PMW: PA schools use plays to teach murder and hate
Palestinian Authority education continues to poison Palestinian children with hate and terror promotion messages, even using cultural mediums like school plays. Palestinian Media Watch closely follows PA education and the messages transmitted to children and youth.
A recent play at a PA high school for boys reinforced the PA libel that Israel fabricated the many recent stabbing attacks by Palestinians by planting knives near innocent Palestinians who were then shot and killed by Israelis for no reason. At the Tuqu’ High School for Boys, which is part of the Bethlehem Education Directorate under the PA Ministry of Education, this libel was reinforced by depicting Israeli soldiers as cold-blooded murderers in a school play.
In the play performed in front of hundreds of high school students, actors portray Israeli soldiers arresting a Palestinian youth. The soldiers make the Palestinian kneel and lie on the ground, then they plant a knife next to him to frame him as a stabber, and finally shoot him in cold blood. Other actors portray Palestinians carrying away the “Martyr’s” body. [Official Facebook page of Tuqu’ Municipality (PA), May 11, 2016]
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians and Jordan: Will a Confederation Work?
In a rare moment of truth, former Jordanian Prime Minister Abdel Salam Majali admitted that the Palestinians were not “fully qualified to assume their responsibilities, especially in the financial field…”
According to the study, the Jordanian public is totally opposed to the idea of confederation, even after the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. They fear the confederation would lead to the “dilution” of the Jordanian identity, create instability and undermine security.
The reality is that the two-state solution has already been fulfilled: the Palestinians got two mini-states of their own — one governed by the Palestinian Authority and the second by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Today, there is only one solution: maintain the status quo until Palestinian leaders wake up and start working to improve the living conditions of their people and prepare them for peace with Israel.
Given the number of adamant opponents of Israel on the committee, we know there can be no plank about the conflict that will not place the party at odds with what has been a bi-partisan consensus on the issue. Moreover, if the Sanders forces are not satisfied with what will already be a departure from past stands, then the Clinton camp can have no confidence that an attempt to tilt the party even more towards the Palestinians will fail on the convention floor. As I noted yesterday, the spectacle of the will of the majority of the delegates being thwarted by party officials intent on passing a pro-Israel document won’t be repeated.
That means that although they may find the GOP alternative to be so repulsive that it gives them no choice but to stick with their party, pro-Israel Democrats must, if they are honest, now admit they are no longer a clear majority within their party. Sanders and the far left may not yet be in complete charge of the Democrats, but their influence is undeniable and increasingly decisive.
Democrats may argue, as Sanders does, that even-handed doesn’t mean anti-Israel. But in practice, as Sanders illustrated this spring when he not only wrongly blasted Israeli efforts at self-defense as “disproportionate” but also made wild, exaggerated claims of Israeli killing civilians that show his mindset. It is one thing to be “pro-Israel and pro-peace” as J Street claims to be or even to assert that appeasement of Iran is in Israel’s interests. But it is quite another to have prominent Israel-bashers and BDS advocates among those in charge of declaring where the party stands on important issues.
The Democrats have ceased to be a pro-Israel party and become one where Israel-haters are not only welcomed but given honor and power. If they are honest, pro-Israel Democrats must understand that they are on their way out in their old political home. Anyone who doesn’t understand that’s one of the clear outcomes of the 2016 campaign is in a state of denial.
The Mottle Wolfe Show: Bernie’s Anti-Israel Platform
Bernie Sanders may not have won the Democratic party’s nomination, but he did win the opportunity to cement an anti-Israel agenda into the platform, and he is taking it. Also the Left’s mainstreaming of Pedophillia and news from Israel.
Jeremy Corbyn sponsored a conference which called on the Labour Party to disaffiliate from its Jewish arm and denounced “the Zionist state as racist”, it has been claimed.
The Labour leader is listed as a sponsor on documents for the Labour Movement Conference on Palestine in 1984, which also asked the party to “recognise the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”
The documents were posted online by Tony Greenstein, the Jewish founder of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, who was suspended by the Labour Party in March.
Organised by the Labour Movement Campaign for Palestine, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the London branch of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, the conference called “on Labour Movement bodies to press for the disaffiliation of Poale Zion from the Labour Party.”
