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Friday, July 31, 2015

07/31 Links Pt2: The Ayatollah's Plan for Israel; Toameh: Hamas's Child Abuse Camps

From Ian:

The Ayatollah's Plan for Israel and Palestine
"The flagbearer of Jihad to liberate Jerusalem."
This is how the blurb of "Palestine," a new book, published by Islamic Revolution Editions last week in Tehran, identifies the author.
The author is "Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Husseini Khamenei," the "Supreme Guide" of the Islamic Republic in Iran, a man whose fatwa has been recognized by U.S. President Barack Obama as having the force of law.
Edited by Saeed Solh-Mirzai, the 416-page book has received approval from Khamenei's office and is thus the most authoritative document regarding his position on the issue.
Khamenei makes his position clear from the start: Israel has no right to exist as a state.
He uses three words. One is "nabudi" which means "annihilation". The other is "imha" which means "fading out," and, finally, there is "zaval" meaning "effacement."
Khamenei claims that his strategy for the destruction of Israel is not based on anti-Semitism, which he describes as a European phenomenon.
His position is based on "well-established Islamic principles", he claims.
One such is that a land that falls under Muslim rule, even briefly, can never again be ceded to non-Muslims. What matters in Islam is control of a land's government, even if the majority of inhabitants are non-Muslims. Khomeinists are not alone in this belief.
Caroline Glick: Obama strikes again
Obama’s first hope was to reach a deal with his Iranian friends that would leave the Assad regime in place. But the Iranians blew him off.
They know they don’t need a deal with Obama to secure their interests. Obama will continue to help them to maintain their power base in Syria though Hezbollah and the remains of the Assad regime without a deal.
Iran’s cold shoulder didn’t stop Obama. He moved on to his Sunni friend Turkish President Recep Erdogan.
Like the Iranians, since the war broke out, Erdogan has played a central role in transforming what started out as a local uprising into a regional conflict between Sunni and Shiite jihadists.
With Obama’s full support, by late 2012 Erdogan had built an opposition dominated by his totalitarian allies in the Muslim Brotherhood.
By mid-2013, Erdogan’s Muslim Brotherhood- led coalition was eclipsed by al-Qaida spinoffs. They also enjoyed Turkish support.
And when last summer ISIS supplanted al-Qaida as the dominant Sunni jihadist force in Syria, it did so with Erdogan’s full backing. For the past 18 months, Turkey has been ISIS’s logistical, political and economic base.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas's Child Abuse Camps
For the third running year, thousands of Palestinian children from the Gaza Strip are receiving military training as part of Hamas's summer camps.
The camps, which are being held under the banner "Vanguards of Liberation," are aimed at preparing children as young as 15 for fighting against Israel. More than 25,000 children have joined this year's Hamas camps, according to Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip.
What is most disturbing about this practice is that the families are not hesitant to send their children to be trained as future jihadis in the war against Israel. On the contrary, many of the families interviewed in the Palestinian media in the past few days said they were proud to see their children being taught how to use various types of weapons.
Only a few Palestinians have dared to speak out against Hamas's exploitation of children. Palestinian activist Eyad al-Atal criticized Hamas for "depriving an entire generation of Palestinians of their childhood." He said that apart from creating new supporters of the Islamic State, the military training of the children was in violation of human rights principles.
Addressing the Hamas leaders, the al-Atal said: "Teach your children how to play, how to smile, how to rejoice. Build for them an institution for education and entertainment that would raise them on the love of Palestine and not how to get themselves killed."
Dozens of West Bank settlers treated for smoke inhalation after suspected arson by Palestinians
Israeli settlers in Judea and Samaria are reporting a number of cases of violent disturbances and suspected arson on Friday as the region endures the tense aftermath of what authorities are calling a terrorist attack against a Palestinian family that left a toddler dead.
Dozens of settlers in the southern Hebron Hills community of Beit Hagai were evacuated from their homes after suffering from smoke inhalation sustained as a result of a brush fire that is believed to have been set by local Palestinians.
In total, 30 people were given treatment. Fire crews worked to bring the blaze, which crept up dangerously close to the settlers' homes, under control.
Three people were evacuated by an ambulance, while the other victims, including a Palestinian passerby who sought to help douse the blaze, suffered light injuries. (h/t NormanF)

Obama evokes Jewish lobby/neocon canards to defend Iran deal


From The Forward:
Hoping to energize activists on the left to take on the battle for approval of the diplomatic deal with Iran, President Obama is invoking the memory of the Iraq war and reminding his allies of who led the nation into it.

