Jordan’s king says Amman preventing ‘judaization’ of holy sites in Jerusalem
Jordan’s King Abdullah II praised on Saturday his country’s handling of the Temple Mount crisis in Jerusalem in recent weeks and said Jordan would continue to fulfill its “historic role” of protecting “Islamic and Christian holy sites” in the Israeli capital and preventing their “Judaization” while ensuring the maintenance of the status quo at the sensitive compound.
Speaking to a group of local journalists, the Jordanian monarch said Amman worked continuously to “contain the ramifications” of Israel’s imposed security measures at entrances to the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif which houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock sanctuary, and to pressure Israel to roll back the installations and “through our common stand with our Palestinian brethren.”
Israel took the rare step of briefly shutting down the Temple Mount in the wake of a July 14 terror attack in which three terrorists killed two Israeli police officers with weapons they had smuggled onto the holy site, and reopened it two days later with metal detectors and cameras in place.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry on Friday announced that a preliminary probe was launched into the attack Sunday near the Israeli Embassy in Amman where an Israeli security guard killed two Jordanian nationals, including a teen assailant who was attacking him with a screwdriver.
The announcement came after Jordan announced that Israeli embassy staff, who came back to Israel on Monday following the violent incident, would not be allowed to return to Amman until an investigation was opened. Jordan has been pressing Israel to probe the incident, which has promoted a major diplomatic dispute between the two countries, which were already navigating tense relations surrounding violence at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, administered by a Jordanian-controlled trust.
On Friday, hundreds of Jordanians held a protest near the Israeli embassy in Amman over the incident, calling on the government to shut it down and cancel the 1994 peace treaty with Israel.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday that Israel was “launching a probe process into the incident, in accordance with the appropriate legal proceedings in such matters.”
Jonathan Hoffman: Balfour’s Shadow
Remember David Cronin? He’s the campaigning Irish ‘journalist’ who tried to arrest Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Brussels in 2011. Now he’s contributed to the growing pile of Israel-traducing books offered at markdown prices by Amazon, ahead of the Balfour Centenary in November. His book is called ‘Balfour’s Shadow’ and it focuses in particular on relations between the UK and the Israeli Arabs and Palestinians (he wrongly calls them all ’Palestinians’) between 1917 and the present day. The book is published by Pluto Press, the former publishing arm of the far-Left SWP. Cronin spoke about the book at a meeting on 27 July.
Mistake #1 comes with his timeline. In spring/summer 1948 he writes that ‘Zionist forces undertake major ethnic cleansing programme in Palestine’. Not true, see Efraim Karsh. Only a handful of Arabs were attacked by Jewish irregular forces. The vast majority left because their leaders told them to go. They were told to leave for their own safety and that they would be able to return after the fighting. The Mayor of Haifa begged the Arabs to stay.
Mistake #2: Cronin says it’s a myth that Balfour was acting benevolently in issuing the Declaration. No it’s not. Balfour’s appreciation of the history of the Jews was genuine. See for example this quote:
“Here you have a small race, originally inhabiting a small country ….., at no time in its history wielding anything that can be described as material power, crushed between great Oriental monarchies, its inhabitants deported, then scattered, then driven out of the country to every part of the world and yet maintaining continuity of religion and racial tradition of which there is no parallel elsewhere…. We cannot forget how they have been treated during long centuries. Our whole religious organization of Europe has proved itself guilty of great crimes against this race. [Speech to the Lords (1922); Quoted in Lord Turnberg’s book ‘Beyond the Balfour Declaration’]
In fact Balfour and Weizmann became good friends. So much so that in 1930 when Balfour was on his deathbed, Weizmann was the only non-family member allowed to see him.
Mistake #4: Cronin writes that at the time of the Balfour Declaration, the most prominent Jews in the UK opposed Zionism. Some did, others (Lord Rothschild, Herbert Samuel for example) didn’t. The President of the Board of Deputies opposed Zionism but for this he was voted out of office (see this book).
CEO Jonathan Greenblatt wants the Anti-Defamation League to get ‘involved in fights it has no place being in, like Hispanic hate crime. It’s not their lane. It’s bad, but not anti-Semitic.’
