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August 28, 2016 / 24 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Libya’

‘What’s Changed about Being Jewish in Scotland?’ Fear, Study Finds

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities recently issued the final draft of a report titled, “What’s Changed About Being Jewish in Scotland,” the catalyst for which was the huge spike in anti-Semitic incidents in August 2014 (the time of the Gaza War), when SCoJeC received almost as many reports in a single month as in the entire previous year:

“The large increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Scotland during the third quarter of 2014 following the war in Gaza came as an unwelcome shock, not only to the Jewish community, but to civil society at large. During august 2014 alone, SCoJeC received more than 25 reports relating to at least 12 separate anti-Semitic incidents, almost as many as in the whole of 2013, and police in Scotland advised us that they had received reports of threatening phone calls and e-mails, graffiti on synagogues, and two cases of incitement to break the criminal law. In addition, many people told us that they now felt uncomfortable, anxious, and in some cases even afraid, going about their day-to-day activities as Jewish people in Scotland. Although these absolute numbers may not seem high, the most recent Scottish government figures reveal that, when the size of the different faith communities is taken into account, Judaism is almost 8 times, and Islam 3 times as likely as Christianity to be the victim of religious hatred,” SCoJeC related on its website.

Like the 2012 study, the new report provides a comprehensive overview of what Jewish people in Scotland are thinking, feeling, and experiencing, based on responses from a significant cross-section of the Jewish population of Scotland, spread across the entire country “from the Borders to the Shetlands, from members of the larger Jewish communities in Glasgow and Edinburgh, the smaller ones in Dundee and Aberdeen, and also from Jewish people who live very many miles from the any Jewish facilities.”

“We heard from Jewish people whose families had lived in Scotland for generations, and people who had very recently arrived in Scotland from other parts of the world,” the organization says, adding, “We heard from members of the Orthodox, Reform, and Liberal Jewish communities, as well as from people with no connection to formal Judaism, from people who had no interest in the Jewish religion or Jewish ritual, but who, in a wide variety of ways, felt connected to Jewish culture or for whom particular foods or melodies evoked their childhood, as well as from people who only found out they were Jewish as adults.”

The following are quotes from the new report. For the full report click here.

“As a child and teenager growing up in Edinburgh, I was proud to say I was Jewish and it was viewed positively by Edinburgh people who often had memories themselves of growing up alongside Jewish people and spoke enthusiastically of that. I am very wary now to be up front about being Jewish in certain circles, and especially after the events this summer [2014].” (F, 60s, Edinburgh)

“As far as the children are concerned we are telling them to be less open about being Israelis. Two years ago it wasn’t like this. It is a question of safety now.” (M, 40s, Edinburgh)

“As more and more of my friends have moved away, I increasingly feel like a minority. I am not aware of any other Jews in my workplace (it is a large organization). I think this has made it even more important to me to represent my race in Scotland. It has also changed in the last year due to the Scottish reaction to Operation Protective Edge, in particular the raising of the Palestinian flag. I am using social media much more regularly to try and educate friends about the situation in the Middle East. (F, 30s, Glasgow)

JNi.Media

Analysis: Trump’s Praise for Saddam Challenges GOP Presidents Who Took him Down [video]

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

“He was a bad guy, really bad guy. But you know what? He did well. He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read them the rights. They didn’t talk. They were terrorists. Over,” Donald Trump said at a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina Tuesday. In comparison, Trump said, “today, Iraq is Harvard for terrorism. You want to be a terrorist, you go to Iraq. It’s like Harvard. Okay? So sad.”

That assertion may be challenged by Israelis, as Clinton’s senior campaign adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN, “In reality, Hussein’s regime was a sponsor of terrorism — one that paid families of suicide bombers who attacked Israelis, among other crimes.”

Then Sullivan added that “Trump’s cavalier compliments for brutal dictators, and the twisted lessons he seems to have learned from their history, again demonstrate how dangerous he would be as commander-in-chief and how unworthy he is of the office he seeks.”

Not necessarily so. In retrospect, after the violent collapse of the “Arab Spring” everywhere but in Tunisia, Trump’s assessment of what the Arab world requires to keep it stable is not necessarily democracy. Back in October, 2015, Trump said he believed Iraq and Libya would be more useful in forging a stable Middle East if ruthless dictators like Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi had not been terminated by a succession of American presidents.

“If you look at Iraq from years ago,” Trump said in October, “I’m not saying [Hussein] was a nice guy, he was a horrible guy, but it was a lot better than it is right now. Right now, Iraq is a training ground for terrorists. Right now Libya, nobody even knows Libya, frankly there is no Iraq and there is no Libya. It’s all broken up. They have no control. Nobody knows what’s going on.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) rushed to the defense of both Bushes and Obama, telling Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that Saddam Hussein “was one of the 20th century’s most evil people. He was up there. He committed mass genocide against his own people using chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein was a bad guy.”

