Saturday, September 15, 2018

From Ian:

Algemeiner Reveals 5th Annual ‘J100’ List at Star-Studded Gala Featuring Sharon Stone and Nir Barkat
The Algemeiner unveiled its 5th annual “J100” list of the top 100 people “positively influencing Jewish life” on Thursday night, at a star-studded gala in New York City. Honorees in attendance included famed actress Sharon Stone and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

The event, held at Capitale, 130 Bowery, was attended by over 500 people, who gathered in support of The Algemeiner.

Both Stone and Barkat received The Algemeiner’s prestigious “Warrior for Truth” award, and the 2018 Algemeiner Honorees were philanthropists Richard and Monique Chera.

The evening’s Master of Ceremonies was Fox News host Arthel Neville, and Event Chairs were Neil and Sharon Book and Robert and Amy Book. Bernard-Henri Lévy served as Honorary Chairman, and News 12 anchor Emily Lorsch hosted the red carpet.
September 14, 2018 4:54 pm
Iranian Regime Minister Says German Government-Funded Foundation Remains Committed to Joint Research Projects

Iran's official news agency reported on Friday that a cooperation agreement between a group of Iranian universities and a major German...

Other high-profile attendees at the event included TV star Siggy Flicker, Amb. Dani Dayan, artist Ron Agam, philanthropists Ira and Ingeborg Rennert and Howard Lorber, among many other notable community and industry leaders.

The crowd was moved by emotional remarks made by Keren Brosh, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll who was brutally murdered in her Paris apartment six months ago.

Past honorees and participants in the annual event have included media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, President Donald Trump, Czech President Miloš Zeman, artist Yaacov Agam, the late entertainer Joan Rivers, former British Justice Secretary Michael Gove and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, among others.

Mayor Nir Barkat at Algemeiner Gala: Jerusalem Is Thriving
Jerusalem is experiencing a cultural, spiritual and religious renaissance, the city’s mayor said on Thursday in remarks at The Algemeiner’s fifth annual “J100” Gala in New York City.

Accepting The Algemeiner’s prestigious “Warrior for Truth” award, Nir Barkat — who will soon wrap up a decade-long sting as the mayor of Israel’s capital — said, “Jerusalem is thriving, and all sectors feel part of the growth of the city…Jerusalem today is much more attractive for investors, for young people, for visitors, and Jerusalem is optimistic.”

The 58-year-old Barkat called his time at the helm Jerusalem’s City Hall the “ten most exciting years of my life.”

“You have not seen the last of me yet,” he said. “I promise, whatever role I take on in the future, you will see me around, committed to the city of Jerusalem and the future of the Jewish people and the truth that we all support.”

The true history behind London’s much-lauded anti-fascist Battle of Cable Street
Three principal myths surround Cable Street and its aftermath.

First, the confrontation which took place that day in the East End was not between the fascists and their enemies, but between the police and those who were determined to prevent the Blackshirts from marching. Thus, approximately 80 anti-Mosley protesters were arrested and at least 73 police officers injured.

Second, Cable Street did not bring an end to fascist activity in the East End. Quite the opposite.

The Blackshirts’ retreat turned out to be a temporary, strategic one. In the aftermath of it, Mosley’s henchmen issued blood-curdling threats. “It is about time the British people of the East End knew that London’s pogrom is not very far away now,” warned high-ranking thug Mick Clarke. “Mosley is coming every night of the week in the future to rid East London and by God there is going to be a pogrom.”

In reality, Mosley did not come “every night of the week.” As his biographer, Robert Skidelsky, notes, it actually suited the Blackshirt leader to heed police advice and call off the Cable Street march, as he wished to be in Berlin the next day to secretly marry Diana Mitford at the home of Joseph Goebbels.

But Clarke’s words were grimly prophetic. The weekend after Cable Street saw the worst incident of anti-Jewish violence in Britain during the interwar period — the “Pogrom of Mile End” — when 200 Blackshirt youths ran amok in Stepney in the East End, smashing the windows of Jewish shops and homes and throwing an elderly man and young girl through a window. Though less serious, attacks on Jews were also reported in Manchester and Leeds in the north of England.

Mosley’s British Union of Fascists cleverly managed to turn defeat at Cable Street into a propaganda victory of sorts. They portrayed themselves as the innocent party whose rights to free speech had been denied by the “red terror” of “Communist-Jewish violence,” a police who had “openly surrendered to alien mobs,” and “a government that cannot govern.”

The Blackshirts ramped up the anti-Semitic content. Mosley held a series of large rallies across the East End (one attracted a crowd of 12,000 people), and membership in the capital jumped by 2,000 — part of a “definite pro-fascist” shift, reported Special Branch.

“However laudable the motivation of the Jewish participants that day,” the historian Daniel Tilles has written of Cable Street, “the primary consequence of their actions was to make life significantly worse for their fellow Jews in the East End, with their involvement used to justify the commencement of the most intensive phase of anti-Semitic activity in modern British history.”

