Tuesday, March 28, 2017

From Ian:

PMW: Fatah students: Martyrs' blood will create state
Fatah's message to its students is that Israel will be erased and become "Palestine" which will be accomplished through violence and terror (March 27, 2017)
At two Palestinian universities, An-Najah National University in Nablus and Al-Quds Open University, Fatah's student movement Shabiba is sending a clear message as to the path they advocate. On their logos (above and below right), the following text appears:
"From the sea of blood of the Martyrs (Shahids) we will create a state"
The logo is a coat of arms featuring on a raised fist in the shape of the PA map of "Palestine" that presents all of Israel as "Palestine" together with the PA areas. The symbol also features an image of the Dome of the Rock and the keffiyeh (Arab headdress) pattern. Both Fatah student movement branches use this logo, while adding the name of their respective universities.
The ideology that "Palestine" is to be created from the blood of "Martyrs" echoes Fatah leaders' promotion and encouragement of terror and glorification of terrorists, which Palestinian Media Watch has recently documented in a report released earlier this month in the American Congress.
Caroline Glick: A test for King Abdullah
Zahran, who seeks to replace the Hashemites with a Palestinian majority regime, which would allow Jordan to serve as the national home of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, argues that Jordan is a state run by the military and intelligence services, which themselves are controlled by the US military’s Central Command.
In his words, Jordanian forces cannot “relocate an armored vehicle” without first getting “permission from US Central Command.”
Zahran’s vision of a post-Hashemite Jordan is interesting. He envisions the US continuing to have overall control of Jordan’s security forces. The new regime would liberalize the economy and stop jihadist incitement while actually targeting jihadists rather than coddling them.
The regime for which he advocates would be dominated by the long-discriminated-against Palestinian majority. It would work with Israel to solve its conflict with the Palestinians. Zahran’s Jordan would restore Jordanian citizenship to the Palestinians of Judea and Samaria and give them voting rights in Jordan.
It is hard to know whether Zahran’s vision of Jordan is a viable one. Certainly it sounds a lot better than what we experience with Abdullah. And it deserves serious consideration.
By the same token, it is time for the US and Israel to test Abdullah, the moderate man we cannot do without.
The first test should be an ultimatum. Abdullah should be told that he must either extradite Tamimi to the US for trial or send her back to Israel to serve the remainder of her sentence. If he refuses, then either Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or US President Donald Trump, or both, should meet publicly with Zahran to discuss his vision for the future of Jordan.
Ruthie Blum: Free to commit jihad against the Jews
Earlier this month, on March 14, the world was reminded of Tamimi, when the FBI announced that it had placed her on its list of "Most Wanted Terrorists" and the U.S. Justice Department requested that Jordan extradite her to the United States to stand trial for conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against American nationals on foreign soil, resulting in their death.
On March 19, as the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported, Tamimi tweeted: "If USA afraid about its citizens, mustn't sending them to Palestine [sic]."
On March 20, the Amman Court of Cassation -- akin to the Supreme Court -- rejected the U.S.'s extradition request.
On March 22, a buoyed Tamimi gave an interview to the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated weekly newspaper Assabeel, in which she said -- according to a MEMRI translation from the Arabic -- "After my release as part of the released-prisoner deal, I lived my life normally, with my released-prisoner husband Nizar Al-Tamimi [also freed in the prisoner exchange]. We started a family, completed our studies, and then began [looking] for work. We led the normal life that was denied us when we were in the Zionist prisons. ... When the Americans demanded to arrest me, I was surprised, because I didn't know that the victims [of the Sbarro bombing] included two Americans. I know that the Zionists came [to Israel] from all over the world and they had no [other] place, but I did not know the victims' nationalities."
However, she went on, "We released prisoners do not complain, because we know that the path of jihad has many obstacles and many rewards, [but also] many tests. I placed my trust in Allah, but it was a shock and was accompanied by great rage, because I hate injustice and will not agree to be rearrested after incarceration in the Zionist enemy's prisons. I then launched my legal jihad, which is a different form of jihad, after the jihad in Palestine."
