Saturday, November 30, 2013

US freed top Iranian nuke scientist as part of secret talks ahead of Geneva deal

Jihad Watch


Mojtaba Atarodi "had been arrested in 2011 for attempting to acquire equipment that could be used for Iran’s military-nuclear programs." What could possibly go wrong?

"‘US freed top Iranian scientist as part of secret talks ahead of Geneva deal,’" by Mitch Ginsburg for the Times of Israel, November 29:
The secret back channel of negotiations between Iran and the United States, which led to this month’s interim deal in Geneva on Iran’s rogue nuclear program, has also seen a series of prisoner releases by both sides, which have played a central role in bridging the distance between the two nations, the Times of Israel has been told. In the most dramatic of those releases, the US in April released a top Iranian scientist, Mojtaba Atarodi, who had been arrested in 2011 for attempting to acquire equipment that could be used for Iran’s military-nuclear programs.
American and Iranian officials have been meeting secretly in Oman on and off for years, according to a respected Israeli intelligence analyst, Ronen Solomon.

The Geneva deal: A true test of leadership for Netanyahu and Obama

Demonstration of power versus diplomacy; international criticism versus positive public opinion; pressure versus opportunity. The Geneva deal may shape the image of both leaders and determine their legacy.

PM Netanyahu and US President Obama tour a technology expo at the Israel Museum, March 21, 2013.
PM Netanyahu and US President Obama tour a technology expo at the Israel Museum, March 21, 2013. Photo: REUTERS/Jason Reed
In the final analysis, the argument is about the player: Can you play with him, recruit him, change him and create a new team, or do you need to isolate him, pressure him, break him and never forget that he belongs to the opposing team. The player is Iran. More accurately, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The argument is between US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

This is a deep, substantial and fundamental argument, and it defines the test of leadership for these two players, each in his own country, each facing the international community. This is a test that may end in the upcoming spring, or sooner, in the winter, in a regional war.

This test will, to a large extent, shape each of the leaders' legacy: In Obama's case, it will determine what kind of a president he will be remembered as, and whether the Nobel Peace Prize he received was an absurd joke and a mark of shame upon the judges' foreheads, or a brilliant leadership move of European diplomats that were able to shape the Middle East. In Netanyahu's case, this test will determine whether he can get re-elected as prime minister, and whether he is a leader with historical vision, as he and his advisers are convinced he is, or whether he is a hysterical politician, as his opponents claim.

Israel’s Kobayashi Maru

Steve Deace | Nov 30, 2013
We are now begging Israel to preemptively go to war with Iran and start a conflict that could turn the Middle East from a powder keg into a mushroom cloud.
And it’s not necessarily because the Iranian nuclear arms deal recently orchestrated by Secretary of State John Kerry (say that without shuddering) in Geneva is a bad deal, although there’s evidence it is. For example, The Wall  Street Journal concluded this agreement “takes Iran a giant step closer to becoming a de facto nuclear power.” Furthermore, if you pay taxes and you’re reading this you’re going to essentially pay Iran a $7 billion bribe to build nuclear weapons. So now we’re working for the Ayatollahs, too, praise Allah! 
On the other hand, is it even possible to cut a good deal with a despotic regime? History is not exactly replete with examples of despots and tyrants keeping their word.

And that’s the point here.

Syrian school: Muslims must slaughter infidels, "Islam elevates the Muslims and humiliates the infidels"

Jihad Watch

Click here to view clip on MEMRI

Only greasy Islamophobes would believe that these statements have anything to do with Islam, but it would be refreshing for some Muslim spokesman in the West who insists that Islam doesn't call for any of this hatred and slaughter to explain on Islamic grounds how this al-Qaeda operative is getting Islam all wrong. But that is one thing we never, ever see.
"Al-Qaeda in Syrian School: Infidels Must Be Slaughtered; Obama, World Leaders Are Infidels," from MEMRI, n.d.:
Following are excerpts from a video featuring an ISIS operative at a Syrian school, which was posted on the Internet on November 26, 2013: Al-Qaeda operative: The mujahideen are coming here, to Syria. They come from Egypt, from Chechnya, from Morocco, from the U.S., from Belgium, from China, from Russia, from Cameroon... Who unites them?
School children: Allah.
Al-Qaeda operative: Why did they gather here?
School children: For the sake of Islam.

Opinion: Israel can’t really conquer Damascus in hours

Saturday, 30 Nov, 2013

When Israeli Prime Minister left the Mossad facility in Tel Aviv after he spent half a day there listening to analysis of the situation in the region, the people accompanying him spoke to the media about their impressions that the Syrian arena is in a state of collapse. They emphasized that they hold this position because many of the Assad regime’s soldiers had fled and are in a very bad situation. They said that if Israel wanted to occupy Damascus now it would only need a few hours; before the revolution, they had estimated that it would take them several days.

I believe that it will not be that easy to occupy the Syrian capital. It’s not that Damascus was weaker under the rule of Bashar Al-Assad or his father, or that it is still as strong as before, but it will be very difficult for anyone to enter Damascus because the occupation of the Syrian capital today is more costly than ever. Before, there was an established order that had handled the ties between Tel Aviv, Damascus and their neighbors, such as Lebanon.