Finally, the Blackshirts were not defeated on the streets, but by the resilience of parliamentary democracy and the main political parties which were committed to it.
Belgium ends funding for Palestinian schools over honoring of terrorist
Belgium has broken its relations with the Palestinian Authority’s education ministry over its honoring of terrorists and will no longer fund the construction of its schools, a government spokesperson said.

The Belgian Education Ministry announced the move — the first of its kind by any European country — this week, the Joods Actueel Jewish newspaper reported Friday.

“As long as school names are used to glorify terrorism, Belgium can no longer cooperate with the Palestinian Education Ministry and will not give out budgets for the construction of schools,” a statement from the ministry said.

Last year, Belgium froze $3.8 million in funding for the construction of two Palestinian schools after a West Bank school that it helped fund was renamed for a terrorist who killed Jewish civilians. Numerous appeals by the Belgian government to have the school renamed have gone unheeded, leading to the end of cooperation, the statement said.

Sometime after 2013, a school built in Hebron with Belgian money was renamed for Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist who was part of a 1978 attack that killed 38 civilians, including 13 children. The school was inaugurated as the Beit Awwa Elementary School for Girls in 2013.
Trump peace team in “pre-launch” phase, completing economic package
US President Donald Trump’s top diplomats are setting the stage for the launch of his peace plan – with or without participation from the Palestinian Authority, senior administration officials told The Jerusalem Post this week.

The Middle East peace team, led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, and Jason Greenblatt, his special representative for international negotiations, is still completing the economic portion of its plan now 19 months in the making. It is also engaging interested parties outside of government for buy-in and settling in new staff that will manage the public rollout.

“We are in the ‘pre-launch’ phase of the plan and still need to put the finishing touches on it, although that can happen very quickly,” a senior administration official said. “And, in an ideal world, we want to put forth a plan at a time that gives it the best chances of achieving success.”

But the peace team is acknowledging that serendipity might never strike, and that it could ultimately present the president with a recommendation to proceed without Palestinian cooperation as months continue to pass without rapprochement. Indeed, relations between Ramallah and Washington have deteriorated in recent weeks.

As Trump aides lay the groundwork for launch, the White House has simultaneously hit the PA with several punitive measures, including the closure of PLO offices in Washington and aid cuts to the West Bank and Gaza, to east Jerusalem hospitals, and to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees known as UNRWA.

Trump suggested last week that this series of cuts were part of a calculated plan to pressure the PA to come to the table ahead of the launch.
Erekat: US has no Middle East peace plan, is acting in Israel’s favor
The United States will never announce its Middle East peace plan and is instead unilaterally changing the “terms of reference” in favor of Israel ahead of any future deal, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat claimed Saturday.

“I don’t think they will ever introduce a plan,” Erekat said, according to Reuters. “The whole world is rejecting their ideas. They are already implementing their plan by changing the terms of reference.”

Erekat added that the US has accepted Israel’s position on the designation of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as well as the future status of settlements in the West Bank and the question of Palestinian refugees.

“They are telling us ‘peace based on the truth,’” Erekat said.

“The Kushner truth and the Netanyahu truth is that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, no right of return to refugees, settlements are legal, no Palestinian state on 1967 [borders], and Gaza must be separated from the West Bank — and this is absolutely unacceptable,” he said, in reference to US President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The only thing this administration did since it came to office is just to take Israelis and Palestinians off the path to peace, off the path of the two-state solution,” Erekat said.
A confederation can work
Ever since the 2000 Camp David Summit, the diplomatic agenda has centered on the two-state solution. At that summit, then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak abandoned the Labor party's path, ignored the Israeli national consensus and bypassed the red lines laid out by late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Leapfrogging even the dovish Meretz party and left-wing group Peace Now, Barak presented a framework based upon the June 4, 1967 borders, with some small territorial exchanges. He offered an independent Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem, along with the Jordan Valley.

Although the Palestinians rejected his offer, choosing instead to embark on a murderous terrorist rampage, Barak's proposal continues to serve as the basis for peace talks in any future scenario. It was his proposal that served as the basis for the Clinton Parameters, the guidelines for a permanent status agreement proposed by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's 2008 peace offer to the Palestinian Authority, as well as former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's attempts to make peace between the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian Authority.

In all the years that followed the Oslo Accords, including during the Second Intifada and Israel's unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Barak's proposal has remained the only plan on the table. But the Israeli public is divided on this plan. Opponents of the plan feel no need to find an alternative; it was enough for them to witness how reality has shattered the idea of a two-state solution. Proponents of the plan feel no need to re-examine it; they are comfortable in the role of the "righteous" minority that accuses Israel of recalcitrance.
20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes
The opening of the Palestinians’ first airport, in the presence of US president Bill Clinton, was a symbol of the hopes for independence and peace kindled by the Oslo accords.

But 25 years after Israeli and Palestinian leaders signed the first of the historic agreements on September 13, 1993, the airport in Gaza lies in tatters, along with Palestinian hopes for an independent state.

Today the concrete arrival halls remain in place, but much of the rest of the site is covered in piles of rubbish and rubble — the remnants of years of war and neglect.

The runway, 60 meters (65 yards) wide, is scattered with refuse, dragged in by donkey cart from nearby refugee camps.

