Caroline Glick: Who speaks for America’s Jews?
Last Friday, Peter Beinart and a few dozen Jewish anti-Zionists had a marvelous time in Hebron.
They wore funny blue T-shirts and sang about “tikkun olam” (repairing the world) in two languages.
They pretended they were civil rights activists.
They videotaped themselves being brave. They got shown to the door by security forces after wrecking a Palestinian farmer’s grazing land while supposedly defending him.
Five dual Israeli-American citizens got arrested.
And the rest ate a late lunch.
All in all, it was a great experience.
The sight of Beinart and his comrades locking hands and singing Debbie Friedman songs in Hebron was so absurd it was funny. But there was a menacing aspect to their solipsistic showmanship.
Beinart told the JTA reporter who joined them for the protest party, “I feel like I’m seeing the emergence of a new leadership.... People will try to write these guys off as lefties that don’t have any connection to the Jewish community. But... these kids actually come from the bosom of the Jewish community.
A lot of them are affiliated.”
No doubt they are. But to what? According to JTA, “Many belong to left-wing Israel advocacy groups such as J Street and the New Israel Fund, and others to groups that more deeply divide the pro-Israel community, including Jewish Voice for Peace, which supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, and IfNotNow, which holds its own sit-ins at US Jewish groups.”
Daniel Pipes: I rooted for the Turkish coup
Every major government condemned the coup attempt in Turkey, as did all four of the parties with representatives in the Turkish parliament. So did even Fethullah Gulen, the religious figure accused of being behind the would-be takeover. All this condemnation leaves me feeling a little lonely, having tweeted on Friday, just after the revolt began: "#Erdogan stole the most recent election in #Turkey and rules despotically. He deserves to ousted by a military coup. I hope it succeeds."
Having this nearly minority-of-one stance suggests that an explanation longer than 140 characters is in order. Three reasons account for my supporting the ouster of the apparently democratically elected and democratically ruling president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, by what are apparently the forces of reaction:
1. Erdogan stole the election. Erdogan is an Islamist who initially made his mark, both as mayor of Istanbul and as prime minister of Turkey, by playing by the rules. As time wore on, however, he grew disdainful of those rules, specifically the electoral ones. He monopolized state media, tacitly encouraged physical attacks on opposition members and stole votes. In particular, the most recent national election, held on Nov. 1, 2015, showed many signs of manipulation.
2. Erdogan rules despotically. Erdogan has taken control of one institution after another, even in the two years since he became president, a constitutionally and historically nonpolitical position. The result? An ever-growing portion of Turks are working directly under his control or that of his minions: the prime minister, the cabinet, judges, police, educators, bankers, media owners and business leaders, among others. The military leadership acquiesces to Erdogan's will, but, as the weekend's coup attempt confirmed, the officer corps has remained the one institution still outside his direct control.
Erdogan uses his despotic powers to sinister ends, waging what amounts to a civil war against the Kurds of southeastern Turkey, helping the Islamic State group, aggressing against neighbors and promoting Sunni Islamism.
Why doesn't anyone take up my offer?
The Palestinian Authority (PA) which is an extension of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) has now decided to convert their use of the words in Article Two of their 1968 amended 1964 Charter: "Palestine, with its boundaries at the time of the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit."
Palestine has now become an Islamic "Waqf." It is forbidden to relinquish a single grain of soil (of it)" (an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law).
I suggest that Secretary of State Kerry, the Prime Ministers of Europe, and J Street, et al, ask Abbas to comment on the Waqf assertions, and ask how could the PA negotiate with Israel, if Israel is not entitled to one grain of soil?
I have stated on many occasions that not one word of the 1968 amended 1964 Charter to destroy Israel has ever been specifically changed. Article 33 of the 1968 Charter clearly states that no changes can occur in the charter unless two-thirds of the PNC membership votes for a change.
I repeat my offer of a $250,000 Wells Fargo check to the first person who comes forth with a two-thirds PNC membership voted resolution which annuls the twelve Arafat alleged charter annulments, and the new language of the sixteen partially annulled Arafat charter articles.
