Why Tehran Crosses Only ‘Pink Lines’

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Talk to any senior European Union official and you are sure to hear the Islamic Republic in Iran designated as “a threat to regional stability.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel endorses Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s assessment of Iranian behavior as “unacceptable.”

French President Emmanuel Macron insists that Iran should carry out UN resolutions by closing its ballistic missile project. And, yet, EU’s Iran policy, assuming such a thing exists, is plagued by contradictions.

The EU’s spokesperson for foreign policy, Ms. Federica Mogherini has devoted most of her immense energies operating as a lobbyist for the Islamic Republic. She has visited more than 30 countries to present the Islamic Republic as the poor little lamb facing the American big bad wolf. To show what a special place the mullahs have in her heart, when in Tehran, she wears the full Khomeinist hijab, but when she visits other Islamic capitals she unleashes her peroxide blonde hair in full evidence.

In private, EU officials dismiss that as childish symbolism. The problem is that symbolism does matter as much in politics as in poetics.

For example, when, just weeks after leaving office, Germany’s former Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel heads a delegation of European businessmen to Tehran and praises the Islamic Republic as a rock of stability in the Mideast, some in the Khomeinist leadership will see that as an endorsement of Tehran’s reckless adventurism.

via Why Tehran Crosses Only ‘Pink Lines’

Iran warns America that it has “launched a new, locally-built submarine capable of firing cruise missiles”

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Iran has “launched a new, locally-built submarine capable of firing cruise missiles…in the country’s latest show of military might at a time of heightened tensions with the US…..The launch ceremony, led by President Hassan Rouhani, took place in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas.”

Rouhani stated:

Today the Islamic Republic of Iran is fully self-reliant on land, air and sea….Our defensive power is meant to defend our interests and we have never sought to attack any country.”

“Never sought to attack any country”? Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced in 2015 that the “Zionist regime will cease to exist in the next 25 years”; the head of the Iranian proxy Hizballah, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, warned several months ago that Israel “will face a destiny and reality it didn’t expect” in the next war with Lebanon.

via Iran warns America that it has “launched a new, locally-built submarine capable of firing cruise missiles”

Hamas’s Terror Recruiters Rely on Mix of Old and New Media

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Coded messages on a satellite television station and Facebook are some of the tools Hamas has been using to plot a series of terrorist atrocities against Israelis.

A recent Hamas terror attempt to launch suicide bombings, stabbings, and shooting attacks against Israelis illustrates how the organization combines new and old media to promote death and destruction.

Like hundreds of attacks Hamas plans ever year, Israeli security forces detected and prevented this one. But Hamas in Gaza remains determined to keep looking for new ways to evade Israeli intelligence. This determination led it to use the Gaza-based Al-Aqsa satellite television station and Facebook to attract new recruits in the West Bank, who then receive instructions on how to go out and kill Israelis.

The recruitment attempts are part of a wider, dangerous, strategy by Hamas’s military wing to evade Israeli detection, and send suicide bombers into Israeli cities from the West Bank. They illustrate just how deceptive the everyday quiet on Israeli streets is, and how hard Israel’s security forces must work to preserve it.

via Hamas’s Terror Recruiters Rely on Mix of Old and New Media

The Same Tired Old Accusations Against Israel

Beyond the Cusp

These overly-worn accusarial slurs still echo throughout much of the world’s leftist media and taints their politics just as deeply. One cannot be a Zionist, a supporter of Israel or one who is proud that Israel is the home of the Jewish People without also being labeled a fascist, racist and a supporter of Jewish supremacism. Such labels are reserved, as it seems, for any and all those who believe that the Jewish State, that Israel has every right to exist and the names become even more shrill if you believe that the world should live up to the promises made to the Zionist Congress and the Jewish People at the end of World War I when the map of the world, or at least of central and eastern Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa were being redrawn. Where these names go astray of the realities is a matter…

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Benny Gantz’s Dangerous Ambiguity on West Bank Disengagement

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Unilateral disengagement from the West Bank, which Israeli PM candidate Benny Gantz seems to support, would have far-reaching adverse implications for Israel in the security, economic, social, infrastructural, and ecological spheres.