Daifallah al-Akhras, the chief engineer of the airport, admitted he wept on a recent visit to the terminal.

“We built the airport to be the first symbol of sovereignty,” he said. “Now you don’t see anything but destruction and ruin.”

When the airport opened in late 1998 it was one of the most tangible symbols of the Oslo accords.

Many saw the deals as paving the way to the creation of an independent Palestinian state, but their five-year transitional period expired without a resolution to the conflict.
Elliott Abrams: The Augusta Victoria Mistake
The decision to close the PLO office in Washington was correct, and in fact I urged that step here in Pressure Points in 2013. The PLO is not a state with which we have diplomatic relations, and the PLO has a long history of support for terrorism. Today, PLO funds pay terrorists pensions and rewards in accordance with the seriousness of their crimes and the length of their sentences; that is why Congress passed the Taylor Force Act that requires an end to U.S. funding of the PA and PLO unless payments for terror stop. They have not stopped. I proposed closing the PLO office in that same 2011 testimony to Congress and think it is long overdue.

The decision to cut aid levels was correct, given the refusal of the Palestinian Authority to stop its payments to terrorists and its glorification of terror, and given its increasingly authoritarian rule in the West Bank. I testified to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in support of the Taylor Force Act, and aid cuts, in July, 2017. But in that testimony I argued for one exception: Augusta Victoria hospital in East Jerusalem, and the East Jerusalem Hospital Network of which it is a part. As I told the Committee then, "I would make an exception for those hospitals." Defunding them does not harm the PA or PLO, does not punish the Palestinian leadership that is making terrible decisions, does not help Israel, and does potentially harm Palestinians who have no role in Palestinian politics.

I don't actually understand why the administration decided to cut the hospital funding, especially when the Taylor Force Act contains the carve-out. That law states that "the limitation on assistance under subsection (a) shall not apply to...payments made to the East Jerusalem Hospital Network." There is even a cold, political argument for continuing the aid: in the context of wide aid cuts, the continuation of aid to Augusta Victoria would allow the United States government to say "our cuts were inevitable due to misconduct and poor governance by the PA and PLO leadership, but because we care about Palestinians more than their leaders do we decided to continue funding the hospital network."

So I believe the decision to cut the funding to the East Jerusalem Hospital Network was a mistake. Mistakes can be rectified, and in this case I hope the administration reconsiders and provides the funds.
Manafort and ‘senior Israeli’ spread anti-Semitism story to boost Ukraine leader
As part of Paul Manafort’s illicit lobbying for a former Ukrainian leader, he coordinated with a senior Israeli government official and spread stories of anti-Semitism against a Ukrainian politician, in order to pressure the Obama administration to turn against her, according to court documents filed Friday.

US President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman pleaded guilty Friday to one count of conspiracy against the United States and another count of obstruction of justice to avert a second trial on money laundering and illegal lobbying charges.

Manafort also agreed to cooperate with the special counsel’s Russia investigation.

At the hearing, prosecutors detailed Manafort’s political consulting and lobbying work on behalf of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the pro-Russian Party of Regions.

The document showed that in October 2012 Manafort hatched a scheme to tarnish the reputation of Yanukovych’s opponent, Yulia Tymoshenko, by spreading the story that Tymoshenko’s supporters were encouraging anti-Semitism and allied with an anti-Semitic party.

By doing so he hoped to get Jewish supporters of president Barack Obama to “put pressure on the administration to disavow Tymoshenko and support Yanukovych,” the court documents said.

Manafort spread stories that “a senior cabinet official (who had been a prominent critic of Yanukovych’s treatment of Tymoshenko) was supporting anti-Semitism because the official supported Tymoshenko, who in turn had formed a political alliance with a Ukraine party that espoused anti-Semitic views,” the documents said.
French-American professor detained for Khan al-Ahmar protesting
US and French citizen Frank Romano was arrested by IDF forces during a pro-Palestinian protest held in Khan al-Ahmar.

Romano is reportedly on hunger strike since his arrest, Palestinian news agency WAFA reports.

Romano is to be detained for four days, due to the fact he was arrested in a military, and not a civic process, he does not enjoy the right to be brought before a judge in 24 hours.

Romano serves as a professor of law at the University of Paris and is the author of Love and Terror in the Middle East which was published in 2014.
3 Gazans killed in border riots; IDF hits Hamas posts after officer lightly hurt
Around 12,000 Palestinians participated in weekly demonstrations along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel Friday evening. The army said rioters burned tires and hurled rocks at Israeli soldiers, who responded according to open-fire regulations.

In several incidents, grenades and bombs were hurled at the troops. Shrapnel from one pipe bomb lightly injured an IDF officer who was treated at the scene. In response the military said an aircraft and a tank struck two Hamas posts.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said three people were killed by IDF fire during the rallies, including a 14-year-old boy shot east of Jabaliya in northern Gaza. The second man was said to have been shot in the Khan Younis area in central Gaza, and the third was hit east of Bureij in central Gaza.

The ministry said at least 30 people were injured, of which 11 were hit by live fire.

