Wednesday, October 22, 2014

From Ian:

IDF patrol comes under fire on Egypt border
Gunmen in the Sinai Peninsula opened fire on an IDF patrol near the Egyptian border on Wednesday afternoon, injuring two soldiers.
The army said that the soldiers were wounded and were taken to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba.
Both the IDF and Egyptian army were sending troops to the area.
The Israeli soldiers reportedly returned fire and there were ongoing exchanges in the area.
Egyptian security sources told Arabic news site Masrawy that the radical Islamist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis was behind the attack. According to Egyptian officials quoted by Channel 2, three gunmen approached the border in a four-by-four and opened fire. The officials said Egyptian soldiers were injured in the incident, but it wasn’t clear from the report how many or by whom.
Abbas’s Palestine Is the Real Apartheid State
The purpose of such laws is to thwart the Zionist enterprise by which Jews have returned to their ancient homeland by legally purchasing land. But the motivating factor here is Jew hatred. Should Palestine ever become a reality, the neighborhoods where Jews have bought homes would be part of it. At that point these few Jews would be no threat to the Arab majority. But the Palestinian vision of statehood remains one in which Israel would be a country where Jews and Arabs live while Palestine will be a Judenrein—Jew-free—entity.
The point here is that peace is possible if both sides are prepared to compromise and recognize each other’s legitimacy. But the supposedly moderate Palestinian Authority of Abbas, that both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry constantly praise as a true peace partner for Israel, is not only not interested in compromising. It is also promulgating and attempting to enforce laws that are based in anti-Semitic incitement. Were Israel to ban Arabs from moving into homes they owned in West Jerusalem, it would prompt an international outcry and condemnations from the United States. But instead America condemns Jews who move into Arab neighborhoods and stays silent when Abbas seeks to treat those who sell to Jews as criminals.
Instead of the Jewish home buying in Jerusalem being an obstacle to peace as Israel’s critics claim, it is the Arab attempt to criminalize selling to a Jew that best illustrates why peace is not yet possible.
Palestinian Statehood?
The Palestinian Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.
Michael Lumish: A Deeply Dishonest White House Denies that Kerry Said What Kerry Said.
If people need to understand the connection, or linkage, between the long Arab war against the Jews in the Middle East and the rise of political Islam, it means that John Kerry believes in the long discredited linkage theory that the administration sought to promote at Jewish expense.
This is not merely that others in the Middle East might blame the Jews for the rise of the Islamic State, but that Kerry, himself, is promoting the idea. Ultimately what this means, obviously, is that the US is prepared to blame Israel for pretty much everything unless it capitulates to Arab demands, whatever those demands might be. This despite the fact that it is the Arab majority that has always rejected yet another Arab state in Judea and Samaria.
Thus the Obama administration blames the Jews for pretty much everything going wrong throughout Arab political culture. Jews are blamed not only for Arab intransigence on a “Palestinian” state in the Jewish heartland, but are also blamed ultimately for Arab head-chopping by the Islamic State.
For Obama’s Department of State to turn around and deny that Kerry claimed what we have him directly on record claiming is a deeply dishonest act from what is a truly insidious and dangerous administration for the well-being of Jewish people throughout the world.
The next time Kerry shows his face in Jerusalem his auto procession should be pelted with shoes by Jews and Arabs alike.

Secretary of State Kerry simply doesn’t learn from his mistakes
Israel has been around for 66 years.
The Sunnis and Shi’ites have hated each other for 1,400 years. Israel has little to do with extreme Islamism, except for being a convenient scapegoat. Naïve Western diplomats believe Israel is the root cause of the problem primarily because autocratic and corrupt Arab leaders tell them so.