For all his efforts to keep his views on key national issues under wraps, so as to make his premiership bid appealing to the largest possible number of Israelis, former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz has indicated his readiness to apply the highly controversial unilateral disengagement formula that Sharon applied to Gaza in 2005 to the West Bank as well. “We need to find a way in which we’re not controlling other people,” Gantz told the daily Yediot Ahronot in his first interview as a PM candidate. “[The unilateral disengagement] was a legal move, a decision made by the Israeli government and carried out by the IDF and the settlers in a painful, but good manner. We need to take the lessons learned and implement them elsewhere.”

Leaving aside the ambiguity of these well-worn terms (e.g., most of the world views Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem as “settlements” while Israelis consider them an integral part of Israel), or the feasibility of evacuating some 140,000 Jewish residents from their homes with no Palestinian quid pro quo, Gantz’s thinking seems to be predicated on dated suppositions that have long been overtaken by events.

via Benny Gantz’s Dangerous Ambiguity on West Bank Disengagement

The Pope’s Stubborn Silence on the Persecution of Christians

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4,305 Christians were killed simply because their Christian faith in 2018. This is the dramatic number contained in the new “World Watch List 2019” just compiled by the non-governmental organization Open Doors. It reveals that in 2018, there were 1,000 more Christian victims — 25% more — than the year before, when there were 3,066.

These days, 245 million Christians in the world are apparently persecuted simply for their faith. Last November, The organization Aid to the Church in Need released its “Religious Freedom Report” for 2018 and reached the a similar conclusion: 300 million Christians were subjected to violence. Christianity, despite stiff competition, has been called “the most persecuted religion in the world”.

In March 2019, Pope Francis will travel to Morocco, a country also listed in the Open Doors’ watch list. Unfortunately, Pope Francis’s stance on Islam seems to be coming from a fantasy world. The persecution of Christians is now an international crisis. Consider what happened to Christians in the Muslim world during just the last couple of months. A policeman was killed trying to defuse a bomb outside a Coptic church in Egypt. Before that, seven Christians were murdered by religious extremists during a pilgrimage. Then a mass grave was discovered in Libya containing the remains of 34 Ethiopian Christians killed by jihadists affiliated with the Islamic State. The Iranian regime, in severe new crackdowns, arrested more than 109 Christians. The Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi, three months after being exonerated for “blasphemy”and released from death row, still lives as a “prisoner”: her former neighbors still want to put her to death. In Mosul, which was Iraq’s center for Christians, there was a “Christmas without Christians”, and in Iraq in general, 80% of the Christians have disappeared.

via The Pope’s Stubborn Silence on the Persecution of Christians

Muslim member of Council on Foreign Relations claims “Islam reveres Judaism, the Torah, Moses and the Jewish people”

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Qanta A. Ahmed “is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Committee on Combating Contemporary Anti-Semitism Through Testimony at the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation.” Here she claims that “Islam reveres Judaism, the Torah, Moses and the Jewish people as legitimate believers, and Jerusalem as belonging only to the Jews — all documented within the Quran.”

Unfortunately, none of that is true. There is a strong native strain of anti-Semitism in Islam, rooted in the Qur’an. The Qur’an puts forward a clear, consistent image of the Jews: they are scheming, treacherous liars and the most dangerous enemies of the Muslims.

The Qur’an presents Muhammad as the last and greatest in the line of Biblical prophets, preaching a message identical to theirs. The identical character of their messages may seem odd to those who know very well that the Qur’an’s contents are quite different in character from those of the Bible, but the Qur’an has an ingenious explanation for this: the original message of all the Biblical prophets was Islam, and they were all Muslims. Only later did their followers corrupt their messages to create Judaism and Christianity.

Consequently, in the Qur’an, Abraham is not a Jew or a Christian, but a Muslim (3:67); his message was identical to Muhammad’s. The Islamic claim is that the authentic Torah actually commands Jews to follow Muhammad and recognize his prophecy. Those who refuse to accept Muhammad as a prophet are, in the Muslim view, rejecting both Moses and the prophecies of the Torah. It is no surprise, then, that in the Qur’an both David and Jesus curse the disbelieving Jews for their disobedience (5:78).

via Muslim member of Council on Foreign Relations claims “Islam reveres Judaism, the Torah, Moses and the Jewish people”