Two fires also broke out in Israeli communities near the border due to incendiary balloons. Firefighters managed to gain control of the blazes.

Earlier in the day the Israeli military found and destroyed an improvised explosive device along the southern Gaza border, the second such case in two days. In addition, a cluster of balloons carrying an unlit explosive detonator, which was apparently launched from Gaza, landed in a playground in the southern Israeli town of Kiryat Gat.
Israel says 12 year-old Palestinian killed after being hit by a stone
The death of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy became contested as the IDF Arabic-language spokesperson claimed the child died due to a rock thrown by violent protesters on Friday, and called on Hamas to respond to the claims.

Palestinians initially blamed the death of Shadi Abdel-Al from Beit Lahiya on Israel, saying he was shot by IDF snipers east of Jabaliya in the northern part of the Hamas-run coastal strip.

But according to the Israeli military’s Arabic-language spokesperson Maj. Avichai Adraee, there were “indicators which are increasingly questioning the credibility of the Hamas’s Ministry of Health’s statement about the child’s death.”

Posting on his Twitter account, “According to testimonies the child was killed as a result of stones thrown during the violent riots. What does @press221 [Hamas’ Ministry of Health spokesman’s Twitter account] have to say about that?”

Abdel-Al was one of three Palestinians killed by IDF fire on Friday during clashes along the security fence with Gaza which saw hundreds of others injured.
Hundreds bury boy killed in Gaza clash as conflicting reports surround his death
Hundreds of Palestinians attended the funeral Saturday of a 12-year-old boy killed on the Gaza border, as conflicting reports emerged about the circumstances of his death.

Israel’s military said its evidence shows the 12-year-old was hit by a rock thrown by protesters, and Gaza rights groups reported he died after being struck “with a solid object,” the AP reported.

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, by contrast, claimed Shady Abdel-al was killed by Israeli fire east of Jabalia in the northern part of the Strip. A spokesman said Saturday he died from head wounds, without elaborating.

Mohammed, a 12 year-old friend also from Jabalia refugee camp, said he was with Abdel Aal when he was hit.

“We were throwing stones at the fence,” he told AFP.

The friend said Shady had been hit by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli soldiers and collapsed instantly.

Hundreds of family members and friends attended the boy’s funeral Saturday, with some calling for revenge.
Lebanese Hamas rep: We don’t want another war with Israel
Hamas is not interested in another war in the Gaza Strip, but it will not be up for grabs to Israel, a senior Hamas official said on Saturday.

Osama Hamdan, Hamas’s representative in Lebanon who is in charge of his movement’s “international relations,” warned that Israel would “pay a heavy price if it chose to launch an aggression on the Gaza Strip.” Israel, he added, “will not be able to devour us and the price will be higher and more horrific than its leaders can imagine.”

Hamdan’s remarks came as United Nations Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Jamie McGoldrick, arrived in the Gaza Strip on Saturday. It was not clear whether the UN envoy would hold talks with Hamas leaders on the ongoing efforts to achieve a truce with Israel.

Sources in the Gaza Strip said that Egypt and the UN were concerned about the renewed tensions along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, especially in wake of last Friday’s violence in which three Palestinians were killed in clashes with the IDF.

Hamdan said that Hamas was interested in solidifying the 2014 truce agreement that was reached between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist factions in the Gaza Strip. “But this does not mean that we are not capable of defending our people against another [Israeli] aggression,” he added.
Voices from the Arab Press: Israeli threats created a moderate Iraq gov't
Al-Sharq al-Awsat, London, September 5

The mullahs in Tehran experienced yet another blow this week, when the Iraqi parliament succeeded in forming a coalition consisting of moderate political forces led by Moqtada al-Sadr. This political coalition, numbering over 170 members, is far larger than the opposition bloc backed by Iran.

This is a watershed moment. The Iranians considered Iraq their home turf. It had not even crossed the mind of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, that Iran might lose its foothold in Baghdad, where it has been controlling politics for years. There is no doubt in my mind that what led to this Iraqi determination to come together against Iran and form a stable coalition is none other than Israel’s threats. Israel has made it very clear in recent weeks that any Iranian presence in Iraq, particularly the deployment of Iranian weapon systems, would force Tel Aviv to “eradicate” the threat on Iraqi territory.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman conducted several interviews in which he threatened that the Israel Air Force would act in Iraq just like it acts in Syria. The Iraqi members of parliament heard and understood these threats loud and clear. Despite facing heavy pressure from various Iranian stakeholders, who pushed them to reject a political partnership with moderate forces, they were forced to heed the Israeli warning.

Had this coalition-building process taken place a year ago, it is very likely that the Iraqi parliament would have been a puppet government that takes orders from Tehran.

Thankfully, this wasn’t the case. The decision to protect Iraq’s sovereignty is the first step in a long journey to turn Iraq into a stable and vital democratic country. The people of Iraq have suffered so much in recent decades and the time has finally come for them to enjoy peace and security.
Seth Frantzman: How the U.S. could lose Iraq to creeping Iranian influence
Poe argued in August that the Iranian-backed militias “must be targeted so that those freedom- loving Iraqis who hope to rebuild their country can see that America stands with them.”