RTE’s treatment of the Livingstone controversy provides an illustrative example of their failings when dealing with issues that do not sit very easily with the normative political culture found at the Broadcaster. Unlike most of her colleagues at RTE, Marian Finucane does deserve some credit for having the presence of mind to allow space for other perspectives on the Israeli-Jewish/Arab-Islamic conflict, besides the common anti-Israeli stances that pervade the media. Similarly, Brady and her guests were largely sympathetic to the difficulties Jewish society faces in Europe today. However, there are limitations, arguably due to RTE’s staunch political culture, where those on the left always have to be the good guys. Red Ken, and so many others in the anti-Israel movement, professes to care about racism and deny being anti-Semitic so it must be thus! Such a level of trust and faith is not displayed toward the political right.
This bias, a kind of cognitive schtoma, thoroughly taints RTE’s political coverage, where opponents of the recently defeated Fein Gael-Labour government were never meaningfully scrutinised, so leading to an unprecedented degree of political instability, and the grave consequences of the leftistcause celeb of abolishing the new water-charges regime was rarely analysed by the media as a whole despite the longstanding failure to adequately fund Ireland’s ancient water infrastructure, which has led to grave economic and public health issues, and etc., etc.
While it is fair to say that most people in Ireland do not particularly care all that much about the Jewish-Israeli/Islamic-Arab conflict, there is still an unthinking insistence that those loudly lambasting Israel possess only the very best of motives. Such people tend to insist their activism is motivated by humanitarianism but their activism in relation to other conflicts, such as the Assad slaughter in neighbouring Syria, is conspicuously absent, as one well known critic of the movement has noted. Supposed Jewish wrongs matter a lot more.
For a long time RTE has played no small role in advancing and reinforcing such perceptions, which neatly fit the Broadcaster’s reflexively anti-US/pro-Islam posturing. Thus, the recent migrant waves are typically described as “refugees”, and the spate of Islamist attacks on European soil are borne of economic disadvantage and Western Islamophobia and/or racism rather than anything remotely associated with intolerance borne of religious ideology. The absolutist uniformity of RTE’s narratives can be startling — the same on-message NGOs are trotted out for interviews and sound-bites, with nary a murmur of dissent ever afforded the briefest of airtime.
Ken Livingstone is a left-wing anti-Nazi anti-racist former Mayor of London. David Irving is not, but was briefly famous for having lost a Holocaust Denial trial. Livingstone and Irving could never be accused of being natural bedfellows. There are, however, similarities:
– First, a strange and unpleasant compulsion to keep talking about Hitler, Nazis and the Holocaust.
– Second, a troubling tendency to spin historical facts and contexts.
– Third, a curious over-reliance upon unreliable sources.
– Fourth, an unfortunate habit of making their enemies’ points for them.
– Fifth, further to all of the above, when in a hole, they just keep on digging.
– Sixth, a new point of similarity. The offering of prizes to those who can prove them wrong. For Irving, it was £1,000 for documentation showing Hitler knew of the Holocaust. For Livingstone, it is “a free meal for anyone who can prove what I said was wrong”.
Even with the price of kosher food these days, Livingstone’s offer falls some way short of Irving’s.
The serious point, however, is to question whether or not Livingstone is even serious in his offer. What, for example, does he mean by “prove what I said was wrong”? Here is what he said:
[BBC interviewer] Vanessa Feltz: She [Naz Shah] talked about relocating Israel to America. She talked about what Hitler did being legal. And she talked about the Jews rallying. And she used the words Jews, not Israelis or Israel. You didn’t find that to be antisemitic?
Ken Livingstone: No. It’s completely over the top [but] it’s not antisemitic. Let’s remember, when Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism. [He then] went mad and ending up killing 6 million Jews.
A commemoration ceremony was held at the Jewish Museum in Brussels on Tuesday, two years after a shooting that left four people dead.
Organized by the museum, the commemoration was attended by the Chief-Rabbi of Belgium, Albert Guigui, the head of the Muslim Executive in Belgium, Salah Echallaoui and the Bishop of Ypres, Jean Kockerols and featured religious chants in Hebrew and Arabic.
Guigui said the ceremony was about remembering the victims and sending “a message to the world – especially to terrorists – to tell them that we are all united to fight against all forms of terrorism,” he said.
Under heavy police and military surveillance, religious officials and some fifty guests later laid candles below a plate commemorating the victims.
France’s prime minister said Tuesday that peace between Israelis and the Palestinians is also important for security in Europe.
Manuel Valls made the comments following a meeting with his Palestinian counterpart in Ramallah.
