Wednesday, April 20, 2016

From Ian:

Israel Will Be ‘Eliminated’ By International Community, Says Ex-U.S. Official Who Advised Sanders
Former U.S. official Lawrence Wilkerson, who has reportedly advised Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)’s presidential campaign, used a recent radio interview to claim that Israeli behavior will see the Jewish state “eliminated by the international community if not the 350 to 400 million people around it who are opposed to it.”
He used the interview to call for a total reassessment of the U.S. relationship with Israel, claiming that “Israel is becoming such a strategic liability for us, that it’s detrimental to our own national security.”
Without citing any specific evidence, Wilkerson espoused a conspiracy theory that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has designs for a “greater Israel” that would encompass parts of Lebanon and Syria, and possibly all of Jordan.
In the interview, Wilkerson recognized that his words would probably ensure against his working in American politics in the future.
Obama redefines Palestinian terrorism; Israel will pay the price
Obviously the State Department has a right to condemn Israel's security tactics if it believes those tactics are unjustified. No country, not even America's staunchest ally, should be above criticism. But the administration does not have a right to redefine some types of Palestinian terrorism, in order to classify them as non-violence, so that Israel's response to them qualifies as "excessive."
The State Department does not deny the principle that Israeli soldiers are justified to shoot at Palestinians who are attacking them. But it is now redefining what constitutes an "attack." As examples of "excessive force," the report points out that during the past year, there were "numerous" instances of "the ISF (Israel security forces) killing Palestinians during riots, demonstrations, at checkpoints, and during routine operations…"
So if an Israeli soldier kills a Palestinian "during riots" or "demonstrations," that automatically constitutes "excessive force," according to the Obama administration. In other words, "riots" and "demonstrations" are not in the category of actions which could justify a lethal Israeli response.
Anyone who has ever seen footage of Palestinian "riots" and "demonstrations" --and the footage is freely available on YouTube-- knows that they typically consist of mobs of Palestinians hurling Molotov cocktails, bricks, and rocks at Israeli soldiers.
If a Molotov cocktail strikes a soldier, it sets him on fire. It can burn him to death. If a brick or a rock strikes an Israeli soldier in the head, it can blind or even kill him. At least fifteen Israelis have been murdered by Palestinian rock-throwers over the years.
Joe Biden Versus the Israeli People
If Israelis don’t trust the Palestinians, it is because of that precedent and the fact that the moderates of the PA, upon whom Jewish leftists and the likes of Biden regularly fawn, also applaud and encourage terror. During Biden’s recent visit to the region, a non-Jewish American army veteran was murdered during a rampage by a Palestinian terrorist in Jaffa not far away from whether the vice president was dining. But not even that was enough to force Abbas to issue a condemnation of the attack. To the contrary, the PA and its official media continue to foment violence by lauding terrorists and spreading canards about Israel seeking to harm the mosques on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
As Biden ought to know, there were majorities in the Knesset for concessions to the Palestinians in the past. Indeed, the Israeli people supported the Oslo Accords and would probably embrace any new agreement if it indicated that the Palestinians were offering real peace. But those majorities evaporated after the second intifada and the disastrous retreat from Gaza. The latest intifada and Abbas’s support for terror have marginalized the views embraced by Biden and J Street within Israeli politics. Indeed, even the head of the Labor Party opposition in the Knesset — the leader of Shaffir’s party — has indicated that the two-state solution is impossible for the foreseeable future because there is no Palestinian partner for peace.
Why can’t J Street and the administration see what the overwhelming majority of Israelis see? Perhaps they are too blinded by political bias and by their illusions about the Palestinians. Perhaps they are also too ideologically committed to their critique of Netanyahu to be able to realize that his three consecutive election victories is the consequence of Palestinian choices — which were illustrated yesterday by a bus bombing in Jerusalem and the discovery of a new terror tunnel that reached into Israel from Gaza — about which Israelis have no control. Israelis understand that until a sea change in Palestinian political culture occurs, there is nothing to do but to manage the conflict, and many Americans can’t seem to be able to forgive them for this realistic attitude or to understand that the verdict of Israeli democracy deserves as much respect as U.S. elections.
As Biden’s speech indicated, U.S. policy and the views of people like Bernie Sanders and J Street are out of touch with the reality of the Middle East when it comes to their critique of Netanyahu. More importantly, they are angry with Israelis for preferring common sense to the advice of American liberals who have the hubristic notion that they can save Israel from itself. Until these liberals sober up and accept reality, Israelis will have to live with their disdain.

