Month: July 2015


We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication.


Don’t Parole Pollard: Jerusalem Post, July 30, 2015— Last week, screaming headlines were generated worldwide by breaking news in The Wall Street Journal that the US was preparing to release Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard after 30 years in prison.

Israel’s Choice: Conventional War Now, or Nuclear War Later: Norman Podhoretz, Wall Street Journal, July 28, 2015 — Almost everyone who opposes the deal President Obama has struck with Iran hotly contests his relentless insistence that the only alternative to it is war. No, they claim, there is another alternative, and that is “a better deal.”

It’s Time for the Netherlands to Apologize: Abraham Cooper & Manfred Gerstenfeld, Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2015  — A remarkable event took place recently at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.

Syrian Christians and the English Jew: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, July 30, 2015 — Christianity, whose presence in the Middle East predates Islam’s by 600 years, is about to be cleansed from the Middle East.


On Topic Links


Satirical Interview About America Lifting the Sanctions on Iran: Youtube, July 21, 2015

Jonathan Pollard’s Release Shouldn’t Placate Iran Deal Critics: Max Boot, Commentary, July 28, 2015

The Troubling Question in the French Jewish Community: Is It Time to Leave?: Marie Brenner, Vanity Fair, August 2015

The Real Feminism Exists in Israel: CIJ News, 2015

Fleeing Nazism, Settling In Ecuador: Film Tells Jewish Families' Story: Kristina Puga, NBC News, June 19, 2015




DON’T PAROLE POLLARD                                                                                              

Jerusalem Post, July 30, 2015


Last week, screaming headlines were generated worldwide by breaking news in The Wall Street Journal that the US was preparing to release Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard after 30 years in prison. This announcement, predictably, unleashed a tidal wave of media coverage. A subsequent announcement a few days later officially confirming imminent parole for Pollard added to the deluge of reports, which continue unabated.


There is something suspect in the timing of these news stories. Jerusalem’s rejection of Pollard’s release as intended to mitigate Israel’s displeasure with the disastrous Iranian nuclear pact was predictable. However, denials by US officials, claiming that Pollard’s release is unrelated to the Iranian deal were less predictable. There were simply too many denials, at too high a level and employing too strident a tone to be credible.


Clearly, the media frenzy about Pollard occurs precisely when the Obama administration needs headlines diverted away from the Iranian deal. The public’s attention instead has become focused on a subject that many love to hate: Israel. No one loves a spy. Everyone hates an Israeli spy. Pollard, who has been viciously bashed in the media for nearly three decades, is hated more than most. News of his impending release on parole has revived the vilification of Pollard to levels which have not been seen since his arrest 30 years ago, and along with him, the vilification of Israel.


This, despite the now-documented record, bolstered by newly declassified materials and testimony by ranking American officials which show that Pollard’s life sentence was “excessive” and “unjust.” Considering the injustice, one has to wonder why Pollard is being paroled after 30 years instead of being set free. Parole is not freedom. It is, by definition, conditional release, which can be revoked at any time, for any number of very complex and often inscrutable reasons, including thinly veiled political motives.


The Jerusalem Post was the first to report that the life sentence that Pollard received after his arrest in 1985 is a 45-year sentence, not 30 years, as a life sentence is defined today. That means that under the terms of his parole, Pollard will have the balance of a 45-year sentence hanging over his head. He can be rearrested and sent back to prison for another 15 years – with all the accompanying screaming headlines, at any time for the next decade and a half.


It would be naïve not to suspect that in a case so politically charged as this one, that the conditions of his parole may be set up to be so restrictive and so complex as to invite or even guarantee failure. Given that the announcements of Pollard’s impending release on parole have generated such a media backlash, replete with Israel-bashing and Pollard-bashing, just imagine what a field day his return to prison would be for the world media. No reason would have to be given for his rearrest. It could be done on any pretext for any number of undeclared and unsubstantiated reasons, at any time that the US decides to exert pressure on Israel. As the US has repeatedly demonstrated, Pollard is an easy means to foment world opinion against Israel.


Pollard is the only person in the history of the US to receive a life sentence for spying for an ally. In a recent interview, former CIA Chief James Woolsey again confirmed the excessiveness of Pollard’s punishment: “Spies from friendly countries, like the Philippines and Greece, normally stay in prison in the US for just a few years. Under 10 years. Keeping Pollard for 30 years was excessive.”


Woolsey said that Pollard should be free to return home to Israel, because he no longer poses any threat to the US. “The reason one would keep a convicted spy in the United States is because [of] the information he had….” Woolsey stated unequivocally that Pollard’s 30-year-old knowledge poses no risk and that Israel is a friend of America.


US Attorney-General Loretta Lynch said it all when she recently confirmed that Pollard has served his time in full. Parole is just too convenient a tactic for continuing to keep Israel off balance while holding Pollard hostage for another 15 years. Pollard does not deserve parole. He deserves to be set free.






ISRAEL’S CHOICE: CONVENTIONAL WAR NOW, OR NUCLEAR WAR LATER                                           

Norman Podhoretz

Wall Street Journal, July 28, 2015


Almost everyone who opposes the deal President Obama has struck with Iran hotly contests his relentless insistence that the only alternative to it is war. No, they claim, there is another alternative, and that is “a better deal.” To which Mr. Obama responds that Iran would never agree to the terms his critics imagine could be imposed. These terms would include the toughening rather than the lifting of sanctions; “anytime, anywhere” nuclear-plant inspections instead of the easily evaded ones to which he has agreed; the elimination rather than the freezing of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure; and the corresponding elimination of the “sunset” clause that leaves Iran free after 10 years to build as many nuclear weapons as it wishes.


Since I too consider Mr. Obama’s deal a calamity, I would be happy to add my voice to the critical chorus. Indeed, I agree wholeheartedly with the critics that, far from “cutting off any pathway Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon,” as he claims, the deal actually offers Tehran not one but two paths to acquiring the bomb. Iran can either cheat or simply wait for the sunset clause to kick in, while proceeding more or less legally to prepare for that glorious day.


Unfortunately, however, I am unable to escape the conclusion that Mr. Obama is right when he dismisses as a nonstarter the kind of “better deal” his critics propose. Nor, given that the six other parties to the negotiations are eager to do business with Iran, could these stringent conditions be imposed if the U.S. were to walk away without a deal. The upshot is that if the objective remains preventing Iran from getting the bomb, the only way to do so is to bomb Iran. And there’s the rub. Once upon a time the U.S. and just about every other country on earth believed that achieving this objective was absolutely necessary to the safety of the world, and that it could be done through negotiations. Yet as the years wore on, it became increasingly clear to everyone not blinded by wishful delusions that diplomacy would never work.


Simultaneously it also became clear that the U.S. and the six other parties to the negotiations, despite their protestations that force remained “on the table,” would never resort to it (and that Mr. Obama was hellbent on stopping Israel from taking military action on its own). Hence they all set about persuading themselves that their fears of a nuclear Iran had been excessive, and that we could live with a nuclear Iran as we had lived with Russia and China during the Cold War. Out the window went the previously compelling case against that possibility made by authoritative scholars like Bernard Lewis, and with it went the assumption that the purpose of the negotiations was to prevent Iran from getting the bomb.


For our negotiating partners, the new goal was to open the way to lucrative business contracts, but for Mr. Obama it was to remove the biggest obstacle to his long-standing dream of a U.S. détente with Iran. To realize this dream, he was ready to concede just about anything the Iranians wanted—without, of course, admitting that this was tantamount to acquiescence in an Iran armed with nuclear weapons and the rockets to deliver them. To repeat, then, what cannot be stressed too often: If the purpose were still to prevent Iran from getting the bomb, no deal that Iran would conceivably agree to sign could do the trick, leaving war as the only alternative. To that extent, Mr. Obama is also right. But there is an additional wrinkle. For in allowing Iran to get the bomb, he is not averting war. What he is doing is setting the stage for a nuclear war between Iran and Israel.


The reason stems from the fact that, with hardly an exception, all of Israel believes that the Iranians are deadly serious when they proclaim that they are bound and determined to wipe the Jewish state off the map. It follows that once Iran acquires the means to make good on this genocidal commitment, each side will be faced with only two choices: either to rely on the fear of a retaliatory strike to deter the other from striking first, or to launch a pre-emptive strike of its own. Yet when even a famous Iranian “moderate” like the former President Hashemi Rafsanjani has said—as he did in 2001, contemplating a nuclear exchange—that “the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything. However, it will only harm the Islamic world. It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality,” how can deterrence work?


The brutal truth is that the actual alternatives before us are not Mr. Obama’s deal or war. They are conventional war now or nuclear war later. John Kerry recently declared that Israel would be making a “huge mistake” to take military action against Iran. But Mr. Kerry, as usual, is spectacularly wrong. Israel would not be making a mistake at all, let alone a huge one. On the contrary, it would actually be sparing itself—and the rest of the world—a nuclear conflagration in the not too distant future. 




IT’S TIME FOR THE NETHERLANDS TO APOLOGIZE                                                                   

Abraham Cooper & Manfred Gerstenfeld                          

Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2015


A remarkable event took place recently at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. For the first time in history, a Japanese firm publicly apologized to the few surviving former American prisoners of war whom they had used as forced labor during World War II. A senior executive of Mitsubishi Materials Corp. bowed deeply to 94-year-old James Murphy, who, during the war, barely survived his ordeal as a POW. Many of his American, Australian, British and Dutch comrades did not.


Does an apology, seven decades later, make a difference? It certainly did to these victims. It indicates that the successors of the persecutors agree with the persecuted on the historical interpretation of the injustice. It’s a lesson that warrants some reflection in Europe today. And if there’s one country more than any others that needs to emulate the Japanese model, to learn the value of an apology, it’s the Netherlands.


By now, almost all the European countries that were occupied by the Germans during World War II have admitted to their collaboration with the Nazi regime. Most have apologized, including, most recently, Luxembourg. The one major exception is the Netherlands, which has consistently refused to admit the failure of its wartime government, then exiled to London, to express any interest in what was happening to Jewish citizens under the German occupation.


Within Western Europe, the Netherlands was the country with the highest percentage of Jewish citizens murdered during the Holocaust. When the Germans conquered the Netherlands in 1940, there were 140,000 Jews living there; 102,000 of them would be murdered during the war. Those who were deported to the death camps in Poland were arrested by Dutch policemen, transported by the Dutch railways and guarded by the Dutch military police. Most of these Jewish deportees came from families that had lived in the Netherlands for centuries.


The Dutch government only inquired about the fate of these Jews a year and half after the deportations to extermination camps in Poland had begun. This despite both the Dutch and Polish governments in exile being located in the same building in London. In 1943, Henri Dentz, a Dutch employee of the Dutch government, was tasked to write a report on the deportations. He estimated that 90% of those deported had already been murdered. But, as he would later declare before a Dutch postwar Parliamentary commission, no one in the government was even willing to read the report.


Occasionally, the modern Dutch government’s failure to apologize to its Jewish community returns to the spotlight. Prime Minister Mark Rutte has been asked twice by members of Parliament to admit to the Netherlands’ past failures and express the government’s apologies. In February he referred to a speech Queen Beatrix delivered to the Knesset in 1995, in which she said the Dutch people hadn’t been able to prevent the destruction of their Jewish fellow citizens, and in which she didn’t refer to the government in exile at all. Mr. Rutte’s answer makes it clear: The Netherlands just doesn’t want to admit its collaboration or its government’s disinterest in its Jewish citizens during the war.


This isn’t a result of some Dutch cultural resistance to apologies. In 2011, the Netherlands apologized to the Indonesian widows of the village of Rawagede, on the island of Java, where in 1947 during the country’s colonial war all the village’s male inhabitants were shot to death by Dutch soldiers, without any process of law. In 2014 the Dutch Minister of Defense Jeanine Hennis apologized on behalf of the government to the families of three Bosnian Muslims who, after having been expelled from the Dutch military compound in Srebrenica in 1995, were killed by Bosnian Serbs who were occupying the town. These apologies were made public earlier this year after an agreement was reached about a payment to the three families.


The government also has apologized for murders in which it played no direct role at all. Deputy Prime Minister Els Borst was murdered in her home in 2014, and another woman was killed in January of this year. Prosecutors have apologized to the victims’ families for not having better supervised the brother of the second victim, a man allegedly suffering mental illness with violent tendencies who has admitted to killing his sister and will soon stand trial for Borst’s murder, which he denies.


All of which makes the refusal to apologize to Dutch Jews and their families more puzzling. One can only speculate why Mr. Rutte refuses to apologize, especially when other Dutch politicians have said over the years that the government should. Borst herself declared years ago that she would support such apologies. Another former deputy prime minister, Gerrit Zalm, who had been a leader of Mr. Rutte’s liberal party, has said the same. Whatever the reason for the delay, the time has come for the younger generations of Dutch people to demand a full accounting of the darkest period in the history of the Netherlands.                


Manfred Gerstenfeld is a CIJR Academic Fellow, and Author of

The War of a Million Cuts: The Struggle against the Deligitimization of Israel and the Jews,

and the Growth of New Anti-Semitism (2015), Published by RVP Press






SYRIAN CHRISTIANS AND THE ENGLISH JEW                                                                              

Charles Krauthammer                     

Washington Post, July 30, 2015


Christianity, whose presence in the Middle East predates Islam’s by 600 years, is about to be cleansed from the Middle East. Egyptian Copts may have found some respite under President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, but after their persecution under the previous Muslim Brotherhood government, they know how precarious their existence in 90 percent Muslim Egypt remains. Elsewhere, it’s much worse. Twenty-one Copts were beheaded by the Islamic State affiliate in Libya for the crime of being Christian. In those large swaths of Syria and Iraq where the Islamic State rules, the consequences for Christians are terrible — enslavement, exile, torture, massacre, crucifixion.


Over the decades, many Middle Eastern Christians, seeing the rise of political Islam and the intensification of savage sectarian wars, have simply left. Lebanon’s Christians, once more than half the population, are now estimated at about a third. The number of Christians under Palestinian Authority rule in the West Bank has dwindled — in Bethlehem, for example, dropping by half. (The exception, of course, is Israel, where Christians, Arab and non-Arab, enjoy not just protection but civil rights. Their numbers are increasing. But that’s another story.)


Most endangered are the Christians of Syria. Four years ago they numbered about 1.1 million. By now 700,000 have fled. Many of those remaining in country are caught either under radical Islamist rule or in the crossfire between factions. As the larger Christian world looks on passively, their future, like the future of Middle Eastern Christianity writ large, will be determined by Iran, Hezbollah, the Assad dynasty, the Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra, various other local factions and by regional powers seeking advantage.


Meanwhile, on a more limited scale, there are things that can be done. Three weeks ago, for example, 150  Syrian Christians were airlifted to refuge and safety in Poland. That’s the work of the Weidenfeld Safe Havens Fund. It provided the flight and will support the refugees for as long as 18 months as they try to remake their lives.


The person behind all this is Lord George Weidenfeld: life peer, philanthropist, publisher (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, established 1949), Europeanist (founder of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue to promote classically liberal European values), proud public Jew (honorary vice president of the World Jewish Congress), lifelong Zionist (he once served as the chief of cabinet to Israel’s first president, Chaim Weizmann) and, as he will delightedly tell you, the last person to fight a duel at the University of Vienna — with sabers, against a Nazi. (No one died.)


Weidenfeld, now 95, once invoked Torschlusspanik , “a German phrase which roughly translates as the ‘panic before the closing of the doors,’ ” to explain why “I’m a man in a hurry.” Remarkably healthy and stunningly energetic (as distant cousins, we are often in touch), he appears nowhere near any exit doors. But he is aware of and deeply troubled by the doors closing in on a community in Syria largely abandoned by the world.


In context, the scale of the initial rescue is tragically small. The objective is to rescue 2,000 families. Compared to the carnage in Syria wrought by the pitiless combatants — 230,000 dead, half the 22 million population driven from their homes — it’s a paltry sum. But these are real people who will be saved. And for Weidenfeld, that counts.


Yet he has been criticized for rescuing just Christians. In fact, the U.S. government will not participate because the rescue doesn’t extend to Yazidis, Druze or Shiites. This comes under the heading of no good deed going unpunished. It’s a rather odd view that because he cannot do everything, he should be admonished for trying to do something. If Weidenfeld were a man of infinite means, the criticism might be valid. As it is, he says rather sensibly, “I can’t save the world.” The Arab states, particularly the Gulf monarchies, are surely not without resources. With so few doing so little for so many, he’s doing what he can.


And for him, it’s personal. In 1938, still a teenager, he was brought from Vienna to London where the Plymouth Brethren took him in and provided for him. He never forgot. He is trying to return the kindness, he explains, to repay the good that Christians did for him 77 years ago. In doing so, he is not just giving hope and a new life to 150 souls, soon to be thousands. He has struck a blow for something exceedingly rare: simple, willful righteousness.



CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!






On Topic


Satirical Interview About America Lifting the Sanctions on Iran: Youtube, July 21, 2015

Jonathan Pollard’s Release Shouldn’t Placate Iran Deal Critics: Max Boot, Commentary, July 28, 2015—Unlike many Israelis and American Jews, I have never found myself in the Jonathan Pollard rooting section.

The Troubling Question in the French Jewish Community: Is It Time to Leave?: Marie Brenner, Vanity Fair, August 2015 —How can anyone be allowed to paint a swastika on the statue of Marianne, the goddess of French liberty, in the very center of the Place de la République?”

The Real Feminism Exists in Israel: CIJ News, 2015—There was a time when America was at the cutting edge of change for women. Not anymore. Women are planning to vote for Hillary Clinton-not because of her accomplishments or her platform, but because she is a woman.

Fleeing Nazism, Settling In Ecuador: Film Tells Jewish Families' Story: Kristina Puga, NBC News, June 19, 2015— Eva Zelig is an Emmy-award winning producer who loves shedding light on various topics from health to global warming.





We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication.


Saudi Arabia and Israel Are in the Same Predicament: Yoni Ben Menachem, JCPA, July 20, 2015— In the wake of the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers, Israel’s and Saudi Arabia’s respective situations have certain features in common.

In Hamas’s Embrace of Sunni Saudi Arabia, a Slap to Iran: Times of Israel, July 21, 2015 — After years of alignment with Shiite Iran and its Arab allies, the Palestinian Hamas group is bidding for Sunni patronage from Saudi Arabia in a dramatic shift to its geostrategic orientation.

The US Counterinsurgency Strategy in Yemen: Stephanie Baric, Jerusalem Post, July 14, 2015  — For decades, Yemen has been on the brink of economic and political collapse.

"Something Radically New" in the Middle East: Paul Merkley, Think-Israel, 2015 — A few days ago, the potentates who rule the lives of the people of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan entered into a pact to eliminate by force the Houthi regime which has been governing most of Yemen…


On Topic Links


Israel’s Foreign Ministry Chief: Sunni Arab Nations Are Our ‘Allies’: JTA, July 29, 2015

Gulf Arab Power UAE Chides EU Over Opening to Iran: William Maclean, Reuters, July 29, 2015

Middle East Allies See Heightened Peril in Newly Empowered Tehran: Matthew Rosenberg & Ben Hubbard, New York Times, July 14, 2015

In Yemen’s Grinding War, if the Bombs Don’t Get You, the Water Shortages Will: Ali al-Mujahed & Hugh Naylor, Jerusalem Post, July 23, 2015




SAUDI ARABIA AND ISRAEL ARE IN THE SAME PREDICAMENT                                                                 

Yoni Ben Menachem

JCPA, July 20, 2015


In the wake of the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers, Israel’s and Saudi Arabia’s respective situations have certain features in common. That much is evident from the phone calls President Obama chose to make immediately after the agreement was signed. He opted to call Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, seeking to allay their concerns and promise them that the United States would ensure the their countries’ security.


For the Gulf States, the agreement evoked great apprehension. True, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates praised the deal, calling it a “historic agreement that could mean opening a new chapter in regional relations.” What truly reflects the sentiments of the Gulf States, however, is Saudi Arabia’s deafening silence. A senior Saudi source, responding to the agreement in a briefing to CNN, used exactly the same language as Netanyahu:  “The Obama administration has made a historic mistake.”


Worth noting is an article that Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz published on the Elaph website on July 15. Prince Bandar served as head of Saudi intelligence and as the Saudi ambassador in Washington from 1981 to 2005. In the article, Prince Bandar rejects the comparison between the nuclear agreement with Iran and the one that President Clinton reached with North Korea. “The facts,” he writes, “are bitter and cannot be ignored.” He quotes former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s remark that “America’s enemies should fear America, but America’s friends should fear America more.”


Yesterday, Saudis quoted statements from Iranian sources about the mood that prevailed among the top Iranian leadership during the nuclear talks – and about the squandering of a great opportunity by the U.S.-led world powers. The Iranian sources said that the world powers could have achieved a much better agreement than they did; the Iranian leadership was even prepared to give up the nuclear program altogether because of the severe economic hardships that were paralyzing the economy and endangering the regime’s stability. The Western representatives, however, blinked first and lost the chance to get a good agreement.


Saudi Arabia, which currently serves in the role of “policeman of the Gulf”,  has spearheaded the effort to counter Iranian expansion, notably in the military campaign it is conducting against the (Shiite) Houthi rebels in Yemen. The Saudi’s main concern is that the nuclear agreement will abet Iran’s efforts to bolster its influence in the Middle East and sow further instability in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.


Saudi Arabia is already preparing for eventualities. It has purchased 18 nuclear reactors from Russia, and this year it will increase its weapons purchases worldwide by over 50 percent. It is also reportedly considering purchasing a ready-made nuclear bomb from Pakistan and, thereby, become a nuclear state immediately. During the ten-year period of the agreement with Iran, the Saudi leadership, with King Salman at the helm, does not rule out pursuing nuclear projects along with other Gulf States. These would create a new reality of deterrence toward Iran akin to the nuclear balance of terror that now exists between India and Pakistan.


Saudi Arabia is keenly disappointed with the way the Obama administration conducted the talks with Iran. This was particularly evident two months ago when King Salman shunned President Obama’s summit meeting with Gulf State leaders at Camp David.


The Saudis’ conclusion is that the country cannot rely on the United States to fight its battles. It stands alone against Iran, and will now have to formulate a new strategy toward the Iranian danger. Saudi Arabia is the leader of the Sunni axis, and Shiite Iran’s hatred of Saudi Arabia is no less than the Shiite state’s visceral hatred of Israel. However, Israel is much stronger than Saudi Arabia and can successfully face the Iranian threats.


Iran’s intentions after the signing of the agreement will quickly become clear. The first litmus test will be its behavior toward the crisis in Yemen. If Iran prods the Houthi rebels to reach a political settlement with the “legal” government of the country, it will indicate that Iran is on the way to reconciling with its Saudi-led neighbors in the Gulf.




IN HAMAS’S EMBRACE OF SUNNI SAUDI ARABIA, A SLAP TO IRAN                                                     

Elhanan Miller

Times of Israel, July 21, 2015


After years of alignment with Shiite Iran and its Arab allies, the Palestinian Hamas group is bidding for Sunni patronage from Saudi Arabia in a dramatic shift to its geostrategic orientation. A high-level Hamas delegation headed by the group’s politburo chief, Khaled Mashaal, visited Riyadh last Friday to meet with King Salman, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, and a host of Saudi officials. The makeup of Hamas’s team was noteworthy, as it included Mashaal’s deputy, Moussa Abu Marzouk, and Saleh al-Arouri, the movement’s Turkey-based official suspected of guiding recently exposed terror cells in the West Bank, as well as the abduction-killing of three Israeli teenagers last summer. Arab media rushed to note that it was the first such meeting in over three years.