2013 U.S. Hate Crimes Report: Jews still attacked 5x more than Muslims

Jewophobia 674 – Islamophobia 130. And that’s with the lying, ambulance-chasing Muslim mafia reporting to the FBI anyone who sneezes near a Muslim. 
via The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Hate crimes in the United States decreased in 2012, data released Monday by the FBI shows.

The annual report, compiled through voluntary reporting from law enforcement agencies, further shows that crimes targeting Muslims remains flat and relatively uncommon. This contradicts claims by Islamist groups that hate crimes against Muslims are spiking, fueled in part by what the groups call an organized effort by groups pushing “Islamophobia.”

In bias crimes involving religion, Jews were targeted in 674 incidents – 62 percent of all religiously-motivated crimes. That’s five times more than Muslim Americans, who were targeted in 130 incidents – or fewer than 12 percent of all religiously-motivated crimes. Estimates vary, but there are roughly twice as many Jews in the United States as Muslims.

COP: The Problem of Selfishness

Political self-interest is no less selfish than economic self-interest.

Surrender in Geneva

Iran got everything it wanted.

Israel, the Pilgrims and the Maccabees

These two festivals that have rarely if ever been celebrated at the same time are similar in key respects.

Maccabee Cartoon
Maccabee Cartoon Photo: Avi Katz
Back in October 2001 then prime minister, Ariel Sharon, raised the hackles of the White House when he warned the United States, “Do not try to appease the Arabs at our expense. We cannot accept this.” Sharon then invoked the 1938 Munich Pact. As he put it, “Don’t repeat the terrible mistakes of 1938, when the enlightened democracies in Europe decided to sacrifice Czechoslovakia for a comfortable, temporary solution.”

Israel, he said, “will not be Czechoslovakia.”

Sharon was sharply rebuked not only by the White House, but by leading American supporters of Israel. They attacked him for daring to make the comparison. In time, with the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, Sharon’s warning was largely forgotten.

The question of whether George W. Bush sought to appease the Arabs and Iran at Israel’s expense is an open one. Strong arguments can be made on both sides of the issue. On the one hand, Bush took the fight to terror supporting regimes.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [file photo] UN's Ban to Israel: Stop building settlements in W. Bank, e. Jerusalem


Secretary General also condemns rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel; warns of "dangerous tensions" between Israel, PA.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [file photo]
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [file photo] Photo: Ki Price / Reuters
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a message on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People called on Israel to stop building in the settlements saying that the surge in Israeli building was a "cause of grave concern."

"Announcements of thousands of new housing units cannot be reconciled with the goal of a two-state solution and risk the collapse of negotiations," AFP quoted him as saying.

Ban called for an end to all new settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem but he also condemned rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel and the building of tunnels from the coastal strip into Israel by militants, according to the report.
The Secretary General warned of "increasingly dangerous" tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority which could threaten peace talks, AFP reported.

Analysis The road to Tehran


After the Geneva agreement, is the US changing sides in the regional conflict between Iran and its enemies?

Tehran. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A report by respected Washington- based journalist Hussein Abdul Hussein in the Kuwaiti Al-Rai newspaper this week revealed details of an indirect US channel with Hezbollah.

The report comes, of course, close on the heels of the interim agreement concluded in Geneva between the P5 + 1 world powers and Iran, allowing the latter to continue to enrich uranium.
News items are also surfacing suggesting a stark split between the US and Saudi Arabia over regional policy in general, and policy toward Syria in particular. Saudi officials are going on the record expressing their alarm at the direction of American policy.

Happily stirring the pot, some Iran-associated outlets have suggested that Washington is actively seeking to rein in Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who favors a hardline against Iranian interference in the region.

Bad tidings of sea and air space challenges


“History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.” — Ronald Reagan

It made the most news when China did it a few days ago.  But it’s been building for a while, and it’s not just off China.  As the holidays settle in on us, probes of other nations’ sea and air space are in the air.  Is war coming tomorrow?  No.  But whether it comes after tomorrow will depend on more than gestures from that shapeless blob of geopolitical potential that we may now, in a post-superpower world, call the “status quo powers.”  It will depend on the outcomes the status quo powers can secure.

The China Challenge
Most readers will have heard of the challenge from China, which recently declared a new air defense identification zone (ADIZ) covering most of the East China Sea, and overlapping with the zones of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.  An ADIZ defines air space in which a nation will require aircraft to identify themselves, and may intercept and escort them with military fighters.

The Mucky Glory of a Free Press

Douglas Murray

A free press is messy — and when wrong, culpable — but it is also our best protection against despotism and one of the only tools we have in the West to root out corruption. Every other arm of state or civil society had failed to expose the problem, and it was down to the press to do so on behalf of everyone else.
Events continue to demonstrate the reason why a free press matters so much. Without it, plenty of people, often in positions of considerable power, can get away with absolutely anything. A free press is messy -- and when wrong, culpable -- but it is also one of the only tools we have in the West to stop our decline into a form of permanent, systemic corruption. Two very different recent cases should remind us of this fact.

Poll: Majority of Israelis Believe Settlements to be Legal

Algemeiner Staff

A strong majority of Israelis believe Jewish settlement in the West Bank to be legal under Israeli law, a new poll shows.
The survey, conducted by New Wave Research on behalf of Regavim, found that 60 percent of Israelis view the settlements to be legal, while only 16 percent consider them to be illegal. 24% were unsure.

