Wednesday, January 20, 2016

From Ian:

PMW: ‎“Hitler was not morally corrupt, he was daring” says Fatah leader
"Hitler was not morally corrupt, he was daring," according to Fatah leader and Central Committee Member Tawfiq Tirawi. After these words the moderator on independent Ma'an TV stopped the interview saying: "Let's drink some tea and take a break. It would be a pity to be put in jail because of this interview."
Fatah Central Committee Member Tawfiq Tirawi: "There is a difference between an officer's discipline and loyalty to a leader. The leader could be morally corrupt."
Ma'an host: "And how would you know?"
Tawfiq Tirawi: "You have to know. Is there anyone who does not know his leader?"
Ma'an host: "The German people did not know that Hitler was morally corrupt."
Tawfiq Tirawi: "He was not morally corrupt."

Ma'an host: "The French think that de Gaulle was half a prophet. Churchill, I don't know what his story was, but people see him as one of the most important statesmen."
Tawfiq Tirawi: "Let us talk logically. Hitler was not morally corrupt. He was daring."
Ma'an host: "Is that the way to talk? I say: Let's drink some tea and take a break. It would be a pity to be put in jail because of this interview. We will drink tea and take a break. Let's leave Hitler."
[Ma'an TV, independent Palestinian channel, Jan. 16, 2016]
Senior Fatah official:‎ "Hitler wasn't morally corrupt, he was daring"

Khaled Abu Toameh: Netanyahu in Otniel: Boundless Palestinian hatred caused by incitement
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the town of Otniel, south of Hebron, on Tuesday morning and slammed the Palestinian Authority for the incitement that propelled a 15-year-old boy to murder a 38-year-old mother of six there.
“Whoever wants to see the truth about the roots of the conflict between us and the Palestinians should come to Otniel and see here a wonderful family that only wants coexistence and peace,” he said, after paying a shiva (mourning period) call to the family of Dafna Meir, murdered on Sunday by the 15-year-old terrorist arrested earlier in the day.
“They should see the young people, inflamed by incitement, who come to murder women here, a mother of six, and in Tekoa, a pregnant woman; they come to murder them and say, ‘We will destroy you all, in Tel Aviv and Jaffa as well,’” the prime minister continued.
On one side there is “humanity and a desire for coexistence, and on the other side boundless hatred,” he added. “That hatred has an address: it is the incitement of the Palestinian Authority and other actors, such as the Islamic Movement and Hamas. The time has come for the international community to stop its hypocrisy and to call the child by its name.”
Two More Middle East Martyrs
That’s a lesson the Obama administration has steadfastly refused to learn in its seven years in office. More than any other of his predecessors, President Obama beat up on Israel over the presence of Jews in the West Bank and broke new ground by also stigmatizing the Jewish presence and the building of homes in Jerusalem. The Obama administration sent the message that Jews in the West Bank were illegitimate and the result is that the Palestinians haven’t been forced to reassess their obsession with driving them out of their homes and instead make peace. Worse than that, they’ve refused to understand that the Palestinians make no real distinctions between the “occupation” of the West Bank and the “occupation” of pre-1967 Israel.
Unless and until Palestinians stop seeing the murder of Jews, whether in Tel Aviv or in the Hebron hills, as not merely defensible but laudable, there will be no peace and their lives won’t get better. That’s because, so long as they are trapped in the mindset of a century-long war on Zionism, they will continue to allow their political leaders to refuse to make peace and to mire their society in hate and corruption.
Until then Israelis, even the majority that would happily trade land for true peace, know that any more territorial concessions will only lead to more terrorism and death as the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza did. So long as Palestinians prefer to make martyrs — a true martyr in the form of a woman who died defending her children and a false on in the form of her heartless murderer — to making peace the rest of the world should refuse to play along with their propaganda demonizing the Jews of Otniel or those of Tel Aviv. Instead, they should realize that the hate that drives these Palestinian murderers is no different from the Islamists that murdered the people of Paris and San Bernardino.

Official: Abbas Wants to Step up Palestinian 'Wave of Terror'
Top Palestinian security officers and a number of Fatah leaders, including President Mahmoud Abbas, have been at odds recently over the latter’s wish to step up the recent wave of Palestinian terror attacks, a senior Palestinian security official told Breitbart Jerusalem.
