In second attack Saturday, Israeli policeman stabbed in West Bank
A Border Police officer was lightly wounded on Saturday when stabbed by a Palestinian man near Tapuah Junction in the northern West Bank.
Troops were conducting a routine security check on a Palestinian man at the Beita Junction, near the West Bank village of Hawara, when he pulled out a knife and stabbed one of the officers in the back, a Border Police spokesman said.
Troops at the scene opened fire on the attacker, named by the Palestinian Ma’an news agency as Rafik Kamal al-Taj, a 16-year-old resident of Beita, near Hawara. He was critically wounded and later died of his wounds. A Channel 2 report earlier named the attacker as Ahmed Kamal al-Taj
The spokesman said the injured officer received medical treatment at the scene before being transferred hospital.
The attack came hours after an Israel Defense Forces soldier was lightly wounded in a knife attack by a Palestinian man at the Ofer checkpoint in the West Bank, north of Jerusalem.
The attacker was shot and wounded at the scene.
US Jewish groups on alert after bin Laden’s son calls for attacks
The national Jewish community’s security arm has asked Jewish institutions to be on the alert after Osama Bin Laden’s son called for attacks on Jewish American interests.
The Secure Community Network alert said Friday that Hamza bin Laden, who has ambitions to lead al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization founded by his father, posted an audio message calling “for the targeting of Jewish American interests globally.”
“Hamza also reportedly called for attacks on Washington, London, Paris and Tel Aviv,” the alert said.
The alert by SCN, an arm of Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said the audio message was confirmed by “reliable sources” in law enforcement and was recorded sometime before June 15.
“While there is no information at this time to suggest a credible or imminent threat as it relates to this call for attacks, terrorist leaders and organizations have stepped up their calls for lone wolf attacks across the globe,” said the alert, noting recent attacks on Garland, Texas and Chattanooga, Tennessee, apparently carried out by unaffiliated individuals spurred by extremist Islamist calls for violence.
Denis MacEoin: Islamophobia: Fact or Fiction?
According to [Edward] Said, Westerners, by virtue of not being Muslims, have always falsified and distorted their writings about Islam and Muslims. Said claimed to see deeply-ingrained prejudice in the works of French, British, Russian and other Orientalist scholars and writers. To him, Orientalism was (and is) a tool of the colonial powers, assisting their mission supposedly to administer and subdue the peoples of the East. Since former colonies have achieved independence, he contends that the former imperialists still exert pressure on the ex-colonies in order to control them. Israel is regarded by most Marxists, socialists, and even many liberals as an entity created to colonize the Arab Middle East and is often condemned, even by people who are supposedly educated and should know better, in abrasive terms as a malign extension of the West.
Perhaps the best-known sentence in Said's book is: "[S]ince the time of Homer every European, in what he could say about the Orient, was a racist, an imperialist, and almost totally ethnocentric." As Bernard Lewis has been heard to remark, "If that were true, the only reports of marine biology would have to be by fish." But for Said and his followers, the world is divided between Western guilt and Eastern victimhood.
What is missing from Said's work is any attempt to deal with the long history of Islamic empires, the conquest of, and permanent rule over, non-Muslim states and peoples, and the often distorted ways in which Muslim writers have sought to interpret and explain Christian, Jewish, Hindu and other worlds. Said leaves us with the impression that all prejudice is only on the part of the West.
Said continues to have admirers, most in academic departments of English or multicultural studies, but as time passes, more and more scholars are calling his views into question. Writers such as Bernard Lewis, Ibn Warraq, Efraim Karsh, and Robert Irwin have exposed a string of faults in Said's narrative, from factual errors to staggering bias.
Despite his bias, distortion of facts, and openly documented deceptions, many of Said's followers, who are unwilling or unable to do their own work, see him as an intellectual to students and teachers who adhere to an anti-establishment, anti-Western, and socialist world view.
ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape
The systematic rape of women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority has become deeply enmeshed in the organization and the radical theology of the Islamic State in the year since the group announced it was reviving slavery as an institution. Interviews with 21 women and girls who recently escaped the Islamic State, as well as an examination of the group’s official communications, illuminate how the practice has been enshrined in the group’s core tenets.
The trade in Yazidi women and girls has created a persistent infrastructure, with a network of warehouses where the victims are held, viewing rooms where they are inspected and marketed, and a dedicated fleet of buses used to transport them.
A total of 5,270 Yazidis were abducted last year, and at least 3,144 are still being held, according to community leaders. To handle them, the Islamic State has developed a detailed bureaucracy of sex slavery, including sales contracts notarized by the ISIS-run Islamic courts. And the practice has become an established recruiting tool to lure men from deeply conservative Muslim societies, where casual sex is taboo and dating is forbidden.
A growing body of internal policy memos and theological discussions has established guidelines for slavery, including a lengthy how-to manual issued by the Islamic State Research and Fatwa Department just last month. Repeatedly, the ISIS leadership has emphasized a narrow and selective reading of the Quran and other religious rulings to not only justify violence, but also to elevate and celebrate each sexual assault as spiritually beneficial, even virtuous.
