Tuesday, February 14, 2017

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: The Livni-Fayyad two-step
Livni isn’t being considered for the position because she’s the former foreign minister. She’s being touted as a “balance” to Fayyad because she agrees with him that Israel shouldn’t defend itself against his aggression or that of his cronies in the PA.
Moreover, if Livni receives the UN post, Guterres will expect her to defend the intrinsically anti-Israel organization when it is justifiably attacked by the government of Israel she stands no chance of ever serving in again.
The only way to get the UN to think twice before it attacks Israel is for Israel to stop acting like a chump.
Not only must the government reject Guterres’s offer. The government should take the actions that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to take against the UN following the Security Council’s diplomatic pogrom against the Jewish state on December 23.
The UN should be kicked out of Jerusalem.
International and UN forces deployed in Judea and Samaria should be shown the door.
And Israel should stop transferring taxpayer funds to the corrupt institution that is controlled by an automatic majority of states that believe the chief purpose of the UN is to criminalize Israel while whitewashing terrorists and their supporters like Fayyad.
The purpose of the Livni offer is to distract Israel – and the US – and make us forget the organization’s inherent bigotry against the Jewish state while enabling the UN to maintain and even increase that bigotry. Israel must not be seduced by Guterres’s cheap, insulting, phony peace offering.
Col Kemp: Nato needs to reform into a global alliance against Islamic terrorism – or become obsolete
In 2005 we proposed, in a study called “Nato: An alliance for freedom”, a few ideas on how to close the gap between the Nato we have and the Nato we need. Some of them are still relevant. For instance, forget all the bureaucratic jargon about "capabilities-based alliance", "stability operations" or "operations other than war".
Nato should accept that we are all under attack by Islamist extremist forces of all kinds. President Hollande said that France was at war, and the rest of the allies cannot sit idle by his side. Nato must make the fight against Islamic terrorism its core mission.
Second, we are clearly not in a time to expand freedom in the world – a point British Prime Minister Theresa May made in Washington last week. On the contrary, we need to defend and preserve freedom in our lands.
In order to reinforce our Western world, Nato must invite to become members countries that are alike in the defense of our values and with the willingness to share the burden in this civilizational struggle. Nato should invite without delay Israel, Japan, Singapore and India to become members.
Defense expenditures should be revised and increased, but ceilings and burden sharing are not the problem. We don’t expend more because current leaders do not feel compelled to do so. Furthermore, to spend more on the same will not change our ability to confront the threats and challenges we face.
There is a myriad of things that can be done to put Nato back on track. Interior ministers should join defense ministers at council level and in summits.
That’s easy. But above all, what Nato needs is a vision and an impulse to transform from the new US President and administration. Yes, Mr President, we agree with you that Nato has become obsolete. But we believe you can make it relevant again. Your allies will follow.
Amb. Alan Baker: "The Two-State Solution": What Does It Really Mean?
The phrase "two-state solution" is repeated daily by international leaders and organizations. However, the phrase is bandied about without a full awareness of its history or of the practical aspects of its implementation in the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
It is accepted that a situation in which a neighboring Palestinian state would be politically and economically unstable and open to manipulation by terror elements could never be acceptable to Israel and would constitute a threat to Israel's security.
It is accepted that a unified Palestinian leadership must be able to speak in the name of the entire Palestinian people and capable of entering into and fulfilling commitments. Such a situation does not exist at present.
On the basis of experience gained with the existing agreements, any permanent status agreement between the sides will need to include solid guarantees - legal, political, and security - that a Palestinian state will not abuse its sovereign prerogatives and international standing in order to violate or void the agreements.
It is clear that a Palestinian state will only emanate from direct negotiations between Israel and a unified Palestinian leadership. Issues such as borders, Jerusalem, refugees, and settlements will only be resolved by negotiation and not by partisan political resolutions emanating from the UN or any other source.
Any such state must recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, in the same manner in which Israel would recognize a Palestinian state as the nation state of the Palestinian people.

