Tag Archives: Israel

Egyptian leader demands Palestinians accept Israel in UN speech

While the main buzz in the American press has been President Trump’s UN speech this week, no one has noticed that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in his own UN speech called for the Palestinians to accept the existence of Israel and to co-exist with it.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Tuesday urged Palestinian Arabs to overcome their differences and be ready to co-exist with each other and with Israelis in safety and security. “I tell the Palestinian people it’s extremely important … to overcome the differences and not to lose opportunities and to be ready to accept co-existence with the other, with Israelis in safety and security,” Sisi said in a speech before the UN General Assembly, as quoted by Reuters.

Sisi also had his first pubic meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this week. Furthermore, earlier in the week the king of Bahrain endorsed an event at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles by sending his prince as a representative, while simultaneously calling for an end to the Arab boycott of Israel.

[Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center,] told The Times of Israel in a phone interview Monday that he was in Dubai on a mission for his organization when the king personally invited him to visit his palace. While the meeting took place in February, Hier said that he was ready now to discuss its contents after receiving “a clear signal” from the king that the royal meant business. In this case, the signal was that Bahraini Prince Nasser bin Hamad al Khalifa attended a large event for the Weisenthal Center on Thursday, and also visited the unabashedly pro-Israeli Museum of Tolerance, also located in Los Angeles.

There have been other indications recently that the covert cooperation that has existed in recent years between Israel and some Arab nations against Iran and Islamic terrorism is about to become more public. If so, we might be on the cusp of some real positive change in the Middle East. (I realize I am being absurdly optimistic with this statement, but one can always hope.)

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California iman calls for genocide against all Jews

Can’t we all just get along? The Friday sermon of a California iman called for the killing of all Jews because Israel had the nerve to put up metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

And why did Israel do this? Because three Arabs murdered two Israeli policemen in cold blood at the site.

The bottom line here is that the Islamic world wants to kill Jews, and will find any excuse to do it, even excuses as silly as an Israel effort to prevent further violence. Listen to this guy’s sermon at the link. He makes it very clear that this is a Muslim requirement — from the Koran — to kill Jews. And Israel should negotiate with these fanatics?

I want to also point out that this iman was making his speech in California, a place that increasingly fashions itself a haven for fascists and the power-hungry. Note also these details about the mosque from which he made this speech:

The Islamic Center of Davis in Northern California is located about 15 miles from the state’s capital, Sacramento. It has, in the past, hosted events featuring Waleed Idris al-Menessey, who has also called for Muslims to kill Jews and impose Sharia law on non-Muslims law worldwide. Al-Meneesey’s Minneapolis-based Islamic center has produced five recruits for the Islamic State terrorist organization. On its online resources page, the Islamic Center of Davis links to several known Muslim Brotherhood front groups, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and the Muslim Students Association (MSA).

If I, a Jew, lived in Sacramento I would not feel safe.

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Hamas has made Gaza unliveable, according to the UN

A UN study has found that in the ten years since Hamas took control of Gaza the place has become unliveable for its residents.

A decade after the Islamist group Hamas seized Gaza, the Palestinian enclave is effectively unliveable for its 2 million people, with declining incomes, healthcare, education, electricity and fresh water, the United Nations said.

In a report examining humanitarian conditions in the territory, which Hamas took over in June 2007 after a brief conflict with forces loyal to the Palestinian Authority, the United Nations concludes the situation in Gaza is deteriorating “further and faster” than was forecast only a few years ago. “Across the board we’re watching de-development in slow motion,” Robert Piper, the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. “Every indicator, from energy to water to healthcare to employment to poverty to food insecurity, every indicator is declining. Gazans have been going through this slow motion de-development now for a decade.”

The article tries to lay the blame on everyone, including Israel, while somehow ignoring the corruption and terrorist roots of Hamas itself. Still, the real blame might belong to the people in Gaza themselves. After Israel unilaterally pulled out in an effort to exchange “land for peace,” the people of Gaza voted for their own leadership, and choose Hamas, a terrorist organization whose reason for existing is to kill Jews and destroy Israel. After making a poor decision like that, no one should be surprised it their circumstances immediately began to decline. We all get the government we deserve.

