Author Archive

Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei says his plans for destroying Israel are “progressive”

June 15, 2018

By Elder of Ziyon Friday, June 15, 2018

Source Link: Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei says his plans for destroying Israel are ‘progressive’

{Next thing the progressive Ayatollah will be telling us destroying Israel is good for global warming. – LS}

In a surreal statement, Iranian leader Ali Khamenei said:

Concerning this usurper entity (Israel), Gamal Abdel Nasser forty or fifty years ago created slogans and said, “we would throw the Jews into the sea”…..

The Islamic Republic has not said this ever, but we have submitted a proposal from the beginning and we said that democracy and consideration of public opinion and the voices of the people today represent a modern and advanced method  agreed by the whole world.

A referendum can be established. This is what was said years ago to the United Nations as the opinion of the Islamic Republic. This is our opinion: Palestinians had been Palestinians for no less than a hundred years were Muslims, Jews and Christians. The voices of these Palestinians wherever they are, whether they were in the occupied territories, the land of Palestine, or outside of Palestine, and any system these will determine the fate of the land of Palestine, what will be the ruling regime, whatever they want.

Is this opinion a bad opinion? Is this view not progressive? The Europeans are not willing to understand this talk, and then you see that deadly side of the evil, pimply children who go there pretending to be oppressed and say that Iran wants to eliminate us and eliminate several million people …

See? he says Jews can vote – as long as they lived in Palestine a hundred years ago. The millions who returned to their ancestral homeland cannot vote, of course; the millions Palestinian Arabs who fled in 1948 can vote, of course.

This is the kind of progressive democracy that Iran embraces, where only the people they allow can vote for only the people they allow to run.

I’m not quite sure how his “progressive” voice fits in with forcing a million of his citizens to go out last Friday to chant “Death to Israel!” but, on second thought, a lot of Western self-proclaimed “progressives” do the exact same thing….

 

UN condemns Israel for Gaza violence, but not Hamas

June 14, 2018

General Assembly passes resolution calling for “protection” for Palestinians but overrides U.S.-backed amendment censuring Hamas for rocket fire, diverting aid to terrorism • Israeli envoy Danny Danon: U.N. “colluding with a terrorist organization.”

By Yoni Hersch, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff June 14, 2018

Source Link: UN condemns Israel for Gaza violence, but not Hamas

{So, what is it this time? …disproportionate use of force, genocide, islamophobia, not enough Israeli casualties, bad hair day? Honestly, it just gets old, folks. – LS}

The U.N. General Assembly voted on Wednesday in favor of a Palestinian-backed resolution condemning Israel for excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians, overriding an amendment proposed by the United States to censure Hamas for rocket attacks against Israel and for diverting aid resources for terrorist purposes.

The U.S. amendment initially passed by a vote of 62-58, with 42 abstentions, but it was ultimately rejected when General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak declared that under a General Assembly rule, a two-thirds majority was needed.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley appealed the decision, citing another rule that only a majority vote is required to pass an amendment.

After a short break, Lajcak put the U.S. appeal to a vote. The U.S. narrowly lost that vote 66-73, with 26 abstentions.

The General Assembly adopted the original version of the resolution with 120 votes in favor, eight against, and 45 abstentions. It had been put forward by Algeria, Turkey and the Palestinians after the United States vetoed a similar resolution in the 15-member U.N. Security Council earlier this month.

More than 120 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza border riots since March 30. The largest number of deaths occurred on May 14, and Hamas confirmed that most of the casualties were Hamas operatives.

While the General Assembly text condemned the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israeli civilian areas, it did not mention Hamas, which rules Gaza and is responsible for the rocket fire, nor did it mention the Palestinian riots on the Gaza border.

“The nature of this resolution clearly demonstrates that politics is driving the day,” Haley told the General Assembly before the vote.

“It is totally one-sided. It makes not one mention of the Hamas terrorists who routinely initiate the violence in Gaza.”

Algerian Ambassador Sabri Boukadoum, representing Arab nations, sought to block a vote on the U.S. amendment, saying it was not relevant to the resolution and also undermined reconciliation efforts between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah as well as the “remote prospects” of reviving peace negotiations with Israel.