Kerry and his team should ask themselves the following questions: • What does Israel have to do with the Sunni-Shi’ite war playing out in Syria, Iraq and Yemen? • What does Israel have to do with Qatar and Kuwait supporting al-Qaida in Syria? • What does Israel have to do with Iran’s despicable human rights record? • What was Israel’s connection to the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood – before Israel even existed? • How did Israel force the Arab world to import Nazi anti-Semitism as exemplified by the Hamas Charter, that rivals Mein Kampf? • What does Israel have to do with NATO ally Turkey becoming Islamist? • What is Israel’s role in the Islamist persecution and ethnic cleansing of the Middle East’s ancient Christian population? Kerry’s nine-month deadline for the last round of negotiations was probably the most important reason for Operation Protective Edge. Yet there is no indication Kerry understands that it is he who was the cause of so much death and destruction.
Now he wants to restart the peace talks. Violence inevitably and unfortunately will follow and again Kerry will find someone other than himself to blame.
Frida Ghitis: Peace between Israelis, Palestinians won’t end Mideast extremism
During a ceremony at the State Department in Washington to mark the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha, Kerry spoke of the need to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and then he made a statement that is as foolish as it is dangerous. That conflict, he said, is fueling recruitment for ISIS. “People need to understand the connection,” he said, explaining “it has something to do with humiliation and denial and absence of dignity.” Hogwash; dangerous, unfounded, and counterproductive rubbish.
Kerry is handing the Palestinian cause to ISIS, which is not driven in any way by concern for Palestinians, but by a loudly proclaimed wish to rule Muslims all over the world, all the lands that ever belonged to any Muslim empire, and revive an ancient caliphate. ISIS does not want to help the Palestinians. It wants to rule over them. It wants to impose its brutal ways over them, subjugate or kill anyone that opposes them. ISIS has absolutely nothing to do with Israelis and Palestinians, except that it wishes to conquer the territories where they both live.
The State Department denied Kerry had linked the two, saying the remarks were taken out of context. I believe the secretary has nothing if not good intentions, but I also think the old linkage idea lives on as a dated, but unkillable, cliché in diplomatic circles.
It is distressing, depressing, demoralizing to see that peace between them looks so distant, and any good ideas for resolving the conflict, any successful efforts to find a peaceful and lasting solution would be cause for celebration.
But let’s not fool ourselves. Peace between Israelis and Palestinians will not end extremism. It will not help “degrade and destroy” ISIS. It will not bring Sunnis and Shiites together. It will not extinguish radical ideologies. Even after there is peace in that part of the region, the “conflict in the Middle East” will not be over.
Muslims Fight for ISIS But Not Palestine
For anyone who thinks the lack of a Palestinian state is a primary cause of Muslim grievance, the flood of foreign fighters into Syria and Iraq in recent years poses a real problem. After all, none of the jihadi groups in those countries are fighting against Israel or for the Palestinians; indeed, as journalist Khaled Abu Toameh pointed out yesterday, ISIS ranks “liberating Jerusalem” way down on its list of goals and “did not even bother to comment” on this summer’s war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Yet while ISIS and its ilk have attracted thousands of foreign fighters to Syria and Iraq, the number of foreigners who have joined the Palestinian fight against Israel is near zero.
This certainly isn’t a problem of access. The thousands of Western Muslims now fighting in Iraq and Syria could easily and legally have reached the West Bank via either Israel or Jordan; so could those from Turkey, Jordan and Egypt. They simply never cared enough to do so.
And until last year, when Egypt cracked down on the cross-border smuggling tunnels, Gaza was accessible even to nationals of Muslim countries that lack diplomatic relations with Israel: They could enter Egypt legally and cross to Gaza via the tunnels. Hamas would surely have welcomed reinforcements, but they never cared enough to come.
Israel Attempts to Insert Reason into UN Debate About Middle East
David Roet, the deputy ambassador from Israel to the United Nations provided a refreshing refusal to buckle under to the remonstrations of Ban and other world leaders.
Roet rejected the idea that the “root cause of the conflict” is the “occupation.” Instead, he insisted that the real root cause of the violence and instability in the Middle East is the “poisonous ideology of extremism.”
The Israeli ambassador pointed out that the Hamas Charter is unequivocal: its mission is to destroy the State of Israel.
