March 20, 2019

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06/05 Links Pt1: Plot to assassinate PM, Jerusalem mayor thwarted; Hamas Is Trading In Palestinian Blood To Serve Iran’s Interests; IDF: Gazan medic shot dead last week was not deliberately targeted

From Ian:

Shin Bet says it thwarted plot to assassinate prime minister, Jerusalem mayor
Israeli forces arrested an East Jerusalem man suspected of planning to assassinate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat earlier this year, on orders from a Syria-based terrorist group, the Shin Bet security service revealed on Tuesday.

The main suspect, 30-year-old Arab Israeli Muhammad Jamal Rashdeh, was arrested on April 24. Two more suspects were arrested in the following weeks, the Shin Bet said. The security service refused to identify the two suspected accomplices.

Indictments were filed against the three on May 27, but the case was kept under a court-issued gag order until Tuesday.

Later on Tuesday, the Israel Police released footage (above) of Rashdeh’s arrest from the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem where he lived.

“Working on orders from terrorist operatives abroad, Muhammad planned to carry out a number of significant terror attacks against a variety of targets,” the security service said.

The targets included Netanyahu and Barkat, as well as buildings belonging to the US consulate in Jerusalem (which has since been converted into an embassy) and a delegation of Canadian security officials who were in Jerusalem to train Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank, the Shin Bet said.

Watch: Arrest of terrorist who planned to assassinate Netanyahu

The police released a video documenting the arrest of the terrorist cell which planned to assassinate Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat Tuesday.

The arrest was carried out by the Border Police.

According to an indictment filed on Sunday against three terrorists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the terror cell had targeted Israel’s Prime Minister and the mayor of Israel’s capital.

The terrorists suspected in the plot included Muhammed Jamal Rashda, a 30-year-old resident of Shuafat in eastern Jerusalem who previously served jail time for other terror-related activities.

According to the indictment, Rashda was the mastermind behind the assassination plots which were revealed Tuesday. Rashda also reportedly coordinated his plans with terrorists operating abroad, including a terrorist in Syria.

MEMRI: Arab Writers: Hamas Is Responsible For Return March Fatalities, Is Trading In Palestinian Blood To Serve Iran’s Interests; It Must Relinquish Power In Gaza

The death of over 100 Palestinians in the Hamas-organized Return March protests, in which thousands of Gazans marched on the Israeli border with the aim of crossing it,[1] evoked many expressions of support for the Palestinians and condemnation of Israel – but at the same time also triggered a wave of criticism against Hamas. The criticism reached its height following the events of May 14, 2018, the day of the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, which saw mass protests on the Gaza border in which over 60 Palestinians were killed.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) finds itself in a difficult position vis-à-vis the Return March events. On the one hand, in light of the deep crisis in its relations with Hamas, it does not wish to legitimize this movement’s actions. But at the same time it does not wish to oppose the Return March, which expresses the Palestinian consensus regarding the legitimacy of the right of return. As a result, its position on the events has been ambiguous and inconsistent, as was manifest in the PA press, which published articles supporting the march alongside articles sharply critical of Hamas.

For example, an editorial in the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida condemned Hamas for backing the Return March protests that resulted in numerous victims. Similarly, an advisor to the PA president claimed that Hamas is trading on the blood of Gazans and sending children to their deaths.

Criticism of Hamas was also voiced by Arab writers and intellectuals known for their opposition of the pro-Iranian camp, to which Hamas belongs. These writers claimed that Hamas was capitulating to Iranian dictates instead of improving the standard of living in Gaza, and that it was using the fatalities to gain political advantage. They also accused Hamas of using terror against the Gazans and sending children to their deaths while its own leaders were living in luxury. Another claim was that Hamas strives to perpetuate the siege and misses every opportunity to turn Gaza into the nucleus of a Palestinian state, and that advancing the peace process therefore requires removing Hamas from power.

Caroline Glick: Trump’s North Korea Strategy Is Terrifying Iran

The North Korean media reported Sunday that Syrian President Bashar Assad is due in Pyongyang for an official state visit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

Much of the instant media commentary regarding the announcement claimed that it is nothing more than a testament to the deep, long-standing ties between the two isolated nations, whose rogue behavior has caused both to be shunned by the international community.

The problem with this interpretation is that neither leader is isolated.

