Archive for May 9, 2017

Judicial Watch Sues Justice Department for Sally Yates’ Emails While She Served as Trump Acting Attorney General

May 9, 2017

Judicial Watch Sues Justice Department for Sally Yates’ Emails While She Served as Trump Acting Attorney General, Judicial Watch, May 8, 2017

“Between her involvement in the Russian surveillance scandal and her lawless effort to thwart President Trump’s immigration executive order, Sally Yates’ short tenure as the acting Attorney General was remarkably troubling,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Her email traffic might provide a window into how the anti-Trump ‘deep state’ abused the Justice Department.”

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(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for emails of former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates from her government account.  The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-00832)).

The suit was filed after the Justice Department failed to respond to a February 1, 2017, FOIA request seeking access to her emails between January 21, 2017, and January 31, 2017.

Yates was appointed by President Obama as U.S. Attorney in northern Georgia and was later confirmed as Deputy Attorney General. In January 2017 she became acting Attorney General for President Trump.

Ms. Yates was involved in the controversy concerning Gen. Michael Flynn, allegedly warning the Trump White House in early January about General Flynn’s contacts with the Russian ambassador, Sergei Kislyak.  (Judicial Watch is separately suing for records concerning the surveillance and subsequent leaks regarding General Flynn.)

On January 30, Yates ordered the Justice Department not to defend President Trump’s January 27 executive order seeking a travel ban from seven Middle Eastern countries.  That same day, President Trump fired her for refusing to defend the action.

“Between her involvement in the Russian surveillance scandal and her lawless effort to thwart President Trump’s immigration executive order, Sally Yates’ short tenure as the acting Attorney General was remarkably troubling,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Her email traffic might provide a window into how the anti-Trump ‘deep state’ abused the Justice Department.”

 

A Slap in the Face to Democracy: Canada’s “Anti-Islamophobia” Motion

May 9, 2017

A Slap in the Face to Democracy: Canada’s “Anti-Islamophobia” Motion, Gatestone InstituteRuthie Blum, May 9, 2017

(Please see also, Tarek Fatah on M-103: “Replace the word Islamophobia with Islamofascism”. — DM)

“While the NCCM’s open letter does not directly call for Sharia law or the criminalization of criticism of Islam, it does advance the notion that the famously tolerant nation of Canada must set up anti-racism directorates in each province to track instances of Islamophobia, institute a mandatory course on systemic racism for Canadian high school students, and train its police officers to use bias-neutral policing.” — Josh Lieblein, The Daily Caller.

“Now that Islamophobia has been condemned, this is not the end, but rather the beginning… so that condemnation is followed by comprehensive policies,” wrote Samer Majzoub, a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate of the Canadian Muslim Forum — presumably meaning that the next steps are to make it binding.

“The objective of Jihad… warrants that one must struggle against Kufr (disbelief) and Shirk (polytheism) and the worship of falsehood in all its forms. Jihad has to continue until this objective is achieved.” — ICNA Canada website.

Growing concern in Canada over liberal policies benefitting Muslim extremists sheds light on why an “anti-Islamophobia” bill — proposed in the wake of the deadly January 17 Quebec City mosque attack and approved by parliament on March 23 — spurred such heated controversy there.

Motion 103, tabled by Liberal Party MP Iqra Khalid, a Muslim representing Mississauga-Erin Mills, calls on the Canadian government to “develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia.” Because the bill makes no mention of any other religious group targeted by bigots, it was opposed by most Conservative Party politicians and a majority of the public.

Ahead of what would turn out to be a 201-91 vote in favor of the motion, a petition was circulated asking MPs not to support it. According to the petition, Motion 103 would “lay the groundwork for imposing what is essentially a Sharia anti-blasphemy law on all of Canada.”

The petition further stated:

“…criticism of Islam would constitute a speech crime in Canada.

“This motion uses the term ‘islamophobia’ without defining it, and without substantiating that there is in fact any such widespread problem in Canada.

“This will lead to ideologically-driven overreach and enforcement against alternative points of view—including mature, reasoned criticisms of Islam.

