The American Kafir

2012/04/08

Iran lawmaker: Country can produce nuclear weapons but will never do so

Source FoxNews

Iran lawmaker: Country can produce nuclear weapons but will never do so

| Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran –  Iran has the knowledge and scientific capability to produce nuclear weapons but will never do so, a prominent lawmaker has said.

Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghadam is a parliamentarian not a government official and his views do not represent the Iranian government’s policy. It however is the first time that such a prominent Iranian politician has publicly stated that Iran has the technological capability to produce a nuclear weapon.

His assertion published on parliament’s website late Friday suggests that Iran is trying to show unity in its political establishment around its often repeated claims that it seeks world-class technological advances including nuclear expertise, but does not want to develop atomic arms as the U.S. and its allies claim.

The statement comes before planned talks beginning next week with the U.S. and other world powers over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

Moghadam said Iran can easily produce the highly enriched uranium that is used to build atomic bombs, but that it is not Tehran’s policy to go that route.

“Iran has the scientific and technological capability to produce (a) nuclear weapon, but will never choose this path,” he said in remarks carried by the parliamentary website icana.ir.

The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charges, saying its program is peaceful and geared toward generating electricity and producing medical radioisotopes to treat cancer patients.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has repeatedly insisted that his country is not seeking nuclear weapons, saying that holding such arms is a sin as well as “useless, harmful and dangerous.”

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has also asserted that if Iran one day decides to build nuclear weapons, it will do so openly and won’t fear anybody. However, he has also emphasized that Iran has no intention to weaponize what he describes as a peaceful nuclear program.

Director of U.S. National Intelligence James Clapper asserted in a January report to the Senate Intelligence Committee that Iran has the means to build a nuclear weapon but has not yet decided to follow through.

U.S. intelligence officials say they generally stand by a 2007 intelligence assessment that asserts Iran stopped comprehensive secret work on developing nuclear arms in 2003. But Britain, France, Germany, Israel and other U.S. allies think such activities have continued past that date, a suspicion shared by the IAEA, which says in recent reports that some isolated and sporadic activities may be ongoing.

However, the IAEA says there is no evidence to prove that Iran’s nuclear materials have been diverted towards weapons.

Iran says it is enriching uranium to about 3.5 percent to produce nuclear fuel for its future reactors and also to around 20 percent to fuel a research reactor that produces medical isotopes to treat cancer patients. Uranium has to be enriched to more than 90 percent to be used for a nuclear weapon.

The U.N. nuclear agency has also confirmed that centrifuges at the Fordo site near Iran’s holy city of Qom are churning out uranium enriched to 20 percent, and says uranium enriched to that level can more quickly be turned into weapons-grade material.

Moghadam, the lawmaker, said that Iran has the means to produce 90-plus percent enrichment.
“There is a possibility for Iran to easily achieve more than 90 percent enrichment,” icana.ir quoted Moghadam as saying.

2012/03/28

European-government funded NGOs lobby for latest UNHRC investigation

Source NGO Monitor

European-government funded NGOs lobby for latest UNHRC investigation

Summary

On March 22, 2012, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted a resolution calling for “an independent international fact-finding mission, appointed by the President of the Council, to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.” This was one of five resolutions at the 19th UNHRC Session focused on allegations of Israeli violations (more than any other country); Israel is also the only country targeted by a permanent agenda item at the UNHRC. In response to this consistent violation of the universal human rights framework, the Israeli government announced an end to all contacts with the UNHRC.

As with the 2009 UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (led by Judge Richard Goldstone), the 2002 pseudo-investigation on the basis of the “Jenin massacre” myth, and many other examples, this resolution reflects the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working with the powerful Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). This alliance was also responsible for the infamous UN Durban Conference, in which the NGO Forum adopted a strategy for the “complete isolation of Israel” using false allegations of “war crimes” and pseudo-investigations, and the one-sided 2004 International Court of Justice advisory opinion on Israel’s security barrier.

Before the latest UNHRC session, the Ramallah-based Al Haq, funded by Norway, Ireland, and the NDC mechanism (joint funding from Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, and the Netherlands) submitted a written statement on behalf of 11 Palestinian NGOs, lobbying for “a UN Fact-Finding Mission to investigate the widespread and systematic nature of Israel’s policies and practices that lead to the forcible transfer of the protected Palestinian population.” These NGOs include European-funded Palestinian activist groups, Al-Dameer, Al-Mezan , BADIL, and Defence for Children International-Palestine Section.

Additionally, during the session, NGOs – Al-Haq, BADIL, Commission of the Churches on International Affairs of the World Council of Churches, International Federation for Human Rights Leagues (also on behalf of Palestinian Centre for Human Rights), and Nord-Sud XXI (North-South XXI) – made oral statements in support of the anti-Israel resolutions, using demonizing rhetoric and advancing a one-sided and biased agenda.  These NGO statements ignore or contradict the Oslo framework, jointly negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians, which regulates the administration of the West Bank. European governments and the EU played a significant role in establishing and preserving the Oslo framework.

Reflecting the lobbying and language in NGO statements, the UNHRC resolution condemned Israel for: “the wall”; “expansion of settlements, the expropriation of land, the demolition of houses, the confiscation and destruction of property, the expulsion of Palestinians and the construction of bypass roads”; “Israel’s announcement that it will retain the major settlement blocks in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the settlements located in the Jordan Valley”; and “The Israeli decision to establish and operate a tramway between West Jerusalem and the Israeli settlement of Pisgat Zeev.”

As a result of this and similar campaigns, these NGOs and their European government sponsors share in the responsibility for the exploitation of the UNHRC as a framework for political warfare and discrimination against Israel.

Excerpts from NGO oral and written statements:

Al-Haq, Al Mezan, BADIL, DCI-PS, Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling, and others, joint written statement, February 23, 2012:

  • “We urge (s) this Council to form a UN Fact-Finding Mission to investigate the widespread and systematic nature of Israel’s policies and practices that lead to the forcible transfer of the protected Palestinian population.”
  •  “[We] urge the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons to conduct a visit to the OPT without delay and to report on his findings to the Council.”

Al Haq representing 11 Palestinian NGOs, oral statement, March 19, 2002:

  • “The international community cannot continue to ignore Israel’s practices of apartheid, as they are part and parcel of the denial of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people. We call upon this council to recognize that Palestinians in the OPT are subject to practices of apartheid and to establish a fact finding mission to examine Israel’s violations and to indicate how best to ensure respect for international law.”
  • “These abuses are part of a systematic practice of apartheid, which has seen the noose grow tighter and tighter around the neck of the Palestinian people.”

BADIL, written statement, February 27-March 23, 2012:

  • “Israel’s discriminatory land laws constitute a pillar of its colonial apartheid system.”
  • “In order to achieve this aim, Israel has implemented various land and planning laws. These laws were formulated with two general policies in mind: (a) the ‘confiscation and colonization’ of the vast majority of Palestinian owned land; and (b) the ‘concentration and containment’ of the Palestinian population within small pockets of land, which are dispersed and fragmented across the OPT and within Israel.”
  • Quoting a B’Tselem publication: “Israeli space has been highly dynamic, but the changes have been mainly in one direction: Jews expand their territorial control by a variety of means including on-going settlement, while Arabs have been contained within an unchanged geography.”

BADIL, oral statement, February 27- March 23, 2012:

  • “This [the killing of 28 Palestinians and 75 injured during recent fighting in Gaza] confirms that Israel fails to take sufficient precautions to avoid the loss of civilian life…they represent Israel’s ongoing strategy to debilitate and devastate the Palestinian population in Gaza. These frequent attacks are an intensified effort to intimidate and traumatize the Palestinians living there.”
  • We therefore urge the Human Rights Council to draw urgent attention to Israel’s continued impunity and its ongoing aggression against Gaza.”

Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), oral statement, March 22, 2012:

  • “PCHR AND IADL note that the collective punishment of the prisoners, and the imprisoned population of the Gaza strip, graphically illustrates the consequences of the impunity extended to Israel and responsible Israeli officials.”

EAFORD (International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination), written statement, February 16, 2012:

  • “The international community wants both sides to have a better future, but could the Israeli leadership ever respect the resolutions of the United Nations and Security Council as long as it can rely on United States veto power which so far has encouraged Israel to ignore its responsibility and trample on international law? How many more Palestinians need to be made homeless before the wolf is no longer entrusted with the hen house? [sic]”
View this document on Scribd

2012/03/14

Wake Up, Panetta: UN, U.S. Have Opposing Interests

Source Article Link: PJ Media

Written By Ion Mihai Pacepa

On March 5, 2012, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stated in the U.S. Congress that the United Nations and NATO have supreme authority over the actions of the United States military. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) reacted to Secretary Panetta’s statement, saying:

I’m really baffled by the idea that somehow an international assembly provides a legal basis for the United States military to be deployed in combat. … The only legal authority that’s required to deploy the United States military is of the Congress and the president, and the law, and the Constitution.[i]

I paid with two death sentences for the privilege of becoming an American, I deeply love my adoptive country, and I highly esteem her leaders. But, with all due respect for Secretary Panetta, I have to say that his view reminds me of Ceausescu, who used to state over, and over, and over:

I wrote the Constitution! I will re-write it.

In 1988 when I became an American citizen, I ended the few words I said as a sign of my gratitude with the last paragraph of William Tyler Page’s creed:

It is my duty to my Country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.

I also have good reason to believe that the UN is not interested in defending the United States. In my other life, when I was one of the top members of the Soviet bloc espionage community, one of our main assignments was to turn the UN against the United States. We in the Soviet bloc poured millions of dollars and thousands of people into that gigantic project. Virtually all UN employees and representatives from the communist countries — comprising a third of the world’s population — and from our Arab allies were secretly working for our espionage services. Our strategy was to convert the centuries-old European and Islamic animosity toward the Jews into a rabid and violent hatred for the United States by portraying it as a country run by a rapacious “Council of the Elders of Zion” (the Kremlin’s epithet for the U.S. Congress), which allegedly wanted to transform the rest of the world into a Jewish fiefdom.

Unfortunately, we succeeded. In 2003, the UN expelled the U.S. from the Commission on Human Rights by the overwhelming vote of 33 to 3, and it appointed the tyrannical government of Libya to chair that body. A year later, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan decided to secretly make the UN even more anti-American.

On December 2, 2004, Annan endorsed the 101 proposals of the “High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change,” commissioned by him to build a UN “for the twenty-first century.”[ii] The panel recommended that the U.S. be further isolated by establishing the rule that only the UN could authorize preemptive wars against terrorism or any other threats. For that, the panel concluded that the UN’s bureaucracy should be significantly increased (by creating a ”peace-building commission”), its efficiency significantly decreased (by greatly expanding the already inefficient Security Council), and the treasuries of its member countries additionally raided by having them “donate” to the UN an additional 0.7% of their GNP to fight poverty. (On December 7, 2007, Senator Obama introduced into the U.S. Senate the Global Poverty Act of 2007, demanding that 0.7% of the U.S. gross national product, totaling $845 billion over the next 13 years, be spent to fight “global poverty.”[iii])

It is hard to believe, but true, that some of the authors of these proposals for “reforming” the UN were the same communist spies who had originally worked to subvert the UN. One eminent member of Kofi Annan’s blue-ribbon panel was the nouveau riche Yevgeny Primakov, a former KGB general and Soviet intelligence adviser to Saddam Hussein who rose to head Russia’s espionage service for a time — and to sing opera ditties with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright while secretly running the infamous Aldrich Ames spy case behind her back. Another prominent member was Qian Qichen, a former Red China intelligence officer who worked under diplomatic cover abroad, belonged to the Central Committee of the Communist Party when it ordered the bloody Tiananmen Square repression in 1989, rose afterward to the Politburo, and in 1998 became vice-chairman of China’s State Council. And then there was Amr Moussa, the secretary-general of the Arab League (another KGB puppet), who stated that he missed “the balance of power provided by the Soviet Union.”

Kofi Annan had a point. The three were professional saviors. Let me exemplify with Primakov, whom I know best. After the Soviet Union collapsed, he saved its espionage service, the PGU[iv], from going into oblivion. Primakov broke it off from its mother organization, the KGB, rechristened it with the American-sounding name of Central Intelligence Service (Tsentralnaya Sluzhba Razvedki, or TsSR), and pretended it was a new democratic institution. That saved Primakov’s skin as well. Five years later, he replaced Russia’s pro-Western foreign minister Andrey Kozyrev. In 1998, Primakov became prime minister. He reintroduced Soviet Communists into the government and decided to transform Russia into a “managed democracy” whose institutions were to become “representative of the state: loyal, obedient, and indebted to those who have chosen them.” Primakov even invented a word for his democracy: dogovorosposoniye, meaning, roughly, “deal-cutting.”[v]

Primakov is an old enemy of the U.S. His espionage service — like my former one — used to spend every single day thinking up new ways to portray the American land of freedom as an “imperial Zionist country” that intended to convert the Islamic world into a Jewish colony. His first major victory was UN Resolution No. 3379 of 1975, which declared Zionism “a form of racism and racial discrimination.” Officially presented as an Arab initiative, that projected resolution had in fact been drafted in Moscow under the supervision of Primakov, turned into the KGB’s main Arabist. The resolution was openly supported by the Arab League and the PLO, two organizations on our payroll. My DIE was deeply involved in Primakov’s UN operation.

Continue Reading The Entire Article At PJ Media

Lt. Gen (r) Ion Mihai Pacepa is the highest-ranking official ever to have defected from the former Soviet bloc. He is currently writing a book on disinformation together with Prof. Ronald Rychlak.

2011/12/07

The End of Religious Freedom

The End of Religious Freedom

“In an age when the persecution of Egypt’s Coptic Christians is more bloody than ever the bill to continue funding the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was held up by just one man, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill).”

By Phyllis Chesler

Time has run out for the cause of worldwide religious freedom. On November 18, 2011, America chose not to extend any further lifeline to persecuted religious minorities around the planet. On that day, the U.S. government shut down the work of an important and unique American effort: the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

Oddly enough, the mainstream media does not seem to have covered this story. I certainly did not know about it. Did you? The only article about this appeared at CNS News.

In 1998, the U.S. government passed the Religious Freedom Act and this commission was one of the results. Since then, it has sent delegations abroad to meet with minority religious leaders in Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia, and released reports about their work. In 2011, their Annual Report (PDF copy provided below) covered countries such as Afghanistan, Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, India, Indonesia, and Iran.

In 2011, Nina Shea, the head commissioner, presented testimony before members of Congress about Christian minorities under attack in Iraq and Egypt. In this hearing, Shea reported:

USCIRF has found serious, widespread, and longstanding human rights violations against religious minorities as well as disfavored Muslims. Confronted by these violations, the Egyptian government has failed to take the necessary steps to halt the discrimination and repression against Christians and other minorities. Too often, it has failed to punish the violators.