When respondents were asked about the legality of settlements under international law, the results differed substantially. A slight majority of 36% said they were legal and 35% said they believed them to be illegal. 29% said they didn’t know.

The poll also measured how the public’s attitude towards settlements and settlers would be impacted if views regarding the legality of settlement activity were to change.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Manufacturing Intolerance

recBy now everyone knows that Dayna Morales, the lesbian waitress who claimed to have been denied a tip over her sexual orientation, was lying. It’s not the first politically correct receipt hoax and it won’t be the last.

Morales’ hoax is a blip in the larger pattern of faked hate crimes. Bigotry is the witch hunt of the modern Salem and progressive witch hunters are just as careless about facts and evidence. Now as then, the goal is to stamp out an attitude and a cultural threat, rather than to enforce the law, and that leads inevitably to the entire tawdry parade of hysterical denunciations and moral panic.

Why Isn’t the World More Thankful to Israel?


Israel is a world leader in humanitarian aid yet it is rarely recognized for this great quality.
LI_FeaturedImage_11282013_Flickr_11063038594_215da1efdc_z_Philippines The Israeli delegation has just returned from the Philippines after nearly two weeks of providing emergency care to the island nation’s survivors of Typhoon Haiyan. According to the Jerusalem Post the first baby delivered by the Israeli medical teams was named “Israel.”
In fact Israel – the IDF particularly – has been one of the world’s great first responders in recent years, helping countries across the globe deal with the results of man made and natural disasters. The IDF has a map on its blog, with links to many of its notable accomplishments.

View #IDFWithoutBorders in a larger map
Japan, 2011, Earthquake/Tsunami
According to the IDF:
The majority of the medical equipment taken to Japan by the IDF, including x-ray machinery and lab equipment, will remain in Japan in order to benefit the physicians and local authorities providing care to the community of Minamisanriku and its vicinity. …

The IDF Aid Delegation departed for the disaster-struck zone two weeks ago, and included a team of medical specialists from the Medical Corps, Home Front Command Search and Rescue experts, as well as logistics and communications personnel.
During their stay, IDF Medical Corps physicians treated 220 patients.

Poll: Majority of Israelis Believe Settlements to be Legal

In center is retired Israeli Supreme Court judge Edmond Levy, who is now in the news for heading the Commission to Examine the Status of Building in Judea and Samaria. Photo: Kobi Gideon/Flash90.

A strong majority of Israelis believe Jewish settlement in the West Bank to be legal under Israeli law, a new poll shows.
The survey, conducted by New Wave Research on behalf of Regavim, found that 60 percent of Israelis view the settlements to be legal, while only 16 percent consider them to be illegal. 24% were unsure.

When respondents were asked about the legality of settlements under international law, the results differed substantially. A slight majority of 36% said they were legal and 35% said they believed them to be illegal. 29% said they didn’t know.

The poll also measured how the public’s attitude towards settlements and settlers would be impacted if views regarding the legality of settlement activity were to change.

Egypt's Latest Fatwas from Salafis and Brotherhood

Raymond Ibrahim
Gatestone Institute

As the full ramification of the Muslim Brotherhood's year in power continues to be exposed, a new study by Al Azhar's Fatwa Committee dedicated to exploring the fatwas, or Islamic decrees, issued by the Brotherhood and Salafis -- the Islamists -- was recently published.
Al Azhar, in Cairo, is considered by many to be one of the oldest and most prestigious Islamic universities in the world. The study, written by Al Azhar's Dr. Sayed Zayed, and entitled (in translation), "The Misguided Fatwas of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis," reveals a great deal about how Islamists view women.
The Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm summarized some of the Al Azhar study's main findings and assertions on November 15 in a article entitled (in translation), "Muslim Brotherhood fatwas: A woman swimming is an 'adulteress' and touching bananas is 'forbidden.'"

Mutuality and Unity Equates Solutions

Nurit Greenger
Teachers or politicians are not the key to changes; the profound understanding of the issue that requires the change, a common sense approach to it, followed by the right action is.
Respect is a mega key to commonality.
Clear understanding of both sides of the issue's spectrum is a solid base to bring about a resolution.
Feeling the pain and the happiness and the fear of the other side brings the sides closer.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Obama Who Stole Thanksgiving

thanksgiving_dinner_1280x1024Progressives have already tried to ruin Thanksgiving by condemning it as a genocidal holiday commemorating European colonialism or by giving snippy little speeches about consumerism.

But they didn’t have a way to actually get into living rooms to ruin the holiday until now.

Not content that the price of a whole frozen turkey went up 37% under his economic policies, Obama decided to completely ruin Thanksgiving dinner by turning it into an angry debate about ObamaCare.

If you were hoping to eat your turkey in peace; forget about it. Michelle Obama not only wants to control your menu; she also wants to control the topic of your family dinner conversation by exhorting your more impressionable relatives to sell you on her husband’s substandard ObamaCare junk plans.

The “Health Care for the Holidays” page on, promoted by his wife, urges his remaining devoted followers to “pledge” to push ObamaCare on family members and advises “integrating the talk into family time.”

