May 22, 2024

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12/08 Links Pt1: Netanyahu: Push for UK Apology for Balfour Declaration Reveals Conflict Is Not About Land or Palestinian Statehood

From Ian:

Netanyahu: Push for UK Apology for Balfour Declaration Reveals Conflict Is Not About Land or Palestinian Statehood
A campaign to get the United Kingdom to apologize for the 1917 Balfour Declaration is “very revealing about the true source” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Jewish state’s prime minister said on Tuesday.
“The Balfour Declaration recognized this land as a home for the Jewish people, which obviously had consequences later on down the line,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the 2016 Jewish Media Summit in Jerusalem. “But if the Palestinians, 100 years later, are challenging even the idea that the Jewish people have a home here, you know that they are not really gung-ho on…a nation-state for the Jewish people.”
“It’s not about territories, even though that’s an issue,” he continued. “It’s not about settlements, even though that’s an issue. But it’s not ‘the’ issue. It’s not even about a Palestinian state…it was offered again and again and again. It was never and is still not about a Palestinian state. It’s always been about the Jewish state and the fact that there’s a challenge to the Balfour Declaration 100 years later tells you that we haven’t come very far.”
In his UN General Assembly address in September, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said, “We ask Great Britain, as we approach 100 years since this infamous declaration, to draw the necessary lessons and to bear its historic, legal, political, material and moral responsibility for the consequences of this declaration, including an apology to the Palestinian people for the catastrophes, misery and injustice this declaration created and to act to rectify these disasters and remedy its consequences, including by the recognition of the state of Palestine. This is the least Great Britain can do.”

PMW: US Senator pledges to cut all aid to PA, in response to PMW findings

US Senator Lindsey Graham (Chairman Senate’s Foreign Operations Subcommittee), has introduced legislation to cut all funding to the Palestinian Authority, according to yesterday’s Jerusalem Post. This action follows other international outrage in response to PMW’s report The PA’s Billion Dollar Fraud, released earlier this year. PMW exposed that the PA tried to deceive international donors by making public statements that it had stopped paying salaries to terrorist prisoners, whereas in fact the PA continues to do so through the PLO.
Jerusalem Post:
“The United States Senate will aggressively promote legislation next month aimed at cutting funding… [Sen. Lindsey] Graham told the Jerusalem Post that as chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Operations Subcommittee, he will work to cut US aid to the PA for continuing to pay stipends to imprisoned Palestinian terrorists.” (Click to view PMW Report exposing this)
“Under PA law, if you get convicted in Israeli court of being a terrorist, they give you a military rank based on how long you’ve been in jail,” Graham said. “The longer you’re in jail, the higher rank you get.”

Will Trump and Netanyahu Make the America-Israel Relationship Great Again?

Though some Americans may not want to hear it, the election of Donald Trump has changed Israel’s strategic situation dramatically for the better. The Israelis have been relatively quiet about their enthusiasm for the Trump administration – partly because the American public is still so dramatically split on the election. One senior Israeli official likened Trump’s security picks to a “dream team” of pro-Israel U.S. policymakers.
Most important to Israel, according to the same official, is Iran. “We haven’t changed our view of the nuclear deal with Iran or Iran’s malevolent role in the region. But the incoming administration sees both the nuclear deal and the danger posed by Iran very differently than the outgoing administration. They believe that this deal and Iran’s aggression and support for terror is not only bad for Israel and the region. They think it is bad for America.” Yossi Kuperwasser, former head of the research division of IDF Military Intelligence, told me in Jerusalem, “The Iranian nuclear program is the biggest threat Israel has ever faced….The deal guarantees that the Iranians will have the capability to have an arsenal of nuclear weapons in 15 years.” Most important, he said, “Trump says he wants to make America great again. And a strong America is good for Israel.”