But what many liberals hear as a powerful rallying call to avoid entering another military quagmire in the Middle East could seem tone deaf to some in the organized Jewish community.

Obama, in a conference call he convened Thursday with activists from progressive organizations, sounded alarm bells and warned against the growing power of opponents of the Iran deal who are pressuring members of Congress to vote to disapprove the agreements.

In his 20 minute appeal, Obama repeatedly weaved two themes known to strike a chord among progressives: the Iraq war, and the role of big money in Washington’s decision making process.

When put together it sounded something like this: Criticism of the deal, he said, comes “partly from the $20 million that’s being spent lobbying against the bill,” and “partly from the same columnists and former administration officials that were responsible for us getting into the Iraq war.“

The wording, though chosen carefully as not to conflate the two groups, treaded into a highly sensitive area for some in the Jewish community.

The mention of $20 million is a clear reference to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which is leading the lobbying efforts against the Iran deal and has raised, through a sister organization, this sum in order to fight for disapproving the agreement.

Tying AIPAC and those who pushed for military intervention in Iraq in the same argument, could be read as accepting the notion that the American Jewish community was behind the Iraq war. It is a notion the organized pro-Israel community has been trying to fight off for over a decade.

The idea that Jews laid the groundwork for the Iraq war stems, in part, from the fact that several national security and defense advisers in the Bush administration were Jewish neo-conservatives who supported the war. The organized Jewish community, however, did not call on the Bush administration to launch a military offensive against Iraq.

The reference was not lost on Jewish officials who are attuned to this sensitivity.

“Canard,” tweeted William Daroff of the Jewish Federations of North America as Obama spoke on the conference call.

And while Obama may have had no intention of giving credence to it, the pronounced equation he made between those supporting the Iraq war and those opposing the Iran deal, is likely to make many in the community feel uneasy.
As is the reference to “billionaires” bankrolling the political effort to defeat the agreement in Congress.

“You’ve got a whole bunch of folks who are big check writers to political campaigns, running TV ads, and billionaires who happily finance SuperPACs and they are putting the squeeze on members of Congress,” Obama said.

Again, Obama made no direct reference to any individual involved in funding the drive against the Iran deal, but it is clear that most of the money raised by pro-Israel groups for this campaign has come from Jewish donors.

And the Republican Jewish Coalition was quick to issue a statement condemning Obama for “demonizing” opponents of the deal and reminding Jewish leaders that when George H. W. Bush in 1991 about the power of lobbyists, he was criticized by Jewish groups for what was seen as a negative reference to the political power of Jewish Americans.
This is really contemptible. Instead of focusing on actual arguments, Obama is demonizing his opponents to his "progressive" base. And he is using the same types of lazy stereotyping evoking the Jewish lobby that one would normally see in the writings of Walt/Mearsheimer.

Characterizing those opposed to the deal as being supportive of war is slanderous as well, and many card-carrying liberals oppose the deal.

Finally, there is something both disgusting and pathetic about the supposed leader of the free world implying that his influence on Congress cannot approach that of a $20 million campaign. Obama has enormous influence and controls many levers of power, all of which he is using to push through this deal that gets worse the more you look at it. This presidential conference call is an example - no one opposing the deal can put together an initiative as effective as this, no matter how much money they have. Yet even with this incredible power, he is having problems convincing many legislators. So now he is whining that AIPAC is putting money into opposing the deal The alternative is to roll over and meekly trust that a single man knows what is best for the world. .

Is this Obama's idea of how democracy works?

The good news:
Obama’s call to arms directed at progressives could indicate that push back against the deal is greater than the White House had initially expected. The president told listeners he had spoken to members of Congress who are “getting squishy” in face of the pressure from opponents of the deal.

This conference call shows Obama's utter contempt for any other points of view, and it reveals far more about the pettiness and insecurities of Obama than about the power of the Jewish lobby that he is crying over.