“Every time that he came to rape me, he would pray,” said F, a 15-year-old girl who was captured on the shoulder of Mount Sinjar one year ago and was sold to an Iraqi fighter in his 20s. Like some others interviewed by The New York Times, she wanted to be identified only by her first initial because of the shame associated with rape.
“He kept telling me this is ibadah,” she said, using a term from Islamic scripture meaning worship.
ISIS Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Sexually Abused American Hostage Kayla Mueller, Officials Say
Before her death earlier this year, American hostage Kayla Mueller was repeatedly raped by the top leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to counter-terrorism officials.
Mueller's family confirmed to ABC News that government officials have told them that their daughter, who would have turned 27 today, was the victim of repeated sexual assaults by al-Baghdadi.
"We were told Kayla was tortured, that she was the property of al-Baghdadi. We were told that in June by the government," Kayla's parents, Carl and Marsha Mueller, told ABC News today.
Al-Baghdadi, an Iraqi who calls himself "Caliph" as ruler of the Islamic State, personally brought the enslaved 26-year-old humanitarian aid worker from Prescott, Arizona, to be imprisoned inside the home of Abu Sayyaf, a Tunisian in charge of oil and gas revenue for the group, counter-terrorism officials have told ABC News over the past several months.
Iran gives UN watchdog information illuminating past nuclear activities
Iran has given the UN nuclear watchdog information regarding its atomic past, a milestone in potentially meeting a condition for sanctions relief under an accord reached with world powers last month.
Alongside the July 14 agreement to curb its nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions, Iran signed a deal with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to resolve outstanding questions about the possible military dimensions (PMD) of its past nuclear activities.
"Iran today provided the IAEA with its explanation in writing and related documents as agreed in the road-map for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran's nuclear program," the IAEA said on Saturday, confirming Iran had met a deadline.
For months, Iran had been stalling an IAEA investigation into the possible military aspects of its past nuclear activities, relating mostly to the period before 2003, saying the agency's data for its investigation was fabricated. The IAEA says it takes no information at face value.
Under the road-map, the IAEA could ask Tehran to provide more clarification by Oct. 15 so that the watchdog can write a final PMD report by the end of the year.
Iran’s Alliance with North Korea Could Pave Tehran’s Path to a Nuclear Bomb
Despite the new agreement reached between the P5+1 and Iran, the Islamic Republic could still acquire nuclear weapons capability through North Korea, according to analysts. Ilan Berman, Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council, warned yesterday, in an article published in the National Interest, that despite the administration’s assurances that all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear bomb have been shut off under the agreement, “[a] covert path to the bomb, entailing the procurement of materiel from foreign suppliers, still remains open to Iran, if it chooses to take that route.”
Therefore, the “unprecedented verification” that the Obama administration cited as a key pillar of the final deal could be rendered ineffective. Gordon Chang, writing in The Daily Beast in March, argued, “So while the international community inspects Iranian facilities pursuant to a framework deal, the Iranians could be busy assembling the components for a bomb elsewhere. In other words, they will be one day away from a bomb—the flight time from Pyongyang to Tehran—not one year as American and other policymakers hope.”
Berman argued that for decades Iran and North Korea have forged a “formidable alliance – the centerpiece of which is cooperation on nuclear and ballistic-missile capabilities.” He explained that for years reports have indicated that North Korea has actively worked to aid Iran’s nuclear program. North Korea sent “hundreds of nuclear experts” to work in Iran, while making “key nuclear software” available to Iranian scientists. North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests. At its third in February 2013, Iranian scientists were present.
Iranian Video Games Teach Military Strikes on Israel
An entity controlled by the Iranian government has released an “anti-Zionist” video game entitled “Missile Strike,” in which players are taught how to launch Iranian missile strikes on Israeli cities, according to an official report by the CIA’s Open Source Center (OSC) obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The anti-Israel video game was widely released for cellphones by Iran’s state-controlled Fars News Agency, which is closely aligned with the country’s military apparatus. The game was publicly released just three days before the signing of a nuclear accord with the United States and world powers.
OSC warns that the game is just the latest in a string of violent pieces of propaganda aimed at spreading the Iranian government’s extremist ideology.
It also comes on the heels of several real life war drills with Russian naval forces and the announcement that the Islamic Republic is gearing up to launch live missile drills, despite international agreements barring such action.
The anti-Israel game is the “latest in a series of politically inspired Iranian video games that advance a hardline narrative,” OSC wrote in the brief, which is unclassified but marked for official use only. “These games appear to be an attempt by the Iranian regime to spread its political message among Iranian youth.”
Fars itself has stated “that the ‘anti-Zionist’ game, titled ‘Missile Strike,’ allows users to launch Iranian Zelzal, Zolfaqer, or Sijal missiles at large Israeli cities, including Haifa and Tel Aviv,” according to OSC’s analysis.
Iran Deal: Obama Using Antisemitism, Says Glick
Renowned journalist, author and Director of the Israel Security Project at the David Horowtiz Freedom Center, Caroline Glick, says President Barack Obama has made antisemitism “a major theme of [his] administration’s push to pass the Iran Deal.”
