Wednesday, November 21, 2018

From Ian:

PMW: Are terrorists good at football?
Sports is considered a place where politics and conflict are put aside - but not in the Palestinian Authority. A football tournament for high school boys in Hebron, arranged by the local Fatah branch, named all 11 teams after terrorists - including terror leaders responsible for most of the deaths from terror Israel has suffered since its founding. Six were top Palestinian terror leaders and founders of terror organizations, while the other five were terrorists or members of terror organizations. The PA Ministry of Education endorsed the event's role modeling of terrorists with a representative who "honored the winning players and teams."

Here is the list of the teams in the President Martyr Yasser Arafat Football Championship:

The Martyr Yasser Arafat team (founder of the PLO and Fatah terror organizations in the 1960s, and former chairman of the PA),
The Martyr Ahmed Yassin team (founder of the Hamas terror organization),
The Martyr Fathi Shaqaqi team (founder of the Islamic Jihad terror organization),
The Martyr Salah Khalaf team (head of the Black September terror organization),
The Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa team (head of the PFLP terror organization),
The Martyr Khalil Al-Wazir 'Abu Jihad' team (terror leader responsible for murder of 125 Israelis),
The Martyr Marwan Zalum team (terrorist responsible for several murders),
The Martyr Abu Yusuf Al-Najjar team (commander of operations for Black September),
The Martyr Kamal Adwan team (senior member of Black September),
The Martyr Saad Sayel team (leader in Fatah terror organization),
The Martyr Majed Abu Sharar team (senior member of Fatah terror organization)
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 19, 2018]

During the PA's terror campaign - the second Intifada, 2000-2005 - the PA started naming sporting events after terrorists. For example, the Ministry of Education sponsored the Martyr Abd Al-Basset Odeh Championship - named after the suicide bomber who carried out the Passover Seder suicide bombing in Netanya on March 27, 2002, in which 30 Israelis were murdered and 140 injured.

David Singer: Australia's Jerusalem Embassy move sinks in a sea of Islamic threats
Forget about Australia moving its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Indonesian threats to not sign a free trade agreement with Australia – coupled with veiled Malaysian suggestions of terrorist attacks on Australian targets if the Embassy is moved – will suffice to burst Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s thought-bubble.

Australia gave Indonesia $360 million in aid in 2016 and was the world’s 16thlargest donor in giving $15 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Indonesia gave UNRWA $5000.

Malaysia gave nothing to UNRWA in 2016.
Read on for artiForget about Australia moving its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.Indonesian threats to not sign a free trade agreement with Australia – coupled with veiled Malaysian suggestions of terrorist attacks on Australian targets if the Embassy is moved – will suffice to burst Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s thought-bubbleAustralia gave Indonesia $360 million in aid in 2016 and was the world’s 16thlargest donor in giving $15 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Indonesia gave UNRWA $5000.
Indonesia and Malaysia – two Islamic states – flex their muscles on Islamic claims to Jerusalem – yet do not financially support their Islamic brethren.
Morrison first flagged the Embassy move on 16 October at a joint press conference with Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne:

“Now, in relation to our diplomatic presence in Israel. What I have simply said is this – we’re committed to a two-state solution. Australia’s position on this issue has to date assumed that it is not possible to consider the question of the recognition of Israel’s capital in Jerusalem and that be consistent with pursuing a two-state solution.

Now, Dave Sharma, who was the Ambassador to Israel, has proposed some months ago a way forward that challenges that thinking and it says that you can achieve both and indeed by pursuing both, you are actually aiding the cause for a two-state solution. Now, when people say sensible things, I think it is important to listen to them”

Australia’s commitment to the two-state solution– the creation of a second Arab state – in addition to Jordan – in the territory that comprised the 1922 Mandate for Palestine – is based on:

The 1993 Oslo Accords and
The 2002 President Bush Roadmap:

Guardian says Malaysian PM known for his “outspokenness”, omits what else he’s known for
A Nov. 15th Guardian article, about warnings by Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahatir Mohamad, that the Australian government’s decision to consider moving its embassy to Jerusalem would add to terror threat, began thusly:
Scott Morrison’s contentious Israel policy shift has encountered more diplomatic headwinds, with Malaysia’s prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, suggesting relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would add to the cause of terrorism.