This past April, my husband, New York Post Op-Ed Editor Seth Mandel, started receiving a number of identical hostile tweets (right down to the same typo). He noticed many were officials at various branches of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Seth had been criticizing the organization’s national director and CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, a former Obama administration staffer, for increasingly heavy-handed bias. Greenblatt was essentially turning the vaunted nonpartisan anti-hate organization into a left-wing pressure group and vehicle for partisan score-settling.
He realized what was happening: The ADL had launched a coordinated rapid-response attack on him — a Jewish journalist. The ADL denied it, but the next month, Tablet Magazine turned up the proof: ADL staffers were sent two sample tweets with which to attack Seth.
The most ironic thing about all this was that less than a year earlier, I had been named to an ADL task force seeking to combat coordinated anti-Semitic online harassment. And here was the ADL itself coordinating such a campaign against my husband.
Alas, that was just one instance in the last several months where conservatives have watched the lopsided manner in which the ADL has attacked anti-Semitism under Greenblatt’s watch. During the election and since President Trump’s victory, the ADL has expended most of its institutional firepower and energy on the alt-right. While President Trump’s appointment of Stephen Bannon, who once deemed his website the “platform” for the alt-right, is concerning and justifies the ADL’s attentions on the political philosophy, conservatives have noticed the ADL’s myopic fight against anti-Semitism. This past week, the ADL put together a list of the 36 worst members of the alt-right and the “alt-light,” leaving many wondering when it would release a similar list of progressive activists.
Increasingly Strident PA Statements Prior To Removal Of Security Measures
As stated, throughout the crisis ‘Abbas stressed the Palestinian sovereignty in Jerusalem. In a July 25, 2017 meeting of the PLO Executive Committee and Fatah Central Committee in Ramallah, ‘Abbas said: “Jerusalem is ours. It is our capital and our sovereignty. As long as the situation in occupied Jerusalem does not return to what it was before July 14, there will be no changes [in our position].” He called for Israel to remove all the security measures introduced since that date, reiterating that “only then will things return to normal in occupied Jerusalem.” Praising the Arab residents of Jerusalem, he added: “What you did was defend your honor, your religion and your holy sites. It was the true answer to those who wish to harm our holy sites and the principles of our faith. We supported you in what you did and are [still] doing. We decided to suspend the security coordination; [that decision] still holds. We [decided to] defend the holy sites; that still holds as well. We [now] want to review everything that has happened from [July 14] until today, in order to decide what to do [next].”
Article In PA Daily Praises Home Town Of Halamish Attacker
A harsher tone was evident also in an article by Bassam Barhoum in the Al-Hayat Al-Jadida daily that praised the village of Kobar, home town of Omar Al-Abed, the man who stabbed three Israelis to death and wounded another in their home in Halamish on the evening of July 21. Under the headline “Kobar Creates Glory,” the article stated that Al-Abed had carried out the attack “after feeling great anger” at what was going on in Jerusalem: “The village of Kobar is today shaping its glory by means of its steadfastness, provocation, and stand against [Israel]. For the past week, Kobar has known no sleep or tranquility, after young Omar Al-Abed felt great anger in light of what is happening at Al-Aqsa and in Jerusalem and carried out an operation in the settlement of Halamish on Friday… The sons of the village [include also] Marwan Al-Barghouti – Fatah Central Committee member – as well as Fakhri and Nael Al-Barghouti [terrorists released in the Shalit prisoner exchange deal] – the most veteran prisoners who were held in the Israeli prison for over 34 years, along with a prisoner who was expelled to the Gaza Strip, Jasser Al-Barghouti. During the intifadas of the Palestinian people against the occupation, 15 martyrs were from the village of Kobar, as were dozens who were wounded, and hundreds of prisoners… Kobar stands fast against the occupation and today is shaping its special national ethos and writing an illuminated page in the history of the national Palestinian struggle…”
Palestinian Foreign Ministry: We Should Learn From This Struggle Until We Restore The Legal Status Quo That Held At Al-Aqsa Before 1967
The Palestinian foreign ministry called to implement the lessons of this struggle in future campaigns for Jerusalem “until the historical legal status quo that held at Al-Aqsa before 1967 is restored.” Its statement described the current achievement as “a real opportunity that should form a basis for further achievements in Al-Aqsa and occupied East Jerusalem,” and added: “We should learn from the popular momentum which was a great cry of defiance in the face of the occupation authorities… [This momentum] should be a source of inspiration for us in the next stage of our activity… and a model for emulation in our future campaigns for Jerusalem and the holy sites, chief of them the blessed Al-Aqsa… The Palestinians must be alert and draw lessons [from what happened] in order to preserve the achievement and build upon it until the historical legal status quo that held at Al-Aqsa before 1967 is restored in full.”
