Friday, June 17, 2016

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Obama and the moderate Muslims
How can enforcing ignorance of a problem help you to solve it? How does refusing to call out the Islamic extremists that Islamic moderates like the Green revolutionaries and Sisi risk their lives to fight weaken them? How does empowering jihad apologists from CAIR and MPAC help moderate, anti-jihad American Muslims who currently have no voice in Obama’s White House? Eli Lake argued that it was by keeping mum on jihad that then-president George W. Bush and Gen. David Petraeus convinced Sunni tribal leaders in Iraq to join the US in fighting al-Qaida during the surge campaign in 2007-2008.
The same leaders now support ISIS.
A counter-argument to Lake’s is that Bush’s policy of playing down the jihadist doctrine of the likes of al-Qaida had nothing to do with the Sunni chieftains’ decision to side with the US forces.
Rather, they worked with the Americans first because the Americans paid them a lot of money to do so. And second, because they believed the Americans when they said that they would stay the course in Iraq.
They now side with ISIS because they don’t trust America, and would rather live under ISIS rule than under Iranian rule.
In other words, for them, the question wasn’t one of political niceties, but of financial gain and power assessments. And that remains the question that determines their actions today.
In the 15 years since September 11, first under Bush, and since 2009, to a more extreme degree under Obama, the US has refused to name the enemy that fights America with the expressed aim of destroying it.
Maybe, just maybe, this is one of the reasons that the Americans have also failed to truly help anti-jihadist – or moderate – Muslims. Maybe you can’t help one without calling out the other.
President Obama, Secretary Clinton, President Hollande and the “intellectuals” who groomed and still support them are fervent believers in “secular humanism.” They believe a collection of superstitions: that Arab-Islamic terrorists attack the West because the West attacked first, or because the West built prison camps for Muslims, or because the West supports Israel.
Memo to Barack Obama and John Kerry: Said Qutb of the Muslim Brotherhood and Ayatollah Khomeini always thought the West was the enemy, and the West always supported the Arabs more than Israel — witness the British in 1933-48, Charles De Gaulle in 1967, the US State Department from 1948 through 1980, etc.
Another such superstition: there is no Arab-Islamic terror, because the terrorists also attack Arabs and Muslims. Second memo to Obama and Co.: The Nazis began their career by murdering Germans, and Lenin and Stalin began theirs by murdering Russians, even Communists. Just ask Leon Trotsky and the other Jews murdered by Stalin.
So if you want to witness a neurotic patient “in denial” of his illness, or if you want to study the superstitions by which Western leaders live, just tune in to the latest press conference of President Obama, President Hollande, the UN secretary general or the foreign minister of the European Union.
Terror-denial is not forward-thinking or progressive. It is just dumb.
Yehuda Glick: The right road to peace
After the signing of the agreement titled, “Gaza and Jericho First” in Cairo in 1994, Peres said in interviews that “this agreement is an agreement on Gaza and Jericho.
As for what will come next – I am opposed to a separate Palestinian state. I’ve said so a thousand times, and I have not changed my mind.”
How is it then that nowadays, even a prime minister from the rightist Likud party is touting this idea? As I understand it, this change in the public discourse occurred primarily as a result of a well-oiled propaganda campaign of the radical Left. Its method was simple – for many years any leftist who was interviewed by the media, no matter what the subject was, always made sure to begin his reply with something along the lines of: “Everyone knows that in the end there will be two states here, and that a Palestinian state will be established alongside Israel...” Slowly but surely, this supposed “fact” permeated the collective Israeli consciousness to the point that it came to dominate the public discourse as if it were an undeniable truth.
Today, while nearly half a million Jews live in settlements throughout Judea and Samaria, and an additional million residents in Greater Jerusalem, it’s very hard to believe that anyone rational really thinks that a Palestinian state can be established here. Albeit, the Palestinians were given chances in the past to establish such a state – whether according to the 1947 Partition Plan proposed by the UN, or just a few years ago during the terms of Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert as prime minister.
But now this option seems to be totally unrealistic, and therefore no longer on the table.
This being said, it should now be clear to any reasonable person that in the future there will be only one state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River – the State of Israel, with Israeli law and Israeli sovereignty applied over all parts of Judea and Samaria.