The Malaysian prime minister, known for his outspoken public interventions, raised concern in a meeting with Morrison at the Asean summit in Singapore about the prospect of Australia recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

However, in over 800 words of text, the Guardian journalist – Australian political editor Katharine Murphy – didn’t inform readers what else, beyond his “outspoken interventions”, Mohamad is “known for” – something that would provide important context to his objections to Canberra’s decision.

The 92-year-old leader has a long, well-documented history of antisemitism.

Last month, in a BBC News interview, Mohamad said Jews are “hook-nosed” repeating a variation of a charge he made in his 1970 book, where he wrote that “the Jews are not merely hook-nosed, but understand money instinctively”. He also claimed, in the BBC interview, that the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust was not six million.

In an interview with Associated Press in August, Mohamad said “Anti-Semitic is a term that is invented to prevent people from criticizing the Jews for doing wrong things”.

Efraim Karah: The Depths to Which the Oslo Process Has Driven Israel
In the 25 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords in September 1993, just one of the 10 reigning Israeli governments has completed its entire tenure, with one term ended by the unprecedented assassination of the incumbent prime minister. Meanwhile, parliament’s average lifespan has dropped from 3.6 years to three years and a record number of parties were formed, torn apart, and disbanded.

Since the conflict with the Palestinian Arabs had bedeviled the Jewish national revival for nearly a century, it was only natural that the seeming promise of its imminent resolution generated a tidal wave of euphoria among Israeli Jews. For over a year, they ignored the long trail of blood and destruction wrought by the agreement, whose many casualties were infamously defined by Rabin as “the victims of peace.” It was not until late January 1995 that they were shaken out of their self-delusion by the wild celebrations in Gaza of the murder of 19 Israelis in a suicide bombing, with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat publicly defying Rabin’s plea to condemn the atrocity.

By the time of his assassination on November 4, 1995, Rabin was trailing Benjamin Netanyahu in most polls. And while this trend was instantly reversed by the assassination and the resulting nationwide revulsion, it was restored in early March 1996 by a string of terrorist attacks that murdered 58 Israelis in the span of one week and catapulted Netanyahu into the prime minister’s office two months later.

Yet such was the extent of Israelis’ yearning for peace that many of them continued to turn a blind eye to the mounting evidence of PLO perfidy, viewing Netanyahu’s insistence that the organization abide by its obligations as an obstacle to “peace.” And so it was that despite the sharp drop in terrorist fatalities on his watch, from 210 during the Rabin-Peres governments to 72, precisely three years after reaching the premiership on the crest of disillusionment with the Palestinian “peace partner,” Netanyahu was forced out of office by rekindled hopes for a restoration of this “partnership.” That a period marred by murderous terrorist attacks (1993-1996) was yet again misconstrued as a “peace process,” while one characterized by diminished terrorism and improving socioeconomic conditions in the territories (1996-1999) was seen as antithetical to peace was a sad testament to the cognitive dissonance of most Israelis at the time.

Before long, however, Prime Minister Ehud Barak had outlived his usefulness to Arafat and was forced to follow in his predecessor’s unhappy footsteps: the fourth Palestinian-induced prime ministerial change in Israel in six years.

The Iron Dome Saves Lives, but It Is No Solution to Hamas’s Attacks
The intense rocket bombardment that Israeli civilians suffered last week was a reminder that the technologically sophisticated missile-defense system known as the Iron Dome does not provide absolute protection: several houses were destroyed, and one person was killed. Moshe Arens argues that Jerusalem’s strategic calculations must take this fact into account.

Some rockets get through [the defenses], while others send residents of the country’s south scurrying into bomb shelters. That spells the end of normal life for those who live there, and can be achieved by the launching of a few hundred simple, cheap rockets. The last few weeks have demonstrated this conclusively. Also, the Iron Dome system can be saturated by the launching of a number of rockets at the same target, some of which get through. The bombardment overwhelms the interception system. . . . The tremendous difference in the cost of the simple rocket and the expensive system operated to intercept it also makes it financially unsustainable in the long run.