“We know we, as French and Europeans, we know that our own security, our own stability depends on peace, the region’s peace, peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” he said.
France is hosting a peace conference in Paris in June in hopes of reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The country has suffered from a series of attacks by Islamist radicals.
Valls has been visiting the region in a bid to raise support for the initiative. Both Israel and the Palestinians have not been invited to the upcoming conference.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the idea of an international conference, saying the longstanding conflict can be resolved only through direct negotiations.
But Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah welcomed the French initiative and dismissed Netanyahu’s position as an attempt to buy time.
Europe is consistently showing themselves to be a complete failure as a unbiased arbiter for peace as they undermine Jewish civil rights in the West Bank by both making up international law to suit their whims, as well as working to subvert the legally binding peace agreements, signed in their own backyard and to which the EU is a signatory.
The Oslo Peace Process — while deeply flawed and most likely an untenable pipedream — is still the legally binding set of agreements determining sovereign control of Judea and Samaria under international law.
These agreements separate the West Bank into three administrative divisions: the Areas A, B and C. Area A is under full civil and security control by the Palestinian Authority (PA), Area B is under PA civil control and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control and Area C is under full Israeli control.
The EU, in violation of Israeli sovereignty is meddling in a territorial dispute by illegally building hundreds of settlements in locations designated under Israeli sovereignty under Oslo. Areas such as Adumim; a rural area surrounding the city of Maale Adumim has seen the establishment of hundreds of illegal EU buildings.
EU ministers justify their breech of international law by arguing that Area C is “part of the occupied Palestinian territory.” However, the rules of sovereignty under International law, clearly forbids a nation or group of nations from intervening in the domestic or foreign matters of another country, in a manner that would harm that country’s sovereignty.
Not only is the EU illegally build in Area C, despite Israel’s legitimate legal claim of sovereignty, it is expected that the Quartet’s report will be harshly critical of Jewish peoples sovereign right to build and live in that area.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Tuesday that if the Netanyahu government agrees to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority on the basis of the Arab peace initiative, Arab states would be willing to take steps to normalize their relations with Israel, Haaretz reported.
Speaking at a conference in London, Blair said that there’s a chance, under the present circumstances in the Middle East, that Arab countries would be willing to be more flexible in framing the outlines of their initiative and take normalization steps while Israeli-Palestinian negotiations were underway, rather than waiting for a permanent status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
“Provided the Israeli government is ready to commit to a discussion around the Arab peace initiative … it would be possible to have some steps of normalization along the way to give confidence to this process. With the new leadership in the region today that is possible. A lot will depend on the response of the Israeli government to [Egyptian] President Sisi’s initiative and to the Arab peace initiative, and to whatever steps the Israelis are ready to take,” he said, according to Haaretz.
Blair was referring to the Egyptian President’s call last week on Israelis and Palestinians to seize what he said was a “real opportunity” for peace.
The comments were welcomed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who stressed that “Israel is ready to participate with Egypt and other Arab states in advancing both the diplomatic process and stability in the region.”
The removal of Moshe Ya’alon as defense minister and the elevation of Yisrael Beytenu chief Avigdor Liberman in his stead is the latest manifestation of a “dark hour” enshrouding Israel, leading foreign affairs commentator Thomas Friedman [and Arafat fanboy] wrote in The New York Times on Wednesday.
The intense backlash thrown Israel’s way is a result of the country’s “desire to destroy itself” as evidenced by “Netanyahu’s steady elimination of any possibility that Israel will separate itself from the Palestinians in the West Bank.”
“Soon, this newspaper will have to call Netanyahu what he’s made himself into: ‘Prime Minister of the State of Israel-Palestine’,” Friedman, the Grey Lady’s former Jerusalem bureau chief, wrote.
Israel’s rightward political shift combined with the diplomatic stalemate is a sign that it is “sinking ever deeper into a de facto binational state controlled by Jewish extremists.”
“Netanyahu is a man who is forever dog paddling in the middle of the Rubicon, never crossing it, always teasing you (‘I’m coming your way — I’m going to make a decision’), only to remain right where he is, balancing between all his rivals, so that he alone survives,” Friedman writes.
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Tuesday denied reports of a planned tripartite meeting between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
On Tuesday, the Palestinian news agency Maan reported that a delegation of high-ranking Israeli officials from the Foreign and Defense ministries had met in Cairo with two Egyptian national security officials with the express aim of coordinating such a meeting.