The Hamas daily al-Resalah cleared some of the fog surrounding the visit on Sunday, reporting that Saudi King Salman had requested that Hamas and Fatah empower him to replace Egypt as mediator in the reconciliation efforts between the two groups. Mashaal, the report said, came to Riyadh carrying a written “letter of empowerment” for Salman, while Fatah leader and PA President Mahmoud Abbas refused to do so.


The sudden, overt rapprochement between revolutionary Hamas and conservative Saudi Arabia — both followers of Sunni Islam — is unsurprising given the gradual decline in Hamas’s relations with Iran in recent years. It is not just money that Hamas is after (although given its financial pitfalls, some cash certainly couldn’t hurt), but more importantly, a new patron in a region increasingly defined by its sectarian divides.


ِAs Gaza-based Hamas leader Khalil Haya appealed to Muslim and Arab states on Monday night for money and arms “with no political price,” Abu Marzouk struggled to explain that his movement’s trip to Saudi Arabia was not intended as a snub to Iran. “Hamas’s compass will remain directed to Jerusalem, with the liberation of Palestine the basis of its strategy,” he wrote on Facebook. “We will maintain relations with everyone.” The United States, Abu Marzouk continued, is currently in the process of reevaluating its old alliances in the region, angering some while creating new opportunities for others. “Hamas remains the exception to this policy. It [the US] has maintained its animosity to the movement,” he wrote.


Hamas’s public appeal for American favor does not please Iran, Hamas’s former benefactor. The Islamic Republic would not accept Abu Marzouk’s attempt to pacify everyone, indicating that Hamas’s shift toward Saudi Arabia means a cut with Iran. “Hamas takes a step toward Riyadh and two steps away from Tehran,” read the headline of pro-Hezbollah — and, by extension, pro-Iran — Lebanese daily al-Akhbar on Sunday.


After the visit, which ended on Saturday, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported that the Saudi king had asked Mashaal to send hundreds of trained Hamas gunmen to Yemen to fight alongside the Saudi army against the Houthi separatists, who are backed by Iran. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri rushed to deny the Iranian report as “pure lies.” Other Iranian news outlets, both liberal and conservative, launched a scathing attack on Hamas. An article in reformist daily Ghanoon on Sunday blasted Khaled Mashaal’s ingratitude toward Iran with the headline “Bank account in Tehran, stronghold in Riyadh.”


The article described the deteriorating relations between Gaza and Tehran, beginning with Hamas’s abandonment of Iran’s Syrian ally Bashar Assad in January 2012. The tensions escalated with Hamas’s reported support for Saudi attacks on Houthi strongholds in Yemen recently.


In the wake of last summer’s war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Iranian media expressed hope that Hamas would “realize its mistake” in supporting the Sunni axis against Iran, noted Raz Zimmt, an expert in Iranian politics at Tel Aviv University and the Forum for Regional Thinking. “Hamas’s alliance with Saudi Arabia during the war in Yemen was another slap in the face for Iran, which realized that Hamas’s political leadership prefers the Saudi axis to the Iranian one,” Zimmt told The Times of Israel Tuesday.


Despite the crisis, Zimmt believes that Iran and Hamas cannot completely sever ties. Hamas’s armed wing continues to demand military aid that Saudi Arabia will never provide, while Iran will always require a significant Palestinian partner. “I believe there’s deep disagreement within Hamas whether to prefer Iran or Saudi Arabia, with the political leadership leaning toward Saudi Arabia and the military leadership toward Iran,” he said. “For Iran, there aren’t too many alternatives. If they want to influence the domestic [Palestinian] political arena, they can only do it through Hamas. Islamic Jihad just isn’t a significant player.”





THE US COUNTERINSURGENCY STRATEGY IN YEMEN                                                                       

Stephanie Baric                                       

Jerusalem Post, July 14, 2015 


For decades, Yemen has been on the brink of economic and political collapse. Today, with no functioning government, a severely crippled economy and a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Yemen is a failed state. Since 9/11, US foreign policy in Yemen has focused exclusively on eradicating the threat of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), one of the deadliest branches of the terrorist organization. The result? The beleaguered country increasingly resembles Somalia, including internal armed conflicts among rival factions and a major humanitarian crisis.


Four years earlier, millions of Yemenis took to the streets of major cities throughout the country demanding an end to poverty, protesting political repression, the neglect of public services, and social exclusion. Led by the country’s most disenfranchised groups, women and youth, the uprising resulted in the overthrow of president Ali Abdullah Saleh, a dictator who during his 33-year rule had amassed billions of dollars in wealth skimmed from Yemen’s oil revenues while the majority of Yemenis continued to live in abject poverty.


As post-revolution Yemen continued to face daunting challenges such as a separatist movement in the south, the expansion of AQAP within its borders and the decade-long Houthi insurgency, there were promising developments such as the completion of the National Dialogue Conference with recommendations for reforming state institutions and addressing social justice and policy issues. Even though there remained questions about state structure and the future status of southern Yemen, the National Dialogue marked a critical step for the fledgling democracy.


Despite the positive changes in Yemen, the US continued implementing the counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy. The American government spent millions of dollars in efforts to bolster the credibility of the government of Yemen, beginning in 2010 with president Saleh, despite his corrupt and despotic rule, and train Yemeni troops to capture and kill AQAP militants while the US carried out drone attacks. There was simply no way to counter insurgents in Yemen based on the COIN model with a government that lacked legitimacy and was not supported by the majority of citizens.


Even following the revolution when Yemen embraced democracy, rather than support the difficult transition the COIN model proved ineffective in eradicating AQAP and may have created an additional burden for a government struggling with a myriad of economic, political and social issues. But the failure of the COIN strategy in Yemen should have not have come as a surprise given its negligible results in Iraq and Afghanistan. Good governance simply cannot be achieved within 24 months, which was the timeframe laid out in the COIN strategy in Yemen.


When the Houthis carried out a coup d’etat in January, the US stood by as Saudi Arabia, a country ruled by an autocratic regime with a dismal human rights record and very little interest in seeing democracy flourish in the region, launched in late March what has proven to be a disastrous air war that has killed more than 3,000 civilians. The Saudi-led bombing campaign has done little to weaken the Houthis and is instead creating a severe humanitarian crisis with millions of Yemenis facing food insecurity and displacement. AQAP has taken advantage of the security vacuum, capturing towns, freeing jailed members and looting banks.


Throughout the Middle East, the US missed the opportunity during the Arab Spring to champion human rights and support reform based on the democratic aspirations of the people, which is unfortunate given that it is exactly the kind of counter narrative the region needs to stop the growing influence of violent extremism and terrorism.                                            




"SOMETHING RADICALLY NEW" IN THE MIDDLE EAST                                                                    

Paul Merkley                                   

Think-Israel, April 5, 2015


A few days ago, the potentates who rule the lives of the people of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan entered into a pact to eliminate by force the Houthi regime which has been governing most of Yemen — at least, to the extent that anybody has ever governed this lawless corner of Arabia — since the end of last year. The Saudi-led coalition has a so-far-silent partner in the United States, which is assisting with intelligence and logistics.


Performance on behalf of citizens has never mattered much in politics of the Arabian Peninsula. According to the impartial judgment of Transparency International in 2009, the Republic of Yemen under Ali Abdullah Saleh, its dictator/President since 1990, ranked 164 out of 182 countries surveyed for degree of honesty in government. What did matter was that this out-and-out kleptocracy served the interests of the neighboring Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which kept Yemen afloat through great gifts of money made directly to the chiefs of the major tribes—together with other great gifts of money that kept the religious and educational institutions equipped to inculcate the Wahhabi vision of Islamic society and government.


Saleh was forced out of his palace in March, 2011, the early days of the Arab Spring. The uprising was initially about unemployment, economic conditions, and corruption, as well as against the government's proposals to modify the constitution so that Saleh's son could inherit the Presidency. What has gone on since then is so chaotic that it cannot be made to fit anybody's definition of a civil war. On 23 November 2011, Saleh flew to Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia, to sign on to a plan under which his office would be transferred to his deputy, Vice President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. Predictably, the dictator soon returned to Yemen and has spent his best energies ever since trying to claw back his former powers.


Late last year (2014) military units following the leadership of Abdul Malik al-Houthi, leader of the most disciplined of the tribal gangs that rule most people's lives in Yemen, decided that the time had come to punish all the politicians for their persecution of the Shia minority — to which they belong. Houthi forces suddenly took control of the capital, even shelling the President Hadi's private residence and placing him under house arrest, until the whole government resigned in January 2015; thereupon, the Houthis dissolved parliament and devolved all power upon a Revolutionary Committee. At this point, ex-President Saleh attached his campaign for restoration to the Presidency to the Houthi side. The latest bulletin regarding Saleh is that he was flown out of Yemen's capital Sanaa on board a Russian aircraft sent there for the purpose of evacuating diplomats.


The Shiite Houthis look for spiritual, economic, military and political guidance to Iran, a majority Shiite nation. Through its support of the Houthis, Iran seeks to start up inside Yemen a civil war that will spill over into Saudi Arabia and become another theatre in the war between Shia and Sunni alongside the war in Iraq, Syria and Bahrain. (See, "Iranian ship unloads 185 tons of weapons for Houthis at Saleef Port,, March 23.) Iran has begun calling upon the Houthis to strike against government facilities, oil tankers, industries inside Saudi Arabia and against Saudi vessels and facilities in the Strait of Hormuz — and also to attack other Sunni regimes and assets in Iraq, Syria, Bahrain. [Note: since this paper was published, President Hodi walked away from the job and Isis took over Sana'a. At this point, like ancient Gaul, all Yemen is divided into three parts, ASAQ, Houthi and ISIS.–bsl]


As usual, Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum ( is ahead of the pack in discerning the broad, long-term significance of what is happening here. Pipes writes: Through Israel's early decades, Arabs dreamt of uniting militarily against it but the realities of infighting and rivalries smashed every such hope. Even on the three occasions (1948-49, 1967, 1973) when they did join forces, they did so at cross purposes and ineffectively. How striking, then that finally they should coalesce not against Israel but against Iran. This implicitly points to their understanding that the Islamic Republic of Iran poses a real threat, whereas anti-Zionism amounts to mere indulgence … It also points to panic and the need to take action resulting from a stark American retreat. (Daniel Pipes," Why Yemen Matters," Washington Times, March 28, 2015.)


This political turn-around reflects the re-examination by all the parties of all of their priorities. Of perhaps great consequence to all of us —it exposes a willingness by these Muslim powers to review in their hearts and minds the relative threat to their lives and their values of the continued existence of the Jewish state.


Needless to say, no hint of such thinking appears in the public utterances of these worthy leaders. The official line for now and undoubtedly to the end of time is that the existence of the Zionist Entity is the cause of all unhappiness in the Arab world. But until this moment, it had equally been a cardinal point of Arab politics that war to the death against the Jewish state is the cause that Allah gave to the Arab nation as its one sure unifying principle. Without saying so out loud — the Sunni kingdoms have moved that cornerstone to the side.


Each of the potentates heading up the two camps in this war — the King of Saudi Arabia and the Ayatollah of the Islamic Republic of Iran — regards the other as having no claim to the name of Muslim. On the website of MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute, memri@m,, we can hear Senior Iranian Ayatollahs denouncing the Saudi regime before their fanatical audiences as "a takfiri [that is, heretic, gang] … acting against Islam and the Muslims, in cooperation with the U.S., Israel and Zion." Long before the crisis caused by the Houthi uprising and the Saudi King's response to it, the official voice of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, Iran's military elite, was crying out publicly for "a decisive and crushing response [towards King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia].. [and] operations … that should start on the street leading to King Abdullah's palace in Riyadh… If Saudi Arabia continues to equip and arm the terrorists of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) and several other groups like Ansar Al-Sunna, every operation that the Shi-ites will carry out against Saudi facilities and centers will be legitimate."


It is important to grasp that vitriolic hatred is not a monopoly of the Muslim princes. It draws upon, and in turn feeds, a deep toxic contempt that all Shias everywhere have for all Sunnis everywhere. [I have developed this theme at greater length in two essays published on "Civil War Has Begun in the Heartland of Islam: The Shia /Sunni Feud," April 11, 2014; and "A Toxic Family Quarrel," May 24, 2014.] A recent BBC News Documentary, "Freedom to Broadcast Hate," gives us access to this increasingly mad world of Shia versus Sunni. From mosques and before great outdoor crowds we hear, via satellite television and internet websites, Sunni preachers declaiming coldly against Shias: "Their heads should be smashed as the head of a snake… Shia is a cancer attacking the Muslim religion." From the Shia preachers we hear: "We do not believe a Sunni will be considered a Muslim in the afterlife…. Shia Islam is the only Islam." Sunni clerics weep as they call upon Allah to "punish the Shia… [to] freeze the blood in their veins … They have insulted the wives of the Prophet…. Shi'ism is not true Islam. It is worse than cancer."…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]






On Topic


Israel’s Foreign Ministry Chief: Sunni Arab Nations Are Our ‘Allies’: JTA, July 29, 2015—The director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Dore Gold, called the Middle East’s Sunni Arab nations “Israel’s allies.”

Gulf Arab Power UAE Chides EU Over Opening to Iran: William Maclean, Reuters, July 29, 2015 —Gulf Arab power the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Wednesday criticized the European Union for seeking Iranian cooperation in stabilizing the region, saying that an "aggressive" Tehran was helping to polarize the countries there.

Middle East Allies See Heightened Peril in Newly Empowered Tehran: Matthew Rosenberg & Ben Hubbard, New York Times, July 14, 2015—Even in the final months of talks to peacefully resolve the conflict over Iran’s nuclear program, events across the Middle East showcased the acrimony between Washington and Tehran.

In Yemen’s Grinding War, if the Bombs Don’t Get You, the Water Shortages Will: Ali al-Mujahed & Hugh Naylor, Jerusalem Post, July 23, 2015—For months, citizens of this war-torn country have been terrorized by bomb explosions and mortar attacks. Now another threat is growing, which could be just as deadly.





 We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail:



On Topic Links


Jews Stood up to the U.S. Government 40 Years Ago, and Should Again on Iran: Natan Sharansky, Washington Post, July 24, 2015

The Iranian Nuclear Program and Regional Instablity: Dore Gold, Rubin Center, July 16, 2015

Turkey Uses ISIS as Excuse to Attack Kurds: Uzay Bulut, Gatestone Institute, July 26, 2015

For Erdogan, Turkish Assault is About Containing the Kurds as Much as Fighting Isil: Richard Spencer, Telegraph, July 25, 2015




"I am looking forward to being reunited with my beloved wife Esther…I would like to thank the many thousands of well-wishers in the United States, in Israel, and throughout the world, who provided grass roots support by attending rallies, sending letters, making phone calls to elected officials, and saying prayers for my welfare. I am deeply appreciative of every gesture, large or small." — Jonathan Pollard, who will be released from prison after serving thirty years of a life sentence on November 20, the US Parole Commission announced Tuesday. His parole hearing took place July 7 at the Federal Correctional Center in Butner, North Carolina, where he has been incarcerated. Pollard has been serving a sentence of life in prison for conspiracy to deliver classified information to the State of Israel. (Jerusalem Post, July 28, 2015)


“Former US special envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross admitted in his 2004 book, The Missing Peace, that he advised then-president Bill Clinton against releasing Pollard in the framework of the 1998 Wye Accords negotiated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his first term … Ross argued that Pollard was simply far too valuable as a bargaining chip vis-à-vis Israel to be released cheaply. Ross thus furnished us with the definitive explanation for Pollard’s inexcusably drawn-out agony. Pollard has long suspected as much and had urged that he not be used as a “sweetener” to persuade Israel to agree to dangerous unilateral concessions…The very thought that Pollard would now be exploited to “sweeten” both Israeli opinion and that of American Jews on the Iran issue is morally repugnant in the extreme.” — Editorial (Jerusalem Post, July 28, 2015)

“I fear that what could happen is that, if Congress were to overturn it, our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated. And more blamed. And we would lose Europe and China and Russia with respect to whatever military action we might have to take. Because we will have turned our backs on a very legitimate program that allows us to put their program to the test over the next few years.” — US Secretary of State John Kerry, warning that should Congress vote against the Iranian nuclear deal signed in Vienna, Israel could find itself more isolated in the international arena.  (Times of Israel, July 24, 2015) 


“The continued radical stances by the Canadian officials against Iran, specially under the present conditions, show that the Canadian government’s approach towards Iran lacks a logical rationale…By following the Zionist regime’s stances Canada’s conservative government is quickly moving towards a self-imposed isolation in the international community and even among its old allies.” — Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marziyeh Afkham. Canada severed diplomatic relations with Iran in 2012, with its then-foreign minister John Baird citing the Tehran regime as “among the world’s worst violators of human rights.” Earlier this month, Canada’s Foreign Minister Rob Nicholson was decidedly reserved in his reaction to the nuclear accord reached with Tehran, saying his country would maintain its economic sanctions against Iran for the time being, even if other Western powers drop them. (Times of Israel, July 24, 2015)


"This president's foreign policy is the most feckless in American history…He's so naive he would trust the Iranians and he would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven." —  Republican Mike Huckabee. Huckabee has faced broad criticism after likening the nuclear deal to "marching the Israelis to the door of the oven," a reference to the Holocaust. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) criticized Huckabee for his remarks. National Director Jonathan A. Greenblatt said they were "completely out of line and unacceptable."  (Fox News, July 27, 2015)


“Respected Mr. Huckabee: Nobody marches the Jews to ovens anymore…To this end we established the State of Israel and the IDF; and, if need be, we will know how to defend ourselves, by ourselves.” — Israeli Transportation Minister Israel Katz. Katz agreed that the Iran deal must not allow the “Iranian terrorism kingdom” to become a nuclear threshold state, but said that the comments by Huckabee were “wrong and unnecessary.” (Jerusalem Post, July 28, 2015)


“Those of us who believe that the nuclear agreement just signed between world powers and Iran is dangerously misguided are now compelled to criticize Israel’s best friend and ally, the government of the United States.” — Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, in The Washington Post. Sharansky acknowledged that standing up against the White House in support of “what we think is right” for both Jews and the world, puts American Jewry at odds with the “power best able to protect us and promote stability.” Nevertheless, he said Jews must even risk giving the impression “that we somehow prefer war” rather than join those who believe “peace is on the horizon.” The human rights activist noted that the U.S. Jewish community similarly stood up to the White House forty years ago in a historic move that helped secure freedom for Soviet Jews at the time. (Algemeiner, July 26, 2015)


“This is the simple message that we should be sending to Iran: When Iran stands up and they chant, "Death to America," all we need to say is, "You first!" — Allen West, former congressman and former U.S. Army combat paratrooper. Last week as President Obama was attending a fundraiser and a Broadway play in New York City, over 10,000 protesters poured into the streets of Times Square for a Stop Iran rally. Giving the most powerful and memorable speech of the night was Allen West, who excoriated the president for negotiating nuclear weapons with Iran while ignoring those dissenting voices gathered in the city in lieu of a night out. West quoted Alexander the Great when he said, "I would not fear an army of lions if they were led by a sheep, but I would fear an army of sheep if they were to be led by a lion." West then added, "This great nation is a nation of lions that is currently being led by the greatest of sheep that we have ever seen in our 239 years of existence." (Truth Revolt, July 23, 2015)


“Iran’s staggering execution toll for the first half of this year paints a sinister picture of the machinery of the state carrying out premeditated, judicially-sanctioned killings on a mass scale…If Iran’s authorities maintain this horrifying execution rate we are likely to see more than 1,000 state-sanctioned deaths by the year’s end.” —Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa program. The human rights group is concerned over the “staggering” increase of executions in the Islamic Republic of Iran this year, the group said in a statement published on Thursday. According to Amnesty, Iranian authorities are believed to have executed an “astonishing” 694 people between January 1 and July 15 this year. The group added that the “unprecedented spike in executions in the country,” was the equivalent of “executing more than three people per day…At this shocking pace, Iran is set to surpass the total number of executions in the country recorded by Amnesty International for the whole of last year,” the statement said. (Algemeiner, July 24, 2015)


“Sometimes, in some circumstances, we are forced to give up areas to move those forces to the areas that we want to hold on to…There is a lack of human resources…. Everything is available [for the army], but there is a shortfall in human capacity." — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In his first public speech in a year, Assad said the country’s civil war has resulted in depleted reserves of soldiers, and swathes of territory have been lost. Despite admitting to military setbacks, loss of territory and a shortage of troops, Assad said he is determined to win the war, which entered its fifth year in March. According to the BBC, the Syrian army previously had 300,000 troops, but around 80,000 have been killed in the war. The war in Syria has killed an estimated 230,000 people and wounded more than one million. Four million refugees have fled the country, while millions remain displaced inside Syria’s borders. (Newsweek, July 27, 2015)


"Genocidal intent can clearly be seen in Islamic State's ideology and mission which is directed toward the creation of a global caliphate that has been purged of every man, woman, and child deemed to be an 'unbeliever' through either forced conversion or death…In Iraq, this has manifested most clearly in the insurgency's actions against Christians and Yezidis. They have been killed, tortured, kidnapped, raped, sold into slavery, and forcibly removed from their territorial homeland." —Former Congressman Frank Wolf, R-Va., in a letter to President Obama. Wolf, now a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, a Christian human rights group, is calling on the U.S. government and the United Nations to declare the rampage a genocide. (IPT News, July 29, 2015)






TURKEY URGED BY NATO TO SHOW RESTRAINT AGAINST KURDS (Ankara) — NATO urged Turkey to show restraint on Tuesday as its war against the Kurds in the far south-east showed signs of slipping out of control and damaging the US-led coalition’s fight against Islamic State. Turkey last week joined the coalition’s bombing raids on I.S. in northern Syria, as well as allowing US jets to use two of its air bases to stage its own raids. However, Turkish jets have also begun bombing bases of the outlawed PKK, the Kurdish guerrilla group, after it claimed responsibility for killing three police officers in Turkey last week. The PKK’s Syrian affiliate, the YPG, has been successfully fighting I.S. in Syria in co-ordination with US air strikes, so the Western allies fear that the gains from Turkey’s joining the raids on I.S. will be offset against the damage done to the Kurds. (Telegraph, July 29, 2015)


RIOTS AT TEMPLE MOUNT ON TISHA B'AV (Jerusalem) — On Sunday morning, dozens of Muslims rioted on the Temple Mount. They confronted the large police forces that had been deployed at the site in fear of clashes during the Tisha B'Av services. The rioters hurled stones, flares and an unidentified liquid substance at the police. The riots began after the Jerusalem Police collected information regarding masked young Arabs that hid inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount overnight. They gathered stones and prepared Molotov cocktails inside the mosque in order to confront the police and disrupt the Tisha B'Av services. (Jerusalem Online, July 26, 2015)


