Tuesday, March 31, 2015

  • Tuesday, March 31, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Israeli embassy in Washington tweeted this today:



I agree there is a disconnect between the tweet, which emphasizes Iran's attempts at hegemony in the Arab world, and the graphic which also includes many terror attacks worldwide that can be traced to Iran.

However, some journalists felt that the point being made is ridiculous:











The embassy responded to Fallows:




That last tweet answers why the Argentina bombing from 1994 is not included - this is a list of aggressive Iranian actions in only the past five years.

All of the sources for the headlines in the graphic are given.

None of the journalists have yet explained exactly what is inaccurate about the original tweet. They just know, deep in their hearts, that it is wrong. Somehow.

That is apparently a skill set that is a prerequisite for being a member of a profession that pompously pretends to value facts.

  • Tuesday, March 31, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
JPost reports:
Amid fierce opposition from right-wing leaders, preliminary plans for the construction of 2,200 new Arab housing units in east Jerusalem’s Jabel Mukaber neighborhood were approved by the Interior Ministry’s District Planning and Building Committee on Monday.

The committee also retroactively approved 300 illegally-built Arab homes in the area.

On Tuesday, Aviv Tatarsky, a researcher at the pro-Palestinian NGO Ir Amim, who attended the meeting, described the plan as unprecedented.

Indeed, according to Tatasky the approval serves as a major victory for Arab residents of Jabel Mukaber who have long sought building permits, or feared imminent home demolitions for illegal construction.

“I think this is a very unusual and very good development,” he said. “The housing shortage in east Jerusalem is enormous, and this is the first time that a plan of this extent has been approved for a Palestinian neighborhood.”
But the Secretary General of the Islamic-Christian Committee to Support Occupied Jerusalem and holy sites, Dr. Hanna Issa, condemned the move, saying that the move was illegal, violating the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Conventions.

The anti-Israel IMEMC also says that the new Arab homes are illegal:
The Israeli “Planning and Construction Committee” in occupied Jerusalem has approved, Tuesday, the construction of 2200 illegal settlement units in ‘Arab as-Sawahra neighborhood, in the Sawahra area, between Jabal al-Mokabber and Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem.

The Israeli Radio said the new plans aims at “legalizing” homes that were built without permits, and to construct what it called “public facilities.”
Just remember, boys and girls: it isn't about loving Arabs. It's about hating Jews.
From Ian:

Daniel Mael: The notorious anti-Israel writer is using a lie to drag Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s name through the mud.
The notorious anti-Israel writer is using a lie to drag Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s name through the mud. In a recent article that has been widely circulated online by an unholy alliance of Islamists and extreme Leftists, the notorious anti-Israel propagandist Max Blumenthal has accused women’s-rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali of “deception.” Unfortunately for Blumenthal, it is his own latest deception that has now come to light.
Blumenthal claimed that a statement by Hirsi Ali — that “at least 70% of all the fatalities in armed conflicts around the world last year were in wars involving Muslims” — was “suspect.” His evidence was an email from a spokesperson for the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, whose Armed Conflict Database is the basis for Hirsi Ali’s calculation. Triumphantly, Blumenthal tweeted that the IISS had “totally disowned her abuse of its data.”
However, it turns out that the IISS did nothing of the kind. Reached for comment on Friday, Nicholas Redman, the IISS’s director of editorial, said:
At no point did Max Blumenthal request an official quotation or statement from the IISS. Therefore, none was provided. Some of the remarks made were then reported out of context. Any information was provided on the understanding on our part that it was a research request. We have asked him to remove it from the article.
The IISS does not subdivide its conflict data according to the religions of combatants. It is, however, unambiguously clear from the Armed Conflict Database that fatalities from armed conflict last year were disproportionately caused by wars involving Muslims. If anything, Hirsi Ali’s 70% figure is too low.
Past tweets of 'Daily Show' successor on Israel, Jews cause social media uproar
What a difference a day makes. Just 24 hours after being named the new host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old comedian from South Africa, has found himself in hot water for tweets he posted over five years ago.
The Internet was abuzz with criticism on Tuesday after tweets about Jews and the Jewish State, dating as far back as 2010, surfaced online, sparking a maelstrom of angry comments.
“South Africans know how to recycle like Israel knows how to be peaceful,” read a 2010 tweet dug up by social media users.
The online backlash follows Comedy Central’s announcement that Noah, who made his Daily Show debut late last year, would take over the satirical talk show after longtime host Jon Stewart hangs up his hat.
In 2009, the up-and-coming star shared this tweet on his account: “Almost bumped a Jewish kid crossing the road.
He didn’t look b4 crossing but I still would hav felt so bad in my german car!” Just last May, Noah played on a quintessential Jewish stereotype, posting, “Behind every successful Rap billionaire is a double as rich Jewish man” – a reference to Apple buying American rapper-turned-producer Dr. Dre’s Beats company for $3 billion.
Buzzfeed: People Are Mad About Trevor Noah’s Old Tweets About Women And Jews
On Monday, Comedy Central confirmed Trevor Noah will succeed Jon Stewart as The Daily Show host.
But after some digging, Twitter users grew more acquainted with Noah…and found some of his old tweets about Israel and Jews.
And some other tweets about women…
As his old tweets made the rounds, some were no longer impressed with Stewart’s replacement.
People immediately started tweeting at Comedy Central about their new hire.
Even Roseanne chimed in.
26 Americans to sue Hamas for rocket fire at Ben Gurion Airport
Twenty-six American citizens who were present at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport when it was targeted by Hamas missile fire during last summer’s war will file a lawsuit against the terror group in a US court, it was announced Tuesday.
The litigation, which was inspired and organized by Israeli legal group Shurat HaDin, seeks to have various top Hamas commanders tried on war crimes charges.
Under US law, targeting or committing acts of violence against American citizens in an international airport can carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
War crimes suits will be filed against Hamas leaders and rocket fire cells, specifically, Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, senior spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, and officials Hamdan Awad, Hudeiffe Samir, Abdullah Al’halut, Ahmed Jandoor, Ra’ad Sa’ad, Marwan Abed-el, Karim Issa and Salah Amer Daloul. (h/t Yenta Press)

What's wrong with this picture?


According to Haaretz' clown Rogel Alpher, it is the tiny Israeli flag in the bottom left.

Channel 20 is the only television station in Israel which proudly waves a political flag. It is blatantly right wing. Sharon Gal was one of its presenters, until he joined Avigdor Lieberman's party and started to issue blood-chilling warnings to Arab Knesset members; the stomach churns just to hear the language that Gal used. Ar'el Segal, Zvi Yehezkeli, Kalman Liebskind and Avri Gilad – card-carrying members of right-leaning stream of the mainstream media – are the channel's stars. The channel itself is part of the inevitable trend of increasingly rightist content in Israeli news broadcasts.

In the corner of the screen Channel 20 has a strategically placed Israeli flag. It has been designed to look as if it's blowing gently in the breeze. The same flag that we salute and we drape over the coffins of fallen soldiers. What on earth is it doing in the corner of Channel 20's screen?

Even Israel Hayom does not print the Israeli flag on all of its pages. Army radio does not begin each day's broadcasts with a rendition of the national anthem. Is it considered unpatriotic to watch a television station that does not have the national flag on the screen every minute of every day? Is there some law that obligates Israeli TV channels to display the flag? Every time I see that flag on my screen, I want to cover it up or tear it down. Ironically, it reminds me of state-run television channels in some dictatorial Arab country.

