Should Netanyahu Suspend Israel’s Confrontation With Obama?: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, Aug. 25, 2015 — In examining Iran’s attitudes toward the Arab world in light of the Iranian nuclear deal, it is important to remember that Iranian interests in the Arab world have a long history beyond the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Poof Goes the Big Enchilada: David M. Weinberg, Israely Hayom, Aug. 28, 2015— Egypt's President Abdel Fatah Sisi has once again proven that he and his country will not tolerate any threats from Hamas or other Palestinians.
Palestinians Flock to Islamic State: Khaled Abu Toameh, Breaking Israel News, Aug. 25, 2015 — This year marks the tenth anniversary of an Egyptian-Israeli economic partnership that has quietly pumped billions into Cairo’s vulnerable economy.
‘No End of Secrets’: Dry Polish Rivers Recede, Revealing Downed Soviet Fighter Plane and Jewish Tombstones: Monika Scislowska and Vanessa Gera, National Post, Aug. 25, 2015 — Good evening. It is my pleasure to speak to you on this evening that represents the end of one chapter in our lives, and the start of another.
More Than Seven Decades Later, Monaco Apologizes for Deporting Jews: Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times, Aug. 27, 2015
These 1,200 German Jews Survived Hell And Were Saved By The Philippines: Israel Video Network, Aug. 24, 2015
From Kaifeng to the Kotel: Chinese Jews in Jerusalem: New York Times, Aug. 26, 2015
Iran Deal Could Reboot America's Big Enchilada Policy in the Mideast: Andrew J. Bacevich, Los Angeles Times, Aug. 6, 2015
Candidly Speaking, Aug. 25, 2015
The US-Israeli tensions that have escalated over the Iranian issue during the past month have led to waves of criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Yet in reality, Netanyahu has proven to be an impressive statesman. His address to the joint meeting of Congress, though initially harshly condemned, was far from being a disaster and served to establish the parameters of the debate. His widely disseminated statements articulating the case against the Iranian deal resonated widely among the American public and he is due much of the credit for persuading the majority of Americans to oppose the disastrous capitulation to Iran.
It is surely absurd to suggest that out of deference to a delusional American president, Israel’s prime minister should tread softly when his country faces an existential threat as the US empowers our most dangerous Islamic terrorist neighbor to become a threshold nuclear state. All the more so when some of its leaders are undeterred by mutual assured destruction and are even now reiterating their determination to wipe the “cancer” Israel off the face of the earth.
The reality is that the US administration is entering into a pact with a terrorist state that is explicitly committed to the destruction of Israel. Moreover, the US will be releasing over $150 billion into its coffers, which the Iranians openly boast will be employed to bolster terrorist activities by its surrogates against Israel. For Netanyahu not to oppose such a policy, irrespective of the outcome, would have been unconscionable and a dereliction of his responsibility as head of the Jewish state.
As further horrific details emerge of the ineptitude and immorality of the US administration in its negotiations with Iran, some of Obama’s former Democratic supporters have begun to publicly question his rationality. That the US agreed to cede responsibility to the duplicitous Iranians to selfcheck compliance in lieu of an independent body is mind-boggling. This highlights the delusional nature of the administration and exposes Obama’s duplicity when he assured the world that compliance would be rigorously monitored. It exemplifies the farce of this utterly sordid “deal” capitulating to genocidal Islamic terrorists.
Obama’s betrayal was further compounded when it was recently disclosed that he had already secretly offered concessions (which were rebuffed) to the satanic, genocidal then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. That was long before the “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani, who this week accused Israelis of killing and raping women and children, assumed office. Clearly, Obama’s long-term strategy from the outset was to create a realignment in the Middle East through a US engagement with the most dangerous Islamic rogue state and thus abandon Israel, the only genuinely democratic ally in the region.
Obama’s commitment to ongoing military cooperation and repeated assurances that he “has Israel’s back” cannot be relied upon following his failure to provide political support for Israel during the 2014 Gaza war. In that war, he repeatedly condemned Israel for lack of proportionality, applied moral equivalence to Israel and Hamas and even withheld arms shipments to Israel. This follows a clear pattern in which Obama has consistently ignored Palestinian incitement and terrorism, reneged on the Bush endorsement of Israel’s retention of the major settlement blocs and defensible borders, and has threatened to abrogate the US veto at the United Nations, enabling the Security Council to apply sanctions against Israel. It was also despicable to see a US president repeatedly humiliate and denigrate the Israeli prime minister while simultaneously groveling and capitulating to the Iranian ayatollahs.
