Friday, September 30, 2016

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Israel, not the West, stands for international law
In fact the US, Britain and Europe have long displayed this contempt by supporting the big lie that Israel behaves illegally or belligerently.
The West maintains that Israel occupies Palestinian territory in the “West Bank.” This is untrue. There has never been any “Palestinian territory.”
Israel’s presence in the disputed territories cannot be legally defined as an occupation. Under the Hague and Geneva conventions, an occupation can only take place on sovereign land. The territories were never anyone’s sovereign land.
Israel is furthermore entitled under international law to continue to hold onto them as a defensive measure as long as its Arab aggressors continue to use them for belligerent ends.
The West says Israel’s settlements are illegal. This is also untrue.
In the 20s, the Mandate for Palestine gave Britain the legally binding duty to settle the Jews throughout what is now not just Israel but the disputed territories too. That Jewish right has never been abrogated.
The Geneva conventions, cited as the reason the settlements are illegal, prohibit an occupying power from transferring people en masse into occupied territory. This was drafted after World War II to prevent any repetition of the Nazis’ forced displacement of peoples. Israelis resident in the disputed territories, however, have not been transferred but moved there through their own free choice.
Kontorovich has looked at every modern example where occupied territories have been settled. In none of them did the international community denounce such action as illegal or demand that settlers had to vacate the land as a condition for peace or independence. If world powers asked the occupying force to withdraw, they referred only to the army and not the settler population. The only exception has been Israel.
The West makes a fetish of international law. Yet it denounces Israel, the one Middle East state that upholds it. It’s time to call out the US, Britain and Europe for aiding the repudiation of law and justice and thus helping promote the Arab agenda of exterminating Israel.

Caroline Glick: The New Middle East
To accomplish these goals, Israel needs to operate in two completely separate arenas. To weaken Iran, Israel should take its cue from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, and from its own past successful military ties to the Kurds of Iraq in the 1960s and 1970s.
Israel needs to deploy military trainers beyond its borders to work with other anti-Iranian forces. The goal of that cooperation must be to destabilize the regime, with the goal of overthrowing it. This may take time. But it must be done. The only way to neutralize the threat emanating from the new Syria is to change the nature of the Iranian regime that controls it.
As for Russia, Israel needs to demonstrate that it is a power that Putin can respect in its own right, and not a downgraded Washington’s sock puppet.
To this end, Israel should embark on a rapid expansion of its civilian presence along its eastern border with Syria and with Jordan. As Russia’s air base in Syria undermines Israel’s air superiority and reliance on air power, Israel needs to show that it will not be dislodged or allow its own territory to be threatened in any way. By doubling the Israeli population on the Golan Heights within five years, and vastly expanding its population in the Jordan Valley, Israel will accomplish two goals at once. It will demonstrate its independence from the US without harming US strategic interests. And it will reinforce its eastern border against expanded strategic threats from both the Golan Heights and the new Jordan with its bursting population of Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
It is ironic that the new Middle East is coming into focus as Shimon Peres, the failed visionary of a fantasy- based new Middle East, is being laid to rest. But to survive in the real new Middle East, Israel must bury Peres’s belief that peace is built by appeasing enemies along with him. The world in which we live has a place for dreamers.
But dreams, unhinged from reality, lead to Aleppo, not to peace.
Why Iran is more dangerous than Islamic State
It is not too late to repair the impression that the West — led by the United States — views Iran as part of the solution to the problems of the Middle East, rather than the chief source of the region’s instability and radicalism. Of course, Iran fights Islamic State; the fact that the world’s leading radical Shiite government fights radical Sunnis should come as no surprise.
Those who believed that the nuclear agreement would lead to a more moderate, open, reformist Iran, at home and abroad, regrettably suffer from wishful thinking. So long as the ayatollah’s regime governs Iran, there is no chance we will see a McDonald’s in Tehran. Instead, we will see more executions, more repression, more tyranny.
This view of Iran is shared across the Middle East by countries that used to be antagonists. While the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians persists, any reference to the conflict between Israel and Sunni Arab states is, for now, obsolete. Today, Arabs and Israelis are in the same boat, facing Iranian-backed threats all around us; in terms of how to address these threats, we are also generally on the same page.
