Tuesday, August 18, 2015

From Ian:

All Nuke Inspectors Require Approval From Iran’s Intelligence Agency
A senior Iranian official declared on Monday that international nuclear inspectors would only be permitted into the country once they receive approval from the Islamic Republic’s Intelligence Ministry, putting another roadblock between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran’s contested nuclear sites.
Sayyed Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister and one of the top negotiators in talks that led to the recently inked nuclear deal, told the country’s state-controlled press that Iran’s intelligence apparatus must approve of any inspector who is issued a visa to enter Iran.
This requirement could complicate efforts to prove to the world that Iran is being fully transparent and that nuclear inspectors inside the country are neutral.
Iran has already stated that no American inspector would be permitted into the country under the deal. The accord also grants Iran a 24-day notice period before inspectors enter any site suspected of being used for nuclear weapons work.
“Any individual, out of IAEA’s Inspection group, who is not approved by the Islamic Republic of Iran cannot enter the country as the agency’s inspector,” Araqchi was quoted as telling the Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA), a government news outlet, according to a translation performed by the CIA’s Open Source Center (OSC).
This type of screening is fully permitted under the nuclear accord, Araqchi said.
Iran Threatened ‘Harm’ to Top Nuke Inspector to Prevent Disclosure of Secret Deal
Iranian leaders prevented a top International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) official from disclosing to U.S. officials the nature of secret side deals with the Islamic Republic by threatening harm to him, according to regional reports.
Yukiya Amano, IAEA director general, purportedly remained silent about the nature of certain side deals during briefings with top U.S. officials because he feared such disclosures would lead to retaliation by Iran, according to the spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI).
Amano was in Washington recently to brief members of Congress and others about the recently inked nuclear accord. However, he did not discuss the nature of side deals with Iran that the United States is not permitted to know about.
Iran apparently threatened Amano in a letter meant to ensure he did not reveal specific information about the nature of nuclear inspections going forward, according to Iranian AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi.
This disclosure has only boosted suspicions among some that the Iranians are willing and able to intimidate the top nuclear watchdog and potentially undermine the verification regime that Obama administration officials have dubbed a key component of the nuclear accord.
PMW: Fatah`s military wing asks Iran for money for terror war against Israel
Iranian TV (Al-Alam) interviewed fighters from the Gaza branch of Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, while standing inside an attack tunnel claimed to be 3.5 km long, and opening inside Israel. The purpose of the tunnel is to facilitate larger scale terror attacks from Gaza into Israel.
The announcement that Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, internationally recognized as a terror organization, is asking for money from Iran comes at the same time that the PA has announced that Mahmoud Abbas will be vising Iran. As Palestinian Media Watch reported yesterday, senior PLO official Abbas Zaki, said that strengthening ties with Iran is "an inevitable step if we [the Palestinians] want to confront the Israeli occupation."
The following is the transcript of the interview from Fatah's attack- tunnel in the Gaza Strip, that was broadcast on Iranian Al-Alam TV:
Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades fighter: "There will now be a qualitative change in the unit named after Martyrdom-seeker Nabil Mas'oud in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, by using attack tunnels against the Zionist entity. We will now go through one of those tunnels to see what the [Al-Aqsa] Martyrs' Brigades is preparing for this occupation (i.e., Israel)..."
Iranian Al-Alam TV narrator: "Here is the first tunnel... When we met the Ribat [Islamic] fighters in this tunnel, they said that the weapons in their hands and their preparations for confrontation with the Israeli enemy are what give them reason to live."
Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades fighter: "This tunnel is approximately 3.5 km long and crosses the border between the Gaza Strip and the Zionist enemy. There are tunnels inside [Gaza] through which Jihad fighters pass during war... We spend all our time trying to get money to fulfill our duty concerning our occupied lands and liberate them from the Zionist entity. This is why we are asking [for money]... especially [from] Iran, which is a known long-time supporter of the resistance and the Palestinian cause..."
Iranian Al-Alam TV reporter: "The book of resistance is still open... and its last line will not be written until Palestine is liberated."
[Al-Alam TV (Iran) news report, posted on Wattan TV (independent Palestinian channel), June 29, 2015]

Shocking New Iranian Video Imagines Islamic Takeover of Jerusalem, Destruction of Israel (VIDEO)
A newly revealed video produced under the auspices of the Iranian regime in early August threatens and visualizes the destruction of Israel at the hands of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iranian Middle East proxies, The Investigative Project on Terrorism reported on Monday.
