November 30, 2021

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10/02 Links Pt1: The Big Middle East Lie; Oslo at twenty-four – Failing the “crystal ball” test

From Ian:

The Big Middle East Lie
Nimer Mahmoud Jamal, the 37-year-old Palestinian terrorist who on September 25 murdered three Israelis at the entrance to Har Adar near Jerusalem, had a permit from the Israeli authorities to work in Israel.

His family and friends say he also had a good life and was considered lucky to have been employed by Jews because he received a higher salary and was protected by Israeli labor laws. The night before Jamal set out in his murderous mission, he spent a few hours at the fitness gym in his village, located only a few miles away from Har Adar.

So, Jamal, the murderer of the three Israelis (two of the victims were Arab Israelis), was not poor. He was not unemployed. In fact, according his friends, Jamal earned much more than what a senior police officer or school teacher working for the Palestinian Authority or Hamas brings home every month.

What was it, then, that drove Jamal to his murderous scheme, gunning down three young men who were supposed to be facilitating his entry into Israel? Was it because he could not provide for his children? No. Was it because his landlord was pressuring him about the rent? No: Jamal lived in a nice place of his own, complete with furniture, appliances and bedrooms that any family in the West would be proud to own.

Jamal wanted to murder Jews because he believed this was a noble deed that would earn him the status of shaheed (martyr) and hero among his family, friends and society. In Palestinian culture in particular, and Arab culture in general, murderers of Jews are glorified on a daily basis.

They are touted as the lucky ones who are now in the company of Prophet Mohammed and the angels in Paradise. Male terrorists are also busy with the 72 virgins they were awarded as a prize for murdering Jews. The murderers — as Muslim clerics and leaders hammer into the heads of Palestinians — are also given access to rivers of honey and fine drinks once they set foot in their imaginary Paradise.

Jamal’s friends and family are now convinced that he has been rewarded by Allah and Prophet Mohammed in Paradise for murdering three Israelis. They do not care about his children, whom he left behind, and certainly not about the families of the three Israelis he murdered.

Exposé: CNN and NYT ignored US Defense Secretary revelation on Taliban

We are living in a sick,news world, not a “fake news” world. Two of the largest pillars of the American established news media, the New York Times and the Cable News Network (CNN) just happened to omit the central point of US Secretary of Defense James Mattis’,explicit comments during his trip to Afghanistan.

He said that Russia and Iran were arming the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Wall Street Journal ]reported Mattis’ comments accurately, publicizing the declaration referring to Iran and Russia arming the Taliban in Afghanistan, “Those two countries [Russia and Iran] have suffered losses to terrorism, so I think it would be extremely unwise if they think they can somehow support terrorism in another country and not have it come back to haunt them.”

We are living in a truly ‘sick news’ world in which the NYT and CNN, due to some bizarre-world political slant, fail to report that the US Defense Secretary has openly accused Russia and Iran of actively helping murder our troops in Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a new Iranian ‘malign’ development. In fact,as Yogi Berra would say: With the US in Afghanistan, it’s the US Iraqi Military Catastrophe Groundhog Day all over again. In Iraq from 2004-2010, Iran, the ultimate terror-state, and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad (the same genocidal-psychopath that’s still there), armed the Sunni al Qaeda in Iraq to murder thousands of US soldiers and all the while Presidents Bush, and Obama, and the US military did absolutely nothing to stop them.

Israel’s security precautions

Sir, – After reading Mike Murphy’s opinion piece, one would wonder if Mr Murphy had actually travelled to Israel or if he had simply read a guide to the worst slurs against the State of Israel and decided to regurgitate them for the purposes of this article (“Degradation of Palestinians shocking to witness”, Opinion & Analysis, September 23rd).

In a piece littered with mistruths, one of the most heinous has to be his claim that Israel wants the Palestinian people to disappear. Apart from the fact that a fifth of Israel’s own citizens are Arabs, both Christian and Muslim, Israel has repeatedly called for a two-state solution where Israel will stand side by side with a democratic Palestinian state. Since the beginning of peace talks in 1993, we have made repeated and courageous offers of full statehood to the Palestinians, only to be rebuffed. The late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin paid the ultimate price for his courage in pursuing peace with the Palestinians.