But Congress admitted in July it doesn’t even know the full extent of IRGC penetration of Iraq. In the NDAA, Congress asked the government to report on “the extent to which any forces associated with Iran’s IRGC have been incorporated into the Iraqi Security Forces.”

Another section sought to limit assistance to the government of Iraq so that funds provided to Iraq would not end up with the “IRGC-Quds Force or a state sponsor of terrorism.”

This shows the extent to which Washington has ignored the need to confront the IRGC in Baghdad. The question is whether it is too late. The Kurdish parties in Iraq, once the closest allies of the US, were dismayed last year when Washington harshly opposed their independence referendum.

Little was done to help the Kurds as Baghdad closed the airports in their region and sought to isolate them. Sunnis in Iraq also remember when the Obama administration sided with Nouri al-Maliki, a rightwing Shia leader who came in second in the 2010 elections, instead of backing Ayad Allawi, the secular centrist candidate.

Later it was revealed that Washington thought a strongman, even one allied with Tehran, would be better for Iraq.

Instead Maliki alienated Sunnis and helped cause the chaos that led to ISIS.

Today, Washington faces another challenge in Baghdad and in the Kurdish regional capital of Erbil. If it can’t help salvage a working relationship and find allies, it will have given Iran a major win.
Iraqis protest the growing Iranian influence in the country
Over the past week, violent protests have swept the southern Iraqi city of Basra. Twelve people have been killed in the protests and hundreds injured. The protests focused on the dire living conditions in the city, which is located in a province that is home to 70% of Iraq’s oil reserves. Corruption and chronic mismanagement have produced a daily reality of electricity shortages, lack of drinking water, and high unemployment. There are fears of a cholera outbreak resulting from poor sanitary conditions. Thirty thousand people have been hospitalized after drinking polluted water in recent weeks.

The protests are a violent reaction to all this. No coherent demands or united leadership have yet emerged from the unrest. But the targets of the rioters do not appear to be entirely random.

According to the Arabic-language Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, “Protesters set fire to the building of the neighboring provincial council and a number of party and faction headquarters, including the headquarters of the ruling Dawa Party, the Islamic Supreme Council, the Badr Organization – the largest Shi’ite armed group supported by Iran in Iraq, the headquarters of the Brigades of Imam Ali, and Asaib Ahl al-Haq, led by Qais al-Khazali, and the movement of the former deputy leader Hanan al-Fatlawi. The protesters also attacked offices of the state-run Al-Iraqiya TV and the office of the al-Furat channel of Hakam al-Hakamah, led by Ammar al-Hakim.”

In addition, protesters attacked the facilities of the Ktaeb Hezbollah, Khorasani and Hezbollah al-Nujaba militias.

With the exception of the TV channel, all the above-mentioned targets have one thing in common – they are all clients or proxies of the Iranian regime in Iraq. This orientation of the protests culminated in the burning of the Iranian Consulate in Basra by protesters on Friday, September 7. Protesters chanted “Iran out, Basra remains free,” according to a report in Gulf News.

It is worth noting that Basra is a largely Shia city. The protests were not sectarian in nature. The demonstrators were evidently acting upon a simple and entirely accurate calculation: the situation in the city is intolerable. Those in power are to blame. And the visible power in Iraq today, particularly in the majority-Shia Basra Governorate, is Iran.

The demonstrators in Basra evidently understand something about their country that remains elusive to much Western commentary.
Trump slams Kerry for ‘illegal meeting’ with Iranians after leaving office
US President Donald Trump on Thursday slammed former secretary of state John Kerry, accusing him of holding “illegal meetings” with the Iranian regime and of urging Iran’s leaders to “wait out the Trump Administration”

“John Kerry had illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime, which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people,” Trump tweeted late Thursday.

“He told them to wait out the Trump Administration! Was he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act? BAD!” Trump said, referring to a law requiring those who represent or lobby for foreign governments to declare their activities.

Trump’s attack came after Kerry, who is promoting a new book, acknowledged to Fox News in an interview that he had met with Iranian officials after leaving office “a few times, two or three times.”

Kerry, a principal architect of the Iranian nuclear deal, which Trump pulled out of in May, denied that his talks were about the nuclear issue.
Pompeo Slams Kerry for Meeting With Iranian Officials to Salvage Nuke Deal: ‘It Is Beyond Inappropriate’
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday castigated one of his predecessors, John Kerry, for meeting privately with Iranian officials to salvage the Iran nuclear deal.

"What Secretary Kerry did was unseemly and unprecedented," Pompeo told reporters at the State Department. "This is a former secretary of state engaged with the world's largest state sponsor of terror, and according to him—you don't have to take my word for it, these are his answers—he was talking to them. He was telling them to wait out this [Trump] administration."

"You can't find precedent for this in U.S. history, and Secretary Kerry ought not to engage in that kind of behavior," Pompeo continued. "It's inconsistent with what the foreign policy of the United States is as directed by this president, and it is beyond inappropriate for him to be engaged in this."