Netanyahu accepts Paris invite to meet Abbas, if France drops conference

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday accepted French President François Hollande’s invitation to meet with him and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Paris later this month, as long as there is no international conference.
The French are planning a conference of foreign ministers in Paris on December 21 to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and invited Netanyahu and Abbas to come to the city the day after for a meeting of their own.
Israel has made clear that it sees the French-led conference, a follow-up to a meeting of foreign ministers in Paris over the summer, as an effort to impose a settlement on it, and that it will not take part.
The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement saying that Netanyahu spoke to Hollande, and said that “if there is no international conference in Paris, the prime minister will come to meet Abu Mazen [Abbas] for direct talks without preconditions.”
Israel will “not take part in an international conference that will not contribute to achieving peace,” the statement read.
Netanyahu has said repeatedly over the last number of months that he would meet Abbas “anywhere, anytime” for direct talks without preconditions.
The French daily Le Figaro reported on Wednesday that France’s ambassador to Israel, Helen Le Gal, spoke with National Security Council head Yaakov Nagel earlier in the week to extend the invitation for the meeting with Abbas that would take place the day after the international conference.
According to the report, published before Netanyahu and Hollande spoke, Paris remains determined to go ahead with the conference, unfazed by the “icy reception” from Israel.
The paper reported a French diplomat as saying that since Netanyahu refuses to participate in the French initiative, but at the same time says that he wants to meet with Abbas, Paris decided it was time “to take him at his word.”

Palestinian Statehood: An Idea Whose Time Has Passed

John Kerry and J Street are worried — because they see their cherished dream of a Palestinian state slipping away.
Kerry’s criticism of Israel at the Saban Forum on December 4 attracted a lot of attention. But the transcript of his remarks reveals an important moment that the media overlooked. Just as he was about to denounce Israel’s policies, Kerry suddenly turned to the audience and said:
“By the way, just let me ask a question. Raise your hands. I mean, I know some of you may not want to acknowledge it, but how many of you believe in a two-state solution, believe two states is critical? Okay, it’s the vast majority of people here. How many of you don’t — are willing to say so? There’s one hand up, one, two — maybe a few of you don’t want to say.”
Kerry is clearly worried that public support for Palestinian statehood is slipping away.
And he’s not the only one. Last week, J sent a letter to its supporters in which it complained that the Republican Party left Palestinian statehood out of its platform this year, and that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee reportedly left the issue out of a talking points sheet that it recently distributed.
Here’s another reason for Kerry and J Street to worry. Speaking at the Jewish Media Summit in Jerusalem — also on December 4, Israeli MK Michael Oren said that the election of Donald Trump “spells the end of the two-state solution.” Oren is not some extremist. He is the widely respected former Israeli ambassador to the US, a representative of the moderate Kulanu Party, and himself a supporter of Palestinian statehood (with certain limitations).
It’s time to read the writing on the wall: Palestinian statehood is an idea whose time has passed.

Obama’s State Department Mutiny

In the end, American intervention in Syria was delayed by only a few months. Assad maintained and continued to use his chemical weapons. And the world watched an American president blink, resulting in revisionist powers invading, annexing, and creating territory from whole cloth, all dedicated to military power projection and the overturning of the American-backed post-War geopolitical order.
“So in effect, we got a better result out of not doing it, but it was the threat of doing it that brought about the result, and the lack of doing it perception-wise cost us significantly in the region,” Kerry conceded in a convoluted effort to absolve Obama’s failures in Syria. The meat of that comment is clear: “perception-wise,” America lost face by backing down, and that has harmed American credibility in the process.
Kerry’s repudiation of the president is the most stinging blow to his foreign-policy legacy out of the State Department, but it’s not the first. In June, 51 State Department diplomats signed a “dissent channel cable” urging the administration to execute strikes on Assad regime targets as promised. The letter contended that the administration’s policy toward Damascus had robbed Kerry of leverage over America’s allies or adversaries, and Assad was likely to outlast the Obama administration.
“Failure to stem Assad’s flagrant abuses will only bolster the ideological appeal of groups such as Daesh (ISIS), even as they endure tactical setbacks on the battlefield,” the letter read. According to the New York Times’ reporting, Secretary Kerry agreed with the dissenters within his ranks.
It strains memory to think of a State Department or a secretary that has chided the president for failing to be hawkish enough towards a Middle Eastern strongman, but here we are. The end of the Obama presidency is a period characterized by surprises, but this last is among the more remarkable and satisfying.

