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February 10, 2016 / 1 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Libya’

Will Obama Also Attempt to Waive Iran Terrorism Sanctions?

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Remember all the promises that the only sanctions to be lifted would be those related to Iran’s presumed efforts to obtain nuclear weapons? Well, many other seemingly iron-clad promises have gone by the wayside. For example, how could it be that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA or Nuclear Iran Deal) included provisions that lift the embargo on Iran for acquiring conventional weapons, or – even more frightening – the embargo on intercontinental ballistic weapons?

So, the concern arose, what if the administration decided to waive the anti-terrorism sanctions under the tax code (specifically, 26 U.S.C. 901(j))? That regulation states that U.S. taxpayers cannot get credit for taxes paid to countries with which the U.S. has severed diplomatic relations or which the Secretary of State has designated as a supporter of terrorism.

As a general matter, the President has the authority to waive that measure “in the national interest.” Do you see the problem? It is the president’s decision to make.

Given the many sleights of hand surrounding the Iran Deal, on Sept. 22, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, sent a letter to President Barack Obama. In that letter Ryan asked Obama whether his administration had made any commitment or promise to exercise his waiver authority for sanctions imposed on Iran due to its engagement in terrorism.

Ryan also asked whether the president would commit not to exercise his waiver authority with respect to Iran during the remainder of his term in office.

There was no response from the White House.

Because the White House refused to answer those very direct questions in Ryan’s letter, Rep. Peter Roskam, chair of the Oversight subcommittee of Ways and Means, decided to be proactive.

Roskam put together a hearing which was held on Wednesday, Nov. 4, to which experts were invited to testify about whether the administration could and should waive the sanctions on Iran which were imposed because of Iran’s terrorist activity and its sponsorship of global terrorism.

Roskam explained the genesis of the anti-terrorism regulations contained in the Internal Revenue Code with respect to Iran.

They were introduced thirty-six years ago, after the Iranian mullahs came to power and their thugs seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, holding hostage hundreds of Americans. The U.S. responded to that act of terrorism by severing diplomatic relations and imposing economic sanctions against Iran.

Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, was the first witness to testify at Wednesday’s hearing.

Dubowitz, a well-respected expert on the Nuclear Iran Deal, explained the current, post-JCPOA situation. He testified that Iran remains the leading state sponsor of terror, and is known to be currently holding four Iranian-American citizens and refuses to give information about a missing American citizen who vanished after traveling to Iran eight years ago.

Dubowitz maintains that the JCPOA will not prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability – the central position of the Obama administration. Dubowitz said that while the deal provides extensive sanctions relief to Iran, he insisted it was imperative that the U.S. administration employ various “non-nuclear” sanctions, including through the use of the tax code, to prevent enriching those in the Iranian regime who continue to engage in terrorism.

In fact, it was the FDD director’s suggestion that the U.S. increase sanctions and take other measures to prevent Iran from continuing its position as the number one state sponsor of terrorism.

Former Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith also testified at the Terrorism Sanctions hearing. Feith was asked to testify specifically because the only other president to waive tax code terrorism sanctions was his former boss, President George W. Bush, regarding Libya.

The Arab Spring of Anarchy Has Come to Israel

Friday, October 9th, 2015

There are no predictions here of what will happen tomorrow, or next week when the United Nations flies its peace process into Israel, or next month.

Calm might be restored today, or maybe not, but two things are for sure:

1. Israel, the most stable country in the Middle East, will remain Israel.

2. The Palestinian Authority will remain an unstable prop until the time comes when the world no longer sees it as an effective tool against Zionism.

Until then, it is important to understand events without blinders.

The Palestinian Authority is an organization of murderers, not terrorists.

World leaders and media, including ourselves, will continue to report on “terror,” but in fact, the Palestinian Authority is not sponsoring terror, a word which no longer has a clear definition. It used to mean the use of violence and coercion to achieve political gains. The Irgun, led by Menachem Begin during the British Mandate, was labeled as a terrorist gang because it bombed British positions with the clear motivation of re-establishing the State of Israel.

The Palestinian Authority does not want to create a new Arab state because it wants one. Its objective, and the only aim of the Arab world since the re-birth of Zionism, has been to destroy Israel as a Jewish state.

Everyone will continue to report on terror, but in fact, the Palestinian Authority is a criminal entity that is rife with drug smuggling, arms smuggling and corruption. It is a mafia that encourages and often is directly involved in murdering Jews.