What we lack is leadership from our traditional allies in the West, especially our good friends in America. Should President Obama or his successor shift priorities and lead a campaign to pressure Iran to end its destabilizing policies — applying the same type of pressure that forced Iran to negotiate on its nuclear program — it will find willing partners among both Arabs and Israelis.

Netanyahu, world leaders mourn the passing of Shimon Peres
In the presence of presidents, ministers and royalty representing more than half of humanity, Shimon Peres – who played a central role on Israel's public stage since the country's birth – was buried on Mount Herzl Friday.
President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton were among those who delivered eulogies. His three children – who also each spoke of their father – recited kaddish.
“Shimon Peres, merited not only a long life, but also a purposeful life,” Netanyahu said. “He was an active partner in the revival of the Jewish people, holding a sword of David in order to defend it. Shimon worked tremendously to ensure our power to defend ourselves for generations, and for that he will have gratitude for generations. At the same time, he did everything he could throughout his later years to achieve peace with our neighbors.”
Netanyahu recalled a late night conversation he had with Peres during which they debated what should be the focus for Israel: security or peace.
Netanyahu said that Peres argued passionately that peace is the real security, while he argued the reverse -- that in the Middle East security is a necessary condition both for achieving peace and preserving it. With time, Netanyahu said, he came to the conclusion that they both were right.
“In the stormy Middle East where only the strong survived, peace will not be achieved except through the continuous preservation of our strength -- but the purpose is not strength and power, it is a means,” he said. “The purpose is existence and coexistence, progress, prosperity and peace, for us, for the people of the region and for our Palestinian neighbors.”
One Last Interview
Three weeks ago, Shimon Peres sat for what he intended to be a Rosh Hashanah-timed discussion about the state of the world. It was also his final one.
I was lucky enough to interview Shimon Peres at length three times over the past 10 years. What has always interested me about him is his personal psychology, which reminded me of a character from a great Viennese modernist novel, and also his memory for specific and important historical facts that no one else alive still remembers, or ever knew. His aides said that they enjoyed our interviews because they weren’t “normal.” In any case, I learned a great deal from him—about the hinges on which history can turn, and how those hinges are made, the power of empathy and imagination as political tools, and the differences between political language, which is always relative, and literary language, which is a closed system that insists on truth.
This interview, the last of any length given before his death this week, was conducted in English (with occasional lapses into Hebrew and French) on Aug. 31 in Jaffo, at the Peres Center for Peace, and was intended to be published before Rosh Hashanah 5777, to greet the Jewish New Year. He was relaxed and alert, and in apparent good health for a 93-year-old man who was about to receive a pacemaker.
JPost Editorial: Obama and Peres
When a great man dies his loss is felt. This is particularly true in the case of Shimon Peres, who was active until his very last days. The tremendous outpouring of emotion from around the world is just one indication of the profound mark Peres made during his lifetime.
Dozens of statesmen are expected to attend the funeral, which is slated to be the largest gathering of world leaders in Israel since the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. But of all the statesmen who will be in Jerusalem to pay tribute to Peres, one stands out: US President Barack Obama.
That the leader of the most powerful nation in the world found the time to make the long trip to Israel as a personal gesture of honor to Peres should not be taken for granted.
The US president went out of his way both literally and figuratively to pay his respects to Israel’s former president and prime minister and by extension to Israel.
In an unusually long and personal statement, Obama described their first meeting, while he was a United States senator, and he described their conversations in detail.
“Shimon was the essence of Israel itself,” he said.
“A light has gone out, but the hope he gave us will burn forever,” he said. “Shimon Peres was a soldier for Israel, for the Jewish people, for justice, for peace and for the belief that we can be true to our best selves – to the very end of our time on earth and in the legacy that we leave to others.”
David Horovitz: Obama’s empathetic speech raises questions of what might have been
The event was solemn and sorrowful, but the optics, and the content, were inspiring. Standing before a line of bright Israeli national flags fluttering in the late morning breeze, President Barack Obama, a skullcap on his head, delivered a speech of admiration not only for Shimon Peres, the former Israeli president and prime minister, but also for the Jewish people and the Jewish state as emblemized and, briefly, led by Peres.
The final speaker at Shimon Peres’s funeral Friday on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl, Obama detailed Peres’s personal story of hope and achievement after tragedy, and said it symbolized the story of the Jewish people this past century — the longing for a homeland, the devastation of the Holocaust, the revival of the Jewish state. In Peres’s case, noted Obama somberly, “The railroad tracks that had carried him toward the Promised Land also delivered so many of his people to death camps.”