ARAB PARLIAMENT MEMBER DENIES JEWISH CLAIM TO TEMPLE MOUNT, SPARKING OUTRAGE (Jerusalem) — An Arab-Israeli parliament member drew criticism from Jewish Israelis on Monday when he claimed that Jews have no religious ties to the Temple Mount. The site of the long-destroyed ancient Jewish Temples and the current-day Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Temple Mount has long been a political and religious flashpoint. The remarks by Masud Ganaim of the Joint (Arab) List political party came a day after clashes between masked Muslim rioters and Israeli police marred the holy Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av. Tensions were already simmering after an incident last week in which Muslim women cursed Jewish women on a visit to the Mount. One of the Jewish women shouted back, “Muhammad is a pig.” (Washington Post, July 27, 2015)


SEVERAL KILLED IN REPORTED ISRAELI STRIKE IN SYRIA (Damascus) — Several people were killed in a reported Israeli airstrike on a car in the Syrian Golan Heights near the border with Israel Wednesday. The three men killed were identified as members of militias affiliated with Iran, according to Lebanese media. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that five people were killed in the strike. Israeli officials have raised alarms over the presence of Iranian and Hezbollah fighters using positions in the Syrian Golan, partially held by rebel forces, to attack Israel. In January, Israel reportedly carried out an airstrike on a group of Iranian and Hezbollah fighters, killing six people, including Hezbollah commander Jihad Mughniyeh and an Iranian general. (Times of Israel, July 29, 2015)


AFGHAN INTELLIGENCE: TALIBAN LEADER MULLAH OMAR DEAD (Kabul) — Afghanistan's main intelligence agency said Wednesday that the reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has been dead for more than two years. The one-eyed, secretive head of the Taliban and an al-Qaida ally led a bloody insurgency against U.S.-led forces after they toppled him from his rule in Afghanistan in 2001. He has not been seen in public since fleeing the invasion over the border into Pakistan. It was not immediately clear why his death was only being announced now. The confirmation comes two days before the Afghan government and the Taliban are to hold their second round of official peace talks in Pakistan. (New York Times, July 29, 2015)


BOKO HARAM: CHILD BOMBER HITS DAMATURU (Abuja) — A girl aged about ten has carried out a suicide bombing in north-eastern Nigeria, killing at least sixteen people. The attack took place near a crowded market in the city of Damaturu in Yobe state. About fifty people were wounded. No group has said it was behind the attack but Boko Haram have been blamed for similar bombings in recent months. Two female suicide bombers killed nine people in the city earlier in July. Yobe police said that the child detonated her explosives in a crowd of people being screened by security services before they were let into the market. In the previous attack on 17 July, two female bombers – one also aged about 10 – killed people waiting to say prayers for the Muslim festival of Eid. (BBC, July 26, 2015)


SOMALIA HOTEL TRUCK BOMB TOLL RISES TO FIFTEEN (Mogadishu) — The massive truck bomb that killed fifteen people, including a Kenyan diplomat, and wrecked Somalia’s premier hotel, the Jazeera, has stunned the capital and raised fears that the Islamic extremist al-Shabab are escalating their violence. The scene at the site was grisly, with the front sheared off of the five-story luxury hotel that once housed diplomats and visiting heads of state. The damage echoed the decades of conflict in Mogadishu that once left much of the city as rubble. Security officials link the attack to setbacks by al-Shabab in the field where they have been driven out of Mogadishu and strongholds in the countryside by combined African Union and Somali forces. (Washington Post, July 27, 2015)  


MILLIONS IN YEMEN ON THE BRINK OF STARVATION (Sana’a) — More than six million people in Yemen are on the verge of starvation, Oxfam warned, adding that months of war and a blockade were pushing an additional 25,000 people into hunger every day. One in two of Yemen’s people – nearly 13 million – are now struggling to find enough to eat. Nearly 4,000 people have been killed and more than 1.2 million displaced in a conflict between Houthi rebels and forces loyal to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Oxfam said the number of hungry people had risen by 2.3 million to 12.9 million since March, when a Saudi-led coalition backing Hadi began bombarding the Houthis and imposed a blockade in a bid to cut off arms supplies. (Globe & Mail, July 28, 2015)


LAWYER URGES IRAN PRISON RELEASE FOR JOURNALIST (Teheran) — The lawyer for a Washington Post journalist facing trial in Iran on charges including espionage pressed for his immediate release from prison following the nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers. Her comments did not, however, include details of the next step in the closed-door proceedings against Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, who has been in Iranian custody for more than a year. He has denied all the allegations against him. Last week, President Obama said U.S. officials will not “relent” until Iran frees Rezaian and two other American citizens known to be detained there. Obama also demanded that Iran offer further information on the whereabouts of a former FBI agent who was last seen in that country in 2007. (Washington Post, July 28, 2015)


CANADA BUYS OWN IRON DOME (Ottawa) — Canada said  it will buy missile defense radars modeled after Israel's Iron Dome from German defense contractor Rheinmetall. The defense ministry put the cost of the ten medium range radar systems at CAD $243.3 million. Canada's Defense Minister Jason Kenney hailed the deal, saying the technology had proved useful for Israel. The ministry said the radar systems are "capable of detecting hostile indirect fire, locating the position of the enemy weapon and calculating the point of impact of a projectile, as well as simultaneously tracking multiple airborne threats." The delivery of the radar systems is expected to begin in 2017. (Arutz Sheva, July 29, 2015)


GROUP CALLS FOR J STREET TO BE TOSSED OUT OF JEWISH COMMUNITY (Washington) — A prominent interfaith organization is calling for the ejection of the anti-Israel group J Street from the Jewish community due to its support for a recently inked nuclear accord with Iran. Just a week after the announcement of a nuclear deal with Iran, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) called out J Street for its connection to a range of shadowy organizations that are funding a major pro-Iran push. In April, when the framework of the agreement was announced, J Street jointly released a supportive statement with the pro-Tehran National Iranian-American Council (NIAC) and the Arab American Institute (AAI). Once the deal was struck, J Street undertook a multi-million dollar campaign to encourage American Jews to support the deal. (Washington Free Beacon, July 24, 2015)


STUDY: MOST JEWISH STUDENTS FACED HOSTILITIES ON NORTH AMERICAN CAMPUSES (New York) — Most Jewish undergraduates have encountered anti-Israel and/or anti-Semitic attitudes on campus, but they have not diminished their feelings of connection to Israel, a new study about anti-Semitism at North American universities found. According to the Brandeis University study, a few schools, among them Canadian universities and schools in the California state system, have “particularly high levels of hostility toward Jews or Israel.” The online survey of over 3,000 North American college students found that one-third of respondents reported having been verbally harassed during the past year because they were Jewish. (JTA, July 28, 2015)


ROMANIA BANS HOLOCAUST DENIAL, FASCIST SYMBOLS (Bucharest) — Romania’s president has signed into law legislation that punishes Holocaust denial and the promotion of the fascist Legionnaires’ Movement with prison sentences. The legislation also bans fascist, racist or xenophobic organizations and symbols, and promoting people guilty of crimes against humanity by up to three years in prison. About 280,000 Jews and 11,000 Roma, or Gypsies, were killed during the pro-fascist regime of Marshal Ion Antonescu. Romania has a few right-wing fringe groups such as Noua Dreapta, or New Right, which could be affected. Noua Dreapta’s followers closely adhere to the Romanian Orthodox Church and support Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, the leader of the 1930s ultra-nationalist Iron Guard movement, which was active in Romania from 1927 to 1941. (Times of Israel, July 22, 2015)


MORE THAN 200 FRENCH JEWS ARRIVE IN ISRAEL AS NEW IMMIGRANTS (Jerusalem) — More than 20,000 French Jews have moved to Israel over the past five years, with a record of over 7,200 French Jews making aliyah in 2014. The coastal city of Netanya is the top destination for French immigrants to Israel, followed by Tel Aviv-Yafo, Jerusalem, Ashdod and Raanana. France has seen an 84 percent increase in antisemitic attacks recorded during the first quarter of 2015 over the corresponding period last year. The worst of the attacks this year occurred on Jan. 9, when an Islamist killed four Jewish shoppers at a kosher supermarket. (Jerusalem Post, July 29, 2015)


ISRAELI BASEBALL PLAYER SELECTED IN MLB DRAFT FOR 1ST TIME (San Diego) —On the mound, Dean Kremer looks just like any other top-rated baseball prospect, whipping 90 mph fastballs and snapping nasty curves. When the 19-year-old pitcher greets his teammates in the dugout after striking out the side, however, he is speaking Hebrew, not English. The 6-foot-2 Kremer is the golden boy of Israeli baseball, the first citizen to be selected in the major league draft. Though he was born and raised in Stockton, California, and is also a U.S. citizen, the son of Israeli parents identifies strongly as Israeli himself and spends his summers in the Jewish State. He's the ace of Israel's national team and the San Diego Padres selected him in the 38th round of the draft in June. (AP, July 22, 2015)


TEVA BUYS ALLERGAN GENERIC DRUG BUSINESS FOR $40.5B (Tel Aviv) — Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. said Monday it is purchasing Dublin-based Allergan PLC's generic pharmaceuticals business for $40.5 billion, in what Israeli analysts called the largest-ever acquisition by an Israeli company. Word of the acquisition saw Teva shares shoot up 13 per cent in pre-opening trading on the Nasdaq. Trading in Teva shares on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange halted over the news of the sale. The Israeli pharmaceutical giant is the world's largest generic drugmaker, Israel's largest drug company,  and has long been a source of pride for Israelis. The company dates back to 1901, when its founders launched a small importer of medications. (CBC, July 27, 2015)


On Topic Links 


Jews Stood up to the U.S. Government 40 Years Ago, and Should Again on Iran: Natan Sharansky, Washington Post, July 24, 2015 —These days, like many Israelis and American Jews, I find myself in a precarious and painful situation.

The Iranian Nuclear Program and Regional Instablity: Dore Gold, Rubin Center, July 16, 2015 —I’ve been asked to speak about the Iranian nuclear program, at a conference dealing with regime collapse and sectarian war.  They seem to be separate subjects, but I’m going to try to merge them in my brief remarks.

Turkey Uses ISIS as Excuse to Attack Kurds: Uzay Bulut, Gatestone Institute, July 26, 2015 —Turkey's government seems to be waging a new war against the Kurds, now struggling to get an internationally recognized political status in Syrian Kurdistan.

For Erdogan, Turkish Assault is About Containing the Kurds as Much as Fighting Isil: Richard Spencer, Telegraph, July 25, 2015 —Turkey’s decision to send fighter jets against Isil positions in Syria and open its Incirlik and Pirinçlik air bases to US jets is a step change in its involvement in the fight against militant jihad.





We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication.


Cameron’s Clarity on Violent Islam: Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2015— David Cameron delivered an important speech in Birmingham this week promising new measures to counter violent Islam. Note the Prime Minister’s use of the “I” word.

Exploding Muslim Immigration Overwhelms FBI: Leo Hohmann, WND, July 17, 2015 — The FBI failed to stop another terror attack, this time in Chattanooga, and the pressure building on the bureau from President Obama’s reckless immigration policies may be reaching a boiling point, say security experts.

Turkey Turns on Its Jihadists Next Door: Burak Bekdil, Gatestone Institute, July 28, 2015  — When the Islamist radicals of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS, or Islamic State) decided to send a suicide bomber across the border into a small Turkish town, they probably did not think the bomb attack would poison their relations with Turkey.

America’s Friends in the Middle East Are its Enemies: George Jonas, National Post, June 27, 2015 — Fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is no picnic.


On Topic Links


British PM's Speech Specific About Radical Islamist Threat: IPT News, July 20, 2015

Obama’s Disturbing Pattern of Playing Down Islamic Terror: Marc A. Thiessen, Washington Post, July 20, 2015

Tackling Islamism, Post-Chattanooga: Tarek Fatah, Toronto Sun, July 21, 2015

Anti-Terror Tactics Targeting Muslim Leaders Provoking Tensions in Kenya: Geoffrey York, Globe & Mail, July 2, 2015




CAMERON’S CLARITY ON VIOLENT ISLAM                                                                        

Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2015


David Cameron delivered an important speech in Birmingham this week promising new measures to counter violent Islam. Note the Prime Minister’s use of the “I” word. Speaking in a city where 20% of residents are Muslim, Mr. Cameron was blunt. The root cause of Islamist radicalization, he argued, is neither economic deprivation nor the West’s alleged misdeeds in the Middle East. It’s a worldview that begins with “hearing about the so-called Jewish conspiracy and then develops into hostility to the West and fundamental liberal values, before finally becoming a cultish attachment to death.”


As for responses, he insisted that it wasn’t enough for Muslim communal leaders in the West to denounce suicide bombings in London if they didn’t also denounce “suicide bombs in Israel.” He also took aim at the excuse-making and moral self-flagellation that seems to go with every terrorist attack. “How can it be,” he asked, “that after the tragic events at Charlie Hebdo in Paris, weeks were spent discussing the limits of free speech and satire, rather than whether terrorists should be executing people full stop?”


Mr. Cameron promised to roll out specific policy proposals in the coming months, and we’ll have to see how serious they are. Among the ideas: deploying ex-Islamists to help “de-radicalize” Islamic State recruits, empowering liberal and reformist Muslims, and dealing with the ghettoization of immigrant Muslim communities in public housing.


Mr. Cameron isn’t infallible when it comes to speaking about Islamism. He recently called on the BBC to stop using the term “Islamic State” to refer to the group violently constructing a new caliphate across the Middle East, on the theory that using the group’s own name for itself creates the impression it’s a legitimate Islamic entity. But playing these name games evades the very problem Mr. Cameron is trying to address.


Still, the Prime Minister has delivered an honest assessment of the threat facing Britain and the West. “This was one of the boldest speeches by any politician anywhere on this topic,” Shiraz Maher, a British ex-Islamist who now works against jihadist groups, told us. Mr. Cameron’s “real triumph,” Mr. Maher added, was his vow to “support liberals and reformers from within British Muslim communities so they can better challenge extremist theology.” Let’s hope the Prime Minister persists in the effort.     






Leo Hohmann      

WND, July 17, 2015


The FBI failed to stop another terror attack, this time in Chattanooga, and the pressure building on the bureau from President Obama’s reckless immigration policies may be reaching a boiling point, say security experts. And the problem goes far beyond a loose border, where some 400,000 illegal aliens enter each year. It’s also the ease with which someone from a hostile Middle Eastern country can get a visa.


Under current U.S. immigration policy, an ISIS terrorist doesn’t need to hop a fence or swim a river to reach America. He can enter the U.S. legally as a student, as a skilled guest-worker, as a refugee, as an entrepreneur, or as a tourist – and fly here in the comfort of a jumbo jet. According to U.S. Census data, the U.S. welcomes about 100,000 Muslim immigrants legally each year. This represents the fastest growing segment of immigrants coming to America. While some may enter with questionable backgrounds, the chances are greater that they will get radicalized after they arrive.


Take the case of Chattanooga terrorist Youssef Mohammad Abdulazeez. He arrived with his parents from Kuwait in 1996 at the age of 6. He attended U.S. schools, and by all accounts was a fully assimilated U.S. naturalized citizen. Abdulazeez was a success story just waiting to be told by Obama’s newly created White House Taskforce on New Americans, which collaborates with community-organizing groups like Welcoming America to convince Americans that expansive immigration brings only good things to their cities and towns.


But something happened over the last two years of Abdulazeez’s life that changed him. Last year, at the age of 23, he traveled to Jordan and Yemen for seven months, and U.S. intelligence agencies aren’t sure who he visited or what he may have been taught while visiting the Middle East. When he returned home, he grew his beard out and started writing a Muslim blog in which he made philosophical statements that could easily be interpreted as anti-Western. His father was also investigated for a questionable donation to an Islamic charity a few years ago and placed on a watch list. Abdulazeez Sr. ended up being cleared of any wrongdoing.


FBI Director James Comey’s dire warning to Congress several weeks before the Chattanooga attack now seems prophetic because it applies perfectly to young Muslims like Abdulazeez. The message of ISIS to Western recruits is this: “Come to the so-called caliphate, and if you can’t, kill somebody. Kill somebody where you are,” Comey said. “He told them, with obviously deep concern, that his agency is simply incapable of managing the threats now proliferating across the entire country,” said Clare Lopez, vice president of research and analysis for the Center for Security Policy and a former CIA analyst.


“Even there, Comey was holding back on what he must know is the reality of this situation: We have living among us some percentage of a sub-set of Muslims, who may be legal or illegal immigrants, refugees or, like Abdulazeez, a naturalized American citizen, who feel zero allegiance to this country – and instead identify above all with the global Islamic ummah,” Lopez told WND. And with the U.S. so liberally allowing more Muslims into the country – about 800 new refugees a month come from one country, Somalia, arguably the most jihadist-rich country in the world – there is no telling how many have become radicalized or are in the process of being radicalized. “We have no idea if there are hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands across America today who decide to pledge their allegiance instead to the Shariah doctrine of jihad,” Lopez said.


And where do they go to feed on the poison of Islamic jihadism? “Family influence, Muslim Brotherhood-dominated mosques, Islamic centers and online indoctrination all play some role,” Lopez said. “But neither Comey nor the FBI nor local law enforcement currently has the legal or investigative tools to identify and stop such individuals before they take the next step on the pathway to violent jihad.”


Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. is one of the local law enforcement officials that Lopez says will have to take up the slack from a White House administration that shows no interest in seriously addressing either the immigration issues or the national security problems related to Islamic terrorism. “I can’t go through an airport without getting pulled aside for pre-check scans and searches. And while they’re doing that to a guy in law enforcement they can let a guy like Mohammad Abdulazeez spend seven months traveling the Middle East … are you kidding me?” Clarke told WND. “That’s a red flag. Just like the Boston bombing, the older guy was traveling through Chechnya before the attack. That’s a hotbed of terrorism, Chechnya, so you see why I say we suck at intelligence? We don’t have a strategy.”


Clarke said immigration must be cleaned up and specifically Muslim immigration. “We have got to force this issue. That’s why I’m glad Donald Trump is in the race. He’s probably not going to win, but he’s going to make this Republican field talk about some issues they would rather not discuss,” Clarke said. “Our immigration policy is a disaster. Multiculturalism is a disaster, and it failed miserably when European countries all opened their borders and now they’re all tightening up. France demands assimilation now. So now, yes, we do have to look at immigration as a national-security threat.”


Clarke said he fully expects that Obama will continue to do everything in his power to muddy the waters and disassociate the Chattanooga killings from Islamism. “You see where this is going to go with this administration for the next 72 hours,” he said. “We’ll hear from him that it has nothing to do with Islam when it has everything to do with Islam.” Clarke, who recently earned his master’s degree in security studies from the Center of Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School, said the Obama administration has no strategy for protecting the homeland against Islamic terror.


The FBI notoriously scrubbed its training manuals of all reference to Islam and terrorism in 2011. That concession was made in response to complaints by the Council of American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, to then-National Security Adviser John Brennan, who is now in charge of the CIA.  “And that’s why it’s just going to get worse,” Clarke said. “You’re going to see more attacks, where they target two different sites and expand across the nation in different states. I think we have to find a role for U.S. citizens in this as well but until we get a strategy, that’s not going to happen.”


Sen. Jeff Sessions issued a statement Friday that connects the growing threat of terrorism to record levels of legal immigration. “More details will need to be collected in coming days, but from what we know so far the (Chattanooga) terrorist in question appears to be an Islamist radical who immigrated to the United States from Kuwait, and who reportedly later applied for and received U.S. citizenship,” said Sessions, chair of the subcommittee on immigration and the national interest.


Sessions cited a recent warning by the Citizenship and Immigration Council that declared, “Our government cannot effectively track these foreign visitors and immigrants … Applications for entry are rubber-stamped. We’ve become the visa clearinghouse for the world.” Sessions provided a list of 21 terrorist attacks and foiled attacks involving immigrants allowed into the United States from hostile Islamic countries such as Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria, Morocco, Uzbekistan and Yemen. The list includes the two Boston Bombers from Chechnya in 2012, the six Somali-Americans from Minnesota charged in April this year with trying repeatedly to leave the country to join ISIS, an Uzbek refugee in Idaho arrested for planning an attack on military installations and recruiting others to make bombs, an immigrant from Syria who applied for and received U.S. citizenship and was accused of planning to “go to a military base in Texas and kill three or four American soldiers execution style.”


And the list goes on. WND has reported on many other cases of Muslim immigrants and the children of immigrants who went on to commit terrorist acts or provide material support to terrorist groups, including a Somali cab driver in Washington, D.C., who recruited members for al-Shabab in Somalia and now sits atop the FBI’s “most wanted terrorist” list. There is also the case of Hoda Muthana, the 20-year-old Yemeni-American, daughter of immigrants from Yemen, who left her comfortable life in her parents’ suburban Birmingham, Alabama, home in November 2014 to become an ISIS bride in Syria.


Lopez said that with so many Islamic immigrants in the U.S. and the Obama administration not taking the threat of Islamic terrorism seriously, more of the burden will fall to state and local law enforcement. “To meet this threat, our security and law enforcement officers need better and more honest leadership from the top,” she said. “We are engaged in a great civilizational jihad with the forces of the global jihad movement.”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]





TURKEY TURNS ON ITS JIHADISTS NEXT DOOR                                                                                   

Burak Bekdil                                            

Gatestone Institute, July 28, 2015


When the Islamist radicals of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS, or Islamic State) decided to send a suicide bomber across the border into a small Turkish town, they probably did not think the bomb attack would poison their relations with Turkey. After all, the bomber's target was a pro-Kurdish group, also viewed with hostility by Turkey. The attack killed 32 people and injured over 100. The attack also prompted tighter border controls in an area patrolled by the Turkish security forces. In an exchange of fire over the Turkey-Syria border, one Turkish non-commissioned officer was killed (the first Turkish casualty by IS fire) along with one IS fighter.


That was the end of Turkey's silent, peaceful cohabitation with the jihadists next door. The Turkish military said it sent fighter jets to bomb IS positions in northern Syria. Turkey also, for the first time, joined the allied forces fighting IS, by agreeing to allow, after several months of negotiations, the US military to use the critical Incirlik air base in southern Turkey for air strikes against IS targets.


Then came police raids against IS targets inside Turkey. Suddenly Turkey, a NATO member, was in an all-out war against IS, inside and outside Turkey. But in an embarrassing reality, the crackdown on IS targets in Turkey revealed how jihadists have enjoyed official protection over the past several years. In one raid, for instance, the Turkish police targeted an Istanbul apartment where it (unsurprisingly) found 30 foreign fighters waiting to be dispatched into Syria to fight their jihad alongside their IS comrades. The police also detained hundreds of "IS members or sympathizers" in raids across Turkey. The IS men must have been shocked at the unexpected hostility they faced from Turkish security forces, something they probably had not seen before.


But of all the detainees, two names were more revealing than the other, less-known ones. One was Abdullah Abdullaev, an Azeri jihadist, believed to be one of the IS leaders in Turkey. Abdullaev is the man who ran a network that received, provided safe houses for, and dispatched a large number of jihadists into Syria to augment the jihad there. Ironically, Abdullaev had successfully avoided coming onto the Turkish security's radar — a real miracle — until one IS cell with no real vision decided to bomb a pro-Kurdish meeting in a small Turkish town. Then it attacked Turkish troops. Then Turkey attacked both IS in Syria and pro-independence Kurds in Iraq. Similarly, three pro-IS websites operating in Turkey were abruptly blocked, on court orders. Just like the detained IS operatives, the websites had been free to operate inside Turkey, until the first direct combat between Turkey and IS.