(h/t EBoZ)

07/31 Links Pt1: Don’t let the dark side win; Alleged Jewish terrorists help the Islamists succeed

From Ian:

Don’t let the dark side win
Can it be that this is taking place in the same country?
On a balmy Thursday, a small group of Jerusalem-area Palestinians and Israelis sat around a large table at a café near the Almog Junction on the way to the Dead Sea. The topic of this installment in their congenial monthly interfaith encounter between Muslims and Jews was the concept of heaven and hell in each religion.
A couple hours later, around 1,000 mostly Anglo music lovers of all ages gathered at Jerusalem’s Kraft Stadium for the annual Jerusalem Woodstock Revival featuring the good vibes and sounds of the 1960s. Both events symbolized the country aiming for its ideals – tolerance, understanding and freedom.
However at the same time as kippa-clad, tie-dye t-shirt wearers were grooving to the music of Cream and The Grateful Dead, three kilometers away a crazed Jewish extremist was stabbing six people who had gathered to support or participate in the Jerusalem Pride parade.
A few hours after that, two masked men – believed to be Jewish settlers, reached the Dawabsha home in the Palestinian village of Duma, broke windows, and hurled Molotov cocktails inside. The fire that resulted killed the family’s toddler, Ali Saad Dawabsha and seriously injured three members of his family.
Those incidents capped a week of unrest that can only be considered insurgence against the state of Israel – from within. Settlers hurled rocks at security forces in Beit El, after the troops began demolishing two illegal buildings. Bayit Yehudi MK Moti Yogev called to “bulldoze the Supreme Court” in response to an earlier High Court of Justice rejection of an appeal seeking to prevent their demolition.
Thursday night’s anti-gay stabbing, the Duma terror atrocity, the attacks by right-wing extremists on security forces and threats made by legislators against Israeli institutions all point to the fact that there are Jews in Israel who aren’t prepared to accept its democratic nature.
Alleged Jewish terrorists help the Islamists achieve their goals
Earlier this week, Hamas called for a “Day of Rage” on Friday to protest against what it claimed were efforts “to harm al-Aqsa Mosque” in Jerusalem. It is unlikely anybody in Israel’s security establishment was unduly bothered. Hamas has been trying for some time to heat up the West Bank, without much success. But what happened overnight in Duma, south of Nablus, entirely changes the picture.
The despicable murder of 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha, in an attack that also leaves his mother, father and brother fighting for their lives, is likely to shatter the Palestinians’ indifference. The Day of Rage that seemed unlikely to bring thousands into the streets may now become a day of violent confrontation and the start of the escalation Hamas has long been seeking.
Sickeningly, the Jewish terrorists allegedly responsible for the Duma attack are helping an Islamist terror group achieve its goals.
There is, it should be stressed, no guarantee that a widespread Palestinian protest will erupt and be sustained. For years, the Palestinian masses have refrained from joining the Islamists’ efforts at escalation against Israel, for several reasons: a lack of motivation given the scars of the Second Intifada; the desire to find employment and a better quality of life; and deep disappointment in both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
Israelly Cool: Thou Shall Not Murder
Less than 24 hours. 2 shocking acts of murder and attempted murder.
Seemingly perpetrated by fellow Jews.
The first: Stabbing of participants at yesterday’s Jerusalem gay pride parade, by a so-called “Orthodox” Jew.
The second: The murder of a toddler in an arson attack perpetrated against a palestinian family, in an apparent “price tag attack.”
I cannot not address these acts.
Both attacks had a religious element. As a religiously observant Jew, I feel compelled to speak out loudly and clearly against this desecration of G-d’s name and corruption of the ideals of the Torah from where we are taught “Thou shall not murder.”
There is no way it is G-d’s will to have His name desecrated in commission of crimes going against one of His Ten Commandments.
There are no ifs and buts about it. These are deplorable, evil acts and we need to speak out promptly and clearly against them, just like we do against palestinian terrorism.
And yes, I do consider them also to be terrorism, rather than simply “hate crimes.” True, these are not the acts of terror organizations, but rather individuals. However, this is not a prerequisite for terrorism, which can be defined as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

No, Sussiya is not owned by Arabs

Earlier this week Haaretz reported that an Ottoman-era land deed shows that the illegal Arab village of Sussiya was really on private land owned by Arabs (although it admitted that they had no permission to build on land slated for agriculture.)

