Friday, November 22, 2013

From Ian:

Arab Bank: Released Murderers' Stipend is 'Terror Money'
The Arab Bank's refusal to pay "terror money" to Musa Karan of Ramallah, a terrorist freed after 23 years in jail, was reported by a Hamas website. Karan's brother Mohammed told the site that Musa ran into trouble opening an account due to his being a freed terrorist.
The bank's designation of Karan's salary as "terror money" comes after Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon on Monday called for an end to international monetary aid to the PA until it stopped funding terror.
Hamas Launches Torture Campaign to Check Encroachment by Rival Fatah Faction
Hamas is in a state that some analysts are willing to describe as “hysteria.” Its position abroad and its domestic control are both eroding, and Israel has thus far managed to stymie the group’s efforts to bolster its image with a spectacular terror attack.
Fatah partisans sense weakness and are moving to exploit it. Hamas is now resorting to torture to check the encroachment:
Hamas: Our Rockets Will Reach North of Tel Aviv
Al-Masri, who spoke at an event organized by Hamas students to commemorate a year since the IDF's counter-terror Operation Pillar of Defense, claimed that Israel "will be surprised by the abilities of the Al-Qassam Brigades."
On Monday al-Masri similarly claimed that Hamas now has missiles with a 100 kilometer (62 mile) range, putting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in their sights.
Gaza in Deep Sewage, under Egyptian Siege
Hamas has refused to import Israeli diesel because of taxes imposed by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, which is led by rival terror organization Fatah.
Gaza's residents now face daily power failures of 12 or even 18 hours. "Businesses have cut back production, hospitals are rationing electricity to keep dialysis and cardiac support systems running…" all because of Egypt's cutting off smuggling, and Hamas' refusal to pay Ramallah taxes.
Hamas Looking to Buy More Electricity - From Israel
He said the Hamas government submitted its proposal in this regard Israel's Electric Company through the private sector - and that an agreement has been made - but this also requires the restoration of local power grid at a cost of millions of dollars.
Egyptian politician Imad Hamdi, from the Egyptian Popular Front, has criticized the move, calling Hamas hypocritical. Hamdi pointed out that Hamas is guilty of using Israel's resources despite denying its very existence, and stated that Hamas is not effective as a resistance movement against Israel.
Neturei Karta Anti-Zionists Give Hamas a Shiny New Ambulance
Hamas has a new ambulance, thanks to the efforts of their Neturei Karta anti-Zionist comrades. How long will it take before Hamas tries to use it to smuggle terrorists into Israel?
Lion cubs born in Hamas-run zoo die
Mohammad Abdel-Rahman, acting manager of the zoo in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza, said the cubs died of an unspecified illness. He said the zoo’s staff was unable to save them because they lacked experience in caring for newborn lions.
The cubs struggled from the outset, the Guardian reported. They were not feeding well, and their father displayed aggression toward them.
Zoo staff reached out to an Egyptian zoo in an attempt to procure food and equipment, but restrictions at the Egypt-Gaza border prevented the aid from coming through, a Gaza veterinarian told the Guardian. (h/t MtTB)
Michael Oren: Israel’s Oren in LA Times Op-Ed: ‘Netanyahu is Merely Doing His Job’ in Warning Against a Nuclear Iran
Oren notes that Netanyahu’s policies usually reflect the viewpoint of the Israeli intelligence services, rather than just his own opinions.
“Netanyahu may at times appear to stand alone on Iran, but he is backed by a world-class body of experts,” writes Oren.
As if to defend this statement, Oren demonstrates how Netanyahu has been ridiculed for his public stance, only to be vindicated later on.
“In 2011, these same analysts predicted that the Arab Spring…would be hijacked by Islamic radicals. They foresaw years of brutal civil strife. Netanyahu publicly expressed these conclusions and was denounced as a naysayer by many of the same columnists who are now lambasting him on Iran,” Oren said.
Iran Launches ‘Massive’ War Drills
Iranian military forces launched a series of “massive military drills” across nine provinces on Wednesday following an order by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to state media reports.
The drills, codenamed “Towards Jerusalem,” will continue over the coming days and throughout the rest of the year.
White House Refuses to Condemn Khamenei’s ‘Rabid Dog’ Comments
Deputy White House press secretary Josh Earnest joined his administration counterparts in refusing to condemn Iranian Ayatollah Khomenei’s reference to Israel as a “rabid dog” Thursday in the White House press conference.
Earnest oddly denied the White House is concerned that condemning the rhetoric might imperil the Geneva talks. However, the Obama administration spokesperson still avoided explicitly rebuking Iran for the inflammatory comments:
Israel ‘unpleasantly surprised’ by mild US reaction to Khamenei’s vicious speech
US Secretary of State John Kerry did speak out against Khameini’s address, yet stopped short of issuing a forthright condemnation.
“Obviously we disagree with it profoundly,” he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “It’s inflammatory, it’s unnecessary, and I think at this moment when we are trying to negotiate what can and can’t be achieved, the last thing we need is names back and forth,” Kerry said, according to ABC News. “Obviously we don’t believe that anything is served with, you know, names that challenge everybody’s sense of propriety and justice and rectitude. We’ve been through this before, as we’ve heard prior, very disturbing assertions regarding the Holocaust.”