The extent of Obama’s frenzied efforts to appease the ayatollahs despite their repeated calls for death to America was exemplified in his hysterical personal attacks and intimidation of those urging Congress to reject the deal. He was especially vicious in relation to Jewish opponents, whom he went so far as to accuse of warmongering, providing legitimacy to the hoary allegations of dual loyalties, extended in the past by traditional anti-Semites.
Senator Chuck Schumer, one of the few Democratic legislators courageous enough to oppose Obama, was accused of dual loyalties and subjected to unprecedented anti-Semitic venom. Obama’s hysteria even stunned some of his own Democratic supporters, who urged him to restrain himself and avoid using “anti-Jewish incitement” to promote his position.
This was also a turning point for the Jewish leadership. It is regrettable that until last month, the vast majority of normally robust American Jewish organizations, fearing a confrontation with Obama, remained silent – with the exception of the Zionist Organization of America and a number of small groups. Had they spoken up a year ago, they would be in a much stronger position today…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
David M. Weinberg
Israel Hayom, Aug. 28, 2015
Just in case there was any doubt as to what U.S. President Barack Obama is up to, Professor Andrew Bacevich of Boston University has laid it out for us in a series of recent articles. Obama's nuclear deal with Iran is meant to reboot and redirect the entire vector of American Middle East policy: to retreat from Pax Americana and allow Iran to take its rightful place as a major regional power.
For decades, two tenets have informed U.S. policy in the Middle East. The first is that U.S. interests there are best served by the position of unquestioned American pre-eminence. The second is that military might holds the key to maintaining that dominant position. (In this context, Israel has been an important U.S. regional ally). This approach is what Bacevich calls the "Big Enchilada" — the America-as-top-dog approach that Obama is seeking to overturn.
Obama rejects this notion, since he essentially views America's preponderance in world affairs as arrogant and sinful. He feels that American "bullying" has brought about disastrous results. Most telling was Obama's infamous lament in 2010 about America as "a dominant military superpower, whether we like it or not." In other words, he really doesn't like it at all. No statement could be more revealing of Obama's disgust for American global leadership.
In the context of the current deal with Iran, Obama has been equally clear as to how he expects this play out. If successfully implemented, the agreement that slows Iran's nuclear program will also end Iran's isolation. This will allow Tehran, over time, to become a "legitimate" and "extremely successful regional power" and a "powerhouse in the region." These are Obama's own words. All this leads, of course, to American retreat — blessed retreat from Obama's perspective — from the projection of power in the region. Replacing America will be a revanchist, greatly emboldened, anti-Semitic and genocidal (toward Israel), Islamic Republic of Iran. Poof goes the Big Enchilada.
Obama has been mostly dismissive of Iran's "bad behavior," as he flippantly calls it. He says that he "hopes to have conversations" with Iranian leadership that might lead someday to their "abiding by international norms and rules"; that he "hopes and believes" that Iranian "moderates" will leverage their country's reintegration into the global economy as an opportunity to drive kinder, gentler and less revolutionary foreign policies.
Whether Obama himself believes such nonsense is moot. The rub is that Obama doesn't view American behavior in the region over past decades as any more moral or legitimate than Iran's behavior. Consequently, the main thing for him is the humbling and retreat of America. What happens after that? Well, that will be some other president's problem, and Israel can lump it.
It is against the backdrop of such unfounded expectations and dangerous strategic vision that Prime Minister Netanyahu is leading the fight against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, otherwise known as the nuclear agreement.
Netanyahu understands that the nuclear agreement isn't just about Iran's nuclear program. It's about American detente with Iran and a perilous rejigging of America's global strategic posture. As such, Netanyahu's main goal is to prevent American retreat from the region, to thwart any intensification of American rapprochement with Iran and to avert the inevitable corollary of this: the further downgrading of U.S.-Israel ties. To do so, the Iran deal must be kept strategically disputed and politically fragile. Even if (or when) Obama steamrolls over Congress, the deal must remain controversial and questionable. It needs to become politically toxic.
American and European companies must know that investing in Iran is still a risky business. Iran must know that it is under extraordinary scrutiny, and that American opponents of the deal will jump at every opportunity to scuttle it if red lines are crossed. Space must be cleared for the rescinding or cancellation of the accord in the face of Iranian "bad behavior." Obama's successor should be under pressure to vigorously oppose Iranian hegemony in the region and to act more forthrightly than Obama to block Tehran's nuclear program.
In fact, a climate must be created that will encourage the next U.S. administration to backtrack from the deal, to reassert and reinvigorate America's traditional foreign policy approach, and to revitalize the U.S.-Israel relationship.
