Friday, February 27, 2015

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: In Israel’s hour of need
It is hard to get your arms around the stubborn determination of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today. For most of the nine years he has served as Israel’s leader, first from 1996 to 1999 and now since 2009, Netanyahu shied away from confrontations or buckled under pressure. He signed deals with the Palestinians he knew the Palestinians would never uphold in the hopes of winning the support of hostile US administrations and a fair shake from the pathologically hateful Israeli media.
In recent years he released terrorist murderers from prison. He abrogated Jewish property rights in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. He agreed to support the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River. He agreed to keep giving the Palestinians of Gaza free electricity while they waged war against Israel. He did all of these things in a bid to accommodate US President Barack Obama and win over the media, while keeping the leftist parties in his coalitions happy.
For his part, for the past six years Obama has undermined Israel’s national security. He has publicly humiliated Netanyahu repeatedly.
He has delegitimized Israel’s very existence, embracing the jihadist lie that Israel’s existence is the product of post-Holocaust European guilt rather than 4,000 years of Jewish history.
He and his representatives have given a backwind to the forces that seek to wage economic warfare against Israel, repeatedly indicating that the application of economic sanctions against Israel – illegal under the World Trade Organization treaties – are a natural response to Israel’s unwillingness to bow to every Palestinian demand. The same goes for the movement to deny the legitimacy of Israel’s very existence. Senior administration officials have threatened that Israel will become illegitimate if it refuses to surrender to Palestinian demands.
Last summer, Obama openly colluded with Hamas’s terrorist war against Israel. He tried to coerce Israel into accepting ceasefire terms that would have amounted to an unconditional surrender to Hamas’s demands for open borders and the free flow of funds to the terrorist group. He enacted a partial arms embargo on Israel in the midst of war. He cut off air traffic to Ben-Gurion International Airport under specious and grossly prejudicial terms in an open act of economic warfare against Israel.
Sarah Honig: Oh, to be Abdullah!
No sooner was caged Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kassasbeh burned to death publicly by IS, than Abdullah vowed retribution. Members of the US House Armed Services Committee attest that immediately upon having heard of his pilot’s horrific execution, Abdullah (then the Committee’s guest in Washington) quoted Clint Eastwood’s character Bill Munny in the 1992 movie Unforgiven:
“Any man I see out there, I’m gonna kill him. Any son of a bitch takes a shot at me, I’m not only going to kill him, I’m going to kill his wife and all his friends and burn his damn house down.”
Imagine if Benjamin Netanyahu swaggered thus. Indignant condemnation of Bibi’s fascist pose would have dizzyingly whirled around the planet and picked up more vehemence with each furious rotation. But what’s unthinkable for some is only to be exhorted in others.
Abdullah avenged al-Kassasbeh by promptly hanging two convicted terrorists and the enlightened ones everywhere extolled his true grit and dogged determination. Liberal Israel doesn’t execute even the most heinous of terrorists but is mercilessly trashed by the same enlightened ones. Murderers like Marwan Barghouti, convicted by Israel’s super-liberal courts, are depicted as prisoners of conscience and Netanyahu is pressured excruciatingly to let more convicted murderers loose as “goodwill gestures” to terror masterminds.
Around the globe both the loony Left and the righteous Right cheered as Abdullah put on battle fatigues and grimaced grimly. He let the world know how utterly angry he was and the unanimously sympathetic international community was unanimously impressed.
The foreign media approvingly counted the number of sorties by Jordanian fighter-jets and praised the destruction they sowed – civilian collateral-damage notwithstanding.
Danny Ayalon: The Truth About the Balance of Power in the Middle East
Danny Ayalon, Founder of the "Truth About Israel", Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Israeli Ambassador to the United States explains the facts relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the tip of the iceberg in the greater scheme of the balance of power in the Middle East. The video explains the gap between Israel and the united Arab Muslim bloc, and highlights the disparity between the Muslim and Arab countries in the Middle East and Israel, expressed in size and population, as well as in military, political and economic strength.

PMW: All of Israel is "Palestine" according to Abbas' National Security Forces
Every city, town and place in Israel is "Palestine," according to the PA's National Security Forces' steady stream of photos from "Palestine" posted to its Facebook page.
Recent posts show places in Northern Israel as "Palestine": Atlit in the Haifa district, the Upper Galilee in general and the Montfort Castle in the Upper Galilee specifically, and Mount Gilboa in Beit She'an.
