01/08 Links Pt2: Obama Admin Living in a Foreign Policy ‘Fantasy World’; Awarding polemics
Discussing North Korea’s recent claim that it tested a nuclear weapon, Lee posed this question to State Department spokesman John Kirby:
“Every time this happens, we hear from people in this administration, and other governments as well, that we will not accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state. And yet it is. You also say this about other things too. You say you will never accept Crimea as a part of Russia. And yet it is. Isn’t it time to recognize these things for what they are and not live in this illusion or fantasy where you pretend that things are, are not?”
Kirby astonishingly responds that “The short answer is no.”
“It’s preferable to live in a fantasy world?” Lee counters.
Kirby stumbled for a long awkward stretch before finally saying, “At this level of foreign policy, you know, you… you have to make choices. And uh, you don’t have to accept everything, even at face value.”
“You have to accept reality,” Lee interjected.
“No. We’re not going to accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state. We’re not going to recognize that. We are, however, going to deal with -“
AP’s Lee Calls Out Obama Administration For Living In A Fantasyland Of Their Foreign Policy Failures
Melanie Phillips: Turning enemies into friends and friends into foes
Last Tuesday, Iran unveiled a new underground missile depot, with state television showing Emad precision- guided missiles weapons that the US says are capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Like its ballistic missile tests last October and November, these violate UN Security Council resolutions.
For this and other flagrant breaches of trust, the Obama administration has done nothing. Having suggested it would implement sanctions against the bodies it held responsible for aiding the missile program, it promptly retreated after a reported intervention by the State Department following Iranian objections.
Iran is confident that Obama will lift sanctions whatever the regime may do, since if Iran walks away from the nuclear deal this would strip away the figleaf of progress and destroy Obama’s presumed legacy. Consequently, the only binding part of this non-deal deal has become the lifting of sanctions. Obama has effectively become Iran’s hostage.
As a simultaneous consequence of this farce, the US has also lost its leverage over Saudi Arabia which almost certainly will now seek to develop or buy nuclear weapons of its own. To defuse this powder keg, the US should now cancel the Iranian nuclear deal. This would start to rein in Iran and bring Saudi Arabia down from the tree up which it has climbed.
It is said that Obama thought strengthening Shia Iran would produce a regional balance of power with Sunni Saudi Arabia, and usher in an era of peace and stability. Instead, he has pushed Iran and Saudi Arabia to the brink of war with each other, ushered in a nuclear arms race between the two and brought the world much closer to the edge of the apocalypse.
Olof Palme was a charismatic and well-spoken Social Democrat who became prime minister of Sweden in 1969. Palme was known for being both anti-American and anti-capitalist; and throughout his political career he fostered a close relationship to the Palestine Liberation Organization and became a personal friend of Yasir Arafat’s, whom he invited to Sweden for numerous official visits. During Palme’s time as prime minister, Swedish foreign policy was laced with a staunch anti-Zionism, and from then on, the Swedish government has given generous Swedish aid to the PLO.
After Palme’s death in 1986, an award was created in his name, and every year the Olof Palme Prize, and the accompanying $75,000, is given to someone who is said to have done good work for human rights and democracy in the world. This year, the Palme Prize was awarded to Israeli journalist Gideon Levy and Palestinian Lutheran Bishop Mitri Raheb, for their “fight against occupation and violence,” according to the jury.
Levy is a journalist at the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, and his attacks on Israel and the IDF are often published in Swedish media as a representation of middle-of-the-road sanity. Raheb is a pastor in the Lutheran church in Bethlehem who is known for preaching the so-called “replacement theology,” wherein Christianity is believed to have replaced Judaism, making the Jewish faith — and its claim to the Jewish homeland — obsolete. Raheb is known across the world for his hate-propaganda toward Israel and the fact the he preaches a theology that nullifies any Jewish religious or historic heritage, including that of the land of Israel. These two men are being honored for their “courageous and indefatigable fight against occupation and violence, and for a future Middle East characterized by peaceful coexistence and equality for all,” as the Olof Palme Memorial Fund phrased it in a statement released on Thursday. (h/t Yenta Press)
Michael Lumish: On The Having of Cake (and the eating of it, too.)
The old cliche is that one cannot have one’s cake and eat it, too, which is precisely what the Palestinian Authority wants to indulge in. They want to train the coming generation to the joyous wonders of violent, genocidal anti-Semitism while claiming that Jewish reaction to such violent, genocidal anti-Semitism represents “racism” and “apartheid.”
And who wants “racism” and “apartheid”?