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Israel and India sign three new space agreements

The new colonial movement: India and Israel have inked three new development agreements between their different government space agencies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to Israel has deepened cooperation in space technology between the two countries as the two sides on Wednesday signed three agreements relating to space. The first memorandum of understanding was between Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and Israel Space Agency for cooperation in electric propulsion for small satellites, second was on cooperation in GEO-LEO optical links and third pact was on cooperation in atomic clocks (which are satellite components meant to provide precise locational data).

The third agreement is especially interesting. It indicates that India no longer wants to work with the German company that built its most recent GPS satellites because that company’s atomic clocks all had problems. Unlike the ESA, India has decided that such failures should not be rewarded with more work.

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Trump to keep U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv

President Trump today signed a waiver allowing him to keep the U.S. Israeli embassy in Tel Aviv, rather than moving to Jerusalem as he promised repeatedly on the campaign trail.

This is not the most important political story of the day, but it illustrates what we can expect from Trump. In the end, he backs down under pressure from the Washington elitist community. For example, even though his proposed federal budget suggested a willingness to cut the deficit and eliminate whole agencies, I have doubts he will succeed in getting Congress to agree to any of those cuts.

This is also why I have not yet posted on the various rumors claiming that he plans to exit the Paris climate treaty. Until I actually see him do it, I do not believe it.

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White House decision on embassy move only after Trump’s Middle East trip

The White House has denied reports that they have decided not to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and have instead said that the decision on whether to move the embassy will only be made after Trump’s Middle East trip.

Since neither story identified the White House official making the claims, either for or against the move, I suppose we should file this whole thing under fake news. These are unsubstantiated leaks, and should not be taken seriously.

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Trump rules out moving embassy to Jerusalem

Breaking promises: Despite firm and loud promises during the campaign to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, Trump administration officials today said that no move is planned, for the near future.

And the Republicans wonder why they can’t get the Jewish vote. I have talked to numerous Jewish relatives, and though many are conservative, all of them have great reservations about the Republican Party, which they perceive as two-faced towards Israel and the Jewish people. Repeatedly they have seen Republican presidential candidates (from Reagan to Bush to Bush to Trump) promise to move the embassy, and then betray that promise once they were in office.

Granted the Democrats are very hostile to Israel these days, but they already have the blind loyalty of many Jews. You want to change their minds? Don’t backstab people, as the Republicans and Trump are now doing.

But then, this behavior has become typical for the Republican party. Across the board they show little loyalty to the people who voted for them. Instead, once in power they routinely ally themselves with the Washington power elites, often in direct betrayal of their campaign promises.

A side note: The link explains nicely how moving the embassy would probably aid the peace talks. Based on the failure of everything that has previously been tried, I see no reason not to do it.

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Palestinian Authority stops shipping medicine to Gaza

They’re such nice people! Because of the political battle between Hamas, running Gaza, and the Palestinian Authority, running the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority has stopped its quarterly shipments of medicine to Gaza.

Palestine Today quotes Dr. Munir Bursh, the pharmacy director at the Ministry of Health in Gaza, saying that the Palestinian Authority has stopped supplying medicines and baby formula to Gaza altogether. “90% of the treatment of cancer patients in the Gaza Strip has stopped due to the lack of the supply of drugs,” he said. Bursh added, “This is reprehensible and very strange, threatening a major health disaster up to the collapse of the health situation in Gaza, because the Ramallah government has been responsible for supplying medicine to Gaza, despite the deficit in the previous years.”

“Whoever made this decision is killing the entire people, and punishing the entire people.” He said that the PA supplies the Gaza Strip with medicines every two months, but it did not send any medicines for three months now.

Hospitals in Gaza are also worried about the closure of the Gaza power plant due to the spat between Hamas and Fatah, saying that they cannot desalinate the water needed for every day purposes.

The last line refers to the decision by the Palestinian Authority to stop paying its Gaza electrical bill, forcing Israel to stop supplying Gaza with electricity.

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A look at some Israeli West Bank settlements

As my regular readers know, I periodically take trips to Israel to visit family. When I return, I then post my impressions and what I have learned, thereby providing an eye-witness perspective to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Previous essays from earlier visits are as follows, with the first five from my 2013 visit and the last from my visit in 2014.:

Map of the West Bank settlements that I have visited

Having just returned from another visit, I have some new impressions. Above all, I think it worthwhile to note that in all these visits, I have routinely stayed with relatives who live in West Bank settlements. In fact, I have now visited or stayed in five different settlements. The map on the right shows the locations of these settlements, marked with an X. If you click on the image you can see a higher resolution version.