Elliott Abrams: Biden’s Untimely Assault on Israel
Put aside the exquisite timing of Biden’s remarks on a day when Israel suffered a terrorist attack, and they are still quite something. For one thing, President Obama is about to join a GCC summit in Saudi Arabia. Does Biden really think the Arabs pay no attention to how we treat our closest friends and allies? Does he not know that they will read all of this and not gloat– but instead wonder when they will be getting the same treatment?
Then there are the facts. How do you get to a “one-state reality” when the people and government of Israel refuse it? Who will force them into it? How do you get to “systematic” expansion of settlements when just about every analyst understands that Netanyahu has been constraining many aspects of settlement growth–to the great anger of the settlers? And finally, why is Biden not familiar with the history of his own administration’s peace efforts? As Dennis Ross made clear in his most recent book, Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama, Netanyahu was in fact ready to take significant political risks to meet American requests–and Abbas was not. As Martin Indyk put it in July 2014,
“Netanyahu moved to the zone of possible agreement. I saw him sweating bullets to find a way to reach an agreement,” said Indyk. Abbas, for his part, did not show flexibility, Indyk added.
None of this was reflected in Biden’s remarks.
In his book, Ross wrote that“Obama believed Israel was capable of doing more on peace. And it could help change the regional realities, and our place in the region, if it would only move on the Palestinians. But what if the Palestinians were not prepared to move? What if they were not capable of moving, regardless of Israeli actions? He never seemed to ask that question.”
Neither did Biden.
Bernie Sanders Is Harming the Palestinians, Not Helping Them
True military professionals acknowledge that Israel’s IDF is one of the most moral, law-driven armies in the world. While Bernie claims disproportional force, I have heard repeatedly from international law experts about how wrong he is. The 1,500 Palestinian civilian deaths Bernie cited also ignored that many of these people were involved in terrorist activities. And it completely ignored the role that Palestinian terrorism played in leading to the Gaza conflict.
By falsely condemning Israel’s use of self-defense, while letting Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas off the hook for using and supporting terrorism, Bernie is playing into the hands of Israel’s worst enemies.
Bernie should understand that there is a road towards peace between Israel and the Palestinians. When America sends a strong message that Palestinians must stop using and condoning terror, and must stop teaching their children to hate — and when there is a true Palestinian leader in the fashion of Sadat who is prepared to make peace — then the Jewish heart of Israel will have no choice but to accept it.
Until then, and until he condemns Palestinian terror and violence, Bernie Sanders will never bring peace to Israel, or hope to the Palestinians.
Iran Terror Victims Win at U.S. Supreme Court, Can Collect $2 Billion
American victims of terrorism can collect $2 billion from Iran’s central bank after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal law aimed at helping them win their case.
The 6-2 ruling is a victory for about 1,300 people battling Iran’s Bank Markazi. The group includes victims of the 1983 Beirut Marine barracks bombing and the 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, as well as family members.
The victims were trying to collect legal judgments they won when Iran didn’t defend itself against accusations that it was responsible for the bombings. The group targeted Iranian assets that were originally held in a Citigroup Inc. account in New York and then transferred into a trust account to await the outcome of the litigation.
"We are extremely pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision, which will bring long-overdue relief to more than 1,000 victims of Iranian terrorism and their families, many of whom have waited decades for redress," said Theodore Olson, the Washington lawyer who argued the case at the Supreme Court for the victims.
PMW: Abbas' Fatah: Stab, run over Israelis, be a Martyr - just 2 days after bus bombing
Only two days after a bombing attack in Jerusalem in which 21 were injured, Abbas' Fatah movement has posted a video that promotes stabbing and car ramming attacks against Israeli soldiers. The video presents Martyrdom as an ideal for young Palestinians to strive for and the attacks as the way to achieve it.
The 9-minute video is named "Martyrdom-seeking unites us" and was produced by Fatah's Shabiba student movement, the Martyr Yasser Arafat Bloc, at Birzeit University. It was posted on the official Fatah Facebook page on April 20, 2016.
The video shows a staged car-ramming and stabbing attack at the Atara checkpoint near Ramallah. Three young Palestinians are seen planning and carrying out the attack. They kill two Israeli soldiers by ramming their car into one of them and stabbing the other. All three terrorists are shot and killed by the soldiers during the attack, thus becoming "Martyrs." While the terrorists fall as "Martyrs," a song plays in the background with the words, "There is no God but Allah, and the Shahid (Martyr) is Allah's beloved."
