Tuesday, February 21, 2017

From Ian:

The Impossible Deal: Establishing a Peaceful Palestinian-Arab State
Similarly, as Netanyahu explained in 2009 during his speech at Bar-Ilan University, any Palestinian-Arab state needs to be “demilitarized” – meaning that it cannot have an army, control its airspace, forge military pacts with the likes of Hezbollah and Iran, and import weapons, and must be subject to strong measures to prevent weapons smuggling. The PA opposes all of these Israeli security requirements.
Still another irreconcilable issue is that because a Palestinian state deal asks Israel to give up irreversible tangibles (i.e., land) for intangible peace promises, Israel needs partners who keep their promises. But the PA broke its repeated Oslo and other agreements to combat and stop inciting terror, collect illegal weapons, outlaw terrorist groups and preserve and provide Jews access to Jewish holy sites in PA territory.
Finally, the PA’s unrelenting goal is to destroy and replace all of Israel with a Palestinian-Arab state that no Jews can step foot in. This goal is clearly laid out in the PA ruling party Fatah Charter and in PA President Abbas’ speeches condemning the Israeli “occupation” since 1948 – and in the PA maps, stationery, official emblems, stamps, media and atlases showing all of Israel as Palestine. The PA leadership assures its people that any concessions it obtains are “stages” towards their final goal of destroying the Jewish state. Additionally, the PA is politically aligned with Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction and the murder of every Jew.
Israel cannot agree to commit suicide – or give the PA a stronger base for advancing the Palestinian-Arab “struggle” for Israel’s total annihilation.
Caroline Glick: Senator Menendez and the Pollard effect
During his meeting with Trump, Netanyahu chose not to bring up Pollard and Pollard’s scandalous parole terms. Instead, Netanyahu sufficed with discussing Pollard’s plight at his meeting with Vice President Mike Pence. According to media reports, the two men agreed that Ambassador Ron Dermer will work with the administration on the issue. What that means was left open to interpretation.
Given the devastating role the Pollard affair has played in US-Israel relations, it is understandable that Netanyahu wouldn’t want to bring up Pollard at his first meeting with Trump. Who wants to bring up unpleasant subjects when you’re trying to build a new relationship with a new US president?
But while understandable, Netanyahu’s decision to minimize his discussions of Pollard’s plight and then delegate the issue to his ambassador was the wrong way to build that relationship.
Every day Pollard is subjected to prejudicial treatment by the US justice system is another day that the US is officially persecuting an American Jew, not because he breached his oath to protect US secrets, but because he did so as a Jew.
And as Menendez’s bigotry toward Friedman made clear, every day that this continues is a day when it is acceptable to slander loyal American Jews simply because they passionately support Israel. Every day that Pollard languishes under effective house arrest is another day when it is acceptable to question the good intentions of America’s greatest ally in the Middle East.
In other words, to rebuild its alliance with the US, Israel needs more than a warm embrace at the White House. It needs to receive Pollard at Ben Gurion Airport.
Shmuley Boteach: Cory Booker Condemned David Friedman While Giving Iran a Pass
And for too long, our ambassadors have blamed Israel for the ongoing dispute with the Palestinians rather than acknowledge that the obstacle to peace is the Palestinians’ refusal to accept the idea of a Jewish state coexisting next to a Palestinian state.
J Street has every right to its harsh opinions about Israel. But sitting in the comfort of homes 6,000 miles away may not give them the same perspective as Israelis who face threats of genocide from Hamas to the West, Hezbollah to the North and Iran to the East. J Street does not believe Jews have a legitimate claim to Judea and Samaria or the right to live in all of their homeland. The group is also out of step with Congress and mainstream Jews who support moving the US embassy and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Prodded by J Street, Friedman has been challenged about his past support for Jews in the community of Beit El. The world may villainize the families there as settlers, but in my view, they have every right to live in the land of Israel.
The Palestinians have been offered the possibility of statehood no fewer than seven times going back to 1937, and missed every opportunity because of their refusal to accept a Jewish state.