The official described Abbas’ position: “In light of the diplomatic stalemate, and the prevalent feeling among Israelis that they can live in security while the Palestinians live under occupation, the current wave of popular resistance must be intensified.”
“The president is not encouraging bombings or the use of firearms in any way,” the source emphasized, “but he thinks that large-scale demonstrations, stone- and Molotov cocktail-throwing could be a bargaining chip for the Palestinian leadership, and may spur the international community to get more involved. Currently, the president believes the peace of the Israelis is hardly disturbed.”
The official estimates that Abbas’ action plan could help clear two significant hurdles. On the one hand, the leadership is unable to stir up widespread protests because it is seen as divided and lacking a long-term plan.
“On the other hand,” the official said, “the officers fear that raising the level of violence runs the risk of going out of control and spreading anarchy, which may drive the Israeli army back into the West Bank in full force. It may also incentivize Hamas to try and stage a coup.”
Did Abbas Actually Condemn Dafna Meir’s Murder?
The media has been making a lot of noise recently about Mahmoud Abbas’s “condemnation” of the brutal murder of Dafna Meir in front of her daughter. Speaking on Palestinian TV broadcast from the Church of the Nativity, the Palestinian dictator said, “We are concerned over every drop of blood from any person.”
How wonderfully heartfelt and specific. You can really feel his concern for Dafna’s husband, four children and two foster children who are now mourning their mother and wife who was stabbed to death in her own home.
It is very difficult to coax any Palestinian leader to condemn violence against Jews. But in this case, Abbas has not actually condemned anything. But this is worse than the standard “we condemn all violence” line from the Palestinian leadership. That is because if we look at Abbas’s previous statements, this is actually a dressed up version of his previous calls to violence!
Hamas leader: Jihad, not despair, behind Palestinian violence
Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyeh declared Tuesday that the motive driving the recent wave of Palestinian terrorism was the desire to wage an all-out war against Israel.
"This intifada is not the result of despair. This intifada is a jihad, a holy war fought by the Palestinian people against the Zionist occupation. Only a holy war will drive the occupier out of Palestine," Haniyeh said in a rally held by supporters of the Islamist group.
Haniyeh's statement contradicted a recent remark by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who said the recent surge in violence was the result of the Palestinians' despair over the deadlocked peace process with Israel.
Israel Busts Terror Cell Led by Hezbollah Chief’s Son
Cooperation between the Israeli Shin Bet security agency, the Israel Defense Forces, and the Israel Police thwarted a shooting attack that was planned by a terrorist cell in the Tulkarem area headed by Mahmoud Zaalul, who was taking orders from the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah. Five of the cell members suspected of involvement in terrorist activity were arrested.
When the suspects were interrogated, the Shin Bet discovered that Jouad Nasrallah, son of Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, had used the Internet to enlist Zaalul, a Palestinian from Tulkarem.
Zaalul reported directly to a Hezbollah operative named “Fadi,” who instructed him to open an email account. After doing so, Zaalul received instructions to enlist other cell members and work on collecting information to be used to plan terrorist attacks.
The cell was instructed, among other things, to set up a secret network according to certain parameters, via which they eventually received instructions to execute attacks using explosive belts, train suicide bombers, collect information about training camps, and more.
The suspects were also instructed to keep tabs on and collect information about security forces operating in the area. Cell members requested assistance from Hezbollah in acquiring weapons and money to carry out the attack.
Glick to Netanyahu: 'Stop putting out fires, stand up and lead!'
“Israel doesn’t need to hide” is the message that one of the neighbors of the slain Dafna Meir and her family in Judea's Otniel sent to the Prime Minister on Wednesday morning.
Likud party member, Temple Mount activist and local educator Yehuda Glick asked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to lead the country with pride and to fight back against Arab terror.
“The nation of Israel is behind him. He visited here and we told him our outlook about the vile terrorist. We need to thank the security forces for catching the terrorist, but we need a proper attitude to get the job done. That is the message that is expected right now of the government. Stop simply putting out fires, stop simply trying to play defense. Stand up with pride in the face of this wave of terrorism that is washing across the entire country from Ra’anana to the Har Hevron region.”