Everyone knows what you do to racist and apartheid states. You eliminate them. Just as Nazi Germany was taken down militarily, and apartheid South Africa was dismantled via the economic will of the international community, so Israel, too, must be shaken to its foundation until it crumbles and is replaced by yet another regressive, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-Semitic, theocratic, Muslim dictatorship.
Anything else, after all, would be unjust.
What I find most insidious about this tactic is that it is working exceedingly well among allegedly “anti-racist” western-progressives who – justified by that “anti-racism” – increasingly do not like Israel and therefore, inevitably, increasingly do not like Jews.
The truth of the matter is that if the hostile Arab majority throughout the Middle East did not teach their children that Jews are the sons and daughters of orangutans and swine, and that we deserve whatever beating that we get, these little incidents would not happen.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remembers well just how US President Barack Obama brushed aside Israeli objections and went ahead with the P5+1 nuclear agreement with Iran.
Now, Netanyahu is reportedly planning some personal payback.
According to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida, Netanyahu will make common cause with moderate Arab governments in order to sabotage Obama’s plan to succeed Ban Ki-moon when the South Korean diplomat ends his term as United Nations secretary-general on December 31 of this year.
Al-Jarida quoted sources as saying that Obama has already discussed the issue of running for secretary-general with Democrats, Republicans, and Jewish officials in the US.
The sources said that once Netanyahu got wind of Obama’s plans, the prime minister began to make efforts to submarine what he has referred to as “the Obama project.”
When Michael Oren was named Israel’s ambassador to the United States in 2009, he set out to learn as much as he could about America’s new president, Barack Obama.
A historian by training, Oren read Obama’s works, including his memoirs, and concluded that the new leader would pursue a new foreign policy approach, including: direct outreach to the Muslim world; a renewed effort to work with international institutions, such as the United Nations.; and a “recoiling from a dependence on American military power.
Oren presented his conclusions to the Israeli government. “Not all of them were easy to hear,” he recalls. “Not all of them were palatable.”
Israel had no advance warning of the Cairo speech. Complete shock. By that time, I had been almost two years in the office, and I had grown accustomed to the fact that I was not going to get any advance warning. But on the previous day, on May 18, 2011, I was in the White House, and I asked, “OK, what’s in the speech?” There was a lot of excitement around the speech. This was going to be the president’s major address about the Arab Spring, which had broken out five months earlier in Egypt.
I was just very curious. There were rumors floating around. I had long anticipated that the administration may say something about the ’67 borders, but I received assurance that it wasn’t going to be there. And roughly a quarter of the speech of May 19 was about the ’67 borders, and it became the headline. The headline in the New York Times was, “President Obama Endorses the ’67 Borders.” The rest of the speech, about the Arab Spring, went virtually unreported. …
Now, for Israel, this was a major development. I did a lot of press at the time, and it was difficult to explain why this was so earth-shattering. Everyone knew that ’67 borders were going to be the basis of the peace agreement. That’s what the conventional wisdom was.
Now, the ’67 borders were very problematic from Israel’s stand of view. Our major highway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem runs through the ’67 borders. The ’67 borders includes our holiest site, the Western Wall. It puts the Palestinian state’s borders within mortar range of Israel’s airport. Very problematic. …
One thing that can be said about the PBS Frontline documentary Netanyahu at War is that despite many serious shortcomings, there are some positive aspects that make it not as bad as previous PBS and Frontline documentaries on Israel.
If it’s not obvious, that’s somewhat faint praise.
The fundamental problem with Netanyahu at War is that a war by definition requires at least two participants, and focusing only on Netanyahu, but not also on those who were making war against Israel, makes it impossible to really understand why Netanyahu and Israel took the actions that they did.
It would be like focusing on US attacks on Japan in World War II, and the undeniable suffering of Japanese civilians, without mentioning Pearl Harbor, the Rape of Nanking, Japan’s alliance with Hitler, etc.
Great emphasis is given to Netanyahu’s actions regarding the Palestinians and their leader Yasir Arafat, but there is hardly a word concerning Arafat’s history or actions.
Thus, viewers are told that as a young soldier Benjamin Netanyahu was accepted into the top unit in the Israeli army, the then-secret Sayeret Matkal, and that he took part in a successful rescue mission after “militants” had hijacked a Sabena airliner headed for Israel with many Israeli passengers on board.
It’s certainly appropriate for viewers to learn of Netanyahu’s sterling military record, and how this might have helped to shape his character.
But the “militants” he battled against in the hijacked plane were described only as being from “Black September,” and viewers were given no hint that Black September was just a cover name for a Fatah terrorist group – ultimately under the command of Fatah’s leader, Yasir Arafat.