While Democrats have united in opposition to Trump’s cabinet nominations, support for Israel has always been bipartisan — because Republicans and Democrats recognize that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, the only reliable US ally in the region and a nation that shares American values and interests. President Obama undermined that bipartisan tradition, which is why staunch Democratic supporters of Israel like Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Robert Menendez of New Jersey had the wisdom to vote against the Iran nuclear deal.
Cory supported the deal. He had that right. But he must show consistency. If you’re going to criticize an ambassador-designate, then at least condemn the Iranian regime that has pledged death to America, and its foremost ally, Israel.

Ruthie Blum: Nikki Haley's first hurrah
Four months ago, when South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was nominated by the president-elect as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, I wrote that there was reason to hope she would live up to the legacies of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Jeanne Kirkpatrick and John Bolton as "shining beacons in the Midtown Manhattan snake pit."
Though at the time I could not judge whether she was the right person for the job, it appeared that she possessed the kind of moral clarity and tough skin required in an arena filled with people whose key purpose is to cloud the distinction between good and evil. Indeed, it takes a special kind of envoy to maneuver the Orwellian universe in which the international body operates, where Western values are on a lower hierarchical rung than third-world culture, and where a mockery is made of the concept of human rights, the championing and upholding of which the organization was originally established to safeguard.
One indicator that Haley seemed to fit the bill was that she, the daughter of Indian immigrants who went through legal channels to become Americans, signed a law to crack down on illegal immigration. Another was her introduction of legislation to outlaw boycotts, divestment and sanctions "based on race, color, religion, gender, or national origin of the targeted person or entity." Since Israel has been the focus of BDS campaigns everywhere, it was clear what she had in mind. No wonder her appointment caused Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations Riyad Mansour to flinch.
Mansour was right to be worried, just as I now believe my high hopes were well-founded when Haley was confirmed.
The Offer that Turns the Gaza Strip into Singapore
Last week, Hamas received an offer that no sane entity would turn down. The offer did not come from Hamas's allies in Iran and the Islamic world. The offer, to turn the impoverished Gaza Strip into "the Singapore of the Middle East," came from Israel.
"The Gazans must understand that Israel, which withdrew from the Gaza Strip to the last millimeter, is not the source of their suffering -- it is the Hamas leadership, which doesn't take their needs into consideration... The moment Hamas gives up its tunnels and rockets, we'll be the first to invest." — Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Hamas does not want a new "Singapore" in the Middle East. Hamas wants Israel to disappear from the face of the earth. The welfare of the Palestinians living under its rule is the last thing on the mind of Hamas. The dispute is not about improving the living conditions of Palestinians, as far as Hamas is concerned. Instead, it is about the very existence of Israel.
Hamas deserves credit for one thing: its honesty concerning its intentions to destroy Israel and kill as many Jews as possible. Hamas does not want 40,000 new jobs for the unemployed poor Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. It would rather see these unemployed Palestinians join its ranks and become soldiers in the jihad to replace Israel with an Islamic empire.
Egyptian Presidential Spokesman: Report of El-Sisi’s Part in Clandestine Peace Summit in Jordan Last Year Includes ‘False Information’
A spokesman for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi railed against a report in the Israeli media about his country’s part in a clandestine Mideast peace summit in Jordan last year, hosted by King Abdullah II and attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-US Secretary of State John Kerry, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Monday.
According to nrg, Alaa Youssef demanded to clarify that the Haaretz report “included false information.”
Youssef was referring to the Haaretz article which said Egypt was “sparing no effort” to reach a just and comprehensive two-state solution, which involves the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the June 4, 1967 borders.
Youssef said that, “contrary to the false report,” Egypt’s position has been to “lead the way towards a permanent solution to the Palestinian issue and to safeguard the rights of the Palestinian people by hearing and weighing various opinions from the involved parties and is prepared to examine initiatives aimed at reviving the peace process.”
