Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Video Of The Week - Female Arab Soldier in the IDF - https://tinyurl.com/y9kps4tw
The IDF has created a unique unit so that Israeli-Arab Christians can fulfill their ambition to overcome the language barrier and serve their country.
By: United with Israel Staff
The IDF has launched a unique program for Israeli-Arab Christianswhich enables them to integrate into the army and serve their country.
The Nachshon Platoon consists of 24 Arabic-speaking Christians who volunteered to join the IDF based on one motivation: to contribute to the State of Israel.
After years of low draft percentages among the Arabic-speaking Christian community in Israel, no more than a dozen draftees a year, things have now changed. In the latest draft class, 24 soldiers of the Arabic-speaking Christian community volunteered to serve in the IDF.
The motivated soldiers began their military service with a three-week preparatory program at the Michve Alon training base in Israel’s north to overcome their biggest challenge: Hebrew.
The Nachshon Platoon was established especially for the Arabic-speaking Christian population in Israel. It’s a place of education with a familial atmosphere.
“The preparations for the culminating ceremony make me very emotional,” said Lt. Sapir, commander of the Eyal Company, where the soldiers were first taken in.
“They’re amazing soldiers and their Hebrew has improved unbelievably. I’m sure they will go far in their service,” she added. “Our goal was to improve their Hebrew level with the understanding that they’re aiming for significant positions that require a proficient level of Hebrew.”
The course mostly consists of Hebrew lessons, along with lessons about heritage and connection to Israel, and additional subjects related to the soldiers’ unique identities.
“The fact that Arabic-speaking Christians have a course and a platoon of their own strengthens the idea that the IDF is a place that does, and always will, care for them,” explained Nachshon Platoon Commander Lt. Shlomit, who accompanied the soldiers throughout their training.
“The platoon is going to open a door for the whole Arabic-speaking Christian community,” Lt. Gardi, the course commander said.
‘Contributing to My Country’
Pvt. Assad, one of the course graduates, expresses pride in successfully completing the course, and his satisfaction is evident in every word he says.
“I used to not speak Hebrew at all. I knew almost nothing, but the course has made me comfortable with the language and I’ve tremendously improved,” he shared.
“The platoon is like a family, like brothers- far more than friends,” he said emotionally. “Everyone helps one another. We’re a team, something larger together.”
Assad grew up in an Arabic-speaking Christian family in northern Israel. His desire to volunteer in the IDF comes from a surprising place.
“My father is a truck driver. I wanted to be like him, to make him proud of me but it was important for me to contribute to my country as I am a part of it,” he explained.
As he had hoped, Pvt. Assad will soon begin his service as a cargo truck driver. “The course has provided me with the integration that I wanted and I am very pleased.”
Pvt. Tazmuz’s favorite word in Hebrew is self-confidence. “It’s what has improved the most in me,” he shares. “I have a good feeling about the job I’m going to be doing, but it’s not enough for me. I want to be an officer- that’s the largest contribution I can give.”
“Since its establishment, the IDF has been the people’s army, serving as a way to bring together all the different communities in Israel to meet,” concluded Lt. Col. Dorit Maoz, the Michve Alon Base commander. “We all have a common house within the IDF, with mutual values, responsibility, and caring for each other.”
Approximately 20 percent of Israel’s eight million citizens are Arabs. According to the Israeli Democracy Index, a public opinion survey conducted last year by the Israeli Democratic Institute and the Guttman Center for Surveys, 65% of Israeli-Arabs are proud to be Israeli.
Israel is the only safe haven for Christians in the Middle East, while their numbers diminish as a result of Muslim persecution in all other areas of the region.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2018
… the western media continue in their hostile questioning of the Israeli prime minister.
Here, for example, from BBC Newsnight:
The BBC presenter (Evan Davis) interrupts Netanyahu by claiming a dozen of those who died on May 14 were civilians. He doesn’t give Netanyahu a chance to say that (in addition to the 50 Hamas members) some of these were Islamic Jihad terrorists (see below).
