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Mohammad Zoabi’s Strong Message About The Kidnappings (Video): Israeli Cool, June 14, 2014
Palestinians and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Alan Baker, Jerusalem Post, June 16, 2014
How the West Facilitates Hamas's Mission: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, June 17, 2014
Second Front Opens in the Sunni-Shia War: Jonathan Spyer, Middle East Forum, June 15, 2014
The Pace of Obama's Disasters: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2014
"The operation overnight in which Hamas terrorists were arrested, including those released in the prisoner swap for Gilad Schalit, is an element that carries with it an important message," —Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, praising the Israeli security services on Wednesday for their overnight roundup of dozens of Palestinians, including 50 Hamas operatives, in the West Bank search for three kidnapped Jewish teens. He added that "this is all part of a series of many operations that will continue, and their goal is to retrieve the kidnapped youngsters and strike a blow to Hamas in Judea and Samaria." (Jerusalem Post, June 18, 2014)
“We have a goal and it is to find the three boys and to bring them home, as well as to harm as much as possible Hamas. And that is what we will do,” — IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. Gantz also praised Israeli security forces operations in the framework of the “Return Our Boys” operation. According to Gantz, “We are on the way to an important battle. The cabinet will talk today about punitive actions against Hamas.” (Jerusalem Online, June 17, 2014)
"Those who kidnapped the three teenagers want to destroy us. We will hold them accountable," — Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, at an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah. The PA has threatened to end its unity deal with Hamas over the kidnapping according to unconfirmed reports, even as it celebrates the kidnapping. Abbas also defended the cooperation between PA security forces and the IDF in the operation, saying "the kidnapped are human beings like us…it is in our interest to have security coordination with Israel because that would help protect us," Abbas said, claiming "I say it frankly, we will never have another Intifada – that would destroy us." Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza on Monday condemned Abbas over the cooperation, saying instead he should declare “jihad” against the “Zionists.”
(Arutz Sheva, June 18, 2014)
“It has been five days since our boys went missing. I ask the international community – where are you?” —Israel’s ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor, who gave a short statement to the press on Tuesday morning, publicly addressing the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers for the first time since their disappearance on Thursday evening. Prosor continued: “The kidnapping took place just 10 days after Fatah and Hamas formed a unity government. All those in the international community who rushed to bless this marriage, should look into the eyes of the heartbroken parents and have the courage to take responsibility by condemning the kidnapping.” Israel is now paying for the “bad deal” that the international community bought when it supported the newly formed Palestinian unity government, Prosor said. “It’s worth recalling that the Palestinians recently signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child. They obviously signed without reading it.” (Jerusalem Post, June 18, 2014)
“[Saudi Arabia is] responsible for supporting these groups financially and morally, and for the outcome of that which includes crimes that may qualify as genocide: the spilling of Iraqi blood, the destruction of Iraqi state institutions and historic and religious sites,” —Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in an angry outburst certain to inflame passions in the region, accusing Saudi ruling royals of backing genocidal war criminals. Fierce fighting raged less than 50 kilometres away from Baghdad, and advancing Sunni militants forced Iraq’s biggest oil refinery to shut down. To the west, Sunni forces were at the outskirts of the sprawling capital and car bombs exploded in Baghdad’s densely populated Sadr City slum. (Globe & Mail, June 17, 2014)
