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May 29, 2015 / 11 Sivan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

US Warship Steaming to Head Off Iranian Supply Ships for Yemen

Monday, April 20th, 2015

The U.S.S. carrier Theodore Roosevelt is heading towards the Yemeni shore to join with other American ships preparing to intercept Iranian vessels, Fox News reported on Monday, April 20.

It is believed that Iranian ships are carryng weapons to the Houthi rebels who overthrew the U.S.-backed Yemeni government last month. The Iranian-backed Houthis are attempting to gain control over Yemen.

There are currently approximately nine U.S. warships in the waters near Yemen, including cruisers and destroyers.

Israel’s UN Ambassador Calls Sexual Violence ‘Crime against Humanity’ [video]

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Islamic State and other terrorists have turned sexual violence into an “epidemic” and is a “crime against humanity,” Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor told the Security Council.

In his remarks in a Council session on Women, Peace and Security, Prosor stated:

Sexual violence in conflict has become a weapon of choice because it is cheap, silent and effective. Instead of bullets or bombs, the perpetrators employ barbarism and brutality….

Sexual violence as a tool in war is not a women’s issue. It is a crime of humanity against humanity.

ISIS, Boko Haram and Al Qaeda have publicized and boasted of their rapping women and using them as sex slaves.

Prosor cited several examples and said, “Women are raped numerous times a day. Young girls are forced to call their parents to detail being gang-raped by dozens of men.  The captured women and girls are sold as brides to Islamist fighters for as little as $25 or given as “sabaya” – a reward for fighters.”

No less significant is that many countries, especially those in the Middle East and North Africa, condone crimes against women and often accept mistreatment as a proper way of life.

“If a nation refuses to prosecute domestic sexual abuse, marital rape, and honor killings in times of peace then there is little hope for justice in times of war and conflict,” Prosor stated.

So which country did the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women single out in its annual report last month?

Saudi Arabia, where women lashed for not behaving according to Islamic law in public?

Somalia, where women are sold?

Iran, where there are no laws against domestic violence and where adultery is punishable by stoning?

In Egypt, where there is no law criminalizing domestic violence specifically and where forms of violence against women, including child marriage and female genital?

Of course not.

The only Middle East country named in the report was Israel, where the “occupation” has supposed caused high “unemployment and poverty, especially among women,” in Judea and Samaria.

And what does the United States have to say about sexual violence against women in Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries.

Washington speaks out forcefully against it in the politically proper forums while continuing “business as usual” when it sells weapons and makes deals with Iran to allow it retain its nuclear development infrastructure.

US Consulate Targeted by ISIS in Iraqi Kurdistan

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

U.S. officials in the Middle East are on high alert after ISIS targeted the American Consulate in Iraqi Kurdistan Friday. Kurdish Peshmerga forces operate the security ring around the Consulate.

At 10:44 am local time a car bomb exploded just outside the gates of the US Consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, near Mosul. The city is considered the capital of the Kurdistan region and is located in the center of Kurdistan, with a population of approximately 1.5 million.

Da’esh, also known as the ISIS terror organization, took responsibility on Twitter for the suicide car bombing. Three civilians died in the attack, along with the bomber, and 18 others were injured.

All U.S. and Iraqi personnel were evacuated from the building and no injuries were reported, according to State Department spokesperson Marie Harf.

Although U.S. legislators and military officials are disputing the strategic significance of the target, no one is arguing about the proximity of the attack to Mosul, an ISIS stronghold. Nor is anyone disputing the fact that ISIS is also engaged in battling for control of the only oil refinery in Iraq that is not yet under its control.

Barak Invests $1 Million in Firm Linked to Military-Industrial Complex [video]

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Published on Jewish Business News
by Ilan Shavit

The start-up Reporty Homeland Security Ltd has taken a $1 million investment from Israeli former prime minister, former defense minister, and former IDF chief of staff Ehud Barak.

Reporty is developing a platform to transmit real-time emergency reports. The company says the investment is designed to accelerate the development, recruitment and continued distribution in 911-type agencies worldwide.

Founded in 2014, the company is well-connected within Israel’s military industrial complex and the politicians that receive their flowers via FTD: there’s CEO Amir Elihai, a former special forces officer, as was Barak. He has worked 10 years in security organizations and has extensive experience in venture capital in Israel; and Pinchas Bukhris, former defense ministry director general and former commander of the IDF cyber unit 8200, now a director at Reporty. Ehud Barak said in a Reporty press release statement: “Reporty provides an answer to the essential need of every citizen – a sense of security, based on immediate and easy access to emergency services, including municipalities, hospitals, airports, Police, Fire and Rescue, etc. “Reporty will provide a platform for control and reporting, including large masses while protecting the privacy of each citizen.” Each year emergency services in Israel and around the world receive hundreds of millions of calls, goes Reporty’s raison d’etre. The average conversation time is from two and three and a half minutes, during which the operator must quickly assess credibility of the report, the event’s location, and what resources are available for use. Despite the long time spent delineating the relevant information for decision-making, various organizations still report that between 20 and 30 percent of their calls turn out to be false alarms. Another critical aspect is the speed of detecting the location of the caller. In the US alone, about 10,000 people die annually due to authorities’ failure to identify the locations of reported emergencies.