Tamimi also rejected being classified as a terrorist, calling it a "sick thought" induced by the attempt on the part of the "Zionist entity ... to exert ideological influence, through organizations that believe in normalization, the rights of the other, and freedom of speech."

JCPA: New Poll: Decrease in Support among Israeli Jews for Withdrawal from the West Bank and the Establishment of a Palestinian State
A poll conducted on March 20-21, 2017, by leading Israeli pollster Mina Tzemach for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs found a decrease in support among Israeli Jews for withdrawal from the West Bank and the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Willingness to agree to a withdrawal from the West Bank as part of a peace agreement declined from 60% in 2005 to 36% in 2017. Support for the Clinton Parameters proposed by President Bill Clinton in December 2000 declined from 59% in 2005 to 29% in 2017.
79% say it is important to retain a unified Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty. 83% oppose transferring the Temple Mount to the Palestinians.
88% say that Israel cannot withdraw from territories that border on Ben-Gurion Airport. 81% say that Israel cannot withdraw from territories bordering the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Highway (Route 443).
76% want Israel to have full security control of the West Bank. 81% say it is important that Israel retain sovereignty over the Jordan Valley.
71% say an agreement should be conditioned on Palestinian recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
Trump Campaign Mideast Adviser Walid Phares: President Envisions Resolution to Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Through ‘Moderate Arabs’
A terrorism expert and long-time Fox News analyst who served as the new US leader’s Mideast adviser during the election campaign told the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat about the way in which President Donald Trump envisions a successful resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported on Friday.
According to the report, in an interview with the news outlet last week, Walid Phares, an American scholar born in Lebanon, said that Trump “told [him] personally, when [they] met in late 2015…, ‘I want the moderate Arabs to help us, meaning that they talk to the moderate Palestinians while I talk to Israel.’ That is why I believe it is his personal and strategic goal to solve this matter in a just way.”
Phares also noted America’s concern about Iran’s deployment of missile systems across the Middle East, saying, “This problem does not only concern Israel, but rather the entire region. Iran is trying to become the regional Soviet Union, and to spread its radical ideology under the pretext of fighting Israel. The Iranian regime is fighting the people in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and is oppressing Lebanese, and all this under the banner of ‘liberating Jerusalem’…”
He went on to say he believes that if the Iranian people were to rebel against the mullah-led regime, as they attempted to do in 2009, the Trump administration would back the effort.
JPost Editorial: Ambassador Friedman
The debate around the viability of a two-state solution often focuses on the security risks Israel will need to take to allow the Palestinians to establish a state. As Syria disintegrates before our eyes and with Hamas and Hezbollah along Israel’s borders, it is difficult to convince Israelis that the territory-for-peace paradigm is still relevant and that they will remain safe and secure.
That is why the first and foremost role America can play in such a process is to demonstrate that it has Israel’s safety and security as its top priority – that it has Israel’s back.
Early in its term, the Obama administration made a conscious decision to “create daylight” between Israel and America, a move that made it difficult to persuade the government in Jerusalem and the Israeli people that the US ultimately does have its back. While Israel gained tremendously from military aid under Obama, that daylight gap always lingered.
With the Trump administration, that daylight seems to be gone. As Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer said at the opening of the AIPAC Policy Conference on Sunday: “When it comes to the great challenges facing Israel and the United States, for the first time in many years, perhaps in many decades, there is no daylight between our two governments.”
Friedman’s appointment is one of the reasons for this change. As Pence said Sunday night at AIPAC: “David is an unabashed advocate for a stronger Israel-America relationship and our friendship will be stronger after he gets sworn in as ambassador. And I got to tell you, I just can’t wait.”
Friedman made a number of problematic statements in the past. However, he should be allowed a grace period to prove himself as an ambassador who is open to hearing all sides of Israeli society as he promotes the policies of his boss, President Donald Trump.
UN Ambassador Haley: “The Days of Israel-Bashing Are Over”
When it comes to combatting anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, “there’s a new sheriff in town,” United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley proclaimed on Monday at the AIPAC Policy Conference.
