MEMRI: Former Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Minister Advocates Non-Violent Resistance: Attacks On Civilians, Like Murder Of Teen In Her Sleep, Play Into Israel’s Hands
Following the release on July 1, 2016 of the Quartet report on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which called for the cessation of violence and advancement of the two-state solution, Ashraf al-‘Ajrami, a former minister for prisoner affairs in the Palestinian Authority (PA) and a columnist for the PA daily Al-Ayyam, penned an article responding to the report. ‘Ajrami condemned the report for holding the Palestinians and Israelis equally responsible for the impasse in resolving the conflict. At the same time, he also directed criticism at the PA leadership for allowing such a report to be released as well as for its governing of the West Bank. He noted that the security situation there is steadily deteriorating, and that popular support for the PA is considerably low. He stressed that the Palestinians should avoid targeting civilians – such the action of the Palestinian who broke into a home in a West Bank settlement and stabbed a young girl to death as she slept – because such attacks tarnish the Palestinian’s image and benefit Israel. He advocated sticking to non-violent resistance that places Israel in a difficult position and advances the Palestinian cause in the world.
The following are excerpts from his article:
“We can no longer distinguish between the mistakes that do us considerable damage and must be pointed out – such as attacks on civilians, like the murder of the girl in her sleep – and measures that confront the occupation efficiently and effectively. We are dragged into doing [precisely] what the Israeli government wants, namely into the rubric of armed struggle, especially against civilians. This not only places us in conflict with the Israeli army, which has [military] superiority over us and is able to do us considerable damage, as happened in the Second Intifada. It can [also] absolve Israel of political responsibility and make us just as responsible for the situation as Israel [itself]… The violence of the Israeli authorities is aimed at preventing us from engaging in non-violent popular resistance that causes Israel distress, embarrasses it in the international arena and places it in conflict with a defenseless people that is demanding its rights of an occupation machine, armed to the teeth, that is persecuting it.
“We no longer hear a brave and explicit Palestinian position that refutes the Israeli claims and stresses our patriotic and moral [stance], based on a decisive and unanimous realization that it is necessary to focus on popular resistance that will put Israel in a corner and expose its shame. Moreover, some people are carried away by declarations that sound very much like hollow and irritating slogans that cannot be implemented in any measure, and only [serve to make us] responsible for ‘inciting violence’… Without a doubt, we must give some serious thought to shaping our political discourse, in terms of its content and language, so it will serve our interests and advance our cause in the international arena.”
There are four common myths or misconceptions that infuse U.S. and European peace process diplomacy when it comes to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The first is that there are millions of Palestinian refugees. This number is arbitrary, the result of UN sleight-of-hand. After all, the United Nations uses a different definition with regard to Palestinians than it does everywhere else in the world. The late University of Illinois Professor Fred M. Gottheil tackled this issue a decade ago in Middle Eastern Studies.
Then, there is the issue that demographic reality means that Israel must make peace now lest Palestinian population growth mean that Israel will lose its democratic character. At the root of this view, however, is blind acceptance of Palestinian Statistics Agency numbers, as Yakov Faitelson definitively showed in the Middle East Quarterly.
A third myth appeals to the humanitarian impulses embraced by so many across the political spectrum. It holds that the plight of the Palestinians (and especially the Gaza Strip which hasn’t been under occupation for a decade) is a humanitarian tragedy. And while the Palestinian leadership may be tragic in its disdain for life, liberty, and the bettering opportunities and freedoms within society, the simple fact of the matter is that living standards in the Gaza Strip are better than those in Turkey and many other developing countries.
The fourth and perhaps most pernicious myth is that settlements are the chief impediment to fruitful peace talks. A bit of background: The Obama administration entered office putting Israeli settlements in the disputed West Bank front and center. In contrast to his predecessors, President Obama made freezing the expansion of settlements and towns in disputed territories—both in terms of area and population—a prerequisite to further peace talks rather than a subject for diplomatic discussion. In effect, by acting as the zoning commissioner for Jerusalem rather than the leader of the free world, Obama gave Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas a free pass on his refusal to respond to previous Israeli peace offers, be they from 2000 or 2008. The Israeli government might offer talks anytime, anywhere but the Palestinian Authority could and did use Obama’s initial statements as a reason not to engage.