It is once again apparent in this interview that this leading BBC journalist, like many other journalists and their chosen studio experts, don’t seem to understand that being tough against Iran, just as Donald Trump was tough and threatening against North Korea, has a better chance of yielding peace than appeasing the Iranian regime as the European leaders and the Obama administration did, which merely emboldened it to be more aggressive across the Middle East in recent years.
No doubt fearful that the North Korean regime may no longer be their ally, an Iranian government spokesperson, as well as Hamas, have denounced the North Korea talks.
The Iranian regime are also worried that the North Koreans will provide details of their past nuclear cooperation with Iran and Syria.https://twitter.com/HeshmatAlavi/status/1006190793336516609
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Video Of The Week - Kuwaiti Writer: Israel Is a Legitimate State, Not an Occupier- https://tinyurl.com/y75flb3l
For the full article from JPost go to - https://tinyurl.com/ya45yekt
No cliché has dominated the discourse on the Gaza situation more than the perception of Palestinian violence as a corollary of the Strip’s dire economic condition. No sooner had Hamas and Israel been locked in yet another armed confrontation over the past weeks than the media, foreign policy experts and politicians throughout the world urged the immediate rehabilitation of Gaza as panacea to its endemic propensity for violence. Even senior members of the Israel Defense Forces opined that a “nonmilitary process” of humanitarian aid could produce a major change in the Gaza situation.
It is not Gaza’s economic malaise that has precipitated Palestinian violence; rather, it is the endemic violence that has caused the Strip’s humanitarian crisis.
Yasser Arafat, was an engineer, and his fellow arch terrorist George Habash – the pioneer of aircraft hijacking – a physician. Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, was a schoolteacher, while his erstwhile successor, Sayyid Qutb, whose zealous brand of Islam fired generations of terrorists, including the group behind the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, was a literary critic and essayist.
Nor has Hamas been an exception to this rule. Not only has its leadership been highly educated, but it has gone to great lengths to educate its followers, notably through the takeover of the Islamic University in Gaza and its transformation into a hothouse for indoctrinating generations of militants and terrorists.
Hamas founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, studied at the al-Azhar University in Cairo, probably the Islamic world’s most prestigious institution of higher religious learning, while his successor, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, was a physician, as is Hamas cofounder Mahmoud Zahar. The group’s current leader, Ismail Haniyeh, and Muhammad Def, head of Hamas’s military wing, are graduates of the Islamic University of Gaza, while Khaled Mashaal studied physics in Kuwait, where he resided until 1990. Hardly the products of deprivation and despair.
This propensity for violence among the educated and moneyed classes of Palestinian society was starkly reflected in the identity of the 156 men and eight women who detonated themselves in Israel’s towns and cities during the first five years of the “al-Aqsa Intifada,” murdering 525 people, the overwhelming majority of them civilians. A mere 9% of the perpetrators had basic education, while 22% were university graduates and 34% were high school graduates.
Likewise, a comprehensive study of Hamas and Islamic Jihad suicide terrorists from the late 1980s to 2003 found that only 13% came from a poor background, compared with 32% of the Palestinian population in general. More than half of suicide bombers had entered further education, compared with just 15% of the general population.
By contrast, successive public opinion polls among the Palestinian residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during the 1990s revealed far stronger support for the nascent peace process with Israel, and opposition to terrorism, among the poorer and less educated parts of society – representing the vast majority of the population.
In short, it is not socioeconomic despair but the total rejection of Israel’s right to exist, inculcated by the PLO and Hamas in their hapless West Bank and Gaza subjects over the past 25 years, which underlies the relentless anti-Israel violence emanating from these territories and its attendant economic stagnation and decline.
At the time of the September 1993 signing of the Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles, conditions in the territories were far better than in most Arab states – despite the steep economic decline caused by the intifada of 1987-93. But within six months of Arafat’s arrival in Gaza (in July 1994), the standard of living in the Strip fell by 25%, and more than half of the area’s residents claimed to have been happier under Israel. Even so, at the time Arafat launched his war of terrorism in September 2000, Palestinian income per capita was nearly double Syria’s, more than four times Yemen’s, and 10% higher than Jordan’s – one of the better-off Arab states. Only the oilrich Gulf states and Lebanon were more affluent.
