Friday, June 19, 2015

From Ian:

Israeli man killed in West Bank terror attack
An Israeli man who was critically injured Friday afternoon in a shooting attack in the West Bank succumbed to his wounds.
The 25-year-old was shot in the upper body near the settlement of Dolev, northwest of Jerusalem. He was found unconscious and transferred to Tel Hashomer Hospital by IDF helicopter where he died over an hour after the attack.
A second man was moderately hurt in the attack and was also being treated at Tel Hashomer.
A large deployment of soldiers aided by Israel Police were currently searching for at least one shooter.
The two men in their mid-20s were traveling in their car after visiting a spring near Dolev, when they were flagged down by a Palestinian man, seemingly asking them for help, and shot at point-blank range.
IDF spokesman Peter Lerner said a “Palestinian approached a vehicle that was in the area and asked them to stop… and shot the two from close range.”
Jordan may not extradite alleged mastermind of ’82 terror attack on Jewish restaurant
France reportedly could have a difficult time extraditing the alleged organizer of a deadly 1982 terrorist attack who was arrested in Jordan earlier this month.
An unidentified Jordanian source “close to the case” told the French news agency AFP on Thursday that his country rarely extradites its citizens, choosing instead to try them in “specialized Jordanian courts.”
Zuhair Mohamad Hassan Khalid al-Abassi, aka “Amjad Atta,” one of three suspects in the attack for whom France issued an international arrest warrant earlier this year, was arrested on June 1. The attack was under the auspices of the Abu Nidal Organization, a Palestinian terrorist group.
Abassi, 62 and of Palestinian origin, is today “an aging man who works in the construction sector,” the Jordanian source told AFP. The source added that al-Abassi appeared in court without a lawyer and was ordered to surrender his passport before being released on bail.
According to AFP, Abassi was detained in the city of Zarqa, 18 miles northeast of Amman, the capital.
Sarah Honig: Mahmoud Abbas’s careless candor
The upshot of the misnamed “Arab Spring” – as some uncool Israelis had the temerity to warn from the outset – is that the bogus nationalities of the Arab sphere disintegrate chaotically before our eyes.
If anyone can lay claim to utmost mastery of the thriving arts of history-forging it’s the Jordanians. Their entire state, nationhood and very identity are a sham. Had the international community not been sympathetically predisposed to lap up the lie, Jordan obviously couldn’t pull it off. Its wholesale deceit hinges on a world contentedly complicit in hoodwinking itself – to no small measure because it’s loath to overcome its congenital Jew-aversion.
So the deceit blithely thrives in a world so eager to be deceived. The recent-vintage Jordanian and Palestinian pseudo-ethnicities are presented as bona fide nationalities. Moreover, it’s brazenly asserted that they are dissimilar and deserve self-determination in separate homelands.
This cock-and-bull contention begat the image of the stateless Palestinians – aggrieved indigenous inhabitants, striving desperately to throw off the yoke of foreign (Jewish) occupation. It serves as the perfect purportedly principled pretext to chop off another chunk of what pitifully remains from the originally designated Jewish homeland.
This is Abbas’s outright aim and he’s on the whole an unquestionably successful liar – not least because the international community is eager to lap up any lie about Jews. The dysfunctional family of nations probably wouldn’t care that he fleetingly forgot to prop up his own gargantuan con. However, we Israelis cannot but care that our purportedly trustworthy peace-partner barely remembers which outrageous lie he told last.
In his own version of Lincoln’s remark, Mark Twain – another American immortal – quipped that “if you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” That means that Abbas has to remember everything, all the time and that’s not easy – as his careless candor shows.

Hamas War Crimes in Gaza
It is a cause of wonder, though not surprising, that the international community has not indicted the terrorist group Hamas on charges of war crimes, and crimes against humanity, and violations of international law, for its actions against innocent citizens, both Israelis and Palestinians, during the conflict in the Gaza Strip in summer 2014.
