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Monday, April 20, 2015

Hebrew language charter school in Washington DC serves diverse student body (video)

An interesting report from Israel's Channel 10:



I'm familiar with a couple of other Hebrew-language charter schools in the US, but I hadn't seen one that was in a predominantly non-Jewish neighborhood before.

(h/t Yoel)

04/20 Links Pt2: EU To Combat ISIS Beheadings By Labeling Settlement Products (satire)

From Ian:

JPost Editorial: European boycott
European foreign ministers, who are acquainted with the challenges of balancing human rights with security needs – particularly in the wake of 2004 Madrid train bombings, the July 7, 2005, London public transport bombings, the 2012 Toulouse and Montauban shootings and the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher massacres, must understand that Israel cannot simply lift movement restrictions placed on Palestinians living in the West Bank as long as Hamas and Islamic Jihad operate in the area and the Palestinian Authority continues to glorify terrorists.
Using economic boycotts to punish and ultimately close down Jewish businesses located in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem also works under the assumption that only by making the entire West Bank judenrein can there be peace. These boycotts ignore the extensive economic cooperation that exists between Palestinians and Israelis.
Large proportions of Palestinians living in the West Bank are interested in various forms of cooperation with Israel, including economic. In a survey conducted in 2011 by pollster Geocartography Knowledge, 85 percent of respondents said they were interested in cooperation with Israel. Jewish businesses in Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem employ tens of thousands of Palestinians.
European nations are engaged in a struggle to protect their Jewish communities from predominately Muslim aggression. When EU foreign ministers issue declarations that are driven by bigotry and distortions, they are feeding into anti-Semitism disguised as criticism of Israel. They are helping to spread lies.
PreOccupied Territory: EU To Combat ISIS Beheadings By Labeling Settlement Products (satire)
Fresh on the heels of yet another brutal video clip featuring a mass-execution of “infidels” by Islamic State fighters, sixteen Foreign Ministers of the European Union decided to address the danger by voting to mark products produced in Israeli settlements.
IS militants in Libya conducted two mass executions this week, beheading one group of Ethiopians and Eritreans along the Mediterranean coast and shooting the other. Dozens of victims were killed in the two incidents, which were filmed and distributed to international media. In response, the EU ministers vowed to take measures to protect those threatened by IS barbarism, and determined that the best way to prevent recurrences of mass beheadings in Syria, Iraq, and Libya would be to apply a distinctive label to all products imported into EU nations from areas in the West Bank where Jews live.
“We realized just how precarious existence is for so many people in the shadow of the Islamic State, and elected to make an unequivocal statement in that regard,” said Federica Mogherini, the head of EU foreign policy who presided over the conference of ministers. “We can think of nothing better in our capacity as European leaders than this important measure.”
UN Watch: Ex-UN Expert Richard Falk Compares UN Watch to Goebbels, “Their Defamatory Attacks Damaged My Reputation”
In a new diatribe delivered before an April 10th anti-Israel gathering in Washington, DC, former UN expert Richard Falk lashes out at UN Watch for “defamatory attacks” that “damaged my reputation, referring to the exposure of his support of 9/11 conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic remarks. Falk compared the Geneva NGO’s practices to those of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels (see video 9:00 to 10:00).
In fact, those who joined UN Watch in condemning Falk’s poison included UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the U.S., the UK, Canada — and the Palestinian Authority, which famously tried to fire him. For a glimpse into Falk’s numerous statements supporting terrorism against America, the West and Israel, click here.
According to Falk, writing in prepared remarks, UN Watch was the “most aggressive” of organizations to take him on, and “with incredible persistence” gave voice “to their denunciation of my character and activities.”
Falk complains that UN Watch circulated “defamatory attacks” calling for him to be fired to prominent international personalities, “including high-ranking civil servants in the UN itself, such as the UN Secretary General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and a variety of ambassadors of countries friendly to Israel.”
Richard Falk compares UN Watch to Goebbels, says he was subjected to "defamatory attacks"


UN TV features Israeli initiative to save Palestinian kids' lives

A couple of years ago I visited the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon and made a mini-documentary about the remarkable Israeli organization Save a Child's Heart:



SACH was recently featured in a video report in, of all places, United Nations Television:



This must not have been easy for the UN to produce.

