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Ya’alon: Every Iranian Embassy in the World is a Base For Terrorism: Jerusalem Post, Dec. 9, 2013
On the “Israel is an Apartheid State” Slander: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Dec. 2, 2013
A Good Deal For the Bedouin, And For Israel: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 5, 2013
“It's…critical that the final deal with Iran prevent [establishment of nuclear weapons] from happening. Here's what this means: no enrichment, no centrifuges, no heavy water reactor, no weapons program, no ballistic missiles and a change in Iran's policies – no genocide against Israel, no terrorist support, no undermining of regimes in the Middle East…this is what the next negotiation must establish,” — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking on Monday with visiting Guatemalan President Otto Fernando Perez Molina. (Arutz Sheva, Dec. 10, 2013)
"We’re at a crossroads." — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry added "We’re at one of those, really, hinge points in history. One path could lead to an enduring resolution in international community’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. The other path could lead to continued hostility and potentially to conflict. And I don’t have to tell you that these are high stakes." Kerry said that the administration has not confidently determined whether the Iranian regime has changed its "nuclear calculus," away from a drive toward weaponized uranium. As a senator before leading the State Department, Kerry had a personal hand in crafting sanctions legislation with his former colleagues on Capitol Hill. "This is something that I think you ought to take great pride in," he said. "I voted for these sanctions, like we all did in the United States Senate. I think we were 100 to nothing as a matter of fact. And we put them in place for a purpose. The purpose was to get to this negotiation," he continued. "The purpose was to see whether or not diplomacy and avoidance of war could actually deliver the same thing or better than you might be able to get through confrontation." (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 11, 2013)
“The sanctions have proven effective because we dropped them… the thought that the Iranian people, its leaders, or even moderates inside the country will succumb to increased pressure does not reflect a true understanding of what is happening in [Iran]. Iranians must be allowed to take the path that provides them an honorable solution.” — U.S. President Barack Obama addressing the citizens of Israel directly on Saturday. His statement was aimed at rebutting Netanyahu’s long-held assertion that tough sanctions will cause the Iranian regime to halt its development of a nuclear program. (Algemeiner, Dec. 7, 2013)
“You do not need to reassure us…you need to listen to us, because we know Iran well.” —Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad al-Khalifa, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, referring to recent diplomatic overtures made by the U.S. towards Iran. Sheikh Khalid said the Gulf states were keen that any deal with Iran should not be confined to the nuclear weapons issue alone, but must also address other issues such as Tehran’s continued involvement in state-sponsored terrorism, including its support for terrorist groups like Hezbollah. (Telegraph, Dec. 8, 2013)
"The entire deal is dead." — Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who said the Iranian nuclear deal would be dead if the US Congress imposes new sanctions, even if they do not take effect for six months. "We do not like to negotiate under duress," Zarif added. "If Congress adopts sanctions, it shows lack of seriousness and lack of a desire to achieve a resolution on the part of the United States.” Zarif's comments had little effect on US Senators who are preparing legislation to impose new sanctions on Iran in six months if the deal reached in Geneva goes nowhere. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 9, 2013)
“What this comes down to is the perception that if we kept churning up the pressure, new sanctions, more sanctions, more military threats, etc., that eventually Iran would cave.” —President Obama, who sharply criticized as not viable several Israeli government postures on talks with Iran. Obama took aim at claims by Prime Minister Netanyahu that increased pressure during the interim talks between Iran and world powers would extract greater concessions from Iran. “Wherever we see the impulses of a people to move away from conflict and violence and toward a diplomatic resolution of conflict, we should be ready to engage them,” he said. “We have to not constantly assume that it’s not possible for Iran like any country to change over time.” (Canadian Jewish News, Dec. 9, 2013)
“The administration could prove right and the possibility of a diplomatic outcome could be lost.” — Dennis B. Ross, who worked on Iranian issues during Obama’s first term. “That said, the Iranians could hope that by looking reasonable, they can get the sanctions to fall of their own weight.” With Iran threatening that any new sanctions would scuttle its interim nuclear deal with the West, the Obama administration is fighting a fierce battle to convince skeptical Senate Democrats not to pass any new measures against Tehran. (New York Times, Dec. 10, 2013)