Is the land privately owned by the Arab Jabor family?

If you are relying on an Ottoman land deed, then you must also rely on Ottoman law to determine the owner of the land. And, as an op-ed in the JPost shows, the Ottoman land law proves that the land has not been privately owned for well over a century.


According to the Ottoman Land Code (OLC) 1858 (Article 68), if a person to whom the land was given (tassaruf – the right to usufruct of land) was absent (mahlul) for three years and did not use or cultivate the land, or pay fees and taxes, the land reverts to the governing authority. Under the OLC, the land could be passed to legal heirs within five years after the grantee’s death, however only with the approval of the governing authority and only as long as taxes were paid. If not claimed or taxes not paid, the property reverts to the authority.

As such, according to the Ottoman Land Code, for the grantee to continue to hold some sort of property rights, the governing authority had to be paid taxes and tithes. In other words, a kushan (Ottoman land deed) is not enough; the land had to be used and taxes and fees had to be paid.

And there are many other restrictions that applied, depending on the type of land and its various categories, which are delineated in the Land Code (Article 3).

If a person cultivated an area for 10 consecutive years, he could apply for a title deed (OLC Article 78). But, if the land were abandoned (mahlul), at any time, even though he had cultivated it for a few years, he would lose his claim to ownership and the grant.

Again, even if he could apply and didn’t, or didn’t pay the taxes or the tithes, the land would revert to the governing authority.

It is clear from documents, historical and more recent observations, maps (1890-1945) and aerial photographs that the land claimed by these Arab squatters at Sussiya has not been continuously cultivated, taxes have not been paid and inheritance has not been applied for. Therefore their claims of ownership based on an Ottoman Empire land grant from 1881 are baseless.
According to this, even at the end of the Ottoman Empire the land was no longer owned by the Jobar family, but it had reverted to being state land - a status that remained under British, Jordanian and now Israeli rule.


Amnesty ignores Amnesty's own research in anti-Israel tweets

This morning, Amnesty tweeted:




Looking at the episode in Amnesty's Gaza Platform, we see that Amnesty researched the incident itself, and while it reached a biased conclusion, the most relevant facts were purposely excluded from the tweet:


Alaa al-Assar told Amnesty International’s fieldworker that there was no fighting in the area on the day of the attack and that no one living in the al-Bayoumi building was involved in any military activities, nor affiliated politically with any faction.

However, two neighbours maintained that, following the attack, they found out that at least four members of the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, including a battalion commander and a communications officer, were apparently using the empty apartment in the building for some time prior to the attack. One of them was said to have been killed in the attack on the al-Bayoumi home, but his name is not known to Amnesty International and does not appear in the list of named individuals killed below. It was said that another was injured in the attack, while two others escaped and were killed in an attack on a nearby mosque. Amnesty International has been unable to verify this information.

However, even if the empty flat in the al-Bayoumi building was used by the al-Qassam Brigades, the loss of civilian life in this attack was clearly disproportionate. The survivors of the attack said that they received no warning and the Israeli army has made no statement concerning either the intended target or any warning given. The Israeli forces were under an obligation to take all feasible precautions, including – given the large number of civilians present – calling off the attack or issuing a warning to the building’s residents and those of neighbouring buildings to evacuate, before carrying out the attack.
This terrorist, Shadi Muhammad Jumaa Abu Zaher, seems to be one of the Hamas members killed in the attack. His name was not released in any list of fatalities, making him one of many Hamas militants whom Hamas hid from researchers like Amnesty to make attacks like this one appear to be purely against civilians. 100 such Hamas members have been identified so far by the Meir Amit ITIC. This research is available to everyone, including Amnesty International.



Notice how Amnesty puts in caveats around two independent testimonies saying that this was a Hamas command and control center, while most of its reporting in the same document quotes Gazans who accuse Israel of crimes without any questioning of their facts.

Amnesty here is knowingly lying about the laws of armed conflict. By saying that  "the loss of civilian life in this attack was clearly disproportionate" in relation to the military value of the building, without knowing what the military value was, is simply libel.

