Thursday, April 23, 2015

From Ian:

‘This is our country, there is no other,’ says teary-eyed Aharish in Arabic
Lucy Aharish, an Israeli-Arab news anchor and actress, was among the 14 torch lighters in the official ceremony kicking off Israel’s celebrations of 67 years of independence on Wednesday night. Almost breaking down at the ceremony, she was the only one of the honorees to give part of her brief address in Arabic.
Aharish, 33, a Muslim Arab whose parents hail from Nazareth but who was educated in Jewish institutions, instantly became a target of far-right criticism when it was announced earlier this month that she had accepted the honor of lighting a torch at the state Independence Day ceremony.
Some left-wing critics said her accepting the honor constituted an agreement to serve as a fig leaf of the government.
Aharish was teary-eyed when she took her turn at the ceremony, saying she was lighting the torch “for all human beings wherever they may be who have not lost hope for peace, and for the children, full of innocence, who live on this Earth.
“For those who were but are no more, who fell victim to baseless hatred by those who have forgotten that we were all born in the image of one God. For Sephardim and Ashkenazim, religious and secular, Arabs and Jews, sons of this motherland that reminds us that we have no other place. For us as Israel, for the honor of mankind, and for the glory of the State of Israel,” she said.
Aharish, the only Arab lighting a torch in the ceremony, also spoke in Arabic, saying: “For our honor as human beings, this is our country and there is no other.”
Arab-Israeli Journalist Lucy Aharish Lighting Torch at Independence Day Ceremony

By Air, Land, and Sea: Aliyah under the British Mandate
Toldot Yisrael presents the dramatic stories of Jews from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Iraq who overcame great obstacles in their efforts to reach the Land of Israel. For 2,000 years, Jews around the world dreamed about returning to the Land of Israel. But the rise of antisemitism in the 1930s and 40s made the need to return to Israel far more urgent. Jews fled their homes in Europe and Arab Lands seeking refuge in Palestine but found the British Mandate had all but closed the doors to aliyah, forcing them to find dangerous and illegal methods to immigrate - by air, land, and sea.
This movie is the fifth episode in the "Eyewitness 1948" short film series produced by Toldot Yisrael. It is the centerpiece of an educational pilot program made possible through the generous support of the Jim Joseph Foundation, the Alexander Family, and others.

From 0 to 100 years in Hebrew
We are Maya Cohen and Tom Roes, two filmmakers from the Netherlands who were inspired by a project Jeroen Wolf did in Dutch.
It took us three journeys to Israel to finish this video. The 98 year old lady was the last person in front of our camera. Thanks to all the inhabitants of Tel Aviv and the rest of Israel for helping us!

Google honours Israel Independence Day with a Doodle

The Sarona Complex in Tel-Aviv Has Long Housed Secrets of Israel’s Independence, Soon to be Revealed
The secrets buried beneath the shops and restaurants at Tel-Aviv’s Sarona Complex, deep in its cellars, have finally been revealed, some of which were vital to Israel’s struggle for independence.
One of the secret sites is a tunnel that was built and used by the Knights Templar, which will be opened before tomorrow’s Independence Day celebrations, and which connects the cellars of two wineries. The tunnel was first discovered by two veterans of Israel’s civil aviation, who took part in dismantling, smuggling, upgrading and reassembling 15 aircraft used by the Jewish freedom fighters before and during the War of Independence in 1947.
Gerson then told of how he and a group of his fellow activists dismantled 15 planes parked at Tel Nof – then an Arab village called Akir – put them in trucks, and drove them north, maintaining the secrecy of the operation both from the Arabs and the British. “Since we were not able to finish all of our work, six of the planes were loaded on to trucks, which took them that same evening to Tel-Aviv, to Sarona, to the winery, and there they disassembled them,” Gerson said.
When the planes were finally brought to Sarona, “they were brought through a basement into a place that was a winery – all of the aircraft were put there, and at that point my work was practically done.” After that, teams of mechanics were brought in to upgrade the planes, and each plane which was repaired and upgraded was taken from the Sarona winery to Sde Dov in parts, where they assembled and used them.
The aircraft that passed through Sarona were vital and used in the early days of the War of Independence until Israel was able to import other aircraft from the Czech Republic. They aided in securing convoys to towns that were cut off, as well as other missions.