Mordechai Kedar: Jihad-serving apologetics
Muslim intellectuals are explaining Jihad by using Freudian analysis, but it just won't wash.
Jihad has reached Orlando, the city that evokes memories of fun-packed family days in Disney World to people all over the world, and Muslim intellectuals are scrambling to find a way to explain what happened.
Obviously, they cannot deny the fact that Muslim-perpetrated massacres are occurring with increasing frequency and are aimed both at Muslims and unbelievers, but it is difficult for them to live with the fact that these bloodbaths are said to be in the name of their religion, since they themselves are non-violent and do not promote violence.
An example of the intellectual efforts to deal with "violence for the sake of Islam," is Bahrain's Dr. Ali Mahmoud Fakhro's article in the pan-Arab London-based newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi titled: "The violent Takfeeri Jihad and psychology." (Note: The term Takfeeri refers to the declaring of someone, whether Muslim or not, a heretic and therefore fair game for violence)
The following is the article, brought almost in its entirety, with several explanatory comments of mine in parentheses:
"Most of the efforts to understand the violent Takfeeri Jihad phenomenon are focused on the social and cultural reasons behind it as well as the political opportunism it embodies. Very little has been written on the psychological background and causes of the phenomenon, but most of the unbalanced behaviors which are opposed to mental and psychological equilibrium as well as human values, defy logical and religious explanations, and are perpetrated daily by individuals and groups of Takfeeri Islamic Jihadists against innocents, can be explained only through psychological theories and assumptions predicated in psychology.
Guns and Homophobia Don’t Kill People, Muslim Terrorists Do
Gun violence did not kill 49 people in Orlando. Guns, no matter whether you call them “assault rifles” or “weapons of war”, do not independently kill anyone. No gun, by any name, walks into a gay bar and shoots people. No more than box cutters slash the throats of stewardesses independently or passenger planes fly themselves into the World Trade Center.
When a Muslim terrorist shoots up a gay bar, it’s not gun violence. It’s Islamic terrorism.
The media insists that a ban on Muslim migration is unconstitutional, but a ban on a right protected by the Bill of Rights is. The Bill of Rights does not provide a right for foreigners to migrate to America. It does protect the right of Americans to defend themselves from Muslim terrorism with firearms.
Blaming our Bill of Rights for Muslim terrorism is an attack on our rights and freedoms. Blaming Muslims for Muslim terrorism is just reality. And acknowledging that reality will protect our rights and freedoms far better than the widespread violations of our rights and freedoms caused by Muslim migration that are embodied in such institutions as the NSA and the TSA.
Blaming guns for Orlando is as fundamentally foolish as blaming passenger jets for 9/11.
We can ban guns, but the largest Muslim terrorist mass murder of Americans in history was carried out with box cutters. Muslim terrorists have killed Americans with pressure cooker bombs, with cars and with box cutters. Were those acts of “box cutter violence” or “pressure cooker violence”?
Or were they Muslim terrorism?
David Singer: UN Security Council Must Take Military Action Against Islamic State
Independent and uncoordinated military actions to wipe out Islamic State taken by Russian-led and American-led coalitions have only had limited success.
A minority of UN member States are shouldering the burden of inflicting total defeat – whilst the rest just make pious condemnatory declarations and avert their gaze.
Islamic State’s radicalising of Muslim minds everywhere is endemic and growing and represents a world-wide problem demanding a world-wide response.
How many more San Bernardino and Orlando massacres will President Obama mourn and decry before he agrees to co-sponsor a Security Council resolution with Russia authorising military action against Islamic State?
CIA Chief: IS Working to Send Operatives to the West
CIA Director John Brennan will tell Congress on Thursday that Islamic State militants are training and attempting to deploy operatives for further attacks on the West and will rely more on guerrilla-style tactics to compensate for their territorial losses.
In remarks prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee, Brennan says IS has been working to build an apparatus to direct and inspire attacks against its foreign enemies, as in the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels — ones the CIA believes were directed by IS leaders.