And then there is the curious case of "Ebu Hanzala." Ebu Hanzala is in fact the nom de guerre of the Turkish national, Halis Bayancuk. In 2008, the Turkish Hanzala, Bayancuk the believer, was caught by the police as he was sketching plans to bomb a synagogue in Turkey. Mysteriously, he was released one year later. In 2014, he was briefly arrested again at a pro-Al-Qaeda meeting in Van, an eastern Turkish province bordering Iran. Also in 2014, he publicly declared that he wanted Islamic shariah law in Turkey. Bayancuk also declared his commitment to IS in a series of video tapes he released. He even had a Twitter account under the name "Ebu Hanzala." Without the bomb attack against the pro-Kurdish party, Bayancuk would most probably still be a free man, fighting for jihad and organizing some of the traffic on Turkey's jihadist highway, under the discreet surveillance of the same police officers who detained him when they wanted to.


It is good news that Turkey is cracking down on jihadists across the country. But questions remain: How, so spontaneously, were the Turkish police able to find the safe house where jihadists were waiting to be shipped to Syria? How did they immediately find and detain Messrs Abdullaev and "Ebu Hanzala?" Why did they let them go free before? It is nice of Turkey to ban the three pro-jihad and pro-IS websites, but why did the Turkish court not shut them down before? Why, specifically, did the Turks let Ebu Hanzala go free, despite his proven links with terrorism and specifically with organizations such as al-Qaeda and IS? Why was he released shortly after he was detained in each case? Finally, Turkey is fighting what the entire civilized world views as a brutal jihadist organization. But the way Turkey fights the Islamic State reveals how friendly it may have viewed the group until now.                                                          




AMERICA’S FRIENDS IN THE MIDDLE EAST ARE ITS ENEMIES                                                                           

George Jonas                                             

National Post, June 27, 2015


Fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is no picnic. America’s allies in the Middle East are often nothing but couriers delivering American arms to America’s enemies. The drill is for the U.S. to equip an Arab “ally” with up-to-date weaponry, only to have its warriors promptly retreat, abandoning their latest military hardware in the field, sometimes before uncrating it. Shipping arms directly to ISIL could achieve the same result at less cost, not to mention less humiliation.


Iraq’s army made sure by a series of hasty withdrawals that ISIL could acquire the most advanced equipment of the 21st century for its quest to recreate the 11th century, featuring the Umayyad Caliphate of Cordóba, or something similar. If it had been America’s aim to assist ISIL in this endeavor, it could have done no better. The Obama-administration’s policy, insofar as it had one, was to arm those afraid to stand up to the barbaric revivalists of the Middle Ages, while refusing to have anything to do with forces that might actually have resisted ISIL, such as the Shia militias of the region.


In defence of the Obama-presidency, it only shares the error of previous presidencies in this respect. America’s reluctance to ship arms to where they may do some good is understandable – in part. The Iran-sponsored Shia groups may fight Sunni ISIL to the death, but they’re no friends of America or Western-style democracy. The Islamist theocracy they would like to see triumph in the region is every bit as medieval as the Caliphate of ISIL, except it may, in addition, become nuclear-powered if the ayatollahs of Tehran have their way.


There has never been any good reason not to assist the Kurds, however. Yet the West hadn’t done so until it became a matter of too little, too late. Fear of secession? A functional and friendly Kurdistan would benefit the region much more than a dysfunctional and hostile Iraq. The great poet of the British raj, Rudyard Kipling, warned about fools who try to hustle the East, and there’s little doubt that in the 20th century the Western powers have been such fools. The most foolish thing was their belief that in modern times they can have the benefits of empire without paying its costs. They didn’t so much hustle the East as they hustled themselves.


In fairness, they were not such fools as to take sides in the ancient Sunni-Shia schism that divides the house of Islam, only fools enough to think that in our times it no longer mattered. We are now discovering that in a large, densely populated and resource-rich part of the world, just about nothing else matters as much. As a recent BBC program described it, “Members of the [Sunni and Shia] sects have co-existed for centuries and share many fundamental beliefs and practices. The differences lie in the fields of doctrine, ritual, law, theology and religious organization. Their leaders also often seem to be in competition.”


This is an understatement, even by British standards. Shia and Sunni leaders could gag each other with a spoon (as Valley girls used to say in the 1970s) and their explosively pious disciples have been blowing up their heretic co-religionists’ markets and mosques with monotonous regularity. Under the tyranny of the late Saddam Hussain, the minority Sunnis in Iraq oppressed and sometimes massacred the majority Shia, and since Saddam’s departure at the end of a noose, the Shia have been trying to repay the Sunnis in kind, as much as an American-imposed system of mock-democratic multiculturalism let them.


Though not such fools as to take sides in the schism, the Americans tended to walk on the Sunni side of the street. Although a minority in Iraq, Sunnis constitute the overwhelming majority in the Islamic world, amounting to over 85% of all Muslims. In Persia, though, better known as Iran since the 1930s — and as the Islamic Republic of Iran since 1979 — the Shia and their Islamic revolutionary clerics predominate. Iran is also well on its way to add to its arsenal the Islamic Bomb, and with it a chance to contest the hegemony of the region. Persian descendants of Xerxes the Great are no friends of the self-proclaimed successors of the Arab Caliphate. Needless to say, neither are friends of the West.


The conservative and wealthy Sunni rulers of the five Gulf states could be America’s natural allies — and, indeed, that’s what they are on paper — except they’re under the sway of Wahhabism, another fanatical strand in the fabric of Sunni Islam. Osama bin Laden had been a Saudi and so were the terrorists of 9/11. Clifford D. May, president of the American think tank FDD (Foundation for Defense of Democracies) quotes a recent article in the National Interest that highlights “how leaders from all five Sunni-ruled Gulf monarchies — the Saudi king in particular — have promoted a [Wahhabi] preacher who propagates intolerance toward other religions, for instance proclaiming that Osama bin Laden died “with more sanctity and honour in the eyes of Allah than any Christian, atheist, or Jew.” Just one tiny example, but it’s telling. With friends like this in the Middle East, America needs no enemies.






On Topic


British PM's Speech Specific About Radical Islamist Threat: IPT News, July 20, 2015—British Prime Minister David Cameron delivered a remarkable and powerful speech Monday on combatting radical Islamist extremism, a topic many other Western leaders including President Obama avoid tackling head on.

Obama’s Disturbing Pattern of Playing Down Islamic Terror: Marc A. Thiessen, Washington Post, July 20, 2015 —Give the president this much: At least he didn’t call the Chattanooga, Tenn., shooting workplace violence. Speaking from the Oval Office just hours after the attack, President Obama did not once use the word “terrorism” in relation to the assault by Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez on military sites in Chattanooga.

Tackling Islamism, Post-Chattanooga: Tarek Fatah, Toronto Sun, July 21, 2015—It has been almost a week since the Chattanooga terrorist Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez issued the equivalent of an Islamic declaration of war on America in a text message before killing four U.S. Marines and a Navy petty officer.

Anti-Terror Tactics Targeting Muslim Leaders Provoking Tensions in Kenya: Geoffrey York, Globe & Mail, July 2, 2015—When the Kenyan government shut down the Musa mosque for “radicalizing” its followers, local officials searched in vain for someone to take over the mosque. Finally they appointed a nearby real-estate agent, who recruited an 18-year-old high-school student as the imam.










We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication.



Israel United Against Iran Deal, So Should Those Who Claim to Be Its Friends: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, July 23, 2015— This morning during a Senate hearing on the Iran nuclear deal, Secretary of State John Kerry tried to pour cold water on the notion that friends of Israel are obligated to oppose the pact.

The Iran Agreement in International Law and U.S. Law: Contradictions: Prof. Louis René Beres, Arutz Sheva, July 23, 2015 — From the particular standpoints of national and international law, there are notably major contradictions within the new Iran agreement that have yet to be recognized.

Iran Inspections in 24 Days? Not Even Close: Hillel Fradkin & Lewis Libby, Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2015  — The Obama administration assures Americans that the Iran deal grants access within 24 days to undeclared but suspected Iranian nuclear sites.

What US Leaders Have Never Understood About Iran: Amir Taheri, New York Post, July 19, 2015 — “American rulers have always dreamed of forcing us to change our behavior, and failed,” Iran’s “Supreme Guide,” Ali Khamenei, said Saturday. “Five US administrations took that dream to their graves. The present one shall have the same fate.”


On Topic Links


Allen West Rips Obama Over Iran Deal Along With 10,000 Protesters: Trey Sanchez, Truth Revolt, July 23, 2015

House Republican: Obama Administration Won’t Release Full Iran Deal to Congress: Joel Gehrke, National Review, July 21, 2015

Congress Must Hold Obama Accountable for His Deception Over Iran: Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, July 25, 2015

Implications for Israel in a Transformed Middle East: Efraim Inbar, Rubin Center, July 19, 2015



ISRAEL UNITED AGAINST IRAN DEAL,                                                     

SO SHOULD THOSE WHO CLAIM TO BE ITS FRIENDS                                                                         

Jonathan S. Tobin                                                                                                                 

Commentary, July 23, 2015


This morning during a Senate hearing on the Iran nuclear deal, Secretary of State John Kerry tried to pour cold water on the notion that friends of Israel are obligated to oppose the pact. Citing a Washington Post op-ed titled “How the Iran deal is good for Israel, according to Israelis who know what they’re talking about,” Kerry treated the piece that cites the opinions of a few retired officials that agree with him as proof that his claim that the result of his two years of negotiating with Iran would benefit the Jewish state as well as the United States. A similar piece in the Forward by J.J. Goldberg quotes some of the same figures.


Taken together, they seem to make a strong case that the pro-Israel community ought to either sit out the Iran deal fight in Congress or even support the agreement. But the two articles leave out a couple of important facts about Israeli opinion about the Iran deal. One is that most of those quoted are either disgruntled former officials who hold a grudge against Prime Minister Netanyahu for not keeping them in office, or ideological opponents of the man who has won three consecutive elections. The other is that while Netanyahu’s political foes in the Knesset are as sharply critical of the prime minister as the Obama administration, they have joined him in forming a united front against the Iran deal as a deadly threat to the country’s future. That’s a point that any American that claims to be a friend of Israel needs to consider before they consider backing the administration’s push for détente with the Islamist regime.


As Jeffrey Goldberg, who has been the administration’s unofficial mouthpiece on Israel issues and their dutiful amanuensis when it comes to smears of Netanyahu, noted in The Atlantic last week, the man that Washington desperately wanted to win the Knesset election in March has turned on Obama. Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog was the darling of the White House earlier this year as the administration moved heaven and Earth in a failed attempt to influence the Israeli electorate to reject Netanyahu’s bid for a third straight term as prime minister. As Goldberg wrote, Herzog’s line on the Iran negotiations last winter was that he trusted Obama to get a “good deal” with Tehran. But rather than continuing his effort to cozy up to the administration, Herzog now completely agrees with Netanyahu’s evaluation of the deal. As Goldberg wrote:


    In a telephone call with me late last night, Herzog’s message was very different. The deal just finalized in Vienna, he said, “will unleash a lion from the cage, it will have a direct influence over the balance of power in our region, it’s going to affect our borders, and it will affect the safety of my children.”


    Iran, he said, is an “empire of evil and hate that spreads terror across the region,” adding that, under the terms of the deal, Iran “will become a nuclear-threshold state in a decade or so.” Iran will take its post-sanctions windfall, he said, and use the funds to supply more rockets to Hezbollah in Lebanon, more ammunition to Hamas in Gaza, and “generally increase the worst type of activities that they’ve been doing.”


The other major figure in the Israeli opposition, Yair Lapid, the leader of the Yesh Atid Party has also chimed in with harsh criticism of the agreement with Iran. In fact, the administration has achieved something that is generally considered impossible: uniting the Zionist parties of the Knesset from right to left. Netanyahu, Lapid, and Herzog and the leaders of the other parties normally can’t agree on anything. But Obama and Kerry have brought them together to denounce a deal that all know makes their region more dangerous while also presenting an existential threat to Israel’s future.


As I noted earlier this week, there is nothing in the deal that will prevent Iran from using the vast windfall it gets from sanctions relief to help fund its terrorist auxiliaries and allies that face off against Israel. Both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza can expect to get a share of the flood of cash that President Obama is allowing Tehran. Kerry’s claims that such transfers won’t be allowed are absurd since even National Security Director Rice conceded, it will be their money.


Nor is anyone of stature in Israel’s political establishment on either side of the left-right divide buying the idea that the loose restrictions that will soon expire can do anything to stop an Iranian bomb. Like American critics of the Iran deal, they consider the administration’s arguments that there are no alternatives to their appeasement policy short of war to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Having discarded all the enormous political and economic leverage it held over Iran in 2013, it is disingenuous, if not completely dishonest of Obama and Kerry to say that theirs is the best option. Having effectively spiked a the chances that tougher sanctions would bring Iran to its knees when they began bowing to Iranian dictates in the talks, their current claim that opponents are warmongers has no credibility.


Some Israelis, Lapid in particular, do criticize Netanyahu for his strident opposition to Obama’s Iran strategy over the last two years. Seeking to make political hay out of this catastrophe for Israel, they argue that if Netanyahu had been nicer to Obama or at least not criticized him publicly, the U.S. might not have signed such a horrible deal. This is nonsense. Netanyahu may have made some tactical mistakes in the last few months, in particular his decision to address Congress in March. He gave a great speech but it did nothing to stop Obama and even served the administration’s interests by diverting attention away from their policies and allowing Democrats to rally ’round their “insulted” president. But President Obama has been determined to create a new détente with the Islamist regime since the day he entered office. In doing so, he has discarded every other U.S. interest in the talks including the need to stop Iranian support for terrorism, its anti-Semitism, its determination to destroy Israel, its quest for regional hegemony and its ballistic missile program, in order to get a deal at any price. Netanyahu had no chance to alter Obama’s course.


But Israel’s rare political unity on the issue should influence Americans who care about the Jewish state. If Netanyahu, Herzog and Lapid all agree that the deal is terrible, no member of the Congress or the Senate who wishes to present themselves as friends of Israel should be allowed to get away with claiming that he knows better than these leaders, no matter how many disgruntled retired Israeli spooks can be assembled to contradict them.


Efforts by the administration’s left-wing allies to undermine the unity of the pro-Israel community should be dismissed out of hand. The deal is a clear and present danger to Israel’s future and should be treated as a litmus test of backing for Israel as well as reliability on U.S. security. All members of the House and Senate — especially those, like Senator Chuck Schumer that have staked their reputations as being guardians of Israel’s security — should be put on notice that they must choose between loyalty to Obama and what is right.                






Prof. Louis René Beres              

Arutz Sheva, July 23, 2015


From the particular standpoints of national and international law, there are notably major contradictions within the new Iran agreement that have yet to be recognized. Of these, the most egregious example has to do with core provisions of the agreement that allow Iran to enrich uranium – or effectively "go nuclear" – after 15 years. These provisions, prima facie, are in stark violation of the 1968 Non Proliferation Treaty, or NPT, notably those treaty portions that already obligate Iran, and all other non-nuclear member states, to remain non-nuclear for the Treaty's "indefinite duration." Correspondingly, it also follows, according to Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution, or the "Supremacy Clause," that U.S. entry into the new Iran agreement expressly violates American law, specifically, the "supreme law of the land." This country, of course, is a nuclear-weapon state party to the NPT.


A second relevant legal contradiction concerns the Obama administration's declared unwillingness to base its negotiations with Iran upon a prior or contingent expectation that the country's leadership renounce its genocidal statements about Israel. This contradiction, too, represents a flagrant U.S. violation of both international and national law, in this case, because the 1948 Genocide Convention criminalizes not only genocide per se, but also "Conspiracy to commit genocide," and "Direct and public incitement to commit genocide."


It is certain that the U.S. failed to consider a number of utterly fundamental principles of law in forging its recent Iran nuclear agreement. Does the United States have any specific "contractual" obligation to enforce such criminalization in its separate nuclear dealings with Iran? Although the precise language of the Genocide Convention does not explicitly require such enforcement, all treaties are premised upon the "peremptory" doctrine of pacta sunt servanda (Latin for "agreements must be honored"). Moreover, a U.S. obligation here is clearly deducible from Article V of the Convention, which calls for international cooperation in providing "effective penalties" for those who have engaged in "incitement to commit genocide," and from Article VIII, which urges "any contracting party" to bring unlawful behavior before "competent organs of the United Nations."


Again, there exists a binding intersection of U.S. Constitutional law, and international law. Because of the Supremacy Clause, and also assorted Supreme Court decisions, especially the Paquete Habana (1900), this country's conspicuous failure to properly enforce anti-genocide norms in its recent nuclear agreement with Iran constitutes a violation of U.S. domestic law. On purely moral grounds, of course, this failure is similarly serious.


A third problem with the new agreement is less a matter of evident jurisprudential contradictions, than it is one of "naive legalism," of automatically assuming that realistic compliance is simply built into the codifying language. Here, legal philosophy has pride of place, and it is fully appropriate to recall the cautionary words of seventeenth-century English thinker, Thomas Hobbes, a figure whose Leviathan was well-known to Thomas Jefferson, and thereby important to drafting the Declaration of Independence:  "And Covenants, without the Sword, are but Words, and of no strength to secure a man at all."


To be sure, the new "Covenant" with Iran is "but Words," and can never expectedly override Tehran's irremediable preference for creating military nuclear options. Over time, Iran's cadre of international lawyers will plausibly embark, more-or-less openly, on a  calculated strategy of unilateral "treaty" termination. Further to the governing "treaty on treaties," the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969), these Iranian lawyers will settle upon a useful number of "permissible exceptions" to pacta sunt servanda. These allegedly lawful exceptions will likely include the doctrine of rebus sic stantibus ("so long as conditions remain the same"), a principle stating that the obligations of the nuclear agreement may be terminated whenever a change occurs in those circumstances that existed at the time the agreement had first been executed. Will such a qualified change actually have taken place? Probably not.


There are other strategies of unilateral termination that Iran could and most likely will invoke, going forward. One of these grounds, identified at Article 48 of the Vienna Convention, says that "A State may invoke an error ….as invalidating its consent…." Another, codified at Article 52, indicates that a formal international agreement is void "if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force…." Still another predictable ground for future Iranian legal manipulation can be found at Article 53, the so-called "Jus Cogens" or peremptory norm section of the Vienna Convention. This article states that "A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law." In this case, Iran could claim, several years hence, that the agreement had improperly impaired its sovereignty – incontestably, a peremptory norm of general international law – and is therefore no longer legally binding.


On its face, any such rationale would appear to contradict elementary logic. After all, Iran had already acknowledged this effect at the time of its initial agreement. Nonetheless, a case could conceivably be fashioned by Iran that would combine this particular rationale with an argument of rebus sic stantibus – that is, that the foreseeable circumstances that had obtained originally, no longer obtain…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]





IRAN INSPECTIONS IN 24 DAYS? NOT EVEN CLOSE                                                                    

Hillel Fradkin & Lewis Libby                                               

Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2015   


The Obama administration assures Americans that the Iran deal grants access within 24 days to undeclared but suspected Iranian nuclear sites. But that’s hardly how a recalcitrant Iran is likely to interpret the deal. A close examination of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action released by the Obama administration reveals that its terms permit Iran to hold inspectors at bay for months, likely three or more. Paragraphs 74 to 78 govern the International Atomic Energy Agency’s access to suspect sites. First, the IAEA tells Iran “the basis” of its concerns about a particular location, requesting clarification. At this point Iran will know where the IAEA is headed. Iran then provides the IAEA with “explanations” to resolve IAEA concerns. This stage has no time limit.


Opportunities for delay abound. Iran will presumably want to know what prompted the IAEA’s concern. The suspect site identified by the IAEA is likely to be remote, and Iran will no doubt say that it must gather skilled people and equipment to responsibly allay IAEA concerns. Iran may offer explanations in stages, seeking IAEA clarifications before “completing” its response. That could take a while.


Only if Iran’s “explanations do not resolve the IAEA’s concerns” may the IAEA then “request access” to the suspect site. Oddly, the agreement doesn’t specify who judges whether the explanations resolve concerns. If Iran claims that it has a say in the matter, the process may stall here. Assuming Iran grants that the IAEA can be the judge, might Iran claim that the “great Satan” improperly influenced IAEA conclusions? Let’s assume that Tehran won’t do that. Now the IAEA must provide written reasons for the request and “make available relevant information.” Let’s assume that even though the IAEA may resist revealing the secret sources or technical means that prompted its suspicions, Iran acknowledges that a proper request has been supplied.


Only then do the supposed 24 days begin to run. First, Iran may propose, and the IAEA must consider, alternative means of resolving concerns. This may take 14 days. Absent satisfactory “arrangements,” a new period begins. During this period Iran, “in consultation with” the Joint Commission, will “resolve” the IAEA concerns “through necessary means agreed between Iran and the IAEA.” The Joint Commission includes China, France, Germany, Russia, the U.K, the U.S., the European Union and, of course, Iran. Not exactly a wieldy bunch. The Iranians will likely claim that “consultation” with the Joint Commission doesn’t bind Tehran, just as the U.S. president isn’t bound by consultations with Congress. The agreement says the consultation process will not exceed seven days, but Iran can point out that the nuclear deal doesn’t specify when Iran and the IAEA must reach agreement and “resolve” IAEA concerns.


In the absence of Iran-IAEA agreement, a majority of the Joint Commission has seven days to “advise” on the “necessary means” to resolve the matter. Iran may fairly argue that the commission’s right to “advise” is not the same as a right to “determine” the “necessary means.” Lastly, the agreement provides that “Iran would implement the necessary means within 3 additional days.” But what “necessary means” are these? As noted, the agreement refers to “necessary means agreed between Iran and the IAEA.” So these additional three days don’t even begin until an agreement is reached. Now what? Well, the U.S. may take a “Dispute” to the Joint Commission, on which Iran sits, which has 15 days to resolve the issue. Parties may or may not invoke a similar 15 days for foreign ministers to act. Parties may also request a nonbinding opinion within 15 days from an advisory board consisting of three members, one appointed by Iran, one by the complaining country and “a third independent member.”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]





WHAT US LEADERS HAVE NEVER UNDERSTOOD ABOUT IRAN                                                                      

Amir Taheri                                              

New York Post, July 19, 2015


“American rulers have always dreamed of forcing us to change our behavior, and failed,” Iran’s “Supreme Guide,” Ali Khamenei, said Saturday. “Five US administrations took that dream to their graves. The present one shall have the same fate.” Khamenei’s analysis is not far off the mark. Successive American presidents have worked hard to persuade the Khomeinist regime in Tehran to modify aspects of its foreign policy, so far with no success. The reason may be the inability or unwillingness of successive US presidents, and a good part of the American political and cultural elite, to properly understand the nature of the Khomeinist regime.


Jimmy Carter believed the Khomeinist seizure of power represented the return of religion to the center of public life. His administration described Khomeini as “a holy man” and “the Gandhi of Islam.” Carter wrote letters to Khomeini “as a man of faith to a man of faith.” He even ordered the resumption of arms supplies to Tehran. We all know what that did to Carter.


