Saturday, September 27, 2014

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians and the "Death Boats" Scandal
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki claimed that each Palestinian paid $1,000 to Hamas personnel at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. Others are believed to have paid $5,000 each to leave the Gaza Strip.
Malki said that preliminary investigations have revealed that the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have fallen victim to Hamas and Egyptian gangsters who managed to lure them with false promises.
According to various reports, some 13,000 Palestinians have already fled the Gaza Strip to Europe with the help of the gangsters. Most left through Hamas's smuggling tunnels or by bribing its security officials at the Rafah terminal.
Another 25,000 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip have applied to various European countries for immigration.
Although Hamas has denied any connection to the mass exodus, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip revealed that the Islamist movement had set up special offices to register those wishing to start a new life in Europe. They said that Hamas officials are providing the emigrants with forged visas and travel documents to enable them to enter Europe.
Pierre Rehov: Holy Land: The Perils Facing Christians
"All this talk about Israel being behind the pain of Christians in the Palestinian Territories is nonsense. Muslims intimidate us. They burn our stores, steal our real estate. They build mosques beside our churches, and make sure that the calls for prayer disrupt our services. They attack our daughters. There are many cases of rape that have never been reported. Families hide it out of shame, they move away. They flee." — Christian official.
Under dhimmi laws, non-Muslims under Muslim rule may not testify against Muslims, so it is virtually impossible for Christians whose lands have been stolen, or whose lives have been threatened, to appeal to the local legal system.
Apparently the story is only appealing when Israel can be blamed.
Michael Lumish: An Endless Political Möbius Loop.
This strikes me as a rather eerie moment in the seemingly endless Arab-Israel war.
We just recently came out of Operation Protective Edge and things are pretty much where I expected them to be. Hamas shoots rockets for years into southern Israel making life there something close to unbearable as Israeli children are practically born with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Israel thus kills a bunch of Gazans in securing the military objectives of degrading Hamas’s rocket capability and destroying those terror tunnels which were to be used to kidnap and kill innocent Jewish Israeli civilians.
Much of the west, naturally, ran with the Hamas playbook in the sense that they did their bit for the organization by screaming to the rooftops that Israelis are fascist, racist, apartheid, murderers… and, of course, they insist upon this because they ever so deeply care abut the well-being of the Jews under siege in the Middle East.
Hamas, meanwhile, was quite literally willing to lose a few thousand of its own people in order to give Israel an international public relations black eye and it was the western left that delivered that black eye, via the press, in fulfillment of what Dershowitz calls Hamas’s “Dead Baby Strategy.”
But now as Obama starts bombing the Islamic State in Iraq the level of howling against the Jews in Israel has abated for the moment and I feel like we’re just bobbing in the political waves.  Obama just stood up before the United Nations and made some marshmallowy feel-good sounds that will amount to little or nothing.



Abbas decries Israeli ‘genocide,’ makes new UN statehood bid
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday railed about Israel’s “absolute war crimes” and “genocide” against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and said he’d seek a UN resolution to end Israel’s presence in the Palestinian territories.
Speaking before the UN General Assembly, Abbas said 2014 was meant to be a year of international solidarity with the Palestinians, but blamed Israel for choosing to make it “a year of a new war of genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people.” He didn’t go so far as to say he’d pursue prosecuting Israeli leaders at the International Criminal Court, however.
Abbas condemned the “unprecedented” destruction in the Gaza Strip following the 50-day conflict fought between Israel and terrorist groups in the Palestinian enclave and charged that Israel committed “absolute war crimes carried out before the eyes and ears of the entire world.”
US slams Abbas’s ‘genocide’ UN speech as ‘offensive’
The United States on Friday slammed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech at the United Nations, in which he accused Israel of “genocide” against the Palestinians, saying it was “offensive” and undermined peace efforts.
“President Abbas’s speech today included offensive characterizations that were deeply disappointing and which we reject,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
“Such provocative statements are counterproductive and undermine efforts to create a positive atmosphere and restore trust between the parties,” she added.
MKs call Abbas ‘genocide’ claims ‘false and outrageous’
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Abbas’s remarks “prove for the umpteenth time that [Abbas] is not a leader who wants peace and strives to advance the lives of his people, but a person who is propagating lies, is engaged in incitement and spreads hate speech against Israel.”
