Thursday, March 05, 2015

Another (old) Purim joke

On the sixth day, God turned to the Angels and said: "Today I am going to create a land called Israel, it will be a land of mountains full of snow, sparkling lakes, forests full of all kinds of trees, high cliffs overlooking sandy beaches with an abundance of sea life."

God continued, "I shall make the land rich so as to make the inhabitants prosper, and I shall call these inhabitants Israelis, and they shall be known to all the people on earth."

"But Lord," asked the Angels, "don't you think you are being too generous to these Israelis?"

"Not really." God replied, "Just wait and see the neighbors I am going to give them."

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

A joke for Purim

Three men are in the maternity waiting room at Hadassah Hospital in Israel.

A doctor comes in and says to the first man, "Mazel Tov, your wife just gave birth to quadruplets!"

The man replied, "Wow, what a coincidence, I live in Kiryat Arba!”

Another doctor comes in and says to the second man, "Mazel Tov! Your wife just gave birth to septuplets!"

 The second man replies, "I can't believe it. What a coincidence -- I live in Be'er Sheva!"

Just then, the third man faints and thuds onto the floor. The others rush over to him and one of the doctors is able to revive him.

"Sir" he says, "what happened? Are you alright?"

The man looks at the doctor and smiles weakly, "I live in Mea Shearim…”

03/04 Links Pt2: Terrorists ID'ed in 1982 Paris Jewish deli attack; Israeli Ambassador reads hate mail

From Ian:

Suspects identified in deadly 1982 Paris Jewish deli attack
More than 32 years after a deadly terror attack in Paris’ old Jewish quarter, French authorities have at last identified three suspects and are seeking their arrest.
Grenade-throwing Palestinians burst into the Jo Goldenberg deli on August 9, 1982, and sprayed machine-gun fire. Six people, including two Americans, were killed, and 21 injured. The restaurant, which has since closed, was a centerpiece tourist attraction in the famed Marais neighborhood.
Paris prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre said Wednesday that international arrest warrants have been issued for the three suspects — now aged in their late 50s and early 60s — who were believed to be members of the Abu Nidal group.
She says they are believed to be in the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Norway but declined to identify them by name, citing protocol.
BDS activists interrupt Palestinian speaker in South Africa
A lecture by Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid at the University of Johannesburg was discontinued Wednesday after students barged into the venue and interrupted the speaker, calling him “a liar and a sell-out,” according to witnesses at the scene.
The protesters were said to be associated with the BDS movement in South Africa, which urges boycotts, divestment and sanctions against the Jewish state as a means to end Israeli control of the West Bank.
Eid was threatened with a finger to his face, at which point he was evacuated by campus security and was escorted to a waiting car outside the lecture hall, according to a press release issued by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies.
Israeli Christian wearing a cross in the streets of Haifa, Israel
What happens when you wear a cross in a major city in Israel?
With recent ‘apartheid week’ in mind, You've all seen the video showing what happens when you are a Jew in Paris with a kipa on top of your head... CEC Israel and Father Gabriel Naddaf pages joined hands with Jonathan Elkhoury, an Israeli Christian, to show you what happens when a Christian takes his cross to the main streets of Haifa.

Israeli Ambassador in Berlin reads hate letters
The Israeli embassy receives about 20 hate letters every day. We met embassador Yakov Hadas-Handelsman and let him read some of the letters to us.

Harvard: Homosexuality Created By Zionists To Pervert Muslims (PreOccupied Territory)

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

Check out their Facebook page.

Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 4 - Researchers at Harvard University Medical School have concluded that homosexuality in its current form was the product of a Zionist effort to undermine the social order in Muslim societies and exploit the consequent instability to seize land and resources.

A study by epidemiologists at the university's Seminar On Disorders Of Male Youth examined historical documentation of the prevalence of male homosexuality in traditionally Muslim countries, and found that it increased exponentially immediately upon arrival of Zionist activists in the 1930's ad 40's.