"ISIL has a large cadre of Western fighters who could potentially serve as operatives for attacks in the West," Brennan said, using another acronym for the group. He said IS probably is working to smuggle them into countries, perhaps among refugee flows or through legitimate means of travel.
Brennan also noted the group's call for followers to conduct so-called lone-wolf attacks in their home countries. He called last week's attack in Orlando a "heinous act of wanton violence" and an "assault on the values of openness and tolerance" that define the United States as a nation.
He said IS is gradually cultivating its various branches into an interconnected network. The branch in Libya is likely the most advanced and most dangerous, but IS is trying to increase its influence in Africa, he said. The IS branch in the Sinai has become the "most active and capable terrorist group in Egypt," attacking the Egyptian military and government targets in addition to foreigners and tourists, such as the downing of a Russian passenger jet last October.
As an Arab, the Middle East’s reaction to Orlando left me speechless…
The implications of this are far worse and much more far-reaching than one might initially consider. It has now become commonplace in the Arab world to wish death upon minorities and celebrate their murders. Gays, Christians, Jews, atheists, apostates, heterodox Muslims, liberal Muslims, and secularists are seen as subhuman. Celebrating their deaths is now a norm. At worst, attacks such as the Orlando shooting are met with praise, and at best silence.
Members of the left who claim such terrorism has nothing to do with Islam need to become aware of the issue at hand that is Islamism, and understand the ramifications of evading discussions on it. The Arab world’s moral collapse is the result of decades of fundamentalist Wahhabi indoctrination across the Muslim world which has culminated in the recent rise of Islamic terrorism. Reform must come from within Muslim communities – I can’t stress this enough. An open and frank discussion on the current understanding and interpretation of Islam is much needed. Yes, it’s great to see Muslims in the west condemning the attack and voicing solidarity with the victims and their families, but there still remains a long way to go. The Muslim world, particularly the Middle East and North Africa, has become rife with followers of either Arab nationalist anti-west ideologies, or Islamism and Wahhabism, both of which are cesspools for hate.
When the standard response from a lot of liberals is “Christians can be homophobic too” and “this has nothing to do with Islam” right after a terrorist attack where 49 people were killed because of religious fundamentalism, then a frank discussion is desperately needed. No favors are done by denying the presence of homophobia in Muslim communities and repeating far right Islamist rhetoric and propaganda. This only worsens an already bad situation, and the profundity of the consequences this attitude engenders towards Islamic fundamentalism must be recognized. Ignoring Islamic fundamentalism only makes the far right stronger, and its rise will be immediately followed by the persecution of the minorities whose rights the left purports to protect. This makes it harder not only for the LGBT community in the Middle East, but also other minorities and liberal and secular Muslims who fight for change on a daily basis in the Arab world.
Fla. sheriff: Mateen's comments on Fort Hood shooting worried cops
In 2013, Mateen, then 26, was working as a private security guard for G4S Secure Solutions USA, Inc. at the St. Lucie County Courthouse in Fort Pierce. The Sheriff's Office is responsible for hiring the company to provide security at the courthouse.
The sheriff first became concerned about Mateen when it was rumored that he voiced derogatory comments to his co-workers at G4S, the sheriff said.
"We could never substantiate those claims," Mascara said. "However, shortly after that rumor, (Mateen) made an offensive comment to one of my employees at the courthouse."
Mateen made many inflammatory comments at the courthouse in 2013, including a statement that Fort Hood, Texas, shooter Nidal Hasan was justified in fatally shooting 13 people and injuring more than 30 others in 2009, Mascara said Wednesday.
That mass shooting took place Nov. 5, 2009. Hasan was an Army major and psychiatrist. Soon after the attack, it was reported that his colleagues were aware that Hasan had been increasingly radicalized for several years.
In addition to commenting about Fort Hood, Mateen made derogatory remarks about women and Jews, the sheriff said.
Homeland Security Report Calls for Rejecting Terms ‘Jihad,’ ’Sharia’
A new Department of Homeland Security report urges rejecting use of Islamic terms such as “jihad” and “sharia” in programs aimed at countering terrorist radicalization among American youth.
The Homeland Security Advisory Council report recommends that the department focus on American milliennials by allocating up to $100 million in new funding. It also urges greater private sector cooperation, including with Muslim communities, to counter what is described as a “new generation of threats to the Homeland related to the threat of violent extremism.”