Youssef, who failed to say what about the Haaretz report was false, added, “Reaching a final solution to this issue will lead to a new reality that guarantees the safety and security of the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, and will provide hope to anyone who wants to achieve economic and social development in the region.”
Egypt, Jordan leaders say two-state solution not up for compromise
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan's King Abdullah said in a Cairo meeting on Tuesday that they were committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Sisi's office said in a statement.
"The two sides discussed future movements to break the gridlock within the Middle East peace process, especially with US President Donald Trump's administration taking power," the statement said.
"They also discussed mutual coordination to reach a two-state solution and establish a Palestinian state based on the June 4, 1967 borders (sic) with East Jerusalem as a capital which is a national constant that cannot be given up."
Last week, Trump said that he was open to ideas beyond a two-state solution, the longstanding bedrock of Washington and the international community's policy for a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.
‘Gaza-Sinai’ state idea a danger under Trump, warns Gaza analyst
Naji Shurrab, a political scientist at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, believes there will now be American, Israeli and Arab attention to the idea of establishing a Palestinian state in Gaza. He does not think Sinai’s inclusion will be discussed immediately because of Egyptian refusal, but that could eventually change if Israel were willing to transfer land from the Negev to Egypt in a regional arrangement. “I think that for the US, Israel and the Arab states establishing a Palestinian state in Gaza is an option that will be on the table in the future,” he said.
“A Palestinian state in the West Bank will be refused strongly by Israel but Israel may receive the support of the new administration to think of a Palestinian state in Gaza,” he said.
Most analysts think that is a non-starter. “Gaza is not a solution, it keeps the problem alive in the West Bank, it’s not a serious thought,” said Ghassan Khatib, vice president of Bir Zeit University in the West Bank. He believes that Netanyahu’s plan is simply to maintain the status quo. “There’s no pressure on him, nothing is bothering him and he can expand the settlements.”
“Talking about a Gaza state is a way of escaping the inevitable outcome which is two states and avoiding that settlement expansion is illegitimate, and goes against international public opinion and international law. It deviates the discussion and attention from the issues that need to be looked at to non-issues,” he said.
Australian Editorial: Don’t Recognize “Palestine”
With the backdrop of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s impending visit to Australia, and former Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd calling to recognize “Palestine,” The Australian has run an editorial which is a welcome change from what I have seen in the Australian media.
Predictably, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s arrival tomorrow has prompted demands for Australian recognition of a Palestinian state. Kevin Rudd is the latest Labor figure to join the clamour, adding to the calls by Bob Hawke, Gareth Evans, Bob Carr and others for the Turnbull government to overturn its firm stand against unilateral recognition without a negotiated peace accord between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Recognition would add to the delusions of Palestinian leaders that they can achieve statehood through the back door, using the UN as a conduit. Proponents of recognition overlook the reality that Palestine lacks the most fundamental prerequisites of statehood, including defined borders, which can be achieved only through a negotiated settlement with Israel — not shuffling documents around the UN.
Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop are right in rejecting demands for Australian recognition. Doing so would reinforce the Palestinians’ past rejections of generous peace terms (in 2000, 2001 and 2008) and their refusal to return to the negotiating table. It would merely add another country to the list of those fostering the Palestinians’ absurd belief that they can achieve statehood without negotiating with the Israelis.
Will Australian Labor Adopt the Fake "Palestine" narrative?
How will it help ANYONE to "recognise" a fake national identity and create yet another failed, brutal Islamic terrorist entity? (Look at what happened in Gaza.)
In the 2000 years that Palestine was ruled by foreign empires, including the 400 years of Ottoman rule, there was never a Palestinian-Arab movement for self-determination. Even when Israel declared an independent Jewish state, opposition to it was seen as a pan-Arab movement, and the 1948-9 war was waged against Israel by the Arab League.
The PLO was first formed in the 1960s, at which time its manifesto explicitly renounced any ambitions to self-determination in Gaza and Judea/Samaria (the "West Bank"), which were then ruled by Egypt and Jordan. The only land they wanted to "liberate" was the land ruled by Jews (inside the 1948-9 Armistice Line).