As we have shown, under international law, an attack on a communications hub in Serbia that was only knocked out for a single day was not considered a violation of the laws of armed conflict even though the number of fatalities were higher than this instance. Amnesty's claim of "clearly disproportionate" is flatly wrong. The entire reason Israel did not give warning in this case - as opposed to hundreds of other cases - was obviously because this was a high-value military target.

There was a violation of international law here, though.

Hamas was using the Bayoumi family and others as human shields. Amnesty gathered the evidence proving that Hamas chose a residential building to build a command center and station at least four militants there. Yet instead of blaming Hamas for putting the families at risk- precisely because international law does not tie the hands of an army when the value of a valid military  target is high - Amnesty makes up its own international law and accuses Israel of violating it.

Amnesty could have at least mentioned that two witnesses said that this was a Hamas military center. Instead, its tweet was designed to castigate Israel even though Amnesty knows the facts are being badly misrepresented by this tweet. And they assume, correctly, that few will research the actual incident.

Which proves, yet again, how little Amnesty shows regard for the truth when it comes to Israel.


Bad news and good news in Arabic media

El Bashayer Online says that Hassan Nasrallah, head of Hezbollah, claimed in a speech that "Jewish rabbis" declared Netanyahu to be the Messiah. Nasrallah notes that the Jewish Messiah will not come from heavens but be born as a normal human being! Therefore, he says that the Messiah's first job is to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque and Netanyahu is the man who is most likely to do that according to these rabbis.

Meanwhile, a Tunisian newspaper has an article about Muslims visiting a Jewish cemetery and being upset at how it is not being taken care of. The piece is written poetically, sad at the decay in the cemetery and wistful about the people whose lives are described ion the headstones in French and Hebrew, along with symbols and pictures.


Articles that are so sympathetic to Jews are rare in Arab media.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

07/30 Links Pt2: Congressional Testimony: Fighting The Coming EU Economic War Against Israel

From Ian:

Congressional Testimony: Anti-Boycott Laws Needed to Protect US, Allies from Economic Attack
The ultimate goal of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and its leaders is to delegitimize the state of Israel, legislators, legal experts and business leaders agreed in a congressional hearing Tuesday. The hearing was held by the Subcommittee on National Security of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform.
“[BDS] is a familiar playback for people who have worked in various sanctions,” Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation of Defense of Democracies, told the hearing. “It’s a very a familiar playback about delegitimization for political ends, about establishing a country as an international pariah, and about using a combination of state action and private action in an economic and financial warfare campaign against that country.”
Dubowitz suggested that boycotts of U.S. allies set a dangerous precedent for the future, saying, “America and its allies must prepare for an increasingly dangerous era of political, economic, and financial warfare targeting the United States. As always, Israel is a canary in the coal mine.”
Tuesday’s hearing came in the wake of increased calls in European capitals and on American college campuses for boycott and divestment campaigns targeting Israel, which have sparked a contentious debate within the US government over how to best deal with the issue. Dubowitz’s comments echoed the tenor of the hearing, as members of Congress and witnesses identified BDS as a tactic that seeks to demonize Israel and stunt the peace process, and which harms both Palestinians and Israeli Arabs.
Fighting The Coming EU Economic War Against Israel
In this post, we focus on the testimony of Northwestern Univ. Law Professor Eugene Kontorovich
Prof. Kontorovich’s full written presentation contains important background as to the role Congress can play in opposing BDS consistent with U.S. law, policy and history of involvement in the issue. The subjects covered include:
- Background on Economic Warfare Against Israel
- U.S. Policy on Boycotts of Israeli Entities
- The Scope of Anti-boycott laws
- The Argument that Boycotts of Israel are Justified or Required by International law
- Potential European Measures and their Implications for International Trade Law
Here is Prof. Kontorovich’s appearance before Congress:
Fighting The Economic War on Israel
Prof. Eugene Kontorovich, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Committee, July 28, 2015