Shea discussed the New Year’s Day bombing in Alexandria, which led to the worst attack targeting Christians in a decade. Carefully, without saying that Muslims or the Egyptian Muslim police were the perpetrators, she refered to the “Coptic Christmas shooting that killed six innocent Christians in Naga Hammadi.” Over the last two years, the Egyptian government, media, and network of mosques have systematically engaged in violence and in the coverup of that violence against Christians.

In an interview with PJ Media, Shea said,

With the onslaught of the Arab Winter and the threat of  newly politically empowered Islamists suppressing the freedoms of religious minorities and even carrying out religious cleansing campaigns against them, USCIRF is needed more than ever. Its voice carries official weight and it has vigorously and consistently raised it within and outside the government on behalf of a broad array of persecuted minorities and individuals around the world. At this time, USCIRF is winding down its work, as it is legally bound to do, since its authorization ends on December 16. As reported in the Congressional Quarterly, Senator Durbin of Illinois has blocked the USCIRF reauthorization for several months, reportedly in order to get an earmark to fund a prison in his state. He has been intractable. President Obama — who served with Mr. Durbin in the Senate before becoming president and who has expressed an interest in using the prison at issue for holding detainees from Guantanamo Bay – must speak up, if USCIRF is to continue.  President Obama can make this happen and I appeal to him to do so.

Why would the American government shut down USCIRF now? Some might say that we are in an economic recession and must care fo our own before we can help others. Some secular Americans might simply want freedom from religion rather than of religion. They may not care about the choice to practice one’s religion or whether or not people are being persecuted for doing so. And some Americans may agree with the UN view that Muslims and Islam are not to be criticized and that any accurate portrayal of Muslim behavior may be treated as a crime.

Next: The USCIRF’s opponent still pursues its totalitarian aims with the blessing of the global community…

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Durban Follies, constitutes a permanent delegation to the UN. The OIC was established in 1969. Its position is as follows: it seeks to

pursue as a matter of priority a common policy aimed at prevented defamation of Islam perpetrated under the pretext and justification of the freedom of expression in particular through media and internet.

In 2011, the 38th Conference, held in Kazakhstan, stated “deep concern over any activities carried out by certain governmental and non-governmental organizations supported by governments in order to attack OIC member states for political purposes and to further their foreign policy objectives in international forums.” The conference also denounced “media campaigns and fabrications made by some quarters in non-member states regarding the mistreatment of non-Muslim minorities and communities in the OIC member states under the slogans of religious freedoms and so on.”

In other words, attempting to help a Christian escape genocide in Egypt, Iraq, or Pakistan would be outlawed as would all work that reports on religious persecution. What I’m writing here would be criminalized. The Muslims who drafted this document want to do their gender cleansing without being exposed, stopped, or held liable for it. That’s the OIC at the UN.

The United States, to its credit, shunned the UN’s Durban III conference. However, in 2009, the Obama administration eliminated the phrases “Islamic extremism,” “Islamic terrorism,” and “terrorism” from national security strategy documents. We have also seen a quantum increase in fears about a non-existent “Islamophobia” and a similar quantum decrease in “official” fears about an escalating anti-Semitism which in the Middle East is potentially genocidal.

Many European politically correct/anti-racist governments agree with the OIC Conference. For example, European governments have prosecuted “thought crimes” which involve criticism of Islam or any objective presentation of Islam (honor killing, honor related violence, forced marriage, daughter and wife beating, etc.) that some Muslim somewhere finds offensive — in Holland, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Iceland etc. I myself have called this the death of free speech in Europe.

Recently, I was involved in the case of a Pakistani apostate, Khalid Saheed, who sought and was denied political asylum in Sweden. Predictably, he and his family have received death threats from Islamic fundamentalists. If Saheed and his family are sent back to Pakistan, they will be murdered for leaving Islam. This is the true state of religious tolerance in the Muslim world. There is no such freedom and USCRIF has boldly exposed and published this truth.

Finally: What does Dick Durbin have to do with the death of the USCRIF?

Read the entire article at PJMedia

View this document on Scribd

2011/11/30

What the Storming of the British Embassy In Teheran Tells Us

Source Link: FoxNews

What the Storming of the British Embassy In Teheran Tells Us

By Michael Rubin

Hardline Iranian students stormed the British embassy in Tehran this morning, smashing windows and burning the British flag. The students, protesting the latest British sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic as a result of its nuclear defiance, demanded Tehran break relations with London. Rather than protect the embassy, Iranian security forces charged with its protecting simply stood aside suggesting official endorsement of the act.
The attack on the embassy follows the Iranian parliament’s decision on Sunday to downgrade relations with Great Britain and expel the British ambassador. That vote was 179 in favor of downgrading relations, and four against with 11 abstentions. Importantly, the four parliamentarians who voted against the measure felt that the Iranian government should go even further and sever relations altogether.

According to Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency, the radical students carried placards with photographs not only of Majid Shahriari, an assassinated Iranian nuclear scientist, but also Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Qods Force.

Suleimani is one of the Islamic Republic’s darkest figures responsible, according to American diplomatic cables, for running terror networks across Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon. He is perhaps responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans and dozens of British troops. As the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps consolidates power inside Iran, Suleimani maintains an increasing chance to become president himself, as Iran’s hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad finishes his second and last term.

That radical Iranian forces would attack the British embassy should surprise no one. Iranian authorities have never apologized for the seizure of the American embassy 33 years ago. While American diplomats and United Nations officials toast Iran’s former reformist president Muhammad Khatami and his call for a “dialogue of civilizations,” prior to becoming president, Khatami penned a piece praising those who took American diplomats hostage. Not only did Khatami, who ironically was honored at St. Andrews University in Scotland just five years ago, never retract his endorsement of hostage-taking, but he appointed Masoumeh Ebtekar, the spokeswoman of the U.S. embassy captors, to be his vice president.

Perhaps it is time to demand formal Iranian penance for the embassy seizure as a precondition to any diplomacy. Unfortunately, Western diplomats have conditioned Iran to expect rewards for its defiance.

Former President Jimmy Carter and his coterie of aides may consider the Algiers Accords ending the hostage crisis to be a triumph of diplomacy, but they were in effect simply a ransom which rewarded cash-starved Iran for its hostage-taking.

Ditto the Reagan administration’s poorly-conceived arms-for-hostages scheme. While some Reagan administration officials might argue that Iran did release hostages in exchange for weaponry and spare parts, no sooner had American officials offloaded the last shipment of military equipment, then kidnappers seized three more Americans.

While the seizure of the British embassy is inexcusable, it was the British Foreign Office’s refusal to recognize Iranian insincerity that put its staff in danger.

The British government initially suspended diplomatic relations with Iran after Ayatollah Khomeini ordered British author Salman Rushdie’s murder for allegedly committing blasphemy in his novel “The Satanic Verses.” The Foreign Office said it would not restore relations with the Islamic Republic until Tehran promised to do nothing to harm Rushdie.

It took almost nine years, but eventually the Iranian government agreed. The day after the British ambassador returned, however, the Iranian leadership retracted its promise but the British, perhaps believing that the act of talking was more important than its result, decided to turn the other cheek.

Germany, too, has faced threats to its embassy in Tehran. In 1992, soon after Germany embarked on an initiative to ply the Islamic Republic with diplomacy and trade, an Iranian death squad targeted Iranian dissidents meeting at a Berlin café, killing four Kurdish dissidents. Five years later, after hearing from 176 witnesses and reviewed intelligence documents, a German court found an Iranian intelligence agents and Hezbollah operative guilty, and further found that the order to commit the terror attack had originated at the very top of the Iranian government.

For the Iranian regime, the fact that a German court had dared pass judgment on Iran was unacceptable. The day after the verdict, approximately 1,000 hardline vigilantes gathered in front of the German embassy in Tehran. Hossein Allah-Karam, the head of the group, warned, “One of our followers will strap a bomb to himself and blow up the embassy if Germany continues its accusations and hostile attitude against our leaders.”

Three days later, a group of 250 students clashed with police in front of the embassy. The students issued a statement warning, “If ever the Supreme Leader orders us, we will wage a holy war against the infidels.” Referring to the seizure of the U.S. embassy, they continued, “We are conquerors of spy nests.” Iranian authorities promised to protect the embassy. Klaus Kinkel, the German Foreign Minister, noted wryly, “Since suicide commandos only seem to act on orders from the government … we will take the Iranian government at its word.”

Alas, the Germans also learned the wrong lesson. Over subsequent years, they redoubled their efforts to bring Iran in from the cold. Between 2000 and 2005, European Union trade with Iran almost tripled. International Atomic Energy Agency documents show that it was during this period that Iranian authorities pursued not only covert uranium enrichment capability, but also efforts to design nuclear warheads.

One of the ironies of Khatami’s “Dialogue of Civilizations” is that it was during his tenure that Iran reaped a hard currency windfall from European trade and the rise of oil prices but, instead of investing in civilian infrastructure, applied the greatest proportion of that money to its nuclear and missile programs.

Still, there might be a silver lining from Iran’s latest outrage at the British embassy. While Iranian leaders rhetorically belittle sanctions, the Iranian reaction to them indicates that the Iranian leadership is far more sensitive to international sanctions than they will ever admit.

Tehran scarcely reacted when the United Nations Security Council designated specific companies and individuals involved in proliferation or Iran’s nuclear program, but as soon as London went after Iran’s Central Bank, Iranian officials reacted. They recognize their vulnerability.

Should the West sanction Iran’s Central Bank effectively, neither Russia nor China can continue to do business with Iran. Security Council buy-in would be irrelevant.

The attack on the British compound suggests that the Iranian government fears economic isolation much more than diplomatic isolation. Perhaps it is time to enforce both.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He earned his Ph.D. in Iranian History at Yale University while doing research in Teheran. Follow him on Twitter@mrubin1971.

Related Article

The Islamic Republic’s Warning to the West


2011/11/12

The Significance of the November 2011 IAEA Report on Iran: With PDF Copy of The IAEA Report

Source Link: JCPA

The Significance of the November 2011 IAEA Report on Iran

Written By Dore Gold

  • Many analysts asked why Iran, which had huge oil and gas reserves, needs to invest in a program to produce electricity from nuclear reactors? Why did Iran need to build a huge infrastructure at Natanz to enrich uranium for nuclear reactors that it didn’t even have? And why did it keep this industry secret if it only had civilian applications?
  • In February 2008, IAEA deputy director-general Ollie Heinonen gave a highly classified briefing in which he revealed Iranian documents that detailed how to design a warhead for the 1,300-kilometer-range Shahab-3 missile that had to be detonated at an altitude of 600 meters. A conventional explosion at that altitude would have no effect on the ground below, but 600 meters is the ideal altitude for a nuclear explosion over a city – as it was in Hiroshima in 1945.
  • The November 2011 report showed that the IAEA no longer had “suspicions” about the Iranian weaponization program – it had hard intelligence from “more than ten Member States.” There was documentation in Farsi detailing the safety arrangements for conducting an actual nuclear test. The Iranians had also sought to obtain uranium for a secret enrichment program, that would not be under IAEA safeguards.
  • Iran already has enough uranium on hand for at least four or five nuclear bombs, should it decide to further enrich its stock of low-enriched uranium. The November 2011 IAEA report provides the details for what the agency has long suspected – that Iran is determined to obtain nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to target.

Why Does Oil-Rich Iran Need Nuclear Fuel?

The dramatic November 2011 report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) comes after years that the agency has come close to concluding that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons without saying so explicitly. Since the Iranian nuclear program was first disclosed to the public in 2002, there have been growing suspicions that it had a military purpose, but no one could offer any definitive proof.

Many analysts asked why Iran, which had huge oil and gas reserves, needs to invest in a program to produce electricity from nuclear reactors? Iran could have used its budgetary resources more effectively if it had invested them in its oil production infrastructure. Analysts also asked why Iran needed to build a huge infrastructure at Natanz to enrich uranium for nuclear reactors that it didn’t even have. After all, Russia had promised to supply enriched uranium for the sole reactor at Bushehr that it constructed specifically for the purpose of producing electricity.

Moreover, many countries with nuclear reactors – such as Finland, South Korea, Spain, and Sweden – all imported enriched uranium. Why was Iran building an expensive uranium enrichment industry for itself? The limited size of the deposits in Iran’s uranium mines was too small for producing nuclear fuel for all of Iran’s electricity needs; Iran would have to import uranium in the future in any case. Finally, the question remained, why did it keep this industry secret if it only had civilian applications? Iran was forced to disclose its uranium enrichment facilities (as well as its heavy water reactor at Arak) because others made them public in the West in 2002 and again in 2009.

While France already in 2006 accused Iran of developing a nuclear weapons program, Iran continued to make the case that its nuclear work had only civilian applications. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would always demand that his colleagues in the UN Security Council provide him with the proof that Iran had a military program. In the meantime, Russia and China always defended Iran in the Security Council and sought to water down the six resolutions the council adopted against Tehran.

The Credibility of the IAEA

The U.S. apparently discovered the proof of the Iranian nuclear program back in 2004. Former U.S. ambassador to the UN John Bolton describes in his memoirs how Secretary of State Colin Powell decided to reveal that he had seen new American intelligence about Iranian efforts to fit a nuclear weapon into the warhead of a missile. But in the years that followed, the credibility of the U.S. to convince the world that Iran indeed wanted nuclear weapons was badly impaired when the Bush administration argued that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and none were found by inspectors after the U.S. invasion and the toppling of Saddam Hussein.

The importance of the reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) grew partly because of how the assessments of the U.S. were perceived in international circles after the Iraq War. In the case of Iraq, the IAEA argued right up to 2003 that Saddam no longer had weapons of mass destruction. If the IAEA, which was “dovish” on Iraq, would give “hawkish” assessments on Iran, then the world might listen.

A Classified IAEA Briefing

A critical turning point in the IAEA’s attitude to Iran occurred in February 2008 when its deputy director-general, Ollie Heinonen, gave a highly classified briefing to representatives of more than one hundred states. According to a description of the meeting reported by David Sanger of the New York Times, Heinonen displayed original Iranian documents that he stressed came from several member states of the IAEA – and not just from the U.S. Der Spiegel reported in June 2010 that the material came from a joint operation by German and American intelligence agencies that got hold of an Iranian engineer’s laptop computer.

The IAEA had the international standing to authenticate U.S. intelligence reports for those who doubted their veracity. When the IAEA said they were true, many more states were willing to accept them. Sanger wrote that he believed that Heinonen hoped his classified briefing would leak – and it did.