Beyond the Failed "Two-State Solution"
"No one should be telling Israel that it must abide by some agreement made by others thousands of miles away... When I become president, the days of treating Israel like a second-class citizen will end on day one... There is no moral equivalency. Israel does not name public squares after terrorists." — Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, March 21, 2016.
Many Western leaders behave as if they genuinely want the destruction of Israel and the murder of Israeli Jews. They have Jewish blood on their hands and many skeletons in their closet.
In 1977, Zuheir Mohsen, a PLO leader, said bluntly that the Palestinian people were invented for political purposes.
During the British Mandate (1922-1948) the Arabs never used the word "Palestine," and called the area a "province of Damascus".
For 19 years (1948-1967), the Gaza Strip was occupied by Egypt, and Judea and Samaria were occupied by Jordan. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) never said that Egypt and Jordan were "occupying powers," and never described the Gaza Strip and Judea-Samaria as "Palestinian".
The Delusion of the “Two-State Solution”
The world still believes that the "Two State Solution" is the way to resolve the Israel-Palestine Conflict. But when the Palestinians invoke this idea, they mean something very different, which has nothing to do with peace
For some time, the slogan of the so-called “Two-State Solution” has constantly been presented in the media as a desirable goal, one that Israel and the Palestinians should implement in the interest of peace. Whenever one raises this idea, it is implied that Israel should make major sacrifices in exchange for an unclear benefit. During the Obama administration, Secretary of State, John Kerry, bitterly accused the Government of Israel of not being committed to the “Two State Solution,” and even last week in London, Prime Minister Theresa May declared that she favored the “Two-State Solution.” She asked Prime Minster Netanyahu if he were also committed to this formula. For his part, the Prime Minister did not respond directly but stated that Israel is committed to peace.
This slogan completely lacks merit. The PLO first introduced it as a stratagem, and its real purpose has been to conceal their true aims and those of their successor, the Palestinian Authority. Those who launched the idea of the “Two State Solution” intended that it be understood differently by the Israelis — their potential victims — and other well-meaning outsiders who seemingly would want a fair solution to this war.
During the war in Vietnam, the North Vietnamese originally launched the “Two-State” formula in order to hide their strategic goal. They adopted a strategy of phases which, by devoting attention to the intermediate stages of their struggle, would enable them to reach their goal by gradual steps. Their real intention was that North Vietnam would conquer South Vietnam, but they spoke of the “Two-State Solution,” a tactic whose purpose was to disguise their aims and manipulate world public opinion. In the end, Communist North Vietnam subdued and conquered South Vietnam, and in 1975 the last Americans fled from the rooftop of their embassy in Saigon by helicopter. This was a major defeat both for the South Vietnamese and for the United States of America.
Alan M. Dershowitz: Trump Welcomes Netanyahu
Israel's longtime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will soon be welcomed to the White House by newly elected President Donald Trump. What can we expect from this initial meeting between two strong-willed national leaders?
Much has changed since these Israeli offers and actions. The current Israeli government is not likely to offer more than what was rejected by the Palestinians. So the pressure must now be placed on the Palestinian leadership to make good faith counter-offers. That pressure can only come from the United States. This is so because the rest of the international community -- the United Nations, the European Union, the courts in The Hague, the BDS movement -- all disincentivize the Palestinians from making compromises, by falsely telling them they can get a state without negotiating with Israel.
President Trump must make it crystal clear that unless the Palestinians negotiate a reasonable solution with Israel, they will never have a state. President Obama did not send that message with clarity, especially when he ordered his United Nations Representative to allow a one-sided anti-Israel resolution to be passed by the Security Council.
President Trump must reassure Prime Minister Netanyahu that he will apply pressure -- perhaps through our Sunni allies -- on the Palestinian Authority, and not only on Israel, as the Obama Administration did. History shows that American administrations that really have Israel's back -- not to stab, but to support -- are more likely to persuade Israel to offer compromises.