With the planned summit with President Donald Trump back on for June 12, Kim is about to score North Korea’s greatest diplomatic achievement since the hermit kingdom was established in the aftermath of the Korean armistice in 1952.

Last week, Kim received a visit from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who invited him to come to a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin later this year. Kim has had two meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-In, and has had two meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, in just the past three months.

Assad, for his part, just met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on May 17. His forces and their Iranian/Hezbollah/Shiite militia allies have retaken the outskirts of Damascus, and so largely ensured the survival of his regime. Assad has made clear that his next moves will be to seize southern Syria along the Israeli and Jordanian border regions of Quneitra and Daraa from rebel forces. He also has his sights on the U.S.-allied Kurdish held areas in eastern Syria.

In other words, things are looking good for both men. Why would they risk their newly held credibility by meeting with one another? Kim will certainly score no points with Trump for meeting with the man the president referred to recently as “a monster.”

The answer, in a word, is: Iran.

IDF: Gazan medic shot dead last week was not deliberately targeted

The Israeli military on Tuesday said an initial investigation found that the Palestinian medic shot dead during clashes along the Gaza border last week was not intentionally targeted.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed that soldiers fired shots in the area, but said that they were not aimed at the 21-year-old volunteer medic, Razan Najjar.

“During the incident, a limited number of bullets were fired and no gunfire was directly or intentionally fired at her,” the army said in a statement.

This appeared to indicate that Najjar was hit either by a mis-aimed shot or a ricochet last Friday as she tended to the injured near the security fence east of her hometown of Khan Younis, while wearing a white coat clearly marking her as a medical professional.

The military maintains that under its rules of engagement it only uses live fire in the case of a direct threat to life or when rioters are going to damage the border fence and security infrastructure. In addition, the IDF says it tries to avoid targeting women, children, medics and journalists.

Firefighters battle a wave of incendiary kite blazes in Gaza border area

Firefighters were battling a wave of blazes near the Gaza border area Tuesday after several flaming kites were sent soaring over the border, causing at least nine fires in Israeli territory.

Two large fires broke out near Kibbutz Nir Am, northeast of the Gaza Strip, while a third was reported in the area of Moshav Netiv Ha’asara, to the north.

At least six fires were started in the Eshkol region of southern Israel, apparently as a result of so-called fire kites from the Gaza Strip, according to the local regional council. The six fires were located near the communities of Kissufim, Nirim, Ein Hashlosha and Reim.

A brush fire also broke out in a field outside Kibbutz Be’eri, east of the central Gaza Strip. The blaze was also apparently sparked by an incendiary kite from the coastal enclave.

Area firefighters and security personnel worked to put out the blazes as smoke filled the surrounding communities.

JNF threatens to sue Hamas in international courts for kite arson damage

The Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) on Tuesday threatened to sue Hamas in an international court for severe damages caused to land it owns in the Gaza border area by incendiary kites sent into Israel, as well as by firing rockets and mortar shells.

Since the “March of Return” protests began along the Gaza border at the end of March, hundreds of kites and helium balloons have been flown into Israel outfitted with Molotov cocktails and containers of burning fuel, setting fire to large swaths of land.

The Israeli nonprofit said in a statement that it intends to recruit international law attorneys who specialize in lawsuits of the kind.

The move echoes longstanding attempts by Palestinians to internationalize the conflict by suing Israel for war crimes in international courts.

“It is inconceivable that the international community would allow Hamas not to be held accountable and pay for its criminal acts — not only against the citizens of the state of Israel, but also against the environment, which has been severely hurt by this criminal environmental terrorism,” said KKL-JNF world chairman Daniel Atar after touring the damaged area on Tuesday.

“Hamas has proved it has no humanity,” Atar added. “Not just toward human beings, but also toward animals and natural resources.”

‘Horrific’ journalism at Daily Express – parrots PA propaganda that Israel shoots kids

Today, the Daily Express echoed this lethal narrative in an article written by reporter Joe Carey on a “horrific” report that Israel shoots kids.

The only thing “horrific” here is the inept journalism.

There are several problems with the article, as we noted earlier in a tweet to the journalist.

First, the article uses, as its sole source for the unsubstantiated claim, The Palestinian Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, which the article fails to identify as a PA Ministry (controlled by the PLO) which is one of the institutions responsible for paying salaries to imprisoned terrorists.