The funds would be used for hiring experts and new social media programs and technology to influence young people not to join terror groups.
“The department’s CVE efforts are an attempt to protect our nation’s young people from extremists who prey upon the Millennial generation,” the report says.
“The department must reframe the conversation to reflect this reality and design a robust program around the protection of our youth, which must include predator awareness and an understanding of radicalization. In doing so, our citizens will be better equipped for this threat.”
Under the section on terminology, the report calls for rejecting use of an “us versus them” mentality by shunning Islamic language in “Countering Violent Extremism” programs, or CVE, the Obama administration’s euphemism that seeks to avoid references to Islam.
Under a section on recommended actions on terminology, the report says DHS should “reject religiously-charged terminology and problematic positioning by using plain meaning American English.”
Istanbul bans its Gay Pride march, citing security fears
The authorities in Turkey’s biggest city Istanbul on Friday banned an annual Gay Pride march planned for later this month, citing security concerns.
The Istanbul governorate said in a statement it was aware through reports in the press and social media of plans to hold the annual march on June 26, but urged citizens not to follow the calls to take part and instead to comply with warnings by the security forces.
The Istanbul Gay Pride march had until last year been held on 12 occasions largely without incident, growing into the largest such event in a Muslim country in the Middle East with thousands taking part in a celebration of diversity.
However in 2015, police shocked participants by firing tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets to prevent the march before it had even begun.
The statement from the governorate said: “Permission will not be given for… a meeting or a march on grounds of safeguarding security and public order.”
Undercover police officer 'recorded Muslim extremists calling for gay people to be thrown from a building during secret ISIS support meetings in back garden'
An undercover police officer recorded British Muslim extremists calling for gay people to be thrown from 'high buildings', a court heard today.
Five men are accused of addressing or arranging meetings in support of the terror group at a church hall and the back garden of a home in Luton, Bedfordshire, last summer.
The first defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, allegedly told one gathering: 'We know that Islam is going to dominate all of this earth.'
On trial: Mohammed Sufiyan Choudry, 22, left, of Maidenhead, Berkshire, accused of encouraging support for ISIS. Right, Rajib Khan, 38, of Luton, Bedfordshire, accused of encouraging support for ISIS
He is one of four defendants who are said to have attended a meeting on June 27, 2015, in which a speaker criticised the annual Gay Pride parade in London, saying 'there's no pride in being gay'.
The speech was recorded by an undercover officer, referred to only as 'Kamal', who spent 20 months infiltrating the group and attending their meetings.
Malcolm Turnbull regrets inviting anti-gay Muslim preacher at Iftar dinner
[Australian PM] Malcolm Turnbull regretted dining with an alleged hate preacher on Thursday. The Australian prime minister said had he been aware Sheikh Shady Al-Suleiman made hateful comments about gay people and women in the past, he would not have invited him to the Iftar dinner marking the end of Ramadan at Kirribilli House.
“I do regret his invitation. He was invited in an official capacity as president of the Imam Council and the guest list was assembled by my department,” the PM told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell. “If I had been aware he had made those remarks about homosexuals and gay people, he would not have been invited.”
Turnbull said he only learnt of Al-Suleiman’s comments at the dinner.
Al-Suleiman, the national president of the Australian National Imams Council, made negative comments about homosexuality, women and critics of Islam in videos recorded years ago. He was heard calling homosexuality as an “evil act” that resulted in punishment in the form of AIDS. He also made disparaging remarks about women, saying they should not look at men.
He condemned women who engage in sex outside marriage. The sheikh was of the belief that women who commit premarital sex should receive 100 lashes. And for those who were married, previously married or divorced and have engaged in sex outside marriage, their punishment was stoning to death.
“Let me be very clear, we are governed by Australia law in Australia,” Turnbull continued. “Propositions of that kind are so beyond the pale. It is obviously completely and utterly unacceptable and I condemn remarks of that kind. They have no place in Australian law and Australian culture.”