Correlation does not equal causation, however, and the researchers performed a deeper, more penetrating analysis of the data to tease out the relationship between the two trends. They found that clinical evidence from that period demonstrates that the Zionists brought with them a genetically engineered pathogen specifically designed to bind to cells bearing non-Jewish mitochondrial DNA. Because Jews determine the Jewishness of a child by its mother, the use of mitochondrial DNA is crucial in distinguishing between Jew and non-Jew, since unlike the nuclear chromosomes, mitochondrial DNA is transmitted only through the mother.

The findings, to be published in the April 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, describe the pathogen, which attaches itself to a gene called mPHAG-2 known for its role in determining sexual orientation. As yet unnamed and unisolated, the hypothesized viral DNA remains in the host's genome through the female line, turning successive generations of non-Jews into homosexuals. The initial infection by the pathogen does not distinguish between male and female hosts, such that even daughters will carry at least one copy of the gene to pass on to their sons. If a female also inherits an X chromosome from her father that carries certain common variants of a separate gene, she becomes a lesbian.

As a result of the Zionist homosexuality pathogen, say the researchers, the frequency of homosexuality in the Muslim world has increased four hundredfold in the ensuing eighty years, fomenting social unrest and distracting the authorities from any policies that would unify Muslim countries against the Zionist scheme to gradually usurp all the land between the Nile and Euphrates, and enslave the inhabitants. The scientists note it has proved remarkably effective.

Other medical experts immediately hailed the study as a breakthrough on multiple fronts. "What we have here is nothing less than a revolutionary understanding of an epidemiological event over decades, coupled with a horrifying, yet ingenious, instance of genetic manipulation half a century before the rest of the scientific community thought it possible," said University of Göttingen Professor R. Sbandit, a noted authority on viral epidemiology who was not involved in the study. "As a scientist I am torn, feeling both revulsion at the cynical use of scientific knowledge for evil political ends, yet strangely in awe of the prowess of whoever developed this thing."

The findings also shed light on emerging Israeli military technology and may force other Middle East countries to confront the looming threat of an even more explosive onslaught of Zionist-driven homosexuality.

Egyptian officials vow to arrest Hamas members, confiscate assets

From Anadolu Agency:
The Egyptian authorities will arrest any member of Palestinian movement Hamas found in the country after a court issued a preliminary verdict blacklisting the group as a "terrorist" organization.

"Any [Hamas] member found in Egypt will be arrested and all their assets will be confiscated," Justice Minister Mahfouz Saber told state daily Al-Ahram al-Massai.

According to the minister, a government committee originally responsible for overseeing the assets of Muslim Brotherhood – which was likewise designated a "terrorist" group in late 2013 – will begin confiscating Hamas' assets in Egypt.

Meanwhile Palestinian resistance faction Hamas denounced remarks by an Egyptian government minister who warned that Egypt would arrest any Hamas members found on its soil.

Hamas "strongly condemns such remarks and their possible implications," group spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement.

"Such comments are an insult to Egypt and the Arab nation, which supports the Palestinian resistance [against Israeli occupation]," he added.

"Egypt seems to no longer be a sponsor of the Palestinian cause – a role it is no longer fit to play, given its recent remarks," Abu Zuhri asserted.
Khalid Amayreh, the Hamas supporting antisemitic ESP enthusiast and columnist, is upset:
The ruling this week by an Egyptian court, classifying the Palestinian Islamic liberation movement, Hamas, as a terrorist group, underscores the moral nadir the Egyptian regime has reached. It is also an expression of shocking ignominy as well as the moral and political bankruptcy overwhelming the present rulers of Egypt.

But, in a certain sense, the shameful act is occurring within the normal order of things. After all, the Sissi regime is an unashamedly Zionist, created by the Zionists, maintained by the Zionists and sustained by the Zionists.

Indeed, the very raison d'être of the Sissi regime is to destroy Egypt from within, fight Israel's enemies in and around Egypt and corrode genuine Islamic movements, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, on the ground that the MB rejects Israel as a matter of principle and ideology.