Douglas Murray: When the French mood finally snaps, Marine Le Pen will be waiting
It hardly needs to be said that the political repercussions of this are all dire. Yesterday at a memorial for the victims in Nice the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, was booed by the crowds of mourners. PM Valls has been unusually strong in his statements about Islamic terror, but like every one of his predecessors, he is limited in what he can do about it. Former Interior Minister and President Nicolas Sarkozy has tried to step into this vacuum, damning the present government for not doing enough, presumably in the hope that the French public will have forgotten how little Sarkozy himself achieved in office. Meanwhile a startling number of commentators continue to blame the French security services for last week, as though any country can sustain a state of emergency for this length of time and protect every single site in the country from any form of attack.
In my view we may well be in the middle of a great change in Europe. The publics of Europe – in France in particular – are becoming increasingly agitated about events which their politicians seem unable, where not unwilling, to control. In reality there is no way that any government can prevent anyone all of the time from committing an act of terror with a knife, axe or truck. But the problem is that politicians in France – and even more so in Germany – have been refusing to address these facts for too long and are often rightly held responsible for allowing this situation to emerge. It’s not as though nobody warned the French and German governments of the repercussions of allowing millions of people into their countries un-vetted. The problem is that everyone who warned about it was called a racist and told to shut up.
The publics are increasingly losing confidence in the ability of this political class to protect them. And so the politics which has been kept to the margins is becoming tolerable to the mainstream. I have said for over a decade that if mainstream politicians didn’t address this issue then they would leave it to Marine Le Pen. And so they have.
The Double Standard Haunting Europe
As many have already noted, the spree of recent Islamist terror attacks across Europe feel reminiscent of some of the Palestinian attacks that Israeli civilians have been enduring for decades. And as Europeans confront this wave of violence, they are fast adopting the same means that Israelis have been forced take when trying to defend themselves. Yesterday, when an Afghan migrant and Islamic State devotee in Germany began attacking commuters on a busy train, he was quickly shot and killed by security. Similarly, the horrific truck attack last week in Nice was only brought to an end when the French police shot and killed Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who also appears to have been linked with ISIS.
When comparable knife attacks and car rammings have happened in Israel, security forces there acted similarly. Of course, on many occasions, Israel’s border police and army have managed to shoot and merely disable assailants. But when that has not been possible, Palestinian attackers have been shot and killed in an effort to save the lives of Israeli civilians in immediate harm’s way. It would seem morally obvious that sometimes this is what has to be done to bring a terror assault to the swiftest possible conclusion.
Yet Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom had an objection to Israelis defending themselves in this way. In January, when allegations were made in the Swedish parliament that Israel was perpetrating “extrajudicial executions” of Palestinian attackers, Wallstrom gave credence to these allegations. “It is vital that there is a thorough, credible investigation into these deaths in order to clarify and bring about possible accountability,” she said. By the same standard, we should now expect to hear Sweden’s foreign ministry call upon their French and German neighbors to undertake investigations into the circumstances under which the German train and Nice attackers were killed.
Wallstrom’s talk of bringing about “possible accountability” is especially galling. The notion that it is members of Israel’s security forces who should be interrogated and punished for acting to neutralize a terror threat is an unspeakable moral inversion. But, of course, in the event that there was serious reason to believe that wrongdoing had been committed by a member of the security services then that would be a legal matter. And sure enough, on the one occasion where there have been legitimate grounds for concern—the case of Sergeant Elor Azaria, accused of shooting and killing a Palestinian assailant said to have no longer posed a threat—charges have been pressed and a court case is underway.
While Western leaders dither
Streets ran red with blood in both France and Turkey last week. A terrorist atrocity and an attempted coup are quite different events. But underlying both is this question: How are the most dynamic forces within the Islamic world shaping the 21st century?
Jihadism is, as should be obvious, one of those forces. Those fighting what they call a holy war -- al-Qaida, the Islamic State group, Iran, to name a few -- regard "others" as enemies who must submit, be conquered or be killed. Their goal, and they're candid about it, is to establish Islamic domination anywhere they can and, eventually, everywhere they can.
To call such behavior radical or extreme is ahistorical. They are doing what tribes, nations and empires have done since time immemorial. It is we in the West who have deviated from the norm by insisting that it has somehow suddenly become natural for peoples to peacefully coexist, to celebrate their differences, and to accept compromises rather than pursue victories.