The Iranian documents detailed how to design a warhead for the 1,300-kilometer-range Shahab-3 missile, which had been operational in the Iranian armed forces since 2003. While the Iranian documents made no reference to a nuclear warhead, they did show the arc of a missile’s flight and that the warhead of the missile had to be detonated at an altitude of 600 meters. To the experts of the IAEA, a conventional explosion at that altitude would have no effect on the ground below. But 600 meters is the ideal altitude for a nuclear explosion over a city. Indeed, as Sanger notes in his book on this period, The Inheritance, 600 meters was the approximate altitude of detonation of the first atomic bomb that was used over Hiroshima in 1945. Heinonen did not yet say that the Iranians were making nuclear weapons, but he left his audience in Vienna with many questions they were not asking before.

By May 2011, the IAEA had become far more explicit in its report on Iran than Heinonen had been. It raised its concerns about the “possible existence” of seven areas of military research in the Iranian nuclear program, the last of which was the most alarming: “the removal of the conventional high-explosive payload from the warhead of the Shahab-3 missile and replacing it with a spherical nuclear payload.” It should be remembered that the Shahab-3 missile has the range to strike Israel from Iranian territory. Back in May, the IAEA was not ready to say it had reached any conclusions. It only sought “clarifications” about its suspicions.

The Latest Report

The November 2011 IAEA report was important in a number of ways. First, it showed that the IAEA no longer had “suspicions” about the Iranian weaponization program – it had what it called “credible” information. The annex of the report, moreover, devotes a whole section to the “credibility of information.” It was not relying on the Iranian laptop that was at the heart of Heinonen’s 2008 presentation, but also on a much larger volume of documentation. The IAEA report states that the agency had over a thousand pages of material to substantiate its claims. In case there were suspicions that this material came from U.S. intelligence agencies alone, the annex makes sure to clarify that the sources for the IAEA involved “more than ten Member States.”

Second, the material that the IAEA presented pointed clearly to the fact that Iran wanted to develop a deliverable nuclear weapon. There was documentation in Farsi detailing the safety arrangements that would have to be put in place for conducting an actual nuclear test.

The Iranians had also sought to obtain uranium for a secret enrichment program, that would not be under IAEA safeguards. The uranium that would come out of this clandestine program would be further processed to produce the uranium metal required for a nuclear warhead. The planned warhead design also underwent  studies that investigated how it would operate if it was part of a missile re-entry vehicle and had to stand up to the stress of a missile launch and flying in a ballistic trajectory to its target. The IAEA concluded that “work on the development of an indigenous design of a nuclear weapon including the testing of components” had been executed by the Iranians. That “indigenous design,” however, required external help. The IAEA report discloses that aspects of Iran’s nuclear weapons “design concept” came from a foreign country, presumably from a nuclear-weapon state.

Third, the IAEA report provided further proof that Iran’s inventory of enriched uranium, which the agency monitored, was continuing to grow despite the reported damage caused to Iran’s centrifuges. Lately, it has been suggested that Iran’s centrifuges are operating less efficiently. If Iran had 839 kg. of low-enriched uranium, according to the June 2009 IAEA report, it had 2,427 kg. according to the May 2010 IAEA report. In September 2011 the IAEA report stated that Iran had enriched a total of 4,543 kg. of low-enriched uranium. The November report put that number at 4,922 kg. If all Iran requires is a little over 900 kg. of low-enriched uranium to produce sufficient weapons-grade uranium for a single bomb, then Iran already has enough uranium on hand for at least four or five nuclear bombs, should it decide to further enrich its stock of low-enriched uranium. Iran’s smaller stock of 20 percent enriched uranium also continued to grow, albeit in smaller quantities.

Finally, it is important to recall when reviewing this information that at the end of 2007, the U.S. published the “key judgments” of its National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran. That document asserted with “high confidence” that Iran had halted the weaponization component of its nuclear program back in 2003. The release of that declassified summary caused enormous diplomatic damage at the time, undercutting the effort to pressure Iran.

The November 2011 IAEA report shows how wrong the 2007 NIE document was. The later report specifically says, “some activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device continued after 2003, and that some may be ongoing.” The IAEA also reports on “modeling studies” that were undertaken by the Iranians in 2008 and 2009 that investigated how a high-enriched uranium nuclear device would respond to “shock compression.” They also looked at the “nuclear explosive yield” of these devices during this period.

In conclusion, the latest report provides the details for what the agency has long suspected – that Iran is determined to obtain nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to target. As the report’s summary states: “The information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.”

Roughly five years have passed since the UN Security Council took up the Iranian nuclear issue and adopted its first resolution demanding that Tehran halt its uranium enrichment program. The new IAEA report should be used to ratchet up the sanctions on Iran. But it is doubtful that even with this new information, there will be a sufficient consensus at the Security Council for decisive measures that might cause Iran to change the course it has decided upon.

*     *     *

Dr. Dore Gold is President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He is the author of The Rise of Nuclear Iran: How Tehran Defies the West (Regnery, 2009)

*     *     *

 

View this document on Scribd

2011/11/05

The Centre Comments on Canada’s Vote at UNESCO

Source Article Link: The Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs

The Centre Comments on Canada’s Vote at UNESCO

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs commends Canada’s principled vote against the motion to grant the Palestinians statehood status at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The vote took place October 31st during UNESCO’s General Meeting in Paris. The motion to admit the Palestinians passed with 107 votes in favor, 14 against and 52 abstentions. The United States, Canada and Germany voted against Palestinian membership. Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa and France voted in favor. Britain abstained.

This development has serious and wide-ranging implications with the potential to seriously derail future peace negotiations. Already, the Palestinians, emboldened by their success at UNESCO, have indicated that they will be seeking full state status in a number of other UN bodies. The Palestinian action at UNESCO is part of a broader campaign that began in September when it sought statehood status at the UN Security Council (UNSC) and in UN General Assembly (UNGA). The UN Security Council will vote next month on whether to grant the Palestinians full UN membership. In effect, the Palestinians are trying to confer upon themselves statehood without negotiating with Israel.

While acknowledging the action taken by the American government to suspend funding to UNESCO, The Centre believes that Canada has to carefully consider whether at this stage withdrawing its funds from UNESCO advances Canadian interests. At a minimum, however,  Canada should ensure that Canadian funding within UNESCO is not used in a politicized manner detrimental or prejudicial to the Jewish historical sites in Israel, or Judea and Samaria (West Bank). In addition, Canada should reject any budgetary requests from UNESCO to compensate for the loss of American funding.

2011/11/04

IDF ready to strike Iran

Source Article Link: YNet

IDF ready to strike Iran

Op-ed: Israel’s message to world – either you stop Iran’s nuclear program, or we will

By Ron Ben-Yishai

The fact that Israel is holding training sessions seen as practical preparations for striking Iran’s nuclear sites is no secret. Anyone following the intensive drills held by the Air Force in the Mediterranean and in distant regions, ranging from Romania to Sardinia, realizes that Netanyahu’s and Barak’s declarations that Israel will not tolerate nuclear arms in Iranian hands is backed up by practical capabilities developed by the Air Force and by our military industries.

Based on the raging public discourse in recent days, we can estimate that a military option is available.

Pros and Cons:

No less importantly, the international community and the Iranians fully realize that Israel’s top politicians are seriously considering such strike in order to curb or at least delay the Iranian race to the bomb. This is assuming there is no non-military, efficient option to secure this aim. Meanwhile, the former IDF chief of staff, Mossad director and Shin Bet head, as well as the current ones, and some of our top ministers are also not rejecting the possibility of a strike out of hand.

However, the above is contingent upon absolute certainty that Iran has already started to produce the bomb and that all other ways to prevent Tehran from doing so have been exhausted. In such case, and only in such case, Israel would have no choice but to thwart the existential threat we face as result of nuclear arms in Iranian hands, even at the price of the casualties and damage to be sustained by Israel as result of Iran’s response (and that of its allies – Syria, Hezbollah and the Palestinian groups in Gaza.)

However, the above scenario is still relatively far off, as according to all estimates the Iranians are not expected to complete their preparations to produce nuclear weapons before 2015.

Until that time, harsh global sanctions could force the Iranian leadership to accept a deal with the West that would delay the military nuclear program. Other possible scenarios include an Iranian revolution that would disrupt the Ayatollahs’ plans, or an American and allied decision to curb Iran’s nuclear program by force in order to avert Mideastern instability. Under such circumstances, Israel would be able to join a coalition that strikes Iran without being isolated internationally. According to strike objectors in Israel, we must not attack on our own.

American objection

However, Netanyahu and Barak believe that we must not wait until it’s too late. At this time already, according to the British Guardian, the Iranians are vigorously building deep underground bunkers and long cement tunnels. These shelters are gradually becoming home to new uranium enrichment facilities, nuclear labs, and ballistic missiles.

Barak and Netanyahu argue that the Iranian response would not be as terrible as predicted and that Iran would settle for a measured response to a strike – either because Hezbollah and Hamas won’t rush to comply with Tehran’s wishes or because the Ayatollahs would fear a wide-scale confrontation that would inflict greater damage and destruction, including on Iranian oil fields.

At this time, there is apparently no decision on a strike yet. The reason for this is not only the resistance of ministers and senior IDF and intelligence officials, but also America’s objection. Washington fears that Iran’s response to an Israeli strike would harm US allies in the Persian Gulf and destabilize them. Oil production and transport could also be disrupted. Another possibility would see Iran’s terror emissaries targeting US citizens and troops in the Middle East and beyond. Hence, the Bush Administration, as does Obama, objected to an independent Israeli operation in Iran.

The Americans are also concerned that Israel is about to embark on an operation without coordination with Washington. “Nobody would believe that you operated without coordinating it with the US, and hence, as we too would sustain damages, we demand at least an advance warning,” said a senior American official who recently visited Israel.

The new American Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, apparently felt that something is brewing in Netanyahu’s and Barak’s kitchen vis-à-vis Iran and came to Israel a few weeks ago in order to avert a move that contradicts US interests. He also spoke publicly and said that decisions on the Iranian front must be taken in cooperation and coordination between Jerusalem and Washington.

While Army Chief Benny Gantz is believed to endorse the view that an Israeli strike should be taken in coordination – and if possible in conjunction – with the US, some political leaders hold different views. They believe that Israel should not coordinate such strike with the Americans so that the Arabs and Muslims won’t blame Washington for cooperating with Israel in striking a Muslim state. These politicians believe that the Americans would secretly thank us if we make do with a brief warning shortly before a strike is carried out. On this front too, no decision has been taken yet in Israel.

The lively public debate on the issue grants more credibility to the Israeli strike threat. It illustrates to the world that Israeli officials are well aware of the difficulties inherent in an Iran strike and of the heavy price that the Ayatollahs’ response would exact from Israel, regional countries and the international community. However, the heavy price and even the objection to a strike among top security officials do not deter our top decision-makers, Netanyahu and Barak.

Iran fears more sanctions

The objection to a strike is in itself also an important signal to Washington, Moscow and Beijing – either you stop the Iranian race to the bomb through truly painful sanctions on Iran but with minimum damage for us and for you, or we shall be forced to act, and then all of us shall pay a heavy price.

This signal is important because the West intends to soon utilize a series of drastic pressure levers against Iran. The first one is full publication of the grave findings gathered by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The report has been available for a while now but has been shelved for political reasons.

Iran is aware of its existence and fears it because it paves the wave for greater pressure: A Security Council decision to impose yet another package of sanctions that would deliver a grave blow to the Iranian economy. This would entail boycotting Iran’s central bank and imposing an embargo on the importation and exportation of oil products.

The effect of such sanctions could directly threaten the regime’s survival, hence prompting Iran – with China’s and Russia’s help – to undertake an immense diplomatic effort to prevent the IAEA report’s publication. Should it be published, Iran wants Russia and China to use their veto power to avert dramatic sanctions.

The public debate that erupted in Israel, just like the publication of the Air Force drill in Italy, remind the US, Russia and China that should effective sanctions not be imposed, the world may have to deal with the graver implications of an Israeli strike.

Another strategic Israeli target is to make it clear to Iran’s leadership, and mostly to supreme leader Ali Khamenei, how substantial the threat of attack is. It is unlikely that Iran would abandon its nuclear program for fear of an Israeli strike, yet this fear will prompt Iranian efforts to hide the sites and missiles related to the military program and fortify them. These efforts require time and resources and therefore would almost certainly slow down the pace of Iran’s nuclear work and bomb’s development.

On Tuesday, the British Guardian also reported that the Royal Air Force is preparing to strike in Iran within a year. The reason given is that should the Brits fail to strike soon, they would not be able to do so at all – the Iranians would be hiding their facilities deep underground, protecting them against the largest bunker-buster bombs in Britain’s arsenal. This reasoning sounds familiar, doesn’t it? We can assume this is also related to Defense Minister Barak’s recent trip to London and the secret trip to Israel by Britain’s army chief. As the old saying goes, “Great minds think alike.”

2011/11/03

NGO: PA doesn’t meet UNESCO statehood guidelines

NGO: PA doesn’t meet UNESCO statehood guidelines

IMPACT-SE report uncovers continued demonization of Israel and Jews in Palestinian textbooks.

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

The Palestinian Authority does not meet the UNESCO recommendations for becoming a full member in the international organization, according to a study published on Monday by IMPACT-SE – the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education.

IMPACT-SE is a research organization that monitors and analyzes schoolbooks and curricula across the Middle East with an eye toward determining their compliance with international standards on peace and tolerance, a goal derived directly from UNESCO declarations and resolutions.

“The monitoring of the Palestinian schoolbooks in use for the school year 2011 shows that the fundamentals against Israel and the Jews are upheld,” the study concluded.

It said that the fundamentals included negating both Israel and the Jews.

Israel, for example, is not mentioned among the states of the Levant (which presently consists of the states of Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria as well as the Palestinian territories) and Jewish holy places are never mentioned as such. For instance, Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem is presented as the Bilal bin Rabah Mosque.

According to the study, the Jewish and Hebrew identity of Palestine under the British Mandate is stricken out. One illustration twists a stamp of Palestine under the British Mandate by erasing the Hebrew term ERETZ ISRAEL PALESTINA.

The study also found that there was continued demonization of both Israel and the Jews in the books. Jews are described, among others, as violating treaties, getting rich unduly, deceitful, murdering children, disemboweling women and invading snakes. They are never presented in neutral or positive terms.