According to the report, the Israeli delegation raised several proposals for the potential summit. In addition, the sides reportedly discussed the deployment of a multinational force in Sinai due to the volatile security situation there.
Following a meeting with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls in Ramallah on Tuesday, Hamdallah called a press conference and said, “There is no doubt that Netanyahu is showing interest in a tripartite summit just to fend off the French peace initiative, which we support.”
The high-ranking Palestinian Authority official in charge of negotiations with Israel made an analogy between the Jewish state and the bloodthirsty terror group ISIS in an address in Qatar, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Tuesday, citing Al Jazeera.
Speaking at the 16th annual Doha Forum, Saeb Erekat said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhu’s “right-wing extremism” is indistinguishable from that of ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Erekat asked rhetorically: “What is the difference between someone who calls himself the ‘leader of the Jewish state’ and someone who calls himself the ‘leader of the Islamic state?” This was in keeping with his refusal to recognize Israel as the state of the Jews, and an implication that it is self-declared as such, like ISIS, the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Erekat also called for international support in the struggle to end the “Israeli occupation” and asserted that the “two-state solution is the only possible way to put a stop to the suffering of the Palestinian people.”
The Doha Forum, held under the auspices of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, kicked off this weekend. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was in attendance, along with many world leaders.
Did Lieberman really threaten to “kill Palestinians?”
The article itself, republished from the Associated Press, states:
Over the years, Lieberman has made headlines for a series of incendiary comments. At one point, he called for bombing Egypt’s Aswan Dam and suggested toppling the internationally-backed Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Just a few weeks ago, he threatened to kill a Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip. He has repeatedly voiced skepticism about pursuing peace with the Palestinians.
There’s a significant difference between threatening to kill a specific Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip and threatening to kill Palestinians. The headline falsely attributes Lieberman as an advocate of genocide.
And just in case there is any doubt as to the sensationalist intent of Time’s headline writer, it’s worth comparing with the original, impartial headline as published by AP itself:
Police officers have arrested a Palestinian man and a teenager suspected of gang-raping a mentally and physically handicapped Israeli woman in Jaffa earlier this month, an official said Wednesday.
A third man, an Israeli citizen, is also believed to have been involved in the sexual assault and remains at large. The investigation is “still ongoing,” a police spokesperson said.
The men are believed to have raped the disabled young woman and abused her, urinating and spitting on her, and shouting racial epithets during the attack. One of the suspects, Imad Aldin Draghmah, allegedly filmed the brutal assault, the Walla news site reported.
The two Palestinians who have been arrested were originally from the West Bank but had been renting an apartment in Tel Aviv, a police spokesperson told The Times of Israel.
The Palestinian man had a legal permit to live in Tel Aviv, while the minor was doing so illegally, the official said.
Police were still investigating the motivation behind the attack, including the possibility that it was committed for “nationalistic motives,” [aka terrorism] a spokesperson said.
The Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday convicted an East Jerusalem resident of attempted murder as part of a plea bargain in his trial for a knife attack in Jerusalem eight months ago.
Subhi Abu Khalifa, 19, from the capital’s Shuafat neighborhood, injured two people at a light rail station in October 2015, at the height of a wave of stabbing attacks that only recently subsided.
One of the victims, a 25-year-old yeshiva student, was seriously injured and taken to a hospital with a knife still buried in his neck.
A second Israeli, apparently a light rail security guard, was very lightly hurt after wrestling with the attacker in an attempt to prevent him from fleeing the scene.
Abu Khalifa was convicted of attempted murder, causing serious injury, and carrying a knife. Defense and prosecution attorneys agreed to ask for an 18-year prison term during his sentencing which, at the request of the defense, was scheduled for September after the end of the month-long Ramadan festival.
Israel Defense Forces soldiers and border police arrested 10 Palestinians and seized guns, ammunition and “military equipment” in a large-scale raid in the West Bank village of Kufr al-Dik, east of Tel Aviv, early Wednesday morning, the army said.
Another 11 suspects were arrested in raids across the West Bank, making the overnight operation one of the largest of its kind in recent weeks.
Soldiers from the IDF’s Givati infantry brigade, as well as special forces units, uncovered three homemade guns, hunting rifles, body armor and military uniforms during the al-Dik foray, the army said.
The 10 Palestinian suspects arrested in the village were accused of taking part in violent demonstrations, throwing rocks and other forms of “popular terrorism,” as the IDF refers to such activities.