It is true [that] the Iron Dome saves lives. It has been argued that it provides the government with the time needed to discuss a response to an initial attack. But it does not solve the basic problem: protection of the civilian population in southern Israel. . . .

The only way to stop the launching of rockets at Israel’s civilian population is by physically eliminating the enemy’s capability of doing so. That can be achieved only by troops on the ground—through the entry of the Israel Defense Forces into the launching areas and the destruction of the manufacturing and storage facilities. The belief that terrorist organizations dedicated to destroying the state of Israel can be inveigled to abstain from attacking Israel has proven to be false and is not likely to be borne out in the long run. . . . So long as these organizations continue to rule there, nothing will change.
Netanyahu: Putin Will Get Iran's Forces Out Of Syria If U.S. Eases Iran Sanctions
According to a new report, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu revealed on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed that U.S. sanctions on Iran be eased in return for removing Iranian forces and proxies from Syria. Netanyahu made his remarks at a hearing of the foreign affairs and security committee of the Knesset, Axios reported.

Russia has previously condoned Iran’s forces in Syria because the Iranians were invited by Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Axios stated, “Lawmakers who attended the hearing said Netanyahu did not say whether the Russian proposal was made during his short conversation with Vladimir Putin in Paris last Sunday, but that it definitely seemed that way from the prime minister's comments. They said Netanyahu spoke favorably about his meeting with Putin, and said the Russians cannot push the Iranians out of Syria on their own, but need help from other world powers.”

But Netanyahu also said Israel has not taken a position vis-ร -vis the Russian position. When Axios contacted the State Department, a senior State Department official only said, "We remain engaged with the U.N. ‎and other parties, including Russia, to encourage all possible efforts to advance the political track as called for in UNSCR 2254. We do not however discuss the substance of these diplomatic discussions.”

In August, the Russian foreign ministry website published a statement asserting that Moscow was "deeply disappointed by U.S. steps to reimpose its national sanctions against Iran," adding, "We will do everything necessary in the interests of preserving and fully implementing the SVPD (Iran nuclear deal)." Slamming the U.S. for its continued efforts to scuttle the infamous iran nuclear deal, the ministry continued, "That is a glaring example of Washington's continued practice of violating UNSC resolution 2231 and its trampling on international law.”
Trump Admin Sanctions Illicit Russia-Iran Military Funding Network in Syria
The Trump administration on Tuesday announced new sanctions on Iran and Russia for engaging in a financial scheme to enrich the embattled Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad, according to U.S. officials.

The Trump administration's Treasury Department is cracking down on an oil shipping scheme led by Iran and Russia that has been providing "millions of barrels of oil" to the Syrian government as it continues its assault in a bloody civil war that has dragged on with no end in sight.

"The Assad regime, in turn, facilitates the movement of hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) for onward transfer to Hamas and Hezbollah," both of which have been propped up and armed by the Iranian regime since the landmark nuclear deal was put into force.

The new actions come as the Trump administration undertakes an effort to crack down on Iran's malign activity across the region, including in Syria and Yemen, where Iranian militants have wreaked havoc on civilian populations. Tuesday's sanctions follow the reinstatement of economic penalties lifted by the Obama administration as part of the nuclear deal and in tandem with upcoming actions to declare Iran in breach of chemical weapons bans, as the Washington Free Beacon first reported on Friday.
Lebanese Daily: Hizbullah Controls Area In Syrian Territory Along Border With Lebanon – And Has Built Military Bases, Training Camps, And Underground Warehouses There
A September 25, 2018 article in the Lebanese daily Al-Modon, which is known to oppose Hizbullah, surveys the deployment of Hizbullah forces on the Syrian side of the border with Lebanon. The article, by Ahmad Al-Shami, indicates that Hizbullah controls large areas of the western Rif Dimashq Governorate, including a strip along the border, 3km-5km long, and has cemented its presence in this area by establishing military bases, strategically-placed outposts, training camps, and underground warehouses. The article states further that over 1,500 Hizbullah operatives are deployed at over 100 military outposts in Rif Dimashq, and that one of these positions houses Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) forces as well, and serves as an Iranian headquarters. According to the article, Hizbullah also derives economic benefit from its presence in this area by smuggling people, vehicles and goods across the border, and also by helping people to obtain a visa for Lebanon for a fee. It adds that one of the organization's goals in controlling this area, which includes many Shi'ite villages, is to provide itself with a location for storing its weapons, should it become impossible to continue maintaining them in Lebanon.