The PA has stressed that becoming a "Shahid" - Martyr - is the highest achievable status in Islam.
Analysis: The bomber who slipped through the net
The terrorist bomb that tore through a Jerusalem bus on Monday is just the type of attack that security forces, led by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) domestic intelligence agency, have been working intensively for months to try and prevent.
Security forces are looking the possibility that the bomber is among one of the seriously wounded in hospital.
Beyond that fact, they are maintaining a fog of secrecy around their investigation into the bombing, and key questions remain unanswered, at least in the public domain, at this stage.
These include the question of whether the attacker acted alone,was part of small, amateur cell, or whether an organized terrorism cell, sent and funded by one of the established Palestinian armed factions, is behind the atrocity.
Additionally, it remains unclear whether the attack occurred when it did because the bomb went off prematurely, or whether a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device.
The bombing confirms warnings aired by security sources in recent days, who said that the coming Passover holiday could see 'the unstable respite' shattered by terrorism.
Fireman’s helmet-cam shows first moments after bus blast
New footage was released Tuesday showing the view of a firefighter who arrived at the scene shortly after an explosive device blew up on a Jerusalem bus, setting it and other vehicles ablaze and injuring 21.
The images were recorded on a GoPro camera on the helmet of Arik Abuloff, a fireman from the Jerusalem department of the Israel Fire and Rescue Service, who raced to the neighborhood of Talpiot in the immediate wake of the bombing.
The images show Abuloff running toward two buses engulfed in flames before him and a team of firefighters attempting to battle the inferno using water hoses.
Police and rescue officials confirmed 21 people were injured, two of them seriously, when a bomb aboard number 12 city bus exploded in the capital’s Talpiot neighborhood on Moshe Baram Street on Monday evening, setting the bus on fire. A nearby intercity bus and car were also burned in the blast.

Twice blessed: Bus attack victim survived 2001 Sbarro's bombing
Haim Levi, the father of Jerusalem bus bombing victim Eden Levi, spoke to Arutz Sheva about his daughter and the long road to recovery ahead.
Haim was meters away from the bus stop when the blast occurred late Monday afternoon.
"I saw emergency services flocking to the scene and the smoke and called Eden," he recounted. "I knew she was supposed to be in the area and she didn't answer me or her mother."
"I went to see the girl in the ICU," he continued. "It was not easy and it's still not easy. Eden is under sedation and on a respirator - but she is not in mortal danger, thank God."
Eden survived another terror attack earlier in her life: the 2001 Sbarro restaurant bombing. The bombing remains one of the deadliest terror attacks in Israel’s history, and it took place during the Second Intifada, also known as the Oslo War. 15 people were killed in the Sbarro attack, including five members of the Schijveschuurder family from the community of Neria in Binyamin.
"We have had two miracles," Haim noted. "My daughter is modest and humble, and I think these miracles happened to us because of the mitzvot (good deeds - ed.) she does."
In 2001, he said, Eden was "two or three years old and in her stroller."
EXCLUSIVE: Hamas Evacuates Gaza Offices, Deploys Militants Following Jerusalem Bombing
Apparently fearing Israeli retaliation, Hamas has evacuated its offices in Gaza following Monday’s bus bombing in Jerusalem, according to multiple Hamas sources.
Earlier on Monday, Israel announced that a Hamas attack tunnel protruding into Israeli territory was discovered and destroyed by the Israel Defense Forces. Hours later, a bomb exploded on a bus in Jerusalem, wounding 21 people.
Although no group has claimed responsibility for the bus attack, the recent events have heightened tensions between Israel and Hamas.
In addition to taking defensive measures against IDF reprisals, Hamas has also upped the deployment of militants near its offices and along Gaza’s border with Israel in a bid to prevent opposition groups from firing rockets at Israel and risk more escalation, Hamas sources said.
Government faces residents’ wrath at meet on Gaza tunnel threat
Residents of Gaza border towns, journalists and political opponents took Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud government to task Wednesday, accusing it of failing to address the threat of Hamas-dug attack tunnels from the Strip.
The “The Threat of the Tunnels” conference, held in the southern town of Sderot, took on additional weight in light of the recent discovery of a tunnel that reached deep into Israeli territory from the southern Gaza Strip.
