Thursday, August 17, 2017

From Ian:

The Palestinian Authority is a Genocidal Terrorist Entity and Should be Treated as Such
The PLO became the first terrorist organization to have a seat at the UN and diplomatic representation in a Western country.
Daniel Pipes suggested measures to move the conflict in a constructive direction without causing major conflagration: require the Palestinian Authority (PA) pay for all damages inflicted by terrorists, including a very high price for each stolen life; burying the dead terrorists without returning them to their families; severely limiting access to West Bank territories ruled by the PA; banning PA leaders from entering Israeli airports if they make inflammatory remarks and each time there is anti-Israeli violence, or even asking them to use Jordanian airports from now on.
Why not tell European leaders that the Palestinian Authority is still a genocidal terrorist organization? Why not ask them how they can agree to finance in the Middle East what they claim to reject with horror in Europe?
PMW: Arab League lies: Israel does medical experiments on prisoners and murders them
The Arab League has adopted some of the Palestinian Authority’s most odious libels and is disseminating them as if they were facts. The following is from a new official report of the Arab League’s Department of Palestine and Occupied Arab Territories:
“The Arab League condemned the ongoing Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people, and particularly the holding of the Martyrs’ (Shahids’) bodies and theft of their organs, the legislation of additional racist laws, and the proposal of 120 racist laws against the prisoners... carrying out medical experiments on the prisoners within the prisons... it has even intentionally killed prisoners, whether through medical negligence or [after] abducting them to secret prisons.” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 15, 2017]
All of these libels echo lies and demonization that the PA leadership disseminates to its people. Demonizing Israelis and Jews by spreading these and a wide range of other libels is a fundamental component of PA messaging to its people. By offering its people a steady diet of lies and libels about Israel and Jews the PA leaders assure a high level of hatred and a large pool of potential terrorists.
The following are a number of examples of these libels that were included in the Arab League’s report being disseminated by PA leaders, as reported by Palestinian Media Watch:
IsraellyCool: Al Jazeera Selects Antisemitic Child Abuser Manal Tamimi As “Palestinian Supermom”
Al Jazeera has come out with a video about How to be a Palestinian Supermom.
Their supermom? Manal Tamimi of the infamous Tamimi clan, which counts unrepentant Sbarro terrorist Ahlam Tamimi (a favorite of Al Jizz) and Pallywood child star Ahed Tamimi (aka “Shirley Temper”) as their members.
So apparently what qualifies a woman as a “palestinian supermom” is bringing her kids to violent protests each and every week, encouraging them to engage in violence while taking footage of them (which you actually see in the video) – while denying this constitutes putting them in danger.
Oh, and being a vile antisemite.
But she sure makes a mean breakfast.
This video comes out around the same time as Israel invalidated the press credentials of an Al Jazeera reporter after he said his journalism was part of the palestinian “resistance.”
This is what Al Jazeera represents – not objective journalism but propaganda and terror incitement of the worst kind.
Here’s hoping we closed down their entire operation here for good.

Queens Museum Reverses Decision to Cancel Anniversary Celebration of UN Resolution Establishing State of Israel
The news of the abrupt reversal on Wednesday of the Queens Museum’s decision to renege on a deal to host an upcoming event celebrating the 70th anniversary of the passage of the General Assembly resolution establishing the State of Israel was warmly received by the Jewish state’s UN envoy.
“We welcome this step by the museum to rectify their earlier unfortunate decision,” Ambassador Danny Danon said. “Any attempt to discriminate against Israel is completely unacceptable and we will continue to fight against such injustices. We look forward to proudly celebrating this historic UN decision.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Danon had demanded the dismissal of the director of the museum after it backed out of an arrangement reached to host the event. The Israeli UN Mission explained in a statement that it had planned to hold the Nov. 29 event in the hall where the vote on Resolution 181 — which partitioned British Mandate Palestine into Jewish and Arab states — took place. The site, owned by New York City, now houses the Queens Museum, but served as the UN’s headquarters between 1946-50.
“In June, a museum official informed Israel’s Mission to the UN that they had reserved the appropriate hall and were looking ‘forward to a wonderful and meaningful event in its natural setting,’” the statement said. “Preparations for the event commenced with the senior UN officials, ambassadors and key dignitaries invited, and over a dozen pro-Israel organizations deciding to partner with the Israeli Mission.”