Epic House Testimony – BDS in business of “Manipulation, Violence and Destruction”
Today we focus on the testimony of Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream International.
We previously have featured the success story of SodaStream in hiring Palestinians and bringing Israeli Jews, Arabs and Palestinians together:
Because it represents peace and coexistence, SodaStream has been a prime target of BDS, including failed attempts to get SodaStream commercials banned at the SuperBowl:
There were attempts to force SodaStream to close its West Bank factory.
When it decided to move the production to an Israeli factory for business reasons unrelated to BDS, the BDS movement nonetheless continued to boycott SodaStream — proof positive that the complaints about a factory in the West Bank were just pretext.
In France the lies spread by BDS about SodaStream were so extreme that SodaStream won in French court case against a boycott group.
In his congressional testimony, Birnbaum revealed the full depth and breadth of the attacks on SodaStream — threats, sabotage, and disruption around the world.
Birnbaum’s written testimony is embedded below, and contains extensive documentation of the BDS war against SodaStream.
BDS = "Manipulation, Violence and Destruction"


Impact of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (The full hour)
U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 28 July 2015,


Khamenei: The worst thing about World Wars was Israel's creation

This series of tweets from Ayatollah Khamenei shows how deranged he is:










There you have it.

By the way, eight of the top ten wars with the highest death tolls in history originated in Asia, not counting the millions killed by Japan in WWII itself.


Why Jonathan Pollard won't make it to Israel (Vic Rosenthal)



Vic Rosenthal's weekly column:


So Jonathan Pollard will finally be getting out of prison in November, after exactly one day less than thirty years in federal custody.

I won’t discuss the details of the injustice done to Pollard –  his shockingly disproportionate sentence, the government’s failure to honor its plea agreement, the improper behavior of the judge, the exaggeration of the damage he did, the way he took the rap for far more damaging spies. I’ve written about these things before (see here and here for example).

Pollard is being released because according to the law in effect when his offense was committed, a prisoner serving a life sentence becomes eligible for mandatory parole after 30 years. The Parole Board is required to consider whether he is likely to re-offend or be dangerous in some other way, and if he has been well-behaved in custody.

This is an entirely routine procedure. No action by the government is necessary for it to happen, although a phone call from the Justice Department or the President would surely have been sufficient to stop it. A hearing was held, and the Parole Board decided to release him; it even advanced the date by one day so that he would not have to be released on Shabbat.

There have been suggestions that the release is intended to somehow induce Israel to behave differently toward the administration’s Iran deal. This makes no sense at all. Would US officials really believe that Israel’s opposition to the deal, which it sees as a threat to its existence, could be softened by the early release of one prisoner, no matter how strongly the public feels about him? Most likely the administration simply did not want to upset US Jews, who have strong feelings in both directions about the case, and whose support will be important in the coming congressional struggle over the deal. So it chose to avoid involvement in Pollard’s parole altogether.

Parole is not clemency. The government can place restrictions on a parolee for a period of time depending on the nature of his crime. If a parolee violates the terms of his parole he may be arrested and sent back to prison for the remainder of his sentence. These restrictions may include regular reporting to a parole officer, drug tests, prohibition against talking to the media, and limitations on travel; but the parole board can impose any conditions that it likes as long as they are ‘reasonable’. In Pollard’s case, his lawyers report that one condition is that he may not leave the US for a period of 5 years. Without seeing the Parole Board’s Notice of Action, I am willing to bet there are also restrictions on speaking to journalists.

His lawyers have asked President Obama to grant Pollard executive clemency, which would enable him to go to Israel where his wife, Esther, lives. Alternatively, and without any implication of forgiveness for his crime, Obama has the power to simply waive the travel restriction. But an official of the National Security Council has announced that the president “has no intention of altering the terms of Mr. Pollard’s parole.”

I am not surprised. Michael Oren noted Obama’s coldness, approvingly quoting a “European colleague” who said “Obama’s problem is not a tin ear. It’s a tin heart.” Unlike Bill Clinton, who apparently considered pardoning Pollard before his CIA head, George Tenet, got him to back down, Obama has never given the slightest indication that he would countenance mercy toward Pollard. But there’s more to it than that.

I am convinced that this administration knows (and so did previous ones) that Pollard has information that might become a political bombshell if revealed. And there was a lot going on from 1979, when Pollard took his naval intelligence job, through 1985, when he was arrested.

I am not going to speculate about what Pollard might know. But the hypothesis that he does know something explains a lot about the way his case proceeded, which was much different from a run-of-the-mill espionage case. For this reason, I fully expected that he would die in prison. I believe today that he will never be allowed to be in a position from which he can speak freely.

