Let raise an idea about how you could present the arrangement on settlements that you are seeking with Israel as
I understand it, i.e. a moratorium coupled with allowances to complete a number of housing units. There are
1. To describe it as an agreement, explaining why the US has accepted an Israeli completion of a
handful of units whose construction already has begun. This raises some concerns. It would
represent U.S. legitimization of some (however small) Israeli activity in the West Bank and it
would trigger Arab and Palestinian complaints that we had compromised, sowing doubts about
The alternative would be for the administration to say:
a. We have come a very long way, as Israel has made unprecedented commitments to the U.S. in terms of a
settlements freeze. This is a very welcome development.
b. We did not achieve all that we had hoped as Israel intends to complete a number of
housing units. We have differences with the Israeli government on this matter which we
have expressed to them..
That said, we are convinced that substantial progress has been made that warrants
an immediate resumption of peace talks as well as Arab steps toward Israel that will help
promote a two-state solution.
This latter option retains our credibility, does not compromise our oft-stated position and allows us to move
Israel gives a 'settlement freeze' for which Hillary Clinton and Sandy 'I stuffed the top secret material in my socks' Berger make sure it gets not credit.
No, this administration is different than previous administrations. Previous administrations (with the exception of Carter) may have referred to Jewish settlement of Judea and Samaria as 'unwise' and may have called it 'illegitimate.' But only the Obama and Carter administrations have called it 'illegal.' (Which it's not). And the Bush administration did support some Israeli 'settlement' and did issue a letter saying that it expected that some of those 'settlements' would be made apart of Israel as part of a final agreement with the 'Palestinians.' But then came the Obama administration and disavowed the letter.
More importantly, every administration until the Obama administration has said that peace between Israel and the 'Palestinians' must come about as a result of a negotiated solution. Only the Obama administration - in a mad rush for a 'Palestinian state' that would immediately be consumed by terrorists - has attempted to impose a solution on Israel. Only the Obama administration has forced Israel to release terrorist murderers from its jail. And only the Obama administration has forced a 'settlement freeze' on Israel.
No, this is not the same as every other US administration.
The U.S. State Department on Tuesday punched a big hole in Israel-led
efforts to induce the Obama administration to regard boycotts of
settlements as identical to boycott
of Israel proper. In doing so, it provided the Israeli government and
the pro-Israel lobby with yet another painful lesson in the pitfalls of
being too clever by half and biting off more than one should chew.
A special statement issued by the State Department
Press Office on Tuesday afternoon made clear that while the
administration “strongly opposes” any boycott, divestment or sanctions
against the State of Israel, it does not extend the same protection to
“Israel-controlled territories.” Rather than weakening efforts to
boycott Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, as Israel
supporters had planned, the State Department was actually granting them
The statement came in the wake of President Obama’s
signing of the Trade Promotion Authority bill, which grants him the
authority he had sought to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership
accord. But as the bill deals with free trade agreements in general, a
clause was inserted in the Senate by Democratic Senator Ben Cardin and
Republican Senator Rob Portman and by Representative Peter Roskam in the
House of Representative that instructs American diplomats to include
opposition to any boycott of Israel - or of persons from “territories
controlled by Israel” - in their free trade negotiations with the
The State Department statement, however, makes clear
that the bill will not change U.S. policy towards the settlements. “The
U.S. government has never defended or supported Israeli settlements or
activity associated with them, and, by extension, does not pursue
policies or activities that would legitimize them,” it said. It went on
to note: “Administrations of both parties have long recognized that
settlement activity and efforts to change facts on the ground undermine
the goal of a two-state solution.”
This anti-Israel administration cannot end soon enough. 'Most pro-Israel administration evah' my tuches.
Over his 30-year political career, Kerry has long been knocked for
delivering more talk than results. Achieving a nuclear deal he first
began pursuing even before he became secretary of state could redefine
his place in history.
And that, Republican critics, foreign officials, and even
some ex-administration officials say, is a big problem. Kerry’s
eagerness for a deal, they argue, risks that the Iranians will seduce
him into a bad one.