The following are excerpts from the article:[1]
"Although it expelled the [Syrian] opposition forces from western Rif Dimashq [Governorate] a year and a half ago, after a years-long siege, the Lebanese Hizbullah militia remains in isolated military outposts and many security compounds in a number of cities in western Ghouta, while the area controlled by the [Hizbullah] militia along the Syria-Lebanon border is 3km-5km long.

"According to an opposition military source, over 1,500 Hizbullah operatives are deployed in over 100 of the organization's military outposts in western Rif Dimashq [Governorate], and air force intelligence is the only Syrian military element that shares control of this area with them. The source added that all the Hizbullah commanders and operatives in the region are direct subordinates of the Hizbullah security apparatus – Branch 910, which has broad authority and jurisdiction for decision-making in the region.
JPost Conference
Gideon Sa'ar: Window of opportunity for strike on Hezbollah is closing
If an Israeli preemptive strike is not carried out in the near future, the window of opportunity for preventing Hezbollah's precision strike capabilities is closing, former education and interior minister Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) said at The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in Jerusalem.

Despite the involvement in Syria's civil war and the occasional Israeli strike on Hezbollah targets in Syria, Iranian effort through its proxy to develop a qualitative strike capability on Israel's civilian infrastructures had significantly improved since the end of the second Lebanon war, Sa'ar warned.

Specifically, the former minister warned that Hezbollah was upgrading the accuracy of missiles which will be able to target Israeli civilian infrastructure to a precision of 10m.

"If Hezbollah will achieve such capabilities, they will cause us very significant damage. This is a clear redline," he explained.
"I call for a preemptive strike against missile precision factories in Lebanon and other strategic threats that Hezbollah is developing and I will back up and stand by such a decision if it will be taken."

Admitting that such a preemptive strike might cause a serious response, Sa'ar argued that a future attack might be far less effective and will involve a far heavier price.

"We will pay a much heavier price in the next round of confrontation if we will not act," he concluded.

In addition to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Sa'ar also commented on the Iranian threat in Syria.
Abba Eban Inst.: EU must designate Hezbollah as a terrorist org
The EU must designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, Yaniv Cohen, Executive Director of the Abba Eban Institute for International Diplomacy, said.

Cohen spoke at The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference about his organization's push to convince EU decision makers that letting the organization run freely in the continent poses a threat to European and global security.

"I would refer to Hezbollah as an octopus," Cohen said, showing how one Hezbollah operative in its political arm has connections to its military arm that is based on drugs, money laundering and other nefarious activities.

"Most EU countries don't have this information between drug and terror prevention authorities. They don't see the entire picture," Cohen said.

Cohen presented his findings which were part of an elaborate 16 month research initiative conducted by the "do" tank which believes in reinventing the diplomacy paradigm. As such, the organization invests in comprehensive research about a subject that then becomes a call to proactive action.

With its Hezbollah research, for example, Cohen plans to speak to the German Bundestag next week to present its findings as a way to lobby the parliamentarian body.
U.N.'s Mladenov hints that Iran trying to spark Gaza war
A top UN official hinted that Iran attempted to force Hamas and Israel into another war.

“There are forces out there that want to disrupt that agreement and push us all into the abyss of a confrontation,” UN Special Coordinator to the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said.

He spoke Wednesday at The Jerusalem Post annual diplomatic conference, during which he described efforts to restore the ceasefire arraignment of 2014.