  • “Criticism of the treatment of women in Islamic-majority Middle Eastern countries could be criminalized;
  • “It could be a punishable offense to speak out against the Mustlim Brotherhood, or to denounce radical Imams who want to enact Sharia law in Canada;
  • “Criticism or depiction of Muhammad could be punishable by law;
  • “Schools that teach the history of Islam’s violent conquests could be fined—or worse.

“That kind of content-based, viewpoint-discriminatory censorship is unacceptable in a Western liberal democracy.”

Meanwhile, citizens bemoaning what they view as the increasing radicalization of Muslim communities in Canada, due largely to the unfettered immigration policies of the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, took to the streets of Toronto, Ottawa and other cities to denounce the bill. This response took place in spite of its being non-binding.

A closer look at Motion 103’s initiator, supporters and other respected Muslim figures in Canada, however, indicates that there is cause for worry.

“Now that Islamophobia has been condemned, this is not the end, but rather the beginning… All of us must work hard to maintain our peaceful, social and humanitarian struggle so that condemnation is followed by comprehensive policies,” wrote Samer Majzoub, a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate of the Canadian Muslim Forum — presumably meaning that the next steps are to make it binding.

According to Islamist Watch’s Josh Lieblein, writing in The Daily Caller:

” …Khalid is a former President of York University’s Muslim Students Association, a student group with documented ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Similarly, Omar Alghabra is a former director of the Canadian Arab Federation, an association that has published statements in support of terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

“M103’s supporters in the Muslim community have questionable ties of their own. It has been reported that Samer Majzoub was the manager of a Montreal private school that received a $70,761 donation from the Kuwait embassy, while the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) – formerly the Canadian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Council on American-Islamic Relationspublished an open letter linking M103 to a wide-ranging campaign aimed at reducing systemic racism and Islamophobia in Canada.

“While the NCCM’s open letter does not directly call for Sharia law or the criminalization of criticism of Islam, it does advance the notion that the famously tolerant nation of Canada must set up anti-racism directorates in each province to track instances of Islamophobia, institute a mandatory course on systemic racism for Canadian high school students, and train its police officers to use bias-neutral policing.”

This attempt to turn free speech on its head in Canada is in keeping with the teachings of the country’s top Muslim cleric, Iqbal Al-Nadvi, chairman of the Canadian Council of Imams, president of the Canadian branch of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Muslim chaplain of the Canadian army.

ICNA is an organization that strives “to build an Exemplary Canadian Muslim Community” by “total submission to Him [Allah] and through the propagation of true and universal message of Islam,” according to Jonathan D. Halevi.

Al-Nadvi, he pointed out, has openly quoted the Islamic Prophet Muhammed asserting, “Jihad will continue till the Day of Judgment.”

Canada’s top Muslim cleric, Iqbal Al-Nadvi, who is chairman of the Canadian Council of Imams, president of the Canadian branch of the Islamic Circle of North America and the Muslim chaplain of the Canadian army, has openly quoted the Islamic Prophet Muhammed asserting, “Jihad will continue till the Day of Judgment.” (Image source: ICNA video screenshot)

ICNA Canada’s website states:

“The objective of Jihad… warrants that one must struggle against Kufr (disbelief) and Shirk (polytheism) and the worship of falsehood in all its forms. Jihad has to continue until this objective is achieved.”

In a piece for Gatestone Institute last October, Canadian terrorism expert Thomas Quiggin pointed to the enabling of, and contribution to, the rise of Islamic radicalism by Prime Minister Trudeau himself. According to Quiggin, Trudeau lauded a mosque in Ottawa, whose imam is part of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, an organization that was placed on the United Arab Emirates list of designated terrorist organizations in 2014. Trudeau called the mosque a shining example of “diversity… within the Muslim community in Canada.”

Two months later, during the days prior to and following the Quebec City mosque attack, a survey revealed that more than half of the citizens of Canada and Quebec consider the presence of Muslims to be a security concern. An even greater majority said they support some form of vetting of immigrants to test their appreciation for Canadian values, and believe that immigrants should integrate into and adopt Canadian culture once they settle in the country.

In this context, the passage by the Canadian Liberal Party establishment of Motion 103, pushed and backed by influential Muslims with radical records, was a slap in the face to democracy — just as its opponents have been claiming.