“On Saturday, President Obama said he could envision a final agreement that would let Iran enrich nuclear material for power production with enough restrictions and oversight to assure the United States, Israel and the rest of the world that it could not produce a nuclear weapon. But he said there was no guarantee that such a deal would emerge.” — Thomas Erdbrink wrote in a New York Times article. Iran has continued to claim the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes; the Geneva agreement did not limit its ability to enrich uranium to low levels suitable for producing electricity. On Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told students in Tehran that Iran’s uranium enrichment centrifuges “would never stop spinning.” But in an apparent reference to the lifting of international sanctions, which have severely damaged Iran’s economy, he added that the “people’s economic lives should also continue to spin.” (New York Times, Dec. 8, 2013)
“My delegation has just voted in favor of this report, however, we would like to reiterate my government’s position that our support for this document should in no way be considered as the recognition of the Israeli regime,” — Iran’s representative at the United Nations General Assembly, who met to approve the credentials of member states on Thursday, Dec 5. Iran took the floor to announce its refusal to recognize the State of Israel. (Algemeiner, Dec. 7, 2013)
“The ink is barely dry on the interim nuclear agreement signed in Geneva and Iran has already shown its true colors,” — Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, reacting to Iran’s announcement at the UN General Assembly that it refuses to recognize the State of Israel. Prosor added: “This is a regime that crosses red lines, produces yellow cake, and beats its citizens black and blue.” (Algemeiner, Dec. 7, 2013)
“I think now [the Israelis] have really a license to act without having to be scolded for not having consulted the U.S. for their plans” — Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and 2008 Presidential candidate, commenting on the possibility of Israeli retaliation if Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons. The U.S. “has indicated that they are going to act independently of Israel as it relates to Iran,” Huckabee said, calling that a “very foolish policy.” Huckabee also questioned why anyone committed to the safety and security of the future of Israel “would be supportive of the policies of Barack Obama, which you can call the most frighteningly non-supportive [U.S.] policies on the state of Israel since its inception.” “I can’t imagine that somebody could look at those policies and say, ‘Boy, [Obama has] really got the Israelis’ back’—because he doesn’t.” (Algemeiner, Dec. 9, 2013)
“We are closer than we have been in years to bringing about the peace and prosperity and security” — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday as he wrapped up his eighth visit to the region as secretary of state. He also likened the effort to bring peace to the Middle East to the late Nelson Mandela’s long struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. Kerry added that “we will approach this final negotiation with an absolute view about Israel’s security,” as well as the safety of the wider Middle East, he said as he prepared to fly to Washington after two days of talks in Israel and the West Bank. (Washington Post, Dec. 6, 2013)
"Our best efforts to reach Palestinian-Israeli peace will come to nothing if Iran succeeds in building atomic bombs…a nuclear armed Iran would give even greater backing to the radical and terrorist elements in the region. It would undermine the chances of arriving at a negotiated peace." — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning that a nuclear Iran would jeopardize the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 9, 2013)
“The first question all Israeli media ask every released prisoner is: ‘Do you regret what you did or not?…I say to the Israelis: There is no Palestinian who did something for the homeland and his nation who will regret it. We don’t regret what we did and we will not regret what we did.” — Asrar Samrin, who was sentenced for the murder of Israeli Tzvi Klein in December 1991. Samrin, a Palestinian Authority terrorist who was serving a life sentence until Israel freed him for the privilege of resuming “peace talks,” has said he and other released prisoners have no regrets for killing because they acted “for the homeland.” Under direct pressure by the Obama administration, Israel recently released 52 of 104 imprisoned terrorists to accommodate the Palestinian Authority’s precondition to return to talks that had been frozen for three years. (Jewish Press, Dec. 8, 2013)
"For an artist to go and play in a country that occupies other people’s land and oppresses them the way Israel does, is plain wrong. They should say no. I would not have played for the Vichy government in occupied France in the Second World War, I would not have played in Berlin either during this time," — Roger Waters, co-founder of British rock group Pink Floyd. Waters compared artists playing concerts in Israel to those who performed in Nazi Germany. "Many people did, back in the day. There were many people that pretended that the oppression of the Jews was not going on. From 1933 until 1946. So this is not a new scenario. Except that this time it’s the Palestinian People being murdered." (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 9, 2013)
"The complication in South Africa's relations with Israel, in the context of Palestine, is derived from the fact that we see the struggle of Palestine as similar to that of ours against apartheid" — Solly Tshivhula, a South African diplomat in Ramallah, who said his country's relations with Israel are shaped by South Africa's empathy for the Palestinians. Relations between Israel and South Africa were cool during long years of deadlock in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. (Associated Press, Dec. 8, 2013)