Unfortunately, I do not remember the name of the settlement from my 2003 visit, though I know it was west of Hebron. It might have been Carmel, but I am not sure. I do know I have indicated its location with reasonable accuracy.

Regardless, there are a number of things we can learn from my visits. The largest settlements, Alon Shvut, Kiryat Sefer, and Beitar, are all close to the 1949 Armistice border. They are also all relatively close to Jerusalem and thus act for many as suburbs of that larger city. As I wrote in 2013,
» Read more

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Israeli student cubesat launched from Atlas 5

When the Cygnus capsule was placed in orbit yesterday, it also released a number of nanosats, one of which was a cubesat built by Israeli high school students.

More than 80 pupils in grades 9-12 at schools in Herzliya, Ofakim, Yeruham, Ofra, and the Bedouin town of Hura helped to construct Duchifat-2, which weighs just 1.8 kilograms (four pounds), and is just 20 centimeters (eight inches) tall and 10 centimeters wide. Due to its small size, the satellite has no motors and instead uses the earth’s magnetic field to keep itself correctly aligned in space.

Cubesats have generally been built and launched as college projects to help teach students the engineering behind satellites. This however was the only nanosat released by the Atlas 5 that involved high school students.

Note also that the project did not simply involve Jewish students.

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The Last Day

An evening pause: This short Israeli film seems pertinent as I leave for Israel again to visit family. The film was made before 2012, and attempts to portray a moment in the future.

When I first scheduled this, I suggested that people make sure they read the analysis at the youtube website. Youtube however has terminated this filmmaker’s account. I wonder why. Could it be because some from the Islamic world complained? Could it be that some within the google/youtube world didn’t like its message?

The video is still on youtube, however, posted by others. Freedom lives, even as some try to squelch it.

Hat tip Jim Mallamace.

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Off to Israel + new op-ed!

My April travels continue. It has been too long since I traveled to Israel to visit family, so today I am heading out for the long flight, arriving tomorrow afternoon. I will be there until April 20. I expect I will be able to post, as I have in the past, though my commentary will likely be reduced somewhat.

Note that I will have a new op-ed published sometime this week at The Federalist entitled “What Trump’s space policy should really do.” I am positive that my conclusions will not be what most people expect. The op-ed was inspired by this comment by Edward Thelen, part of comments in connection with this Zimmerman/Batchelor podcast, where I talked about space exploration in the context of the American settlement of the west.

The comparison with the American west is appropriate. There have been other expansions throughout the world, too. In the 19th century, the US was not the only country that had a frontier. We have several examples of expansion from which to learn, but the frontiers in the Americas were clearly the largest, complete with immigration from the Old World straight to the frontier.

An example of a lesson — beyond Robert’s example of the Homesteading Act — is the need for better communication between the US east coast and California. Messages and people needed to move across the continent in far less time and in a safer manner than those that were available in 1860, so government funded a transcontinental railroad, a line longer than had ever been built or operated before. Earthbound or space-born governments may also have needs for similar large projects. Although the needs of We the People has been shown to be best met through private-ownership of free-market capitalist commerce, there will be times when government should also fund projects that solve its needs.

Edward was suggesting that the focus of the federal government — and Trump’s space policy — should be building an infrastructure that will make it easier for private companies and individuals to work in space. My initial response had agreed with him:

What NASA should do is build the kind of infrastructure that private enterprise needs to explore the Moon, the asteroids, and Mars. Build a communications network. Put communications satellites behind the Moon. Set up radiation monitors that private tourists trips will need to monitor solar and cosmic radiation. And even here, the model should be that used in the west with the transcontinental railroad, where the government hired private companies to do the work for it.

I need to think about this more. This needs to be written up properly.

In thinking about it, however, I completely rejected my initial response, and Edward’s suggestion. The infrastructure that the federal government needs to build in space has nothing to do with physical objects. This is the mistake everyone has been making for decades. In my op-ed I argue for something else entirely, and I hope the Trump administration is listening.

Stay tuned. When the Federalist op-ed gets posted I will post the url here immediately.

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Republicans prepare legislation to defund UN

While both houses of Congress are moving forward on meaningless condemnations of the UN’s vote declaring the Oslo Accords null and Israel’s presence in parts of Jerusalem illegal, Republicans in both houses are also preparing legislation that will actually cut funding to the UN.