IDF Blog: From Israel’s founding to today: 67 years of bravery

Spike in IDF Volunteers in 2014
More and more young adults are flocking to Israel to join the IDF, Haaretz reports Wednesday, with a marked increase in 2014.
Currently, some 3,484 soldiers have volunteered from more than 70 countries, according to the daily, up from 3,138 since 2011. Of those, 2,700 are new immigrants; 284 are non-citizens volunteering as part of the army's Machal program.
Immigration organization Nefesh B'Nefesh (NBN) stated that the influx of "lone soldiers" has increased from 5-10% each year since the launch of the Lone Soldier program - a framework for volunteers from abroad with special benefits - and a senior officer stated that the past year has seen an unprecedented rise in volunteer soldiers.
A full 25% of volunteer soldiers serving today are American, according to the report, followed by Russians (16%) and Ukrainian (13%). 10% of volunteer soldiers are French; 4%, Ethiopian; and Belarusians, British, and Canadian soldiers comprise 9% total (3% each). 23% of volunteer soldiers hail from other countries, including China, India, Iran, and several countries in Europe.
Music video honors memory of slain Israeli teens
Memorializing three Israel teens who were abducted and slain by Palestinians terrorists last summer, a supergroup of musical artists joined forces to film a video for a song with their classmates in the Makor Haim high school yeshiva.
Titled “Open Your Heart,” the song and its video describe the months following the killing of Gil-ad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach, and the ordeal endured by their families and friends.
“Less than a year has passed since an entire nation held its breath, praying as one for the safe return [of the teens, who for several weeks were thought to have been kidnapped],” David D’Or, the acclaimed Israeli vocalist who wrote the music for the song, told Channel 10 Tuesday.
“I was graced with the honor of memorializing that sense of unity, the mass prayers and the blessed memory of the three boys,” he said.
Escapee from Iraq: 'I owe my life to Israel'
To mark Israel's 67th Birthday, I am reposting the moving story of Moshe Kahtan, one of the last Jews to be smuggled out of Iraq before the outbreak of the Six-Day War. Israel has always dedicated itself to rescuing Jews in distress, wherever they might be. The post is dedicated to the unsung Israeli heroes who secretly helped engineer Moshe's escape, and the escape of thousands of other Jews in the 1970s through Kurdistan.
Here is Moshe's story, as summarised in the synagogue newsletter by Barbara Saunders of Sutton Synagogue. The film was shown there on 29 April 2012.
"Moshe was educated in England, but by returning to Iraq in 1965 to be with his sick father, he fully understood that he would not be able to leave. His passport was confiscated on arrival.
"Although his English degree entitled him to become an officer, his Jewish status meant that his degree would not be recognised. Compulsory conscription was accompanied by sweeps of those without service papers, who could simply disappear in prison. One day an army truck crashed into the back of his car and though the colonel admitted fault, on discovering Moshe’s name, he blackmailed him. Eventually Moshe had to make the hard decision to go.
10 little known things about Israel’s past
Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, falls on April 23. In honor of the Jewish state’s 67th birthday, we present, in no particular order, 10 little-known aspects of modern Israel’s history.
3. Ben-Gurion invented Israeli couscous (sort of).
The tiny pasta balls known as Israeli couscous – called ptitim in Hebrew – were invented in the 1950s at the behest of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, who asked the Osem food company to come up with a wheat-based substitute for rice during a period of austerity in Israel. The invention, which Israelis dubbed “Ben-Gurion’s rice,” was an instant hit.
5. Queen Elizabeth II’s mother-in-law is buried in Jerusalem.
Prince Philip’s mother, born in 1885 as Princess Alice of Battenberg and congenitally deaf, spent much of her life in Greece after marrying Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark (yes, he was simultaneously prince of two different European countries). During the Nazi occupation of Greece, Alice hid a Jewish woman and two of her children from the Nazis, earning her eventual recognition by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial as a “Righteous Among the Nations” and by the British government as a “Hero of the Holocaust.”
Muslims, Christians, and Jews Celebrate Zionism in New Orleans
Earlier this month, over 1,000 students gathered on the campus of Tulane University in New Orleans to celebrate Zionism. Defined as “the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel,” the term has been hijacked in recent years by anti-Israel advocates who have attempted to redefine Zionism as racism.