Since 1967, the PLO manifesto was altered, and they now claim the additional land, which they previously renounced but is now controlled by Jews, as their "ancient homeland" ...
The entire narrative of Palestinian nationhood is a fiction, a tool to destroy Jewish self-determination, rather than an ambition for Palestinian-Arab self-determination.
BBC Radio 4 amplifies PLO interpretation of the two-state solution
Listeners then heard Manuel Hassassian again promote the inaccurate notion that the two-state solution was included in the Oslo Accords. They also heard him make the false claims – completely unchallenged by Shaun Ley – that the 1949 Armistice lines are “borders” and that the definition of the two-state solution is that a Palestinian state would be established on all of the land occupied by Jordan and Egypt in 1948.
Hassassian: “For the last 24 years when we embarked on the peace process, everybody agreed that the two-state solution would be the solution that will end the conflict and end the occupation – meaning that the Palestinian will have a state on the borders of 1967 as a result of the Security Council resolutions 234 and 388. There is a international consensus. International community talking all the time about a two-state solution.”
Seeing as UNSC resolution 388 relates to Rhodesia, Hassassian may have intended to say 338. However, neither UN Security Council resolution 234 nor 338 make any reference to a Palestinian state but Ley failed to challenge Hassassian on that too,
Trump says antisemitism is 'horrible' and has to stop
US President Donald Trump denounced antisemitism in the United States in an interview on Tuesday after he was asked about a spate of threats to Jewish community centers around the country.
"I will tell you that antisemitism is horrible and it's going to stop and it has to stop," Trump said in an interview with NBC.
Trump later said, while speaking at the African American History Museum in Washington, that "antisemitic threats targeting our Jewish communities and our Jewish community centers are horrible, and are painful."
Shortly before Trump's remarks, Hillary Clinton condemned a recent streak of "troubling" antisemitic incidents, and called for action first and foremost from the president.
"JCC threats, cemetery desecration & online attacks are so troubling & they need to be stopped," she wrote on Twitter. "Everyone must speak out, starting w/ @POTUS."
Ivanka Trump, White House condemn bomb threats targeting Jewish centers
The White House responded to a reporter’s query about the latest string of bomb threats called in to Jewish community centers by saying “these actions are unacceptable.”
“Hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individual freedom,” reads a statement, attributed to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, that was shared Monday afternoon by NBC News correspondent Peter Alexander. “The President has made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable.”
The statement did not specify that the threats targeted Jewish institutions, although it came in reply to a query about threats to JCCs.
Alexander posted Spicer’s response on Twitter, adding, “@PressSec responds to my request for comment about wave of threats to Jewish community centers.”
Separately, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who is Jewish, condemned the threats in a Tweet that pointed to the fact that the targets were Jewish.
“America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance,” she said. “We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers.” She ended the tweet with the hashtagged acronym for Jewish community center, “#JCC”.
An Orthodox Rabbi Responds To Trump’s Press Conference Answer On Anti-Semitism
As an Orthodox Jew and a Rabbi, I am alarmed. What's missing from the conversation is that Jake Turx was serving in the capacity of a journalist. A journalist, by definition, isn't just representing himself. He is representing the public. Turx correctly stated that people in his community are concerned about an uptick in anti-Semitism. While some in the Orthodox Jewish community may not have that concern, his question did represent a concern of many. The President should care that citizens, many of whom supported him, are concerned. Whether Jake Turx understands and is sympathetic to the President's frustrations is irrelevant. A question was asked of the President, and he refused to answer it on the basis that the question inherently was repulsive and insulting.
Without a doubt, Jake Turx and Ami magazine are in uncharted territory. Their response to this difficult situation, and their future standing and access to the White House, should have no bearing on how we as a public interpret events. Looking through Turx's twitter feed, one can see that he is quite conflicted by what happened. If he forgives the President for his reaction during the press conference, that's a right that he has as a citizen.
