Thursday, November 28, 2013

From Ian:

Barry Rubin: Tonight I’m Gonna Party Like It’s 19[3]9
Any by the way, the Obama administration did not condemn these vicious anti-Israel statements nor did it alter any policy because of them.
Holocaust? Yawn!
Meanwhile, the U.S. policy has also hardened Palestinian Arabs’ lines, as shown in statements by leaders. In turn, the Palestinian Arabs have hardened their policy, insulting the United States. Recently, there was a situation in which a Georgetown University session ditched a Nazi speaker but still featured a Nazi professor who denied that bin Ladin had played a role in September 11.
And moreover, Professor Rima Najjar posted on her Facebook page: “What Brandeis University does not understand: Palestinian armed resistance to Zionist colonization is a path to liberation.” Brandeis University suspended its partnership with al-Quds University after the West Bank University had a rally that was meant to honor the martyrs of Islamic Jihad, in which the symbol of Israel, the Star of David, was symbolically stepped on by all demonstrators.
Israel Braces for Upsurge in Terror Attempts From New Threat – Salafi Jihad
Israel security forces are preparing for a new threat — Salafi jihad — after a terror plot was foiled by the Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday, when two suspects carrying explosives and handguns were killed in a raid in Hebron, where the sect is strongest, Israel’s Walla News reported on Wednesday.
A Salafi jihad group called “Hizb al – Tahrir” – the Freedom Party – has held demonstrations against both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The group has won popular support in Hebron, considered to be more radically religious, and in East Jerusalem, where its members were involved in violent demonstrations on the Temple Mount, Walla said.
Thousands attend funerals of Salafi terrorists
Obeidallah Nairouh said his brother had served six years in an Israeli prison for Hamas-related activities. In prison, Mohammed quit Hamas and drifted toward the Salafis, his brother said.
He said his brother was upset with Hamas for not imposing Shariah law in Gaza and spoke frequently about the need to engage in jihad.
Despite Nairouh's apparent falling out with Hamas, the terrorist group dominated his funeral march in Hebron. Several thousand mourners joined the procession. Many of them raised the green flag of Hamas and chanted, "Revenge, revenge."
EU parliamentarian attacks colleagues for celebrating Palestinian prisoner releases
The attendance by members of the European Union’s parliamentary delegation at the Ramallah celebration in honor of the released Palestinian prisoners last month was “unacceptable” and undermined the EU’s credibility as an honest broker, Italian politician Fiorello Provera said on Wednesday before leaving Israel after a four-day visit.
“It’s disgraceful behavior,” said Provera, who added that he was ashamed for the action of those delegates.
“These people [released Palestinian prisoners] are not freedom fighters. They are no heroes. They are assassins. They killed ordinary people,” Provera said.
Qatar to provide $150 million for struggling Palestinian economy
Last month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Paris after talks with Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah that Qatar had agreed to provide $150 million in debt relief to the PA.
Hamdallah had said in September that the PA needed to raise $500 million by the end of 2013 to allow it to continue functioning and pay its employees' salaries.
Poll of Palestinians Shows Distrust in Negotiations, Hamas
The poll surveyed 1,200 Palestinians above the age of 18 from the West Bank and Gaza Strip in mid-November. About one-third of respondents said they prefer armed resistance over peaceful negotiations. Thirty percent of Palestinians blame Hamas for the division between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Twenty percent of respondents continue to trust PA President Mahmoud Abbas, compared to only 11 percent who expressed trust for Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, the poll revealed.
Hamas official blasts Ramallah over Gaza blackout
Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, accused the Palestinian Authority of raising the price of Israeli diesel from NIS 4.26 ($1.2) per liter to NIS 7.75 ($2.19), making Gaza’s energy bill unaffordable to the Hamas government.
“The [Palestinian] Authority in Ramallah has gone back on its promise to not increase the tax. This has rendered the energy authority in Gaza unable to pay the taxes, as it can barely pay the bill without the tax,” Abu Marzouk wrote on his Facebook page.
Baby granddaughter of Hamas prime minister dies
The girl was brought to Israel in grave condition last week but returned to the Gaza Strip a day later after Israeli doctors concluded they could not help her.
A statement from Haniyeh’s office said the girl, named Amal, died at a children’s hospital in Gaza Wednesday.
BBC’s Knell continues the downplaying of terror from the Gaza Strip
The breathtaking banality of Knell’s downplaying of the effects of regular terror attacks on civilians is enabled by the fact that since the end of last November’s hostilities (and likewise before their ‘official’ commencement on November 14th 2012) no BBC reporter has made the 90 minute journey from Jerusalem to Sderot or Ashkelon in order to bring to BBC audiences the experiences and viewpoints of residents of those areas still subject to regular missile attacks.
The Economist misleads about American Jewish attitudes towards Israel and Iran
Further, results from AJC’s two previous polls of American Jews show 72.5 percent supporting Israeli military action in such a scenario in 2012, with 67 percent supporting such action in 2011 – indicating relatively consistent support over the past three years for a potential Israeli attack.
More broadly, a major study by Pew Global released this year demonstrated that about 70 percent American Jews are “emotionally very attached to Israel”, findings, Pew noted, which “closely resemble results from the last National Jewish Population Survey conducted in 2000-2001″.
So, it seems clear that – despite The Economist’s misleading characterizations of the polls cited – American Jewish support for Israel (including support for any future Israeli military action which may be required) shows no signs of wavering.
Fear Over Iran Deal Leads to New Regional Alliances
