The Inside Track From Israel’s Gaza Border Defenders

Like it or not, the Iran nuclear deal is done. In much of the Middle East, defense officials in many states believe that a sizeable proportion of the soon-to-be released $100 billion Iranian windfall will be directed toward funding proxy armies of the Islamic Republic, for whom the Jewish state remains the prime target. Israel’s focus is now, more than ever, on defense and surveillance.

In the north, Hizballah, Iran’s proxy Lebanese army, remains a massive threat to regional stability, siding with Syria’s disgraced President Bashar Assad and his saviors from Russia. In Gaza, it is no secret that a previous rift between Iran and Hamas has been smoothed over to further mutual objectives and that another, and possibly more brutal round of hostilities between Israel and Hamas may not be far away.

“The sanctions relief and the nuclear deal with Iran represent a strategic shift that the IDF will have to tackle over the next decade,” Israel Defense Forces #IDF# Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot said Monday in a speech at the INSS conference in Tel Aviv. “We also see [Iran’s] attempt to influence Arab Israelis and those in the Gaza Strip, and the estimation is that as Iran’s economic situation improves, over the next one-to-two years, it will divert considerably more resources into opposing Israel, via the Iranian military industry.”

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Rebel Virgins and Desert Mothers

It started with the virgins.

In the first two centuries of Christianity, many of the cultures in which it took hold had stubborn gender roles—but these roles weren’t as hardline as you might think. Women had long been the managers of their households, and since followers of the new movement met in private, in intimate “house churches,” women often became the natural leaders of the congregation. Christian women and men alike could become full-fledged ministers.

In the apostle Paul’s letter to the early congregation he founded in Corinth, he suggested that women should not teach or even speak aloud in church—but in that same document, he also name-checked 28 prominent leaders in the Roman Christian community, 10 of whom were women. (A woman, the minister Phoebe, was Paul’s entree into that community.) Eventually, in some areas, there were even female bishops. This was back when the church was still a social movement, not yet a political powerhouse, and women were drawn to the possibilities it cracked open for them—as preachers, prophets, and patrons.

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Afghanistan: Muslim cuts off wife’s nose after argument over his taking six-year-old as second wife

KABUL, Afghanistan — A young woman has been hospitalized in northern Afghanistan and is hoping to travel to Turkey for reconstructive surgery after her husband cut off her nose, the police and the woman’s family said on Tuesday.

The woman, Reza Gul, 20, was attacked by her husband with a knife on Sunday in Shar-Shar, a village in an impoverished and Taliban-controlled part of Faryab Province. Reza Gul was in stable condition on Tuesday in a hospital in Maimana, the provincial capital, according to a spokesman for the Faryab police, Sayed Massoud Yaqubi.

Maroof Samar, a doctor who is the acting director of public health in Faryab, said Reza Gul had been in “very critical condition when she was brought in, she had lost much blood.”

Throughout the six years Reza Gul and her husband, Muhammad Khan, 25, had been married, he and his family members had regularly abused her, beating her and binding her in chains, said Reza Gul’s mother, Zarghona. Mr. Khan regularly went to Iran for work, returned for a few months during which he abused his wife, then left her with his family members, she said.

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Kerry admits some Iran sanctions relief money will go to jihad terrorism

Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged to CNBC Thursday that some of the money Iran received in sanctions relief would go to groups considered terrorists.

When asked about whether some the $150 billion in sanctions relief to Iran would go to terrorist groups, Kerry reiterated that, after settling debts, Iran would receive closer to $55 billion. He conceded some of that could go to groups considered terrorists, saying there was nothing the U.S. could do to prevent that.

“I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists,” he said in the interview in Davos, referring to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. “You know, to some degree, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented.”

But he added that “right now, we are not seeing the early delivery of funds going to that kind of endeavor at this point in time.”

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