To make matters worse, moral relativists have undermined what should have been unshakable Western values. After the attacks of 9/11, we had an opportunity to make a persuasive case that no cause or grievance justifies intentionally killing other people's children. Instead, prominent voices (e.g., Stephen Jukes, then global news editor of Reuters, today a professor of journalism) insisted that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."
Stabbing in Germany, Stabbing in Israel: Why the Double Standard?
Telegraph claims Nice terror is first such attack on kids: forgets about Toulouse (Update)
Telegraph columnist Bryony Gordon penned an op-ed (Now they have come for families, July 16) on the Nice terror attack, suggesting that the truck-ramming assault that claimed at least 84 lives represented the first time in the West that jihadists have targeted children.
In noting that at least 10 children were killed by the Tunisian-born terrorist, named Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, Gordon makes the following point:
Now they have come for the families. For the children. Perhaps this should not be a surprise given they have been doing it for years in Syria and Iraq. But in the western world, it is a monstrous first.
However, even if we were to ignore attacks on children in Israel, Nice did not represent a monstrous “first” in the West.
In 2012, three Jewish children and one adult were murdered by a jihadist named Mohammed Merah in an attack on a Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse.
UK Media Watch prompts apology & correction to claim Nice is 1st terror attack on kids
Following our post, we tweeted Ms. Gordon, asking for a comment.
Quite admirably, she responded by acknowledging the error and apologizing in two tweets.
We also contacted Telegraph editors asking for a correction.
They responded by acknowledging the error and revising the passage in question. The sentence “But in the western world, it is a monstrous first” has been removed from the op-ed.
We commend both Ms. Gordon and the Telegraph for the apology and correction.
German Jewish leaders draw parallels to Israel’s wave of terror attacks
Israel’s daily experience of terror doesn’t seem so distant to Europeans anymore, several German Jewish community leaders remarked, a day after four people were severely wounded in a ax attack on a train in Würzburg.
“We are shocked and in deep grief and extend our condolences to the wounded and their families,” said president of the Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria, Charlotte Knobloch.
She notes that Israel has had to deal with constant terror attacks for almost 70 years: “It’s daily business there and it is starting here too,” she laments, though she expresses hope that it will also help to establish understanding and empathy for Israel.
“In Germany they don’t have a clue what it means to be hated and that’s why we don’t have understanding here for Israel’s actions and why the BDS movement is so strong...They have no idea what it means to be surrounded by people who want to kill you, so they don’t know how to deal with these destructive and hateful attitudes,” she adds.
Largest French aliya flight of summer lands in Israel
The largest French aliya flight of the summer landed at Israel's Ben-Gurion airport on Wednesday, where the newcomers were greeted with calls of "bienvenue en Israel" at a festive event held in their honor.
More than 200 French Jews were aboard the flight, organized by the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) in collaboration with the Immigration and Absorption Ministry, and Keren Hayesod-UIA.
“I feel very happy,” one man exclaimed as he stepped off the bus that had shuttled the olim from the airplane to the event hall. There they were greeted by Israeli singing and dancing, before listening to a host of welcome messages including one from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, transmitted by video. ''When you walk here in the streets you will feel that you are in the Jewish homeland," Netanyahu assured the new olim. "This is not just a big personal journey, it's not just of personal important but also of national importance."
Keren Hayesod-UIA Chairman Eliezer Sandberg dedicated his speech, to a nine-year-old girl celebrating her birthday, as well as her move to Israel. "Maybe in many years when I will be much older, we will meet, and you will be Prime Minister...In Israel there is no glass ceiling, this country belongs to us all and all dreams can become reality."
Arizona terror suspect eyed attack on Tuscon JCC
A Tucson man charged with plotting a terrorist attack on a motor vehicle office in metro Phoenix also expressed to an undercover FBI employee that he wanted to target a Jewish community center in his hometown in a violent attack, a federal agent testified Tuesday at a court hearing.
Agent Benjamin Trentlage said Mahin Khan eventually focused on plans to attack a motor vehicle office in Mesa and instructed the undercover employee to start building homemade grenades.
The agent said the 18-year-old wanted to inspire an insurgency in the United States to carry out the sort of attacks that had occurred in Paris and Brussels and had online exchanges with a person believed to be a member of the Islamic State terrorist group.