“I could not be more honored to be in Jerusalem to say farewell to my friend Shimon Peres, who showed us that justice and hope are at the heart of the Zionist idea,” Obama said near the start of his address, rescuing the very word “Zionism” from the lexicon of Israel’s demonizers and denigrators. The Zionist ethos, Obama continued, seeks, “A free life, in a homeland regained. A secure life, in a nation that can defend itself, by itself. A full life, in friendship with nations who can be counted on as allies, always. A bountiful life, driven by simple pleasures of family and by big dreams.
“This was Shimon Peres’s life,” declared the president, speaking before the greatest gathering here of world leaders since the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin 21 years ago. “This is the State of Israel. This is the story of the Jewish people over the last century.”
Obama remembers Peres as 20th century ‘giant’ determined for peace
Peres “believed in miracles, because in Israel, he saw miracles come true.” And his contributions to Israel, Obama said, are “so fundamental, so pervasive, that perhaps sometimes it could be overlooked.”
Both the United States and Israel have flaws in their histories which they are reluctant to address, Obama said, but because democracy was embedded from the start, “we have the capacity to do what’s right.”
On a personal note, the US president said he “took great pleasure in my friendship with this older, wiser man.”
“I could somehow see myself in his stories. Maybe he could see himself in mine because for all of our differences, both of us had lived such unlikely lives.”
Obama said he shared “a love of words and books and history” with Peres. “And perhaps like most politicians, we shared too great a joy in hearing ourselves talk.”
“Shimon, toda raba, haver yakar,” he closed in Hebrew, riffing former US president Bill Clinton’s tribute to former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 — “Shimon, thank you, dear friend.”
Clinton: Peres was a dreamer who never gave up
Former US president Bill Clinton spoke at the funeral of Shimon Peres at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem Friday, saying he was honored to have known him for the last 25 years.
Clinton put the loss of Peres into perspective paraphrasing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's tweet that Thursday "was Israel's first day without Shimon Peres."
Clinton continued by praising Peres's steadfast commitment to public service, and added he was honored to have shared a friendship with the late president over the last 25 years.
Cinton also thanked the Peres family for letting him speak at the funeral "even though I am not a citizen of a country I love so much."
He said that the tomorrow Peres envisioned was already being lived in Israel, adding "the morals that he envisioned are already being lived here today in Israel."
Clinton said that while his critics often claimed he was a naive, overly-optimistic dreamer, he knew what he was doing with his dreams. "He never gave up on anything."
"Peres started off life as Israel's brightest student, became its best teacher, and ended up its biggest dreamer," Clinton added.
Dear world leaders: Thank you, but ...
Dear kings, princes, presidents, premiers, and ministers, friends all,‎
Thank you very much for honoring the memory of Shimon Peres and his legacy of ‎peacemaking by traveling to attend his state funeral in Israel today. ‎
The fact that so many of you from all corners of the world arrived today on such short ‎notice to attend this extraordinary event, speaks to the power of Peres' powerful ‎presence on the world stage. It is testament to his exemplary optimism and wise counsel.‎
It also is a powerful statement about the importance you attach to your relationships ‎with Israel, and for that, we, the people of Israel, are appreciative.‎
However, I have to wonder and hope that you'll be there for the people of Israel and ‎the State of Israel not just at funeral times, like that of Peres today and Yitzhak Rabin's ‎funeral 20 years ago -- but also in times of crisis. ‎
I pray that you'll stand up for Israel also when we run into conflict and need your hard-‎core political, not just sentimental, backing.‎
Netanyahu, Abbas shake hands, exchange pleasantries, at Peres funeral
After years without meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shook hands and briefly chatted at the funeral of former president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem on Friday.
The two exchanged polite greetings as world leaders gathered on Mount Herzl to pay their final respects to Israel’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning former president and prime minister.
“Long time, long time,” Abbas could be heard telling Netanyahu and his wife Sara in English. After Netanyahu shook hands with senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, the prime minister thanked the two Palestinian officials for coming to the funeral, saying “It’s something that I appreciate very much, on behalf of our people, and on behalf of us.”
In another video uploaded to YouTube, Sara Netanyahu can be overheard telling Abbas she is “so happy” he came to the funeral.