Further, it claims that “32 minors” have been detained in Israel’s Ofer prison, but provides no context or details on their arrests. The report also alleges that two of the minors were shot before being sent to prison – a claim which inspired the headline – but fails to note if they were shot whilst carrying out, or attempting to carry out, terror attacks. As Adam Kredo of the Free Beacon reported last year, “At least 79 separate terror attacks have been carried out by Palestinian children ranging in ages from eight to 17” during the recent wave of terror from 2015 to 2017.

There also appears to be no attempt whatsoever by the reporter to do his job by attempting to corroborate these PA claims. Nor, it seems, did he contact Israeli authorities for comment.

Most Naksa Day protests postponed to Friday

The coming weekend may indicate whether Israel and Hamas will be able to reach an arrangement securing a calm on Israel’s southern border for a while, or whether the sides will face a war in the summer.

On Tuesday, the Palestinians mark Naksa Day, which marks the Arab defeat in the Six-Day War, 51 years after the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. IDF officials believe, however, that most of the protest clashes on the Gaza border will take place on Friday, in a bid to synchronize the events with the “Jerusalem Day” events in Iran, and that Tuesday’s fence protest will be limited.

Both sides are at the peak of a flare-up, which began on Land Day in late March and has so far included mass protests, planting explosive devices on the fence, border infiltrations, sending incendiary kites across the border to set fire to fields in Gaza vicinity communities, and last week—rocket fire and extensive Air Force strikes in Gaza.

On Monday morning, an IDF force found a number of hand grenades, Molotov cocktails and a pipe bomb thrown by terrorists into the perimeter area (the buffer zone between Israel and Gaza), near the Karni Crossing in the northern Strip.

Dozens of explosive devices and grenades have been thrown on IDF forces in recent weeks, serving as evidence of the violent nature of the disturbances led by Hamas.

IsraellyCool: Riot Control Technology That Could Be Very Effective in Repelling Gazan Rioters

I was thinking about what could be an effective way to repel Gazan rioters, but in some safe way, to prevent serious injuries and the resultant anti-Israel propaganda. Then I remembered this:

The US military has a system that focuses a beam which produces a feeling of intense heat (in the video, they compare it to a feeling of opening a very hot oven) on the top-most layers of skin without injuring someone, and it makes those on which the beam was focused to pull back to get away from the heat. They say that it’s based on microwaves, so it goes through clothes (and microwaves would also pass through smoke), so if rioters didn’t pull back immediately, they would probably end up with something similar to having a sunburn and maybe some blisters but not serious injuries based on what they show in the video).

It seems like it could be much more effective for repelling rioters than something like tear-gas.

Mayhem as Hamas “March of Return” accidentally merges with Tel Aviv Pride Parade (satire)

There was shock, confusion and blame in the city today when Gaza’s March of Return was diverted through Tel Aviv’s Pride March. LGBT organizers were left bewildered when Hamas militants emerged from the AM:PM on Bograshov dressed in rainbow bandanas, provocatively enjoying lolly ices and flinging their balaclavas in the air like they just don’t care.

Nobody knows exactly how this all happened, although residents in-the-know suspect there is some sort of tunnel on Rothschild. By the time the 200,000-strong parade reached Hayarkon, Islamic Jihad had its own float, waving kites and offering Molotov cocktails to the Bears. Meanwhile, at Charles Clore, drag queens had pinched placards demanding the right to return home. In 40 degree heat, their make up was running.

Miri Regev, Minister for Culture and Sport, profoundly stated: “I have no words, but as long as people are enjoying themselves…. By the way, Have you seen our new pamphlets?”

……Although there were some hurt feelings when parade attendees noted that a lot of the Hamas guys looked better in their GRINDR profile pics.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Hamas Executing Human Shields Who Failed To Keep Its Men From Getting Shot (satire)

The militant Islamist organization behind much of the rioting over the last several months at the border fence between Israel and this coastal territory has begun implementing the death penalty against unarmed protesters tasked with serving as protection from Israeli sniper fire for the movement’s members, following reports that more than 80% of protesters killed by Israeli gunfire amid the unrest were active members of Hamas.

A spokesman for the organization told reporters that if the human shields could not fulfill expectations by absorbing Israeli fire and thus facilitating a narrative of wanton slaughter of unarmed demonstrators, then they have forfeited their value and the movement will dispose of them.