“He described the MVD (Motor Vehicle Department) as a soft target. He said it would have a lot of people and relatively low security,” Trentlage said, adding Khan decided against attacking a motor vehicle office in Tucson because there was a sheriff’s office located nearby.
MSNBC Analyzes Terrorism SUPERcuts
PreOccupiedTerritory: We Could Attack In Groups And They’d Still Call Us Lone Wolves By Mustafa Rehzi, ISIS Recruiter (satire)
Men, we have met the enemy and they are confused. Those Western infidel pigs cannot decide whether they are at war. That makes it easier for us to plan attacks, but it diminishes some of the desired psychological impact we aim to exert. For this campaign to be effective, we need to drive home to the West that it faces a juggernaut, not a bunch of random psychopaths with no coherent theme or coordination. The way things stand now, we could attack in huge groups and they’d still call it a lone wolf attack.
It’s wonderful to be killing hundreds of infidels, sure, but the disjointed nature of these operations means there’s no sustained effort at defeating their society. Terrorism isn’t actually new to these people, especially the British and French. The trick is to make each bombing, shooting, or other murderous act part of a string of bloody events that convinces the target society it has to address the problem. The thing is, to this point they’ve been pretty obtuse about understanding the problem. Every time we kill dozens, or even hundreds, of people, they go on refusing to see the pattern. If we don’t want the West to keep dismissing our attacks as the behavior of unconnected crazed individuals, we’re going to to have to up our game, and perpetrate much bigger attacks.
I must admit I thought we’d be past this point by now. I thought it might take a handful of attacks, tops, before the unbeliever pigs got the point. But it turns out they’re not just filthy pigs – they’re also dumb as camel dung. We’re going to need to go big if we want to drive our point home, maybe even using weapons of mass destruction. That’s a pretty tall order, given the tight control most of those things are under, but it’s not impossible.
Shots fired at IDF post near Lebanon border; soldier's dog tag deflects shrapnel
Shots were fired Wednesday at an IDF post near Metulla on the northern border with Lebanon, the military reported.
There were no direct injuries from the gunfire. However, according to initial IDF assessments, shrapnel ricocheted off the dog tag of a soldier guarding the post that came under fire.
A bullet from the shooting struck the position, causing a piece of shrapnel from the army post to fly into the air, striking the dog tag.
Military medics at the post inspected the soldier and found him unharmed. The soldier was not taken to hospital as a result.
It was initially unclear still if a single shot or multiple shots were fired in the incident.
Syria post near Golan border bombed, unclear if Israel involved
A Syrian government building near the Golan border was bombed Wednesday, with some reports initially attributing the attack to Israel.
However, Hezbollah and several Arab media outlets indicated the building in Medinat al-Ba’ath had been attacked by rebel groups.
It wasn’t immediately clear what purpose the building served, or whether it was occupied at the time of the strike. There was no immediate word on casualties.
Unconfirmed reports indicated that the planes targeted Hezbollah operatives in the area.
The Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news agency denied the accuracy of reports attributing the bombing to Israeli airstrikes in Syria, quoting Hezbollah saying the al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front launched rockets at Quneitra, inflicting casualties.
'Those supporting terrorism cannot serve in the Knesset'
The Knesset on Tuesday voted in favor of a bill allowing lawmakers to remove MKs from parliament over conduct unbecoming. Sixty-two MKs voted in favor of the controversial legislation proposal, dubbed the "impeachment bill," while 47 MKs voted against it.
"This Law ends an absurd situation. Those supporting terrorism against Israel cannot serve in the Knesset. Like any other democracy in the world, Israeli democracy has the right and the duty to defend itself," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page following the vote.
The bill, an amendment to Basic Law: The Knesset, seeks to rectify a reality by which, under existing law, while the Knesset can take various disciplinary actions against MKs who abuse their office, it cannot dismiss elected officials unless the attorney general strips them of their parliamentary immunity.
The new law states MKs can pursue the impeachment of lawmakers if their actions and ideology "negate the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, incite racism, or express support for an armed struggle against the State of Israel by an enemy state or terrorist organization."
Culture minister fumes over Army Radio show on Palestinian poet
Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev on Tuesday lambasted Army Radio over the station's decision to dedicate a show to Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.