Imagine a documentary film tracing the biography of Barack Obama from the point of view of his political opponents. Such a film would psychoanalyze him, question his motives and treat his political ideology as the result of mad obsessions and irrational judgments. His motives would be questioned. The distorted narrative of the picture — which would eliminate the context of his decisions — would be carried by interviews with pundits and foes that despise him. It would, in other words, be kind of like Dinesh D’Souza’s “2016: Obama’s America,” a documentary polemic that was applauded by many conservative partisans but disdained by the arts world and the mainstream press as right-wing propaganda unworthy of a viewing or even a dispassionate analysis.
Translate that formula into a film about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and what you get is “Netanyahu At War,” a two-hour documentary that aired in primetime on taxpayer-funded PBS television stations this week.
That liberal-oriented PBS’s Frontline series would broadcast a hit job on the Israeli leader is hardly a surprise. PBS and its sister radio network NPR have a long history of bias against Israel. Moreover, Netanyahu is deeply unpopular among American liberals who resent his strong stand against U.S. pressure on the peace process. What’s more his willingness to publicly challenge President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal has put a bulls-eye on his back as far as administration cheerleaders are concerned.
But rather than dismiss “Netanyahu at War” as just the latest piece of anti-Israel propaganda, those who care about the Jewish state need to consider it closely. That is not because it brings much insight to a consideration of Netanyahu’s life or the issues facing Israel because those are things it consistently fails to do. Rather it deserves to be studied because it provides a classic example of the misunderstandings about the Middle East conflict that pass for insight among mainstream journalists with large followings. Moreover, its highly selective historical narrative of the past 25 years tells us exactly why Israel’s positions are assailed in the liberal media.
Former US envoy to the Middle East Martin Indyk should title his next book “The Art of Defamation,” and dedicate it to the Palestinians and the Israeli Left.
On a PBS Frontline documentary about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that aired Tuesday evening, Indyk dropped a stink bomb, and the stench has not yet dissipated.
Reminiscing about times past — 20 years ago, to be precise — Indyk said, “Netanyahu sat next to me when I was ambassador in Israel at the time of [assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin’s funeral. I remember Netanyahu saying to me: ‘Look, look at this. He’s a hero now, but if he had not been assassinated, I would have beaten him in the elections, and then he would have gone down in history as a failed politician.’”
On Wednesday morning, Netanyahu’s office immediately issued a denial, asserting that the conversation Indyk recounted “never happened.”
By Wednesday afternoon, a video of the funeral was circulating on social media, showing Netanyahu, who was head of the opposition at the time, seated next to a number of people, but Indyk was not among them.
Hijinks ensued today when the Qatari Treasury accidentally sent Martin Indyk’s paycheck to Hamas leader Khaled Mashal and Mashal’s paycheck to Mr. Indyk. However, despite the potential compromise of funds, the entire situation managed to sort itself out after a few hours and several phone calls.
The Daily Freier spoke with Mr. Indyk from his office as the Vice President and Director of the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, and he shed some light on the mix-up.
“I have to say, this was kinda crazy. But in the end it was almost as much fun as the three-legged race at last year’s Al-Jazeera annual picnic in Doha…..So when I got Khaled’s check, I speed-dialed him and he noted that he had my check too! So then I just called Emir Al-Thani and explained what happened. And get this, since I called him from my Brookings cellphone I even joked with him that if he put me on hold he would be paying the big phone bill anyway! LOL! Good times!”
For his part, Mr. Mashal also saw the humor in the mix-up. “This mix up reminded me of something that would happen in one of those, how you say, “Situation Comedies” that are so popular in America. Like the one with that perfidious Jew named Jerry and the shameless harlot named Elaine.” Khaled continued. “When I spoke with Mister Martin, I laughed and said there were quite a few zeroes in his check and that maybe I was in the wrong line of work! I mean If I knew there was that much money to be made in selling out your Center-Left Think Tank to a Petrodollar despot we would have been all over that years ago like baba ganoosh on a pita…..Say, do you think Hamas can get its own Middle East Studies Department Chair at a good school? I’ve got CAIR working the East Coast, but if you know anybody on the West Coast that would be great!”
The best global essays of the past year on our issues.
It’s fun to look back at recent political commentary, and award the essays which best stand the test of time in terms of perspicacity, accuracy and utility. Here are my picks for 2015, drawn from global publications, on the issues most closely tracked by readers of this paper: Israel, the Mideast, Obama and Iran, the Palestinians, Jewish life, and anti-Semitism.