“Then, as word of the event became public, the same museum official expressed concern about feedback they received from ‘Palestinian friends of the museum,’” the statement continued. “After weeks of ceasing to communicate with the Israel Mission, the President and Executive Director Laura Raicovich notified Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon that she was reversing the decision and would no longer agree to host the event. Ms. Raicovich cited a board decision not to hold a ‘political event.’”
Raicovich, the statement noted, is one of the editors of a book titled Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency and Cultural Production — which includes a chapter that “justifies and endorses” the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
NYPost Editorial: The Queens Museum’s new exhibit: its own disgrace
The Queens Museum has a new piece to put on display: Its own disgrace.
The museum announced late Wednesday that it reversed its decision to renege on hosting a re-enactment of the 1947 United Nations vote recognizing Israel. But its initial move to effectively join in boycotting the Jewish state is still outrageous.
Planned in June and slated for Nov. 29, the event was to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the vote in the room where it happened, which is now the museum’s main gallery.
Founded in 1972, the Queens Museum occupies the New York City Building, which hosted the UN General Assembly from 1946 to 1950. It was a natural for Israel to rent the room for its celebration.
But Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon on Wednesday announced that the museum’s director, Laura Raicovich, had told him the board decided against allowing a “political event” after receiving feedback from “Palestinian friends of the museum.”
Friends of the museum, or of Raicovich? She edited “Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency and Cultural Production” — a book outlining reasons to support the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement.
Danon went ballistic, and rightly so, denouncing “this blatant discrimination against the state of Israel” and vowing to “not let this decision stand.”
NY Dailynews Editorial: BDS on exhibit at the Queens Museum
The fact that, in the space of a few pressure-filled hours after that decision came to light, museum brass scrambled, then finally righted the wrong, makes the disgrace no less contemptible.
Wednesday came word that plans cemented in June, whereby the Israeli government was to rent a hall to honor the momentous day, were suddenly being scotched. The institution, recipient of millions in annual taxpayer subsidy, cited objections of “Palestinian friends of the museum.”
Could some of those friends have been authors of essays included in a book edited by museum Executive Director Laura Raicovich extolling the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign targeting Israel ? One wonders.
Thankfully, Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon blew the whistle Wednesday — at which point the museum, under pressure, buckled.
Cold comfort. City Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl ran the Queens Museum before his appointment by Mayor de Blasio. As ex-officio board members they, along with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, must discipline any and all members of the board who willfully expelled a participant from public property on the basis of national origin, if not religion.
And find a new executive director to boot.
StandWithUs+: Indigenous - The Story of the Jewish people in Israel

Is There a Basis for an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Deal?
Australia's former ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma told the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies on Tuesday that there may be no solution in the current climate to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "There is a degree of stability in the status quo," said Sharma, who lived in Israel for four years.
"The relationship between the Israeli and the Palestinian people might be as good as it can be for now, until broad political change in the region takes place and the Arab world strengthens."
He said that he still supports a two-state solution but that may not be possible until a new generation of Palestinians come forward who are willing to accept Israel as a sovereign nation.
"I don't think there is an overlap these days between what the Palestinians see as a two-state solution and what the Israelis see as a two-state solution, and if there is no overlap, then there is no basis for a deal."
He said the Israeli-Arab conflict is not the defining fault line of the region. "The big story about what is happening in the Middle East right now is the crumbling of the creation of the nation-state system." People in the nation-states have been failed by their political leadership and Israel is not the principal cause or a relevant factor to those states' failures.
Sharma said he was struck by the amount of people who happily profess utter ignorance on a number of issues, but somehow feel empowered to possess an unimpeachable moral clarity on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. "I've always found that puzzling," he said.
"Outreach to Africa, educational trips for foreign diplomats and a more conciliatory Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu make it clear: Israel is campaigning to overcome its acrimonious relationship with the United Nations in time to win a coveted spot on the Security Council next year.
Israel is working to rally enough votes in the 193-member General Assembly to defeat either Germany or Belgium in a three-way race for two spots on the UN's most powerful body.
'They've done their campaign with a level of sophistication which is remarkable, doing it systemically, arranging fact-finding missions and bilateral agreements,' said Syed Akbaruddin, India's ambassador to the UN. 'They start with a disadvantage in that there are countries that are not disposed to vote for them, but they have cultivated certain countries to shore up constituencies.'...