PreOccupiedTerritory: You Jews Need To Be Realistic And Stop Trying To Survive By John Kerry (satire)

Diplomacy, like politics, is the art of the possible. You have to be realistic about what you can achieve. You Jews have lost sight of that principle, and insist on persisting, even thriving, despite longstanding indications that you’re not meant to make it. You have to be realistic, and stop trying to survive.
I say this as a friend, as someone who looks out for your interests. It’s not in your interest to be delusional about what the future holds. You have to live in the real world. In the real world, a tiny oppressed minority constantly on the run from place to place isn’t going to last. Accept it. Your insane attempts to defy what has befallen so many other peoples is only going to hurt you in the end.
Perhaps the most flagrant example of your tendency toward delusion is the whole sovereign Jewish State thing. Just a few years after a third of you were wiped out by the Nazis and their hangers-on, you went and established a country, a refuge. You couldn’t leave well enough alone. The Holocaust was basically a capstone to your whole history to that point, but it was a point you failed to grasp. The point is you can only cheat fate for so long. Come on, now. Be reasonable.
I’d be the last person to want you to suffer or die. It’s the circumstances that conspire against you. Just as I counseled the rebels of Aleppo to give up lest they be slaughtered by Assad and the Russians – and the Iranians and Hezbollah, while we’re on the subject – I advise you to let go of your pipe dream of living peacefully in this world. It just is not meant to be.

White House “Champion” Blasts Muslims Who Talk to Any Pro-Israel Jews

Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour took to Twitter Nov. 22 with a quick, venting post: “You know what I can’t stand? Bitter people. That’s all.”
Sarsour spoke at the annual American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) conference three days later. Evidently, she can’t stand herself.
Sarsour, who describes herself as a “racial justice and civil rights activist,” lashed out at Jews who extended a hand of friendship and solidarity over concerns that increasing hostility toward Muslims in America might lead to draconian government action. And she lashed out at fellow Muslims who accepted the gesture and joined in a new inter-faith dialogue.
Why the bitterness?
The Jews at issue support the state of Israel, support its existence and its vitality. Sarsour wants none of that.
“We have limits to the type of friendships that we’re looking for right now,” Sarsour told the AMP conference, “and I want to be friends with those whom I know have been steadfast, courageous, have been standing up and protecting their own communities, those who have taken the risk to stand up and say – we are with the Palestinian people, we unequivocally support BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctioning Israel] when it comes to Palestinian human rights and have been attacked viciously by the very people who are telling you that they’re about to stand on the front line of the Muslim registry program. No thank you, sisters and brothers.”

US calls Regulation Bill ‘profoundly damaging’

The US State Department on Tuesday expressed concerns over an Israeli bill to legalize thousands of settler homes in the West Bank, calling the legislation “profoundly damaging.”
Israeli lawmakers gave the bill preliminary approval late Monday amid a chorus of domestic opposition and international criticism that it was an illegal land grab.
Strong supporters of the bill, including those who outright oppose a Palestinian state, rejoiced in the initial vote and said they hoped it could lead to eventual Israeli annexation of most of the West Bank.
“Enacting this law would be profoundly damaging to the prospects for a two-state solution,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.
“We’ve also been troubled by comments that we’ve heard by some political figures in Israel that this would be the first step in annexing parts of the West Bank.”
The bill must pass three more votes in parliament before it becomes law, with the first likely to be held on Wednesday.
“We’re deeply concerned about it,” Toner said.
“We hope that it does not become law. We certainly hope that changes or modifications can be made to it.”