The issue of anti-Semitism, however, is a relevant issue that any President should address when there's a perceived uptick. If President Trump feels frustrated by the issue to the point where he's insulted when a journalist asks about it, then we as citizens have a right to be concerned. If we aren't concerned, or if we criticize the journalists that bring it up, then that's on us.
Over 170 headstones vandalized in St. Louis Jewish cemetery
More than 170 gravestones were damaged in a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis which has served the community for more than 100 years.
Vandals pushed over headstones on the Jewish graves on Sunday in the suburb of University City, Missouri.
”Numerous plots were damaged and [headstones were] pushed over,” Lt. Fredrick Lemons of the University City Police Department told The Huffington Post.
When asked whether he considered the attack to be a hate crime, Lemons replied that “Right now, everything is under investigation. We’re looking into all possible leads.” He added that police were reviewing video surveillance footage
Police said that it was likely there was more than one perpetrator, Fox2News reported.
Some of the graves, in the oldest section of the Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery, date back to the late 1800s. The cemetery holds an estimated 20,000 graves.
In 2012 Speech, Incoming National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster Emphasized Importance of Remembering the Holocaust
US President Donald Trump announced on Monday that Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster has been chosen to serve as his next national security adviser, replacing Michael Flynn, who resigned last week less than a month into the job.
McMaster, 54, is a 1984 West Point graduate who served overseas in both Iraq and Afghanistan over the course of a decorated three-decade military career.
“He is a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience,” Trump said on Monday of McMaster. “I watched and read a lot over the last two days. He is highly respected by everybody in the military, and we’re very honored to have him.”
On August 26, 2012, McMaster spoke at the dedication of a new Holocaust exhibit at the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning in Georgia. The transcript of his remarks — in which he talked about the importance of remembering the Holocaust — was unearthed by The Algemeiner on Monday and can be read below:
How the Media Fabricated Bannon's "Fascist" Connection
According to the New York Times, Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon admires radical Italian philosopher Julius Evola. An examination of Bannon's statements shows the opposite
Enter Steven Bannon, whom the media has crowned Trump's "grey cardinal." Mr. Bannon is very relevant to our lives, and any link to Evola should be disturbing; except for the fact that he never alluded to Evola in his prepared remarks. The New York Times headline is deceptive, and every media outlet that followed its lead was fooled. These sensationalist articles contradict the very raw material made public by Buzzfeed, even while referencing it. The Buzzfeed article contains an unedited transcript of a speech Bannon gave via Skype to a Vatican conference in 2014. The conference covered "human dignity" and the consequences of economic order. In that speech, Bannon supported "enlightened capitalism," and condemned two dangerous deviations: "kleptocracy," a political-economic order in which capitalist corporations merge with the higher echelons of the state bureaucracy to get rich at the expense of the impoverished worker, and unrestrained libertarianism, which in his opinion objectifies humanity. The speech itself made no mention of Evola. Repeat. The speech never mentioned Evola.
When did his name come up? In the question and answer stage, when Bannon was asked about his attitude towards Putin's Russia. His oral answer was, and I quote, "When Vladimir Putin, when you really look at some of the underpinnings of some of his beliefs today, a lot of those come from what I call Eurasianism; he’s got an adviser who harkens back to Julius Evola and different writers of the early 20th century who are really the supporters of what’s called the traditionalist movement, which really eventually metastasized into Italian fascism."
In other words, Bannon said that Putin is influenced by an advisor — who is easily identified as Alexander Dugin — who, in turn, is influenced by Evola, among others. That's it, that's the only mention of Evola. But perhaps, you'll say, Bannon supports Putin and Dugin and Evola's ideology? After all, we're told that Trump admires Putin, so Bannon must feel the same way. Well, later in the lecture, Bannon summarizes exactly what he thinks about Putin, his regime, and his goals:
Trump to Build ‘Third Temple Trump Hotel’ on Site of Temple Mount (satire)
Calling it a perfect solution to longstanding tension over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, President Trump has proposed a plan to raze the entire site and replace it with the ‘Third Temple Trump Hotel and Mosque.’