Abbas and Riviln speak of future meetings at Peres funeral
President Reuven Rivlin and Palestinian Authority President Mahmous Abbas were seen in a video posted on the Facebook page Ramallah News, greeting one another before the funeral of former president Shimon Peres at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on Friday.
The two shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. Rivlin turned to PLO Executive Committee Secretary General Saeb Erakat and stated, "I hope to see you," in which Erakat responded, "anytime, you can get in touch."
"I really believe that it is a time to build confidence," Rivlin continued. "We have to believe that everyone is serious."
According to Rivlin's spokesperson Abbas also expressed desire that the two meet under different circumstances.
The exchange contrasted Abbas's refusal to meet with Rivlin while the two simultaneously visited the European Union's main headquarters in Brussels, earlier this year in June.
UN chief, envoys gather in New York to commemorate Peres
The United Nations’ top officials joined with Israel’s envoys to the world body for a ceremony commemorating Israel’s former president, Shimon Peres, who died Wednesday.
A ceremony held Thursday at UN headquarters in New York saw Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, American Ambassador Samantha Power and envoys from over 40 other countries stand for a minute’s silence in tribute to the former would-be peacemaker.
Israel’s Ambassador Danny Danon, who organized the gathering, described Peres as an optimist and a visionary. “President Peres, one of our founding fathers, was a man of vision and optimism who dedicated his life to the State of Israel. He contributed so much to Israel’s safety and security and never lost hope. This symbolizes the story of Zionism.
Danon added: “After years of representing the true face of Israel to the world, today the parliament of nations has gathered to pay their respects…. President Peres will continue to inspire us all. His leadership will be missed as someone who worked to realize the dream of security and peace for Israel.”
Power recalled Peres’s tutelage under his patron, Israel’s first prime minister David Ben-Gurion.
A back-dated deal with a toppled French PM: How Peres secured Israel’s nuclear deterrent
In late September 1957, Israel was set to sign an agreement with France. The French Atomic Energy Commission, after four years of negotiations, had agreed to provide Israel with a plutonium reactor. All that was needed in order to cement the deal was the signature of the French foreign minister and his prime minister.
What happened during the next 24 hours, as documented in Michael Bar-Zohar’s Hebrew biography of Shimon Peres, “Phoenix,” seems to epitomize the political suavity and steely tenacity of Israel’s ninth president.
His first stop on Monday morning, September 30, was at the office of Pierre Guillaumat, the head of France’s Atomic Energy Commission and an avid supporter of Israel. He told Peres what he already knew: the deal could only be finalized with the government’s approval, and the government was teetering on the edge of collapse.
Peres hurried to the office of Foreign Minister Christian Pineau, the main opponent of the deal. Pineau promptly told Peres what he’d told Israeli foreign minister Golda Meir a few days prior. He wanted to help but couldn’t; the Americans would be livid if they found out and might impose sanctions on France that would cripple its own dawning nuclear capacity. Moreover, the agreement could induce the Soviet Union to arm Egypt with nuclear weapons.
Peres bombshell: I stopped an Israeli strike on Iran
If not for Shimon Peres’s intervention, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was planning to bomb Iran, the former president revealed confidentially to The Jerusalem Post over two years ago.
In a meeting at the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa on August 24, 2014, Peres dropped the bombshell in a conversation with me and Jerusalem Post Managing Editor David Brinn.
I have thought long and hard about whether to publish it, and reached the conclusion that he wouldn’t have told us if he didn’t want us to.
I was editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post at the time and had established a close relationship with Peres, who had retired a month earlier as president.
During the course of the conversation (in which just the three of us sat and chatted over coffee), Brinn asked Peres what he considered the greatest achievement of his presidency. He responded by saying that he had personally intervened to stop Netanyahu from ordering a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear sites.
In one of his last interviews, Peres called Trump’s views ‘unbelievable, ignorant’
In one of his final interviews, Shimon Peres excoriated policy proposals being put forth by presidential nominee Donald Trump, calling them “unbelievable” and “ignorant.”
Speaking with Bloomberg Television earlier this month, Israel’s elder statesman, who died early Wednesday at 93, described the Republican candidate as an isolationist who would endanger America’s role in the world.
“The idea of Mr. Trump, to isolate America,” said the former Israeli prime minister and president on September 2 in Cernobbio, Italy. “Shall I say, in a nice way, it’s unbelievable, ignorant.”