Glick addressed a sold-out crowd at the Luxe Hotel in Brentwood, Los Angeles Thursday evening. She followed it with a personalized book signing. Her recent book, The Israeli Solution maps out what she describes as “a one state plan for peace in the Middle East.”
She elaborated that the Iran deal is an agreement which “guarantees and ensures war.”
“Here, the future of American Jewry is on the line and Obama put it there,” she said, adding that Obama’s “scorch and burn tactics” are characterized by “an antisemitic edge unseen by anyone in American history.”
Antisemitism was not necessary for this fight. He could have won this fight without antisemitism. He’s using it for a reason. He wants America to become antisemitic. There’s no other way of understanding what’s happening. Why does he want America to become an antisemitic county? I don’t know. But this is what he is fomenting.
She said that the $150 billion Iran will receive in sanctions relief is “a guarantee of war”:
This agreement guarantees and ensures war. It’s not nothing that this past week, Javad Zarif—John Kerry’s BFF [best friend forever] went to Lebanon and met with Hezbollah Chief Hassan Nasrallah before jetting off to Damascus to meet with Bashar al-Assad. These are war councils. They are talking about how this money is going to be used by terrorist regimes that are fomenting crimes against humanity on a daily basis.
Iran Deal: Alan Solow, Accomplice to Antisemitism
Alan Solow, a prominent Jewish leader and a close confidant of President Barack Obama since his Chicago days, has published an op-ed responding to the charge that Obama is using antisemitic language in pushing the Iran deal.
Calling the accusation “absurd,” Solow parrots the Obama administration’s talking points on the deal, along with some questionable language of his own.
To recap: Obama has repeatedly whipped support for the Iran deal by warning that there are well-financed lobbyists, backed by billionaires who control American politics, making common cause with America’s enemies in an effort to subvert an agreement people would support if they understood it.
These are the classic themes of antisemitic conspiracy theories. Obama never mentions the well-funded lobby groups lobbying in favor of the deal. He has been called out for his use of antisemitic themes by liberals and conservatives alike. Yet he persists.
One would expect a Jewish leader to caution the president–to point out that it is possible to advocate for the deal in ways that do not offend the Jewish community, or that echo hateful language used by antisemites around the world.
Artwork at New York City’s Garis & Hahn Gallery Asks: ‘Chuck Schumer, Israeli Spy?’
A summer art exhibition at a Manhattan gallery has drawn the ire of several in the Jewish community for visualizations that seem to augment Jewish stereotypes of dual loyalty and financial power, and “musing about doing away with the Jewish state” of Israel.
The Garis & Hahn gallery on Bowery launched its Summer Windows exhibition on August 10 with displays by 10 different artists in a “continuous dialogue,” organized by guest curator Danika Druttman.
Among the images was one that simply read, in sparse Magnetic Poetry text, “Chuck Schumer, Israeli spy?” The timely piece appeared just a few days after Schumer announced his opposition to the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran.
Following Schumer’s announcement, some controversially suggested that the New York Democratic senator was more concerned with Israeli security than U.S. interests, claims that were subsequently decried by Jewish groups.
Another image showed the iconic Star of David, crafted out of one-dollar bills, with the text “not on my dime” in the center; blood oozes from the bottom of the Jewish symbol.
Schindler's List producer takes on Hollywood's most prominent Jews over Iran deal
The Oscar-winning producer of Schindler's List shot back at some of Hollywood's most prominent Jews Friday after an open letter supporting President Barack Obama's proposed nuclear deal with Iran was published with their signatures the day before. In his own letter, Gerald Molen, listed the potential dangers associated with the agreement and asked "Do they not deny the Holocaust?," among other questions, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter.
Molen wrote to LAJewishLeadersForIranDeal@gmail.com, the email account set up by the 98 Hollywood Jews who support Obama's plan, and argued that the Obama administration's key foreign policy achievement will allow the Islamic Republic to arm its military wing after half a decade, purchase ballistic missiles in eight years, and restart its nuclear program in another 15 years.
"This will more than likely push the inevitable nuclear crises out of many of the signers' lifetimes and onto the backs of their grandchildren or great grandchildren," Molen writes.
Molen also argued that the cash windfall Iran is expected to receive once world-powers strip away sanctions will have a severely negative impact, especially on Israel, due to Tehran's continued funding of terrorism.
"How much of their new-found largesse will be used to kill innocents?" Molen asks. "How much of it will be spent on child-size, bomb-laden vests for the indoctrinated young to climb on a bus, enter a marketplace or a theater and go boom? Israel must be very wary and each of the signers must surely know that. Shouldn't they?"
Israel's L.A. Consul General: 'We Know Iran Will Cheat'
David Siegel, Israel’s Consul General in Los Angeles and to the southwestern United States, told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview this week that he believes Iran will cheat on the new nuclear deal, as it has on past agreements.
Israel will remain “vigilant” in the face of these threats, he says.