The animated video, produced by the Islamic Revolution Design House, depicts soldiers preparing for battle. One dons the IRGC insignia on his left arm, another the emblem of the Iran-backed Iraqi Shia Badr Organization. Yet a third dons a headband bearing the Lebanese Hezbollah logo, and a fourth is seen clad in Hamas’ characteristic balaclava and the Qassam Brigades green headband.
Each brandishes a weapon, a helmet and a keffiyeh. They are shown poised on a hill overlooking the Israeli capital of Jerusalem, prepared for battle.
The video then pans out showing an ever-growing number of soldiers, presumably all members of Iran’s loyal proxies, like the fighters portrayed at the beginning of the footage.
The clip then transitions to a black screen with Persian script that says “Israel must be obliterated,” or literally, “erased from the annals of history,” a command first issued by Iran’s late Ayatollah Khomeini and famously repeated by former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as well as leaders of Iran’s proxies such as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Alan Dershowitz: Obama should stop questioning the motivations of the Iran Deal’s critics
A number of prominent Jewish Organizations, publications, and some media outlets have sharply criticized the manner in which the Obama administration has gone about defending the Iran nuclear agreement by attacking its critics.
Tablet Magazine accused certain proponents of the agreement of using “Jew-baiting and other blatant and retrograde forms of racial and ethnic prejudice” such as “accusing Senators and Congressmen… of being agents of a foreign power…” to smear their opponents. Similarly, Abraham Foxman, the former director of the Anti- Defamation League, attacked President Obama for fueling the anti-Semitic stereotype of Jews as warmongers. Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesental Center also attacked the administration for bullying opponents of the deal with the “crock of dual loyalty.”
The New York Post, went a step further, and railed that “Anti-Semitism is all over the drive to make Chuck Schumer shut up about his opposition to the Iran nuke deal….” Others have attacked President Obama directly. Lee Smith, also writing in Tablet, claims that “Obama is using a dog whistle. He is hinting at broadly at anti- Semitic conceits.”
President Obama and his administration are not anti-Israel, nor are they anti- Semitic. There is little doubt, however, that as the debate over the Iran deal has grown increasingly heated, President Obama, members of his administration, and various supporters of the deal have impugned the integrity of their opponents, sometimes using language that some see as code words.
They have suggested that those members of Congress who have come out against the deal are in the pockets of billionaires and lobbyists. They have also sought to conflate opposition to the Iran deal with support for the US led invasion of Iraq in 2004. Finally, President Obama has accused Mr. Netanyahu and the pro-Israel lobby of exercising an inappropriate level of pressure on American politicians in attempting to influence the course of the debate over the Iran agreement.
The notion that foreign leaders do not seek to influence American political discourse is patently false. More to the point, however, the cumulative thrust of the attacks leveled by the administration has engendered disturbing arguments from some quarters.
Dershowitz: ‘Inept negotiator’ Obama gave Iran green light to build nuke
US President Barack Obama is currently vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, as he does every August. For the last six years, he has always invited law professor Alan Dershowitz, who also spends his summers on the picturesque Massachusetts island, to drop by. But then the Iran deal happened.
“I’m not going to be invited to meet him this time. That’s fine. He knows my views,” Dershowitz said in an interview, referring to his fierce opposition to the nuclear accord the US and five world powers struck with Iran last month.
“He knows he made certain promises to me when we sat in the Oval Office,” Dershowitz continued. “He said to me, ‘Alan, you know I don’t bluff. I have Israel’s back. Iran will never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. All options are on the table.’ He changed his policy. And he won’t look me in the eye.” (Obama’s would-be successor Hillary Clinton also came to Martha’s Vineyard this summer; she and Dershowitz did meet.)
A well-known political commentator and prolific writer, Dershowitz considers himself a “liberal Democrat.” He voted twice for Obama, generally gives him excellent grades on domestic issues, and even has some good things to say about his various foreign policy initiatives. He supports the administration’s condemnations of Israeli settlements and would not oppose more pressure on Jerusalem regarding Palestinian statehood.
But when it comes to the Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action (JCPOA), Dershowitz delivers a crushing verdict. “It’s a D-minus, with grade inflation. It’s essentially a failing grade,” he said. “I would not allow this president and this secretary of state [John Kerry] — both of whom I know well, I’ve known them for a long time — I wouldn’t allow these two people to negotiate a 30-day lease for me. They’ve proved to be inept negotiators.”
#DumpSchumer and anti-Semitism
The social media site Twitter offers an extraordinary form of communication. But perhaps because of its scope and anonymity, it is also a hotbed of racism, bigotry and anti-Semitism. This has never been clearer than in the wake of Senator Chuck Schumer’s announcement that he will oppose President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
In doing so, Schumer became guilty of heresy in the eyes of many on the progressive Left and the isolationist Right. The former is now campaigning against Schumer’s ascension to Senate Minority Leader.
