The opening shots show a partially-masked soldier with a rifle in his
hand running after the boy, Muhammad Tamimi, across an empty brown
hillside filled with rocks and a few scattered olive trees.
soldier catches Muhammad from behind and places him in a choke-hold.
Muhammad screams and begins crying. The soldier pushes Muhammad onto a
rock and lies on top of him, as a young female activist with a gas mask
in one hand tries to pull the boy away.
The soldier pushes her back and tells her to leave the boy alone. Muhammad’s left arm can be seen in a cast.
soldier calls out for reinforcements as he holds one arm around the
boy’s neck and keeps his other hand on his gun. Within a minute,
Muhammad’s sister, Ahed, 14, and mother arrive, along with other women
Screaming, they hit the soldier, unmask him, and
try to pull the boy away. They succeed just as a second soldier arrives.
One of them throws a stun grenade at the Palestinians. Both soldiers,
however, walk away without arresting Muhammad.
The IDF said the
incident occurred during violent clashes between its soldiers and
Palestinians in which rocks were thrown at security forces. It said that
an attempt was made to arrest Muhammad after he was identified as one
of the stone throwers.
The IDF said that during the execution of
the arrest, a number of Palestinians, including women and children,
acted in a violent and provocative manner. It said that a commander
decided not to carry out the arrest as a result of this.
"We have the right to resist. Our children are doing their duty and must be strong," Bassem Tamimi told The Jerusalem Post,
when asked how he feels about his children's participation in West Bank
protests against soldiers. He noted, however, that they are not against
the soldiers, but against the occupation.
"There is no safe place to be," he tells the Post, making no
distinction between soldiers, settlers or Jewish extremists . "Because a
lot of time they target houses, and there is fire on the houses." He
gives the example of the Dawabshe family who were the victims of an arson attack
on their home in Duma in July, which killed a Palestinian toddler and
his father. The attack was allegedly perpetrated by Jewish terrorists.
It's actually far more likely that the attack was perpetrated by a rival 'Palestinian' clan but because our government is afraid to come out and say it, so is everyone else and we continue to be slandered.
Responding to comments made by right-wing Israeli politicians and
activists on the heels of Friday's incident, that IDF soldiers should
open fire immediately if they are attacked, Bassem Tamimi claims that it
makes no difference if they are attacked or not: "they will open fire
anyway," he asserts.
“People were standing on each other’s
shoulders with flags giving me the middle finger,” Matisyahu tells The
Daily Beast in an interview. “It was intense. It was not peaceful. It
was like ‘Fuck you, Matisyahu.’ I’ve never had the experience of
anything like that, as a Jew or anything in my life.”
Matisyahu performed at the Rototom Sunsplash
festival after a public backlash prompted organizers to rescind their
initial insistence that he sign a statement in support of Palestinian
statehood as a prerequisite for his appearance.
One of my neighbors just came by for something and invited us to a Kiddush (celebration) at his synagogue tomorrow morning. The Kiddush is to celebrate 45 years (on the Jewish calendar) since he was released from being a hostage at Dawson's field in Jordan.
The confidential IAEA report, obtained by Reuters, said:
(our) previous report (in May), at a particular location at the Parchin
site, the agency has continued to observe, through satellite imagery,
the presence of vehicles, equipment, and probable construction
materials. In addition, a small extension to an existing building"
appeared to have been built.
The changes were first observed last month, a senior diplomat familiar with the Iran file said.
IAEA says any activities Iran has undertaken at Parchin since U.N.
inspectors last visited in 2005 could jeopardize its ability to verify
Western intelligence suggesting Tehran carried out tests there relevant
to nuclear bomb detonations more than a decade ago. Iran has dismissed
the intelligence as "fabricated".
"We cannot know or speculate what's in the
(extended) building ... It's something we will technically clarify over
the course of the year," the senior diplomat said. The report said the
extended building was not the one that some countries suspect has housed
the controversial experiments.
funny that the IAEA claims there has been a small extension to a
building ... Iran doesn't need to ask for the IAEA's permission to do
construction work on its sites," Reza Najafi, Iran's envoy to the
agency, was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency.