A priest was killed and another person critically injured on Tuesday after two men armed with knives took hostages at a church near the northern French city of Rouen, a police source said, amid speculation the attack could be related to Islamic terror.
The French interior ministry said that two hostage-takers were killed by police in the attack in the town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.
The second hostage, apparently a parishioner, was “between life and death,” the interior ministry said.
The motivations for the hostage-taking were not yet clear, but the Paris prosecutor’s office said the case had been handed to anti-terrorism judges for investigation.
The Paris prosecutor’s office said Tuesday that one person had been detained in the investigation into an attack on a church that left a priest dead and was claimed by the Islamic State group.
A spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office gave no details on the identity or location of the person detained. She spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
The Paris prosecutor’s office oversees investigations involving terrorism.
Two attackers had taken hostages in a church in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray during morning Mass, slitting the priest’s throat before being killed by police. Authorities are trying to determine whether they had accomplices.
A local Muslim leader said one of the men who attacked the church was on French police radar and had traveled to Turkey.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Tuesday afternoon for an attack in France earlier in the day, in which two attackers invaded a church and killed an 84-year-old priest before they were shot and killed by police.
The claim came in a statement published by the IS-affiliated Aamaq news agency.
It said the attack near the Normandy city of Rouen was carried out by “two soldiers of the Islamic State.”
It added the attack was in response to its calls to target countries of the US-led coalition fighting IS.
In response to the attack, French President Francois Hollande vowed to wage war against the jihadist group “by every means.”
What killed the French priest today?
Not the Muslim, not even the knife:-
According to the New York Times, it was the “attack”.
By the way, “attack” has 6 letters.
“Muslim” also has 6 letters.
More than enough room.
French police arrested two men in connection with the Bastille Day massacre in Nice which left 84 people dead, a source close to the investigation said Tuesday.
“They were placed in custody while investigators seek to determine if the Tunisian (attacker) Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel had logistical support,” said the source.
Prosecutors believe Bouhlel had long plotted the attack in which he ploughed a 19-ton truck into a crowd which had been enjoying a fireworks display on Nice’s seafront Promenade Des Anglais, injuring more than 300 people.
Four men and a woman have already been charged with being accomplices to murder by a terrorist group.
Prosecutor Francois Molins said that correspondence between the suspects and Bouhlel — shot dead by police during the attack — indicated they had been in on the plot.
The attack was claimed by the Islamic State group.
Do you remember the June 12 jihad attack by a Muslim that killed 49 Americans in the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida? It was a big thing in the media at the time, complete with reports about a cellphone confession by the jihadi, and evidence that his immigrant Muslim family knew about the planned jihad attack.
Well, you imagined it, see, because the extensively documented jihad attack didn’t happen, President Barack Obama told the world on Sunday.
It was just “a deranged man killing scores of people,” Obama insisted to CBS. No jihad there, he says.
But it was also terrorism deliberately designed to terrify, although it was done by a deranged man, he insisted, without explaining how a deranged man can plan a deliberate terror attack.
“We’ve had a terrorist attack in Orlando, although it does not appear externally motivated, but a deranged man killing scores of people,” he told CBS’s Sunday show, Face The Nation.
That claim seems unfounded, incoherent, and improper.
Abbas joins a long list of Arab leaders who rejected offers made possible by the efforts of the international community to resolve the Arab-Jewish conflict in 1922, 1937, 1947, 2000/1 and 2007.
The conflict could have been ended between 1948 and 1967 with the stroke of an Arab League pen – after six of its member-State armies invaded Palestine in 1948 and forcibly expelled every single Jew living in Judea and Samaria (West Bank), Gaza and East Jerusalem.