–The Palestinian Authority can’t exist without Israel.

The regime in Ramallah is a state on paper. It has institutions, all of them corrupt; it has a flag at the United Nations, which is bankrupt morally; it is a welfare state dependent on the European Union and the United States; and it would be in a civil war if it weren’t for Israeli intelligence that helps Abbas stay alive.

The current violence is destroying whatever is left of the Left.

There has been a clear change in the tone and content counter-terror of Israel’s major media outlets, which successfully campaigned for the Oslo Accords, for the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif and for the release of thousands of terrorists in order to receive of dead bodies and a few that stayed alive, such as Gilad Shalit

The major media outlets do not run the country but they certainly reflect the voice of the “government of Tel Aviv,” best represented by the old Labor party that now calls itself the “Zionist Camp.”

Even before this week’s attempted murders of Jews in Tel Aviv, Petach Tikvah and Kiryat Gat, Yediot Acharonot, Israel’s largest daily, and the so-called Voice of Israel Radio (Reshet Bet), the most popular radio network, had changed their tune.

The Palestinian Authority propaganda and lies concerning the Temple Mount, have been too much for the center-left to swallow.

Secular as they are, they are sincere Jews who cannot justify or ignore the blatant anti-Semitism and racism among Israeli Arab Knesset Members who claim that the Jews have absolutely no rights on the Temple Mount and that the holy site belongs to Muslims and only to Muslims.

The only ones left on the left are the tiny minds, such as that of Meretz leader Zahava Gal-On, who this week condemned violence by Arabs and Israelis but in the end concluded it all is because of the “occupation.”

The Left exists as a small minority. The center-left is leaderless, as proven by Herzog’s pitiful and shameful arrogance this week in his insistence that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should resign because of the wave of violence.

Our worst enemy is ourselves.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s order that not only Cabinet Ministers but also all Knesset Members cannot visit the Temple Mount is infuriating to religious Zionists but is smart. With all due respect to Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) Minister Uri Ariel, one of the most intellectually honest politicians alive today, the Third Temple will not be rebuilt by politicians and right-wing media, so just keep praying.

Netanyahu also sent the “settler” movement into a rage Thursday night with his statement that “this is not the time to build new settlements.”

But the man has a bit more on his shoulders than we do. The right-wing certainly should protest and demand that Jews can build wherever they want in Judea and Samaria, but the demonstrations should start and end there. No Jew should bully himself onto a hilltop and clash with the police or soldiers.

Yes, a new Jewish community is the right answer to every terrorist attack in Judea and Samaria. It can be done only if there is full backing of the country, and we are not there yet.

Whether the chicken or egg comes first, Israel does not live alone. Yes, we need a stronger spine, but it has to be a spine that is not propped up with an artificial brace. Like it or not. Netanyahu is right. [This is not necessarily the position of the Jewish Press.com.]

This is not the time to throw sand in the eyes of the United Nations and President Barack Obama, but keep protesting so that Netanyahu does not forget that being right today does not mean he is right tomorrow.

And when will the violence end?

It began more than century ago, and it comes and goes in waves. A generation and a half of Arabs, both within and beyond the Palestinian Authority, has grown up with an education of hatred of Jews and Zionism.

Thank God, Israeli security forces have caught almost every terrorist, make that murderer or attempted murderer. Those that were killed won’t attack again.

The more the police and the IDF educate the rioters, the safer we will be and the sooner they will learn that their hate hurts themselves more than anyone else.

Obama’s UN Speech Ignores Israel but Hits Hard at Putin and Assad

Monday, September 28th, 2015

President Barack Obama’s address to the United Nations General Assembly Monday was extraordinary in its total exclusion of Israel and the Palestinian Authority and its hard-hitting attack on the Assad regime in Syria and its ally Russia.

A strong indication that President Obama has finally realized what he and numerous predecessors did not understand was this statement:

There are no simple answers to the changes that are taking place in much of the Middle East and North Africa.

It is not the first time he has said that, but unlike previous speeches, it was not followed up by the usual pie-in-the-sky statements that “Peace is made with enemies.” or “Solving the Israel-Palestinian Authority struggle is the key to bringing peace to the Middle East.