03/04 Links Pt1: Netanyahu’s devastating, irrevocable indictment of Obama

From Ian:

David Horovitz: Netanyahu’s devastating, irrevocable indictment of Obama
For all the cynicism and the political filtering over Netanyahu’s motivations, furthermore, the prime minister is convinced, in his heart of hearts, that Iran is determined to advance its benighted ideology across the region and beyond. The prime minister is convinced, in his heart of hearts, that the deal taking shape will immunize the ayatollahs from any prospect of revolution from within or effective challenge from without. The deal “doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb,” he warned. “It paves Iran’s path to the bomb.”
And the cardinal fact is that the prime minister is convinced, in his heart of hearts, that the Islamist regime in Tehran is bent on the destruction of Israel. Ayatollah Khamenei “tweets that Israel must be annihilated,” Netanyahu wailed, repeating: “He tweets! You know, in Iran, there isn’t exactly free Internet. But he tweets in English that Israel must be destroyed.”
Although a first response to his speech from an unnamed White House official said that Netanyahu had offered “no concrete alternative” to the deal taking shape, and that his speech was “all rhetoric and no action,” and despite Obama’s subsequent elaborate defense of the US approach, the prime minister did offer an alternative. He urged the P5+1 to recalibrate, to reconsider, and then to push for a better deal. And “if Iran threatens to walk away from the table — and this often happens in a Persian bazaar — call their bluff,” he advised, the wise, wary Middle Easterner lecturing Obama and the other Western naifs. “They’ll be back, because they need the deal a lot more than you do.”

JPost Editorial: Netanyahu’s speech
No country more than Israel has a stake in seeing a peaceful resolution of the conflict with Iran, because Israel would suffer if the situation deteriorates into a military conflagration.
Since sanctions were what brought the Iranians to the bargaining table in the first place, Netanyahu proposed not lifting sanctions until the Iranians stop their aggression.
Indeed, premature lifting of sanctions would actually encourage Iranian aggression. And sanctions can be particularly effective now, as oil prices have fallen to their lowest level in decades.
Only once the Iranians have stopped supporting terrorism around the world from Buenos Aires and Burgas to Baghdad and Beirut; only once they stop threatening the annihilation of Israel; only once they stop demonstrations of aggression against the US like last week’s staged attack on a replica US aircraft carrier can the P5+1 be expected to reduce sanctions.
“If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country,” intoned Netanyahu, “it should begin acting like a normal country,” adding that the alternative to a bad deal with Iran does not have to be war, it can be an even better deal.
Still, while Netanyahu made it clear that Israelis overwhelmingly prefer a negotiated deal through diplomacy and still hold out hope for a peaceful solution, the renewal of Jewish sovereignty after nearly two millennia of longing means that Israel no longer has to rely on others to defend it.
Pointing to Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Eli Wiesel, who was sitting next to Sara Netanyahu, the prime minister noted that the man’s life and work gave new meaning to the words “never again.”
“And I wish I could promise you, Elie, that the lessons of history have been learned.... But I can guarantee you this, the days when the Jewish people remained passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over.”
If US fails, PM signals Sunni Arab states, we’ll hold the line against Iran
It was to another audience, to the Sunni Arab peoples and governments who watch in despair the unchecked ascent of Shiite Iran, that Netanyahu dedicated the most persuasive and actionable part of his speech. Israel will hold the line even if America fails us on Iran, he told the Arabs.
As Arab leaders know well, Israel is not the only regional power battling ferociously against the impending nuclear deal – it is merely the only one that can take its case publicly to the heart of the world’s most powerful capital, even in brazen defiance of the wishes of the American president.
The location of Netanyahu’s speech was as important as its content in delivering this message to the Arab world. Israel would defy Iran not only with its advanced warplanes and intelligence agencies, but with its most famous strategic asset – the ability to deliver its case before a joint meeting of the United States Congress.
And therein lies a special irony. America is the problem, Netanyahu is telling his prospective Middle Eastern allies, but in the very forum he chose to deliver the message he acknowledged that America, still the preeminent world power and Israel’s most significant ally, remains part of the solution. Even as he presented the first glimpse into Israel’s vision of a post-American regional order, Netanyahu offered an unintended testament to America’s enduring significance.
Why Obama hates Netanyahu, and vice versa
The White House’s favorite argument for the deal – that the choice before Western powers was to strike a deal or go to war – demonstrates for Netanyahu the incompetence he saw in the White House’s strategy. The argument amounted to a declaration to the Iranians that the US needed a deal more than they did.
Even the complaint about his decision to deliver Tuesday’s speech to Congress wins little sympathy from the Israeli leader. After all, Obama was the first to travel to the other’s capital and rebuke him to his own people. When Obama finally came to Israel as president, in March of 2013, he pointedly turned down an invitation to address Israel’s parliament – the comparison to his eager address to the parliament in Istanbul four years earlier was not lost on Israeli pundits – and instead gave a public speech to an audience of young Israelis at Jerusalem’s International Convention Center.
It was a speech “to the people of Israel,” not its leadership, the White House said – much like the Cairo speech was addressed not to governments but to Muslims. “I can promise you this,” Obama told Israelis of their prime minister, “political leaders will never take risks if the people do not push them to take some risks.”
Netanyahu has written off the Obama White House as a failure; blinkered by its pompous self-assurance, it cannot be trusted to competently manage the security of the world. Obama has written off Netanyahu as an obstacle, a hypocritical partisan whose narrow vision of politics stand in the way of meaningful progress on any issue in which he is involved.
For both men, the gap runs deeper than the Democrat-Republican divide, deeper than the Palestinian issue, deeper even than the battle over Iran. Obama sought to introduce a new consciousness into global affairs, a consciousness that defined his political identity. Netanyahu defiantly champions the old ways of doing business — on which, he believes, his nation’s safety depends.