"We expect him to respond with pride," said Glick. "He should expand towns in Judea and Samaria, he should build and expand roads. He should in no way apologize for our continued existence here in the land of Israel."
"He is our Prime Minister, and this is what is expected of him and the Defense Minister as well. To fight without reservation or agreements with terrorists. He needs to establish Israeli rule over Judea and Samaria, to build and at the same time to strengthen the non-extremist authorities that exist in the Arab world."
Otniel: Security fence will not be built 'against our will'
Those attending the meeting allegedly told Netanyahu that they had already invested heavily in an alternative security system around the community, in coordination with the IDF and the Defense Ministry.
Community members and leaders also reportedly explained their opposition to the fence also stemmed from a belief such a step would signify a capitulation to Arab terror.
Otniel blasted the report Netanyahu was going ahead with the fence against their wishes later on Tuesday
"We were surprised and saddened to hear that a press briefing was released by the Prime Minister's Office on the matter of the fence," the community said in a statement, noting Netanyahu had promised to share all decisions with members of the town council and the security apparatus.
While Otniel said it was happy to receive advice from military officials about how to protect the town, it would "not accept the briefing, according to which media sources claim the establishment of a fence is being built against our will and without coordination.
Herzog calls for completing security fence around settlement blocs
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog, the leader of the Left, announced a surprising new diplomatic plan Tuesday that calls for completing the security fence around settlement blocs in the West Bank.
Herzog’s plan strays far from the policies of US President Barack Obama’s administration and European countries, which have made a point of repeatedly delegitimizing any construction over Israel’s pre-1967 borders, and are opposed construction of the barrier over the Green Line. Speaking at a conference of the Institute for National Security Studies, Herzog said he had not given up hope for a two-state solution, but that Israel should not wait for such a solution to be possible in order to take action.
“I want an agreement with the Palestinians but it is not currently possible to reach a deal due to extremists on both sides,” Herzog said. “I want to separate from as many Palestinians as possible, as fast as possible. Let’s build a large fence between us.”
Herzog said completing the fence around settlement blocs would protect them and send a message to the Palestinians that they will remain part of Israel. He said he envisions the settlement blocs absorbing settlers from isolated communities that would be evacuated.
Israel starts massive fence on southern border with Jordan
Israel has begun work on a long security fence along its border with Jordan, the only one of its internationally recognized frontiers currently without a physical barrier.
A team from the Defense Ministry’s Engineering and Construction Department began laying down the first kilometers of the security fence along the border this week, according to a ministry statement.
In accordance with a 2015 government decision, approximately 30 kilometers (18 miles) of fence will be built, from the southernmost resort town of Eilat and running beyond a new international airport currently under construction in the Timna Valley. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year, and will cost approximately NIS 300 million ($77 million), which will be drawn from the Defense Ministry budget.
When the proposal was passed in June last year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the fence a “national security” interest, and compared it to similar barriers that exist along Israel’s borders with Egypt and Syria.
Israel to announce major land appropriation in Jordan Valley
The Israeli government will announce the allocation of 370 acres of West Bank agricultural land near the Palestinian city of Jericho as state lands, the largest such land appropriation since August 2014.
The area, part of which has been worked in recent years by Israeli farmers, is situated north of the West Bank settlement of Almog, in the Jordan Valley, according to an Army Radio report on Tuesday. Additional details about the move were to be published Wednesday morning.
Israel has previously used an 1858 Ottoman law stating that land which lies fallow for several years could revert to government property as the legal basis for such moves.
The procedure was approved by Israeli government officials and was to receive final approval in the coming weeks, according to the report.
'Terrorists were influenced by Wallstrom's remarks'
The Knesset held a tense discussion Wednesday afternoon over Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom's recent demand to investigate Israel for the extrajudicial "executions" of Palestinian terrorists.
Science Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) responded on behalf of the government: "I say to the Swedish minister, and not just to her, but to all the European Union ministers who go and get more radical against Israel in service to the Palestinians, stop preaching to us."
"Steps like this or ugly statements like Ms. Wallstrom made, will not bring peace closer, only make it more distant," he charged.
"I do not know, but it could be that a public discourse has been created since we heard Ms. Wallstrom's insane remarks," Akunis continued. "Maybe they even reached the ears of some youths in the Palestinian Authority; they certainly give a boost to terrorism."