No Agreement on Starting Date for Iran Deal

(AP-Washington Post)
    The UN will probably not begin expanded inspections under the Iranian nuclear deal until early next year, officials said Wednesday.
    Even then, they will be limited to sites the Iranians have confirmed and not those critics suspect may exist secretly.
    Officials involved in negotiating the Geneva deal say there is still no start date. They say the IAEA must verify that Iran is keeping its end of the deal before the clock starts ticking down on the agreement's six-month time frame and the start of sanctions relief.

The Light of Chanukah

Sultan Knish

A candle is a brief flare of light. A wick dipped in oil burns and then goes out again. The light of Chanukah appears to follow the same narrative. Briefly there is light and warmth and then darkness again.

Out of the exile of Babylon, the handful that returned to resettle and rebuild the land faced the might of new empires. The Jews who returned from the exile of one evil empire some twenty-six hundred years ago were forced to decide whether they would be a people with their own faith and history, or the colony of another empire, with its history and beliefs.

Jerusalem's wealthy elites threw in their lot with the empire and its ways. But out in the rural heartland where the old ways where still kept, a spark flared to life. Modi'in. Maccabee. And so war came between the handfuls of Jewish Maccabee partisans and the armies of Antiochus IV’s Selecuid empire. A war that had its echoes in the past and would have it again in the future as lightly armed and untrained armies of Jewish soldiers would go on to fight in those same hills and valleys against the Romans and eventually the armies of six Arab nations.

Turkey, Pumpkin Pie, and Religious Freedom

Religious freedom is as much a part of Thanksgiving as turkey and pumpkin pie. From 1621, when the Pilgrims arrived in the New World, to 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared it a federal holiday, thanking God and practicing religion were of paramount importance.

Nearly 400 years after that First Thanksgiving at the Plymouth Plantation, America finds itself confronted with a new challenge to religious freedom — one that should be a conversation at every dinner table across this great land.
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases from family businesses that are challenging Obamacare’s mandate requiring employers to provide health coverage of abortion-inducing drugs — even in violation of their moral or religious beliefs.

These cases are among the more than 80 lawsuits seeking to overturn the mandate for violating both the First Amendment and Religious Freedom and Restoration Act.

FBI stats again belie "Islamophobia" myth

Jihad Watch

Commentary is a wretched publication that generally marches in dhimmi lockstep with dreary predictability, retailing complacent half-truths and outright falsehoods about the jihad threat, but on the trumped-up propaganda term "Islamophobia" it breaks ranks here, as it has done before.
"FBI Stats Again Belie Islamophobia Myth," by Jonathan S. Tobin in Commentary, November 26:
When it comes to the question of America’s alleged Islamophobia, there is a consensus in the American media: American Muslims have been under siege since the 9/11 attacks.

What to talk about this Thanksgiving

Rockwell ThanksgivingI agree wholeheartedly with Libby Sternberg, Kevin Whiteman, Jim Geraghty, and others that it is creepy and fascist of leftist policy advocates to put out guides on how to discuss the specifics of programmatic and regulatory proposals with your nearest and dearest over the holiday weekend.*
I assume most of you out there don’t actually need instructions on what to talk about over Thanksgiving.  But what fun would it be to write a post on this topic and not offer some suggestions?  So here goes.

New breed of radical Islamists in West Bank worries Israel, PA


Extremist Salafi jihadists threaten to exploit a power vacuum in the territories.

A crowd waves Hamas flags during an Islamist's funeral
A crowd waves Hamas flags during an Islamist's funeral Photo: REUTERS
A day after special forces killed three members of a Palestinian Salafi-jihadi terrorist cell near Hebron, senior security sources said Wednesday that the extremist movement that drove the gunmen to act remains a marginal force, but one that could grow in scope and danger if it exploits a power vacuum in the West Bank.
The terror cell that was intercepted and found to be in possession of explosives and firearms on Tuesday night was planning a kidnapping attack on IDF soldiers, according to security sources.

The armed men, from the village of Yatta, also planned on attacking the Palestinian Authority, security sources said.

“Salafi jihadism is an idea, not an organization,” one source said. “According to this idea, everything that is a state but not ruled according to Islamic law is an infidel entity. For them, this holds true of the Palestinian Authority and Israel,” he said.

America as the Protector of Putin, Assad, and Khamenei

Shoshana Bryen

When protests broke out in Syria in late 2011, Russia hoped for a short, nasty war as a matter of Russian national interest -- just enough to put the Muslim Brotherhood and assorted Sunnis in their place.  Violence from its own Sunni Muslim population has plagued Russia for decades.  Saudi Arabia took over the defeated nationalist Chechen rebellion in the late 1990s, infusing it with money and Islamist overtones, prompting the second Chechen war.  More recently, there has been open fighting and rioting in Moscow between Muslims and Slavs. 

The Iran Deal and the Future of the Middle East

Abraham H. Miller

Critics of President Barack Obama's Middle East policy should begin with a new set of premises:  Obama is not stupid.  No one believes Iran will dismantle its nuclear program.

Of course, the Iran agreement will not work.  But that's the idea.  No one really expects it to work. 

In politics, when you can't control outcomes but you need to extricate yourself from the situation, you create charades, rituals, and symbolic victories totally absent of reality. 