This is just another fascistic symbol that is permeating our lives.
  • Tuesday, March 31, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Ma'an:
Former Tunisian President Muncef al-Marzouki will take part in the third "Freedom Flotilla" attempting to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition said in a statement Monday.

Marzouki reportedly gave the movement his full support at a World Social Forum in Tunis last week, and confirmed that he would be on board of one of the "Freedom Flotilla III" ships.

FFC hopes the flotilla will sail "within the first half of 2015, with at least three ships.
One of the people behind this is Dror Feiler, a Swedish musician who renounced his Israeli citizenship in 1973.

This should be fun.

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Abbas Wants Arabs to Bomb Gaza Strip
The Palestinian Authority (PA) is calling on Arab countries to launch a military strike against the Gaza Strip -- even as the PA plans to bring "war crimes" charges against Israel for doing exactly the same thing in the summer of 2014.
The Arabs are allowed to attack the Gaza strip to remove Hamas from power, while Israel is not even allowed to launch airstrikes at those who are firing rockets at its cities.
The PA's call should be brought to the attention of the International Criminal Court if and when Abbas proceeds with his plan to file "war crimes" charges against Israel for its war against Hamas.
This call should also be brought to the attention of Western governments and international human rights organizations that condemned Israel during Operation Protective Edge.
They also need to ask Abbas whether he also plans to file "war crimes" charges against his Arab brethren once they start bombing the Gaza Strip.
John Bolton: Obama Toys With Cutting Israel Adrift in the Security Council
Immediately after Israel’s March 17 election, Obama administration officials threatened to allow (or even encourage) the U.N. Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state and confine Israel to its pre-1967 borders. Within days, the president himself joined in, publicly criticizing not just Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom Obama has had notoriously bad relations, but sectors of Israeli opinion and even Israel itself.
The administration leaks suggesting that Israel be cut adrift in the Security Council in effect threatened “collective punishment” as a weapon in U.S.-Israel relations. This is especially ironic coming from “progressives” who have repeatedly accused Israel of “collective punishment” by forcefully retaliating against terrorist attacks. But more important, exposing Israel to the tender mercies of its Security Council opponents harms not only Israel’s interests, but America’s in equal measure. Roughly half of Washington’s Security Council vetoes have been cast against draft resolutions contrary to our Middle East interests.
America’s consistent view since Council Resolution 242 concluded the 1967 Arab-Israeli war is that only the parties themselves can structure a lasting peace. Deviating from that formula would be a radical departure by Obama from a bipartisan Middle East policy nearly half a century old.
In fact, Israel’s “1967 borders” are basically only the 1949 cease-fire lines, but its critics shrink from admitting this tedious reality. The indeterminate status of Israel’s borders from its 1948 creation is in fact a powerful argument why only negotiation with relevant Arab parties can ultimately fix the lines with certainty.
Iran militia chief: Destroying Israel is ‘nonnegotiable’
The commander of the Basij militia of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said that “erasing Israel off the map” is “nonnegotiable,” according to an Israel Radio report Tuesday.
Militia chief Mohammad Reza Naqdi also threatened Saudi Arabia, saying that the offensive it is leading in Yemen “will have a fate like the fate of Saddam Hussein.”
Naqdi’s comments were made public as Iran and six world powers prepared Tuesday to issue a general statement agreeing to continue nuclear negotiations in a new phase aimed at reaching a comprehensive accord by the end of June.
In 2014, Naqdi said Iran was stepping up efforts to arm West Bank Palestinians for battle against Israel, adding the move would lead to Israel’s annihilation, Iran’s Fars news agency reported.
“Arming the West Bank has started and weapons will be supplied to the people of this region,” Naqdi said. (h/t Bob Knot)

  • Tuesday, March 31, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
As usual, the 26th Arab League Summit ended with a flurry of declarations.

Yet while Palestinian issues usually dominate the discussions and declarations, this time there was very little that was stated beyond the boilerplate condemnations of Israel.

The real story was the idea of a joint Arab rapid strike force, but there were plenty of others listed before they even mentioned Palestinian Arabs in the territories.

The only declaration concerning them that was slightly concrete was a new pledge of $100 million in monthly financial aid to the PA and to increase the capital of the Al-Aqsa Fund and Jerusalem Fund by 50 percent, or $500 million.

Both those pledges will almost certainly be ignored, as nearly all Arab pledges of financial help to the PA are.

Yes, there was a declaration, as there is every time, that Israel should give the Golan to Syria. (There was no condemnation of Syria for killing tens of thousands of Arab civilians, of course.) There was a declaration that the Shebaa Farms belongs to Lebanon, not Israel. They said "the continued Israeli occupation of the region poses a serious threat to peace and security in the Middle East and the world."

But everyone knows that those declarations are just for show. Even Arab media widely ignored the condemnations of Israel and concentrated on the real issues, Iran and Yemen and Libya. A 14-paragraph summary of the declarations at Al Riyadh doesn't mention Palestinians once.

The difference between this summit and earlier ones is quite instructive. Here's what happened in the 1969 summit:


If there is one thing that Palestinian leadership hates, it is being ignored. After this summit, they must be seething.


  • Tuesday, March 31, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
There is news this morning about the University of Southampton planned anti-Israel conference.

The conference was meant to discuss "the legality, validity and legitimacy” is Israel, as well as the "problems associated with the creation and nature of the Jewish state itself and the status of Jerusalem.”

The organizers claim that the conference was canceled:.

It is with extreme astonishment and sadness that we have to inform you that the University of Southampton has told us earlier yesterday (Monday 30 March 2015) that it intends to withdraw its permission to hold the academic conference on International Law and the State of Israel. We were told that the decision was taken on the grounds of health and safety: a number of groups may be demonstrating for or against the conference which could present risks to the safety of the participants, students and staff. The University claims that it does not have enough resources to mitigate the risks, despite a clear statement from the Police confirming that they are able to deal with the protest and ensure the security of the event.

...Such an action by Southampton University will severely undermine the public’s confidence in the Police’s and the in the University’s ability to protect freedom of speech. Indeed it will have wider implications to all Universities and organisations. We feel that the manner the university communicated with the police and conducted the risk assessment shows that the security argument was used to rationalise a decision to cancel the conference that has been taken under public pressure of the Israeli Lobby. It is quite simply unbelievable that the University cannot ask the Police to handle the risk of demonstrations.
And, of course, next comes threats:
We will explore legal emergency measures to prevent the University from cancelling the conference, to reverse its decision and to properly collaborate with the police so that the demonstrations can be managed. In addition we call for the widest and most intense public campaign possible that would urgently encourage the university to reverse its decision and which would allow the conference to go ahead.
But they don't seem to be telling the entire truth.

The Jewish Chronicle was not yet able to verify the news:
Conference organisers have claimed that the university is planning to withdraw its permission to host the conference in April due to health and safety concerns over planned demonstrations.

But a press spokesperson for the university could neither confirm nor deny the claim early on Tuesday morning.

Gavin Costigan, director of the vice-chancellor’s office, declined to comment.
Sussex Friends of Israel did get a quote:

BREAKING...
From Southampton University spokesperson:
"The University of Southampton is in discussion with the organisers of the conference ‘International Law and the State of Israel’ about the possibility of withdrawing permission for the event to be held on campus. However, this review process is still ongoing. Any decision will be judged purely on considerations around the health and safety of our staff, students and for the general public.”

It appears that the haters who organized the conference heard from the university that security was a potential issue and decided to do what they do best - lie - in order to help their case. (And they enlisted Electronic Intifada to act as their megaphone.)