Ya’alon added that Abbas was deceiving the international community and could not be trusted as a partner for peace negotiations.
“We have no partner for an agreement to end the conflict, and so will not compromise the security of Israeli citizens,” he said.
Labor’s Eitan Cabel called Abbas’s statements “false and outrageous.”
“They are worthy of condemnation by any true peace supporter,” Cabel said. “Even if he has internal political needs which force him to ‘wink’ at Hamas, there is no justification for such remarks.”
Abbas's Staff Scuffle with UN Security
Security staff protecting Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas got into a scuffle with UN staff on Wednesday.
The brief altercation occurred after Abbas was allowed to enter the UN General Assembly chamber through the front door, while his security staff - as per UN protocol - were not. After some pushing and shoving, Abbas's security staff were directed to another entrance.
The incident was caught on video by the Reuters news agency. (h/t Bob Knot)
Abbas staff scuffle with UN security on UNGA opening day


Is the PA worth keeping?
Abbas proposes to avoid all of the Israeli objections by having the UN Security Council pass a resolution “ending the Israeli occupation” and setting a timetable for withdrawal and a “solution” to the refugee problem. Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians would then deal only with technical issues, like demarcation of borders, expulsion of Jews from ‘Palestine’, and immigration of Arab ‘refugees’ into Israel.
Such a resolution passed by the Security Council could actually have teeth in the form of economic or even military sanctions against Israel if it refused to cooperate. Even if an initial resolution were passed without any kind of UN sanctions, it could open the door for individual nations to apply their own.
In the past, the US has indicated that it would veto such a resolution. But the growing anger and frustration of anti-Israel President Barack Obama about the lack of ‘progress’ in forcing a withdrawal from the territories could manifest itself in a US abstention, or at least massive pressure for concrete Israeli concessions in return for a ‘no’ vote.
Practically speaking, Abbas is nobody. He and the PLO have little support among Palestinian Arabs, who see Hamas as a more effective way of ‘resisting occupation’. The IDF protects him from Hamas, and the US and Europeans support him financially. The primary reason that Israel, which was willing to give up territory in return for peace for so many years, was unable to do so was because Abbas did not have the ability to deliver on any deal.
Israel has supported the PA, led by Arafat and Abbas, since 1993 because it is assumed that it is better than the alternatives. But is it? What would happen if Israel withdrew IDF support from the PA and let it fall? Does Israel gain more in security from the existence of the PA than it gives up diplomatically? I don’t think the answer is obvious.
Fatah, Hamas agree to cede control of Gaza to unity government
Hamas and Fatah said on Thursday that they have reached agreement to allow the Palestinian Authority government to operate in the Gaza Strip.
Representatives of the two rival parties have been holding “reconciliation” talks in Cairo over the past two days in a bid to end their differences.
Hamas and Fatah leaders said that the agreement reached on Thursday calls for the PA government, headed by Rami Hamdallah, to “immediately” assume its responsibilities in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian sources said that the agreement allows the PA to take control over the border crossings in the Gaza Strip, including the Rafah terminal.
Time to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks based on Arab Initiative, Jordan's King Abdullah tells UN
During his remarks before the UN General Assembly in New York, the monarch said that the conflict is a strain on the region and on the resources of his country in particular, which is the world’s third largest host to refugees, including nearly 1.4 million Syrians.
“The refugee crisis is a recognized global responsibility, and demands a global solution,” Abdullah said. “To date, the response has not kept pace with the real needs.”
He talked about the pressure that hosting so many refugees puts on the country’s infrastructure and people and urged world leaders to push for an answer to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to alleviate pressure in the region.
“We cannot address the future of my region without addressing its central conflict: the denial of Palestinian rights and statehood,” Abdullah said.
Qatari emir urges world to shun Israeli leaders
Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani used his speech at the UN General Assembly Wednesday to urge world leaders not to receive Israeli leaders in their “diplomatic salons.”
The Qatari leader also called on the Security Council to pass a resolution forcing Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian lands according to a clear time table.
