Monday, October 20, 2014

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: What The "Two State Solution" Has to Do with the Rise of Islamic Extremism: Zero
The "Arab Spring" did not erupt as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rather, it was the outcome of decades of tyranny and corruption in the Arab world. The Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans and Yemenis who removed their dictators from power did not do so because of the lack of a "two-state solution." This is the last thing they had in mind.
The thousands of Muslims who are volunteering to join the Islamic State [IS] are not doing so because they are frustrated with the lack of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
The only solution the Islamic State believes in is a Sunni Islamic Caliphate where the surviving non-Muslims who are not massacred would be subject to sharia law.
What Kerry perhaps does not know is that the Islamic State is not interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at all. Unlike Kerry, Sunni scholars fully understand that the Islamic State has more to do with Islam and terrorism than with any other conflict.
Will Mahmoud Abbas Reject Israeli Protection?
Palestinian officials have generally been silent about security cooperation with Israel. They are loath to acknowledge how important it is for the survival of the Palestinian Authority [PA], and fear that critics, especially Hamas, will consider it "collaboration with the enemy."
"You smuggle weapons, explosives and cash to the West Bank, not for the fight with Israel, but for a coup against the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli intelligence chief visited me two weeks ago and told me about the [Hamas] group they arrested that was planning for a coup... We have a national unity government and you are thinking about a coup against me." — Mahmoud Abbas, PA President, to Khaled Mashaal, Hamas leader.
According to Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, if the IDF leaves the West Bank, Hamas will take over, and other terrorists groups such as the Islamic Jihad, Al-Qaeda and Islamic State would operate there.
In recent months, Abbas has been making a series of threats against Israel. If Abbas becomes another Arafat, it could be the Israeli side that loses interest in security cooperation.
Israeli Hospital Confirms: We Treated Hamas Chief Haniyeh’s Daughter
In one of several such known cases, an Israeli hospital on Sunday acknowledged that it had recently provided medical treatment to a family member of Hamas, which is sworn to Israel’s destruction, Israel’s NRG News reported.
The daughter of Gaza Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, was transferred to Israel for several days of medical treatment in Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital, after suffering complications from routine treatment in a Gaza hospital, Israeli officials confirmed.
Haniyeh’s daughter is one of 13 children. Hospital officials declined to offer details of her status or medical condition, saying only that “She is only one of more than a thousand patients from the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian territories, hospitalized each year for treatment here.” (h/t Bob Knot)
The Gaza aid conference was kind of a charade. Here’s why
The Palestinian government had asked for $4 billion (despite having earlier estimated the total cost of reconstruction to be over $8 billion), so it was with great fanfare that the higher figure was announced. Foreign cabinet secretaries wrung one another’s hands — and of course, that of the host of the event, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi — and profusely thanked each other for their generosity.
But headline figures are deceiving. This conference, like others of its kind, was largely a charade. Take a closer look at the numbers and it’s clear that some creative accounting is giving the impression of a job well done.
For starters, much of the $5.4 billion was not actually earmarked for Gaza reconstruction. Many countries included in their contributions money they had already allotted to Palestine, including the West Bank, since the beginning of the year under normal aid programming.
In other words, a good amount of the aid is not new money intended for Gaza. Much of Sunday’s conference represented a re-announcement of money that’s already been given. Of the $5.4 billion announced by Brende, only $2.4 billion-$2.7 billion is going to Gaza reconstruction. It remains unclear how much of that is new and how much is money already spent.

The Two-State Solution is Dead
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is at it again, this time blaming Israel for the collapse in the peace process with the Palestinians earlier this year--and, he implied the rise of the Islamic State across the region. Israeli leaders are now openly saying what only Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon was bold enough to say, before the peace process collapsed: Kerry is an idiot and an egoist who would burn the region and expect a Nobel prize.
Ya'alon, amusingly, is counseling his colleagues to be circumspect in their comments. But he surely knows he has been vindicated--not just on a personal level, but a policy level. Kerry is wrong on the substance of the two-state solution, which would certainly install a terror state on Israel's most vulnerable border. He is also wrong on the process: the idea that there is actually a "solution" to the conflict is the region's deadliest fallacy.
If the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had to be "solved" overnight, it would involve Israel annexing most of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley; the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority, which has proved to be little more than a conduit for terror funding and Nazi-like propaganda; and a war that removed Hamas from Gaza. A rump Palestinian state would be permitted in a few West Bank cities--and no further. End of story, forever.