EU stresses ‘strong opposition’ to outpost legalization

The European Union on Thursday said it opposes a bill that could legalize thousands of settler homes built on private Palestinian land in the West Bank, and stressed that settlements are an obstacle to a two-state solution.
Originally designed to avert the court-ordered demolition of the illegal outpost of Amona, the Regulation Bill was initiated by lawmakers from the national-religious Jewish Home and the governing Likud parties. The bill was cleared for a Knesset vote earlier this week after a clause that would have violated a direct High Court ruling mandating Amona’s demolition was struck from it. Amona is slated for demolition by December 25.
The legislation stipulates that settlement construction in the West Bank that was carried out in good faith, namely without the knowledge that the land was privately owned, would be recognized by the government provided the settlers had some kind of state assistance — which in some cases could be as simple as having existing infrastructure, since most infrastructural services fall under the purview of state ministries.
“The Israeli Knesset is in the process of adopting the so-called ‘Regularization Bill,’ which could lead to legalization of numerous illegal settlements and outposts, built on private Palestinian land in violation of Israeli and international law, by confiscating property rights of Palestinians for settler use,” the EU said in a statement.
“If it passes, this would be the first law adopted by the Knesset on the status of land in the West Bank, an occupied territory not under its jurisdiction. Senior members of the Israeli government have called this a step toward annexation of the West Bank,” the statement added. “Recalling that settlements are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make the two-state solution impossible, the European Union reiterates its strong opposition, in line with the position of the Middle East Quartet, to Israel’s settlement policy and all actions taken in this context.”

US suspected Israeli-South African nuclear test behind mysterious ‘flash’

New documents published Thursday revealed the US suspected that Israel and South Africa conducted a joint nuclear test in 1979.
The documents were released from the estate of Gerard Smith, the former ambassador and special advisor to prevent nuclear proliferation in the administration of President Jimmy Carter, and were published in an article by two US researchers – Avner Cohen and Bill Burr.
In their article, Dr. Anselm Israeli Yaron was named as a possible source of information to the US about Israel’s nuclear capability, in his conversations with an American colleague who was investigating suspicious atmospheric data on behalf of Carter’s administration.
On September 22, 1979 an American spy satellite “Vela” registered a powerful flash over the Indian Ocean, several hundred miles off the coast of South Africa. The flash and its after effects were also recorded by monitoring stations elsewhere in the world.
Following the mysterious incident, suspicions arose within the US government that the flash was the result of a joint nuclear test by Israel and South Africa. Both nations resolutely denied the claim, and have held this position until today.
US suspicions were based on the already established nuclear cooperation between Israel and South Africa during the 1970s, which included sharing knowledge, materials and scientists.
However, there were experts who argued that the flash was the result of a climatic phenomenon, and not a nuclear test.

Israel foils terror cell’s kinapping, attack plot to free Hamas prisoner

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced on Thursday that Israeli forces have foiled a Hamas plot to carry out terror attacks and kidnappings in order to negotiate a prisoner swap.
Israeli forces recently arrested operatives from several Hamas cells from Tzurif and Hebron in the West Bank that were planning to initiate different terror attacks, including shootings and the kidnapping of Israelis.
As part of the investigation, authorities seized weapons and large quantities of ammunition, including two AK-47s, three pistols and a shotgun among others.
After the Shin Bet detained the suspects, they were interrogated for several days. A military court was expected to issue an indictment against the suspects.
The main focus of the terror plot, according to the Shin Bet, centered on 58-year-old Palestinian security prisoner Ibrahim Abdullah Ranimat, who is serving a life-sentence for his involvement in a deadly terror attack at a Tel Aviv bar 20 years ago. Ranimat was also convicted for his role in the abduction and murder of IDF soldier Sharon Adri, who was killed in 1996. The Shin Bet accused the terror cell of plotting to free Ranimat as part of a ransom scheme.
Those involved in the plot included three of Ranimat’s sons: Fadi Ibrahim Ranimat, Muhammad Ranimat and Shadi Ibrahim Ranimat, the latter of which the Shin Bet believes headed the terror cell.