The study quotes the following examples from the Palestinian schoolbooks: “The Messenger of God [Muhammad] ordered Zayd Ibn Thabit to learn the language of the Jews in order to be safe from their cheating,” History of the Arabs and Muslims, Grade 6, (2009), page 133; “Your enemies killed your children, split open your women’s bellies, held your revered elderly men by the beard, and led them to the death pits,” Reading and Texts, Grade 8, Part 2, [2003] (reprinted 2007), page 16; and “By your life! How come snakes invade us and we [still] observe a protection covenant [dhimma] which respects commitments?” Arabic Language– Linguistic Sciences, Grade 12, (2010), page 61.

“The Oslo accords and the Declaration of Principles are mentioned and even quoted, but they are not praised and a peacefully negotiated settlement is not advocated or supported,” said the authors of the study.

“In contrast, there is a lot of praise for jihad and martyrdom to free Palestine without defining clearly the territory to be liberated, hence implying that Israel’s territory is also to be liberated.”

The study quotes the following paragraph from a Grade 8 book: “Today the Muslim countries need urgently jihad and jihad fighters in order to liberate the robbed lands and to get rid of the robbing Jews from the robbed lands in Palestine and in the Levant.”

The Shoah is not mentioned at all, though one ambiguous passage reads as follows: “The Jewish question is first and foremost a European problem.”

2011/11/01

Rockets Still Flying From the Real Palestinian State

Source Article Link:Commentary Magazine

Rockets Still Flying From the Real Palestinian State

By Jonathan S. Tobin

The Palestinian Authority scored a major victory today in its campaign to secure international recognition as the government of an independent “Palestine” when UNESCO voted to admit it as a member state. But the actual Palestinian state — the one in Gaza where the Hamas terrorist group exercises virtually untrammeled sovereignty — gave the world another reminder of what such statehood actually means this weekend when it showered southern Israel with a barrage of missiles. One Israeli, 56-year-old Moshe Ami of Ashkelon was murdered in one of the attacks.

Ami’s death and the ongoing missile fire from Hamas and allied Islamist groups such as Islamic Jihad is being treated as just another one of those boring “cycle of violence” stories in most of the mainstream media in which the lead is as often as not about Israeli retaliation strikes aimed at silencing the missile fire. The focus of international diplomacy is, as always, the restoration of a meaningless cease-fire between Hamas and Israel that will last until the next time the rulers of Gaza feel like sending a message to Jerusalem. But the real message here is one that few are heeding. Palestinian independence in Gaza has only meant one thing: the right of terrorists to shoot at Jews with impunity.

The rocket attacks continued Monday night with more rockets landing in southern Israel though one was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. As was the case when fire from Gaza was at its height before Israel’s counter-offensive in December 2008, casualty figures caused by these rockets have been small but incessant. Though Israel still retains the ability to hit back hard against those firing the rockets, there is no escaping the fact that so long as Hamas governs Gaza there is no real hope of ending these attacks once and for all.

Israel has no desire to resume the governance of Gaza from which it withdrew completely in August of 2005 only to see the area become a secure missile-firing platform. Nor do the majority of Israelis have any wish to go on controlling areas of the West Bank where most Palestinians live. But those who harp on the evils of the “occupation” or speak of forcing more Israeli territorial withdrawals to save the country from itself rarely consider the consequences of what de facto (if not de jure) Palestinian independence in Gaza has meant to Israel.

The Hamas state in Gaza is a heavily armed terrorist regime that has never hesitated to project force against Israeli targets in order to score political points with a Palestinian political culture that still equates violence with credibility. Further empowering the PA and its Fatah leadership does nothing to quell that violence or to silence the rockets or attempts to duplicate Hamas’s successful kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. Israel’s critics must stop ignoring Gaza and its rockets when they speak of the need for Palestinian self-determination. So long as Palestinian independence is solely expressed via terrorism, the notion of an end to the conflict is purely theoretical. That’s the clear lesson that the actual Palestinian state — as opposed to the pretend one that Fatah pretends to lead — has been teaching us again this week.

Israel and the Apartheid Slander

Source Article Link: NY Times

Israel and the Apartheid Slander

Daniel Hertzberg

By RICHARD J. GOLDSTONE

THE Palestinian Authority’s request for full United Nations membership has put hope for any two-state solution under increasing pressure. The need for reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians has never been greater. So it is important to separate legitimate criticism of Israel from assaults that aim to isolate, demonize and delegitimize it.

One particularly pernicious and enduring canard that is surfacing again is that Israel pursues “apartheid” policies. In Cape Town starting on Saturday, a London-based nongovernmental organization called the Russell Tribunal on Palestine will hold a “hearing” on whether Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid. It is not a “tribunal.” The “evidence” is going to be one-sided and the members of the “jury” are critics whose harsh views of Israel are well known.

While “apartheid” can have broader meaning, its use is meant to evoke the situation in pre-1994 South Africa. It is an unfair and inaccurate slander against Israel, calculated to retard rather than advance peace negotiations.

I know all too well the cruelty of South Africa’s abhorrent apartheid system, under which human beings characterized as black had no rights to vote, hold political office, use “white” toilets or beaches, marry whites, live in whites-only areas or even be there without a “pass.” Blacks critically injured in car accidents were left to bleed to death if there was no “black” ambulance to rush them to a “black” hospital. “White” hospitals were prohibited from saving their lives.

In assessing the accusation that Israel pursues apartheid policies, which are by definition primarily about race or ethnicity, it is important first to distinguish between the situations in Israel, where Arabs are citizens, and in West Bank areas that remain under Israeli control in the absence of a peace agreement.

In Israel, there is no apartheid. Nothing there comes close to the definition of apartheid under the 1998 Rome Statute: “Inhumane acts … committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” Israeli Arabs — 20 percent of Israel’s population — vote, have political parties and representatives in the Knesset and occupy positions of acclaim, including on its Supreme Court. Arab patients lie alongside Jewish patients in Israeli hospitals, receiving identical treatment.

To be sure, there is more de facto separation between Jewish and Arab populations than Israelis should accept. Much of it is chosen by the communities themselves. Some results from discrimination. But it is not apartheid, which consciously enshrines separation as an ideal. In Israel, equal rights are the law, the aspiration and the ideal; inequities are often successfully challenged in court.

The situation in the West Bank is more complex. But here too there is no intent to maintain “an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group.” This is a critical distinction, even if Israel acts oppressively toward Palestinians there. South Africa’s enforced racial separation was intended to permanently benefit the white minority, to the detriment of other races. By contrast, Israel has agreed in concept to the existence of a Palestinian state in Gaza and almost all of the West Bank, and is calling for the Palestinians to negotiate the parameters.

But until there is a two-state peace, or at least as long as Israel’s citizens remain under threat of attacks from the West Bank and Gaza, Israel will see roadblocks and similar measures as necessary for self-defense, even as Palestinians feel oppressed. As things stand, attacks from one side are met by counterattacks from the other. And the deep disputes, claims and counterclaims are only hardened when the offensive analogy of “apartheid” is invoked.

Those seeking to promote the myth of Israeli apartheid often point to clashes between heavily armed Israeli soldiers and stone-throwing Palestinians in the West Bank, or the building of what they call an “apartheid wall” and disparate treatment on West Bank roads. While such images may appear to invite a superficial comparison, it is disingenuous to use them to distort the reality. The security barrier was built to stop unrelenting terrorist attacks; while it has inflicted great hardship in places, the Israeli Supreme Court has ordered the state in many cases to reroute it to minimize unreasonable hardship. Road restrictions get more intrusive after violent attacks and are ameliorated when the threat is reduced.

Of course, the Palestinian people have national aspirations and human rights that all must respect. But those who conflate the situations in Israel and the West Bank and liken both to the old South Africa do a disservice to all who hope for justice and peace.

Jewish-Arab relations in Israel and the West Bank cannot be simplified to a narrative of Jewish discrimination. There is hostility and suspicion on both sides. Israel, unique among democracies, has been in a state of war with many of its neighbors who refuse to accept its existence. Even some Israeli Arabs, because they are citizens of Israel, have at times come under suspicion from other Arabs as a result of that longstanding enmity.

The mutual recognition and protection of the human dignity of all people is indispensable to bringing an end to hatred and anger. The charge that Israel is an apartheid state is a false and malicious one that precludes, rather than promotes, peace and harmony.

Richard J. Goldstone, a former justice of the South African Constitutional Court, led the United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict of 2008-9.

2011/10/31

Teaching Your Child to be a Dictator’s Lackey

Teaching Your Child to be a Dictator’s Lackey

by Daniel Greenfield

Imagine your child’s school teaching him how wonderful dictatorships are by having him and his friends model their very own group of dictatorships as part of their education. Like so many other Orwellian nightmares in the American educational system, this one is very real and takes place through the Model UN program.

The Model UN program teaches American students that global government is better than national government and that the corrupt kleptocracy on Turtle Bay is the ideal state of mankind. Finally it trains them to put American presidents on trial for violating United Nations laws.

Twenty-two Model UN events are scheduled to take place in November alone and many more are set to follow month after month throughout the school year as the advocates of global government exploit the school system to indoctrinate a new generation in their roles as servants of the conclave of totalitarian regimes.

The Model UN program teaches students to act out roles as representatives of different UN nations, but its real goal is to teach them to reject American exceptionalism in favor of multilateralism by convincing them that countries vary in interests, not in character, and that the People’s Republic of China and Saudi Arabia are no different than the United States in their legitimacy or their form of government.

The great lie that the United Nations was built on is that the voices of all nations are equally valid, regardless if they are banana republics, brutal Islamic theocracies, Communist tyrannies or nations with free and open elections that offer human rights to all. The United Nations is a democracy, but it is a democracy of dictatorships.

The vast majority of the world’s population lives in the thrall of tyrannies and the Model UN program models the farce that this great collective of the oppressed is legitimately represented by the lackeys of tyrants who speak in their name under the United Nations flag. There are 26 full democracies to 55 authoritarian regimes with the latter outnumbering the former in population three to one. The average UN representative is not representing a people or a nation, he is there as the personal representative of an Assad, a Kim Jong Il or a Khaddafi.

The democracy of dictatorships is why global multilateralism does not work and can never work, but the Model UN program helps embed the lie that it can and should into the growing minds of the leaders of tomorrow.

“You may be playing a role, but you are also preparing for life,” UN Secretary General Ki Ban Moon said in an address to the students of a Los Angeles classroom, “You are acting as global citizens.”

Global citizenship under the auspices of the United Nations is incompatible with American citizenship. It violates the United States Oath of Allegiance which states, “I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty” and it sets aside the national sovereignty of the United States and its open system of government in favor of a closed global system ruled by foreign princes and potentates.

What is not taught to students at the Model UN is that while American, Canadian and Australian leaders can be changed through national elections, and they can then recall their representatives, the majority of the UN’s representatives answer to rulers who cannot be recalled or removed except through revolution, civil war or death. That makes the UN a closed system whose charade of democracy disguises its core undemocratic and unrepresentative nature. Instead students are tricked into admiring its oppressive edifice and acting out their parts in its global tyranny.

The most widespread UN Model program is conducted through the Global Classrooms program of the United Nations Association of the United States of America. The UNA-USA’s National Council is chaired by none other than former president, Jimmy Carter, who did more than any previous leader to undermine America’s national sovereignty.

Read the rest of the article at FrontPageMag

2011/10/19

U.N. Rips Iran’s Human Rights Record in New Report

Filed under: Ahmadinejad, Human Rights, Iran, Oppression, United Nations — - @ 5:20 pm

Source Article Link: Foreign Policy

U.N. Rips Iran’s Human Rights Record in New Report

An important reminder that the Islamic Republic’s greatest victims are its own citizens.

By Barbara Slavin

A forthcoming U.N. report, obtained by Foreign Policy in advance of its publication later this week, condemns the Iranian regime for wide-ranging human right abuses, including the secret killings of hundreds of prisoners under mysterious circumstances.

The report, compiled by Ahmed Shaheed, the new U.N. “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” makes for dismal reading: a compendium of violations of basic rights ranging from lack of free expression and assembly to summary executions and torture of detainees.

Iran’s authoritarian rulers have abused their people for centuries; thousands died during and in the immediate aftermath of the 1979 revolution. The picture improved somewhat under the 1997-2005 presidency of Mohammad Khatami but has darkened again in recent years.

Hundreds of political activists, journalists, students, filmmakers, lawyers, environmentalists, women’s advocates, members of ethnic and religious minorities, dissident clerics, and Iranians with ties to Western countries have been swept into the prisons of the Islamic Republic since the disputed 2009 presidential election. The government has freed some but replaced its stockpile with others. About 500 activists remain detained.

Those convicted of crimes — both political and otherwise — faced the ultimate penalty more often in Iran than any other country except China. According to the U.N. report, there have been more than 200 “officially announced” executions in 2011 and at least 146 secret ones in a prison in the eastern city of Mashhad. Last year, 300 people were secretly executed there, the report says.

Hadi Ghaemi, director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, says that those put to death in Vakilabad prison in Mashhad appear to have been charged with offenses that would not merit the death penalty elsewhere. “The Iranian government claims they are drug offenders, but they don’t give the names, so there is no way to know,” Ghaemi said.

Those whose executions have been announced include juveniles. More than 100 Iranians under age 18 remain on death row, despite the fact that executing minors is forbidden by international covenants that Iran has joined, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The new report was made available to FP days before Shaheed is to present the findings to the U.N. General Assembly on Oct. 19. Shaheed, a former foreign minister from the Maldives who assumed his position Aug. 1, has been rebuffed so far in his efforts to travel to Iran.

The United States and other Western countries lobbied hard in the U.N. Human Rights Council for the appointment as a way to pressure Iran to improve its record on human rights. Shaheed is the fourth such envoy to Iran. All have received little cooperation from the Iranian government, though Shaheed’s predecessor, Maurice Copithorne, was allowed to visit Iran once during the Khatami years.

According to the report, Shaheed received a letter Sept. 19 from Iran’s ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva expressing “a willingness to exchange views and discuss his methodology of work.” Shaheed has asked to visit Iran in late November and “looks forward to a positive response to that request, as it would further signal the cooperative and constructive intentions of the Islamic Republic,” the report says.

If Iran does not work with Shaheed to address his concerns, the next step may be to request referral to the International Criminal Court, Ghaemi said, perhaps focusing on Iran’s use of summary and excessive executions.

Asked about this, Shaheed wrote in an email that he would “likely consider all options at his disposal” if Iran does not cooperate and the U.N. Human Rights Council renews his mandate in March.

Barred from direct access to Iran, Shaheed and his staff put together the report with material from local and international human rights organizations, witnesses, and relatives of detainees.

A number of individuals and organizations provided the Special Rapporteur with first-hand testimonies, the preponderance of which presents a pattern of systemic violations of the aforementioned fundamental human rights,” the report says.