Social media users from across the Arab world, including journalists and politicians, have been celebrating what they characterized as a major victory for the Palestinians at the Temple Mount after Israel decided to remove all security arrangements at the various entrances to the complex.
Protest leaders, including top Palestinian officials, claimed the metal detectors were part of an Israeli conspiracy to hamper Muslim worship on the Mount. Israel’s new security measures were put into place in direct response to a Palestinian terrorist attack at the Mount two weeks ago in which three assailants somehow smuggled weapons onto the site.
The Jordanian-Palestinian journalist and analyst Yasser Zaatreh wrote, “The occupation’s surrender is a big lesson for anyone willing to learn. Jerusalem won by force of will and the resistance. Those who made this victory can achieve an even greater victory.”
Egyptian journalist and author Waiel Kandil wrote, “The battle for Al Aqsa: The removal of the electronic metal detectors and the cameras is an exclusive victory for the resistance. … Proponents of normalization will try to pollute this victory with talk of deals under the table.”
Saudi journalist and columnist Ahmad al-Assiri wrote, “After dozens of disappointments, what happened at the Al Aqsa Mosque is the first victory over the Zionists since the Balfour Declaration. … Al Aqsa is a red line.”
Kuwaiti parliament member Majed al-Mutairi wrote, “Allah, as you allowed us to see the victory of the worshippers over the occupation, please allow us to pray in the Al Aqsa Mosque when it is liberated from the occupation and its impurity.”
Security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will gradually increase as long as Muslim access to the Temple Mount remains unrestricted, a senior Palestinian official told The Times of Israel on Saturday.
The official praised Israel for removing security restrictions imposed at the Temple Mount in the wake of a deadly terror attack at the site earlier this month. He also praised the Shin Bet Security service and the IDF for their handling of the mounting tensions surrounding the Jerusalem holy site, and expressed hope the two sides were on the way to resuming working ties.
Last week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas suspended security coordination with Israel to protest the installation of metal detectors at entrances to the site, a move that sparked widespread protests and condemnation from the Muslim world.
The security cooperation between Israel and the PA, in place for years despite near-frozen diplomatic ties, is seen as critical for both Israel and Abbas’s Fatah faction to keep a lid on violence in the West Bank, particularly from the Hamas terror group.
Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) is exploring the possibility of using the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) tax revenue, which Israel collects on the PA’s behalf, to pay off debts owed by Palestinian individuals to Israelis, her office said on Thursday.
Under the 1993 Oslo Accords, a mechanism was set up by which Israel collects taxes — value added tax and customs fees — on behalf of the PA, amounting to approximately $100 million a month.
Palestinians’ debts to Israelis currently stand at some 500 million shekels ($140 million), which the Palestinian Authority has been unable to collect from 20,716 individuals.
The situation involves 53,506 cases in which court orders or writs of execution have been issued by the Justice Ministry’s Enforcement and Collection Authority in cases where Israelis involved in transactions with Palestinian were not paid or provided the service for which they paid.
All cases involve transactions under NIS 75,000 ($21,000).
Metal detectors and are commonplace at most prominent mosques in the Middle East, and more than 5,000 surveillance cameras (and 100,000 security guards) monitor pilgrims to Mecca in Saudi Arabia during the annual Hajj.
While the Palestinian terrorist was being treated for his wounds in an Israeli hospital, the Palestinian Authority celebrated his actions and set in motion the mechanism according to which he will receive a salary of more than $3,000 per month for his attempt to become a “martyr” through murdering Jews.
It is time for the international community to stop enabling radicals to use the Palestinian people as pawns in their greater agenda, transparent to everyone, including all Muslims: to obliterate Israel through delegitimization.