So, I hope that Benjamin Netanyahu will emerge from the White House meeting with the confidence in American support to stand up to those in his cabinet who oppose the two-state solution and who want to expand settlement activity. And I hope the Palestinian leadership will understand that they have no option other than to accept the Netanyahu offer to negotiate anywhere, anytime, and with no preconditions. Perhaps then we will finally see a reasonable resolution to the age-old conflict.
Aaron David Miller: Why Trump’s Love Affair With Netanyahu Won’t Last
Now, put Netanyahu together with what we’ve seen of Trump as candidate, nominee and president. The need to win. The hypersensitivity to criticism. The compulsion to hit back when criticized. Add a touch of tension, some suspicion over a promise undertaken and not kept, or an Israeli no when Washington wanted a yes, and there’s no telling what might happen. One can only imagine how a President Trump would have responded to Netanyahu’s 2015 end run around the White House over the Iran deal. Working together, these two might constitute a formidable pair. But at odds with one another, they’d make Obama and Netanyahu look like pussycats. And in any contest of wills, my money would be on Trump.
One might argue that with Obama gone, there’s nowhere for the U.S.-Israeli relationship to go but up. Tensions over the Iran issue will abate; the administration may well be inclined to try to coordinate with Israel on some kind of regional approach on peacemaking; and right now there just isn’t anything to fight over.
But the Middle East is full of surprises. And while Israel and the U.S. share a remarkable degree of shared values as fellow democracies, they do live on different planets and are driven by different sets of security risks and threats that will make it hard to produce—either on Iran or the peace process—a coincidence of interest across the board. And this is particularly the case with an always-suspicious Israeli prime minister, hypersensitive to his domestic politics, presiding over a right-wing government, and leading a country that faces so many threats still in a dangerous, angry and dysfunctional region of the world.
We’re not necessarily heading for the sequel to the Obama-Netanyahu soap opera, but there’s no guarantee of a new honeymoon in U.S.-Israeli relations either. Indeed, for all the reasons identified above, I’m betting that within a year or so—and it might not take that long—Trump and Netanyahu will be annoying the hell out of each other. And then what?
Ruthie Blum: The art of the 'no deal' with the PA
Whatever the upshot of the meeting, however, one thing is certain: The Trump administration will not be able to broker an agreement that resolves the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, no matter how talented, smart or well-intentioned Jared Kushner -- the president's son-in-law who is purportedly being charged with this task -- may be.
The charade in which Netanyahu has participated since he announced his conditional support for Palestinian statehood in a televised address to the nation in June 2009, is that there is a "solution" to the ongoing war waged by the Arabs in Judea and Samaria, Gaza and east Jerusalem against the very existence of the Jewish state. Netanyahu knows better than anybody else that this is as much an exercise in rhetoric as it is in futility. He is fully aware that the only way for peace to be possible is for the Palestinians to oust their corrupt and evil leaders in Fatah and Hamas and -- in striving for the freedom and prosperity they have been denied by the honchos in Ramallah and Gaza City -- emulate Israeli society.
If such a day ever comes, no more than five minutes will be required for the sides to agree on the technicalities -- maybe 10, if the negotiators get stuck in traffic on the way to the table.
The same holds true for Iran, which is why the JCPOA was not flawed due to the wording of its clauses, but rather to the fact that the mullah-led regime in Tehran had no intention of reaching any genuine agreement with the "infidels" it wishes to annihilate. Its goal was not to have international sanctions lifted in order to get on with the business of improving the economic lot of the Iranian people. It simply wanted a more unfettered path to obtaining nuclear weapons with which to impose its hegemony on the Middle East and force the rest of the world to capitulate to its Islamist will.
David Horovitz: With Trump, on Israel, you just don’t know
Last Thursday, just a few hours before he dined with Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, US President Donald Trump gave an interview to Adelson’s free Israeli daily Israel Hayom in which he unmistakably declared his opposition to the expanding Israeli settlement enterprise.