While Save a Child's Heart is recognized as an NGO by the UN's Economic and Social Council, that wasn't a slam dunk. This press release shows that SACH had hurdles that no other NGOs had to clear simply because it was Israel, as the representative was peppered with questions from Cuba, Venezuela, the PA and especially Syria casting doubt upon its true humanitarian purpose:

The Committee reviewed the applications of a range of organizations for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, and heard substantive debate on a handful of NGOs present at the meeting. A highlight of the discussion concerned Save a Child’s Heart in Memory of Dr. Ami Cohen, an international organization founded in Israel working to improve the quality of paediatric cardiac care for children in developing countries suffering from rheumatic and congenital heart disease. It also aims to create centres of competence in those countries.

Questions arose about the organization’s involvement with Palestinian children and medical institutions, along with its stance on the Palestinians’ right to self-determination. In response, the NGO representative stressed that it stood for Israeli society and not the State of Israel. Of the more than 2,600 children served since the organization’s inception, more than 1,500 were Palestinian children recommended by a group of partnering Palestinian doctors and hospitals in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, he said.
(h/t Yoel)




Iran-Saudi naval showdown looms as world's double standards crystallize

From TheHill:
U.S. military officials are concerned that Iran's support for Houthi rebels in Yemen could spark a confrontation with Saudi Arabia and plunge the region into sectarian war.

Iran is sending an armada of seven to nine ships — some with weapons — toward Yemen in a potential attempt to resupply the Shia Houthi rebels, according to two U.S. defense officials.

Officials fear the move could lead to a showdown with the U.S. or other members of a Saudi-led coalition, which is enforcing a naval blockade of Yemen and is conducting its fourth week of airstrikes against the Houthis.

Iran sent a destroyer and another vessel to waters near Yemen last week but said it was part of a routine counter-piracy mission.

What's unusual about the new deployment, which set out this week, is that the Iranians are not trying to conceal it, officials said. Instead, they appear to be trying to "communicate it" to the U.S. and its allies in the Gulf.

It is not clear what will happen as the convoy comes closer to Yemen. Saudi Arabia has deployed ships around Yemen to enforce the blockade, as has Egypt. An official said the ship convoy could try to land at a port in Aden, which the Houthis have taken over.

Although the U.S. is assisting with the Saudi-led air campaign, it is not participating in the naval blockade of Yemen, said U.S. Central Command spokesman Col. Pat Ryder.

However, the U.S. Navy is in the region and has already "consensually boarded" one Panamanian-flagged ship in the Red Sea on April 1 on the suspicion it was illegally carrying arms for the Houthis.

None were found, but the move raised alarm bells in Washington over an increasingly active U.S. military role in the conflict. The Pentagon indicated this week that more boardings could occur.

U.S. officials say they are unsure why Iran is making the brazen move. One theory they have floated is that the Saudi-led coalition has effectively blockaded any air routes into Yemen and there are no other ways to resupply the Houthis.

Another theory is that Iran is trying to distract the coalition from another ship it has tried hard to conceal that is currently docked at Oman — a potential land route for smuggling arms into Yemen.

Yet another theory is that Iran wants to force a confrontation with Saudi Arabia that it believes it will win, because Iran views the Saudi military as weak and suspects the U.S. lacks the willpower to support its Gulf ally.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei last week on Twitter taunted Saudi Arabia, calling its military puny and smaller than Israel's. He also said the air campaign was tantamount to genocide of innocent Yemeni civilians and that the U.S. would also fail in Yemen.
Clearly, US forces in the Gulf are not frightening Iran in the least. The mullahs have concluded that there is no way that Obama would do anything to upset them.

At any rate, Saudi Arabia is enforcing a real blockade against Yemen and there is a real humanitarian crisis there:
Millions of Yemenis, especially in the south, are living through similar hardship, cut off from food, water, electricity and other basic needs. As the bombing campaign enters its fourth week, aid agencies are warning of a burgeoning humanitarian crisis in what is already the Arab world’s poorest country.

“Probably in the last 10 years, it’s one of the worst crises that has hit Yemen and the situation is deteriorating very rapidly,” Abeer Etefa, World Food Programme’s spokeswoman for the Middle East and North Africa, said by phone from Cairo. “We’re talking here about really a very grim outlook.”

At the beginning of the month, the Houthi-controlled Saba news agency said there were enough food stocks to last six months. But amid the fighting, those supplies are dwindling fast. On April 8, thick clouds of smoke hung over Aden when grain silos went up in flames.