United Nations and European Union calls for the creation of a second Arab State in former Palestine – in addition to Jordan – since the 1980 Venice Declaration have been mistakenly construed by the PLO as a license to unrealistically demand:
- The return of millions of “refugees” to Israel
- Establishment of the prospective State of Palestine in all of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza with East Jerusalem as its capital
- Non-recognition of Israel as the Jewish National Home
The United Nations and the European Union have gone to extraordinary lengths to continue supporting the PLO despite the continuing terror, hatred and incitement now identified in the Quartet Report.
Abbas fumes and fulminates while illegally clinging to power.
Attacking the Quartet – and by association – the United Nations and European Union – are acts of unbelievable ingratitude and incredible political stupidity.
Abbas has sown the seeds for his own political demise.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has many faces, but he never appeared delusional until Monday, when it was announced that he had sought assistance from Arab states in taking Britain to the International Criminal Court over the Balfour Declaration of almost 100 years ago. The some 50 words of the note former Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour gave to 2nd Baron Walter Rothschild promised that Britain would work to establish a national home for the Jewish people in the land of Israel, without harming others.
The Balfour Declaration was preceded by 12 drafts. Leonard Stein wrote about it in a 500-page book. The groomsman was Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who later became the first president of Israel. When Balfour wondered why the state should be established in the land of Israel, exactly, Weizmann responded: “Jerusalem was ours when London was still a swamp.”
But the Balfour Declaration didn’t exist in a vacuum. The world supported it. Even King Faisal of Iraq, whose family originated in Saudi Arabia, reached an agreement with Weizmann on the terms. The declaration was approved in 1920 by an international conference that met in San Remo after World War I. The approval of the mandate by the Council of the League of Nations in 1922 gave the Balfour Declaration international validity, almost like the 1947 U.N. resolution to establish a Jewish state in part of the land of Israel.
Britain cannot, therefore, be condemned as if the Balfour Declaration — which was the excuse for Arab riots in the land of Israel almost every year — existed in a bubble. If the International Court discusses the matter, it will have to address the question of whether Israel’s existence is legitimate in the eyes of the world, while ignoring the world’s decisions on that subject thus far.
A senior Israeli delegation has met with Jordanian Prime Minister Hani Al-Muki to discuss energy, water and employment projects.
22 years after the signing of the Israel-Jordan peace agreement, the Middle Eastern neighbors are eager to strengthen their relationship through a range of joint infrastructure ventures. Earlier this month a senior Israeli delegation led by Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation Ayoob Kara met with Jordanian Prime Minister Dr. Hani Al-Muki and discussed closer cooperation on water, electricity, and natural gas.
Jordanian sources attending the meeting spoke of a desperate need for basic infrastructures, especially water, in a country that has taken in several million refugees (estimates vary between 1.3 million and 2.4 million) from Syria and Iraq. Those sources said that Jordan’s King Abdullah is committed to joint projects with Israel even though a large part of the Jordanian public opposes such a policy.
The largest planned joint project is a 200 kilometer underground pipeline between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, which will provide 65-85 million cubic meters of water annually through a desalination plant. The project is designed to replenish the Dead Sea, which is drying up, and also includes a Hydro Electric Power plant producing 10 Mw.
Eshki also met with Gold again, albeit at a hotel rather than the Foreign Ministry. Gold’s continuing centrality in engagement with the Saudis suggests that other dynamics (and perhaps tensions) are at play. Since becoming director-general, he has concentrated on increasing the number of countries willing to recognize Israel and developing ties that already exist — hence Netanyahu’s recent African trip, which took in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. Last week, the West African Muslim-majority country of Guinea reestablished ties after a forty-nine-year break. Similarly, Gold has been working on links with the Arab world. Although he noted in a speech in Herzliya last month that Israel’s budding ties need to remain clandestine to respect Arab public “sensitivities,” he also pointed out the following: “Twenty, thirty years ago, everyone said ‘solve the Palestinian issue and you’ll have peace with the Arab world.’ Increasingly we are becoming convinced [that] it’s the exact opposite. It’s a different order we have to create. And that’s what we’re going to do.” He then spoke of recent talks with an unnamed senior Arab diplomat, saying the Palestinian issue “was pretty close to the bottom” of the official’s current priorities. Saudi deputy crown prince Muhammad bin Salman left a similar impression when he visited Washington in June.