By announcing that the conference was canceled, and coupling that with a threat of legal action, they can force the university to either deny the news outright or to worry about the threats in case they were leaning towards cancellation. It also  gives the haters a chance to pressure the university.

The upshot is that we have seen, yet again, that the Israel haters rely on lies not only for their arguments but also to enable their lies to have a platform.

The proper response is to contact the university and redouble the pressure that caused them to waver (after all, the security argument is just an excuse to save face from being associated with such haters and liars.)

Here is how Human Rights Watch reported on the beginning of Israel's airstrikes in Gaza last summer:

Israel/Palestine: Unlawful Israeli Airstrikes Kill Civilians
Bombings of Civilian Structures Suggest Illegal Policy

Israeli air attacks in Gaza investigated by Human Rights Watch have been targeting apparent civilian structures and killing civilians in violation of the laws of war. Israel should end unlawful attacks that do not target military objectives and may be intended as collective punishment or broadly to destroy civilian property. Deliberate or reckless attacks violating the laws of war are war crimes, Human Rights Watch said.
Prosecutor, judge and jury. Without any relevant information as to what Israel's targets were, HRW flatly said that Israel was violating international law and said that Israel was targeting homes simply to kill Gazan civilians, apparently for kicks.

Now compare that with how HRW reports on Saudi airstrikes in urban areas that are killing scores of civilians:

Yemen: Saudi-Led Airstrikes Take Civilian Toll

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition of Arab countries that conducted airstrikes in Yemen on March 26 and 27, 2015, killed at least 11 and possibly as many as 34 civilians during the first day of bombings in Sanaa, the capital, Human Rights Watch said today. The 11 dead included 2 children and 2 women. Saudi and other warplanes also carried out strikes on apparent targets in the cities of Saada, Hodaida, Taiz, and Aden.

The airstrikes targeted Ansar Allah, the armed wing of the Zaidi Shia group known as the Houthis, that has controlled much of northern Yemen since September 2014.

...“Both the Saudi-led forces and the Houthis need to do everything they can to protect civilians from attack,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director. “Reports of air strikes and anti-aircraft weapons in heavily populated areas raise serious concerns that not enough is being done to ensure their safety.”

...Human Rights Watch has not been able to determine whether specific attacks complied with the laws of war, which apply to the armed conflict in Yemen. The laws of war prohibit attacks that target civilians or civilian property, or that do not or cannot discriminate between civilians and fighters.
Look at that! The mind-reading skills that HRW "researchers" have in Gaza are suddenly malfunctioning in Yemen! They know that Saudi Arabia is targeting terrorists, and they are simply not sure if the bombs that killed 34 civilians were simple mistakes, or maybe there was a legitimate target there.

All that certainty that HRW has in declaring Israel to be criminal is nowhere to be found when Saudis are dropping their bombs on houses and children.

I can't wait to see how HRW reports on yesterday's news:
An air strike killed dozens of people at a camp for displaced people in northwest Yemen on Monday, aid workers said, as Arab warplanes bombard rebels around the country.

The International Organization for Migration said at least 40 people had been killed and 200 wounded at the Al-Mazrak camp in Hajja province where it has staff on the ground, revising an initial toll of 45 dead.

IOM spokesman Joel Millman said 25 of the wounded were in severe condition.

"It was an air strike," said Pablo Marco of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which has a presence at the hospital.
Another thing: I haven't yet found a scorecard showing how many Yemenis have been killed compared with how many Saudis.The score is probably about 250-0 at this point, which in other contexts would be considered by ignorant pundits as proof of "disporportionate force."

Scorecards are particular to cases when the winning side's name begins with ISR and ends in AEL.

Monday, March 30, 2015

From Ian:

Ryan Bellerose: The Gideon Levy Travelling Hate Show
Then he showed anyone with critical thinking ability he is clueless, when he stated that 5 weeks would be enough to create a peace, if only Israel was committed to it, that Israel wouldn’t be able to create it in 5 years because Israel is racist and antidemocratic. He said “For people like me, nothing is as important as ending the occupation.” Then he named groups such as Breaking the Silence, B’tselem, and Anarchists Against the Wall as “brave Israeli organisations.” He used the phase “people like me” several times, but I hope to the creator that there are not many “people like him” because frankly, he was ridiculous. He continuously referred to peace groups being delegitimized in the Israeli media. Then he said that Israelis don’t see Palestinians as human beings, that he chooses his words carefully, that the Jews believe as “chosen people” that they do not have to respect anyone else’s human rights, which seems odd to me given the involvement of Jews in EVERY SINGLE SIGNIFICANT HUMAN RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN THE WORLD. I could go on – I could tell you about how he said he doesn’t care if Israel is a Jewish state, and that the Jews who are frightened should blame themselves for not supporting a 2-state solution. I could tell you that he said “Do you ever hear Israelis talking about palestinians’ security” as though Jews were randomly sneaking into Arab villages and beheading babies. But the crowning moment was when he said he looked at South Africa as an example – that the change in South Africa happened without bloodshed. I wonder if he really is in another world.
I believe that the only reason people like Levy are dangerous is because a majority of people are ignorant and prefer that blissful ignorance to actually learning. His entire raison d’etre is to travel around attacking Israel. Let me be clear, he is not a self hater. He clearly is in love with himself, to the point where he tries to glorify himself at the cost of his people. It’s all about Gideon and his moral clarity. I have no doubt he thinks the money he is given to sell out his people is his just due as “speaking the truth,” even when his truth is obviously not anything of the sort.
Levy appeals to the Jews who want to believe that they should sell out their people for security. I have no doubt he would be welcome at any JVP or JStreet meeting. But to anyone who is even slightly knowledgeable, he is laughable. The issue is making sure people hear the ridiculousness of what he spreads. After all, groups like CJPME and SPHR do not want peace for two peoples – they are all about the destruction of Israel, and if they brought him here, why do you think that is? (h/t Yenta Press)
Christian Icons of Propaganda - Sabeel and Desmond Tutu
The troublesome truth is that there is no apartheid in Israel. Israel allows Arabs and Muslims full human and civil rights in all areas of life, including as full members of Israel's Parliament, the Knesset.
To brand Israel as an apartheid state when none of these restrictions exist is not only defamatory propaganda but, according to the black South African Reverend Kenneth Meshoe, trivializes the real suffering of blacks under apartheid.
While Tutu et al discuss Israel the "oppressor," Israel's surrounding enemies seek to obliterate it in accordance with their genocidal charter. Given the silence of Tutu et al on that subject, apparently an agenda of genocide is not seen by them as an injustice.
Tutu also disregards the countless Christians being slaughtered in Muslim states; that black slaves are still being held in Muslim states such as Mauritania; the forcible taking of "infidel" slaves by Boko Haram and ISIS; the racist genocide in Darfur and the 10 million Muslims slaughtered by other Muslims since 1948.
Critics of Sabeel suggest that it actually seems to be a political organization promoting anti-Israel propaganda while driving Church policy toward destroying Israel through BDS.
Why are Desmond Tutu, Sabeel and the anti-Semitic Churches that support BDS so tolerant of the persecution of Christians, global Islamist terrorism, the perpetual threat of Israel's obliteration and the fact that Muslims have driven Christians out of Bethlehem, the very place of Jesus's birth?
These calumnies and misrepresentations have nothing to do with peace and even less to do with justice. They are even more unacceptable coming from church groups or a man of the cloth.
LATMA: We'll be the Judge, episode 8
The Eight episode of the Israeli satire program "We'll be the Judge," from the creators of Latma's Tribal Update, Israel Channel 1, March 26, 2015.