No further food shipments are expected, Etefa said, as the coalition has blockaded ports to control shipping routes.
A country of 26 million, Yemen imports the bulk of its food, including nearly all its wheat and rice. The number of “food insecure” people in Yemen has increased to 12 million, a 13 percent rise since the start of the crisis, the WFP says.

Yemenis “will be starving soon, literally,” said Farea Al-Muslimi, a visiting scholar and Yemen analyst at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut.
Yemen has 10 times the population of Gaza, and probably less than one percent of the news coverage that Gaza had last summer - despite Saudi airstrikes that have killed hundreds of civilians, a Saudi  blockade that is keeping out nearly all food, and even Saudi bombings of supplies of aid, as it did yesterday:
The relief organization Oxfam said in a statement on Sunday that the coalition had also bombed one of its storage facilities in Saada Province, in northwest Yemen.

“The contents of the warehouse had no military value,” the group said. “This is an absolute outrage, particularly when one considers that we have shared detailed information with the coalition on the locations of our offices and storage facilities.”
This morning, dozens more were feared killed after an apparent Saudi airstrike on a munitions dump in a residential area.

The lack of concern from so-called "peace activists" who were holding daily protests against Israel last summer is striking, but not surprising.

04/20 Links Pt1: Can You Capture Your Home?; Executions Surge in Iran after Nuclear Talks

From Ian:

Honest Reporting: Can You Capture Your Home?
The historical connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem is a well-established fact. Jews have lived in that small area for thousands of years. It is the site of the ancient Jewish Temples as well as dozens of more modern places of worship. For most of recorded history, Jews have lived inside its walls.
But in 1948, that connection was disrupted. The city fell during Israel’s War of Independence to the Jordanian Legion. All the Jewish homes were destroyed, the synagogues burned down, and the surviving Jews were exiled. Watch our video where eyewitnesses tell what it was like for the Jewish refugees of Jerusalem to have to flee their homes. The military attack was an unprovoked assault, part of a wider campaign to destroy the nascent Jewish State.
Only after the city was liberated by the Israeli Defense Forces 19 years later was the Jewish quarter rebuilt, and Jews allowed to once again live in their historical and spiritual capital.
This is history. It is the key context, without which there can be no understanding of the “issue” of Jerusalem. Yet in almost every case when the media report on events in Jerusalem, this context is left out. Instead, one finds a short background sentence, such as the one below appearing in a recent New York Times article:
Israel captured the compound — along with the rest of the Old City from Jordan in the 1967 war
U.N. Watch: End this 'relief'
As the Palestinian Authority officially becomes the 123rd member of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and threatens to use it as a cudgel to beat Israel, the United States must back up its displeasure with more than words.
It can begin by withholding its significant share of funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Established six decades ago as a “temporary” assistance agency for Palestinian refugees, it has metastasized into a partisan operation with direct ties to Hamas terrorists.
This so-called humanitarian agency has “repeatedly downplayed” Hamas' instigation of three conflicts since 2008, according to Brett D. Schaefer and James Phillips for The Heritage Foundation. Last summer the UNRWA found itself fumbling to explain how Hamas rockets turned up in its facilities.
Meanwhile almost three-fourths of the UNRWA's so-called clients aren't living in refugee camps, report Messrs. Schaefer and Phillips. Yet since 1950, the United States has dumped about $4.9 billion into an agency that “obstructs its original mission” and “impedes negotiations for a permanent peace agreement,” they add.
As the Palestinian Authority now nose-thumbs U.S. objections to its ICC membership and drifts further from negotiations with Israel, the U.S. must register its disappointment appropriately by withdrawing its “relief” agency funding
Iran’s regime and IS are two sides of the same medieval coin
Do you see the similarities between the experiences of the Yazidi girls and mine? Do any of you have daughters? Do you realize that when you negotiate with Iran about its nuclear capabilities, it is your moral duty as fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, brothers, and sisters to pressure Iran to improve its human rights record? The conditions of Evin and other Iranian prisons have not improved since I was there. The bystander allows atrocities to take place, and no amount of justifying would take the blood off your hands. I’m not asking you to bomb Iran. No. I believe that violence never leads to lasting good; it perpetuates the cycle that turns victims into torturers and torturers into victims. Unlike my captors, I believe in justice according to the rule of secular, democratic laws that refrain disallow shooting first and asking questions later or never, laws that do not allow crimes against humanity, including torture and rape, to be justified for any reason. If you lift the sanctions against Iran, whether quickly or slowly, you would be releasing billions of dollars of frozen assets to a brutal killing machine that is not fundamentally different from Islamic State. IS hides behind the name of God to gain power, and so does the Islamic Republic of Iran. Both “caliphates” are built on mass graves, rape of women and children, and various other atrocities.
A few days ago, Iranians danced on the streets of Tehran and other cities to celebrate the possibility of a deal between Iran and the United States. Iran’s economy has been suffering because of the sanctions, and money has been tight, so people are desperate for some economic relief. The last time I saw such celebrations in Iran was when the Islamic revolution of 1979 succeeded. It didn’t take long after that for Iran’s revolutionary regime to throw thousands of Iran’s best children into prison and torture, rape, and kill them. Without knowing it, in 1979, Iranians were dancing on the graves of their own children.
Please do not give in to the IRI and do not pour money into its bloodthirsty machine. This will lead to nothing but more devastation. The enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend. The IRI and IS are two sides of the same medieval coin.