Iran to Launch Two New Satellites, Likely Cover for Illicit ICBM Program

May 9, 2017

Iran to Launch Two New Satellites, Likely Cover for Illicit ICBM Program, Washington Free Beacon, , May 9, 2017

A picture taken on August 20, 2010 shows the test firing at an undisclosed location in Iran of a surface-to-surface Qiam missile, entirely designed and built domestically and powered by liquid fuel according to Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi, a day before the Islamic republic was due to launch its Russian-built first nuclear power plant. AFP PHOTO/VAHID REZA ALAEI (Photo credit should read VAHID REZA ALAEI/AFP/Getty Images)

Iran is preparing to launch two new domestic satellites into space, according to a new announcement by Iranian military leaders that is stirring discussion among U.S. national security insiders who say the move is likely cover for the test firing of advanced intercontinental ballistic missile technology that could be used as part of Iran’s nuclear program.

The latest test comes as the Trump administration continues to engage in a comprehensive review of the Iran nuclear agreement that U.S. officials tell the Washington Free Beacon will result in a full-scale plan to “meet the challenges Iran poses with clarity and conviction.”

Iran continues to boost its military might and move forward with the testing of controversial ballistic missile technology. The expertise needed to launch satellites into space is similar to that needed to properly launch intercontinental ballistic missiles, which could potentially reach U.S. soil.

U.S. officials and national security experts have been paying close attention to Iran’s missile progress as North Korea ups its provocative moves. Tehran and Pyongyang have long traded illicit missile technology on the black market and Iran’s nuclear progress closely mirrors that of its partner.

The Iranian satellite launches also come as Iran engages in an unprecedented effort to reorganize and boost its military so it can serve as an offensive fighting force, a move that has drawn concern among U.S. national security insiders.

One State Department official, speaking only on background, told the Free Beacon that the Trump administration is moving closer to formulating a plan aimed at confronting Iran’s increasingly provocative behavior.

“As Secretary [Rex] Tillerson said, the Trump administration is currently conducting a comprehensive review of our Iran policy,” the official said. “Once we have finalized our conclusions, we will meet the challenges Iran poses with clarity and conviction.”

Iranian military leaders announced this week that they are preparing for the launch of two new domestically produced satellites.

“Now, we have two ready-to-launch satellites; one of them is Amir Kabir sensing satellite and another one is Nahid telecommunication satellite and over 97 percent of preparation works have been carried out on them,” Iranian Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi was quoted as saying Monday in the country’s state-controlled press.

Iran has a history of using space launches as cover to test and refine its ICBM technology, which remains part of its larger nuclear weapons program.

Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and expert on rogue regimes, told the Free Beacon that launches of this nature have only increased since the landmark nuclear agreement relaxed international restrictions on Iran’s military behavior.

“That Iran uses its satellite program as cover for ballistic missile development is no secret although, quite realistically, since John Kerry loosened restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program, they don’t need to hide quite so much,” Rubin said. “The key thing to recognize is that we’re no longer talking about just Iran’s capability.”

Rubin said that U.S. leaders should be paying close attention to the illicit Iranian-North Korean arms trade.

“When it comes to nuclear technology, Iran and North Korea are like sorority sisters swapping clothes or an old married couple sharing a toothbrush,” Rubin said. “What happens in Tehran doesn’t stay in Tehran.”

Saeed Ghasseminejad, a research fellow and Iranian regime expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, called on the Trump administration to impose new sanctions on Iran as a way to roll back its provocative behavior.

The Obama administration moved in its final days in office to lift a number of sanctions on Iran that have enabled it to reap billions in cash windfalls, a portion of which has gone to fund the Islamic Republic’s military buildup.

“The best way to stop Iran’s ballistic missile program is to impose sanctions on the industries involved in the program,” Ghasseminejad said. “This includes the petrochemical, mining and metallurgy, telecommunications, automotive, oil and gas, and electronics industries. The U.S. used the industry-based sanctions to curb Iran’s nuclear program and they were very effective.”