The right-wing House Freedom Caucus will meet next Monday to decide between two proposals to bring to the House. One would be to reduce American funding to the UN. The other, more aggressive proposal is to make funding voluntary, thus leaving it to Congress every two years to decide whether to continue contributing to the organization. “One is an incremental step, the other is really a herculean leap,” said Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows.

These ideas also have strong support by a number of Senators. I am hopeful that Congress will go beyond a mere condemnation and pass something that will actually cause the UN some pain.

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New Republican bill to move U.S. embassy to Jerusalem

Three Republican Senators today introduced legislation that would move the American embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

To a certain extent this law is mere show, as there already is a law that calls for the U.S. to do this, though that law also allowed presidents to waive the move if they thought it would harm international relations. That concern is essentially gone now, and it appears this new law eliminates the waiver clause.

This is likely only the beginning. At least, I hope it is.

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Republicans offer two meaningless resolutions condemning UN-Israel resolution

Failure theater: Two resolutions, one in the House and the other in the Senate, are going to be offered by Republicans to condemn the UN resolution that declared Israel’s presence in parts of Jerusalem and Israel to be illegal.

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) was quoted by The Hill as having said on Friday he will introduce a measure on Tuesday expressing support for Israel and throwing the “sense of the Senate” behind disapproving the United Nations resolution. “Over the last eight years, the Obama administration has made a series of blatantly misguided choices when it comes to working with our strongest ally in the Middle East,” Moran said in a statement. He added the Trump administration will “have to work overtime to repair the damage President Obama has done.”

Separately, Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) said Friday he is offering a resolution condemning President Barack Obama and the United Nations “for their dangerous anti-Israel actions”, according to The Hill.

Neither resolution will have any teeth. Essentially, they will declare that the UN was mean for what it did, but the U.S. Congress ain’t going to do anything about it.

Obviously, Congressional action might not end with these resolutions, but do not be surprised if this is all these cowards do.

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The upcoming Israeli response to the UN and Obama attacks

Link here. Essentially, the UN and the Palestinians might have literally shot themselves in the foot with their attempts to declare Israel’s presence in Jerusalem and the West Bank as illegal. The article outlines in great detail the long term negative results of the UN resolution last week, all of which we can now expect. I cannot quote it all, but this one quote will give you a taste:

Regarding the international community, the Security Council opened the door for its members to boycott Israel. As a result, Israel should show the UN and its factotums the door. Israel should work to de-internationalize the Palestinian conflict by expelling UN personnel from its territory.

The same is the case with the EU. Once Britain exits the EU, Israel should end the EU’s illegal operations in Judea and Samaria and declare EU personnel acting illegally persona non grata.

As for the Palestinians, Resolution 2334 obligates Israel to reconsider its recognition of the PLO. Since 1993, Israel has recognized the PLO despite its deep and continuous engagement in terrorism. Israel legitimized the PLO because the terrorist group was ostensibly its partner in peace. Now, after the PLO successfully killed the peace process by getting the Security Council to abrogate 242, Israel’s continued recognition of the PLO makes little sense. Neither PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas nor his deputies in Fatah – convicted, imprisoned mass murderer and terrorism master Marwan Barghouti, and Jibril Rajoub who said he wishes he had a nuclear bomb so he could drop it on Israel and who tried to get Israel expelled from FIFA – has any interest in recognizing Israel, let alone making peace with it. The same of course can be said for the PLO’s coalition partner Hamas.

An Israeli decision to stop recognizing the PLO will also have implications for the Trump administration.

In the aftermath of 2334, calls are steadily mounting in Congress for the US cancel its recognition of the PLO and end US financial support for the Palestinian Authority. If Israel has already ended its recognition of the PLO, chances will rise that the US will follow suit. Such a US move will have positive strategic implications for Israel.

Read it all. There is more, all of which is likely to happen, since the Israelis are faced with survival and will need to fight back.

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Obama and the UN vs Israel and the Free World

I think the following list of stories sums up the situation:

The Obama administration position:

Next some of the response, from Israel, from conservatives, from Congress:

This story list is hardly complete but it does encapsulate the Obama/Israel/UN events of the past week. Make sure you read the stories at the links to really understand what is happening. Based on this information all I can conclude is that Obama and his administration decided in the past week to go public with their hatred of Israel. I call it hatred because I don’t know what else to call it. To them, the building of houses for Israelis to live in is more evil that Palestinian and Islamic terrorist bombings, murders, hijackings, and rocket firings.