“I don’t know how anyone who has
observed Kerry over the past two years would think differently,” says a
former administration official who worked on Iran issues.
The concern is that, in search of a historic accomplishment with his
name on it, Kerry might succumb to wishful thinking. As a senator, Kerry
was dogged by the critique that he authored few major bills over his
30-year career. He won the Democratic nomination in 2004 but lost his
bid for the presidency. And since arriving at Foggy Bottom he has been
frustrated in his efforts to contain Vladimir Putin in Ukraine and,
above all, in his so-far fruitless quest for Middle East peace.
say the conventional wisdom sells short his Senate and Foggy Bottom
record, including his recent role brokering a peaceful resolution to
Afghanistan’s disputed presidential election amid fears of a civil war.
Of course, many critics of the talks fret that Obama faces much the
same pressure as Kerry for a legacy-making achievement, especially in
the realm of foreign policy, where Obama has faced an unrelenting string
of crises in recent months. A new article in the conservative Weekly Standard
attacking Obama’s “capitulation” to Iran notes that Deputy National
Security Adviser Ben Rhodes has likened an Iran deal to Obamacare in its
importance to the administration.
Obama challenged the idea that he is overeager for a nuclear deal in an interview last month with The Atlantic’s
Jeffrey Goldberg. “Twenty years from now … [if] Iran has a nuclear
weapon, it’s my name on this,” Obama said, adding: “I have a personal
interest in locking this down.”
Kerry’s own investment is also huge. He has pursued a nuclear deal since
he was a senator, well before the administration’s direct diplomacy got
underway: As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry
secretly flew to Muscat in November 2011, where he asked the Sultan of
Oman to help broker talks between Washington and Tehran. That set the
stage for the administration’s first direct contacts with Iranian
officials on the nuclear question.
Striking a deal
in Vienna this summer will require persuading Iran’s supreme leader to
backtrack on his own stated red lines, including on the pace of
sanctions relief and access of inspectors to Iranian military sites and
It's unlikely that Iran will back down on any or all of those points - it's far more likely that the US will cave on them. And 20 years from now, Obama will be happily retired at US government expense and Kerry will likely have gone on to greener pastures (or to a much hotter place). They won't care about their 'legacy.'
Dennis Ross got it right:
Dennis Ross, another former senior Middle East aide under Obama with
long experience in diplomatic negotiations said the key to effective
deal making is “being able to show you have a genuine interest in a deal
but can live without one.”
“We should show little
interest in a deadline and focus exclusively on our essential needs,”
Ross added. If Iran won’t meet those needs, Ross said, then Kerry should
“suggest a pause — but with the proviso that we will also reassess
where we are, with the understanding that our positions are likely to
This administration doesn't know how to ignore deadlines. It's just one of the many things they don't get about the Middle East bazaar. They have the same problems in 'negotiations' about a 'Palestinian state.'
'Surely you got lost and meant to help the Syrians being butchered'
Prime Minister Netanyahu has penned a very tongue-in-cheek letter to be delivered to the fools who are on their way to Gaza as part of the 'flotilla.'
The Prime Minister’s Office penned a letter to be given to the some 50
people on the boats expected to be towed into Ashdod, sarcastically
welcoming them to Israel and saying that they apparently got lost.
“Perhaps you meant to set sail for a place not far from here – Syria,” the letter reads.
“There the Assad regime is slaughtering its own people every day with the support of the murderous regime in Iran.”
By contrast, the letter reads, Israel is dealing with a reality whereby
terrorist organizations like Hamas try to attack innocent civilians.
“Against these efforts we are defending Israeli citizens in accordance to international law,” according to the letter.
letter spelled out the number of trucks, and tons of aid and material
that go into Gaza each day, saying it adds up to about 500,000 times
the number of boats in the flotilla. At the same time, he said, Israel
is not willing to allow the smuggling of arms to the Gaza Strip via the
sea, which has been done repeatedly in the past.
No, they're not lost. This is not about humanitarian aid. It's about Jew hatred, pure and simple.