The show aired Tuesday as part of Army Radio's "Broadcasted University" series and focused on his 1964 poem "Bitaqat Hawiyyah" ("ID Card"), which includes the words: "Write down! I am an Arab / ... I do not hate people / Nor do I encroach / ... But if I become hungry / The usurper's flesh will be my food / Beware ... Beware ... / Of my hunger / And my anger!"
Regev issued a statement saying, "Army Radio has gone off the rails. A public radio station in the Defense Ministry can't afford to glorify the augment the anti-Israeli narrative as part of a radio show about 'texts defining fundamental aspects of the Israeli experience.' Darwish is not Israeli, and his texts are not Israeli -- they oppose the core principles of Israeli society."
Do not broadcast the enemy's message
Israel's Army Radio is the only military station that, in its wretchedness and foolishness, would provide a platform to one of the more bitter enemies of the State of Israel.
Under the clever headline "Broadcasted University" the station aired an entire program on Mahmoud Darwish, a "poet" who, along with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat, symbolizes the ultimate Palestinian aspiration of destruction of the State of Israel.
The program on Darwish could, for example, be followed by a scholarly program on "Mein Kampf," a book by one of the formative figures of the 20th century -- Adolf Hitler. Both shared the common goal of wiping out the Jews.
In 1988, Darwish published a poem about Israelis titled "Those Who Pass Between Fleeting Worlds." In it, Darwish tells Israelis to "Live wherever you like, but do not live among us / It is time for you to be gone" and "leave our country / Our land, our sea ... our wounds / Everything, and leave." The entire song expresses the hope that Jews will be expelled from the country in its entirety, the message being "you will die wherever you like."
Army Radio has not gone off the rails. In my humble opinion, it was never on them to begin with. From morning to night, one can hear broadcasters and commentators who have turned Army Radio into a bastion of the declining Israeli Left. Their decision to focus on Darwish is therefore not surprising.
IDF Blog: IDF intercepts suspects smuggling weapons from Jordan
Last night, IDF forces apprehended two suspects attempting to smuggle five M-16 rifles and 20 handguns across the Israel-Jordan border. The two suspects, Palestinians from Judea and Samaria, are under investigation. This is the first weapons interception by the Lions of the Jordan Valley, a co-ed battalion established in 2015, which is responsible for protecting Israel’s border with Jordan.
“The guns were headed to weapons dealers in Judea and Samaria,” said the commander of the battalion, Lt. Col. Yossi Benson. “If they had succeeded in smuggling the weapons across the border, they would have used the same route multiple times.”
Sgt. Amit, who coordinates communications with the Battalion Commander and participated in the operation, said of her experience, “It was challenging, and we were working around the clock. It shows that patience pays off.”
In the last six months, the IDF has seized more than 200 guns, which could have been used in countless terror attacks against Israelis.
Israel approves additional section of Jordan border fence: report
The Israeli government has approved the construction of an additional section of fence along its border with Jordan, Haaretz reports.
The new part of the fence is set to run along the northern part of the Israel-Jordan border in the southern Golan Heights, close to where they join the Syrian border, in an attempt to keep out potential infiltrators from Islamic State and other militants.
Construction began on a separate length of border fence in the southern Negev in January this year, which when finished will be 30 kilometers (19 miles) long between the resort city of Eilat and the site of the Sands of Samar. When it was approved in June, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it would be a continuation of the recently-built border fence along the Egyptian border.
According to Haaretz the plan for the new section of fence along the Jordanian border was initiated due to concern over potential cross-border terror attacks, such as "booby-trapped cars" or shootings.
Cooperation between Israel and Jordan has been growing as the Islamic State militant group continues to make additional gains in Iraq near the Jordan border, a senior source in the Jordanian Embassy in Israel said when the building of the fence was approved last year.
Year after Duma killings, fresh firebomb attack reported
A home was set ablaze in the northern West Bank village of Duma, Palestinians reported Wednesday morning, nearly exactly a year after three members of the same extended family were killed in an alleged Jewish firebomb attack in the town.
The home belonged to the extended Dawabsha clan, which makes up a large part of the Nablus-area town’s population.
One person, homeowner Mohammed Dawabsha, was lightly injured from smoke inhalation, according to Palestinian media. No one else was reported hurt in the incident.