President Ronald Reagan, who had visited Iran just a year before the revolution, thought he knew Iranians better. He described them as “carpet merchants and dealmakers.” Accordingly, he smuggled arms that the mullahs needed to stop the Iraqi army from advancing farther into Iran. He also sent a huge heart-shaped cake and a personally autographed copy of the Bible to the ayatollah. One result was the Iran-Contra scandal that rocked Reagan’s presidency. Dealing with the aftershocks of that crisis, President George H.W. Bush developed no policy on Iran beyond a number of secret talks that led nowhere but reassured Tehran that the American “Great Satan” had been neutralized.


President Bill Clinton saw the Khomeinist regime as “progressist,” a view shared by many American liberals who think anti-Americanism is the surest sign of progressive beliefs. Here is what Clinton said at a meeting on the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in 2005: “Iran today is, in a sense, the only country where progressive ideas enjoy a vast constituency. It is there that the ideas that I subscribe to are defended by a majority.” And here is what Clinton had to say in an interview a bit later with Charlie Rose:


“Iran is the only country in the world, the only one with elections, including the United States, including Israel, including you name it, where the liberals, or the progressives, have won two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote in six elections: two for president; two for the Parliament, the Majlis; two for the mayoralties. In every single election, the guys I identify with got two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote. There is no other country in the world I can say that about, certainly not my own.” Clinton and his secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, apologized to the mullahs for unspecified “crimes” committed “by my civilization” and removed a raft of sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic after the seizure of the US hostages in Tehran.


But what crimes? Clinton summed them thus: “It’s a sad story that really began in the 1950s when the United States deposed Mr. Mossadegh, who was an elected parliamentary democrat, and brought the Shah back and then he was overturned by the Ayatollah Khomeini, driving us into the arms of one Saddam Hussein. We got rid of the parliamentary democracy [there] back in the ’50s; at least, that is my belief.”


Clinton did not know that in the Islamic Republic that he so admired, Mossadegh, far from being regarded as a national hero, is an object of intense vilification. One of the first acts of the mullahs after seizing power was to take the name of Mossadegh off a street in Tehran. Apologizing to the mullahs for a wrong supposedly done to Mossadegh is like begging Josef Stalin’s pardon for a discourtesy toward Alexander Kerensky.


Too busy with Afghanistan and Iraq, President George W. Bush paid little attention to Iran. Nevertheless, in his second term he, too, tried to persuade the mullahs to modify their behavior. His secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, sent an invitation, not to say a begging note, to the mullahs for “constructive dialogue.” They responded by stepping up the killing of US soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq by local surrogates. Needless to say, he did no better…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]





On Topic                                                                                        


Allen West Rips Obama Over Iran Deal Along With 10,000 Protesters: Trey Sanchez, Truth Revolt, July 23, 2015—On Wednesday evening as President Obama was attending a fundraiser and a Broadway play in New York City, over 10,000 protesters poured into the streets of Times Square for a Stop Iran rally.

House Republican: Obama Administration Won’t Release Full Iran Deal to Congress: Joel Gehrke, National Review, July 21, 2015 —President Obama won’t allow Congress to review two key aspects of the Iranian Nuclear deal, Republican lawmakers learned from international partners last week.
Congress Must Hold Obama Accountable for His Deception Over Iran: Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, July 25, 2015—The president “must certainly be punishable for giving false information to the Senate.”
Implications for Israel in a Transformed Middle East: Efraim Inbar, Rubin Center, July 19, 2015—The following transcript discusses the implications for Israel in light of the instability in the Middle East since the Arab Spring and Iran’s nuclear and hegemonial ambitions.










We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication.


Rejecting Despair and Confronting the Challenges: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, July 21, 2015 — I will not add to the flow of articles that have more than adequately analyzed the horrendous long-term consequences of U.S. President Barack Obama’s capitulation to the Iranian ayatollah…

Friedman’s Fantasy: Michael Devolin, Jihad Watch, Apr. 2, 2015  — “A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.”

Suing to Profit From a Nazi’s Diaries: Roger Kimball, Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2015 — This spring marked the 70th anniversary of the effective end of the Nazi regime.

Nine Days in Av: Stewart Weiss, Jerusalem Post, July 16, 2015— Friday, July 17, begins the semi-mourning period popularly known as “The Nine Days.”


On Topic Links


J Street Launches Campaign Backing Iran Deal; AIPAC Calls for Rejection of Accord: JTA, July 16, 2015

Look Before Leaping: Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, Mar. 25, 2015

The New York Times vs. Israel: Jerold Auerbach, Algemeiner, June 10, 2015

Globe & Mail Presents Dubious Anti-Israel Organization’s Report as “Credible”: Honest Reporting, June 10, 2015

When Tisha B’Av Occurs On Shabbat Or Sunday: Raphael Grunfeld, Jewish Press, July 23, 2015



NINE DAYS IN AV                                                                                                     

Stewart Weiss                                                                                                                

Jerusalem Post, July 16, 2015


Friday, July 17, begins the semi-mourning period popularly known as “The Nine Days.” Culminating in Tisha Be’av – one of only two 25-hour fasts in the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur being the other – this period calls for a lessening of festivities, a moratorium on weddings and a general mood of solemnity.


This is a calamitous chunk of our calendar, for it was during these dates that numerous catastrophes befell the Jewish people, the most devastating of which were the destruction of both Holy Temples in Jerusalem and the loss of our independence.


It is a tribute to our culture – not to mention an ongoing proof of our eternal history – that we are prepared to draw attention to our failings and foibles no less than to our successes and celebrations, in a constant struggle for self-improvement. As every athlete knows, you learn more from your losses than from your wins, and so each year we struggle to understand what went wrong, why and how the events of the “Black Fast” occurred, and what we can do to rectify those mistakes so they will not happen again.


The Rabbis of the Talmud make it crystal clear that the hurban, the Destruction, was a function of our own sinful actions, and not the result of some political or military decision imposed on us from the outside. As a preeminent people that continually defies the norms of history, it is we ourselves, and not those around us, who control our fate. If we so merit it, no force can dislodge us. But if we fail to live up to the high standard set for us, then “the Almighty has many messengers” at His disposal. As the Talmud succinctly puts it, the Romans were not responsible for our defeat; they were merely “grinding already-ground flour.”


It is therefore worthwhile to review the comments of our Sages regarding Tisha Be’av, to see if we have made any progress over the last 2,000 years. Tractate Shabbat lists several reasons for the tragedy, beginning, appropriately, with Abaye’s statement that Jerusalem was destroyed due to desecration of the Shabbat. In halachic terms, Shabbat is not only considered the most important holiday of the year – surpassing even Yom Kippur – but it is the primary yardstick by which we measure religious commitment. It is the one question we ask to qualify potential witnesses (e.g., to a wedding), and it was one of a very few ritual commandments whose violation could actually result in the death penalty being administered by a human court.


But the significance of Shabbat is not only a legal consideration; Shabbat is what gives the Jewish state its uniqueness, its soul, its spiritual core. It is the single most important ingredient in preventing Israel from falling into the trap of becoming a state like any other state. And it is remarkable how Shabbat in Israel has made such an amazing “comeback” in recent years, as we have seen some of even the most nonobservant kibbutzim building on-site synagogues, and study programs as well as batei knesset in Tel Aviv fill to capacity each Shabbat. Ra’anana, I’m proud to say, boasts 85 synagogues – and more on the way. “Seven days without Shabbat,” it’s been said, “makes one weak!” Rabbi Hamnuna comments, “Jerusalem was destroyed because we neglected the education of our young.” Israel struggles with its education system – overcrowded classrooms, changes in the matriculation requirements with each new education minister, overall lack of decorum – but on the whole, we turn out some pretty bright students.


We have one of the highest literacy rates in the world (97.8 percent) and we spend 7.5% of our GDP on education – more than Canada, Japan, America, England or Australia. Want to know just how “smart” we are? Go into any kindergarten, and talk to the children. They’ll make you want to go back to school! Ula remarks: “Jerusalem was destroyed because there was not enough shame between people.” We are a society that is often high on blame but short on shame. Blame deflects our problems onto others and impedes our self-improvement. But shame can actually be a virtue; it can keep our ego and our arrogance in check – if we get ashamed by the right things – and lead us back to more pristine behavior.


I am ashamed when our country shows leniency to terrorists; when drivers lose control and act rudely and belligerently on our highways; when MKs fail to act with dignity and decorum in the Knesset; when “rabbis” abuse their power (and their congregants); when I succumb to anger, disillusion or lack of faith. Shame is the emotional partner of humility, and humility is the doorway to enlightenment and respect for others…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]






Isi Leibler                                       

Candidly Speaking, July 21, 2015  


I will not add to the flow of articles that have more than adequately analyzed the horrendous long-term consequences of U.S. President Barack Obama’s capitulation to the Iranian ayatollah, who to this day explicitly identifies the destruction of Israel as a primary objective and endorses calls of death to America and Israel by his followers.


Iran is an Islamic global counterpart to Hitler’s dictatorship in its fiendish denial of human rights. Yet the U.S. is effectively rewarding and reinforcing the leading global promoter of terrorism for its ongoing commitment and fanatic determination to undermine the democratic world. Beyond transforming Iran into a threshold nuclear state, Obama has provided Tehran with $150 billion to intensify its global terrorist activities, in addition to the removal of embargoes of conventional arms and ballistic missiles, thus bringing European and North American cities into the range of Iranian missiles.


It has repeatedly been described as “the worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history” and will be recorded as an act of infamy that not merely threatens the survival of Israel and the moderate Arab regimes in the region but capitulates to a fanatic Islamic terrorist state, some of whose leaders would be willing to facilitate a premature paradise for its citizens by engaging in suicidal initiatives in order to bring forward the “end of days.” The U.S. has demeaned itself as a world power and lost the confidence of its traditional friends who have witnessed Obama’s lies, his repudiation of crucial assurances initially made in relation to Iran and his betrayal and abandonment of longstanding allies while groveling to rogue states and dictatorships…


We must now strategize a new approach. In the short-term, our efforts must be directed toward convincing Congress and the American people of the diabolical global consequences if this agreement is consummated. The prospects of reversing, or at least introducing additional control or supervisory mechanisms instead of blindly trusting the duplicitous Iranians, are not good. However, we must do all possible to persuade Congress to reject the deal, and if necessary achieve a two-thirds majority vote in the House of Representatives and the Senate in order to override the president’s veto. That would require a substantial number of Democrats to join the majority Republicans in opposing their president and places special pressure on the 28 Jewish legislators, especially Senator Chuck Schumer who represents a major Jewish constituency but also seeks to become the Senate Democratic leader.


Such action necessitates Israeli politicians to urgently set aside their narrow politics and speak out with one voice in order to neutralize claims that it is only right-wing elements in Israeli society that oppose the Iranian deal. To his credit, Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog has already fully endorsed Netanyahu’s efforts in opposing the current deal. He has bitterly condemned the agreement and stated that he would visit the U.S. and warn the Americans that, if consummated, it “will unleash a lion from the cage” and enable an “empire of hate and evil” to undermine Israel’s security as well as global stability. More than ever, the time is now opportune for Herzog to override the radicals is his own camp and join a unity government. Were he to assume the role of foreign minister, Israel would be speaking with one voice which would make an enormous impact on global public opinion. Rumors suggest that negotiations are taking place to bring this about, which would be welcomed by the overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens.


Israel’s challenge is to persuade congressional Democrats to stand up and if necessary repudiate their own president, not merely because he is endangering Israel but because he is undermining the standing and security of the United States and paving the way for the emergence of an evil global power that could unleash a blight on mankind for future generations. The relatively feeble response to date by the traditionally robust American Jewish leadership has been a significant factor in failing to inhibit Obama from implementing anti-Israeli policies — at total variance with the inclinations of the majority of Americans and their congressional leaders.


Belatedly, there is now some movement. Howard Kohr, executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, has launched a major campaign to persuade Congress to reject the deal. Malcolm Hoenlein expressed his personal opposition when he recently visited Israel with the newly elected head of the President’s Conference. But that umbrella body, operating by consensus, has yet to make a clear-cut condemnatory statement.


To his credit, Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, in what was possibly his last major public statement prior to his retirement, outrightly condemned the Obama administration. Many smaller organizations led by the Zionist Organization of America have bitterly protested against Obama’s betrayal but most American groups responded in a tepid manner, even after Herzog forthrightly condemned the deal. The American Jewish Committee headed by David Harris expressed concern but avoided calling on members to lobby Congress to veto the deal.


To their shame, the leadership bodies of the Conservative and Reform movements responded with deafening silence, at best, but many of their “progressive” rabbis are actively supporting Obama. Needless to say, J Street, the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” organization, boasts that it is spending millions of dollars to lobby Congress to support the bill…                                                                                                            

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]    




FRIEDMAN’S FANTASY                                                                                           

Michael Devolin                                      

Jihad Watch, Apr. 2, 2015 


Writing of America’s relationship with Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s Iran, Efraim Karsh recounts that, “So entrenched had the idea of this Iranian-American symbiosis become that successive US administrations came to view Iranian interests as indistinguishable from their own.” It would seem that Thomas Friedman is still infected with this illusion. In his recent New York Times article, Look Before Leaping, a title falsely implying he is not suggesting a “leap of faith,” Mr. Friedman propounds that, “America’s interest lie not with either the Saudis or the Iranian ideologues winning, but rather with balancing the two against each other until they get exhausted enough to stop prosecuting their ancient Shiite-Sunni, Persian-Arab feud.”


I perceive the prediction “until they get exhausted” used in the same sentence as “their ancient Shiite-Sunni, Persian-Arab feud” to be utterly oxymoronic. For the same reason the State of Israel can promise political compromises to the so-called Palestinians “when they decide to recognize Israel as a Jewish state” simply because they can count on the fact that traditional Islamic hatred of all things Jewish will never allow the Arab Muslim to live in peace within or alongside a country of Jews. “Wisdom is also a defense.”


If this feud (more accurately defined as Shiites versus Sunnis) between the Saudis and the Iranians is by now ancient, I cannot foresee either side becoming exhausted in the near future. I see a pattern of Islamic intransigence here. reports that during the Iran-Iraq war, “…more than one and a half million war and war-related casualties — perhaps as many as a million people died, many more were wounded, and millions were made refugees. Iran acknowledged that nearly 300,000 people died in the war…Iran’s losses may have included more than 1 million people killed or maimed.”


Iran’s dictatorship is remembered by many, regarding that war, for its 1983 “human wave offensives” along the 40 kilometer stretch near Al Amarah where, in one day alone, 6000 Iranian soldiers were killed in action. I wonder how long Mr. Friedman believes it would take this regime, now so close to becoming nuclear-armed, and given its history of vending the lives of its soldiers and its citizens as mere holy fodder in time of war, to become “exhausted” with “prosecuting” that “ancient Shiite-Sunni, Persian-Arab feud”?


Friedman promises that, “Patching up the United States-Iran relationship could enable America to better manage and balance the Sunni Arab Taliban in Afghanistan and counterbalance the Sunni jihadists, like those in the Islamic State, or ISIS…” What “United States-Iran relationship” is Mr. Friedman referring to? Last time I looked, there was no “United States-Iran” relationship.” Scott Peterson of Christian Science Monitor remarked in 2010, regarding celebrations in Iran of the anniversary of the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran that, “Anti-US students chanted ‘death to America’ and predicted the fall of the ‘great Satan,’ the nation still officially most vilified by the Islamic Republic, during the annually staged event.


Anti-Americanism has remained a pillar of the Islamic revolution…” John Limbert, a former American hostage during the takeover and described in Peterson’s article as the “State Department’s top official at that time on Iran, confessed that, ““Past efforts to move the relationship to something more productive…have foundered on misunderstandings, mistrust, and the assumption that anything the other side agrees to must be bad for us.”


In the last paragraph of his dreamy ideation, Mr. Friedman challenges his readers: “So before you make up your mind on the Iran deal, ask how it affects Israel, the country most threatened by Iran. But also ask how it fits into a wider United States strategy aimed at quelling tensions in the Middle East with the least involvement necessary…” Well, first of all, a lot of pundits on Middle Eastern politics, especially pro-Arab pundits, would posit that American involvement anywhere in the world where Muslims and Islamic statehood are concerned is cause for more harm than good.


A lot of pundits of the pro-American side (of which I am one) would posit that American (or Canadian or British) involvement—in any measure—with peoples so inculcated with Islamic taught anti-American and anti-Western hatred inevitably becomes a waste of our time and the lives of our sons and daughters. What is the Christian proverb? “Don’t throw you pearls before the swine.” Or as Jesse Klein succinctly put it in the National Post recently, “At some point, we have to come to the realization that it’s not worth spilling our blood and wasting our treasure to intervene in a civil war in which both sides want to kill us.”


As for the State of Israel and the threat of Iran’s nuclear posturing, “how it affects Israel,” easy for Mr. Friedman, living, virtually, light years away from such a severe existence as that endured every day by Israeli Jews, to bet the lives of 6 million of them in selling the puerile fantasy to his readers that this Iranian regime will suddenly renounce a millennia-old hatred of the Jews and its imperial ambitions for a new-found love affair with America, the Great Satan. I’ll sooner have angels flying out of my ass.


Following Mr. Friedman’s career as a journalist in the last few years, after reading critiques of his work with much broader range than my own, I am constantly reminded of Nicholas Murray Butler’s famous quote, which reads, “An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.” It seems Mr. Friedman is become more a salesman and less and less an expert on the Muslim Middle East. But then again, untruths and fantasy are today common fare for the Western journalist. They dream at the expense of the democratic freedoms of others, for the sake of our enemies, regardless of the consequences for our friends, in this case the State of Israel and the Jewish people. It’s Western journalism, and of late such insouciant and imprudent dreams go with the territory.​              





SUING TO PROFIT FROM A NAZI’S DIARIES                                                                                  

Roger Kimball

Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2015


This spring marked the 70th anniversary of the effective end of the Nazi regime. On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler shot himself in his bunker as the Soviet army bore down upon his lair. The next day Joseph Goebbels, his rodentine minister of propaganda, committed suicide with his wife, after having their six children injected with morphine and then crushing ampules of cyanide in their mouths to finish them off. You might think that after 70 years the rotten stench of the Nazi regime would have totally dissipated. But no. That mephitic swamp still produces the odd belch.


That criminals should not be allowed to profit from exploiting their criminal activity is about as close as we are likely to get to a universally agreed-upon moral principle. Yet last week an appeals court in Munich—by coincidence, the site of Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch, the event that really got the Nazi ball rolling in 1923—upheld an earlier decision that the heirs of Joseph Goebbels were entitled to compensation because a recent biography quoted from his diaries without permission.


The lawsuit was brought last year against Random House Germany, whose imprint, Siedler, published Peter Longerich’s “Goebbels: A Biography” in 2010. (An English translation was published in the United States and Britain in May.) Mr. Longerich, now a professor of modern German history at Royal Holloway, a college of the University of London, draws heavily on Goebbels’s diaries, which run to some 30 volumes. Goebbels began his near-daily entries on his 26th birthday, in 1923, and stopped on April 10, 1945, a couple of weeks shy of his personal armageddon.


The sum in question is not large—about $7,000—but the moral offense is incalculable. Cordula Schacht, a lawyer who claims to hold the copyright to the diaries and to represent Goebbels’s heirs, filed the suit. Rainer Dresen, general counsel to Random House Germany, told London’s Guardian newspaper that he offered to pay the royalties if Ms. Schacht agreed to donate the proceeds to a Holocaust charity. He said she rejected the offer, insisting that the money go to Goebbels’s relatives, including the descendants of his siblings. Mr. Dresen speculates that other publishers have paid for the use of Goebbels’s diaries. “We’re the first publishing house who avoided that—and have been sued.”


Cordula Schacht is a daughter of Hjalmar Schacht, Hitler’s early minister of economics and president of the Reichsbank. Although he was instrumental in helping Hitler lay the economic foundation for the Third Reich, Hjalmar Schacht later turned against the regime (he was distantly connected with the July 1944 plot against Hitler) and was acquitted of war crimes at Nuremberg. Ms. Schacht’s involvement in the Goebbels diaries stems from a relationship she had as a legal adviser to François Genoud, a shadowy Swiss banker who might have stepped straight out of “The Odessa File.” Born in 1915, Genoud was an early and stalwart Hitler enthusiast. The carnage of the war and murder of six million Jews did nothing to dampen his ardor. “Hitler was a great leader,” Genoud said many years later, “and if he had won the war the world would be a better place today.”


Along the way, Genoud—who committed suicide in 1996—financed the legal defenses of Adolf Eichmann and Klaus Barbie, “the butcher of Lyons” who personally tortured French prisoners of the Gestapo. Genoud supported the Ayatollah Khomeini during his exile in Paris; he also was a friend and financial adviser of Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem before the war. During the war, Haj Amin, a vicious anti-Semite who dreamed of murdering Jewish émigrés to Palestine, helped the Nazis recruit Bosnian Muslims for the Waffen-SS. He lived on until 1974. Genoud was the executor of Goebbels’s will and purchased rights to his diaries in 1955. According to the British historian Richard J. Evans, Genoud transferred his interest in Goebbels’s diaries to Cordula Schacht in 1996 shortly before his death. She has since claimed to be the copyright holder, though, as Mr. Evans notes, the Bavarian State also claims to own the copyright.


This Byzantine legal story should not obscure the very clear moral that David Cesarani, a historian at Royal Holloway, set forth. “If the owners of copyright want acknowledgment or token payment, that is fair enough. If they want fees that are then paid to a good cause, that is irksome but reasonable. However, if they want to profit personally from the writings of Nazi ancestors, criminals, and/or to control the extent of usage, that is unacceptable and verges on the obscene.” I’d say this episode crosses that threshold. Random House Germany intends to appeal the case to the German supreme court. I hope they prevail.                 




CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!


On Topic                                                                                        


J Street Launches Campaign Backing Iran Deal; AIPAC Calls for Rejection of Accord: JTA, July 16, 2015—AIPAC called on Congress to reject the Iran nuclear deal, saying it does not meet critical markers that the influential pro-Israel lobby outlined in recent weeks. But the liberal Jewish Middle East lobby J Street announced a multimillion-dollar campaign to support the agreement.

Look Before Leaping: Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, Mar. 25, 2015 —I can think of many good reasons to go ahead with the nuclear deal with Iran, and I can think of just as many reasons not to. So, if you’re confused, let me see if I can confuse you even more.

The New York Times vs. Israel: Jerold Auerbach, Algemeiner, June 10, 2015—A deep sigh of editorial relief was discernible at The New York Times following the Supreme Court decision in Zivotofsky v. Kerry, the Jerusalem passport case.

Globe & Mail Presents Dubious Anti-Israel Organization’s Report as “Credible”: Honest Reporting, June 10, 2015—On June 6, Globe and Mail reporter Patrick Martin published an article for online subscribers exclusively entitled: “Report on Gaza war raises questions about Israel’s ‘moral army’ claim” which presented the allegations of Breaking the Silence (BtS) – an anti-Israel NGO which produced a report it claimed detailed alleged abuses by Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip last summer – as “credible,” despite that this organization has been discredited due to its agenda, flawed methodology, and foreign sources of funding.