The paper’s diplomatic correspondent Herb Keinon asked him about the Iranian influence in Gaza, to which he responded, “Someone is trying to disrupt it [ceasefire arrangement efforts].”

Mladenov added, “I am hoping that together we can overcome these forces.”

“What I have seen is that no one wants a war in Gaza now. It is going to be damaging for everyone,” he said.
Livni: Ceasefire without weakening Hamas is not acceptable
The government needs a coherent strategy to weaken Hamas and bolster more moderate factions in the Palestinian Authority, opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) said at The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

“When I criticize the government and [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, it’s not for having a ceasefire, it’s for not having a strategy,” Livni said. “We just have a ceasefire once in a while, without changing reality on the ground.”

Livni said a ceasefire is positive, but questioned what the next step will be.

“Will there be a new pack of dollars coming from Qatar [into Gaza] next month? Is that the way we’re going to act? Is that the way we treat our citizens living under rockets and mortars? That is not a solution in the long run,” she argued.

Livni advised the government to strengthen the PA and work with the international community to weaken Hamas, which she said acts in “the interest of peace.”

The PA cooperates with Israel regularly, and Livni suggested that Israel practices a carrot-and-stick strategy, by giving the PA the carrots and Hamas the sticks.
Shaked: I recommend Trump not waste time with peace plan, deal impossible
In anticipation of the Trump administration’s rollout of its long-awaited peace plan, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked she said that US should not waste its time, as the gaps between Israel and the Palestinians were too great to bridge.

Speaking at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference on Wednesday, Shaked also said that any deterrence Israel had against Hamas after the 2014 Gaza War was lost over the last two years.

Not only that, but Shaked is convinced that the current ceasefire will not hold more than a few months and said that when it breaks, Israel will likely have to use greater force than it has used in recent rounds of fighting.

Regarding the election standoff she and Bayit Yehudi had with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent days, Shaked said that “sometimes you win and sometimes you lose,” but that in principle, she still believed MK Naftali Bennett should have been appointed defense minister.

Bennett and Shaked had threatened to leave the government if he did not get the job, but then backed down when Netanyahu called their bluff.

The justice minister explained that Netanyahu is too busy as prime minister to give his full attention to the likewise crucial defense portfolio and issues relating to the IDF.
Steinitz: North Korea nuclear outcome will have 'enormous impact' on Iran
The outcome of American efforts to dismantle North Korea's nuclear program will have an "enormous impact" on Iran's ability to develop nuclear weapons in the coming decade, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said Wednesday.

Speaking at The Jerusalem Post's Diplomatic Conference, Steinitz told an audience of international envoys that what happens between the United States and North Korea is extremely relevant to the Middle East's nuclear future.

"Once North Korea really dismantles its nuclear infrastructure, the pressure within Iran to capitulate will be enormous," said security cabinet member Steinitz.

"On the other hand, if North Korea manages to preserve its nuclear arsenal, pressure on the Iranians to proceed to develop nuclear weapons will be enormous," he said.

Steinitz expressed his satisfaction over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Iran nuclear agreement in May, which in turn sought to force Iran to completely and permanently dismantle its nuclear infrastructure.

"As Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu emphasized, the only potentially existential threat to Israel comes from Iran," Steinitz said, adding that Israel was continuing the fight to prevent "so far unsuccessful" Iranian attempts to use and abuse the Syrian civil war to turn the country into an Iranian military stronghold.
Citing ‘US, Israeli interests,’ Trump balks at punishing Saudis over Khashoggi
US President Donald Trump said Tuesday the brutal murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives will not derail the US-Saudi relationship, in a move the American leader suggested also benefited Israel.

“We may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Trump said in a statement.

“They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region,” said the US president.

Jared Kushner, the US president’s son-in-law, has worked with the Saudi crown prince on various issues, including on how to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. The statement comes ahead of the planned release of the Trump’s administration Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, reportedly early next year.
UN hijacked by dictators - Hillel Neuer on Sky News Australia
Sharri Markson of Sky News Australia interviews UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer on the UN, human rights and anti-Israeli bigotry.