“We [the government of Israel] see this as a very bad deal,” Siegel said. “Iran is the #1 sponsor of terrorism in the world and the #1 purveyor of antisemitism. We all know that Iran has cheated for a quarter century and will continue to cheat in the future.”
He noted that Israel has always believed peace could be achieved through robust diplomacy, economic sanctions and military preparedness.
“Israel was one of the first countries to advocate a diplomatic solution to the Iranian problem. The only way to get Iran to roll back their nuclear program was under pressure, and there is a history which supports this,” Seigel said.
As for a military option for Israel, Siegel told Breitbart News, “we certainly don’t advocate that. We are big proponents of finding a political, diplomatic, economic way to stop Iran.” He added that “Israel knows well how to defend itself and we will make sure it can do that in the future. We will be very vigilant whether vis-a-vis Iran or its proxies.”
“Initially, the agreement demanded that Iran’s nuclear program be dismantled….And then the model changed to something else, which enabled them to keep their program in place, and we relieved the sanctions.”
Exclusive–Rep. Ryan Zinke: ‘Iran Needs This Deal,’ Not U.S.
Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) told Breitbart News on Friday that he firmly rejects the nuclear accord with Iran, pointing out that proponents of the deal are engaging in character assassination and bully tactics.
“America doesn’t need this deal; Iran needs this deal. The narrative that if we don’t take the deal, we go to war is false and fear mongering,” the Montana at-large congressional representative said.
Zinke, a U.S. Navy Seal for 23 years before retiring in 2008 to run for office and join the Montana Senate, has been on the front lines of combat against America’s enemies. During the Iraq war, he was acting commander of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force- Arabian Peninsula, and deployed to Fallujah, a city now held by the Islamic State (ISIS).
Referencing the vote of a fellow Montanan–Democrat Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who supports the Iran deal–Zinke added, “There are some in the Senate and the Obama administration who fail to realize that America has options. I am committed to exploring every one of them while leading the opposition in Congress.”
Rep. Zinke is in Israel this week, where he has met with prominent leaders in the country and discussed the Iranian deal.
White House Played Role in Iran Deal Letter Signed by Former Flag Officers
The White House worked with the organizer of an open letter signed by retired flag officers lobbying in favor of the Iran nuclear deal, according to emails reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.
An open letter from retired generals supporting the Iran nuclear deal was coordinated with help from the White House, according to emails reviewed by the Free Beacon.
The pro-deal letter to Congress, signed by three-dozen retired senior officers and released on Tuesday, has been seized on by supporters of the Iran agreement as evidence of a “growing consensus” backing the Obama administration’s position.
Emails obtained by the Free Beacon indicate that the letter is part of a larger effort by the White House to consolidate support for the agreement. The administration is scrambling to hold on to congressional Democrats nervous about backing the deal. While 36 officers put their names on the letter, others balked when asked to participate.
James “Jamie” Barnett, a retired rear admiral who now works at the law firm Venable, drafted the letter. Barnett reached out to retired senior officers earlier this month, asking them to sign on and touting the White House’s involvement.
Former Commandant of Marine Corps: Iran Nuclear Deal Not in Best Interests of U.S., Israel
Gen. Charles Krulak, the former Commandant of the United States Marine Corps and former member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is not “in the best interests of the United States of America, the State of Israel, the States of the Middle East or, in fact, the world community,” in a statement released yesterday in conjunction with the Birmingham (Alabama) Jewish Federation.
I don’t think there is much value in repeating that rationale other than to say that we went into this process with specific goals as a baseline and came out with many of those goals either partially achieved or not achieved at all. Even those partially achieved are, at the end of the day, dependent on Iran acting like a trustworthy member of the world community. I am unable to bet the safety of my Country or the State of Israel or any other country for that matter on the trustworthiness of Iran. In all fairness, there are others who disagree and do so with great passion and belief in their point of view. I respect their beliefs and do not, for a minute, minimize them. …
At the same time, I am very concerned that not enough focus is being placed on what I would call “the day after tomorrow” if the JCPOA is adopted. What steps will be taken, at the strategic level, to safeguard our Nation and the State of Israel beyond all the supposed safeguards found in the JCPOA? What are the unintended consequences of the JCPOA on the Nations within the region? What can we reasonably expect to happen as new oil begins to flow from well heads in Iran? Or when sanctions are lifted and billions of dollars flow into the coffers of the largest exporter of terrorism in the world? Or when weapons are sold on the open market? Or when other countries, concerned about the potential of a nuclear Iran, start their own programs?
Krulak said that “trust but verify” is not a sufficient strategy when dealing with a party that has shown “over the years, in both word and deed that they are not trustworthy.”
Krulak further addressed the recent letter signed by 36 generals and admirals in support of the JCPOA, and noted that the number of officers signing the letter was underwhelming.
“I was called several days ago to join this effort…obviously I said no. I think it is important to note a few things: Out of the thousands of retired flag and general officers that could have signed the letter, only 30+ could be found to do so. When we gathered together to sign a letter against ‘Enhanced Interrogation Techniques,’ we had to turn off the spigot when we reached 100. Out of the many, many, Service Chiefs who could have signed the letter, only one did and he served over 30 years ago.”