When Tisha B’Av Occurs On Shabbat Or Sunday: Raphael Grunfeld, Jewish Press, July 23, 2015—Five tragedies occurred on Tisha B’Av. It was decreed that those who left Egypt would not enter the land of Israel, the first and second Temples were destroyed, the city of Betar was captured with thousands massacred, and Turnus Rufus plowed the site of the razed Temple. Consequently, Tisha B’Av was declared a day of national mourning and a fast day.









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Accord Iran : le butin est pour les menteurs


16 juillet 2015


Les Iraniens mentent. Ce n’est même pas une insulte de dire cela à leur sujet. Le fait que les Iraniens mentent constamment est quelque chose de très connu dans la communauté des renseignements. Ils donnent également à leurs mensonges un justification théologique : quand vous pensez que vous êtes engagés dans un Djihad, une Guerre Sainte, un mensonge n’est pas un péché, c’est un outil.


Lorsque le ministre iranien des affaires étrangères, Mohammad Zarif, va chez Charlie Rose et déclare, droit dans les yeux, « l’Iran n’a jamais appelé à la destruction d’Israël », il sait que c’est un mensonge (tout autant que Charlie). L’Iran a appelé à la destruction d’Israël des centaines de fois, à tous les niveaux, du Guide Suprême Khamenei dans des conversations enregistrées, à travers le général Qasem Soleimani qui est en charge de la destruction d’Israël dans les gardes révolutionnaires. Mais Zarif s’en fiche parce qu’il sait que s’il ment avec assez de confiance (et il n’en manque pas), il y aura des gens pour le croire.


L’Iran a menti sur la construction du complexe d’enrichissement de Natanz, a menti à propos du réacteur de plutonium à Arak, a menti (aux Russes) lorsqu’ils ont annoncé, il y a dix ans, qu’ils suspendaient leur enrichissement d’uranium, a menti constamment aux inspecteurs de l’AIEA sur tout, du nombre de centrifugeuses au volume d’uranium enrichi à Fordo, et plus important encore, a menti lorsqu’ils ont déclaré au monde qu’ils n’essayaient pas de développer des armes nucléaires.


Bien sûr, ce sont les mensonges les moins inquiétants. Les mensonges les plus préoccupants sont ceux que nous ne pouvons pas publier, et ceux que nous ignorons sont encore plus inquiétants. Il ne fait aucun doute qu’ils ont menti dans le passé, qu’ils mentent maintenant et qu’ils continueront à mentir dans le futur. Pourquoi dans le futur ? Parce qu’il n’y a aucune autre explication pour le rejet catégorique, à travers les négociations, de vraies inspections de leur programme nucléaire.


Ignorons pendant un instant le flot constant de désinformation venant de Vienne et de Téhéran, et posons-nous une simple question : si les Iraniens veulent respecter l’acccord, pourquoi s’opposent-ils à ce que les inspecteurs puissent faire leur travail sans obstacles ? S’ils ne prévoient pas de mentir et de tricher cette fois-ci, alors les inspections vont seulement accélérer la levée des sanctions. Lors de mes conversations à la Maison Blanche et avec des sénateurs importants lors de ma visite à Washington le mois dernier, j’ai suggéré que les inspections soient mises au dessus de toutes les autres questions. J’ai expliqué qu’il n’y a pas de sens à insister sur d’autres détails de l’accord si les Iraniens tricheront de toute façon.


« Comme la plupart des Israéliens », je leur ai dit, « l’opposition et la coalition, je pense que c’est un accord terrible qui menace la paix dans le monde. Mais même si vous n’êtes pas d’accord, vous devez trouver un moyen de vous protéger de la possibilité que les Iraniens signent seulement pour la levée des sanctions et utilisent l’argent qui va affluer pour construire des armes nucléaires dans le dos du monde ».


Après tout, ils ont de l’expérience. Ils ont constuit deux réacteurs sans que personne ne le remarque (c’est l’opposition iranienne qui a parlé au monde à propos d’Arak et de Natanz), ils ont construit une deuxième génération de centrifugeuses sans que la communauté internationale ne s’en doute, enrichi de l’uranium à un haut niveau à Fordo sans que la communauté internationale ne le sache et constuit des missiles pouvant transporter des têtes nucléaires à Parchine sans que la communauté internationale ne le devine.


Au lieu « d’inspection surprises » sans pré-avertissement, ce qui aurait été l’exigeance minimum du groupe P5+1, un accord absurde (car il n’y a pas de mot plus poli) a été obtenu appelant à un « accès contrôlé ». Selon l’accord, les inspecteurs auront accès aux sites nucléaires avec un délai de 24 jours et sans accès libre aux installations.


Je veux répéter les choses très clairement : les Iraniens ont exigé et obtenu le droit à superviser la supervision. Les inspecteurs pourront seulement entrer dans un site après que les Iraniens aient eu 24 jours pour cacher leurs activitiés et ne seront même pas libres de marcher librement pour essayer de découvrir des mensonges. Comme si ce n’était pas assez absurde, selon les plus récentes fuites de Vienne, ils sont revenus là dessus parce que c’était trop intrusif. En d’autres termes, ils nous disent : ‘Nous allons évidemment tricher, alors ne nous rendez pas la tâche plus difficile que cela doit être’.


Le seul espoir qu’il nous reste est qu’avant que les sénateurs américains ne lèvent les sanctions, ils disent aux négociateurs : « Si vous croyez dans cet accord, alors vous n’aurez pas de problème à insister sur les inspections suprises. Sans cela, nous ne pourrons pas enlever les sanctions ». Pourquoi ? Parce que l’accord ne vaut pas le papier sur lequel il est écrit si nous ne forçons pas les Iraniens à arrêter de mentir.




Shraga Blum

I24, 16 Juillet 2015


Dans son ouvrage "Discours sur la première décade de Tite-Live", Machiavel écrivait : "Il faut que le législateur suppose par avance que tous les hommes sont méchants et qu’ils sont prêts à mettre en œuvre leur méchanceté toutes les fois qu’ils en ont l’occasion". C’est le fil qui relie Munich de 1938 à Vienne de 2015. La superposition de ces deux événements historiques telle qu’elle est soulignée par les dirigeants israéliens actuels n’est certes pas exacte sur tous les points – fort heureusement – mais il est indéniable qu’il y a des similitudes frappantes qui tiennent moins de la conjoncture internationale que de la psychologie humaine et du cynisme politique.


Sans avoir vécu la période des accords scélérats signés entre Hitler, Mussolini, Daladier et Chamberlain, on peut aisément s’imaginer l’effet qu’ils ont eu auprès de populations encore traumatisées par la Grande Guerre. Dans un documentaire d’époque, le commentateur français, enthousiaste, décrit l’arrivée dans la capitale bavaroise de Chamberlain "acclamé comme celui qui avec une inlassable volonté vient d’être l’un des plus grands artisans de la paix".


Il parle "d’une même volonté de paix qui semble animer ces hommes qui tiennent en leurs mains la destinée du monde". Puis, la voix empreinte de solennité il conclut : "Ainsi, à Munich, est né un immense espoir, et après des délibérations qui durent jusqu’à une heure fort avancée de la nuit, les quatre chefs de gouvernement établissent les bases d’un plan commun qui va permettre le règlement du problème germano-tchèque". Ce problème sera effectivement "réglé" l’année suivante mais pas de la manière dont l’imaginaient les dirigeants des démocraties, et avec la terrifiante suite que l’on connaît. Ce qui entraînera cette réaction surréaliste du Premier ministre britannique Neville Chamberlain : "Tout se serait bien passé si Hitler ne nous avait pas menti"!


Au moment de la signature des accords, une minorité, dont Winston Churchill, dénonçait la trahison et annonçait la catastrophe. Mais elle était considérée avec mépris et comme un ramassis de rabat-joie. Ce furent toujours des minoritaires qui annoncèrent les catastrophes. En 1930, déjà, alors que le parti nazi n’avait recueilli que 18% des sièges au Reichstag, le député radical-socialiste français Henry Franklin-Bouillon prévenait que "l’Allemagne se préparait à défier la France et conquérir l’Europe". Cet ennemi juré du pacifiste Aristide Briand fut naturellement raillé et hué dans l’hémicycle du Palais-Bourbon.


Mardi, les images en provenance de Vienne et de Washington montraient ces mêmes expressions de lâche soulagement et d’espoir naïf ou factice sur les visages de ceux qui ont capitulé devant l’Iran après des années de négociations. "Une ère nouvelle", "la victoire de la diplomatie", "une occasion unique", "un tournant dans les relations internationales", tant de termes qui résonnent comme un air connu mais qui annoncent de lourds nuages.


Les grandes puissances, menées par les Etats-Unis de Barack Obama, ont voulu signer un accord avec un Etat qui prouve tous les jours qu’il est animé d’intentions des plus malveillantes : extrémisme religieux, régime autoritaire, hégémonie régionale, soutient à des organisations terroristes, antisémitisme, négationnisme, programme nucléaire militaire etc. Les écoles de diplomatie rajouteront sans doute un jour à leur programme cette page comme un exemple-type de négociations entre un pays décidé et rusé face à des nations désunies dont les digues sont tombées les unes après les autres tant elles désiraient en finir.


Le postulat de départ du président américain, qui puise ses sources dans l’aile gauche du parti démocrate, est que la politique du dialogue et de la main tendue envers des pays agressifs et malveillants serait payante et non la confrontation. Il s’agit non seulement d’un pari très risqué mais aussi d’une tactique qui a déjà maintes fois prouvé qu’elle entraîne l’effet inverse. Les dirigeants de pays totalitaires – religieux de surcroit – n’ont pas les mêmes schémas de pensée que les démocraties : ils respectent et craignent ceux qui leur tiennent tête mais méprisent ceux qui se montrent faibles et leur font des ronds de jambe.


Toutes les assurances apportées par le président américain ainsi que les signatures des ministres des Affaires étrangères sur les pages de l’accord de Vienne seront inutiles dès le moment où le régime iranien prendra la décision de passer à l’étape suivante de sa stratégie à long terme. En attendant, comme il l’a fait toujours fait, ce pays violera ces accords centimètre par centimètre et à pas feutrés, sourire aux lèvres, face à un Occident qui n’a plus la force ni l’envie de défendre ses valeurs…                

[Lire la suite]





22 Juillet 2015


Les réactions israéliennes à l'accord nucléaire avec l'Iran ont été pavloviennes et politiques. Maintenant que l'accord est un fait accompli (malgré la mince chance qu’une majorité de deux tiers au Congrès s’y oppose), notre énergie serait plus sagement dépensée à réfléchir à la stratégie d’Israël dans la réalité créée par l’accord.


Il a toujours été illogique d’attendre des États-Unis (sans parler de la Russie et de la Chine) qu’ils mènent les négociations avec l'Iran sur la base des intérêts et des préoccupations d'Israël. Dans le monde réel, les pays ne mènent pas de leur politique étrangère en fonction des intérêts des autres (sauf si vous croyez aux Protocoles des Sages de Sion). Ceux qui s’indignent que les Etats-Unis n’aient pas pleinement endossé la position d'Israël font preuve de la même naïveté que celle dont ils accusent le Président Obama.


Il n’existe pas de pays qui ait mit fin à son programme nucléaire contre sa volonté. Israël, l'Inde, le Pakistan et la Corée du Nord ont développé leur programme nucléaire malgré l'opposition des États-Unis. Saddam Hussein n'a pas reconstruit de centrale nucléaire après la frappe militaire israélienne de 1981 parce qu’il n’avait pas les moyens de commander une nouvelle centrale du fait de la guerre avec l'Iran, mais l'Irak aurait pu à terme restaurer sa capacité nucléaire s’il l’avait voulu. En 1989, l'Afrique du Sud a volontairement démantelé son arsenal nucléaire, mais elle bâtit cet arsenal en dépit de l’opposition et des pressions de la communauté internationale. Mouammar Kadhafi annonça publiquement en 2003 qu'il mettrait fin à son programme nucléaire parce qu'il craignait une frappe américaine après l'invasion de l'Irak. Mais sans cette crainte (probablement infondée), la Libye aurait poursuivi son programme nucléaire.


L’Iran, en revanche, n'a pas l'intention d'abandonner ses ambitions nucléaires. Contrairement à l'Irak, acheta une centrale nucléaire clé-en-main de la France, l'Iran est un pays hautement sophistiqué avec une expertise nucléaire avancée. Le bombardement des sites nucléaires iraniens n’effacera pas l’expertise nucléaire acquise par l’Iran. Si l’Amérique avait quitté les pourparlers, le régime des sanctions se serait probablement effondré à cause des Russes et de la Chine. L'Amérique n’était pas seule à négocier avec l'Iran, et les termes de l'accord dépendaient également de des Russes, des Chinois et des Européens. L'Amérique aurait sans doute pu négocier plus habilement. Mais affirmer que l'Amérique a renoncé volontairement à son effet de levier sur l'Iran et sur ses partenaires de négociation défie la logique. Par ailleurs, l’accord ne rend pas caduque l'option militaire. Au contraire: une frappe militaire post-accord serait plus légitime et plus efficace.


Elle serait plus légitime parce que si l'Iran viole l'accord, l'Amérique et Israël auront un argument plus solide (bien que sans doute pas de résolution du Conseil de sécurité) pour bombarder les sites nucléaires iraniens. Elle serait plus efficace parce que le régime d'inspection, bien que partiel et imparfait, fournira des renseignements supplémentaires et précieux aux Occidentaux sur le programme nucléaire de l'Iran.


Si l'Iran respecte l'accord (un scénario peu probable, compte tenu du comportement passé de la République islamique), alors l'Amérique et Israël auront plus de temps pour affiner leurs plans et préparation militaires. Une fois que l'Iran atteindra le seuil nucléaire, Israël ne sera pas sans défense grâce à son propre (et non déclaré) arsenal nucléaire. Il est possible qu’Israël devra alors revoir sa politique d'ambiguïté nucléaire. Qu’Israël révise ou non cette politique, il bénéficie d'un fort effet dissuasif vis-à-vis de l'Iran, quelles que soient les spéculations académiques sur la rationalité ou l’irrationalité des Ayatollahs.


La comparaison ad nauseam avec les Accord de Munich de 1938 est donc inappropriée. La Tchécoslovaquie était incapable de se défendre et la France n'honora par l’alliance qui la liait à ce pays. Édouard Dalladier, le Président du Conseil français, n’était pas un naïf et il savait que l'accord était une erreur, mais il ne pensait pas que la France pouvait se battre seule contre l’Allemagne. En septembre 1938, la France et la Grande-Bretagne eurent vaincu l'Allemagne et Hitler eût été renversé (le général Hans Oster et le capitaine Friedrich Wilhelm Heinz avaient comploté un coup d'État contre Hitler pour éviter la guerre). En 1938, une action militaire contre l'Allemagne eût renversé Hitler et mis un terme aux agressions allemandes. Aujourd'hui, une action militaire contre l'Iran permettrait de gagner du temps, mais pas de mettre fin aux ambitions nucléaires de l'Iran.


Quant au lobbying d'Israël au Congrès, c’est une stratégie perdante: si Israël parvient à convaincre les deux tiers du Congrès de voter contre l'accord, les autres membres du Conseil de sécurité iront de l'avant avec la levée des sanctions de toute façon, tandis que faire respecter l'accord sans l'Amérique sera presque impossible (entre autres parce que l'Occident perdrait sa majorité de trois sur cinq au sein de la commission mixte créée par l'accord). Inversement, si Israël ne parvient pas à construire une telle majorité, il n’aura abouti à rien et sera accusé d'ingérence politique.


De Machiavel à Kissinger, les philosophes et les hommes d'État de l'école réaliste partagent un profond scepticisme (ou pessimisme) tant sur la nature humaine que sur la capacité de l'homme à forger la réalité. Le gouvernement israélien serait bien avisé de ne pas oublier les deux faces du réalisme.





20 Juillet 2015


Voici près d’un siècle, ma grand-mère quittait Sanaa, la capitale du Yémen, pour Israël. Elle ne savait pas ce qu’était la Palestine. Aucun pays ne répondait à ce nom. Il y avait un Empire ottoman. Ma grand-mère s’est enfuie avec mon père, alors bébé, en raison de la « loi des orphelins », alors en vigueur à l’époque. Veuve, venant de perdre son mari, elle aurait été forcée de se convertir à l’Islam en restant au Yémen.


J’ai pensé à ma grand-mère en lisant l’interview d’Omar Barghouti dans Le Monde du 02/07.2015, au sujet des Juifs des pays arabes. A-t-il seulement conscience de ce qu’il avance ? N’a-t-il jamais entendu parler des persécutions endurées par les Juifs des pays arabes pendant des siècles ? Le sulfureux statut de « dhimmi » lui dit-il quelque chose ? Est-il au courant des pogroms (the Farhood, Bagdad, 1941; Libya, Tripoli, 1945, 1948; Yemen, Aden, 1948; Morocco, Djerada, 1948; Syria, Aleppo, 1947), des accusations de meurtre rituel au sein de la population musulmane à l’encontre des Juifs ? (Syria, Damascus, 1840; Iran, Shiraz, 1910) Des pogroms qui ont eu lieu bien avant la création de l’état d’Israël, avant même les prémisses du sionisme politique.


Le grand Mufti de Jérusalem, Hadj Amin El Husseini, l’un des leaders arabes palestiniens durant les décennies qui ont précédé la création de l’Etat d’Israël en 1948, collaborait avec les nazis et a même vécu à Berlin, sous l’auspice d’Hitler, pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Husseini est allé jusqu’à planifier l’extermination des Juifs des pays arabes. Et Husseini a systématiquement refusé tout compromis, tourné le dos à tout compromis avec les Juifs en Terre sainte. Il était l’un des opposants les plus farouches à la proposition de partage de l’ONU en 1947. Il porte une responsabilité considérable dans la Nakba dont parlent les Palestiniens (la défaite des Arabes pendant la guerre de 1948). Et Husseini était un fervent militant du boycott des produits juifs, que ce soit en Palestine sous mandat Britannique ou en Allemagne après l’arrivée des nazis au pouvoir. Barghouti, désormais à la tête d’un mouvement de boycott, ignorerait-il ces faits bien qu’ils fassent partie de l’histoire du conflit Israélo-Arabe ? J’en doute.


La principale revendication du mouvement BDS est le « droit au retour ». À notre époque, un droit doit être universel sinon, ce n’est plus un droit, mais une revendication particulière. Ainsi, en Europe, à la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, plus de vingt millions de personnes ont été déplacées, expulsées de leurs maisons. Parmi elles, des millions d’Allemands de Tchèques, de Hongrois, de Polonais de Roumains et d’Ukrainiens. Existe-t-il une personne sérieuse pour réclamer, par exemple, le droit de retour des Polonais expulsés d’Ukraine ? L’application d’un tel droit créerait le chaos dont ni l’Europe, ni le Moyen Orient  n’ont besoin. À la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, Churchill déclarait devant le Parlement britannique : « L’expulsion est la méthode la plus appropriée et aussi celle qui est la plus stable. Il n’y aura pas de mélanges de populations qui provoqueraient des conflits interminables… Un bon nettoyage sera effectué, je ne m’alarme pas pour autant de ces expulsions-là ». Une déclaration épouvantable, conforme au point de vue de l’époque.


C’est ce qui s’est produit lors de chaque conflit. Entre autres, entre Grecs et Turcs, Hindous et Pakistanais, entre la Russie et la Finlande. Il y avait plus de 52 millions de réfugiés pendant la première moitié du siècle dernier. Combien d’entre eux ont bénéficié d’un « droit au retour » ? Aucun. Je ne vois donc pas quel droit évoque Barghouti. Il oublie évidemment au passage les centaines de milliers de Juifs expulsés des pays Arabes où ils vivaient pourtant depuis des siècles en raison de ce même conflit. Ces derniers n’ont pas connu de « droit au retour », leurs biens spoliés ne leur seront jamais rendus, tout comme ceux des réfugiés Allemands, Polonais, Thèques, Ukrainiens Slovaques ou Hongrois. Pourquoi les Palestiniens devraient être différents ?

Plus de 200.000 Grecs sont devenus réfugiés, leurs biens confisqués, à la fin du conflit entre la Chypre et la Turquie dans les années 1970. Ces réfugiés se sont tournés vers les instances juridiques internationales pour voir leurs revendications rejetées, tout comme celles des réfugiés des années 1940. Omar Barghouti, pourtant au fait des lois sur les réfugiés, connait-il ces précédents ?


Le problème avec le mouvement BDS est qu’il est une véritable catastrophe pour le conflit Israélo-arabe en général et pour les Palestiniens en particulier. Car les dirigeants BDS expriment, en employant le langage des droits de l’homme, leur véritable but; à savoir la négation du droit des Juifs à l’autodétermination. Barghouti veut éradiquer l’existence même d’Israël en tant qu’État juif. Cela pourrait s’appeler un « politicide ». Il invite les Juifs à vivre en harmonie, avec le statut de minorité, sous un régime arabe ou musulman. Est-ce bien sérieux ? En regard du contexte régional actuel, ou un bain de sang gigantesque déchire le Moyen Orient, avec des massacres où chaque tribu, minoritaire ou non, massacre d’autres tribus en raison de leur différence, la proposition de Barghouti relève carrément de la science-fiction.


Il existe une seule solution au conflit Israélo-Palestinien : le respect du droit des Palestiniens à l’autodétermination, à côté du respect du droit des Juifs a l’autodétermination. Le mouvement BDS, opposé à cette solution, pérennise le problème. Les Juifs en Israël ne veulent pas devenir une minorité au Moyen Orient. Ils en ont assez. Ils regardent ce qui advient aux autres minorités de la région, indépendamment même des massacres devenus monnaie courante sous l’ère du Djihad global. Ils voient ce qui se produit pour les Coptes en Égypte, ils ont vu ce qui est arrivé aux musulmans noirs au Darfour.


C’est pourquoi le mouvement BDS est, en premier chef, le plus grand ennemi des Palestiniens. Ce mouvement se bat contre Israël, et non pour les Palestiniens. Il maintient les Palestiniens dans le statut de réfugié. Il les enfonce encore davantage dans les sables mouvants d’un statut méprisable, cultivant l’espoir chimérique d’un imaginaire « droit au retour ». Ceux à qui la paix importe doivent faire attention à ce piège à mensonge, tissé par les adeptes du mouvement BDS.




Steve Nadjar

Actualité Juive, 22 Juillet 2015


Actualité Juive : Vous relevez avec beaucoup de minutie le nombre d’impairs, de ratés, de pistes non exploitées par la police et les renseignements pour arrêter Mohammed Merah avant qu’il ne soit trop tard. Comment expliquez-vous une telle série de mauvais choix ?


Alex Jordanov : Il y a des rivalités en haut de l’appareil policier et de la pyramide administrative française. C’est souvent de l’ego mal placé, des intérêts particuliers, et malheureusement cela a coûté la vie à des enfants et des militaires. On a dit que Merah était sorti et rentré de son appartement sans que personne ne le rencontre. Je peux révéler à Actualité Juive que ce n’est pas exact ! D’après les policiers toulousains sur place, quand Merah revient de sa virée nocturne après avoir appelé France 24, certains le reconnaissent, d’autres hésitent… La période électorale est également à prendre en compte. Il est de notoriété publique que les conseillers de Nicolas Sarkozy se sont posé des questions sur l’impact des attentats sur la campagne. J’imagine qu’à gauche c’était pareil. Le pouvoir a également privilégié pendant les trois premiers jours la piste de l’extrême droite. C’était une idée grotesque.