“Many African American/Caribbean residents expressed a genuine concern that as the Jewish community continues to grow, they would be pushed out by their Jewish landlords or by Jewish families looking to purchase homes…I respect and appreciate the Jewish community’s family values and unity that has led to strong political, economic and cultural gains… While I personally regard this level of tenacity, I also recognize that for others, the accomplishments of the Jewish community triggers feelings of resentment, and a sense that Jewish success is not also their success.” — Laurie Cumbo, the councilwoman-elect for the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights, commenting in an open letter posted to her Facebook page. Cumbo is an ally of New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio. (Daily Caller, Dec . 2013)
“I don’t give a shit about asylum seekers, but the journalists are at fault. They should be hanged; they are like the Jews,” — Karl Simlinger, a mayor in Austria, resigned after he was quoted Tuesday night during a town hall meeting. (Ha’aretz, Dec. 8, 2013)
IRAN AND POWERS START IMPLEMENTING NUCLEAR DEAL — (Vienna) Iran and six world powers began expert-level talks on Monday to work out details in implementing a landmark accord for Tehran to curb its disputed nuclear program in return for a limited easing of sanctions. The preliminary accord is seen as a first step towards resolving a decade-old standoff over suspicions Iran might be covertly pursuing a nuclear weapons "breakout" capability, a perception that has raised the risk of a wider Middle East war. Officials from Iran and the P5+1 met at the Vienna headquarters of the U.N. nuclear agency, which will play a central role in verifying that Tehran carries out its part of the interim deal. The outcome of the meeting is expected to determine when Iran stops its most sensitive nuclear activity and when it gets the respite in sanctions that it has been promised in return. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 9, 2013)
KERRY TO URGE CONGRESS TO HALT SANCTIONS BILL, AS IRAN THREATENS 'DEAD' DEAL — (Washington) Secretary of State John Kerry is under pressure to convince Congress to hold off on new sanctions legislation against Iran, as he prepares to testify Tuesday amid a renewed effort in the Senate to turn the screws on Tehran. A bipartisan group of senators is preparing to propose new sanctions against Iran. News reports on the bill prompted that country's foreign minister to warn such a step would kill the nuclear deal negotiated last month aimed at curbing Tehran's uranium enrichment program. The Obama administration is adamantly opposed to new legislation at this stage, and Kerry will likely try to persuade lawmakers to hold off, when he testifies Tuesday afternoon before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. (Fox News, Dec. 10, 2013)
GULF NATIONS TO CREATE JOINT MILITARY COMMAND — (Dubai) Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab neighbors wrapped up a summit meeting in Kuwait on Wednesday by agreeing to establish a joint military command, paving the way for tighter security coordination even as their regional rival Iran pursues outreach efforts in the wake of its interim nuclear deal. Many in the Gulf remain wary of Tehran’s intentions. Saudi Arabia in particular sees a stronger Iran as a threat to its own influence, and it and other Gulf states are major backers of the rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose government is backed by Iran. (Washington Post, Dec. 11, 2013)
98 DEAD IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC AFTER CLASHES — (Bangui) Fighting came to the capital of Central African Republic on Thursday, leaving dozens of casualties and posing the biggest threat yet to the country's new government just as the U.N. Security Council authorized an intervention force to prevent a bloodbath between Christians and Muslims. The authorization is expected to lead to an increase in troops for an African Union-led force and the French. Witnesses and aid workers say at least 98 people are dead in Bangui after a day of clashes between the Muslim armed fighters who rule the country and a Christian militia who opposes them. (National Post, Dec. 6, 2013)
CLASHES IN WAKE OF YEMEN MASSACRE — (Aden) Yemeni security forces launched a sweep in the capital to find the perpetrators of a deadly attack on the country’s Defence Ministry, sparking clashes that left five suspected militants and one member of the special forces dead, officials said Friday. The brazen Thursday attack claimed by Al Qaeda’s local branch in Yemen killed 52 people including at least seven foreigners, and underscored the ability of insurgents to take advantage of the country’s instability and tenuous security — even at the headquarters of its military. Al Qaeda gained a major foothold in Yemen’s south amid the chaos that followed the 2011 uprising that ousted longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh. (Toronto Star, Dec. 7, 2013)
FRENCH FORCES KILL SUSPECTED ISLAMISTS IN MALI — (Timbuktu) The French army has confirmed that it killed 19 people in a clash with suspected Islamists in Mali. A spokesman for the operation said the dead men had been buried in the desert after a gun battle north of Timbuktu. He added that there had been no French casualties. France still has up to 3,000 soldiers in Mali, after intervening in January to oust Islamist and secessionist rebels who had occupied the north of the country. The United Nations Minusma force has also deployed more than 6,000 soldiers and police in the country. Despite some success, pockets of al Qaeda-linked fighters still remain. (BBC, Dec. 11, 2013)