Call this the “Know Comment Awards” for best commentary.
In “Anatomy of a Disaster,” Charles Krauthammer said of Obama: “You set out to prevent proliferation and you trigger it. You set out to prevent an Iranian nuclear capability and you legitimize it. You set out to constrain the world’s greatest exporter of terror threatening every one of our allies in the Middle East and you’re on the verge of making it the region’s economic and military hegemon.” He called the JCPOA simply “the worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history.”
The brave journalist Khaled Abu Toameh painstakingly detailed how Palestinian leaders have failed to prepare the Palestinian public for compromise and tolerance. In “Why Palestinians Cannot Make Peace with Israel” he writes that “If you want to make peace with Israel, you do not tell your people that the Western Wall has no religious significance to Jews and is, in fact, holy Muslim property; and you don’t falsely accuse Israel of war crimes and genocide.” His sad conclusion: Those who believe that whoever succeeds Abbas will be able to make real concessions to Israel are living in an illusion.
The magnificent Col. Richard Kemp, who commanded British Forces in Afghanistan, has become one of Israel’s top global defenders. His talk on “The Amoral Revolution in Western Values” is a classic document that needs to be read widely. He argues that over the past 30 years Judeo-Christian principles of honesty, honor, loyalty, family values, patriotism and religious faith have been terribly eroded, and this has paved the way towards the upsurge in anti-Jewish and anti-Israel attitudes and policies.
There were fewer suicide attacks worldwide in 2015 than 2014, “only” 452 as compared with 592, according to a new report by an Israeli research team.
Not surprisingly, the Islamic State continues to play a leading role in Schweitzer’s study this year as well, with 174 of 2015’s 452 suicide attacks attributed to it. The Islamic State took responsibility for 75 of them; 74 are attributed to Islamic State in Iraq and another 25 in Syria (without direct responsibility). This number does not include the terror attacks that were carried out by “the auxiliaries” of IS — including 134 suicide attacks that were carried out by members of Wilayat Gharb Ifriqiyya and Wilayat Sinai. Just for the sake of comparison, al-Nusra Front took responsibility for only four suicide attacks. The participation of al-Qaeda, with its many affiliated groups the world over, in suicide attacks grew weaker this year, continuing a trend that was noticed in 2014.
Of course, we cannot avoid mentioning the religious element as the most significant factor that motivates the suicide terrorists throughout the world. Here’s the most dramatic statistic: 450 of 452 suicide terror attacks in 2015 were perpetrated by Muslim extremists. One of the remaining two attacks was carried out by the Kurdish underground. The other was perpetrated by a woman supporter of a leftist group in Turkey. (h/t Yenta Press)
A jihadist who was shot dead as he tried to attack a police station in Paris Thursday carried a piece of paper on his body in which he “vowed allegiance” to the Islamic State group and claimed to be avenging French “attacks in Syria,” a source close to the investigation said.
The youth, who was apparently of Moroccan origin and aged around 20, tried to enter the building in the northern 18th district of the French capital holding a meat cleaver and wearing what was at first thought to be an explosives vest, but was later found to be a fake.
The man “showed his weapon and shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great) before being gunned down by the police officers,” Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said in a statement.
Describing the attack, the source said the man pulled out a cleaver from his inside coat pocket as he ran towards the officers. He “did not heed the warnings, and police opened fire.”
Six bullet casings were found at the scene, the source added.
Judean Peoples Front: World Hypocrisy On Display In Wake of Stabbing in Paris
Today, the one year anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cache attacks, a Jihadist armed with a butcher’s knife and fake suicide vest (according to initial reports), was shot dead while shouting “Allahu Akabar” as he attempted to kill French police officers in Paris. After he was neutralized, the police found two pieces of paper on him, one with an image of the ISIS flag and another with a handwritten note in Arabic claiming responsibility for the attack.
This is a scene all too familiar to Israelis, however the international reaction to it, sadly, is not.
There have been no calls on the French government to exercise “restraint” in its reactions to this terror attack. Nor have there been calls for France to negotiate with ISIS or establish a radical Islamist state on French soil. There have been no foreign government officials condemning the Paris police for excessive force or carrying out an extrajudicial killing. The media also had no problem reporting that this was likely an act terrorism or that ISIS is in fact a terrorist organization.
The same is true of the reactions to the Islamist hatchet attack in Queens, NY in 2014, the car ramming attack in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec in the same year or of the car ramming and stabbing death of British Fusilier Lee Rigby in 2013 or any of the other numerous “low-level” terror attacks around the world recently.