Israeli series mocking the Torah upsets Muslims more than Jews

An Israeli TV series, "The Jews Are Coming," makes fun of various stories in Jewish history. For example:

Now, Muslims are upset at how an Israeli TV series is depicting Jewish prophets. While they admit that the series is meant to be funny, they claim that the details come from the Talmud, and distort the true version of how the prophets lived as written in the Quran. (Actually, the Talmud and commentaries would answer all of the seeming inconsistencies that the series seems to delight in, which reminds me of the flight recorder joke anecdote mentioned by Douglas Adams.)

From what I can tell, the series' Biblical parody has not caused a huge uproar in Israel, although some of its political humor did, with song parodies about Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir that were not broadcast.

The UNHRC releases another anti-Israel report - but not AS biased as Richard Falk's were

Yesterday, the UN released its latest Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, by Makarim Wibisono (Richard Falks' replacement.)

Wibisono is known to have made anti-Israel statements in the past.

The report is not nearly as over the top as Falk's reports had been, to be sure. It is pretty much a repeat of things said at the UN and by the OCHA-OPT, relying on Palestinian Arab NGOs for some information.

Twice the report quotes the UN's OCHA-OPT as saying that "The information recorded and provided by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) showed that 2,256 Palestinians were killed, of whom 1,563 were civilians, including 538 children." with a small footnote saying "Verification continues." Yet those numbers have not changed since the war, indicating that no one at OCHA-OPT really cares to revisit the false statistics that have been widely quoted worldwide as fact.

Even though many of those same "civilians" were shown to be terrorists by the Meir Amit Center.

But, surprisingly, the report does mention that!

According to OHCHR, some 69 per cent of the Palestinians killed during the hostilities in Gaza were civilians. An Israeli organization compiling its own statistics on Palestinian fatalities has so far found the Palestinian civilian to combatant casualty ratio to be somewhat lower, at 48 per cent*.

*This ratio is based on 54 per cent of verified fatalities. See Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, “Examination of the names of the Palestinians killed in Operation Protective Edge”, 1 December 2014.
That in itself is a marked contrast to the bilious, one sided reports from Richard Falk, who would parrot the most absurd anti-Israel accusations by the most unreliable NGOs without even bothering to find out Israel's side of the story.

This is not to say that the report is unbiased. It is very biased. It doesn't mention Hamas' tunnels once, even though they were the main target of Israeli operations - and they were built under many of the homes that the IDF destroyed, unfortunately killing civilians. In fact, it barely mentions Hamas. It makes false assumptions about international law.

It is not quite sure if Hamas even fired rockets to begin with, saying only that "thousands of indiscriminate rockets were reportedly fired by Palestinian armed groups from Gaza."