Roet delivered a brilliant riposte to the secretary-general’s position that “settlements” are the root cause of the conflict: “There are many threats in our region, but the presence of Jewish homes in the Jewish homeland has never been one of them.”
Erekat: If Our UN Bid Fails, We'll Join Int'l Organizations
The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, declared Tuesday that if the United States vetoed the PA’s UN resolution for a timetable to “end the Israeli occupation”, the PA would apply for membership to 522 international organizations and statutes.
Erekat said in a statement quoted by the Ma’an news agency that the PA should also seek recognition by EU countries, especially after the new Swedish prime minister's announcement that his country would recognize “Palestine” and the British parliament's symbolic vote to do the same.
"We have nothing to lose except loss itself," Erekat said in the statement, according to Ma’an.
UN: Stop unilateral initiatives by Israel, Palestinians
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Palestinian and Israeli leaders on Tuesday to halt “unilateral initiatives” that fuel mistrust and thwart peace efforts, an appeal almost certainly aimed at Israel’s continued settlement building and the Palestinians’ demand that Israel withdraw from its territory by November 2016.
Ban challenged the leaders to rise to the occasion and display the “courage and vision” needed to overcome their differences and negotiate a comprehensive peace agreement that leads to the establishment of a viable and independent Palestinian state.
But the UN chief told the UN Security Council that there is no hope for long-term stability without an end to Israel’s occupation “that has grinded on for nearly half a century,” a full lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip, and measures to address Israel’s legitimate security concerns.
UN’s Ban vows inquiry into weapons found at UN sites during Gaza war
Fresh off a Monday meeting with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon debriefed the UN Security Council on Tuesday morning on his recent trip to Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian territories, and said that he would push forward on an investigation into the destruction and damaging of UN-owned buildings, including incidents when Hamas weapons were found in UN schools.
Ban recounted seeing “mile after mile of wholesale destruction” in Gaza, and his visit to the UN refugee camp Jabalia, which was shelled during Operation Protective Edge.
“I look forward to a thorough investigation by the Israeli Defense Forces of this and other incidents in which UN facilities sustained hits and many innocent people were killed,” he said. “I am planning to move forward with an independent Board of Inquiry to look into the most serious of those cases, as well as instances in which weaponry was found on UN premises.”
Repeating a line he told journalists last week, Ban said, “I fully understand the security threat to Israel from rockets above and tunnels below. At the same time, the scale of the destruction in Gaza has left deep questions about proportionality and the need for accountability.
Angry Nazis: We Got Tried For Killing Jews, But Gaza Gets Billions (satire)
A group of former Einsatzgruppen veterans whose primary task during the Second World War involved forcing Eastern European Jews to dig their own mass graves, line up, and be mowed down by gunfire, joined with former guards at death camps in an open letter to the countries that pledged $5.4 billion in aid to rebuild the Gaza Strip. In the letter, they demanded that those governments show the same monetary support for the veterans’ efforts to murder Jews as their pledges do for Palestinian rocket and guerrilla attacks on Israeli civilians. Alternatively, say the petitioners, the countries should put the Hamas leadership on trial for war crimes, or at the very least withdraw their pledges to show consistency in how they treat those attempting to kill Jews.
Over the summer, Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip fired thousands of rockets at Israeli communities, sparking a punishing response from the IDF that wrought extensive damage on the neighborhoods in which the fighters had concealed their launchers, positions, and arsenals. Dozens of countries pledged reconstruction aid last week to the Palestinian unity government run by the Fatah and Hamas movements without demanding that Hamas be disarmed or abandon its campaign to wipe the Jewish State off the map. In contrast, the tens of billions of dollars in largely American aid provided to war-ravaged West Germany after WWII came only after the Nazi government, ideology, and forces had been thoroughly defeated and disgraced.
'Hamas has 2 headquarters: Gaza and Turkey'
In a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Tuesday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon criticized Turkey for the support it provides to Hamas.
"Turkey is playing a cynical game," Ya'alon told Hagel. "Hamas is supported by Turkey and Qatar. Hamas has two terror headquarters -- in Gaza and in Istanbul.