“It is Baathists from Tal Afar who enabled Isis to take over the town. They have a strong presence and are very well organised,” — a senior Iraqi intelligence officer from the Tal Afar area of Iraq. “This is the return of Saddam’s men,” he added. Tal Afar was once the emblem of US military success in Iraq – the city where American forces defeated their adversaries twice. First they drove out the army of Saddam Hussein, and later the Islamist militants who rose up against the occupation. Less than a decade later, the two US foes have joined forces to seize back Tal Afar, and the machine guns and armoured vehicles that American troops left behind to defend its new-found freedom are being used by the very insurgents they sought to defeat. (Telegraph, June 17, 2014)
“It’s really serious,” —Ala Talabani, a Kurdish representative from Kirkuk in the Iraqi parliament. “We have to consider this unlike any other issue in Iraq. There were always terrorist attacks here and there since the collapse of the regime in 2003. But this is different. It is really threatening all the Iraqi communities, the political process, the democratic process and what we have achieved so far in creating government and democratic elections. It is threatening all Iraqi people,” he said. (National Post, June 16, 2014)
“We believe in God now in a real Islamic way, not like them,” —Aso Mamand, leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in Kirkuk, by far the most powerful political party in the city, which has a Kurdish majority. “They are Islamic extremists, so wherever they are, they will hurt that area. What they are planning to do is turn back Iraq to a very distant past, to go to the time of the caliphate. They are very bad. They are rejected by everyone,” said Mamand. (National Post, June 16, 2014)
"I don't know exactly if the air strikes right now are the answer. I'm not sure because I don't claim to be that smart, but I know there are people like Jack Keane and Gen. (David) Petraeus and others who are that smart, and I know that this team that (Obama's) got around him now ought to be fired." —U.S. Senator John McCain, in a contentious interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday. McCain said he was talking about "everyone on the National Security team. They have been a total failure." McCain said that "there are no good options" in Iraq right now, as city after city falls to Islamic jihadists who plan to establish their own Islamic state stretching from Syria to Iraq. (CNS News, June 13, 2014)
“He said, ‘I’ll see you guys in New York,’” —Army Col. Kenneth King, then the commanding officer of Camp Bucca, recalling Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi’s words as he was freed from the U.S. detention camp in 2009. Al-Baghdadi, the Islamist extremist who is now the leader of ISIS, has been called the most dangerous man in the world. “We spent how many missions and how many soldiers were put at risk when we caught this guy and we just released him,” King said. Al-Baghdadi knew that many of his captors were from New York, reservists with the 306 Military Police Battalion, a unit based on Long Island that includes numerous members of the NYPD and the FDNY. King had not imagined that in less that five years he would be seeing news reports that al-Baghdadi would become leader of the ultra-extremist terrorist army sweeping through Iraq toward Baghdad. (Frontpage, June 14, 2014)
“I have come to tell you and every Egyptian woman that I am sorry…I apologize to all of you.” —Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, apologizing to a woman who was brutally assaulted during a celebration of his inauguration last week in Tahrir Square, Cairo. His visit came as outrage spread over the attack, part of which was captured in a shaky video posted on YouTube. It showed a crowd of men surrounding the woman – she is bloodied, bruised and stripped naked – as a police officer struggles to get her into an ambulance. “We as a state,” el-Sisi added, “will not let this happen again.” El-Sisi’s appearance was the first time a high-level Egyptian leader even acknowledged that sexual assault and harassment are a constant threat, and the state has done little or nothing to punish men who perpetrate these acts. (Globe & Mail, June 14, 2014)
“I felt it was important for us Palestinians to learn about this event first because it is historically wrong to deny it and also because it is morally wrong to ignore it," —Mohammed Dajani, who resigned from his post at Jerusalem's Al-Quds University last week. Dajani, who took a group of students to visit the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland in March, faced abuse, intimidation and death threats over the visit. Al-Quds dissociated itself from the project but defended his right to be involved. "I felt I should not be a bystander but take a stand. I lived in a culture where the Holocaust was not viewed in depth and was used artificially, linking it to the Nakba. We never learned about its impact, its lessons, why it happened, to whom it happened. It was always in the background as if it was a taboo topic," explained Dajani. (Guardian, June 13, 2014)