The 21-page document discusses more than 50 specific cases, including those of Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, the Green Movement leaders who ran against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009 and have been under house arrest since February.

Mousavi, a former Iranian prime minister, is said to have lost “a significant amount of weight.”

Karroubi, a former speaker of parliament, “has not been allowed access to the family doctor, despite respiratory issues,” and was allowed outside for fresh air only once for 10 minutes during a period of 186 days, the report says. He has been confined for the past few months in a two-room office occupied by security agents and psychiatrists who are trying to coerce him into making a televised confession, the report adds.

Besides Mousavi, Karroubi, and other relatively well-known detainees such as filmmaker Jafar Panahi and human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, the report mentions:

  • Bahman Ahmadi Amouee, a reformist journalist kept in solitary confinement in a cell that measures about 6 feet 6 inches by 4 feet 8 inches. He has been beaten and deprived of sleep, and his head was shoved repeatedly into a toilet.
  • Mohammad Davari, a journalist who videotaped statements from detainees who said they had been raped at the infamous Kahrizak detention center in Tehran. According to his mother, Davari has been tortured and is being held in solitary confinement.
  • Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand, a journalist and founder of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan. Arrested in 2007, he suffered two strokes in prison last year but was denied adequate treatment, according to his wife.
  • Keyvan Samimi, managing editor of a defunct reformist magazine, who has developed liver disease but was denied treatment outside prison.

Another prisoner, journalist Reza Hoda Saber, suffered a heart attack after going on a hunger strike and died June 12. According to the report, Saber “complained of chest pains for hours before he was given access to medical care.”

Even those who have been set free face continued punishment when bail of as much as $500,000 is not returned. According to the report, Iranian authorities hold onto deeds or promissory notes even when cases are resolved.

The Iranian mission to the United Nations had no immediate comment on the report.

The findings are likely to intensify the international outcry against Iran lately stoked by the U.S. charges that members of the Quds Force supported a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s U.S. ambassador using members of a Mexican drug cartel. Although those allegations have aroused skepticism, more significant bad news for Tehran could come early next month when the International Atomic Energy Agency is expected to release new information about purported military dimensions of the Iranian nuclear program.

Iran shows no sign of buckling to foreign demands on the nuclear front but has been sensitive to international campaigns regarding specific political detainees. Last year, for example, after a global outcry, Iranian authorities lifted a death penalty by stoning against a woman convicted of adultery, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. Iran has also not carried out a death sentence against Yousef Nadarkhani, a Protestant pastor who converted to Christianity from Islam when he was a teenager.

Ghaemi said the new report could help alleviate the plight of detainees and perhaps keep others from being arrested. When it comes to human rights, Iranian authorities “only respond to pressure,” he said.

2011/10/05

Spotlight On Iran

Source Article Link: Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center

Spotlight on Iran

Highlights of the week

  • Confusion in Iran over Palestinian UN bid.
  • Strong criticism for decision to release two Americans.
  • Iran and the cyber challenge: second Cyber ​​Hezbollah conference held in Tehran .
  • Barbie doll continues to anger conservatives as school year begins .
  • Pictures of the week: school year begins in Iran.

Confusion in Iran over Palestinian UN bid

The Iranian media reactions to the Palestinian UN bid exemplified the confusion in Tehran over the Palestinian appeal for international recognition of independent statehood within the June 1967 borders.

Earlier this week the Asr-e Iran website discussed the complexity of the Iranian stance on the Palestinian UN bid and the contradictory positions of top Iranian officials on the issue. Support for the Palestinian appeal for recognition could be interpreted as dropping the demand for the liberation of the entire Palestine and reinforce Abu Mazen’s status. On the other hand, by opposing the Palestinian bid, Iran can be seen as siding with the United States and Israel.

According to Asr-e Iran, the complexity of the Iranian stance was reflected in the statement made ​​by President Ahmadinejad in New York, saying that Iran recognizes the establishment of an independent Palestinian state as a first step towards the complete liberation of Palestinian territory.

Earlier this week two members of the Majles National Security and Foreign Policy Committee voiced reservations about the Palestinian UN bid. Majles member Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh branded the Palestinian UN bid as an American-Israeli conspiracy designed to divert the attention of the region’s nations from the anti-American and anti-Zionist uprisings in the Arab world. Majles member Parviz Sarvari argued that, with the Palestinian UN bid, Israel seeks to transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into one that is purely domestic (Palestinian) and reinforce the position of Mahmoud Abbas.

The conservative daily Jomhuri-ye Eslami was also critically opposed to the potential recognition of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. Abu Mazen’s plan is tantamount to recognition of Israel’s existence and it serves the purpose of the Zionists to gain recognition from the Palestinian people.

According to the daily, the Palestinian UN bid is an American-Zionist conspiracy to free Israel from the threat posed to its existence by the developments in the Arab world, and the ostensible opposition of the United States and Israel to the Palestinian appeal is just a tactic for the furtherance of that conspiracy. The daily said that the struggle against Israel must continue until the complete liberation of Palestine.

A different approach to the Palestinian UN bid could be seen in an editorial published by the daily Shargh. The reformist newspaper argued for unconditional support for the Palestinians’ rights on the international scene, saying that support for the independence of Palestine also serves Iran’s national interests.

Strong criticism for decision to release two Americans

This week government critics strongly criticized the decision to release Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, the two Americans imprisoned in Iran on charges of espionage for the United States. They were released from a Tehran prison last Wednesday on $ 1 million bail after more than two years in custody.

Majles Research Center chairman Ahmad Tavakoli criticized the fact that the release of the two Americans coincided with President Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York for the UN General Assembly meeting. The timing, Tavakoli said, was chosen to let the president portray himself as the “champion of the foreign policy scene” even at the cost of dishonoring Iran and compromising the country’s interests. Tavakoli also found fault with the Foreign Ministry for not using the mediation services of such countries as Oman and Venezuela, which mediated the release of the Americans, to secure the release of the Iranians held by the United States.

The criticism surrounding the release of the two Americans intensified as a result of the statements they made ​​after being released. Speaking at a press conference in Oman, Bauer and Fattal described the harsh conditions of imprisonment throughout their custody, and said they had heard the screams of other detainees held in the same prison. According to the daily Resalat, the statements made ​​by the two Americans show that they did not deserve the generosity and compassion of the Iranian government. The indecency and derision shown by the two “American spies” towards the Iranian people and government are proof that the humanitarian considerations of Iranian politicians always receive barbaric reactions.

Iran and the cyber challenge: second Cyber ​​Hezbollah conference held in Tehran

Last weekend the second conference of the Cyber ​​Hezbollah organization was held in Tehran. Established in June 2011, the organization’s objectives include coordinating between pro-regime activists operating in cyberspace, providing them with instruction on cyber warfare, and organizing various online activities.

The conference was held on the occasion of the Holy Defense Week, marking the beginning of the Iran-Iraq War, and was titled “Clicks of Resistance”. Fars News Agency reported that the aim of the conference was to show appreciation for jihad and resistance activists operating in cyberspace as well as bloggers whose blogs are dedicated to jihad and sacrifice.

The main lecture of the conference was given by Dr. Hassan Abbasi, head of the Center for Doctrinal Analysis for Security without Borders and one of the major theoreticians of the radical faction in the conservative camp and the Revolutionary Guards. Abbasi warned about the close monitoring of Iranians’ web traffic by Western intelligence services, particularly the American National Security Agency (NSA). The Iranian online presence, according to Abbasi, is like an operation in enemy territory. He called for the use of existing online tools against the enemy, based on the principles of asymmetrical warfare.

Abbasi added that the United States intends to carry out a massive September 11-like cyber attack on Iran, and that Cyber ​​Hezbollah activists must act cautiously to foil the plot of the enemies and not give them any pretext to take action against Iran.

Meanwhile, Passive Resistance Organization chief Gholam-Reza Jalali announced this week that cyberspace is one of the key focus areas of his organization in dealing with enemy threats. He specified the actions taken this past year to improve cyber preparation, including the establishment of a Cyber ​​Defense Headquarters under the Armed Forces General Staff and the launch of a cyber defense study program in Tehran’s Imam Hossein University. In addition, 500 cyber defense drills are expected to take place this week to identify weak spots in the country’s executive systems.

The first national cyber defense conference is scheduled to take place in Iran in late January 2012.

Barbie doll continues to anger conservatives as school year begins

As the school year begins in Iran, the popularity of Western characters, particularly the Barbie doll, with Iranian children is once again cause for concern among the country’s conservative circles.

Last weekend the website Eqtesad-e Penhan (“Hidden Economy”) strongly condemned the extensive use of Western culture characters on school bags and stationery used by school children. The website reported that most Iranian pupils now purchase schoolbags and stationery with such characters as Barbie, Spiderman, Shrek, Tom and Jerry, Cinderella, and so forth, even though they are usually expensive.

The website criticized the culture and education authorities for not taking the necessary steps to encourage local manufacturers to produce stationery carrying original Iranian prints. According to the website’s editors, the Barbie doll is taking over the souls of Iranian children and promoting the objectives of the country’s enemies.

Confusion in Iran over Palestinian UN bid

The Iranian media reactions to the Palestinian UN bid exemplified the confusion in Tehran over the Palestinian appeal for international recognition of independent statehood within the June 1967 borders.

Earlier this week the Asr-e Iran website discussed the complexity of the Iranian stance on the Palestinian UN bid and the contradictory positions of top Iranian officials on the issue. According to the website, this complexity was reflected in the statement made by President Ahmadinejad to journalists in New York, saying that Iran recognizes the establishment of an independent Palestinian state as a first step towards the complete liberation of Palestinian territory.

On one hand, Iran has always stressed the need to liberate all of Palestine, and it is not willing to accept most of historic Palestine remaining in Israel’s possession. Support for the Palestinian appeal for recognition, Asr-e Iran said, could be interpreted as dropping the demand for the liberation of the entire Palestine and being willing to settle for a smaller Palestine within the 1967 borders. Such support may also reinforce the status of Abu Mazen vis-à-vis Hamas, Iran’s partner. On the other hand, by opposing the Palestinian bid, Iran can be seen as siding with the United States and Israel, two countries that oppose the Palestinian demand (Asr-e Iran, September 24).

The reformist daily E’temad also argued that the Palestinian UN bid poses a problem for Iran, since supporting it means recognizing the existence of the State of Israel. Iranian officials must make a decision about Iran’s stance on the issue and address the implications stemming from it with regard to UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338. If Iran recognizes a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, it may be perceived as a change in its regional policy. On the other hand, opposing the Palestinian UN bid may weaken Iran’s political position among the nations of the region.

The government of Iran hopes, according to E’temad, that the United States will veto the Palestinian appeal. Such a veto will derail what is for Iran a problematic plan and weaken the position of the United States in the Middle East. The daily argued that recognition of a Palestinian state by the UN will signal a new age for the region, whose significance will outweigh even that of the recent developments in the Arab world. It is a development that will require Iran to reexamine its regional policy (E’temad, September 25).

Meanwhile, two members of the Majles National Security and Foreign Policy Committee voiced reservations about the Palestinian UN bid. Majles member Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh branded the Palestinian UN bid as an American-Israeli conspiracy designed to divert the attention of the region’s nations from the anti-American and anti-Zionist uprisings in the Arab world. The popular Islamic uprisings in the region have entered their anti-Zionist phase, Falahatpisheh said, and will likely turn against the American presence in the region in the third phase. The Palestinian UN bid was designed to create differences of opinion among the region’s nations and divert their attention from the anti-Zionist and anti-American campaign to the issue of the establishment of an independent Palestinian state (Fars, September 24).

In an editorial published by the Majles member in the conservative daily Resalat, Falahatpisheh argued that, in any case, the United States and Israel will not allow the establishment of an independent Palestinian state that will turn into a base for the mobilization of anti-Zionist movements in the Middle East. The actors working behind the scenes of the Palestinian UN bid want to sway the revolutionist and anti-Zionist movements in the region from their chosen path and strengthen Israel (Resalat, September 25).

Majles member Parviz Sarvari also voiced reservations about the Palestinian UN bid, saying that it will only strengthen the regional position of Israel and the United States. He argued that, with the Palestinian UN bid, Israel seeks to transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into one that is purely domestic (Palestinian) and reinforce the position of Mahmoud Abbas in light of the increasing support for Hamas among Palestinians (Fars, September 24 ).

The conservative daily Jomhuri-ye Eslami was also critically opposed to the potential recognition of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. An editorial titled “Only one government in Palestine” said that if the proposal brought up by Mahmoud Abbas had included a statement calling for just one state and government in Palestine, his plan could have been defended. As it currently stands, however, his proposal includes recognition of the existence of a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel, and the establishment of two states and two governments in Palestine. The plan, therefore, is illegitimate, and the Palestinian people do not accept it.

Adopting Abu Mazen’s plan is tantamount to recognizing Israel’s existence, which serves the purpose of the Zionists to gain recognition from the Palestinian people. In addition, it promises to the Palestinians sovereignty in just one small part of Palestinian land. Such a plan goes against history, which proves that “Canaanite Arabs” were the rulers of Palestine as early as in 2500 BC, and that it was only 700 years later that the Jews came to Palestine from Egypt, only to leave once again. The establishment of a state named Israel for the Jews is a Zionist conspiracy created less than one hundred years ago with the support of the United States and the other colonial powers, primarily Britain. The Jews have no right for sovereignty in Palestine. According to the daily, the Palestinian UN bid is an American-Zionist conspiracy to gain control of the storm that is shaking the foundations of the “Zionist regime” in light of the developments in the Arab world. The best way to protect Israel is through Abu Mazen’s initiative to establish a Palestinian state, which will make recognition of the Zionist regime possible by deceiving public opinion. Jomhuri-ye Eslami said that the threat made by the United States to veto the Palestinian appeal and PM Netanyahu’s opposition to Abu Mazen’s initiative are just a tactic for the furtherance of the conspiracy, whose long-term goal is the implementation of Abu Mazen’s plan, which will help the Zionist regime out of its current predicament.

The correct policy towards the Palestinian issue is based on the principle that all of Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, and that Zionists do not belong there. The struggle against the Zionist regime must continue until the complete liberation of Palestine, where only one government should rule based on the wishes of the Palestinian people, the daily said (Jomhuri-ye Eslami, September 25).

A different approach to the Palestinian UN bid could be seen in an editorial published by the daily Shargh. The reformist daily argued for unconditional support for the Palestinians’ rights on the international scene, saying that support for the independence of Palestine also serves Iran’s national interests. International recognition of two independent states, Israel and Palestine, will have no significant change as far as Iran is concerned, seeing as Israel is already recognized by most countries in the world and Iran’s position towards it will not change. Even if the establishment of an independent Palestinian state will not solve all the issues of the Israeli-Arab conflict, it will boost the Palestinians’ ability to realize their demands and rights (Shargh, September 26).