Until now, it had been hard to imagine Israel and Saudi Arabia publicly finding common ground, but they have on the Iranian issue. It appears that contacts between the two countries in advance of a perceived sell-out by the U.S. have been developing throughout this year and have accelerated in recent weeks. The Sunni states feel betrayed by the Geneva agreement.
“In order to understand what the Gulf States are doing on this issue,” David Weinberg, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told the IPT, “you have to look beyond their formal statements. When you analyse what is being said there is great concern about this amongst at least four of the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] states – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and the UAE. They all see themselves as deeply threatened, undermined, and encircled by Iran.”
'Iran will still make a nuclear bomb': Israel’s ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub argues the Geneva deal endangers us all
“If you look at the region you see this very radical axis that runs from Tehran to Damascus to Beirut and actually on to Gaza, and I think that we are not alone [in being worried] about it,” he said.
“There are many countries that look on these issues and it’s a reminder that if we can rise above some of our immediate differences and paradigms we actually have an awful lot in common, many of our most fundamental strategic concerns are actually aligned, and of course we would be interested in trying to deepen relationships on that basis.”
US now indicates Iran interim deal wasn’t quite finalized
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the six-month interim period, during which Iran would take steps to rein in its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, has not yet begun. Furthermore, there are still a number of details to be worked out, she said, without specifying what points had yet to be finalized.
Her comments created confusion as to whether the much-touted interim deal, supposedly reached by P5+1 powers and Iran in Geneva in the early hours of Sunday morning, had actually been completed as claimed. Iran on Tuesday accused the US of publishing an inaccurate account of what had been agreed. And its Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an address to the Iranian parliament Wednesday that Iran would continue construction on the Arak heavy water plant, in an apparent breach of the ostensibly agreed terms.
Iran deal won’t kick in until nuclear inspections, pushing start into 2014
The International Atomic Energy Agency has inspected Iran’s program regularly over the past decade, submitting its findings to the IAEA’s 35-nation board and the UN Security Council.
But the agreement sealed in Geneva on Sunday boosts the scope and significance of the agency’s monitoring activities, making it the chief arbiter of whether Iran is keeping its end of the bargain — capping its nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief.
Iran deal a failure, says ex-national security chief
“Obama has asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take a breather from his clamorous criticism and send to Washington a team that can explore with US officials a sound end-state strategy,” Ignatius wrote. “Perhaps the United States and Israel need a back channel, outside the bombastic pressure campaign by Israeli advocates.”
The prime minister’s former national security adviser, who stepped down earlier this month, claimed that under the terms of the deal Iran will be able to maintain its thousands of centrifuges and even work on upgrading them just so long at they are not installed in uranium enrichment plants. In practice, that means Iran’s uranium enrichment capability will remain at its current level, meaning it would be available for use whenever Tehran needs it.
Poll shows Americans split on Iran deal
Americans are nearly evenly divided over the deal reached between Iran and the P5+1 world powers, with 43 percent of the public maintaining that the agreement would end up damaging US interests in the Middle East, while 41% believe the deal will curb Iran’s capability of producing a nuclear weapon, a survey found Wednesday.
Report: Satellite Imagery Shows Iran Launching Biggest Submarine Yet in Persian Gulf
Iran has launched its Fateh-class submarine, the largest it has ever built, into the Persian Gulf, and is building a second at the Caspian port of Bandar Anzali, according to satellite imagery seen by IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, which is publishing the photographs later on Wednesday.
Jane’s said that at about 48 meters, the Fateh-class is bigger than the largest subs built by North Korea, which is believed to have helped Iran produce its 29-meter Ghadir midget subs. The one being built at Bandar Anzali will also be the first submarine launched in the Caspian.
Assad lauds Tehran’s ‘resilience’ in nuclear talks
According to Syrian state media, Assad spoke with President Hassan Rouhani over the phone and lauded “the success of the Iranian diplomacy in reaching the agreement,” which was “the result of the resilience of the Iranian people, who held onto their rights, and of the Iranian leadership’s commitment to the principles of Iran’s sovereignty.”
The report said that Rouhani affirmed Tehran’s support for the Assad regime “in its war against terrorism.”
250 Hezbollah fighters slain in Damascus, rebels claim
Syrian rebels claimed Thursday that they killed 250 Hezbollah fighters and captured dozens in fierce battles in the suburbs of Damascus, while a missile attack reportedly killed 40 people in the city of Raqqa.
Hebrew media sources, citing the Lebanese al-Mustaqbal newspaper, reported the claim by the Free Syrian Army on Thursday, although the information could not be confirmed by other sources.
‘NSA tracked jihadis’ porn habits’
The Huffington Post cited a secret National Security Agency document that allegedly reveals the US agency spied on the online sexual activity of Islamist radicals in order to find ways to discredit them.
The website said the document, leaked by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, shows the organization tracked six unnamed “radicalizers” and their visits to pornographic websites. It says the alleged electronic surveillance aimed to find their “personal vulnerabilities” to undermine their credibility.


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