I can't even say what I'd like to say about this. Certainly not in any forum that is likely to be widely dispersed.
Messiah should be arriving soon. It's the only solution.
Unbelievable: Senate may not even vote on Obama's sellout to a nuclear-armed Iran
It's come to this: Thanks to Mr. Congeniality, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tn), President Hussein Obama's sellout and endorsement of a nuclear armed Iran may never even come to a vote in the Senate. This is Jonathan Tobin.
With only two Senate Democrats announcing their opposition (Chuck
Schumer and Robert Menendez), there now appears to be a chance that the
White House will be able to orchestrate a filibuster of the bill if at
least three more Democrats join a unanimous Republican caucus. That will
make a mockery of the approval process that Congress has been going
through. If it does, the blame will belong to a president who has not
hesitated to use inflammatory rhetoric and heavy-handed tactics to stop
Congress from interfering with a policy of appeasement of Iran. But
Obama didn’t do it alone. He could never have succeeded had he not had
the unwitting help of Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chair of the
Foreign Relations Committee. Without Corker’s foolish belief in working
with the White House and pusillanimous unwillingness to push for an
approval process in line with the Constitution’s provisions about
foreign treaties, the administration might never have been able to get
away with sneaking through the most important foreign policy decision in
The Tennessee Republican didn’t get much cooperation from the
administration. However, he did listen to a lot of his Democratic
colleagues who were unhappy about confronting Obama but wanted to
preserve some sort of Congressional oversight on the Iran negotiations.
Thus, hoping to maintain the bipartisan consensus on Iran, Corker
shifted the emphasis in the Senate away from a bill that would toughen
sanctions against Iran that had been proposed by Menendez and Illinois
Republican Mark Kirk. Instead, Corker’s attention was focused on
something else: something that would compel the administration to
present any deal with Iran for a Congressional vote.
Thus was born the Corker-Menendez bill that would be renamed
Corker-Cardin after Menendez was forced out as ranking member of the
Foreign Relations Committee and replaced by Senator Ben Cardin.
Considering that the administration had openly said that it did feel
compelled to present any agreement with Iran for Congressional approval,
some sort of response was required. But the only thing Corker could get
Corker and other Democrats to sign on to was a bill on an Iran nuclear
deal that would provide for a simple up and down vote in both the House
and the Senate.
What was wrong with that? The Constitution explicitly states that
foreign treaties must be presented to the Senate where they must get a
two-thirds vote to be approved. The impetus for this high bar was the
thought that treaties ought to be a matter of national consensus since
they involve the security of the nation and their impact will be felt
beyond the current Congress or the incumbent president.
Corker’s bill turned that approval process upside down. Instead of 67
votes to pass a deal that would give Iran Western approval for becoming
a nuclear threshold state and a nuclear power once the deal expired in
10 to 15 years, all Obama would now need was 34 votes in the Senate or
one-third plus one vote in the House.
It can be argued that Democrats would never have gone along with a
bill that would have designated the Iran deal as a treaty as it should
have been. The administration knows that there is no legal argument for
not designating the deal as a treaty. As Secretary of State John Kerry admitted in his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the only reason they didn’t present it as a treaty is because it is too hard to pass a treaty.
Corker is flummoxed by this prospect, telling the New York Times that he cannot imagine that a Senate will do it.
“Ninety-eight senators voted to give themselves the right
to vote on this,” he said. “Surely they are not going to deny
themselves a final vote on the deal.” …
“To block a vote on the deal would be a fascinating turn of events at a minimum,” Mr. Corker said.
Fascinating isn’t quite the word I’d use for such a turn of events. A
better description of what is happening is that a tough-minded
administration has run rings around an inept Corker. Did he really trust
liberal Democrats who promised that they wanted a vote? If so, he is
clearly not smart enough to be left in the position of influence he has
been given. Far from his accommodating attitude rebuilding the consensus
on Iran that Obama has been busy destroying, Corker’s willingness to
bend over backwards has facilitated Obama’s disastrous policy.