Unfortunately, the current Palestinian leadership seems to lack the courage to recognise Israel’s right to exist and move forward in direct negotiations to bring about a Palestinian state. Instead they pursue their quest for statehood in the international arena, seeking symbolic recognition, which does nothing to achieve the objectives of two states for two peoples.

Numerous false allegations about how Israel treats the Palestinians are littered throughout Mr Murphy’s article. I would suggest that if Mr Murphy has an issue with the conditions of the roads around Bethlehem, he take it up with the Palestinian Authority who are responsible for the governance of that area.

More than 58 killed, 500 wounded in mass shooting in Las Vegas

At least 58 people were killed and more than 500 were injured in a shooting Sunday night at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip.

Las Vegas Metro Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo confirmed the casualty toll in a press conference.

Country music star Jason Aldean was performing Sunday night at the end of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival when the gunman opened fire across the street from inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. SWAT teams quickly descended on the concert and the casino, and officers used explosives to get into the hotel room where the suspect was inside, authorities said.

The shooter, identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on the concert from a window on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino across Las Vegas Boulevard, Lombardo said.

It was the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

Lombardo said Paddock, a resident of Mesquite, Nevada, killed himself before police officers entered his hotel room and that despite eyewitness accounts to the contrary, there were no additional shooters.

Israeli Officials Condemn ‘Terrible’ Las Vegas Massacre, Express Condolences

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned on Monday the previous night’s attack at a country music concert in Las Vegas, in which at least 58 people were killed and more than 500 were wounded.

“On this terrible day, the people of Israel stand shoulder to shoulder with the American people in mourning and sorrow,” Netanyahu stated following the deadliest mass shooting in US history. “Our hearts go out to the victims’ families and we wish a speedy recovery to the wounded. We grieve with you.”

In a letter he sent to US President Donald Trump on Monday, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin wrote, “The people of Israel join me in sending our deepest sympathy to you, to the participants in the festival, the people of Las Vegas and to all the people of the United States following this shocking attack which took the lives of so many innocent people and injured so very many more.”

“We stand with you as you mourn the terrible loss of life and injury following this senseless attack on people who had merely gathered together to listen to music,” Rivlin continued.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely tweeted on Monday, “Israel grieves with the American people over the senseless loss of innocent life in the horrific massacre in Las Vegas.”

Brother of Toulouse terrorist who killed 4 Jews goes on trial for aiding attacks

The brother of the Islamist terrorist who shot dead seven people in southwest France in 2012, including three Jewish schoolchildren, went on trial Monday over his alleged complicity in the first of a wave of attacks by homegrown jihadists.

Mohamed Merah’s March 2012 shooting attack on Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse, where he killed a teacher and three pupils, was the deadliest terror attack against Jews in France in three decades.

The 23-year-old Toulouse native also shot dead three soldiers in the nearby garrison town of Montauban before being killed by police in a shootout after a 32-hour siege at his home.

The attacks, which he carried out in the name of Al-Qaeda, were the first in a wave of jihadist assaults in France that resumed in 2015 with the shootings at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a massacre at a Paris concert hall.

In the most recent attacks being investigated by anti-terror police, a man shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) stabbed two women to death at the main train station in Marseille on Sunday.

The Islamic State terror group claimed the attack as the work of one of its “soldiers,” though a source close to the investigation said there was as yet no solid evidence linking the man to the group.

Merah’s brother Abdelkader, 35, is the first person to be tried over the spate of killings.

Somali Refugee Faces Terror Charges in Canada Stabbing, Car Attacks

A Somali refugee who had been on a watch list over extremist views faced five counts of attempted murder and terror charges on Sunday after Canadian police said he stabbed a police officer and ran down four pedestrians with a car in Edmonton, Alberta.

The suspect, a 30-year-old man whom police did not identify,

had been investigated two years ago for promoting extremist ideology but was not deemed a threat, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said.

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Marlin Degrand said an “exhaustive investigation” into the man in 2015 did not uncover sufficient evidence to pursue charges.