  • Monday, March 30, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Palestinian Media Watch:

The Mufti of the Palestinian Authority Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, appointed in 2006 by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the position of most senior religious leader in the PA, told a conference of "Muslim scholars and delegations from over 46 countries" that Israel must be destroyed in the name of Islam:

"The land of Palestine is waqf (i.e., inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law). It must not be relinquished nor must any part of it be sold... It is the duty of the leaders of the [Islamic] nation and its peoples to liberate Palestine and Jerusalem."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 23, 2015]

This statement - that according to Islamic law "Palestine is waqf... and must not be relinquished," but should be "liberated" - imposes prohibitions and obligations on all Muslims. First, according to the PA religious leader, all Muslims are prohibited from recognizing Israel's existence or signing a genuine and permanent peace treaty with Israel that "relinquishes any part" of "Palestine," meaning all of Israel. Second, he told the world's Muslim delegations that they and all Muslims have a religious obligation to "liberate Palestine" - meaning to destroy Israel.
Palestinian Media Watch recently reported that a similar statement was made by Mahmoud Abbas' Advisor on Religious and Islamic AffairsMahmoud Al-Habbash, the second most important religious leader in the PA:

"The entire land of Palestine (i.e., includes all of Israel) is waqf (i.e., an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law) and is blessed land... It is prohibited to sell, bestow ownership or facilitate the occupation of even a millimeter of it."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 22, 2014]

The PA is increasingly adopting Hamas' ideology prohibiting recognition of Israel and demanding its destruction, not only in the name of Palestinian nationalism, but in the name of Islam. The language used by both the Mufti and Abbas' advisor is almost 
identical to the language in Hamas' charter:

"The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up."
[Hamas Charter, Article Eleven]
The latest PCPSR poll of Palestinian Arabs buried these little nuggets in its findings, without giving a further breakdown:

. When asked about the long term aspiration of the PA and the PLO, 63% said that it is to recover all or parts of the land occupied in 1967 while 28% said it was to conquer the state of Israel or conquer the state of Israel and kill most of the Jews.

- A majority of 74% favors Hamas way of resisting occupation... Furthermore, 56% favor the transfer of Hamas’ armed approach to the West Bank.
So what's the difference between Hamas and Fatah again?
J-Street never tires of claiming to be supportive of a two-state solution, a position that it falsely claims is not the position of American Zionist organizations.

On Friday, I posted a video showing that a speaker at the recent J-Street conference, during a panel discussion on the future of liberal Zionism, advocated for the ending of the Jewish state and instead saying that Jews should be a "protected minority" in their homeland.



The speaker, former MK Marcia Freedman, is a member of J-Street's advisory panel.

The moderator of the panel, J Street co-founder Daniel Levy, did not challenge Freedman for advocating what is in complete opposition to what J-Street claims its position is. None of the other panelists showed any anger at the idea of the destruction of Israel that Freedman was pushing.

Since then, over 12,000 people have viewed the video - far more people than attended the conference itself. Despite repeated tweets to J-Street leaders or other panelists like Peter Beinart, not one has distanced themselves from Freedman's statements. (J-Street's synopsis of the panel skips Freedman's participation altogether.)

For every statement made by real Zionists to defend Israel - whether it is from terror or Iran - J-Street has forcefully come out in opposition. But J-Street's media machine does not seem to spend any time defending Israel's existence from attacks by people like Freedman or groups like "Jewish Voice for Peace."

Why not?

Perhaps it is because J-Street's commitment to Israel's existence is far more tenuous than they pretend when they do their fundraising and lobbying. After all, this same Daniel Levy who moderated the panel is on the record as saying that if Arab states refuse to accept Israel, "then Israel really ain't a very good idea." Which sounds a lot like Marcia Freedman.



J-Street complains loudly that it is not being accepted by mainstream Jewish and Zionist organizations. This episode is one good example of why that is. J-Street, despite claiming to be pro-Israel, has yet to defend Israel's position against those that want to see it destroyed - even within its own conference. I have shown that founder Jeremy Ben-Ami's Twitter timeline has not once defended Israel's existence against attacks from its left.

Which means that its "pro-Israel" stance is really a cover for its truly anti-Israel message.

Over the past couple of months, we've heard more praise of Israel from the EU than from J-Street. That ought to tell you something.

From Ian:

Jeffrey Goldberg: What to Worry About in an Iran Nuclear Deal
Here are a few questions that have, helped by various news stories about the talks, repeatedly crossed my mind in recent days. I would prefer to see a nuclear deal struck, of course, but unsatisfactory answers to these issues would be cause for real worry:
1) What will Saudi Arabia do in response to a deal? If the Saudis—who are already battling the Iranians on several fronts—actually head down the path toward nuclearization, then these negotiations will not have served the underlying purpose President Obama ascribed to them. The president has warned, in interviews with me and others, that a nuclear Iran would trigger a nuclear arms race across the Middle East, the world’s most volatile region. One goal of these talks is to assure the rest of the Middle East that Iran cannot achieve nuclear status. If Saudi Arabia (and Egypt and Turkey and the U.A.E.) does not believe that a deal will achieve this, then it will move on its own to counter the Persian nuclear threat.
2) If the underground enrichment facility at Fordow—which had been hidden from Western view for several years, and which the U.S. and Europe have repeatedly said needs to be closed—is allowed to run centrifuges, even to spin germanium and other elements that cannot be used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons, then doubt could legitimately be sown about the strength of this deal. Already-spinning centrifuges in a maintained, guarded, and fortified bunker can be retrofitted to handle uranium, should the Iranians choose to break their agreement. It would be better to see Fordow filled with cement, or otherwise crippled.