After reading an article mentioning the subject by writer Lee Smith, I waded into the cesspool created by the popular Twitter hashtag #Dump- Schumer. What I found was a deluge of anti-Semitic vitriol. By Saturday I had accumulated a collection of well over 100 tweets from both Left and Right attacking Schumer as a paid agent of Israel or AIPAC, a puppet of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and an outright traitor to the United States, loyal only to Judaism and the Jewish state.
Many in the #DumpSchumer ranks appear to believe that the senator is, as one tweeter put it, “an Israeli TRAITOR Jew.” Another proclaimed that Schumer is “a traitor to his own country which is the US NOT ISRAEL.” Another asserted, “Calling Schumer a traitor is just telling the truth. He’s not one of us – his only loyalty is to Jews.” Another echoed this, saying, “Schumer is only loyal to his tribe... certainly not to America.” Another was somewhat more subtle, declaring, “A senator is there to do the right thing for country [sic]. Question is which country is he thinking Abt?” Another asked, “Will the Senator From Israel Yield the Floor?” Another declared, “He’ll make even More $$$ as official #AIPACLobbyist.”
US documents reveal: US demanded from Israel not to deploy nuclear weapons
Israel and the United States worked together to formulate the Jewish State's nuclear doctrine, archival documents released Tuesday by the US State Department reveal. The documents detail the classified discussions that took place on Israel's nuclear program between officials of the two countries. “We would decide that we could tolerate Israeli activity short of assembly of a completed nuclear device” one of the US memos said.
The documents reveal that Israel planned to have ten Jericho surface-to-surface missiles (based on a French missile) equipped with nuclear warheads.
The publication of the documents comes as part of a routine release of historical information by the US State Department, however the timing of the revelations, on the background of the disagreement between Israel and the US over the nuclear agreement with Iran, lends them an extra meaning.
There are those who would claim that the timing of the release is not a coincidence, and is in fact intended to embarrass Israel, which staunchly opposes the deal with Iran, and embarrass Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who continues in his efforts to challenge the Obama administration and influence Congress to reject the deal.
According to the documents, which cover events from 1969-1972, Israel was asked to provide a written obligation neither to arm its Jericho surface-to-surface missiles with nuclear warheads nor to deploy them.
Up until that point, the official policy of Israel, formulated and presented to the US in the early 1960s by then-deputy defense minister Shimon Peres, was, "We will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons in the region." This policy has been defined up until the present day as Israel's "nuclear ambiguity."
MEMRI: 'Al-Sharq Al-Awsat' Columnist: Obama Administration's Defeat In Nuclear Deal Compels The Arabs To Rely On Themselves
The official reaction of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to the July 14, 2015 announcement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 brought to the surface the disagreements among the GCC member states over this issue. Most of the Gulf states, with the exception of Saudi Arabia, issued official declarations in response to the announcement of the deal, sending congratulatory letters to Iran's leaders expressing hope that the agreement would aid regional stability. In contrast, the Saudi response, issued by an unnamed senior official to the official Saudi news agency SPA, noted the announcement's importance but threatened that the country would react harshly were Iran to use its resources to undermine regional stability.
The disagreement among the GCC states also emerged in a column by Ghassan Al-Imam in the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat criticizing the GCC member states that hastened to congratulate Iran and that, he said, had been duped by Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif's statements. Claiming that only Saudi Arabia was acting to rein in Iran in the Arab region, he urged the GCC states to show Arab solidarity with the Arab peoples who had been harmed by Iranian policies – such as the Syrians – instead of relying on the U.S. which, he stated, had "backed down from the demands by[both] the Arabs and the Europeans to put an end to the Iranian nuclear program."
Iran sending nuke deal money to terror groups on border -- PM
Speaking during a visit to the IDF’s Northern Command headquarters near the Lebanese border, Netanyahu said that Israel was watching its borders closely and would strike at any entity that threatened its security.
“What we have said all along has turned out to be accurate,” Netanyahu said referring to his opposition to the nuclear agreement between world powers and Tehran. “The money that will flow to Iran-sponsored terrorist organizations will be used for one stated purpose — to destroy Israel.”
“I’m here to keep a close eye on the IDF’s preparedness for these threats. We are prepared for any scenario. Those who try to harm us, we will strike at them,” he said.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot took part in the visit as well.
“I would like to commend the IDF’s commanders and soldiers in general and the Northern Command’s soldier in particular, for securing the borders and keeping them quiet despite everything that is happening across the border. This professionalism is what enables thousands of hikers to enjoy the north of the country,” Ya’alon said.