By the time of Arafat’s death, in November 2004, his terrorism war had slashed this income to a fraction of its earlier levels, with real GDP per capita some 35% below the pre-September 2000 level, unemployment more than doubling, and numerous Palestinians reduced to poverty and despondency.
This means that so long as Gaza continues to be governed by Hamas’s rule of the jungle, no Palestinian civil society, let alone a viable state, can develop. Just as the creation of free and democratic societies in Germany and Japan after World War II necessitated a comprehensive sociopolitical and educational transformation, so, too, it is only when the local population sweeps its oppressive rulers from power, eradicates the endemic violence from political and social life, and teaches the virtues of coexistence with Israel that Gaza can look forward to a better future.
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Video Of The Week- Why Israel Uses Lethal Force During Mass Gaza Protests- https://tinyurl.com/yah7hclf
By Mark Humphrys
Sunday Times (London)
Books of condolence have opened in Ireland for some hideous people, such as Fidel Castro in 2016 and Yasser Arafat in 2004. But the opening in Dublin of a book of condolence on May 16 for the Hamas rioters in Gaza takes the biscuit. More than 100 rioters have been killed attacking the border with Israel over the past two months, and the reaction in Ireland has been hysterical. There were calls to expel the Israeli ambassador and boycott Israeli goods. The Hezbollah flag flew at an Ireland-Palestine Solidarity protest in Derry. One popular Irish Twitter account even called for a terrorist attack on the Israeli embassy.
What happened in Gaza this month was that 50,000 rioters tried to break through the border and storm into Israel to kill Jewish families in houses nearby. They were open about that. Social media in Gaza was full of calls to attack and kill local Jews. One post said: “Kibbutz Kerem Abu Salem is . . . 200 meters from the fence . . . and only 15 families live there. Attack them with knives!”
One video showed a group breaking through the fence. They shout: “Allah Akbar. Remember Khaybar. Oh Jews, we’re coming to slaughter you.” Khaybar was the battle where Muhammad slaughtered the Jews and took their women as war booty.
Now you may say we don’t know that the rioters wanted to lynch Jewish families. But that doesn’t matter. The Israel Defense Forces believed the mobs wanted to lynch Jewish families, so it used force to stop them. And if tear gas and live fire are not enough, it will use helicopters and fighter jets. The military would never let 50,000 jihadis raid a Jewish village to see what happened. The only logical thing for Gazans to do is steer clear of the fence.
Could the Israeli army have stopped them with less bloodshed? Claims were made that soldiers were shooting indiscriminately. This was rather disproved by the emergence of photographs of military funerals for about half of those killed. A Hamas official said most of the dead killed in riots on May 14 were Hamas: “Sixty-two people were martyred; 50 of them are from Hamas and 12 from the people.” If Israel’s forces were shooting at random, then they had the luckiest shooting day of any army in history.
Gazans would clearly be safe if they left Israel alone. On May 14, huge mobs attacked the fence and 60 died. The next day, a few people attacked it and two died. The following day the rioters stayed away. This may indicate a way to keep Gazans safe. All they have to do is stay away from the fence. We heard the claim that they were driven by “despair”. What they were driven by is hatred, anti-semitism, jihad and the excitement of a march on Israel to cleanse the land of the Jews. They were driven by hope, not despair.
The tragedy of Gaza is that, ever since the Jews left, a new life has been there for the taking. All they have to do is ignore Israel, stop terrorism, stop thinking about the Jews, and build a state in Gaza. They should abandon “the struggle” and pursue money and life. If they did so, and if they were serious, Israel would drop the security barriers and partner with them to pump money into Gaza. They could become some of the richest and happiest Arabs in the Middle East.
But Gazans do not want to be rich and happy. They want other things: honour, blood, soil, revenge and jihad. These things will not make them happy, but that is what they want, so their misery will continue. They do not need books of condolence. They need someone to talk sense to them.