3) The Iranians have never answered most of the questions put to them by the International Atomic Energy Agency about the possible military dimensions—the so-called PMDs—of their nuclear program. These questions must be answered before sanctions are even partially lifted. Otherwise, the West will never get answers.
4) The proposed speed of sanctions relief is, of course, something to watch carefully. The Iranians want immediate sanctions relief, but the West should only agree to a stately pace of sanctions-removal, predicated on 100-percent Iranian compliance on intrusive inspections, among other issues.
5) The largest question in my mind concerns the matter of break-out time—how long it would take for Iran, once it made a decision to violate the terms of a deal and go for full nuclearization, to actually make a deliverable weapon. The goal of the Obama administration is to make sure that it would take Iran at least a year to cross the threshold. The assumption is that a year would give the West time to devise a response—including, if necessary, a military response. This will be among the issues of greatest controversy because this is an easily misunderstood and distorted matter, one that is both devilishly complicated and, in many ways, theoretical.
Elliott Abrams: President Carter and Israel -- again
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter writes about (that is to say, against) Israel once again in Friday's Washington Post, in a column titled "Rebuild Gaza, and avert the next war."‎
Why is Gaza not being rebuilt? Two reasons. First, Carter says, because Hamas and Fatah ‎are fighting and donors are not delivering: "The $5.4 billion pledged for rebuilding was ‎predicated on the Palestinian Authority asserting itself in Gaza. However, relations between ‎Hamas and its political rivals, Abbas' Fatah party, remain fraught. The authority has ‎proven unwilling or unable to govern in Gaza. As a result, the promised reconstruction ‎money has not been delivered." True enough. Unless and until donors pony up the cash ‎they promised, there will be little rebuilding. Carter's solution is international pressure "to ‎implement reconciliation agreements between Fatah and Hamas." (He does not seem to ‎realize that this "reconciliation" between the PA and a terrorist group would doom any ‎possible negotiations between Israel and the PA, but that's a different subject.)‎
Then Carter adds this second explanation for Gaza's troubles:‎ "The shortage of funds is the most immediate problem, but it is not the only one: Israel has ‎restricted access to Gaza."‎
So he calls for "sustained pressure ... to end Israel's closure of Gaza. It is incumbent on the ‎world to engage at the highest levels with the Palestinians, Egypt and Israel to push this ‎process forward."‎
That sentence is the sole reference to Egypt, and it shows what is wrong with Carter's ‎analysis. The fact is that Gaza has a border not only with Israel, but with Egypt, and that ‎border with Egypt has been closed by the government in Cairo -- for security reasons, as it ‎fights Hamas smuggling and terror in the Sinai.
Biden: American Jews Can Only Rely on Israel, Not US
Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg reveals in the April issue of The Atlantic how at a Rosh Hashana event in Biden's home last fall, the vice president told Jewish leaders and Jewish officials in US President Barack Obama's administration how he met former Prime Minister Golda Meir when he was a young Senator.
"I’ll never forget talking to her in her office with her assistant - a guy named (Yitzhak) Rabin - about the Six-Day War,” he recalled. “The end of the meeting, we get up and walk out, the doors are open, and...the press is taking photos. ...She looked straight ahead and said, ‘Senator, don’t look so sad...Don’t worry. We Jews have a secret weapon.'"
Biden states he asked Meir what the weapon was, noting "I thought she was going to tell me something about a nuclear program" - an ironic comment given the US's recent declassification of documents revealing Israel's nuclear program in a breach of understandings with the Jewish state.
But according to Biden, "she looked straight ahead and she said, ‘We have no place else to go.'" Addressing his guests at Rosh Hashana, Biden paused for effect and repeated, "we have no place else to go."
"Folks, there is no place else to go, and you understand that in your bones," Biden said. "You understand in your bones that no matter how hospitable, no matter how consequential, no matter how engaged, no matter how deeply involved you are in the United States...there’s only one guarantee."
"There is really only one absolute guarantee, and that’s the state of Israel," he stated.

  • Monday, March 30, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Over the weekend a number of Arabic websites "quoted" Israel's Channel One website with a bizarre story.

The story supposedly said that there was a cell of 30 young Jews who are being incited by rabbis to carry out suicide bombings against Arabs in the West Bank. The story said that the Shin Bet warned about these impending attacks but didn't want to do anything about them because of political considerations.

The stgory goes on to say that those responsible for these attacks are rabbis and religious extremists in Jerusalem and the West who sow hatred among young religious Jews against Arabs and Palestinians and therefore try to persuade them to follow the methods of Palestinian terrorists.

Needless to say, no such story can be found on the Channel One website, or anywhere else. And if it was a real story it would be in the front pages of Israeli newspapers - secular and religious -within hours.

It is rare that Arabic stories are completely made up, so maybe there was a Purim spoof or something that someone read.

Or it is just an extreme case of Arab projection.

I did once find an Arab political cartoon of a Jew with a suicide bomb belt shaped like minarets to show how Jews like to attack mosques, apparently.





  • Monday, March 30, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
This is the must-read article of this past weekend. I'm reproducing it in full:

With reports that Washington and its partners may reach a nuclear accord with Iran in the coming days, a former senior IAEA safeguards official answers the most pressing questions about Tehran's program and how the agreement might affect its capabilities.

This is the time required to produce enough weapons-grade uranium (WGU) for one nuclear weapon. To produce WGU, uranium needs to be enriched (e.g., with centrifuges) to more than 90 percent of its fissile isotope U-235. The amount of WGU required for one weapon is defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as about 27 kg of uranium. This amount is often called a "significant quantity" (SQ).

What is Iran's current breakout time?

Natural uranium has only 0.7 percent of the isotope U-235, and the effort required to enrich it to one SQ of WGU is about 5,000 Separative Work Units (SWUs). Iran currently has about 9,000 functioning first-generation IR-1 centrifuges, with another 9,000 not in operation. The IR-1s installed in the Natanz and Fordow facilities have been performing at an average per unit rate of 0.75 to 1 SWU per year. Using the 1 SWU/year performance of the latest IR-1 model, the breakout time with 9,000 machines using a natural uranium feed would be six to seven months. However, Iran also has substantial stocks of 3.5 percent enriched uranium hexafluoride (UF6) that can be used as an alternative feed, shrinking the breakout time to three months.

If Iran brought online its other nearly 9,000 IR-1s, breakout time would be about three months with natural uranium feedstock and four to six weeks with 3.5 percent UF6 feedstock. Iran has also developed the more advanced IR-2m centrifuge, rated at 5 SWU/year. If the 1,000 IR-2ms installed at Natanz were used in conjunction with all 18,000 IR-1s, the respective breakout times would be cut by a third.

According to media accounts, the proposed nuclear agreement would lower the number of operating centrifuges to around 6,500. In that circumstance, what would Iran's breakout time be?

Using IR-1s with natural uranium as a feed, the breakout time for 6,500 centrifuges would be about nine months. A crucial question will be how much 3.5 percent enriched UF6 will remain in Iran. Yet even if UF6 stocks are reduced from their current 7.5-8 tons to 500 kg, a breakout time of between seven and eight months would still be possible given the program's enrichment capabilities with natural uranium feed. Since these breakout times are less than the goals set by the U.S. administration, it is important to know what parameters Washington used for its estimates.

The administration says that one of the main achievements of an agreement would be to increase breakout time to at least a year. What else would have to be in the agreement to reach that goal?

The maximum allowed breakout time should be viewed as a combination of detection time and action time -- that is, the time required to get Iran back in compliance with the agreement. Both of these times are difficult to estimate precisely because administrative delays and efforts to resolve disagreements could easily take several months.

How long is the detection time?

Detection time depends on Iran's actions. If Tehran does not try to conceal what it is doing, the IAEA would detect a violation fairly quickly -- in the worst case perhaps two weeks. The agency would then confirm the finding with Iranian authorities, and the IAEA Board of Governors would need another one or two weeks to take any formal action such as referring the issue to the UN Security Council. This would leave a reasonable amount of time for the international community to act.

Yet if Iran tries to conceal what it is doing, much longer detection times are likely. As indicated in past IAEA reports, environmental samples play a pivotal role in confirming violations. Due to the large number of samples involved and the meticulous analytical process, the results would not be available for at least two months. And if samples show higher enrichment, additional samples have to be taken and analyzed. Although the second set of samples would certainly be fast-tracked, it is unrealistic to expect that process and subsequent clarifications by Iran to take less than another month. This would leave the international community with only three or four months to act, an extremely short time.

There are also plausible scenarios of misunderstandings or even differing interpretations of what constitutes a breach of the agreement. In such situations, Iran could drag the process out for many months.

Iran might also pursue a "creep-out" strategy, such as by slowly increasing its inventory of 3.5 percent UF6. This has already taken place under the interim Joint Plan of Action. When the JPOA was concluded in November 2013, Iran's 3.5 percent UF6 stock should have been below 7.5 tons; any additional material existing or newly produced should have been converted to oxides. Yet none of the IAEA reports released since then indicate that the stock has been below that amount. This demonstrates the need for the United States and its partners to maintain vigilance in getting Iran to comply with an agreement and not allowing it to widen the envelope of what is permitted.