On the issue of the tunnels, IDF Southern Command head Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir attempted to reassure the crowd that the army had things under control.
“The period since Operation Protective Edge has been the most quiet period in a decade,” Zamir said, using the Israeli name for the war in Gaza in 2014. “The tunnels Hamas tries to build have become death traps for its operatives.”
New Gaza border barrier within two years, army says
A new barrier between the Gaza Strip and Israeli communities will be completed within the next two years, the IDF announced on Tuesday.
The barrier, which was first proposed following 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, is designed to include both aboveground and underground protections against infiltrations from the coastal enclave.
Construction on the border protection system will take place “on a threat assessment basis,” meaning in the populated areas most vulnerable to attack, an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said.
The army would not say which towns and IDF bases in southern Israel would first get the new system, but noted “communities closer to the border area are generally at a greater risk.”
The system is set to include both physical barriers and improved technological detection.
IDF detonates Hamas attack tunnel dug into Israeli territory
The IDF on Tuesday detonated the Hamas attack tunnel it uncovered 10 days ago leading from the southern Gaza Strip into Israeli territory.
The military blasted the tunnel after conducting examinations of its route and inspections of its depth and length.
On Monday, the IDF announced that it had detected the first underground attack tunnel dug by Hamas into Israeli territory since the 2014 war between Hamas and Israel.
The 30-meter deep shaft was likely dug after the military’s 2014 Operation Protective Edge offensive, according to an IDF assessment, though this has not been verified.

IDF: Inside Look at Hamas Terror Tunnel

Hamas' distress is showing
This distress has distress has driven Hamas to try and recreate the success it had with the 2006 abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, which resulted in a massive prisoner release some five years later.
It is also sparing no effort to push for an escalation across Judea and Samaria and spark another intifada, with aim of toppling the Palestinian Authority and installing itself in the PA's place.
Given the intense collaboration between the PA security forces and the Shin Bet, the lone-wolf terrorism of the past few months has begun to ebb, and Hamas' infrastructure across Judea and Samaria is being systematically eradicated.
It is possible that the Jerusalem bus bombing was missed over a specific failure by the PA security forces, or perhaps it is an indication of lax collaboration with the Shin Bet, but it does not reflect better Hamas capabilities on the ground in Judea and Samaria.
UN Spewing Lies Not Helping Peace, Says Widower of Israeli Woman Stabbed to Death by Palestinian Terrorist
The UN uses irrelevant keys to open the door to peace by condemning Israel and spewing lies, said the widower of a woman stabbed to death three months ago by a Palestinian terrorist at her home in Otniel, a West Bank settlement south of Hebron.
Natan Meir, husband of the late Dafna Meir – a 38-year-old nurse and mother-of-six (two of whom are foster children) – made this remark after attending an “open debate” on the Middle East at the United Nations Security Council on Monday. During that debate, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon had entered into a shouting match with his Palestinian counterpart, Riyad Mansour, over the issue of terrorism and incitement to commit violence against Jews emanating from the Palestinian Authority. Danon had demanded that Mansour denounce both practices; Mansour refused to comply, instead accusing Israel of imprisoning Palestinian “children.”
Natan, on a trip to the United States with his 17-year-old daughter, Renena – who not only witnessed her mother being stabbed to death, but attempted to fight off the assailant – said, “It hurt me to hear the Palestinian representative talk about the Palestinian kids in Israeli prisons, when one of those was the teenager who murdered my wife.”
The trip was sponsored by the US-based “OneFamily-Overcoming Terror Together,” an organization that helps Israel’s victims of terrorism and bereaved families undergo their process of recovery and rebuild their lives.
After Six Months of Violence, Palestinians Wonder: What Was Gained?
In a recent summary, Shin Bet concluded that although some of the attacks were inspired by “nationalistic motives,” most were carried out for “personal reasons,” driven by “economic or personal hardships.”
Funerals beget funerals, the Palestinians say, and among the dead in Saer were five from the extended Kuwasbeh family, three from the Shaladeh family and two from the Jaradet family. So it is likely that revenge also motivated some.
But there may be other reasons, too.
People in the town say that some of the young men had money problems, marriage woes or felt abandoned by their families. In Islam, suicide is a grave sin, but to die in an attack against the Israelis creates a martyr who is honored by mass funerals, murals and payments to the surviving families.
Court blocks demolition of terror suspects’ homes
The High Court on Wednesday ruled in favor of a petition to block the demolition of the homes of two Palestinians suspected of playing a role in a West Bank terror attack last October that killed married couple Naama and Eitam Henkin.