A.J.: Vous citez également l’incroyable témoignage du directeur du contre-espionnage toulousain devant le juge.


Alex J. : C’était la personne, avec « Hasan » l’agent traitant, qui connaissait le mieux Merah. Il a proposé son aide et demandé  à plusieurs reprises aux magistrats de pouvoir accéder aux réunions de crise après les meurtres de militaires. On le lui refusera.


A.J.: « Un pistolet israélien qui a tué des Israéliens, des Juifs » se réjouira Merah devant les policiers après la tuerie de l’école Ozar Hatorah. Vous montrez pourtant que l’établissement ne devait pas au départ être ciblé…


Alex J. : Merah avouera en effet qu’il ne prévoyait pas initialement de viser l’école. Il voulait ce jour-là « taper » des militaires qui n’étaient finalement pas chez eux et il a trouvé un « plan B ». Il connaissait bien sûr l’école, mais lorsqu’il sort de chez lui à l’aube, ce 19 mars 2012, il ne prévoit pas de l’attaquer. Il avait une dent contre les militaires. Pour un des théoriciens d’Al Qaïda, Abou Moussab Al Souri, il faut viser les Juifs mais pas les synagogues, les événements sportifs et les « apostats » militaires et policiers. Ozar Hatorah était donc potentiellement sur la liste d’Al Souri. Les frères Tsarnaïev à Boston en 2013, Nemmouche à Bruxelles l’année suivante, Coulibaly en janvier : ils ont tous suivi cette liste. C’est le djihad « low cost ». On frappe souvent, « petit », pour créer un impact médiatique puissant et récurrent. Il faut dégoûter les Occidentaux, les pousser à l’affrontement.


A.J.: Comment caractériseriez-vous la haine antijuive de Merah ?


Alex J. : Son frère Abdelkader n’a pas du tout apprécié que l’aîné, Abdelghani, soit marié à une femme qu’ils considéraient « juive », alors que techniquement celle-ci était catholique. Il y avait, dans les cercles autour de Merah, son oncle, son frère, un entourage qui lui rappelait en permanence la haine à avoir contre les Juifs.


A.J.: Le livre dévoile d’ailleurs une chose incroyable : son frère Abdelkader avait tenté dans le passé de se convertir au judaïsme…


Alex J. : C’était un délinquant, spécialisé dans le trafic de stupéfiants. Un des hommes les plus dangereux du quartier toulousain des Izards. On le surnommait « Ben Laden »… Un jour, il décide  de « se laver » de qui il est. Il rencontre alors un rabbin qui lui explique le long processus de conversion dans le judaïsme. Cela l’a rapidement découragé. Il s’est également intéressé à la Bible, trop contradictoire à son goût.




I24, 16 Juillet 2015


Une famille juive a été agressée jeudi matin dans son pavillon du Blanc Mesnil (région parisienne) par trois individus qui sont entrés dans la résidence par effraction, a révélé le BNVCA (Bureau National de Vigilance contre l'Antisémitisme).


Dans une interview exclusive accordée à i24news, le président l'ONG Samy Ghozlan a livré les détails de cette agression à caractère antisémite. "Vers 5 heures du matin, trois hommes armés et cagoulés sont entrés par effraction dans le pavillon de cette famille juive. Ils ont séquestré, violemment molesté, et attaché les trois membres de la famille, un père, une mère et leur fils, avant de leur dérober de l'argent et de s'enfuir", a-t-il affirmé. "Le caractère antisémite de cette agression est indiscutable. Les agresseurs ont reconnu les objets de culte juifs qui étaient disposés dans l'appartement. A chaque fois qu'ils les frappaient, ils disaient : 'vous êtes juifs, vous avez de l'argent, on est venu chez vous parce que vous avez de l'argent'".


Les auteurs qui selon les premiers éléments de l'enquête seraient d'origine africaine, auraient volé 2.500 euros, le véhicule de la famille. Ils auraient également pris les clés de la bijouterie de la famille, qui se trouve à Paris dans le dixième arrondissement. Selon Samy Ghozlan, les victimes ont été très traumatisées et très marquées par cette agression. "Le fils a eu une vingtaine de points de suture, la mère a été atteinte à l'œil. L'agression a été très violente".


Les trois victimes étaient toujours hospitalisées jeudi soir et l'enquête n'a pas encore parmi de retrouver les auteurs de l'agression. "Cette attaque rappelle singulièrement l'agression commise récemment à Créteil. Le cliché du "juif et l'argent" reste très présent", a ajouté le président du BNVCA. En décembre dernier, trois hommes armés avaient fait irruption au domicile d'une famille juive, à Créteil. Ils avaient réclamé de l'argent, violé une jeune fille et attaché un jeune homme.


Dans un communiqué publié dans la journée, le BNVCA affirme "redouter que le fléau de l'antisémitisme se développe de plus en plus. Alors que l'Etat a pris des mesures pour protéger les édifices, les synagogues, les centres communautaires, les écoles juives (…) nous constatons que les cibles des antijuifs, sont de plus en plus les enfants juifs portant kippa attaqués dans la rue, les commerces juifs, leurs clients et désormais des familles juives dans leur propre domicile."



Times of Israel, 22 Juillet 2015


Le Gange est une rivière de plus de 2 500 kilomètres de long qui traverse le nord de l’Inde. Sacrée pour les Hindous, elle fournit un tiers des besoins en eau de la population indienne explique Haaretz.

Cependant les eaux du Gange sont très polluées malgré l’importance des pèlerins hindous qui viennent s’y tremper chaque année.


Selon le site, le Gange fait partie des 11 rivières les plus polluées au monde.

Ainsi un budget a été mis en place par le Premier ministre Narendra Modi de près de 700 000 dollars pour financer son nettoyage.


Une délégation israélienne d’experts composée d’entreprises privées mais également de spécialistes du gouvernement devrait être envoyée en Inde pour leur venir en aide et proposer un projet de dépollution des eaux.




Times of Israel, 21 Juillet 2015


Le chef israélien Moshik Roth, 2 étoiles au guide Michelin, signe une collaboration avec les fast-foods américains MacDonald rapporte le site Happy in Tel-Aviv. En plus de ravir les palais des gourmets en tout genre, il ravira également le palais des végétariens. En effet, les recettes élaborées par Moshik Roth, spécialiste de la cuisine moléculaire, sont toutes composées à base de tomate.


Les trois recettes actuellement disponibles : le Hamburger, le Crispyburger et les Nuggets, dans son menu Mc Tomato, donnent l’impression de déguster une succulente viande fumée. Le « steak » végétarien est en réalité constitué d’un mélange de tomate, de betterave, de laitue et de fromage. Ces recettes sont, pour le moment, disponibles au MacDonald qui se situe sur la Tayelet de Tel-Aviv (81 rue HaYarkon). En fonction de son succès, la collaboration pourrait prendre forme à travers Israël.




I24, 11 Juillet 2015


Une jeune adolescente israélienne de 14 ans originaire de Holon est devenue la nouvelle égérie de l'une des grandes maisons de couture françaises, Christian Dior, rapporte samedi le site Time of Israel. Grande blonde aux yeux bleus, Sofia Mechetner, fille d'immigrants originaires d'ex-Union soviétique, a ouvert la Fashion Week à Paris la semaine dernière, alors qu'elle n'avait jusqu'alors aucune expérience dans le mannequinat.


Dans la maison familiale et modeste de la banlieue de Tel Aviv où elle vit avec sa mère et ses deux jeunes frères et sœurs, le quotidien de Mechetner est pourtant bien éloigné des lumières du monde de la mode. Sa mère enchaîne les petits boulots : elle est femme de ménage, et prodigue des soins pour les personnes âgées. Sofia, elle, doit s'occuper de son frère et de sa sœur lorsqu'ils rentrent de l'école.


La chaîne israélienne Arutz 2 a accompagné Sofia pendant plusieurs jours avant la Fashion Week de Paris. Dans un reportage diffusé vendredi soir, on voit Sofia cuisiner des repas, nettoyer et plier le linge pour sa famille alors que sa mère est absente. Elle partage une chambre avec son frère et sa sœur, et n'a que peu d'amis, expliquant être gênée par la modestie de leur appartement. Sa mère, elle, dort sur le canapé du salon.


Mechetner est tombée dans le monde du mannequinat par accident. C'est une série de coïncidences qui l'a amenée à signer chez Dior, pour sa première expérience dans le mannequinat. L'adolescente, dont la ressemblance avec Kate Moss lorsque celle-ci était plus jeune est frappante, a été découverte en Israël par l'agence de mannequins Roberto, dont le propriétaire, conquis par son regard, a décidé de tenter de la présenter aux grandes marques de la mode à Paris.


Repérée par le designer de Dior, la maison de couture lui a proposé de devenir son "nouveau visage", pour près d'un million de shekels. Plusieurs jours après la proposition, Sofia a suivi un cours intensif pour apprendre à marcher sur une piste avant d’ouvrir le dernier défilé de Dior. Interrogée sur ce qu'elle comptait faire avec tout cet argent, Sofia a dit en riant: "Je pense que nous allons acheter un appartement où j'aurais ma propre chambre".


Analyse: des empreintes turques dans le sable du Sinaï?: Jacob Wirtschafter, I24, 21 juillet, 2015


Shabbat Shalom  à tous nos lecteurs!



We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication.



How Israel Might Destroy Iran’s Nuclear Program: Daniel Pipes, National Review, July 16, 2015 — The Vienna deal has been signed and likely will soon be ratified, which raises the question: Will any government intervene militarily to stop the nearly inevitable Iranian nuclear buildup?

Is IDF Gearing Up to Fight the Islamic State?: Ben Caspit, Al-Monitor, July 8, 2015  — Barely five months into his new job, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot has already made two significant strategic decisions.

IDF Would Seek Destruction of Hamas Military Wing if Future Conflict Erupts: Yaakov Lappin, Jerusalem Post, June 7, 2015 — The IDF has drawn up a new combat doctrine to deal with Hamas, based on the destruction of its military wing, a senior military source said Tuesday, speaking one year after Operation Protective Edge.

Indefensible Defense: Mark Helprin, National Review, June 11, 2015— Continual warfare in the Middle East, a nuclear Iran, electromagnetic-pulse weapons, emerging pathogens, and terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction variously threaten the United States, some with catastrophe on a scale we have not experienced since the Civil War.


On Topic Links


What Israel Can Do Now: Dr. Max Singer, BESA, July 19, 2015

Preemptive Strike on Iran Legally Dicier Once UN Lifts Sanctions: Yonah Jeremy Bob, Jerusalem Post, July 15, 2015

An Israeli Raid on Iran, with American Weapons: Ehud Eilam, Israel Defense, July 12, 2015

U.K. Lifts Export Bans on Arms to Israel: Israel Defense, July 20, 2015





Daniel Pipes

National Review, July 16, 2015


The Vienna deal has been signed and likely will soon be ratified, which raises the question: Will any government intervene militarily to stop the nearly inevitable Iranian nuclear buildup? Obviously it will not be the American or Russian governments or any of the other four signatories. Practically speaking, the question comes down to Israel, where a consensus holds that the Vienna deal makes an Israeli attack more likely. But no one outside the Israeli security apparatus, including myself, knows its intentions. That ignorance leaves me free to speculate as follows.


Three scenarios of attack seem possible: Airplanes. Airplanes crossed international boundaries and dropped bombs in the 1981 Israeli attack on an Iraqi nuclear installation and in the 2007 attack on a Syrian one, making this the default assumption for Iran. Studies show this to be difficult but attainable.


Special ops. These are already underway: computer-virus attacks on Iranian systems unconnected to the Internet that should be immune, assassinations of top-ranking Iranian nuclear scientists, and explosions at nuclear installations. Presumably, Israelis had a hand in at least some of these attacks and, presumably, they could increase their size and scope, possibly disrupting the entire nuclear program. Unlike the dispatch of planes across several countries, special operations have the advantage of reaching places like Fordow, far from Israel, and of leaving little or no signature.


Nuclear weapons. This doomsday weapon, which tends to be little discussed, would probably be launched from submarines. It hugely raises the stakes and so would only be resorted to, in the spirit of “Never Again,” if the Israelis were desperate. Of these alternatives, I predict the Netanyahu government will most likely opt for the second, which is also the most challenging to pull off (especially now that the great powers promised to help the Iranians protect their nuclear infrastructure). Were this unsuccessful, it will turn to planes, with nuclear weapons as a last resort.



IS IDF GEARING UP TO FIGHT THE ISLAMIC STATE?                                                                

Ben Caspit

Al-Monitor, July 8, 2015


Barely five months into his new job, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot has already made two significant strategic decisions. The first, announced June 15 and discussed in Al-Monitor, involved the establishment of a “cyber branch.” The second, announced July 6, concerns the establishment of a commando brigade to be headed by a colonel. This latter decision is said to be designed to bring the IDF up to speed with the modern battlefield — which no longer consists of clashes between two large armored forces, but a struggle between asymmetrical forces — with an emphasis on anti-terror warfare in densely populated areas.


The IDF has evolved as an unplanned military, formed on the go, with units established to address ad hoc needs. Its first commando units — the venerated Unit 101, founded by the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and the 890th battalion of paratroopers — were set up in the 1950s. They were designed to address infiltration from Egypt, Jordan and Syria by Palestinian fedayeen and their attempts to commit acts of terror. This impromptu approach remained the norm for years. During that time, the IDF never created a commando unit the size of a brigade.


The IDF’s special units are dispersed among the various corps and military branches. The most famous elite reconnaissance unit, Sayeret Matkal, operates under Military Intelligence. The elite commando unit Shayetet 13 falls under the navy’s purview. Each infantry brigade has its own reconnaissance unit, which is also considered to be a special commando unit. There are also other commando units in the various corps.


With the passage of time, the number of special warfare and commando units has grown. For example, after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, during which the IDF sustained heavy tank losses from anti-tank missiles fired by Egyptian infantry, the Magellan and Moran reconnaissance units were formed with the purpose of hunting down missiles behind enemy lines. Such units expanded over the years.


The new brigade will consolidate under one large commando branch a number of the existing commando units: the Duvdevan, the IDF’s undercover unit; the Golani Brigade’s Egoz recon unit; the Magellan unit, specialized in destroying targets deep behind enemy lines and providing intelligence; and the Rimon unit, a commando outfit specialized in desert warfare. The remaining IDF commando units — Sayeret Matkal, Shayetet 13, etc. — will remain independent.


One assessment in the IDF is that the consolidated commando brigade is the military’s response to the Islamic State (IS). One of the brigade’s immediate tasks will be to draw up a new warfare doctrine against entities similar to IS. These are essentially scattered forces specializing in terrorist warfare in populated areas. They blend in well on the ground and have a relatively low profile, namely, staying off the radar.


“The biggest advantage of an organization like IS,” said a seasoned Israeli infantry officer speaking on condition of anonymity, “is the fact that it is very difficult to strike it. It has no big strategic objectives or vulnerable infrastructures. It is always on the move. It can camouflage itself and disappear. You end up fighting a ghost army that is hard to deter, hard to track down and hard to strike at.”


“The IDF’s special [commando] units,” said a senior officer who once commanded such a unit and also requested anonymity, “are used to operating in small, surreptitious settings. The IDF uses them for special raids, pinpoint strikes, certain missions behind enemy lines or such that require special skills. This situation changes the more the arena around us changes. Throughout its existence, Israel prepared for large-scale confrontations against regular armored forces. The biggest threat has always been armored corps stampeding toward Israel from Syria or Egypt. This is no longer the case, which is why our armored divisions are also less relevant. The IDF needs to adapt itself to the modern battlefield and place emphasis on infantry, commando, swift and light, and if possible also furtive maneuverability. It needs to be able to track down and collect intelligence on targets and accurately strike at a dispersed, camouflaged and somewhat amorphous enemy.”


Other IDF sources, however, deny that the new commando brigade constitutes a response to IS. “This is a move that’s part of a multiyear plan,” said a senior IDF officer, speaking to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “We don’t adjust our multiyear plans to these or those terrorist organizations but to phenomena. We mustn’t forget that prior to IS, we had al-Qaeda. We see the jihadist organizations in Syria, such as Jabhat al-Nusra and many others. Israel doesn’t consider IS to be a significant threat. Reality has taught us that whenever IS encounters a trained, skilled, organized and resolute military force, it has been defeated. We do adapt ourselves to developments in the arena, and we’ll continue to do so.”


Another senior official, who recently served as a commander in an IDF infantry arena, described as “nonsense” the assessment that the new commando brigade is a response to IS. He told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “IS is mainly a PR threat. If IS gets near the border, it will be stopped by IDF air force and tanks. There’s no need to have the commando forces engage them. Every standard, trained Golani [Brigade] soldier is better trained, more competent and more efficient than an average IS fighter. This new commando brigade was set up to concentrate efforts, improve power buildup, establish a new warfare doctrine and bring all the means under one roof. To date, the commando units were dispersed between the battalions and brigades. Now we’re talking about one organized punch with a combat concept, training, recruitment, etc.”


Asked what would be required of such a force in the future, if and when needed, the senior IDF official cited the Gaza Strip as a case in point. In the next confrontation against Hamas, should such an event occur, if there’s a need for a pinpoint, sophisticated commando operation deep inside Gaza, there will be a specific address to go to and have it carry out the operation, instead of starting arguments and trying to pool IDF resources and troops, he said.


Meanwhile, Israel has begun to disseminate information to the effect that Hamas in Gaza and IS in the Sinai Peninsula are collaborating. It began with a statement to Al Jazeera by Maj. Gen. Yoav “Poli” Mordechai, coordinator of government activities in the territories, following a July 1 terrorist attack in Sinai. It was followed July 7 with statements by IDF intelligence officials to the effect that the attack in Sinai had been carried out by IS at Hamas’ request in a bid to “create a smuggling route (from Sinai to Gaza) for raw materials for building rockets.” In exchange for this “piecemeal work,” IDF sources told Israeli media, “Hamas is helping IS with infrastructure and training.” According to the sources, IS launched an attack on 15 objectives between the Egyptian towns of el-Arish and Rafah, along the Sinai beach route leading to the Gaza Strip.


Also on July 7, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon told his Italian counterpart, Roberta Pinott, that Hamas and IS were collaborating in Sinai. “On the one hand,” Ya’alon said, “Hamas is fighting against a branch of IS in Gaza, but on the other hand, it is cooperating with IS in Sinai to harm Egypt.” ​






MILITARY WING IF FUTURE CONFLICT ERUPTS                                                                         

Yaakov Lappin            

Jerusalem Post, July 7, 2015


The IDF has drawn up a new combat doctrine to deal with Hamas, based on the destruction of its military wing, a senior military source said Tuesday, speaking one year after Operation Protective Edge. The new doctrine is the fruit of internal investigations into last summer’s fighting. The probes centered on issues such as training, intelligence, underground combat capabilities, urban warfare, and the overall use of firepower. The IDF concluded that a central objective would be to shorten the length of any future engagement with Hamas.


The new concept, created together with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), calls for eliminating the Izzadin Kassam Brigades military wing if war erupts again in the South. “We have new components and an approach, which was shown to the chief of staff and received his approval,” the senior IDF source said. “There will always be a need for adjustments to fit [future] circumstances,” the source said. “But we have a concept, and we have plans.”


The IDF has also redrawn its plans to defend Gaza border communities, based on the understanding that Hamas plans to launch raids on these areas in any future clash. “You don’t win with defense,” the source said, “but a good defense will deny Hamas tactical gains that would allow it to claim a propaganda victory.”


A third important aspect of the IDF’s new approach to a future Gaza conflict is its focus on Hamas’s tunnel network. Tunnels, the source said, have become Hamas’s most valuable asset. The network exists to serve its offensive forces, smuggle goods and armaments, and facilitate command and control networks. The IDF has installed two tunnel detection systems in areas bordering Gaza, and these are to become fully operational in the coming weeks, the source said. The systems will be able to alert the military whenever it detects digging under Israeli territory.


So far, the IDF has not detected any new cross-border tunnels since the cessation of hostilities last August. While the terrorist group is digging tunnels in Gaza, it has not yet rebuilt any of the 32 attack tunnels destroyed by the IDF last summer. The army has also created two tunnel-warfare training sites to improve the ability of ground forces to confront this threat. In a future conflict, the IDF plans to keep critical unit headquarters away from the Gaza border, out of the range of Hamas mortar attacks.


Operation Protective Edge was the largest armed conflict between Israel and the Palestinians so far. To prevent the outbreak of a new round of fighting any time soon, there is a need to improve Gaza’s civilian economic situation and hasten reconstruction efforts, the source said. This would provide civilians with hope and raise their standard of living. This is a particularly difficult task in light of the fact that Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority have all disconnected themselves from Gaza, leaving the Hamas-run enclave – where there is a 50-percent unemployment rate – in a state of near total isolation.


Hamas – regarded by Egypt as an enemy allied with its domestic Islamist foes – is anxiously looking for sponsors, and its military wing has begun receiving tens of millions of dollars from Iran once again. The organization also receives cash from a global network of charities and businesses, as well as from Qatar, its chief foreign sponsor. Reaching a long-term ceasefire arrangement with Hamas is likely to encourage the Islamist regime and its armed wing to remain restrained, according to the source. Currently, Hamas is taking more steps than ever before to prevent other Gazan terrorist groups from firing rockets at Israel, and it has arrested many Salafi jihadists following recent rocket launches into Israel, according to military intelligence assessments.


At the same time, the group continues to restock its own rocket supplies, and is actively seeking to improve the accuracy of its projectiles. A total of eight rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza since the end of hostilities last summer, representing the quietest period in the South since the Palestinian rocket attacks on the South in 2000. There is recognition among the IDF leadership of the possibility for “years of quiet” if the situation can be managed.


Tensions persist between Hamas’s military and political wings, the source added, and the military wing could begin to take more independent steps, military assessments have stated. Renewing contact with Iran was cited as one example of an independent move already made by the military wing, which did not receive the backing of the group’s political division.            




INDEFENSIBLE DEFENSE                                                                                        

Mark Helprin                                                                                                                

National Review, June 11, 2015


Continual warfare in the Middle East, a nuclear Iran, electromagnetic-pulse weapons, emerging pathogens, and terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction variously threaten the United States, some with catastrophe on a scale we have not experienced since the Civil War. Nevertheless, these are phenomena that bloom and fade, and that, with redirection and augmentation of resources we possess, we are equipped to face, given the wit and will to do so.


But underlying the surface chaos that dominates the news cycle are the currents that lead to world war. In governance by tweet, these are insufficiently addressed for being insufficiently immediate. And yet, more than anything else, how we approach the strength of the American military, the nuclear calculus, China, and Russia will determine the security, prosperity, honor, and at long range even the sovereignty and existence of this country.


Upon our will to provide for defense, all else rests. Without it, even the most brilliant innovations and trenchant strategies will not suffice. In one form or another, the American way of war and of the deterrence of war has always been reliance on surplus. Even as we barely survived the winter of Valley Forge, we enjoyed immense and forgiving strategic depth, the 3,000-mile barrier of the Atlantic, and the great forests that would later give birth to the Navy. In the Civil War, the North’s burgeoning industrial and demographic powers meshed with the infancy of America’s technological ascendance to presage superiority in mass industrial — and then scientific — 20th-century warfare. The way we fight is that we do not stint. Subtract the monumental preparations, cripple the defense industrial base, and we will fail to deter wars that we will then go on to lose.