Israel's run at the Security Council has been in the works for 12 years and now has a powerful ally in U.S. President Donald Trump. His ambassador, Nikki Haley, has accused UN institutions such as the Human Rights Council of 'chronic anti-Israel bias,' for issuing five resolutions this year against Israel yet none against Venezuela, which is engulfed in civil unrest...
In May, the American Jewish Committee and Danon hosted a dinner meeting for 15 African ambassadors to discuss expanding relations. Israel has also raised its profile by sponsoring a UN resolution on sustainable development and entering elections for committees that oversee legal and administrative matters. Also in May, Danon was elected to a one-year term as vice president of the UN General Assembly beginning on Sept. 12.
'Every election we enter and every resolution we sponsor at the UN is always a challenge,' Danon said. 'Our goal is to strive for full acceptance in every UN agency and forum.'...
South African ANC’s Campaign for Continental Boycott of Upcoming Africa-Israel Summit Visibly Falters
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress is becoming increasingly anxious that African nations are ignoring its demand to boycott the forthcoming Africa-Israel Summit, a four-day event in Togo that begins on October 23 — and a key component of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bid to “to bring Israel back to Africa in a big way.”
A senior South African Jewish official told The Algemeiner on Wednesday that the demand was being orchestrated by extremist factions within the ANC. The call to boycott the summit was “clearly at odds with the rest of the continent, including South Africa’s immediate neighbors, who are seeing many opportunities to engage with Israel and are welcoming the chance,” the official observed.
Mozambique and Botswana — just two of the countries bordering South Africa — have intensified cooperation with Israel in water management and agriculture over the last two years. At a recent meeting with Israeli Ambassador Gershon Kedar, Botswanan Agriculture Minister Patrick Ralotsia enthusiastically described Israel as a nation where “they produce and feed themselves and even feed other countries. Every drop of water counts in Israel.”
Last Friday, South Africa’s ambassador to Lebanon — who also represents the country in its dealings with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad — confirmed that South Africa would boycott the summit.
PA allegation: 'Kushner to offer Abbas commitment from Trump'
The Palestinian Authority alleges it received messages from sources in Washington that Jared Kushner, son-in-law of US President Donald Trump and his advisor, will arrive to meet with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas with a pledge or guarantee from the president, Israel Hayom reported learning from a senior PA official close to the chairman.
PA sources confirmed that the American delegation is expected to arrive in the region towards the end of next week, or at the latest in the last week of August, according to the paper. The delegation, which will conduct shuttle diplomacy between Israel, the PA, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and "other countries", will include the son-in-law of the President Jared Kushner, Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, and Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell. They are expected to meet PA Chairman Abbas and other senior officials to try to jumpstart a peace process.
Ramallah is signaling pessimism about the delegation's arrival. The last meeting between Abbas and Kushner took place, it was reported, in a tense atmosphere accompanied by mutual recriminations. The PA is now claiming that Trump has sent messages to Ramallah that Kushner will arrive to a meeting with some form of a commitment from the President.
The same PA source claims that Ramallah does not know what guarantees are on offer. However, there were those in PA leadership who purport to believe that these represent confidence-building measures on the part of the President. "We are not hiding our disappointment with American conduct so far," a senior official in the Abbas' bureau told Israel Hayom, "If the Americans want to be a fair broker, they will have to offer the Palestinians confidence-building measures. Our assessment is that Kushner will come with a package of economic benefits in an attempt to mollify the Palestinians."
Celebrating India's Independence Day in Tel Aviv
A typical independence day for a TV journalist in India goes like this - you report to work early in the morning because the Prime Minister makes a speech at the majestic Red Fort. You spend the day focusing on the highlights of it, and scrounge for news on agencies because it’s usually a slow day.
It’s a national holiday, people have more time to watch TV and you don’t have enough to serve them. The symbols of India's independence become ornaments that adorn a news cast prepared to feed the fervor of an audience. You don’t have the luxury to soak it in yourself. It’s almost a drill. I’ve spent August 15ths like this for the past 15 years. This one was different.
For the first time since leaving school, I witnessed a flag hoisting ceremony and sang the national anthem with people who dressed up early to celebrate the 70th year of India’s independence. It was a bit surreal. Here I was in a city, thousands of kilometers away from home, singing with sari clad women I'd never met before. We were strangers, yet sisters. We exchanged greetings and posed for pictures next to the tricolor.