The April 12 DYF (Declare Your Freedom) Music Festival was described to the Salomon Center as “unabashedly Zionist” by event co-founder Chloe Valdary. Headlined by international Hip Hop Reggae artist Matisyahu, the music, arts, and culture festival did not shy away from any aspects of Israeli life and the history of the Jewish State.
“We are really proud of this festival as it is the only festival completely run by students and which celebrates Zionism. We had tents on the quad, each of which represented a different aspect of Zionism or Israel,” explained Valdary. “One tent displayed signs and posters conveying the indigenous status of Jews in the land of Israel. Another talked about the totality of Zionism, and celebrated all of the founding fathers of Zionism, from Ben-Gurion to Jabotinsky to Lechi. We also promoted the rights of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria.”
Valdary continued, “What we found most fascinating about this festival is that most people who attended were non-Jews. Often times, we hear the saying that it’s a mistake to bring up issues that are “too political” or “too controversial.” But the way we conveyed our message actually transcended politics and controversy to the point where people not only agreed with our message, they celebrated it. This is a huge accomplishment!”
In addition to the majority of attendees not being Jewish, the same could be said for the event speakers.
Israelis celebrating Independence Day — in California
It is not easy to celebrate one’s country, nor pass on a love of home to one’s children, when living abroad.
Though they may be far from the traditional barbecues and tearful ceremonies that take place in Jerusalem, Israelis who have moved to Los Angeles – whether recently or 20 years ago, (either way, it’s temporary, they claim) – find it critical to their identity as Israeli Americans to honor Independence Day and Remembrance Day in some way.
Yalovsky, 69, left Israel with her husband and two of her three children – one who was in medical school at the time remained in Israel – nearly 20 years ago for an eight-month sabbatical.
Born and raised in Givatayim, Yalovsky served in the Israel Air Force before going into business and technology. She came to Los Angeles never intending to stay – a familiar trope among Israelis – but ultimately decided to study non-profit management and pursue her career here.
Today, her son and two grandchildren live in Israel, while her two daughters and three grandchildren live in LA. In years past, Yalovsky, whose mother is a third-generation sabra and whose father was born in Riga, Latvia, visited Israel for Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut.
Today, she says, she attends a ceremony that students put together on the AJU campus, and if possible, attends a program run by the Israeli Consulate in LA for families of fallen soldiers. Ideally, she says, she would go to Israel to commemorate her brother’s memory, but due to work conflicts it is not always possible.
Watch: Arabs Try to Ruin Independence Day Festivities
As part of Thursday’s Independence Day celebrations, a group of yeshiva students toured the Jewish Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem, carrying Israeli flags.
As they walked down the streets, they encountered an outspoken group of Muslim women who tried to incite a confrontation, yelling at them in Arabic.
The boys, though, maintained their equanimity, and instead of hurling epithets back at the women, broke into a rousing chorus of “Am Yisrael Chai” (the Nation of Israel Lives”).
Earlier today, a group of Arabs attempted to trigger an incident at the “Chain Gate” near the Temple Mount at the Western Wall, in hopes they could stop the flow of Jews visiting the site.
Danny Danon: Brothers in arms
Remembrance Day is a special time, as our nation puts aside 24 hours to honor the memories of the brave soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces who paid the ultimate price for our freedom and safety. It is only natural, and even instinctive, that we focus on those close to us – a friend or neighbor we knew, or as is too often the case, a relative we lost. I know that this is true for my own family as we gather each year by my father’s graveside participating in the poignant Yom Hazikaron ceremony, as we did last week.
Going forward, however, I call on all of us to take a few minutes to think of our non-Jewish brothers in arms who sacrificed their lives in the name of the State of Israel. Some in our society are all too quick to find fault with our minority communities, often because of their political leaders who unfortunately seem intent on tearing apart the delicate fabric of our society. We must not allow these few instigators to disparage the wider community, especially those who serve shoulder to shoulder with their Jewish Israeli brethren.
The contribution the Druse community makes to the IDF is thankfully well known by many Israelis. With over 80 percent of eligible Druse serving in the military, their community is one of the leaders in induction rates. The willingness of the Druse to serve and contribute can also be felt on Remembrance Day. Since the founding of the state in 1948, almost 400 members of the community have given their lives while in the service of the IDF.