Trump authorizes heavy weapons for Kurds fighting Raqqa

May 9, 2017

Trump authorizes heavy weapons for Kurds fighting Raqqa, DEBKAfile, May 9, 2017

US President Donald Trump has approved supplying weapons to Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State in Syria, the Pentagon says. The Kurdish YPG leading the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) would be equipped to help drive ISIS from its stronghold, Raqqa, a spokeswoman said. The US was “keenly aware” of Turkey’s concerns about such a move, she added. The SDF, which comprises Kurdish and Arab militias, is already being supported by elite US forces and air strikes from a US-led coalition. The group is currently battling for control of the city of Tabqa, an ISIS command centre just 50km (30 miles) from Raqqa. The equipment would include ammunition, small arms, machine guns, heavy machine guns, construction equipment such as bulldozers and armored vehicles. The Pentagon ource added that the US would “seek to recover” the equipment afterwards.

 

Thae Yong-ho: Interview with a North Korean defector

May 9, 2017

Thae Yong-ho: Interview with a North Korean defector, Al Jazerra, May 9, 2017

(A video is at the link. Please see also, Krauthammer: U.S. does have cards to play against North Korea. — DM)

Thae Yong-ho, the former North Korean deputy ambassador to the UK, defected to South Korea with his family in 2016. He remains the highest-ranking diplomat ever to defect from North Korea.

In an interview with 101 East reporter Mary Ann Jolley in Seoul, he gives rare insights into the inner workings of the Kim Jong-un regime. Thae believes that a people’s revolution will one day bring an end to the Kim family’s dynastic rule.

The family members of defectors are often targeted by the North Korean regime.

Thae reveals that he does not know the fate of his siblings. “Even though I am physically and mentally free in South Korea, I still can’t get rid of this nightmare of my family members,” he says.

Al Jazeera: You’ve been a diplomat for many years, you’ve been loyal to the North Korean regime, what made you decide to defect?

Thae Yong-ho: There are a couple of reasons for my defection. First of all, it took me quite a long time to prepare this defection because it was quite a long time since I didn’t believe in this regime. And I did think that there was no hope for this regime, but in order to make the final decision, for making this kind of defection, it was not so easy, the decision. So it’s a little bit hard to say what is the triggering point.

Al Jazeera: When did you start to have doubts about the regime, was it after Kim Jong-un became the leader or had it begun before then?

Thae: Actually, you know, there was basic suspicion and doubt about the North Korean system and regime, but that kind of doubt did not lead me directly to the defection. But my frustration about the North Korean regime and the society actually started when Kim Jong-un decided to choose to continue the policy line of his grandfather, Kim Il-sung and his father Kim Jong-il.

Actually, when first Kim Jong-un came to power, I was hopeful that he may bring some change and organisation to North Korean society since he studied a long time abroad, he knew the world, so I was fairly hopeful. But later, Kim Jong-un decided to choose the continuation of the policy rather than bringing any change to North Korean society.

Especially in March 2013, he decided to openly continue the development of the nuclear programme of North Korea, that was his actual announcement of his decision to continue the policy line of his father and grandfather. And several months later, after this official announcement in December 2013, he executed his uncle and the people around him who actually yearned for change of North Korean society.

So, Kim Jong-un started not only to continue the main policy line and also he started to purge and execute the people who actually longed for change in this society. So, this kind of development pushed me further to finalise my conclusion of defection.

Al Jazeera: What was your greatest concern about defecting?

Thae: There are also family reasons. I am the father of two children and I am really worried about their future because I lived in that system for more than 50 years and I could very easily imagine what kind of life my sons would lead.

To be honest, my life in North Korea was nothing but the life of the slave, so I really didn’t want to hand over the same destiny and the life which I led to my sons’ generation. So, I really wanted to give them the freedom. I just wanted to see my sons to lead a normal life like other people.

Al Jazeera: What about your family in North Korea?

Thae: In North Korea, defection itself is really a great offence to the system and to the leadership, especially the families associated with defectors would be heavily punished, especially the families of higher-level defectors like me. So, of course, so far I’m not well-aware of the actual whereabouts of my family members and my brother and sister, but so far what I have seen about those happenings with my colleagues who defected in the past, I’m sure that my families could face a very heavy punishment because of me.

Al Jazeera: And that’s a heavy burden to carry …

Thae: Of course, even though I am physically and mentally free in South Korea, I still can’t get rid of this kind of nightmare of my family members.

Al Jazeera: Did you ever meet Kim Jong-nam?

Thae: I met him a couple of times in the late 1990s at the entrance of Koryo Hotel in Pyongyang, but I didn’t meet him face to face. What I learned was that he loved to be, and mix with, even some of the foreigners who were staying at the hotel.