In the Cuban Missile Crisis, we did not go eyeball to eyeball with the Russians and they blinked.  The Russians gave up Cuba, and we gave up Jupiter Bases in Greece and Turkey. Only in an American television series do the Russians blink.

Bearing Witness: Survivor Describes Nigerian Islamist Terror

Andrew E. Harrod
Special to IPT News

EU: Sure BDS us and don't make use of the following for your ailing citizens

Noninvasive Brain Surgery

Medical history was made at Rambam Health Care Campus last week when an Israeli essential-tremor patient successfully underwent targeted surgical ablation of deep-seated brain tissue through an intact skull, a radical therapy made possible by the marriage of MRI-guidance and ultrasound-ablation technologies.

It has been years since Mr. Sami Zangi, 73, of Jerusalem, could bring a cup of coffee to his lips, tie his shoelaces, or most frustrating of all for this hardware store owner, use the simplest tools. A week ago, when Mr. Zangi asked to communicate something in writing to his Rambam doctors, his hand shook so badly that he could only produce an illegible scrawl.

Mr. Zangi suffers from essential tremor, a slowly progressive movement disorder whose cause lies deep within the brain. Last week, after MRI-guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery (FUS) at Rambam Hospital, Mr. Zangi got up from the MRI table tremor-free, smiled, and again requested paper and a pen. "Remember what I tried to tell you a week ago?" he asked. Surrounded by his wife and family, he wrote in a steady and beautiful hand, "If you will it, it is no dream" (ed. note: Theodor Herzl).

First Time Ever in Israel: Noninvasive Brain Surgery
First Time Ever in Israel: Noninvasive Brain Surgery
ExAblate Neuro is the trade name for the noninvasive surgical treatment that Mr. Zangi underwent. The procedure, which targets and ablates brain tissue through an intact skull, has been made possible by the marriage of MRI-guidance and ultrasound-ablation expertise. 

San Francisco State University Update: Kudos to California State Legislators for Condemning Campus Antisemitism

Nine California legislators have taken a brave and honorable stand in acknowledging and condemning antisemitic activity at San Fransisco State University.  On Monday, these assembly members and senators sent a letter to SFSU President Leslie Wong congratulating him for speaking out against a campus event glorifying the murder of Jews.

Today AMCHA co-founders sent the following letter to these nine legislators, thanking them for their strong stand against campus antisemitism:

The Daily TIP: State Department: Interim deal with Iran allows continued construction on Iran plutonium facility‏

  • State Department: Interim deal with Iran allows continued construction on Iran plutonium facility Reports: Iran talks pushing Saudi Arabia to acquire nuclear weapons
  • State Department: Interim deal with Iran not final, Iran currently allowed to continue nuclear activity
  • Amid Hezbollah diplomatic offensive, British sources reveal secret indirect U.S.-Hezbollah talks
  • Reports: Iran talks pushing Saudi Arabia to acquire nuclear weapons What we’re watching today: 
  • Canada, the only sane country on earth


    Iran nuclear deal gets 'deeply skeptical' response from Canada

    Iran agrees to halt nuclear program in historic deal with 6 world powers

    Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says he is "deeply skeptical" of the newly brokered nuclear deal with Iran and says Canada's sanctions will remain in "full force" against the country.
    "We will evaluate the deal reached not just on the merits of its words but more importantly, on its verifiable implementation," Baird said at a news conference in Ottawa on Sunday.
    He said that because of previous Iranian leaders had made hostile comments toward Israel, “we're deeply skeptical of the deal and the work that's brought us to this stage.”

    Obama reassures Netanyahu

    U.S. President Barack Obama attempted to reassure a skeptical Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday and said he wants to begin consultations with Israel immediately.

    "Giving Thanks"

    Tonight begins Chanukah, which marks two events. 
    The victory of the Maccabees over Hellenistic forces that were destroying Judaism. 
    And the miracle of the oil in the rededicated Temple that lasted for eight days when it should have been enough for only one day. Thus the lighting of candles for eight days and the use of oil in cooking foods, such as sufganiyot (donuts) here in Israel.
    Over the past few days, I’ve gone to four different stores in an attempt to find Hanukkah candles. When I ask about the candles, the clerks look at me like I’ve lost my mind and try to show me other candles I might like to buy. It’s not that they don’t know what Hanukkah is or that candles are involved in it. It’s that their vision of Hanukkah is just Jewish Christmas … so I’m asking them for candles about a month too soon. Except that, this year, Hanukkah begins next week and I need some candles. All of these stores are going to stock their shelves with Hanukkah candles in mid-December and they’re going to be perplexed that no one’s buying them. And then they’re going to order fewer boxes of candles for 2014, assuming that the Jewish community has either left town en masse, has given up on Hanukkah, or is shopping at a different store.
    Credit: Kohenari

    Wednesday, November 27, 2013

    Bearing Witness: Survivor Describes Nigerian Islamist Terror

    Andrew E. Harrod
    Special to IPT News
    November 27, 2013

    "Are you ready to die as a Christian?" asked Habila Adamu's AK-47-armed assailants from Nigeria's Boko Haram (BH) Islamist terrorist organization. During a recent visit to Washington, D.C., Adamu recounted surviving a massacre of Christians, in an effort to focus American attention on the bloody turmoil BH poses for Nigeria.