“We worked for months to ensure a large number of human shields – we thought they were guaranteed to become martyrs, and informed them of same – to serve a dual purpose,” explained Mahmoud al-Zahar. “One purpose was to shield our operatives as the latter approached the fence to breach it and gain access to the enemy’s rear. But the other, perhaps more important, was to be killed to create the picture of the Zionists gunning down unarmed protesters, further delegitimizing their international standing and maintaining the argument that the Zionist Entity has no right to persist.”

Netanyahu agreed with delay of US strike on Syria in 2013, ex-Obama aide says

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was supportive of then-US president Barack Obama’s 2013 decision to seek Congressional approval before launching military strikes in Syria, an ex-top White House official said.

After the regime of President Basher Assad used chemical weapons and killed hundreds of civilians outside Damascus, Obama was determined to attack government positions in Syria. But he asked Congress for a green light, delaying the move, which was ultimately scrapped altogether.

According to Ben Rhodes, who was Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, the president called several world leaders to inform them of his decision not to launch military strikes against the Assad regime in retaliation for its use of chemical weapons against civilians until after a vote in Congress. Netanyahu was one of the leaders Obama contacted.

“Your decision was right, Netanyahu said, and history will be kinder than public opinion,” Rhodes writes in his new memoir, an excerpt of which was published earlier this week by The Atlantic.

An Israeli official told The Times of Israel in response that Netanyahu was “surprised by the decision to go to Congress,” but did not claim that the prime minister had expressed disapproval. “The president presented it as a fait accompli and the prime minister thought the best thing to do was to pass it,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Macron walks fine line as Netanyahu seeks anti-Iran front

French President Emmanuel Macron was set to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday on the second leg of the latter’s European trip amid deep differences over how to contain Iran’s ambitions in the Middle East.

It will be the third meeting of the two leaders in Paris since last July, and while they agree on the threats posed by Tehran’s missile projects and foreign interventions, they differ strongly on the response.

Netanyahu has pursued his strident criticism of Tehran during his visit to Europe, warning during a stop in Berlin on Monday that its activities risked fueling a new influx of migrants toward Germany.

Iran was intent on fueling “a religious war inside Syria and the consequences will be many, many more refugees and you know where exactly they will come,” he told German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Netanyahu has been emboldened by US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the 2015 accord curbing Iran’s nuclear program — and the threat of harsh sanctions against European firms doing business in the country.

Eli Lake: Congress Forces Pentagon to Come Clean on Aid to Lebanon

Last month, following the first Lebanese elections since 2009, Israel’s defense minister made a grave observation. Speaking at an annual conference in Herzliya, Avigdor Lieberman said that Hezbollah – the Iran-backed militia, political party and terror group – had effectively taken control of the state.

To emphasize the point, Lieberman added that Hezbollah was now “in complete control not just of the Lebanese [government], but also its army.”

Hezbollah’s influence in Lebanon is nothing new. It has steadily enhanced its position and legitimacy inside Beirut over the last decade. The May 9 elections though consolidated its power because the main bloc that opposed Iranian and Syrian influence underperformed.

All of this poses a peculiar challenge for America. Since 2007, the U.S. has provided $1.7 billion worth of aid and equipment to the Lebanese Armed Forces, or LAF.

Usually American military aid is a win-win. The recipient nation receives training, weapons and material, and the U.S. gets leverage and visibility into a foreign military. This is why the annual U.S. military subsidy to Egypt created as a byproduct of Egypt’s 1978 peace treaty with Israel was such a strategic coup for America; it meant the U.S. replaced the Soviet Union as the patron of Egypt’s powerful army.

Arab Israeli convicted of deadly 2017 terror shootings in Haifa

An Arab Israeli man was convicted Tuesday of carrying out a pair of shooting attacks in the northern city of Haifa in January 2017, killing an Israeli man and seriously wounding another.

Muhammad Shinawi, 22, was convicted of all the charges against him after admitting to all the facts laid out in the indictment, according to a statement from the Justice Ministry.

The Haifa District Court found Shinawi guilty of murder out of a religious, nationalist or ideological motive, attempted murder, possessing and transporting a gun for terror purposes, attempted robbery and theft of a car, and possessing a knife.

At 3:30 a.m. on January 3, 2017, Shinawi asked his brother, a minor who was unaware of his intentions, to bring him the home-made gun the elder brother had purchased in late 2015 and kept hidden in his parents’ apartment, according to the charge sheet filed several weeks after the shooting spree.