The most difficult task is to detect a "sneak-out" violation in which Iran uses clandestine nuclear facilities. This scenario has several variants, including the possibility of an entirely separate, unreported enrichment cycle anywhere along the chain from uranium mining to enrichment. This scenario cannot be excluded because the IAEA has still not been permitted to verify the completeness of Tehran's declarations on nuclear materials and facilities.

A sneak-out could also involve both declared and undeclared facilities. For instance, Iran could produce low-enriched UF6 in a known facility and then take that material to a smaller undeclared location to produce WGU. Therefore, it is important that the IAEA be empowered to not only verify the completeness of Iran's inventory of nuclear material, but also establish as a baseline the total number and location of centrifuges inside the country.

If an agreement does achieve a one-year breakout warning time, is it possible to know whether this buffer could be maintained over the life of the deal? What would change that?

Perhaps the most important factor is the research and development on more advanced centrifuges such as IR-5 or IR-8. Making such machines operational on a semi-industrial scale would likely take at least three years. If they are ten to twenty times more efficient than the current IR-1 centrifuges as estimated, the breakout times would be much reduced.

Warning time could also be shortened if the IAEA is not allowed to fully exercise rigorous monitoring and verification procedures. These range from routine inspections to so-called "anytime, anyplace inspections" and full access to component manufacturing facilities, as well as efforts to follow the procurement of certain dual-use materials and equipment to confirm their end use.

Can centrifuges be used to enrich material other than uranium?

Media reports indicate that some of the centrifuges in Fordow will be dedicated to producing isotopes for medical and industrial use. A similar process is already in use at enrichment facilities in Europe and Russia. A key question will be which kind of stable isotopes will be produced. If the centrifuges are reconfigured to produce, say, xenon isotopes, the machines could be converted back to enrich uranium fairly easily. Yet if they are used to produce zinc or molybdenum isotopes, contamination could hamper any later attempts to resume production of nuclear-grade materials.

What is the international community's past experience with predictions of breakout time?

History shows surprises. The Russian centrifuge program went for years without detection despite tremendous intelligence efforts. The Iraqi and Libyan programs were not immediately detected, and South Africa, which manufactured nuclear weapons, ended up destroying its program before the IAEA saw it. The Syrian reactor in al-Kibar also came a bit out of the blue, as did North Korea's advanced centrifuge plant. There is always the element of the unknown or the uncertain that adds to the risk equation.

Iran has talented engineers and the necessary financial resources, and its nuclear infrastructure is much larger than what it actually needs. Therefore, a monitoring scheme that is merely "good enough" will not guarantee success in preventing Iran from breaking out and achieving a nuclear weapons capability.

Olli Heinonen is a senior fellow at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a former deputy director-general for safeguards at the IAEA. Together with Washington Institute fellow Simon Henderson, he coauthored the recently updated Policy Focus Nuclear Iran: A Glossary of Terms, a joint publication of the Institute and the Belfer Center.

  • Monday, March 30, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the NYT:
With a negotiating deadline just two days away, Iranian officials on Sunday backed away from a critical element of a proposed nuclear agreement, saying they are no longer willing to ship their atomic fuel out of the country.

For months, Iran tentatively agreed that it would send a large portion of its stockpile of uranium to Russia, where it would not be accessible for use in any future weapons program. But on Sunday Iran’s deputy foreign minister made a surprise comment to Iranian reporters, ruling out an agreement that involved giving up a stockpile that Iran has spent years and billions of dollars to amass.

“The export of stocks of enriched uranium is not in our program, and we do not intend sending them abroad,” the official, Abbas Araqchi, told the Iranian media, according to Agence France-Presse. “There is no question of sending the stocks abroad.”


Has anyone, even once, seen a story during the negotiations where the US seemed to outfox Iran on any issue?


I also updated an older political cartoon yesterday:



Sunday, March 29, 2015

  • Sunday, March 29, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
EoZ reader Karin received another email from the Virginia State Bar in response to many complaints about their sudden decision to cancel a meeting in Israel:

March 29, 2015

Dear Fellow Members of the Virginia State Bar,

On Friday March 27th, we canceled the Virginia State Bar's planned Midyear Legal Seminar trip to Israel. The decision was based primarily on a U.S. State Department advisory:

http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/israel.html, "Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements." We were forced to conclude there were potential difficulties some of our VSB members might face in obtaining entry to Israel. Additionally, we were well short of the required number of confirmed attendees necessary for the trip to proceed.

President-elect Edward L. Weiner, chair of the Midyear Legal Seminar Committee, communicated with the Israeli Embassy. An embassy official expressed a desire to facilitate the trip but acknowledged that security protocols are strict and could lead to exclusion or restriction of some VSB members.

In the face of this information, we felt it necessary and appropriate to forego this trip. This was not a political decision and is not a "boycott." We are an inclusive organization and do not discriminate against any religion.

Unfortunately, some mischaracterized this decision as anti-Israel and anti-Semitic, even going so far as to mislabel it as a "boycott." Although the message was sent over the president's signature, we jointly drafted and approved what was sent Friday night. Apparently we could have done a better job of explaining the situation and decision. We are writing now to provide further clarity.

Our decision was not based on any political factors or influences. We understand that Israel is in a difficult position when it comes to security. We are not expressing opinions regarding Israel's border security measures. We are merely recognizing the reality that our very large and diverse membership, consisting of well over 40,000 members, includes individuals who may encounter lengthy examination and possible rejection in attempting to navigate the immigration security procedures in Israel.

You may recall that on March 25, 2015, we sent a message urging VSB members to sign up for both the Israel trip and the Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach. We very much wanted the Israel trip to be a success and were trying to reach the required number of participants for it to be a go. We deeply regret that a combination of circumstances led to the trip's cancellation, and we also regret that our good faith efforts and decisions may have been misinterpreted and misunderstood.

We remain committed to the core objectives of the VSB: public protection, access to justice and improvement of the legal profession. Thank you for reading and thank you for allowing us the privilege of serving.

Kevin E. Martingayle, President
Edward L. Weiner, President-elect & Chair, Midyear Legal Seminar Committee
Part of that US advisory that they used as proof that travel to Israel is too risky, while it emphasizes potential violence, also says "Although threat mitigation efforts by authorities are not 100 percent effective, hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit Israel and the West Bank each year for study, tourism, and business." It also says "Personal safety conditions in major metropolitan areas, including Tel Aviv and Haifa and surrounding regions, are comparable to other major global cities."

As far as the chances that individual VA State Bar members might be barred from entry into Israel, I'd love to know the specifics of the phone conversation where "An embassy official expressed a desire to facilitate the trip but acknowledged that security protocols are strict and could lead to exclusion or restriction of some VSB members."

Guess what? US airlines have a terror watch list, whose security protocols are also strict and could lead to exclusion or restriction of some VSB members!

In other words, it is important to know exactly what the question was that was asked, and the exact answer. There are scores of professional conferences in Israel every year where not a single attendee has a problem entering the country. The VSB knows this, and this letter is obfuscating the information.

Israel does limit or deny access specifically to the West Bank for Americans who hold Palestinian IDs. I am not sure what the restrictions are, if any, for them going into pre-1967 Israel.

I have never heard of any other organization suddenly cancel a planned event because of a last minute discovery of possible Israeli restrictions on some potential visitors, issues that can almost certainly be cleared up in advance.

The fact that they sent out a letter on March 25 urging people to go on the trip and then another letter only two days later canceling it  supposedly because of not enough people signing up sounds ridiculous.

This is very, very fishy, and the letter does not seem to be on the level.

See also Legal Insurrection for lots more.

  • Sunday, March 29, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
There have been countless articles about Binyamin Netanyahu's supposedly anti-Arab message on Election Day.