The question he was asked by the interviewer was plainly phrased to elicit a positive presidential response on settlements: “We heard from Washington this week that settlements are not an impediment to the peace process,” Boaz Bismuth ventured. “I guess this is an issue you and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are going to discuss?”
But Trump, rather than performing as expected by reiterating or expanding on the notion of settlements as harmless to peacemaking, in accordance with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s worldview, responded with precisely the opposite sentiment: “They [settlements] don’t help the process,” said Trump, jaw-droppingly. “I can say that. There is so much land left. And every time you take land for settlements, there is less land left. But we are looking at that, and we are looking at some other options we’ll see. But no, I am not somebody that believes that going forward with these settlements is a good thing for peace.”
Gallup Poll: American Public ‘Closely Split’ on Palestinian Statehood, With Increase in Number Opposed
Americans are “closely split” on the issue of Palestinian statehood, a Gallup poll released Monday revealed. The poll, Gallup said, was conducted amid talk from US President Donald Trump about reaching a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that is “good for all sides.”
According to the poll, support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza among US citizens remains 45 percent – the same as last year. The change since then is in the number of Americans who oppose such a state, which increased by five percentage points, to 42% — the highest level so far.
However, Gallup said, “on a proportional basis, the latest results are similar to 2015, when 42% favored a Palestinian state and 38% were opposed. The main difference is that fewer Americans today (13%) than in 2015 (20%) have no opinion.”
Within these numbers, Democrats and Republicans remain divided on the issue, with 61% of Democrats, 50% of independents and 25% of Republicans in favor. This finding, according to Gallup, has been relatively steady, with the exception of an increase in Republican support for a Palestinian state in 2003, when then-President George W. Bush attempted to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
What to Expect when Donald Trump Meets Benjamin Netanyahu
The Israeli prime minister is scheduled to meet with the American president in Washington tomorrow. Parsing the various statements President Trump and members of his cabinet have made regarding Israel, Iran, the Palestinians, settlements, and the U.S. embassy, Elliott Abrams speculates about what will take place. The bottom line:
It is hard to believe that Netanyahu will be the only Israeli prime minister whom Trump will face, even if Trump serves only one term as president. The American embrace of Netanyahu will do him some good in Israel, but Netanyahu’s political fate . . . will not turn on his relations with Donald Trump. Nor will American policy turn on whether Netanyahu lasts one more year, or four: Trump seems tough on Iran, soft on Russia’s conduct in Syria, and favorable to an effort to work out some Israeli-Palestinian peace deal that emerges from Israeli-Arab negotiations. None of that will change no matter who is prime minister of Israel.
The good personal relations between Netanyahu and Trump are very helpful to Israeli-American relations. In the new administration we will not see members of the White House staff sniping and cursing at Netanyahu in public, and the word will go forth to cooperate closely at all levels of government. The United States will actively support Israel at the UN more than the Obama administration did. The [current administration’s likely] effort to improve Israel’s relations with Arab states is a tough but worthwhile one. But as Trump’s reversal on moving the embassy to Jerusalem “fairly quickly” shows, the issues Israel and the United States face together are extremely difficult ones; the failure to solve them in the past decades was due to their complexity, not to a lack of smart and dedicated officials trying their best.
Expect a terrific visit. Warm remarks. Hugs. Firm commitments. And then, back to work “studying” and “thinking” about the same intractable problems that have faced American and Israeli officials for decades.
Veteran U.S. Peace Negotiator: Netanyahu-Trump Meeting Will Focus on Countering Iran Threat
U.S. President Donald Trump’s scheduled meeting on Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will likely emphasize the importance of countering Iranian aggression and maintaining America’s bipartisan pro-Israel consensus, veteran U.S. diplomat Dennis Ross told reporters on Monday.
Ross, who worked as an advisor to Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, predicted that Netanyahu will likely emphasize “not just…enforcement of the [Iran nuclear] deal, but that more needs to be done to deter the Iranians and that in fact some efforts should be made to see if it’s possible to renegotiate” the deal’s sunset clause, which allows Iran after the deal’s 15th year “to build as large a nuclear infrastructure as they want, both in terms of quality and in terms of quantity.” This would leave Iran as a “nuclear threshold state in a position where it could move very quickly to turn that threshold status into a weapon status.”