Liberman: WMDs Israel thwarted from reaching Hezbollah were chemical arms

Israel prevented the transfer of chemical weapons to Hezbollah, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Thursday.
“Israel has no interest in intervening in the civil war in Syria, our policies and our positions are very clear and are based on three red lines: we will not allow any harm to come to Israeli citizens, we will not allow any harm to the sovereignty of the State of Israel and we will not allow the smuggling of sophisticated weapons or chemical weapons from Syria to Lebanon for Hezbollah,” Liberman said at the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
“The State of Israel will make decisions freely regardless of other circumstances,” he added.
Liberman was referring to comments he made on Wednesday after a suspected Israeli strike on the Mezzeh airbase near Damascus.
Israel, which usually neither confirms nor denies alleged strikes, is “working primarily to protect the security of our citizens, defend our sovereignty, and try to prevent the smuggling of sophisticated weapons, military equipment and weapons of mass destruction from Syria to Hezbollah,” Liberman said.

360 Degree View From IDF Observation Balloon

You might not think high-tech when you see a balloon, but this one does vital work. It’s stationed in the air above the Gaza border, always gathering intelligence.

PreOccupiedTerritory: IDF To Clear Moral High Ground Of Leftists Claiming It Under False Pretenses (satire)

As IDF units undergo training to prepare for an anticipated forced evacuation of the Amona settlement outpost, a separate group is conducting similar exercises in advance of an operation to remove left-wing journalists, politicians, and cultural figures from an area of moral high ground to which they have laid false claim.
The High Court gave the State a deadline of December 25 to complete the evacuation of 40 families from a neighborhood of Amona, which is an extension of the Ofra community. The Court held that the properties on which those families live belong to Palestinians, based on documentation unknown to the current residents at the time they took possession. Legislative and other efforts at compromise have failed, in part because the families have refused any arrangement that removes them, even temporarily, from their homes. The IDF is preparing for multiple scenarios, including possible violent resistance from Amona residents and their supporters. At the same time, a similar but less legally urgent operation is in its early stages to clear moral high ground of hundreds of leftists whose only claim to the location involves fraudulent or otherwise inadmissible claims to the territory.
“We’re preparing for anything,” intoned a grim Lt. General Gadi Eizenkot, the IDF Chief of Staff. “We call upon the families and supporters of the people in both locations to cooperate with the soldiers whose mission is to uphold the law.”

Fatah Lawmakers Warn European Parliament of Ongoing ‘Serious Deterioration of Democracy’ in Abbas-Led Palestinian Authority

A group of Fatah lawmakers recently sent a letter to the European Parliament warning of an ongoing “serious deterioration of democracy” in the Palestinian Authority, The Algemeiner has learned.
In the letter, obtained by The Algemeiner, 13 Fatah members of the Palestinian Legislative Council — including Mohammed Dahlan, an arch-rival of PA President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas — wrote that Palestinians have been “suffering from the increasing human rights violations that the Palestinian presidential institution has been committing against our people, especially against the rule of law and the separation between the executive, legislative and judicial powers.”
Furthermore, the letter claimed, Abbas’ regime — which controls Palestinian areas of the West Bank — has “exploited the world’s silence to commit more and more violations on a daily basis.”
The letter’s signatories called for “direct intervention” by European governments to “monitor the behavior and decisions of the Palestinian presidential institution.”
“Your countries have provided generous financial, technical and legal support for the construction and rehabilitation of judicial and security institutions,” the letter went on to say. “However, these institutions have been repeatedly misused to suppress political freedoms and intervene in political disputes…You provide aid and grants to our people, but the presidential institution and its affiliate institutions use your money to punish and suppress those who disagree with them and speak in favor of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.”