Yes, but, in the immortal words of FDR, when someone asked him about the wisdom of supporting Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza, “He may be an SOB but he’s our SOB.” Back in 1979, when Iran’s Shah was overthrown by the Islamic Revolution, giving way to an Islamic republic led by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, which drove the US out of Iran (and kept hundreds of American hostages), only Saddam Hussein was able to limit the spread of Iranian influence in the region. The Iran–Iraq War lasted from September 1980 to August 1988, exacting millions of victims in the service of Western interests in the region. No Arab democracy (an oxymoron if ever there was one) could have stopped Iran. The only force able to facilitate Iran’s yearning for regional hegemony were presidents Bush I and Bush II, followed by Obama.

On July 25, 1990, US ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie held an emergency meeting with Saddam, who attacked American policy with regards to Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Saddam complained bitterly: “So what can it mean when America says it will now protect its friends? It can only mean prejudice against Iraq. This stance plus maneuvers and statements which have been made has encouraged the UAE and Kuwait to disregard Iraqi rights.”

Saddam was referring to his neighboring oil sheiks “drilling sideways” into Iraqi deposits. Saddam viewed the entire concept of there even being a country named Kuwait to have been a conspiracy of British Petroleum and Her Majesty’s government to steal oil-rich Iraqi land. Saddam felt that in light of his service to the US, he should receive its support in his conflict with the Kuwaitis.

Ambassador Glaspie replied that the US would rather see the conflict resolved through peaceful means, but in the end, “…we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait.”

And so, after his ultimatum to the Sabah ruling family of Kuwait had failed, Saddam invaded Kuwait, believing the US was going to take a neutral position on his move. But his move frightened the Saudis, whose Ambassador under both Bush administrations had his own desk in the Oval office, and they pressured Bush I to start what is now a 26-year program of completely destabilizing the Middle East, complete with attacks on US soil, lingering civil wars in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, two worldwide Islamic terrorist armies, one of them a Caliphate wannabe blowing up half of Europe. All of which could have been avoided had the Bush I and certainly Bush II administrations been more accommodating to the monstrous dictator who used to be our monstrous dictator.

The Democratic and Republican establishments insist on presenting Trump as an admirer of dictators, which he may be — but that was not the case Trump has been making for boosting rather than unseating dictators, such as Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Trump has a much clearer view regarding US foreign interest than do the establishment politicians on either side of the aisle, and it ain’t about spreading the spirit od democracy and goodwill to all mankind.

JNi.Media

Report: Between 700 and 900 Immigrants Died at Sea Last week

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

“We will never know exact numbers” of drowned refugees fleeing the Middle East and East Africa for safe haven in Europe, Medecins San Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) tweeted Saturday, estimating that as many as 900 had died last week. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Sunday that more than 700 had drowned.

According to Reuters, some 14,000 refugees have been rescued since last Monday, but there have been reports of at least three boats sinking. The number of dead is estimated based on survivor testimonies. These included Saturday interviews with immigrants at the Sicilian port of Pozzallo, resulting in accounts of a large, motorless fishing boat that capsized on Thursday with a large crowd of women and children on board.

According to testimonies, when the boat capsized, 25 passengers swam to the towing boat, and as many as 90 others were saved by 3 boats with MSF rescue personnel. 15 bodies were recovered, which means that at least 550 died, according to the UNHCR.

The rescued refugees last week included Eritreans, Sudanese, Nigerians and other West Africans. The boats have mostly left from Libya, where many women said the smugglers had beaten and raped them.

On Friday, an Italian Navy ship collected 45 bodies and rescued 135 people from a semi-submerged rubber boat, which normally carries about 300.

David Israel

Libyan President Gaddafi Asked Israel for Help Against West

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

According to a report by Israel’s Galei Tzahal raqdio, the late Libyan president/dictator Muammar Gaddafi turned to Israel via secret channel, asking for Israel’s help in getting the Western forces to stop attacking and trying to overthrow his regime.

Obviously it didn’t work.

Gaddafi was killed in 2011.

Libya has been in a civil war with itself and in battles with ISIS for the past 5 years. Over half a million Libyans have been left homeless as a result of the fighting.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Report: Al Qaeda in Yemen Starts Using Surface-to-Air Missiles

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen have reportedly acquired sophisticated Russian-made surface-to-air missiles and have used them to shoot down a fighter jet this month.

In an exclusive report (March 26) The Independent claims Al Qaeda used an SA-7 surface-to-air missile to down a French-made Mirage fighter jet in Yemen. The missile was allegedly a “Strela” shoulder-mounted heat-seeking projectile with a kill range altitude of 15 to 1,500 meters.

According to the report, the incident took place two weeks ago (March 14), just outside th southern Yemeni port city of Aden.