Haley cited two episodes that demonstrated her commitment to protecting Israel from unfair attacks. First, she recalled how she blocked the appointment of a former Palestinian Authority official to a high UN post. On Haley’s watch, she said, there will be “no freebies for the Palestinian Authority anymore” until the PA decides to negotiate with Israel in good faith.
Haley also mentioned how she called UN Secretary-General António Guterres and told him to withdraw a UN agency report that described Israel as an apartheid state. Guterres withdrew the report, and the director of the agency that commissioned the report resigned.
Haley touched on the speech she made shortly after attending her first Middle East-related Security Council session, in which she expressed her surprise and shock that the session focused exclusively on Israel’s alleged sins, ignoring issues like ISIS and the Syrian Civil War. Haley recalled that she had heard that anti-Israel bias was an issue at the UN, but “until you hear it and you see it, you can’t comprehend how ridiculous it is.”
She also criticized the nuclear deal with Iran. When it comes to Iran’s behavior, she promised, “We’re gonna watch them like a hawk. We’re going to make sure that every single thing they do is watched, processed, and dealt with.”
"U.N. needs to know: there's a new sheriff in town" - Nikki Haley

David Horovitz: Nikki Haley, personable, serious, and the undisputed star of AIPAC’s conference
Fourteen minutes. That’s how long Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, spent in conversation with interviewer Dan Senor at AIPAC’s annual policy conference on Monday afternoon. And that was all it took to mark her out as the undisputed star of this event… and of who knows what to follow.
“That was the next president of the United States,” said a man watching alongside me as Haley left the stage to a huge standing ovation. Ridiculous, you might say — to use a word that Haley employed several times in describing the United Nations environment into which she has plunged with such reformist vigor. Well, probably. But certainly reflective of the adulatory mood among the 18,000 people massed in the Verizon Center.
It was clear well before Haley’s appearance at the annual event that her no-nonsense dismissals in recent weeks of the UN’s dreadful Israel-bashing obsession had won her immense admiration among the delegates to AIPAC. From Ambassador Ron Dermer’s opening mention of her name on Sunday morning, every reference to Haley was met with applause and cheers of approval.
Apparently the only person unaware of her stellar status was the ambassador herself, who was plainly wowed by the reception she received. The standing ovation continued for so long that Haley, having finally sat down after acknowledging every section of the crowd, was forced to stand right back up again, and eventually to motion the audience to take their seats, so that her conversation with Senor could begin.
House Speaker Paul Ryan Says U.S. Will Not Tolerate UN's Anti-Israel Bias
"Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) addressed the 2017 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. to reaffirm the strategic alliance between the United States and Israel. Below are Speaker Ryan's full remarks as prepared for delivery:
'Israel today also faces a new threat. Their success in fighting terrorism has led enemies to resort to an insidious campaign of political and economic warfare designed to undermine Israel. Many of the college students here have seen this on your campuses, but all of us have seen this on the international stage. It is called the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions-or BDS-movement.
'We know the goal is to delegitimize Israel and isolate her under the thin veil of social justice and human rights. We saw this in December at the United Nations-an organization obsessed with singling out and demonizing Israel. So I want to say to the UN: We will not tolerate your anti-Israel bias. The Trump administration will not tolerate your anti-Israel bias. And our new ambassador, Nikki Haley, will certainly not tolerate your anti-Israel bias..."
UN Chief Reaffirms Jewish Ties to Temple Mount, Vows to Curb Anti-Israel Bias at World Body
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reaffirmed his recognition of Judaism’s historic ties to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount last week, during a meeting with World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald Lauder in New York.
The meeting took place just hours after the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) debated its controversial Agenda Item 7, which makes alleged Israeli “human rights abuses” a permanent discussion item.
The WJC released a statement affirming the secretary-general reiterated comments similar to those he had previously made on Israeli radio, in which he said, “It is completely clear the Temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple.”
During the meeting, Lauder expressed frustration regarding the UNHRC’s “obscene” bias against Israel. “The UN was built on the broken bones of the Jewish people after World War II…It is an institution dedicated to making sure that what happened in the Holocaust never happens again,” he said, adding, “So it is particularly outrageous that the UN has been hijacked by Israel’s enemies to delegitimize the Jewish state.”