IDF soldiers raided early on Saturday the offices of a Palestinian media group in the West Bank city of Ramallah, seizing equipment and documents.
The Palmedia group headquarters were raided on suspicion of incitement to terror in its broadcasts and other news content, the Israeli military indicated.
The Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that several offices working with Palmedia, a media production company that provides broadcast services to other media outlets, were also broken into by Israeli forces.
Wafa said the offices were “ransacked,” and some damage was caused to the property.
It also reported that residents hurled stones at the soldiers as they left the area.
Dozens of masked rioters in the coastal city of Jaffa hurled stones and rolled burning tires at police officers on Saturday, in clashes that erupted hours after police shot two men allegedly fleeing the scene of a shooting at the city’s port. A man in his twenties died of his wounds and another man of the same age was moderately injured.
Police blocked off parts of the city’s main Yefet Street to vehicular traffic to contain the clashes.
At least three rioters were detained for questioning, police said.
In the early hours of Saturday, police officers opened fire at two men who were suspected of being involved in a shooting at the Jaffa port. According to police, the men attempted to flee the scene of the shooting on mopeds.
This week’s stabbing and shooting incident at Israel’s embassy compound in Amman, the manner in which it was resolved, and the reactions on the street in Jordan say much about Israel’s current situation in the Mideast.
The neighboring governments – or at least some of them – need Israel, want its security and intelligence cooperation, and even appreciate what the country has to offer in the fight against their greater threats in the region: Iran and fanatical Islamic terrorism.
The people, on the other hand, hate the Jewish state.
The first part of the above equation explains why Jordan’s King Abdullah II let the embassy security guard go back to Israel after he was stabbed Sunday night, and fired two shots that killed the assailant and another man at the scene.
The second part of the equation explains the Jordanian public’s furious reaction to the release of the guard. While the incensed public reaction can be explained in part by the fact that the guard did kill two Jordanians – one, evidently, who had nothing to do with the stabbing – there was more to the anger than just this incident, and it reflects a deep, intense hostility toward Israel felt by many Jordanians.
A controversial General Assembly vote to increase the U.N.’s, and consequently the U.S.’s, funding of a Palestinian refugee agency was postponed Friday, a move that an unhappy Palestinian ambassador suggested to Breitbart News was because of U.S. opposition.
The resolution up for a vote, first reported by the New York Post’s Benny Avni, would increase the funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The agency has proved controversial in part because Palestine is alone in having its own refugee body – all other refugees are covered by the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) – but also because of its alleged anti-Israel bias and links to Hamas.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for it to be disbanded, saying it only perpetuates the Israeli-Palestinian crisis by stoking anti-Israeli sentiment. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has not publicly agreed with Netanyahu’s position but has repeatedly taken strong stances against the anti-Israel bias at the U.N. as a whole.
A letter signed by all 100 U.S. Senators in April called on UNRWA to “pursue reforms or risk significant consequences.” The Times of Israel noted at that time that a third of UNRWA’s budget comes from the U.S. Fox News reported that the U.S. donates $600 million a year to the body.
But the resolution, recognizing what it calls the “extremely critical financial situation” of UNRWA, recommends “a gradual increase in the support to be provided to the Agency from the regular budget of the United Nations.”
The Taylor Force Act stipulates that American aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) be conditioned on the discontinuation of their longstanding sponsorship of terrorism through payments (called “salaries”) to jailed terrorists, and the families of deceased terrorists.
After the past two weeks — when five Israelis have been killed and others injured in a wave of riots and terror attacks that the PA helped to incite — there has never been a better time to pass the Taylor Force Act. Doing so would demonstrate that the continued Palestinian sponsorship and incitement of terrorism will not be accepted, and that those involved in such activities will not be considered credible parties to peace negotiations.
The Waqf (which administers the Temple Mount), and other Muslim sources have claimed that some of the demonstrations were in protest of the metal detectors that were installed at the Muslim entrances to the Temple Mount. Yet these positions ignore the fact that the metal detectors (which have since been removed due to unfair pressure on Israel) were only installed after terrorists killed two Israeli policemen at the Temple Mount; that this was not the first jihadi attack there; that subsequent searches revealed more weaponry at the site; and that the metal detectors did not restrict access to or the freedom of worship at the Temple Mount — nor alter the Waqf’s exclusive Muslim control within the compound.