Israel 'Threatened Al Qaeda Rebels to Protect Syrian Druze'
Since the start of the Syrian Civil War, Israel has tried to maintain a neutral policy - Israel’s engagement with Hezbollah and Iran gets a lot more coverage than its engagement with Sunni Islamist groups like Al Qaeda's Nusra Front.
But Israel has been involved in skirmishes with jihadist rebels. In 2014, Israel laid cover fire in the form of an artillery barrage against Islamist rebels who had pinned down a number of Irish UN peacekeepers in the combat zone. Israeli artillery covered the Irish troops’ escape to the Israeli side of the border.
There have been hints of Israeli links to Syrian rebel groups, likely for the sake of limiting or eliminating Hezbollah’s presence along the Israeli border.
Last October, Ehud Yaari of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said that "in particular, the southern governorates of Quneitra and Deraa could become either the latest territories captured by radical forces — namely the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) — or a safe haven for non-Islamist rebel groups, some of which maintain contacts with Israel."
Syrian opposition group to Israel: Next year we celebrate Independence Day in Damascus
An official from one of the main opposition groups in Syria sent a letter of congratulations to Israel for Independence Day on Thursday in which he said he hoped that next year the day would be marked at the Israeli embassy in Damascus.
The letter was sent by the Free Syrian Army's Mousa Ahmed Nabhan to Mendi Safadi who served as chief of staff for Likud's newly-elected Druse MK Ayoub Kara.
Safadi has independently met with members of the liberal and democratic Syrian opposition who oppose the Islamist groups in Syria and want friendly relations with Israel.
In the letter, shared with The Jerusalem Post's Hebrew sister publication Maariv, Nabhan wrote:
"On behalf of Free Syrian Army, we extend our very best wishes and congratulations to the State of Israel and the great people on the anniversary of the sixty-seventh of the independence of the State of Israel."
David Horovitz: Obama’s 67 degrees of separation from Israel
Israel has made it through to its 67th birthday, but it’s been a relentless struggle — and that struggle shows few signs of getting easier. The best possible working relationship with the US administration is central to Israel’s capacity to keep marking anniversaries as a thriving Jewish state. Daylight in those ties, to put it brutally, can cost lives; it’s anything but coincidence that Israel remembers the thousands upon thousands who have fallen in its defense on the day before it celebrates each anniversary of independence.
Netanyahu keeps telling Obama there’s a better deal to be done on Iran. I tend to agree. There’s certainly a better way to conduct US-Israel relations, especially if you believe that Obama considers himself a friend of Israel.
Here then, in the heartfelt but likely forlorn hope of a change for the better in this unnecessarily fraught relationship over the coming year, are an anniversary-appropriate 67 ways in which the president and his mighty administration, unfortunately, have put daylight between the US and Israel. Sixty-seven ways they’ve distanced themselves, or haven’t been as much help as they could and should have been. Some for which Israel also bears some responsibility. Some relatively minor. Some profoundly troubling. Sixty-seven disquieting degrees of separation.
Obama ‘won’t meet Netanyahu’ until after nuke talks deadline
US President Barack Obama told Jewish leaders last week he would not meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu until after the June 30 deadline for the Iranian nuclear talks, the New York Times reported on Thursday.
Obama told the group he imagined a face-to-face meeting with the Israeli leader would likely end with Netanyahu “publicly venting his complaints about the president’s policies,” particularly on Iran, according to anonymous sources familiar with the meeting.
“So for now, the president said, he would speak with the prime minister over the telephone, and an Oval Office invitation would wait until after the June 30 deadline for negotiating the details of the Iran deal,” the Times report said.
Ahead of the March 17 Israeli elections, the White House said Obama would certainly meet with Netanyahu if the prime minister was reelected, but did not specify when the president would extend a formal invitation to Jerusalem.
Canada's PM Reaffirms Commitment to Israel
Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a staunch supporter of Israel, on Wednesday reaffirmed his country’s support for the Jewish state, in a statement released in celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day.
“Tonight at sundown marks the 67th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel – the realization of the Jewish people’s longstanding dream to establish a modern Jewish state in their historic homeland,” said Harper.
“Israel’s Independence Day follows Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day -ed.), a day of remembrance of Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism. The integral link between the two days underscores the tragic losses that Israel has suffered in its efforts to achieve independence, peace and security.