The cities Jaffa, Safed, Acre, Tiberias and Nazareth together with the Negev desert have all been recently presented as "Palestine" by the PA Security Forces, as documented by Palestinian Media Watch.
Abbas' security forces also repeated the false claim that Tiberias (with a different photo) and Nazareth are in "Palestine":

The truth about the PA’s 'imminent financial collapse'
Israel’s decision to suspend the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority (PA) was met by the latter’s claim that it is about to go bankrupt, as well as by the threat that it would have no choice but to disband itself. US Secretary of State John Kerry has publicly endorsed both the claim and the “threat” of the PA. What I call the “Kerry Rule” (i.e. if he says it, it must be wrong) has been confirmed yet again: the PA is not bankrupt and it will not disband itself.
The PA will not disband itself because its chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, will not kill the cow that he and his cronies have been milking for years. From the moment it was established in 1994, the PA has diverted foreign donations and tax revenues to fill personal bank accounts, to purchase weapons, and to finance incitement and terrorism. The 1994 Paris Agreements put Israel in charge of transferring export tax revenues to the PA, but then-PLO Chief Yasser Arafat asked Israel to transfer the money to a bank account accessible only to him and to his personal advisor Mohammed Rashid. According to Israeli journalists Ehud Ya’ari and Ronen Bergman, some $3 billion were transferred to this account between 1994 and 2000. Arafat used some of this money, among other things, to support his wife’s lavish lifestyle in Paris.
This corruption didn’t abate under Abbas. As former director of the PA’s anti-corruption department Fahmi Shabaneh declared in 2010: “Abbas has surrounded himself with many of the thieves and officials who were involved in theft of public funds and who became icons of financial corruption” (as reported by The Jerusalem Post on 29 January 2010). By dismantling the PA, Abbas and his entourage would have to renounce the millions they siphon every year from foreign aid.
ISIS: Pro-Palestinians in Europe Actually Sleeper ISIS Cells
Pro-Palestinian rallies and groups are being used to aid the rise of Islamic State (ISIS) in Europe, according to a book the group released this month - united under the front of "bringing down Zionsim."
The book, Black Flags from Rome, encourages European Muslims to rise up and aid ISIS from within, according to a report on the PJ Media website - and notes that terror cells have already been formed.
“There were small armies of the Islamic State within every country of Europe by late 2014, and the intelligence agencies didn’t even know about it!” the book exclaims.
“If you have ever been at a pro-Palestine / anti-Israel protest, you will see many activists who are not even Muslims who are supportive of what Muslims are calling for (the fall of Zionism)," it continues. "It is most likely here that connections between Muslims and Left-wing activists will be made, and a portion from them will realize that protests are not effective, and that armed combat is the alternative."
Such “recruits” being lured to ISIS due to frustration over their lives “will give intelligence, share weapons and do undercover work for the Muslims to pave the way for the conquest of Rome," the book also predicts.
The odd reality of Iran's centrifuges: Enough for a bomb, not power

For now, the two sides are operating under an interim agreement, which rolls back Iran’s stock of enriched uranium and freezes the country’s capability to produce nuclear materials that could be used to make a nuclear bomb. In exchange, Iran can sell its oil more freely and gain access to millions of dollars in frozen assets.
One element that’s fully expected in a long-term arrangement is a limit on the number and kinds of centrifuges Iran can use to enrich uranium. Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell said there’s an irony in that.
"If you are going to have a nuclear weapons program, 5,000 is pretty much the number you need," Morell, now a CBS analyst, said on Charlie Rose. "If you have a power program, you need a lot more. By limiting them to a small number of centrifuges, we are limiting them to the number you need for a weapon."
Morell told PunditFact he said 5,000 because that was lowest number he had heard was in play. The number of centrifuges in place today is a hair over 20,000, and a likely goal is to cut that to about 5,000. But Morell’s basic point struck us as just plain intriguing. We wanted to learn more about this idea that a nuclear power program would require many more centrifuges than you’d need for a bomb -- which by extension means that limiting centrifuge capacity is just one negotiating point out of many.
The consensus among the experts we reached is that Morell is on the money. Matthew Kroenig at Georgetown University told PunditFact the Morell is "is absolutely correct."  Ditto for Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association and David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security.