Former Joint Chiefs Chair Cites Iran Deal’s "Deadly Consequences"
In an Op-Ed in the Miami Herald, Gen. Hugh Shelton, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expresses his opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the proposed “Iran deal” negotiated between the U.S., Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran.
Gen. Shelton writes:
The main opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and its many supporters in Western countries — myself included —understand that a regime that can’t be trusted with the lives of its own people can’t be trusted with a weak nuclear deal. The deadly consequences of such an agreement will not come 10 years from now when Iran has the acknowledged ability to launch a nuclear weapon; they will come as soon as the current regime is granted legitimacy on the international stage and gains economic or political leverage over democratic nations, which will happen as soon as their coffers are filled with unfrozen assets and the oil flows unfettered.
If the administration can’t be bothered with the voice of the over 75 million Iranians, there is no shortage of American former officials, military officers, and academics who can attest to the power and legitimacy of the Iranian people and opposition working towards democracy. Former CIA Director James Woolsey, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and retired General George Casey are among them. All are men of unimpeachable integrity.
President Obama would do well to heed the serious, thoughtful and constructive criticisms about the nuclear deal.
Iran killed this man's son
Clay Farr was killed in an Iranian bombing. His father is afraid that the Iran deal, which lifts sanctions on and gives billions of dollars to Iran, will mean more Iranian terror and killing.
Why the Anti-Defamation League’s Opposition to the Iran Deal Matters
Yesterday, the Anti-Defamation League came out against the Iran nuclear deal. In a 1,300-word statement, ADL national director Jonathan Greenblatt explained that he and his organization “respect and appreciate the commitment of the Administration and Members of Congress who have engaged in a serious and sustained effort over many years to neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat.” But, he added, “we are concerned not only that the agreement appears to offer Iran a legal and legitimate pathway to become a nuclear threshold state in just over a decade, but more immediately, standing as a normalized member of the international community.”
This ADL announcement matters, but not for the reasons one might think. The Iran deal is essentially a done deal, with little chance that Congress will be able to muster the votes to derail it. The ADL’s statement certainly won’t tip the scale one way or the other. Rather, it is significant not so much for its content as for its author: former Obama administration official Jonathan Greenblatt.
When Greenblatt was tapped as the new national director of the ADL in November 2014, he was a special assistant to President Obama focusing on social entrepreneurship, a role he’d filled since 2011. The pick was lauded in many circles, but some critics questioned whether Greenblatt would be as willing to critique the White House as his predecessor, Abraham Foxman, or if he would instead shy away from conflict with his former colleagues.
The Iran deal debate, which greeted Greenblatt’s assumption of his duties this past July, has settled this question. Greenblatt has shown he is not afraid to put himself at odds with the Obama Administration on its signature foreign policy initiative. At the same time, he has used his experience working in the Obama White House to calm Jewish fears about the administration, while pressing the latter to be more careful in its rhetoric selling the deal.
Fox News Poll: Majority would reject Iran nuke deal
The latest Fox News national poll asks voters to imagine being a lawmaker and casting a vote on the deal: 31 percent would approve it, while nearly twice as many, 58 percent, would reject it.
In an August 5 speech, President Obama said if lawmakers vote down the deal, the agreement will fall apart and war will come “soon.”
Even so, only half of Democrats would approve the deal (50 percent). More than a third would vote it down (35 percent).
Most Republicans (83 percent) and a majority of independents (60 percent) would reject it.
Global Post Omits Key Facts While ‘Interviewing’ Iran’s Jews
USA Today featured reporting by Peabody award-winning reporter and GlobalPost special correspondent Reese Erlich (“Iran’s Jewish community gets behind nuclear deal with U.S.,” August 7, 2015) that omitted key details on the treatment of Jews in the Islamic Republic of Iran. By uncritically relaying comments of a people under surveillance and failing to fully note the threats they face, the article misleads readers.
Interviewing Jews in Tehran, Erlich asserts that “most Iranian Jews strongly disagree with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu” over his objections to the agreement between the United States, Germany, Russia, France, China, the United Kingdom and Iran over the latter’s purported nuclear program. The reporter bases his claims on responses from individuals in the “city’s small Jewish community” he interviewed.
But, why is Iran’s Jewish community now so “small”?
Erlich briefly mentions that “over 100,000 Jews lived in Iran prior to the 1979 revolution, but many left right afterward”—leaving a population of only 12,000 to 30,000. Not only does he fail to account for the discrepant estimates of the current Jewish population, he fails to elaborate why so many Jews fled—in some instances perilously over mountains and desert—and why those who remain might be reluctant to publicly identify themselves as “Zionists.”