Only the fortuitous combination of the need for Obama to tread lightly at this critical point in the congressional debate over the Iran deal and the 30-year anniversary of Pollard’s arrest has made his release possible. But if I’m right, then the severe limitations on his ability to talk will never be removed.

I’ve had arguments with American Jews who like to emphasize their own patriotism by vehemently attacking Pollard, usually relying more on emotional heat than the light of facts and logic. I don’t think what he actually did, or the damage it actually caused even come close to justifying his punishment.

The truth is that Pollard was treated as harshly as he was for two reasons: most importantly, to keep him quiet; and secondarily, as a lesson for American Jews who might be tempted to place their concern for their Jewish homeland above their loyalty to their Diaspora residence. Apparently this lesson was taken to heart by many.

He’s paid his debt, suffered more than enough. I would like to believe that someday he will be able to come home to live a quiet life with his wife in Israel.

But I doubt it.

07/30 Links Pt1: FM: Sunni Arab nations are our ‘allies’; Iran has months to hide illicit activity

From Ian:

Israel’s Foreign Ministry chief: Sunni Arab nations are our ‘allies’
The director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Dore Gold, called the Middle East’s Sunni Arab nations “Israel’s allies.”
Gold used the term twice in a presentation Wednesday in New York focused on the shortcomings of the Iran nuclear deal.
“What we have is a regime on a roll that is trying to conquer the Middle East,” Gold said of Iran, “and it’s not Israel talking, that is our Sunni Arab neighbors — and you know what? I’ll use another expression – that is our Sunni Arab allies talking.”
Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations and a longtime adviser to Israeli prime ministers from the right-wing Likud Party, is also the author of a 2003 book on Saudi Arabia called “Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism.” Saudi Arabia has been one of the most vocal Arab opponents of US-Iran rapprochement and the Iran nuclear agreement.
The presentation, which was organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, also featured Amos Yadlin, a former chief of Israeli military intelligence who now heads Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies. Yadlin ran unsuccessfully for the Knesset in March on the center-left Zionist Union list.
Infamous Terrorist Samir Kuntar Not Killed in Syria Airstrikes Attributed to Israel, Brother Claims
The brother of infamous Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar was quick to deny Samir’s death on Wednesday after air strikes attributed to Israel were reported in Lebanon and Syria, Israeli news site NRG reported.
According to the reports, two Hezbollah operatives and three loyalists to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were killed in the strikes.
On Twitter, Bassem Kuntar claimed, “Samir is fine” and added his condolences to the “martyrs of the Syrian Arab resistance to the Israeli occupation in the Golan who were killed during the Israeli strike in the afternoon.”
Syrian State TV Reports Second Israeli Airstrike on Terror Targets in a Day
An Israeli warplane on Wednesday attacked a terrorist base belonging to a pro-Syrian government Palestinian terror group, Syrian state television claimed.
The Israeli plane purportedly attacked a military base along the Lebanon-Syria border belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a group that supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Reuters reported, citing the television report.
An Israeli military spokesman declined to comment on the reported strike.
Earlier on Wednesday, Arab media outlets reported that the Israeli Air Force struck a vehicle in the Quneitra region of southern Syria, killing at least two people and as many as five, who were possibly members of the Hezbollah terror group and the People’s Committees, a pro-Assad militia led by the Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar.
Netanyahu: Under nuke deal, Iran has months to hide illicit activity
If Iran honors the agreement, it will be able to build numerous nuclear weapons with the blessing of the international community, he lamented during a briefing for Israeli diplomatic correspondents in his Jerusalem office.
“The inspections regime is full of holes,” Netanyahu said. “This deal is terrible. It’s preferable to have no deal than this deal.”
Under the Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action that the world powers signed with Iran earlier this month, Iran has 24 days before it needs to grant international inspectors access to hitherto undeclared sites they suspect host nuclear activity.
But, Netanyahu said, if no agreement has been reached after that time elapses, the deal says that the complaint is to go to another committee trying to bridge the dispute, which will deal with the issue for another 30 days. If Iran still refuses to let inspectors into the site and the United Nations Security Council is involved, it will take another 30 days before any action is taken, the prime minister said.
“It could take a total of three months,” Netanyahu said.