    Adamu described surviving a head shot for professing his Christian faith before a congressional hearing held Nov. 13. BH gunmen came to Adamu's house in Nigeria's Yobe state late one November night a year ago. They announced that they "were here to do the work of Allah." They seized money and cellphones from Adamu and his wife while asking whether Adamu worked for government security forces.

    Egypt's Latest Fatwas from Salafis and Brotherhood

    Raymond Ibrahim

    When a women goes swimming, as the word for sea is masculine, when "the water touches the woman's private parts, she becomes an 'adulteress' and should be punished." — Summary of Al Ahzar Fatwa Committee, reported in Al Masry Al Youm
    Meanwhile the Salafis -- who, in the light of the Bortherhood's ouster have become Islam's standard bearers there -- continue successfully to push for strict interpretations of Sharia law in Egypt's new constitution.
    As the full ramification of the Muslim Brotherhood's year in power continues to be exposed, a new study by Al Azhar's Fatwa Committee dedicated to exploring the fatwas, or Islamic decrees, issued by the Brotherhood and Salafis -- the Islamists -- was recently published.
    Al Azhar, in Cairo, is considered by many to be one of the oldest and most prestigious Islamic universities in the world. The study, written by Al Azhar's Dr. Sayed Zayed, and entitled (in translation), "The Misguided Fatwas of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis," reveals a great deal about how Islamists view women.
    The Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, pictured above, is part of Al-Azhar University. (Image source: David Stanley)
    The Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm summarized some of the Al Azhar study's main findings and assertions on November 15 in a article entitled (in translation), "Muslim Brotherhood fatwas: A woman swimming is an 'adulteress' and touching bananas is 'forbidden.'"

    The Future That Never Comes

    Sultan Knish

    The strange thing about America's dot com titans is how short their lifecycles are. The development of the internet has been dominated by a handful of companies that changed the paradigm and were then run over by a new paradigm in under a decade.

    The Netscape CEO was on the cover of Time Magazine in 1996 sitting on a golden throne. Today an entire generation of internet users has grown up without ever having bought his web browser. They don't even think of a web browser as something you buy.

    Netscape directed traffic to Yahoo, without realizing that having a site that millions of people visited was a better way of making money than selling a piece of software that let you browse those sites. Yahoo's portal was powered by Google because it thought that offering people services was a better way to make money than something as grubby as a search engine.

    Iran: Secrets and Betrayal

    Telltale clues to identify ally betrayal.....
    Here's how to tell:
    1.  Conduct secret negotiations with your ally's mortal enemy, based upon wrongly presumed common interests & hence goals, including back-channel talks going back five years, even one found to be conducting one or another form of war on you & your ally, on a matter viewed as existential by your ally.
    2.  When asked by your ally if negotiations--concealed even from your own legislative body charged with oversight of executive branch actions--are underway, lie and deny--especially if the negotiations play into your enemy's geopolitical strategy, and operate to legitimate your enemy's harmful, unlawful conduct.
    3.  When your ally learns of secret talks, lie as to what is being considered, such as terming a deal interim when there is little assurance a final pact will be reachable.

    PLO "Resignations" and the Peace Process

    Khaled Abu Toameh

    Erekat and other PLO officials who keep threatening to quit are hoping that the Americans and Europeans will "freak out" at the thought of losing Palestinian "peace partners."
    Palestinians understand that the "resignations" are manly aimed at prompting the US and Western countries to to exert pressure on Israel to make concessions to the PLO. The threats to quit are also intended to send a message to the Palestinian public, which long ago lost confidence in the PLO negotiators' performance, that Erekat and his colleagues are "playing tough" with Israel.
    Since the signing of the Oslo Accords 20 years ago, PLO leaders and officials have threatened to resign each time they wanted something from the international community or Israel.

    Dizzying Benghazigate Developments

    Bill Schanefelt

    When one walks through the woods and picks up a dead log, two things usually happen -- myriad strange creatures scatter about, and, often, the log crumbles.

    A similar thing occurred a few weeks ago when the 60 Minutes piece of fiction on Benghazi starring Lara Logan and Dylan Davies aired -- new items, new characters, new lies, and new narratives scurried out, and both what was left of an iconic TV program's reputation and the entire "official" version of events crumbled.

    Of the things that scurried out was a renewed (or awakened) push by some in Congress to get testimony from eye-witnesses.

    Peace in our time!!

    It was either an embarrassing slip, or a frightening revelation of the president’s true worldview. Either way, the words “peace in our time,” made infamous by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain as he promised an illusory peace with Adolf Hitler in 1938, should never have been in President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address.

    The phrase appeared in a passage on foreign policy, in which the president pledged to defend the nation while resolving differences peacefully [emphasis added]:

    OC: RIGGING THE FUTURE: Obamacare Creates 50 New State Databases With No Function Beyond Gathering Potential Voter Information, Real or Fraudulent

    David Steinberg 
    In Crime,Health Care,Immigration,US News

    Since the passage of Obamacare, all fifty state Medicaid agencies have been forced to create a new standalone database that contains nothing besides the contact information of Medicaid applicants who used

    Some of these new databases mail out voter registration forms automatically. You cannot refuse them.