 Charles Krauthammer: The fatal flaw in the Iran deal
There is a third choice. If you are not stopping Iran’s program, don’t give away the store. Keep the pressure, keep the sanctions. Indeed, increase them. After all, previous sanctions brought Iran to its knees and to the negotiating table in the first place. And that was before the collapse of oil prices, which would now vastly magnify the economic effect of heightened sanctions.
Congress is proposing precisely that. Combined with cheap oil, it could so destabilize the Iranian economy as to threaten the clerical regime. That’s the opening. Then offer to renew negotiations for sanctions relief but from a very different starting point — no enrichment. Or, if you like, with a few token centrifuges for face-saving purposes.
And no sunset.
That’s the carrot. As for the stick, make it quietly known that the United States will not stand in the way of any threatened nation that takes things into its own hands. We leave the regional threat to the regional powers, say, Israeli bombers overflying Saudi Arabia.
Consider where we began: six U.N. Security Council resolutions demanding an end to Iranian enrichment. Consider what we are now offering: an interim arrangement ending with a sunset clause that allows the mullahs a robust, industrial-strength, internationally sanctioned nuclear program.
Such a deal makes the Cuba normalization look good and the Ukrainian cease-fires positively brilliant. We are on the cusp of an epic capitulation. History will not be kind.
Dore Gold: The world moves toward a bad deal
The new agreement between Iran and the P5+1 that is presently being completed will leave Iran's massive nuclear infrastructure largely intact. But if Parchin teaches the West any lesson, it is that Iran has not put its weaponization efforts on the negotiating table, nor will it. Neither has it agreed to allow its huge ballistic missile forces to become a subject of discussion. For that reason, Israeli spokespeople have been saying that Iran will be at the threshold of having nuclear weapons, and can be described as a threshold nuclear power. Undoubtedly, there are those in the West who are convinced that if Iran violates its agreement and crosses the threshold to assemble a nuclear weapon it would immediately face a strong reaction which could include the use of force.
There is an enormous problem for anyone who thinks that this last stage of assembling a nuclear weapon can be reliably detected. Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates made this point on April 11, 2010, when he appeared on the American news show "Meet the Press." He stated: "If their policy is to go to the threshold but not assemble a nuclear weapon, how do you tell they have not assembled? I don't know how you would verify that." Gates understood how intelligence collection worked since he was head of the CIA in the 1990s.
The former head of the CIA, Michael Hayden, reached a similar conclusion in testimony he gave before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Nov. 20, 2014. He told the Congressmen bluntly: "Absent an invasive inspection regime, with freedom to visit all sites on short notice, American intelligence cannot provide adequate warning of Iranian nuclear developments."
In short, Iran could acquire nuclear weapons without being detected unless a future agreement gave the West the right to move all over Iran with little notification. Given the struggle over Parchin and other sites, there is no indication that the West will have an inspection regime of this sort.
Elliott Abrams: U.S. and Israel: The Manufactured Crisis
The crisis between the United States and Israel has been manufactured by the Obama administration. Building a crisis up or down is well within the administration’s power, and it has chosen to build it up. Why? Three reasons: to damage and defeat Netanyahu (whom Obama has always disliked simply because he is on the right while Obama is on the left) in his election campaign, to prevent Israel from affecting the Iran policy debate in the United States, and worst of all to diminish Israel’s popularity in the United States and especially among Democrats.
Suppose for a moment that the Netanyahu speech before Congress is a mistake, a breach of protocol, a campaign maneuver, indeed all the bad things the White House is calling it. Grant all of that for a moment for the sake of argument and the behavior of the Obama administration is still inexplicable. Clearly more is behind its conduct than mere pique over the speech.
After bashing Netanyahu, top Obama aide Rice to address AIPAC
In a bid to ease soaring tensions with Israel over a potential Iran nuclear deal, the White House has decided against snubbing America’s leading pro-Israel lobby and will send both President Barack Obama’s national security adviser and UN ambassador to address its annual policy conference.
The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee announced Thursday that the Obama administration has confirmed that national security adviser Susan Rice and UN Ambassador Samantha Power will speak to its conference this weekend.
US officials had floated the idea of sending a non-Cabinet level official to show displeasure with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to Congress in which he will argue against an Iran deal.
Rice’s selection came two days after an interview with Charlie Rose on PBS in which she faulted both Netanyahu and Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, who extended an invitation to the prime minister to address Congress on Iran next week, for creating the current “destructive” tension between Washington and Jerusalem.