Abbas Denies Clairvoyance but Promises No Gaza Violence for 2 Years
Despite humbly admitting to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that he is “not a psychic,” acting Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas told the U.S. diplomat that “during this year and next year there won’t be any type of clashes.”
Abbas gave this astonishing reassurance to Kerry who, along with representatives of other donor nations, had expressed concerns about the ceasefire which ended this summer’s 50 day conflict between the Hamas-led Gaza Strip and Israel.
The concerns were raised in the context of donor aid pledged to rebuild areas of Gaza which suffered serious damage during the conflict.
The pledge made by Abbas was intended to assure the donors that their money would not simply go up in smoke during the next round of fighting triggered by Hamas rockets and terror tunnels into Israel.
One-fifth of incoming UN Security Council has no ties with Israel
The Palestinians are likely to wait until the new Security Council to push through their measure, because the incoming class is considerably more favorably inclined to them than the outgoing one.
In addition to the five permanent, veto-wielding members of the Security Council – the US, China, Russia, France and Britain – the outgoing, 2014 council includes Lithuania, Chile, Jordan, Chad, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Korea, Argentina, Australia and Luxembourg.
The last five countries will be replaced in January, with Rwanda being replaced by Angola, South Korea by Malaysia, Argentina by Venezuela, Australia by New Zealand, and Luxembourg by Spain.
Israel is losing a good friend on the council with the exit of Australia.
Australia under Prime Minister Tony Abbott is outspokenly supportive of Israel; New Zealand is not. Still, if the US, Australia and the EU are opposed to a Palestinian resolution – and apply pressure on Wellington – it is difficult to imagine New Zealand bucking the pressure and voting with the non-aligned and Muslim blocs. But, as one source in Jerusalem said, if Israel could rely on Australia with its eyes closed, it can rely on New Zealand only with its eyes open.
PM says Iran poses greater global threat than IS
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday that the Iranian nuclear deal poses a greater threat to the world than the Islamic State group’s militants.
“We are facing the danger of an agreement with the world powers that will leave Iran as a nuclear threshold state, with thousands of centrifuges with which Iran will be able to make a nuclear bomb in a short time,” Netanyahu said at an event honoring former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir. “This is a threat to the entire world and especially Israel, far more serious that the threat of the Islamic State.”
The prime minister’s comments came ahead of the November 24 deadline for a deal between the West and Tehran on Iran’s nuclear program, which Iranian officials insisted would not be extended.
Israel Prepares for When Syrian Jihadis Turn Their Guns South
If you ask Israeli defense officials today about Islamic State (IS) and Al-Nusra Front members in Syria, and the risk they pose to Israel, expect one answer with two layers.
At present, the officials estimate, these radical Sunni jihadi elements do not pose an immediate threat to the Israeli border or to national security.
They are too busy fighting the army of Bashar Assad, Shiite militias, and Hezbollah, which has intervened on Assad’s side – not to mention other Syrian rebel groups.
Eventually, however, these organizations will pose a very real threat to Israel, and the smart thing to do is to prepare for it now, the officials say.
Syria Tunnel Blast Proves Hezbollah Terror Tunnel.
Members of the Syrian rebel group Ahrar al-Sham, part of the Islamic Front coalition, blew up a Syrian army post on Tuesday by digging attack tunnels in rocky terrain - similar to that of the Israeli-Lebanese border - in an incident further raising fears that Hezbollah may use the same techniques.
Al Jazeera Arabic reported on the blast and the tunnels on Wednesday, showing how the strike was conducted on the Al Dahrouj checkpoint near Maarat al-Numaan, in the rural northern Syrian region not far from Idlib.
In the video, the rebels who identify ideologically with Al Qaeda are seen pulling off a massive explosion that shoots high into the air, obliterating the checkpoint and killing over 60 Syrian soldiers and captains.
Zoabi says IDF worse than ISIS
Balad MK Haneen Zoabi caused an uproar on Sunday when she compared the IDF to Islamic State.
Islamic State “kills one person every time with their knives, but the IDF kills dozens of Palestinians with the push of a button,” she said, in an interview with Channel 2’s website. The air force pilot who pushed the button was “no less a terrorist than those who take knives and cut off heads,” she said.
Continuing in her comparison, Zoabi said the IDF and Islamic State were “both murderous armies that lack redlines.” She denied there was a trend of Israeli Arabs joining the organization and said she opposed joining both Islamic State and the IDF.