The evidence has been made clear in two sources. One is a 277-page report by the Israel Foreign Ministry and other authorities. The other is a report submitted to the United Nations by the High Level International Military Group, comprising non-Israeli former chiefs of staff, generals, and politicians and headed by General Klaus Naumann, the former chairman of the NATO Military Committee.
Both reports examine the fighting, Israel’s Operation Objective Edge, and the actions and objectives of Hamas during the conflict in the Gaza Strip in summer 2014. The evidence of criminal activity by Hamas is so overwhelming that it compels all decent nations of the world and every humanitarian organization and individual interested in human rights to take action and bring Hamas before the International Criminal Court.
The two reports conclude that Israel not only met a reasonable international standard of observance of the laws of armed conflict, but in many cases significantly exceeded that standard.
Bigoted charges have long been and continue to be leveled against Israel for Operation Protective Edge. One such charge is in fact being made, as expected, in a report by the biased United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Not coincidentally, UNHRC, with its majority of non-democratic member-countries, is the world’s most consistent and automatic critic of democratic Israel.
An Inside Look At How Obama Killed The U.S.-Israel Relationship
In his new memoir, former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren documents the rapid dissolution of the historically close U.S.-Israel alliance under President Barack Obama. Oren recounts being threatened and intimidated at multiple junctures by Obama and his senior officials, marking many firsts in a relationship that has long been the cornerstone of American foreign policy.
The memoir, Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide, has already rushed to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list. It provides a window into the daily stresses and strains Obama and his allies heaped upon the Jewish state—from placing unprecedented demands on Israel regarding the peace process to fabricating crises in the U.S.-Israel alliance.
“Prophecy was not required to foresee that an Obama presidency might strain the U.S.-Israel alliance,” Oren writes in the early pages of his book.
Obama stacked his administration with senior officials hostile to Israel and pursued a policy of “daylight” with Jewish state, Oren recounts.
“The first thing Obama will do in office is pick a fight with Israel,” Oren recalls a confidant as telling him in the early days of the administration.
Below are a series of passages that reveal in detail how the U.S.-Israel alliance hit historic lows under the Obama administration.
U.S.-Israel Alliance Won’t Be Fixed Without Honesty
The Obama administration isn’t very happy about Michael Oren’s new book. The revelations in the memoir by the former Israeli ambassador to the United States aren’t particularly shocking for anyone who has been following the news since January 2009. President Obama came into office with some set ideas about creating daylight between Israel and the United States and has followed with more than six years of quarrels and public animosity. As our John Podhoretz writes about the book in the July/August issue of COMMENTARY, “The sheer unfriendliness of the administration is startlingly present on nearly every one of his memoir’s 374 pages of text—and runs far deeper than the problematic relationship between the president and Oren’s boss, Benjamin Netanyahu.” But though Oren, a respected historian and no right-wing ideologue, tempers his account with paeans to the goodwill of some figures in the administration and stops well short of attributing to Obama any ill wishes about Israel’s survival, the reaction to his book from Washington has been furious. That rage and the willingness of some Israeli politicians to kowtow to the pretense that everything is awesome between the Jewish state and Obama won’t fix the problem that Oren has illustrated. To the contrary, if the relationship is to be repaired in the coming years, it will require the kind of honesty Oren has displayed.
The official position of the administration about Oren’s book is that his account doesn’t reflect reality and that he is nothing more than a politician who is seeking to sell books. State Department Spokesman Dan Kirby, who made a fool of himself on his first day on the job by trying to claim that Secretary of State John Kerry had not reversed himself on the conditions for an Iran deal, called the book “absolutely inaccurate and false” without actually contradicting a single fact in it. Kerry and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro similarly trashed Oren, claiming his account of Obama’s hostility to Israel during last summer’s war when the U.S. not only stopped arms shipments but also handed Hamas a victory by stopping American flights to Ben Gurion Airport was “imaginary.”