Hypocrites: Dems Who Applauded Calderon’s Speech Boycott Netanyahu
Many of the Democrats denouncing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech next week to a special joint session of Congress as an intrusion into U.S. domestic politics leapt to their feet in 2010 when then-Mexican President Felipe Calderon, in a similar address to Congress in 2010, slammed U.S. immigration laws and called for immigration reform. Calderon also drew a standing ovation from Democrats when he slammed Arizona’s own immigration law.
That address is forgotten today by the likes of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), who has announced her decision to join the minority of Democrats boycotting Netanyahu’s speech. Schakowsky has explained her decision in a bizarre Huffington Post article in which she makes the essentially racist claim that she cannot be anti-Israel because of her “DNA,” then goes on to offer two extremely weak justifications for her boycott.
Phyllis Chesler: Empowering jihad: The deadly myth of a ‘root cause’
Reports that “Jihadi John,” the British-accented narrator of ISIS snuff videos, is Mohammed Emwazi — an educated young man from a middle-class background — ought to put the final stake in the pretense that poverty and a lack of education and opportunity fuel Islamist hate.
This mistaken idea seems to be Obama administration policy. Marie Harf, the US Department of State deputy spokesperson, recently said:
“We cannot win this war by killing [jihadists]. We need to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it is lack of opportunity for jobs. . . We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people.”
Of course, the news about “Jihadi John” is only the latest evidence to the contrary. These terrorists are often well-educated and even wealthy. Osama bin Laden certainly was.
Many Islamist terrorists are physicians: Maj. Nidal Hasan (the Fort Hood shooter) and al Qaeda’s current leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
Douglas Murray: Cage deserves all the scrutiny the relevant authorities can muster
So the identity of ‘Jihadi John’ appears to have come out. And surprise surprise he is a man associated with the group Cage (formerly Cage Prisoners). The leaders of this group – Asim Qureshi and Cerie Bullivant – have been filling the airwaves ever since the naming of their friend Mohammed Emwazi. Qureshi even appeared to shed a tear as he talked about what a ‘beautiful young man’ his friend Jihadi John is.
I wonder if any scales have fallen from any eyes in the last 24 hours? I do hope so. Cage is, after all, a group which has for years been introduced on the BBC, Channel 4 and so on as ‘the human rights group Cage’. Or if you were Peter Oborne writing in the Telegraph last summer, the ‘organisation’ which ‘has done more than any other to stand up for alleged terrorists’.
Peter has been a long-time supporter of Cage. Yet as I wrote in the Telegraph in a reply to Peter’s love letter last summer, Cage ‘does not just “stand up for alleged terrorists”. It also stands up for actual, convicted terrorists’.
How the man behind group that called ISIS executioner Mohammed Emwazi 'extremely kind' and 'a beautiful man' called for Jihad during demonstration outside the US Embassy
A video has surfaced of the Muslim activist who described ISIS executioner Jihaji John as 'a beautiful man' calling for Jihad at an anti-US rally in London.
Asim Qureshi urged protestors to 'support the jihad of our brothers and sisters' in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Chechnya.
Speaking through a microphone at the the pan-Islamic Hizb ut-Tahrir movement rally, human rights group CAGE's research director preached: 'When we see the example of our brothers and sisters fighting in Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, then we know where the example lies.
'When we see Hezbollah defeating the armies of Israel, we know where the solution is and where the victory lies.
'We know that it is incumbent upon all of us, to support the Jihad of our brothers and sisters in these countries when they are facing the oppression of the West.
'Allahu Akhbar! Allahu Akhbar!'
John Rees redux
Oh, look. It’s our old acquaintance John Rees, purged commissar of the Socialist Workers Party, former Respect party leader, founder of the SWP’s low-profile breakaway rival Counterfire and national officer of the Stop the War Coalition, joining CAGE UK’s Asim Qureshi and Cerie Bullivant at a news conference held by what the gullible Associated Press calls the “CAGE human rights charity.”
Rees, of course, was pleased to follow the CAGE line that it was Mohammed Emwasi’s supposedly inhumane treatment by British authorities which led him to become a sadistic, head-sawing murderer. For someone like Rees, what other possible reason could there be?