A filibuster will enable the president to say that Congress never
defeated his Iran deal. That’s something that he would have been denied
if he had been forced to veto the bill. Even a complete end run by the
administration around congress where no vote at all would have been held
would have been preferable to a successful Iran deal filibuster. Then
opponents would have been able to point to the extra-legal way the
president was sneaking his treaty with Iran through. A failed effort to
designate the deal as a treaty would also at least have set the record
straight about Obama’s disregard for the Constitution. But now Obama can
say the deal was reviewed and in a sense passed. This will strengthen
his efforts to undermine existing sanctions and make it harder for the
deal to overturn it in the future once he leaves office.
For that he can thank Corker.
By the way, if you're wondering how this pea brain became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee... the party was looking for an ideological conservative. Maybe the party ought to be looking for some intelligence before worrying about ideology?
With the IAEA looking for money to pay for inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, the US State Department suggested on Wednesday another source of payment aside from the American taxpayer: Iran itself.
John Kirby, a spokesman for the Department of State, declined to
answer multiple questions about how international inspections of Iran’s
nuclear sites would be paid for by the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA), which is requesting at least $10 million to carry out the
The United States will likely fund some portion of the cost, and
Kirby left open the possibility that Iran could also foot some of the
The matter has been the subject of much speculation in recent days
after it came to light that Iran would be permitted to inspect its own
nuclear sites, raising the possibility that Iran could continue to hide
nuclear weapons work.
“I don’t have any specific funding contributions to speak to today in
terms of amount,” Kirby told reporters. “We’re still working our way
through that. I do want to add that we have every intention to continue
to contribute to the IAEA for the purpose of this—doing this very
important work of the verification of Iran’s nuclear-related
“I won’t speak for Iran,” Kirby added. “I don’t know what, if any,
commitments Iran has or will engender under this, but we’ve—as we noted
in the statement, we’re committed to working with all the member states
to ensure that the IAEA has the resources that it needs.”
When pressed to explain whether the United States would pay for Iran
to inspect its own nuclear sites or press the Iranian government to foot
the bill, Kirby demurred.
“Honestly don’t have a specific answer for you in that regard,” Kirby
told reporters. “I mean, again, we’re going to contribute—continue to
contribute to the IAEA and their funding needs specifically as it
relates to this deal. And it’s not just us; we want other member states
to do it as well.”
“I’ll let Iran speak for itself in terms of what, if any,
contributions it plans to make,” he added.
“But I don’t know that I
would characterize the funding resources applied to IAEA and their need
to do this work as sort of then paying for any efforts done by Iranian
officials to meet compliance.”
Matthew Lee, a reporter for the Associated Press, continued to question Kirby on the issue.
“Well, I mean, someone’s got to pay for it,” Lee said. “They’re not
going to work for free, whoever they are, whether they’re Iranians or
they’re from Djibouti.”
“Well, I’m assuming many of them are government—work for the government of Iran,” Kirby responded.
At its “Summer Leadership Institute” in
Washington this week, J Street U elected Amna Farooqi, a senior at the
University of Maryland who is of Pakistani descent, Haaretz reported. Farooqi co-wrote a blog post for the Times of Israel
in March on Hillel President Eric Fingerhut’s decision to withdraw from
a commitment to speak a the J Street National Conference.
Approximately 120 J Street U student leaders
attended the four-day gathering, according to Haaretz, and J Street U
says it has 4,000 active participants on 75 college campuses in the
A native of suburban Washington, D.C., Farooqi
grew up in a “fairly religious Muslim home” with “a lot of Jewish
friends,” Haaretz reported.
But “growing up in a household sympathetic to
the Palestinian cause, the Palestine-Israel conflict was always the
elephant in the room,” she said in a video filmed at the J Street
conference last March. “This conflict evoked a level of anger and
emotion in me, and I needed to learn more. Everything I was learning
about the conflict made me not want to be pro-Israel. … As someone who
wanted to contribute to ending this conflict I knew I needed to
understand all sides.”
Pro-Israel anyone? Their heads are so open their brains have fallen out.