The Iran Nuclear Deal's Fallout on the United Nations
The U.S. Congress is presently reviewing the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action, a deal concluded on July 14, 2015, by Iran and the main world powers. It is likely Congress will reject the deal next month and it may or may not be able to later override the inevitable presidential veto.
The central issue is whether Iran will or will not be allowed to become a nuclear power. But other matters of considerable importance seem to have been kept away from the limelight: the impact of the JCPOA on the role and credibility of the United Nations.
1. Security Council Resolutions: On July 20, the UN Security Council rushed to pass UNSC Resolution 2231 “under silence,” thereby unanimously endorsing the nuclear treaty, as called for in Article 18 of the agreement. By doing so, the Security Council committed itself to rescind six (6) binding resolutions --- passed from 2006 to 2010 under Chapter VII of the UN Charter -- originally intended to prevent Iran from enriching uranium and developing ballistic missiles, and to apply and strengthen sanctions against the Iranian state and designated individuals. Iran had systematically scoffed at these resolutions. The JCPOA vindicated Iran’s policy.
However, UNSC Resolution 2231 is silent on other equally binding Chapter VII resolutions of the Security Council, especially UNSC Resolution 1566, passed on October 8, 2004, and which stresses the global obligations of all nations against states or organizations involved in terrorism: “[The Security Council] recalls that criminal acts... with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public ... as defined in the international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, are under no circumstances justifiable... and calls upon all States to prevent such acts and, if not prevented, to ensure that such acts are punished by penalties consistent with their grave nature” (Article 3, emphasis added).
Considering that Iran has been the world’s number one state sponsor and promoter of terrorist activities for a number of years – supporting Bashar al-Assad’s brutal civil war in Syria; fomenting the Houthi rebellion in Yemen; financially and militarily assisting Hizb’allah and Hamas, etc. -- it is inconceivable that world powers, led by the United States, could turn a blind eye to their international obligations and, by their silence, acquiesce to the ongoing atrocities instigated by Iran.
Worse still, the imminent lifting of sanctions and the release of billions of dollars to Iran under the provisions of the treaty, fly in the face of the equally binding UNSC Resolution 1373 of September 28, 2001, which calls for “all States ... to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist acts.” (Art. 1). No one but the most naive optimist doubts that part of this huge cash flow will be diverted by Iran to promote its terrorist activities. Again, the JCPOA is instrumental in scuttling essential anti-terror resolutions.
Enriching Iran
The Vienna nuclear deal will allow Iran to accomplish much of the same. Iran will receive an immediate massive cash transfusion and its economy is projected to swing from sanctions-induced deep recession to deal-infused sustained growth. Moreover, by agreeing to fend off future sanctions of any sort, Washington will become the de facto guarantor of Iranian economic prosperity. With their patron soon to be flush with cash, no wonder Iranian proxies are exuberant. In a few short years, after an international arms embargo is dropped, Iran will also be allowed to purchase advanced weaponry from Russia and China. Shockingly, the accord even commits the U.S. to cease not only its own cyber and sabotage operations against Iran’s nuclear program, but to help Iran defend against Israeli ones as well. By temporarily restricting its nuclear enrichment, Iran will be permanently enriching its regional mastery.
To understand how, look no further than the Syrian chemical weapons deal. Two years later, the regime is not even close to having fully dismantled its program, having lied, cheated, and stonewalled the internationally backed effort. Moreover, it has flagrantly exploited a loophole and continued to gas its citizens with chlorine. Instead of working to overthrow Assad, the Obama Administration is trying to degrade its most formidable opposition (ISIS) and defers the proper training and arming of other Kurdish or Arab rebel groups. With the partial dismantlement of his chemical weapons program having guaranteed his survival thus far, Assad has even lasted long enough to reap the financial, military, and political boost from the Iran nuclear deal.
By empowering Iran as the key party to its own nuclear constraining, the United States is paving Iran’s path to regional hegemony. President Obama even repeatedly asserts, “Iran will be and should be a regional power.” The president has even supported advancing a Sunni-Shiite “equilibrium”, if Iran merely toned down its most egregious extracurricular activities. Like the Syria deal, the Administration will be powerless to punish Iranian aggression for it would doom Iranian nuclear compliance. Unlike the Syrian deal, no element of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will be dismantled and all substantive restrictions are time-limited. In fact, Iran is getting a better deal than Syria, having traded enrichment limits not just for survival, but also for regional ascendance. At a fraction of the cost and with America’s blessing, this deal achieves nearly as much as its nuclear weapons ever would have.