According to Palestinian reports, Dawabsha heard noises in the house in the early morning hours of Wednesday, after which a fire began in the house’s second story. Two Molotov cocktails were said to have caused the fire.
Palestinians blamed Jewish attackers for the latest fire, while an initial Israeli probe into the incident suggested the context may be intra-clan rivalries in the village, Israel Radio reported.
Palestinian boy said beheaded in Syrian rebel video
A Syrian rebel group which has received US military backing said it is investigating the beheading of a young child in Aleppo after video footage circulated showing the boy being killed by a man activists identified as a member of the group.
Images of a fighter cutting off the small boy's head with a knife matched some of the worst brutalities committed by the jihadist Islamic State group, which has killed hundreds of captives in Syria and neighboring Iraq in the last three years.
Before being killed, the boy is shown on the back of a truck being taunted by several men who say he was from a Palestinian faction which fights in Aleppo in support of President Bashar Assad.
"This is a prisoner from the Quds Brigade. They don't have men any more so they've sent us children today," one of the men said. "These are your dogs, Bashar, children of the Quds brigade," said another.
Pregnant Mare Rescued From Palestinian Abuser After Israeli Policemen Summon Equine Welfare Organization (VIDEO)
Video footage of the rescue of a pregnant mare from the severe abuse of its Palestinian owner has been circulating widely on the Internet since its posting on the Facebook page of an Israeli organization devoted to saving equines.
The four-minute clip, filmed by cellphone camera, shows two Israeli policemen first refusing to allow an 11-year-old Palestinian boy from Qalqilya in the West Bank to continue beating the female donkey with a switch, and then summoning a volunteer from the Pegasus Society to come and take the animal to a safe shelter.
As is seen in the video – which has garnered some 270,000 reactions and nearly 4,000 shares — the Israeli policemen knew whom to contact when they encountered the boy beating the donkey. Also viewed is a Pegasus volunteer gently removing the saddle and chains from the animal, which has bloody sores all over its body. He then walks the pregnant donkey into a special van to transport her to Tamuz’s farm, as the boy attempts to prevent the police and the Pegasus worker from taking the animal away.
The boy’s behavior is part of a wider practice involving the Palestinians’ use of donkeys to transport scrap iron they collect or steal in the area of the Sharon plane bordering the PA.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Leningrad Appalled At Use Of Word ‘Siege’ To Describe Gaza (satire)
Leningrad, Soviet Russia, July 20 – Residents of this city on the Baltic besieged by the Wehrmacht voiced outrage today upon being informed that Palestinian advocates would be employing the term “siege” in talking about the military blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip by Israel.
Soviet citizens assembled in a bunker in the cellar of a building on Nevsky Prospekt told reporters the word “siege” was being cheapened, and their harrowing experiences minimized, by twenty-first-century propagandists attempting to portray Israel in the most negative light possible.
“Tell me, are bakeries in Gaza using a mixture of half flour and half sawdust, and providing people with only 125 grams per day of the resulting bread as their only food?” hissed a furious Yevgeny Petrov, 55. “I used to weigh seventy kilos before the Nazis and Finns cut us off from the rest of Russia. Now I’m down to barely fifty. We have people eating the paste from wallpaper to get some trace of nutrition. Something tells me not a single person in Gaza will starve because of this so-called Israeli siege. If I had the energy to move I’d bash someone’s face in.”
New Guccifer 2.0 dump highlights ‘wobbly Dems’ on Iran deal
Guccifer 2.0, the hacker behind the recent Democratic National Committee breach, has shared a new batch of documents from the DNC servers with The Hill.
The enigmatic hacker has already publicly released opposition research on Donald Trump, a counter strategy for the Republican convention and the personal information of 20,000 donors. This is the second cache of documents sent exclusively to The Hill.
The new files cover political strategies, the upcoming Democratic National Convention and fundraising.
One, titled “March 26, 2015 — Plans for Recess” appears to be notes from a call with the political consultancy Democracy Partners. It covers political tactics for that year’s April Congressional recesses that would start the next day.
The call centers around five issues — the budget, immigration, gun violence, partisan stalling of the attorney general nomination and the Iran nuclear framework, which would be announced a week later.
Notes on the Iran deal describe the then upcoming announcement as a “good deal to protect national security” but notes that “wobbly [D]emocrats want to scratch this thing.”