The emir’s speech was the latest in a war of words between the two countries that escalated during the fighting in Gaza this summer. In late August, Israel’s UN ambassador Ron Prosor published a fiery criticism of Qatar, accusing the oil-rich Persian Gulf emirate of directly funding terror organizations, such as Hamas and al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in Syria, in order to assert and amplify its global influence.
In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Prosor urged international powers to work forcefully to halt Qatar’s ability to bankroll the terror groups, specifically Hamas.
“Today, the petite petroleum kingdom is determined to buy its way to regional hegemony, and like other actors in the Middle East, it has used proxies to leverage influence and destabilize rivals,” Prosor wrote.
“Every one of Hamas’s tunnels and rockets might as well have had a sign that read ‘Made possible through a kind donation from the emir of Qatar,’” he added.
For Obama at the UN, what a difference a year makes
A year ago, when President Obama took the dais at the UN General Assembly, his speech focused on Iran’s nuclear program, Syria’s chemical weapons and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He talked about Egypt’s messy transition to democracy and defended America’s actions in Libya.
A year on, Obama’s mind is elsewhere.
Now the president’s focus is on the Islamic State, the extremist Islamic group that has captured wide swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria and was virtually unknown a year ago except as part of the extremist opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
How do some of the other issues Obama discussed in his 2013 UN General Assembly speech look through today’s lens? Let’s take a look.
Violent Extremism
2013: “The world is more stable than it was five years ago. But even a glance at today’s headlines indicates that dangers remain.”
Obama Praises Muslim Cleric Who Backed Fatwa on Killing of U.S. Soldiers
Obama in his remarks offered praise to controversial cleric Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah and referred to him as a moderate Muslim leader who can help combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL or ISIS) radical ideology.
However, Bin Bayyah himself has long been engulfed in controversy for many of his views, including the reported backing of a 2004 fatwa that advocated violent resistance against Americans fighting in Iraq.
This is not the first time that the Obama administration has extoled Bin Bayyah, who also has served as the vice president of a Muslim scholars group founded by a radical Muslim Brotherhood leader who has called “for the death of Jews and Americans,” according to Fox News and other reports.
Iranian leader: US should focus on terror, not nukes
Iranian President Hasan Rouhani urged the United States on Wednesday to move beyond “insignificant” fears that his country seeks nuclear arms and challenged it to join his country in battling what he described as the global threat of Islamic extremism.
During a speech and question-and-answer session hosted by the New America think tank, Rouhani urged the US government to “let go of pressure politics toward Iran” — a reference to Iranian complaints that Washington’s demands at the nuclear talks are unrealistic. Repeating that Iran is not interested in nuclear arms, he urged the US to “leave behind (this) insignificant issue.”
Instead, he said, the two countries must focus on the fight against the Islamic State group and other extremist groups, the “real and serious common challenges which … threaten the entirety of the world.”
Egypt slams Turkish leader Erdogan after UN speech
After world leaders gathered at the United Nations, Erdogan delivered a speech which featured stinging criticism of Sisi's rise and what he called inaction after Morsi's overthrow.
"Again, those objecting (to) the murders in Iraq, Syria and the murder of democracy in Egypt are subjected to certain unfair and groundless accusations and almost immediately accused of supporting terrorism," said Erdogan.
"The United Nations as well as the democratic countries have done nothing but watch the events such as overthrowing the elected president in Egypt and the killings of thousands of innocent people who want to defend their choice. And the person who carried out this coup is being legitimized."
In a statement, Egypt's foreign ministry dismissed Erdogan's comments on Sisi.
"There is no doubt that the fabrication of such lies and fabrications are not something strange that comes from the Turkish President, who is keen to provoke chaos to sow divisions in the Middle East region through its support for groups and terrorist organizations," the foreign ministry said.
"Whether political support or funding or accommodation in order to harm the interests of the peoples of the region to achieve personal ambitions for the Turkish president and revive illusions of the past."
Arab resolution on Israel defeated at IAEA meeting
An Arab-backed resolution singling out Israel for special attention over its alleged nuclear arsenal was defeated Thursday at an annual conference of the U.N. atomic agency.
Nations meeting at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s general conference voted 58-45 against the resolution, while 27 abstained.