The jet crashed into a mountainside; officials at the time told media the crash was due to a “technical malfunction” but sources told The Independent the jet was shot down by Al Qaeda using a surface-to-air missile (SAM).

The fighter jet was flying in the United Arab Emirates air force as part of a Saudi-led coalition air campaign against the Shi’ite Houthi rebels who are backed by Iran. Both pilots were killed in the crash. Locals told media the jet was flying low and attacking AQAP forces entrenched in a district west of Aden.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is deeply involved in this conflict, as is the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group, whose guerrilla fighters have been spotted among the Houthis.

If the report is true, this will mark the first time a SAM was used in the Yemen conflict – but not the first time Al Qaeda has ever used one.

In fact, Al Qaeda produced a detailed guide to help its operatives learn how to use a SAM to bring down commercial aircraft. One such guide was found in Mali as far back as three years ago, according to a 2013 report by The Associated Press.

The 26-page document, written in Arabic, was recovered by AP in a building that had been occupied by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghred (AQIM). This manual also was used for SA-7s, also called “man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADS.

In that instance, the SA-7s in question were believed to have originated from the arsenal of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

Not only were they found in Timbuktu, however. Atlantic Council analyst Peter Pham, a former adviser to U.S. military command in Africa and instructor to U.S. Special Forces told AP at the time he believed Al Qaeda had fighters who already knew how to use the SAMs effectively.

Moreover, the Libya-based Al Qaeda group was not the first to have MANPADS. It was also believed there were Al Qaeda groups in Iraq and Afghanistan who also had MANPADS, as well as a Somalian terror cell who boasted at the time about its SA-7 in a video message.

This Saturday, a second source told The Independent, “Al Qaeda has confiscated huge amounts of weapons from bases in Yemen.” The SA-7s in this case are believed to have been sold to Al Qaeda, or to Yemen by Bulgarian arms dealers who acquired them when the Soviet Union broke apart.

The source added, “Al Qaeda are smarter than Islamic State (ISIS); They speak with the tribal elders, they co-opt people, get them on their side. Islamic State uses fear and coercion. It’s flashy and seeks a lot of attention but Al Qaeda is laying low and playing the long game.”

The source claimed that fighters from both sides of the conflict in Yemen are selling arms to AQAP.

Hana Levi Julian

Report: ISIS is Building Air Force in Sirte

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

The Da’esh (ISIS) terror group has somehow acquired flight simulators, captured fighter jets and is now starting to train pilots to fly them at an air base in Libya, according to numerous reports.

The group has allegedly acquired two flight simulators “the size of a small car” — one from a civilian plane and the other, that of a fighter jet, according to the London-based A-Sharq al-Awsat. The information was confirmed to the paper in an interview with a senior Libyan military officer in Cairo.

The terror organization is “now actively training its jihadis on it to fly flighter jets” at an air base in Sirte, the hometown of former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, who was murdered in custody in 2011.

Nor is the group lacking in aircraft with which to begin to equip its fledgling air force: Da’esh has already managed to capture a number of fighter jets in Iraq and Syria.

Given these elements, Da’esh terrorist pilots could conceivably hijack planes and then crash them into high-value targets as did Al Qaeda on Sept. 11, 2001, or simply take to the skies in their own ISIS air force, perhaps to attack other targets. The group has felt no compunction about destroying any treasured site that might hold value to any society, be it religious or cultural, thus far. Moreover, Da’esh also appears to be escalating the caliber of its actions with each new attack.

At present, there are an estimated 3,000 Da’esh terrorists in Libya, a United Nations committee said in a report submitted to the U.S. Security Council and released to the public last week.

“Since 2013, the country has experienced several waves of Libyan returnees, which also formed the backbone of the newly established ISIL (ISIS -ed.) in Libya. In addition, the country continues to attract foreign terrorist fighters in significant numbers from North Africa. While currently concentrated in its stronghold in Sirte, ISIL could seek local alliances to expand its territorial control, also entailing the risk of motivating additional foreign terrorist fighters to join the group in Libya,” the committee reported in the executive summary.

Libya borders Tunisia and during the Arab Spring, Libyan rebel fighters flowed back and forth across the border, as did female Qaddafi family members who were fleeing the fighting.

During these times, members of the ancient Jewish communities of Djerba and Tunis prudently maintained a particularly low profile, often with assistance from longtime Gentile friends and neighbors, in order to increase their chances of staying alive through the storm.

It is not clear how the Tunisian Jewish community will be impacted by the growth of Da’esh next door, now spreading its tentacles throughout a nation that has never managed to achieve any stability since Qadaffi was toppled.

It is perfectly clear, however, that the world will be an infinitely more dangerous place if Da’esh succeeds in its bid to build a terrorist air force and if its success in achieving mastery of chemical and biological warfare is not sabotaged as soon as possible.

Hana Levi Julian

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.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/will-obama-also-attempt-to-waive-iran-terrorism-sanctions/2015/11/06/

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