Terrorists like selfies, too

As far as I can tell, this photo was taken on March 23 for a anniversary celebration of the death of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.


Lenny Ben David made a quick Twitter caption contest. Some entries:








HRW again gives benefit of doubt to Saudis for airstrikes on civilians

Last month I showed the striking differences between how Human Rights Watch treated Saudi and Israeli airstrikes that kill civilians.

Here is another example of the differences between the wording of a recent HRW report on a Saudi airstrike in Yemen versus a similar report from last Just about an Israeli airstrike in Gaza.

Note how HRW is bending over backwards to not directly accuse the Saudis of doing anything illegal, only suggesting that there might be problems and asking for an impartial investigation, while noting that the Houthis are placing military targets near civilian structures.

As opposed to Israel where they immediately accuse the IDF of violating the laws of war, purposeful targeting of civilians for no reason, and including sarcasm about Israel's "precision" strikes.

April 16, 2015
17 days after the Saudi airstrike in Yemen
July 16, 2014
7 days after Israeli airstrike in Gaza


Saudi-Led, US-Backed Attack Raises Laws-of-War Concerns

Airstrikes by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition that hit a dairy factory in Yemen on March 31, 2015,killed at least 31 civilians and wounded another 11. The governments that participated in the attacks should investigate the airstrikes, which may have been indiscriminate or disproportionate, in violation of the laws of war.

Forces of Ansar Allah, known as the Houthis, and other opposition forces, also appeared to put civilians at unnecessary risk. Area residents told Human Rights Watch that the Yemany Dairy and Beverage factory, a multi-building compound 7 kilometers outside the Red Sea port of Hodaida, was about 100 meters from a military air base controlled by Houthi forces. Military units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh were at another nearby military camp.


“The coalition's repeated airstrikes on a dairy factory show cruel disregard for civilians, as does the deployment near the factory by Houthi and pro-Saleh forces." said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director. “The attack may have violated the laws of war, so the countries involved should investigate and take appropriate action, including compensating victims of unlawful strikes.”

While civilian casualties do not necessarily mean that the laws of war were violated, the high loss of civilian life in a factory seemingly used for civilian purposes should be impartially investigated, Human Rights Watch said
Bombings of Civilian Structures Suggest Illegal Policy
Israeli air attacks in Gaza investigated by Human Rights Watch have been targeting apparent civilian structures and killing civilians in violation of the laws of war. Israel should end unlawful attacks that do not target military objectives and may be intended as collective punishment or broadly to destroy civilian property. Deliberate or reckless attacks violating the laws of war are war crimes, Human Rights Watch said.

“Israel’s rhetoric is all about precision attacks but attacks with no military target and many civilian deaths can hardly be considered precise,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Recent documented cases in Gaza sadly fit Israel’s long record of unlawful airstrikes with high civilian casualties.

Human Rights Watch investigated four Israeli strikes during the July military offensive in Gaza that resulted in civilian casualties and either did not attack a legitimate military target or attacked despite the likelihood of civilian casualties being disproportionate to the military gain. Such attacks committed deliberately or recklessly constitute war crimes under the laws of war applicable to all parties. In these cases, the Israeli military has presented no information to show that it was attacking lawful military objectives or acted to minimize civilian casualties.