    No worthwhile verification occurs before the forms are mailed. Apply for Medicaid and the form will be mailed to you, be you a verifiable citizen or Ayman al-Zawahiri on a computer in Pakistan.

    Further, these new databases are accessible by groups like Organizing for Action, the reconstituted ACORN, and malevolent figures like Chris Tarango [1].
    And no reasonable purpose exists for creating the databases besides making them available to the aforementioned Democratic activists.

    Iran Says Obama and Kerry Are Lying About the Nuclear Deal

    Bryan Preston 
    The Washington Free Beacon reports. I have no idea whom to believe.
    Iran and Western nations including the United States came to an agreement on the framework for an interim deal late Saturday night in Geneva. The deal has yet to be implemented
    The White House released a multi-page fact sheet containing details of the draft agreement shortly after the deal was announced.
    However, Iranian foreign ministry official on Tuesday rejected the White House’s version of the deal as “invalid” and accused Washington of releasing a factually inaccurate primer that misleads the American public.

    The IPT Update

    26 November 2013

    General security, policy
    1.  Obama statement on Iran nuclear program; Netanyahu: Iran nuclear deal is 'historic mistake'; Secret US-Iran talks set stage for nuke deal; White House: Iran not on clock yet; US & Saudis in growing rift
    2.  Iran, North Korea secretly developing new long-range rocket booster for ICBMs
    3.  Retired FBI Agent Robert Levinson becomes one of longest-held Americans in history
    4.  CIA personnel testify agency was on alert over 9/11 anniversary in Benghazi, before attack
    5.  Penny Lane: The secret Guantanamo Bay facility where CIA turned prisoners into double agents
    6.  NY jail's too rough for hook-handed Al Qaeda suspect Abu Hamza, lawyers say
    7.  Anti-terrorism activist to act as surety for accused Via Rail plotter

    Air, rail, port, health, energy & communication security
    8.  Car crash sparks gun scare at LAX
    9.  New technology could alter airport security rules on liquids
    10. Schumer calls for tighter maritime security around Indian Point; Vendors unveil new technologies at port security expo in Long Beach, CA
    11. More than half of public WiFi networks 'open to criminal and terrorist abuse', survey finds

    Financing, money laundering, fraud, identity theft, civil litigation
    12. Feds raid over a dozen NYC delis for alleged WIC checks-for-cash scheme


    That Barack Obama has betrayed Israel, the Sunni Arab nations, and his own people is, to my thinking, beyond question. He has capitulated to a dangerous terrorist state.
    The media are full of comments and analyses about what he has done, why he has done it, and what comes next.  I will attempt to summarize what is important here, and you will find links to key articles below. But to share all of the various analyses and viewpoints at length would require a book rather than a posting. 
    I do not pretend, not for a second, that I am sanguine about any of what is going on.  This is an infuriating, and exceedingly agitating business.
    As to why he did what he did...

    Israel Extends Her Arms In Unity

    Nurit Greenger
    The serving consuls and their aides in the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles are known to have a long tradition of constantly reaching out to the local communities, whether it is the Korean, the Spanish speaking, the many Christian communities, etc.

    USD 12.6 billion so far released to Iran (4.6 oil revenue + 8 frozen assets)‏

    Tehran, Nov 26, IRNA – Spokesman for the Majlis Foreign Policy Commission Hossein Naqavi Hosseini said on Tuesday that about 4.6 billion dollars of Iran's blocked oil revenues would be freed.

    Tuesday, November 26, 2013

    Why Iran’s Nuclear Program is a Massive Misdirection from the Real Threat to Israel

    Tonight I’m gonna party like It’s 19[3]9.
    Barry Rubin
    November 26, 2013
    “The sky was all purple
    There were people runnin’ everywhere
    Tryin’ to run from the destruction
    You know I didn’t even care…
    Oops out of time,
    So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 19[3]9.”
    –Prince, “1999”

    I have been working hard to explain to people that Iran’s nuclear weapons are not the major threat to Israel. It is obvious. The problem is that after almost a century, Israel is not just the object of genocide by the Arabs but by many Iranian, Turkish, and newly European and North American Muslims. It is truly awesome how few politically active would-be peacemakers among Arabs and Middle Eastern Muslims there are.
    Given Secretary of State Hamann the Agagite, it is unfortunate that there is no King Ahasuerus.

    Of course some of this, especially in the West, is due to the phony two-state or at least two-stage-to-extinction solution.

    I should mention this was not just a knee-jerk conclusion on my part but one reached over the course of 45 years.

    Iran: Complete and Unmitigated Surrender

    ny times oct 1938 britain and germany_ large
    Karl Marx said, "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." A short travel through history reveals that it keeps repeating itself as tragedy after tragedy because we stubbornly refuse to learn from it. British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli returned from Berlin in 1878 stating, "I have returned from Germany with peace for our time." That peace ended with World War I. British statesman Neville Chamberlain proclaimed "peace for our time" after signing an agreement with Hitler in Munich in 1938, an agreement that was praised and celebrated in Europe and across the Atlantic. In a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King, President Franklin Roosevelt wrote, "I can assure you that we in the United States rejoice with you, and the world at large, that the outbreak of war was averted." The New York Daily News declared, "Hitler has made a significant gesture toward peace." The "significant gesture toward peace" ended up with the World War II and fifty million dead, including six million Jews.