MEMRI: Egyptian Journalist Justifies Hitler’s Actions Against Jews; Sparks…

Salah Montasser, an Egyptian author and journalist who writes for the official daily Al-Ahram and for other Egyptian dailies, recently published an article in the Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Yawm titled “The Question that Everyone Ignores: Why Did Hitler Murder the Jews?” In it, he argued that Jewish propaganda has managed to convince the world that Hitler murdered six million Jews, although this number seems “implausible,” especially since Germany’s Jewish population before the war was less than a quarter of that number. Citing arguments made by “a knowledgeable German friend” of his, he wrote that the Nazis actually killed only 100,000 – 600,000 Jews, much less than the number of Algerians killed in this country’s war of independence against the French and the number of Palestinians that the Jews themselves killed in the conflict between the two peoples. He added, still citing the German friend, that Hitler had reasons for hating the Jews: although they constituted only 2% of the German population, they took over the media, the judicial system, the press, and the film industry, as well as theater and literature; spread moral degeneration, homosexuality and pornography, and were responsible for the collapse of the banks at the close of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
Montasser’s article evoked a reaction from two other Egyptian journalists, who wrote that his claims were inaccurate and could also draw harsh responses. In an article titled “In Defense of the Truth,” Dr. ‘Abd Al-Mun’im Sa’id, board chairman of the Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Yawm, argued that Montasser’s article could be interpreted as justifying what Hitler did to the Jews and could revive racist myths from the past. He condemned the use of stereotypes and generalizations against all peoples, and especially against the Jews, and argued that each individual should be judged on his own merits. Addressing Montasser’s claims regarding the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust, he called them deceptive, pointing out that the Nazis exterminated not only the Jews of Germany but the Jews in all the countries they occupied. He also rejected the comparison with the number of Algerians killed in the war of independence, arguing that, unlike the Algerians, the Jews were the victims of a systematic ethnic cleansing that nothing could justify. Finally, he emphasized that Hitler systematically murdered not only Jews but also others, such as Gypsies and Communists, while noting that the Jewish Holocaust did not justify Israeli aggression against the Palestinians.
Osama Al-Ghazali Harb, the board chairman of Egypt’s largest party, the Free Egyptians party, and the editor of Al-Ahram’s political magazine Al-Siyassa Al-Dawliya, wrote that Montasser’s article shocked him, and commended Dr. ‘Abd Al-Mun’im Sa’id’s for “putting things in the true perspective” and for engaging in a “cultured discussion” with Montasser.

Unrepentant Apostates Should Be Killed; Homosexuality Is a Disease

Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmad Al-Tayyeb: In Islam, Unrepentant Apostates Should Be Killed; Homosexuality Is a Disease
Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, discussed the laws pertaining to apostasy, and said that if it constitutes a “danger to society,” it carries a death sentence. In a daily show aired on several Egyptian TV channels and posted on the official YouTube channel of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Al-Tayyeb said: “The four schools of law all concur that apostasy is a crime, that an apostate should be asked to repent, and that if he does not, he should be killed.” He further said that “the concepts of human rights are full of ticking time-bombs” and that in Muslim society, sexual liberty and homosexuality are diseases. “No Muslim society could ever consider sexual liberty, homosexuality, and so on to be a personal right.” The video was posted on the official Al-Azhar Youtube channel on June 16.

Assad: Despite Gulf backing rebels, Israel still Syria’s only enemy

Despite almost six years of war between his army and rebels backed by the West and Gulf countries, Syrian President Bashar Assad said he still considers Israel the one and only “enemy” state, in an interview published Thursday.
The statement came in an apparent attempt to extend an olive branch to citizens of Gulf countries, as his regime neared a victory in Aleppo seen as possibly decisive in stamping out the insurgency that has left Syria in tatters.
Much of the interview, with Syrian daily Al-Watan, was devoted to Assad’s recent success in the battle over Aleppo, with the defiant leader dismissing calls for a ceasefire in what was once the country’s largest city.
But the Syrian president was also asked whether the shifting sands in the Middle East, partially blown by the winds of the Syrian civil war, had caused any other country to attain the level of enmity Damascus felt toward the Jewish state.
“Before the war, it was known to us that Syria had but a single enemy—Israel… After six years of war in Syria, is it possible that Syria has some new official enemies?” Assad was asked.