As for the response, I have my doubts whether Congress will really do the right thing and dump the UN. In all my life only once have I seen real leadership in these matters, and that was during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, when he decided to withdraw from UNESCO because, as his administration noted at the time, ”Unesco has extraneously politicized virtually every subject it deals with, has exhibited hostility toward the basic institutions of a free society, especially a free market and a free press, and has demonstrated unrestrained budgetary expansion.”

Right now I suspect that the cowardly Republican leadership is scheming for ways they can participate in some form of “failure theater,” something to which they are very practiced, where they pass some meaningless resolutions condemning the UN while allowing its funding and its support to continue unhindered. We shall see if my cynicism here is justified. The one aspect of these events that suggests I might be too pessimistic is the number of Democrats publicly condemning the President. Democratic support these days is very confined to the big urban coastal cities, which also happens to be where their Jewish support is centered. Obama’s actions this week fire a bullet into that support, and very clearly threaten to damage it badly. They have already lost middle Ameica. If they lose the urban Jewish voter their chances of winning elections in the future will become even more difficult.

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The intolerant religion of peace

No matter how peaceful and friendly and tolerant the majority of Muslims might be, their religion continues to attract and generate the most intolerance and hate and violence worldwide. Below are just a few stories in the past 24 hours that illustrate the increasingly vicious nature of Islam:

This is only three stories. If I wanted, I could have listed dozens, from all over the world, all giving examples of Islamic hate for and violence against anyone that is not a practitioner of that religion.

In the first story, the UNESCO declaration that these Jerusalem sites are exclusively Muslim didn’t only rub out thousands of years of Jewish history, it also wiped out thousands of years of Christian history as well. As has been historically typical of Islam, it cannot tolerate other religions. When Islam conquered Israel it did not respect the site of the Jewish Second Temple, it instead immediately built its own temple on top of it, claimed ownership, and has since worked to exclude Jews and Christians from the site. Now Muslim countries are trying to use the UN to strengthen their claim and to justify their effort to remove all Jews from the Middle East, an effort that is well illustrated by the .third story.

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Archaeologists find stone toilet in religious shrine

Archaeologists have uncovered what is obviously a stone toilet that appears to have been installed by the king inside a religious shrine in order to intentionally desecrate it.

Apart from being the nerve center of the city’s bureaucratic system, the site also housed a gate shrine, which was accessible via “steps … in the form of a staircase [that] ascended to a large room where there was a bench upon which offerings were placed.” While finding religious artifacts such as altars and ceremonial artifacts is par for the course at such sites, what has gotten archaeologists buzzing is something far more incongruous: “A stone fashioned in the shape of a chair with a hole in its center.” In other words, a toilet.

Installing such an object in the Holy of Holies, a sacred inner sanctum in the shrine accessible only to a High Priest, would have been considered “the ultimate desecration” of a holy space, which was most likely what [King] Hezekiah in mind. A purely symbolic act – lab tests have confirmed that the commode was never used – it was meant to show pagan worshippers that he meant business when he declared he was getting rid of religious cults.

While such practices, most notably King Jehu’s destruction of temples dedicated to the pagan god Baal, have been documented in the Bible, this is the first time that archaeological evidence has confirmed it.

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“Since when is bigotry a foundation for peace?”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last Friday posted a short video, embedded below, that I think well states what the real obstacle to peace is in the Middle East. And it certainly isn’t the presence of Israelis in the West Bank.

Not surprisingly, his blunt but honest words have caused many on the left and in Arab communities to express outrage. I must note however that, as I have documented, the only governments in the Middle East that forbid the presence of people solely due to their race or religion are the Arab ones, including Palestine.

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An attack on Israel coming?

Two stories this morning suggest that an attack soon on Israel from either Iran- or ISIS-backed forces, or both, may soon take place.

The first would be a large attack from the north, near the Golan Heights, planned with the hope of grabbing and holding territory from Israel. The second would be a small terrorist attack. meant only to distract and cause harm. Supposedly Iran and the Islamic State oppose each other, but here they would be working together. Good thing the Obama administration sent Iran $33 billion in cash to help them in this effort.

To get a feel for the hate held by Islamic leaders of all stripes for Jews, watch this excerpt from a Friday sermon by a Hamas MP. Their goal is simple: Kill all the Jews. I wonder how Israel is going to negotiate a two state solution faced with that.