Monday, May 28, 2018
- Sunday, May 27, 2018 Elder of Ziyon
For the full article go to: https://tinyurl.com/y8wrz356
From Middle East Monitor:
The Gaza Strip will set off a flotilla of ships on Tuesday in a bid to break the 12-year-long Israeli blockade on the Palestinian territory.
“This trip will carry the hopes and dreams of the Palestinian people for freedom,” Salah Abdul-Ati, a member of a Palestinian committee tasked with breaking the siege, told a press conference in the Gaza City on Sunday.
He said the first ship will set sail on Tuesday morning, with a number of injured Gazans and patients aboard.
He, however, did not specify the first stop of the ship.
This is the naval equivalent of the "Return march" riots. In this case, instead of women and children at the front lines that they hope Israel will kill, the organizers (who are probably Hamas since no one can do anything without Hamas permission) hope Israel will kill some "injured" people.
If the "injured" people are not really seeking treatment anywhere, then this is a sham. If they are really in need of hospitalization, then the organizers are knowingly putting their lives at risk, hoping that they die, so Israel can be blamed.
And judging from how the media covered Gaza, we can expect this gimmick to work as well.
If the "injured" people are not really seeking treatment anywhere, then this is a sham. If they are really in need of hospitalization, then the organizers are knowingly putting their lives at risk, hoping that they die, so Israel can be blamed.
And judging from how the media covered Gaza, we can expect this gimmick to work as well.
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
The Washington Examiner - By Alan Dershowitz – 16-5-2018
For the full article go to - https://tinyurl.com/y8mttfyr
If this were the first time that Hamas deliberately provoked Israel into self-defense actions that resulted in the unintended deaths of Gaza civilians, the media could be excused for playing into the hands of Hamas.
The most recent Hamas provocations — having 40,000 Gazans try to tear down the border fence and enter Israel with Molotov cocktails and other improvised weapons — are part of a repeated Hamas tactic that I have called the “dead baby strategy.” The goal of Hamas is to have Israel kill as many Gazans as possible so that the headlines always begin, and often end, with the body count. Hamas deliberately sends women and children to the front line, while their own fighters hide behind these human shields.
Hamas leaders have long acknowledged this tactic. Fathi Hammad, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, stated as far back as 2008, “For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry, at which women excel, and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahideen and the children. This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy, ‘We desire death like you desire life.’”
Hamas used this tactic to provoke two wars with Israel in which their fighters fired rockets from civilian areas, including hospitals, schools, and mosques. When Israel responded, it tried its best to avoid civilian casualties, dropping warning leaflets, calling residents of potential targets and dropping nonlethal noise bombs on the roofs of houses that were being used to launch rockets and store explosives. Inevitably, some civilians were killed, and the media blamed Israel for these deaths, despite the precautions it had taken.
The same was true when Hamas built terror tunnels used to kidnap Israeli civilians. The entrances to these tunnels were in civilian areas as well, including mosques and schools. Using their own civilians as human shields, while targeting Israeli civilians, is a double war crime. Yet, the media generally focuses on the reaction of Israel to these war crimes, rather than the war crimes of Hamas.
The cruel reality is that every time Israel accidentally kills a Gaza civilian, Israel loses. And every time Israel kills a Gaza civilian, Hamas wins. Israelis grieve every civilian death its army accidentally causes. Hamas benefits from every death Israel accidentally causes. That is why it encourages its women and children to become martyrs.
Calling this the “dead baby strategy” may seem cruel because it is cruel. But don’t blame the messenger for accurately describing this tactic. Blame those who cynically use it. Blame the media for playing into the hands of those who use it by reporting only the body count and not the deliberate Hamas tactic that leads to one-sided body counts.
It is true that Gaza is in a desperate situation and that it is wounded. But the wound itself is self-inflicted. When Israel ended its occupation of Gaza, removing every single soldier and settler, the territory could have become the Singapore on the Mediterranean Sea. It is a beautiful area with a large seacoast. It received infusions of cash and other help from Europe. Israel left behind agricultural equipment and hot houses.