OVER 30,000 PRAY FOR KIDNAPPED TEENS AT WESTERN WALL (Jerusalem) —Thousands of Israelis gathered at the Western Wall plaza on Sunday to join in supplication for the safe release of three yeshiva students who were kidnapped in the West Bank. Police estimated that over 30,000 people, among them family members of the abducted teens, attended the prayer session. Eyal Yifrach, 19, from Elad near Petah Tikva, Gil-ad Shaar, 16, from the settlement of Talmon, and Naftali Frenkel, 16, a dual Israeli-American citizen from Nof Ayalon near Modi’in, were abducted while hitchhiking south of Jerusalem Thursday night, sparking a wide-ranging manhunt in the West Bank. (Times of Israel, June 15, 2014)
ISRAEL RE-ARRESTS 51 PALESTINIANS FREED IN GILAD SHALIT SWAP (Jerusalem) —Fifty-one prisoners, released in the 2011 deal that secured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit’s freedom, were re-arrested Wednesday among a group of more than 65 Palestinians detained by the IDF as part of the search for three Jewish teens believed to have been abducted by Hamas. Israel freed 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in the exchange for Shalit. IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said that a total of 240 Palestinians have been arrested in Judea and Samaria amid a crackdown on Hamas since the June 12 kidnapping near Hebron. Israel’s Civil Administration also raided nine Hamas-linked institutions in Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tulkarem, and Nablus. (Algemeiner, June 18, 2014)
IRON DOME INTERCEPTS 2 ROCKETS FIRED AT ASHKELON (Tel Aviv) —Gaza Strip terrorists fired two Grad rockets at Ashkelon on Sunday night, which were successfully intercepted by an Iron Dome battery deployed in the area. Some debris from the intercepted rockets landed on several homes in the city, but caused no damage or injuries. The rocket fire took place against the backdrop of the security escalation in Judea and Samaria over the past few days since the abduction of three Israeli teenagers and the subsequent military operation underway to try to find them. (Israel Hayom, June 16, 2014)
IRAQI SHIITE CLERIC ISSUES CALL TO ARMS (Baghdad) — The specter of sectarian war and partition of Iraq grew on Friday as the country’s top Shiite cleric implored his followers to take up arms against an insurgent army of Sunni terrorists who have captured broad stretches of northern territory this week in a sweep toward Baghdad. The statement by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani came as President Obama told the Iraqis they need to resolve the crisis themselves and vowed not to redeploy United States forces in Iraq. Heeding the call to arms, Shiite volunteers rushed to the front lines, reinforcing defenses of the holy city of Samarra 70 miles north of Baghdad, and helping thwart attacks by Sunni fighters in some smaller cities to the east. The confrontations suggested that Shiites and Sunnis would once again engage in open conflict for control of Iraq, as they did during the height of the American-led occupation that ousted Saddam Hussein. (New York Times, June 13, 2014)
U.K. AND THE US TO HOLD DIRECT TALKS WITH IRAN (London) — Britain and the US are to enter direct talks with Iran over how to stabilise the situation in Iraq as the country heads towards a de facto partition between Sunnis, Shia and Kurds. William Hague, the U.K. foreign secretary, spoke by phone to his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on the weekend, on subjects that included Iraq. A senior US state department official confirmed that the Iraq situation had been discussed on the sidelines at Vienna. “We are open to engaging the Iranians, just as we are engaging other regional players on the threat posed by ISIS in Iraq,’ the official said after a brief meeting. Yesterday, William Hague announced that the U.K. will reopen its embassy in Tehran, which had been closed since a pro-regime mob looted the premises almost three years ago. (Telegraph, June 16, 2014)
IRAN OFFERS IRAQ ‘EVERYTHING IT NEEDS’ TO FIGHT ISIS (Tehran) —As President Obama weighs whether to re-enter the Iraq war, the country’s neighbor, Iran, is looking to step into the void. U.S. and senior Iraqi officials claim that Iran is now offering the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki its army, its spies and highly trained irregular units from its revolutionary guard corps to root out the Sunni insurgency that now threatens Baghdad. Gen. Qassem Solaimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, arrived in Baghdad last week with an entourage of military advisers to begin preparations for such a counter-offensive. (Daily Beast, June 16, 2014)