Daily Freier: Our Baseball Team Forfeited To JV (satire)
So we forfeited the baseball game again today to another school that Coach O called a “Junior Varsity Team”. I was really excited to make Varsity as a sophomore, but losing 3 times in a row sucks. Coach O says it’s because “We’ve lost our focus”. But maybe it’s because he wouldn’t tell us who we were playing.
When we got on the bus, Sam the old bus driver asked Coach O who our opponent was. And Coach O said “Gun Culture….. but also the Intolerance that some folks in America still have for people who are different.” And then Sam said “But Coach O, I think the opponent this week might be militant Isl…..” but before he could finish his sentence Coach O said “No, Sam. You’re not paying attention to the big picture. Now drive us to Partisan Rhetoric.” And when Coach O said those last sentences, he said them in that slow way that Dad uses when he’s trying to explain to my kid brother why we can’t buy a pitbull and name it “Warcraft”.
So Sam drove around the other side of the County for two hours looking for “Guns“, then “Intolerance“, then “Partisan Rhetoric“. I only have my Driving Learners Permit and Dad won’t let me drive at night, but I am almost positive that there is nowhere in the County called “Partisan Rhetoric“. But it gets weirder. The JV team called Sam while he was driving and said “We are your opponent today.” But Coach O told Sam to ignore them because they “didn’t really mean it.”
Yatta: A heritage of terrorism
The terrorists from the Sarona shooting belong to the Mahamra clan, one of the biggest families in the Palestinian town of Yatta. The clan is actually descended from Jews and for generations kept some Jewish traditions. Now they have embraced terrorism.
The Palestinian town of Yatta in the south Hebron Hills, the starting point for Khaled and Mohammed Mahamra's killing spree at the Sarona Market complex last week, was the first Arab community in Judea and Samaria to be connected to the water supply and electricity grid after the 1967 Six-Day War. The veteran members of the Civil Administration recall that Yatta was given that boon after town officials approached Israeli army officers a few months after the war, carrying an ancient gold Hannukah menorah and making a surprising claim: They, the Mahamra clan, were the descendants of an ancient Jewish tribe.
The Mahamras, one of the biggest clans in Yatta, who have produced a number of murderers and terrorist cells in recent years, still cling to their tradition that their roots are Jewish.
Historian Itzhak Ben-Zvi, who would later become Israel's second president, researched the history of the Mahamra clan about a year prior to the 1929 riots and was determined to have some foundation. Ben-Zvi visited the town accompanied by Yosef Mani, one of the elders from the Jewish community in Hebron.
Defense Ministry: No need to demolish homes of Abu Khdeir killers
The Defense Ministry believes the 2014 nationalistically motivated murder of East Jerusalem teenager Muhammed Abu Khdeir does not warrant the demolition of the killers’ homes, according to an official letter seen by The Times of Israel on Thursday.
Abu Khdeir was abducted and killed on July 1, 2014, by three Jewish attackers. The murder came two days after it emerged that three Israeli teens who had been abducted three weeks earlier in the West Bank had been killed by their Palestinian kidnappers. An autopsy found that the 16-year-old Arab teenager had been burned alive.
The Jerusalem District Court has handed down a life sentence, plus 20 years in jail, to Yosef Haim Ben David, found to be the ringleader of the group that murdered Abu Khdeir. The two other killers — both minors — were sentenced to life in prison and 21 years, respectively. But the Abu Khdeir family has demanded the state demolish their homes, as it does for Palestinian terrorists.
In the letter from the Defense Ministry’s legal adviser to the Abu Khdeir family’s lawyer Muhannad Jbara on Wednesday, the ministry argued that because cases of Jewish terror are so infrequent in relation to Arab attacks against Jews, there is no need to establish a deterrent for future Jewish attackers by demolishing the Abu Khdeir killers’ homes.
First-Ever Arab Israeli Appointed Dean of Hebrew University Law Faculty
The first-ever Arab Israeli has been appointed as the dean of the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the institution announced.
Prof. Michael (Mousa) Karayanni, from a Christian Greek Orthodox family in Kafr Yasif in the Galilee, was unanimously voted to the position by the faculty last Wednesday, to replace the outgoing dean, Prof. Yuval Shani, who has held the post for the past four years.