Calling the Israelis who have joined Islamic State “fringe,” she justified joining the terrorist group by saying that they “had no option in life and their lives lacked meaning.”
Liberman calls Arab Balad party ‘a wing of Hamas’
The comment, from MK Hanin Zoabi, sparked a flurry of criticism Sunday including from some on Israel’s left, who said the outspoken lawmaker had gone too far.
Liberman joined the fray Monday, pledging to advance legislation to disqualify the party from running in future elections.
“The Balad party has become a wing of Hamas, and it helps it while using the Knesset to advance terror, and taking advantage of the MKs’ parliamentary immunity,” the foreign minister said in a statement.
US insists it aided Israel’s search for body of soldier in Gaza
US officials rebuffed claims that Washington declined to help Israel locate a missing soldier killed in Gaza in July, calling the accusation “incorrect and misleading” in an Israeli newspaper report Monday.
An American researcher said Friday that the FBI and Justice Department refused to aid Israel in finding Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, one of two soldiers whose bodies are being held by the Hamas terror group in Gaza.
But the US officials told Haaretz that they gave Israel information in real time about Shaul’s Facebook account, which was apparently hacked by Hamas.
Netanyahu Furious over Jerusalem Anarchy, Demands Crackdown
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has spelled out his plan for restoring order to neighborhoods in Jerusalem where Arab attacks on Jews have become daily occurrences, and said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also forcefully demanded action by the security forces in a recent high-level discussion.
Barkat enumerated the neighborhoods currently under attack – from Armon Hanatziv, Har Homa, and Gilo in southern Jerusalem, through the Mount of Olives area, Issawiya and Silwan, northward to Shuafat and Beit Hanina, where the Light Rail has repeatedly come under brutal attack.
He commended Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who he said took very seriously the letter Barkat sent him earlier this month, demanding action against the riots in Jerusalem. Netanyahu gathered the Public Security Minister and top police commanders, he said, for a discussion immediately after Yom Kippur. "I have to tell you,” Barkat said, “that I saw the prime minister banging angrily on the table, and committed to make the necessary change, so that the residents of Jerusalem and visitors to Jerusalem, in the seam line neighborhoods, including the Arab neighborhoods, will feel safer than they do at the moment.”
Another Jerusalem Bus Attacked
Bus #177 to Maaleh Adumim was attacked on Sunday evening by rock throwers.
Two passengers were hit in the head. One of the injured passengers was evacuated to a hospital, the second refused treatment.
The attack occurred approximately 50 meters before the tunnels to Maaleh Adumim near Mount Scopus and the Mount of Olives.
Khamenei: 'West Bank' Should Hound Israel Like Gaza
Khamenei continued to characterize the 50-day war, in which Hamas and Islamic Jihad both took heavy military blows and came out with little political capital to show for their efforts, as the materialization of “divine promise,” and promised that “the outlook of the developments is bright and good."
From the safety of Tehran, the Supreme Leader also urged the Palestinians in “the West Bank” to intensify their fight against Israel, and declared that “fighting the Zionist regime is a war of destiny."
For Islamic Jihad, Shalah stated that “Definitely, the ‘victory’ was achieved with the ‘assistance’ of the Islamic Republic, and, without Iran’s strategic and efficient help, resistance and ‘victory’ in Gaza would have been impossible.”
On July 23, Khamenei said that Iran believes that “the West Bank should also be armed like Gaza and those who are interested in Palestine’s destiny should act in this regard.”
Hamas Blasts Fatah Over Failure to Rehabilitate Gaza
The tensions between Hamas and Fatah continued Sunday, as Hamas urged the Palestinian Authority (PA), headed by Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas, to facilitate the entry of construction material into Gaza.
"Reconstruction of Gaza is one of the most important tasks the PA should carry out according to the reconciliation agreement, but on the condition that there be no obstacles, physical or legal, to the entry of construction material," senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouk said in a statement quoted by the Ma’an news agency.
The statement points to growing frustration with the PA's failure to pressure Israel to open the border into Gaza, despite two different negotiation meetings with Israeli officials where it promised to do just that, according to the report.
It also underlines tension between Hamas and the Fatah-dominated PA despite working together in a technocratic government of national reconciliation, as Hamas has in recent days accused PA security forces of cracking down on members and attacking rallies.