The report that supposedly looks at human rights in the territories doesn't mention Hamas' use of human shields, of public executions, of booby-trapping civilian buildings, of placing military targets in medical facilities, or any of the many Hamas actions that directly violated Gaza civilians' human rights and international law.

While the UNHRC remains implacably anti-Israel, and this report shows that, it seems that it has been clearly stung by many of the criticisms that have been leveled against it so it is making some cosmetic changes to soften its reports.

The NYT's self-delusional attack on Netanyahu

The New York Times, predictably, has attacked Netanyahu's speech to Congress with some fairly unoriginal and false talking points:

Mr. Netanyahu’s speech offered nothing of substance that was new, making it clear that this performance was all about proving his toughness on security issues ahead of the parliamentary election he faces on March 17. He offered no new insight on Iran and no new reasons to reject the agreement being negotiated with Iran by the United States and five other major powers to constrain Iran’s nuclear program.
There was nothing new - except it was perhaps the first time that the American people have had the opportunity to hear, in one brilliant speech, the arguments against the deal now being negotiated. Any sane person would be alarmed at how much Obama has caved to a genocidal, terrorist Iran over the years.

But not the NYT.

His demand that Mr. Obama push for a better deal is hollow. He clearly doesn’t want negotiations and failed to suggest any reasonable alternative approach that could halt Iran’s nuclear efforts.
Ah, don't argue against what he said, argue against what you believe he really meant. That way you can ignore what he actually said.
Moreover, he appeared to impose new conditions, insisting that international sanctions not be lifted as long as Iran continues its aggressive behavior, including hostility toward Israel and support for Hezbollah, which has called for Israel’s destruction.
The sort of thing that the US has done in the past.

Notice that the Times doesn't bother to mention Iran's aggression against other countries, only Israel, as if Bibi is being unreasonably hostile to a perfectly normal regime whose only forgivable crime is to be aggressive against Israel. News flash: They hate America too, and not because of Israel.

While no Iranian facilities are expected to be dismantled, critical installations are expected to be reconfigured so they are less of a threat and the centrifuge machines used to enrich uranium would be reduced. Iran would be barred from enriching uranium above 5 percent, the level needed for power generation and medical uses but not sufficient for producing weapons-grade nuclear fuel. Absent a negotiated agreement, Iran will continue with its program without constraints.
Yet it is obvious that 6000 first generation centrifuges are useless for power generation and overkill for medical research. Which means that they have only one purpose - to build a bomb. The New York Times is effectively saying that there is no problem with Iran keeping a nuclear weapons program as long as people are watching it happen.

If Iran's program was for peaceful purposes, then there are alternatives - alternatives that Iran has rejected in the past. This by itself is proof that Iran's program is not peaceful, but the NYT chooses to ignore that little elephant in the room.

They are saying to let Iran have a nuclear weapons program, just slow it down a little. Because a terror-supporting genocidal regime will never agree to dismantle it, and we have to be reasonable with them.

Much better is the Washington Post's op-ed:

Mr. Netanyahu’s arguments deserve a serious response from the Obama administration — one it has yet to provide. The White House has sought to dismiss the Israeli leader as a politician seeking reelection; has said that he was wrong in his support for the Iraq war and in his opposition to an interim agreement with Iran; and has claimed that he offers no alternative to President Obama’s policy. Such rhetoric will not satisfy those in and out of Congress who share Mr. Netanyahu’s legitimate questions.

His speech singled out “two major concessions” he said would be part of any deal the United States and its partners conclude with Iran. The first is the acceptance of a large Iranian nuclear infrastructure, including thousands of centrifuges for uranium enrichment. The second is a time limit on any restrictions, so that in as little as a decade Iran would be free to expand its production of nuclear materials. Consequently, Mr. Netanyahu said, the deal “doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb; it paves Iran’s path to the bomb.”