Bennett to Trump: Move Over This Embassy
Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett called on President Trump to right a “historic wrong” and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“Almost 70 years ago, President Truman made history by being the first president to recognize the State of Israel,” Bennett said, , adding, “Now, President Trump can go down in history as the first president to recognize Jerusalem as its capital.”
Bennett promised Israel is “more than capable of dealing with ramifications of such a move,” should the Arabs on either side of the green line make good on their threats and riot in the streets in response to the move.
“We want you to be the first nation on earth to move its embassy to Jerusalem,” Bennett said, reminding President Trump that “embassies are always in the capital, and our capital is Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv.”
IsraellyCool: Anti-AIPAC Antisemite Watch: Greta Berlin And Mary Hughes-Thompson
We have already seen some of the antisemitism on display at the anti-AIPAC protests, including the presence of some familiar antisemites.
Now you can add two more vile Jew haters to the list: Greta Berlin and Mary Hughes-Thompson, Free Gaza founders and two of the dumbest antisemites going around (and the bar is admittedly low).
Berlin posted a few photos from the protests on her Facebook page.
Note how Jew-in-name-only Medea Benjamin of Code Pink is more than happy to hang out with these antisemites.
I was also sent this photo of the two hags and an unidentified third one.
Stand With Us: Violence will not silence brave voices

Israel, UAE to fly together in Greek air force exercise
Pilots from Israel and the United Arab Emirates will fly alongside one another as part of a Greek air force exercise that kicked off on Monday.
The Jewish state does not have formal diplomatic ties with the UAE, though Israeli officials regularly boast of improving relations and military contacts with Gulf states.
The United States and Italy will also take part in the this year’s Iniohos exercise, the Hellenic Air Force announced on its website.
The 11-day drill will consist of “complex air operations” and also include naval and ground forces, according to the HAF.
The annual exercise, which runs through April 6, will not be the first time Israeli and UAE pilots fly in the same military exercise.
In August 2016, the two countries’ air forces also met at the US Air Force’s Red Flag exercise in Nevada, along with representatives from Pakistan.
Suit against UN for illegal construction in Jerusalem
The NGO Regavim which monitors illegal construction in Israel filed a petition against the United Nations to the Supreme Court Monday. The organization accused the UN of carrying out illegal construction in Jerusalem.
According to Regavim: "In recent years the UN has taken advantage of its immunity by carrying out a series of illegal construction projects in the compound on property which is State owned."
Among the illegal construction featured in the petition are the structural changes the UN illegally made to a historic building which dates back to the 1930s, the illegal construction of a multi-story building, the construction of an illegal storage facility, and the installation of an illegal petrol station for UN personnel usage.
The petition also targeted the Jerusalem Municipality and the Israel Lands Authority for allowing the UN to abuse its immunity in this fashion and demanded "the implementation of Section 212 of the Planning and Building Law, which permits the demolition of a building even if the party responsible for the violations is no longer living or has some form of immunity." (h/t Yenta Press)
Arab ministers said to push distinction between terror, ‘resisting’ Israel
Arab leaders are reportedly calling for the Arab League to recognize fighting against Israel as legitimate and not a form of terror at the group’s annual summit in Jordan this week.
In preparatory meetings Monday ahead of the confab, which kicks off in Jordan on Wednesday, foreign ministers from the 22-member organization called for a distinction to be noted between “terrorism and legitimate resistance against the Israeli occupation,” according to a report in Arabic daily al-Hayat.
The report did not specify what was meant by “resistance” or if the Israeli occupation referred only to areas beyond the 1967 armistice line or all of Israel.
The diplomats also affirmed the right of the Lebanese to “liberate Shebaa Farms, Kfar Shuba Hills and the Lebanese part of the Ghajar village…to resist any aggression by lawful means,” according to the report, referring to areas on the Israeli-Lebanese border.
A similar affirmation was made by the group prior to the 2014 summit, but that was before the Arab League declared the Lebanon-based Shiite group Hezbollah a terrorist organization in March 2016.