Yes, Israel bombed Palestinian houses in Gaza. But Hamas is also to blame for its cruel and selfish game against its own people. I do not have hard evidence, but for me, spending a month in the middle of this hell, it was obvious that they were breaking international rules of war and worst of all, were not afraid to use their own citizens as living shields.
The first incident happened late in the evening. I was in the bathroom when I’ve heard a loud rocket noise and my Spanish colleague, a journalist who was renting a flat with me near the Gaza beach, started to scream. He wanted to light a cigarette and came to one of the open windows. The moment he was using his lighter, he saw a fireball in front of his eyes and lost his hearing.
From what our neighbors told us later, a man drove up in a pickup to our tiny street. He placed a rocket launcher outside and fired. But the rocket failed to go upwards and flew along the street at ground level for a long time before destroying a building. It was a miracle that nobody was hurt or killed.
When we calmed down, we started to analyze the situation. It became obvious that the man or his supervisor wanted the Israel Defense Forces to destroy civilian houses, which our tiny street was full of. Whoever it was, Hamas, Iz al-Din al-Qassam or others, they knew that the IDF can strike back at the same place from which the rocket was fired. Fortunately for us, the rocket missed its target in Israel.
The second story happened in the middle of the day. I was sitting with other journalists in a cafe outside one of the hotels near the beach. During wartime, these hotels are occupied by foreign press and some NGOs. Every hotel is full and in its cafes many journalists spend their time discussing, writing, editing stories or just recharging the phones. Suddenly I saw a man firing a rocket from between the hotels. It was obvious that we journalists became a target. If the IDF would strike back, we all would be dead. What would Hamas do? It would not be surprising to hear about the “cruel Zionist regime killing innocent and free press.”
But then you knew all this. For those who have forgotten (I have posted it before), here are out-takes of Alarabiya-TV reporter Hannan al-Masri learning of a Hamas missile being fired from the ground floor of the building housing the
Alarabiya studio in January 2009 (Operation Cast Lead).
Let's go to the videotape.
It's still nice to hear foreigners confirming what we knew all along.
Yukiya Amano, head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA), announced on Tuesday that his organization's funds to monitor
Iran's nuclear program will run out next month, indicating a potential
road block for last month's Iran nuclear deal.
Up to this point the IAEA has been receiving funding for its
monitoring of Iran thanks to member state contributions that were
outside the scope of the body's regular budget, reports Reuters.
The IAEA chief asked member states to fork over more funds to
continue the monitoring of the Islamic regime, revealing that the
800,000 euros ($924,000) a month that it has received to this point will
run out by the end of September.
Amano detailed the expenses needed in order to monitor Iran until the
nuclear deal is implemented - presumably early next year - listing
them at 160,000 euros (over $184,000) per month. He added that 9.2
million euros (over $10.5 million) a year will be needed by the IAEA to
monitor Iran under the framework of the deal.
The IAEA's annual budget hit 350 million euros (over $402 million)
last year, and according to Amano he will seek to incorporate the costs
of monitoring Iran as part of the deal into the IAEA's regular annual
budget starting in 2017.
The United States said on Tuesday it will make sure the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has enough money to report on Iran's past,
present and future nuclear programs.
The UN nuclear watchdog has
asked its member states to step up financial contributions for its
monitoring activities in Iran which are set to widen after Tehran
reached a deal with world powers in July to curb its atomic program.
United States is committed to working with all (IAEA) member states to
ensure the agency has the resources it needs to verify Iran's
nuclear-related commitments under the (July 14 agreement)," the US
mission in Vienna said in a statement.
And if no one else will pay, Uncle Sam will pay it himself. Or the IAEA will just leave and we'll let Iran monitor itself. Because, after all, Obama's gotta have a legacy.
Europeans: 'Obama administration put more pressure on its friends in the negotiations than on the Iranians'
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Europeans - particularly France - are having some buyer's remorse about the sellout to a nuclear Iran.
French President François Hollande ran into a
difficult question late last month about war and Iran. It’s time now to pay
attention to his answer.