Kerry, who ran the State Department in the Obama administration, discussed his interactions with Iran while promoting his new book, Every Day Is Extra, this week. He acknowledged meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif "three or four times" in recent months, without consulting the Trump administration.

Kerry said that he has conducted sensitive diplomacy on his own with Iran, discussing the nuclear deal, from which President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. earlier this year. He told radio host Hugh Hewitt that he has criticized the Trump administration in these discussions for not pursuing negotiations with Iran.

During an appearance on Fox News on Wednesday, Kerry did not deny the suggestion that he told Iranian officials to "wait out" the Trump administration.

"I think everybody in the world is talking about waiting out President Trump," Kerry said.

Iran Says Missile Attack on Kurdish Dissidents a Warning to Hostile Powers
The chief of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps said on Thursday that Tehran’s missile attack on an Iranian Kurdish rebel base in northern Iraq last week was a warning to hostile powers, Iranian state television reported.

The Guards fired seven missiles at the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), an armed opposition group that fights for greater autonomy for Iran’s Kurdish community.

Iranian media said at least 11 people were killed.

“The attack against the terrorists in Iraq’s Kurdistan conveys a message to the enemies, particularly those superpowers who think they can impose their evil plots on Iran and bully us,” state TV quoted Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari as saying.

Iran has repeatedly threatened to destroy US military bases across the Middle East and target Israel within minutes if attacked by the United States and its regional allies.

“All those who have forces, bases and equipment within a 2,000 km (1,200 mile) radius should know that our missiles are highly precise.”
Europe must offset US withdrawal from nuclear deal, says Iran foreign minister
Europe must protect its own economic interests by taking action to cancel out the effects of the US pulling out of the nuclear deal with Iran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif warned in an interview published Saturday.

According to Reuters, Zarif told Germany’s Der Spiegel news magazine that Iran could “reduce its implementation” and perhaps raise the levels of uranium enrichment activities if the nuclear agreement was put at risk due to “the actions of the Americans and the passivity of the Europeans.”

“The Europeans and other signatories must act to offset the consequences of the US sanctions,” said Zarif.

“What is paramount: Europe should do so not for Iran, but for its own sovereign and long-term economic interests.”

The Iran agreement, struck in 2015 by the United States, other world powers, and Iran, lifted most US and international sanctions against the country. In return, Iran agreed to restrictions on its nuclear program making it impossible to produce a bomb, along with rigorous inspections.
Iran’s Top Terror Airline Hit With New Sanctions
The Trump administration on Friday sanctioned a Thai company found to be aiding an Iranian airline that is transporting terrorists and other aid to Syria on behalf of embattled President Bashar al-Assad.

Sanctions have been placed on Thailand's My Aviation Company Limited for aiding Iran's Mahan Air carrier, a state-controlled entity that has been caught sending militants and cargo to Syria on a routine basis, according to the Treasury Department.

The latest sanctions come amid a larger crackdown by the Trump administration on Iran's global terror and financial networks, actions that have crippled the Islamic Republic's economy and sparked popular protests against the ruling regime.

Iran's Mahan Air has been a source of controversy for some time, with Congress repeatedly calling on the Trump administration to crack down on the air carrier for using commercial flights as a cover to transport militants and weapons to Syria.

The sanctions are likely part of a larger effort by the Trump administration to thwart what it has described as an "imminent attack" on Syrian civilians by both Iran and Russia.
Top Brotherhood Cleric Qaradawi’s Secret Life Revealed
Most people have an inner world, but Egyptian cleric and head of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi’s secret life exposes disturbing misogynistic patterns that add to his already long list of terrible ideas.

Qaradawi’s ex-wife, Asma bint Qaddah came forward with details about her private life while married to the Brotherhood cleric. At one time his student, Qaddah later becoming his second wife.

Qaddah reports Qaradawi:
Refused to engage with his wife sexually unless she wore a blindfold
Expressed interest in engaging in a threesome between his wife and their housemaid

Aside from demonstrably horrific private behavior against his wife that left her with little autonomy in the most private corners of life, it’s important to underscore Qaradawi also tried to rope in his maid. In the Middle East/North Africa (MENA), domestic workers are vulnerable to sexual assault. In the case of his maid, it is reasonably to assume she would have been put in a position to either comply or lose her job — or worse.

Like most terrorist organizations, the Muslim Brotherhood is fanatical about moral behavior and (also like most extremists) fails to personally uphold those codes of conduct behind closed doors. Qaradawi’s obsession with sexual subject matter is often expressed through his lectures, but he’s not the only one who preaches one thing and does another — often while targeting female students in their circle
Invitation for Pappe to speak ‘objectionable’
On rare and unusual occasions would anyone object to the invitation of an academic to speak and teach in our city’s institutions of learning and debate. Sadly, the invitation extended to professor Ilan Pappe by The City Club of Cleveland is objectionable and deserving of comment.

Pappe came to prominence in Israel a little more than 20 years ago, when controversy erupted over the master’s dissertation produced and submitted by Teddy Katz, a graduate student at Haifa University. At issue was Pappe’s role in endorsing and promoting Katz’s allegation of the mass killing of Arab villagers by Jewish soldiers in 1948. These controversial allegations were found to be either false or unfounded.