But instead of using these resources to feed, house, and educate its citizens, Hamas built rockets, terror tunnels, and Molotov cocktails. It threw dissenters off the roof and murdered members of the Palestinian Authority who were willing to recognize Israel and negotiate with it. Hamas rejects the two-state solution or any solution that leaves Israel intact. The only solution for it is violence, and the events at the fence these past days are a manifestation of that violence.
Would any country in the world allow 40,000 people, sworn to its destruction, to knock down a border fence and attack its citizens living peacefully near the border? Of course not. Could Israel have done more to reduce casualties among those trying to breach the border fence? I don’t know, and neither do the legions of armchair generals who are criticizing Israel for the steps it took to prevent a catastrophe among the residents of Kibbutzim and towns that are proximate to the border fence.
One thing is crystal clear: Hamas will continue to use the ”dead baby strategy” as long as the media continues to report the deaths in the manner in which it has reported them in recent weeks. Many in the media are complicit in these deaths because their one-sided reporting encourages Hamas to send innocent women and children to the front line. Perhaps Israel could do a better job of defending its civilians but it is certain that the media can do a better job of accurately reporting the Hamas strategy that results in so many innocent deaths.
There is a marvelous cartoon that illustrates the difference between Hamas and Israel. It shows an Israeli soldier standing in front of a stroller with a baby in it, shielding the baby. Then it shows a Hamas terrorist standing behind a stroller with the baby in it, using the baby to shield him. This cartoon better illustrates the reality that is occurring at the Gaza fence than most of the “objective” reporting by the media.
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Video Of The Week - USA Embassy Opens in Jerusalem - https://tinyurl.com/ybze7yyf
By Melanie Philips 14-5-2018
For the full article go to - https://tinyurl.com/y866lqze
The toll in today’s Gaza riots (according to the Hamas) currently stands at around 55 Arabs dead (amongst whom, say the Israelis, are at least ten Hamas terrorists); that toll may well rise with further riots threatened tomorrow and the day after.
The people who caused these deaths are the Hamas themselves. But the people at whose door these dead Arabs should also be laid are the BBC and those in the rest of the British and other media who have acted their part in the script the Hamas has written: to cause as many Gazans to lose their lives as possible, the younger the better, so that the western media will portray Israel as wanton and disproportionate killers.
The media has duly obliged by calling what’s been happening at Gaza’s border with Israel, today and previously, “unarmed” demonstrations or “protests against the US embassy move”. It was nothing of the kind. As I wrote here yesterday, by the Hamas’s own lights this is an attempt by tens of thousands of Arabs to storm the border in order to invade and destroy Israel.
If they do break through, no-one can be in the slightest doubt that they will massacre the Israelis. In the words of the Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar: “Tear their hearts out”. This is not a metaphor.
Facebook pages affiliated with Hamas are uploading maps that show the proximity of the riots to Israeli communities. “There’s no other way to understand these pictures than as a threat against these communities,” says the IDF spokesman, Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis.
That’s why Israel has built extraordinary defences to protect its most vulnerable citizens who live close to the border. And it is a lie to say, as the media continue falsely to report, that this great mob is unarmed. They are using petrol bombs, IEDs, flaming kites.
Their tactics have been described by Israel’s security service, the Shin Bet. Captured Gazans have told them that Hamas has warned its members to stay away from the security fence during the riots lest they get shot, while actively encouraging Palestinian civilians — particularly children and teens — to approach the border. “There is a prohibition for Hamas operatives to approach the border from a fear that they will be killed or captured by IDF troops, unless the security fence falls; and then they must enter, armed, into Israel under the cover of the masses and carry out terror attacks”.
And surprise surprise, Iran (which has been funding and training Hamas for some time) is behind this:
“From the information we have, it appears Hamas is encouraging and sending protesters to the border fence in order to carry out violent acts and damage security infrastructure. In addition, it was found that Iran is providing funding to Hamas in order for it to carry out these violent activities along the Gaza Strip’s border fence,” the Shin Bet said.