Yet, as screenshots reveal, CNN, MSNBC, the AP, the New York Daily News, among others, reproduced the latest Hebdo cover in full in their news reports on the anniversary of the attacks, despite its imagery that is highly offensive to people of faith and its condemnation by the Vatican. The difference, of course, is that Pope Francis isn’t counseling Roman Catholics to take up arms and meat cleavers to defend the faith.
This media response reveals that there remains a very clear double-standard in how the media treats Islam compared to other religions—a bias that the Hebdo terrorists, and those who planned an attack on the Garland, Texas “Draw Mohammed” contest, hoped to reinforce with their violence.
Regardless of the background of the men who carried out the attacks in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, it is a pretty horrific story. A series of sexual attacks took place in the city centre by a group of around 1,000 men. More than 150 women have filed criminal complaints, three-quarters of them for sexual assault. Two cases of rape have been reported. It is the kind of story that should make headlines – and should provide ample fodder for writers who like to tackle feminist topics head on. After all, surely this is the very definition of ‘rape culture’? And if the actual attacks aren’t enough to merit a reaction, then how about the suggestion by Cologne’s female mayor that women should adopt a ‘code of conduct‘ to prevent future assault. Is that not the very definition of ‘victim blaming’?
But the headlines have been conspicuous by their absence. So far this year, the main ‘feminist’ topic covered by Guardian comment writers is Chris Gayle’s cricket sexism row, which involves the sportsman chatting up a female journalist. There is not one mention of the Cologne attacks, aside from in news reports. Why is that? Is it because they are not deemed important? Perhaps we don’t care about vicious attacks against German frauen? Or is it because the details of the story – that the men appear to have been of ‘Arab or North African origin’ who did not seem to speak German or English, and that there is a possibility they are some of the 1.1 million migrants to have entered Germany last year – make it too controversial to touch? Feminist writers are not famed for holding their tongues – as individuals who have been hanged, drawn and quartered by them can attest.
The rulers of the Arab Gulf states are, it seems, increasingly attentive to what Israel has to say about the balance of power in the region. As a rising Shi’a Iran faces off against a Sunni coalition led by Saudi Arabia, the core shared interest between Israel’s democracy and these conservative theocracies — countering Iran’s bid to become the dominant power and influence in the Islamic world — has rarely been as apparent.
Hence the interview given by a senior IDF officer to a Saudi weekly, Elaph, which laid out how Israel analyzes the present wretched state of the Middle East. In the Israeli view, there are, the officer said, four powers that have coalesced in the region. The first power centers on Iran and its allies and proxies, such as the Bashar al-Assad dictatorship in Syria, Shi’a rebels in Yemen and Iraq, and most pertinently for Israel, Hezbollah in Lebanon. The second power contains what the officer called “moderate” states with whom Israel has “a common language” — Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf countries. The third power, one that is obviously waning, is represented in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood, now vanquished in its Egyptian heartland but still reigning in Hamas-controlled Gaza. Finally, the fourth power is another non-state actor, the combined forces of jihadi barbarism like Al-Qaeda and Islamic State.
Israel’s goal in this situation is a modest one. As the IDF officer put it, “There is a danger that the strife will reach us as well if the instability in the region continues for a long time. Therefore, we need to take advantage of the opportunity and work together with the moderate states to renew quiet in the region.”
The competition, which is sponsored by the municipal authorities in the Iranian capital, is the 11th Tehran International Cartoon Biennial and will focus this time on cartoons depicting the Holocaust.
The winner will receive a $50,000 cash prize.
The event is expected to draw participants from 50 countries, according to Iran’s semi-official IRNA news agency. Organizers told IRNA last month that the Cartoon Biennial does not mean to “approve or deny the Holocaust” but simply to raise the topic.
Danon called the event “an anti-Semitic act” and said Iran is “evil incarnate.”
“Holocaust denial is the most powerful expression of anti-Semitism which legitimizes the murder of six million Jews,” Danon wrote in his letter to Ban.
He pointed out that on January 27, the United Nations will mark the annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day, “while a UN member state is organizing an international competition with the sole purpose of denying the Holocaust.
Iran will hold its first ever “limited edition” running marathon on April 9 in an attempt to “unite humanity” and improve the Islamic Republic’s image in the West. Women are forbidden from participating.
The idea for “I run Iran” came from Sebastian Straten, 42, a Dutch entrepreneur and former backpacker who has dedicated his life to creating a better relationship between Iran and the West. According to Iranian media outlet Mehr News Agency, Straten seeks to achieve this by way of his Iran Silk Road Company through which he invests in and organizes tours and events like the one this April, with the ultimate goal of reviving the old Iran Silk Road as a place where travelers hailing from all over the globe can meet.