Katz, writing 50 years following the founding of Israel, focused his dissertation on four Palestinian villages south of Haifa and the fate of their residents during Israel’s war of independence, the War of 1948. In his dissertation, Katz claimed to have uncovered evidence of the killing of a large number of unarmed and defenseless civilians in the village of Tantura following its capture by soldiers of the 33rd regiment of the Alexandroni Brigade of the Haganah (the largest proto-military Jewish organization engaged in the fighting prior to the establishment of the Israel Defense Forces). To the best of my knowledge, there was no prior claim of such mass killing in Tantura during the 50 years of Israel’s existence.

News of the dissertation spread and led to the filing of a lawsuit by veterans of the Alexandroni unit. Katz was publicly accused of falsifying and re-formulating evidence that he had collected. Both the legal proceedings that ensued and the academic panel examination launched by Haifa University to study this matter found significant gaps between the primary materials collected by Katz and his presentation, interpretation and/or description of events. The dissertation was disallowed by Haifa University and Katz was offered an opportunity to revise and resubmit it. A settlement between Katz and the plaintiffs required him to apologize publicly for accusations of the mass killing that he alleged was committed. (h/t jzaik)
PreOccupiedTerritory: Self-Hating Jew? No, I Only Hate Other Jews, Not Myself (satire)
You people need to stop the name-calling. When I oppose the sale of apartments in my neighborhood to Jews who maintain their traditions, even in public, it makes no sense to call me a self-hating Jew. I love myself. It’s those other people I hate, and sure, they’re Jews, but you can’t accurately call me self-hating. Sheesh.

We North Tel Aviv residents have established certain norms, one of which is an abiding secularism, with the tolerance born of that secularism. When people move into this area but do not toe the line on secularism, that violates those norms, and we cannot accept that. The point isn’t my discomfort with a way of life that I’d rather see disappear because it challenges the validity of my secularism by its very existence, but the established character of the neighborhood, which is sacrosanct.

When I assert that the character of the neighborhood must remain unchanged, realize that I mean only my neighborhood. You will note that I made no such protestations when tens of thousands of East African migrants took up residence in the southern part of our fair city, a safe distance away from our bastion of tolerance. No, it was imperative upon the native Israelis in those areas to welcome the stranger, the refugee, the foreign worker. Far be it from us, whose people endured centuries of persecution, to treat the stranger with anything other than warmth. Such warmth extends only as far as the borders of those other neighborhoods. Chabad Hasidim here, though? Unacceptable. I dislike them. Not myself, you understand. So please stop bandying about the inaccurate slur “self-hating Jew.” I hate that I’m Jewish, certainly, but only that aspect of my heritage. The rest of me I adore.
CTV National Defends its Falsely Claiming Israel Destroyed a Gaza “Cultural Centre”
While Hamas and Palestinians may refer to the building as being a “cultural centre”, the Israelis claim it was used by terrorists to plan and execute terror attacks against Israelis. As it stands, CTV News adopted and parroted claims made by a terrorist organization in claiming that it’s a matter of undisputed fact that the building was a “cultural centre”.

CTV’s claiming that tight time constraints limit its ability to explain the totality of the story is unfounded. Context could have been procured had CTV simply told its viewers (on the initial or during a follow up broadcast) that Israel contends the building was used for military and terror purposes and that’s why it was targeted.

CTV’s reply acknowledges that it cannot discount the Israeli claims that the building was used for terror purposes by saying (emphasis added): “Does that mean it couldn’t be used as an office or operations centre for Hamas security forces? No it doesn’t. CTV News has no way of proving those allegations one way or another. That’s why we reported as we did.”

Though CTV should be guided by the pursuit of the truth and letting the facts speak for themselves, all CTV really had to do was attribute the Israeli claims. To not mention this vital context was unfair, misleading and unbalanced. CTV was wrong to adopt the Palestinian/Hamas narrative in claiming that the building was a “cultural centre”, instead of being judicious and impartial.

Accordingly, viewers wrongly concluded that Israel targeted a civilian building used to promote culture. To some viewers, they may have falsely concluded that Israel committed a war crime and had collectively punished innocent Palestinians in Gaza.

HRC has asked the CBSC to arbitrate our concerns as we believe CTV National News violated CBSC standards and codes. Stay tuned to this page for future updates.
New York Times Concedes ‘Unfair’ Attack on Nikki Haley
The New York Times has launched another attack on the staunchly pro-Israel American ambassador at the United Nations, Nikki Haley — and it’s being widely denounced by other journalists and figures from across the political spectrum.

The Times was last seen describing Ambassador Haley as “strident,” a term that the Times has called sexist when it is applied to Hillary Clinton.

This time around, the Times is attacking Haley for spending $52,701 on customized, mechanized curtains for her official residence in New York.