American Jews must stand with Israel against its enemies
19th century philosopher Max Nordau once reportedly told Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky that “the Jew learns not by way of reason, but from catastrophes. He won’t buy an umbrella merely because he sees clouds in the sky.
He waits until he is drenched and catches pneumonia.”
Israel today faces many dangers – an Iran nearing full nuclear capabilities, Islamic State close to its tiny borders, Hamas devoted to its destruction, a hostile United Nations, as the worldwide Jewish community faces an anti-Semitism unprecedented since World War II.
Meanwhile, the American Jewish community sees overwhelming assimilation and intermarriage, a reported two-thirds of Jews do not belong to a synagogue – and yet so many in the American Jewish community respond to the clouds facing the Jewish people by giving money to the New Israel Fund, an organization devoted to harming Israel.
NIF raises $30 million annually from American Jews – to pursue an agenda which involves advocating and working on a boycott against Israel, weakening the Israel Defense Forces, both on the ground and via “lawfare,” and through various other mechanisms, including advocating for terrorists’ families and collaborating with the United Nations to attack Israel. If it harms Israel, count on the NIF to be part of it. Yet, in the face of catastrophe there are those standing with the enemies of the Jewish people.
Liberal Jews afraid to oppose Iran deal
Obama and his people chose to play the Jew card. By presenting opponents of the deal as traitors and warmongers – and Jewish ones particularly as disloyal – the administration is trying to make pro-Israel expression uncomfortable, especially for Jews. When Obama talked about “tens millions of dollars in advertising” and “the same people who argued for the war in Iraq” they heard “Jewish money” and “Jewish neo-cons.” His thousands of surrogates on social media were far less subtle.
This strategy is having its desired effect. Liberal American Jews are being forced to choose between support for the Jewish homeland and what they perceive as loyalty to their country. The Reform movement as a whole preferred not to take a stand on the deal, and apparently the Fresno contingent sees it as too damaging to their fragile unity even to discuss. But this is exactly what they should discuss.
It’s interesting that a movement which values ‘involvement’ and ‘social action’ so strongly and which purports to favor open discussion and democracy above all, has fled from engagement with this particular issue, because it’s “too divisive.” This isn’t just hypocrisy. A big part of the problem is that American Jews have been manipulated by demagogic techniques that appealed to their deep-seated fear of the traditional antisemitic accusations of disloyalty.
AIPAC’s event will be held in an Evangelical church in Fresno because Evangelical Christians, in Fresno and in general, still have more courage to stand up for the survival of a Jewish state than Reform Jews.
Iran Deal: 340 (Liberal) Rabbis Back Obama
That’s the way so many in the American Jewish community have chosen to respond to the catastrophes the Jewish people face.
On Monday, 340 liberal rabbis offered their support to the Iran deal in a letter to Congress.
The word “liberal” has been omitted from media headlines, creating the impression that Jewish religious authorities support President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, against a plurality of American Jews and the overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews.
In fact, the nation’s largest rabbinical organizations oppose the Iran deal, and announced their opposition last month, though the mainstream media has chosen to focus on the dissident rabbis’ support.
The rabbis supporting the deal are represented by Ameinu, which describes itself as a “national, multi-generational community of progressive Jews in North America.” Its goal is to “build support within the North American Jewish community for a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Its slogan is “liberal values, progressive Israel.” So it is firmly, proudly on the political left.
Supporters Flog Dated Poll as Proof of American Jewish Support for Iran Deal
Commentary presented as fact in The Washington Post by Professors Todd Gitlin and Steven M. Cohen misleads readers through omissions, distortions, and a lack of context (“The Jewish leaders who don’t speak for American Jews,” Aug. 16, 2015). The authors use a dated poll from The Los Angeles Jewish Journal to claim that a majority of American Jews support the Iran nuclear deal reached July 14 between the United States, Russia, France, China, United Kingdom, Germany and the Islamic Republic over the latter’s purported nuclear program.
A closer examination reveals significant problems with their presentation.
Gitlin and Cohen assert that a majority of American Jews support the Iran nuclear deal in its current form. They make this assertion based on a July 16-20 Jewish Journal survey, conducted mere days after the agreement was reached, purporting to show 63 percent of American Jews favoring the deal. However, other more recent polls indicate that as the particulars of the agreement have become more well-known, American Jews increasingly oppose it. This is similar to the rest of the American public.
A week after The Jewish Journal poll, The Israel Project—referred to only briefly by the professors—conducted a poll showing 51 percent of respondents opposed the deal. Further indication of this trend can be seen in a July 30-August 4 Quinnipiac University opinion survey showing 53 percent of New York Jewish voters opposed the deal.