Saeb Erekat, who chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority and is secretary-general of the parent PLO, was extremely disappointed with Obama’s speech. He said:

Does President Obama believe that he is able to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) and terror or bring stability and security to the Middle East by ignoring the continuing Israeli occupation, settlements and the ongoing Israeli attacks on Al Aqsa [the mosque on the Temple Mount]?

Obama’s speech was a resounding “yes” to Erekat.

The “occupation” never was a threat to the Middle East, but the United States foreign policy gurus couldn’t figure that out, even when the Arab Spring rebellions upended stability and brought anarchy, termed by the United States as democracy, to Egypt, Libya, Iraq and other boiling pots in Arab Muslim countries.

Years after the United States ignored ISIS, it has become Public Enemy No. 1 and is being used brilliantly by Russian President Vladimir Putin to justify direct Russian military force in Syria.

When Putin told the United Nations he is fighting the Islamic State, he could have been more accurate, Russia may be the only country fighting ISIS.

The American-led strike force has proven to be pitiful, as the JewishPress.com reported here last week on the American-trained Syrian rebels who betrayed the United States and delivered American weapons to Al Qaeda.

The President verbally attacked ISIS but he was extremely careful to be polite to Islam, stating:

Part of that effort [against ISIS] must be a continued rejection by Muslims of those who distort Islam to preach intolerance and promote violence, and it must also a rejection by non-Muslims of the ignorance that equates Islam with terror.

President Obama mentioned “Israel” zero times in his speech. Ditto for the terms “Palestinian Authority” and Palestine.”

The only time he mentioned “Middle East” was in the context quoted above, that there are no simple solutions.

But he mentioned Syria eight times and Russia 15 times with harsh comments that were nothing short of cold war speech.

For example:

The history of the last two decades proves that in today’s world, dictatorships are unstable.

Consider Russia’s annexation of Crimea and further aggression in eastern Ukraine. America has few economic interests in Ukraine. We recognize the deep and complex history between Russia and Ukraine. But we cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated. If that happens without consequence in Ukraine, it could happen to any nation gathered here today. That’s the basis of the sanctions that the United States and our partners impose on Russia. It’s not a desire to return to a Cold War.

But his speech was remarkably chilly towards Moscow. He flatly stated:

Russia’s state-controlled media may describe these events as an example of a resurgent Russia… And yet, look at the results. The Ukrainian people are more interested than ever in aligning with Europe instead of Russia. Sanctions have led to capital flight, a contracting economy, a fallen ruble, and the emigration of more educated Russians

Imagine if, instead, Russia had engaged in true diplomacy, and worked with Ukraine and the international community to ensure its interests were protected. That would be better for Ukraine, but also better for Russia, and better for the world.

President Obama claimed he does not mind a strong Russia so long as it works with the United States “to strengthen the international system as a whole.”.

That gave him a platform to plow into the Assad regime Putin and Russia’s presence in Syria and ISIS, which he still refers to as ISIL and which he called ” an apocalyptic cult.

President Obama stated:

When a dictator slaughters tens of thousands of his own people, that is not just a matter of one nation’s internal affairs… Likewise, when a terrorist group beheads captives, slaughters the innocent and enslaves women, that’s not a single nation’s national security problem — that is an assault on all humanity.

Putin has taken the military offensive in Syria, giving him a military and political base across from Israel’s northern border. Putin knows that the Muslim Middle East understands only one word – “force” – but Obama dealt with the issue from weakness because without a military presence, the United States has little ammunition except Obama’s oratory.

He told the United Nations:

But while military power is necessary, it is not sufficient to resolve the situation in Syria. Lasting stability can only take hold when the people of Syria forge an agreement to live together peacefully. The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict. But we must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the pre-war status quo.

He could have used that as an excuse to throw in something about the “Israel-occupied Golan Heights,” but he did not.

His speech was remarkable in that it exposed how weak his administration has become in international affairs following the debacles in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, which now is under growing ISIS influence.

American influence had been on the decline for years but accelerated with the inevitable failure of the “peace process.” which was focused on the wrong country and the wrong issue at the wrong time.

Greece Seizes Suspected ISIS Weapons Ship Destined for Libya

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

The Greek Coast Guard may have prevented massive terrorist attacks in Libya Tuesday with the seizure of a vessel carrying explosives and weapons suspected of being linked with the Islamic State (ISIS). Greek media reported.