Karayanni, 52 — a married father-of-three who resides in the joint Jewish-Arab village of Neve Shalom/Wahat el-Salam between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv — has held the faculty’s Bruce W. Wayne Chair in International Law since 2010.
An expert in civil law, private international law and issues of law and multiculturalism, Karayanni will assume his new post on October 1 this year, making him the faculty’s 22nd dean.
Arab Primary Voters Dump Terror-Supporting MKs Zoabi, Ghattas
MK Hanin Zoabi, whose National Democratic Assembly (Balad) party is one of the three partner factions making up the Joint Arab List, has been the most frequent candidate for removal both from the elections list and, as MK, from the plenum, as well as defendant in court, all owing to her vicious attacks on Israeli values and on Israeli public officials—including, most recently, cursing out and spitting on Arab police. Now, all who trust in the wisdom of the voters are entitled to a big high-five, as Zoabi has been pushed in the primaries for her faction’s list of Knesset candidates down to spot number 9, well outside the realistic expectations for the 21st Knesset, Makor Rishon reported Friday.
The Joint Arab List, which has one Jewish MK, is a new political creature, a coalition made up of four different parties whose only common denominator is the fact that they are Arab and appeal to the Arab Israeli voter. Hadash, the United Arab List, Balad, and Ta’al, which make up the third largest faction in the 20th Knesset, were, essentially, the brain child of then Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who pushed for a higher vote threshold, requiring that a list gain close to four seats before it can claim any of its seats. Realizing that the new rule could wipe out the bulk of the Arab representation in the Knesset, the four parties, with communists, business leaders, ultra-nationalists and religious zealots, found a way to unite in order to stay alive. Ironically, Liberman’s own party, Yisrael Beiteinu, barely made it past the same threshold.
Arab MK set to take part in new Gaza flotilla
Arab MK Hanin Zoabi is expected to take part in a women’s flotilla to the Gaza Strip this fall, Channel 2 reported Thursday.
According to the report, Zoabi was planning to participate in the “Women’s Boat to Gaza” flotilla to protest Israel and Egypt’s blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
Zoabi’s office didn’t respond to Channel 2’s inquiries concerning her participation in the demonstration.
The lawmaker of the Joint (Arab) List is just coming off a four-month suspension from the Knesset for meeting with the relatives of terrorists killed while attacking Israelis.
She came under fire for taking part in the May 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla to Gaza that ended in a deadly clash between pro-Palestinian activists and Israel Defense Forces troops.
PA backs Nobel Peace Prize for arch-terrorist Barghouti
Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Thursday praised cities in France who expressed support for the “prisoner leader” Marwan Barghouti, as he put it.
Hamdallah made the remarks at a meeting in Ramallah with a delegation of mayors from France who gave Barghouti honorary citizenship.
The comments come amid an ongoing campaign to nominate the arch-terrorist Barghouti, who is in an Israeli jail serving five life sentences for his role in planning suicide terror attacks in Israel, for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Leading Belgian Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum announced their nomination of Barghouti last month, and they were joined last week by South African archbishop and prominent anti-Israel campaigner Desmond Tutu.
Hamdallah welcomed the campaign on Thursday, saying that Barghouti is a symbol of the Palestinian Prisoners Movement.
CAMERA Hosts Palestinian Human Rights Activist for Congressional Talk
Palestinians Are Safer than Muslims Anywhere Else in the Middle East
CAMERA hosted Bassem Eid, a veteran Palestinian Arab human rights activist, for a Capitol Hill briefing on June 14, 2016 attended by more than 80 congressional staff members and interns, as well as representatives of other organizations. Eid, the founder and director of the former Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, a non-profit organization based in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), offered his views on the Arab-Israeli conflict in a Longworth House office building talk that was facilitated by the office of U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO).
In his remarks, Eid called for greater economic cooperation between Israel, the Kingdom of Jordan and the Palestinian Authority (PA) that controls the West Bank. Eid said that economic zones and agreements between the three parties would help “the average every-day Palestinian.” He suggested that a similar economic zone between Israel, Egypt and Palestinian Arabs living in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip also could be beneficial.
However, Eid acknowledged that Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group that calls for the destruction of Israel and the genocide of Jews, would never work with the Jewish state and did not prioritize the well-being of the people living under its oppressive rule.