At least 60 Arabs from the Palestinian Authority have been arrested for posting deliberate incitement to violence against Israelis on Facebook, the IDF told the USA Today newspaper this week.
According to the report, 60 suspects have been charged since the outbreak of the current wave of terror that began in October 2015.
However, the Haifa-based Adalah Legal Center disputes that data, and says the number of arrests is closer to 150 in Judea and Samaria; in addition, 250 Israeli Arabs were also arrested, according to the NGO.
IDF Spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner told the news outlet, “Incitement to violence on social media is a phenomenon that only recently is gaining traction.
“Following attacks, many assailants have stated that they were directly inspired by incitement on social media, which led them to carry out the attacks.”
Jordan’s Arab Bank announced on Wednesday that it would appeal the September 2014 US Brooklyn federal court judgment against it for terror financing, but that the appeal would be tied to a settlement it struck with the plaintiffs in August.
The judgment was the first terror financing judgment against a major bank in US history and foreshadowed the coming of two more recent terror judgments against the Palestinian Authority and Iran respectively.
The highly public trial in the case lasted five weeks and revisited some of Hamas’s worst terrorist attacks, including the August 2001 Sbarro suicide bombing in downtown Jerusalem, which killed or wounded 130, and a range of 24 attacks during the second intifada.
A total of 297 plaintiffs who were wounded or are family members of those murdered in the 24 attacks from 1998 to 2004, which were financed via Saudi Arabia and Hezbollah’s al-Shahid Foundation, sued the bank in 2004 for allowing itself to be used as a conduit for the terrorism funding.
While observers are used to a settlement meaning the end of the road for a case, the Arab Bank settlement, like the historic and unprecedented case itself, was anything but typical.
In August and September 2015, contradictory reports emerged regarding the settlement amount agreed to, some estimating it as high as $1 billion.
B’Tselem – The Israel Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories – announced on Wednesday that it is cutting ties with the IDF over its alleged whitewashing of complaints it receives from the NGO.
In 2014, B’Tselem cut ties with the army regarding alleged war crimes in Gaza, ceasing to send it Palestinians’ complaints. Nevertheless, until now it has continued sending the army complaints about alleged crimes in the West Bank.
The new break will mean that the only connection the group will have with the IDF will be if it asks for information, but it will not forward cases or cooperate with the army more than required by law.
The IDF in the past has alternated between criticizing B’Tselem as unduly partisan and expressing appreciation for receiving information from the group about soldiers’ alleged violations. With regard to the latests cutting of ties, the IDF issued a statement saying, “The picture presented in the B’Tselem report is tendentious and does not reflect reality. The IDF is committed to the rule of law, and the law-enforcement system in the IDF operates professionally and thoroughly.
Hamas is stealing 95% of the cement transferred into Gaza for the purpose of rebuilding homes so that it can use it for military purposes, Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold said on Tuesday.
“From our own investigations we found that out of every 100 sacks of cement that come into the Gaza Strip [from Israel], only five or six are transferred to civilians,” Gold said as he addressed the UN World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.
“A hundred sacks is what is necessary to rebuild a home, the rest are confiscated by Hamas and used for military purposes,” he added.
He spoke about Israel’s extensive role in providing humanitarian aid, noting that the task is made complicated when those on the receiving end are also at war with his country, as is the case with Hamas, which rules over the Gaza Strip.
Cement, along with commercial goods and humanitarian assistance, enter Gaza through two Israeli-controlled crossings.
Hamas is “cynically exploiting” Israel’s help so that it can “rebuild its military capacity,” Gold told summit attendees.
After a two-year cessation, Iran is attempting to bring Islamic Jihad back into its fold by renewing financial support for the Palestinian terror organization, sources affiliated with the organization told the London-based daily Arab newspaper a-Sharq al-Awsat on Wednesday.
Iran’s decision to re-embrace Islamic Jihad after two years of strained relations, came following a visit to Iran in April by a high-level delegation from the organization, led by Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shalah.
During his meetings with senior Iranian leaders and the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force Qassem Suleimani, Shalah lauded Iran for its exclusive support for the “Palestinian intifada.”
“The defense of Palestine amounts to a defense of Islam,” Shalah said then, adding that: “The Arab states did not support the popular uprising in Palestine and will never support it since it contradicts their leaders’ agendas. Iran is the only state that supports the intifada and the martyrs’ families.”