Canadian media identified the suspect as Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, although Reuters was not immediately able to confirm his identity.

Police cordoned off an apartment block near downtown Edmonton and plainclothes officers were seen carrying large bags of equipment into the building.

The attacks in the western Canadian city began when a Chevy Malibu hit a police officer standing in front of a football stadium at about 8:15 p.m. Mountain time on Saturday (10.15 p.m. ET), sending him flying into the air.

The driver got out of the car and stabbed the officer multiple times before fleeing, according to police accounts and surveillance footage of the incident.

Marseille stabber was released from detention day before fatal attack

French officials said Monday that a man who fatally stabbed two women at Marseille’s main train station had been arrested and released the day before the attack.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack, the latest of several targeting France.

A body lies under a white sheet outside Marseille’s main train station Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 in Marseille, southern France.

Two police officials said the man did not have French residency papers and was detained for suspected shoplifting in the Lyon region Saturday before being released.

The officials said he was not on France’s extremist watch list.

The suspect, killed by police after Sunday’s attack, was identified by his fingerprints.

French media reports said he used multiple identity papers.

ISIS claims fatal stabbings of 2 women at French train station

A knife-wielding terrorist stabbed two women to death Sunday at the main train station in the southern French city of Marseille as he shouted “Allahu akbar” (“God is great” in Arabic). The Islamic State group claimed the brutal attack, saying it was the work of one of its “soldiers.”

French soldiers shot the man to death after the attacks and authorities were working to determine if he had links to Islamic extremism.

Police sources said the victims were aged 17 and 20. One had her throat slit while the other was stabbed in the chest and stomach.

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, who visited to Marseille to meet with local authorities and troops on the scene, said police have video that shows the man attacking a woman and running away, then coming back and attacking a second woman.

The video shows the man running toward soldiers who were rushing to Marseille’s Saint Charles train station.

Oslo at twenty-four – Failing the “crystal ball” test

So if Yitzhak Rabin had had a crystal ball in September 1993,the depressing chain of events that would have unfolded before his eyes as he peered into the milky surface of the glass orb would be this:

A quarter century of spiraling terror in city streets, buses, and cafes; thousands of his countrymen maimed or murdered, four (arguably, five) military campaigns with hundreds of casualties, the dramatic enhancement of the quality and quantity of the weaponry of the terror organizations ranged against Israel; the huge cost of the barrier being constructed, high above and deep below, ground, to secure Israeli civilians from terrorist infiltration and tunnels…

So if indeed, Rabin could have foreseen that all this would be Israel’s lot in exchange for the gut-wrenching and perilous concessions the agreements called on it to make, who could doubt that he would never have affixed his signature to them…

Surely then, this—the Crystal Ball Test—is the ultimate indictment of the Oslo Agreements. Surely, it is time, after a quarter-century, for them—and all that they stand for—to be branded what they indisputably turned out to be –a colossal and tragic blunder of historic proportions—and to be treated as such.

Alan Baker: ‘The case for closing the UN’ is Science fiction for now

DOLINGER DEVOTES a chapter, aptly entitled “The UN in the Footsteps of Hitler,” to describing the inherent discrimination and antisemitism of the UN in its actions devoted to singling out, discriminating against and delegitimizing the State of Israel. Citing such partisan and discriminative bodies as UNRWA, referring to the General Assembly resolution equating Zionism with racism, and the myriad of political resolutions aimed at demonizing Israel, he concludes that the UN is nothing more than an accomplice to terrorists.

However, this is in his view not limited to the UN, but also extends to what he describes as the “malignant International Red Cross,” which has taken an anti-Israel political stance, influencing the other international organizations. Similarly with respect to international NGOs, the boycott movement, the international media and even US president Barack Obama – all considered to be collaborating with and encouraging Arab terrorism.

Dolinger’s aim in writing this book is to propose a viable alternative to the UN, through the creation of a new world organization that will not be “a hostage to blocs of undemocratic states that are mega-violators of human rights,” will not be hostage to its member states, will not promote contemporary antisemitism and will not support totalitarian leaders.