New 'Gesture': Gazans Visit Jailed Terrorist Relatives
Israel has apparently extended yet another "gesture" to the Hamas-enclave of Gaza, allowing residents to visit their terrorist relatives jailed in Israeli prisons on Monday for the first time since June, when such visits were limited after the abduction and murder of the three Israeli teens by Hamas.
The visits were reported by a Palestinian Authority (PA) crossings official who spoke to the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency, revealing that two buses carrying the 60 Gaza residents crossed into Israel.
Prior to the shocking abduction and murder, visits were held every Monday through the Erez crossing on buses organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
PA TV host: “What Israel? It's our land”‎
A Palestinian Authority TV children's program taught Palestinian youth to deny Israel's right to exist and to anticipate Israel's destruction. When a young boy said he had never visited Israel, the moderator immediately interrupted him and said: "What Israel? It's our land."
PA TV children's programs regularly teach Palestinian youth to view Israel as illegitimate with no right to exist, as Palestinian Media Watch has documented numerous times.
Official PA TV host: “What Israel? It's our land”‎

Hamas Kindergarten graduation ceremony [from 2007]

Tensions In Hezbollah Come to Surface After Losses to Islamists
Following recent Hezbollah losses in the Syrian arena and near the Lebanese-Syrian border, there are reports of tensions and divisions inside the organization. The Saudi newspaper al-Youm reported today that some of the organization’s combatants are threatening to neither fight for the organization nor return to their bases.
Over the last few weeks, Hezbollah clashed with hundreds of Islamist insurgents from ISIS and the Nusra Front along the border with Syria with both sides suffering casualties. In an unprecedented attack, Nusra Front fighters overran positions manned by Hezbollah along the Syrian border last week, killing eight of its men in battles. Analysts believe that such attacks not only erode the stature of Hezbollah, they show it to be vulnerable.
According to Al-Youm, these attacks aroused some tensions in the ranks of Hezbollah, especially among activists in Beqaa and Qalamoun regions. Hezbollah officials criticized some of the organization’s military commanders in these areas, on the grounds that they did not handle the battles properly.
Hezbollah Leader Snubs UN Envoy as Lebanon Tension Simmers
Sources in the Hezbollah-led ruling March 8 Alliance of Lebanese political parties revealed that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah refused UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura's request to meet last Thursday, instead sending his deputy Sheikh Naim Qassem
Hezbollah views the request by the UN envoy to meet Nasrallah as a victory to the terrorist organization, according to the London-based Arabic-language Asharq Al-Awsat paper as cited by Yedioth Aharonoth.
The UN move to meet with the leader of the Iran-proxy terror group has raised eyebrows, particularly since Hezbollah's "military wing" was added to the European Union's (EU) official terror list last July. Despite that, reports last month hinted that even the US has been providing indirect military aid to Hezbollah.
After the meeting with Nasrallah's deputy Qassem in his Beirut office, de Mistura said his visit to the terror group was part of consultations with all parties to find a "political solution" to problems in the Middle East. He added that he agreed with the terror group that a Syrian solution should be political - despite Hezbollah's sending thousands of troops to fight for President Bashar Assad.
Lebanon dragged into war with Islamic State
The US has been speeding up delivery of small ammunition to shore up Lebanon’s army, but recent cross-border attacks and beheading of Lebanese soldiers by Islamic State fighters — and the defection of four others to the extremists — has sent shockwaves across this Mediterranean country, eliciting fear of a potential slide into the kind of militant, sectarian violence afflicting both Syria and Iraq, and increasingly prompting minorities to take up arms.
The crisis was slow in coming.
For long, Lebanon managed to miraculously avoid the all-out chaos gripping neighboring countries — despite sporadic street clashes and car bombings, and despite being awash with weapons and taking in an endless stream of refugees from Syria who now constitute a staggering one third of its population of 4.5 million people.
Iran: We're Ready to Help Lebanon and Hezbollah
Iran said Sunday it is ready to provide aid to the Lebanese army as well as the Hezbollah group to help combat "terrorists", reports The Associated Press (AP).
Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, was quoted by state TV as saying that "supporting the Lebanese nation, army and resistance will still remain on Iran's agenda."
"Iran is ready to transfer its experience in order to improve security in Lebanon and the region, and to combat terrorists," he added, speaking during a meeting with visiting Lebanese Defense Minister Samir Moqbel.
Moqbel also met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, noted AP.