In contrast, Eshki gave the appearance of adhering to a tight script during his trip, promoting the Arab Peace Initiative, the 2002 Saudi-led proposal that offered full diplomatic ties with Riyadh and fifty-six other Arab and Muslim countries once Israel reaches a peace accord with the Palestinians. While seemingly farfetched at the moment, the initiative retains some value with diplomats. While Netanyahu told an interviewer in 2014 that the proposal was drawn up at a very different time in the Middle East and was no longer relevant, he said last month that if it were revised, “then we can talk.”
The question is what happens now. The main Saudi personality in the slow process of publicly acknowledging Israel has been former intelligence chief and ambassador Prince Turki al-Faisal, a more high-profile figure than Eshki but also not a current official. So far this year, Turki has shaken hands with then-Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon and debated with Netanyahu’s former national security advisor. Would he meet in public with Gold, who once wrote a book titled Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism? And could such a meeting be held in Israel? Moreover, after Netanyahu’s most recent comment about revising the Arab Peace Initiative, Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir asked, “Why should we change [it]? I believe the argument that the Arab Peace Initiative needs to be watered down in order to accommodate the Israelis is not the right approach.” The next step may well depend on Arab public reaction (or lack thereof) to Eshki’s visit. The response has largely been indifferent so far, though it may be too early to judge.
Former Saudi general Anwar Eshki’s visit to Israel last week has stirred controversy among opinion-makers on Arab social media, earning him the hashtag #Eshki_in_Israel and leading many to accuse Riyadh of collusion with the “Zionist enemy.”
Some openly criticized the government, including top journalist Jamal Khashouggi, the director of the Al Arab TV network owned by Prince Waleed bin Talal.
“With the exception of the government,” he wrote, “none of us represents the official position of the kingdom, only our own. Yet, it doesn’t mean that you can break the law.”
Iraqi politician Noori Almoradi seized the opportunity to settle a score with the Saudis: “Report: Saudi General Anwar Eshki visiting Israel! I’m getting suspicious! Eshki is a well-known Jewish family – how did they make it to the King’s army???”
Jordanian columnist Yasser Zaatreh, a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, tweeted: “Isn’t it strange that Anwar Eshki met with [Director General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry] Dore Gold, author of the book ‘Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism’?”
Israel pushed for a larger military aid package from the U.S. after the Iran deal was signed last year, but a senior Israeli general believes the country would be better off without assistance from America.
The billions of dollars the U.S. sends to Israel each year “harms and corrupts us,” Maj. Gen. (Res.) Gershon Hacohen said in an interview with Defense News. Hacohen, former head of the Israel Defense Force’s elite war colleges, said Israel would “be far better off” if they could wean themselves off the money sent from their largest ally.
The White House announced earlier in July that under the larger aid package, Israel would be required to spend the money it receives on U.S. defense systems, the New York times reported. The exact amount of the renewed deal has not been determined, but Israel has pushed for a larger amount since the contentious deal allowed Iran to continue developing nuclear technology, which Israel condemned as dangerous for the Middle East.(RELATED: Netanyahu Slams Iran Deal: ‘What A Stunning, Historic Mistake’ [VIDEO])
Reducing dependency on U.S. aid would require strong leadership, Hacohen told Defense News in the Monday article, “but if this could be done in a calculated, well planned manner, it would restore our sovereignty, our military self-sufficiency and our industrial capacity.”
The European Union has expanded its illegal building activities – to the southern Har Hevron area.
Until now, the EU has sponsored illegal construction mostly in the Adumim region, east of Jerusalem.
However, last Shabbat, residents of the town of Carmel were shocked to discover two new, large, EU-sponsored trailer homes, placed over Shabbat, only ten meters away from the town.