"Hamas moved its terror headquarters from Damascus to Istanbul, in Turkey, a NATO member, where it is represented by Saleh al-Arouri, who orchestrates terrorist attacks against Israel from there and attempted to instigate a coup against [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas in Judea and Samaria," Ya'alon said.
Ya'alon and Hagel discussed a range of topics on Tuesday, including Iran, the Islamic State group, Syria, Operation Protective Edge and Israel-U.S. defense ties. Ya'alon thanked Hagel for U.S. aid in the development of the Iron Dome anti-rocket system.
"Even if there are disagreements between the U.S. and Israel, they should not be allowed to cloud the deep friendship and warm, intimate ties between the two countries," Ya'alon said.
Israeli Officials Dismiss Report of Planned Mass Terror Attack on Rush Hour Commuter Train (VIDEO)
On Monday, an undisclosed individual apparently handed Border Police guarding Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem a journal documenting plans to mount a mass terror attack on a Haifa-Tel Aviv commuter train during the height of the Tuesday evening rush hour.
The Israeli soldiers quickly alerted the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) to the purported plot.
The plan was to have included six armed terrorists dressed in IDF paratroop brigades uniforms, who would board five separate cars on the packed rail line at the Binyamina station, south of Haifa, and then rake the compartments with gunfire while the train was en route.
“The speedy takeover will begin at 17:55 along the length of the five-car line, and the aim is to kill as many passengers as possible,” the notes read.
The army censor, at first, refused a request by Israel’s 0404 news site to publish the report, but later relented when it was confirmed that the information was “unreliable.”
Jordan said working to prevent Jewish prayer at Temple Mount
Jordan’s King Abdullah II and other Jordanian government officials have been working to ensure that the Knesset does not ratify a bill that would allow Jews to pray at the Temple Mount, a Jordanian official said Tuesday.
Khalid al-Shawabka, Jordan’s Ambassador to the Palestinian territories, claimed that Israeli MKs were attempting to pass a resolution which would effectively divide the compound between Muslims and Jews, the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported.
“Jordan’s foreign minister has sent strongly-worded messages to foreign ministers of member states of the UN Security Council and to the UN demanding an end to the systematic assaults on the Al-Aqsa Mosque and on worshipers,” al-Shawabka told the news agency in an interview.
“[T]he Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem are red lines,” al-Shawabka said, using a Muslim name for the compound. He added that the situation on the ground in the Israeli capital was “unacceptable,” though he did not elaborate.
PM Calms Jordan: No Change in Temple Mount 'Status-Quo'
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Jordan Tuesday that Israel has no intention of changing the status quo on the Temple Mount. This means that Jews will continue to be forbidden to pray on the Mount.
A bill submitted by MK Miri Regev (Likud), according to which Jews will be allowed to pray on the Mount, and not just tour it, caused alarm in Jordan. Jordan's Ambassador to Israel Walid Obeidat reportedly demanded clarifications from the Foreign Ministry Tuesday on the new bill, following reports that it would be voted on next month.
Jordan sees itself as being in charge of the Al Aqsa Mosque, which was built on the Temple Mount by Muslim occupiers centuries ago.
Arabs Confirm Jewish Victims Before Hurling Rocks at Point Blank
Oded Hania told Arutz Sheva he was driving in a car with a friend on the traffic route through the two neighborhoods when they were met by a group of Arab youths - who made sure to verify the two were Jewish before showering them with a potentially lethal hail of rocks.
"We drove from Atarot towards Shuafat. In Shuafat we saw a group of three or four youths around 18 years old," relates Hania. "Traffic was slow; they approached so as to identify if we were Jews."
Hania's friend, an IDF soldier, was dressed in uniform, giving the youths the indication that the intended victims were indeed Jews. At that point "they stepped back a bit, and from point blank range threw huge stones into the car."