Holocaust Museum displays horrific images of Syrian killings
Images of mangled and emaciated bodies that a Syrian military photographer who defected says he took during the Middle Eastern nation’s bloody civil war went on display Wednesday at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
A small exhibit, entitled “Genocide: The Threat Continues,” features a dozen images from an archive of 55,000 pictures smuggled out of Syria. The photographer, codenamed “Caesar,” testified in July before the US Congress that he witnessed a “genocidal massacre” and photographed more than 10,000 bodies as part of his job.
He warned a similar fate could befall 150,000 more people who remain incarcerated by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government.
Turkey's Boomerang War in Syria
Bashar al-Assad's departure from power would illustrate to all countries in the world that that a regime unwanted by Turkey would not survive.
Both of Prime Minister Davutoglu's references to Muslim prayers seem to symbolize his strong, inner desire for "conquest:" the "conquest" of Jerusalem by the Palestinians, and the downfall of al-Assad and the establishment of a Sunni, pro-Turkey regime there.
The Turkish interior minister was right when he said that legitimate states have a right to use proportionate violence when they face violence. But he is wrong to think that this right can only be enjoyed by his own country.
Syrian Ambassador Calls ISIS An 'American Myth'
The Syrian Ambassador to India claimed that ISIS was an American invention on Wednesday, among other controversial remarks.
The statements were made at a press conference hosted by the Indian Women’s Press Corps in New Delhi, the Hindustan Times reports.
“ISIS is an American myth, which gets direct support from Tayyip Erdogan’s [the president] Turkey and is funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar,” according to Ambassador Riad Kamel Abbas. “Al Qaeda appeared in Syria after the US invaded Iraq. Before that there was no al Qaeda in Syria. It is clear that al Qaeda was created by the US and it is supporting ISIS.”
Syria Kurds: US arms drop will ‘help greatly’ in Kobani
Redur Xelil, a spokesman for the People’s Protection Units (YPG), confirmed the weapons delivery and said Kurdish fighters hoped to receive additional assistance.
“The military assistance dropped by American planes at dawn on Kobani was good and we thank America for this support,” he said.
“It will have a positive impact on military operations against Daesh and we hope for more,” he added, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.
He declined to detail the weapons included in the delivery but said they would “help greatly” as Kurdish forces battle to keep IS jihadists from overrunning Kobani, also known as Ain al-Arab.
Turkey allowing Iraqi Kurds to join fight in Kobani
Turkey on Monday said it was assisting Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters to cross its borders to join Syrian Kurdish forces battling jihadists for the Syrian town of Kobani.
“We are assisting peshmerga forces to cross into Kobani,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara, adding that talks on the issue were ongoing but without giving further details.
“We have no wish at all to see Kobani fall” to the jihadists, he added.
The announcement represented a major switch by Turkey, which until now has refused to allow Kurdish fighters to cross its border to join the fight for Kobani just a few kilometers to the south.
Iran looks at compromise nuke deal, won’t seek talks extension
Iran is considering a US proposal at nuclear talks that would allow it to keep more of its nuclear infrastructure intact while still reducing its ability to make an atomic bomb, two diplomats told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Tehran does not want to extend its nuclear talks with world powers beyond a November 24 deadline.
“We only have 40 days left to the deadline and also none of the negotiators find [an] extension of talks as appropriate. We share this view… and we think there is no need to even think about it,” Zarif said on the sidelines of talks in Vienna, as quoted by the website of state television.
Zarif said the sanctions “have had no effect” on Tehran’s development of its nuclear program.
Iran’s Red Line: Centrifuges for 38 A-Bombs Per Year
With the self-imposed deadline of November 24 looming over the negotiations between the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) and Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader and effective ruler, tweeted a graphic last week which outlined Iran’s 11 “Red Lines for Nuclear Talks.”
These included a "red line" of retaining enough centrifuge capacity to produce approximately 38 uranium nuclear bombs per year. This is Red Line 8, which says: “Supplying the final need of the country’s enrichment capacity which is 190 SWUs.”
Khamenei’s tweeted graphic included an inset that reads: “Ayatollah Khamenei, in line with his support for the Iranian negotiators... has called it necessary to observe the red lines in the course of the nuclear talks. In this infographic, some details of these red lines are reviewed in the Leader of the Revolution’s remarks.”
Are EU sanctions against Iran beginning to evaporate?
Two pro-Iran business events in Europe coalesced last week, revealing an assault on the hard-fought US-EU sanctions architecture to isolate the Islamic Republic. The first Europe-Iran Forum, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday in London, stated its goal as “preparing post-sanctions investment and trade.”