Judge Noam Silber ruled that the two suspects were not directly involved in the attack, only in planning and raising funds, according to the Hebrew-language Walla website.
But the court did reject a similar petition by a third suspected accomplice, giving the state the go-ahead to knock down his home.
Soldiers attacked during op to demolish terrorist’s home
Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians youth overnight Tuesday during an operation to demolish the home of a terrorist in the West Bank town of Qalandiya.
Two soldiers were lightly injured when rocks were thrown at troops during the demolition of a house belonging to the family of Hassin Abu Gush, 17, who killed Shlomit Krigman in a stabbing attack in the West Bank settlement of Beit Horon in January, the army said.
It said it was attacked rocks, Molotov cocktails and an improvised explosive device thrown at soldiers who responded first by firing tear gas and then live bullets at the protesters.
Two Palestinians were shot during the clashes, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency. The army confirmed the reports.
Urban Warfare: IDF Counter-terror Unit in Action

Israel Says Still Wants Temple Mount Cameras After Jordan Reneges
Israel remains in favour of installing security cameras at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, even after Jordan reneged on the project due to Palestinian reservations, a senior official said Tuesday.
“Israel’s support for placing cameras on the Temple Mount remains unchanged. That’s because we believe in transparency,” the Israeli official told AFP on condition of anonymity, using the Jewish term for the site.
“It is regrettable that the Palestinian Authority objects to this idea. It’s clear that they don’t want repeated Palestinian provocations caught on tape,” the official said.
Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur had on Monday announced his state would not be proceeding with its plan to install 55 cameras at the site, Islam’s third holiest, citing Palestinian “doubts about the aims of the project”.
“Because we respect the point of view of the Palestinians… we believe the project is no longer consensual, but a potential source of conflict, and have decided to end it,” he said.
Islamic Movement leader warns of 'crazy Israeli plots' to take over al-Aksa during Passover
Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement in Israel's northern branch, issued an urgent call for the Palestinian people and the entire Islamic nation to save al-Aksa from "crazy and very dangerous schemes that the Israeli occupation plans to carry out during the Passover holiday."
In a video released by Salah Tuesday, the Islamic movement leader explains that the "series of arrests which has been recently committed by Israeli security forces in Jerusalem and inside the '48 territories' aims at emptying al-Aksa from our men and women."
"These incarcerations are aimed at allowing the Jews to have exclusive control over al-Aksa, and the important question is why?" Salah said.
"What I fear the most is that they have further aspirations beyond just praying on Temple Mount and making the Passover sacrifice. I fear that their plans are more dangerous," Salah said.
USA Today Prints Palestinian Attacker as Victim—And Refuses to Correct
USA Today omitted essential context in its print coverage by correspondent Shira Rubin of the March 24 shooting of a Palestinian terrorist who attacked Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in Hebron (“Israeli soldier to be charged in shooting,” April 14, 2016). This failure allowed readers to draw the false conclusion that IDF soldiers murdered, without any cause or explanation, an innocent man.
As CAMERA has noted (“Vox’s April Fools’ Day ‘Reporting’ on Palestinian Terror Attacks,” April 7) on March 24, 2016 two Palestinian terrorists, armed with knives, attacked an IDF checkpoint in Hebron. During the attack, an IDF soldier was stabbed before both terrorists were shot, one of them fatally. Shortly thereafter, the wounded terrorist, Abed al-Fatah al-Sharif, was again shot, this time fatally in the head, by an IDF soldier named Elor Azaria. Azaria later claimed he thought al-Sharif was armed with a vest of explosives that he was attempting to detonate. The incident was filmed by B’Tselem, an anti-government group, and the IDF is investigating.
In its print edition, USA Today reported that Azaria was being charged with manslaughter after he was, “caught on video fatally shooting a Palestinian in the head.” Later the paper said, “Video shows the soldier firing on the wounded Palestinian man, Abd al Fattah Yusri al Sharif.”
However, the paper failed to explain why al-Sharif was wounded in the first place. No mention was made of the attack that preceded the incident, that another Palestinian assailant was involved and that an Israeli soldier was stabbed before the two perpetrators were shot. Instead, readers were left with the impression that a Palestinian Arab was inexplicably murdered by an Israeli soldier.