Their survey of British Muslims delighted the BBC: In fact, it contains some profoundly chilling findings
A headline on the BBC's website proclaimed: 'Most British Muslims 'oppose Muhammad cartoons reprisals'.' But, looking more carefully, one discovered that 27 per cent of Muslims questioned said they had some sympathy for the motives behind the recent attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, in which 11 people died.
Imagine if you read a headline which said 'Most people oppose the blowing up of Parliament'. That's not news. It's what you would expect. But a headline which stated that 'A quarter of Britons would be sympathetic to the bombing of Parliament' would be absolutely terrifying.
It is reassuring that most British Muslims oppose violent reprisals, but the really shocking thing for me (though evidently not for the BBC) is that more than a quarter of them have some sympathy for the killers who murdered 11 people in cold blood.
Of course, we don't know what having 'some sympathy' precisely entails. It obviously doesn't mean that a quarter of Muslims would have taken part in the attack if they had been invited to do so. But it indubitably implies a degree of support and endorsement for a murderous act.
There were other disturbing findings underplayed by the BBC. Twenty-four per cent of respondents said that they supported violence against anyone who published images of the Prophet Muhammad, while almost half — 45 per cent — believed that extremist clerics who preached violence against the West were not 'out of touch'. Moreover, 11 per cent felt 'sympathetic' to jihadists who wanted to fight against Western interests.
Shin Bet busts two West Bank terror cells
Israeli forces apprehended two Palestinian cells whose members allegedly fired on Israeli soldiers and civilians in the West Bank, the Shin Bet security agency announced Thursday.
The investigation of the cells yielded five rifles, a pistol, and ammunition. It wasn’t clear how many suspects were taken into Israeli custody during the arrests, which were made over the course of December and January.
According to the Shin Bet, the two cells, one from Beit Rima north of Ramallah and the second from Bani Naim, east of Hebron, were allegedly responsible for a string of shootings and firebombings targeting Israeli vehicles and IDF soldiers.
Members of the first group, a PFLP cell, said they intended to carry out additional attacks, including an assault on an IDF base, a stabbing attack and a kidnapping of a soldier, the Shin Bet said.
IDF, Police Launch Operation against Rock Throwers
IDF, Border Police and Israel Police forces launched a large-scale operation Thursday to block and contain the wave of rock throwing terror in Judea and Samaria.
The operation was launched after a special headquarters was established to deal specifically with the rock-throwing threat.
The HQ has command over two Judea and Samaria Border Police companies, IDF forces and additional forces. Its activities include patrols, surprise roadblocks at the entrances to villages, and other activity including arrests based on intelligence.
In addition, the HQ cooperates with the Tax and Customs Authority, and the IDF Civil Administration.
The central aim of the operation is the creation of deterrence, and safeguarding of public order, explained a police source. Several arrests were made in the HQ's first day of operation Thursday and some unspecified materials were seized – both criminal and terrorist in nature.
IDF thwarts stabbing attempt in West Bank
A Golani Brigade unit thwarted an attempt by a Palestinian to stab a soldier at the Gush Etzion junction, the army said on Thursday.
There were no injuries among soldiers in the incident.
The attacker has been arrested, and taken for questioning.
Ready for any surprise, the reservists of the Desert Blaze battalion keep both eyes on Gaza
Scattered on barren desert hilltops in the Negev, soldiers from the Desert Blaze reserve battalion lay on their stomachs with their firearms, waiting for the command.
To their right, a soldier held up a red flag that flapped in the cool winter desert breeze, marking the peripheral limit of their shooting zone.
The soldiers then rose and advanced, while some behind them provided mock cover fire. Over a hilltop a few kilometers away, the sounds of shots peppered the air, as a neighboring platoon engaged in a live-fire combat exercise.
Members of the battalion had arrived at the Southern Command training base in the South to train for combat against Hamas terrorists.
The scenario at the heart of this exercise involved gunmen from Gaza who emerged from cross-border tunnels, seeking to kill Israeli civilians and soldiers.
IDF to Begin Tunnel Warfare Training
IDF training and resources in 2015 will be concentrating on strengthening two primary threat assessment areas, protecting Israel’s external borders and tunnel fighting.
The army believes that Israel’s biggest threats will be emanating from across the borders where the various radical Islamic terror groups have taken over, or will be taking over. The IDF will be allocating three times the amount of reserve unit resources to concentrate on protecting Israel’s borders.
The tunnel related training will revolve around underground fighting, as well as destroying the tunnels and the terrorists inside, from above without entering the tunnel.