The interview was apparently his last with US media before he suffered a massive stroke on September 13.
“America is not out of the world. America is with the world and leading the world, the world will not lead itself,” Peres continued, before invoking Trump’s pledge to build a wall along the US-Mexican border, for which he has insisted Mexico would pay.
“Walls will not separate people. People are stronger than walls, they build them and destroy them and I hope America will decide to continue to lead the world by goodwill, by hope, and by change,” said Peres, the joint 1994 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
The interview was not the first time Peres spoke out against Trump, who has confounded much of the world this past year with his improbable political rise.
Shimon Peres’s greatest achievement: Transforming Israel’s economy
The socialist who spearheaded the transition to capitalism was a monetarist poster boy
It was worse than the Greek crisis.
With inflation raging at 415%, foreign-currency reserves were dwindling so fast that by the summer of 1985 the Jewish state was on the verge of losing the ability to buy abroad even one barrel of oil.
Underpinned by the banking system’s collapse and nationalization two years earlier, the crisis stemmed from the public sector’s swelling to 76% of the economy and from public debt’s ballooning to 221% of gross domestic product through continuous union pressure on employers, government borrowing, and printing of money.
After several rounds of ineffective symptomatic treatments, Prime Minister Shimon Peres gathered a team of economists, heard their analyses of the crisis, broke them into smaller groups with specific assignments, and had them work for several weeks under full secrecy before producing with them a blueprint for action.

The late Israeli statesman Shimon Peres had a political career spanning seven decades — he served as the country's president and twice as prime minister. After he retired, Peres became a social media star, using Snapchat and Facebook. Image: Yedioth Ahronoth.
Then, together with his finance minister, Peres called a cabinet session, which he held awake for more than a full night. “No one is leaving this room until we get this business done,” he told several angry ministers who complained they were falling asleep.
Peres, then 62, was wide awake all along, and when the meeting was over it turned out that symptomatic treatment had given way to open-heart surgery. (h/t
BBC radio marks Peres’ death with Palestinian propaganda – part two
Following his afternoon appearance on the BBC World Service programme ‘Newshour’, Mustafa Barghouti was back again on BBC radio on the evening of September 28th.
BBC Radio 4’s ‘The World Tonight’ – presented by Razia Iqbal – included an item (from 35:36 here) concerning the death earlier in the day of Israel’s ninth president Shimon Peres. Listeners heard one minute of recordings of statements by the Israeli prime minister and the leader of the opposition and Iqbal read short statements from the US President and Secretary of State as well as the Pope before introducing her next contributor.
That propaganda rant – rich with inaccuracy and blatant falsehoods completely unchallenged by Razia Iqbal – went on for almost four and a half minutes. In other words, the producers of this programme found it editorially justifiable to allocate 77% of a five minute and 41 second item supposedly about a recently deceased Israeli statesman to “a Palestinian view” which contributed nothing whatsoever to audience understanding of the Oslo Accords, their sabotage by Palestinian terrorism or the reality of the situation today.
Police apprehend Jewish, Arab suspects attempting to disrupt Peres's ceremony
Authorities arrested a number of Jewish and Arab suspects thought to have posed a security risk or threat to the funeral proceedings of former president Shimon Peres on Friday.
"We arrested Jews and Arabs who may have threatened or tried to terrorize Peres's funeral," said Police Chief Roni Alsheich during a press conference.
Alsheich added that "there are a few sources that we identify as threatening or trying to cause provocations. I won't go into detail, but this includes Jews and Arabs related to terror, provocation or personal threats."
A ceremony was held in honor for Peres Thursday at the Knesset following his death the previous morning.
The Police and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) on Thursday completed preparations for an unprecedented operation to protect over 60 world leaders who are arriving in Israel for the Friday funeral of the late president.
The domestic intelligence agency said in a statement on Thursday that its units will provide an “intelligence and technological envelope, which includes the use of advanced technological means.”
Congress Must Act to Prevent Unilateral Move to Create Palestinian State
President Obama is rumored to be considering a major reversal of decades-long U.S. policy toward Israel by supporting a UN Security Council resolution that unilaterally recognizes a Palestinian state before a peace agreement is negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians. Congress must act to counter this bold and reckless move that endangers Israel's security and America's strategic interests.