Authorities said more information would be released later. Initial suspicions are the that the cargo was being shipped to Libya

It is not known where the ship was loaded.

The ship was not registered in Greece,

Foreign Ministry Calls Sunni Arab Nations ‘Israel’s Allies’

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

 

Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama dreamed about a “new Middle East” under the leadership of the United States. They were dead wrong.

They may have fantasized that they could make peace between Israel and Sunni Muslim states, the foremost being Saudi Arabia, but their worst nightmares did not envision such an alliance being formed in opposition to none other than the United States.

Dore Gold, director of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and former Ambassador to the United Nations, finally spelled out on Wednesday what Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has whispered for months. The Muslims and the Jews have two common problems. One is an enemy, meaning Iran, which threatens to rule an Islamic Caliphate with or without a nuclear weapon.

The other problem is the Obama administration, which is appeasing the enemy.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has stated several times that Israel and Saudi Arabia have a common interest in making sure that Iran does reach nuclear weapons capability. Gold went a lot farther in his message last night to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Referring to Iran, he said:

What we have is a regime on a roll that is trying to conquer the Middle East and it’s not Israel talking, that is our Sunni Arab neighbors — and you know what? I’ll use another expression – that is our Sunni Arab allies talking.

Allies?

What happened to the “unshakeable bond” between the United States and Israel? It is there as long as people believe it. An era does not in a day, and American Jews will believe in that “unshakeable bond” for a long time to come because it makes them feel good.

And isn’t it President Barack Obama who is ready help arm Israel once again, after having forced it to be armed to the teeth by surrendering to many of Iran’s terms in his ObamaDeal, which Israel and the Sunni Arabs are certain is nothing more than a well-paved diplomatic road to hell?

Americans are too far away from the shores of the Middle East to feel the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran the way Jews in Israel and Muslims in the Gulf States feel it.

If Israel and its “allies” were to get it through the State Dept.’s thick skull that a nuclear-armed Iran is no less of a threat to the United States that it is to the United States, perhaps Americans would worry a bit more about Tehran and less about Mexican immigrants, homosexual marriages and Donald Trump.

Gold was upbeat, or at least tried to sound that way, about future relations between Israel and the United States in the likely event that Congress will not be able to ditch ObamaDeal.

He said:

We will find a practical way to come up with solutions to a very dangerous situation. But in the meantime we have to tell what we think about this agreement. We have to say the truth even though it’s unpleasant.

It also may be very unpleasant for President Obama amid his successor to realize that  their influence in the Middle East is dwindling. President Obama was overjoyed at the Arab Spring rebellions for “democracy,” which in the Muslim Middle East means “anarchy” and which was the reality for too long a time in Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria. Iraq is a lost cause.

Obama may have reached out Muslims, but he grabbed a handful of radical Islam that now threatens more than half the world.

He, like most other American politicians, assumes that Israel has no choice but to rely on the “unshakeable bond” with the United States.

ISIS Islamic Law on Libya that Obama Invaded to Save It from Radicals

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

The Islamic State (ISIS) is deepening its stake in Sirte, Libya and has posted billboards that warn women to wear the burka and get rid of sins, such as perfumed clothes and garments that bear brand names.

Violation of the ISIS orders could result in barbaric punishment.

The ISIS explains that Sharia law helps women so that do not descend into the pit of vulgarity by attracting lurid eyes of the opposite sex.

Some shopkeepers in ISIS-held cities have been ordered to put veils on their mannequins.

The billboards, in Arabic, warn women against see-through and loose-fitting clothes, and to cover all body parts. They may not wear clothes with name brands or clothes worn by men or non-believers in Islam. Designs on clothes also are forbidden lest they attract attention. Ditto for perfumed clothes.

This is the same Sirte that is the hometown of Muammar Qaddafi, who was in the cross hairs by President Barack Obama when he invaded Libya in 2011. He got rid of Qaddafi, and now what is left of Libya is trying to get rid of the Islamic State. Seven more civilians and soldiers were killed in Benghazi on Tuesday.

Remember Benghazi? Hillary Clinton wishes you don’t remember. That is where terrorists murdered U.S.  Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in an attack. Clinton has hidden her Benghazi-related e-mails under her private account.

Benghazi now is a theatre of street warfare between the army and the ISIS.