CANADIAN OFFICIALS EYEING IRAN OVER POSSIBLE TERROR ATTACKS ON OTTAWA (Ottawa) —Noting Iran’s rising “anti-Canada rhetoric,” intelligence officials have been monitoring the Islamic republic as a potential terrorist threat to the Ottawa area, newly declassified documents show. While the diplomatic falling out between Ottawa and Tehran is well-known, the intelligence reports are the first indication the Canadian government is tracking the possibility it could lead to terrorism in the capital. The reports, written by the Integrated Terrorist Assessment Centre, do not specify the exact nature of the threat Tehran may pose to the Ottawa region but in the past Iran has used its proxy force, Hezbollah, to attempt attacks internationally. The documents also note the Iran connection to last year’s alleged plot to derail a Toronto-bound passenger train. The RCMP says the conspiracy was directed by al-Qaida figures operating out of Iran. (National Post, June 17, 2014)
U.S. CAPTURES SUSPECTED LEADER IN 2012 BENGHAZI ATTACK (Washington) — One of the suspected ringleaders of the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya — who taunted the United States for months while hiding in plain sight — was captured in a weekend raid by US special forces. Elite troops working with the FBI nabbed Ahmed Abu Khattalah on Sunday on the outskirts of Benghazi following months of planning. His whereabouts, however, were hardly a secret. As recently as six months ago, Abu Khattalah was granting interviews — and daring the United States to come and get him. Abu Khattalah’s the first person to be charged in the fiery attack on a US consulate in Libya in which US Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed. The building was torched by a mob armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. Three other Americans were slain in that attack and a second assault on a CIA facility in the city. (New York Post, June 17, 2014)
PAKISTAN OPERATION TARGETS WAZIRISTAN MILITANTS (Islamabad) —Pakistan said it launched a major ground offensive on Sunday to clear out the Pakistani Taliban and other local and foreign militants from the North Waziristan tribal area. The news followed predawn airstrikes by Pakistan that the military said killed 105 militants in the northwestern tribal areas. Washington has pressed Islamabad for years to clear out North Waziristan, a sanctuary for Pakistani militants, Afghan insurgents and al Qaeda operatives. Militants based there claimed responsibility for the June 8 attack on Karachi's Jinnah International Airport that left at least 35 dead. North Waziristan, along the border with Afghanistan, is the only one of Pakistan's seven tribal areas that is still largely under militant control. (Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2014)
AL-SHABAAB CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR KENYA ATTACK THAT KILLED 48 (Mombasa) —The Islamist terror group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for a brutal, religiously-motivated attack in Kenya that killed 48 people Sunday night. A Kenyan police official said Monday that gunmen targeted two hotels, a bank and a police station in Mpeketoni, a coastal resort town 60 miles from the Somali border and popular with Western tourists. Al-Shabaab — Somali terrorists linked to Al Qaeda — admitted to carrying out the coordinated assault, with little resistance from Kenya's security forces. Like the gunmen who attacked Nairobi's Westgate Mall last year, the Mpeketoni attackers gave life-or-death religious assessment, a witness said, killing those who were not Muslim. "They came to our house at around 8 p.m. and asked us in Swahili whether we were Muslims. My husband told them we were Christians and they shot him in the head and chest," said Anne Gathigi. (Fox News, June 16, 2014)
BOKO HARAM BOMB WORLD CUP VIEWING VENUE IN NIGERIA (Damaturu) —A suicide bomber detonated a tricycle taxi packed with explosives at an outdoor World Cup viewing center in a northeast Nigerian city Tuesday night, leaving at least 13 people killed. Hospital workers said the death likely will rise with 15 people critically wounded and casualties still coming in to the main hospital at Damaturu, capital of Yobe state. There was no immediate claim for the blast, however, witnesses were blaming Islamist fighters from Boko Haram who have targeted football viewing centers and sports bars in the past. Two explosions in recent weeks killed at least 40 people in two northern cities. (Ha’aretz, June 18, 2014)