Uncle of slain Hebron attacker: Soldier should apologize, not face jail
The uncle of a disarmed Palestinian attacker shot dead by an IDF soldier in Hebron last month told The Times of Israel that he does not wish to see the infantryman sent to prison.
“What happened, happened. It won’t help me or the family if he is in jail,” Fathi al-Sharif, 55, said during a phone conversation Tuesday from his Hebron home.
Sgt. Elor Azaria was charged with manslaughter on Monday for the killing of 21-year-old Abdel Fattah al-Sharif in the aftermath of a March 24 stabbing attack against soldiers in the West Bank city.
Al-Sharif stressed that the outcome of the court case against Azaria matters little to him and his family.
“What is important to me is that the soldier should admit what he did was wrong, apologize to the family, and please, please they should return my nephew’s body,” he said.
5,000 rally in support of soldier who shot immobilized terrorist
The tension was palpable at Rabin Square on Tuesday evening when thousands of people gathered to support Sgt. Elor Azaria, the Israeli soldier facing manslaughter charges for shooting an immobilized terrorist in Hebron last month. Messages of love could be heard alongside harsh insults. It was difficult to reconcile the calls for unity with the attacks on Arabs, the Left and the Israeli media.
Organizers expected a higher turnout, but claimed that they were not disappointed. They complimented the 5,000 people who did show up.
Many in the crowd waved Israeli flags and carried signs professing their love for Israel and for the Israel Defense Forces. "Love the IDF. Free Elor" and "Shameful! A soldier who defended us is imprisoned. Have you gone mad?" other signs read. Others still said "The people are with you" and "He is a hero."
The rally went off without incident, except for a handful of youths who called out racist comments, cursed the Prophet Muhammad and even physically assaulted journalists. Channel 10 reporter Moav Vardi was violently chased away.
Shin Bet busts Jewish terror ring in the West Bank
The Shin Bet security service uncovered and arrested members of a Jewish terror network suspected of several attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank, including the firebombing of buildings that had people inside, the service said in a statement on Wednesday.
Among the suspects arrested were two minors and an IDF soldier.
“During the latter half of 2015, there were a number of terror attacks and violent incidents against Palestinians in the Gush Talmonim region,” the Shin Bet said. “Two notable attacks were against buildings that had Palestinians inside.”
The Shin Bet listed the principal activists, among whom were two minors, one born in 1999 and the other in 2000; an IDF soldier, 19; Itamar Ben Aharon, 20; and Michal Kaplan, 20, all from the settlement of Nahliel, along with Pinhas Shandorfi, 22, a resident of the settlement of Kiryat Arba.
Due their ages the minors were not named in the report, while a military court banned publication of the soldier’s name.
Senior Palestinian official: We fear the day after Abbas
Mohammad al-Madani, a close associate of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and head of the Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society, met with Israelis of Iraqi heritage at the Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center in Or Yehuda Wednesday.
Speaking to the gathering, al-Madani expanded on the Passover greetings he extended to Israel days previously with a message of warning, saying that in the days after Abbas leaves his position, "the idea of peace might slip away."
"We Palestinians, both in the leadership and the people, many fear the day that Abbas ends his ministry," he said. "(We are afraid that) the idea of ​​peace and the peace plans will elude us. May God prolong his (Abbas') life, but it will end naturally or maybe otherwise," he ended, without expanding on what or who may intend to threaten the PA president's life.
Another member of the delegation, Dr. Ziad Darwish, said openly that after Abbas there will be no partner for peace for Israel to deal with, and therefore it's necessary and prudent for Israel to hurry up and advance the peace process.
Bahrain's parliament calls on state to declare war on Iran and Hezbollah
The parliament in Bahrain issued a statement calling on the government to declare war on Iran and its client terror organization in Lebanon, Hezbollah, following recurrent terror attacks against the state's security forces.
In a statement issued during its meeting on Tuesday, the Bahraini parliament demanded Iran and Hezbollah "cease their hostilities against Arab states in general and the Gulf Cooperation Council in particular."
The parliament lashed out at Iran and Hezbollah, accusing them of "waging terror attacks against local security forces to serve their foreign agenda, destabilize Bahrain and endanger security in the country."
The parliament's statement followed a statement released by Bahrain's Defense Forces, denouncing a terror attack that took place earlier on Tuesday in the northern village of Karbabad. The operation targeted the security forces that safeguarded the village, killing one policeman and injuring two others. The Defense Forces' announced that they are highly prepared to deal with the terrorist organizations that target "police and security forces."