The pride they took in their Indianness was infectious. And I say this with no subtext or qualifiers for who is more “Indian." The sense of belonging was always there, as I discovered in my conversations with Jews of Indian origin during my last visit in June. But there is a certain assertiveness now. They wear it on their sleeve. They want to tell their fellow Israelis that India is where they came from.
The Modi hangover, and everything it entails, is evident and pronounced. A local journalist told me that this public friendship with India was like a national ambition for Israel. Now that it has happened, they cannot stop talking about it. They don’t care about the details, so smitten are they with the big picture.
JPost Editorial: An independent Kurdistan
Amid the generally dismal state of affairs in the ongoing human tragedy of the Syrian upheaval, our government has at last shined Israel’s light on the Kurdish people’s struggle for independence.
In a long overdue series of diplomatic signaling, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pushed Kurdish independence before an audience of visiting members of the US Congress, while recently a delegation of Kurdish leaders visited Jerusalem to ask Israel’s support.
There is no doubt that Netanyahu’s diplomatic initiative – and job, too, since he is also foreign minister – makes good sense simply because it is the right thing to do. Netanyahu has consistently served Israel’s diplomacy in numerous foreign visits to establish better relations.
Israel’s coming out, diplomatically speaking, ends decades of moral inertia bordering on hypocrisy, in particular its similarly long overdue recognition of the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottomans, so as not to hurt the feelings of our erstwhile Turkish ally. Now it doesn’t matter what Erdogan may say.
Israel’s support comes at a critical time: A referendum on independence in the Kurdistan region of Iraq is scheduled for September 25.
Israel said to have hit Hezbollah convoys dozens of times
Israel’s former air force chief said Wednesday that it has carried out dozens of airstrikes on weapons convoys destined for the Lebanese Hezbollah group over the past five years.
The remarks by Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel revealed for the first time the scale of the strikes, which are usually neither confirmed or denied by the IAF.
Eshel told the Haaretz newspaper that Israel hit weapons convoys destined for the Iran-backed Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside Syrian forces, almost 100 times since 2012.
Israel has largely stayed out of the fighting during the six-year civil war in neighboring Syria, but has repeatedly said it will act to prevent Hezbollah from acquiring advanced weapons.
Hezbollah fired more than 4,000 rockets on Israeli communities during the 2006 war.
Israeli, Czech Special Forces Soldiers Conduct Joint Urban Warfare Training Exercise
Over the past two weeks, Israeli and Czech special forces soldiers conducted a joint urban warfare training exercise at the Tze’elim base in the Negev Desert.
The IDF contingent was from the elite Duvdevan unit, which is known for its undercover operations. The drill took place at a facility the IDF calls “Little Gaza.”
Among other things, the soldiers practiced maneuvering in narrow alleys and taking over “suspicious” buildings, the IDF said on its website.
High Court freezes controversial outpost legalization law
The High Court of Justice on Thursday postponed for two months the implementation of a controversial law that legalizes wildcat West Bank outposts constructed on private Palestinian land in certain restricted cases.
The legality of the highly contentious Regulation Law was challenged in the High Court by left-wing NGO’s Peace Now, Yesh Din and Association for Civil Rights in Israel on behalf of 27 Palestinian local councils and 13 Israeli civil society organizations.
The court’s interim order gives the government two months to respond to the challenge, freezing the bill in the meantime.
The law allows the Israeli government to expropriate private Palestinian land where illegal outpost homes have been built ex post facto, provided that the outposts were built in good faith or had government support.
In return, the legislation states, the Palestinian landowners will be compensated financially or with other land.
Analysts say the law will pave the way for the government to recognize some 4,000 illegally built Israeli homes.
Leader of Israeli Muslim group’s arrest strengthens him among Arab public
The most memorable image of the arrest and remand Tuesday of Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the banned Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, was of him smiling broadly and waving in the court room.
The sheikh, arrested on suspicion of incitement, has good reason to be pleased. His arrest can only make him more popular and relevant among Israeli Arabs by depicting him as the victim of an establishment and government widely viewed as racist and pursuing policies that harm their standing.
“The more the government goes after him, the more this idolizes him in the eyes of the young people that follow him,” said an activist of the Hadash party component of the Joint List who asked for anonymity.