Al Jazeera: What was your reaction when you heard Kim Jong-nam had been murdered?

Thae: On that morning, when I switched on the TV, the world media all of a sudden burst into breaking news, but to me it was not such a kind of surprise because according to the Kim Jong-un or North Korean regime, Kim Jong-nam was a kind of physical hurdle which should be eliminated … sooner or later.

Al Jazeera: Who do you believe killed him?

Thae: I think, in North Korean society, it is quite obvious that this kind of big incident can only be ordered by Kim Jong-un himself … Some media reported that maybe this is the outcome of a kind of royalty contest or competition. Kim Jong-nam is the half-brother of Kim Jong-un and nobody in our system can ever suggest to kill the half-brother of Kim Jong-un. So, this is very obvious fact that it is Kim Jong-un’s decision.

Al Jazeera: Why did Kim Jong-un want him dead?

Thae: North Korean society also like in South Korea has a very Confucian influence on society where the people should obey the instructions of the leader, children should respect their parents, and little brother should respect the elder brother. So, this is the long-term tradition and … Kim Jong-il made an official party policy line … the branches of a tree should be cut off in order to let the main trunk of the tree grow well. That is the main official terminology of the North Korean Workers party.

In other words, the first son of the family should inherit the family business. That is the usual practice, no matter whether in the North or South. So, Kim Jong-il was successful to be appointed as the heir to Kim Il-sung because of this party policy, because he was the first son. But if Kim Jong-un followed this policy, it is Kim Jong-un who should be eliminated because he is actually the branch of the tree, rather than the main trunk. It is Kim Jong-nam who is the first son …

Kim Jong-nam was a great psychological burden for Kim Jong-un to legitimise the leadership as the only successor of his father.

Al Jazeera: Kim Jong-nam made it clear that he didn’t want to be involved in politics, why then was he a threat to Kim Jong-un?

Thae: Kim Jong-un has been in power for five years, but until now he has been in difficulty legitimising his leadership. For instance, Kim Jong-un still hasn’t presented his age, his place of birth, where he spent his childhood, what’s the name of his mother. So, everything is in ambiguity in North Korean society about Kim Jong-un … He finds it difficult to convince the society and North Korea, most of the people even don’t know anything about the existence of Kim Jong-nam, the first son of Kim Jong-il, because his mother was not the official wife of Kim Jong-il. And the mother of Kim Jong-un was also not the official wife of Kim Jong-il. So these sons are not official offsprings of the official wife of Kim Jong-il, so it’s a kind of very great burden for the legitimacy.

And Kim Jong Nam, during his stay abroad, from time to time, met foreign media and so Kim Jong-un was very afraid of a spread of this kind of news of his existence from outside. So, I think it was a standing order for Kim Jong-un to get rid of Kim Jong-nam any time.

Al Jazeera: What do you make of the use of VX to kill Kim Jong-nam?

Thae: I think the North Korean agents thought that the Malaysian authority could not find the chemical component of the medicine they would use … Kim Jong-nam felt something strange, that’s why he approached the airport security police and explained what happened to his eyes and it was very fortunate that CCTV at the airport caught all these things.

So, the investigations were able to focus on his face and what chemicals, but otherwise if Kim Jong-nam just naturally continued his journey and fell down on his way to the airplane, it could be very difficult for the world and Malaysian authorities to find out what caused his death.

Al Jazeera: How has the use of a chemical weapon escalated the threat of North Korea to the rest of the world?

Thae: It is not a hidden story that North Korea has been stockpiling huge amounts of chemical weapons. Actually, chemical weapons is are the weapons of the poor countries. Any pharmaceutical or fertiliser factories can produce very sophisticated chemical weapons. So, North Korea has been producing the chemical weapons for quite a long time.

Al Jazeera: Do you think the fact that they’ve now used it on foreign soil to kill somebody suggests that they may not fear using it?

Thae: Of course, the Kim Jong-un regime is not only developing the nuclear weapons, actually the Kim Jong-un regime is ready to use it in this 21st century. So, Kim Jong-un may not hesitate to use any weapons if he feels threatened.