Not satisfied with that, they demanded that Prime Minister Netanyahu disavow Oren’s accounts of events. That Netanyahu refused to so even though Oren joined a different political party and didn’t hesitate to criticize the prime minister, both in the book and in the campaign for the Knesset earlier this year, is very much to his credit. Less honorable was the speed with which Oren’s political ally, Kulanu Party head Moshe Kahlon, denounced the book and praised Obama. The same was true of Likud politician Gilad Erdan who rushed to attack Oren.
Does Israel Spend More on Settlers Than Other Israelis? No!
Regardless of the subject, some people would always rather divert the conversation to Israel’s “relentless and deliberate program of settlement expansion,” as J Street founder Jeremy Ben-Ami did in response to Michael Oren’s revelations about the Obama Administration’s conduct toward Israel. So let’s honor their wishes and talk about the settlements – specifically, about how much Israel’s government spends on this “relentless program of expansion.” Because according to new data released by none other than the leader of the opposition, government spending on West Bank settlements and their residents is actually about 40 percent less per capita than Israel spends on all its other citizens.
In an interview with Haaretz published last Friday, Labor Party chairman Isaac Herzog – who opposes the settlements – was asked what “the annual cost of the occupation” is. His response: “From 2009 to 2014, Israel invested 10 billion shekels [$2.5 billion] in Judea and Samaria. That’s a huge amount of the state budget.”
But math clearly isn’t Herzog’s strong point, because 10 billion shekels is actually a trivial amount of the state budget, which totaled 408 billion shekels in 2014. So even assuming (which I do) that he meant 10 billion a year, not 10 billion over the course of five years, that still amounts to only 2.5 percent of the state budget.
According to data from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, however, there were 341,800 Jewish settlers in 2013 (the last year for which data is available), out of a total Israeli population of 8.1345 million. In other words, settlers account for 4.2 percent of the population.
Will Michael Oren's Book Damage US-Israel Relations?
The political establishment continues to resist US pressure and keep silent, following former ambassador MK Michael Oren's (Kulanu) article against US President Barack Obama this week.
Former ambassador to the US Yoram Ettinger, a renowned expert in US-Israel relations, told Arutz Sheva in a special interview Friday that attempts to apologize to the Americans for the article are superfluous.
"I think apologizing is wrong, because the apology comes from a fear of damaging the interests of Israel," Ettinger stated. He theorized that Kulanu chairman Moshe Kahlon's apology was due to a furious call from US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro.
According to him, such a reaction will only harm Israel's credibility eventually - by showing that Israel will cave into pressure.
"[The apology] sets the bar that the resilience of [Israeli] discourse is questionable," he said, "and it could be used in future incidents against us."
He adds that those who were quick to condemn may have had the best of intentions, but are not aware of the consequences.
"Whoever condemns it does so in order not to damage relations, and I think that the apology could create a wrong impression about Israel's resilience in light of US pressure."
The fiction of the Israel-Palestine peace dividend
The rocky early days of Oslo already raised doubts about whether Palestinians were ready and willing to coexist with Israel and build a functional democratic state. It wasn’t just the violence; it was the failure of the Palestinians to make use of the goodwill and billions in economic aid or to build credible institutions or democratic government. The Second Intifada exacerbated those concerns and the situation in Gaza further still.
Back then, at least, you could forgive the Palestinians: Even as Israel was talking peace, the occupation continued and the settlements kept growing. But the Arab Spring was a watershed moment. No one could blame Israel or the occupation for the Egyptians electing Islamists to run the country and then cheering on the general who restored dictatorship. Nor can anyone point a finger at Israel for the Syrian civil war deteriorating into a contest between a ruthless tyrant and even more ruthless Jihadists, or for Libya and Yemen descending into suicidal anarchy.
The Middle East is a nastier place than we thought. It wasn’t the absence of a Palestinian state, the endless wars with Israel, or American meddling that kept repressive dictatorships in power and created dysfunctional economies. The Arabs rebelled, and what they have today is the consequence of their collective choices. It is hard to believe the Palestinians will do any better with Palestine than the Egyptians, Syrians and Libyans have done with their own countries.
Perhaps the Palestinians quietly recognize that, too, and are in no rush to attain their state because they doubt much will come of it if they do.
