Iran Violating U.S. Deal with Secret Nuke Research, Opposition Group Says - Rowan Scarborough (Washington Times)
Iran is cheating on its deal with the U.S. by secretly conducting research into nuclear weapons components such as bomb triggers and enriched uranium, the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said Friday.
The regime is doing engineering and weaponization testing at a walled military complex south of Tehran which Iran has declared off-limits to inspectors.
The group provided satellite photos and descriptions of the exact locations of nuclear research inside the Parchin complex.
In addition, it released the identities of 15 personnel working on triggers and explosive yields at Iran's Center of Research and Expansion of Technologies on Explosions and Impact (METFAZ) and their jobs descriptions, as well as addresses of various secret sites.
U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Syrians Responsible for Chemical Weapons - Karen DeYoung (Washington Post)
The Trump administration on Monday imposed financial sanctions on 271 named employees of Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Center, responsible for developing and producing the sarin gas used to kill dozens of people in the April 4 chemical weapons attack by the Assad government.
U.S. Working to Defeat New UNESCO Anti-Israel Resolution (Times of Israel)
The Trump administration has ordered U.S. ambassadors in UNESCO member states to work to defeat an anti-Israel resolution to be debated by the organization next week, Israel's Channel 10 reported Monday.
The resolution includes clauses denying any Jewish connection to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem.
The administration described the upcoming UNESCO motion as one-sided and counter-productive to U.S. efforts to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Chinese Jihadis' Rise in Syria Raises Concerns at Home - Bassem Mroue and Gerry Shih (AP-Washington Post)
Thousands of Chinese jihadi fighters of the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) have come to Syria.
While many don't speak Arabic,
they are battled-hardened and have been instrumental in ground offensives against President Assad's forces in the country's northern regions.
The majority of Chinese jihadis are Muslims from the Turkic-speaking Uighur majority native to the Xinjiang region in China.
Their growing role has resulted in increased cooperation between Syrian and Chinese intelligence agencies who fear those same jihadis could one day return home and cause trouble there. TIP considers China's Xinjiang to be East Turkistan.
Abu Dardaa al-Shami, who fought alongside TIP fighters in Syria, said, "They are the lions of ground offensives."
Their role is to infiltrate their targets, unleash mayhem and fight to the death before a major ground offensive begins.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there are about 5,000 Chinese fighters in Syria, but Li Wei, a Chinese terrorism expert, said the number was about 300, who brought with them about 700 family members.
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- U.S. Gesture to Iran Undermined Its Own Counterproliferation Efforts - Josh Meyer
According to a Politico investigation, the White House derailed its own much-touted National Counterproliferation Initiative at a time when it was making unprecedented headway in thwarting Iran's proliferation networks, when President Obama released as a "one-time gesture" Iranian-born prisoners who "were not charged with terrorism or any violent offenses" last year. Three of the men were part of an illegal procurement network supplying Iran with U.S.-made microelectronics with applications in surface-to-air and cruise missiles. Another was serving an eight-year sentence for conspiring to supply Iran with satellite technology and hardware.
At the same time, in a series of unpublicized court filings, the Justice Department dropped charges and international arrest warrants against 14 other men for similar activities. When federal prosecutors and agents learned the true extent of the releases, many were shocked and angry. Some had spent years, if not decades, working to penetrate the global proliferation networks that allowed Iranian arms traders to obtain crucial materials for Tehran's illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
In addition, Justice and State Department officials denied or delayed requests from prosecutors and agents to lure key Iranian fugitives to friendly countries so they could be arrested. Similarly, Justice and State, at times in consultation with the White House, slowed down efforts to extradite some suspects already in custody overseas.
Valerie Lincy, executive director of the nonpartisan Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, said, "This is a scandal. The cases bear all the hallmarks of exactly the kinds of national security threats we're still going after." Those investigations were providing U.S. officials with a roadmap of how, exactly, Tehran was clandestinely building its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and were providing key operational details of how the Iranian procurement networks operate. (Politico)
- BDS Leader Omar Barghouti Given Peace Prize at Yale, University Disavows Award - Randall Beach
Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement that targets Israel, received the Gandhi Peace Award at Yale University on Sunday. Yale University officials issued an unusual statement distancing the university from the event. "A student organization reserved space for the awarding of the Gandhi prize, which is given by an organization not affiliated with Yale. Views expressed at these events are those of the individuals involved and do not represent the views of the university." (New Haven Register)
See also Honoring Those Like Barghouti Distances Peace
Honoring Omar Barghouti with a peace prize is tragically misguided.
The BDS movement is built on subterfuge. It exploits progressive viewpoints to undergird an openly hostile agenda to Israel's very existence. Barghouti and other co-founders of BDS have made clear time and again that they reject a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, reject Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, and will only accept a single state where Palestinians have total sovereignty.
Giving Barghouti a peace prize is an insult to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi.
Norman Ravski, M.D., president; Judy Alperin, CEO; Arthur L. Levy, M.D., Israel chairman; Rabbi Joshua Ratner, director, Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven.