According to the sources affiliated with the Islamic Jihad, Iran viewed this statement as a renewed pledge of allegiance by the organization to the state.
Abdullah addressed his subjects to mark the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Hashemite monarchy. A text of his remarks is below:
The cause that the Great Arab Revolt defended, and the one that is our foremost priority, is the Arab identity of Palestine.
Our great grandfather [Sharif Hussein] was sent into exile and sacrificed his throne while defending the Arab identity of Palestine. He spent everything he owned to renovate Al Aqsa Mosque; hence, he was called the ‘Friend of Al Aqsa’ in his life and the ‘Neighbor of Al Aqsa’ in his death. And the Hashemites still fulfil their responsibilities and duties towards the holy sites of Jerusalem.
Jordan is built on sacrifice and its people never hesitate to serve and defend their homeland. Jordanians are the descendants of the men who carried the banner of the Revolt and those who offered themselves in the name of the nation.
Brothers and sisters,
With the help of God, and the determination and awareness of its people, Jordan has emerged as a country with a message: the message of freedom, peace, harmony and development, relying on our principles and proud of our identity and achievements.
Peace, God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.
A French court on Tuesday ordered the chief suspect in a deadly attack on a Paris synagogue in 1980 to be sent back to jail, ten days after he was released on bail.
Hassan Diab, a Lebanese-Canadian sociology professor who had been detained for 18 months, is accused of being part of the Special Operations branch of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
The PFLP was blamed for the bombing on October 3, 1980 that left four dead and around 40 injured.
Targeting the synagogue in rue Copernic, western Paris, it was the first major attack on a Jewish site in France since World War II.
Diab, 62, was extradited from Canada in November 2014 and charged with the attack. He maintains his innocence and denies he was a member of the PFLP.
A recent Islamic State attack on a Russian military base in Syria destroyed four helicopters, a fighter jet and several other vehicles, showing ISIS is still a force to be reckoned with, as Russia continues to be a major presence in the region.
U.S.-based intelligence firm Stratfor claimed Tuesday it discovered remnants of the attack after reviewing satellite imagery of the T4 Russian airbase near the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. An image dated May 14 shows the airbase intact, with four Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters and a Mi-8 Hip transport helicopter sitting on the tarmac. An image taken May 17 clearly shows wreckage of the four Hinds.
ISIS appears to have also severely damaged a Mig-25 Foxbat fighter aircraft and destroyed a supply depot.
Russian state-owned news agency TASS was quick to deny Stratfor’s report, saying all military assets in Syria were operating normally.
Beginning in August 2011, Ploughshares and its grantees formed the Iran Strategy Group. Over time this group created a sophisticated campaign to reshape the national narrative on Iran. That campaign sought to portray skeptics of diplomacy as “pro-war,” and to play down the dangers of the Iranian nuclear program before formal negotiations started in 2013 only to emphasize those dangers after there was an agreement in 2015.
The strategy group, which included representatives of the Arms Control Association, the National Security Network, the National Iranian American Council, the Federation of American Scientists, the Atlantic Council and others, sought to “develop process and mechanism to implement Iran campaign strategies, tactics and narrative,” according to an agenda for the first meeting of the group on Aug. 17, 2011.
As a nonprofit, Ploughshares discloses annually the organizations that receive its grants. But until now, the way this network of nonprofits, advocacy organizations and policy experts coordinated its media campaign has been shrouded from the public.
The members of that network had two things in common. They all received substantial grants from Ploughshares and they all sought to prevent a war with Iran. But at the time, the progressives assessed the situation was bleak. An August 2, 2011, memo from Heather Hurlburt, then executive director of the National Security Network, and Peter Ferenbach, a co-founder of ReThink Media, shared with the group an assessment of the “media environment” on Iran and concluded it was “extremely difficult.”
The Obama administration is taking steps to aid and please Iran far beyond U.S. commitments under last summer’s nuclear accord, according to experts, who warned Tuesday during testimony on Capitol Hill that the White House is becoming “dangerously close to becoming Iran’s trade promotion and business development authority.”
The Obama administration’s efforts to boost Iran’s economy and resurrect its financial sector are not required under the comprehensive nuclear agreement, yet the White House is undertaking this role to soothe relations with the Islamic Republic, nuclear experts told the Senate Banking Committee.
Iran continues to threaten to walk away from the nuclear deal unless the U.S. administration agrees to further concessions beyond the deal, sparking accusations that Iran is effectively “blackmailing” the White House, according to sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.