Regardless of one’s position regarding the metal detectors, the violent demonstrations that the PA, Fatah and the Waqf called for and organized — and their accusations that Israel was attempting to alter the status quo at the Temple Mount (an accusation that has traditionally been interpreted by Muslims as a call to violence) — were clearly unacceptable. In addition to the riots and terror attacks, PA President Mahmoud Abbas also announced the suspension of all relations between the PA and Israel.
The father of the fallen IDF lieutenant Hadar Goldin on Friday accused Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman of breaking a promise to return his son’s remains from Gaza.
Simha Goldin’s son was killed in the 2014 war in Gaza, as was First Sgt. Oron Shaul. The remains of both soldiers are still held by the Hamas terror group.
“Liberman is sentencing us to 50 years of suffering,” Simha Goldin said during a memorial service for his son, claiming the defense minister had told him he may have to wait decades for his son’s body to be returned.
“Two days after the last Memorial Day for IDF fallen soldiers, Liberman told us, the Goldin family and the Shaul family, that Hadar and Oron will wait [for their return], just as Eli Cohen waits for his return to Israel, just as those who perished in the Dakar submarine waited,” he said.
Eli Cohen was hanged by Syria as an Israeli spy on May 18, 1965, and despite decades of efforts, his body has still not been returned by the Syrians. The Dakar submarine sank in January 1968 with 69 Israeli crew on board. The wreckage was only found in 1999.
The authorities in the northern German city of Hamburg announced on Saturday that a Palestinian asylum-seeker went on a terror spree in a supermarket, resulting in the murder of a man and injuries to six people.
Hamburg’s interior senator said security officials were aware that the 26-year-old Ahmad A. was an Islamist. Eyewitnesses at the supermarket reported Ahmad shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the terror spree.
Multiple German news outlet reported that Ahmad screamed “Allahu Akbar” during the attack. “Suddenly I saw a man smeared with blood running along the other side of the road with a knife,” Ralf W. told Germany’s mass-circulation daily Bild. Ralf said Ahmed yelled “Allahu Akbar” as he fled the supermarket.
A second eyewitness told the NTV that “as he was running out… he held up his arms and shouted ‘Allahu Akbar.’”
“We have no clear information as to the motive or the number of wounded,” Hamburg police said in a tweet. “It was definitely a lone attacker.” They said initial reports about a possible robbery had not been substantiated.
Olaf Scholz, the mayor of Hamburg, said the Ahmad could not be deported because he did not have personal identity papers. The mayor said Ahmed was egged on by “hate.”
Scholz added, “It makes me especially angry that the perpetrator appears to be a person who claimed protection in Germany and then turned his hate against us.”
The verse is not an obscure one. It appears in the Hamas charter, and is frequently used by preachers urging people to hate and kill Jews.
The Sacramento Bee story about the July 21 sermon opaquely noted that Shahin cited “Islamic texts about an end-times battle,” but inexplicably concealed from readers his actual language about Muslims fighting Jews.
This omission is particularly striking in an article that leaves it to readers to decide whether Shahin’s sermon was, in fact, anti-Semitic. The imam’s words caused “critics to condemn him as anti-Semitic,” wrote Sacramento Bee reporter Anita Chabria, before quoting mosque officials who defended the imam and insisted they stand against anti-Semitism. How are readers expected to understand the criticism, and to properly evaluate the comments, if the full extent of Shahin’s comments are hidden from them?
Mosque officials claimed that the imam was mistranslated, the Bee reported. Shahin’s statements about a “corrupted” Jewish Torah and “Muslims fighting the Jews,” though, were made in English. Both comments were omitted from the Sacramento Bee report. The reporter also turned to Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian, who expressed doubts about the precision of a widely circulated translation of Arabic parts of the sermon. The call to “liberate the Al-Aqsa mosque from the filth of the Jews” was more correctly translated as a call to liberate the mosque from “the defilement of the Jews,” Bazian told the newspaper.