The two met, and Shinawi took the loaded gun and set off to carry out the attacks later that morning, according to the indictment.

Report: Mossad assassinated Iranian advisers in Libya

Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency is suspected of being behind the recent assassination of two senior Iranian advisers in Libya.

The Dubai-based pan-Arab television news channel Al-Arabiya reported on Monday that the two Iranians, who were killed in south Libya several days ago, were part of a senior delegation dispatched by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that had recently arrived in Libya to procure uranium for enrichment purposes.

According to the report, the two Iranian advisers were shot at close range by unidentified gunmen who fled the scene. The Iranians had reportedly been under Mossad surveillance from the moment they arrived in Tunisia, which was their entry point into Libya.

The Mossad agents, Al-Arabiya reported, had shadowed the Iranian delegation members and documented their meetings in Tunisia with senior Libyan officials, in an effort to barter Iranian military aid for uranium mined in Libya.

The report also said Tehran was investing considerable resources via pro-Iranian Shiite militias it is operating inside Libya to attain access to Libyan uranium mines. Ever since former dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s overthrow and death in 2011, Libya has been mired in a state of governmental instability and general lawlessness.

Palestinians: A Story You Have Not Heard in the West

Samah Abu Ghayyath still has not been formally charged with committing any crime. Hamas will not say why the mother of five was held in detention for 23 days.

This is the real tragedy of the Palestinians: failed leadership that has deprived them of international aid and a good life in favor of hating and killing Jews. Their leaders have dragged their people from one disaster to another — from Black September in Jordan in the ’70s, to the civil war in Lebanon in the ’80s and ’90s, to the Second Intifada during the 2000s, and to wars in the Gaza Strip that have claimed the lives of thousands of Palestinians.

Where are all those who claim to be “pro-Palestinian” and are spewing hatred against Israel and Jews at college campuses in the US and Canada? If they really want to help the Palestinians, let them stand up and shout about the rights of women and gays living under Hamas’s repressive regime, and journalists who are being harassed and arrested by Mahmoud Abbas’s security forces.

Yelling lies about Israel and Jews does not make one “pro-Palestinian.” It only makes one an Israel-hater. Hating Israel does not improve human rights conditions for Palestinians living under Hamas and Fatah. Instead, it serves as a distraction and even facilitates Fatah and Hamas in suppressing public freedoms and human rights.

MEMRI: Turkish Twitter Posts Praise Adolf Hitler: ‘I Wish He Had Killed All Of Them’

Under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his party, the AKP, antisemitism in Turkey has increased. In early 2005, Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf was the fourth best-selling book in the country, selling 50,000 copies.[1] It is now available not only in bookstores but at venues such as Migros[2] – the country’s fourth-largest supermarket chain, with over 1,800 locations.[3] Thirty-five separate Turkish book-publishing houses have printed translations of it by at least 21 different translators; of these 35 editions, eight were published in 2016, nine in 2017, and another one in February 2018.[4] There have been attacks on synagogues[5] and antisemitic depictions of Jews on television programming on the Turkish state-owned TV network TRT,[6] as documented by the MEMRI Tom Lantos Archives on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial. Turkish antisemitic content has spread to other social media platforms, including Facebook and YouTube, and President Erdoğan and other AKP politicians have been depicting Jews and Israel as foes and using them as scapegoats in order to rally voters ahead of the general elections set for June 24, 2018.[7]

This report includes Turkish-language tweets praising Hitler and Nazism. Though many are from May 2018, this report includes tweets dating back to 2010. The tweets include references to Hitler and Jews such as: “If Hitler had lived, maybe now your lineage would be extinct and the world would be purified of a handful of filth” and “Hitler and Nazi Germany will be known and remembered with gratitude and respect.” Many include a quote attributed to Hitler: “One day you will curse me for every Jew I did not kill.” The tweets in this report received a total of approximately 1,500 “likes” and 480 retweets.

Turkey Declares Itself World Capital of Free Speech (satire)

In a compulsory poll conducted by the Turkish government, the country came out on top of all other nations as the world capital of free speech.

The results initially came as a shock to international bystanders considering Turkey’s growing propensity to imprison journalists and political opponents of President Recep Erdoğan.

“We are pleased to announce”, Erdoğan stated upon publicly reading the poll’s results, “that Turkey has officially declared itself the freest speech country on earth, with 99.98% of respondents saying that Turkey is the world capital of free speech! I simply hope this puts to rest the ridiculous accusations that Turkey simply locks up those who don’t agree with the regime once and for all.”