On July 9, an Israeli attack on the Fun Time Beach café near the city of Khan Yunis killed nine civilians, including two 15-year-old children, and wounded three, including a 13-year-old boy. An Israeli military spokesman said the attack was “targeting a terrorist” but presented no evidence that any of those at the café, who had gathered to watch a World Cup match, were participating in military operations, or that the killing of one alleged “terrorist” in a crowded café would justify the expected civilian casualties.


Notice how HRW took far less time to "investigate" Israeli actions and declare them guilty than they spent to tell us that they don't quite know what happened in Yemen.

There is another difference.

The dead Yemenis are not even worth naming in HRW's dispatch, but HRW went into details of the lives of the victims of Israeli airstrikes, humanizing them.

For example:
Relatives and survivors said the victims frequently went to the beach café. Khaled Qanan, 30, told Human Rights Watch that the attack killed two of his brothers, Mohammed, 25, a master’s degree student in Arabic, and Ibrahim, 28, who sold fish. Ramadan Sabbah, 37, the two victims’ brother-in-law, said:
They went to the beach café all the time, including every day since this operation started [on July 8]. They said they felt safer there than they did in Khan Yunis. But there was nothing to shelter them; it was just chairs and fabric. When we found the bodies, they didn’t have visible injuries. Ibrahim had only a small cut, but we found his body almost 200 meters away. Mohammed was found on the asphalt. The road is cracked from the explosion.

Too bad that HRW couldn't figure out that the Qanan brothers were terrorists.

As the Meir Amit Center documents, they were both members of the Fatah Abu Rish Brigades.

But HRW said, flatly, that these soccer-loving terrorists were civilians. And HRW used that as a reason to accuse Israel of war crimes.

Once again, HRW's bias against Israel is unmistakable.




Living proof against "Israeli apartheid" to accuse Israel of apartheid at NYU

From NYU's "Students for Justice in Palestine" Facebook:

Yes, an Arab who leads a Knesset party and who Israel's Supreme Court allows to serve despite her hatred for the state for which she is a representative is telling the world that she has an "insider's view" on "Israeli racism and apartheid."


Sunday, April 19, 2015

31 Israelis killed in terror attacks in the past year

From JPUpdates:

Terror has become a tragic reality in Israel’s fight for existence. Just last week, Shalom Yohai Sherki was killed and Shira Klein critically injured in a car terror attack in French Hil Jerusalem. To honor Yom Hazikaron, the day on which Israel honors its fallen soldiers and victims of terror, the National Insurance Institute has published a report documenting the number of Israeli civilians killed in hostilities since the War of Independence, focusing especially on those killed in the past year.

The past year has seen a sharp rise in terror attacks, with 31 Israelis murdered since last Remembrance Day, as compared to the same period last year in which only 2 Israelis were killed. This can be attributed to the horrific murders in the Har Nof Synagogue, in which four Jews worshippers and a heroic Druze policeman were killed, as well as the murder of 3 young men in Gush Etzion which preceded the War in Gaza. There were also a string of car attacks, one of which killed a small infant.

2,538 Israeli civilians have been murdered in terror attacks since the birth of the Jewish state in 1948. This figure also includes the 122 foreign tourists and workers killed in attacks. This number increases by more than 900 if you include acts of terror before Israel became a state.

Since the beginning of the Second Intifada in 2000 until the present, some 1,017 civilians have been killed in acts of terrorism. During the first intifada, 200 Israelis were murdered. Since the beginning of the first intifada which began at the end of 1987, over 1630 Jews have been killed in Israel.

This includes 18 Israelis killed abroad in terror attacks directed specifically against Israeli targets, and 3 American diplomatic personnel killed in Gaza. The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs lists the names of those killed since the year 2000.

The report states that terrorist attacks have left 2,997 children with one parent, and 101 children complete orphans. A total of 850 widows and widowers lost their spouses to attacks, as well as 943 parents who lost their children.

Turkish news trying to discredit Saudi Arabia by claiming they are philosemitic

AWDNews "reports":
Brigadier General Ahmed al-Asiri, spokesman of the Saudi-led offensive claimed in a press conference on Sunday that Saudi air strikes won't target the areas populated by Yemen's relatively small-number Jewish community in the poorest Arab nation where since three weeks ago is the scene of relentless Saudi onslaught against the revolutionary forces who managed to oust Riyadh's puppet government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

When asked about incontrovertible evidence of indiscriminate killings of Yemeni civilians including Yemen's dwindling Jewish community, Brig. Gen. al-Asiri with his usual placatory smile replied: "we will continue to target anybody who evinces slightest sympathy for [Houthi] rebels but we will make sure that our strikes won't jeopardize Yemen's Jewish minority."