Properly subservient, the military implements the postulate of current civil authority that we cannot afford the defense we need. This view, however, a commonplace of public opinion, is demonstrably false, and insensible of a number of things, not least the golden relation of economic growth and military power. The way we fight is that we do not stint. Subtract the monumental preparations, cripple the defense industrial base, and we will fail to deter wars that we will then go on to lose.


China, Japan as early as the Meiji, and Israel have consciously employed this golden relation to their advantage. In sum, rapid and sustained economic growth increases the marginal income of families and individuals beyond what is needed to survive, so that what under less favorable conditions would be a disproportionately high share of gross domestic product can be diverted to military purposes without threatening social cohesion and political stability. In just a few decades, the Meiji went from silks and swords to their modern battle fleet’s victory over Russia. Israel enjoyed the world’s fastest economic growth prior to the Six-Day War of 1967, the results of which are well known. And in only 30 years, China has become a military superpower.


The way this works can best be understood in the Chinese example, which is now most pertinent. In 1988, China’s per capita GDP was $256, and its purchasing-power parity (PPP) military expenditure $5.78 billion. After average annual economic growth of 8.95 percent from 1988 to 2007, its per capita GDP was $2,539, nearly a tenfold rise, conducive to political stability, and its PPP military expenditure $122 billion, a 21-fold increase. This is the cardinal explanation of China’s rapidly advancing power.


Given a short-term assessment of our economy, we might find it intimidating, but it should not be. For whatever the cycles of its economy, the United States has long possessed and continues to possess the most potent combination the world has ever known of major population, massive GDP, and high marginal income. We have chosen to depart from customary and easily sustainable levels of defense spending not out of economic duress but only as a result of the ideological proclivities of most Democrats and growing factions within the Republican coalition. What, then, has been the norm, and why, contrary to the common wisdom, is it sustainable now?


From 1940 through 2000 — through wars, recessions, panics, and expansions — average annual American defense expenditure, as a proportion of GDP, was 8.5 percent — 13.3 percent in war and mobilization years, 9.4 percent under Democratic administrations, 7.3 percent under Republican, and, in the peacetime years, 5.7 percent. By contrast, the defense base-budget appropriation (excluding overseas-contingency funding) for 2015 is 2.994252873 percent (just less, as if someone somewhere had set a limit, than 3 percent) of GDP. That is, roughly half the traditional outlays during peacetime. The resultant starvation leads not only to diminished immediate resources but to the slow erosion of the defense industrial base, which is so complex and would take so long to rebuild that, if it were lost, it could be lost forever.


Military expenditure need not wait on exceptionally high growth. Nor will it break the fisc. In 1931–40, average GDP was $77.5 billion, and average unemployment 19 percent. By 1944, GDP had risen 271 percent to $219 billion; unemployment was down to 1.2 percent, and real disposable income had doubled — despite the fact that by 1945 military expenditure was 40 percent of GDP and 86 ++percent of the federal budget. The material resources of the average family were a fraction of what they are now, and therefore the amount of national wealth devoted to public purposes was that much more a burden. No one is advocating 40 percent of GDP for defense, but certainly, as the world comes apart, we can do better than half of the long-established peacetime appropriations…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]






On Topic                                                                                        


How Israel Might Destroy Iran’s Nuclear Program: Daniel Pipes, National Review, July 16, 2015 —The Vienna deal has been signed and likely will soon be ratified, which raises the question: Will any government intervene militarily to stop the nearly inevitable Iranian nuclear buildup?

What Israel Can Do Now: Dr. Max Singer, BESA, July 19, 2015—For years, the Obama administration has assured Prime Minister Netanyahu that Israel does not have to attack Iranian nuclear weapon production facilities because the US would make sure that Iran would not get nuclear weapons.

Preemptive Strike on Iran Legally Dicier Once UN Lifts Sanctions: Yonah Jeremy Bob, Jerusalem Post, July 15, 2015 —Israel probably has until around mid-December to preemptively strike Iran’s nuclear program before it gets even harder to justify legally than Tuesday’s deal has already made it.

An Israeli Raid on Iran, with American Weapons: Ehud Eilam, Israel Defense, July 12, 2015—Iran and major powers gave themselves until Monday to reach a nuclear agreement, their third extension in two weeks.

U.K. Lifts Export Bans on Arms to Israel: Israel Defense, July 20, 2015—The United Kingdom has lifted all remaining restrictions on arms sales to Israel, according to The Independent. Over the past year, the U.K. government conducted a review of 12 export licenses for weapons that may have been used in last year’s Operation Protective Edge.










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MEDIA-OCRITY OF THE WEEK: “Congress should pass a resolution authorizing this and future presidents to use force to prevent Iran from ever becoming a nuclear weapons state. Iran must know now that the U.S. president is authorized to destroy — without warning or negotiation — any attempt by Tehran to build a bomb.” — Thomas L. Friedman (New York Times, July 22, 2015)


On Topic Links  


10 Questions on Iran Chuck Schumer Needs to Answer: New York Post, July 20, 2015

The Iran Deal’s Collapsing Rationale: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2015

What US Leaders Have Never Understood About Iran: Amir Taheri, New York Post, July 19, 2015

What Israel Can Do Now: Dr. Max Singer, BESA, July 19, 2015





"There's a reason this deal took so long to negotiate. Because we refused to accept a bad deal. We held out for a deal that met every one of our bottom lines. And we got it…This deal will make America and the world safer and more secure. Still, you're going to hear a lot of overheated and often dishonest arguments about it in the weeks ahead." —U.S. President Barack Obama. Obama has run into a storm of accusations from Republican lawmakers and Israel that he gave away too much to Tehran. The President insisted the agreement was the only alternative to a nuclear arms race and more war in the Middle East. "Does this deal resolve all of the threats Iran poses to its neighbors and the world? No. Does it do more than anyone has done before to make sure Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon? Yes. And that was our top priority from the start," Obama continued. Obama has vowed to veto any effort to block the deal in Congress. (Jerusalem Post, July 18, 2015)


“You don’t have inspections within 24 hours—you have 24 days before you can inspect any site that you find suspicious in Iran. 24 days. Can you imagine giving a drug dealer 24 days’ notice before you check the premises? That’s a lot of time to flush a lot of meth down the toilet.” — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Jewish Press, July 16, 2015)  


“One of the reasons this deal is a good one is that it does nothing to prevent the military option . . . which we are preserving and continually improving…But the point of the nuclear deal is to get the result of no Iranian nuclear weapon without carrying out a military strike.” — U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter. Carter began a tour Sunday of Middle Eastern nations whose alliances with the U.S. have been strained by Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran. Carter is the highest-level U.S. official to visit Israel and Saudi Arabia since six world powers struck the deal. Pentagon officials say Carter’s visit was planned prior to the conclusion of nuclear talks and is not intended as a reassurance tour. But this week’s meetings in Tel Aviv and in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, will focus in part on plans for countering Iran’s support for common adversaries, which include the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, the Palestinian militant group Hamas and Houthi rebels in Yemen. (Washington Post, July 19, 2015)


“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not give up support of its friends in the region — the oppressed people of Palestine, of Yemen, the Syrian and Iraqi governments, the oppressed people of Bahrain and sincere resistance fighters in Lebanon and Palestine… Our policy will not change with regards to the arrogant US government.” —Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei . His remarks were greeted by chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” at a ceremony in Tehran marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. (Times of Israel, July 18, 2015)  


"The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran stands as a landmark agreement in deterring the proliferation of nuclear weapons…Without your determination and the admirable work of Secretary of State Kerry and his team, this agreement would never have been reached." —  letter from over 100 former US ambassadors to President Barack Obama expressing their support for the "landmark agreement" struck between world powers and Iran. Notable signatories of the document included former under secretary of state Nicholas Burns; Daniel Kurtzer, the former envoy to Israel and Egypt; and Thomas Pickering, the former ambassador to Israel, Russia, India, and the United Nations. Read the letter and list of signatories here. (Jerusalem Post, July 18, 2015)


“We just stopped a war. And the bomb. Don’t let congress sabotage this historic chance for peace.” —Pro-Iranian lobby group National Iranian American Council (NIAC). NIAC bought a full-page ad in The New York Times last week in support of the agreement. The group's #Vote4Peace campaign is targeting certain states and districts and lobbying leaders in Washington. The council says that millions of dollars from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a strong supporter of Israel and one of the GOP's most powerful donors "can't drown out the voices of tens of millions of Americans who want peace instead of war." (New York Times, July 19, 2015)


"You can't have a good economic relationship with Germany in the long-term if we don't discuss such issues too and try to move them along…Questioning this state's (Israel's) right to existence is something that we Germans cannot accept." — German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel. Gabriel urged Iran at the start of a three-day visit to improve its relationship with Israel if it wanted to establish closer economic ties with Germany and other Western powers. Gabriel, who is also economy minister, is the first senior figure from a large western government to visit Iran since it struck an agreement with world powers on its nuclear program. (Jerusalem Post, July 19, 2015)

“Based on what we know thus far, I believe that this deal undermines our national security. President Obama has consistently negotiated from a position of weakness, giving concession after concession to a regime that has American blood on its hands, holds Americans hostage, and has consistently violated every agreement it ever signed…For him [Obama], this whole deal, you know what it is? It is an exhibit in his presidential library.” — U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate Marco Rubio. (Jewish Press, July 15, 2015)


“The Persians are always great negotiators…they are laughing at us back in Iran.” —U.S. Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump. Trump noted that Iran is holding four Americans on charges of espionage, adding: “Why couldn’t they make that part of the deal? It would have happened quickly — easily if you had the right messenger. And that should have actually happened earlier. That should have happened at the beginning of the negotiations….I’ll be honest with you. I want to save the country. Our country’s going to hell. We have a problem. I want to make America great again.” (Jewish Press, July 15, 2015)


“We have to remember that this is a political deal, this is not – for me – a non-proliferation deal, but it has non-proliferation consequences. What happens now is that we make a deal with a country that is in non-compliance with its safeguard undertakings. That will have a great impact on future proliferation cases, and it will also have an impact on the region and for a long time.” — Former IAEA nuclear inspector Olli Heinonen. (DW, July 17, 2015)


“I believe that in the present time there is a widow of opportunity for Israel in order to try and pursue a new order in the Middle East… Iran is considered to be the adversary of … Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the Emirates…In other words, the more moderate Sunni Islam. And we are a member in this same camp. We have here a unique opportunity to try and create a coalition of moderate Arab countries headed by Saudi Arabia and Israel, both in order to address the Iranian potential nuclear capability in the future and also in order to create a new order in the Middle East.” — Shabtai Shavit, Mossad director from 1989 to 1996. (Jerusalem Post, July 19, 2015) 


“Some of the points inserted in the draft are clearly in contradiction to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s major red lines and violate them, particularly regarding arms capabilities, and we’ll never accept it,” — Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari. General Jafari’s remarks, reported in an interview with Iran’s Tasnim news agency, appeared to be primarily concerned with the restrictions in the Security Council resolution on Iran’s missile capabilities. They are not part of the nuclear accord. Stressing that he spoke as a military man, he said that what troubled him the most was what he saw as the resolution’s violation of “the very critical red line, namely maintaining and upgrading Iran’s defense capabilities.” (New York Times, July 20, 2015)


“Obama has always radiated the smug air that he was right and any other positions were illogical. But it is gratifying when aimed at the obnoxious Republicans and more obnoxious Bibi. Republicans were never going to go for the Iran deal. Their apocalyptic statements were written well in advance and they just had to hit “Send” followed by a fund-raising appeal to Jewish donors. Obama is gambling that he won’t hurt his party and that in 10 years Iran will be a better member of the international community. But he can’t do worse as an oracle of the Middle East than the conservative warmongers who ravaged the region.” — Maureen Dowd (New York Times, July 18, 2015)


“We have to build an iron wall to protect Israel. There are clear risks to Israel’s security in this deal.” — Isaac “Bougie” Herzog, leader of Israel’s left-leaning Labor Party. Herzog, who lost a race for the prime ministership in March to the Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu, invoked an expression popularized by Netanyahu’s ideological guide, the founding father of right-wing Zionist revisionism, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, to describe what he sees as Israel’s next, necessary step. (The Atlantic, July 16, 2015)


“The extremist worldview, both violent and nonviolent, is what we have to defeat.” — Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain. Speaking in Birmingham, Britain’s second-largest city, which has a substantial Muslim minority population, Cameron called on his country’s Muslims to work with the government to “condemn conspiracy theories,” reject violence and speak more forcefully “to challenge and defeat” the extremist misinterpretation of Islam, which he called “a religion of peace.” (New York Times, July 20, 2015)





"STOP IRAN" PROTEST IN TIMES SQUARE (New York) — On July 22, 2015 in New York City’s Times Square, the "stop Iran rally," the largest, grassroots bipartisan American protest against the deal granting Iran a fast track to a nuclear bomb, will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thousands of Americans from all faith traditions, political interests and communities, including Christians, Muslims, Jews, registered Democrats and Republicans, LGBT, Iranian-Americans, and others will demand that Congress vote down the Iran deal. (Investigative Project on Terrorism, July 19, 2015) 


UN SECURITY COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES IRAN DEAL (New York) — The UN Security Council on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the Iran nuclear deal and paving the way to lifting longstanding sanctions on the Islamic Republic. The 15-0 approval of the Iran nuclear deal approves one of the largest hurdles for the landmark pact, which will now go before the US Congress where it may face an uphill battle for confirmation. The UN vote came shortly after the European Union approved the nuclear deal. Netanyahu slammed the Security Council vote as “hypocrisy,” stressing that Tehran “systematically violates UN resolutions and calls for the destruction of Israel — a member of the UN.” (Times of Israel, July 20, 2015)


IN ISRAEL, US DEFENSE CHIEF VOWS TO HELP FIGHT AGAINST HEZBOLLAH (Jerusalem) —  On a hilltop lookout near Israel’s border with Lebanon, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter offered personal assurances Monday that the US will help Israel counter Iranian support for the terror group Hezbollah. Carter emphasized US concern about a range of threats that face Israel. These include tens of thousands of short-, medium- and longer-range Hezbollah rockets and missiles in southern Lebanon that could hit Israeli villages and cities. Israeli leaders have complained that the deal does nothing to address Iran’s support for hostile anti-Israel groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. (Times of Israel, July 20, 2015)


IRAN’S LAWMAKERS DELAY VOTE ON NUCLEAR ACCORD (Tehran) — The Iranian Parliament will wait at least 80 days before voting on a nuclear agreement reached last week with world powers, as legislators decided Tuesday to form a committee to study the accord. The legislators have effectively opted to withhold their judgment until they know the position of the US Congress. That way, analysts said, they can position the Americans to receive the blame if Congress repudiates the agreement, which Iran and six global powers including the United States completed in Vienna on July 14 after arduous negotiations. (New York Times, July 22, 2015)


SANCTIONS TO LIFT ON IRANIANS SUSPECTED OF WEAPONS WORK (Tehran) — The Obama administration and European Union agreed as part of the accord last week to lift sanctions over eight years on a network of Iranian scientists, military officers and companies long suspected by the U.S. and United Nations as central players in a covert nuclear weapons program. Among those to be removed from the U.S., U.N. and EU sanctions lists by 2023 is Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi. U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies suspect he oversaw a secret Iranian program to develop the technologies for a nuclear weapon, at least until 2003. He's been called by American officials the "Robert Oppenheimer" of Iran's nuclear efforts, a reference to the American scientist who oversaw development of atomic weapons during World War II. (Nasdaq, July 21, 2015)

TEHRAN GETTING MISSILES (Tehran) — Iran is buying five Russian S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems, which can shoot down aircraft and intercept ballistic missiles. The deal was first inked in 2007 but then delayed by Russia after pressure by the West and Israel when UN sanctions were imposed in 2010. It’s unknown exactly which model of S-300 Iran will get (the original 2007 deal was for missile systems developed two decades ago), but the S-300 is one of the most complex defense systems available. “It is proof that the economic momentum in Iran that will come after the lifting of the sanctions will be exploited for arming and not for the welfare of the Iranian people,” Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said. (New York Post, July 19, 2015)


AIRSTRIKE KILLS AL-QAEDA LEADER IN SYRIA (Baghdad) —The leader of the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria with a history of attacks against U.S. targets was killed in a U.S. airstrike on July 8, the Pentagon announced Tuesday. Muhsin al-Fadhli, who led the Khorasan Group in Syria, was killed when the vehicle he was riding in northwest Syria near the Turkish border, was destroyed. Al-Fadhli had deep roots with al-Qaeda, having been one of the few operatives who had received advance notice of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Al-Fadhli was killed by a missile fired by a drone, according to a Defense Department official who spoke about the strike on condition of anonymity. (USA Today, July 21, 2015)


AT LEAST 130 ARE DEAD IN IRAQ AFTER A MASSIVE BOMB ATTACK (Baghdad) — The death toll from a bombing at a crowded marketplace in eastern Iraq climbed to as many as 130 on Saturday, marking I.S.’s worst single bombing attack on a civilian target in the country. A spokesman for the Diyala provincial council said that in addition to those killed, twenty more people were missing after a suicide bomber drove a truck packed with explosives into a market in Khan Bani Saad on Friday night. I.S., and al-Qaeda before them, has carried out scores of bombings against civilians as they seek to destabilize the country and expand their territory. However, Friday night’s blast was the biggest in Iraq since the group announced its self-declared state a year ago. (Washington Post, July 18, 2015)


SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS DOZENS IN TURKEY NEAR BORDER WITH SYRIA (Istanbul) —  A suspected female I.S. suicide bomber has set off an explosion near a cultural centre hosting youth activists in a Turkish town near the border with Syria, leaving 31 dead and scores injured. The blast ripped through the centre in Suruc, just a few miles from the Syrian flashpoint of Kobane – which was itself later hit in a co-ordinated suicide car bombing. Most of the dead were university students with the Federation of Socialist Youths, who had been planning a mission to help rebuild Kobane, which was retaken by Kurds from I.S. earlier this year. (Telegraph, July 20, 2015)


I.S. REPORTEDLY DEPLOYS POISON GAS AGAINST KURDS IN SYRIA, IRAQ (Jerusalem) —  The Islamic State used poison gas in attacks against Kurdish-controlled areas of northeastern Syria in late June. Two UK-based organizations investigating the attack said they had confirmed I.S.'s use of chemical weapons against Kurdish forces and civilian targets in Syria and Iraq, where they said chemical agents were also used in an attack on an Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga position in June. The type of chemical used had not been definitively determined. None of the fighters exposed to the gas had died because they were quickly taken to hospital. (Ynet, July 18, 2015)


MAN CHARGED OVER U.S. MILITARY ATTACK PLAN (London) — British authorities have charged a 24-year-old man over an alleged plan to attack U.S. military personnel in the U.K., the latest in a growing number of plots uncovered in Europe targeting members of the military and police. The alleged plot, which the U.S. Air Force said prompted authorities to cancel planned Independence Day celebrations earlier this month at one of the nation’s main overseas fighter bases, comes as British Prime Minister David Cameron is seeking to step up the government’s efforts to combat the spread of extremist ideology, calling it “the struggle of our generation.” (Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2015)


TABLOID PUBLISHES IMAGES OF FUTURE QUEEN GIVING NAZI SALUTE (London) — Buckingham Palace expressed its disappointment Saturday with a tabloid newspaper for publishing images of a young Queen Elizabeth II performing a Nazi salute with her family in 1933, the year Adolf Hitler came to power. The palace took the unusual step of commenting on the report in The Sun newspaper, which shows the queen — then about 7 years old — at the family home in Balmoral, with her uncle Edward, mother and sister. The grainy footage also shows Elizabeth's mother making the salute as the family laughs. The images, posted on the newspaper's website under the headline "Their Royal Heilnesses," shows the young girls prancing on the grass. (New York Times, July 18, 2015)


GOEBBELS' HEIR TO RECEIVE ROYALTIES FROM NAZI CHIEF'S BIOGRAPHY (Munich) — A heir of Hitler's propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels will receive royalties from his biography, a court in Munich decreed. The 72-years-old Cordula Schacht, the daughter of Hjalmar Schacht, Hitler's economy chief, who inherited Goebbels' estate, owns the copyright to Goebbels' diaries, which have been quoted extensively in the biography "Goebbels", by Peter Longerich. The estate of Hitler's propaganda chief is taking legal action against Random House Germany and its imprint Siedler who published a biography of Goebbels that quotes extensively from his diaries, which are copyrighted until the end of this year. Initially, Random House agreed to pay a fee to use the quotes in the book, but later decided it was wrong to pay the estate of a Nazi war criminal. (I24, July 10, 2015)


LITHUANIA'S JEWS REQUEST HALT TO WWII MASS GRAVE EXCAVATION (Vilnius) — The excavation of a mass grave of Holocaust victims in Lithuania was halted following an appeal by the Jewish community and the country’s chief rabbi. A municipal official in Siauliai announced that the work would be halted “until the appropriate respect is guaranteed for the human remains of the people murdered and buried in the mass grave.” Rabbi Chaim Burshtein had issued a statement calling for a halt to the removal of the bones in the mass grave discovered earlier in the week during road construction work in Siauliai, a city in northern Lithuania.  Before World War II, Siauliai was home to some 6,600 Jews. Many escaped to the Soviet Union, but the Nazis and Lithuanian collaborators murdered hundreds of those who stayed in 1941 and in later mass killings. (JTA, July 17, 2015)


HOTOVELY SAYS FOREIGN DIGNITARIES MUST VISIT WESTERN WALL (Jerusalem) —  Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely has changed protocol for foreign dignities who now will be asked to visit the Western Wall (Kotel) as well as Yad VaShem and Mt Herzl Cemetery. When Hotovely took office, she met with Foreign Ministry officials and gave them a short sermon on Torah – “Dvar Torah” in Hebrew – and instructed them to made the Jewish People’s Biblical right to Israel as part of  the “Hasbara” public relations program. She explained: “In my eyes, the fact that the Kotel will become part of official visits of foreign dignitaries in Israel is a meaningful statement that strengthens the position of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” (Jewish Press, July 16, 2015)

On Topic Links 


10 Questions on Iran Chuck Schumer Needs to Answer: New York Post, July 20, 2015 —1. Did you have any input into the Iran nuclear deal? If you did, how much of the deal reflects your advice?

The Iran Deal’s Collapsing Rationale: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2015 —The Iran deal is supposed to prevent a nuclear-arms race in the Middle East. So what better way to get that ball of hopefulness rolling than by arming our regional allies to the teeth?

What US Leaders Have Never Understood About Iran: Amir Taheri, New York Post, July 19, 2015 —“American rulers have always dreamed of forcing us to change our behavior, and failed,” Iran’s “Supreme Guide,” Ali Khamenei, said Saturday. “Five US administrations took that dream to their graves. The present one shall have the same fate.”

What Israel Can Do Now: Dr. Max Singer, BESA, July 19, 2015—For years, the Obama administration has assured Prime Minister Netanyahu that Israel does not have to attack Iranian nuclear weapon production facilities because the US would make sure that Iran would not get nuclear weapons. It turns out that Israel and the US meant different things by the words “Iran would not get nuclear weapons (NW).”