Trump unveiled his plans days after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. After considering how to accommodate Jewish access to the site of the First and Second Temples and Muslim access to the Al Aqsa Mosque, Trump said he believed the best solution for all would be a five-star resort that paid homage to each of the major religions.
While Al Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam, will be demolished, there will be an ‘Al Aqsa Bar and Casino’ within the resort, where Muslims who can recite a passage from the Quran will receive 20 percent off drinks at the bar. Trump will also replace the Western Wall, a section of wall surrounding the historic Temples, with a golden replica.
Hebron soldier sentenced to 18 months in prison, amid calls for immediate pardon
Israeli soldier Elor Azaria, convicted on manslaughter charges for shooting and killing an incapacitated terrorist in Hebron last March, was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison, minus the nine days the spent in custody over the course of the legal proceedings. He was also demoted from sergeant to private.
Around 100 protesters went to the military court in the IDF's Kirya headquarters in Tel Aviv in a show of support for the soldier.
Military Court Judge Maya Heller read out the ruling, saying: "The standard punishment for manslaughter is 20 years in prison, to teach us about the gravity that the legislature attributes to the crime of manslaughter. But in the State of Israel, punishment is individual. ... The defendant was drafted to the IDF in July 2014 as an infantryman in the Kfir Brigade; he successfully passed a paramedics' course. The defendant has no disciplinary past."
Heller described Azaria's family history and situation, saying he had had a difficult time adjusting to life as a combat soldier, but he had not received any help for his distress from the military. She also mentioned his father's testimony that he had suffered a stroke during the trial and that Azaria's mother had lost weight due to their distress over their son's legal proceedings.
Israeli ministers call for Elor Azaria to be pardoned
Education Minister Naftali Bennett responded to the sentencing of IDF soldier Elor Azaria on Tuesday, calling for him to be immediately pardoned.
"The security of Israel's citizens necessitates an immediate pardon for Elor Azaria," he said.
Bennett stated that Azaria, who was sentenced to 1.5 years in jail, "was sent to defend the citizens of Israel during the height of a Palestinian knife terror wave and the entire investigative process was contaminated from the start."
The Bayit Yehudi leader said that "even if he made a mistake, Elor must not serve time in jail. We will all pay the price."
Transportation Minister Israel Katz (Likud) also called for Azaria to be pardoned.
"The court has had its say - due process has been carried out. Now the time has come for a pardon. We must bring Elor back home."
Azaria supporters vow to fight, protest Hebron shooter's sentencing
Shouts of “pardon him!” erupted from protesters outside a Tel Aviv military court on Tuesday where IDF solider Elor Azaria was sentenced to 18 months in jail for killing Palestinian attacker Abdel Fatah al-Sharif in March 2015, as he lay immobilized in a Hebron street.
“His life is ruined!” said Sigal Cohen, 48, who was protesting in support of Azaria. "This boy is a solider, who was doing his job. He is our son, every mother should feel that. We are not going to swallow this. We are going to flip the government.”
Azaria’s defense has vowed to appeal the ruling, and had previously urged the court to delay the beginning of the sentence until an appeal is submitted. Azaria's representation requested 15 days to submit the main claims of an appeal.
Around 100 protesters gathered to support Azaria and once the court announced the sentence, a bit after 1 p.m., they vowed to continue to seek Azaria’s release. “We are here to fight until Azaria is returned home,” one man said.
Guardian home page: Azaria verdict relegates 74 dead migrants to 2nd place
A couple of hours ago, Israeli military judges sentenced IDF soldier Elor Azaria to 18 months in prison for killing an incapacitated Palestinian terrorist in Hebron last year. The case drew widespread media attention both in Israel and abroad. Sure enough, the Guardian published a report on the verdict, by their Jerusalem correspondent Peter Beaumont, less than 30 minutes after it was announced.
The article wasn’t especially problematic.