For the media to portray this as a protest – moreover an unarmed protest – is to perpetrate a lie that is beyond wicked. Those 55 dead Arabs, and however many more will be sacrificed tomorrow and the next day as cannon fodder on the basis that the western media will report this as “unarmed protest”, are therefore being killed for the BBC and other media who have been dutifully playing their role in this infernal propaganda charade.
The British government is scarcely any better with its morally obtuse behaviour. “We are concerned by the reports of violence and loss of life in Gaza’, said a spokesman. “We urge calm and restraint to avoid actions destructive to peace efforts”.
Oh really. When did the British government voice its concern at the threatened invasion of Israel and slaughter of its citizens? I must have missed it. The British government has a moral duty not only to support Israel against this invasion but also to tell the British people the truth about what is happening and why Israel is being forced to take such action. It has not done so.
Instead, Mrs May’s government continues to help the Arabs weaponise the issue of Jerusalem – and therefore delegitimise Israel’s existence – by refusing to accept today’s game-changing US embassy move to Jerusalem; and furthermore is opposing and undermining the US-led attempt to neutralise the Iranian regime that daily threatens Israel with genocide.
Now also we can see the profound antisemitism of Amnesty International and others. Amnesty tweeted today: “We are witnessing an abhorrent violation of international law and human rights in Gaza… This must end immediately”.
What Amnesty means is that Israel’s self-defence must end immediately. We must therefore conclude that Amnesty would be unmoved by the inevitable consequence: the invasion of Israel and slaughter of Israelis. For Amnesty, it seems, Jewish lives don’t matter.
And that goes for everyone else demanding that Israel now desists from doing what every other country on earth would do if facing a potential mob of 250,000 invaders bent on conquest and mass murder: defending itself as best it can.
Not a word of condemnation of the Hamas for attempting a violent invasion. Instead, Amnesty screams that Israel is breaking international law. Israel is breaking no law by defending itself. It is Hamas which is guilty of multiple war crimes in using unarmed Arab civilians as cannon fodder behind whom it hides its weapons.
An estimated 40,000 Arabs took apart in today’s riots. It’s being claimed that Israel killed a disproportionate number. All deaths are to be regretted, especially of the young who are being so cynically used; but 55 dead out of an attack force of 40,000? That’s a disproportionate number, all right: disproportionately low.
But here’s the really revolting thing about the west’s Israel-bashers. What really gets them is that no Jews have been killed today. They think it’s outrageous that 55 Arabs were killed and not one Israeli. So just how many Jews need to be killed in order to even up this debauched notion of equivalent worth?
Jews have died in their millions over the centuries at the hands of those who simply hate Jews. Hamas are the latest manifestation of this evil. But in Israel, the Jewish people now has the means to defend itself; and it goes to enormous lengths to guard every life because so many have been lost.
Yet these Israel-bashers complain that this is somehow not cricket, that the Jews need to die – because it’s not fair that they are killing their would-be killers instead. So they portray the Jews as the killers and their genocidal Arab attackers as their victims. Just how disgusting is this?
At times like this we can see how these parts of the west are signing their own death warrant. Well guess what – in Israel, the Jewish people said “never again”. This is what that looks like.
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Video Of The Week- Netanyahu Reveals the Iranian Secret Atomic Archive
By Bret Stephens NewYork Times.
“The sanctions lifting will only occur as Iran takes the steps agreed, including addressing possible military dimensions.”
That was State Department spokesman John Kirby in June 2015, negotiations for the Iran nuclear deal were wrapping up. But Tehran did not “take the steps agreed.” The deal was founded on a lie.
Two lies, actually. The first was Iran’s declaration to the International Atomic Energy Agency, prior to the implementation of the deal, of the full extent of its past nuclear work. This was essential, both as a test of Tehran’s sincerity and as a benchmark for understanding just how close it was to being able to assemble and deliver a nuclear warhead.