After taking power in 1979 and ushering in the Islamic Revolution, some wealthy Iranian-Jews found themselves put on show trials. The first private citizen to be executed by tribunal was Habib Elghanian, an Iranian Jew who stood accused of “economic imperialism” and contacts “with Israel and Zionism.” As Moment Magazine noted, “his real crime was that he had failed to follow established custom for Jews and maintain a low profile.” (“How Jew-Friendly Persia Became Anti-Semetic Iran,” Nov. 2006)
Fareed Zakaria’s Unconvincing Case in Favor of the Iran Deal
Dear Dr. Zakaria,
You have just published an open letter to Sen. Chuck Schumer explaining why you found his statement of opposition to the Iran deal “unconvincing.” I commend the civil tone of your letter and the strong arguments you advance. You do a better job of defending the agreement than does President Obama, who too often engages in ad hominem invective rather than reasoned discussion. Nevertheless, I do not find your arguments convincing. Because I and so many others have great respect for you as a foreign policy thinker, I would like to explain in an open letter of my own where and why I disagree with your analysis.
You begin by claiming that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action “is the most intrusive, demanding and comprehensive set of inspections, verification protocols and snapback measures ever negotiated.” Comprehensive, yes, in the sense of being long and detailed, if not always easy to understand. Despite the agreement’s length, however, is it far from the most demanding or intrusive such agreement ever reached. That honor belongs to countries such as South Africa, which by 1994 gave up its entire weapons of mass destruction program, and to Libya, which did the same in 2003-2004. Their programs were eradicated down to the roots. Iran’s program, by contrast, will continue to exist.
You are right that under the JCPOA “Iran must destroy 98 percent of its enriched uranium and all of its 5 percent to 20 percent enriched uranium, remove and store more than two-thirds of its centrifuges (including all advanced centrifuges), terminate all enrichment at its Fordow nuclear facility and render inoperable the key components of its Arak (plutonium) reactor.”
But all of these steps are reversible. As Iran’s own official news agency noted, “Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will remain intact, no centrifuges will be dismantled and research and development on key and advanced centrifuges such as IR-4, IR-5, IR-6, IR-8 will continue.” What this means is that at the end of the 10-to-15 year period covered by the agreement, Iran will emerge with a more sophisticated nuclear program than it has now–one that will put it on the brink of possessing nuclear weapons.
Report: Iran Ready to Export 50 Million Barrels of Oil When Sanctions Are Lifted
Iran has secretly amassed significant reserves – as much as 50 million barrels – of processed oil on tankers in the Persian Gulf, which Tehran is ready to export as soon as international sanctions are lifted, CNN reported Thursday.
Iran claims it’s not stockpiling oil in tankers in the Persian Gulf, but no one believes it. Up until recently, energy experts thought Iran’s vessels held 30 million to 40 million barrels of oil.
But maritime surveillance firm Windward has harnessed sophisticated technology to determine Iran is actually hoarding 50 million barrels of oil. That’s up nearly 150% from April 2014 when Windward started tracking this closely-watched metric. …
The larger estimate of Iran’s floating oil stockpile is more evidence that the world has far more oil than it needs, especially given the slowdown in demand and turbulence in China.
The Left’s Cognitive Dissonance on the Palestinian Authority
Finally, there’s the economic development. It’s noteworthy that in its 21 years of existence, the Fatah-led PA hasn’t built a single new hospital, university or town; every Palestinian hospital and university was built under Israeli rule, before the PA’s establishment in 1994, while the only new town, Rawabi, is the work of a private entrepreneur. This isn’t because the PA lacks money; it receives billions in international aid every year. But it prefers to spend its cash on things like paying generous salaries to jailed terrorists – a line item totaling some $144 million in the PA’s annual budget.
Yet the PA doesn’t merely refuse to foster economic development itself; it actively tries to prevent others from doing so. For instance, it refused for five years to convene the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Water Committee to approve Rawabi’s connection to the water system; the hook-up finally occurred this year only because Israel gave up on the committee and approved it unilaterally.
In another case, which I discussed in detail last year, the PA not only arrested a Palestinian-Canadian investor who committed the cardinal sin of calling for Abbas’s ouster, but also took various retaliatory steps against his West Bank businesses, which employ hundreds of Palestinians. The resultant losses persuaded both him and his son, a fellow entrepreneur, to move their businesses out of the PA.
The PA also refuses to use its bloated security services to stop anti-normalization thugs who have forced even Israeli Arab entrepreneurs to cancel plans for job-creating West Bank businesses.
Indeed, a high-ranking Israeli defense official – who, far from being anti-Abbas, praised him lavishly for his security cooperation with Israel – said last month that the PA even objected to recent Israeli measures to ease conditions in the West Bank (like granting more permits for workers and businessmen to enter Israel) because they undermine PA efforts to organize anti-Israel protests.
UK Labour frontrunner invited radical Israeli-Muslim cleric to Parliament for tea
Britain’s Labour Party leadership frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn was filmed praising a hate preacher and inviting him to “tea on the terrace” at Parliament, the Daily Mail reported Saturday.
In the 2012 clip, left-wing MP Corbyn can be seen referring to Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the radical wing of the Islamic Movement in Israel, as an “’honored citizen” and inviting him to tea in the House of Commons.
Salah has convictions for funding Hamas, contact with Iranian intelligence, assaulting a police officer and leading a violent demonstration among other offenses, and has served several jail terms.