(New Haven Register)
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- Thousands Mark Holocaust Remembrance Day with March of the Living at Auschwitz
Thousands of Jews from Israel and around the world participated in the March of the Living on Monday in honor of the millions who perished in the Holocaust at the former Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz. As in previous years, the march was led by Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, a child survivor of Auschwitz. Other Israeli officials present included Education Minister Naftali Bennett, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Miriam Naor. (Times of Israel)
See also 12 European Ministers of Education Join March of the Living - Yehonatan Bnaya (Ynet News)
- Knesset Ceremony Shines Light on Sephardic Victims of Holocaust - Lahav Harkov
Each year, the Knesset holds a ceremony on Holocaust Remembrance Day in which MKs read names of those who were murdered by the Nazis. This year many of the names read were of Sephardic Jews. Kulanu MK Merav Ben-Ari's mother, Eti Ben-Ari, lit a candle for those killed in the Jado concentration camp in Libya, including her relatives. MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin (Zionist Union) lit a candle in honor of her relatives from Salonika, Greece, who were murdered. MK Amir Peretz (Zionist Union) read names of North African Jews who were in France during the Holocaust and were murdered by the Nazis.
See also We Will Remember and Never Forget - Avi Dichter
On August 23, 1942, 3,870 Jews - men, women and children, including members of my family - were taken from the Jewish ghetto in Rozyszcze, Ukraine, and walked to a huge pit a kilometer away.
On the edge of the pit, they were lined up six at a time, all day long, and shot in the back of the neck.
The writer, chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, served as director of the Israel Security Agency and Minister of Public Security.
(Times of Israel)
- Marwan Barghouti Is a Convicted Murderer, Nothing More - Jamal Barakat
My younger brother, Salim, was a first responder - a dedicated police officer who loved serving his country and fellow citizens, and who in 2002 ran straight into danger when he heard a Palestinian terrorist throwing grenades and shooting up the Seafood Market restaurant in Tel Aviv.
With two innocent civilians on the ground dying and over a dozen others wounded, Salim charged the terrorist and shot him before he could kill more innocent people. But as Salim moved in to see if the terrorist was wearing a suicide explosive belt, the wounded terrorist suddenly thrust a knife into my brother, killing him. The man who organized that attack was Marwan Barghouti.
When I heard that the New York Times gave him a stage from which to launch his mass prison hunger strike, my blood boiled. This is the cold-blooded killer who orchestrated murderous attacks and sent terrorists to hurt innocent people.
I am a proud member of Israel's Druse community.
Even though we are fully committed to our country, we are not against the Palestinians. I support the two-state solution, but not by Barghouti's way of killing innocent people. It is Barghouti who put himself where he belongs, behind bars for life. It is an offense to the civilized world to hear that Barghouti is pretending to be a "political prisoner." (Jerusalem Post)
- Does Iran Have a Veto on Israeli-Palestinian Peace? - Jonathan S. Tobin
It's not surprising that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal. The pact let Iran keep its nuclear infrastructure - including its most advanced equipment - and allowed it to keep enriching uranium. Iran can simply wait until the pact expires and then have the freedom to get a bomb while claiming - with justice - that the West has implicitly sanctioned that outcome.
Meanwhile, without the economic sanctions that were lifted, there is nothing to deter Tehran from pursuing its long-range goal of regional hegemony. Trump and his advisers are now grasping that their objectives of defeating ISIS and promoting peace between Israel and the Palestinians will have little or no chance of success in an environment where Iran feels it can act with impunity.
Tehran's well-armed Hizbullah auxiliaries and its ties to radical Palestinian factions also give it a potential veto over any progress toward peace with Israel, despite Trump's hopes that Sunni Arab states like Saudi Arabia could broker an agreement.
Video - Netanyahu: Palestinians Must Prove They Want Peace - Sean Hannity (Fox News)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview on Friday:
- On an annual basis, the Palestinian Authority is giving hundreds of millions of dollars to terrorists or the families of terrorists who murdered Israelis, murdered Americans. It's unimaginable. I mean, after a decade, it could be more than a billion dollars that are given to terrorists! This is from the main-line Palestinian Authority headed by President Abbas, who's going to see President Trump in Washington.
- I think the first test of peace is to say to them, "Hey, you want peace, prove it. Confront terrorism. Stop rewarding terrorism. Stop paying terrorists." They pay terrorists on a sliding scale, not on the cost of living, but on the cost of killing. The more you kill, the more you get. Unacceptable! Has to change. That's a test for peace.
- You know, in our free, open, transparent societies, if we say a syllable to a domestic audience, it gets beamed around the world immediately. We're held accountable for every word. But in the case of Abbas, you know, it's like he lives in a different universe! He can say "I want peace" to Western leaders, but then to his own people, he says the very opposite!
- In the case of the Palestinian leadership, including President Abbas, to his own people he says, we don't want a state next to Israel, we want a state instead of Israel. First, we get a state. Then we flood Israel with the descendants of Palestinians. We go back to Haifa, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Acre. That's the end of Israel.
- You make peace by demanding from the Palestinians to pass the test of peace.
Hold the Palestinian leadership accountable. Don't let them get away with double talk. How about if what Abbas says to President Trump he has to say to his own people? How about if he says, "Yes, Mr. President, our laws will forbid paying terrorists. And I'm going to make sure that not a penny goes to the terrorists or their families."
- The only chance that this will change is if there's pressure brought to them to make this real change, to say, "No, we're not going to accept just generic, fluffy words of peace while you indoctrinate your own people with a doctrine of death. We want you to change the way you speak to your own people."
- There's no one that wants peace more than Israel. This canard that Israel doesn't want peace is a joke. We teach peace to our children. We yearn for peace. And we don't have double talk because what we say inside is what we say outside, and everybody holds us accountable. It's high time that that accountability was put on the Palestinians, that you tell them, "No, I want to see what you tell your children. I want you to stop paying terrorists and their families. I want to see a change." If that kind of demand for genuine accountability is put forward, that could make for a turning point.
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