Israel has very good moral reasons to agree to a Palestinian state and even better demographic ones. The RAND report asks why after nearly seven decades, neither Israelis nor Palestinians have seen the light and put aside their nationalist, ideological and religious objections to prosper together.
Well, there you have it: Israel realizes it has little to gain, at least economically speaking – and the Palestinians feel the same.
France Wants the Whole World to Replace US to Force ‘Peace Process’
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is launching a new effort to resurrect the “peace” process” that nobody seems to want, except for Western leaders who see the world from hotel rooms and airplanes.
He is traveling to the Middle East, where he plans to meet with Arab League ministers on Saturday and then with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday.
What new angle could Fabius possibly have in mind to succeed after failures of U.S. Secretaries of State James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger, Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Kerry and special envoy George Mitchell, and who else?
The common denominator in the above names is that they all are Americans, and Fabius figures that is the problem. A senior French diplomat told Reuters:
The method to reach a definitive solution has been for both sides to meet face to face with the Americans as an honest broker, but this method has failed. It needs international support.
The Real 'Root Cause' of the Conflict in the Middle East
The Germans, destitute and starving in 1945, did not create refugee camps along the Oder and Niesse. The beleaguered Greeks did not house the 1.2 million Ionians fleeing the Turks in tents on Lemnos, Lesbos, and other Aegean islands across from the cities they had been forced to abandon. Nor did Indians and Pakistanis maintain displaced Hindus and Muslims in camps on the borders of the new states.
In the 19th century, Europeans, English in particular, celebrated the generosity of the noble Arab. Strangers, if male, were never turned away, but always invited to dinner. However, in the treatment of their own people displaced by the 1948 war of independence, there has been little honor, decency, or humanity. For three generations, the refugees have been maintained in deplorable conditions on Israel’s borders as pawns in a political campaign.
Behind this callousness is the Quranic injunction that not an inch of dar al Islam must be surrendered to the infidel. Not even the one-sixth of one percent of the Middle East that is Israeli territory.
The German Ambassador to London in 1914 wrote bitterly that with a little bit of good will, the disagreement between Austria-Hungary and Serbia that resulted in the First World War could have been settled in one day by a conference of ambassadors. With a little bit of good will, the population transfer that took place in 1948 would no more concern the world today than the population transfers of 1923, 1945, and 1947.
The nature of the Abbas regime
The nature of President Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority has turned most Palestinians against the PA president and has led most Jerusalem Arabs to prefer Israeli sovereignty. It has also catapulted Hamas to prominence on the Palestinian street.
The Abbas regime has been characterized by a rare combination of endemic corruption, kleptomania ("Mr. 20%" is Abbas' nickname), nepotism, hate education, incitement, terrorism, an anti-U.S. and pro-Venezuela, Russia and China worldview, noncompliance with internal and external agreements, and egregious violations of civil liberties. All this has fueled Muslim emigration and the flight of Christian Arabs from Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Ramallah.
The nature of the Palestinian Authority has been shaped since its establishment in 1993 by the late Yasser Arafat, by Abbas and by other Palestinians imported from terrorist camps in Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and Tunisia, imposing themselves ruthlessly upon the indigenous Arabs of Judea and Samaria. In 2003, I was rebuked by a prominent Palestinian: "We shall never forgive the Jewish state for imposing upon us the Tunisia-based PLO Sodom and Gomorrah."
Palestinians to submit first files to ICC in hopes of prompting case against Israel
The Palestinian Authority is set to submit their first files next week to the International Criminal Court to open a case against Israel, AFP reported on Thursday.
Their accusations against Israel include allegations of abuses which occurred in Gaza during last year's war, and additional alleged crimes that have taken place in the Palestinian Authority territories since 2014.
The first files are to be submitted on June 25 for review by the board, Palestinian Authority official Ammar Hijazi was quoted as saying by AFP.
Hijazi stated that the file submitted is "only general, it's only statistical," and it does not include specific incidences as of yet. "But it certainly draws a grim picture of what Israel is doing and why we think that there are reasonable grounds... for the prosecutor to start investigations," he added.
ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda must decide based on the complaint whether to order a preliminary examination and then a full criminal investigation.
In addition to the allegations submitted against Israel, Bensouda has also said she is considering opening war crimes investigations into the Palestinians themselves, which may turn the spotlight towards Hamas for their actions in last summer.'s Gaza conflict.
The Palestinian Authority formally joined the ICC on April 1 after signing the Rome Statute, which granted them membership to the International Criminal Court.
Netanyahu: A dark day for the UN; no limit to hypocrisy
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded sharply on Friday to remarks by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who suggested that Israel may have violated international law and used excessive force on Palestinian children during Operation Protective Edge last summer.
Writing on his Facebook page early Friday, Netanyahu said: "This is a dark day for the U.N. Instead of highlighting the fact that Hamas made hostages of Gaza's children when it fired at Israel from preschools, the U.N. has again chosen to reproach Israel, which held itself to the highest moral standards in combat, as was determined just this past week by a group of senior American and European generals.
"At the same time, Hamas -- a terror organization -- is awarded immunity by the U.N., even though it has been proven beyond any doubt that it committed war crimes by firing from hospitals, mosques and from within U.N. facilities. It turns out there is no limit to hypocrisy."
On Thursday, during a U.N. Security Council meeting on a report expressing concern for the welfare of children in war zones, Ban criticized Israel for the death and suffering of Palestinian children during last summer's conflict in Gaza.
MK Fumes: 'My Friends Died to Save Human Lives' in Gaza War
MK Haim Yellin (Yesh Atid), former head of the Eshkol Regional Council, penned a strongly-worded letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Friday, after the altter accused the IDF of making Gazan children "suffer" last summer during Operation Protective Edge.
Yellin noted that he has lived in the Gaza Belt area for 39 years, and that Israelis are only guilty of trying to protect themselves.
"We're not raising our children kill people, but to educate them to protect the borders of the State of Israel, the nation and its people - regardless of religion, race, sex and nationality," Yellin said.
"Terrorists, on the other hand, choose to fire missiles from population centers, schools, clinics and UN facilities," Yellin said, going on to note the steps the IDF took to save human lives.
He also noted the losses to the Gaza Belt area residents during the war.
"During the last war we paid dearly and we lost Daniel Tregerman - a 4-year-old boy - and friends Ze'evik Etzion and Shahar Melamed," he said. "We lost them just because of one reason: the IDF did not want to shell the areas where rockets were fired because they were full of children."
UN’s Ban condemned by left and right over Israel chiding
Two lawmakers from the left and center joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday in condemning UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for singling out Israel in a Security Council debate on children harmed in armed conflict.
While Ban on Thursday mentioned war zones such as Iraq, Syria and South Sudan in his UNSC comments, Israel was the only country he called on to take action to protect children in war zones.
“Last year was one of the worst in recent memory for children in countries affected by conflict,” the UN leader said, adding he is “deeply alarmed at the suffering of so many children as a result of Israeli military operations in Gaza last year.”
“I urge Israel to take concrete and immediate steps, including by reviewing existing policies and practices, to protect and prevent the killing and maiming of children, and to respect the special protections afforded to schools and hospitals,” he added.
No similar statement was made by the UN chief toward any other country mentioned in the debate, including the Hamas rulers of Gaza, Israeli officials noted.
Expert: Israel Didn't Commit War Crimes in Gaza
Anne Herzberg, an international law expert and the legal advisor of the NGO Monitor organization, dismissed in an interview with the Arutz Sheva the accusations that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza.
“I do not think that Israel or the IDF committed war crimes during the Gaza war last summer,” she said.
“Of course in any situation of armed conflict you have soldiers who may have acted inappropriately or who may have engaged in criminal activity, that’s in every armed conflict, and Israel has very robust investigation procedures in place to find out who those people are and, if they had done something wrong, to punish them,” Herzberg pointed out.