"It could be that in addition to official Palestinian incitement, perhaps this terrorist (from Otniel) and the terrorist from Tekoa were influenced by the Swedish foreign minister's remarks and conducted these vile actions."
Swedish MPs challenge Wallström to debate over Israel comments
As relations between Sweden and Israel grow increasingly tense, a small group of Swedish MPs vowed Tuesday to publicly challenge their foreign minister’s controversial call last week for an investigation into what she termed Israel’s “extrajudicial executions” of Palestinians.
While attendance was low when the lawmakers met in Stockholm on Tuesday evening — only eight MPs attended the ad hoc gathering organized by Swedish MP Mikael Oscarsson and Israel advocacy groups — it is remarkable in a country in which political rhetoric is by and large hostile to Israel. In a telling nod to the security threats and political isolation Swedish politicians face when publicly supporting Israel, the organizers assured those who did not feel comfortable being photographed at the event that they could abstain from group pictures.
At the meeting, organized in part by the World Zionist Organization, the Christian Democrats party’s Oscarsson said he would lead a group of lawmakers in calling on Wallström for a mandatory parliamentary debate in response to her statement.
Last week Wallström pushed for an investigation into Israelis’ killing of knife-wielding Palestinian assailants who have attacked or attempted to attack Israeli citizens on a near-daily basis since early fall.
A strategy against Sweden’s anti-Israel inciters
The following are just a few examples of Swedish Social Democrat support for terrorism: In 1984, Swedish Social Democratic deputy foreign minister Pierre Schori visited Israel. He praised Yasser Arafat and his “flexible policy.” In an article he “claimed that the terrorist acts of the PLO were ‘meaningless,’ while Israel’s retaliatory acts were ‘despicable acts of terrorism.’” One of the early acts of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s new Swedish government was the recognition of the non-existent Palestinian state. This was yet another act of indirect support for terrorism as, if free elections were carried out in the Palestinian territories, the pro-genocide terrorist Hamas movement would most probably win.
After the Paris murders and the prevention of additional planned Muslim terrorist attacks in Europe, awareness of terrorism and research in the phenomenon are on the rise. This approach of looking into sources of support for terrorism has been further strengthened by yet more murderous terrorist attacks abroad against Westerners, such as those perpetrated earlier this month in Istanbul and Ouagadougou.
One can probably gradually find many more allies in Europe who will point out the indirect support for Muslim terrorists to be found among the Social Democrats and the Left. In the event of future anti-Israel utterances similar to those put forward by Wallström, constant reiteration that the Swedish government has aligned itself with the evil camp of indirect supporters of terrorism may prove the best approach.
Repeating it may negatively impact on the country’s image or even stop the Swedish government’s anti-Israel hatemongering.

IsraellyCool: PLO Drops The Facade, Goes Into Full Antisemitic Mode
The PLO’s “Department of Culture and Information” has come out with this press release by PLO Executive Member and habitual liar Hanan Ashrawi.
In response to media inquiries, PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi said, “Three recent significant developments indicate that Israel has gone too far in its attempt to impose its will on the rest of the world. The EU Foreign Affairs Council’s conclusions are a clear representation of a European effort to curb Israeli violations and to begin a process of accountability. Statements by US officials, including U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro’s recent remarks at the Institute for National Security Studies conference in Tel Aviv, indicate that Israeli racism, double standards and violence are being noted and condemned even by Israel’s strongest allies. Finally, the latest Human Rights Watch report sends a clear message to the global private sector that investments and partnerships with settlements would render both the company and/or individual liable to judicial accountability for being complicit in the illegal settlement enterprise. In the context of other statements, such as Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström’s recent comments, such declarations are a clear expression of an incremental global recognition of the toxic nature of the occupation and its ongoing impunity.”
IDF soldier shot, lightly injured during West Bank raid
An IDF soldier was lightly injured early Wednesday morning during an operation near the West Bank city of Tulkarem, the army said.
He was part of a group of soldiers that came under fire near the neighborhood of Danaba, east of the Palestinian city. The troops returned fire and were searching the area for suspects.
The soldier was evacuated to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Following the shooting, the IDF declared Danaba a closed military zone, announcing over loudspeakers that residents should remain indoors, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.