In an illustration of the huge gulf between Israeli-Jewish and Israeli-Arab societies, Salah’s arrest was applauded by the Right and Left on the Jewish side, including by Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay, while being condemned across the board on the Arab side. The key words invoked by almost all the Arab politicians commenting on the arrest were “political persecution.”
It is a phrase that resonates with a public that increasingly feels its very citizenship status is being called into question among other things by efforts to pass the Nationality Law and last week’s first ever stripping of citizenship by an Israeli court against an Umm el-Fahm resident convicted in a terrorist attack.
According to police, Salah gave a speech at the funeral of two of the three assailants who carried out the deadly Temple Mount attack last month in which he praised their actions and “incited for a war over the Temple Mount.” Salah says he was just drawing on the Koran.
Answers from Experts: What's Behind the Gaza Electricity Crisis?
From the experts: Why is there a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and who is to blame?
Grisha Yakubovich, former Head of the Civil Coordination Department in COGAT - Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories where he served for 30 years.

Hamas Is Restoring Its Alliance with Iran
What Hamas Seeks
During the visit, the Hamas officials presented the following positions:
  • Hamas has an interest in fortifying its relations with Iran, Syria, Hizbullah, and Islamic Jihad based on the common denominator of fighting Israel.
  • Iran provides its support for the anti-Israeli struggle both to Shiite organizations like Hizbullah and to Sunni organizations like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The fact that Iran is waging a campaign against Sunni Muslim forces in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and other Middle Eastern countries does not – Hamas implied – preclude aligning with it.
  • The basis for Iran’s relations with the Islamic umma [community] in general is the struggle against Israel, the “common enemy.” The threat posed by Israel does not stop at the geographic borders of Palestine; its hatred for humanity and the chaos it sows affect all of the “Arab and Islamic homeland.”
  • Hamas does not interfere in others’ affairs and does not want Palestine to fall prey to disagreements between the countries of the region; instead its goal is to enlist all elements to support the Palestinian issue.
Hamas leader claims group will 'crush' the IDF if war erupts
Hamas has no desire to engage in a military conflict with Israel, but if Israel provokes a war, Hamas will "shatter and crush the Zionist occupying army," the Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar, warned on Wednesday.
Sinwar spoke at one of a handful of press conferences he has held since replacing Ismail Haniyeh as head of Hamas in Gaza in February.
Sinwar cautioned Israel against taking "foolish steps."
"Our forces are bigger than they were in the last conflict [Operative Protective Edge in 2014], and Israel knows that. That is why they are refraining from actions in Gaza," Sinwar said.
He also spoke about Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' demand that Hamas dismantle its administrative committee overseeing the Gaza Strip. The establishment of the committee effectively voided any authority PA-appointed officials had in Gaza.
In rare attack, suicide bomber kills Hamas guard in Gaza
A suicide bomber killed a Hamas guard in the southern Gaza Strip near the border with Egypt early Thursday, officials said. Sources described it as a rare Islamist attack against Hamas, the militant Islamist group that rules Gaza.
"Early this morning, security forces stopped two people approaching the southern border," an interior ministry spokesman in the Gaza Strip said in a statement. "One of them blew himself up and was killed. The other was wounded."
Later, a medical source confirmed that a member of Hamas' security services had been killed in the attack. The source named the victim as 28-year-old Nidal al-Jaafari.
Witnesses said hundreds of security forces were deployed along the border after the explosion.
Hamas has stepped up patrols in the border area with the declared aim of preventing the movement of extremists between Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, where the Islamic State group has been battling Egyptian troops for years.
PreOccupiedTerritory: When I Say We Have To Kill All The Jews, I Don’t Mean It In An Antisemitic Way By Imam Yousaywat Dafuq, Al Aqsa Mosque (satire)
No one likes being misunderstood. I try very hard in my sermons to articulate clear messages, but partisans and subversives insist on distorting those messages for political purposes. Let me state for the record, then, that when I call for killing all the Jews, I mean no antisemitism by it.
Antisemitism is a loaded term. It is invoked by those who wish to poison the well, if you will, to disqualify the message by disqualifying the messenger, regardless of the message itself. I have not an antisemitic bone in my body. I merely channel the eternal truths of the Quran and hadiths, one of which is that the Jew is a festering pile of evil, the spawn of apes and swine, who must be cleansed from this earth if Good is to triumph, as it must. Nothing antisemitic about it.