Salah visited Britain in June 2012, despite an order from Home Secretary Theresa May banning him over his political activities. He was detained, held for three weeks and released on bail.
A Jewish politician from the Labour Party said on Friday that the views of Corbyn, who is far ahead in the race to take over the leadership of the main British opposition party, are cause for “serious concern.”
UK Jewish Newspaper Sounds Alarm on Anti-Israel Opposition Leader Contender
The U.K.’s Jewish Chronicle newspaper has sounded the alarm over the impending election of Member of Parliament Jeremy Corbyn as the next head of the Labour Party and British opposition leader, asking Corbyn to prove he is not “an enemy of Britain’s Jewish community.”
“In this rare instance we are certain that we speak for the vast majority of British Jews in expressing deep foreboding at the prospect of Mr. Corbyn’s election as Labour leader,” the Jewish Chronicle wrote in an editorial.
“In a nation where, thank heavens, racism and extremism are now regarded as beyond the pale, it is little short of astonishing that a man who chooses to associate with racists and extremists is about to become leader of one of our two main parties and could conceivably become prime minister,” the newspaper added.
The editorial was triggered by a report that Corbyn wrote a letter of support to Rev. Stephen Sizer, who has blamed Israel for the 9/11 attacks and was banned by the Anglican Church for six months for his anti-Semitic ideas. Corbyn said Sizer was “under attack” by a pro-Israel smear campaign.
Israel Omitted But Palestine Included On Chain Store Globe
A novelty globe sold at Poundland shops in the UK and Ireland displays “Palestine” where the State of Israel should be featured. The £1 Mini Globe, described as a “unique desk accessory” was bought at a London branch of the budget chain store on Kilburn High Street.
Jewish News reports the flawed geographic aid is also featured on the Poundland website. There it is promoted by the cut-price retailer as being a “great novel stationery product perfect for any school or university student” – although presumably not one wanting to gain a rudimentary knowledge of actual real-life geography such as the existence and location of the State of Israel.
“The globe features a key on the underside which includes a number of countries including Israel. However, we are investigating the product further with our supplier to determine if improvements could be made. We would like to thank the customer for bringing this issue to our attention.”
No explanation has been given as to why the novelty children’s globe, distributed by Birmingham-based company H&O, endows Palestine with full nation state status rather than Israel.
BBC News Paris correspondent goes adrift on Paris beach story
As readers may have heard, a plan by the Paris municipality to hold a Tel Aviv themed day at its annual ‘Paris beaches’ event was predictably exploited by anti-Israel campaigners and far-Left politicians for the opportunistic promotion of delegitimising propaganda.
“The monthlong festival turns the banks of the Seine River and the Bassin de la Villette artificial lake into beaches, trucking in sand and other coastal paraphernalia. This year, each day will be dedicated to a different famous beach around the world, and on Thursday, the outdoor space is slated to be turned into the shores of Tel Aviv. […]But across social media, and even among local politicians, the decision has caused an outcry.”
The event – which reportedly attracted more media attention than members of the public – passed off without incident. Nevertheless, the BBC found it appropriate to promote amplification of the nay-sayers’ cause with an item by its man in Paris, Hugh Schofield, which was placed in the ‘Features’ section of the BBC News website’s Middle East page under the title “Paris-Plages: Tel Aviv invite prompts Palestinian protests“.
Variations in BBC portrayal of fences, walls and barriers
Decidedly less polemic language is seen in BBC reports concerning the British government’s £12 million investment in fencing and other security measures in Calais – also with the aim of keeping migrants out of their country. Interestingly, fact that the UK is paying for fence construction on French soil does not appear to be an issue and insinuations of racism as a factor influencing the British approach to the issue of migrants do not appear in the way they frequently do in BBC coverage of the topic of African migrants in Israel.Tunisia ct fence
Last month the Tunisian government announced a plan to construct a 160 km-long barrier along its border with Libya as part of its counter-terrorism strategy. Notably, the BBC News website article informing audiences of that news portrayed the reason for the construction of that barrier in clear terms. Originally titled “Tunisia to build Libya wall to counter terror threat” and now going under the headline “Tunisia to build ‘anti-terror’ wall on Libya border“, the article opens:
“Tunisia has announced plans to build a wall along its border with Libya to counter the threat from jihadist militants.
It would stretch 160km (100 miles) inland from the coast, and be completed by the end of 2015, Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid told state TV.
The Tunisian army would build the wall, which would have surveillance centres at certain points along it, Mr Essid said.”
In contrast with the terminology regularly used to portray Israel’s anti-terrorist fence, the BBC does not qualify the structure’s aim with “Tunisia says” and obviously did not find it necessary to ‘balance’ the Tunisian government’s description of the wall’s purpose with input from the terrorist organisations it aims to thwart. Insofar as we are aware, the BBC has also not found it necessary to issue its journalists with a ‘style guide’ instructing them on the approved terminology for this barrier or any of the others above in order to “avoid using terminology favoured by one side or another in any dispute“.