In a recent interview with Mehr, Straten said he fell for Iran in 2005 during a backpacking trip of the ancient Silk Road route which began in Istanbul and ended in Kashmir. He told Mehr that he expects the marathon will “have a positive impact on the image the West has of Iran. It is more than a marathon. It is opening the Persian gates to tourism, to show the real beauty and treasures of Iran.”
The United States has imposed sanctions on Lebanese financier Ali Youssef Charara and his telecommunications company, Spectrum Investment Group Holding SAL, for supporting the Hezbollah terror group.
According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Charara has received millions of dollars to invest in commercial projects in support of Hezbollah. As a result, all of Charara and Spectrum’s assets based in the U.S. have been frozen.
“Hezbollah relies upon accomplices in the business community to place, manage and launder its terrorist funds,” said Adam Szubin, acting Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. “We are committed to exposing and disrupting these networks to pressure Hezbollah’s finances and degrade its ability to foment violence in Lebanon, Syria, and across the region.”
Against the backdrop of reports that North Korea has tested a hydrogen bomb, the Saudi daily Al-Riyadh published an editorial titled “Iran Following in the Footsteps of North Korea,” which harshly criticized the superpowers’ inadequate response to North Korea’s nuclear policy, and discussed the implications of this for the Iranian nuclear dossier. The daily expressed fear that the failed policy vis-à-vis North Korea would be repeated in the case of Iran, placing the Gulf states in a situation similar to that of South Korea.
“In mid-June of last year, a month before [the announcement of] the nuclear agreement between Iran and the superpowers [the JCPOA], Iranian President Hassan Rohani met with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong. The two agreed to continue their cooperation. As regimes that are similar to each other, Tehran and Pyongyang have found many points in common: Both are hostile to the West, both are highly controversial in their [respective geographic] regions, and both repeatedly do damage to their neighbors.
“Both countries have a long history of cooperation that arouses concern, in nuclear and missile [technology]. According to reports, North Korean nuclear technicians have regularly visited [Iran] in order to provide their Iranian counterparts with the necessary guidance and technical supplies. It should be mentioned that Iran has already confirmed that it has produced a gram and a microgram [sic] of plutonium, which is used to make a nuclear bomb, at its Arak heavy water reactors. [Furthermore,] it is known that North Korea possesses advanced technology for arming warheads with [only] small amounts, up to five kilograms, of plutonium; this material is highly compatible with use in missiles.
JPost Editorial: Iran and North Korea
Many of us were thinking of Iran when North Korea claimed this week to have detonated a hydrogen bomb.
The test “reminds us all that the most important mission is to prevent a similar thing from taking place in Iran: a nuclear agreement first and a nuclear weapon later,” National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz said.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a candidate for the Republican nomination for US president, noted that Wendy Sherman, the person appointed by the Clinton administration in the mid-1990s to negotiate with North Korea, negotiated the “exact same deal” with Iran.
This is not the first time Israeli officials led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and American Republicans, use North Korea as a warning of what they say will become of the Iran deal.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday the implementation of a nuclear deal agreed between Iran and six world powers was only days away, allowing tens of billions of dollars in sanctions against Iran to be lifted.
There is no date set yet for “implementation day” of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed on July 14 of last year in which Tehran agreed to shrink its nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief.
Outlining foreign policy milestones of the past year, Kerry pointed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action “from which we are days away from implementation, if all goes well.”
“Iran literally shipped out its capacity, currently, to build a nuclear weapon,” he said, adding that “in the next days, with the completion of their tasks, we will meet our target of being more than a year of breakout time.”
MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli (Bayit Yehudi), saying “what goes around comes around” with legislation, has proposed a bill to label products from countries that label Israeli products.
The bill, which is on the Ministerial Committee for Legislation’s docket for Sunday, is a response to the EU’s directive for member states to label products from the West Bank, Golan Heights and east Jerusalem, which sparked an uproar in Israel and among politicians from the Right to the Center-Left.
Moalem-Refaeli’s bill would require products imported from countries that label Israeli goods, or wares from parts of Israel, to be labeled “Attention: This product is manufactured in a country that chose to label goods from the State of Israel” in Hebrew.
Anyone who breaks the law, if it passes, would be fined NIS 226,000.
“Following moves by pro-Palestinian organizations in the world and the growth of the BDS movement, there is a need to deter countries from labeling Israeli goods,” Moalem-Refaeli said.