The trailers, mostly provided for Palestinian citizens, break international law and are a security threat for Israelis.
Recently, the Palestinian Authority have invested massive funds and resources in the Har Hevron region. Last week, the PA planted groves right up to the fence of Carmel, in an effort to steal sovereign Israeli land.
Several weeks ago, the Prime Minister of the PA, Rami Hamdallah, visited the Palestinian outpost next to the town. A video clip posted on the internet shows his security standing next to the town, armed with handguns – even though that’s illegal in Area C.
“We’re talking about a significant uptick in the illegal construction activities of the EU,” explains Oved Arad, director of local activities for the Regavim Movement.
Israeli security guards the Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem shot a Palestinian woman in the leg Tuesday after she charged at them and ignored calls to stop, police said.
A police statement said a Palestinian woman, roughly 18 years old from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Aqab, approached the checkpoint and walked into the inspection area for cars. She then ran at security guards “who told her to stop multiple times,”
When the woman ignored their warning, the guards shot at her legs, the statement said. The woman was lightly injured and Magen David Adom paramedics treated her at the scene.
A police bomb disposal expert was called in to check the woman’s bag, and found a knife inside.
After the incident, rioting broke out at the site, a key crossing between Jerusalem and Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority. Police responded with riot-control munitions.
In a video released Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Israel’s Arab citizens to take a more active part in society.
In what was seen as an attempt to galvanize his rightist base during the 2015 election, Netanyahu had warned on Election Day in March 2015 that “Arab voters are going in droves to the polls” with the help of “left-wing” activists. A posting on his Facebook page at midday during the balloting said the high turnout by Arab voters was putting right-wing rule “in danger.”
Netanyahu’s latest video, released on YouTube and Facebook in both English and Hebrew versions, began with a reference to his perceived anti-Arab statements on election day. “I apologized for how my comment was misunderstood,” said Netanyahu.
“Today,” he added, “I want to go further.”
“Today I am asking Arab citizens in Israel to take part in our society — in droves. Work in droves, study in droves, thrive in droves.”
Israel’s Arab citizens were part of its success, he said.
Israeli Arab MKs rejected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s outreach on Monday night in the release of YouTube videos urging the country’s Arab citizens to engage further in Israeli society.
Joint List head Ayman Odeh in a biting response on Tuesday said, “But Mr. Prime Minister, you are right about one thing, we really want to be part of society, but maybe I’ll surprise you now saying, we do not want to be second-class citizens in a racist and occupying state.”
He also mentioned that “more than one hundred thousand Arab citizens who live in unrecognized villages in the Negev, they cannot listen to your words, not in Hebrew nor in English…simply their homes do not have electricity.”
Odeh also charged that the prime minister “regularly incites” against the Arab public.
A mortar shell, apparently errant fire from Syria, struck the central Golan Heights on Monday, the Israel Defense Forces said. Israeli jets responded with fire toward the launch site of the shell.
The shell hit “an open area near the security fence,” the army said, likely referring to Israel’s border fence along the Golan’s demilitarized zone. There were no reports of injuries.
The strike came amid reports of increased fighting between the Syrian regime and rebels in the area around Quneitra, in the demilitarized zone.
An IDF statement shortly after the incident said, “The IAF has successfully targeted the source of the fire in Syria. The Syrian government is responsible for all fire from Syria and the IDF will continue to act in order to preserve Israeli sovereignty and safeguard Israel.”
Syrian opposition reports said mortars were being fired by armed groups at the village of Medinat al-Ba’ath, near the border with Israel.
Hamas is reportedly trying to recruit more women into its ranks and is now offering weapons training programs for teenage girls as young as 15, Israel Hayom reported Monday.
Prior or 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, the Gaza Strip’s ruler allowed women to join the terrorist organization only as support staff, but after the conflict ended, Hamas apparently also began recruiting women for active duty.