'The US cannot do a damn thing' against us, Iran's foreign minister scoffs
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday scorned US global influence as impotent, boasting that Iran got its way in a landmark nuclear deal and that the “US cannot do a damn thing” to intervene in its affairs.
“The US which, by relying on its hegemonic power, demanded that Iran shouldn’t have even one centrifuge and imposed different types of sanctions against the country, was faced with 20,000 centrifuges,” Zarif said, referring to uranium enriching machinery, which was a key negotiating point in talks leading to the deal signed last year with world powers.
“The US that once said Arak’s heavy water reactor should be destroyed, has not only accepted the heavy water reactor but also purchases heavy water from Iran today and contributes a role in efforts to redesign it,” he added during a meeting with university and school students in Tehran, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
America, he asserted, is powerless to influence Iran.
Reuters: Iranian Hardliners “Gaining Authority” One Year After Nuclear Deal
Iranian hardliners close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are “gaining authority” in the wake of last year’s nuclear deal, Reuters reported on Monday.
“Khamenei’s allies control the bulk of financial resources as well as the judiciary, the security forces, public broadcasters and the Guardian Council which vets laws and election candidates,” the news agency wrote.
According to many experts, parliamentary elections earlier this year solidified the hold of hardliners over Iran’s political institutions.
“Iran’s political system allows elections for president and parliament, but gives a hardline watchdog body power to veto laws and decide which candidates may stand,” Reuters explained.
Khamenei’s support derives from the “the loyal support of 150,000 Revolutionary Guardsmen and their Basij henchmen,” senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Karim Sadjadpour told Reuters, referring to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Iran Expands Search for Aircraft as Boeing, Airbus Deals Hindered by Terrorism Concerns
Iran is broadening its search for aircraft as its proposed deals with Airbus and Boeing continue to face significant obstacles, Reuters reported on Sunday.
“Iran is planning to buy some 50 more airplanes of various types soon,” an Iranian official told the news agency. Iranian executives said they attended the U.K.’s Farnborough International Airshow last week and participated in preliminary talks with several potential sellers, including Japan’s Mitsubishi.
Airbus and Boeing reached provisional deals with Iran earlier this year after bans on selling aircraft to the Islamic Republic were lifted as part of last year’s nuclear deal. However, Iran has found it difficult to arrange financing for its planned purchase of some 200 planes.
“Yes, there are problems, financial and political,” an Iranian official close to the talks with the aviation giants told Reuters. “But there have been several meetings with Boeing and Airbus top authorities particularly in the past few weeks in order to resolve the issue and to find a way to overcome the remaining obstacles.”
The 28 Pages that Damn Saudi Arabia
More puzzling than the elusive pages from the Congressional 9/11 inquiry is why Obama released them, and specifically, why now.
The president apparently believes it will burnish his legacy, embarrass his enemies and make permanent his diplomatic "accomplishments" with Iran. Reminding Americans of Saudi Arabia's Al-Qaeda connections, shortly after the one-year mark of the Iran nuclear deal and before the 15-year mark of 9/11, might also continue to desensitize us to the dangers posed by Iran.
Americans suddenly flush with a renewed indignation against the Saudis might not run into the arms of the Iranian mullahs, but some might get distracted from their equally-deserved indignation about Iran's ongoing missile tests, the steady progress Iranian scientists are making at the nuclear plant in Parchin, and their anger at having been lied to again and again.
Saudi revives fatwa on ‘Zionism-promoting’ Pokemon
Pokemon Go may be taking the world by storm but don’t try hunting for Pikachu, Pidgey or Rattata in Saudi Arabia, as clerics there have renewed a 15-year-old ban on the game.
The General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars reaffirmed a 2001 ban on the game, according to Reuters, following the release of a new highly popular augmented reality version of the game, in which players use their smartphones to gather virtual Pokemon.
While fatwa no. 21,758 makes no mention of the latest iteration of game, it does list many sinful aspects of Pokemon.
Firstly, the game is seen as a form of gambling, which itself is forbidden. Secondly, it encourages belief in Darwin’s theory of evolution, and thirdly, the fatwa says, the symbols used in the game promote the Shinto religion of Japan, Christianity, Freemasonry and “global Zionism.”
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