Before the vote, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N., Danny Danon, told the assembly, “By supporting this resolution you are colluding with a terrorist organization; by supporting this resolution you are empowering Hamas.”

Australia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Togo joined Israel and the United States in voting against the resolution.

The resolution also calls on U.N. chief Antonio Guterres to recommend an “international protection mechanism” for the Palestinian territories.

“We need protection of our civilian population,” Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour told the General Assembly before the vote.

He said the resolution was “intended to contribute to a de-escalation of the volatile situation.”

“We cannot remain silent in the face of the most violent crimes and human rights violations being systematically perpetrated against our people,” Mansour said.

The resolution calls on Guterres to report back within 60 days on proposals “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation, including … recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”

 

Iran warns North Korea: Trump could cancel deal before getting home

June 12, 2018

By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin June 15, 2018 via World News

Source Link: Iran warns North Korea: Trump could cancel deal before getting home

{Patience, Iran. Trump will get to you shortly. – LS}

LONDON (Reuters) – Iran warned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday against trusting U.S. President Donald Trump, saying he could cancel their denuclearization agreement within hours.

Tehran cited its own experience in offering the advice to Kim a month after Washington withdrew from a similar deal with Iran.

Trump and Kim pledged at a meeting in Singapore on Tuesday to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula while Washington committed to provide security guarantees for its old enemy.

“We don’t know what type of person the North Korean leader is negotiating with. It is not clear that he would not cancel the agreement before returning home,” Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht was quoted as saying by IRNA new agency.

Nobakht questioned Trump’s credibility. “This man does not represent the American people, and they will surely distance themselves from him at the next elections,” he said.

 As well as pulling the United States out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Trump disowned on Saturday a joint communique issued by Group of Seven leaders, just hours after he had left their summit for the meeting with Kim.

Trump has said would be open to striking a new nuclear accord with Tehran. However, he says the existing deal negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama had failed to address Iran’s ballistic missile program.

On top of this, he also cited the terms under which international inspectors can visit suspect Iranian nuclear sites and “sunset” clauses, under which limits on the nuclear program start to expire after 10 years.

Trump has insisted any deal with North Korea should include irreversible and verifiable denuclearization.

An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman also advised North Korean leaders on Monday to “exercise complete vigilance” in their negotiations with the United States.

“We are not optimistic about these talks … The United States, especially Mr Trump, has undermined international agreements and has unilaterally withdrawn from them,” Bahram Qasemi said.

Trump has also decided to pull the United States out of the Paris climate change accord.

Washington will reimpose a wide array of Iran-related sanctions after the expiry of 90- and 180-day wind-down periods, including measures aimed at the oil sector and transactions with its central bank.

Other remaining signatories of the deal – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia- have criticized the U.S. exit and are still trying to salvage the accord.

 

Knesset committee passes bill deducting ‘terror money’ from PA taxes

June 12, 2018

Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee passes bill to withhold the amount the PA pays to terrorists – $340M in 2017 – from tax revenue Israel collects on its behalf • Author MK Avi Dichter: We won’t be a conduit for terrorist funds.


The family of Shalom Sharki, who was killed in a hit-and-run terrorist attack in April 2015, at the killer’s trial | Photo: Noam Revkin-Fenton

By Ariel Kahana and Gideon Allon Monday, June 11, 2018 via Israel Hayom

Source Link: Knesset committee passes bill deducting ‘terror money’ from PA taxes

Bonus Link: PALESTINIANS INCREASE PAYMENTS TO TERRORISTS TO $403 MILLION

{Hit them where it really hurts, in the pocketbook. – LS}

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee passed the second and third readings of a bill that makes it possible for Israel to withhold from the taxes it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority an amount equivalent to what the PA pays terrorists and their families in monthly stipends.

The committee decision overrides the government, which the bill to pass in a version that would allow the government to reinstate the tax funds at its discretion.

On Sunday, hundreds of bereaved relatives of victims of terrorism made a public appeal to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet ministers, asking that they pass the original version of the bill.

A total of 320 victims of terrorism and relatives of victims signed the letter, which stated that “it is inconceivable that the Israeli government transfer even one shekel to terrorists who murdered our loved ones, thereby rewarding despicable murderers while simultaneously encouraging terrorist attacks.”