Invited to dinner by members of the French
Presidential Press Association on July 27, the president was asked if he went
along with the contention of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, later voiced by President Barack Obama,
that war would inevitably follow rejection by the U.S. Congress of the nuclear
deal between the great powers and Iran.
Mr. Hollande, whose full-page photo on a French
magazine cover this week is headlined The Anesthetist, doesn’t do
alarmisme. He didn’t assert, as Mr. Obama so often has, that war is the
single alternative to the Iran nuclear agreement. No way.
My recollection of Mr. Hollande’s
response—jibing with that of the journalists seated to my left and right that
evening—is that he said disapproval by Congress meant new “uncertainty,” and
uncertainty in the Middle East could sometimes mean war.
A month later, this much is clear about the
approach of the other European parties to the deal: Neither German Chancellor
Angela Merkel nor
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron
have made an explicit link between Congress’s possible September vote against
the agreement and anything resembling the Obama administration’s notions of
After initially nodding “yes” to the deal, the
French have partially reverted to form reflecting their traditional hard-nosed
antinuclear proliferation position. It’s OK in Paris to acknowledge that the
accord is an oversold mediocrity, and its character nonhistoric. Mr. Obama’s
notions of co-opting a suddenly tranquilized Iran to embrace the Forces of Good
in the Middle East can get characterized as naive. American sanctions experts
say big French banks have informed them they are in no rush to return to
Citing the profound weaknesses of an agreement
that allows controls over Iran to end after 15 years and the mullahs to keep an
absurdly high number of centrifuges, a French official told me he graded the
accord as C-plus. He expressed concern about America’s willingness over time to
continue paying the enormous expense of its vast Iranian surveillance
operations. And he also said that the deal’s concessions to Tehran made a
pressing reality of Saudi Arabia’s quest for an atomic weapon.
One of the toughest of the country’s hard-nosed
security experts, Bruno Tertrais, wrote last month in the Canadian newspaper Le
Devoir that “with pressure from the Obama administration” European negotiators’
original intent deteriorated from a rollback of Iran’s nuclear ambitions to
Camille Grand, director of the Foundation for
Strategic Research—a think tank with a reputation for telling truths the French
government might prefer to avoid—told me how this slippage had come about. “From
2013 on,” he said, “the Americans gave the impression they wanted the deal more
than Iran did. The administration put more pressure on its friends in the
negotiations than on the Iranians.”
For now, even if there are French critics, there
is no political or governmental force actively fighting the deal. It creates the
impression of a French security establishment that will shoot from the cover of
the sidelines, yet isn’t mobilized to urge that the agreement be
But shooting from the sidelines can still have
an effect. Consider the recent ado about reports that Jacques Audibert, Mr.
Hollande’s national security adviser, told a U.S. congressional delegation to
Paris in July that France, while supporting the deal overall, would view a move
by Congress to block the deal as manageable without causing a break between the
U.S. and Europe. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat, described the conversation
later. Although the French denied her account, her colleagues on the delegation
affirmed it—and why would she concoct a story so inconvenient to a president of
her party anyway?
So how come didn’t France lie across the tracks
to block the accord? My explanation: Because an economically nonperforming President
Hollande couldn’t say “no” to French industry wanting a shot at new Iranian
contracts. Because France no longer musters the international political levers
to shoulder splendid isolation. And because it would not assume the cost of
being regarded as Benjamin Netanyahu’s single objective ally.
And now, French buyer’s remorse? In theory, a
bit. But not enough to try holding off on its own what France knows is a lousy
Iran nuclear deal.
Is anyone in Congress listening?
For the record, France opposed the 24-day wait period for inspections.
Life is so, so hard in the 'occupied territories.'
From here (comments are mostly in Hebrew). According to the person who posted it, it's Abu Mazen's 'guest palace.'
By the way, there are many luxurious homes in Judea and Samaria. Back in the old days, before the existence of the 'Palestinian Authority' necessitated bypass roads in order to prevent Jews from being murdered, we used to play a game when we road through the 'Palestinian' suburbs in Jerusalem on the way to visiting Mrs. Carl's sister in Samaria. In the game, we tried to choose in which house we would most want to live (based on the house and not the neighborhood).