American Orthodox Jews fearful of 'gay marriage' decision
Maybe this will be an impetus for American Orthodox Jews to make aliya. There's some real fear going around about the future implications of last week's US Supreme Court decision forcing the states to allow 'gay marriage' and how that might impact Orthodox Jewish institutions.
[T]he Orthodox Jewish community has a different view. This was voiced
by, among others, the Orthodox Union and the Agudath Israel of America.
The latter, in a statement Friday, warned
that its members faced “moral opprobrium” and were in danger of
“tangible negative consequences” if “they refuse to transgress their
To judge by recent events, they are understating the
case. The whole campaign for same sex marriage, however high-minded its
ideals and however real — and all too often violent — the injustices
endured by same-sex couples, has been levied at the expense of religious
Jews and Christians. The U.S. Supreme Court majority knows that full
well. But it dodged the issue, with Justice Anthony Kennedy, author of
the majority opinion, giving the fears of religious Americans less than a
that “religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may
continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine
precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.” He noted that the
First Amendment, part of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, “ensures
that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as
they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central
to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue
the family structure they have long revered.”
That was a reference to the free speech part of the
First Amendment. But it was startling — shocking even — that the
majority gave no mention at all of the Constitution’s second principle
of religious protection, the right to the “free exercise” of religion.
That is where the battle lines are being drawn by liberal and left-wing
factions in America seeking to force religious individuals to embrace
In recent months, Americans have been reading about a
Christian baker who has been the subject of an enforcement action in
Colorado for declining to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding,
a husband-and-wife clerical team that reportedly may have to close
their for-profit wedding chapel because they won’t hold same-sex
nuptials in it, and a New York family that is tangled in a legal
proceeding for refusing to rent out their home for a same-sex wedding
reception. A Catholic adoption agency that would not work with same-sex
couples has been forced out of its charitable work.
“In all likelihood, many of these rear-guard actions
against marriage equality will soon fall of their own weight,” Jeffrey
Toobin, who covers the Constitution for the New Yorker, wrote
after the Supreme Court spoke. “Like so many of their fellow-Americans,
wedding photographers and the like will make their peace with the new
rules that guarantee their neighbors an equal chance at happiness.
(Besides, they need the business.)” Maybe, but I’m not so sure things
will go as smoothly as he imagines in the Orthodox Jewish world.
“The issue here is not whether all human beings are
created in the Divine Image, or whether they have inherent human
dignity. Of course they are, of course they do,” the Agudah said in a
statement after Obergefell vs. Hodges was handed down. But it went on to
assert that “the truths of Torah are eternal, and stand as our beacon
even in the face of shifting social mores.” At some point this is going
to come to a head in a way that will test George Washington’s promise to
the Jews to a degree that we haven’t yet seen.
I'll shut the comments on this post if I have to, but I can tell you that I would not want my children taught by someone who is openly gay. No way. I want my children to be able to look up at their teachers as religious role models. Then again, since I live in Israel, it's unlikely that any of my children's schools (except for the children in university, which is a different category) could be forced to hire gay teachers.
It's come to this: Belfast pastor faces prison for 'defaming Islam'
A 78-year old Belfast pastor is facing prison time for 'defaming Islam.'
James McConnell, 78, is facing up to six months in prison for
delivering a sermon in which he described Islam as "heathen" and
"satanic." The message was streamed live on the Internet, and a Muslim
group called the police to complain.
According to Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service (PPS), McConnell violated
the 2003 Communications Act by "sending, or causing to be sent, by
means of a public electronic communications network, a message or other
matter that was grossly offensive."
Observers say that McConnell's prosecution is one of a growing number of examples in which British authorities — who routinely ignore incendiary speech by Muslim extremists — are using hate speech laws to silence Christians.
McConnell, who turned down an offer to avoid a trial, says the issue
of Christians being singled out for persecution in Britain must be
confronted, and that he intends to turn his case into a milestone trial
"in defense of freedom of speech and freedom of religion."
"The God who we worship and serve this evening is not
Allah. The Muslim God, Allah, is a heathen deity. Allah is a cruel
deity. Allah is a demon deity. A deity that this foolish government of
ours ... pays homage to, and subscribes financial inducements to curry
their favor to keep them happy....