In his final chapter, he details the nature of a new international organization – a “League of Democracies” – totally disengaged from the UN, composed of a group of nations that would “set human rights above all aims and undertake to protect their own populations from harm, and also, where feasible, to intervene in third party states – not members of the organization – in order to save human beings from destruction.”

He adds as a unique addition the need for the involvement of leaders of all religions, as a source of inspiration and orientation, providing ethical norms and morality in the conduct of international economy and politics.

Dolinger concludes with the hope that such a dream may still materialize.

Time will tell.

Elliott Abrams: Ideology and Foreign Policy

Barack Obama undertook two supremely ideological foreign policy moves. In both cases he seemed largely motivated by myths about American “crimes” in the past, and for that reason failed or refused to bargain hard for American advantage. Instead, he appeared to see the new negotiations as including a bit of restitution for previous American wrongs.

The more significant case was Iran, where he spoke of the crime of overthrowing the leftist Iranian prime minister, Mohammed Mossadeq, in 1953. There is good reason to wonder, in fact, whether the United States bears the responsibility for Mossadeq’s fate–or indeed whether Mossadeq and the Iranian people get the credit. (After the State Department released a large group of cables about those events in 1953, Reuel Gerecht wrote that “It is hard to read these cables and come to the conclusion that America overthrew Mossadeq.”) That was not Obama’s view, but in fact Obama was never much concerned about the Iranian people, and his human rights efforts in Iran were weak to the point of disappearance– even, or especially, when the Iranian people rose up against the regime in June 2009.

The other case was Cuba. There, Obama handed valuable gifts of money and legitimacy to the brutal Castro regime. As with Iran there was a peremptory claim that the deal being done would somehow lead to a vast relaxation of the regime’s oppression, but as with Iran it was quickly proved false. The new tourist flights, the cruise ship arrivals, the additional commerce, and all the money they brought was swept into the maw of the Castro regime, while the people benefitted not at all by experiencing an ounce of freedom.

MK attends terrorist’s release party

Last week, Mohammed Khalf, a resident of Jatt, was released from a 12-year sentence for terrorist activity. According to Yediot Ahronot, the release party held for him by his family included the presence of MK Abd al-Hakim Haj Yahya of the Arab Joint List.

According to the report, Khalf had become involved in terror through his acquaintance with a Hamas terrorist by the name of Wael Zakala, whom Khalf employed in his carpentry business. Zakala introduced Khalf to the terror cell in which he was involved.

“As time passed, Khalf began to help Zakala’s terror cell more and more, including trying to obtain weapons for it,” the report reads. “The beginning of 2005 saw a gradual increase in cooperation between the two. Zakala, who saw that he was having difficulty obtaining materials in the Samaria region for the preparation of explosive devices for his terrorist cell, asked Khalf to take advantage of his access to such substances as an Israeli citizen. In March 2005, Khalf purchased materials used to manufacture explosives, including potassium and sulfur, and hid them in paper bags, traveling to Tulkarm to hand them over to the Zakala.”

“Zakala’s terror cell worked diligently, and its members were able to assemble explosives using the materials Khalf provided, producing at least nine improvised explosive devices. During an ambush on an IDF force in the Tulkarm area, they hurled one of the explosives.

‘Time to throw pro-terror Arab MK out of the Knesset’

Communication Minister Ayoub Kara (Likud) has called for a member of the Arab Joint List party to be stripped of his Knesset seat after he participated in a celebration marking the release of a convicted terrorist from prison.

Speaking with Arutz Sheva, Kara said the Knesset should strip MK Abd al-Hakim Haj Yahya of his seat, after it was revealed that Haj Yahya took part in a celebration last week for Mohammed Khalf, a resident of Jatt who was freed after a 12-year prison sentence for terror activity.

According to a report by Yediot Ahronot, Khalf had become involved in terror through his acquaintance with a Hamas terrorist by the name of Wael Zakala, whom Khalf employed in his carpentry business. Zakala introduced Khalf to the terror cell in which he was involved.