Ross also highlighted Iran’s regional aggression, noting that Iranian-backed Shia militias are being used in Syria to “make up for the shortage of Syrian military manpower,” helping to keep Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in power.
Minister claims Netanyahu, Trump will push for Palestinian state in Sinai
Predicting a sharp and somewhat bewildering shift in policy, Minister Ayoub Kara said Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump will discuss a plan to establish a Palestinian state in Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula and not in the West Bank, reviving an idea long rejected by the international community.
Writing on Twitter a day before the first meeting between Netanyahu and Trump since the billionaire businessman took office in January, Kara said that the two would give their support to a proposal reportedly put forward by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
“Trump and Netanyahu will adopt the plan of Egypt’s Sissi. A Palestinian state in Gaza and Sinai. Instead of Judea and Samaria,” Kara wrote. “This is how we will pave a path to peace, including with the Sunni coalition.”
Kara was referring to a reported 2014 Egyptian proposal to resettle Palestinian refugees in a large tract of land in the Sinai Peninsula to be annexed to the Gaza Strip. While the plan was rejected by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and denied by Egyptian officials, Israeli ministers welcomed the report as a rejection of efforts to create a Palestinian state in the West Bank.
Israeli PM Netanyahu Becomes D.C. Darling as Democrats Clamorfor Meetings
After years of tense relations with the United States under former President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is emerging as one of the most prominent international personalities, according to multiple sources who told the Washington Free Beacon that Democrats, Republicans, and high-level White House officials are clamoring for a sit down with the Israeli leader when he arrives in town on Tuesday.
Senior officials across party lines hope to let Netanyahu know that America has Israel's back and that years of tension during the Obama administration is just water under the bridge, according to both congressional sources and those close to the Trump administration.
Netanyahu's schedule is already packed with powwows between President Trump, senior administration officials, and a cast of leading lawmakers on Capitol Hill from both sides of the aisle.
Meetings will center on U.S. lawmakers' desire to reset relations with the Jewish state. Multiple sources told the Free Beacon that sit downs with White House officials will focus on holding Iran accountable for violations of the nuclear deal, moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and combatting efforts at the United Nations to delegitimize Israel.
German News Agency 'regrets' antisemitic conspiracy about Trump
The German press agency DPA apologized Tuesday after writing in an article ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with US President Donald Trump that important Jewish donors catapulted Trump into the presidency.
Daniel Killy, a spokesman for the Hamburg Jewish community, told the Post “It's not a statement of the neo-fascist NPD party. It's the German Press Agency spreading ‘Jewish lobby-‘ and other antisemitic clichés - truly unbelievable!." Killy is a member of the German-Israel friendship society in Hamburg.
The Hamburg-based DPA wrote, “Trump was elevated onto the throne by influential Jewish party sponsors.”
Chriz Melzer, a spokesman for DPA told the Post, that “the article should not have been published and we regret that.” He added that DPA is working on a new article that “within minutes will be published.”
Former Obama State Dept Official Explains Why They Never Said ‘Radical Islam’
A former Department of State official confessed Monday that the reason no one in the Obama administration referred to certain acts of terror as “radical Islam” is because they were scared of alienating Muslim allies.
In an op-ed written for The New York Times, Richard Stengel, who previously served as under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, said there was a very clear reason no one could–or did–label various acts of terror as the product of “radical Islam” and instead used the much less loaded term “violent extremism.”
For Stengel, the reason the Obama administration shied away from the term “radical Islam” was not because it was “too timid or too politically correct,” despite harsh criticisms from Republicans and especially President Donald Trump.
