US Reimposes Economic Sanctions on Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “This is an important moment for Israel, the U.S., the region and the entire world. It represents the determination to curb Iran’s aggression in the region and its ongoing intention to arm itself with nuclear weapons. I call upon the countries of Europe, which talk about stopping Iran, to join this measure. The time has come to stop talking and to take action, and that is exactly what the U.S. has done and what Europe should do.” 

Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuU.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday restoring key sanctions on Iran with the hope of levying “maximum economic pressure” on Tehran over its nuclear program and other destabilizing activity in the Middle East.

“As we continue applying maximum economic pressure on the Iranian regime,” said Trump, “I remain open to reaching a more comprehensive deal that addresses the full range of the regime’s malign activities, including its ballistic-missile program and its support for terrorism.”

The new sanctions on Iran prevent any transactions with the Islamic Republic involving dollar bank notes, gold, precious metals, alumni, steel, commercial passenger aircraft and coal, as well as ending imports into the United States of Iranian carpets and food. On Nov. 5, a second round of sanctions targeting Iran’s oil industry are also set to go back into effect.

“We’re very hopeful that we can find a way to move forward, but it’s going to require enormous change on the part of the Iranian regime,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday. “They’ve got to behave like a normal country. That’s the ask. It’s pretty simple.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Trump on his decision to reimpose sanctions. The renewed sanctions come as a result of

The Forgotten (or Ignored) Aspect of Israel's 'Racist' Nation-State Law

Hate SpeechIsrael has come under a lot of flak for recently passing a new Basic Law (the local equivalent of a constitutional law in the absence of a true constitution) that enshrines “Israel as the historic home of the Jewish people,” officially labels an undivided Jerusalem as its capital and declares Hebrew to be its only official language.

Many among the 20 percent of Israel's population who are not Jews and whose mother tongue is not Hebrew have derided the Nation-State Law as a racist piece of legislation.

They have been joined by most Jewish Israeli liberals, who say the new law is a power-play by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The outcry from abroad has been even greater.

But whether the Nation-State Law is justified or foolhardy (or both), those engaged in the argument are glossing over a very important aspect of why it was passed, and why so many Israeli Jews support it.

When the United Nations voted for the partition of this land in 1947, it envisioned separate states for Jews and Arabs. The official map accompanying the motion even called the green portion of the land the “Jewish state.”

Israel accepted the proposal, the Arabs didn't. Years later, after repeated military efforts to annihilate the Jewish state had failed, the Arabs finally agreed to the partition plan as the basis of a new peace process. Only, the leadership of the Palestinian Arabs has refused to accept the foundational condition of the partition plan–that the state neighboring theirs be recognized as a “Jewish state.”

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority has passed its own Basic Law (already back in 2003) that clearly defines a future Palestinian state as an ethnic Arab state in which Islam is the dominant religion (meaning Sharia Law holds sway) and Arabic is the only official language. (H/T to Robert Nicholson of The Philos Project for pointing this out.)

In this light, the motivation behind Israel's Nation-State Law, which had been hotly debated for seven years before finally being passed, can be seen as reactionary as much as anything else.

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process stipulates the formation of separate Arab and Jewish states. The Palestinian leadership has unilaterally declared the former, while rejecting the latter. Israel, or elements therein, felt compelled to make a similar unilateral move to plant a flag in the chief concession already granted it by the United Nations back in 1947.

Why Arab-Islamic Culture And Democracy Are Incompatible

ISIS-American FlagThere are fundamental and insuperable contradictions between democracy and Arab-Islamic culture, among which are the following:

1. Whereas democracy is based on the primacy of the individual, Arab-Islamic culture is based on the primacy of the group – be it the village or the extended family. The individual Arab or Muslim has no identity outside the group; it is to the group that he owes his loyalty. This is one reason why internecine conflict has been endemic among Arabs throughout their history.

2. Democracy is based on consent, pluralism, and persuasion. Differences are resolved by discussion and mutual concessions, and agreements are usually abiding. In contrast, Islamic culture is based on the primacy of coercion. Agreements between rival factions do not really terminate animosities, which is why such agreements are so short-lived.

3. Freedom is one of the two cardinal principles of democracy. This is not the case of Arab-Islamic culture, which is strictly authoritarian and whose media are government-controlled. The radical separation of religion and politics found in democracy is foreign to Islamic regimes.

4. Unlike democracy, whose other cardinal principle is equality, Arab-Islamic culture is strictly hierarchical. Top-down leadership is a fundamental principle of

Israel and the United States of America: A Special Bond Between Two Peoples and Two Nations

U.S.-Israel Relations
The strength of the relationship between Israel and the United States is a testament to our friendship, partnership and alliance. The friendship between Israel and the United States runs deep, in shared values, economic partnership, strategic cooperation, humanitarian assistance and cultural ties.

Only eleven minutes after Israel declared its independence in 1948, President Harry Truman recognized the new Jewish State. Since this time, all the leaders of the United States have expressed their support for the State of Israel, and the people of both countries have continually nurtured, promoted and developed their shared values and interests. The unique and special relationship between Israel and the United States is multifaceted, heartfelt and strong. Our partnership is bound to expand and progress in the years to come.

The cornerstone of the vibrant U.S.-Israel economic relationship is the 1985 Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the first FTA ever signed by the United States. Over the last 20 years the FTA has enabled a sevenfold expansion of bilateral trade. Israel has become one of the largest trading partners of the U.S. in the Middle East and Israel ’s prime export destination is the United States.

The Israeli and American economies share common commitments to a free market, competitiveness, active support of international trade liberalization and of the multilateral trading system. There is constant dialogue between the governments of Israel and the United States to upgrade their economic relationship and to ensure a continued prosperous partnership.

