Saturday, September 28, 2013

From Ian:

JPost Editorial: Obama’s misguided linkage
Obama is correct about Iran. It is undisputable that an Islamic Republic ruled by mullahs with nuclear weapon capability would be exceedingly destabilizing. The Islamic Republic, either directly or through its proxies, is involved in numerous conflicts in the region from Syria and various Gulf states to Iraq and Afghanistan. Tehran arms, trains and supports Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border. And according to a recent report by the pro- Hezbollah Lebanese newspaper As-Safir, it has resumed its support for Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
Obama is wrong, however, about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Arab Spring that began in Tunisia, spread to Egypt and sparked sectarian violence in Syria had absolutely nothing to do with Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank. In each of these countries, and elsewhere, popular uprisings unfolded on the backdrop of socioeconomic inequalities and a rejection of old and corrupt autocratic regimes.
Caroline Glick: Obama's power and its limitations
Were Netanyahu to defy Obama and order the IDF to attack Iran's nuclear installations, he would be pushing the boundaries of the US political consensus less than Menachem Begin did when he ordered the air force to destroy Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981. He would also be pushing the US consensus less than Rabin did when he embraced Yasser Arafat in 1993.
No, Israel cannot say no to everything that Obama wishes to do in the Middle East.
And yes, it needs to make concessions where it can to placate the White House. AIPAC's decision to take a bullet for Obama on Syria may have been the better part of wisdom.
Israel has three-and-a-half more years with Obama. They won't be easy. And there is no telling who will succeed him. But this needn't be a catastrophe. Our cards are limited. But we have cards. And if we play them wisely, we will be fine.
‘Iran already has a nuclear bomb,’ Israeli paper claims
Some Israeli government analysts believe Iran already has at least one nuclear bomb, an Israeli journalist wrote in an article published Friday.
Shalom Yerushalmi, writing in the national daily Maariv, said that “government security sources up to date on development in Iran,” told him recently that Tehran has crossed all points of no return and already has its first nuclear weapon, and maybe more.
Iran State-Media Claims CNN ‘Fabricated’ Rouhani Holocaust Remarks
On’s home page Wednesday morning, the main headline asserted that Rouhani, in an interview with network reporter Christiane Amanpour, said that the Holocaust happened: “Iran’s New President: Yes, the Holocaust Happened.”
Fars however, categorically denied the claim that Rouhani addressed the Holocaust by name, saying the network “fabricated” the story, adding the word ‘Holocaust,’ among other conciliatory phrases, to its translation.
Rouhani Fever and CNN
Finally, Iranian-born Ali Alfoneh, a senior researcher for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told CAMERA that Karami's translation, which contrasted sharply with that provided by CNN, was essentially accurate. He also pointed out that the Farsi transcription posted on the Iranian president's website is accurate.
But Amanpour, at least, continues to stand by her translation. It is time for CNN's senior editors to forthrightly address this controversy. They need to either stand by their translation by going through word by word and showing where the word "Holocaust" appears and where the word "reprehensible" appears. Viewers deserve a straightforward answer from the network. If CNN does not disagree with Fars — or with the translations by Ahmari, Karami and Alfoneh — the public deserves a prominent, clear correction and apology.
The West, Rouhani, and Iran’s anti-Semitism
The world community has no reason to doubt that Rouhani’s “charm offensive” and his Holocaust obfuscations are little more than an effort to paint lipstick on a pig. The West needs to accept that the Iranian regime is anti-Semitic, and use its statements on the subject, especially in Persian, as a litmus test of the depths of its extremism as well as its sincerity.
We need to recognize that because the Rouhani Holocaust “tangle” is yet another indication of the Iranian regime’s utter lack of trustworthiness as it seeks to convince the West to lift sanctions over its nuclear program.
If Iran won’t admit to its own anti-Semitism, a philosophy embedded in the soul of the regime, how can it be trusted to tell the truth about anything? Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was a bigot, but at least he didn’t insult the world’s intelligence by claiming that he was anything other than a bigot.