The driver's window was smashed by the fusillade of rocks, as was the window next to Hania, who noted that his friend, who was driving, "tried to get away in reverse, as the whole car was full of glass. In the end we went fifty meters in reverse against the stream of traffic, and then crossed to the opposite lane and got out of there."
Police to establish unit to combat Jerusalem riots
Speaking during a ceremony at Police’s Central Command headquarters, Danino said he and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch were determined to bring an end to the riots.
The capital, and the city’s light rail train system in particular, has faced disruptions as a result of vandalism and riots that have erupted sporadically since the brutal killing of 16-year-old Shuafat resident Muhammed Abu Khdeir in early July, allegedly by Jewish extremists avenging the killings of three Jewish teenagers in the West Bank a month earlier.
Frequent occurrences of rock and firebomb throwing at the light rail have damaged cars and left some of them unfit for use.
There have also been frequent riots on the Temple Mount, where Muslim protesters have demonstrated against Jewish visits to the site, clashing with police on several occasions.
Israel mulling request to replace UN peacekeepers who fled Syria border with drones
The UN is considering replacing its peacekeepers who fled the Golan Heights in recent months with drones, Lebanon's Al-Manar reported Tuesday.
According to the report, Argentina's envoy to the UN made the suggestion to Israel and Syria. Damascus reportedly accepted the request, but Israel has been slow to make a decision on the matter.
A senior Israel defense source said, "this is a very sensitive decision, with multiple security implications."
Military sources said they would inform the UN of the decision in the coming days.
After two weeks of quiet in the Golan Heights, residents awoke to the sounds of explosions on Tuesday morning. Fighting between Syrian rebels and Assad regime forces resumed after a respite, and clouds of smoke from the bombardments could be seen from the Israeli border.
Navy arrests 7 Gaza fishermen for violating nautical restrictions
Israel’s navy arrested seven Palestinian fishermen off northern Gaza on Wednesday, officials on both sides said, with the army claiming their boats had strayed beyond the permitted fishing limit.
“The Israeli navy arrested seven fishermen from one family in Sudaniya in the sea off northern Gaza,” the head of the Gaza fishermen’s syndicate, Nizar Ayash, told AFP.
The army confirmed the arrest of seven fishermen on two boats, saying they had strayed beyond the six-nautical mile fishing limit imposed as part of Israel’s naval blockade.
“This morning, two vessels sailed beyond the permitted fishing zone,” a spokeswoman told AFP, saying troops had fired warning shots to halt them that were ignored.
Gaza Infiltrator Arrested 500 Meters Inside Israel
A resident of Gaza was arrested on Wednesday morning by security forces after having illegally infiltrated into Israeli territory.
The man was not armed, raising questions as to the intent of his infiltration that investigators will seek to answer.
In the Eshkol Regional Council area roughly 500 meters into Israel the man was nabbed by security forces, and brought in for investigation.
The incident comes after Gaza infiltrators late last month breached Israel's borders twice in two days. In the first case, the infiltrator was armed with a knife and a spike to carry out a terrorist attack.
There's a Worrisome Amount of Support in Jordan for the Islamic State
According to the State Department, the American-led coalition against the Islamic State currently includes 60 states. While the war against IS is, as President Obama said last week, “an operation that involves the world,” all allies are not equal. Among Washington’s many partners, Jordan is perhaps the most important. From deploying fighter jets to providing logistical support to training moderate Syrian rebels, Jordan is proving an indispensable ally in the campaign against ISIS. And for good reason: IS poses an immediate danger to the Kingdom. In recent months, Jordan has arrested dozens of IS supporters, and just weeks ago Jordan witnessed its second pro-IS demonstration.
But not everyone in Jordan supports membership in the coalition. According to a poll published last month by the Center for Strategic Studies at University of Jordan, only 62 percent of Jordanians consider IS—and a mere 31 percent the Syria-based Al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Al Nusra—to be terrorist organizations. Even more stunning, just 44 percent of Jordanians surveyed say that Al Qaeda is a terrorist group.
Given these sentiments, it’s not surprising that many Jordanians oppose their military’s participation in the campaign targeting IS and Jabhat Al Nusra.