ANTWERP MUSLIMS THROW ROCKS AT JEWISH SCHOOL BUS (Antwerp) —A Jewish school bus in Antwerp, Belgium had rocks thrown at it by Muslim teens on Sunday, reported Orthodox Jewish media. The teens surrounded the bus, which was carrying kindergarten students from the Antwerp Hayder school and proceeded to throw stones. Nobody was injured in the attack. Police are investigating the incident but no arrests have been made so far. (Jerusalem Post, June 17, 2014)
HOLOCAUST DENIER KEEGSTRA DEAD AT 80 (Red Deer) — Jim Keegstra, who has died aged 80, was a Holocaust denying high school teacher, mechanic, and mayor of Eckville, Alta., whose prosecution for the wilful promotion of hatred went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, where the controversial law was upheld as a fair limit on free speech. Fixated on the anti-Semitic forgery the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, Mr. Keegstra denigrated Jews to his students in the 1980s. His case was part of a landmark trio of hate crime cases the Supreme Court of Canada decided in 1990, in each case upholding the law being challenged. Mr. Keegstra’s case, along with the Ontario case of Don Andrews and Robert Smith, ended with a split 4-3 ruling against him. (National Post, June 13, 2014)
MET CANCELS SIMULCAST OF ANTI-ISRAEL OPERA, PROCEEDS WITH LIVE SHOWINGS (New York)—New York’s Metropolitan Opera canceled an HD transmission of the anti-Israel opera “The Death of Klinghoffer” following widespread outreach efforts, but eight live performances of the opera will proceed as scheduled this fall. The opera, about the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship and Palestinian terrorists’ murder of one of its Jewish passengers, has been heavily criticized for its sanitization of Palestinian terrorism and invoking of anti-Semitic canards. Myron Kaplan, an opera expert and a senior research analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), was the first commentator to publicly criticize the Met’s planned Nov. 15 simulcast of the anti-Israel opera. In an open letter to Met General Manager Peter Gelb, Kaplan wrote that the HD transmission would give “wide international distribution to what is, at its heart, an anti-Jewish slander.” (JNS, June 18, 2014)
FORMER LAVAL UNIVERSITY IMAM CONDEMNS WORLD CUP AS PART OF JEWISH PLAN OF WORLD DOMINATION (Montreal) —On June 10, the Islamist preacher Hamza Chaoui published a text on his Facebook page condemning the World Cup. The Journal de Montréal reported that Chaoui described soccer as a “scourge” because of “the display of body parts that should be covered and the presence of almost naked players at the end of the game.” Chaoui also presented the soccer championship as a stratagem conceived to distract non-Jews from a Jewish plan of world domination. He quoted from a French version of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion to justify his position: [Translated] “In order to prevent non-Jewish people from finding out about our new plans and strategies, we will entertain them with many types of games, we will advertise them in newspapers and will invite them to attend the matches. This way, these new pleasures will divert their attention away from the areas of conflicts.” (Point de Bascule, June 13, 2014)
Mohammad Zoabi’s Strong Message About The Kidnappings (Video): Israeli Cool, June 14, 2014 —In response to the recent kidnapping of 3 Jewish Israeli teens by a terrorist group, Mohammad Zoabi gives his strong message to the terrorists and to Bibi Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel…his message is in English, Hebrew and Arabic.
Palestinians and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Alan Baker, Jerusalem Post, June 16, 2014 —This tragic situation should serve as a wake-up call to us to stop burying our heads in the sand.
How the West Facilitates Hamas's Mission: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, June 17, 2014—The reconciliation agreement that was signed between rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas in April, and the subsequent formation of a unity government, was supposed to put an end to their dispute, which erupted after Hamas won the January 2006 parliamentary election.
Second Front Opens in the Sunni-Shia War: Jonathan Spyer, Middle East Forum, June 15, 2014 —The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) organization swept into the city of Mosul in western Iraq last week. No one has any right to be surprised.
The Pace of Obama's Disasters: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2014—Was it only 10 months ago that President Obama capitulated on Syria?
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