She noted that the IDF has been investigating reports of misconduct and has released the results of many of those investigations. “As an overall policy, do I think the IDF committed war crimes? Absolutely not,” she reiterated.
NGO Monitor's Legal Advisor Anne Herzberg

Amb. Roet's UNSC speech on Children & Armed Conflict
"Last week, the Secretary General published his annual report on children and armed conflict. With all the regimes, with all the organizations that intentionally and strategically target children all around the world, it is simply absurd that this report disproportionately focuses on Israel.
The report has 17 paragraphs on Syria, 9 on Yemen, 8 on Iraq, 6 on Libya and no less than 32 paragraphs on Israel....
Israel’s commitment to protection of children is absolute. We will remain committed to safeguard the lives of all children in accordance with our democratic values, our moral conscience, and our belief in sanctity of human life."

Israeli Diplomat slams Hamas in Arabic: Children & Armed Conflict debate
Israeli diplomat, Nelly Shiloh, exercises her right of reply at the Security Council open debate on Children & Armed Conflict.

Hotovely: UN's Ban is Showing His 'Outrageous' Anti-Israel Bias
Responding to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon's accusations on Thursday that the IDF made Gazan children "suffer" last summer in its counter-terror operation, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) struck back criticizing the remarks.
"The biased and one-sided approach of the UN regarding IDF activities in (Operation) Protective Edge is outrageous," Hotovely said Thursday night.
"At a time when ceaseless war rages in the Middle East and children are slaughtered on a daily basis, the UN decides to mention Israel in the same breath with states that since long ago have not had any basic human rights," she continued.
The deputy minister emphasized that the IDF does all it can to protect the lives of civilians in enemy territory, "while Hamas cynically uses children and civilian facilities and intentionally causes harm to the lives of people. The state of Israel will continue to wage its campaign to reveal the truth and will not harm its right to self-defense."
IDF Reveals the Gaza That the UN is Hiding
An informative new video posted to YouTube on Monday by the IDF shows how the damage in Gaza reported by the UN is only giving half of the picture, and skewing the facts on the ground.
In the video maps published by the UN showing Gaza buildings damaged in Operation Protective Edge are represented by red dots. However, the video goes on to clarify how these buildings - which include private homes, hospitals and schools - are being used to launch rockets and attacks from terror tunnels.
The video corroborates an IDF report which was declassified last Tuesday, and which details how Hamas embeds itself in the civilian infrastructure of Gaza to launch terror attacks on Israel.
According to the report, during the course of its recent terror war on Israel, Hamas has fired over 1,600 rockets from civilian sites, cynically using UN facilities, schools, graveyards, mosques and power plants, among others.
Numerous IDF soldiers have reported on the rampant use of human shields and its damaging effect on the army's operational ability. The commander of the IAF special reconnaissance Flying Camel Squadron likewise said recently that aborting airstrikes due to Hamas's tactics of embedding among civilians "sabotages" the operation.
US envoy to UN: Comparing Israel to ISIS is fundamentally wrong
The United States condemned countries, diplomats and UN officials seeking to compare Israel with Islamic State in a speech that its envoy to the United Nations gave to the Security Council in New York on Thursday.
“The idea that the government of Israel, as some have suggested, would be listed on the same page as ISIS, Boko Haram or Syria, is factually and fundamentally wrong,” US Ambassador to the UN for Special Political Affairs David Pressman said.
He spoke at an open UN Security Council meeting to debate the report on the dangers that children in war zones face, which was submitted by the UN’s Special Envoy on Children in Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui of Algeria.
In her initial draft from last month, Zerrougui named Israel among the worst abusers of child rights including Islamic State and Boko Haram on a black list that she addended to the report.
Time for Israel to Leave the United Nations
And again, there are Israeli government officials who complain, but nothing is ever done about it. There's some mutterings periodically, but nobody makes policy change.
There's only one simple policy change that would make sense. Cancel our membership in that hotbed of pro-terrorist hypocrisy! Israel should have left the United Nations a very long time ago!!