Another editorial published by Shargh criticized President Obama’s position on the Palestinian appeal for international recognition. The daily argued that there’s no difference between Obama and Bush, and that both presidents are willing to ignore the wrongs committed by the Jews against the Palestinians to get more votes. Any person or government that for any reason or argument opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state can never be called “a friend of Palestine”, Shargh said (Shargh, September 25).

Strong criticism for decision to release two Americans

This week government critics strongly criticized the decision to release Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, the two Americans imprisoned in Iran on charges of espionage for the United States. They were released from a Tehran prison last Wednesday on $ 1 million bail after more than two years in custody.

Majles Research Center chairman Ahmad Tavakoli, considered one of the president’s major opponents in the conservative camp, criticized the fact that the release of the two Americans coincided with President Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York for the UN General Assembly meeting. The timing, Tavakoli said, was chosen to let the president portray himself as the “champion of the foreign policy scene” even at the cost of dishonoring Iran and compromising the country’s interests. Tavakoli expressed his regret that the judiciary, which made the decision to release the two Americans, blindly obeyed the president and the executive branch, saying that this undermined the independence and status of the judiciary. If “compassion” was indeed the reason for the release, as stated in an announcement released by the Foreign Ministry, Tavakoli wondered, why did the release take place just before President Ahmadinejad’s trip to New York? Tavakoli criticized the Foreign Ministry for not using the mediation services of such countries as Oman and Venezuela, which mediated the release of the Americans, to secure the release of the Iranians held by the United States (Fars, September 24).

Strong criticism for decision to release two Americans

Alef, a website affiliated with Ahmad Tavakoli, said in an editorial published after the release of the two Americans that it was inappropriate for someone charged in court with espionage to be released on bail and leave Iran. Even if the decision to release them was based on national interests, the least that could be done was to let the Iranian public know about it and avoid releasing the Americans on bail. The website added that the conduct of the judiciary in the affair has a negative impact on the public trust of the judiciary at a time when it is required to address sensitive issues, such as the recently-exposed large embezzlement in Saderat Bank (Alef, September 25).

The criticism surrounding the release of the two Americans intensified as a result of the statements they made after being released. Speaking at a press conference in Oman, Bauer and Fattal described the harsh conditions of imprisonment throughout their custody, and said they had heard the screams of other detainees held in the same prison. The Iranian media said that this is how grateful the two Americans are for the mercy and compassion Iran showed by releasing them.

Tabnak, a website affiliated with the pragmatic conservative bloc, said that while the government and the president released the two Americans based on “humanitarian” considerations, the pair created an anti-Iranian atmosphere at their press conference, where they made “their false claims “. The two young people gave the journalists irrelevant answers probably prepared for them in advance, the website claimed. While it is only natural that “spies” should make such claims, the decision to release them was not natural. Tabnak criticized the international media for putting an emphasis on the Americans’ claims against Iran while completely ignoring Iran’s good will and the humanitarian measure that was its decision to release them (Tabnak, September 16).

The conservative daily Siyasat-e Rooz also addressed the statements made by the two Americans after their release, saying that it was to be expected that the United States would use them for propaganda after the release, and that the necessary preparations should have been made for that possibility. By releasing the Americans, Iran’s authorities intended to show their good will and the compassion of Islam, but the result was just the opposite (Siyasat-e Rooz, September 27).

The daily Resalat said that the statements made by the two Americans after their release show that they did not deserve the generosity and compassion of the Iranian government. The president made a mistake when he decided to act towards their release on the eve of his trip to New York and before legal proceedings against them were complete, said an editorial published by the daily. The indecency and derision shown by the two “American spies” towards the Iranian people and government are proof that the humanitarian considerations of Iranian politicians always receive barbaric reactions (Resalat, September 27).  

Iran and the cyber challenge: second Cyber ​​Hezbollah conference held in Tehran

Last weekend the second Cyber ​​Hezbollah conference was held in Tehran. Cyber ​​Hezbollah is an organization whose establishment was first reported several weeks ago. The conference was held on the occasion of the Holy Defense Week, marking the beginning of the Iran-Iraq War (September 1980), and was titled “Clicks of Resistance”. Fars News Agency reported that the aim of the conference was to show appreciation for jihad and resistance activists operating in cyberspace as well as bloggers whose blogs are dedicated to jihad and sacrifice, and who attract considerable interest.

During the conference, Cyber ​​Hezbollah member and spokesman Soheil Karimi read a statement emphasizing the need to spread the culture of sacrifice also in cyberspace (www.hizbullahcyber.com, September 22).

From www.hizbullahcyber.com
From http://www.hizbullahcyber.com

The main lecture of the conference was given by Dr. Hassan Abbasi, head of the Center for Doctrinal Analysis for Security across Frontiers, affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards. Abbasi is considered one of the major theoreticians of the radical faction in the conservative camp and the Revolutionary Guards.

Abbasi warned about the close monitoring of Iranians’ web traffic by Western intelligence services, particularly the American National Security Agency (NSA). Addressing students who use the internet, he said that even though they currently do not possess important information that can be of interest to foreign intelligence services, they must exercise caution on the web, because someday they will have important and sensitive information that can be exposed by those who follow their online activity. He noted that the NSA is the organization that actually controls the world wide web.

Abbasi said that the major concern is that a considerable part of the information on young Iranian men and women and their activity is currently online. While this doesn’t mean that the internet is to be avoided, one should surf the web wisely and remember that it is monitored by Iran’s enemies, who wage a war against Muslim society and the religion of Islam. Iran’s online presence, Abbasi said, is like an operation in enemy territory, and the principles of asymmetrical warfare should also be applied in cyberspace-that is, existing online tools should be used against the enemy.

Abbasi added that the United States intends to carry out a massive September 11-like cyber attack on Iran. He warned that the United States is looking for excuses to instigate wars across the globe to rescue its declining economy. Accordingly, Cyber ​​Hezbollah activists must act cautiously to foil the plots hatched by the enemies and not give them any pretext to take action against Iran. They must also act in the cultural sphere against American websites and spread the message of the Muslim world in cyberspace (Fars, September 23).

Ya Lesarat, a weekly affiliated with the radical conservative organization Ansar Hezbollah, reported the launch of Cyber ​​Hezbollah in early September. According to the report, the organization was established in June 2011 as a spontaneous collaboration of pro-regime activists who worked against regime opponents in cyberspace during the 2009 riots. The organization held its first conference in August 2011. A memorandum released by Cyber ​​Hezbollah after its establishment specified its goals and objectives, which include coordinating between pro-regime activists operating in cyberspace, offering them courses and training, holding meetings aimed to acquaint the activists with cyber warfare tactics, and mobilizing the activists for various online activities (Ya Lesarat, September 1).

Meanwhile, Passive Resistance Organization chief Gholam-Reza Jalali discussed the efforts made by his organization to deal with cyber threats. Speaking at a press conference for Holy Defense Week, Jalali announced that cyberspace is one of the key focus areas of the Passive Resistance Organization in dealing with enemy threats.

Jalali specified the actions taken this past year to improve cyber preparation, including the establishment of a Cyber ​​Defense Headquarters under the Armed Forces General Staff, which works together with the intelligence and telecommunications ministries and the National Security Supreme Council, and the launch of an experimental cyber defense study program in Tehran’s Imam Hossein University. In addition, he said that 500 cyber defense drills are expected to take place this year to identify and correct weak spots in the country’s executive systems (IRNA, September 26).

Iran’s English-language Press TV network recently reported that the first national cyber defense conference is scheduled to take place in Iran on January 25-26, 2012. Sa’id Ghazi Maghrebi, the scientific secretary of the conference, reported that the conference will provide a platform for cyber experts to present articles and give lectures on cyber defense (Press TV, September 15).

Barbie doll continues to anger conservatives as school year begins

As the school year begins in Iran, the popularity of Western characters, particularly the Barbie doll, with Iranian children is once again cause for concern among the country’s conservative circles.

Last weekend the website Eqtesad-e Penhan (“Hidden Economy”), which operates on behalf of the Anti-Smuggling Headquarters, strongly condemned the extensive use of Western culture characters on school bags and stationery used by school children (www.epe.ir , September 21).

According to a report published on the website, most Iranian pupils now purchase school bags and stationery with such characters as Barbie, Spiderman, Shrek, Tom and Jerry, Cinderella, and so forth, even though they are usually expensive.

A stationery business owner said in an interview to the website that nearly 70 percent of all stationery sold on Iranian markets is made in China and features prints of Western characters. The immense popularity such prints enjoy with children has also led Iranian stationery manufacturers to use prints of Western characters on the school bags and stationery they produce. One trader said that even religious families purchase Barbie school bags for their children.

The Hidden Economy website criticized the culture and education authorities for not taking the necessary steps to encourage local manufacturers to produce stationery carrying original Iranian prints. The Barbie doll has forced itself into the lives of Iranian girls and is silently promoting the objectives of Iran’s enemies, the editors of the website complained. It appears on school bags, chocolates, clothes, and watches, and is taking over the souls of Iranian children. In a year declared by the Supreme Leader as the “year of economic jihad”, one could expect that those in charge of cultural activity in the country would collaborate with local manufacturers to improve local products and encourage the use of Iranian and Islamic characters and images to promote Iranian culture and Islamic beliefs among the future generation.

Barbie doll continues to anger conservatives as school year begins

In previous years, conservative circles also complained that school children in Iran still prefer to buy school bags and stationery adorned with characters taken from Western culture.

In an attempt to combat the increasing influence of Ken and Barbie, several years ago Iran developed the dolls Dara and Sara as an original substitute. The design and distribution of the dolls, a modestly-dressed brother and sister pair, was aimed to promote traditional Islamic and Iranian values ​​and better cope with the market penetration of American dolls, viewed as yet another means of introducing perverse and immoral American culture. It soon became clear, however, that these dolls could not capture the hearts of Iran’s children, and that American dolls still dominate the country’s toy market

Pictures of the week: school year begins in Iran

school year begins in Iran

school year begins in Iran

school year begins in Iran

school year begins in Iran

school year begins in Iran

2011/09/27

Palestinian Nationhood: Truth… The Key to Peace

Filed under: Arab Nations, Gaza, History, Israel, Palestine, United Nations — - @ 9:55 am

This is a great explanation of the historical timeline Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speech was about at the United Nations. W

Source Link: Family Security Matters

Palestinian Nationhood: Truth… The Key to Peace

Written By Gadi Adelman

September is here in the midst of the “Arab Spring”, the month that I have been writing about and speaking about on my radio show for months. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has entered its application for Statehood with General Ban Ki-moon and the UN.

The announcement came from PA President Mahmoud Abbas as he addressed the UN this past Friday. Why the “President” of a non-existent country should even allowed to address the UN can be answered with two words: Yasser Arafat.

On October 14, 1974, the United Nations invited Yasser Arafat, then Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, to address the General Assembly, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 3210. Arafat was the first representative of a non-governmental organization to address a session of the UN General Assembly. He was also the first leader to address the UN while wearing a holster, although contrary to stories, it did not contain a gun.

Not long after, the PLO was given observer status and the UN recognized the rights of the Palestinians to self-determination in Resolutions 3236 and 3237.

Yes, the PLO, the same organization that spawned such groups as Fatah, Black September, Tanzim and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. The same organization that was responsible for hundreds of bombings, hijackings, assassinations as well as other known terror acts. These included the killing of the 11 individuals that made up the entire Israeli Olympic team and their coaches in Munich in 1972, the murder of Cleo Noel, American ambassador to Sudan, in 1973, as well as the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship which resulted in the murder of wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer.

What I consider to be an important side note, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade also claimed responsibility for the November 1975 bombing in Jerusalem, an attack that I survived and which claimed the lives of 7 children.

After October 1974 and Resolution 3210, we saw the “leaders” of the PLO and later the Palestinian Authority (PA) address the UN General Assembly time and again. Friday’s address was far removed from those in the past. This time PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, told the UN and the world,

We aspire for and seek a greater and more effective role for the United Nations in working to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in our region that ensures the inalienable, legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people as defined by the resolutions of international legitimacy of the United Nations.

International legitimacy”, in other words, an independent state or country. Abbas laid out five points during his speech. The first point was, in part,

The goal of the Palestinian people is the realization of their inalienable national rights in their independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on all the land of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, which Israel occupied in the June 1967 war…

During the Six Day War in 1967 Israel captured land through battles and bloodshed. That land later became known as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. But whose land was this? Was this a state or country known as Palestine? No. The West Bank was part of Jordan and the Gaza Strip was part of Egypt.

That was not the only land that Israel captured.  In addition they captured the Golan Heights which was a part of Syria. So why are the so-called Palestinians not also asking for the Golan Heights? Because the Golan was never a refugee camp of displaced people.

On December 9, 1917, as the First World War was winding down, Jerusalem surrendered to the British forces. Two days later General Allenby entered Jerusalem. This marked the end of four centuries of Ottoman-Turk rule (the Ottoman Empire) and the beginning of thirty years of British rule, otherwise known as the British Mandate.

The mandate system was established in the League of Nations (the forerunner to the UN) by Article 22 which was formulated at the Paris Peace Conference between January and June 1919. Article 22 stated in part,

To those colonies and territories which as a consequence of the late war have ceased to be under the sovereignty of the States which formerly governed them and which are inhabited by peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world, there should be applied the principle that the well-being and development of such peoples form a sacred trust of civilization and that securities for the performance of this trust should be embodied in this Covenant.

To put it in to simple terms, the territories would be entrusted to advanced nations until such time as the local population could handle their own affairs. This was all incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919.

At the end of the British Mandate, on November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly, by a two-thirds vote (33 to 13 with Britain and nine others abstaining) passed Resolution 181 partitioning Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. Yes, that is fact. One Jewish, which would later become Israel, and one Arab.

The Jews of Palestine accepted this partition despite the small size and strategic vulnerability of the proposed state. Additionally  this proposed territory was one tenth of the original size that had been promised as a Jewish homeland.

As soon as the vote was announced, the Arab delegations of Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen stormed out, threatening war and the annihilation of all Palestinian Jews. The Arab national movement in Palestine, as well as all of the other Arab states, rejected any partition. They demanded the entire country and threatened to resist the partition by force.

So we need to explain how Trans-Jordan (known today as Jordan) figures in to all this. According to the website History of Nations,

At the end of World War I, the League of Nations as the mandate for Palestine and Transjordan awarded the territory now comprising Israel, Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem to the United Kingdom. In 1922, the British divided the mandate by establishing the semiautonomous Emirate of Transjordan.