This explains why Netanyahu has rebuffed all attempts by dozens of well-meaning mediators to scale down his opposition to the deal and cut a compensatory deal with Obama. Aside from the fact that Obama never rewards his "friends" and has little to offer Israel of meaningful counterweight to this terrible deal, Netanyahu understands that far more is at stake. It's the big enchilada…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Khaled Abu Toameh
Breaking Israel News, Aug. 25, 2015
Hardly a week passes without another report of a Palestinian killed while fighting for the Islamic State terror group. The reports have raised deep concern among many Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. A recent report estimated that some 100 Palestinians have already joined Islamic State. Other reports claim that the number is much higher. According to the report, most of the Palestinians who joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are from the Gaza Strip. Another 1000 Palestinian men are believed to be preparing to join Islamic State, but have been unable to fulfill their dream for various reasons, the report revealed.
It is no surprise that most of the Palestinians who have joined the Islamic State are from the Gaza Strip, which has been under the control of Hamas since 2007. In the past year, various reports have suggested that Islamic State and its supporters have managed to infiltrate the Gaza Strip, where they pose a major threat to Hamas’s rule over the area, home to some 1.6 million Palestinians. Earlier this year, Islamic State supporters organized their first public appearance on the streets of Gaza City, where they called for an Islamic army to destroy Israel and the “enemies of Islam.”
Earlier this week, the Islamic State informed the Yehia family from the West Bank city of Jenin that their son, Said, had been killed while fighting for the terror group near Aleppo in Syria. The family was told that Said had joined the Islamic State seven months ago. Said’s family members said he told them he was travelling to Europe to look for work. Later, however, they learned that he had headed to Syria to fight for the Islamic State. The two strangers who arrived at the family’s home even provided Said’s parents and brothers with a photograph of Said’s dead body.
In recent months, at least four Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were also reportedly killed while fighting for the Islamic State. One of them, Abed al-Elah Kishta, 29, of the southern town of Rafah in the Gaza Strip, was killed while fighting for the Islamic State in eastern Libya. Weeks before he was killed, Kishta contacted his family to inform them that he had joined the group.
The second Palestinian from the Gaza Strip was identified as Musa Hijazi, 23. His father, Hassan, said that his son was killed while fighting for the Islamic State in the Iraqi city of Fallujah. The Islamic State later mourned Hijazi as one of its martyrs, referring to him by his nickname Abu Mu’men al-Maqdisi.
A third Palestinian was identified as Wadi Washah, 21, from the Jebalya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. Washah’s family said they were shocked to hear about his death while fighting for the Islamic State in Syria. The family said their son had previously joined Palestinian Islamic Jihad before escaping the Gaza Strip through a smuggling tunnel along the border with Egypt. Wadi’s father said that his son had travelled to Syria on instructions from Islamic State-affiliated salafi-jihadi leaders in Gaza. According to the father, Wadi had told him that he had managed to kill dozens of Iranians in Syria.
The fourth Palestinian was identified as Ahmed Badwan, 26, nicknamed Abu Tarek al-Ghazawi, of the Al-Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. Sources close to the family said that Badwan had left the Gaza Strip through a smuggling tunnel run by Hamas, and had first joined the Islamic State in Syria, before moving to the group’s branch in Iraq. He was killed in a U.S.-led coalition airstrike on an Islamic State base in Iraq, the sources said.
Although the number of Palestinians who have joined the Islamic State remains relatively low, it is evident that the terror group has become extremely popular among Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Four public opinion polls published a few weeks ago showed that at least a million Palestinians support the Islamic State.
The polls found that 24% of the Palestinians hold positive views about the Islamic State. Given that there are 1.8 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and another 2.7 million in the West Bank, this means that there are more than one million Palestinians who support Islamic State.
Commenting on the results of the polls, Christian activist Sam Butrous noted that the widespread support for the Islamic State among Palestinians is a sign of increased extremism and a denial of Christians’ rights in the Holy Land. “Apparently, 20% of the Palestinians have no problem with expelling their Christian brothers and destroying their churches and turning them into mosques,” he wrote. “This is what the Islamic State terror group is already doing in areas under its control.”
Christians are not the only ones who should be worried about the Islamic State’s growing influence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Palestinians’ two governments, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA), also have good reason to be worried. In recent weeks, Islamic State spokesmen have issued threats against both the PA and Hamas, accusing them of “collaboration” with the “Zionist entity.”