A new training ground will be built with an underground tunnel systems for the purpose of training the IDF troops, and in particular elite units who will specialize in tunnel fighting.
Revolutionizing rocket warnings
In the very near future, should rockets once again rain down on Israel, specific neighborhoods – and even individual neighborhood blocks – will receive targeted alerts of an imminent threat, while the surrounding areas will be left to continue as normal.
Air raid sirens with IP addresses will automatically go into action, and local residents under threat will see their television receivers automatically switch to a channel warning them of rockets approaching their area. At the same time, cellphones in the targeted area might buzz with text messages and Home Front Command application alerts, while street screens will issue warnings to drivers to seek cover.
By mid-2016, technology being developed by Home Front Command will have advanced far enough to become operational, revolutionizing the way Israelis are alerted to impending rocket threats.
A senior source from the Home Front Command told The Jerusalem Post in recent days about intensive efforts under way to upgrade the alerts. When the changes are done, he said, every siren will act as a separate geographic unit, and the old system of alerting whole cities, and disrupting the lives of hundreds of thousands or millions of people, will become outdated.
IDF Official: Hamas is Working Around the Clock to Prepare for Next Fight With Israel
An Israeli Defense Forces official stated that Gaza-based terror group Hamas is working vigorously to prepare for its next confrontation with Israel, local news website 0404 reported.
The group is continuing to test-fire rockets as part of training exercises, and just this morning a test-launch was carried out into the sea, the official said. He added that the IDF is monitoring Hamas’ activities and vigilantly observing their training in the Gaza Strip, and are well-aware of what is going on behind enemy lines.
The senior IDF official said that, “Hamas continues to practice and prepare for its next confrontation with Israel. This doesn’t come as a surprise to us at all, since we are monitoring every action Hamas takes – firing rockets at the sea from the Gaza Strip, flying drones in the Strip, infantry training, military exercises, and more.”
He added that, “there is no doubt that Hamas is preparing. They are trying to do as much as possible. We know that Hamas is working to dig new tunnels and to upgrade its weapons. Just recently, we intercepted a shipment [of weapons] at sea, which was intended for the terror organization.”
BBC: Inside Gaza's tunnels, militants get ready for the next war
In an olive grove close to houses in the southern Gaza Strip, the earth slides open smoothly, revealing a sight to terrify Israel.
A deep pit containing a 120mm (4in) mortar tube, and three fighters from the militant group - Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Fully armed and in combat fatigues, the men are all wearing head torches. They move quickly, in well-drilled movements, loading and unloading the tube from a stack of mortars at the back of their position.
This is a show of readiness, a show of strength, for the next war with Israel. It is a war that both the militants and the Israeli military, on the other side of the border, believe could come again soon.
The hidden mortar pit is right by the border with Israel, or so I am told.
I cannot be entirely sure as the armed fighters blindfolded me, searched me for tracking devices and removed my mobile phones before the journey.
Viewed as a terrorist group in the West, Islamic Jihad is committed to Israel's destruction.
Israel-PA resolve electricity and water disputes
The Israel Electric Company and Palestinian Authority on Thursday reached a deal to resolve the Palestinians’ outstanding debt and halt power cuts in West Bank cities, while Israeli government officials okayed an agreement to supply water to the PA’s first planned city.
The IEC had cut power to the West Bank cities of Nablus and Jenin Wednesday over an unpaid debt of NIS 1.9 billion ($482 million) for the second time in a week.
The PA agreed to allocate NIS 300 million in tax funds collected by Israel on its behalf to the IEC to cover the last few months’ debt to the electric company, and the IEC agreed to stop power cuts to Nablus and Jenin.
The agreement was mediated by an unspecified senior Israeli official, Army Radio reported.
U.S. Treasury Sanctions Hezbollah Terrorists Who Own Amusement Park in Nigeria
The United States Treasury Department designated two members of Hezbollah who are running an amusement park in Nigeria.
Armin Rosen of Business Insider reports:
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control added two individuals to its specially designated nationals list on February 26: Fouzi Reda Darwish Fawaz and Mustapha Reda Darwish Fawaz, two Lebanese men living and working in west Africa. …
Three of the men’s businesses were added to the sanctions list, meaning that the US believes that those businesses in some way furthered Hezbollah’s activities (although as sanctions law expert Sam Cutler noted on Twitter, businesses “owned 50% or more by SDNs are automatically blocked and may be subject to designation.”) A supermarket and a second, innocuously named enterprise are now on the SDN list, along with a more surprising inclusion: the Wonderland Amusement Park and Resort in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies suggested to Business Insider that the Treasury Department “might have waited to list the Fawazes and their businesses because they wanted a comprehensive idea of the size of their business network and its connection to US-designated groups.”