“As time passed, Khalf began to help Zakala’s terror cell more and more, including trying to obtain weapons for it,” the report reads. “The beginning of 2005 saw a gradual increase in cooperation between the two. Zakala, who saw that he was having difficulty obtaining materials in the Samaria region for the preparation of explosive devices for his terrorist cell, asked Khalf to take advantage of his access to such substances as an Israeli citizen. In March 2005, Khalf purchased materials used to manufacture explosives, including potassium and sulfur, and hid them in paper bags, traveling to Tulkarm to hand them over to the Zakala.”

Following the revelation, Minister Kara spoke with Arutz Sheva, calling for Haj Yahya’s removal from the Knesset.

“We need to remove terror collaborators who meet with terrorists from the Knesset; nothing less will do.”

6 Mossad teams to be honored for secret missions

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to institute a tradition of awarding commendations of merit to Mossad intelligence and special operations teams.

For the first time, such honors will be awarded not by the president, but rather by the prime minister, with Mossad Director Yossi Cohen in attendance.

This year’s commendations will be awarded for to six Mossad teams for operations carried out this past year, all in secret and across the globe.

During his years in office, Netanyahu has increased the Mossad’s budget, allowing it to widen its operations and use of cutting-edge technology.

Commanders and security officer reprimanded

The IDF completed its operational investigation into the stabbing murders in the village of Halamish-Neve Tzuf, in which three members of the Salomon family were massacred by an Arab who infiltrated the community.

According to the operational debriefing, there were a number of failures that allowed the terrorist to infiltrate Neve Tzuf: Failure to carry out the army’s pre-incident instructions, failure to implement instructions to the civilian security establishment, and delay in installing additional planned technological security components in the village.

Following the investigation, the regional defense commander of the Binyamin brigade received a command note from the Binyamin Brigade commander regarding the failure to comply with procedures. In addition, the sector company commander was reprimanded by the Kfir Brigade commander for failing to implement mandatory orders to protect the village.

In addition, the commander of the military patrol who was in charge of the village’s area was punished by the Kfir Brigade commander with 21 days of confinement to base because he did not comply with the binding procedures during his tour mission. The civilian security officer of the village was reprimanded by the brigade commander for leaving the community without reporting it to the company and non-compliance with procedures.

The deputy civilian security officer and the gate guard ended their duties due to lack of professionalism and failure to comply with binding procedures. The vehicular patrol operating in the village at the time of the incident received a note of reprimand about his performance.

Terrorist who murdered top policeman sentenced to 2 life terms

Ziad, previously convicted as a Hamas terrorist and sentenced to life in prison only to be released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal, shot and killed Mizrahi and wounded two children on April 14, 2014 near the Tarkumia checkpoint in the West Bank.

Mizrahi’s high rank and the fact that Awad was released in the Schalit deal swung Israeli opinion decisively against prisoner exchanges and spurred a wave of new legislation to reduce the government’s ability to conduct such deals.

In addition, at the start of July 2014, Awad’s residence became the first West Bank Palestinian home to get demolished by Israel since 2005, when Israel announced a moratorium on the punitive practice against terrorists’ families. That turning point has led Israel to much wider use of house demolitions against terrorists in recent years.

Ziad’s son, Iz-Adin, 18, was sentenced to 20 years in jail for aiding him in the murder.

Ziad, 42, was indicted on June 23, 2014 following his arrest in May 2014 by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Service) and police commandos, on suspicion that he had stood by the side of Route 35 shooting at passing vehicles, including the one driven by Mizrahi as he drove with his family to a Passover seder.

Israel to impose 11-day closure of West Bank and Gaza for Sukkot holiday

The West Bank and Gaza Strip will be completely sealed off for 11 days from the start of Sukkot holiday through the following Shabbat, the Defense Ministry confirmed on Monday.

All crossing in and out of the West Bank and Gaza will be closed to Palestinians beginning Wednesday October 4 until Wednesday, October 14, with the exception of humanitarian, medical and exceptional cases made with the approval of the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the territories (COGAT).

Israel regularly imposes closures on the West Bank and Gaza for Jewish holidays, but week-long festivals like Sukkot usually only have closures imposed at the end of the holiday.