But the PA and Hamas can only blame themselves for the surge of Palestinians joining the Islamic State. The two governments allow anti-Western incitement in their mosques and media outlets. Their leaders regularly glorify and endorse Palestinians who carry out terror attacks against Israelis, thus encouraging other Palestinians to follow suit. And if these Palestinians are unable to carry out attacks against Israel from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, they travel to Syria and Iraq to join the jihad against Israel’s allies, namely the U.S. and other Western countries.
Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip cannot evade responsibility for inspiring dozens of Palestinians to join the Islamic State. The fiery rhetoric of these leaders, in addition to the ongoing incitement against Israel and the West, is further radicalizing Palestinians and driving them into the Islamic State’s open arms.
Monika Scislowska &Vanessa Gera
National Post, Aug. 25, 2015
As river levels in Poland fall to record lows amid a prolonged drought, Jewish tombstones and a Soviet fighter plane with the remains of its pilots have been found in the riverbank, evidence of Poland’s tortured 20th-century history. Those discoveries follow the findings of stone fragments from the early 20th-century Poniatowski Bridge across the Vistula River in Warsaw, which the Germans blew up in 1944 as they crushed the Warsaw Uprising. The bridge was rebuilt after the war.
“The Vistula River is hiding no end of secrets. They are everywhere,” said Jonny Daniels, the head of Jewish foundation “From the Depths,” who waded Tuesday into a shallow area of the Vistula, picking up fragments of stones with Hebrew lettering. Officials knew that archaeological remnants remained hidden under wild and murky waters of the Vistula River and its tributaries, but it was impossible to carry out searches for them until now. The Vistula, which flows 1,047 kilometres from the Beskidy Mountains to the Baltic Sea, is now at its lowest level since measurements started in the late 18th century.
On Sunday, explorers found the remnant of the Soviet fighter bomber in the Bzura River, a Vistula tributary, near the village of Kamion in central Poland. The pieces have been moved to a museum in nearby Wyszogrod for examination, with more recovery work planned for Saturday. The head of the museum, Zdzislaw Leszczynski, told The Associated Press that parts of Soviet uniforms, a parachute, a sheepskin coat collar, parts of boots, a pilot’s TT pistol and radio equipment were found, along with a lot of heavy ammunition. The inscriptions on the control panel and the radio equipment are in Cyrillic.
It’s all part of the devastating war that played out across Poland from 1939-45: a German invasion from the west, a Soviet invasion from the east, the murder of Jews across occupied Poland and fighting between the Soviets and Germans after Adolf Hitler turned on former ally Josef Stalin. Leszczynski said, according to witnesses, the plane was hit while flying low in January 1945 and crashed through the thick ice into the river. At the time, the German army was retreating toward Berlin before the Red Army’s advance. “Until now, the water level did not allow for the search and there was no one willing to enter this swamp,” he said.
Russian Embassy spokeswoman Valeria Perzhinskaya said she considers the discovery important and believes the crew could be identified by the numbers on the wreckage and properly buried. About 600,000 Soviet troops were killed fighting the German army on Polish territory. The Jewish tombstones found in Warsaw are believed to come from the Brodno cemetery in the Polish capital’s Praga district. Once the resting place for 300,000 Jews, only 3,000 tombstones remain there today. The rest were removed during and after the war, used as building materials and to reinforce the Vistula’s banks.
Two weeks ago, a man walking along the river in Warsaw came across fragments of the tombstones with Hebrew lettering. On Tuesday, he took Daniels there. In the meantime, some had already been removed, although a few fragments were still lying on the riverbed. Now Daniels hopes to take students there to do a more thorough search and return anything he can find to the cemetery. “Jewish history is buried in the Vistula,” he said.
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!
More Than Seven Decades Later, Monaco Apologizes for Deporting Jews: Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times, Aug. 27, 2015—Monaco committed the "irreparable" injustice of deporting Jews to Nazi camps during World War II, Prince Albert II said Thursday in belated apology for the action 73 years ago that sent scores of residents and refugees to their deaths.
These 1,200 German Jews Survived Hell And Were Saved By The Philippines: Israel Video Network, Aug. 24, 2015
From Kaifeng to the Kotel: Chinese Jews in Jerusalem: New York Times, Aug. 26, 2015—On a brisk winter day seven months ago, three young men from Jerusalem named Moshe Li, Gideon Fan and Yonatan Xue showed up at the military induction center in Tel Hashomer to formally enlist in the IDF.
Iran Deal Could Reboot America's Big Enchilada Policy in the Mideast: Andrew J. Bacevich, Los Angeles Times, Aug. 6, 2015 —At American University on Wednesday, President Obama defended his Iran nuclear agreement and depicted the issue at hand as a choice between "diplomacy or some form of war." To walk away from the deal was inevitably to plunge into armed conflict.