U.S.- ISRAEL RELATIONS

U.S.-Israel RelationsThe United States was the first country to recognize Israel as a state in 1948, and the first to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 2017. Israel has long been, and remains, America’s most reliable partner in the Middle East. Israel and the United States are bound closely by historic and cultural ties as well as by mutual interests.

Israel's founding was preceded by more than 50 years of efforts to establish a sovereign state as a homeland for the Jewish people. The 1917 Balfour Declaration asserted the British Government's support for the creation “in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” Following the end of World War I (1914-1918), the League of Nations entrusted Great Britain with the Mandate for Palestine. Immediately after the end of British mandate on May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was proclaimed, and the U.S. recognized Israel that same day. Arabs in the Mandatory and neighboring Arab states rejected a 1947 UN partition plan that would have divided the Mandatory into separate Jewish and Arab states, and the area has seen periods of invasions and armed conflict since 1948.

The United States is committed to supporting the parties in efforts to reach a lasting, comprehensive peace agreement that offers a brighter future to both Israel and the Palestinians.

U.S. Assistance to Israel
The U.S.-Israel bilateral relationship is strong, anchored by over $3 billion in Foreign Military Financing annually. In addition to financial support, the U.S. participates in a high level of exchanges with Israel, to include joint military exercises, military research, and weapons development. Through the Joint Counterterrorism Group and a semi-annual Strategic Dialogue, the U.S. and Israel have enhanced their cooperation in fighting terrorism.

Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States is Israel's largest single trading partner. The top five U.S. exports to Israel are: diamonds, semiconductors, civilian aircraft, telecommunications equipment, and agricultural products. The top five U.S. imports from Israel are: diamonds, pharmaceutical products, semiconductors, medicinal equipment, and telecommunications equipment. U.S. direct investment in Israel is primarily in the manufacturing sector, as is Israeli investment in the United States. The United States and Israel have had a free trade agreement since 1985,

ISRAELI NGO SUES EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK FOR SUSPECTED TIES WITH IRAN

Over the past several years, victims of terror attacks have successfully sued for damages against Iran in US courts. Shurat HaDin claims that there are over $43 billion in unresolved legal verdicts against the Islamic Republic. To date, the organization says, Iran has refused to compensate the victims and is continuing to provide monetary support to terrorist groups throughout the world.

The initial proceeding, filed in the Washington, DC district court, maintains that the EIB must identify all Iranian assets held at the bank and turn them over to satisfy the terror victims’ outstanding court awards, Shurat HaDin said.

An EIB spokesperson told the Post that it is not aware that any suit has been filed against it.

“Iran is a state that finances and carries out terrorism.” Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the president and founder of Shurat HaDin, said in a statement.

How Quiet Islamization Threatens Secular States

While all eyes have focused on the obvious – Islamist violence in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, in Pakistan and the Congo, and in Muslim communities of Western European cities – radical Islam has been quietly tightening its grip in formerly-secular Muslim regions such as Malaysia, Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Maldives. In turn, these changes are also helping to guide the rise of radical Islam across the West. As Farooq Sulehria, assistant professor at Beaconhouse National University in Lahore noted in a recent e-mail, “diaspora communities are politically reflective of the mainstream currents in the home country.”

Yet outside of think tanks and counterterrorism circles, few have paid much attention to the changes in these countries, and the growing threat they pose. Even since the 2002 attacks on two nightclubs and the American consulate in Bali, for instance, most people considered Indonesia a secular, Muslim majority state. Subsequent suicide attacks, one in 2003 and another in Jakarta in 2005, were staged by Jemiaah Islamiya, an al-Qaida- and ISIS-affiliated group with no direct ties to Indonesia.

But by 2017, Reuters reports a survey showed that “one in five Indonesian students supported an Islamic state, and one in four” were ready to wage jihad “to achieve it.” According to the polling company Alvara, the results indicate that “intolerant teachings have already entered top universities and high schools” in the world's largest Muslim-majority country.

PalWatch.org Succeeds in Alerting Congress to Terrorist Payments Operator

PMW submission to US Dept. of the Treasury to blacklist Issa Karake
 
On Apr. 16, 2018, Palestinian Media Watch submitted a report to the US Department of the Treasury documenting the connection between Issa Karake, the Director of the PLO Commission of Prisoner's Affairs, to terror, terrorists and terror financing.
 
The report focused on Karake's responsibility for the payment of salaries to terrorist prisoners, his glorification of terrorists and their actions and his incitement of terrorism. The report further demonstrated how these actions breached Executive Order 13224 and provided the evidentiary basis for his designation as a sponsor of terrorism.
 
PMW's report was submitted soon after the passage of the Taylor Force Act, which provided that, “The Palestinian Authority's practice of paying salaries to terrorists serving in Israeli prisons, as well as to the families of deceased terrorists, is an incentive to commit acts of terror.”

Erdogan – US 'evangelist, Zionist mentality is unacceptable'

“Threatening language of the US evangelist, Zionist mentality is unacceptable,” Erdogan charged, while refusing to release US Pastor Andrew Brunson.

 


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday slammed the US over its conduct regarding US Pastor Andrew Brunson, who is being tried for terrorism offenses in Turkey.

“Turkey has no problems related to [religious] minorities. Threatening language of the US evangelist, Zionist mentality is unacceptable,” Erdogan told journalists in parliament on Wednesday, Turkey’s Anadolu agency reported.

Erdogan was responding to a charge made by Vice President Mike Pence last week that Brunson was “a victim of religious persecution.”

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