Report aims to change the scene when it comes to communication between the reporting caller and the various authorities, by streamlining the process of reporting and receiving, saving on expenses, and, more importantly, saving lives. The new application works through a broadcast video in real time, which, with the click of a button, transmits two-way video and audio to the appropriate emergency center, including accurate data about the location and the report’s degree of credibility.

This article was written by Ilan Shavit

PLO Won’t Fight in Yarmouk, as Left Call to Flood Israel with Refugees

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl, the head of UNRWA, left to visit Syria on Saturday to discuss the situation in Yarmouk, a ‘Palestinian’ refugee camp in Damascus, Syria, established in 1957, and actually a suburb of Damascus, with real buildings, streets and infrastructure, and not a tent city as the name implies.

All the relief workers have fled the neighborhood since Islamic State invaded, and the situation in the neighborhood has been described as “beyond inhumane”.

Reading through the purposefully vague wording of the official UNRWA press release, it appears that Krähenbühl will not actually visit the Yarmouk neighborhood, though it tries to give off the impression that he would.

On April 1, Islamic State (Da’esh) attacked and overran Yarmouk, a suburb in southern Damascus, fighting the local Hamas-affiliated terror group, Bait al-Maqdis, that controlled the neighorhood.

There is another terror group in the Sinai also named Bait al-Maqdis, who are thought to have had connections with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, but have since sworn allegiance to Islamic State.

Da’esh took over most of the southern Damascus neighborhood, and were reportedly assisted by members of Jabhat Al-Nusra who helped get them in.

Two years ago, Yarmouk had over 200,000 residents, but now they are down to less than 18,000. The neighborhood has been under siege by pro-Assad’s troops for the past two years. The PLO and other ‘Palestinian’ factions were among the first to flee in 2013.

Islamic State said they came in to liberate the residents from Assad’s siege.

On Friday, the Palestinian Authority/PLO has made it clear they have absolutely no intention of helping their compatriots militarily, contradicting an AP report quoting the PLO envoy to Damascus, Ahmad Majdalani, who said the PLO would join sides with the Syrian government to expel Da’esh from the Yarmouk neighborhood.

The PLO says it refuses “to be drawn into any armed campaign.” The Palestinian Authority has been undecided as to which side it should support in the Syrian civil war.

According to Al Jazeera,

Wasel Abu Yousef, a senior PLO official based in the West Bank town of Ramallah, said Friday that negotiating safe passage for Yarmouk’s besieged residents and for humanitarian supplies is preferable to military action.

Of course, since Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey are refusing to allow most ‘Palestinian’ refugees to enter their countries, it’s not clear where the safe passage would actually take them, except outside the latest immediate battle zone.

Left-wing groups in Israel have launched a new campaign to flood Israel with tens (hundreds?) of thousands of Yarmouk “Palestinian refugees” for “humanitarian” reasons, since their fellow Arabs and Muslims refuse to help them and grant them refuge.

Left-wing ideologues are trying to use the Yarmouk crisis to radically change the demographics of Judea and Samaria, while saying that Israel should ignore the political consequences of such an action.

In the Jerusalem Post, Gershon Baskin writes, “This is not the time to score political points… Israel should announce immediately its willingness to have those 18,000 remaining residents of Yarmouk come to the West Bank.”

A Haaretz Editorial wrote, “Israel could offer Abbas the possibility of absorbing some of the refugees into the Palestinian Authority… Political considerations and disputes with the PA should be set aside at this time.”

Islamic State’s control of Yarmouk gives Da’esh a strong foothold in Damascus, which they haven’t had before.

For the Israeli far-Left, their “solution” to this crisis aligns perfectly with their ongoing political agenda to get rid of Israeli control over historic Judea and Samaria – some might say, almost cynically so.

Obama: ‘Deal Ensures Iran Won’t Have Nuclear Weapons, Will Keep Israel Safe’

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Leopards do not change their spots and Iran’s radical Islamist government is not likely to stop sponsoring terrorism either. U.S. President Barack Obama apparently does, in fact, know that — he just doesn’t think it’s important enough to stop the U.S. from closing a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.

Why? Because he says he believes it’s the best way to keep everyone, including Israel, safe.

Actually, Obama believes the world powers led by the United States should close that deal precisely because the Iranian government is not likely to stop sponsoring terrorism. At least, that is the way Obama explained his reasoning in an interview Monday with NPR’s Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep. In the exclusive interview, he also said Israelis are right not to trust Iran, but that they can always trust America to be there to help protect them.

The interview was focused in its entirety on the issue of the nuclear deal worked out between U.S.-led world powers and Iran last week, and how it affects the rest of the world, particularly Israel.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been especially critical of what he has called, from the start, a ‘bad deal” repeatedly urging the “P5+1” world powers to reconsider, and reformat the agreement into a “different, better deal.”