“Israel continues to face existential threats, such as cowardly terror attacks against civilians, denials by some of its neighbors of its right to exist, and the new anti-Semitism, which includes campaigns for boycotts, divestment and sanctions to delegitimize and demonize the world’s only Jewish state. The Government of Canada remains resolute in our commitment to defend Israel's right to exist. We believe this right is absolute and non-negotiable,” said Harper.
MEMRI: Kurdish-Iraqi Writer: The Palestinians Should Extend A Friendly Hand To Israel
In his column on the liberal website, Kurdish-Iraqi writer Mehdi Majid 'Abdallah called on the Palestinians and the Arabs in general to renounce the terrorism of Hamas and to extend a friendly hand to Israel. He wrote that, since its founding, Israel has been facing terrorism labeled as "resistance," and that today it is defending itself against Hamas, which is firing rockets on its civilian population. He added that Hamas, rather than Israel, was responsible for the death of innocent Palestinians, whereas Israel extended medical treatment to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.
"Ever since its founding in the late 1940s, the young state of Israel has been facing constant terror labeled as 'resistance.' I do not mean to say that all Palestinians are terrorists, for some of them love life and prefer the culture of peace and to live in peace and security alongside Israel. I do not know if Hamas, when it fires its rockets randomly into Israeli cities, thinks of the fact that they will hit women and children who have done nothing wrong other than choose to live in the land that was stolen from them thousands of years ago and has now been restored to them. [Today] they wish to build this land, but Palestinian terrorism constantly sabotages their livelihood, their development [efforts] and their prosperity. Whether we like it or not, the land on which the Palestinians live belongs to the Jews, and there is historic and religious evidence of this, both Islamic and non-Islamic. I shall not present it here, but the reader is welcome to search the Internet and find plenty of proof for what I say.
"Today the Palestinians have begun to understand that Hamas is a serious liability and a terrorist movement. That is why we saw no significant Palestinian opposition to the international and Arab decisions to designate Hamas a terror organization. The glamour of so-called 'resistance' faded after the deeds of its leaders and perpetrators were exposed, and [now] they no longer convince any intelligent person.
Russia won't supply S-300 missile to Iran soon, minister says
Supplying Iran with Russian S-300 missile defense systems is not a matter of the nearest future, TASS news agency quoted a Foreign Ministry official as saying on Thursday.
"It is more important that a political and legal decision, which opens up such a possibility, is taken," Sergei Ryabkov, a deputy foreign minister, said according to TASS.
On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama warned that the United States could "penetrate" Iran's S-300 supply if Russia sold the advanced missile defense system to the Islamic Republic.
Speaking on the MSNBC program "Hardball with Chris Matthews," Obama underlined that the US objected to Russia's decision to lift a ban on the sale to Iran of the S-300 air-defense missile system.
Iran Says It Will Refuse Access to IAEA Inspectors 'Anywhere' Nationwide
A spokesman for Iran’s nuclear agency has once again rejected calls to grant IAEA access to military sites, continuing a war of words on the issue that began Sunday.
Press TV reports that Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), gave an interview Monday in which he stated that demands for access to Iran’s military sites were “not practical and acceptable.” According to Press TV, his statement was a response to a claim U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz made earlier in the day.
During an interview with Bloomberg News earlier Monday, Secretary Moniz said, “We expect to have anywhere, anytime access” within Iran. That statement appears to match the contents of the U.S. fact sheet published three weeks ago. The fact sheet states, “Iran will be required to grant access to the IAEA to investigate suspicious sites or allegations of a covert enrichment facility, conversion facility, centrifuge production facility, or yellowcake production facility anywhere in the country.”
Secretary Moniz’s statement about access “anywhere, anytime” was itself an apparent response to a blunt statement Sunday by Brigadier General Hossein Salami. According to Press TV, General Salami gave an interview to Fars News in which he stated, “Not only will we not grant foreigners the permission to inspect our military sites, we will not even give them permission to think about such a subject.” In case that was not clear enough, Gen. Salami added, “They will not even be permitted to inspect the most normal military site in their dreams.”