The second lie was the Obama administration’s promise that it was serious about getting answers from Tehran. In a moment of candor, then-Secretary of State John Kerry admitted “we are not fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what they did at one point in time or another” — but then he promised Congress that Iran would provide the accounting.
`That was when the White House still feared that Congress might block the deal. When it failed to do so, thanks to a Democratic filibuster, the administration contented itself with a make-believe process in which Iran pretended to make a full declaration and the rest of the world pretended to believe it.
“Iran’s answers and explanations for many of the I.A.E.A.’s concerns were, at best, partial, but over all, obfuscating and stonewalling,” David Albright and his colleagues at the nonpartisan Institute for Science and International Security . “Needed access to sites was either denied or tightly controlled as to preclude adequate inspections.”
So much, then, for all the palaver about the deal providing an unprecedented level of transparency for monitoring Iranian compliance. So much, also, for the notion that Iran has honored its end of the bargain. It didn’t. This should render the agreement null and void.
That’s the significance of Benjamin Netanyahu’s show and tell on Monday of what appears to be a gigantic cache of pilfered Iranian documents detailing Tehran’s nuclear work. The deal’s defenders have dismissed the Israeli prime minister’s presentation as a bunch of old news — just further proof that Iran once had a robust covert program to build a bomb. They also insist Iran has complied with the terms of the agreement since it came into force in January 2016.
Yet it’s difficult to imagine that the I.A.E.A. can now square Iran’s 2015 declaration with what the Israelis have uncovered. Iran’s mendacity is no longer the informed supposition of proliferation experts such as Mr. Albright. It is — assuming the documents are authentic, as the U.S. has confirmed — a matter of fact that the I.A.E.A. chose to ignore when it gave Iran a free pass under political pressure to move to implement the deal. If the agency cares for its own credibility as a nuclear watchdog, it should decide that Iran’s past declaration was false and that Iran’s retention of the documents obtained by Israel, with all the nuclear know-how they contain, put it in likely breach of the agreement.
As for Iran’s current compliance, of course it’s complying. The deal gave Iran the best of all worlds. It weakened U.N. restrictions on its right to develop, test and field ballistic missiles — a critical component for a nuclear weapons capability that the Iranians haven’t fully mastered. It lifted restrictions on Iran’s oil exports and eased other sanctions, pumping billions of dollars into a previously moribund economy. And it allows Iran to produce all the nuclear fuel it wants come the end of the next decade.
Yes, Iran is permanently enjoined from building a nuclear weapon, even after the limitations on uranium enrichment expire. But why believe this regime will be faithful to the deal at its end when it was faithless to it at its beginning?
Netanyahu’s revelations were plainly timed to influence Donald Trump’s decision, expected later this month, on whether to stay in the Iran deal. Trump is under pressure from the French, British and Germans to stay in it, on the view that, if nothing else, the agreement has kept Iran from racing toward a bomb.
But the deal now in place allows Iran to amble toward a bomb, even as it uses the financial benefits of the agreement to fund (in the face of domestic upheaval and at a steep cost to its own economy) its militancy in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and especially in Syria. And Iran’s own nuclear history suggests the country’s leaders have always been cautious in the face of credible American threats, which is one reason they shelved much of their nuclear program in 2003 after the U.S. invaded Iraq.
“When the Iranians fear American power, they either back down or they stall,” says Mark Dubowitz, an expert on Iran sanctions at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “When they don’t fear American power, they push forward. With Trump, the question is: Are they going to feel American power, or American mush?”
I opposed the Iran deal, but immediately after it came into effect, I believed that we should honor it scrupulously and enforce it unsparingly. Monday’s news is that Iran didn’t honor its end of the bargain and neither need the United States now. Punitive sanctions combined with a credible threat of military force should follow.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
New York Times, by - https://tinyurl.com/y99w9pc3
Video Of The Week – Israel at 70 - https://tinyurl.com/y9p33qwy
Adam Armoush is a 21-year-old Israeli Arab who, on a recent outing in Berlin, donned a yarmulke to test a friend’s contention that it was unsafe to do so in Germany. On Tuesday he was assaulted in broad daylight by a Syrian asylum-seeker who whipped him with a belt for being “yahudi” — Arabic for Jew.