Jordanian Cleric: No Monkey-Worshipping Country Was Left Out of the Satanic Coalition

Analysis: What the U.S. Can Learn From Israel in Targeting ISIS (VIDEO)
Less than ten percent of the nearly one thousand air sorties by the United States in Syria ended in dropping bombs – compared to Israeli Air Force strikes during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, due to poor intel, lack of troops on the ground, fear of harming civilians, and long distances involved, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported Tuesday.
Even worse, in recent days, ISIS militants have released video clips and photos of coalition aid being dropped into ISIS-controlled areas, although most seems to have reached Kurdish forces.
Only 90 of 949 air attacks against Islamic State militants ended in munitions being released on targets, according to data released by the BBC. In comparison, IAF jets were able to triple the amount of goals in the “target bank,” thanks to the quality of intelligence.
US Weapons Drop Misses Target, Falls Into Islamic State Hands
A video released by the Islamic State on Tuesday allegedly shows a stray weapons bundle from the United States that missed its target in Kurdish-controlled areas near Kobani, Syria and instead fell into the hands of IS (ISIS or ISIL) militants.
Sunday evening, the Pentagon confirmed that the U.S. military had conducted a weapons drop to supply Syrian Kurds fighting IS militants in Kobani with small arms and supplies.
Pentagon Spokesperson Rear Adm. John Kirby also confirmed Monday that one of the bundles had missed its target, but that it had been destroyed so that “ISIL terrorists couldn’t get to it.”
Syria claims it destroyed jets seized by Islamic State
The Syrian air force has destroyed two of three jets seized and reportedly test flown over Aleppo by the Islamic State group last week, according to the country’s information minister.
Omran al-Zoubi told Syrian TV late Tuesday that Syrian aircraft bombed the jets as they were landing at Jarrah airbase in the eastern countryside of Aleppo province. He said the militants were able to hide a third jet, which the Syrian air force is now searching for.
Is ISIS Using Chemical Weapons In Syrian Town of Kobane?
President Barack Obama almost bombed Syria two years ago for using chemical weapons against its civilians. The President balked back then and a deal was struck with the regime of Bashir al-Assad to destroy Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons.
There has been no accounting for all of Syria’s weapons, and experts long feared some of them would fall into the hands of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorists as they marched across eastern Syria. Reports are now suggesting that fear has been realized.
The reports are preliminary, but BBC reporter Güney Yıldız has sources in the Syrian town of Kobane, along the Turkish border, telling him ISIS has launched a chemical weapons attack against the Kurds defending the city.
Woman Stoned to Death by Her Own Father in ISIS Territory
An extremely disturbing video from ISIS-controlled Syria shows a woman being stoned to death by her own father, after being accused of adultery.
At the start of the video - which Arutz Sheva has deemed too graphic to reproduce here - a man who appears to be the head of a Sharia (Islamic law) council from the so-called "Islamic State" lectures the woman, and announces that the stoning sentence is the first to be implemented under ISIS auspices in the area. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, it is the third stoning sentence carried out by ISIS.
"We hope that this will serve as a lesson for other women," he says, adding: "This punishment is the result of the actions you did with your own free will."
JPost Editorial: Dealing with Iran
The question remains where the present negotiations will lead. Both Iran and the P5+1 now seem intent on not extending negotiations beyond the November 24 deadline.
If this means that the P5+1 will end negotiations rather than sign a bad deal, this is a good sign. It would allow sanctions against Iran to be put back in place and would put a military option “back on the table.”
If, however, the P5+1 chooses to sign a bad deal rather than break off talks with no deal at all, this would severely complicate the situation. The sanctions regime painstakingly put in place over the years would disintegrate and the military option would become highly unlikely. As soon as it became clear that Iran was being allowed to become a threshold nuclear power, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey would demand a similar status – setting off a nuclear arms race in the region.
This must not be allowed to happen. P5+1 negotiators should keep this in mind as they sit down this week in Vienna with their Iranian counterparts.