Dismissing or ignoring more recent polls while citing as proof of Jewish majority support a poll conducted in the first week after the deal was announced—before controversial details were more widely reported—is misleading at best and disingenuous at worst.
Iran Deal: Supporters Fail to Show at Town Hall-- Again
A campaign led by supporters of the Iran deal was supposed to make its way Monday into the rural Virginia district held by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), but nobody showed up.
Pro-Iran deal activists have targeted Town Hall meetings throughout the country while Congress remains in recess until September, when they will vote to approve or disapprove of the nuclear accord with the regime in Tehran.
Hard-line activist organizations, such as MoveOn.Org, the National Iranian-American Council, the Daily Kos, and others, have come together as part of their “60 Days to Stop A War” campaign in order to pressure legislators to vote for the Iran deal.
But Monday’s no-show provides more proof that the pro-deal Astroturf campaign is struggling to gather momentum with everyday Americans, outside of the hard-left and the Iranian expat community.
From Washington, D.C. to California, deal supporters have on multiple occasions only managed to garner a few demonstrators to represent the pro-deal campaign. Sometimes, they don’t show up at all, although they had attempted to mobilize for weeks in advance through their website.
Ex-Sen. Lieberman: Congressional Rejection of Nuke Deal Will Lead to Better Agreement, Not War
Lieberman argued that, if confronted by a bipartisan super-majority of lawmakers opposed to the JCPOA, the administration will be forced to address the “undeniable loopholes and inadequacies” of the nuclear deal. Iran would not walk away from such a renegotiation, as Tehran’s previous willingness to adjust to “new political realities” has demonstrated, especially at a time when its sanctions-damaged economy “needs an agreement much more than we do.”
Lieberman adds that, rather than isolating the United States, a congressional rejection of the JCPOA would have the support of America’s Arab allies and Israel, as well as the tacit support of “even some of our European allies.”
In announcing his opposition to the JCPOA, Sen. Jeff Flake (R – Ariz.) wrote that the nuclear agreement’s failure to incorporate mechanisms that would allow Congress to make adjustments.
Lieberman’s argument that congressional rejection of the JCPOA could lead to its renegotiation on better terms echoes that of legal scholar Orde Kittrie, who wrote last week that, historically, over 200 treaties have been renegotiated because of congressional objections, and that the JCPOA, which isn’t a treaty, should certainly be able to be similarly amended.
Senate Majority Leader Admits Iran Nuclear Deal Likely to Pass
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) has admitted that it is unlikely Congress will be able to block the Iran nuclear deal, despite a Republican majority in both houses.
The GOP senator said President Barack Obama has "a great likelihood of success" in pushing the deal through, according to AP.
While Republicans will almost certainly vote down the deal in an upcoming vote Obama has said he will use his presidential veto to override the majority vote. To cancel out that veto Congress would need a new two-thirds majority vote against, which would require a large number of Democratic congress members to join their GOP rivals.
But while some Democrats - most notably leading Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer - have indeed come out against the deal, others have voiced their support for the president.
Obama needs the support of 34 Democratic Senators, and 146 members of the House of Representatives to sustain his veto. In all, he has already received that support from 20 Senators, while in the House 48 have declared their support for the deal compared to just 10 against, with many other congressmen still not openly declaring their positions.
Iranian official: Tehran to sign deal with Russia for advanced S-300 missile system next week
Iran and Russia will sign a deal that will see Moscow send Tehran the S-300 air-defense missile system by next week, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said Tuesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had been ready to deliver the S-300 to Iran already in 2010, but had previously agreed to ban the sale under pressure from the US. Israel has also pushed Moscow not to send the S-300 to Iran.
The deal has now been updated and will be finalized soon, the Iranian Students' News Agency quoted Dehghan as saying.
Dehghan said that as part of the new deal, Iran would be receiving an upgraded version of the S-300 system.
"We will go to Russia next week to sign the deal and there is no barrier hindering the agreement,” ISNA quoted him as saying.
Herzog to Abbas: Israeli-Palestinian peace possible within two years
Opposition leader and Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah for a “deep conversation” Tuesday, which included a discussion on security issues and peace talks.
In the meeting, Herzog said Israelis and Palestinians can be at peace within two years if the leaders on both sides begin a “brave” dialogue.
“We must give hope to the [two] peoples by restarting the brave moves that will bring us back to negotiations, in a way that will obligate the leaders and also the peoples to conduct a renewed, brave dialogue.,” Herzog said.
“I’m convinced that if there is a will, it is possible to reach an agreement that will ensure the security of Israel within two years,” he added.