    Jewish Culture, Revelation and Continuity

    Sultan Knish

    The Pew survey, like the various more specific surveys of the Jewish community that come out from time to time, has told everyone in the Jewish organizational world what they already know. There is nothing in the survey that hasn't been predicted, belabored and denied for decades. If its meaning had to be summed up in a single sentence, it would be that there can be no religion without revelation, no community without culture and no continuity without all of these.

    It really is that simple which is why so many insist on making it so complicated.

    What the Pew survey really says is that there are really two Jewish communities in America. One that is an actual structured community and the other uses that name but is a community in name only. Most of the responses go right past that obvious point to arguing about semantics, theology and the number of Jews who can dance on the head of a pin.

    Daniel Gordis had a passionate and moving piece on the decline of Conservative Judaism that is also fundamentally wrong.

    World saved? Hardly. More a final countdown to nuclear blackmail and war

    Melanie Phillips

    Geneva negotiations about Iran's nuclear capabilities, November 2013One by one, the commentators have today fallen like dominoes. Presented with the transparent victory by Iran over the rest of the world at Geneva, they have eagerly swallowed the line they have been fed that this is a ‘historic’ step towards peace with Iran whose nuclear wings have now been clipped.

    Journalists who would normally ask themselves ‘why is this lying bastard lying to me?’ if a western politician merely said ‘hello, nice day isn’t it’ (apart, of course, from The One) have suspended all independent powers of observation and thought over this risible farce of a deal.

    How U.S Policy Is Betraying Not Only Israel, but also Sunni Arabs

    In 1948, there were hopes that the Arab-Israeli conflict would be resolved in the long-run. But it wasn’t. In 1967, there was hope that the magnitude of Israeli victory meant that the Arabs would eventually come to terms (Egypt and Jordan did in a way, although the final word has not been written). In 1982, people believed that the conflict could still be solved, but it wasn’t. And finally, during the negotiations from 1993-2000, there were renewed hopes that the conflict would be resolved. It wasn’t.

    The Geneva deal and triggers for Israeli action (Part 2)

    theoptimisticconservative | November 26, 2013

    This is Part 2 of a two-part post.  Part 1 is here.
    The consequences of Iran getting the bomb are significant, of course, including the urge other nations will feel to acquire the bomb for themselves, and the geopolitical use Iran will make of the bomb as both a regional threat and a deterrent against other nations, to cover Iran’s support of insurgencies and other proxy efforts abroad.  I have discussed these concerns, and others, at length elsewhere.  (Most links can be found at The Optimistic Conservative Iran Page.)


    GS Don Morris, Ph.D.

    It is not new to anyone that behavior has consequences. A spectrum of possibilities exists for these consequences with multiple outcomes. If one wants to avoid a negative consequence it is imperative that an individual or a group of people carefully think through each and every action in anticipation of all probable outcomes and their impact upon people and the community. This could not be truer when applied to the world stage. The “deal” recently agreed to with Iran by the leading Western powers poses major difficulties for the entire international arena in the near and long term.

    In the near term Iran has now been granted permission to become part of the world’s nuclear community-nothing can/will stop this now. We have effectively conceded Iran’s right to enrich uranium and furthermore we have agreed to let her do so forever. As of early 2013 Iran has 1000 of 3000 new-generation centrifuges installed which enables faster enrichment of uranium. In addition, Arak is not going to be dismantled and has been allowed to continue enriching uranium to 3.5 % purity.

    Savvy multibillionaire Saudi Arabian Prince’s analysis of Obama, US Politics and the Iran Nuclear Fiasco

    Jerome S. Kaufman 

    Why are we feeding Palestinian terrorism? Iran Is Playing Obama, Says Savvy Saudi Prince

    Jeffrey Goldberg – Bloomberg News Service

    Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the Saudi royal who seems to own most everything there is to own — a chunk of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, a piece of Twitter, all of Paris’s George V Hotel, the Savoy in London, and a Boeing 747 for his personal use — was sitting in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago the other evening (he and Bill Gates own most of Four Seasons Holdings), offering up the view — the view of an experienced negotiator from the Middle East — that U.S. President Barack Obama is outmatched by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    (By the way, this the same Arab Prince whose 10 million dollar attempted bribe donation to NYC following the September 11, 2001 Twin Towers bombing Mayor Rudy Giuliani refused. The Mayor was well aware that 11 of the 15 terrorists on the suicide mission drove 3 planes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were Saudi Arabians and was not in the mood to accept this attempted whitewash of this awful Arab terrorist act that killed near 6000 innocent civilians. In response to the Major’s refusal this same prince accused Giuliani of being a Jew and a tool of the Jewish lobby. Reporter Jeffrey Goldberg seems to have forgotten this part of bin Talal’s history.)jsk
    Be that as it may, the Prince seems to be on a more rational tack in the present discussion:
    “There’s no confidence in the Obama administration doing the right thing with Iran,” he told me, with a directness that would make Benjamin Netanyahu blush. “We’re really concerned — Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Middle East countries — about this.”