As Holocaust dispute flares, Khamenei aides rap Rouhani for conciliatory gestures
According to a report in the New York Times Wednesday, the Iranian paper, Kayhan, which is close to Khamenei, “expressed horror over the possibility that ‘the clean hand of our president would for moments be in the bloody clench’ of [US President Barack] Obama.”
“We need to gain something from the Americans, before we pose and smile with them,” the report quoted Hamid-Reza Taraghi, an official who trusted with interpreting the speeches of Khamenei, as saying. “Of course, Mr. Rouhani also needed to convince some at home that he is not making any wild moves.”
Shoes, eggs & rocks at Rouhani’s airport reception
Iranian protesters threw shoes, eggs and stones on Saturday at the car of President Hasan Rouhani, back from a five-day trip to New York to speak at the UN General Assembly.
The president got a mixed reception at the airport, as several dozen hardline Islamists chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” as his motorcade drew away. Others attempted to obstruct the road by praying on the pavement, the New York Times reported.
New York Times reporter Thomas Erdbrink, who is based in Tehran, described the airport scene as chaotic, with one person almost being run over by the convoy.
Dore Gold: The holes in Rouhani's charm offensive
But the State Department study showed that while Iran still had ample oil and gas, which could supply Iran for at least 200 years (in the case of gas), Tehran actually had very limited supplies of uranium ore, especially if it had plans of eventually building seven nuclear reactors for the production of electricity. In fact, if Iran's domestic supply of uranium ore was inadequate for a nationwide program of electricity production, it was more than sufficient for the production of a respectable number of atomic weapons every year. For the U.S., this was a red flag indicating that the argument that Iran only wanted a civilian program was completely disingenuous and what it really sought was a full scale nuclear weapons program.
Rouhani Participates in Military Parade Where Sign Calls for Israel’s Destruction
Just prior to his speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took part in his country’s military parade, which included trucks carrying Shahab-3 missiles and signs calling for the destruction of Israel, Israel Hayom reported.
This information was revealed by former Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. and Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs President Dore Gold.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas Threatens Egypt, Israel And Palestinian Authority
Despite the show of force, Hamas would never dare to initiate a military confrontation against the Egyptian army. Hamas will find it easier to fire rockets at Israel than launch terror attacks against the Egyptians.
Hamas is fully aware that such a confrontation would spark a harsh response from the Egyptians -- one that would surely lead to the collapse of its regime. Previous confrontations between Hamas and the Israel Defense Forces would then look like children's games compared to a clash with the Egyptian or any other Arab army.
That is why Israel needs to be prepared for the possibility of another war with Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip.
The Phantom BDS Victory
It doesn’t seem to have been enough for Baltzer to sell one blatant lie, she feels the need to try her luck with a second, not only claiming that the decision to get out of the transportation business has something to do with BDS but also that Veolia lost $16 billion in contracts due to BDS campaigning. It might be nice to see some kind of evidence for that assertion.
This isn’t the first time and I doubt it will be the last the people are sold outright lies by the BDS movement with regards to Israel. There is something terribly insidious about a campaign that feels the need to lie in this way. How can Baltzer expect her organisation to have any credibility at all when she behaves this way?
Violence, Arrests in Eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria
Three Arab rioters were arrested for throwing rocks Friday, following disorders at the Damascus Gate (Shaar Shechem in Hebrew) to Jerusalem's Old City. Another youth was arrested following a disorder next to the Church of All Nations on the Mount of Olives.
At the same time, additional disorders broke out in the area of the Rockefeller antiquities museum, across the street from the Flower Gate (Shaar Haperahim in Hebrew). Jerusalem District police, deployed with reinforcements since the early-morning hours in anticipation of pre-planned violent disorder, dispersed the rioters.
About 100 Arabs rioted next to Rachel's Tomb, between the Israeli capital and Bethlehem. They threw rocks at Israeli security forces.
French diplomat involved in scuffle with troops to be expelled
In a highly unusual diplomatic incident, a French diplomat involved in an altercation with Israeli troops in the West Bank last week will leave the country in December, Israeli media reported Friday.