However, one element of the Guardian’s coverage of the incident was extremely telling, and speaks to a larger problem relating to British media coverage of the region.

In surprise attack, IS affiliate captures land near Israeli-Syrian border
An Islamic State-affiliated group on Monday captured territory in south-western Syria, near the convergence of the Israeli and Jordanian borders, after launching a surprise attack on more moderate rebel fighters near the Golan Heights.
The Khalid Ibn Al Walid Army used dozens of armored personnel carriers and several tanks in a dawn attack against positions held by the Free Syrian Army, rebel sources said, according to Reuters.
“In a surprise attack, Islamic State made an attack on positions held by the Free Syrian Army FSA groups which no one expected to happen so fast,” Colonel Ismail Ayoub, a Syrian opposition army defector, said.
Jordanian army units on the border were ordered to assume a heightened state of readiness, a Jordanian security source said; explosions from the battle could be heard across the border.
Iran's Khamenei calls on Palestinians to pursue intifada against Israel
Iran’s Supreme Leader called on Palestinians on Tuesday to pursue an uprising against Israel, suggesting the Israeli government was a "cancerous tumor" that should be confronted until Palestinians were completely liberated.
"... by Allah’s permission, we will see that this intifada will begin a very important chapter in the history of fighting and that it will inflict another defeat on that usurping regime," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, according to his website.
The Supreme Leader’s bellicose comments, made during a two-day conference in Tehran focused on its support for the Palestinians, come at a time of increasingly heated rhetoric between Iran, Israel and the United States.
While on a visit to Washington last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Fox News that Israel and the United States had a "grand mission" to confront the threat of a nuclear Iran.
Nasrallah: Hezbollah will have 'no red lines' in next war with Israel
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday continued in his string of threats against Israel, charging that his Lebanese terrorist group will have "no red lines in the next war with Israel."
In an interview with Iran's Channel 1 News, Nasrallah reiterated previous threats regarding Hezbollah's alleged capabilities to strike Israel's nuclear facility in the southern town of Dimona and the Haifa ammonia plant, which is now slated for closure.
"Israel should think a million times before it goes to war with Lebanon," he said. "Hezbollah is ready for any threat."
When asked if his Iranian-backed Shi'ite terrorist organization would recognize the state of Israel in the event of a peace agreement with the Palestinians, Nasrallah indicated that animosity would remain Hezbollah's underlying sentiment toward the Jewish state.
"Even if there is a peace deal with Israel, it won't remove the terror label and the occupation from it [Israel]," he told the Iranian news station.
"Israel is lying when it comes to the two-state solution, and will be deceiving the Palestinians if they agree to it," he added.
Russian deputy FM to ‘Post’ Hezbollah will leave Syria when conflict is over
The Syrian government invited Iran and Hezbollah to aid it in the Syrian civil war, and when the war is over they, along with all armed groups, “will leave,” Russian Federation Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Oleg Syromolotov told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
“I understand the fears of Israel relating to Hezbollah and the Revolutionary Guards in Syria, and you of course fear that they will stay in Syria after the war,” he said.
He noted Israel’s concern over what will become of the involvement of Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in the Syrian conflict.
“For us, Hezbollah is part of the politics of Lebanon, and an important part of the population of Lebanon supports them and they are a part of the parliament,” Syromolotov said. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps is also part of the military structure of Iran.
“For that reason, there is no way to put them on the list of international terrorists,” he said.
Iran bans chess players for 'bad hijab,' match against Israeli
Two Iranian chess players have been banned from the Iranian National Chess Team, as well as domestic chess tournaments, one for playing a chess match against an Israeli and the other for not wearing a hijab at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival, Radio Free Europe reported.
It was not immediately clear whether the dismissed players, siblings 18-year-old Dorsa Derakhshani and 15-year-old Borna Derakhashani, would face legal prosecution back home in Iran.
Iran forbids athletes from competing against Israelis in sporting events; often players will feign illness or injury to avoid matches.

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