Eid said that most Palestinian Arabs are “seeking dignity, not identity.” Their identity, he asserted, they have. What they lack, the human rights activist elaborated, is leadership that can or wants to build opportunities for jobs, education and health care for themselves and their loved ones. This concern for their individual and family welfare trumps any current attention on diplomacy about a Palestinian state.
Eid noted that the PA has received “billions in aid” from the international community, including the United States, but despite this, the authority has “failed to create jobs for Palestinians.” He called corruption among Palestinian leadership “big and wide.”
Abbas' Sons Must Be Excellent Businessmen
The son of the Palestinian Authority president Tareq Abbas is already said to own villas in Amman, Jordan and a rooftop pad in Beirut, Lebanon.
Now, according to a review of official British Land Registry records from 2012, the world can know Tareq registered - under his legal name - the purchase of a $1.5m luxury two-bedroom flat in Merchant Square East, one of London's many high-end developments.
Realtors hawked Tareq's newest address as a "prestigious waterside building" in a "chic, contemporary style with high-specification amenities and furnishings" within walking distance of an area full of "traditional old English pubs and new bars and restaurants".
The building itself is part of "regeneration" taking place around Paddington Basin to increase investment and property value.
Tareq failed to respond to Al Jazeera's questions about his finances or how he came to own the place. No doubt he is aware that most Palestinians, with an average yearly gross national income of $3,060, couldn't afford to rent the London apartment of their president's son for even a single month.
Nor is Tareq the only multimillionaire in the Abbas family. The president's eldest living son, Yasser, made his fortunes from, among other things, the monopoly sale of US-made cigarettes in the occupied territories, offering Lucky Strikes and other carcinogens to Palestine's tobacco-addicted.
Which must leave Palestinians wondering: are their financial blessings merely the result of being "Grade A businessmen", as Yasser once famously remarked? 
Hezbollah Sinking in the Syrian Quagmire
Speaking at a gathering in southern Lebanon last month, Hezbollah deputy leader Sheikh Naim Qassem reiterated the movement's readiness for war with Israel. At the same time, the sheikh made clear that war this summer would not take place unless Israel initiates it.
In his speech, Qassem, who is considered the chief ideologue of Hezbollah, recalled the "divine victory" of the movement, which brought about Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon in May 2000. He asserted, in a reiteration of the movement's "muqawama" or resistance doctrine, that the 2000 withdrawal had begun the period of Israel's decline. This period, he suggested, will end with the Jewish state's disappearance.
So far, so predictable. The latter point is classic Hezbollah rhetoric. The movement's "resistance" doctrine inherited the old Pan-Arab and then Palestinian-nationalist viewpoint, according to which Israel's physical strength was belied by an inner weakness that would ensure its eventual defeat.
But, this time, the rhetoric was being used to frame a rather pacifist message – the supposedly weakened and doomed enemy would not be attacked unless Hezbollah was provoked.
Defeating Assad Could Bring About Hizbullah's Downfall
Since its establishment in the early 80s, the Lebanon based militant group known as Hezbollah had yet to suffer the losses it now experiences in Syria. The losses encountered with the Syrian civil war outweigh all those undergone against Israel combined.
With continuous draining of strengths, the most optimistic estimations place Hezbollah’s loss at a thousand members of its elite, while other estimations speak of at least a 3,000 lost.
The so-called Hezbollah bereaved a score of noteworthy military commanders, among which – according to Capitan Matthew Levitt and Nadav Pollak- are: Fawzi Ayoub, a Lebanese-Canadian Hezbollah commander who is also wanted by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, killed in Daraa, southwestern Syria; Hassan Hussein al Hajj, another elite commander reportedly killed in Idlib battles, taking place in northwestern Syria, bordering Turkey; Khalil Mohammed Hamed Khalil, another Hezbollah prominent figure reported dead in Homs; Ali Fayad, killed in Aleppo; Hezbollah’s crème de la crème Khalil Ali Hassan, also killed in Aleppo earlier June; last but not least, Hezbollah’s top leader Mustafa Baddreddine reported killed last May. All of the above mentioned had fell at the hands of Syrian opposition fighters or at the hands of other militias in Syria.