Soldiers also continued to search homes, questioning locals about a December shooting near the West Bank settlement of Avnei Hefetz, Ma’an reported.
PA says it foiled 200 terror attacks since October
The head of the Palestinian domestic intelligence body says the Palestinian Authority has prevented 200 attacks against Israelis in the latest wave of terror attacks since October 2015.
Majed Faraj, director of the PA’s General Intelligence Service, told Defense News in an interview published Wednesday that Palestinian security services have also confiscated weapons and arrested some 100 Palestinians in the effort to prevent the attacks.
“We are sure that violence, radicalization and terrorism will hurt us. It won’t bring us closer to achieving our dream of a Palestinian state,” Faraj told the magazine in what he said was his first media interview.
Arab B'Tselem volunteer arrested
An Arab man was arrested on Wednesday morning in a continuing investigation that has already seen the arrest of two other left wing extremists arrested.
The Arab is a volunteer for the extremist left wing organization B’Tselem, in the area of Susia, near Hevron. He is being investigated by Israeli Police in the central precinct of Judea and Samaria. There is currently a media ban in place regarding the case and the identity of the suspect.
The two other previous suspects who have been arrested in the case regarding B’Tselem following an investigative report that was aired on the TV show Uvda, will be brought for hearings in a Jerusalem court today, to extend their remand.
Netanyahu: Israel strives for quiet, and ‘ultimately, for peace’
Israel strives for quiet, and “ultimately for peace,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset on Tuesday, during a speech that saw Arab lawmakers walk out of the plenum in protest.
In the event to mark the 67th anniversary of the first Knesset plenum session, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) warned that Israel’s democracy is “in danger,” while President Reuven Rivlin cautioned that Israeli society is increasingly fractured, with each group viewing itself “as a persecuted, criticized minority.”
In his remarks, the prime minister praised Israeli democracy, saying it was firm, while noting that in comparison to Israel’s early governments, “it has what to be improved, it has what to aspire to.” The Knesset and Israeli democracy requires “political maturity,” he said.
Addressing the deadly Otniel terror attack, the prime minister defended the Israeli decision to bar Palestinian workers from Israeli settlements after Dafna Meir, 38, was stabbed to death in her West Bank home on Sunday night.
“We strongly want to uphold the routine, both ours and theirs,” he said. But “we will not hesitate to prevent workers from entering settlements. We want to restore the quiet and coexistence, and ultimately, peace.”
Herzog: For now, two-state solution unrealistic
Issac Herzog, leader of the opposition and chairman of the center-left Zionist Union party, said Wednesday that the two-state solution is not a realistic option in the near future.
“I don’t see a possibility at the moment of implementing the two-state solution,” he told Army Radio. “I want to yearn for it, I want to move toward it, I want negotiations, I sign on to it and I am obligated to it, but I don’t see the possibility of doing it right now.”
The opposition leader blamed the current Israeli and Palestinian leadership for the impasse — “[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] are incapable of moving forward,” he alleged — but said that should he be elected prime minister, his coalition would focus on implementing security measures rather than a bilateral agreement.
“There is a need to initiate security measures that match the reality on the ground and that means separation from the Palestinians,” he told Army Radio, espousing a plan that includes completing the West Bank security barrier and “physically separating” the Palestinian villages surrounding Jerusalem from the capital.
In first public remarks, Brazilian official criticizes Dani Dayan appointment
Nominating former settler leader Dani Dayan as Israel’s ambassador to Brazil was a “mistake,” a top official in Brasilia said Tuesday, in the first official comment from the Latin American country on Jerusalem’s controversial appointment.
Explaining his government’s opposition to Dayan, President Dilma Rousseff’s top foreign policy adviser, Marco Aurélio Garcia, referred to Dayan’s past as a senior leader of the settlement movement and his opposition to Palestinian statehood. Aurélio Garcia also accused Jerusalem of violating diplomatic protocol by announcing Dayan’s nomination before informing Brasilia, and brought up the fact that a year and half ago an Israeli official had called Brazil a “diplomatic dwarf.”
“I think it was a misstep by the Israeli government,” Aurélio Garcia told a Brazilian television station about Dayan’s appointment. “First of all, breaking a diplomatic rule is not a frivolity.” By having publicized Dayan’s appointment before informing Brazil, Israel committed a “severe” breach of the rules of international relations, he indicated.