Abbas urges Israel not to miss new opportunity for peace
The Palestinians are ready to make peace with Israel, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday, speaking in Brussels of the new initiative by US President Donald Trump to attempt resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“We are hoping the people of Israel will not miss this opportunity to make peace,” Abbas said on Monday at joint press conference with European Union foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini.
Abbas held high-level meetings in Germany and Brussels this week before heading, along with Mogherini, to Jordan to attend the Arab League Summit in Jordan. The Israeli- Palestinian conflict is expected to be high on the agenda.
US President Donald Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt, who has spent the last two weeks meeting with Israelis and Palestinians, is also expected to attend the meeting as an observer.
Navy doubling up on seaborne Iron Dome batteries to thwart Hezbollah
Israel’s navy has decided to add an extra Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system to each of four new warships whose role will include defending natural gas platforms in the Mediterranean from attack, according to a report this week.
A senior naval officer told Defense News that the change was made in light of a growing threat from 122-mm Grad-type rockets and longer-range projectiles in the arsenal of the Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah.
Two Iron Dome systems instead of one will be installed in each ship. Each system will be capable of firing up to 20 anti-rocket defense missiles.
The ship-based Barak-8 surface to air missile, jointly developed by Israel and India, will kick in to defend ships and offshore platforms from more sophisticated airborne weapons, the report said.
The alteration may delay the scheduled arrival in 2019 or 2020 of the first of four Sa’ar 6-class corvette warships being built in Germany, according to the report.
Hamas said to acquire highly explosive short-range rockets
Hamas has acquired dozens of large, highly explosive rockets, more powerful than those previously in its arsenal, that could be used to devastating effect on the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip, Army Radio reported Tuesday.
Each rocket is said to contain hundreds of kilograms of explosive material, far beyond the capacities of the other missiles and mortar shells believed to be in the terrorist group’s hands.
In the 2014 Gaza war, Hamas launched thousands of rockets and mortar shells at Israel and had dozens of its attack tunnels destroyed. In the two and a half years since the conflict, it has worked to refill its spent weapons caches and rebuild that military infrastructure.
According to Israeli assessments, it achieved that goal earlier this year.
According to the Army Radio report, the new rockets have a short range of a few kilometers, comparable to that of a mortar shell, but pack an explosive punch unlike anything seen before in the hands of Hamas.
Palestinian police rescue Israeli soldier pelted with stones
An IDF soldier was lightly wounded on Monday evening after he accidentally entered the Palestinian town of Sair, near Hebron, while driving a military truck. Village residents threw stones at his vehicle, and some physically assaulted him.
Palestinian police officers called to the scene rescued the soldier, turning him over to IDF troops in coordination with the Civil Administration.
The soldier was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem for treatment. The hospital issued a statement, saying, "A soldier wounded by stones thrown [at him] was taken to the emergency room at Shaare Zedek. He is lightly wounded, suffering from a surface wound to his forehead."
MK petitions court to allow lawmaker visits to Temple Mount
Likud lawmaker Yehudah Glick on Tuesday petitioned the High Court to force the government to allow Knesset members to visit the Temple Mount holy site after a nearly 18-month ban.
Glick, an activist who had pushed for increased Jewish presence on the tinderbox Jerusalem site before entering the Knesset last year, filed his request a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly said he would consider lifting the ban in three months.
Knesset lawmakers have been banned from visiting the Temple Mount since November 2015 as Netanyahu attempted to douse tensions related to an uptick in car-ramming and stabbing attacks.
In his petition, Glick and the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, which he chairs, asked the court to order the attorney general to develop regulations limiting the prime minister and public security minister’s freedom to interfere in operational police decisions.
The petition asks the court to stop the police from banning lawmakers from ascending to the esplanade, and specifically to allow Glick himself to freely visit the site, like any other person, as soon as possible, or at the very latest before the eve of the Passover festival on April 10.
Exiled ex-MK Bishara admits to meeting with Hezbollah chief
Former Balad MK and party leader Azmi Bishara, who fled Israel in 2011 following suspicions that he was spying for Hezbollah during the 2006 Second Lebanon War, has admitted that he met several times with the Shiite terrorist organization's leader, Hassan Nasrallah.