The rare move was approved by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman following a deadly shooting attack in the West Bank settlement of Har Adar last week, in which three Israelis, a border police officer and two civilian security guards, were killed by Palestinian Nimer Mahmoud Ahmad Jamal who had a permit to work in settlements.

The closure will impact tens of thousands of Palestinians who legally work in Israel every day.

IsraellyCool: Palestinians Invent Flag Day

In the spirit of inventing things, the palestinians have invented Flag commemorate hoisting their flag at the UN two years ago.

Palestinians celebrated on Saturday Flag Day marking two years since the hoisting of the Palestinian flag at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who attended the flag hoisting ceremony at the time, has declared September 30 of every year as Palestinian Flag Day.

The flag was raised for the first time at the UN headquarters alongside flags of 193 other member states after the UN General Assembly voted 119 in favor to eight opposed and 45 abstentions to allow hoisting the flag at the UN building, making it the first time a flag of a non-member state is raised there.

Palestine became a non-member state on 29 November 2012.

I guess there have not been enough murders of Israelis for their liking, so they need to find other excuses to celebrate.

Reports: Libya Accuses Hamas of Plotting Attacks, Smuggling Weapons

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum has released a special statement denying the claims of government officials in Libya that local authorities arrested a Hamas cell involved in weapons smuggling and terrorist plots.

Al Sadiq al-Sour, a spokesman for Libya’s attorney general, was quoted by local media saying in a special press conference that a cell of four Hamas members had been arrested under suspicion of weapons smuggling and leaking information regarding Libyan national security.

The attorney general said that the four had been in the city of Benghazi before moving to the capital of Tripoli where they were arrested.

According to reports, Sour also claimed that the Hamas cell was involved in plots to commit local attacks and others against Algeria.

The Hamas spokesperson rejected the claims as lacking any foundation.

“I’m not surprised at the reference to Hamas in connection to Libya’s internal struggles. This isn’t the first time it’s been done,” said Barhoum.

According to the Hamas spokesman, the organization was being pulled into the scandal with the purpose of “harming the movement and its reliability and causing the nations of the region who support the resistance to put doubt in it and the depth of the Palestinian issue.”

Egypt secretly ordered more than 30,000 grenades from North Korea — report

Egypt ordered more than 30,000 rocket-propelled grenades from North Korea in a clandestine sanctions-busting deal last year that was foiled at the last minute by the US, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

The discovery, which led to what a United Nations report later described as the “largest seizure of ammunition in the history of sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” exposed one in a series of secret deals between the two countries that prompted US complaints to Egypt and the Trump administration’s decision over the summer to freeze or delay military aid to Cairo worth nearly $300 million.

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The ship carrying the weapons to Egypt was spotted in the summer of 2016 by US intelligence, which tracked it as it left North Korea with a North Korean crew and watched it sail westward toward the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal.

The US alerted Egyptian authorities through diplomatic channels. The vessel, which was flying Cambodian colors, carried heavy tarpaulin covering unknown cargo.

Egyptian customs agents were waiting when the ship entered Egypt’s waters outside of the Suez Canal. They discovered the weapons hidden under rocks of iron ore: more than 24,000 rocket-propelled grenades, and completed components for 6,000 more.

Egypt ‘hunting down’ gays, conducting forced anal exams

Six Egyptian men arrested for “promoting sexual deviancy” and “debauchery” on social media will be subjected to anal examinations ahead of their Oct. 1 trial, Amnesty International said on Saturday.

Their arrest is part of a wider crackdown against homosexuality that started last week when a group of people were seen raising a rainbow flag at a concert, a rare public show of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in the conservative Muslim country.

At least 11 people have since been arrested, Amnesty said, and one man has been sentenced to six years in jail after local media launched a highly critical campaign against those who raised the rainbow flag at a Mashrou’ Leila concert, a popular Lebanese alternative rock band whose lead singer is openly gay.

Amnesty said the Forensic Medical Authority was due to subject the six men to anal examinations to determine whether they have had homosexual sex.

Judicial sources said any defendant accused of “debauchery” or “sexual deviancy,” a euphemism for homosexuality in Egypt, is subjected to a medical examination based on an order from the Public Prosecutor.