There is much at stake: Israel is a free and democratic ally in a hostile region that has been repeatedly attacked by its neighbors. Before it occupied the West Bank, Gaza, and Golan Heights in 1967, these territories were used as a base of war and terrorism against the Jewish state. Offers to create a Palestinian state in Gaza and most of the West Bank that would allow for a safe and secure Israel have been repaid by intifada after intifada.
Others have argued persuasively that any Palestinian state established in the absence of a peace agreement with Israel will become a virtually ungovernable hotbed of terrorism sure to threaten not just Israel, but also the region and the world. The events in Gaza in the past decade strongly support this position. Ordinary Palestinians will also suffer, forced to endure rule by the same Islamic fanatics and brutal, corrupt autocrats who have destroyed their economy.
Any Palestinian state established absent a peace agreement with Israel will be a hotbed of terrorism.
A White House decision to support unilateral Palestinian statehood would unquestionably be contrary to the will of Congress: 88 senators recently signed a letter opposing such an action, while 388 members of the House have signed a similar letter supporting a veto of all "one-sided" UN resolutions concerning the Israel/Palestine issue.
And these numbers understate congressional opposition: several senators refused to sign the letter because they thought it was insufficiently strong. Furthermore, a White House reversal on unilateral Palestinian statehood would also be contrary to the stated policies of both the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees.
To dissuade a determined White House from this course of action, Congress will have to do more than write letters. Here are some of the legislative options that could throw significant roadblocks in its path.
Father of West Point Graduate Killed in Tel Aviv Stabbing Attack: Palestinian Authority Use of American Funding to Reward Terrorists Must Be Stopped
The father of an American tourist who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in a Tel Aviv stabbing attack earlier this year told The Algemeiner on Thursday that he was appreciative that new proposed legislation that would restrict US funding for the Palestinian Authority was named after his late son.
“We’re honored, but of course it also makes us very sad,” Stuart Force, who, accompanied by his wife Robbi, traveled from South Carolina to Washington, DC to attend the press conference on Wednesday at which the Taylor Force Act was introduced by Republican Senators Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), Dan Coats (Indiana) and Roy Blunt (Missouri). “Anytime legislation has a person’s name on it, it’s generally not a good thing.”
28-year-old Taylor Force — a West Point graduate who served in Afghanistan and Iraq — was visiting Israel in March on a spring break trip organized by Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management when he was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist on the Tel Aviv beach promenade.
“He had finished the military and was ready to enjoy life and then this happened out of the blue,” Force’s father said.
Earlier this week, Graham told The Algemeiner that the purpose of the proposed legislation — which would cut off US funding to the Palestinian Authority if it continues to pay monetary rewards to terrorists and their families — was to “start a debate that is long overdue.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham targets aid to Palestinians
Senators Introduce Legislation to Cut Off Funding for Palestinian Terror Attacks
U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Dan Coats (R-Indiana), and Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) held a press conference today to introduce legislation which would cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority if they continue their policy of paying monetary rewards for acts of terrorism.
In March of this year, Taylor Force, a former U.S. Army officer, was stabbed to death in a terror attack in Tel Aviv by a Palestinian terrorist. The attack left ten other people grievously wounded. Stuart and Robbi Force, the parents of Taylor, joined Senator Graham at today’s press conference.

Amb. Danon: "It's time to stop Hamas from exploiting the UN!"

India hits at Jihadi bases inside Pakistan
Last night, the Indian Army carried out a series of covert operations targeting Jihadi bases along its border with Pakistan. According to official Indian sources, the counter-terrorism strikes killed 38 Islamists as well as couple of soldiers of Pakistan’s regular army, who were overseeing these Jihadi bases. Indian Special Forces went 2-3 km inside Pakistan’s border destroying up to 6 Jihadi camps. No casualties were reported on the Indian side. The strikes come less than 2 weeks after Islamists attacked an Indian Army base in India’s Kashmir region, killing 18 soldiers.
India has faced a sustained terrorist campaign in its Muslim majority northern state of Kashmir since the 1990s. Terrorists have killed nearly 5,000 Indian civilians and over 2,000 Indian soldiers since 2001. Tonight’s cross-border operation, first of its kind conducted by India, shows the change in country’s military doctrine since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office 2 years ago.
Following tonight’s strikes India has put its army along the international border with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on high alert. Indian newspaper Times of India reports:
Israel sends $20 million to Turkey for families of Mavi Marmara victims
Israel has paid Turkey $20 million in compensation for the deadly storming of an aid ship in 2010, a key pillar of a deal signed in June to restore ties after a six-year rift.