The Berkeley professor might not have been the most appropriate resource to consult with on such matters. He is the founder of the radical anti-Israel group Students for Justice in Palestine, slurs Israel as an apartheid state, and is affiliated with, and fund-raised for, groups and individuals that have illegally financed Hamas, a designated terror organization committed to Israel’s destruction. In testimony before congress, Jonathan Schanzer documented “significant overlap” between Bazian’s American Muslims for Palestine and “people who worked for or on behalf of organizations that were designated, dissolved, or held civilly liable by federal authorities for supporting Hamas.” The Sacramento Bee did not disclose Bazian’s affiliation with the anti-Israel groups.
On July 25, another vigil was held at Reem’s, in what appears to be the latest in an ongoing series of actions. The peaceful low-key lunch hour event was again disrupted by a blatant attempt to infringe on the groups constitutional rights of freedom assembly and freedom of expression
And again, Reem Assil’s reaction to a non-violent protest was to call “security”
However, there are no trained security guards at Fruitvale Village.
According to the East Bay Express, several years ago, the Unity Council, the non-profit that owns Fruitvale Village decided to end its contract with Universal Protection Services, a unionized security company. Instead, the trained guards were replaced with “neighborhood ambassadors” -workers without guard cards or formal security training.
Reem Assil and the Unity Council are now relying on these “neighborhood ambassadors” to curtail the civil rights of the lawful protesters. The ambassadors from the Safety Neighborhood Ambassador Program (SNAP) are employees of Peralta Service Corporation, a subsidiary of the Unity Council, and are clearly uncomfortable being asked to infringe on people’s constitutional rights
The influential German news magazine Der Spiegel has deleted from its bestseller list a book that one of its own editors had pushed up the rankings, after it was found to be “antisemitic and historically revisionist”.
Finis Germania, or The End of Germany, collects the thoughts of the late historian Rolf Peter Sieferle on the position of Germany, including how it deals with the Holocaust. The book is currently at the top of Amazon.de’s bestseller chart and this month it entered Der Spiegel’s bestseller list, which many bookshops use as a basis for promotional displays, in sixth place.
Germany devours book on Angela Merkel decision to open borders
Finis Germania is missing from the list in this week’s issue of the magazine. Many bookshops have followed suit and are not displaying the title.
Susanne Beyer, Der Spiegel’s deputy editor, said Finis Germania had been omitted because the magazine considered the book – posthumously published by a small house, Antaios, known for its far-right leanings – to be “rightwing extremist, antisemitic and historically revisionist”.
Since Der Spiegel understood itself as “a medium of enlightenment even on historical subjects”, Beyer continued, the magazine had decided not to help advance the sales of such a book.
Beyer admitted that, in June, Finis Germania had made it on to a prestigious list of nonfiction books of the month, after her colleague Johannes Saltzwedel recommended the title.
First, the article had originally attributed the fact that a Jordanian carpenter had stabbed an Israeli embassy guard to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, as if the fact could not be independently verified and simply reported without attribution:
The Israeli foreign ministry said the guard shot dead a Jordanian worker who had come to an apartment to install furniture and had stabbed him in the back with a screwdriver.
It’s not only the Israeli Foreign Minister which said the Jordanian attacked the Israeli prompting the Israeli to shoot the Jordanian. Upon concluding its investigation earlier this week, the Jordanian Public Security Directorate stated:
Testimonies of eyewitnesses revealed that during the verbal argument between the carpenter and the son of carpentry owner, the carpenter attacked the Israeli diplomat who responded by shooting.
Why qualify the Jordanian attack on the Israeli as an Israeli Foreign Ministry claim when the Jordanians themselves agree that this actually happened?
AFP editors agreed with CAMERA that news consumers should know that Jordanian authorities, along with Israel, confirm that the Jordanian worker attacked the Israeli embassy guard.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps terrorizes its own people and casts a dark shadow over the world
The U.S. Institute of Peace notes that, “Iran has the largest and most diverse ballistic missile arsenal in the Middle East.” And that most Iranian missiles “were acquired from foreign sources — notably North Korea.”
Iran and North Korea are strategic partners, pledged by treaty to share science and technology. North Korean scientists are in Iran helping their space program, which is controlled by the IRGC.