"While in Muslim lands Christians are persecuted for their faith;
their homes burned, their churches destroyed, and hundreds of them
literally have given their lives for Christ in martyrdom. A lovely young
[Sudanese] woman by the name of Miriam, 27 years-of-age, because she
has accepted Christ as her Savior, will be flogged publicly and hanged
publicly. These fanatical worshippers are worshippers of the god called
Allah. Ladies and gentlemen, that is a fact and it cannot be denied and
it cannot be refuted.
"I know the time will come in this land ... and in this nation to say
such things will be an offense to the law. It would be reckoned
erroneous, unpatriotic. But I am in good company, the company of
[Protestant Reformers] Luther and Knox and Calvin and Tyndale and
Latimer and Cranmer and Wesley and Spurgeon and such like him.
"The Muslim religion was created many hundreds of years after Christ.
Mohammed, was born in 570. But Muslims believe that Islam is the true
religion, dating back to Adam, and that the biblical Patriarchs were all
Muslims, including Noah and Abraham and Moses, and even our Lord Jesus
"To judge by some of what I have heard in the past few months, you
would think that Islam was little more than a variation of Christianity
and Judaism. Not so. Islam's ideas about God, about humanity, about
salvation are vastly different from the teachings of the Holy
Scriptures. Islam is heathen. Islam is satanic. Islam is a doctrine
spawned in Hell."
McConnell's comments about Islam comprised less than ten minutes of a 35-minute sermon that focused on Christian theology.
Some day, historians will marvel at the way Western society destroyed itself. Or maybe they won't. By then, the Caliphate may not look kindly on such 'nostalgia' and history will have become too politically correct to discuss it.
Even UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has called the flotilla of fools currently heading for Gaza 'not helpful.'
“[Secretary General Ban Ki-moon] continues to
believe that a flotilla will not help to address the dire situation in
Gaza and reiterates his calls on the government of Israel to lift all
closures, with due consideration of Israel’s legitimate security
concerns,” Undersecretary General Jeffrey Feltman said at a Security
“The international community must send an
unambiguous message to the organizers and participants of these
provocations that such initiatives only serve to raise tensions in our
region,” Prosor wrote. “This attempt to challenge Israel’s naval
blockade of Gaza holds the potential for dangerous consequences The
flotilla’s sole purpose is to create provocations that pose security
risks, and constitute a breach of international law.”
Feltman said Ban was “closely following media reports” about the flotilla.
Ban is also 'deeply concerned' with the health of terrorists.
Feltman also said Ban was “deeply concerned”
about Palestinian prisoners being held by Israel, naming Islamic Jihad
detainee Khader Adnan, who has been on hunger strike for nearly two
months to protest his detainment under administrative detention, which
allows Israel to hold prisoners without charging them.
The Red Cross on Tuesday said Adnan faced “immediate risk of death.”
He wouldn't be facing an immediate threat of death if he weren't starving himself. Maybe he should consider breaking his fast.... /Just sayin'....
In any event, it is truly amazing how much time Ban has to devote to Gaza given the true suffering going on in Syria, Iran, Iraq and many other countries that are living under truly repressive regimes. Oh wait... Gaza is also living under a truly repressive regime... Hamas... It would be nice to see Ban criticize them once in a while too.
By the way, if the name "Jeffrey Feltman" rings a bill, it's because it should. He's a former State Department diplomat....
"We are now witnessing a clear withdrawal from the red lines set by
the powers for themselves recently and publicly," Netanyahu told
ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu added that there was no reason to hurry to
sign the deal with Iran, which he said was "getting worse by the day."