Friday afternoon, the Times appended an editor’s note to the article, conceding that the original presentation had been “unfair.” Said the editor’s note: “An earlier version of this article and headline created an unfair impression about who was responsible for the purchase in question. While Nikki R. Haley is the current ambassador to the United Nations, the decision on leasing the ambassador’s residence and purchasing the curtains was made during the Obama administration, according to current and former officials.”

The Times editor’s note went on: “The article should not have focused on Ms. Haley, nor should a picture of her have been used. The article and headline have now been edited to reflect those concerns, and the picture has been removed.”

Yashar Ali, a journalist with New York magazine and the Huffington Post, called the original Times headline “misleading” and “irresponsible.”
Still Seeking Justice: One Dutch Holocaust Survivor’s Ongoing Fight With Germany’s Government
At the end of the Second World War, Albert de Leeuw was one of several Dutch Jewish children who turned up at the offices of the Jewish community in Amsterdam, searching for family who might have survived the Nazi Holocaust in The Netherlands. On a winter’s day in late 1945 or early 1946 — Albert doesn’t remember exactly — a man he did not recognize came to collect him, announcing himself as Albert’s father and bearing the news that Albert’s mother had come out of the war alive.

The man in question, a Mr. Blog, was Albert’s mother’s second husband. The two had met during the war while in hiding. Albert’s biological father, he was later to discover, was murdered in July 1943 in the Nazi concentration camp of Sobibor in Poland.

Severely traumatized and barely ten years of age, Albert accompanied Blog to the city of Eindhoven, in the south of Holland, where he was met by a woman who said she was his mother — the mother he had last seen in 1942, before she went into hiding, leaving the 5-year-old Albert with his grandfather in the heart of Amsterdam’s Jewish ghetto. That was the beginning of Albert’s childhood under Nazi occupation, marked by the loss of beloved relatives, mental and physical cruelty at the hands of strangers, and the abiding fear of being captured while in hiding.

“I didn’t recognize her,” Albert said, recalling the reunion with his mother. “So I addressed her as ‘Mrs. Blog.’ She was saying, ‘No, no, I am your mother,’ but I kept calling her ‘Mrs. Blog.’ The problem was, I couldn’t remember having had a mother. It was out of my system. I’d had so many mothers over the past four years.”
Son of ‘Japanese Schindler’ finds forged visas in Lithuanian archive
Lithuania’s state archive contains forgeries of life-saving visas given to Jews during the Holocaust by late Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, his son said.

Nobuki Sugihara, who visited the archives in Vilnius last week, found out that the seals and signatures on some visas said to have been issued by his father differ from those on the Japanese consulate’s official documents, the LETA news agency reported last week.

Some of the forged visas were issued after the closure of the Japanese consulate in Kaunas, the archive said. The report did not say who may have forged the visas, or why and when.

Sugihara lived in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second city, between 1939 and 1940 and opened Japan’s consulate there.

In 1940, he gave transit visas into Japan to some thousands of Jews fleeing the Nazis. The recipients had destination visas into Curacao, an island that was a Dutch colony, supplied to them by Jan Zwartendijk, the Dutch honorary consul in Kaunas.
SodaStream CEO could collect $34m. in bonuses after Pepsi purchase
SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum could earn up to $34m. in bonuses following PepsiCo’s acquisition of the carbonated drink-maker company, according to a document issued to shareholders ahead of a special general meeting to approve the multi-billion dollar deal.
The meeting, due to be held at SodaStream’s Airport City offices near Tel Aviv on October 9, will vote on the proposed $3.2 billion acquisition of Israeli-based Sodastream by PepsiCo announced in August.

According to the document published on Wednesday, PepsiCo sees the retention of current company employees as “key to the success of the merger” and has accordingly developed a cash and equity retention program for Birnbaum and other Sodastream executive officers.

Should the deal be approved, US-born Birnbaum is set to earn $4m. in time-based cash awards, $10m. time-based equity awards vesting over the next three years, and up to $20m. for performance-based equity awards over the same period.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Birnbaum owns 137,277 shares in Sodastream and is entitled to up to another 285,000 shares based on a performance-related deal approved earlier this year by SodaStream shareholders.
More countries confirm attendance of Eurovision as Tel Aviv named host
You can’t please all of the people all of the time.

No matter which city the European Broadcasting Union announced on Thursday to host the 2019 Eurovision – Tel Aviv or Jerusalem – someone was bound to be upset.

But the decision to host it in Tel Aviv on the third week in May made it clear that the EBU and KAN are working hard to ruffle as few feathers as possible.

And so far, they seem to be succeeding.

While every country that hosts the Eurovision has a bidding process, few are as fraught as the one this year, which managed to combine the normal considerations with political tensions and religious sensibilities.

While many will see the decision to host the competition in Tel Aviv instead of the capital as a political one, EBU officials indicated that one of the major sticking points was in fact activity on Saturday.

The Eurovision grand finale is always held on a Saturday night, and rehearsals are staged all week long, including Friday evening and Saturday morning.

And from soon after Netta Barzilai won this year’s competition in May, haredi officials expressed concern over the public desecration of Shabbat.

The Jerusalem Municipality – unlike Tel Aviv – would not publicly state that it would allow competition activity on Saturday if it hosted the competition.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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