Hamas is reportedly actively recruiting girls and women between the ages of 15 and 25, and teaching them how to fire handguns and rifles. Women who join the organization are reportedly also offered hand-to-hand combat training, as well as field skills training such as learning how to scale walls and learning how to avoid obstacles like burning tires.
Hezbollah has embedded its rocket arsenal in villages across Lebanon, ensuring that any Israeli strike on the Iran-backed terrorist group’s military assets will lead to mass civilian casualties, a former Treasury official said on Monday.
Hezbollah has “turned the Shiite villages … into essentially missile silos,” Jonathan Schanzer, now the vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), said while speaking on a panel hosted by FDD on the possibility of a future conflict between Hezbollah and Israel.
“This is going to be a huge problem for the Israelis. We have heard it from Israeli leadership. What they said is that all of Lebanon is now south Lebanon,” he added. South Lebanon has traditionally been a stronghold for Hezbollah, where much of the fighting between the terrorist group and Israel took place in previous conflicts.
“What you have is rockets placed under homes, schools, apartment buildings, etc., so when the Israelis need to try to strike these weapons before they’re launched, it will potentially lead to mass casualties,” Schanzer continued. This is when international pressure on Israel to mitigate its military actions generally intensifies, he observed. “Essentially Hezbollah has put Israel in a no-win situation. If they want to win this war, if they want to try to knock out these weapons, it will inevitably bring that backlash.”
Elliott Abrams: Bombing Hospitals in Syria
Obama policy toward Syria has really never wavered: the United States will do next to nothing to stop this slaughter. The single thing we do appear ready to do is parley with the Russians, as if they were possible partners in stopping the killing rather than partners of Assad’s in mass murder.
So the murder continues. A thought experiment: what if the United States said it must stop, and next time barrel bombs and missiles are used to destroy civilian targets like apartment houses and hospitals we will destroy the Assad air force? The net result of Obama policy has been to allow Assad to create millions of refugees, whose flight has helped destabilize all Syria’s neighbors and even the European Union.
I’ve said this before in this blog, but it is worth repeating: the president who created the “Atrocities Prevention Board” with great fanfare and who proudly said “Never Again” is sitting with his hands folded while atrocities in Syria continue and continue, year after year. The “Atrocities Prevention Board” cannot prevent atrocities, but Barack Obama can. And his inaction will be a permanent stain on his presidency.
A recently announced proposal by Secretary of State John Kerry to closely coordinate American military activity in Syria with Russia is coming under growing criticism from U.S. officials, European allies, and moderate rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Reuters reported on Sunday.
The deal involves sharing intelligence with Russia to help target the Nusra Front, a non-ISIS terrorist group that is fighting the Assad regime. However, according to critics, the deal would allow both Russian and Syrian ground forces to target moderate rebels opposed to Assad. Critics consider the plan to be naive for placing trust in Russia, with some members of the European coalition against ISIS saying that Moscow has proven an untrustworthy ally in Syria.
American officials have also expressed fears that the proposal, which has been under discussion since earlier this month, could encourage moderate U.S. rebels to join extreme groups fighting Assad.
Robert Ford, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria who is now a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, told Reuters that “it’s not clear to me that the Russians can deliver on their side of the deal.”
Nor would these be the only secret documents kept from Congress. Last year there was a scandal over side deals between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran governing the inspection of military sites. According to those side deals, which were reported in August of last year, Iran, not IAEA inspectors would take samples for testing. This side deal raised questions as to how accurately the IAEA could assess suspicious activity by Iran.
As it happens, the Parhcin testing turned up two uranium particles last year that even the administration, in June, acknowledged came from Iran’s past nuclear research. Yet despite this find, the IAEA, in December of last year, declared its investigation into Iran’s past nuclear activities closed allowing the deal to proceed to Implementation Day and the ending of nuclear sanctions against Iran.
In addition to these problems the IAEA reporting on Iran’s nuclear program is less detailed that it has been in the past. This compromises the vaunted transparency of the deal and has prompted criticism from Democratic senators who supported the deal.