The money has been transferred to the account of the Turkish justice ministry, a Turkish foreign ministry official told AFP on Friday, asking not to be named.
Relations between the former allies deteriorated with the rise of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP to power, then broke off almost completely in 2010 following an Israeli naval raid on a Turkish flotilla trying to breach Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
The raid, in which IDF commandos were attacked by activists on board, left 10 Turks dead and several soldiers wounded.
The compensation to the victims’ families was one of the three key demands by Turkey for the reconciliation deal with Israel, along with an apology and an easing of the blockade on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. An apology by Israel was issued three years ago.
Palestinian arrested for planning to attack IDF colonel in West Bank
A Palestinian man was arrested after he approached a senior IDF officer while holding a knife, near the West Bank city of Hebron Friday afternoon, the army said
The attacker approached the command vehicle of Col. Itzik Cohen outside the West Bank settlement of Negohot, southwest of Hebron, the army said.
Soldiers wrestled the suspect to the ground and placed him under arrest. The soldiers did not use their firearms, and there were no injuries reported.
According to the army, the Palestinian approached the officer’s car wielding a knife.
Cohen leads the Judea Regional Brigade, which is responsible for Hebron and the surrounding area.
Gazan man killed in Islamic Jihad tunnel collapse
At least one Palestinian was killed when a tunnel under the border with Israel collapsed in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, an official in the Strip said.
The Gaza Health Ministry said the accident occurred while work was going on in a “military tunnel” used by the Islamic Jihad terror group.
It said Ahmed Mayyat was killed and three others were injured.
Mayyat was a local contractor hired by the Islamic Jihad to remove a bomb from the tunnel, the group said.
Local media reported he also worked for several international aid organizations in Gaza on a freelance basis.
There were conflicting reports on the number of fatalities in the incident. The Maan News Agency reported one person was killed and several were seriously injured. Israel’s Channel 2 reported that three Palestinian diggers died in the cave-in.
Iranian Commander: ‘Thousands of Pages’ of Intel Seized in U.S. Navy Detention
Iran’s FARS news service quotes General Ali Razmjou of Iran’s Second Naval Zone claiming that his forces “seized thousands of pages of valuable intelligence from the US marines during their detention.”
Razmjou was referring to the January 12 incident in which Iran seized two small U.S. Navy boats with ten personnel on board.
Russia’s supports Razmjou’s claim by quoting the U.S. Navy’s report on the January incident, which said it was “clear that some, if not all, crew members provided at least some information to their interrogators beyond name, rank, service number, and date of birth.”
Additionally, FARS reports General Alireza Tangsiri claimed the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy has “detained American and British trespassers twice and the Canadians and Australians once in the Persian Gulf,” without giving any details of the alleged incidents.
US Agrees to Lift UN Sanctions on Iranian Banks Blacklisted for Financing Missile Program
The Obama administration agreed to back the lifting of United Nations sanctions on two Iranian state banks blacklisted for financing Iran’s ballistic-missile program on the same day in January that Tehran released four American citizens from prison, according to U.S. officials and congressional staff briefed on the deliberations.
The U.N. sanctions on the two banks weren’t initially to be lifted until 2023, under a landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers that went into effect on Jan. 16.
The U.N. Security Council’s delisting of the two banks, Bank Sepah and Bank Sepah International, was part of a package of tightly scripted agreements—the others were a controversial prisoner swap and transfer of $1.7 billion in cash to Iran—that were finalized between the U.S. and Iran on Jan. 17, the day the Americans were freed.
The new details of the delisting have emerged after administration officials briefed lawmakers earlier this month on the U.S. decision.
According to senior U.S. officials, a senior State Department official, Brett McGurk, and a representative of the Iranian government signed three documents in Geneva on the morning of Jan. 17.

Russian FM Spokesperson: Kerry's UNSC Speech on Syria Was a Poor Show

N.Y. Based Egyptian American Activist: "The Crescent Must Always Be on Top of the Cross"

Egyptian TV Host: "I Support the Assassination of Jordanian Writer Nahed Hattar"

Saudi Scholar: The Jews Are Like a Cancer; Woe to the World If They Become Strong

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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 14 years and 30,000 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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