Reversing Iran’s progress

Hopes in the West that Iran would become more moderate after the 2015 nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) between it and world powers in 2015 have gradually been replaced with fears about Iran’s worrying behavior. While Tehran is trying to be seen sticking to the nuclear deal, it limits the activities of the inspectors, continues nuclear research and development and devotes efforts to its long-range missile program.

As such, Iranian involvement in the region proves its hegemonic aspirations, based on Persian imperialistic interests, not to mention jihadist impulses. It already controls four Arab capitals: Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus and Sanaa. The Shiite militias and its envoys fight in Iraq, Syria and Yemen through ethnic cleansing. Iran is on the brink of securing a Shiite corridor from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea.

Israel is trying to take advantage of both global fears and U.S. President Donald Trump’s lack of commitment to the nuclear deal, which he displays to bring about either its cancellation or the start of new negotiations to obtain a better deal by reimplementing economic sanctions. But these goals are very hard to reach and will do nothing to help prevent Iran’s going nuclear.

The international community, including the U.S., has no desire to clash with Iran. Most of the world prefers to wait until the deal expires in another decade, without considering what will happen the day after. Despite this, Iran, with a history that goes back thousands of years, sees the deal as only a short delay before reaching its aspirations. By understanding that the West not willing to take military options, Iran is imitating what happened with North Korea.

BBC Radio 5 live presenter tells listeners Iran is a ‘democracy’

The ensuing item included two barely audible phone interviews with contributors in the US – Dr Stephen Noerper of the Korea Society and Dr Mohsen Milani of the University of South Florida. The second interview (from 22:07) began with Adebayo asking Dr Milani:

“What are your thoughts about these latest tweets from Donald Trump essentially tying Iran and its own nuclear capabilities – whether it be domestic or whether it be for military purposes – with that of North Korea?”

Milani pointed out that Iran’s “close collaboration with North Korea” in developing missile technology “is not anything new”, stating that Iranian missiles are copies of North Korean ones. He went on to say that he does not see similarities between North Korea and Iran because the former is a “declared nuclear power with the capability to deliver a nuclear bomb “, while the latter, according to him, does not have those capabilities.

Adebayo’s response to that statement was as follows:
“Yeah that’s a clear difference, isn’t it, in terms of their capabilities but also I imagine that Iran doesn’t want to be associated in the international community’s mind with being the same as a dictatorship where there is no freedom of political thought. To a certain extent Iran is what we would describe as a democracy, isn’t it?”

Given the very bad quality of the phone line, listeners would have had difficulty understanding Milani’s reply to that but may have made out the statement according to which the political system in Iran is “fundamentally different” from that in North Korea and that it is “significantly, substantially more open, as you correctly suggested”.

Seth Frantzman: Post-Referendum: Kurds in Iran Demand Rights as Regime Cracks Down

Last Sunday, on the eve of the independence referendum by the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq, Iranian Kurds began celebrating. The next day, as people went to the polls across the border in Sulaimaniya, Erbil and other cities, Kurds in Iran celebrated en masse. In Baneh, Mahabad and Sanandaj, Iran, videos showed thousands in the streets, many of them with Kurdish flags.

Three days later, black-clad police rolled into towns and Islamic Revolutionary Guards and Basij militia began detaining dozens, accusing them of organizing the demonstrations.

The swelling of popular excitement about voting in the Kurdish region of Iraq is particularly important to Kurds in Iran because they have been deprived of many civil rights for decades.

“There has been a greater impact in eastern Kurdistan [aka Rojhelet, in Iran] because we called on the people to support the referendum,” says Mustafa Hijri, leader of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDPI). “This provided the opportunity for people to oppose the regime and express discontent with its oppressive policies.”

In 2015, the KDPI launched a new phase of what it terms struggle against the Iranian regime. “It consists of linking the struggle of Peshmerga [armed Kurdish forces] with civil resistance in the cities.

The strategy of the party among the population is to encourage resistance.”

There have been clashes between the Peshmerga and Iranian forces, and Iran fears provoking a larger rebellion by suppressing the Kurds more. Seeing masses on the streets with Kurdish flags is exactly what it has feared.