Taken together – allowing Iran to improve its enrichment, giving Iran control over inspections, watering down the reporting of the IAEA – we have a deal that was designed not to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, but rather a deal designed to ensure that Iran is never penalized for future nuclear violations.
For instance, after the UNSC unanimously passed Resolution 2231 nearly a year ago, Iran claimed that any new sanctions could prompt it to walk away from the deal. This interpretation muddies the waters for any prospective economic action to counter threats Tehran poses to the international community on terrorism, human rights or illicit finance. The JCPOA says the United States and the EU “will refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalisation of trade and economic relations with Iran,” meaning that the Islamic Republic could credibly threaten to walk away each time nonnuclear sanctions are levied. And with the deal now in its implementation phase, questions on Iranian violations of not just the letter but the “spirit” of the accord become even more pressing.
In sum, bad deals create worse precedents. The international community has on paper bought itself perhaps a decade of relative security by agreeing to the JCPOA, but the lessons that the agreement offers would-be proliferators is a dangerous one. Through skill and obstinacy, Tehran negotiated away long-agreed nonproliferation tenets on enrichment and delivery vehicles. The future of the JCPOA and Tehran’s adherence to it remain uncertain, but the poor precedents that the deal sets for both allies and adversaries will seriously complicate attempts to negotiate future nonproliferation agreements.
Shmuley Boteach: The decline and fall of supporters of the Iran deal
When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to speak to Congress and the American people to warn of the danger of Iran’s nuclear program, and the shortcomings of the agreement negotiated by the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton’s pick for her vice president, Senator Tim Kaine, was among the Democrats who boycotted his speech.
Kaine followed that cowardly and shameful act by joining Congresswoman and head of the Democratic National Convention Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, my close friend Senator Cory Booker and other Democrats in the House and Senate who followed Obama’s lead like lemmings off a national security cliff when he demanded they support his catastrophic deal with Iran. In the Senate, Cory and others supported a filibuster that guaranteed there would not even be a vote.
On the single most important vote affecting Israel’s security, one on which both the Israeli government and opposition agreed should be defeated, the Democrats chose political expediency over principle and the lives of Israelis.
I singled out Booker and Wasserman-Schultz because they were among the most shocking supporters of the Iran deal, given the massive Jewish backing both had throughout their careers, and the repeated public promises both made to the Jewish community to protect Israel, which they betrayed when they voted to give the murderers in Tehran $150 billion. Thanks to the catastrophic deal Iran has the resources to escalate the destabilization of the region, further advance its nuclear ambitions, research and develop more deadly ballistic missiles and support global terrorism.
The Iranian foreign ministry on Tuesday denied US accusations that three al-Qaeda operatives were in Iran, helping to move money and weapons around the Middle East, state media reported.
The US Treasury announced sanctions on Wednesday against the three senior al-Qaeda members, saying they were based in Iran and had key logistical roles for the group.
But Bahram Ghasemi, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, said there was no knowledge of their whereabouts.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has no information of the presence of these people on its territory,” he told IRIB state television.
“The US administration, instead of issuing general statements, should in practice enable a coordinated international fight against terrorist groups by sharing precise information.”
“Iran continues its strong determination in fighting terrorist groups,” he added.
The US Treasury named the three alleged operatives as Faisal Jassim Mohammed al-Amri al-Khalidi, Yisra Muhammad Ibrahim Bayumi and Abu Bakr Muhammad Muhammad Ghumayn.
Kosovo prosecutors have asked a court to expel an Iranian man from the country on charges related to money laundering and terrorism funding.
A statement from the special prosecutor’s office in Pristina says the Iranian was the head of a local Shiite group called Kur’ani.
The statement identified him only as H.A.B. and said he had not shown the sources and destination of hundreds of thousands of euros spent between 2005 and 2015. It said withdrawals from the bank account are much larger than the income from donations and that the Iranian has lied about the origin of donations.
Due to the investigation, authorities have suspended five Muslim organizations operating in the country. The statement didn’t give any more details about why they had been suspended.
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