He said that it was still not too late to insist on the demands that
would prevent Iran from arming itself with a nuclear weapon and gain
mass sums of money which he claimed would help it expand its regional
Netanyahu told ministers that in a U.S. State Department report
released a few days ago, Iran was listed at the top of the world's human
rights violators. "All claims made within the international community
about how [Hassan] Rohani's election [as president] changed the
character of the Iranian regime are firmly answered by this report,"
He added that another State Department report, also
released a few days ago, proved that Iran was escalating its involvement
in terror activities. "Despite these reports, the talks are continuing
as usual," Netanyahu said. "There are no demands being made by the
powers to change Iran's behavior, and they are completely ignoring its
Obama is determined to have a foreign policy legacy even if it is one that will - God Forbid - someday lead to disaster. Anything to hurt Israel.... Netanyahu must feel like Chicken Little - no one will listen to him.
Boker Tov Eliyahu: US authorities wake up to terror threat
Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.
It's been nearly 14 years since the 9/11 attacks in the United States (where I am currently visiting), and it seems that people are finally realizing that it could happen again.
Federal authorities have warned local law enforcement officials
across the country about a heightened concern involving possible terror
attacks targeting the July 4th holiday, a U.S. law enforcement official
While there was no specific or credible threat of attack,
the official said the intelligence bulletin prepared by the Department
of Homeland Security and the FBI alerted local colleagues to the ongoing
threats posed by the Islamic State and other homegrown extremists. The
official was not authorized to comment publicly.
The warning comes as federal investigators have worked to disrupt a
number of Islamic State-inspired plots, including a planned assault
earlier this month on police officers in Boston. In that case,
authorities fatally shot Usaamah Rahim as he allegedly planned to attack
police with military-style knives.
Also this month, a New York
suspect in a Islamic State-related terror investigation was arrested
after attacking an FBI agent with a kitchen knife during a search of his
Fareed Mumuni, 21, was charged with attempted murder, after
he emerged as a suspect in alleged plots to use pressure-cooker
explosives and knives to attack police.
In a statement Friday
following attacks in Tunisia, France and Kuwait, DHS Secretary Jeh
Johnson said local law enforcement was being encouraged to be "vigilant
and prepared'' in preparation for July 4th celebrations.
I have been writing for years that what most concerns me about security in the United States is the delusion that it could never happen here. Unfortunately, it could.
Vatican signs treaty with imaginary state of 'Palestine'
And you thought the German Pope was going to be a problem? Argentinean-born Pope Francis I's Vatican has signed a 'treaty' with the 'state' of 'Palestine.'
signed its first treaty with the "State of Palestine" on Friday, calling
for "courageous decisions" to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and
backing a two-state solution.
treaty, which made official the Vatican's de facto recognition of
Palestine since 2012, angered Israel, which called it "a hasty step
(that) damages the prospects for advancing a peace agreement".
Israel also said it could have implications on its future diplomatic relations with the Vatican.
accord, which concerns the Catholic Church's activities in areas
controlled by the Palestinian Authority, also confirmed the Vatican's
increasingly proactive role in foreign policy under Pope Francis. Last
year, it brokered the historic resumption of ties between the United
States and Cuba.
Gallagher, the Vatican's foreign minister, said at the signing that he
hoped it could be a "stimulus to bringing a definitive end to the
long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which continues to cause
suffering for both parties".
called for peace negotiations held directly between Israelis and
Palestinians to resume and lead to a two-state solution. "This certainly
requires courageous decisions, but it will also offer a major
contribution to peace and stability in the region," he said.
To date, the 'Palestinians' have yet to make any 'courageous decisions' or to drop any of their demands. There is no compromising with them. They continue to seek the destruction of the world's only Jewish State, which happens to be the only state in the Middle East where Christians - including Catholics - are safe, and where their population has grown. Note this disingenuous statement from the article:
There are about 100,000 Catholics of the Roman
and Greek Melkite rites in Israel and the Palestinian territories, most
of them Palestinians.