Backed by 18 Arab states, including Syria, the resolution expressed concern “about the Israeli nuclear capabilities,” urging Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and put its nuclear facilities under international oversight. The Jewish state is overwhelmingly considered to possess nuclear arms but declines to confirm it.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the outcome of the vote, calling the resolution an effort “to harm Israel.” It was the second consecutive year that a resolution seeking to censure Israel was put to a vote and defeated at the IAEA meeting. (h/t Bob Knot)
Disabled Palestinian child exploited by anti-Israel activists
Born in Gaza with a rare genetic disease and abandoned by his parents, Mohammed al-Farra has spent his life in children’s ward of Israel’s Tel Hashomer Hospital. The Israeli staff fund-raise to cover his bills, allowing him and his 56 year old grandfather to live in the hospital.
Mohammad's heart rendering story was first told in the Times of Israel:
Thanks to Pallywood and the anti-Israel delegitimization squad young Mohammed al-Farra is finally deserving of attention. Unfortunately, he is being exploited because of his very visible disabilities.
An article by Arek Sarad in the Falastin News uses Mohammad as a poster child for Gaza children "disabled by Israeli attacks", begging the question: With such a glaring lie front and center, how much of the rest of this article could possibly be true?
University of Minnesota Professors Organize Anti-Semitic Event
Five University of Minnesota professors have called for a “Teach-in” to promote and call for a Boycott of Israel on September 29th. Whereas the event itself, titled “Gaza, Neocolonialism, and the case for a Boycott,” will only be hosted by five professors, multiple large departments, including the Anthropology and Political Science departments, have taken it upon themselves to use their official social media accounts and Listservs to promote the event.
Please join us for "Gaza, Neocolonialism, and the Case for Boycott," a teach-in addressing the blockade and bombardment of Gaza. Five professors from the University of Minnesota will each present a set of discussion points on Gaza, on the larger context of neocolonialism, and on the practice of boycott in social struggles.”
UC Berkeley Students Call For Murdering Jews: 'We Support the Intifada'
A group of students and other community members on the campus of University of California at Berkeley confirmed their support for violence against innocent civilians during a protest on Tuesday afternoon. Protestors can be seen chanting "long live the intifada" and "we support the intifada."
An intifada is defined literally as "uprising" or "resistance." During Palestinian intifadas, attacks have included Islamist suicide bombers detonating themselves in public areas within Israel and have led to the deaths of hundreds of innocent men, women and children of all faiths.
The rally was held in accordance with University of California at Berkeley professor and founder of the national student group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Hatem Bazian calling for an “International Day of Action” to boycott and protest the Jewish state. In the face of said bigotry, the pro-Israel group on campus, Tikvah Friends of Israel, organized an event titled "#CutTheTape" which advocated against boycotts and in favor of academic freedom.
International Group of Muslim Scholars 'Refutes' Islamic State's Islamic Case - While Endorsing Jihad, Sharia, Caliphate
The Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Fiqh Council of North America held a press conference in Washington today at which they declared that they had refuted the religious ideology of the Islamic State. They issued this lengthy “Open Letter” (not, interestingly enough, a fatwa) addressed to the Islamic State’s caliph Ibrahim, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, explaining how he was misunderstanding Islam. Is this an Islamic case against the Islamic State’s jihad terror that will move Islamic State fighters to lay down their arms? Or is it a deceptive piece designed to fool gullible non-Muslim Westerners into thinking that the case for “moderate Islam” has been made, but which will not change a single jihadi’s mind? Unfortunately, it is the latter.
To be sure, Hamas-linked CAIR and the Fiqh Council and all the signers of this Open Letter really do oppose the Islamic State. But they don’t oppose it because it is transgressing against the commands of what they believe to be a Religion of Peace. They oppose it because they want to establish a caliphate under the auspices of or led by the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Islamic State constitutes competition. This is clear from their sly endorsements in this document of jihad, the Sharia, and the concept of the caliphate.
#NotInMyName: British Muslims Tell ISIS They Do Not Represent Islam
The world constantly calls on Muslims to speak out against the radical Islamic groups. British Muslims answered with the #NotInMyName hashtag on Twitter to take a stand against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
British Muslims at Active Change Foundation posted a video on YouTube to explain how the Islamic State is misrepresenting Islam. The Muslims say the terrorists are un-Islamic because they “murder innocent people” and “they are all unjust.” They call for all Muslims to unite against the Islamic State to stop the jihadists “from damaging Islam and damaging Muslims.”