Al Jazeera: He’s executed family members, key members of the regime and now he’s murdered his own brother. What does that tell us about the brutality and cruelty of his regime in comparison to that of his father’s and grandfather’s?

Thae: Yes, the persecution and purge was also a frequent thing in North Korean society, even during the Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il period. But Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il never executed their family members. Kim Jong-un is different, because he doesn’t have any sense of solidarity among the family members and even the relatives because Kim Jong-un was a hidden boy. Not only in North Korean society, but he was also a hidden boy to the family members of his father and his grandfather.

Even up to now, Kim Jong-un cannot present a single photo with his grandfather because his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, didn’t know the existence of this grandson, Kim Jong-un. So, he doesn’t have any sense of solidarity with the rest of the family.

And to my impression, Kim Jong-un is in great fear of those officials around him because those officials are old and the ones who used to be followers of his grandfather and his father. Kim Jong-un is always sensitive whether he’s looked down upon by them as a young leader or whatever, so Kim Jong-un is a man with great paranoia.

I think on the surface, Kim Jong-un’s system looks very formidable, but I think Kim Jong-un’s system has already been in a slippery slope towards collapse. So, the only thing Kim Jong-un now relies on is the reign of terror, he just continues to execute officials.

For instance, a few months ago, he even purged the high-ranking officials of his security service network. So, if the system even purges officials of this secret, the security service then it proves that the system is in crisis.

Al Jazeera: What about the ordinary people? Has their life changed under Kim Jong-un?

Thae: The North Korean people these days are in great fear because Kim Jong-un even killed his uncle, and when he killed his uncle he made this execution open and public, so people saw enough. So, when people learnt that Kim Jong-un even went so far to kill his uncle, then that means that he could kill anyone. So people are in great fear, that’s the first thing. The second thing is that the North Korean people have been living in this kind of circumstances and environment for a long time. So, to some extent, they are indifferent to what’s going at a higher level of the society. They are just taking care of their own daily survival rather than thinking something big.

Al Jazeera: What could stop ther North Korean regime to stop developing nuclear weapons?

Thae: I think the only way to solve the nuclear threat, is the final elimination of Kim Jong-un and the regime. I think in order to eliminate Kim Jong-un’s regime, there can be several options even including the military ones, but the most realistic and effective ones is to disseminate the outside information in order to educate North Korean people for a popular uprising against the regime.

Israel still at war

May 9, 2017

Source: Israel Hayom | Israel still at war

Ephraim Inbar

After several military defeats, the largest and strongest Arab state, Egypt, signed a historic peace treaty with Israel in 1979. The defection of Egypt from the anti-Israel Arab alliance largely neutralized the option of a large conventional attack on Israel, improving Israel’s overall strategic position.

Yet Cairo refrained from developing normal relations with the Jewish state. A “cold peace” evolved, underscoring the countries’ common strategic interests but also the reluctance of Egypt to participate in reconciling the two peoples.

Jordan followed suit in 1994, largely emulating the Egyptian precedent. Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel also reflected common strategic interests, but was commonly referred to by Jordanians as the “king’s peace,” indicating a disinclination for interactions with the Jews west of the Jordan River.

The Arab world’s reluctance to accept Israel should not come as a surprise. Muslims seem to have good theological reasons for rejecting the existence of a Jewish state. Moreover, education systems in Arab countries have been indoctrinating students with anti-Semitic messages and hatred toward Israel for decades. Sadly, the negative portrayal of Jews and Israel in Arab schools and media outlets has hardly changed over the years.

This is also why the peace camp’s euphoria in the 1990s, prompted by the “peace process” with the Palestinians, was unwarranted. In fact, the peace process was a miserable failure. The process did, however, hand the Palestinian national movement a foothold in the West Bank and Gaza. Today, when a large part of the Arab world is occupied with its own deep socio-political crisis and another part fears the Iranian threat, it is the Palestinian national movement and the Islamists that carry on the struggle against the Zionists.

The Palestinians are at the forefront of the war on Israel, despite not having tanks or airplanes. They have terrorism, and they pay the terrorists captured by Israel as well as their families. They applaud attacks on Jews and put dead terrorists on a pedestal of martyrdom. They launch missiles at Israel’s civilian population, and the only reason their firepower is limited is because of Israeli efforts to cut off their weapons supply.