Such an agreement, Herzog said, “would be based on a rare regional opportunity that was created in recent months that we must not waste, which brings to bear the backing of neighboring countries for the Palestinians and ourselves to conduct a direct diplomatic process between us.”
Khaled Abu Toameh: Fatah: Hamas-Israel agreement would lead to separate Palestinian state in Gaza
The warning came amid reports that Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair have reached understandings regarding the proposed truce. Unconfirmed reports have claimed that Hamas was ready to strike a deal with Israel in return for the creation of a sea passage between Cyprus and the Gaza Strip.
Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf said that the reports about an imminent agreement between Hamas and Israel mean the consolidation of the split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
“This would achieve Israel’s strategic goal of killing the idea of establishing an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital,” Assaf cautioned. “Hamas wants to win Israeli recognition at the cost of the Palestinian national project.”
Assaf said that Hamas was not entitled to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians. Therefore, he added, the results of any negotiations would not be binding to anyone, “especially since Hamas is turning a blind eye to the Palestinians’ national rights and principles.”
TERROR IN WAITING? List of possible Palestinian chiefs a terrorist who's who
Terrorist, torturer, turncoat make short list to succeed Palestinian chief Abbas
Abbas, who is 80 and reportedly in failing health, has led the West Bank government for the entire decade since the death of Yasser Arafat. But growing and open discontent with Abbas has been accompanied by an Egyptian TV report that he told that nation’s president he intends to step down in the coming months.
“He doesn't have a protege, he hasn't facilitated a system in which people feel they can rise to the top," Grant Rumley, an expert on Palestinian affairs at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told The Jerusalem Post.
Abbas was originally elected to serve a four-year term, but no elections have been held since he took power and he rules by decree. His tenure has been marked by accusations of cronyism and corruption, and in recent months there has been open criticism of the wealthy lifestyle led by members of his family, presumably on the dime of international donors who prop up the Palestinian state.
In theory, the PA represents Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank, but the two territories are effectively governed separately. An exit by Abbas could theoretically clear the way for a successor sympathetic to Hamas, which runs Gaza, to take control of both territories.
Israeli envoy urges UN chief to condemn latest terror attacks
Prosor also cited the recent murder of Malachi Rosenfeld, who was shot dead in June after stopping to help a Palestinian, as another example.
“Attacks of this kind are especially outrageous because they take advantage of a person’s natural desire to help their fellow man in their time of need, in order to kill him,” the ambassador said. “These are acts that no decent person would tolerate.”
“Not only do such attacks pose a grave threat for Israelis, they may well harm those Palestinians who are genuine in need of assistance,” he said.
He called on Ban to condemn the recent attacks, and “to publicly call on the Palestinian Authority to condemn those responsible for these attacks, and to do everything in their power to prevent future attacks.” Prosor noted that the PA not only refuses to condemn attacks on Israelis in the West Bank, but “they also fund people who serve time in prison for carrying them out.”
Malachi Rosenfeld's murderers used PA money to fund attack
The Military Advocate General filed indictments on Monday against the terrorists involved in the murders of Israelis Danny Gonen and Malachi Rosenfeld a month ago in the Binyamin area of the West Bank.
The Shin Bet investigation into Rosenfeld's murder found that the Palestinian Authority, which arrested two members of the terror cell and maintains security cooperation with the IDF, actually inadvertently funded the attack.
Ahmad Najar, the head of the terror cell that murdered Rosenfeld, was imprisoned in Israeli jail for the murder of six Israelis in 2004. After his release as part of the Shalit deal, he received a monthly stipend from the Palestinian Authority, which he used to train and arm his terror cell.
Leftists, Arabs Unite in Support Rally for Jailed Terrorist
The Arab Communist party Hadash and other organizations are planning a rally in Haifa on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in support of Mohammad Allaan, the jailed Islamic Jihad terrorist who has been hunger striking for 63 days.
A joint announcement regarding the protest was posted on Facebook by the organizations, stating that the move comes "out of support for Allaan, who is detained in an administrative arrest and has been hunger striking for over 60 days, and due to the continued deterioration of his health situation and the danger to his life, and in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners in the jails of the occupation."
"We call on the public to join the united Haifa protest...at Kikar Ha'asir (next to Hadad Hotel) in the Germany Colony of Haifa."
The announcement was concluded with the following slogans: "administrative detention will be cancelled! No force feeding! Freedom for the freedom prisoners!"
"Freedom prisoners" in the Palestinian Arab terminology refers to all security prisoners, in other words all jailed terrorists, who the Arab public has largely been demanding that Israel immediately and unconditionally release.