European energy trade is still banned with Iran because President Hassan Rouhani’s regime has been evasive about the nature of his country’s illicit nuclear program. In exchange for slowing down its nuclear program, the world powers agreed to suspend some sanctions.
Women attacked with acid in Iran targeted because of 'bad hijab,' some fear
A number of acid attacks against women in Iran in recent months have raised fears among some that the victims were singled out because they were not wearing veils that sufficiently covered them, AFP reported on Sunday.
Iranian authorities told local media that arrests have been made in the case, but declined to comment on a possible motive. The attacks have occurred in the city of Isfahan against female drivers.
While authorities mentioned four such attacks, AFP cited "chatter" on social media networks in Iran as saying there had been as many as 13 incidents in which women who were "badly veiled" were targeted.
Iran On Texas Execution Rate: ‘Bloody Amateurs’ (satire)
Officials in Iran expressed disdain for the supposed cruelty of Texas’s criminal justice system today, calling the Lone Star State’s number of executions “pitiful.”
President Hassan Rouhani initially voiced bewilderment at the level of vehement opposition to Texas’s execution of inmates, as his country has put to death nearly twenty times the number of people that Texas has executed since he assumed the presidency last August. During that time, Iran has hanged, beheaded, or otherwise killed 936 people for crimes ranging from homosexuality to insulting Muhammad the prophet, while Texas has put to death a total of 47 death row inmates, all by lethal injection. The Iranian president’s confusion gave way to open disdain as he dismissed Texas’s efforts to appear tough on criminals as less than impressive.
“It’s pathetic, frankly, that a state with slightly less than a third of Iran’s population can barely muster the guts to execute five percent of the number we do,” said Rouhani. “And even more ridiculous is the level of vehemence that Texas attracts as a result from all sorts of ‘activists.’ Whom do those activists think they’re kidding? Texas isn’t bloodthirsty. Texas is a bunch of bloody amateurs.”
Iran-Saudi Relations Nosedive After Cleric’s Death Sentence
Iranian leaders threatened “to turn Saudi Arabia into hell,” over the last few days in response to a decision by a Saudi court to sentence the Shi’ite cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr to death. A day later Iran carried out a wave of arrests against Sunni clerics.
The tit-for-tat exchange comes as the West scrutinizes Tehran’s involvement in the Syrian and Iraqi arenas.
Al-Nimr was found guilty a week ago of seeking “foreign meddling” in Saudi Arabia, disobeying its rulers and taking up arms against the Saudi security forces. Al-Nimr was a vocal supporter of the mass anti-government protests that erupted in eastern Saudi Arabia three years ago.
Commander of Iran’s Basij force Brigadier-General Mohammad Reza Naqdi threatened revenge if the Saudis execute the cleric, “If the Al-Saud commits such a crime against Ayatollah Sheikh al-Nimr, its move will not remain unanswered and Muslims will change this world to a hell for them.”
Woman watching football match in stadium causes uproar in Saudi Arabia, sexist comments flow on Youtube
Among more than 1,000 to have commented underneath the YouTube video, with one user stating that women aren’t interested in football, so why do they go to a stadium to watch a live match.
A highlights video of a top Saudi football team’s latest match reportedly went viral on the internet, because a woman was spotted in the crowd.
But, instead of the foul sparking the large number of views it is apparently the fact that a veiled woman was shown remonstrating in the crowd, The Daily Express reported.
Although women are banned from attending football games in Saudi Arabia, this game was an exception, due to the fact that the match, a semi-final of the Asian Football Confederation’s Champions League, was hosted in the UAE…
Pakistan to execute mother of 5 sentenced for blasphemy
A Pakistani court has upheld the death sentence of a Christian woman whose 2010 conviction for blasphemy led to the assassination of two politicians who supported her, a defense lawyer said Friday.
Asia Bibi, a 50-year-old mother of five, had appealed before the Lahore High Court against the ruling, in which she was found guilty of insulting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, but the court rejected her appeal Thursday, her lawyer said.
“We have the right to appeal in 30 days, and we will continue this legal battle by approaching the Supreme Court of Pakistan,” Sardar Mushtaq said.
Bibi’s case drew global criticism in 2011 when Pakistan’s minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti and eastern Punjab governor Salman Taseer were killed for supporting her and opposing blasphemy laws. Taseer was killed in the capital Islamabad by one of his police guards after visiting Bibi in jail.

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