Bild, Germany’s largest circulation daily newspaper, on Wednesday ran a story supporting Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s NGO transparency bill, which had been attacked as anti-democratic by a Washington Post editorial. Bild noted that the criticism of the bill ignores the fact that millions of foreign dollars are given each year to anti-Israeli NGOs which operate inside Israel and support the boycotts against the Jewish State. Can the bill, which merely requires those NGOs to openly reveal their funding sources, really be compared to Putin’s blatantly anti-democratic rule, Bild is wondering.
The newspaper cites an NGO Monitor report stating that from January 2012 and August 2015 just under $35 million were given to NGOs that support boycotting Israel. “Every year 100 million Euro flow from Europe to NGOs in Israel, some of which support the boycott against Israel and spread anti-Israel propaganda worldwide,” Bild noted.
The Bild story said that Breaking the Silence, which “accuses Israel of war crimes through anonymous, unverifiable sources, in 2014 received 61% of its funding, directly and indirectly, from European governments. “If Europe’s governments wish to influence Israel, they are welcome to do it via diplomatic channels,” Minister Shaked told Bild.
Ariel University wins 100,000 Euro discrimination claim and rogue Spanish judge stopped from issuing arrest warrants for Israelis.
But there was a second recent legal victory in Spain, which has a long history of activist judges (who serve an investigative function in Spain as in many European legal systems) trying to issue warrants for the arrest of Israeli officials purportedly to investigate charges of war crimes.
In March 2009 we explained how American leftists were attempting to use these Spanish judges against Israelis, The American Left Outsources The Spanish Inquisition:
For the left, in American and elsewhere, European universal jurisdiction has become the weapon of choice to resolve political disputes. Israeli officials are the primary target of such Spanish Inquisitions, but Americans have been targeted in the past. European universal jurisdiction has become a tool to attack democracies, while the leaders of countries where real torture is practiced go free.
After extensive abuses, Spain changed its laws years ago, but that hasn’t stopped all the judges.
Following my post shining a light on her vile views, terror-supporting teenager Bethany Koval responded as maturely as one would expect from a terribly misguided 16-year-old – setting her “supporters” on to me on Twitter. And by “supporters” I mean fellow terror apologists, “anon” activists, and general scum and villainy.
Death threats, legal threats, you name it, I have received it. It seems freedom of speech only works one way in their twisted eyes.
Meanwhile, the NY Times has now covered her, with more information on what she actually did beyond her vile tweets, that may have constituted bullying.
Meanwhile, look who is giving her legal advice.
Stanley Cohen, a lawyer who advised Ms. Koval and her family about the issue on Wednesday, said he doubted that the complaints over her tweets would evolve into a legal case. Mr. Cohen, a lawyer known for representing controversial clients, said he hoped school officials would “look beyond the emotion of the moment and say ‘Move on, this is no big deal.’ ”
“Controversial clients” is NY Times speak for terrorists.
In fact, Cohen is known as the ‘Hamas attorney.’
While both sides of the controversial public debate wonder about the efficacy — and need — of republishing Hitler’s lengthy screed, many don’t realize that, alongside other excerpted texts of Nazi propaganda, “Mein Kampf” is already included in standard German history textbooks.
When the ICH presented the project to an international commission of researchers, it has garnered approval from historians including Dan Michman, head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. At the hefty sum of 59 Euros ($65), the new edition is not likely to become a bestseller. But as the first print publication of “Mein Kampf” in Germany since 1944, it has set off heated discussion in both domestic and international forums.
Upon the book’s publication Friday, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder released a statement condemning the scholarly endeavor. “It would be best to leave ‘Mein Kampf’ where it belongs: the poison cabinet of history… This project may be well-intended, but the Bavarian government was right not to allow its republication until the expiry of the copyright, or to support a new edition financially,” says Lauder.
Head of the Institute for Contemporary History Andreas Wirsching says, however, publishing the scholarly edition promotes responsible research and counters unannotated versions that Germans can easily buy online through international booksellers. The annotated edition “contributes to the urgently needed demystification of this crucial Nazi-era text,” says Wirsching.
Israel-based antisemitism scholar Manfred Gerstenfeld warned Wednesday against frivolous Israeli use of the newly released worldwide rights to the distribution of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
Responding to a query about an Israeli publisher’s belief in the value of translating the work into Hebrew, Gerstenfeld told The Algemeiner that doing so, if at all, should be undertaken with great care.