President Barack Obama also might want to forget about Libya. After criticizing  previous American invasions, here is what he said in 2011 when he ordered the invasion into Libya:

In just one month, the United States has worked with our international partners to mobilize a broad coalition, secure an international mandate to protect civilians, stop an advancing army, prevent a massacre, and establish a no-fly zone with our allies and partners.

To lend some perspective on how rapidly this military and diplomatic response came together, when people were being brutalized in Bosnia in the 1990s, it took the international community more than a year to intervene with air power to protect civilians.  It took us 31 days.

It took the United States only 31 days to “protect” civilians and clear the way for anarchy, followed by the Islamic State (ISIS), a carbon copy of the ouster of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. His exit was encouraged by President Obama and followed by anarchy and the brutal rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, now replaced by the equally brutal Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi regime.

ISIS no longer is a local terrorist group redistricted to Iraq and Syria. Besides its affiliate in the Sinai, it has established a strong army in Libya.

One Benghazi-based activist, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IBTimes that many jihadi groups “have given allegiance to the Islamic State because there is virtually no Ansar Al-Sharia now; they have all converted to become Islamic State.

“Islamic State has franchised its ideology and fighters began joining it here at the beginning of this year. As the period of this conflict has worn on, more foreign fighters have come to Benghazi.”

Analysis: ISIS Will Go Down to Defeat in Egypt

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

 

The Islamic State (ISIS) finally is going to be brought its knees in its attempt to take use the Sinai as a step to expand its terrorist empire to include Gaza, Egypt and even Israel.

The war in the Sinai is not over, but the ISIS attacks on Egyptian army checkpoints and police stations Wednesday were met with a fierce response that eventually will show the world that the Islamic State cannot succeed where a country is unified. ISIS, like Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaeda and other terrorist networks, survive on anarchy.

Wherever there is a power vacuum, the terrorists can step in, bankroll schools and welfare program, and take over the area business infrastructure to control the economy and government.

That is what Hezbollah did in southern Lebanon and Hamas did in Gaza.

ISIS also is succeeding in Libya, a semi-anarchic state since the fall of Muammar Qaddafi.

It has frightened the world by beheading men, women and children, and it has recruited butcher knife-wielding agents in Western countries

But beheading victim does not mean it can take over a country unless it totally demoralizes its citizens into surrender.

The ISIS is not invincible, and its incursion into Egypt will prove it.

Egypt, unlike Iraq and Syria, is bordered by open waters on two sides, the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the east. The Sinai Peninsula’s tiny land border to the northeast is with Israel, where Cairo has no fear of ISIS terrorists infiltrating the country

That leaves only Libya to the east and Sudan to the south, and both of them indeed are dangerous sources of jihadists and weapons.

But Egypt has one other factor running in its favor, and that is a fierce nationalism that worship and despite its dictators but always survives them by finding another.

ISIS was able to exploit a civil war in Syria and a total breakdown of sanity in Iraq to gain power.

Egypt is a different story. The country was divided between secularist and Islamists after the fall of Mubarak, but with only two sides fighting each other, the victor took the spoils. The Muslim Brotherhood swept into power, and then fell a year later, succeeded by a military regime until an election placed General Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in power last year.

The Sinai Peninsula is prime territory for ISIS. It is steeped in anarchy, neglected by Cairo for years, and its Bedouin tribes have carved out their own little fiefdoms.

Hamas and other terrorist organizations have exploited the vacuum of power over the past several years to carry out attacks in the Red Sea resort area and more recently on the army, but they always have been hit-and-run operations.

Geography and demography in the Sinai make it a wrong choice for ISIS. The Sinai is a desert. There are no major cities except for the Red Sea resort of El-Arish. The Egyptian air force Wednesday had no trouble in carrying out massive bombing raids on jihadist positions.

There was no worry of killing hundreds or even dozens of civilians, if there is such a creation in the criminal and terror-infested Sinai.

ISIS organized in the Sinai with the help of foreign intelligence, according to Egyptian military officials. It had no trouble smuggling weapons by sea from Sudan or from Gaza, but it would take a massive undercover infiltration outside of the Sinai and closer to Cairo for ISIS to be able to undermine the Egyptian regime.

Al-Sisi Wednesday night pre-empted a subversive Muslim Brotherhood-ISIS underground by approving drastic measures to expedite judicial proceedings against jihadists and their fund-raisers, with the death penalty hanging over their heads.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/analysis-isis-will-go-down-to-defeat-in-egypt/2015/07/02/

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