In Desperate For Allies and Secret Assets, Iran Penetrates Africa, which was published in the August 2013 issue of The Tower Magazine, Rosen explained how Iran, who funds and partially directs Hezbollah, gained a foothold in Nigeria.
Turkish ‘permissiveness’ is aiding IS jihadists, US spy chief says
Turkey does not place a high priority on fighting Islamic State jihadists and as a result foreign fighters are able to travel through the country into Syria, US intelligence chief James Clapper said Thursday.
When asked, Clapper told senators he wasn’t optimistic Turkey would take a more active role in the war against the IS group.
“I think Turkey has other priorities and other interests,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The Turkish government was more concerned with Kurdish opposition and the country’s economy, the director of national intelligence said.
“Public opinion polls show in Turkey they don’t see ISIL as a primary threat,” said Clapper, using an alternative acronym for the extremists.
The effect of Turkey’s approach was to allow a “permissive” climate for foreign recruits heading to Syria to take arms for the IS group, he said.
Iran Hacked Sheldon Adelson’s Casinos: DNI Clapper Confirms
In testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirmed that Iran was behind a cyber-attack against Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson’s Sands Corp. in 2014.
Sands Corp., which has an estimated value of $14 billion dollars, remains the “world’s largest gambling company,” Bloomberg reports.
Adelson—who is known for his generous expenditures towards Republican politicians’s presidential campaigns, along with his fervent support for the State of Israel—is Sands’s chairman and chief executive officer.
Director Clapper said that the Iran-sponsored cyber-attack, which took place on February 10, 2014, rendered many of Sands’s computer systems inoperable for an extended period of time. He said that the Iran attack, along with North Korea’s hacking of Sony Corp. in November, mark a new era in state-sponsored cyber-attacks against the United States.
“While both of these nations have lesser technical capabilities in comparison to Russia and China, these destructive attacks demonstrate that Iran and North Korea are motivated and unpredictable cyber-actors,” said Clapper.
Iran Tries To Erase Ex-President Who LOVED Freedom, Citizens React By Mocking Gov't On Social Media
Following years of informal policy, Iran has officially banned media from portraying or quoting former president Mohammad Khatami.
Khatami was president from 1997 to 2005, and was succeeded by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. During that time, he attempted to pass several social, political and economic reform measures, seeking greater openness to the West and freedom in expression and business. These efforts attracted hostility from hard-liners close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
After his tenure as president, he continued to work for a “dialogue of civilizations” and international nuclear disarmament. But his outspokenness for political and social freedoms, and his support for blacklisted 2009 presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, led lawmakers last year to petition the Justice Minister to enforce a media blackout against Khatami.
And Monday, a Justice Ministry spokesman confirmed that all print and broadcast media would be banned from depicting Khatami, going so far as to only refer to him in the statement as “this person.”
Iranian citizens have fought back in the days since the new ruling, flooding social media sites with photos. Many were labeled with a Persian-language hashtag that means “We will be Khatami’s media.”
Defector: North Korean slave labor system earns regime billions
A North Korean defector who escaped a life of forced labor at a construction site in Kuwait said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has spent $640 million on luxury goods, villas and fine cuisine in recent years.
Speaking at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy on Tuesday, Lim Il, 47, said the North Korean leadership sends tens of thousands of slave laborers to construction sites in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Lim has said North Korea’s system of slave labor earns the regime more than $1.8 billion annually, according to South Korean Herald Business. Another significant portion of that revenue goes to maintaining “luxury villas” for elites that cost an annual $300 million in maintenance alone, Lim told the gathering in Geneva.
Lim said he left North Korea in 1996 for Kuwait at the height of the North Korean famine, lured by the promise of three meals a day, an unimaginable luxury for him at the time.
But Lim said he was never paid for 12 hours of daily manual labor at hot construction sites in Kuwait, while other foreign workers at the site not only were compensated but also given a three-hour lunch break. Lim and other North Koreans were allowed only an hour for lunch.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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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