In an interview with a television station in Qatar, where he lives, Bishara denied having divulged security information to Nasrallah and his organization. He claimed that their meetings had to do only with political and cultural issues.
According to Bishara, his family was not aware of the suspicions against him. He said that he decided to leave Israel when visiting Qatar for an Arab League conference, which he attended as a commentator for the Doha-based Al Jazeera news network, after hearing from journalists and other MKs that security officers were planning to arrest him upon his return.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Knesset Recess Begins: Zoabi, Bitan Fight Over Whose Turn To Use Swings (satire)
Yesterday marked the first day of the Passover break in the Israeli parliament, prompting the 120 legislators to rush out to the facility’s playground, where rival lawmakers began arguing over who gets to use the equipment first.
Coalition Whip David Bitan was seen in vehement discussion with Balad MK Haneen Zoabi at the swings, with each one claiming the right to access the toy before the other. Witnesses reported that Bitan had reached the swings several steps before Zoabi, but the latter grasped the chain and would not let Bitan begin using it, contending that she should automatically get priority over him, since she suffers double discrimination as a woman and an Arab. The other swing in the set has been missing since the 2013 summer recess as a result of vandalism.
Bitan refused to relent, because, he explained, his responsibilities as Coalition Whip often prevent him from exiting to the playground, but he did finally get a chance to run out when Speaker Yuli Edelstein sounded the bell, and was not about to relinquish the swing the one time he was able to secure it for himself first.
Zoabi countered that the institutionalized discrimination of Israeli society and political system meant she must be given first use of the swing, in the interest of equality, and charged that insisting on leaving the determination of who gets to the swing first unregulated would invite further injustice.
Bitan, in rising tones, told Zoabi to wait her turn. “You want equality, start acting like an equal, and not someone who’s entitled to privileges without earning them,” he yelled. “Just because you feel like a victim doesn’t mean the rest of us have to suffer also. Take some responsibility for your situation, and accept that not every failure is someone else’s fault.”
Mashaal says Israel ‘changed the rules’ of the game in Gaza killing
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on Monday accused Israel of changing “the rules of the game” following the killing of a top Hamas terrorist, and vowed revenge.
“Israel decided to change the rules of the game, and we accept the challenge,” Mashaal said In a speech broadcast at a memorial service in Gaza, in reference to Friday’s killing of Mazen Faqha. “The Zionist occupier took from us a great hero and for this we will not sit quietly.”
Israel has not acknowledged any involvement in the killing.
Faqha, a Hamas member freed under the 2011 prisoner swap deal for IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, was shot dead by gunmen in Gaza City on Friday.
Although neither Israel nor any other group has taken credit for Faqha’s assassination, Hamas blames Israel for the killing and has vowed to take revenge.
Rights group urges Jordan to bar or arrest Sudan’s Bashir
Human Rights Watch urged Jordan on Sunday to deny entry to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir or arrest him over alleged war crimes in Darfur if he visits this week.
Bashir has reportedly been invited to a summit of the Arab League to take place in Jordan on Wednesday.
“Jordan should deny entry to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir or arrest him if he enters the country,” the New York-based rights group said in a statement.
The Sudanese president is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide related to the conflict in Darfur.
The Hague-based court issued arrest warrants for Bashir in 2009 and 2010, but he has so far evaded arrest and steadfastly denies the charges.
Iran nuclear deal may ignite slow-motion Arab arms race
What the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Washington said earlier this week in a panel discussion on the Iranian nuclear deal should attract the administration's appropriate attention.
Yousef al-Otaiba stated in a Carnegie conference in Washington, D.C. that the UAE is not pleased with its nuclear compact. Iran got a better nuclear deal than us, he said, and "it continues to keep its uranium enrichment program, while we made a commitment to forgo uranium enrichment," suggesting that others in the Middle East might want the same uranium enrichment capability Iran has.
The UAE will soon be the first Arab state with a civilian nuclear program. The country's first of four reactors is scheduled to be operational in a few months, barring any delays.