“A Hebrew edition is desirable only if it is heavily annotated,” he said. “By that I mean that it should not only show how Hitler prepared the Holocaust with this book. It should also illustrate how his ideas developed on the infrastructure created by the Catholic Church and several Protestant denominations over many centuries. Furthermore, it should explain what motifs in Mein Kampf mutated into themes used against Israel, with a particular emphasis on the Muslim world, including the Palestinian territories.”
This is in contrast to the excitement expressed by Idan Zivoni, co-editor of Resling, an academic Israeli publishing house that also translates international books, at the prospect of making Hitler’s infamous tome available to the people whose history was so affected by it.
“It is a national mission to publish the book in Hebrew,” Zivoni said during a Channel 10 talk-show discussion on the topic. “But I believe that few [Israelis] will actually read it.”
Local activist said that members of the Jewish community in northern London were pelted with gas canisters and were verbally assaulted by men who said “Hitler is on the way,” according to English daily The Guardian on Thursday.
The Metropolitan police said they received a complaint concerning the incident which occurred in the Tottenham Hale area on Wednesday.
According to the Stamford Hill based watchdog organization, Shomrim, three men in a pickup truck hurled the steel canisters at two men and a woman shopping in the area.
“Hitler is on the way to you, Heil Hitler, Heil Hitler, Heil Hitler,” was shouted at the group before being pelted by the objects, the organization added.
“The verbal abuse was disgusting, and small objects were thrown towards the victims, making them fear for their immediate safety,” Shomrim volunteer Michael Blayer told The Guardian.
Israeli video tech company Valens is getting into the automobile business, after it announced Wednesday that two of the biggest automakers — GM and Mercedes — had become its newest customers. In addition, the firm said that it had received $20 million of investments in a new funding round, which will be used to expand development activity and recruit more employees at its development center in Hod Hasharon.
Valens is the creator, developer and sole source of HDbaseT, a technology that enables the transmission of high-quality uncompressed video, electricity, USB power and just about everything else on a single cable.
It’s a technology that has turned into a world standard, according to Valens senior vice-president Micha Risling. “Modern video production would be much harder, if not impossible,” he added.
The television business agrees with that assessment, which is why it is giving Valens an Emmy Award this year for Achievement in the area of Engineering. According to Bob Mauro, President of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Valens is “one of the reasons for the exciting growth of our industry.”
In his keynote address opening the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last evening, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced that Intel is working with Israel’s Replay Technologies to deliver new viewing experiences for sports fans on broadcast, in the stadium and at home.
Reeplay’s proprietary “freeD” technology, optimized for 6G Intel Core processors and Intel server technology, will enable sports fans to re-watch key moments of sporting events from nearly every conceivable angle and share custom video clips. Fast Company named it one of 2014’s top 10 most innovative companies in sports.
Replay’s stadium system, Arena, consists of 25 to 32 super high-definition cameras circled around the venue. Each has powerful zooming capability and films in 5K format throughout the game. The cameras are connected via fiber-optic cable to a server room where an Intel high-performance computing system converts the 2D data into 3D volumetric pixels (“voxels”).
Replay was founded by three Israelis who “wanted to see the game from the perspective of the soccer ball,” explained Preston Phillips, vice president of marketing and communications for Replay. Among its investors is NBA Dallas Mavericks owner, film producer and philanthropist Mark Cuban.
From all appearances, musician Jean Michel Jarre came to Jerusalem to party.
The 67-year-old French performer — best known for his groundbreaking, electronic music live shows featuring fireworks, his famed laser harp, and videos projected on the sides of buildings — arrived in Israel late Wednesday afternoon.
After checking in at the historical King David Hotel, he headed across the street to the YMCA’s 152-foot (46-meter) bell tower, which has 35 carillon bells imported from Croydon, England, and is rung only on Christmas. Hoping for some musical inspiration, perhaps?
The party, however, started over dinner with his crew at Machneyuda, Assaf Granit’s renowned Mahane Yehuda market bistro, followed by a City of David archaeological tour at 3 o’clock in the morning, a visit to the Western Wall and then back out for drinks downtown.
Israel announced that it will provide food and assistance kits to Paraguayans impacted by massive flooding.
“The State of Israel is sympathetic to our sister nation of Paraguay in this difficult moment when thousands of citizens have been forced to leave their homes behind,” said the Israeli Embassy in the Paraguayan capital Asuncion. “We are ready to support the government to provide humanitarian aid.”
Some 100,000 people in Asuncion have been displaced from their homes due to massive flooding of the Paraguay River from El Niño storms during December.
Israel re-opened its embassy in Asuncion last summer. The Jewish state and Paraguay have a free trade agreement and cooperate in the areas of water, agriculture, education, and medicine.
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