US envoy to UN condemns Khamenei tongue lashing
Hours after Israeli officials expressed dismay over the mild American response to harsh comments from Iran’s supreme leader, a top US official condemned the remarks in unequivocal terms late Thursday.
Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said comments from Ali Khamenei painting Israel as a rabid dog were “abhorrent,” according to CNN.
Iran Infographic: Good Deal vs Bad Deal
Block writes that "to help educate and fight a dangerous deal, TIP (The Israel Project) has created (an) infographic...and a website laying out the terrible impact of deal that would breathe life into Iran's economy while leaving the world's leading sponsor of terrorism with the capability to build nuclear weapons."
AIPAC Applauds Harry Reid on Tougher Iran Sanctions Bill Despite Obama Plea
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said he will go ahead with proposing a bill calling for tougher Iran sanctions early next month, despite President Barack Obama’s request to delay new sanctions during negotiations.
Smile -- and escape
It is not easy being an Iranian journalist these days. The Iranian journalists in Geneva are more open than ever, going along with Iranian President Hasan Rouhani's policy of smiles. This is entirely different from how they acted in the past in Turkey, Iraq and Kazakhstan. But on Wednesday, Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave a very aggressive speech, and this also influenced the Iranian journalists in Geneva. Should they smile like Rouhani or curse like Khamenei? To smile or not to smile, that is the question.
The same Iranian journalist who on Wednesday morning spoke to me knowing exactly who I was, even interviewing me for his media outlet, quickly came back to me later and asked me not to publish the picture I took with him during the interview. In the new Iran, there are still many shades of gray.
Iran Owes Terror Victims Billions of Dollars, Says Activist Lawyer
An Israeli lawyer who has won billions of dollars for relatives of terror victims has asked Obama administration officials why they are discussing letting Iran off the hook on sanctions while it owes American relatives colossal sums of money.
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who heads the Israel Law Center, has won billions of dollars for relatives of terror victims in lawsuits against the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organization as well as banks and other agencies that aid terrorists or act as a pipeline for funds for them.
Reporters Without Borders Criticizes Iranian Assault on Press
Over 100 days after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s election, Iran continues to crack down on the press and remains “one of the world’s biggest prisons for journalists and netizens” according to journalist advocacy group Reporters Without Borders.
The group said in a statement on Tuesday that it was “very disappointed by President Hassan Rouhani’s record on freedom of information,” noting that since Rouhani took office, at least 10 journalists have been arrested, 10 more have been sentenced to “a combined total of 72 years in prison,” and three newspapers have been shut down by the government.
Ya'alon: A stronger Iran means a stronger Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad
Ya’alon stated that the Iranian regime “is involved in every conflict in the Middle East and has also set up terror bases in Africa, Asia and South America. They want to defeat Western culture, and are prepared to sacrifice to achieve this.”
He added: “The Iranians want, under the cover of the nuclear umbrella that they will have, to advance their terror activities, such as using a ‘dirty bomb’ at various targets in the Western world. Therefore, we must not tolerate the possibility of a nuclear Iran. One way or another, Iran’s military nuclear project must be stopped.”
Jihadi Brit in Syria was imprisoned 2009 anti-Israel protestor
The violence in 2009 began when police tried to move protesters away from the gates of the Israeli embassy following increasingly violent protests during Operation Cast Lead. One police officer was knocked unconscious and two more were injured. There were reportedly running skirmishes between the officers and groups of young men, each time prompting a further charge from the officers and sending the crowd running screaming in the opposite direction.
At least one Iran embassy bomber a Palestinian
A Palestinian national was among the two suicide bombers who attacked the Iranian embassy in Beirut earlier this week, security sources told The Daily Star Thursday.
They said investigators were still trying to identify the second bomber.
Saudi Arabia urges citizens to leave tense Lebanon
Shiite-led Hezbollah has indirectly blamed Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia for Tuesday’s twin suicide blasts, which killed 23 people. A Sunni radical group linked to al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility.
Hezbollah-Backed Syrian Offensive Risks New Refugee Wave, “Catastrophic” Destabilization of Lebanon
The army’s offensive in the Qalamoun mountains surrounding Qara – enabled and backed by Hezbollah fighters – threatens to trigger a new refugee crisis that would see nearly 20,000 civilians may be driven into Lebanon.
Jean Ogassapian, a Lebanese politician closely linked to the country’s anti-Syrian March 14th movement, declared that Hezbollah’s continued support of the Syrian army, especially in the Qalamoun regime, risked “catastrophic repercussions in Lebanon” and a “total sectarian war.”
Iran Determines Hezbollah's Actions

Hezbollah Uses Civilians as a Human Shield


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