North Korea’s Nuclear Arsenal Raises Concerns About Iran Deal
The Chinese have told U.S. nuclear specialists that North Korea may have as many as 20 nuclear warheads, and has the domestic capability to reach 40 nuclear warheads by 2016 and 75 by the end of the decade, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
And while an arsenal like that is enough to affect regional stability, it is believed the North Koreans can now mount their nuclear warheads on their homegrown KN-08 ICBMs, with their 5600 mile range, and reach as far as California.
If that wasn’t problematic enough, North Korea managed to build up their nuclear aresenal and ICBMs after the 1994 nuclear agreement between North Korea and the Clinton administration, an agreement which was meant to halt their nuclear development capabilities.
North Korea tested their first nuke in 2006.
That deal which relied on IAEA verification was worked on by Wendy Sherman, who is now negotiating the current Iran deal.
Poll: Majority Say Obama 'Too Soft' in Iran Negotiations
A Fox News poll released Wednesday afternoon finds that a majority of registered voters feel President Obama has been too soft on Iran in negotiations toward a nuclear agreement.
Overall, respondents felt Obama was “too soft” rather than “striking the right balance” by a margin of 51-34. There was a clear partisan divide in the responses, with Democrats saying the President hit the right balance by nearly 2:1, 55-28 percent. Republicans on the other hand said the President’s stance toward Iran was too soft by an 80-11 percent margin.
Asked whether negotiating with Iran was the “right thing” because it could halt Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon or the “wrong thing” because Iran couldn’t be trusted, respondents once again were divided by party. Democrats said negotiation was the right choice by a margin of 59-30 percent, while Republicans said it was the wrong choice by 76-18 percent. Overall, respondents feel negotiations are the wrong approach by a 50-40 percent margin.
Despite disagreement on the President’s approach, a majority of both parties agreed that Iran represented a threat to the United States’ national security. Democrats agreed by a 53-40 percent margin and Republicans by 83-14 percent. Overall, 65 percent of registered voters said Iran was a threat to the U.S.
Former State Dept. Official: U.S. Being “Outfoxed, Not Outgunned” In Nuke Talks with Iran
Warning that the Obama administration’s diplomacy with Iran is weakening friends and strengthening enemies, former State Department official Aaron David Miller observed Wednesday in a commentary written for CNN that in the battle for influence in the Middle East, the United States is being “outfoxed, not outgunned” by Iran.
Miller contrasted Iran’s ability to use the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as a means to protect its client, the anti-ISIS Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, with the American inability to fight ISIS without empowering Assad or the brutal Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq.
In the course of the administration’s engagement with Iran, Miller observed, the United States has alienated allies, including Saudi Arabia and Israel, while empowering enemies and rivals, such as Syria, Hezbollah, Russia and, of course, Iran.
Iran Chief Justice: Saudis Are Now Worse than the ‘Zionists’
Saudi Arabia has now committed acts worse than those promulgated by the “Zionist regime” (Israel), Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, who is Chief Justice of the Iranian regime’s Judiciary body, announced Wednesday, according to a report by Iran’s state-controlled Mehr News Agency.
“They commit crimes which edge those of the cruellest of the fiends,” Larijani said with regard to Saudi Arabia replacing the Jewish state on the Iranian’s criminal totem pole.
“Neither Shias nor Sunnis, if truly as such, would resort to terrorism and violence to advance political ends; the abominable actions of the ISIL (Islamic State) and Takfiris (apostate Muslims) have nothing to do with authentic Islam; they are creations of the ‘bloodthirsty’ regimes,” he added.
Larijani said that Saudi Arabia’s military operation in Yemen was one such example of the Saudis edging the Zionists when it comes to evil deeds.
Iran VP to CNN: Death to America, Israel Chants Not ‘Aggressive’
Iranian Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar said Monday in an interview with CNN that it should not be considered “aggressive” when the Iranian people, including Tehran’s Ayatollah Khamenei, chant “Death To America.”
Ebtekar was described by CNN’s Fred Pleitgen as a “spokesperson for the Iranian students who occupied the U.S. Embassy” in Tehran in 1979. The CNN anchor notably left out that she was a devout follower of the Khomeini regime in Tehran, and that her position as Vice President is largely a figurehead post.
Asking Ebtekar a question about fending off critics of the nuclear negotiations, the CNN anchor, seemingly unfamiliar with the basic political structure of Iran, describes her government as the “Rouhani administration.” While Rouhani serves as Iran’s President, he has no real authority to make decisions in the ongoing nuclear talks with world powers. Everything must be approved by the Tehran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.