Congress Can Stop Obama’s Iran Appeasement End Run
While most of the attention on the Iran nuclear issue has rightly been on the negotiations being conducted by the U.S. and its allies with Tehran, the Obama administration is already planning for the aftermath of what it hopes will be a new agreement. But rather than preparing for an effort to persuade Congress of the merits of its diplomatic efforts, the president is planning on an end run around the laws it passed and unilaterally suspending enforcement of the sanctions on Iran. In doing so, he will not only be continuing a path he has pursued on issues such as immigration but will go even further in violating the constitutional requirement that the legislative branch approve all treaties with foreign powers.
The president’s problem isn’t limited to the fact that many Americans are rightly worried that the deal in the works with Iran is one that won’t do much to prevent the Islamist regime from eventually realizing its nuclear ambition. It’s that the economic sanctions that were imposed on Iran by laws enacted by Congress must be rescinded in the same manner that they were passed: by a vote. If the agreement that the U.S. is pushing hard to conclude with Iran is a good one, then the president and Secretary of State John Kerry should have no problem selling it to Congress, which could then simply vote to rescind the sanctions.
‘Foreign spies’ arrested near nuclear facility, Iran official says
An Iranian official claimed Tuesday that state security forces arrested a number of spies in the southern province of Bushehr, home to the country’s sole nuclear power plant.
According to Iranian media, the Islamic Republic’s Intelligence Minister, Seyed Mahmoud Alawi, claimed the suspects were engaged in surveillance and intelligence gathering, adding that the alleged agents had been serving foreign intelligence services.
“Thanks to the vigilance of the Intelligence Ministry forces who monitor the moves of the foreign intelligence services, some agents who intended to carry out surveillance and intelligence gathering for the foreigners in Bushehr province have been identified and sent to justice,” Alawi said, according to the semi-official Iranian Fars News Agency.
Hundreds take to streets in Iran to protest acid attacks against women
Iranian authorities have arrested a number of suspects in the attacks, but have not confirmed claims that the women were attacked because they were not dressed modestly enough, wearing form-fitting clothes and an insufficient head covering.
In videos posted on the 'My Stealthy Freedom' Facebook page on Wednesday, hundreds of people can be seen in front of the Department of Justice building in Isfahan, calling for a stop to the attacks and expressing support for the victims.
The protest marked a rare show of civil disobedience in Iran, known for its authoritarian regime.
The demonstration came after pictures of the victims carried on official state news agency IRNA showed women covered in bandages lying on hospital beds.
How Qatar funds extremists across the Middle East
Qatar is the richest country in the world per capita - and has made significant investments into various iconic London landmarks.
Its sovereign wealth fund owns Knightsbridge department store Harrods and its property arm has invested substantially in the development of Chelsea Barracks. It also owns the Shard - currently the tallest building in the EU.
However, it has also played a significant role in funding groups across the Middle East who are extremely hostile to the West.
It has been providing arms to a group of radical Islamists called "Libya Dawn", whose allies, Ansar al-Sharia, were responsible for killing US Ambassador Christopher Stevens in an attack on a diplomatic compound in Benghazi in 2011.
It has also been funding a Syrian rebel faction called Ahrar al-Sham, a jihadist group who fought alongside Islamic State for control of the city of Raqqa. Although the groups have since split, the Syrian city has become an Isil stronghold, in which several Western hostages are believed to have been held.
Hamas-sponsor Qatar Eyeing UN Control
Qatar, a key provider of funds to terrorist groups including Hamas, has its sights set on control of the United Nations (UN) as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is poised to step down in 2016 after his second five-year term.
The gas-rich Gulf state's Emir said he would back former Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al Thani - known as HBJ - in running for the position, reported the British The Telegraph on Sunday.
HBJ was prime minister from 2007 until 2013, and simultaneously served as foreign minister during a period from 1992 until last year. He has been a key figure in Qatar's push to buy controlling stakes in major corporations worldwide.
A potentially Qatari-led UN poses a threatening figure, given the state's financial support of terror.

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