Terror attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait kill dozens, no attackers were Amish
Three terror attacks - on a chemical plant in Lyon, France (one dead), on a beachfront hotel in Sousse, Tunisia (at least 27 dead - later reports say 37 dead and 36 wounded) and on a mosque in Kuwait City, Kuwait (at least 24 dead) - have left dozens of people dead on Friday. In each case, the attackers were Muslims (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). None of the attacks seemed to have anything to do with the US Supreme Court rulings upholding gay marriage and Obamacare.
attackers stormed an American-owned industrial chemical plant near
Lyon, decapitated one person and tried unsuccessfully to blow up the
gunmen opened fire at a beach resort, killing at least 27 people,
officials said. At least one of the attackers was killed by security
the Islamic State claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in one
of the largest Shiite mosques in Kuwait City during Friday prayers. The
bomb filled the hall with smoke and left dead and wounded scattered on
the carpet, according to witnesses and videos posted online.
Local news reports said at least 24 people had been killed and wounded
in the assault, which was extraordinary for Kuwait and appeared to be a
deliberate attempt to incite strife between Shiites and Sunnis.
In a message circulating on social media, the Islamic State called the suicide bomber “one of the knights of the Sunni people.”
There was no immediate indication that the attacks had been coordinated.
But the three strikes came at roughly the same time, and just days
after the Islamic State, the militant group also known as ISIS or ISIL, called for such operations during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The Kuwait terror attack is the first carried out by ISIS in a Gulf State and is sure to concern other Gulf States.
The Tunisia attack seems like another attack on the 'infidels' with sources confirming that most of the guests at the Imperial Marhaba Hotel were from the UK or Central Europe (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). Many of those killed were lounging in beach chairs.
The French prosecutor has given a press conference, providing details of the incident:
Four suspected accomplices are being held in the attack on the
factory in France. They have been arrested and are in interrogation.
The suspect, his wife and sister are part of those arrested
The victim was the suspect’s employer
Part of the factory hangar was blown apart
43 people were in the factory at the time of the attack. 13 employees are still in a state of shock
There were no more injuries so far
The body of the victim was found near the suspect’s vehicle, where a knife was also found
The severed head of the victim, was found hooked onto a railing with two flags with arabic inscription
More details provided on the victim:
The victim was a 54-year-old man
He was the head of a transport company, from the Lyon area and had been a salaried employee of the company since March 2015
More details on the suspect:
Yassin Salhi was named as the main suspect
He was born on 25 March 1980
He had been working at that same company as the victim
He’s the father of three children and has been married for about 10 years
He had not been found guilty of any previous crimes
He has been under surveillance for “radical islamic activities” since 2006.
Between 2011 and 2014, French security services had been investigating him for connections to salafist groups in the Lyon area
The inquiry has been given to the central direction of the judicial
police and to the anti-terrorist unit, and the internal security
services, the French prosecutor said.
But let's keep fooling ourselves that Islam is a 'religion of peace.' Let's keep kissing up to the Islamists, treating their cult as a quaint religion with exotic things like iftar dinners (oops - let's not mention that the President of the United States hosted anti-Israel 'activists' at his). And eventually, they'll stop trying to murder us, right?
"Whatever happens, Israel will always defend itself, and the Air Force plays a major role in this," Haaretz daily quoted Netanyahu as saying at a pilots' course graduation ceremony.
Netanyahu again expressed concern over the agreement and the
concessions the world is prepared to do in order for Iran to sign the
"These concessions are increasing Iran's appetite and every day it
raises the bar, with the intention of extorting more concessions," he
"In recent days Iran ruler Ali Khamenei rejected even the most basic
conditions in the bad agreement drafted in Lausanne," Netanyahu added.
"He said no to the restrictions on the nuclear program in the coming
decade, no to conditioning the sanctions' revocation on Iran's keeping
the agreement, no to [supervisors'] access to military sites. Even if
Iran waives some of these demands in a few days, the powers' basic
concession will be huge and it will be a clear withdrawal from red lines
the powers had publicly set earlier."
Netanyahu said the supervision method the powers are discussing with
Iran is "full of holes" and will enable the Iranians to create a nuclear
bomb less than 10 years after the agreement's signature.
The agreement will bring a flow of billions of dollars to the Iranian
economy, enabling Iran to increase its subversion in the Middle East,
"It's still not too late [for the powers] to come to their senses, to
insist on a good agreement and it's certainly not too late not to
advance a bad agreement," he added.
"As world leaders always say, no agreement is better than a bad agreement."