Hamas radio chatter shows IDF commandos were initially thought to be criminals
New transcripts of radio chatter between Hamas security during the IDF special forces raid in Gaza on November 11 show that the terror group initially thought the “suspicious armed men” its forces had noticed were a Palestinian criminal gang.

The raid, which degenerated into a gunfight in the street and a frenetic car chase, sparked a massive retaliation by Hamas in the form of more than 400 rockets and mortar shells fired at Israeli towns and villages on November 12 and 13, before Israel and Hamas acquiesced to an Egyptian-proposed ceasefire. The ceasefire in turn led to the resignation of then-defense minister Avigdor Liberman, in protest, and a week of political chaos, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to hold his razor-thin majority coalition together and avoid early elections.

The recordings of the radio chatter were obtained by Hadashot television news, which gave no indication as to their origin and declined to broadcast the audio recording itself, “in order not to expose a source,” the news network said.

None of what follows has been confirmed by Israeli authorities, which have remained almost entirely silent on the nature and results of the raid.

According to the Hadashot broadcast, the Israeli special forces team was first identified as suspicious by Hamas security officials, possibly police officers, who saw the car passing by them on the outskirts of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.
AFP Headline Casts Palestinian Assailant as Victim
Agence France Presse yesterday published a throwback headline, bringing us back to the period almost two years ago in which media outlets serially produced headlines which depicted Palestinian attackers as the victims.

The wire agency's grossly misleading English-language headline yesterday was:

Palestinian in Jerusalem police station attack dies of wounds

As the article itself states, the Palestinian was actually the assailant -- basic information that should have been made clear in the headline. The article begins:

A Palestinian teenager shot last week after attacking Israeli officers at a police station in annexed east Jerusalem died of his wounds on Tuesday, a hospital said.

"The terrorist from the incident in the Armon Hanatziv police station has died," the Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem said in a statement.
IsraellyCool: Palestinian Woman Injured By Rocket In Ashkelon: I Love Israel
Last week, one man was killed and two woman seriously injured after a rocket fired from Gaza scored a direct hit on an apartment building in Ashkelon. The man turned out to be 48-year-old Mahmoud Abu Asabeh, a palestinian man from Hebron who worked in Israel, while one of the women was a young palestinian from Bethlehem.

The woman has since been interviewed by Israeli TV. She describes being afraid to return to the PA since they suspect she cooperated with Israel and have threatened her and her family. At the same time, she makes it clear she loves Israel and wants to stay here.

(make sure captions enabled for English subtitles)

Turkish President Erdogan slams Soros “the famous Hungarian Jew”
In comments to a meeting of Mukhtars at the Presidency’s resident, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused George Soros, who he termed “the famous Hungarian Jew,” of being behind historic protests in Turkey. The comments are now stirring controversy among Turkish commentators on social media.

In a speech at the 48th meeting of Mukhtars, or village headmen, in Ankara, the Turkish president slammed a jailed Turkish philanthropist named Osman Kavala, claiming that Kavala was financing the 2013 Gezi park protests and that he was supported by George Soros. The speech and the term “Soros, the famous Hungarian Jew,” were widely reported at Turkish media such as Yeni Safak, which supports the governmet. Soros has become a lightning rod of criticism recently, particularly on the right in Europe and the US with accusations that he funds left-leaning causes. Many see attacks on Soros as a form of antisemitism, implying that a powerful Jewish philanthropist exercises global influence.