Gazan bodybuilders get swole on beach
Face taut, muscles bulging, his rigid body suspended horizontally in the air on a pole, Bakr al-Makadmeh’s “street workout” showcases the urban bodybuilding making ripples in Gaza.
With passersby looking on as they enjoy the relative cool of late afternoon on the Gaza beach, the 23-year-old Palestinian carries out a series of exercises with ease as he calls the names in English, alternating between the “human flag,” “back and front lever” and “muscle up.”
“These moves, you can’t learn them in just one day, it took me six months to get them right,” he says before dismounting from the bar he improvised with his group.
The rusty metal pole is held up by two other wobbly poles supported by sandbags branded “UNRWA” — the United Nations agency responsible for Palestinian refugees.
Makadmeh works 12 hours a day at a motorcycle spare parts shop, “but every other day we get together in the evening for two hours of street workout,” he tells AFP.
Turkey's AK Party confirms Davutoglu to relinquish mandate to form new govt
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will relinquish the mandate to form a new government after failing to find a junior coalition partner, ruling AK Party spokesman Besir Atalay confirmed on Tuesday.
Atalay also said the AKP would hold a party congress on Sept. 12. The meeting, which would come ahead of an expected snap election, could be critical to the party's strategy for that vote.
ISIS calls Erdogan infidel, urges followers to conquer Istanbul
The moves marked a major policy shift by Ankara after years of reluctance in taking a frontline role against the Islamist fighters pressing on its borders. The steps followed a suicide bombing, blamed on Islamic State, in the Turkish border town of Suruc on July 20 which killed 34 people.
Speaking in accent-free Turkish, the Islamic State fighter, a rifle propped against his body, accused Erdogan in the video of "selling the country to crusaders" and of allowing US access to Turkish bases "just to keep his post."
"Turkish people: without losing any time you have to rebel against these atheists, crusaders and infidels who have made you slaves," he said, as two other armed and bearded men, their heads covered with turbans, sat silently beside him.
It also described Kurdish PKK militants in Turkey, some of whom have joined the fight against Islamic State in Syria, as "atheists" and warned that eastern Turkey would fall into Kurdish hands unless Islamist fighters rose up.
Bin Laden got down to Jewish, Zionist singer
Playing in Osama bin Laden’s tape deck while he waged jihad against the US, the West and the Zionists were the French pop tunes of an Algerian Jewish singer who has talked about living in Israel.
A collection of 1,500 audio cassette tapes once belonging to al-Qaeda chiefs which were left behind when bin Laden fled Kandahar in 2001, during the US invasion, made their way to Afghan Media Project at Williams College in Massachusetts, the BBC reported Monday.
Among the sermons, recordings and songs sifted through by University of California Davis Arabic expert Flagg Miller was the music of Gaston Ghrenassia, better known as Enrico Macias, an Algerian Jew who made it big in France, and then across the globe, in the 1960s and 70s.
“These songs suggest that that someone, at some point in their life, was enjoying the songs of this Algerian Jew – and may have continued to enjoy them despite other struggles that clearly would have suggested doing so was heresy,” Miller told the BBC.
PreOccupied Territory: UN GoFundMe Syria Death Toll Campaign Almost At 300K Goal (satire)
The United Nations Human Rights Council is not ignoring the bloody Syrian conflict, says a representative, even though that impression could be gleaned from the body’s apparent near-exclusive focus on other matters, chiefly Israel. Rather, they explain, the Council is waiting for the statistics to reach their Action Threshold of 300,000 dead.
Council spokeswoman Indi Gogo said the UNHRC is closely watching the mounting death toll in Syria, eager to act once the figure reaches the preset goal for the campaign. “We have been monitoring the casualty figures since the Arab Spring four years ago,” she said. “Not everyone was sure we’d even get this far, but we’re almost at the point where the Council will have enough motivation to take some action, and that’s quite accomplishment.”
Gogo explained that once the threshold of 300,000 dead Syrians is reached sometime next year, the Human Rights Council would finally be able to justify a commission of inquiry. “Our commissions are not generally equipped to examine any actions but those of Israel. The personnel have gotten quite adept at that, and can almost do their work in their sleep. But when it comes to other conflicts, we have to train people what to look for, what the actual Laws of Armed Conflict are, and what constitutes a war crime. It won’t do to have a commission of inquiry just decide outright that one side’s actions raise serious questions while ignoring the other party’s behavior, as is customary with Israel and the Palestinians. Only a serious statistic of 300,000 dead, the Council decided, would justify such an investment.” She urged all parties to the conflict to help the organization reach its goal.

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