The Israeli prime minister’s most aggressive argument concerned the nature of the Iranian regime, which he called “a dark and brutal dictatorship” engaged in a “march of conquest, subjugation and terror.” Saying that the regime’s ideology is comparable with that of the Islamic State, he asserted that it could not be expected to change during the decade-long term of an agreement. He proposed that controls on the nuclear program should be maintained “for as long as Iran continues its aggression in the region and in the world.”

In essence, this was an argument that Iran must be sanctioned and contained while its clerical regime remains in power. That has been the explicit or de facto U.S. policy since 1979, but Mr. Obama appears to be betting that detente can better control Iran’s nuclear ambitions and, perhaps, produce better behavior over time. Yet he has shied from explicitly making that case; instead, his aides argue that the only alternative to his approach is war.

Mr. Netanyahu strongly disputed that point. “Iran’s nuclear program can be rolled back well beyond the current proposal by insisting on a better deal and keeping up the pressure on a very vulnerable regime,” he said. Is that wrong? For that matter, is it acceptable to free Iran from sanctions within a decade and allow it unlimited nuclear capacity? Rather than continuing its political attacks on Mr. Netanyahu, the administration ought to explain why the deal it is contemplating is justified — or reconsider it.
Yes, Netanyahu's arguments aren't new. But the White House has never answered them to begin with.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Obama's response to Bibi has a subconscious message

From the Washington Post, quoting President Obama:

One issue that we will be discussing is Iran, and obviously that's been a topic of great interest today. So let me just make a couple comments on that.

I did not have a chance to watch Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech. I was on a video conference with our European partners with respect to Ukraine.

I did have a chance to take a look at the transcript. And as far as I can tell, there was nothing new. The prime minister I think appropriately pointed out that the bond between the United States and America is unbreakable, and on that point, I thoroughly agree.

He also pointed out that Iran has been a dangerous regime and continues to engage in activities that are contrary to the interest of the United States, to Israel, and to the region. And on that we agree.

He also pointed out the fact that Iran has repeatedly threatened Israel and engaged in the most venomous of anti-Semitic statements, and no one can dispute that.

But on the core issue, which is how do we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon which would make it far more dangerous and would give it scope for even greater action in the region.

The prime minister didn't offer any viable alternatives. So let's be clear about what exactly the central concern should be, both for the United States and for Israel. I've said since before I became president that one of my primary goals in foreign policy would be preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons, and with the help of Congress and our international partners, we constructed an extraordinarily effective sanctions regime that pressured Iran to come to the table to negotiate in a serious fashion.

They have now been negotiating over the last year, and during that period, Iran has, in fact, frozen its program, rolled back some of its most dangerous highly enriched uranium and subjected itself to the kinds of verification and inspections that we had not previously seen. Keep in mind that when we shaped that interim deal, Prime Minister Netanyahu made almost the precise same speech about how dangerous that deal was going to be. And yet, over a year later, even Israeli intelligence officers and in some cases members of the Israeli government have to acknowledge that, in fact, it has kept Iran from further pursuing its nuclear program.

Now, the deal that we are trying to negotiate that is not yet completed would cut off the different pathways for Iran to advance its nuclear capabilities. It would roll back some elements of its program. It would ensure that it did not have what we call a breakout capacity that was shorter than a year's time. And it would subject Iran to the most vigorous inspections and verifications regimes that have ever been put in place.

The alternative that the prime minister offers is no deal, in which case Iran will immediately begin once again pursuing its nuclear program, accelerate its nuclear program, without us having any insight into what they're doing. And without constraint.

And his essential argument is if we just double down on sanctions, Iran won't want to do that. Well, we have evidence from the past decade that sanctions are not sufficient to prevent Iran from pursuing its nuclear ambitions. And if, in fact, does not have some sense that sanctions will not be removed, it will not have an interest in avoiding the path that it's currently on.

So the bottom line is this. We don't yet have a deal. It may be that Iran cannot say yes to a good deal. I have repeatedly said that I would rather have no deal than a bad deal. But if we're successful in negotiating, then, in fact, this will be the best deal possible to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Nothing else comes close. Sanctions won't do it. Even military action would not be as successful as the deal that we have put forward.