The Saudi consulate in Aden has purportedly issued an urgent statement on Friday inviting city's remaining Jewish community a safe passage to Israel.

Having established a de facto though discreet alliance with the Jewish State since its inception in 1948, nowadays the oil-rich Saudi Arabia diligently seeks to curtail Iran's growing influence in Yemen by supporting radical Wahhabi militants, notorious for their aberrant interpretation of Islam.

The Saudi officials have persistently tried to curry favor with American Jewish lobbies, namely AIPAC, by promising alluring compensation for historic Jewish properties of nearly 2 million Jews who lived around 640 A.D. in eastern coast of Arabian Peninsula.

Recently there has been an unsubstantial rumor that Israeli drones are providing Saudis with valuable information for their ongoing military campaign in poverty-stricken Yemen.
And what exactly is AWDNews?
AWDnews is a Turkey-based news website dedicated to analyze the most recent developments primarily in European continent and secondly to reveal the U.S-Saudi satanic agenda to ruin the Middle-Eastern region and cause harm to religious minorities.
Ah, now we can understand the story better.

A rumor of Saudis wanting to avoid killing innocent Jews, or even to provide them safe passage out of a war zone, proves how satanic the Saudis are.

I couldn't find any evidence of the story about Saudis promising to avoid Jewish neighborhoods, nor of any invitation from the Saudi consulate to the Jews, nor of any Saudi plan to pay reparations to the descendants of Jews who lived there 1400 years ago.  But since these ideas are being framed as scandalous to AWDNews' audience, it means that the site caters to Jew-haters.

Which means that this news story doesn't prove that the Saudis are great friends of Israel. It proves that the Turks who run this website are antisemitic and they assume that their English-language  readers are as well.

Obama's creativity (ElderToons)

On Friday, the NYT reported:
Iran’s foreign minister raised the prospect on Friday of unlimited Iranian atomic fuel enrichment if the final phase of talks with the United States and other big powers on Iran’s disputed nuclear program does not achieve an agreement by a June 30 deadline, with all sanctions dropped.

The foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, also said the Americans had diverged from a framework agreement reached on April 2 by publishing what they described as a fact sheet about the framework’s basic provisions. Contrary to that assertion, Mr. Zarif said, there would be no phased removal of sanctions to ensure Iranian compliance.
Soon after, it reported:
President Obama on Friday directed his diplomats to use “creative negotiations” to bridge a sharp divide with Iran over the fate of sanctions if it agrees to curb its nuclear program, signaling flexibility in hopes of keeping a tentative agreement from unraveling.

Mr. Obama did not repeat past American assertions that sanctions would be removed only in phases as Tehran follows through on obligations to scale back its nuclear facilities.

Instead, Mr. Obama suggested that negotiators seek a solution that would seem “more acceptable” to Iran’s political constituencies, while preserving leverage to force the government to abide by the deal. Rather than the timing and structure of sanctions relief, he said his priority was creating a system for reimposing the punitive measures if Iran is caught cheating.

“How sanctions are lessened, how we snap back sanctions if there’s a violation, there are a lot of different mechanisms and ways to do that,” Mr. Obama said at a White House news conference alongside the Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi. The negotiators, Mr. Obama said, need to “find formulas that get to our main concerns while allowing the other side to make a presentation to their body politic that is more acceptable.”

“Our main concern here is making sure that if Iran doesn’t abide by its agreement, that we don’t have to jump through a whole bunch of hoops in order to reinstate sanctions,” Mr. Obama continued. “That’s our main concern.”

With Secretary of State John Kerry seated in front of him in the East Room, the president said: “And it will require some creative negotiations by John Kerry and others. And I’m confident we will be successful.”
It is truly amazing. Iran is acting as if it has the White House over a barrel, and Obama agrees with them! 

This may go down as the single most incompetent public negotiation in the history of mankind. it would be funny if the consequences weren't so huge.