Rather, it was because the Obama administration was concerned the term would alienate Muslim allies in the Middle East.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Report: Obsession With Israel A Plot To Distract Muslims From Zionist World Takeover (satire)
Egyptian intelligence officials suspect that the animus toward Israel that has characterized the last seventy years of Arab-Muslim policy and statecraft is in fact an elaborate diversion tactic to divert Arab-Muslim attention from the real threat, a Zionist takeover of the world that has nothing to do with Israel-Palestine.
Speaking on condition of anonymity under agency regulations, two senior figures in the country’s intelligence community told PreOccupied Territory that evidence is emerging of a vast conspiracy far more insidious than Israeli policies toward Palestine that exploits that conflict as a distraction from its global ambitions and machinations far removed from the soil between the River and the Sea. If Arabs and Muslims knew that their focus on opposing Israel contributes directly to the real Zionist objective, they might rethink their approach, according to those officials.
Implicit in the officials’ account is the fact that only the Arab-Muslim world stands between the cabal and total global domination. The West fell to its rule several generations ago; Africa lacks the unity and resources to mount serious opposition to it; the Far East sees itself as uninvolved and unconcerned, and therefore takes no measures to counter its effects; and Latin America long ago fell into the anti-Israel trap. These developments leave the Arabs and Muslims of the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia as the last hope for mankind to resist the Zionists, but they are blindly repeating others’ mistakes, to the detriment of human society.
All is not quiet on Israel’s northern frontier
Standing on the Israeli side of the frontier with Lebanon, one doesn’t need binoculars to see the UNIFIL (the United National Interim Force in Lebanon) vehicles moving along the patrol road, accompanied by troops from the Lebanese army, just a few hundred meters away.
The patrol, with UN and Lebanese army vehicles shuffled among each other, is intended to keep everyone on the same page and prevent mix-ups, especially with Israel.
But on a high point just a few dozen meters away from the vehicles is a military outpost where Hezbollah troops keep close track of the movements on both side of the border.
Security Council Resolution 1701, adopted at the end of the Second Lebanon War in 2006, prohibits any Hezbollah presence south of the Litani River, well north of here. But that doesn’t stop the Lebanese terror group from maintaining a large presence in the area.
This is its kingdom, and no one — not the peacekeepers of the UNIFIL or the Lebanese army — can change the reality that has been created here over the past decade.
Report Israel secretly withdraws ambassador to Egypt due to security threat
Israeli Ambassador to Egypt David Govrin has been secretly pulled out of the country since the end of last year because of concerns for his safety, the UK's Telegraph reported Tuesday.
The ambassador now works out of Jerusalem, the British daily reported, adding that the the Israeli government is hopeful he will be able to return to Egypt in the near future.
There was no specific information about the exact nature of the threat.
Govrin took over the post in August 2016, becoming Israel’s 13th ambassador to Egypt since the countries established official diplomatic ties in 1979.
Israel reopened its embassy in Cairo last September, four years to the day after a mob invaded and trashed the legation, forcing Israel to airlift its diplomats out of Egypt and plunging the two countries into their worst diplomatic crisis in 30 years.
Shin Bet bars Israeli basketball team from traveling to match in Turkey
Ironi Nahariya's European campaign is in danger of ending prematurely after the Shin Bet (The Israel Security Agency) notified the club on Tuesday that it refuses to approve the team's trip to Gaziantep, Turkey for next week's Europe Cup round of 16 second leg.
Nahariya won the first leg in Israel by 21 points last week (96-75), but that victory could end up proving to be meaningless as a failure to show up for the return leg next Wednesday would send Gaziantep through to the next round by default.
Gaziantep is located around 50 kilometers from the border with Syria and the area has suffered repeatedly from both Kurdish and Islamic extremist insurgents over the past year, The Shin Bet is responsible for the safety of all Israeli teams while competing abroad and believes Nahariya could become a target in Gaziantep.
Nahariya appealed to FIBA Europe to move the game to another location, but European basketball's governing body refused to do so. Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev has been part of the efforts to try and relocate the game, but believes that the Shin Bet can find a solution which would allow Nahariya to play the second leg even if it takes place in Gaziantep.