The families sent the missive a day before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee adopted the final version that will deduct what it terms “terrorist salaries” from the tax revenue Israel collects for the PA.

In recent months, the MKs behind the bill, including former head of the Shin Bet Avi Dichter (Likud), have been locked in a battle with the cabinet over the proposed legislation.

Many in the defense establishment worry that withholding tax revenue could lead to the economic collapse of the Palestinian Authority. The Knesset members who authored the bill, as well as the bereaved Israeli families, rejected this concern, arguing that Israel cannot continue to ignore a situation that perpetuates terrorist murders of Jews.

An investigation conducted ahead of the committee meeting on Sunday indicated that in 2017, the PA paid families of terrorists 1.2 billion shekels ($340 million), a sum that comprises 7% of the PA’s annual budget.

Dichter said, “We cannot shut our eyes to this. We won’t be a conduit for the transfer of terrorist funds.”

Of course storming the border with Israel is an act of war. Just ask Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon – and Hamas

June 11, 2018


Syrians approaching the Israeli border in 2011

By Elder of Ziyon Monday, June 11, 2018

Source Link: Of course storming the border with Israel is an act of war. Just ask Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon – and Hamas

{Like we used to say, it’s the same difference. – LS}

The current “Great Return March” is not the first attempt by Palestinians to “return” to Israel by pretending to peacefully march through the Israeli borders.

In 2011, there were two sets of similar demonstrations or attempts, in May and June for Nakba Day and Naksa Day.  Arabs of Palestinian descent attempted to walk into Israel from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, as well as Gaza and the West Bank.

In most cases, the demonstrators were not stopped by Israel, but by the police and armies of the host countries and territories – often violently.

On May 15, the Lebanese army fired at the demonstrators, killing 10 of them. 

The Egyptian army stopped any buses with demonstrators before they could approach the border, and in Jordan dozens were injured as the Jordanian security forces stopped the demonstrators from approaching the border with Israel.

If these were peaceful protests, then why would the host countries be willing to use violence to stop its own citizens from approaching Israeli territory?

The reason is that everyone knows that crossing a border without permission is an act of war, not an act of protest. The countries wanted to avoid the possibility of starting a war with Israel (with the exception of Syria, which facilitated the demonstrations in order to distract the world from the beginnings of the Syrian uprising.)

During the June 5 demonstrations, even Hamas stopped the protesters from approaching the Gaza border by putting up checkpoints and arresting those who tried to bypass them.

At the time, the US issued a statement saying the obvious truth: “We call for all sides to exercise restraint. Provocative actions like this should be avoided. Israel, like any sovereign nation, has a right to defend itself.”

What was so obvious in 2011, that attempts to breach a border are acts of war that can be expected to be met with deadly force, has suddenly become controversial in 2018.

It is also notable that Israel used the exact same methods to stop the protesters in 2018 as in 2011: warning them, using tear gas, and shooting at their legs when the other methods didn’t work. There were no condemnations from the international community then, and as we’ve seen even Lebanon and Jordan and Egypt – and Hamas – attempted to stop the protests, with violence if necessary.

The international reaction to the current wave of violent riots is the height of hypocrisy.

 

Iran Moves to Lift Its Nuclear Enrichment Capacity

June 5, 2018


The Natanz nuclear site in Iran, in 2007. A new centrifuge assembly center there hints at a future resumption of industrial-scale enrichment.Credit Hasan Sarbakhshian/Associated Press

By Thomas Erdbrink June 5, 2018 New York Times

Source Link: Iran Moves to Lift Its Nuclear Enrichment Capacity

{I remember when the media gleefully announced Iran’s nuclear weapons ‘breakout’ was only 10 years away. Then is was 5 years followed by 2 years. Finally, they said 6 months or less. That was years ago.  Makes you wonder just where they are today. – LS}

TEHRAN — Iran announced on Tuesday that it had completed a new centrifuge assembly center at the Natanz nuclear site, in a first step to increasing its enrichment capacity.

While Iran said it would keep enrichment within limits set by the 2015 nuclear accord, the center’s opening seemed to signal that it could swing to industrial-level enrichment if that agreement, which the United States withdrew from last month, should further unravel.

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, told state television that the center’s construction had been “in line with our safeguard commitments but not publicly announced.”