And I think it is very important not to be distracted by the nature of the Iranian regimes' ambitions when it comes to territory or terrorism. All issues which we share a concern with Israel about and are working consistently with Israel on. Because we know that if, in fact, they obtained a nuclear weapon, all those problems would be worse.

So we're staying focused on the central issue here. How do we prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon? The path that we proposed, if successful, by far is the best way to do that. That's demonstrable.

And Prime Minister Netanyahu has not offered any kind of viable alternative that would achieve the same verifiable mechanisms to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

So I would urge the members of Congress who were there to continue to express their strong support for Israel's security, to continue to express their strong interest in providing the assistance Israel needs to repel attacks.

I think it's important for members of Congress on a bipartisan basis to be unified in pushing back against terrorism in the region and the destabilizing efforts that Iran may have engaged with, with our partners. Those are all things on which this administration and Israel agree.

But when it comes to this nuclear deal, let's wait until there's absolutely a deal on the table that Iran has agreed to, at which point everyone can evaluate it. We don't have to speculate. And what I can guarantee is that if it's a deal I've signed off on, I will be able to prove that it is the best way for us to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. And for us to pass up on that potential opportunity would be a grave mistake. It's not one that I intend to make, and I will take that case to every member of Congress once we actually have a deal.
What I find interesting is that on September 24, 2013, Obama gave the United Nations his basis for believing that negotiations could be successful:

The Supreme Leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has just recently reiterated that the Islamic Republic will never develop a nuclear weapon.

So these statements made by our respective governments should offer the basis for a meaningful agreement. We should be able to achieve a resolution that respects the rights of the Iranian people, while giving the world confidence that the Iranian program is peaceful. But to succeed, conciliatory words will have to be matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable.
How can the statement about the supposed Iranian nuclear fatwa be squared with what he said today: "The alternative that the prime minister offers is no deal, in which case Iran will immediately begin once again pursuing its nuclear program, accelerate its nuclear program, without us having any insight into what they're doing. And without constraint."

If Obama (and his many supporters scrambling to find holes in Bibi's speech) believe that Iran is honest enough to adhere to this meaningless fatwa, then why are they arguing that without a deal Iran will build up its nuclear program "without constraint"?

Obviously, Obama and his acolytes know that Iran wants a bomb. And they know just as well that Iran has a history of hiding its nuclear weapons program.

Obama knows that the Iranian nuclear program is not "peaceful" - because it is clearly not oriented towards energy use and it is clearly not oriented towards medical research. He knows that Iran is actively seeking nuclear weapons. He knows that Iran's "moderate" president has bragged about fooling nuclear inspectors and clandestinely moved the nuclear program forward. He knows that Iran is spending a lot of money and time to continue to hide military aspects of the program.

What Obama and his supporters have done is replace the wishful thinking  of a nuclear fatwa with the wishful thinking that they can enforce an inspections program against a state that even they admit would actively attempt to circumvent it. One case of willful blindness replaced another.

Using Iran's current freeze of its program while it is trying to loosen sanctions as proof that negotiations work is just more willful blindness. Iran understands Western thinking far better than Obama understands Iran's thinking. Iran will do whatever is necessary to get rid of sanctions, including a temporary freeze, but once that is done they will do everything they can to ignore their part of the deal, knowing that it would take more time for the sanctions to be re-asserted than it would take for them to become a nuclear power where they can then dictate their terms to the world from a position of strength.

The worst wishful thinking of all is that Iran could be an ally if only we would be nicer to it. And all evidence points to that as being the real Obama strategy of acceding to the Ayatollah's demands.

03/03 Links Pt2: Simon Wiesenthal Center Shocked at US Support of Antisemitic Book Fair

From Ian:

Jewish Group Shocked by US Support of Muscat International Book Fair, a ‘Hothouse of Antisemitic Hate’
Major Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Tuesday lamented US participation and support of the 19th annual Muscat International Book Fair (MIBF), a literary event which is rife with antisemitic texts.
Shimon Samuels, the Center’s director for International Relations, sent a letter to the United States Ambassador to Muscat, Greta Holtz, urging the US Embassy in Oman to condemn the Fair, which is open to the public until March 7. He characterized the MIBF as a “hothouse of antisemitic hate” and asked the Embassy to withdraw its participation and “investigate those in the embassy responsible for this offensive embarrassment.”
“Oman is ostensibly a Western ally, threatened by Iranian mayhem and nuclear intentions. Yet its monarchy incomprehensibly permits on its soil a literary cesspool that can only encourage the most extreme of Islamic jihadists,” Samuels wrote.
He expressed outrage “at the volume of antisemitic texts on bookshelves of the current Muscat Fair and shock that the US Embassy’s participation could be presented as, ‘to support mutual understanding and exchange,’” quoting a statement released by the Embassy in Muscat. The embassy also said it is ”honored to have participated in the fair every year since it was founded 18 years ago and looks forward to many more.”
Moazzam Begg on a loving, unextreme man
Asim Qureshi of the terrorist cheerleading group Cage has rightly been pilloried for describing IS murderer Mohammed Emwazi as “extremely gentle, kind” and a “beautiful young man”.
Actually this is typical for Cage. No one should be surprised.
Have a look at Moazzam Begg just a month ago on the man who tried to slaughter revellers in a nightclub in London and people passing through Glasgow airport back in 2007.
He met Bilal Abdulla, one of the two men who attacked Glasgow Airport in June 2007, in prison and he thinks: “As a person, he’s unbelievably warm, kind, gentle, loving, unextreme to the maximum.
“Because he’s an Iraqi and he did it at the height of the Iraq war, it’s understandable – isn’t it?”
Boris In Confrontation With Cage Director Over Jihadi John
Whilst appearing on LBC Boris Johnson got into an angry confrontation with Cage director over Jihadi John
London mayor lays in to Jihadi John apologists and tells them: 'If you're a human rights group you should stick up for rights of people being beheaded'
London Mayor Boris Johnson has hit out at the 'human rights' group who claimed Britain was to blame for Jihadi John's actions.
Campaigners from Cage held a press conference in which they called Mohammed Emwazi - unmasked as Jihadi John last week - 'a beautiful man' who was 'harassed' by British security services.

State Department Tweets Speech by Cleric Who Blames Unrest on Global Zionist Conspiracy
The State Department’s counterterrorism office is facing pushback after promoting recent remarks by a Muslim cleric who blamed regional unrest in the Middle East on what he called a “conspiracy” by a “new global colonialism allied to world Zionism.”
The State Department’s official anti-terrorism Twitter account last week tweeted out remarks made by a leading Muslim cleric who, during a speech in Mecca, linked terrorism by the Islamic State (IS) to a plot by supporters of Israel around the world.
Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb, a leading voice in Sunni Islam, made the comments during a counter-terrorism rally held in the Muslim holy city last week, according to AFP.
Al-Tayeb “blamed unrest in the region on a conspiracy by what he called ‘new global colonialism allied to world Zionism,’” according to the AFP report, which was linked to by the State Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC).

The only Jewish museum in the Arab world, plus new miniseries

Egypt's Al Masry al Youm has an article about the only Jewish museum in the Arab world.

It is in Casablanca, Morocco.

JTA reported on it when it re-opened in 2013:

The museum, with a floor space of a few hundred square yards, features photos of synagogues from across the kingdom, Torah scrolls and Chanukah lamps, Moroccan caftans embroidered with gold, jewels, ancient rugs and objects of Jewish-Moroccan cultural heritage.

“It’s not a fancy museum, but it contains some real treasures of cultures,” said Joel Rubinfeld, co-chair of the European Jewish Parliament, who saw the museum last month during a visit for talks with Moroccan officials.

Founded 15 years earlier by the Jewish community of Casablanca, the museum was later managed by the Foundation of Moroccan Judaism under its chief administrator, Simon Levy. The building was renovated following his death in 2011.

Morocco has about 3,000 Jews, a tenth of its original Jewish population before the establishment of the State of Israel.

Some of the items exhibited:

Egypt is showing some interest in its own Jewish past. A major TV miniseries, called "Jewish Quarter," is now being filmed and has attracted major Arab stars. It will take place in the early 1950s and sounds like it will be sympathetic with the Jews who were forced out of Egypt - but not the Zionists.