There is no hasbara, information campaign or "rebranding" tricks that can change the views of those diplomats and countries who are offended at our self-defense and victories.
Get real and leave!
Former State Dept. Official: Deal Won’t “Make Iran A Moderate,” But Will Hurt U.S. Interests
The emerging nuclear deal with Iran will not “end Iran’s ability and motivation to have a nuclear-weapons option” wrote Aaron David Miller, a State Department official in both Democratic and Republican administrations, in an analysis published today in Time. After noting that the likely result of the deal is the emergence of “a richer and stronger Iran, one pushing for a Middle East more hostile to the U.S.–and one that will still retain the capacity to build nuclear weapons,” Miller filled in the details.
Iran will agree to what will likely be a smaller, more easily monitored nuclear program. But there can be no real assurance, let alone guarantee, that this will be the “forever” deal Secretary of State John Kerry referred to. What is guaranteed–what will be the new normal in the Middle East–is that Iran will emerge as a state with the right to enrich uranium and continue R&D while maintaining some nuclear infrastructure. Iran has played us and its card well, profiting from sanctions relief without abandoning its nuclear-weapons aspirations, let alone its repressive policies at home or its expansionist aims abroad.
The Obama Administration argues that regardless of Iran’s behavior in the region, constraining Tehran’s nuclear program is important in its own right. But Iran is not Japan, a nuclear threshold state that respects international principles. It’s impossible to separate the nuclear issue from Iran’s regional aspirations. Keeping the world on edge about Iran’s nuclear-weapons capacity and ensuring that the U.S. remains an adversary are still vital for the regime’s survival–and this agreement isn’t going to make Iran a moderate anytime soon.
Critics Question Whether White House “Czar” Could Ensure Effective Iran Nuke Deal
President Barack Obama is considering appointing a “czar” to oversee an emerging nuclear deal with Iran, Politico reported Wednesday. But some critics are questioning whether such an appointment will be able to ensure that a nuclear deal would be effective.
An Obama administration official confirmed that one option under consideration is having a point person serving as the lead coordinator for implementation and enforcement. Other possibilities include beefing up staffing and funding at existing agencies, which range from the Treasury Department to the intelligence services, said a former administration official also familiar with the discussions.
Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, questioned whether the effect of having a “czars” is real or illusory, noting that there’s a “perception of these special positions … that they haven’t worked, they’ve been a failure and they are used to try to create a perception of influence and of the U.S. government getting things done.”
Saudis Sign Nuclear Agreement With Russia
Amid speculation by experts that a nuclear deal with Shi'ite Iran might force its Sunni rival Saudi Arabia to buy a nuclear weapon, likely from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia on Thursday signed a nuclear agreement with Russia.
Al Arabiya reported that six agreements were signed Thursday between the Saudis and the Russians, including one on the "peaceful use of nuclear technology."
The report did not detail the specifics of the deal, but it would apparently indicate Saudi Arabia's desire to become a nuclear power even as Iran is reportedly working to build a nuclear arsenal under the guise of a "peaceful" nuclear program, ahead of a June 30 deadline for talks with world powers.
The move showing increased ties between Russia and Saudi Arabia may also indicate how the Saudis are moving further from the US, as its traditional ally in Washington is poised to reach a deal allowing its rival Iran to continue developing its nuclear program.
In an apparent admission of allowing Iran to have nuclear weapons, US Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly offered the Saudis a nuclear umbrella back in March.
Report: Bahrain Foiled Iranian Terror Plot Against Saudi Arabia
Police in Bahrain announced today that they had seized Iranian-made explosives intended for terrorist use against neighboring Saudi Arabia.
Reuters reported:
In a statement, police chief Major-General Tariq al-Hasan said the techniques used in the manufacture of the explosives bore “clear similarities” to methods used by what it called proxy groups of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp. (IRGC). …
Hasan said the seized items, including powerful explosive C4, commercial detonators, advanced circuitry, chemicals and mobile phones, “represent a significant escalation in attempts to smuggle explosives material into Bahrain.” …
Hasan added that the June 6 operation and previous such seizures “point to an emerging trend. The professionalism with which these seized materials are assembled and concealed is a clear indication of international support and sponsorship.”