Foreign Ministry tells Israelis to avoid North Korea
Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Monday advised citizens not to travel to North Korea, only a day after an Israeli company said it would be organizing tours to the secretive state.
On Sunday, an Israeli tourism company revealed that it had won an exclusive agreement to issue tourist visas for North Korea, whose human rights record has been condemned annually by the UN General Assembly since 2005, and whose ballistic missile tests have been slammed for contravening UN Security Council resolutions.
On Monday, the Ministry recommended that Israelis avoid the country, with which it has no diplomatic relations, because of the difficulties that could arise if a traveler needed help.
But the ministry emphasized that it was leaving the decision and the sole responsibility for such a visit up to each individual.
It was an about-face from the ministry that on Sunday said there “is no travel warning for North Korea, and no specific ban on traveling there.”
Minister sees fresh Gaza conflict after Hamas anoints ‘unpredictable’ leader
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said Tuesday that a fresh conflict with Gaza is simply a matter of time, after terror group Hamas picked a hardliner convicted of murder to lead the Palestinian enclave.
Following the election of Yahya Sinwar as head of the Hamas terrorist group in the coastal enclave, the prospect of war is even greater, Steinitz told Israel Radio.
Although Israel has no intention of fanning the flames, Sinwar’s impulsiveness and cruelty increase the risk of a fourth war with Gaza, he said.
The comments from Steinitz, who is filling in as head of government while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits US President Donald Trump, come a week after other ministers also predicted war with Gaza following a day that saw several exchanges of fire between Israeli forces and the Strip.
The election was announced by officials in the Strip Monday.
UN warns Lebanese president not to arm Hezbollah
The United Nations has warned Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun not to arm Hezbollah following comments the Hezbollah-friendly president made on Egyptian TV on Sunday.
In a tweet posted on Monday, UN Coordinator Sigird Kaag warned that UN Resolution 1701 prohibits Lebanon from arming Hezbollah.
“UN resolution 1701 is vital for Lebanon’s stability and security. The resolution calls for disarmament of all armed groups. No arms outside control of state.”
Israel and Hezbollah fought a deadly 33-day war in 2006, which came to an end under UN Security Council Resolution 1701, The Resolution called for the disarmament of Hezbollah, for withdrawal of the Israeli army from Lebanon, and for the deployment of the Lebanese army and an enlarged UN force in the south.
Venezuela’s Maduro Demands CNN Leave the Country Following Hezbollah Link Report
In the past week, however, CNN has raised a much more alarming concern regarding the Venezuelan government: the years-old evidence indicating that the socialist Chavista government has been issuing birth certificates, passports, and other essential government documents to non-Venezuelan citizen members of the jihadist terrorist group Hezbollah.
Last week, CNN aired an interview with former Venezuelan embassy official Misael López Soto, who fled his position at the Venezuelan embassy in Baghdad in November 2015. López published a video on YouTube at the time accusing his embassy of creating genuine Venezuelan documents in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars for citizens of Middle Eastern countries.
Some, he suggested, were merely attempting to escape the war-ravaged region, but many others had ties to Hezbollah. These individuals, López stated, would pay up to $15,000 for such a document. He emphasized that these would not be fake government documents, but legitimately-processed documents for individuals ineligible to receive them.
As the CNN report noted, López’s accusations remained consistent over two years and echoed the results of an extensive report by Spanish journalist Emili Blasco, author of Boomerang Chávez. Blasco’s book accused late dictator Hugo Chávez of sending his foreign minister, Nicolás Maduro, to Damascus to meet with Bashar al-Assad and Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, to agree on the passport scheme.
The episode on Sunday is not the first time Maduro has demanded that CNN leave his country. In 2014, following the arrest of Popular Will opposition leader Leopoldo López, Maduro went on television to describe CNN as “war programming” and announce that he would “kick them out of Venezuela.” CNN reporters suffered robberies while attempting to interview López’s wife, Lilian Tintori.

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