It must be stressed here that the White Paper (also known as the Churchill White Paper) stated that the Balfour Declaration could not be amended and that the Jews were in Palestine by right. It partitioned the area of the Mandate by excluding the area east of the Jordan River from Jewish settlement. The land was 76% of the original Palestine Mandate land. It was renamed Transjordan and was given to the Emir Abdullah by the British.

A British memorandum that was presented to the League of Nations on September 16, 1922, stated that the provisions of the Mandate document calling for the establishment of a Jewish national home were not applicable to the territory known as Trans-Jordan, thereby severing almost 80% of the Mandate land from any possible Jewish Homeland.

It amazes me that the world forgets the fact that the Arab demands for a state or a “Palestine” were already satisfied once, it’s called Jordan.

The British divided the mandate establishing Trans-Jordan, but that is also how the West Bank and its “refugees” enter the picture.

Once the Arabs rejected the partition of Palestine, the surrounding Arab nations told the Arabs of Palestine to flee due to the impending war. Many went to Trans-Jordan. Again, according to the History of Nations website,

Transjordan was one of the Arab states which moved to assist Palestinian nationalists opposed to the creation of Israel in May 1948, and took part in the warfare between the Arab states and the newly founded State of Israel. The armistice agreements of April 3, 1949 left Jordan in control of the West Bank and provided that the armistice demarcation lines were without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines.

In 1950, the country was renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to include those portions of Palestine annexed by King Abdullah. While recognizing Jordanian administration over the West Bank, the United States maintained the position that ultimate sovereignty was subject to future agreement.

“The armistice agreements of April 3, 1949 left Jordan in control of the West Bank”, so, the West Bank was part of Jordan from 1949 until 1967. It was during this time period that Jordan set up “refugee camps” for the Palestinians because they were not “Jordanians”.

There are many reasons as to why Jordan created these refugees in camps, but simply explained, according to Wikipedia,

At the time, the population east of the Jordan River contained over 400,000 Palestinian refugees who made up one-third of the population of the Kingdom; another third of the population was Palestinians on the West Bank. Only one third of the population consisted of the original inhabitants of Trans-Jordan, which meant that the Jordanians had become a ruling minority over a Palestinian majority. This proved to be a mercurial element in internal Jordanian politics and played a critical role in the political opposition. Since the 1950s, the West Bank had become the center of the national and territorial aspects of the Palestinian problem that was the key issue of Jordan’s domestic and foreign policy. According to King Hussein, the Palestinian problem spelled “life or death” for Jordan and would remain the country’s overriding national security issue.

In reality, the West Bank was Jordan, yet Jordan is not asking Israel for that area back. That is because in 1988, Jordan renounced all claims to the West Bank. It did not want to deal with the “Palestinian” issue yet again.

The same holds true for the Gaza Strip, once an area belonging to Egypt. Once again, we must look at the UN 1947 partition plan. The United Nations 1947 partition plan allotted the coastal strip from Yavneh to Rafiah on the Egyptian border to be an Arab state. But remember the Arabs rejected that offer.

In 1948 before the Arabs attacked the newly formed Israel, most Arab inhabitants in Gaza fled or were expelled, settling around Gaza City. The Israeli Defense Forces captured Gaza in 1948, but Israel gave control of the Gaza Strip to Egypt in negotiations, keeping the towns of Ashdod and Ashkelon. In 1956, Israel again went to war with Egypt and captured Gaza yet again, only to return it again.

When Israel returned the entire Sinai Peninsula to Egypt as part of their peace agreement in 1979, Egypt refused to take the Gaza Strip back. Again, these “people” were not really Egyptians and therefore were not wanted.

These are the facts and they had to be explained. Too many people have no clue how we have gotten to this point. As clear as Netanyahu’s speech was, it did not explain the facts leading up to today.

So now Gaza is somehow Israel’s problem even though Israel left Gaza in 2005. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained in his UN speech shortly after Abbas spoke,

We withdrew from Lebanon in 2000 and from every square inch of Gaza in 2005. That didn’t calm the Islamic storm, the militant Islamic storm that threatens us. It only brought the storm closer and made it stronger.

Netanyahu did address the problem with territorial compromises,

Now, some argue that the spread of militant Islam, especially in these turbulent times — if you want to slow it down, they argue, Israel must hurry to make concessions, to make territorial compromises. And this theory sounds simple. Basically it goes like this: Leave the territory, and peace will be advanced. The moderates will be strengthened; the radicals will be kept at bay. And don’t worry about the pesky details of how Israel will actually defend itself; international troops will do the job.

These people say to me constantly: Just make a sweeping offer, and everything will work out. You know, there’s only one problem with that theory. We’ve tried it and it hasn’t worked. In 2000 Israel made a sweeping peace offer that met virtually all of the Palestinian demands. Arafat rejected it. The Palestinians then launched a terror attack that claimed a thousand Israeli lives.

“Prime Minister Olmert afterwards made an even more sweeping offer, in 2008. President Abbas didn’t even respond to it.”
He went on to state facts about what happens each time Israel gives land for peace,

Hezbollah and Hamas fired thousands of rockets against our cities from the very territories we vacated. See, when Israel left Lebanon and Gaza, the moderates didn’t defeat the radicals; the moderates were devoured by the radicals. And I regret to say that international troops like UNIFIL in Lebanon and UBAM in Gaza didn’t stop the radicals from attacking Israel.

We left Gaza hoping for peace. We didn’t freeze the settlements in Gaza, we uprooted them. We did exactly what the theory says: Get out, go back to the 1967 borders, dismantle the settlements.

He explained the fact of what happened to the PA in Gaza when Israel withdrew,

But ladies and gentlemen, we didn’t get peace. We got war. We got Iran, which through its proxy Hamas promptly kicked out the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority collapsed in a day — in one day.

He spoke about the fact of weapons,

President Abbas just said on this podium that the Palestinians are armed only with their hopes and dreams. Yeah, hopes, dreams and 10,000 missiles and Grad rockets supplied by Iran, not to mention the river of lethal weapons now flowing into Gaza from the Sinai, from Libya, and from elsewhere.

When it came to the rights of Arabs in Israel, he again spoke in facts,

The Jewish state of Israel will always protect the rights of all its minorities, including the more than 1 million Arab citizens of Israel. I wish I could say the same thing about a future Palestinian state, for as Palestinian officials made clear the other day — in fact, I think they made it right here in New York — they said the Palestinian state won’t allow any Jews in it. They’ll be Jew-free — Judenrein. That’s ethnic cleansing. There are laws today in Ramallah that make the selling of land to Jews punishable by death. That’s racism. And you know which laws this evokes.

The Palestinian Authority refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, how can Israel be expected to make peace with a neighbor that refuses to recognize them? Netanyahu spoke of this as well,

Ladies and gentlemen, last year in Israel in Bar-Ilan University, this year in the Knesset and in the U.S. Congress, I laid out my vision for peace in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state. Yes, the Jewish state. After all, this is the body that recognized the Jewish state 64 years ago. Now, don’t you think it’s about time that Palestinians did the same?

He explained the fact that the problem is not settlements while pointing out with Abbas’s very own words that the issue is Israel and not the “territories”.

President Abbas just stood here, and he said that the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the settlements. Well, that’s odd. Our conflict has been raging for — was raging for nearly half a century before there was a single Israeli settlement in the West Bank. So if what President Abbas is saying was true, then the — I guess that the settlements he’s talking about are Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa, Be’er Sheva. Maybe that’s what he meant the other day when he said that Israel has been occupying Palestinian land for 63 years. He didn’t say from 1967; he said from 1948. I hope somebody will bother to ask him this question because it illustrates a simple truth: The core of the conflict is not the settlements. The settlements are a result of the conflict.

Lastly he offered Abbas and the PA to sit down once again,

In two and a half years, we met in Jerusalem only once, even though my door has always been open to you. If you wish, I’ll come to Ramallah. Actually, I have a better suggestion. We’ve both just flown thousands of miles to New York. Now we’re in the same city. We’re in the same building. So let’s meet here today in the United Nations. Who’s there to stop us? What is there to stop us? If we genuinely want peace, what is there to stop us from meeting today and beginning peace negotiations?

I am sad to report the fact that,  once again, Abbas has failed to respond.

FamilySecurityMatters.org  Contributing Editor Gadi Adelman is a freelance writer and lecturer on the history of terrorism and counterterrorism. He grew up in Israel, studying terrorism and Islam for 35 years after surviving a terrorist bomb in Jerusalem in which 7 children were killed. Since returning to the U. S., Gadi teaches and lectures to law enforcement agencies as well as high schools and colleges. He can be heard every Thursday night at 8PM est. on his own radio show “AmericaAkbar” on Blog Talk Radio. He can be reached through his website gadiadelman.com.

2011/09/23

Ahmadinejad’s Apocalyptic Address

Source Link: NRO

Ahmadinejad’s Apocalyptic Address

September 23, 2011 12:42 PM
Written By Joel C. Rosenberg

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not a world leader worthy of the world stage. He is the evil leader of an Iranian death cult. A new U.N. report indicates that he is making progress in building nuclear weapons. He has predicted the arrival of the Twelfth Imam and called for wiping Israel “off the map.” He aspires to be a mass murderer beyond the scale of history’s great dictators. He deserves to be in prison, or an insane asylum. His speech on Thursday before the United Nations General Assembly was further proof, if any more were needed.

Did you see Ahmadinejad’s apocalyptic address, or read the full text? You should. It’s instructive. Unfortunately, you won’t find Ahmadinejad’s full speech reprinted in the major newspapers. It was pitifully covered by the mainstream media. It should have been carefully analyzed.

Ahmadinejad isn’t hiding what he believes. He denied the Holocaust. He blasted the U.S. for bringing Osama bin Laden to justice. He blamed the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on the U.S. government. He insisted that his so-called messiah known as “Imam al-Mahdi” or the Twelfth Imam is coming soon. He insisted that Jesus Christ will come with the Mahdi to take over the world. He called for “the shared and collective management of the world.”

Consider this excerpt:

This movement is certainly on its rightful path of creation, ensuring a promising future for humanity. A future that will be built when humanity initiates to [tread] the path of the divine prophets and the righteous under the leadership of Imam al-Mahdi, the Ultimate Savior of mankind and the inheritor to all divine messengers and leaders and to the pure generation of our great Prophet. The creation of a supreme and ideal society with the arrival of a perfect human being who is a true and sincere lover of all human beings, is the guaranteed promise of Allah. He will come alongside with Jesus Christ to lead the freedom and justice lovers to eradicate tyranny and discrimination, and promote knowledge, peace, justice, freedom and love across the world. He will present to every single individual all the beauties of the world and all good things which bring happiness for humankind.

Though most world leaders do not appear to understand what Ahmadinejad is really saying, students of Shia Islamic eschatology, or end-times theology, do. The Iranian leader believes the end of the world as we have known it is increasingly close at hand. He believes the time for establishing an Islamic caliphate, or global government ruled by the Mahdi, is rapidly approaching. What’s more, he believes that the way to hasten the coming of the Twelfth Imam is to acquire nuclear weapons and use them to annihilate the United States, which he calls the “Great Satan,” and Israel, which he calls the “Little Satan.”

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu understands what Ahmadinejad means. So do some of his top military advisers. That’s why they believe Iran is in the eye of a gathering storm in the Middle East, and the chance of a major war is growing.

“Iran has not abandoned its nuclear program. The opposite is true; it continues full steam ahead,” warned Maj. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg, home-front command chief for the Israeli Defense Forces, in a speech earlier this month. Also noting recent uprisings in the Arab world and growing tensions with Turkey, Eisenberg said, “This leads us to the conclusion that . . . the likelihood of an all-out war is increasingly growing.”

What is the world doing to neutralize the Iranian threat? Precious little. Yes, some world diplomats walked out of Ahmadinejad’s speech. Big deal. They walked softly, but where is the big stick? Yes, the world has passed some economic sanctions. So what? The sanctions may be making Iran’s nuclear program more complicated, but as the recent IAEA report indicates, they are not fundamentally changing the equation or stopping the bomb-building process. Why isn’t the world taking decisive action to stop Iran from building, buying, or stealing nuclear weapons and the ballistic-missile systems to deliver them? Time is running out. Once Iran has the Islamic bomb, does anyone really believe they won’t use it against the U.S. and Israel, either directly or through terrorist surrogates?

Instead of stopping Iran from getting the bomb, however, the leaders of the world — including President Obama — are hyper-focused on pressuring Israel to divide Jerusalem, divide the Land of Israel, and allow for the creation of a corrupt and dangerous Palestinian state co-led by the missile-firing Hamas terrorist group. To be sure, the Israeli-Palestinian issue is an important one, and it should be treated seriously and carefully. But it’s not the most important issue in the Middle East today. The murderous, apocalyptic Iranian regime and its race for nuclear weapons is Issue No. 1, 2 and 3.

My forthcoming political thriller, The Tehran Initiative, is about what could happen if the world doesn’t take decisive action soon. What if Iran gets the bomb? What if Iran’s leaders are about to use nuclear weapons? What if Israel launches a preemptive military strike against Iran? What would the world look like, and what would the current — or future — American president do?

Such questions, I think, make for chilling fiction. Unfortunately, the scenario is all too real. Ahmadinejad’s apocalyptic address just made that abundantly clear. It was the most blistering attack on the U.S., Israel, Europe, and the West he’s ever delivered at the United Nations. Every year Ahmadinejad feels more and more emboldened because he says the most evil and sickening things but the world takes no action to stop him. Shame on such world leaders. They are leading us down a very dangerous path.

— Joel C. Rosenberg is a former senior aide to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the author of eight New York Times best-selling books about the Middle East. His latest book, The Tehran Initiative, releases October 18th.

Harsh Words From Turkey About Israel, and From Iran About United States

Source Link: Gainesville.Com

Harsh Words From Turkey About Israel, and From Iran About United States

NEIL MacFARQUHAR
September 22, 2011

Damon Winter/The New York Times

UNITED NATIONS — Evidently heedless of American attempts to engineer a thaw in Turkish-Israeli relations, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey used his appearance before the annual General Assembly on Thursday to enumerate a long list of grievances with Israel, a former regional ally.

Mr. Erdogan was the second major Middle Eastern leader addressing the General Assembly, with the widespread focus on the region’s most intractable problem, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, due to culminate Friday with speeches by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority.