Female Arab pilot sticks it to Jihadists
By all accounts, the Islamic State group’s treatment of women in the territories it occupies has been abhorrent. Well, if the group wanted to make women the enemy, it may have gotten more than it bargained for.
Meet Mariam al-Mansouri, the 35-year-old pilot from the United Arab Emirates who – the UAE revealed Thursday — is leading strike missions against IS targets in Syria.
Mansouri is the UAE’s first female pilot, having graduated flight school in 2007. She is now a Major and an experienced F-16 pilot.
“I can officially confirm that the UAE strike mission on Monday night was led by female fighter pilot Mariam al-Mansouri,” UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef al-Otaiba told MSNBC’s Morning Joe Thursday. “She is a fully qualified, highly trained, combat-ready pilot, and she led the mission.”
Female Fighter Pilot Disowned By Family For Bombing ISIS Terrorists In Syria
Mansouri led three other UAE F-16 pilots in the first airstrike and it’s said that when the “U.S. tanker pilots called in for air refueling and asked for the UAE mission and when they heard a female voice on the other side they paused for 20 seconds.” They then proceeded to drop bombs this week in coordinated attacks against Islamic State strongholds near Raqqa, Aleppo and Idlib.
Unfortunately, an Arabic language news site called Wattan.TV is reporting that Mariam Al Mansouri’s family has disowned her for these actions
The Mansouri family also called for support for the Syrian revolution, calling for “all factions and battalions operating on the scene Shamiyah to unite and join forces and efforts to a single goal, which is to drop the Assad regime.” The family also appears to have announced support specifically for the ISIS terrorist organization, saying that their family is “honored heroes of the Sunnis in Iraq and the Levant.”
Saudi pilots get death threats after raids on jihadists
Saudi pilots who conducted air strikes on jihadists in Syria received online death threats on Wednesday after photos were published of those involved, among them a son of the crown prince.
The official Saudi Press Agency released photographs of eight airmen it said were involved in Tuesday’s US-led operation, carried out with Gulf allies.
One of the pilots involved in the raids is a son of Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz himself, according to Saudi newspapers.
Dozens of Islamic State group (IS) and Al Qaeda militants were reported killed in the coalition air raids, sparking jihadist threats online where the Saudi pilots’ photos reappeared.
One Twitter user said the air force men were “wanted by IS” while another said their throats “will sooner or later be slit”.
A broader threat came from a Twitter post which called for the killing of police as well as military men.
ISIS Member: We're Planning A 'Brilliant Attack' On New York And Will Behead Thousands Of Westerners
A Canadian member of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria issued a grim warning for the United States that his group is planning a “brilliant attack” on New York City, and claimed that they have thousands of Western prisoners they are willing to behead.
In a video conference interview with Vice News, Farah Shirdon (also known as Abu Usamah Somali) announced the plot while discussing the current operations of the terrorist group.
“We’ll sure be making attacks in New York soon [with Allah's permission]. A lot of brothers there are mobilizing right now [thanks to Allah],” Shirdon told Vice’s Shane Smith.
“What are they mobilizing for?” Smith asked.
Shirdon laughed and responded, “Mobilizing for a brilliant attack, my friend.”
Maher Obliterates Leftist Hypocrisy
Bill Maher did something extraordinary on Friday's Real Time on HBO: he destroyed hypocritical liberals by pointing out how much more they are outraged by infractions against their precious code of political correctness, while remaining deafeningly silent when it comes to true atrocities carried out by Islamic extremists.
Maher, an icon of leftist thought, showed true disdain for his own kind, especially those who so easily forget that Muslim nations carry out terrible punishments against anyone and for the minutest of reasons.
Through his own lens as a liberal, Maher explains how "liberal, Western culture is not just different [but] better" than what is found in Muslim countries.
He began by jabbing President Obama for insisting that ISIS is not Islamic.
Manufacturing Excuses So Iran Can Get Nukes
We assume Iran's leaders will abide by the very international rules they are dedicated to destroying.