Besides Iran and the UAE, four other Middle Eastern countries are in different stages of their own independent nuclear program — Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt. It is unclear if this nuclear enthusiasm is driven more by a need to meet energy demands or concerns with Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Nikki Haley Slams the Iran Deal, Says It ‘Empowered’ Iran and Russia
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley blasted former President Barack Obama's Iran Nuclear Deal on Monday during a question and answer session at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference.
"At the U.N., what is the attitude about the enforcement of the Iran Deal and how to hold Iran accountable, most importantly how to hold Iran accountable for the deal and for the threats it's posing?" Dan Senor, a former adviser to President George W. Bush and the moderator for the conference, asked.
"It's concerning, and the reason it's concerning is because when the Iran Deal took place, all it did was empower Iran and it empowered Russia," Haley said. "And it emboldened Iran to feel like they could get away with more."
"You can put sanctions on a country. To take sanctions away, it's very hard to go back and put sanctions back on, so what we have said is we are going to watch them like a hawk. We are going to make sure that every single thing they do is watched, processed, and dealt with," Haley added.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell Slams Iran Nuclear Deal as ‘Windfall’ for Tehran
Aiming to prove their commitment to Israel, senior U.S. lawmakers are backing bipartisan legislation that would slap Iran with new sanctions while maintaining rigorous enforcement of the landmark nuclear deal.
The measures, unveiled ahead of the opening of the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference, seek to build consensus among Republicans and Democrats who are so often bitterly at odds on domestic issues.
"The United States will stand with Israel," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said at the conference Tuesday. But the Kentucky Republican criticized the nuclear agreement as a "windfall" for Tehran that prevented the U.S. from taking more aggressive steps against Iran.
"But today we can take a different approach," McConnell said. "Today, we can combat Iran's capability to fund, arm, and train terrorists like Hezbollah, Hamas, and its proxies in Syria."
In exchange for Tehran rolling back its nuclear program, the U.S. and other world powers agreed to suspend wide-ranging oil, trade and financial sanctions that had choked the Iranian economy.
Following VP Pence’s AIPAC Speech, Iran Slams US Over Support for ‘Zionist Regime’
Israel, not Iran, is to blame for instability across the Middle East, a Tehran regime official claimed on Tuesday.
Responding to US Vice President Mike Pence’s Sunday address at AIPAC’s annual policy conference in Washington, DC — in which Pence said the Islamic Republic was destabilizing the Middle East and jeopardizing Israel’s security — Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi stated, “Unfortunately, the United States’ polices in support of the Zionist regime’s aggressive measures against the people of the region and also daily crimes committed by America’s partners against the defenseless people of Yemen have worsened insecurity in the Middle East.”
Qassemi’s remarks were reported by the regime-aligned Tasnim news agency.
The Foreign Ministry spokesman also vowed that Iran would continue its missile-development program.
“In bolstering our indigenized defense power and defending our country, we will neither accept recommendations from anyone nor will allow others’ interference,” he said.
Is Iran expanding its spying and lobbying efforts?
The Iranian intelligence minister's recent remarks, pertaining to Tehran overseeing a spy/lobby network in important capitals across the world, is cause for concern. Mahmoud Alavi, Iran's spy chief, bragged about the regime's capability to run a lobby group in Washington with the aim of promoting Tehran's hardline agenda.
According to Alavi, Iranian dual citizens in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom have maintained their loyalty to the "Islamic revolution," the mullahs' hallmark motto ever since 1979, through which they have wreaked havoc across the region and beyond.
A "lobby group for the Islamic Republic of Iran" is actively bolstering Tehran's status in the international stage and helping to sell and legitimize its nuclear ambitions as just causes to the globe, Alavi claimed.
The head of Iran's intelligence apparatus did not bother to name the specific lobby entity. One certain group, however, the National Iranian American Council, has been the target of major criticism in the past several months, with accusations of the group lobbying on Tehran's behalf. Various dissident organizations are demanding the Trump administration to launch an official probe digging into NIAC's history and nature of its current events.