TRIAL BEGINS FOR "SOLDIERS OF ALLAH" ACCUSED OF MURDERING BRITISH SOLDIER — (London) The trial of two radical Muslims accused of the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby has begun at the Old Bailey court in central London. Islamists Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, are each accused of attacking the 25-year-old Rigby by running him over from behind with a car and then attempting to decapitate his motionless body with a meat cleaver and kitchen knives. The killing of Rigby outside the Woolwich Barracks in southeast London on May 22, 2013 shocked the country and has drawn nationwide attention to the rise of radical Islam in Britain. (Gatestone Institute, Dec. 9, 2013)
TURKS DETAINED AT AUSCHWITZ FOR ALLEGED NAZI SALUTE — (Krakow) Two Turkish tourists were detained by guards at the Auschwitz museum for appearing to make a Nazi salute. The tourists, a man and a woman, both 22, were taking pictures of each other in front of the gate to the former Nazi death camp under the iconic sign “Arbeit macht frei” — “Work makes you free” — and raised their right hands in the gesture of a Nazi salute. “They probably will be accused of public promotion of Nazi symbols,” which is illegal in Poland, police spokesman Mariusz Ciarka told the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper. If found guilty of the charge, they could be facing two years in prison. (Times of Israel, Dec. 8, 2013)
UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA’S ISRAELI BOYCOTT CAMPAIGN AN “ASSAULT ON THE JEWISH PEOPLE”— (Toronto) The United Church of Canada’s newest Israeli boycott campaign, this one targeted at consumer items manufactured in the West Bank, was condemned this week by the Toronto-based Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center. “The echoes of the past history of Church-sanctioned antisemitism continue to grow stronger,” said Avi Benlolo, president of the Centre, in a Tuesday statement that also accused the 500,000-strong church of giving “tacit support for the hatred and terror” against the Jewish state. The boycott in question, Unsettling Goods, urges church members to avoid a laundry list of consumer products, from plastic sheds to skin creams to carbonation devices, that are manufactured by Israeli companies with operations on land occupied since the 1967 Six Day War. (National Post, Dec. 5, 2013)
MKS LEARN BEDOUIN DID NOT SEE, AGREE TO RESETTLEMENT PLAN, THREATENING BILL'S PASSAGE — (Tel Aviv) Major disagreements over the proposed Prawer-Begin Bedouin resettlement plan raised more doubts from Knesset members, threatening the bill’s passage and indicating that changes would be sought. The controversial bill, meant to regulate Bedouin settlement in the Negev, was debated again in the Knesset Interior Committee on Monday. Former minister Bennie Begin, who helped put together the plan and is guiding the legislation through the Knesset, said that the Bedouin never agreed to his plan nor ever saw it. The agreement listed which Bedouin towns would be expanded, which new ones would be founded for Bedouin and for Jews and what land would be given to Bedouin demanding ownership. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 10, 2013)
TWO ISRAELIS AWARDED NOBEL PRIZE IN SWEDEN — (Stockholm) Two Israeli-American researchers received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Tuesday. Israeli-born Prof. Arieh Warshel, who now lives in California, and South African-born Prof. Michael Levitt, who settled in Israel and also lives in the US, shared the $1.25 million with Austrian-born Prof. Martin Karplus, who fled to the U.S. before the Holocaust. The scientists received praise from the Nobel Prize selection committee for their “development of multi-scale models for complex chemical systems.” (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 11, 2013)
ISRAEL, JORDAN, PALESTINIANS TO SIGN WATER AGREEMENT — (Tel Aviv) Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority signed a water-supply agreement to slake rising cross-border demand, a rare step toward economic integration despite persistent political rancor holding up progress on a Middle East peace accord. The deal reached Monday also aims to slow the steady drop in the Dead Sea water level through a pipeline that will be built from the Red Sea. It is one of the few regional cooperation projects surviving from the heyday of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in the 1990s, when many envisioned a Middle East remade by economic interdependence. "It is no less than a historic agreement," Israeli Water and Energy Minister Silvan Shalom told Israel Army radio. (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 9, 2013)
MONTHLY SUMMARY OF TERRORIST ATTACKS IN ISRAEL FOR NOVEMBER, 2013 —November saw an increase in the number of terror attacks in Israel: 167 attacks as opposed to 136 in October. The main increase is noted in Judea and Samaria with 107 attacks as opposed to 99 in October; as well as an increase in Jerusalem with 53 attacks as opposed to 32 in October. The Gaza Strip kept a similar number of attacks as in October with five attacks. (Israel Security Agency, Nov. 2013)
Ya’alon: Every Iranian Embassy in the World is a Base For Terrorism: Jerusalem Post, Dec. 9, 2013 — Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon warned Monday that every Iranian embassy throughout the world also serves as a base for gathering intelligence and planning terror activities.
On the “Israel is an Apartheid State” Slander: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Dec. 2, 2013 — Interview with Ambassador (ret.) Prof. Robbie Sabel: "To better understand the fraud of those who call Israel an Apartheid state, one can enumerate the key characteristics of the South African regime."
A Good Deal For the Bedouin, And For Israel: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 5, 2013) — The government of Israel plans to invest more than NIS 10 billion over the next 10 years in upgrading Bedouin communities in the Negev, including reasonable settlements of Bedouin land claims. So what could be wrong with that?
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