A spokesman for the Iranian nuclear agency, Behrouz Kamalvandi, said a letter had been sent to the International Atomic Energy Agency explaining the action. He also told the semiofficial Iranian Students’ News Agency that Tehran would increase its capacity to produce uranium hexafluoride, a feedstock for centrifuges.


Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Monday that the country would adhere to enrichment limits set in the 2015 nuclear accord.CreditOffice of the Supreme Leader, via EPA

It was unclear whether the assembly center would actually begin to produce new centrifuges.

Under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran stopped enriching uranium to the 20 percent level that would allow for rapid development of a nuclear weapon and agreed to a limit of under 5 percent. It will adhere to that limit, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in a speech on Monday.

It was also uncertain whether the opening of the centrifuge plant would have any significant impact on Iran’s nuclear program, which continues to be closely monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

When Tehran agreed in 2015 to roll back its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international and United States sanctions, European companies rushed to enter the Iranian market. European governments have been working to keep the deal alive and protect those investments after President Trump dismayed many on the Continent by withdrawing and reimposing banking sanctions.

However, the American sanctions would still be a major problem, particularly for multinational companies, and several European firms have already announced plans to pull out of Iran. On Monday, the French group PSA, the maker of Peugeot and Citroën cars, which produces 440,000 vehicles a year in Iran, started closing its joint ventures with local auto manufacturers, though PSA said it would seek a waiver from the United States to maintain that production level.

In his speech, Ayatollah Khamenei warned the Europeans that Iran’s patience was limited, but analysts said that Tehran’s demands of guaranteed purchases of Iranian oil and free bank transfers with the European Union might exceed what the bloc could deliver in any rescue plan for the agreement.

“The Europeans expect the Iranian nation to tolerate and grapple with the sanctions, to give up their nuclear activities, which is an absolute requirement for the future of the country, and also to continue with the restrictions that have been imposed on them,” Ayatollah Khamenei said. “I would tell these governments that this bad dream will not come true.”

Iran’s Khamenei: Those who attack Tehran will be struck 10 times harder

June 4, 2018

Khamenei said Iran had no intention of curbing its influence in the Middle East.

By REUTERS June 4, 2018

Source Link: Iran’s Khamenei: Those who attack Tehran will be struck 10 times harder

Bonus Link: AYATOLLAH KHAMENEI Threatens to ‘Eradicate’ Israel, Orders Atomic Agency to Ramp Up Uranium Levels ‘Without Any Delay’

{Battle lines are being drawn. – LS}

ANKARA – Iran’s top leader said on Monday it would respond harshly to any attack and that Western demands for limits on its ballistic missile program are a “dream that will never come true.”

“Tehran will attack 10 times more if attacked by enemies… The enemies don’t want an independent Iran in the region… We will continue our support for oppressed nations,” he said.

Khamenei said Iran had no intention of curbing its influence in the Middle East and urged Arab youth to stand up to US pressure.

“Young Arabs, you should take action and the initiative to control your own future … Some regional countries act like their own people’s enemies,” he said in an allusion to US-allied Gulf Arab states who have supported rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a close ally of Tehran.

Tensions between Iran and the West have resurged since President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of world powers’ 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, calling it deeply flawed.

European signatories are scrambling to save the accord, which they see as crucial to forestalling an Iranian nuclear weapons, by protecting trade with Iran against the reimposition of US sanctions to dissuade Tehran from quitting the deal.

Under the deal, the Islamic Republic curbed its disputed nuclear energy program and in return won a lifting of most international sanctions that had hobbled its economy.

One of Trump’s demands – which European allies back in principle – is negotiations to rein in Iran’s ballistic missile program, which was not covered by the nuclear deal.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei again said this was non-negotiable. “Some Europeans are talking about limiting our defensive missile program. I am telling the Europeans, ‘Limiting our missile work is a dream that will never come true,” he said in a televised speech.

Trump also objected that the 2015 deal did not address Iran’s nuclear work beyond 2025 or its role in conflicts in Yemen and Syria. Though committed to the deal, European powers share Trump’s concerns and want broader talks with Iran to address the issues.

“Our enemies have staged economic and psychological… warfare against us and new American sanctions are part of it,” Khamenei told a gathering to mark the 29th anniversary of the death of Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.