Hezbollah had long kept its losses confidential – members killed and which ranks they occupy. The group would only announce its losses at the closest sense of someone else beating it to the punch and publishing such information themselves.
Elliott Abrams: American Diplomats Call for Bombing Syria
In an extraordinary development, more than fifty American diplomats have dissented from the Obama administration’s Syria policy and challenged it in an internal “dissent channel” memo.
Here’s how The New York Times‘s story begins:
More than 50 State Department diplomats have signed an internal memo sharply critical of the Obama administration’s policy in Syria, urging the United States to carry out military strikes against the government of President Bashar al-Assad to stop its persistent violations of a cease-fire in the country’s five-year-old civil war.
The memo, a draft of which was provided to The New York Times by a State Department official, says American policy has been “overwhelmed” by the unrelenting violence in Syria. It calls for “a judicious use of stand-off and air weapons, which would undergird and drive a more focused and hard-nosed U.S.-led diplomatic process.”

Such dissent channel memos are very rare and almost always written by one man or woman. I cannot recall one being signed by dozens of diplomats. But then again, it is hard to recall a policy as dangerous and inhumane as Obama policy in Syria.
Iran's foreign policy 'has not changed' since nuclear deal, Rhodes says
Iran has not altered its posture on the global stage despite, over a year and a half ago, choosing to alter the nature of its controversial nuclear program, a senior White House official said on Thursday.
Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, a close confidante of US President Barack Obama and a chief architect behind the sale of last year's landmark nuclear deal with Iran, said the agreement has been fully implemented by Tehran and is widely favored by the Iranian public.
Offering a timeline of how negotiations started in a speech to The Iran Project– a non-governmental organization which favored the deal– he asserted that Obama was consistent, from the start of his presidency, in his intention to negotiate a settlement with Iran on the nuclear issue regardless of the contortions of the current government.
Rhodes emerged for the speech after enduring a storm of critical media coverage, some of which alleged he had intentionally misled journalists in his sale of the deal. He briefly alluded to those articles, stemming from a profile in New York Times Magazine, but also offered his analysis on the impact the nuclear deal will have on broader relations with Iran.
Israeli NGO threatens to sue Boeing over deal with Iran
Shurat Hadin – Israel Law Center on Thursday told US aerospace giant Boeing that it will place liens on any of its airplanes slated for Iran if it goes through with an announced sale.
The NGO represents hundreds of families of victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism who hold billions of dollars in unsatisfied US court judgments, and it says Iran needs to pay the debts before it can purchase the planes.
Shurat Hadin was asked if it is also preparing a suit against Airbus which also announced plans to sell planes to Iran. The NGO said it was not, for the time being, and was only focusing on US-based companies.
In the last two years Shurat Hadin has won blockbuster judgments against the Palestinian Authority and Iran, but suing foreign countries or companies such as Boeing in areas that cross over with foreign policy still usually does not work out.
Boeing also is facing an attack by a number of US congressmen opposed to the aircraft deal and predicting that if it goes through, US planes will be ferrying troops, weapons and cash to support terrorism.
On Tuesday, Tehran announced an agreement in principle with Boeing, subject to final US government approval, which would be the Islamic Republic’s first contract for aircraft with an American company since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Under the proposed multi-billion dollar transaction, Boeing intends to sell Tehran 100 aircraft.
Germany hosts Iran FM, belying vow not to normalize ties
Germany’s foreign minister on Wednesday welcomed his Iranian counterpart for a bilateral meeting in Berlin, seemingly defying Chancellor Angela Merkel’s earlier commitment to not normalize relations with Tehran as long as the regime refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier hosted Mohammad Javad Zarif at a castle belonging to the Foreign Ministry outside Berlin, in what marked the first time Germany hosted the Iranian top diplomat for bilateral talks.
According to Germany’s Foreign Ministry, the two men discussed Iranian-German relations, regional issues such as the civil war in Syria, and the implementation of the nuclear deal six world powers struck with Iran last year. After their discussion, Steinmeier hosted Zarif at an iftar dinner to break the fast of Ramadan at Villa Borsig.

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