An Israeli official told the Israel Hayom daily that the decision to expel Marion Fesneau-Castaing was made without harming Franco-Israeli ties.
Foreign Ministry Rips UN's 'One-Issue' Pillay
Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched a scathing broadside Thursday against the UN's High Commissioner of Human Rights, Navi Pillay, following a statement by her office regarding the demolition of illegal Bedouin structures.
"Once again, Ms. Pillay, via a statement issued by the High Commissioner's spokesperson on 24 September 2013 has published a misconceived, inaccurate and misleading statement, illustrating the institutionalized, dysfunctional, and hypocritical stance of the High Commissioner of Human Rights towards Israel," the MFA wrote.
India warns Jewish groups to tighten security
The call came following the interrogation of Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal by the National Investigation Agency in New Delhi, as well as in the wake of the Islamist attack on an upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
According to New Delhi Television (NDTV), Bhatkal told investigators that Jewish establishments in Mumbai have been surveyed by Indian Mujahideen members for possible terrorist strikes. The Islamist militant group reportedly was trying to seize Jewish hostages to trade them for terrorists, the Hindustan Times reported.
Hamas Arrests Fatah Gunmen in Gaza
Four members of the Fatah affiliated Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades group have been arrested by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The arrests were reported by the PA-based Maan news agency, who said the four, yielding weapons, delivered a vitriolic press conference from the Al Ghafri Tower in Gaza City. The report said after journalists left, Hamas men surrounded the building and forced the Aqsa fighters to unmask before they were detained.
UN votes to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons
The final resolution states that the Security Council will impose measures under Chapter 7 if Syria fails to comply, but this would require adoption of a second resolution.
It bans Syria from possessing chemical weapons and condemns “in the strongest terms” the use of chemical weapons in the Aug. 21 attack, and any other use. It also would ban any country from obtaining chemical weapons or the technology or equipment to produce them from Syria.
Assad: We have weapons that could blindside Israel
Syria has deterrent weapons, more advanced than anything in its chemical arsenal, that could blindside Israel in mere moments, Syrian President Bashar Assad claimed Thursday.
“Originally, we produced chemical weapons in the 1980s as a deterrent to Israel’s nuclear capabilities,” Assad said in an interview with the Hezbollah-affiliated, Lebanon-based Al-Akhbar newspaper, adding that “today, we have weapons that are far more important and sophisticated and that can blindside Israel in the blink of an eye.”
UN Investigating Seven More Chemical Attacks
The additional alleged attacks took place between March 19 and August 25.
This latest development comes as a team of UN experts prepares to complete its mission in the country on Monday, as part of a plan to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons stockpile.
Russia to help guard Syrian weapons sites
Russia says it is ready to help ensure security for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons.
Russian news agencies quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov confirming that Russia would help guard the facilities where the weapons are being destroyed.
Jewish tombs reportedly defiled in Aleppo
Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists reportedly demolished several ancient Jewish mausoleums in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.
The graves were located in the historical town of Tadif, according to the semi-official Iranian FARS news agency and other Iranian news outlets. The terrorists reportedly belong to the al-Qaeda-backed al-Nusra Front.
Slave labor in Qatar: a test for Al-Jazeera
Now this is an interesting story, and FIFA, the international body ruling the World Cup, will have to pay it some attention, as will the International Labor Organization.
But will Al-Jazeera? Al-Jazeera is owned by the emir of Qatar, and never has covered Qatari matters fairly -- if at all. A story embarrassing to the country, and to the emir, is almost certain to be ignored -- especially in the main Al-Jazeera broadcasting in Arabic. Now there is a new station, a chic and sleek Al-Jazeera America (built on the carcass of Al Gore's failed TV network). Al-Jazeera America has new names and bright colors, and claims to be unbiased, and free, and not just a cat's paw for the emir.
Qatar: the migrant workers forced to work for no pay in World Cup host country


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