Eli Lake: The U.S. Must Tell Its Allies to Back Off the Kurds

The U.S. has some credibility with Iraq and Turkey on this issue. It publicly urged the Kurds not to go forward with the referendum. But now that the referendum has happened, it’s important to take a step back. This is not a declaration of independence. This vote begins a process of negotiating a separation, something Kurdish regional leaders have said they very much desire. That’s not politically feasible at the moment for Abadi, who will stand for election next year. At the same time, he can delay the negotiations without waging a civil war. That’s the message his American allies need to send to him.

The stakes are high. As Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the Washington representative of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government, told me Wednesday: “The threats don’t work against Kurds, and it’s much better to engage in dialogue with us now.” She added: “Baghdad and Erbil still need to cooperate against ISIS and the humanitarian crisis in Iraq. All we’ve done is hold a referendum. We have not unilaterally declared independence.”

The Iraqis, Iranians and Turks have chosen to ignore this important fact and treat a democratic vote among Kurds as a de facto declaration of independence. It’s a dangerous overreaction. America needs to persuade its allies to simmer down.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Eli Lake is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the senior national security correspondent for the Daily Beast and covered national security and intelligence for the Washington Times, the New York Sun and UPI.

Why is the US against Kurdish independence?

“The vote and the results lack legitimacy,” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared, referring to recent events in Kurdistan. Similar remarks were made by the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad, Douglas A. Silliman, and U.S. President Donald Trump’s special envoy Brett McGurk.

The American opposition to Kurdish independence take us back in time 70 years, when the leadership of the Jewish population in prestate Israel announced its plan to declare independence. In response, the U.S. State Department began working assiduously, sometimes making threats, to scupper that decision. Then-Secretary of State Gen. George Marshall, who was covered in glory after World War II, as well as the entire American foreign policy and defense establishment, took a firm stance against the establishment of the Jewish state.

Their official reasons (other than the anti-Semitism that was rife in the State Department and the defense and intelligence establishments) were very similar to Washington’s arguments against Kurdish independence – namely, that it will destabilize the region. Then, like now, oil factors into the U.S. position. Back in the day, American officials were worried that supporting the Jewish state would endanger the supply of Arab oil to America and its relations with the Arab world in general. This time, America is afraid that the Kurds’ intent to control Kirkuk, one of Iraq’s main oil-producing areas, will hurt the chance of it developing good relations with the government in Baghdad, including on oil issues.

Dozens Arrested in Iran for Celebrating Kurdistan Referendum

The Iranian government arrested scores of Kurdish civilians in Rojhelat this week following the historic “yes” vote for Kurdish independence on Monday.

The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) and the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN), two Iranian-Kurdish political parties, said that “Iranian intelligence and security forces have set up a joint command center ‘for the purpose of identifying and arresting the organizers of the demonstrations,’” according to Rudaw.

“Iranian state television on Tuesday acknowledged the rallies, a rarity in the Islamic Republic broadcast,” KHRN said. Furthermore, KHRN noted that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and regular armed forces were carrying out military exercises near the Kurdistan border.

The Iranian Kurds were reportedly waving the flag of Kurdistan, chanting “Biji Kurdistan!” (“Long live Kurdistan!”) and singing the Kurdish national anthem. Flying the Kurdistan flag and singing the national anthem are forbidden in Iran.

Kurdistan 24 posted video of Kurds celebrating in the city of Baneh:

According to Rudaw, “One of the biggest parties was held in the city of Sanandaj,” where nearly 20,000 people participated.

Following Netanyahu’s Support for Kurds, Palestine Renames Itself ‘Kurdistan II’ (satire)

Citing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s support for “the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to achieve a state of their own,” Palestinian leaders say that they will again pursue statehood but instead call their country “Kurdistan II.”

“After eight years of putting off serious discussions about the creation of a state, we were beginning to wonder whether Bibi believed in legitimate political rights altogether,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told The Mideast Beast. “As it turns out, it was just our name that was holding things up.”

Following suit, after Turkish president and Palestinian champion Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s vocal opposition to Kurdish independence, the Kurds announce that they will now call their newly-declared state “Palestine B.”

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