Since the nuclear deal was implemented, “the Obama administration has missed the opportunity to push back against Iran’s legitimization campaign,” according to written testimony submitted to the Senate committee by Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “Instead of insisting on an end to Iran’s continuing malign activities, the administration is now dangerously close to becoming Iran’s trade promotion and business development authority.”
The administration’s actions “go beyond” its commitments under the nuclear deal, according to Dubowitz.
Rep. Barbara Lee remains infamous on Capitol Hill as the only member of Congress who voted against the 2001 authorization of use of force against the Al Qaeda terrorists who committed the September 11 attacks against America.
Ms. Lee, who has long advocated for far-left and isolationist policies, and was a steady advocate for the Iran nuclear deal, is the perfect partner for the pro-Tehran lobby’s next agenda item as they attempt to reshape America’s diplomatic landscape by rallying against visa restrictions for individuals coming into the United States from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
She is set to address a K Street fundraiser on June 8 hosted by the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC), a group with deep ties to the regime that rules over Iran. Ms. Lee is one of just 19 legislators who voted against increasing security measures for foreign nationals from terror-tied countries attempting to enter the United States.
NIAC, claiming to be the voice of the Iranian-American community, is led by Trita Parsi, a Swedish-Iranian who maintains close ties with regime figures like Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Internal documents detailing Mr. Parsi’s relationship with Mr. Zarif were disclosed as a result of a failed defamation lawsuit against an investigative journalist, who alleged NIAC promoted the Iranian regime’s agenda.
The United States’ decision to purchase 32 tons of Iran’s excess “heavy water,” nuclear runoff which can be used to produce weaponizable material, sets a bad precedent by allowing the Islamic Republic to exceed the restrictions mandated by last year’s nuclear deal, which will legitimize its nuclear program and hurt allies, analysts from the Institute for Science and International Security argued in a study published on Monday.
The nuclear deal limits Iran to 130 tons of heavy water, and allows Iran to sell it to other countries under certain conditions. But after Iran created more heavy water than it anticipated, it transferred 50 tons of heavy water to Oman in anticipation of selling some of it to the United States—a maneuver allowing Iran to maintain its compliance with the deal by limiting the heavy water in the country. But the transfer of heavy water to a third country without a sale is not specifically approved by the nuclear deal.
David Albright and Andrea Stricker argued in the study that the move raised questions about Iran’s ultimate compliance with the deal. They also noted that the U.S. purchase legitimizes Iran as a supplier of nuclear materials, hurting American allies who normally fulfill that role. The American purchase of Iran’s heavy water, some of which will be used by the Department of Energy’s Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, forced the cancellation of a heavy water shipment from Canada. The Iranian purchase threatens to “undermine this commercial plan and thus the development of a reliable heavy water supply for the United States,” the analysts wrote.
Last week’s unanimous passage of a Senate bill making it easier for 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia and other foreign terror sponsors was widely heralded as a major victory.
It’s more of a cruel hoax.
It turns out that just before the vote, Sen. Charles Schumer and other proponents of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act stuffed an amendment into the final draft allowing the attorney general and secretary of state to stop any litigation against the Saudis in its tracks.
Yes, JASTA would remove the statutory restrictions that have prevented 9/11 families from taking the Saudi kingdom to court. But Schumer helped craft an entirely new section to the original bill, giving the Justice and State departments the power to stay court action indefinitely. All they have to do is inform the judge hearing the case that the US government has engaged with Riyadh in diplomatic talks to resolve the issue.
The quiet, behind-the-scenes watering-down of the controversial bill explains why it passed without a single Republican or Democratic objection. The White House had lobbied senators heavily to kill the bill.
A Saudi cleric recently ruled that taking pictures with cats, or any other animals, is forbidden and that taking pictures in general, regardless of the animal preferred, is prohibited.
Sheikh Saleh bin Fawzan Al-Fazwan, a member of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars, said that “taking pictures is prohibited if not for a necessity — not with cats, not with dogs, not with wolves, not with anything,” in response to a question about a “new trend of taking pictures with cats [which] has been spreading among people who want to be like the Westerners,” according to a translation provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
The video, in which Al-Fazwan either cannot hear the question or can’t believe his ears, was posted on April 17 on several YouTube channels.
Saudi Arabians follow a strict interpretation of Islam, called Wahhabism, and its clerics are known for banning random things they consider Western.
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.