Debunking another NGO lie: "40% of Palestinian adult males have been arrested by Israel"

Ma'an mentions:
Israeli forces routinely detain Palestinians throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem, often on the pretext of perceived security threats, and Addameer estimates that 40 percent of the Palestinian male population has been arrested at some point.
This has been quoted in mainstream media as well.

I have already debunked the Addameer claim that 800,000 Palestinian Arabs have been arrested by Israel a number of times. But I was curious if I could find any numbers that indicated the percentage of males that had been arrested.

I got pretty close.

In a survey of Arab women in 2011, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics asked a large sample of women "Has [sic] any of your family members been arrested/detained by the Israeli occupation" - within the previous 12 months or any time before that.

3.6% answered yes for the previous 12 months, and 20.8% said it had happened in the years before that.

For our purposes we will ignore the 3.6% because it can be assumed that a very high percentage of those had also been arrested previously.

So about 21% of Arab families in the territories had at least one arrest. Arab families tend to be large, so this survey covered the women's husbands grown sons and brothers. The average Arab household in the territories has about 6 members, but the question was for "family" and not "household" so I think we can assume 2 brothers and a father and/or a grown son, or an average of 3 adult men per woman's family. That means that a minimum of 7% of adult males have been arrested, assuming one arrest per family. We'll take a generous guess that one third of the families had more than one arrest, so no more than 10% of adult males have been arrested.

Now compare with this:
A large number of American men have already been arrested by the time they're in their early 20s, according to a new report.

The study, published on Monday in the journal Crime & Delinquency, found that nearly half (49 percent) of African-American men and 40 percent of white men have been arrested by the age of 23, "which can hurt their ability to find work, go to school and participate fully in their communities," according to a press release.

The research was based on an analysis of national survey data from 1997 to 2008 of teenagers and young adults. The arrests included minor crimes like truancy as well as serious violent crimes. It excluded traffic offenses.
Things are far worse for American men than for Palestinian Arabs.

Gen, Dempsey refutes idea of "Iran deal or war" (video)

From National Review:

President Obama’s claim that Congress must either back his deal with Iran or plan for war does not square with the advice he has received from his top general, Senate lawmakers learned on Wednesday.

Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, never presented Obama with such a binary choice. “At no time did that come up in our conversation nor did I make that comment,” Dempsey told Senator Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) during a Senate hearing on the Iran deal. “I can tell you that we have a range of options and I always present them.”

Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that Obama was not misrepresenting the situation. “It’s not a choice the president wants to make, but it’s the inevitable consequence of them moving to assert what they believe is their right in the furtherance of their program,” he said.

Dempsey also acknowledged that he advised the president not to agree to the lifting of sanctions pertaining to Iran’s ballistic missile program and other arms. “Yes, and I used the phrase ‘as long as possible’ and then that was the point at which the negotiation continued — but yes, that was my military advice,” he told Senator Kelly Ayotte (R., N.H.). In the event the new deal goes into effect, the arms embargoes will expire over the next several years.

Citing chapter and verse of the deal, Ayotte pointed out that the “plain language” of the bargain requires the United States “to help strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against sabotage of its nuclear program” — even to the point of warning Iran if Israel tries to launch cyberattacks against the program.

Dempsey seemed caught off guard when asked about that provision. “I hadn’t thought about that, senator, and I would like to have the opportunity to do so,” he told Ayotte.


That false choice is also a key talking point from J-Street, who incidentally is hosting a conference call with President Obama this evening to help him sell his disastrous nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, the President's willingness to oppose Congress even if he couldn't override his veto unnerved at least one member.

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), who has been one of the more skeptical Democrats on the agreement, said that Obama appeared ready to ignore Congress, even if lawmakers vote to kill the deal and then marshal the two-thirds majorities to override a White House veto.

“The main meat of what he said is, ‘If Congress overrides my veto, you do not get a U.S. foreign policy that reflects that vote. What you get is you pass this law and I, as president, will do everything possible to go in the other direction,’” Sherman told reporters off the House floor after the meeting.

“He’s with the deal — he’s not with Congress,” Sherman added. “At least to the fullest extent allowed by law, and possibly beyond what’s allowed by law.”

Sherman suggested that Obama could refuse to enforce the law and could actively seek to undermine congressional action in other countries, if Capitol Hill insists on stymieing the plan.
(h/t Mike, Yenta)