FBI Offers $5,000 Reward for Information on Suspect in San Antonio Antisemitic Vandalism Attack
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Texas Rangers announced on Thursday that they had identified a suspect in the recent antisemitic graffiti attack in a predominately Jewish neighborhood in San Antonio, local news station KSAT 12 reported on Friday.
Authorities said the suspect lives near the area where the attack took place, and announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
In the attack, antisemitic graffiti was found spray-painted on more than 30 homes and vehicles. The graffiti included images of swastikas, “KKK” lettering and other hateful slurs.
Members of the area’s Rodfei Sholom Congregation discovered the vandalism on Wednesday morning in the area around the synagogue shortly after morning prayers. The graffiti has since been removed.
Police said they are taking the incident seriously because of the fear that hate crimes can lead to violent acts of terror.
Fake bomb discovered at Swedish Chabad House
Swedish police have discovered what they described as a well-made fake bomb at an unnamed location that was later identified as the Chabad House in the southern city of Gothenburg.
The mock device was found last week on Saturday, according to a report posted that day on the police’s website. Police came to inspect the premises following a report of a suspicious-looking man who left an unidentified object there.
“Police bomb technicians shot at box that appeared to be a well-made dummy,” the report said. “Police wrote a report on serious unlawful threats.” The report spoke of a Jewish-owned establishment without mentioning specifically the Chabad House, which was nonetheless identified as the target by the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism.
Chabad envoys and other individuals who are recognizable as Jews have suffered repeated assaults in the Swedish cities of Malmo and Gothenburg. The local communities attribute most such acts to extremists from the southern cities’ sizable Muslim communities.
Dubai-based company offering services in Israel
A Dubai-based Internet company on Thursday announced that it would offer services in Israel, an unusual move given that the United Arab Emirates and Israel have no formal diplomatic or economic relations.
The company, travelauto.com, is an online marketplace for car rentals, allowing users to select from a variety of local car rentals through its Web portal. Though the company will not be opening an office in Israel, it sent representatives to Israel to vet the rental providers and sign deals with them.
It’s an open secret in Israel that some local companies do business in the Arab world, but such transactions are usually kept quiet. Consultants that facilitate such dealings remain skittish about talking about their business publicly.
“Nobody had any reservation about this, because it’s an online company. The place doesn’t really matter,” Chandra Moulli, the company’s CEO, told The Jerusalem Post. Moulli noted that the company was founded by Indian nationals, but was headquartered and operated out of Dubai.
“Both the car rental companies and our customers have been insisting on having car rental services in Israel, and after weighing the options, we have decided to add Budget Rent a Car to our portal, specifically focusing on Israel destinations,” Moulli said in a company statement.
Israel Venture Activist Jon Medved: China Could Invest Up to $1 Billion in Israeli Tech This Year
China could be investing up to $1 billion in Israeli tech this year, OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved told Bloomberg on Wednesday.
Medved said China “needs innovation and new technology … and real technology,” which he explained focused almost exclusively on the vast device-to-cloud network known as the Internet of Things, technology he called a “game-changer.”
“We’re going from four or five billion devices to a hundred billion devices, who knows?” pondered Medved, whose OurCrowd is an equity crowdfunding website devoted to Israeli technology.
Medved cited Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, which successfully protected Israeli cities and severely limited casualties during last summer’s hostility with Hamas in Gaza, as the type of technology whetting Chinese investors’ appetites.
But he said that beyond defense technology, China was truly interested in using this technology in industrial fields: the electrical grid, water networks, smart cities.
“That’s the kind of stuff the Chinese want. They want drones, they want robotics, they want big data analytics,” he said, describing the Chinese relationship with Israeli tech as a “love affair.”
“Right now, to have an Israeli product in China is good,” he said, despite political efforts such as the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement that seeks to isolate Israel economically over its handling of the Palestinian issue.
Hebrew University placed 67th in world in new ranking
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is the leading school in Israel and 67th among the top universities in the world, according to the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities released Saturday. The university has climbed three places from its 70th place rank in 2014.
The annual ranking, conducted by researchers at China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University, lists the top 500 universities around the world. It determines the order using six indicators, including the number of Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals won by alumni and faculty members, the number of highly cited researchers selected by Thomson Scientific, the number of published articles, the number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index – Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance vis-a-vis the size of the individual institutions.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem — Israel’s foremost academic and research institution — consistently performs well in global rankings.
In July, the Saudi-based Center for World University Rankings listed three Israeli universities in the world’s best 100, and a total of seven in the world’s best 1,000. The Hebrew University was placed 23rd on the list, while the Weizmann Institute of Science secured 39th place and Tel Aviv University clinched 86th spot.
Did Israel Just Tweet A Picture Of Girls Dancing Around In Their Bikinis? Yes, Yes They Did
The official Twitter account for the state of Israel decided it would be fun to tweet a video of girls dancing around in their swimsuits.
The @Israel twitter account shared the video Friday morning.
Once a summer in Tel Aviv, you may beat the heat by getting out your bottles and water guns supplied with water flowing from a recycled water fountain on Habima square in Tel Aviv's city centre.
All's fair in love and (water) war!