But if you're wondering where all that western aid money to the 'Palestinians' went, this ought to give you an idea.
Hussein Sheikholeslam, a foreign affairs adviser to parliament speaker Ali Larijani, told Iranian media
that contrary to remarks by British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond,
“Our positions against the usurper Zionist regime have not changed at
all; Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan.”
Hammond was in Iran on Monday for the
reopening of the UK embassy in Tehran, and said that Iranian President
Hassan Rouhani had indicated a “more nuanced approach” to Israel’s
existence. Hammond said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s
“revolutionary sloganizing” should be distinguished from “what Iran
actually does in the conduct of its foreign policy.”
Sheikholeslam told a Hamas news outlet earlier
this month that Iran has resisted pressure exerted by the P5+1 world
powers during the nuclear negotiations to halt its political involvement
in Gaza, Syria and Yemen.
“These powers admitted that the reason for
their pressure on us is our position on Israel,” he said. “We told them
that we reject the existence of any Israeli on this earth.”
Even Jeffrey Goldberg noticed the statement, but I doubt that the former IDF officer has figured out yet why that might be personally connected to him.
John Bolton: On Obama's Iran deal, the choices are bad and worse (MUST READ)
Former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton writes that no matter what Congress decides to do with President Hussein Obama's sellout to a nuclear-armed Iran, the only choice left now is a military one. Or a nuclear-armed Iran.
Obama’s mistakes, concessions, and general detachment from Middle
Eastern reality for six and a half years make it impossible to travel in
time back to a theoretical world where sanctions might have derailed
Iran’s nuclear-weapons program.
If Obama can save the Vienna agreement from Congress, he will lift
sanctions for the remainder of his presidency. Alternatively, if his
veto is overridden and U.S. sanctions remain in place, Europe, Russia,
China, and everyone else will nonetheless proceed to implement the deal
on their own. (And given Obama’s propensity not to enforce laws with
which he disagrees, which he is already signaling in this case, U.S.
sanctions will almost certainly prove ineffective.) Either way, it is
naïve to think that a new Republican president in January 2017 will find
any takers internationally to revive sanctions.
However Congress votes, Iran will still be marching inexorably toward
deliverable nuclear weapons.
Deals don’t constrain the mullahs, who see
this capability as critical to the 1979 Islamic Revolution’s very
survival. Not surprisingly, therefore, existing sanctions have slowed
down neither Iran’s nuclear-weapons program nor its support for
international terrorism. General James Clapper, Obama’s director of
national intelligence, testified in 2013 that sanctions had not changed
the ayatollahs’ nuclear efforts, and this assessment stands unmodified
Tehran’s support for such terrorists as Hezbollah, Hamas, Yemen’s
Houthis, and Syria’s Assad regime has, if anything, increased. As for
the sanctions’ economic impact on Iran, Clapper testified that “the
Supreme Leader’s standard is a level of privation that Iran suffered
during the Iran–Iraq war,” a level that Iran was nowhere near in 2013
and is nowhere near today.
In short, to have stopped Tehran’s decades-long quest for nuclear
weapons, global sanctions needed to match the paradigm for successful
coercive economic measures. They had to be sweeping and comprehensive,
swiftly applied and scrupulously adhered to by every major economic
actor, and rigorously enforced by military power. The existing Security
Council sanctions do not even approach these criteria.
In recent history, the only sanctions regime to approximate the
ideal paradigm was that imposed on Saddam Hussein in 1990, just days
after Iraq invaded Kuwait. Security Council Resolution 661 provided that
all states “shall prevent . . . the import into their territories of
all commodities and products originating in Iraq or Kuwait” except food,
medicine, and humanitarian supplies.
That is the very definition of
“comprehensive,” and the polar opposite of the congeries of sanctions
imposed on Iran.
Significantly, while Resolution 661 approached the theoretical ideal,
even its sanctions failed to break Saddam’s stranglehold on Kuwait. Had
Washington waited much longer than it did before militarily ousting
Saddam, Kuwait would have been thoroughly looted and despoiled.
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-four years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 11 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