Meanwhile, the P 5+1 admit that next week's June 30 deadline for an agreement 'might slip.' And Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khameni continues to list the many things Iran won't give up.
Amid unease in Iran's conservative-dominated parliament that Tehran
is giving too much away, Khamenei, on Tuesday appeared to throw several
spanners in the works.
Western powers have stressed sanctions will not be lifted until the
IAEA has confirmed that Iran has carried out key steps under the accord.
But Khamenei, who will have the last word for Iran in the talks, said
banking and economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations and the US
must be lifted immediately after the agreement is signed.
"Other sanctions can be removed gradually by a reasonable timetable," Khamenei said.
He also reiterated that Iran would not permit the IAEA to visit
military sites or conduct "unconventional inspections" at other
Khamenei also took issue with the length of time that some of the restrictions on Iran's nuclear activities would be in place.
In a further sign that Iran remains at odds with the West, Kerry
unveiled a highly critical annual rights report slamming Iran for
continuing to "severely restrict" civil liberties.
One cannot help but be suspicious that even if a deal is reached, Iran will violate and the West will do nothing in response.
Seven Turks detained at Ben Gurion, deported to Turkey, barred for ten years
A reminder to all of you that I am currently in Boston where the Sabbath does not start for several more hours.
Nine Turkish citizens who arrived in Israel on Turkish Airlines on Thursday were interrogated for several hours at Ben Gurion Airport, and seven of them were sent back to Turkey and banned for ten years according to a report in Turkey's pro-government Today's Zaman (Hat Tip: Joshua I). According to the newspaper, the group was made up of 'journalists and activists' who were heading to Jerusalem for a 'charity event.'
Nine Turkish citizens, including pro-government Star daily columnist
Halime Kökçe, Ülke TV Editor-in-Chief Hasan Öztürk, head of the Turkish
charity Sadakataşı and several activists, were detained at the airport.
Kökçe said seven people from the group were deported while a cameraman
and a reporter from state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation
(TRT) were allowed to enter the country.
On her personal Twitter account, Kökçe posted, “We were interrogated for six hours. We were searched for two hours.”
After coming back to İstanbul on Friday, Sadakataşı President Kemal
Özdal, who was among those detained in Israel, said the group was on its
way to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem for iftar (the evening meal to break
the Ramadan fast) when they were stopped by the Israelis.
He said as soon as they arrived in Ben Gurion Airport by a Turkish
Airlines flight, Israeli security officials accompanied the Turkish
group and at passport control the group was detained by Israeli
intelligence officials. Özdal said their passports and phones were taken
and the group went through a long interrogation by the Israelis.
According to Özdal, after the questioning they were deported and banned
from entering Israel for the next 10 years. He also said President Recep
Tayyip Erdoğan, interim Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Foreign
Ministry officials tried to help the group.
Öztürk from Ülke TV also made a statement at Atatürk Airport in
İstanbul, saying he was in Israel only two months ago and he doesn't
understand why this time he was deported without a valid reason. “Israel
acts arbitrarily and it is an anti-democratic state. Others criticize
Turkey for press freedoms. Go and tell this to the Israelis,” he said.
Kökçe said she hoped to see Al-Aqsa Mosque, Ramallah and Gaza but instead she was met with “Israel's real face.”
Here's a hint that there might be more to it:
Civil Servants' Trade Union (Memur-Sen) Vice President Levent Uslu also
said that the group had expected to be treated badly by Israel, but he
didn't elaborate as to why. Uslu complained that they were asked odd
questions such as the names of their grandfathers or which party they
voted for in the last election.
Haaretz reports that they were banned because of Hamas ties. The Hebrew version of the article, which can be accessed in full here, doesn't say any more except to add that the Israeli ambassador to Turkey was summoned on Friday morning to 'explain' why the group was barred from entering.
I am an Orthodox Jew - some would even call me 'ultra-Orthodox.' Born in Boston, I was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991 (I don't look it but I really am that old :-). I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty-three years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 10 to 31 years and seven grandchildren. Three of our children are married! Before I started blogging I was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact me at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com