Netanyahu this week expressed his deep concern over the enhanced ability of Iran to promote its terror agenda with newly-increased funds earned when international sanctions are dropped as a result of the agreement.

But Obama told NPR he believes it is more important to keep the focus on preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon – via the current agreement – than dealing with anything else Tehran is doing.

“I’ve been very forceful in saying that our differences with Iran don’t change if we make sure that they don’t have a nuclear weapon,” Obama said.

“They’re still going to be financing Hezbollah, they’re still supporting Assad dropping barrel bombs on children, they are still sending arms to the Houthis in Yemen that have helped destabilize the country.

“There are obvious differences in how we are approaching fighting ISIL (ISIS) in Iraq, despite the fact that there’s a common enemy there.

“So there’s still going to be a whole host of differences between us and Iran — and one of the most profound ones is the vile, anti-Semitic statements that have often come out of the highest levels of the Iranian regime.

“But the notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons, in a verifiable deal, on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won’t sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms. And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment,” he said.

“The — I want to return to this point. We want Iran not to have nuclear weapons precisely because we can’t bank on the nature of the regime changing. That’s exactly why we don’t want [Iran] to have nuclear weapons. If suddenly Iran transformed itself into Germany or Sweden or France, there would be a different set of conversations about their nuclear infrastructure.

“So, you know, the key here is not to somehow expect that Iran changes — although it is something that may end up being an important byproduct of this deal — but rather it is to make sure that we have a verifiable deal that takes off the table what would be a game-changer for them if in fact they possess nuclear weapons.

NPR: The demand that’s being made there, of course, underlies a broader concern that Israelis have. You’re suggesting implying through this nuclear that Israel must live another 10 or 15 years and longer with a country that is fundamentally opposed to the existence of Israel. How should Israelis think about Iran in the years to come?

Obama Finally Forced to Admit Iran’s Nuclear Breakout Time ‘Zero’ in 13 Years

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

It took a lot of pressure and many more speeches and harangues by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu than anyone probably wanted to hear, but at the end of the day, it paid off:

U.S. President Barack Obama was finally forced on Tuesday to admit the truth: In 13 years – if not fewer – Iran’s breakout time to an atomic bomb will be zero.

That means the world will have practically no warning whatsoever as to when Iran actually reaches its nuclear weapons capability – if it has not already done so by then, without telling anyone.

According to a report by the Associated Press, Obama told NPR News that for the first decade following the new deal reached last week with world powers led by the United States in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tehran will be capped at 300 kilograms of enriched uranium. The president insisted this was not enough to convert to a cache of weapons-grade fuel.

But then the president said this:

What is a more relevant fear would be that in Year 13, 14, 15, they have advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that point, the breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero.

By then, restrictions on Iran’s enriched uranium stockpiles will have been eased for the two years prior – in Years 11 and 12 – which means there will already have been two years in which to gather enriched nuclear fuel.

The admission confirms just one of a long list of concerns that Israel’s prime minister had underlined to the U.S. Congress – and to the rest of the world – in his repeated explanations of why “an even greater danger” exists that Iran could “get to the bomb by keeping [this] deal.”

Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz on Monday issued a government statement outlining “the irresponsible concessions given to Iran” in the agreement. The document also showed “how dangerous the framework is for Israel, the region and the world.”

Among the changes demanded by Israel to the current agreement between Iran and world powers prior to the June 30 final deadline (which the United States has ignored):

  • Bar further Iranian research and development on advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges;
  • Significantly reduce the number of centrifuges available to Iran for it to reactivate in violation of the deal;
  • Close down the Fordow underground enrichment facility;
  • Require Iranian compliance in detailing previous nuclear activities with potential military dimensions;
  • Ship Iran’s stockpile of lower-enriched uranium out of the country;
  • Ensure “anywhere-anytime” spot inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The document (click here for the PDF file) also made clear – as has Netanyahu, repeatedly in statements to the media – that the current agreement “ignores the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program to Israel.” The prime minister emphasized that a “better deal” can and must be reached with Iran, “an enemy of the United States whose regime, even during the negotiations, continued to conduct aggression in the region and to call for the destruction of Israel.”

The document pointedly calls attention to the fact that under the current agreement:

  • Not a single nuclear facility will be shut down;
  • Iran is allowed to continued advanced uranium centrifuge enrichment research and development;
  • Iranian intercontinental ballistic missile program development is altogether ignored;
  • Sanctions that could be used to regulate Iran’s compliance are instead removed.

Included in the document are 10 questions aimed at those who negotiated this deal and support its passage into law:

1. Why are sanctions that took years to put in place being removed immediately (as the Iranians claim)? This removes the international community’s primary leverage at the outset of the agreement, and make Iranian compliance less likely.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-finally-forced-to-admit-irans-nuclear-breakout-time-zero-in-13-years/2015/04/07/

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