Here's the real translation of  what the White House calls "creativity:"


04/19 Links: The fake sincerity of pro-Palestinian commentators; Beinart's neo-Neturei-Kartism

From Ian:

Chloe Valdary: The fake sincerity of pro-Palestinian commentators
This process usually occurs when the acolytes of armchair social justice mistake colloquy in echo chambers for sincere concern for the wellbeing of others. Politicians, professors and journalists alike carry on mindlessly suggesting untenable and, worse, immoral prescriptions that ostensibly help Arabs living in Gaza and the West Bank but which in fact bring about their demise. The logic of these academics, when put to practical use, reads more like a satirical pamphlet than advice intended to be taken seriously:
• Let’s prove we love Palestinians by creating a state which, under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority, has already robbed them of international aid, persecuted their minority population, and withheld from them the dignity of basic civil liberties – such as the right to vote, and the right to choose one’s own religion.
– Every pundit on CNN (et al) who advocates for a Palestinian state, without fully comprehending what they are calling for.
• Let’s prove we love Palestinians by championing the tunnel complex built by Hamas – even though those tunnels were built with the blood of Gazan children who were deemed to be expendable by the Hamas regime.
– Al Jazeera (et al) which, when describing the tunnel system as a “Palestinian assertion of political autonomy and resistance” failed to realize that it was symbolically standing on the graves of innocent Gazans in order to push a brutal political agenda.
• “Let’s prove we love Palestinians by suggesting that Hamas was ‘resisting’ against oppressive Israeli policies in the 2014 conflict even though Hamas reigns brutally over its own people á la Joseph Stalin.
– Every member of the glib pep squad that is Students for Justice in Palestine (et al) who serve as proxies running interference on campus for regimes that persecute their own people.
Natan Sharansky: When did America forget that it’s America?
I am afraid that the real reason for the U.S. stance is not its assessment, however incorrect, of the two sides’ respective interests but rather a tragic loss of moral self-confidence. While negotiating with the Soviet Union, U.S. administrations of all stripes felt certain of the moral superiority of their political system over the Soviet one. They felt they were speaking in the name of their people and the free world as a whole, while the leaders of the Soviet regime could speak for no one but themselves and the declining number of true believers still loyal to their ideology.
But in today’s postmodern world, when asserting the superiority of liberal democracy over other regimes seems like the quaint relic of a colonialist past, even the United States appears to have lost the courage of its convictions.
We have yet to see the full consequences of this moral diffidence, but one thing is clear: The loss of America’s self-assured global leadership threatens not only the United States and Israel but also the people of Iran and a growing number of others living under Tehran’s increasingly emboldened rule. Although the hour is growing late, there is still time to change course — before the effects grow more catastrophic still.
PMW: "There were between one and two million Jewish victims" of the Holocaust, says official PA daily
On the occasion of the Israeli remembrance day for the victims of the Holocaust last week, a regular columnist in the official Palestinian Authority daily wrote an op-ed in which he recognized the fact that the Holocaust occurred and targeted Jews. But although the writer even called it "a catastrophe," he reiterated false statements that have long been part of PA policy regarding the Holocaust, minimizing its scope and blaming the Zionist movement for participating in evil.
The PA daily repeated the claim that Jews have exaggerated the number of victims and that it was not 6 million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, but only "between one and two million":
"Estimates regarding the number of Holocaust victims differ. The supporters of the Zionist movement have exaggerated the number of victims, claiming that it amounts to 6 million, whereas others, unbiased researchers, have estimated that there were between one and two million Jewish victims." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 18, 2015]
The writer hinted to an oft-repeated accusation that Jews were themselves at fault because their non-Jewish fellow citizens wanted to be rid of them due to the inherent Jewish evil:
"Regardless of the number, the bottom line is that a catastrophe that harmed the Jews in Europe occurred, due to matters concerning the relations between the European nations and the Jews living among them. "
The writer also repeated the claim that Zionists wanted "to increase the Jews' suffering" in the Holocaust in order to blackmail Europe into supporting Israel - "the Zionist colonialist project", to further Jewish immigration to Israel and to create more "compassion" for the Jews:
"The Zionist movement wanted to achieve a series of goals: First, to take advantage and use this [the Holocaust] to blackmail the European states financially and politically to make them support the Zionist colonialist project. Second, to bully the Jews to immigrate to the Israeli ethnic cleansing state, which was [then] in in the preparatory stages of establishment. Third, to increase the Jews' suffering and abuse in order to take advantage of the world's compassion for them."