Netanyahu’s speech.
However, unlike last year, when Netanyahu generated enormous media attention by holding up a cartoon of a bomb at the US General Assembly and drawing an actual as well as proverbial “redline,” this year the prime minister will have a more difficult job convincing the world that Iran is a threat to regional stability.
Netanyahu slams Rouhani’s UN speech as a ‘cynical PR charade’
Rouhani, said Netanyahu, “spoke about human rights at a time when Iranian forces are participating in the slaughter of innocent civilians in Syria. He condemned terrorism at a time when the Iranian regime carries out terrorism in dozens of countries worldwide. He spoke of a peaceful nuclear program at a time when the IAEA has established that the [Iranian] program has military characteristics, and when it’s plain to all that one of the world’s most oil-rich nations is not investing a fortune in ballistic missiles and underground nuclear facilities in order to produce electricity.”
Steinitz: Rouhani Speech Offers Zero New Steps
Steinitz, the head of the Israeli delegation that boycotted Rouhani’s UN General Assembly address, said the new Iranian president tried "to cheat the world, and unfortunately many people are willing to be cheated."
"We heard a lot of new rhetoric but zero new steps or even zero new commitments to meet the UN Security Council resolutions," Steinitz was quoted by AFP as having told reporters.
"We didn't hear ... Rouhani regret or withdraw from previous denial of the Holocaust by previous Iranian leaders," he added.
Israel, Jewish Organizations View Rouhani’s UN Speech With Skepticism
Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed Rouhani’s departure from the anti-Semitic ramblings of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but criticized his lack of sincerity about Iran’s nuclear program.
“Given the opportunity to answer constructively and honestly the greatest global security concern today, President Rouhani chose to continue the long-standing Iranian line of avoidance of the truth about his country’s nuclear program,” American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris said in a statement.
“President Rouhani’s ‘charm offensive’ before the United Nations General Assembly fell well short of addressing in any serious way the harsh reality of Iran’s decades-long quest for nuclear weapons,” said Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL national chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director, in a joint statement.
Rioters throw stones at security forces at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem
Israeli police raided the al-Aksa Mosque in search of several men involved in riots on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning.
After rioters threw stones at security forces stationed at the Temple Mount, several of the rioters fled to the al-Aksa Mosque, leading police to enter the site after them.
The Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported that seven Palestinians were injured during the raid.
Jewish Couple, Young Child, Escape Lynch-Mob in Jerusalem
A young Jewish couple from the town of Beit El, along with their four year-old son, narrowly escaped death after an Arab lynch mob attacked their car near Jerusalem's A-Tur neighborhood.
Asaf and Naama Bruchi were travelling through the largely Arab neighborhood when their car stopped in traffic. Suddenly, they were pelted by rocks and other missiles, and found their car surrounded by Arab thugs.
Arab Riots Shut Down Highway North of Jerusalem
IDF commanders have ordered the closure of part of the old Highway 60, which runs near the Israeli community of Beit El in the Binyamin region north of Jerusalem. The road connects the Arab cities of Ramallah and Shechem, and is used by PA resident drivers.
The decision was made after Arab rioters made life extremely difficult for Jewish families living near the outskirts of Beit El.
PA Arab Youths Call for New Intifada
The group, which calls itself the "Coalition of Intifada Youth in Palestine" on Tuesday issued a call for a new intifada to break out on the anniversary of the Second Intifada, also known as the Oslo War, which broke out on September 28, 2000.
In a pamphlet it distributed, the group stated that the way of the intifada had in the past united “the Palestinian people” and will unite them again.
The group called for confrontations with "the occupation forces at all points of friction in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Al-Quds and the land that has been occupied since 1948," starting this Friday, September 27.
David Horovitz: ‘If the world had acted morally, 50,000 Syrians could have been saved’
The international community has failed the people of Syria by waiting more than two years to take an effective stance against the Assad regime’s mass killings, Asa Kasher, the co-author of the IDF’s Code of Conduct and an authority on the moral doctrines that shape military actions, said in an interview this week with The Times of Israel.