Kavala has gained support since his arrest last year. The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights has sought to support his case. It was in this context that Erdogan spoke about the Kavala case. Online critics of the Turkish President and his AK PArty have posted photos of Soros allegedly meeting with Turkish officials in Davos in 2003. On social media the term “Jew Soros” in Turkish, “yahudisi Soros” now has hundreds of mentions, some of them seeking to portray Soros as behind the protests. Video and quotes of Erdogan condemning “the famous Hungarian Jew Soros” are also widespread online.
The Plan: Iran’s Nuclear Archive Shows it Planned to Build Five Nuclear Weapons by mid-2003
New findings from the Nuclear Archive:

Plan to manufacture five nuclear warheads at 10 kilotons each
Endeavor to be prepared to carry out an underground nuclear test
Attempt to acquire highly enriched uranium (HEU) from abroad
Start of building of parallel fuel cycle to produce HEU for nuclear weapons
Fordow enrichment plant was designed to produce HEU
Supreme Council for Advanced Technologies was overseeing these efforts

How many nuclear weapons did Iran plan to make and how was it going to implement this decision? This question was not answerable in late 2015 and early 2016, based on the information in the hands of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), when the long outstanding issues, including the Possible Military Dimensions (PMD), were addressed before the start of the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). But now, with Israel’s 2018 seizure of documents, computer files, and images from a “Nuclear Archive” in Tehran, such questions can be far better addressed.

This report discusses a slide from a fairly long Iranian presentation, dated to the late 1990s or early 2000, which states that Iran intended to build five nuclear warheads, each with an explosive yield of 10 kilotons and able to be delivered by ballistic missile (Figure 1).2 This report discusses another document available from the archive that provides an early look at how Iran planned to achieve its goal of designing and manufacturing five nuclear weapons and by about 2003 (Figures 2-4).

Figure 1. Warhead Project slide from the Iranian archive presented in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s April 30th presentation (in Farsi (above) and in English translation (below)). Thanks to Behnam Ben Taleblu and a professional translator for assistance.

These documents show, in addition to other documents assessed by the Institute3, that Iran had put in place by the end of 2003 the infrastructure for a comprehensive nuclear weapons program. The evidence supports that Iran was preparing to conduct an underground test of a nuclear weapon, if necessary. The end goal was to have tested, deliverable nuclear weapons, and Iran made more progress toward that goal than known before the seizure of the archives.
EU Consideration of Iran Sanctions Could Set Course for Unified Western Policy
The possibility of new European Union sanctions against Iran to punish the hardline regime for terror plots in France and Denmark could set the course for a more unified Western policy toward Tehran's non-nuclear threats, according to a regional expert.

European diplomats agreed Monday to consider targeted sanctions on Iranians after representatives from France and Denmark traveled to Brussels this week to brief foreign ministers on the foiled attacks, according to Reuters.

The EU has been hesitant to consider sanctions over Iran's destabilizing actions in Europe and the Middle East amid uncertainty over the nuclear accord's future after President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in May.

"Although it is far too soon to say, and at present, unlikely, new EU penalties against Iran have the potential to set the predicate for a more united Western policy on Iran's non-nuclear threats," Behnam Ben Taleblu, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Washington Free Beacon.

"Whatever the fate of the JCPOA, Iranian malign activity at home and abroad must be challenged," he added, using the initialism for the nuclear deal's official name.

The United States and Europe do not currently coordinate on non-nuclear policy to deter Iran's malign behavior. Iran has threatened to leave the deal if the EU fails to preserve its economic benefits.
Iran Welcomes ‘New European Initiatives’ for Non-Dollar Trade
Iran on Wednesday praised European efforts to maintain business with Tehran despite US sanctions, citing “constructive meetings” with British and French officials in Tehran this week on setting up a way to conduct non-dollar trade.

Iranian Foreign Ministry officials voiced more hope for the move a day after Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif cast doubt on it, saying European powers were struggling to set up a “Special Purpose Vehicle” (SPV) trade mechanism.

European diplomats said last week British, French and German attempts to establish the SPV were faltering because no EU country was willing to host it for fear of its banks provoking US penalties, including a ban from US markets.

In May, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from world powers’ 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, under which Tehran curbed its disputed uranium enrichment program in exchange for the lifting of most international sanctions. Trump has since reimposed U.S. sanctions targeting Iran‘s oil exports.

The three big European Union powers and the EU as a whole have reaffirmed their commitment to the nuclear deal, as have Russia and China. Iran has warned it could repudiate the deal unless its economic benefits are preserved.

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