When we refer to Iranian missiles as a legitimate form of "deterrence," we just fool ourselves into imagining that Iranian missiles, which support aggression, are no different from American and allied missiles, which prevent and deter aggression.
The U.S. has said it would not address Iran's 30-plus years of sponsorship of terror nor is extensive ballistic missile program, even though the U.S. officially designates Iran as the leading state-sponsor of terror in the world.
Iran - Still in the Axis of Evil
The aim of the current Iranian regime is clearly to acquire a nuclear weapons capability and to retain as much territory in Iraq as possible under Shia Islamist rule, whatever the human cost. Those aims are also the reason Iran's regime is now trying to intervene in Iraq.
Iran will doubtless be demanding that any cooperation with the West be compensated for by "concessions" permitting its nuclear weapons program.
Involving Iran in Iraq at this point will merely alienate any Sunni allies whose assistance is much needed to defeat IS.
Many people inside Iran have alerted the U.S. Administration for over two years about other industrial facilities being secretly built in Iran and not declared to the International Atomic Energy. So far, all intelligence from within Iran has been wilfully ignored by the Obama Administration.
Steinitz: Iran Conducted Nuclear Experiments at Parchin
Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said on Wednesday that Iran had conducted experiments with nuclear weapons at the Parchin military base, where the West believes suspicious nuclear activities have taken place based on satellite evidence.
According to a statement from Steinitz, quoted by the Reuters news agency, Iran used the Parchin military base as the site for secret tests of technology that could be used only for detonating a nuclear weapon.
The statement was issued a day before Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was to address the UN General Assembly.
According to Steinitz, internal neutron sources such as uranium were used in nuclear implosion tests at Parchin. Israel based its information on "highly reliable information", he added, without elaborating.
US considers new, softened nuclear offer to Iran
The initiative, revealed late Thursday, comes after months of nuclear negotiations between Iran and six world powers that have failed to substantially narrow differences over the future size and capacity of Tehran’s uranium enrichment program. Iran insists it does not want atomic arms but the West is only willing to lift nuclear-related sanctions if Tehran agrees to substantially shrink enrichment and other activities that Iran could turn toward making such weapons.
The US, which fears Tehran may enrich to weapons-grade level used to arm nuclear warheads, ideally wants no more than 1,500 centrifuges left operating. Iran insists it wants to use the technology only to make reactor fuel and for other peaceful purposes and insists it be allowed to run at least the present 9,400 machines.
The tentative new US offer attempts to meet the Iranians close to half way on numbers, said two diplomats who demanded anonymity because their information is confidential. They said it envisages letting Iran keep up to 4,500 centrifuges but would reduce the stock of uranium gas fed into the machines to the point where it would take more than a year of enriching to create enough material for a nuclear warhead.
That, they said, would give the international community enough lead time to react to any such attempt.
Rouhani: Iran will never agree to stop uranium enrichment
Iran’s president on Friday urged faster progress at nuclear talks between his country and six world powers, joining other top international officials who say the current round has failed to make substantial headway toward sealing a deal by the November 24 deadline.
Without mentioning the US by name, Hassan Rouhani suggested agreement could end the more than three-decade deep-freeze in relations between Washington and Tehran and mark “the beginning of a path toward collaboration and cooperation.
“There have been steps forward, but they haven’t been significant,” Rouhani said, arguing that his country had shown the necessary flexibility and that it was now up to the US and five other nations to advance the talks.
Rouhani also said Iran would never accept any agreement that requires it to stop enriching uranium, and that sanctions by the US, the European Union and the United Nation must “be melted away.”
Rouhani: Security cooperation with US only after nuke deal
Iran will not participate in security coordination with US against Islamic State until a nuclear agreement is reached and sanctions are lifted against Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday morning. In a speech before the General Assembly’s plenary, Rouhani addressed both the ongoing negotiations with the P5+1 over Iran’s nuclear program and the growing threat of “extremism and violence” in the region and the world.
“We hope that the negotiations will lead to a final accord in the short amount of time we have left,” Rouhani told a sparsely-attended session of the morning plenary, referring to the ongoing talks between Iran and the P5+1 member states.