Defending military program, Zarif likens Iran-Iraq war to Holocaust
Iran’s foreign minister on Wednesday invoked the phrase “never again” to refer to the Iran-Iraq war in a written defense of his country’s military, while touting the Islamic Republic as a peace-loving country that hasn’t launched a war in over 200 years.
The phrase employed in a Washington Post op-ed by Mohammad Javad Zarif — whose religious leaders have repeatedly called for Israel’s destruction — is used by Jews as an affirmation that there will never be another Holocaust.
Zarif also slammed the West’s pro-Iraq role in the eight-year conflict with its neighbor.
“In 1980, in the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein launched a war against Iran fully supported financially and militarily by almost all of our Arab neighbors and by the West… The West not only did nothing to prevent this, it armed Saddam with sophisticated weapons, while actively preventing Iran from getting access to the most rudimentary defensive necessities,” he said.
Obama Admin Unsure If Iran Spent $3 Billion in New Cash on Terrorism
Obama administration officials disclosed Tuesday that Iran has been granted access to about $3 billion in unfrozen assets in the months since the nuclear agreement was implemented, but it remains unclear to the administration if the Islamic Republic has spent any of this money to fund its global terrorism enterprise, according to top officials.
In the four months since Iran and world powers began to implement the comprehensive nuclear agreement, Iran has been able to recover around $3 billion in funds that were unfrozen as part of the deal. Iran is expected to be given access to another $50 billion to 55 billion in the coming months.
However, the Obama administration was not able to say if Iran has spent any of this money to fund terrorism campaigns.
“We don’t know” if Iran has spent this money on terror activities, State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters. “We don’t know. We don’t have a way.”
The administration can only provide estimates of how much money Iran has accessed as part of the deal, Kirby said.
State Dept: North Korea Should Be ‘Inspired by’ Iran Nuclear Deal (not satire)
During a visit to Seoul, South Korea, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the North Koreans should be “inspired” to give up their nuclear weapons by the deal that was struck with Iran.
“Iran made a fundamental choice. It decided to freeze and roll back its nuclear program and allow inspectors to come in and create the time and space to see if we could agree a comprehensive agreement,” said Blinken, as reported by Reuters. About North Korea, he stated: “It’s our hope that the DPRK will be inspired by that example.”
He went on to cite “recent diplomatic progress” with Cuba and Myanmar as evidence the United States is “willing to engage with countries like North Korea.”
“If a country, even one with which we’ve had the most profound differences, is prepared to engage seriously and credibly in answering the demands of the international community, we are also prepared to engage,” Blinken declared.
However, he insisted the U.S. would “respond strongly” if there is another North Korean nuclear test, as international observers widely suspect.
Once seen as White House triumph, new nation of South Sudan descends into war, misery
Just five years ago, celebrities such as George Clooney and Don Cheadle hailed the creation of a new African nation as one of President Obama’s foreign policy success stories, but now South Sudan is looking like a failed state.
The nation, sought as a means of bringing peace to Sudan’s long-running civil war, was promoted as a potential U.S. ally and was formed following a referendum passed with 98 percent of the vote to secede from the northern part of Sudan and the Khartoum government. But hope has given way to desperation, as South Sudan has descended into bloodshed and chaos.
“The euphoria has faded and South Sudan is an embarrassment for the administration, and that comes with reputational costs,” Joshua Meservey, policy analyst for Africa and the Middle East at The Heritage Foundation, told “Bringing attention to it is not in the White House’s interest.”
Meservey said the U.S.-backed solution was based on a “very superficial” grasp of the war between Sudan and South Sudan, and the deep divisions that existed in the nascent nation.
Jews who refused to leave Yemen having second thoughts
The 67 Yemeni Jews who refused to join the recent secret airlift to Israel organized by the Jewish Agency are now having second thoughts. Sources in Yemen report that the group, comprised mostly of children and the elderly and located in the Yemeni capital Sana’a and its neighboring province of Amran, has been subject to constant harassment.
Speaking to The Media Line on condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisals, a Yemeni Jew now trying to leave for Israel said the remaining Jews complain that in addition to increasing abuse by Muslims, there is no one to lead their religious rituals or to educate their children.
The Jews who remained behind have confirmed reports that the spate of publicity accompanying the mini-exodus and the showcasing of the 600-800 year old Torah scroll that the emigrants took with them has effectively drawn targets on the backs of those who opted out of the airlift.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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