According to the U.S. Institute of Peace: “The Islamic Republic is the only country to develop a 2,000-km missile without first having a nuclear weapons capability.”
A Congressional Research Service report “Iran’s Foreign and Defense Policies” (October 2016) and the Federation of American Scientists warn of evidence that Iran is pursuing chemical and biological weapons in violation of its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention. German Federal intelligence warned in 2015 the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps sought German equipment “for atomic, biological, and chemical weapons in a war.”
When the smoke clears over Raqqa and ISIS is no more in Syria and Iraq, the IRGC will be there, and its proxies will be everywhere, casting a darker, more ominous shadow of terror over the world.
Two years after the US-led group of six world powers reached a nuclear agreement with Iran, President Trump confirmed that Iran has met the conditions for recertification.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly condemned the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as dangerous appeasement — but, six months into his presidency, he has not attempted to dismantle it.
In 2015, President Obama said in a speech that the nuclear agreement would make the world safer. Yet as we mark the second anniversary of the JCPOA, the undeniable reality is that the deal is not delivering the outcomes that were promised.
Preventing a nuclear-armed Iran is one of the greatest geopolitical challenges facing the world today, and our decision-makers owe it to the American people to scrutinize the deal with close attention.
The central goal of negotiations with Iran was, in President Obama’s own words, “to get Iran to recognize it needs to give up its nuclear program.” Unfortunately, the fatal flaws of the deal that was eventually reached mean that the opposite is true. The JCPOA does not permanently prohibit Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. To the contrary, it provides Iran with a patient pathway to achieve exactly that.
By following the terms of the JCPOA, in less than a decade, Tehran will emerge as a nuclear threshold state with an industrial-size enrichment program and the ability to produce nuclear weapons with close to zero-breakout time.
Iran was holding an emergency meeting on Saturday to review its response to a package of sanctions approved by the US Senate, vowing a “strong response” to US punitive measures.
Iranian state TV was reporting that a parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy was hosting the meeting.
The Saturday report said deputy foreign minister and senior Iranian negotiator Abbas Araqchi said the US legislation amounts to a “hostile” breach of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. It now goes to President Donald Trump for signing.
Araqchi says: “A strong answer will be given to the action by the US.”
The new US legislation imposes mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them. It would also apply terrorism sanctions to Iran’s prestigious Revolutionary Guard and enforce an arms embargo.
Earlier Saturday, Iran condemned the sanctions passed by against its missile program, and vowed to continue it.
Dozens of worshipers staged an anti-Israel rally in Iran over stepped-up security measures by Israeli forces at the Temple Mount holy site in Jerusalem, which were set up in the wake of a terror attack on July 14 when three terrorists used weapons smuggled onto the compound to kill two Israeli officers near the site.
Chanting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America,” demonstrators in Tehran Friday afternoon were protesting Israel’s security measures at the site where the biblical Jewish temples stood and where Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.
Israel rolled back all the security measures at entrances to the Temple Mount on Thursday, following nearly two weeks of violent clashes and a boycott of the compound by Muslim worshipers heeding calls to pray in the street.
The leader of a far-right party with seats in the Slovak parliament has been charged with crimes related to the use of neo-Nazi symbols, police said Friday.
Marian Kotleba, head of the People’s Party Our Slovakia, has been charged, according to police spokesman Martin Waldl.
He gave no other details, but police said in May they were opening an investigation into whether the party gave financial gifts of 1,488 euros to several poor families in March. The number 1,488 has a symbolic meaning for neo-Nazis.
Kotleba openly admires the country’s World War II-era Nazi puppet state. His party has 14 lawmakers in the 150-seat parliament.
Vandals have toppled six headstones at one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Massachusetts.
Police responded Thursday morning to reports of what appeared to be three teenage boys seen kicking over tombstones at the Netherlands Cemetery in Melrose, Mayor Robert Dolan reported on his blog.
“I am deeply saddened and outraged by this vandalism and potential hate crime,” Dolan said. “Cemeteries are sacred grounds. Any malicious destruction is deeply saddening and must be given the full attention of law enforcement.”