The Palestinian national movement denies the historic links of the Jews to Israel, and particularly to Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority has demanded an apology from the U.K. for the 1917 Balfour declaration, which recognized the Jewish link to Israel. There are endless examples in Palestinian schools and in the media proving that the Palestinians are not ready to make peace.

Moreover, the PA cannot maintain a “cold peace” with Israel, as Egypt and Jordan do. Both Egypt and Jordan take their commitment to preventing terrorism from their territory very seriously, but in the West Bank, the PA — established on the premise that it would fight terrorism in exchange for territory — refuses to honor its part of the bargain. It encourages terrorism by providing subsidies to jailed terrorists and by eulogizing “martyrs” and honoring them. Meanwhile, in Gaza, the ruling party, Hamas, formally refuses to give up armed struggle against Israel.

The Oslo process in the 1990s was an attempt by Israel to push the Palestinian national movement into a statist posture and to eventually adopt a rationale along the lines of Egypt’s and Jordan’s, which led them to a “cold peace” with Israel. But the religious and ethnic dimensions of the conflict with Israel have overcome any underdeveloped statist Palestinian instincts. The ethno-religious impulses of the Palestinians nurture their continuation of violent conflict.

So far, no Palestinian leader who adopted an agenda prioritizing state-building over other Palestinian aspirations has garnered popular support. Salam Fayyad, who was admired in the West for his attempts to reform the PA’s bloated bureaucracy, seemed to lean in this direction. But his level of support among the Palestinian public never rose above 10%.

Palestinian society is becoming more religious and radical, much like other Arab societies. This trend benefits Hamas, which is becoming more popular. Hamas’ growing power further feeds hostility toward Israel. A drive to satisfy the quest for revenge and ultimately destroy Israel — constituting historic justice in the eyes of the Palestinians — overrides any other consideration.

A renewal of negotiations leading to Israeli withdrawals is extremely unlikely to result in a durable and satisfactory agreement any time soon. Israel will need to maintain a strong army for many more decades to deal with the challenges posed by the Palestinians. Moreover, changes within neighboring states can be rapid. Unexpected scenarios, such as a return of the Muslim Brotherhood to the helm in Egypt or the fall of the Hashemite dynasty, could result in a re-emergence of a large conventional threat. Keep in mind that the Iranian nuclear specter is still hovering over the Middle East.

Israel must remain vigilant and continue to prepare for a variety of warlike scenarios. The understandable desire for peace should not blur the unfortunate likelihood that Israel will live by its sword for many years to come.

Efraim Inbar is professor emeritus of political studies at Bar-Ilan University, the founding director ‎of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University, and a Shillman-Ginsburg fellow at the Middle East Forum

 

Humor | North Korea Agrees To Trade Away Nuclear Weapons For Krispy Kreme Franchise

May 9, 2017

North Korea Agrees To Trade Away Nuclear Weapons For Krispy Kreme Franchise, Duffel Blog, May 9, 2017

PYONGYANG — In a breakthrough negotiation amid escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has agreed to trade away all his nuclear weapons in exchange for a single Krispy Kreme franchise, sources confirmed today.

“I’m super proud of Ambassador Hailey for negotiating such a big, big deal,” President Donald Trump said. “I thought I was going to have to bomb the shit out of ‘em.”

Pundits had long speculated on what could get Kim Jong-un to give up his nuclear weapons. Many experts had recommended tougher sanctions, or trying to persuade China to become more involved, though none seemed to change Pyongyang’s behavior.

“Due an unusual translation error, Kim Jong-un originally thought that the USS Carl Vinson that was ordered to waters off Korea was actually a Carl’s Junior that was going to be built in Pyongyang,” one US official said, on condition of anonymity. “When he was informed that wasn’t the case, man was he pissed.”

The source added: “We had to find the one thing more important to Kim than the preservation of his regime. Turns out it was right there in front of us.”

His belly.

Management officials at JAB Holding Company, owners of Krispy Kreme, were initially concerned that the deal would include a ‘Doughnuts for Life’ clause for Kim Jong-un which could have cost the company millions — assuming the dictator didn’t eat himself to death in the process.

But the North Korean regime has agreed to take on all costs of production due to a convenient supply of slave labor that keeps manufacturing costs to a minimum and both sides happy about the terms of the deal.