Congress has also been petitioned to investigate ties between Iran and the NIAC, and the latter's active drive to promote a pro-Tehran agenda in Washington. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., who chair the foreign affairs committees in each chamber of Congress, have received specific letters signaling the importance of urgent action in this regard.
Bahrain Disrupts Iran-Sponsored Terror Cell Planning to Carry Out Attacks
Bahrain security forces arrested members of an Iranian-sponsored terrorist cell on Sunday, accusing them of planning the assassinations of senior government officials. The cell is also believed to be behind a bus bombing that wounded several policemen in February.
Bahrain’s state news agency — the BNA — reported that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) provided military training to six of the suspects, while five others received training from the Iraqi Hezbollah terrorist organization. Three others were trained in Bahrain.
Two exiled Bahrainis living in Iran coordinate the terrorist cell, Bahrain’s interior ministry announced, including a US State Department designated global terrorist — Mortada Majid Al-Sanadi.
Last year, Bahrain authorities foiled a similar IRGC and Lebanese Hezbollah plot to carry out terrorist attacks in the country.
In November 2015, Bahrain arrested 47 people accused of links to “terrorist elements in Iran,” who reportedly planned to conduct imminent attacks in the country. A month later, Bahrain recalled its ambassador to Iran following a raid on a bomb-making factory in Bahrain, and the arrests of individuals with suspected ties to the IRGC.
‘Israel should support Kurds’ struggle against despotic Iranian regime
The Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) was founded by Iranian Kurds in 1997 and has since fought for the rights of Kurds in Iran.
Kurdish groups have complained of humanrights abuses, including hangings of political prisoners, for decades. In an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post, PJAK vice president Siamand Moeini discussed the shared history of Jews and Kurds in Iran and the region and encouraged Israel to cooperate with Kurds in Iran.
Can you please describe the current policy of PJAK and its views on Iran? With appreciation, Iran has continued its policy of denying our nation’s [existence], [and] considering [the] Kurdistan [region] as a security zone. As the result of this, the PJAK, particularly after its Fifth Congress, has been adamant on its adopted strategy of resistance vis-à-vis the Iranian authorities.
We have demanded our rights, for the accomplishment of which we adopt and pursue multiple approaches. We are of opinion, however, that a peaceful method is the first alternative. Yet if the Iranian authorities continue to pursue its adopted policy of denial, we will try, soon or later, other methods.
Iran is governed through a despotic state.
How does PJAK view Israel? The Jews are a nation who, like every free society, deserves a peaceful and free life. Other than the people of Israel, no one has the right to decide for the people of Israel. In Kurdistan, at some points in its history, many Jews had lived who then left the country to go back to Israel. Unfortunately, due to oppressive policies of the Iranian regime, they were not allowed to live in a country where they were born, and like many other Kurds, had to depart their country.
The Kurds and the Jews have various common points and interests. Their roots, moreover, are tied to Mesopotamian culture as they have throughout history lived in Mesopotamia and Anatolia. I believe that they are a determined nation who despite all these enemies have succeeded in preserving themselves, manifesting a powerful will. From a strategic point of view, a free Kurdistan can be a powerful ally to the Jews in the region.
Islamic State releases video threatening Iran for tolerating Jews
The Islamic State group threatened Iran for its role in the region’s conflicts, in a rare Farsi-language propaganda video released on Monday.
The 36-minute video, entitled “The Farsi Land: From Yesterday ’till Today,” was issued through IS’s social media channels from Diyala province in neighboring Iraq.
A masked man directs his message to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“Oh, Khamenei, you cursed person who controls the so-called Islamic Iranian regime, rest assured that soon we will destroy your house like this,” he says, pointing to ruins behind him.
The video also chastises Iran for its tolerance towards Jews.
“Iran raised its slogans against the US and Israel to deceive the Sunnis, while Iranian Jews live safely in Iran under its protection, and it has provided them with temples and churches as seen in Tehran and Isfahan,” the narrator says.
Several captured soldiers are decapitated in the video, one of whom is wearing a “Ya Hossein” badge, indicating that he was a Shiite fighter.

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