At the same time, Aurélio Garcia — who in 2014 accused Jerusalem of committing “genocide” in the Gaza Strip — tried to downplay the diplomatic spat. “There is no arm wrestling with a friendly country like Israel, with which Brazil’s foreign policy had great ties even before the emergence of the State of Israel,” he said.
US Backs Ambassador Daniel Shapiro in Spat With Israel
A US State Department spokesman defended US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro on Tuesday, a day after Shapiro sparked outrage in Israel with criticism of Israeli policies in Judea and Samaria.
When asked on Tuesday about Shapiro’s comments, which were made in an address on Monday at the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, State Department spokesman John Kirby said, “There’s really nothing new here in what he [Shapiro] said. We’ve consistently made clear our concerns about violence on both sides, and we obviously have strongly condemned terrorist attacks perpetrated by Palestinians, including the attacks over the weekend. We also remain concerned…deeply concerned, and we’ve not been bashful about saying this and neither was he, about Israeli settler violence against Palestinians and their property in the West Bank.”
Kirby added, “And as for the relationship, it’s because we value the relationship with Israel so much that we feel it’s important to continue to have an honest, open, candid, forthright discussion about our concerns. And that he said these things in his speech shouldn’t be misconstrued as not — as us not saying them in private to Israeli leaders as well — and have over many, many, many months. So this wasn’t a new — this wasn’t a new set of remarks.”
Trump pledges to move US Embassy to Jerusalem
Donald Trump said he would move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
“They want it in Jerusalem,” the front-runner among Republican presidential candidates said in an interview posted Tuesday by The Brody File, a Christian Broadcasting Network show. “Well I am for that 100 percent. We are for that 100 percent.”
David Brody, the CBN journalist, had asked Trump whether he agreed with GOP rivals, including Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who have pledged to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem once elected.
Trump’s agreement seemed to be an about-face from remarks in December at the Republican Jewish Coalition, when the real estate magnate refused to commit to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital.
'British sniper investigated for not shouting warning in Iraq'
A British sniper is being investigated for shooting dead an Iraqi insurgent preparing to fire a rocket propelled grenade because he did not shout a warning, according to a pressure group representing former members of the armed forces.
The group, UK Veterans One Voice, says the unidentified soldier is the subject of an inquiry by the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), despite preventing an attack on a British base.
The sniper's account contains no details of when or where the incident happened and could not be immediately verified.
However, the dramatic tale published by UK Veterans One Voice begins with the words: “This is not fiction.”
It describes how a British base was subject to attack by an Iraqi armed with an RPG after Friday prayers over a period of weeks. Soldiers were told not to return fire for fear of hurting bystanders who gathered to watch after they left the local mosque.
Then one Thursday a patrol returned without a sniper team – either by accident or design.
The following day, the same insurgent is spotted preparing to launch his weekly attack.
Former US diplomats, security officials excoriate Sanders on IS, Iran
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s campaign released a joint statement Tuesday from 10 former US foreign policy officials excoriating her rival Bernie Sanders’ stated plans for dealing with Iran and Islamist terrorism, should he be elected president.
The letter maintains that the Vermont senator is unequipped and unprepared to handle the most pressing national security issues of the day, particularly the Iranian regime’s attempts to acquire a nuclear weapon and impose its hegemony in the Middle East, as well as the growing threat of the Islamic State terrorist group.
“We are concerned that Senator Sanders has not thought through these crucial national security issues that can have profound consequences for our security,” the former US diplomats and security officials said.
In addition to characterizing the presidential candidate’s “lack of a strategy for defeating ISIS,” another abbreviation for the Islamic State, the group of Clinton allies lambasted Sanders’ policy proposals relating to Iran, particularly his call for normalized ties with the Islamic Republic.
Ya’alon: I would prefer Islamic State to Iran in Syria
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Tuesday that Iran poses a greater threat than the Islamic State, and that if the Syrian regime were to fall, Israel would prefer that IS was in control of the territory than an Iranian proxy.
“In Syria, if the choice is between Iran and the Islamic State, I choose the Islamic State. They don’t have the capabilities that Iran has,” Ya’alon told a conference held by the Institute of National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.