(h/t Alexi)
Iranian Clergy: Letting Women Attend Volleyball Matches “Promotes Prostitution”
Iranian women are hoping to attend the June 19 volleyball match between Iran and the United States at Azadi Stadium in Tehran, but official and unofficial forces are arrayed against them, according to a report published Wednesday in The Daily Beast.
Although Iran’s vice-president for women’s affairs has said that 500 women will be allowed to watch the match, other relevant government agencies have not confirmed that this is the government’s policy. Some activists fighting against the women, including clergyman Hamed Vasfi, who was interviewed by The Daily Beast, claim that allowing women to watch sporting events in stadiums would promote “prostitution.”
IDF indicts Palestinian for Alon Shvut attack
The IDF announced Thursday that it has filed an indictment with the Judea Military Court against Mahmoud Arafia for perpetrating the May 14 terrorist attack at the Alon Shvut junction, in which four Israeli civilians were wounded.
At around 1:30 p.m. on May 14, Judea and Samaria District police said that a black vehicle struck two pedestrians at the Alon Shvut junction before fleeing the scene.
Two victims, aged 16 and 17, were brought to the capital’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, one moderately wounded with wounds to the hip and the other lightly wounded.
Two other victims were brought for treatment at Hadassah-University Hospital in Ein Kerem: a 20-yearold man in serious condition and a 25-year-old man with light injuries.
One of the wounded was a dual US-Israeli citizen in serious condition with a head injury, a relative said. The family member described the man as a 19-year-old studying at a yeshiva near the scene of the incident.
Hamas Assures Child Tunnel Laborers They “will reach China very soon” (satire)
Mahmoud Al-Tabi, a commander in the armed wing of Hamas, has promised child laborers that their dig to China will ultimately bear fruit.
“Don’t worry” he said at a ceremony commemorating last summer’s war with Israel “we’ve had minor setbacks, but if we push through, we’ll definitely reach Kibbutz N- , I mean, China very soon. Now, Who wants Ices?”
Dozens of child laborers have died in recent years working on Hamas’s attack and smuggling tunnels. Conditions for the laborers are poor, and have attracted the criticism of the international community. Only Cheerios are available for breakfast, and Dinners usually consist of spinach and lima bean soup. Hamas once arranged a movie night for the workers, but the DVD of “Finding Nemo” was too scratched and froze often.
One child laborer spoke to an Israeli Daily reporter on condition of anonymity, and told him “Last year they told us the same thing. But I really want to get there. Maybe I can meet the guys who made my favorite plastic ball.”
Jordan Fears Imminent ISIS Invasion
Jordan is gearing up for a possible invasion by Islamic terror groups, local media reported Thursday.
According to reports, King Abdullah II, on a tour this week of border areas near Iraq and Syria, offered to arm Bedouin tribes living in those areas - on both sides of the border - to fight against Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, which threaten Jordan from the east and north.
Abdullah's concern has been growing in recent weeks, reports said, over the fact that after 3,000 bombing raids by the US and its allies, ISIS has not been beaten back – and seems only to get stronger.
With the organization solidifying its rule in much of Iraq and Syria = and in line with its pledge to expand its “Islamic caliphate” to the entire world, starting with the Muslim countries - Abdullah believes that Jordan is high up on ISIS's list for an attempted takeover.
Meanwhile, Jordan faces another danger from the north.
The Al-Nusra group, a fundamentalist organization associated with Al Qaeda, controls much of the area on the other side of the Syrian border. This group, too, has expansionist plans, and the open frontier between Syria and Jordan is almost an open invitation to incursions by the group.

IsraellyCool: Money For Gaza (A Parody)
I present to you “Money For Gaza“. A parody of “Money For Nothing” by Dire Straits.
Lyrics and vocals by me.
Artwork by Joe.
Feel free to share with all your friends!
Money For Gaza (A Parody)

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