“Both sides, we do have the radical groups,” said Ebtekar, who believes in Shia Islam’s 12th Imam, an ideology that seeks the death of all non-Muslims and worldwide dominance under the flag of Islam. “We have the radical groups but they’re the minority groups,” she adds.
US defense chief fears Iran ships carrying arms for Houthi rebels
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Wednesday he is concerned that Iranian ships heading toward Yemen may be carrying advanced weapons for the Houthi rebels, and moving a US aircraft carrier to the region gives the president options.
Making his first public remarks on the Iranian cargo ships, Carter told reporters traveling with him that he is not prepared to say whether the US would be willing to forcibly stop and board one of the Iranian ships if it tries to cross into Yemen.
“We have options,” he said when asked about the boardings. “We’re not at that point. We’re at the point of trying to get the parties back to the table.”
Still, he said the US is making it clear to Iran that “obviously fanning the flames or contributing to it by any party is not welcome to us.”
Major Middle East Think Tank Says Iran Spreading Antisemitic Discourse
A major Middle East think tank released an extensive report on Tuesday detailing Iran’s efforts to spread antisemitic discourse.
“In today’s Iran, anti-Judaic and anti-Semitic discourses are sometimes mixed in textbooks, media, religious/political propaganda, and secular intellectual literature,” said the Washington Institute for Near East Policy report, which was published by Business Insider.
The report derided Iranian members of parliament for failing to condemn expressions of antisemitism — including instances of the blood libel that accuse Jews of consuming non-Jewish blood — in the press, despite Iran’s Jewish community.
The report distinguishes between anti-Judaism and antisemitism, the former being a religiously derived ideology and the latter political.
"Iran wins top post on UN women's rights panel" - Hillel Neuer on CBN News

Poll: Israel is One of the World’s Least Religious Countries
Perhaps it’s the Jewish state, but the state of Judaism in Israel might raise a few eyebrows: according to an international Gallup poll, Israel is now one of the world’s least religious countries.
Nearly two-thirds of the Israelis polled either described themselves as not religious, or convinced atheists. Fifty-seven percent of Israelis described themselves as non-religious, while 8% said they were convinced atheists. Just 30% described themselves as religious.
This makes Israel less religious than Japan (62%), Germany (59%), Switzerland (58%) and South Korea (55%). The Jewish state was neck-and-neck with the U.K. and the Netherlands, which both had a 66% non-religious population.
And it makes it far less religious than others in its neighborhood. Seventy-five percent of the population in the Palestinian Territories identified as religious. In the Middle East and North Africa, 82% of interviewees identified as religious.
US-led coalition airstrikes said to kill 2,000 in Syria
The strikes targeted IS positions in the central province of Homs, as well as Aleppo in the north, Hasakeh in the northeast, and Deir Ezzor to the east.
They also struck the northern province of Raqqa, where the provincial capital of the same name has become the center of IS’s self-styled “caliphate”.
The toll also included 90 fighters from IS’s jihadist rival and Al-Qaeda Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front, most of whom were killed in coalition strikes on their strongholds in northern Syria. It also included one Islamist rebel who was being held by IS.
At least 66 civilians, including 10 children, have been killed in the campaign, the Britain-based Observatory said.
Aussie Islamic school bans female running
An Islamic college in Australia is under investigation after claims that its principal has banned girls from taking part in running competitions because they might “lose their virginity.”
Victoria state Education Minister James Merlino said Thursday that if true, the claims made by a former teacher at Melbourne’s Al-Taqwa College “would be very concerning.”
“I have asked the schools regulator, the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority, to investigate,” he said in a statement.
The former teacher wrote to government ministers this week alleging “the principal (Omar Hallak) holds beliefs that if females run excessively, they may ‘lose their virginity,'” The Age newspaper said.
“The principal believes that there is scientific evidence to indicate that if girls injure themselves, such as break their leg while playing soccer, it could render them infertile.”
The principal told The Age last month that he had instructed students not to join Islamic State as the jihadist group was a plot by Israel and the United States to gain control of Middle Eastern oil.
“They are trained and equipped by them: (the) evidence is all the shiny new equipment,” Hallak was quoted as saying. “We don’t believe Muslims are creating IS.”
He added that killing innocent people was not “the Islamic way.”

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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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