“Our greatest enemy is the Iranian regime that has declared war on us,” the defense minister said of the threats facing Israel.
“Iran tried to open a terror front against us on the Golan Heights,” he said in reference to efforts by Iranian proxy Hezbollah to plan attacks on Israel.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Palestinians Studying Free In Israeli Jails Complain Of Grade Inflation (satire)
Ofer Prison, near Jerusalem, January 20 – Palestinians convicted of terrorism offenses against Israelis accused the administrators of their free university degree program of padding the scores the inmates achieved on exams and papers, an attorney for one of the prisoners said today.
Jibril Ahmad, who represents a man convicted of trying to run down three Israelis last year, said his client was one of many Palestinian prisoners dissatisfied with the laxity of the grading taking place in the free university courses the inmates are provided. Instead of a serious approach that would ensure the students have grasped the material, he charged, the teachers often skim the papers and set a low bar for passing test scores.
“It is a basic right my client and his colleagues have, this education,” asserted Ahmad. “That education must be real, not some contrived system to check attendance and thus certify that somebody has learned enough, for example, to earn a degree in political science. The current situation is a gross violation of my client’s rights. and the rights of all the other inmates who suffer under this harsh grade inflation regime,” added Ahmad, whose cousin is currently being starved in a Syrian prison.
“What if my client is eventually freed in an inevitable prisoner release in exchange for comically superficial Palestinian concessions, and he finds himself unprepared for the rigors of life?” continued the lawyer. “Aside from his generous pension from the Palestinian Authority and celebrity status they’ll give him, what does he have to look forward to?”
The phenomenon of grade inflation in degree programs for Palestinians convicted for terrorism has not been examined, and its existence can only be assessed anecdotally, if at all, says educational consultant Rhea Liticzek. “This… this isn’t a problem I’ve ever encountered before. Uh, are you sure you have the story right? Really?” she said, shaking her head. “I just… this is what people are worried about?”

1,400 YEARS OF FAITH ERASED ISIS destroys Iraq's oldest Christian monastery, dating from 6th century
Satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press confirm what church leaders and Middle East preservationists had feared: The oldest Christian monastery in Iraq has been reduced to a field of rubble, yet another victim of the Islamic State group's relentless destruction of heritage sites it considers heretical.
St. Elijah's Monastery stood as a place of worship for 1,400 years, including most recently for U.S. troops. In earlier millennia, generations of monks tucked candles in the niches, prayed in the chapel, worshipped at the altar. The Greek letters chi and rho, representing the first two letters of Christ's name, were carved near the entrance.
This month, at the request of the AP, satellite imagery firm DigitalGlobe tasked a high resolution camera to grab photos of the site, and then pulled earlier images of the same spot.
Before it was razed, a partially restored, 27,000-square-foot stone and mortar building stood fortress-like on a hill above Mosul. Although the roof was largely missing, it had 26 distinctive rooms including a sanctuary and chapel. One month later photos show "that the stone walls have been literally pulverized," said imagery analyst Stephen Wood, CEO of Allsource Analysis, who pinpointed the destruction between August and September 2014.
"Bulldozers, heavy equipment, sledgehammers, possibly explosives turned those stone walls into this field of gray-white dust. They destroyed it completely," he said from his Colorado offices.
ISIS calls on Muslim couples in the West to imitate San Bernardino shooters
In the new volume of its English-language magazine, Dabiq, released on Wednesday, ISIS encourages married Muslim couples in the West to follow in the footsteps of the Muslim married couple who carried out the San Bernardino, California shooting attack in December.
The shooting attack in San Bernardino took place on December 2, 2015, when Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire at a holiday party at the Inland Regional center in San Bernardino, killing 14 people and injuring 22 others.
The magazine describes the shooting attack as "unique," since "the Khilafah's (Islamic Caliphate) call for the Muslims to strike the crusaders in their own lands was answered once more" – but this time, by a jihadist operating together with his wife, not alone.
ISIS praised Tashfeen Malik, who participated in the operation and gained martyrdom after being killed by security forces, "despite the fact that combat is not even obligatory upon her."
The organization praised the sacrifice of the San Bernardino couple, who "left behind not only their comfortable lifestyle, but also their baby daughter, knowing that they would never see her again."

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