I love Robert Mitchum. If I ever did something deserving of a biopic, and if I could choose anyone, dead or alive, to play me in that biopic, it would be Robert Mitchum. When you look at Robert Mitchum act, you understand he’s not acting at all: he’s still the boy who punched out his elementary school principle, the kid who got put on a goddamn chain gang at fourteen, the young man whose first job, a machininst with Lockheed, was so stressful it made him go temporarily blind. Robert Mitchum has soul and grit, and to watch him and DeNiro play the same role in their respective adaptations of Cape Fear is to understand all the terrible things that have happened to American Manhood in the last fifty years. So when I heard the announcement this week that the New York Film Festival this fall will honor Mitchum with a special retrospective of his movies, I was thrilled.
And then I remembered that bit with denying the Holocaust.
It was 1983, and Mitchum was 65. He was talking to Esquire. Asked about the slaughter of six million Jews, Mitchum said this in response: “so the Jews say.”
“So the Jews say?” the interviewer, Barry Rehfeld, asked, amazed.
“I don’t know,” Mitchum replied. “People dispute that.”
It was far from his sole pear of wisdom. “How do you say ‘trust me’ in Jewish?” he later asked Rehfeld. “Fuck you.” Then, it was onwards to a string of recollections about Jewish friends he’d had growing up, including Mel Blumberg, whose uncle, a rabbi, would tell stories about the angels climbing Jacob’s Ladder only to piss on the sinners below. To be fair, in the course of the same interview, Mitchum was also deeply dismissive of blacks, the Irish, and women.
Confronted with his comments, Mitchum argued that he was in character throughout the interview, portraying, he said, the racist Coach Delaney, the character he played in That Championship Season. The reporter ought to have understood that, and the whole thing, he wrote in a letter, a prank gone awry and “a tragedy of errors.” A Robert Mitchum character would’ve called bullshit on Robert Mitchum’s nonsensical explanation, a lame attempt to weasel out of a tough spot that is decidedly very un-Robert-Mitchum-like. (h/t MtTB)
I don’t watch Transparent. I’ve tried, but could never get past the first few episodes. I know enough self-absorbed, morally preening jerks in real life, and find no pleasure in making the acquaintance of a few more. But I know that a lot of people, for whatever reason, like the Pfeffermans—their name is as annoying as their constant whining—and these people should know that in the show’s fourth season, debuting in the fall, the Pfeffermans will be going to Israel.
According to the season’s new trailer, released today, the Jewish state is a perfect manifestation of the Pfeffermans’ state of mind: we see camels, rude haredi men, the Kotel, and the security wall. In short, all the clichéd nonsense you’d stumble upon if you traveled to Israel but were too wrapped up in your own dramas to notice that you’re in a real country, not a collection of clichés curated by CNN.
Maybe the new season will be great. Maybe the Pfeffermans will end up joining the Fauda crew in the best Netflix-Amazon show crossover idea ever, and will set out to become undercover commandos. Meanwhile, enjoy the trailer, below, if that’s your thing.
In the film Menashe, which debuts across America on July 28, director Joshua Weinstein has delicately crafted a work that emanates a rarely seen authenticity, tenderness and depth sadly lacking in other mainstream films about Hasidic Jews and their communities.
In the film, a Hasidic father named Menashe — who works long hours in a small grocery store in Brooklyn, struggling to make ends meet — has lost his young wife Lea to illness. Their sole child — Rieven, an adolescent — has also become suddenly bereft of his beloved mother. Anchored against the resulting father-and-son relationship is Aizek — Menashe’s former brother-in-law and Rieven’s uncle. He is a successful, but arrogant property owner who seeks custody of the boy to raise him in his own family.
This heart-wrenching triangulated scenario could play out anywhere. But this is Borough Park, home to numerous Hasidic groups, a world unknown — and also misunderstood and misjudged — by many. Filmed on location, this engrossing exploration of love, grief and devotion pulses to the heartbeat of the Hasidic community and its many nuances. In Menashe’s particular community, children must be brought up in a home with a mother, meaning that following his wife’s death, Menashe faces a choice between finding a wife, giving up his son, or violating the community’s tradition.
In the film, spoken almost entirely in Yiddish (with English subtitles), Weinstein sheds layer after layer, and reveals a profound humanity.
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