“One hundred thousand have apparently been killed, mostly by the regime’s actions. And the world didn’t even shout,” Kasher said. If a credible threat of military action had been issued earlier, he said, the diplomatic process would have started more quickly, “and maybe 50,000 or 60,000 people might still be alive.”
Syria's Assad is fortunate in his enemies
Bashar al-Assad, who only a month ago faced the likelihood of U.S. missile strikes that could have tipped the balance of Syria's war against him, has won a reprieve.
His supporters, political sources in Damascus say, are jubilant, convinced the threat of regime change has lifted and that the Assads can face down opponents they consider weak - U.S. President Barack Obama and France's President Francois Hollande among them - just as they saw off their predecessors.
"I think they feel that they can live this out and wait for leaders like Hollande and Obama to leave office, just as they did with Jacques Chirac and George W. Bush," said one well-placed source in Damascus, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"I think Assad feels that the chemical weapons actually saved his regime, rather than brought it down."
Can We Really Negotiate With Iran?
Should the Obama Administration become heavily invested in a diplomatic track with Iran, skepticism and dismay will emanate from two main sources. Firstly, the conservative Sunni monarchies in the Arab Gulf, who dread the thought that Shi’ite Iran might one day dangle a nuclear weapon over their heads. Secondly, Israel, which has poured scorn on Rouhani’s words, and for whom the following points remain non-negotiable: a complete halt to uranium enrichment, the removal of enriched uranium from Iran, the dismantling of underground nuclear facilities, and an end to any efforts to use plutonium to produce a nuclear bomb.
That’s why, when Khamenei speaks of Iran’s “main principles,” we should remind ourselves of ours. The real dilemma posed by nuclear weapons is not who owns them, but who is prepared to use them. For decades, Israel’s nuclear weapons, which don’t officially exist, have served as a fundamental guarantor of regional peace and stability: If that vital military edge is removed by an Iranian bomb, the Middle East will be more perilous than it has ever been. Just as worryingly, if Israel judges that any negotiations between the U.S. and Iran are going nowhere, Jerusalem could take the radical step of pre-emptively striking Iran’s nuclear facilities, in order to eliminate what continues to be a very real existential threat.
Israel Trolls Iran With Parody Rouhani LinkedIn Account
At 6:15 p.m. Monday, Israel’s embassy in Washington tweeted a link to a parody LinkedIn account for Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani. While many have been heartened by Rouhani’s recent public statements expressing a desire to negotiate an end to his country’s nuclear standoff with the West, the Israelis at least are not buying it.
The parody LinkedIn page refers to Rouhani as “President of Iran, Expert Salesman, PR Professional and Nuclear Proliferation Advocate.” Among the president’s skills listed on the page are “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” “Ballistics,” and “Military Justice.”
The Real Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is on a charm offensive.
But the real Rouhani is no moderate.
He is a career terrorist with American blood on his hands.
A Secret Preview of Rouhani's Tweets This Week
Through a rip in the Twitter time-space continuum (something that should be fixed before the big IPO), I've managed to get hold of the messages Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will post during his visit to New York this week. Here are some of them.
Israel’s U.N. Envoy Has a Message for the World: Laugh With Me
Finally, Prosor released a quote to the wire services: “Putting Iran and Syria on a Human Rights Council is like putting the Godfather in charge of a witness-protection program.” As far as Prosor was concerned, it wasn’t enough that Syria and Iran be condemned—they had to be mocked. And it worked: That night, Reuters included the line in its report about Syria’s decision to withdraw its candidacy.
The incident is emblematic of the signature style of Israel’s unorthodox ambassador to the United Nations. For Prosor, who assumed the position in June 2011, humor is an essential tool for conducting diplomacy—and the often comical corridors of U.N. are the ideal stage for his act.

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