You must disregard the slander of Zionists, who would have you believe every pronouncement of Jewish perfidy and wickedness comes from antisemitism. If you fall into that rhetorical trap, you will be ripe for the hoodwinking – what moral person would ever want to be categorized as antisemitic? Let it be known, then, that when I declare the Jews evil incarnate; that it is the duty of every Muslim – nay, every human being – to rid the universe of the Jewish scourge; that a place in Paradise is assured for anyone who gives his life to take that of the perfidious Jew; that Jews have no rights; that noble jihad requires the Ummah to stand as one against the dark Jewish forces – know that these teachings grow out of a love of truth, and carry not a gram of antisemitism.
Pompeo: Iran, Hezbollah Presence in Venezuela Poses Serious Threat to U.S.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo warned that Iran and Hezbollah’s growing presence in Venezuela poses a serious threat to the United States.
In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Pompeo observed that the chaos in Venezuela has the potential to negatively impact the U.S. “The Cubans are there; the Russians are there, the Iranians, Hezbollah are there.” He continued, “This is something that has a risk of getting to a very, very bad place, so America needs to take this very seriously.”
Hezbollah has used Latin America as a base for its terror-financing network for years, and long benefited from Caracas’ fragile institutions and rampant corruption. Venezuela’s government has facilitated economic and logistical operations for the Iranian terror proxy through money laundering and other illicit activities, making the once-prosperous nation a haven and operating base for Islamic extremist groups.
Meanwhile, the Venezuelan regime continues to expand its connections with Hezbollah. Earlier this year, Tareck El Aissami was appointed by President Nicolas Maduro as vice president. American intelligence officials believe that he has close ties with Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah.
Venezuela and Iran have developed a strategic partnership and both share anti-American sentiments. For Iran and Hezbollah, maintaining a presence in Latin America is critical for continuing their regional operations. For Maduro, Iran is a key ally that would help in his regime’s survival.
Israel to warn UN chief: Iran, Hezbollah must be stopped
Israel will present U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres with updated intelligence information on Iranian and Hezbollah activity in the region when he visits Israel later this month, Israel Hayom has learned.
Guterres is expected to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. He is also scheduled to visit Ramallah, where he will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Guterres is expected to visit the Gaza Strip, where he will take a first-hand look at the activities of U.N. agencies. Although Guterres plans to focus on ways to jump-start the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel would like the visit to deal primarily with issues such as Iran's growing meddling in the region and Hezbollah's actions in Lebanon.
In Israel, Guterres will meet with senior Israel Defense Forces officials, who will provide him with updated information on Hezbollah's activity in south Lebanon. According to a recent IDF report, Hezbollah has been operating along the border with Israel for the first time since the 2006 Second Lebanon War. It has disguised its presence by making its structures and positions look as if they belong to a Lebanese agribusiness NGO called Green without Borders.
Hezbollah Leader Threatens Nuclear Terror Against Israel
In a speech celebrating the eleventh anniversary of the end of the second Lebanon war with Israel, Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah warned that the terrorist organization could target Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona, effectively threatening nuclear terror against the Jewish state.
Nasrallah boasted that Hezbollah was 100 times more powerful—armed by Iran in violation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the war—than it was in 2006.
Noting that Israel had emptied an ammonia tank near Haifa following his threat to attack it, Nasrallah said, “We hope that they will look into moving the nuclear reactor in Dimona as it is more dangerous and needs extra care.”
According to the United Nations’ 2005 International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, attacking the Dimona facility could constitute nuclear terrorism. An attack on such a facility could cause the release of radioactive material, which would lead to mass casualties among the surrounding population.
Nikki Haley Increasing Scrutiny of Iran Amid Nuclear Deal Review
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has ramped up pressure on Iran ahead of a trip to Vienna next week, where she will meet with international atomic watchdog officials concerning Tehran's nuclear activities.
Haley on Tuesday rejected threats from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who warned the country could walk away from its nuclear agreement with world powers "within hours" if the United States continued to impose new sanctions.
Rouhani said recently enacted sanctions targeting Iran's ballistic missile program violated its pact with the United States and five other world powers, which aimed to limit Tehran's nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions related to the program.