Meanwhile, it is understood that a number of Turks, approximating 0.02% of the electorally eligible population, have been arrested on charges of conspiracy “entirely unrelated to the free speech poll”, but most likely related to their inability to “take a f#%king hint.”

The Times($): Secret Files Prove Iran Is Trying to Build Bomb, Israel Says

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on the IAEA, the nuclear monitoring body, to investigate his claims to have discovered proof of Iran’s efforts to build a nuclear weapon. In meetings with the leaders of Britain, France and Germany this week, Netanyahu will make the case that the Iran nuclear accord was essentially invalid since it was based on a falsehood: Iran’s contention that it had never pursued a nuclear weapons program.

“What Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency about its capacities was almost comical compared to what we have here” in the Iranian nuclear archive snatched by Israeli agents in January, said a senior Israeli intelligence officer. “Iran said there had only been feasibility and scientific studies, but what we see is that Iran ran a fully fledged nuclear weapons program and that it followed directions from the political levels.”

A memorandum shown to The Times – from the Iranian atomic energy authority to the defense ministry – authorizes the military to take over the task of enriching uranium by centrifuges from 3% to more than 90%, a level of enrichment that suggests an intention to create a weapon.

David Albright, a former nuclear inspector in Iraq, told The Times that the Israelis were right to criticize the failings of Tehran to acknowledge its past nuclear weapons work and to permit inspectors to monitor facilities. “The IAEA has done that in both South Africa and Taiwan, after they ended their nuclear weapons programs,” he said.

After talks in Berlin with Angela Merkel on Monday, Netanyahu also warned: “Iran, which is Shia, wants to conduct a military campaign in Syria which is largely Sunni….This will inflame another religious war and the consequences would be many, many more refugees and you know exactly where they will come.”

European Investment Bank balks at proposal to offset U.S. Iran sanctions

The European Investment Bank has balked at an EU proposal to do business in Iran to help offset US sanctions and save the 2015 nuclear deal, EU sources told Reuters, under pressure from the United States – where the bank raises much of its funds.

The resistance from the European Union’s lending arm underscores the limits of the bloc’s ability to shield trade with Iran from the re-imposition of US sanctions after President Donald Trump abandoned the nuclear accord last month.

European Commissioners are expected on Wednesday to endorse the EU executive’s plan to encourage the EIB to support investments by European businesses in Iran, where the bank has never before done business.

The move has symbolic value as EU officials see it as one of the easiest to deliver on in response to Iran’s demands that it show proof of its commitment to the nuclear deal.

A total of six EU diplomats, EU officials and sources at the bank said that within the EIB there are growing concerns that the Commission’s plan would imperil its multi-billion-dollar funding program.

“The bank is unhappy with the Commission proposal because the bank raises funds on US markets,” said one EU diplomat.

Netanyahu: ‘We are not surprised’ by inflammatory Khamenei remarks

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “isn’t surprised” about Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s threat to destroy Israel and continue to enrich uranium, he said Tuesday in a video statement from Paris.

“Yesterday Ayatollah Khamenei, the ruler of Iran, declared that his intention was to destroy the State of Israel, and yesterday he explained how he would do it – with an unlimited enrichment of uranium to produce an arsenal of nuclear bombs … We are not surprised,” he said.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman also slammed Khamenei’s declaration that he had ordered preparations to increase uranium enrichment capacity Monday, according Hebrew media.

“Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s declaration is a sign of hysteria and mass panic in the Iranian leadership.” Liberman said Tuesday at a conference of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Eilat.

Israeli Embassy’s ‘Mean Girls’ tweet goes viral

There are a variety of ways you could react to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei threatening to eradicate the State of Israel. But the Israeli Embassy in Washington opted to go with a meme from Mean Girls. And the Internet heartily approved.

On Monday, Khamenei tweeted, “Our stance against Israel is the same stance we have always taken. #Israel is a malignant cancerous tumor in the West Asian region that has to be removed and eradicated: It is possible and it will happen.” Twitter, for its part, didn’t seem to find the threat of genocide to be violating its policy against threats or abuse.

But the Twitter account for the Israeli Embassy in DC opted for a gentler approach, tweeting a GIF on Monday from the film Mean Girls in which one character asks another, “Why are you so obsessed with me?”

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.

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