What he said that caused all the backlash is "The right-wing government is in danger. Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls. Left-wing organizations are busing them out."

Joe Klein in Time takes this one sentence and concludes that "he won because he ran as a bigot."

His choice of words was definitely unfortunate, but in context he was more upset over the buses than over the Arabs voting. How do we know?

Because he said so only hours after the first message, while the polls were still open.
I want to clarify: there is nothing illegitimate with citizens voting, Jewish or Arab, as they see fit. What is not legitimate is the funding, the fact that money comes from abroad from NGOs and foreign governments, brings them en masse to the ballot box in an organized fashion, in favor of the left, gives undue power to the extremist Arab list, and weakens the right bloc in such a way that we will be unable to build a government — despite the fact that most citizens of Israel support the national camp and support me as the prime minister from Likud.
Did you see any of the media report on this message, released on the exact same platform and aimed at the exact same audience as the earlier one? Besides some Israeli media and The Blaze, I don't see it anywhere.

Because it doesn't fit the meme of "Bibi as racist."

As I've noted, none of the mainstream media reported that the community with the highest percentage of Likud voters was not a Jewish community or a 'settlement" but Arab al-Naim.

Druze Likud MK Ayoub Kara has said that no one said a word when Arab MKs told their communities that any Arab who votes for a Zionist party is "garbage."

United Arab List member Ahmed Tibi, in the forefront of accusing Bibi of being a racist, was the first one to call on Arabs to vote in droves. No one called that bigoted.

He raised the Palestinian flag on the holiest spot of Judaism in January. Again, the world media ignored his blatant insult to Judaism.

These sorts of statements and actions are expected from Arabs, according to the world media which does not regard it as newsworthy.

Which means that Joe Klein and all the others who insult Bibi while actively suppressing the truth about Israeli Arab extremists like Tibi are the real bigots.

(h/t Asher)

UPDATE: From The Forward, some Arab electoral racism that went unreported as well:

“Bibi, Buji, Zehava and Issawi: All of the Jews are the same,” noted leaders of the Arab Balad party at a recent executive meeting.

Balad Party activists are willing to lump together Netanyahu with Meretz Chairwoman Zehava Gal-On, who supports the Arab Peace Initiative and the division of Jerusalem. Even more offensive is the derision expressed toward Arab MK Issawi Frej of Meretz merely because he joined a Zionist party, despite being left-wing and promoting Palestinian statehood.
Why wasn't this reported in the mainstream media? Again, the Arab politicians are expected to be haters - so the media doesn't hold them to the same moral standards.

(h/t Adam L)
  • Sunday, March 29, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
As opposed to the bogus story reported earlier, this is one that really happened - along with video proof.

From 0404:



At least 230 olive trees were uprooted his weekend in Kfar Adumim, a comunity in the northern Judean Desert.

This morning, Boaz Ido, plantation owner, discovered the damage. This is part of a series of vandalism there that has taken place there.

Boaz told the news 0404: "Devastating damage, especially painful. Last three weeks there has been an increase in acts of vandalism here. The Bedouins living in illegal outposts in the area are doing this.

Once they cut the fence, another time they broke a solar panel. We once caught a suspect red-handed cutting the the fence. I called the police and they arrested him, but then he was released. I complained to the police but do not help and they do what they want. "

Boas went on painfully: "The financial damage is huge. Last week they took down 50 meters of fencing ... the police told me to 'leave us alone - we are not a security company.' "

The plantation owner tells of ongoing damage, almost on a daily basis, "solar panels, irrigation system, stealing windows, stones thrown at me out of their vineyard and other incidents. I feel really helpless and there is no one who will help me. Their goal to eliminate me as a Jew here."
The truth is quite a bit different from what you can find reported in the international media, isn't it?

(h/t Bob Knot)
From Ian:

Richard Kemp: The US must confront Tehran: Achieving cooperation through coercion
Namely, Iran must stop exporting terrorism; stop destabilizing the Middle East; and stop threatening other countries with annihilation.
Without Iran’s full compliance with those terms, America should not contemplate a deal. Given that existing sanctions caused Iran to capitulate, as regime survival became an increasing concern, intensifying, not removing sanctions will ensure a much better deal.
The talking points being advanced by Obama administration officials – that additional sanctions will deter a deal – are leitmotifs of regime propaganda and should be discounted, unless the US is willing to simply surrender.
As a presumptive Democratic presidential nominee in 2008, Barack Obama visited the Israeli town of Sderot, where he toured the “Kassam Museum” containing the remains of hundreds of rockets fired at that city, courtesy of Iranian sponsorship. Today, in addition to Gaza, Iran effectively controls four Arab capitals: Beirut, Baghdad, Damascus and Sana’a.
An Iranian weapons pipeline into Gaza poses a tactical threat to America’s ally, Israel, as well as to Egypt.
However, the impending Iranian choke-hold on major trade routes in the Middle East underscores a strategic threat to the entire West. It would be a grave mistake to ignore these alarming developments in the context of nuclear negotiations.
Based on US experience battling Iran in Iraq and Afghanistan and beyond, it is clear Iran will respond to the absence of American pressure with increased aggression. The question lawmakers must ask themselves is whether America will push back now or be forced out of the region later. To prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, the US must demonstrate strength, not flexibility.
Sides said to reach tentative nuke deal paring centrifuges
Iran and six world powers have reached provisional agreement on key parts of a deal sharply curtailing Tehran’s nuclear program, Western diplomats in talks in Switzerland said Sunday.
One of these diplomats said Iran had “more or less” agreed to slash the number of its centrifuge machines by more than two-thirds — to under 6,000 centrifuges — and to ship abroad most of its stockpile of nuclear material to Russia.
As negotiators in Lausanne raced to nail down by midnight Tuesday the outlines of a deal, due to be finalized on June 30, the diplomats cautioned, however, that things may change.
Members of the American delegation denied that the sides had reached an agreement on a draft, Israel Radio reported.
Iranian diplomats also denied that any tentative agreement on these points had been struck, saying that any reports of a specific number of centrifuges and exporting its stockpiles were “journalistic speculation.”
Iran deal worse than Israel feared, Netanyahu says
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday against the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, as Iranian and Western officials in Lausanne, Switzerland were rushing to reach a framework agreement by an end-of-month deadline.
“After the Beirut-Damascus-Baghdad axis, Iran is maneuvering from the south to take over the entire Middle East,” Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting, one of the last for his outgoing government. “The Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is dangerous for mankind and must be stopped.”
Netanyahu told ministers that he had spoken with Republican leaders in the US Senate and “conveyed our serious concern regarding the arrangement with Iran at the nuclear talks. This agreement confirms all our fears and exceeds them.
“While [world powers] convene to sign this deal, Iran’s proxies in Yemen are conquering large swaths of land in an effort to overtake the Bab al-Mandab straits, so that they can change the balance of power in shipping oil,” he said, referring to recent unrest in Yemen.
Defecting Iranian Journalist: U.S. at Nuclear Talks 'to Speak on Iran’s Behalf’
An Iranian journalist who defected from his country while covering its ongoing nuclear talks has revealed startling information regarding America’s position at the negotiating table.
Amir Hossein Motaghi, who reportedly was employed at Iran’s state-run Iran Student Correspondents Association, told a London-based Iranian opposition channel that the U.S. was shilling for Iran in the ongoing negotiations over the regime’s nuclear weapons program.
“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal,” Mottaghi told Irane Farda, according to UK’s The Telegraph.
Motaghi had previously worked on President Hassan Rouhani’s 2013 election campaign as his public relations manager, before moving over to working as a journalist in the tightly-censored country.
He is now seeking political asylum in Switzerland, after utilizing his opportunity to cover the talks in order to flee his home country.
The Telegraph reports that Motaghi was a friend of imprisoned Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who remains under detention without being charged of any crimes. (h/t Yenta Press)

  • Sunday, March 29, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon




bad poker hand
If you are smoking a cigarette, pondering your seven-deuce off-suit in the hole, and looking around the table wondering who the sucker is... you're the guy.