Talks toward a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran have been underway in New York for one week now. The parties are working towards a November 24 deadline, and reports have differed as to whether progress is being made in diffusing some of the most fraught issues, including the fate of the heavy water plant at Arak.
Erdogan's Flying Carpet Unravels
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has a growing list of enemies. "Among his targets" at a recent address to a Turkish business group "were The New York Times, the Gezi events of 2013, credit rating agencies, the Hizmet movement, the Koc family and high interest rates," Zaman reported September 18. Erdoğan earlier had threatened to expel rating agencies Moody's and Fitch from Turkey if they persisted in making negative comments about Turkey's credit.
Turkey's financial position is one of the world's great financial mysteries, in fact, a uniquely opaque puzzle: the country has by far the biggest foreign financing requirement relative to GDP among all the world's large economies, yet the sources of its financing are impossible to trace.
I have analyzed sovereign debt risk for three decades - including stints as head of credit strategy at Credit Suisse and head of debt research at Bank of America - and have never seen anything quite like this.
At around 8% of GDP, Turkey's current account deficit is a standout among emerging markets. It is at the level of Greece before its near-bankruptcy in 2011. Where is the money coming from to cover it?
A great deal of it is financed by short-term debt, mainly through borrowings by banks. (h/t Gastwirt)
Daniel Pipes: Erdoğan Fails to Conquer New York City
The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, appeared at an hour-long on-the-record event at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York yesterday afternoon. The complete – if not entirely coherent – transcript of the English-language simultaneous translation can be found at "A Conversation With Recep Tayyip Erdoğan." I attended the meeting along with many other members (so many attended that an overflow room was needed) and I offer some responses and reflections about him:
The Council hosts its fair share of heads of state and government, all of whom arrive surrounded by bodyguards and aides, but Erdoğan had a far more massive entourage than any I'd ever seen; by my estimate, they numbered 35, nearly all of them young men in dark suits. Odder yet, they took up the first three rows, where they sat spellbound to their leader's every word, as though they had never heard a word of it before. Even before he spoke, then, the profusion of fluttering staffers conveyed an aura of grandiosity – as was no doubt their intended purpose.
Also, the Council rarely permits teleprompters but Erdoğan relied on one, although it's unclear why it was necessary, given that he spoke in Turkish and gave his standard attack-dog speech berating many of Turkey's neighbors and going after such current favorite targets as Fethullah Gülen, the Moody's and Fitch credit-rating agencies, and the New York Times.
No one has the right to test Turkey, Davutoglu says in reply to Kerry
No one can have the gall to “test” Turkey, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said in reply to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after the latter said the “proof would be in the pudding” regarding Ankara’s willingness to join the fight against jihadists in Iraq and Syria.
“No one can give a test to Turkey, as if it was not doing what is necessary. We take our own decisions and will do what is necessary if this decision is a must to protect our national interests,” Davutoğlu said in an interview late Sept. 22.
Kerry had stated that the United States was expecting Turkey to step up in the fight against ISIL now that the country had secured the release of 49 hostages that were held by the militants. Davutoğlu said the issue was discussed with U.S. Secretary of State and Defense Minister Chuck Hagel during a recent visit to Ankara.
‘Hateful’ anti-semitic flyers sent to eastern suburbs homes on first day of Jewish New Year
RACIST flyers have been sent to homes in the eastern suburbs on the first day of Jewish New Year.
It is the second incident to occur in the area in as many months and follows the revelation the Yeshiva Centre at Bondi has been fitted with a bombproof wall to prevent anti-semitic attacks.
The flyer calls on “white Australians to stop being blinded by political correctness and Jewish lies about equality”.
Wentworth federal Liberal MP [Malcolm Turnbull] took to Facebook to voice his outrage at the “disgusting” flyers.
“This hateful rubbish has absolutely no place in Australia,’’ he said.
“The author of this poisonous material has chosen to distribute this material to Jewish households during Jewish New Year — a contemptible effort to frighten and intimidate Jews at one of the holiest time in the Jewish calendar.
“Racism can only thrive in societies where it is tolerated. We should all condemn this act for what it is; a low and sickening attempt to undermine our nation’s harmony. We should have zero tolerance for racism and hate speech. They are not just a threat to their targets — in this case the Jewish community — but to the whole of our society.


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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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