Haley said the sanctions were separate from the deal and were instead imposed "to hold Iran responsible for its missile launches, support for terrorism, disregard for human rights, and violations of UN Security Council resolutions."
"Iran cannot be allowed to use the nuclear deal to hold the world hostage," Haley said in a statement directed at Rouhani. "The nuclear deal must not become ‘too big to fail.'"
Earlier this month, the United States, backed by Britain, France, and Germany, demanded the UN Security Council take action against Iran after the Islamic Republic launched a rocket carrying a satellite into space in late July.
Iran's military chief in rare visit to Turkey for Syria talks
Turkish and Iranian military leaders held talks on Wednesday over cooperation in the Syrian conflict and counterterrorism, officials said. Turkish media said it was the first visit by an Iranian chief of staff to Turkey since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.
NATO-member Turkey's ties with Washington have been strained by U.S. support for Kurdish fighters in Syria. The visit by Iran's Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri is the latest sign that Ankara is increasing cooperation with other powers such as Iran and Russia.
Bagheri met his Turkish counterpart on Tuesday and Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli on Wednesday. Later on Wednesday, he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey and Iran have supported rival sides in Syria's 6-year-old conflict, with Iran-backed fighters helping Syrian President Bashar Assad drive back the rebels battling to overthrow him, including some supported by Turkey.
Turkey is concerned that the Syrian chaos has empowered Kurdish forces who it says are closely tied to the long-running insurgency in its southeastern regions, as well as Islamic State fighters who have waged attacks inside Turkey, and is working with Iran and Russia to reduce the fighting in some areas.
An Iranian source said Bagheri was accompanied by the head of the ground forces of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran's most powerful security entity.
Iran-Backed Iraqi Militias Recruit Child Soldiers in Violation of Int’l Law
An exclusive investigation by Kurdish broadcaster Rudaw has revealed that Iranian-backed Shiite militia group Hashd al-Shaabi has trained hundreds of child soldiers in northern Iraq, in violation of international humanitarian law.
Commanders of the Hashd al-Shaabi troops, also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), performed the military training in Bashir village, Kirkuk province, for some 280 children. Last year, 180 child soldiers completed the three months military training course, and some 100 children have so far graduated this year.
According to Rudaw, the children were trained to use light and heavy weapons to prepare them to take part in the fight against the PMF’s enemies in Iraq. International law prohibits the recruitment and training of children under the age of 18 and the use of child soldiers has been recognized as a war crime under the statute on the International Criminal Court.
A representative of the Shiite militia group defended the decision to recruit and train child soldiers, “These youngsters are taught martial arts and how to use weapons so that they can defend themselves and their areas,” said Sayyid Qambar Musawi, a Shiite cleric in Bashir.
The PMF is a diverse 60,000-140,000 strong umbrella organization formed in 2014 and a large number of its hardline factions directly receive funding, training, and weapons directly from Iran, raising fears that the Iranian regime is becoming ever more powerful in Iraq.
Turkish Education: Jihad In, Evolution Out
For Erdogan, however, education has hardly anything to do with science. In a 2015 speech, he boasted that since his government came to power in 2002, the number of "imam school" students had risen sharply from a mere 60,000 to 1.2 million.
More recently, in July, Turkish Education Minister Ismet Yilmaz revealed that the final version of Turkey's national school curriculum left out evolution and added the concept of "jihad," as part of Islamic law, in the books. The new curriculum will be put into execution for first, fifth, and ninth graders beginning this year, and will extend to other classes in the 2018-2019 academic year. According to Yilmaz:
"Jihad is an element in our religion; it is in our religion... The duty of the Education Ministry is to teach every concept deservedly, in a correct way. It is also our job to correct things that are wrongly perceived, seen or taught".
Although the Turkish government claims that "jihad" means a "spiritual inner struggle for salvation," the official Turkish dictionary defines it as a "war fought in the name of religion".
With that move, Turkey became the first and only NATO member state that teaches "jihad" in its schools. But what may be the logic behind the idea? According to Ahmet Hamdi Camli, a lawmaker from Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, "there is no use in teaching mathematics to students who don't know jihad." He explained: "Jihad is Islam's most prior element".
Against such a surreal backdrop, Erdogan is struggling to prevent Turkey's brain drain to Western countries. That promises to be a futile effort.

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