A Bad Example of Diplomacy

Obama said the deal is a model for how other stubborn problems can be solved. No doubt he hopes his new admirer (if recent interviews are any judge) Donald Trump will follow his example. But though Trump was fairly accused of saying many false things during the campaign, he was absolutely right to brand the Iran deal as a travesty.
Having come into office determined to achieve a rapprochement with Iran, the president spent the next few years doing all in his power to achieve that aim. In the key moments in the talks with Iran when the outcome hung in the balance, rather than increase sanctions—as a majority of Congress wanted to do—he threw away the West’s considerable leverage with respect to the international sanctions that had brought Iran to its knees. He gave away key objectives, like when he agreed on Iran’s “right” to enrich uranium and discarded his 2012 re-election campaign pledge that Tehran would have to give up its nuclear program.
The Iran that will emerge after the nuclear deal expires will not only be richer and better prepared in terms of its nuclear capabilities; it will be no less radical or restrained from rogue state behavior. That’s because the president explicitly refused to tie the deal to other issues such as Iran’s status as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, its building and testing of ballistic missiles (which have no purpose without nukes), or its commitment to destroy Israel or to achieve regional hegemony at the expense of America’s Arab allies.
All Obama proved here is that if you are prepared to give everything away to your opponent, you can usually get him to sign a piece of paper.

Don’t Let Iran Off The Hook For Chemical/Biological Weapons

The Trump administration will need to be on its toes to enforce the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement—and stop the Islamic Republic’s developing chemical and biological weapons programs.
President-elect Donald Trump called the nuclear deal a “lopsided disgrace” and the “worst deal ever negotiated.” Aggressive enforcement of the deal—assuming Trump does not scrap the pact—will need to be a top priority. Take the example of Iran’s violations before the ink was even dry on the deal.
Donald Trump isn’t going to rip up the Iran nuclear deal on Day One, but his vows to renegotiate the terms and increase enforcement could imperil an agreement that has put off the threat of Tehran developing atomic weapons. (Kevin Lamarque/Pool via AP, File)
Tehran’s rulers continued to seek to acquire nuclear technology in Germany after the January 2016 implementation date. Just last week, Iran illegally exceeded for a second time the limit on sensitive material used for nuclear facilities, the UN atomic watchdog agency said. Moreover, Iran has repeatedly conducted missile tests in defiance of UN resolutions and sanctions.
Putting aside the disturbing violations of the nuclear and missile restrictions, the drafters of the nuclear accord overlooked Iran’s continuing determination to build its chemical and biological warfare capabilities.
October’s Congressional Research Service report on “Iran’s Foreign and Defense Policies” cited unsettling information on the Islamic Republic’s chemical and biological weapons development programs. According to the CRS study, “U.S. reports indicate that Iran has the capability to produce chemical warfare (CW) agents and ‘probably’ has the capability to produce some biological warfare agents for offensive purposes, if it made the decision to do so.”

“A Husband May Beat His Wife Only If There Is a Chance of Reforming Her”

Kuwaiti researcher Ghadeer Jamal said that a husband was allowed to beat his wife in order to reform her if she is rebellious, so long as he does not do it out of revenge and does not leave marks on her body. Speaking on the Kuwaiti Alkout TV channel on October 13 and 15, she said that denial of the husband’s marital rights and leaving the house without the husband’s permission were the two cases of a wife’s rebelliousness.

Foreign chefs on TV are ‘spies’ — Erdogan adviser

You could call it stirring up tensions.
A prominent adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cooked up a simmering controversy with the suggestion that foreign chefs on Turkish television shows are undercover spies.
“The other day I was watching a program — there was an English guy and an Italian wandering from one village to the next and cooking up dishes to discover the delicacies of Anatolia,” said Yigit Bulut, who advises Erdogan on economic affairs.
“Why are English and Italians wandering round villages in Anatolia and Thrace? What is the point of that? They are collecting a database!” he said in an interview with pro-government A-Haber late on Wednesday.
“Our compatriots are credulous. They open up their doors to them (the foreign cooks), tell them their secrets, say there is a military air base in the corner, a munitions depot, and how to get in and out of a village.”
Calling on people to be alert, Bulut added: “And please no one tell me this is a conspiracy theory or that I am exaggerating!”
Several Turkish TV channels employ wide-eyed foreigners to travel the land, expressing astonishment at every stop at the good food and hospitality encountered, and Bulut did not say which shows he had in mind.

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