The episode was caught on video and has caused a national uproar. Heiko Maas, the foreign minister, tweeted, “Jews shall never again feel threatened here.”
It’s a vow not likely to be fulfilled. There were nearly 1,000 reported anti-Semitic incidents in Berlin alone last year. A neo-fascist party, Alternative for Germany, has 94 seats in the Bundestag. Last Thursday, a pair of German rappers won a prestigious music award, given largely on the basis of sales, for an album in which they boast of having bodies “more defined than Auschwitz prisoners.” The award ceremony coincided with Holocaust Remembrance Day.
To be Jewish — at least visibly Jewish — in Europe is to live on borrowed time. That’s not to doubt the sincerity and good will of Maas or other European leaders who recommit to combating anti-Semitism every time a European Jew is murdered or a Jewish institution attacked. It’s only to doubt their capacity.
There’s a limit to how many armed guards can be deployed indefinitely to protect synagogues or stop Holocaust memorials from being vandalized. There’s a limit, also, to trying to cure bigotry with earnest appeals to tolerance. The German government is mulling a proposal to require recent arrivals in the country to tour Nazi concentration camps as a way of engendering a feeling of empathy for Jews. It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that, to the virulent anti-Semite, Buchenwald is a source of inspiration, not shame.
All this comes to mind as Israel this week marks (in the Hebrew calendar) the 70th anniversary of its independence. There are many reasons to celebrate the date, many of them lofty: a renaissance for Jewish civilization; the creation of a feisty liberal democracy in a despotic neighborhood; the ecological rescue of a once-barren land; the end of 1,878 years of exile.
But there’s a more basic reason. Jews cannot rely for their safety on the kindness of strangers, least of all French or German politicians. Theodor Herzl saw this with the Dreyfus Affair and founded modern Zionism. Post-Hitler Europe still has far to fall when it comes to its attitudes toward Jews, but the trend is clear. The question is the pace.
Hence Israel: its army, bomb, and robust willingness to use force to defend itself. Israel did not come into existence to serve as another showcase of the victimization of Jews. It exists to end the victimization of Jews.
That’s a point that Israel’s restless critics could stand to learn. On Friday, Palestinians in Gaza returned for the fourth time to the border fence with Israel, in protests promoted by Hamas. The explicit purpose of Hamas leaders is to breach the fence and march on Jerusalem. Israel cannot possibly allow this — doing so would create a precedent that would encourage similar protests, and more death, along all of Israel’s borders — and has repeatedly used deadly force to counter it.
The armchair corporals of Western punditry think this is excessive. It would be helpful if they could suggest alternative military tactics to an Israeli government dealing with an urgent crisis against an adversary sworn to its destruction. They don’t.
It would also be helpful if they could explain how they can insist on Israel’s retreat to the 1967 borders and then scold Israel when it defends those borders. They can’t. If the armchair corporals want to persist in demands for withdrawals that for 25 years have led to more Palestinian violence, not less, the least they can do is be ferocious in defense of Israel’s inarguable sovereignty. Somehow they almost never are.
Israel’s 70th anniversary has occasioned a fresh round of anxious, if not exactly new, commentary about the rifts between Israeli and Diaspora Jewry. Some Diaspora complaints, especially with respect to religion and refugees, are valid and should be heeded by Jerusalem.
But to the extent that the Diaspora’s objections are prompted by the nonchalance of the supposedly non-vulnerable when it comes to Israel’s security choices, then the complaints are worse than feckless. They provide moral sustenance for Hamas in its efforts to win sympathy for its strategy of wanton aggression and reckless endangerment. And they foster the illusion that there’s some easy and morally stainless way by which Jews can exercise the responsibilities of political power.
Though not Jewish, Adam Armoush was once one of the nonchalant when it came to what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century. Presumably no longer. For Jews, it’s a painful, useful reminder that Israel is not their vanity. It’s their safeguard.