The Arabs and their western-left allies have the Jews hooked into a sucker's game.

One thing that should, by this late date, be absolutely clear to anyone who has been paying attention to the ongoing war against the Jews of the Middle East, is that the Arab governments, and their peoples, have no intention whatsoever of allowing the Jews to live in peace within our ancestral homeland.

The success in the Arab-Muslim approach to the conflict is due, in part, to the weight of sheer numbers and the heaviness of time.  It is certainly not due to anything resembling finesse or sophistication. The Arab world is vast, with estimates ranging from between 300 and 400 million people pushing against a small, historically abused, Jewish population of around 6 million and a Christian minority that is being chased out everywhere in the region other than in Israel.

The Arabs, emphatically, do not want those Jews or Christians living there in freedom or in peace.  This is due to millennia-old, Koranically-based anti-Jewish and anti-Christian prejudice and "racism" that is both rife and genocidal in that part of the world.

Given the size of the Arab population in the Middle East, however, it is not difficult for the Arab governments and peoples to place remarkable pressure on the Jews of Israel, or the Christians in the region, without suffering much in the way of uncomfortable blow-black for that hostility.  This is particularly true given the fact that Christians authorities in the West are studiously unconcerned with the fate of the Christian minority in the East.  Just why they are so unconcerned is anyone's guess, but that they are unconcerned is a fact.

Hostility toward Jews, however, is very convenient from a Muslim propaganda stand-point and in no way causes even a ruffle in Arab comfort, outside of the Palestinian-Arab community that, along with the Jews, bear the brunt of the burden.  They can defame the Jews in any way imaginable - I mean, really, spy vultures? - and no one minds and they can use the "Palestinians" as front-line troops against the Jews while suffering no casualties or day-to-day inconveniences, whatsoever.

This, for example, is part of the EU-funded Hamas charter and represents an excellent example of violently-inclined Arab-Muslim anti-Jewish paranoia and hostility that is entirely ignored by their friends in the West:

They (Jews) stood behind the French and the Communist Revolutions and behind most of the revolutions we hear about here and there. They also used the money to establish clandestine organizations which are spreading around the world, in order to destroy societies and carry out Zionist interests. Such organizations are: the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, B’nai B’rith and the like. All of them are destructive spying organizations. 

They also used the money to take over control of the Imperialist states and made them colonize many countries in order to exploit the wealth of those countries and spread their corruption therein. As regards local and world wars, it has come to pass and no one objects, that they stood behind World War I, so as to wipe out the Islamic Caliphate. They collected material gains and took control of many sources of wealth. They obtained the Balfour Declaration and established the League of Nations in order to rule the world by means of that organization. 

They also stood behind World War II, where they collected immense benefits from trading with war materials and prepared for the establishment of their state. They inspired the establishment of the United Nations and the Security Council to replace the League of Nations, in order to rule the world by their intermediary.
The only people that suffer from the never-ending conflict are the Jews in Israel and the Palestinian-Arabs... but the Jews get all the blame.

Year upon year, decade after decade, the Arab world encourages "Palestinian" youths to throw themselves, and their rocks, with murderous rage upon the Jews of the Middle East and every time they do so - every time that they fling themselves into yet another psycho-orgiastic anti-Semitic round of intifadan violence against Jews - sadistic western "progressives" pull their hair, raise their quivering fists, and scream from the hillsides that Jews are the New Nazis.

For Israel it is a matter of life and death.

For western progressives it is a matter of break-out-the-popcorn and watch them squirm and die while feeling morally superior.

The Jews of the Middle East are a people living under siege by a much larger hostile majority that honestly believes that Allah despises the Jewish people and that Muslims have every right to kill Jews because Jews are said to be the slayers of prophets and the starters of all wars.

Meanwhile, as the Arab world seethes with a crude and genocidal Medieval anti-Semitism, their western-left apologists condemn Israel as a violent, racist, apartheid, colonial, imperial monstrosity.

Within living memory of the Holocaust, the western Left tells itself that the Jewish State is the worst country in the world and deserves whatever beating that Muslims care to dish out, even as Islamists are slaughtering people throughout northern Iraq and Syria under the crazed Islamic State regime.

What this means, as should be obvious by now, is that there will be no negotiated two-state solution to the Arab-Israel conflict.  Not any time in the near future, there will not be.

The Jews of the Middle East have agreed to an additional Arab state within the tiny Jewish homeland since at least the Peel Commission of 1937.  From that day until this the Palestinian-Arabs have never accepted a state for themselves in peace next to the Jewish one, yet Barack Obama and the western Left continually and unjustly blame the Jewish people for Arab intransigence and hatred toward us.

There is no one on this planet who wants peace with the Arabs and the Muslims more than do the Jews of that part of the world.  They are a tiny minority in a savage environment who want nothing so much as to be left the hell alone so that they can go about creating computer software and litigate against one another.

Despite this, the Obama administration, the EU, the UN, and their terroristically-inclined friends in the PLO and Hamas are ratcheting up pressure on Israel to accept what we Jews have always accepted, a "Palestinian" state carved out of the Jewish homeland, if it is willing to live in peace next to Israel.  For some inexplicable reason they cannot seem to take "yes" for an answer and will continue to pressure Israel until such a time as it agrees to what it has long ago already agreed to.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is endeavoring to wound Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, because Netanyahu dared to suggest that an Iranian nuclear bomb could very well be unhealthy to daisies and small children.  He also suggested that given Arab intransigence there would not likely be another Arab state superimposed upon Judea and Samaria any time soon and this is correct.  There will not likely be another Arab state because they refuse offer after offer for such a state, in peace next Israel, and then point the trembling finger of blame at the Jews.

Well, as my dear old ma used to say, enough is enough.

The Palestinian-Arabs have no intention whatsoever of coming to a negotiated conclusion of hostilities and this means that the only alternative is unilateral action.

I do not wish to conjure the ghost of Ariel Sharon, but Israel needs to declare its final borders.

What those borders should be is, in my view, entirely up to them.

Finally, while it is true that in the game of Texas Hold 'Em a seven-deuce off-suit is a terrible hand, it can only actually hurt you if you play it.

You do not have to.


Michael Lumish is a blogger at the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular contributor/blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under.
  • Sunday, March 29, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Felesteen reports that last weekend PA prime minister Rami Hamdallah spent two days in Gaza along with an entourage - and that they weren't exactly parsimonious.

According to the article quoting PA sources, the delegation spent the two days in the five-star Movenpick (Al Mashtal) Hotel. It is the only five-star hotel in Gaza. 


They took over 40 rooms and other parts of the hotel. The rooms cost $400-$600 a night and the suites go for up to $1400 a night, for a charge of $70,000 for room rentals. In addition, they spent $20,000 for food and $10,000 for transportation, for a total of about $100,000 for a two day stay. (I imagine that there were some additional security costs for them to visit Gaza.)

There is a bit of criticism in Arabic media from Arabs who have not been receiving their full salaries who are seeing the leaders of the PA spend money so extravagantly.


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