Representatives of the so-called quartet — the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia — were still trying late Thursday to reach an agreement on a statement about moving peace negotiations forward, intended to counterbalance the controversial proposal for United Nations membership that Mr. Abbas has vowed to present. The future of the Quartet could be at risk, some diplomats suggested, with the Americans and the Europeans, close to an agreement, ready to abandon the other two members and issue a statement by themselves. It could go down to the very moment after the Netanyahu and Abbas speeches, the diplomats said.

At the General Assembly, a couple of hours before Mr. Erdogan spoke, Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, delivered one of his characteristic anti-Western broadsides, embroidered with tinges of religious mysticism. He blamed the United States, Israel and Europe for the global recession and a list of other ills.

He also suggested that the American military’s killing of Osama bin Laden last May and the disposal of his body at sea were part of a dark conspiracy to conceal the real perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Mr. Ahmadinejad’s remarks provoked what has become a ritual large-scale walkout of delegations, led by the United States.

Mr. Erdogan, describing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a “bleeding wound” that the international community can no longer accept, accused Israel of thwarting all attempts to solve the problem. From nuclear weapons to control of the occupied territories to humanitarian aid, Mr. Erdogan said, Israel has contradicted the wishes and norms of the rest of the world.

“If you want to send a box of tomatoes to Palestine, this is subject to approval from Israel, and I don’t think that is humanitarian,” Mr. Erdogan said, suggesting that the new spirit of change in the Middle East meant Israel could no longer continue to foster strife.

The Turkish leader repeated a drumbeat of accusations against the Israelis that he has leveled for months, and there was no immediate reaction from Israel.

The tension is rooted in differences over the Gaza Strip, particularly a May 2010 raid by the Israeli military on a Turkish-organized flotilla trying to run the Gaza blockade, which left eight Turks and a Turkish-American dead. Turkey rejected a United Nations report that found the blockade legal but said Israel had used excessive force.

Mr. Erdogan’s veiled threats to take action against joint efforts by Israel and Cyprus over gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean did elicit a response from Demetris Christofias, the president of Cyprus, divided into hostile Turkish and Greek halves. He called Turkish naval maneuvers in the area “provocative and a real danger for further complications in the region.”

Mr. Ahmadinejad, appearing before the General Assembly for the seventh year in a row, said poverty, homelessness and denial of basic rights were traceable to “greed for materialism in the United States and Europe.”

Iran has been estranged from the United States since the Islamic Revolution more than 30 years ago, and Mr. Ahmadinejad’s speech has become something of a signature event at the annual session. There were no surprises in either his criticisms or his singular interpretation of world events.

As he has done in previous speeches, Mr. Ahmadinejad raised questions about the Holocaust, blaming the West for using it as an excuse for unwavering support for Israel and for the oppression of the Palestinian people. “They threaten anyone who questions the Holocaust and Sept. 11 with sanctions and military action?” he said.

By the time he got to that line in his 30-minute speech, the low-level American and European diplomats who had been there were no longer around.

The United States delegation was the first to leave when Mr. Ahmadinejad referred to the Sept. 11 attacks as “mysterious” and suggested that the decision to kill Bin Laden, instead of bringing him to trial, was intended to bury the truth of who sent the planes to attack New York and Washington. “Is there any classified material secret that must remain a secret?” he said.

After the Europeans walked out, the hall, not terribly full in the first place, was mostly empty. Oddly, King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain, whose government has repeatedly blamed Iran rather than domestic ills for inflaming the Shiite population there, stuck around.

The United States quickly condemned the speech, as did many other Western governments and nongovernmental organizations. “Mr. Ahmadinejad had a chance to address his own people’s aspirations for freedom and dignity, but instead he again turned to abhorrent anti-Semitic slurs and despicable conspiracy theories,” said Mark Kornblau, the spokesman for the United States Mission to the United Nations.

The Iranian leader, whose previous visits to New York have been contentious, generated less interest this year. Though he did inspire protests outside the United Nations and his Midtown Manhattan hotel, his power clashes at home with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have cast some doubt over the extent of his authority.

That doubt, in turn, has made him personally a less threatening figure, despite significant international concerns about important issues like the possibility that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

The Durban Perversion

Source Link: FrontPageMag

The Durban Perversion

Written By Joseph Klein

September 23, 2011

Literature available at the first Durban conference

The United Nations hosted a full-day celebration on September 22nd commemorating the tenth anniversary of one of its greatest embarrassments since its founding: the adoption of the so-called Durban I Declaration and Programme of Action. This Declaration was the final outcome document of the 2001 anti-Semitic, anti-Western hatefest known formally as the UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. It singled out the Palestinians as the victims of alleged Israeli racism. And the Holocaust deniers who were running Durban I refused to include any reference to the twentieth century’s most vile example of racism, genocide and crimes against humanity.

The “Durban III” self-congratulatory anniversary conference resulted in a consensus reaffirmation of the Durban I Declaration and Programme of Action, as well as the Outcome Document of the Durban II Review Conference adopted in 2009 – the conference Iranian President Ahmadinejad opened with an attack on Israel, which he called the most racist country in the world.

Expecting the anti-Israel, anti-Western agenda to continue at the Durban III conference, thirteen nations decided to boycott the conference – New Zealand, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Poland (which is currently heading the European Union), Israel, and the United States. However, that left 180 UN member states that took no such action against this obscene perversion of the concepts of true anti-racism, tolerance and human rights.

Anne Bayefsky, Hudson Institute senior fellow and director of the Touro College Institute on Human Rights & the Holocaust, correctly pointed out that there is a direct link between the UN’s Durban III gathering on September 22nd and the General Assembly address of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas the following day seeking full state recognition and membership in the United Nations.

“It’s clear that this is intended to be a one-two action: You label Israel racist, and then the next day you say you don’t have to negotiate with it,” Bayefsky said. “Durban is not about combating racism, it is about demonizing Jews and the Jewish state.”

Durban III continued the propaganda campaign waged by the Palestinians and their friends in the United Nations to delegitimize Israel. However, at first glance, if one did not know its historical context, the Durban III final statement would seem perfectly benign. Its surface message is that racism and related acts of intolerance and discrimination occur on a daily basis all around the world. It calls for increased action and accelerated implementation of measures to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

The authors of the statement made it as plain vanilla as possible in order to attract as many supporters as they could. Iran did not play a visible role in the planning of the conference this time. Its minister of foreign affairs, Ali Akbar Salehi, filled in at the conference for President Ahmadinejad, who saved his vile remarks for a speech he delivered to the UN General Assembly on the same day as Durban III. Ahmadinejad predictably repeated his golden oldies from past UN speeches, including his Zionist conspiracy theories and questioning who was behind 9/11.

But Ahmadinejad knew that Durban III would achieve its sinister objectives by stealth – reaffirming previous anti-racism world conference declarations going back to 1978 that had expressly promoted the Palestinians’ false narrative that they were the victims of Israeli racism and apartheid. This was just a few years after the UN General Assembly had equated Zionism with racism. While that toxic resolution was revoked in 1991, the campaign to delegitimize the right of Jews to have a single state of their own in their own historic homeland continues.

The first World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination was held in Geneva back in 1978.  In its Declaration and Programmes of Action, this conference concluded that “[A]partheid, the extreme form of institutionalized racism, is a crime against humanity and an affront to the dignity of mankind and is a threat to peace and security in the world.” While it focused attention on the apartheid regime of South Africa, this document specifically linked Israel to that regime and condemned “the insidious propaganda by the Government of Israel and its zionist and other supporters against the United Nations organs and against Governments which had advocated firm action against apartheid.”   One paragraph accused Israel of practicing “diverse forms of racial discrimination against Palestinians affecting all aspects of their daily lives in a manner which prevents their enjoyment of their elementary human rights on a basis of equality.”

This declaration, written in 1978, decried “the cruel tragedy which befell the Palestinian people 30 years ago and which the (sic) continue to endure– manifested in their being prevented from exercising their right to self-determination on the soil of their homeland, in the dispersal of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, the prevention of their return to their homes…”

The second World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, also held in Geneva, took place in August 1983 and repeated the same rhetoric. It called for “the cessation of all the practices of racial discrimination to which the Palestinians and other inhabitants of the Arab territories occupied by Israel are subjected.”

In 1997, the UN General Assembly called for a World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, to take place no later than 2001.

Iran led the planning for the United Nations’ 2001 Durban I Conference. The Durban I Declaration, which the UN member states participating in Durban III just reaffirmed, referenced all the prior anti-Israel declarations from the previous UN-sponsored world conferences against racism mentioned above.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation and its allies in the non-aligned movement held sway at Durban I, and the Palestinians were singled out as victims of racism. In fact, the “anti-racist” Durban I conference turned into a racist hatefest against the Jewish state. It was marked by vitriolic displays of anti-Semitism, which were so bad that the United States walked out of the conference.

Iran headed up preparations for the equally biased follow-up Durban II Review Conference in 2009. Several delegates, mostly from the European Union, walked out during Ahmadinejad’s speech. Most delegates, however, not only remained for the speech, but applauded at its conclusion. Fortunately, the United States, along with Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Poland, had boycotted the whole conference, rightly sensing in advance that something like this would happen.

It is this litany of lies that the Durban III conference has decided to reaffirm. The common theme running through the litany is that Israel’s “neo-colonialist” Zionist regime should be isolated by the international community for committing alleged “racist crimes” against the “oppressed” Palestinian victims.

Nevertheless, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay voiced their strong support for this perversion of human rights and platform for the world’s worst human rights abusers, which has characterized the whole Durban process from the start.

With a straight face, Navi Pillay actually said that the Durban I Declaration and Programme of Action, as well as the outcome of the 2009 Durban II Review, provide a “comprehensive framework to address the scourge of racism.” Did she bother to take a look at the list of dictatorships that were given a forum to spew their hate and hypocrisy? Does she really consider, for example, that the racist Arab regime of Sudan, which has embarked on a campaign of murdering, ethnically cleansing and enslaving millions of indigenous black Africans – a campaign that continues today – is committed to addressing the scourge of racism? Apparently the organizers of the Durban III conference thought so, since Sudan was given the honor of addressing the conference on behalf of the Group of African States. Since Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir was facing arrest on warrants issued for five counts of crimes against humanity (murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape) and two counts of war crimes (pillaging and intentionally directing attacks against civilians), it would have been a bit risky for him to make a personal appearance.

The honors went to Rahamtalla Mohamed Osman Elnor, Sudan’s undersecretary, ministry of Foreign Affairs, who complained about  – what else — the transatlantic slave trade.  He said that the African Group for whom he spoke welcomed the actions undertaken to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the end of the transatlantic slave trade and the establishment of a permanent memorial at United Nations Headquarters.

The Sudanese undersecretary also threw in apartheid, colonialism and what he called the “new and emerging forms of slavery such as human trafficking.”

If only the United Nations would have had the moral courage to have invited to the Durban III podium, instead of Bashir’s mouthpiece, a heroic Sudanese refugee and survivor of child slavery in Sudan. Kudos to Anne Bayefsky for organizing a conference of sanity and truth across the street on the same day as the Durban III circus, at which this Sudanese refugee, Simon Deng, was given an opportunity to speak.

At the counter-Durban III conference, titled “The Perils of Global Intolerance: The United Nations and Durban III,” Mr. Deng told of how he was nine years old when he was enslaved by an Arab family. He was forced to work around the clock, beaten, and subject to harsh living conditions for three years. Mr. Deng was not alone. Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese have been kidnapped and sold into slavery. Here was a living demonstration of the “emerging forms of slavery such as human trafficking,” perpetrated within Sudan by the racist Arab government and population, which Sudan’s undersecretary so piously condemned at the Durban III conference.

Mr. Deng managed to escape permanent enslavement, but thousands of other blacks in Sudan remain in slavery. The UN, he said, knew about the Arab enslavement of black Sudanese and the Arab government’s policy of apartheid against the black population, but chose to do nothing. His fellow blacks and other persecuted minorities were abandoned by the UN, Mr. Deng said, in favor of giving the racist Arabs a global platform to persistently push their false accusations of Israeli racism against the Palestinians.

By ignoring the true victims of racism, such as Simon Deng, and providing a platform to the racists themselves to excoriate Israel and other democracies, the United Nations has forfeited whatever moral authority and legitimacy it may have had at its founding.

2011/08/23

The Upcoming Durban III Conference (September 2011)

View this document on Scribd

Iran moves some centrifuges to underground site

Source Link: Forbes.com

Iran moves some centrifuges to underground site

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has moved some of its centrifuges to an underground uranium enrichment site that offers better protection from possible airstrikes, the country’s vice president said Monday.

Engineers are “hard at work” preparing the facility in Fordo, which is carved into a mountain to protect it against possible attacks, to house the centrifuges, Fereidoun Abbasi was quoted as saying by state TV.

Abbasi, who is also Iran’s nuclear chief, did not say how many centrifuges have been moved to Fordo nor whether the machines installed are the new, more efficient centrifuges Iran has promised or the old IR-1 types.

He did specify that the centrifuges will be taken to Fordo from Iran’s main uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, central Iran.

Uranium enrichment lies at the heart of Iran’s dispute with the West, a technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel or materials for atomic bombs.

The United States and some of its allies accuse Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop atomic weapons. Iran has denied the charges, saying its nuclear program is peaceful and aimed at generating electricity, not nuclear weapons.

On Monday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the new program raises suspicions.

“The Iranian nuclear program offers no plausible reasons for its existing enrichment of uranium up to nearly 20 percent, nor ramping up this production, nor moving centrifuges underground,” she said. “And its failure to comply with its obligations to suspend its enrichment activities up to 3.5 percent and nearly 20 percent have given all of us in the international community reason to doubt its intentions.”

Iran has been enriching uranium to less than 5 percent for years, but it began to further enrich its uranium stockpile to nearly 20 percent as of February 2010, saying it needs the higher grade material to produce fuel for a Tehran reactor that makes medical radioisotopes needed for cancer patients. Weapons-grade uranium is usually about 90 percent enriched.

Iran’s higher-grade enrichment efforts are of particular concern to the West because uranium at 20 percent enrichment can be converted into fissile material for a nuclear warhead much more quickly than that at 3.5 percent.

Abbasi said Tehran was in no rush to install the centrifuges and that experts are observing all technical standards.

In June, Abbasi said Iran plans to triple its output of the 20 percent enriched uranium and move the entire program to the new, secretly-built Fordo facility, just north of the holy city of Qom in central Iran.

The bunker facility is to house approximately 3,000 centrifuges. Preparations have been well under way for months now, with electrical wiring, pipe work and other preliminary installations completed in recent weeks.

The West argues that it revealed the existence of Fordo for the first time Sept. 25, 2009 at the G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh but Iran says it did nothing wrong and that it informed the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, in a Sept. 21 letter, at least two years before the plant would be operational.

Older Posts »