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Chinese company agrees to buy Israeli satellite company

Wheels within wheels: A Chinese company, managed by a Luxembourg company that in turn delegates management of its satellites to an Israeli-based company, has made a deal to purchase Spacecom, a different Israeli company that operates and owns the Amos fleet of communications satellites.

Observers said the deal could meet up with opposition from regulators, including the Communications Ministry. But Pollack said the transaction would be done in accordance with Spacecom’s license terms, which require the satellites be operated from Israel and that the company remain Israeli. The sale would put Spacecom under the direct control of an Israeli-domiciled company called Big Bird, which is managed by Major General (Res.) Ami Shafran, a former head of the Israel Defense Forces communications branch. Big Bird is 100%-owned by a Luxembourg company, which in turn is owned by Beijing Xinwei.

To say this financial deal is complicated is to understate the situation. Though it appears most everyone here is probably focused on making money, if I was Israeli I would be somewhat concerned that ownership of these crucial communications satellites is now going to be outside the country.

I also note the presence of Luxembourg in this space deal, illustrating again that this small European country is very much a big player in the commercial space industry.

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Iran reveals the Iran deal facilitated aiming 100,000 missiles at Israel

So how’s that Iran deal doing, Washington? Iran’s leaders reveal that the Iran deal was their way to make it easier to make and aim missiles at Israel.

They claim they have 100,000 missiles in Lebanon aimed at the West Bank, and are enthusiatic about their possible use.

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Israel eases its restrictions on gun use

Faced with rising violence from Islamic and Palestinian terrorists, Israel this month has eased its gun control rules so that more citizens can own and use guns.

Under the new policy, all IDF officers above the rank of 2nd lieutenant and non-commissioned officers from the rank of first sergeant and up can obtain a permit, even if they hold those ranks in the reserves. Parallel ranks in the police and other security services have been given the same access.

This doesn’t help those who came to the country later in life and never served in the military, but it is still a step in the right direction. The Palestinians wish to live by the sword. They then face the increasing possibility that they will die by it.

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Iran writes its own bill

The bill approved by Iran’s legislature this week is not the deal negotiated by John Kerry and approved by Obama.

Instead, the Majlis approved by a 161 to 59 vote, with 13 abstentions, a nine point document they created which authorizes the Iranian government to move forward on a path that will do at least two things: one, remove international sanctions against Iran, and two, end Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

Got that?

End Israel’s nuclear weapons program. Not end Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Ending Israel’s program is apparently point one of the nine point document approved by the Majlis on Tuesday.

Read it all. Rather than agree to limit their nuclear production, as declared by the idiots in the Obama administration, the legislation allows them to accelerate it. As the article notes, the only person sticking with Obama’s Iran nuclear deal is Obama.

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Facebook to provide internet access to Africa

The competition heats up: Using an Israeli communications satellite built by the European satellite company Eutelsat and slated to be launched by SpaceX in 2016, Facebook will provide internet service to the African continent.

Under a partnership announced Monday, Facebook and European satellite operator Eutelsat will buy all of the broadband capacity on the AMOS-6 satellite owned by Israeli company Spacecom. The mission has no confirmed launch date, with SpaceX still recovering from a Falcon 9 launch failure in June, but the partners expect the satellite to begin service in the second half of 2016, according to a press release.

What I like about this is the number of companies involved, all trying to make money, with Facebook the newcomer to the space industry. And the more the merrier, I say!

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The terrible political consequences of Iran deal to the Democratic Party

Several stories in the news today outline for me the terrible political consequences faced by the Democratic Party by their support for the nuclear deal with Iran:

This quote from the middle article however highlights how bad the consequences for the Democrats will be:

if Obama is left with a deal that is opposed by a majority of either the Senate or the House, the Democrats will be stuck with it. They will then be on the defensive with every hostile move Iran makes with the $150 billion the mullahs are going to get.

Like Obamacare, only Democrats are going to support this Iran deal. They will own it entirely. Thus, the first time Iran does something to violate the treaty or to use the $50 billion or more of cash they will get for signing the deal to promote terrorist attacks, it will be Democrats and only Democrats who will share the blame.

Yet, like Obamacare, the Democratic Party seems oblivious to these political risks. Come hell or high water, they are, as described in the first story, working as hard as they can to get the votes to sustain an Obama veto and make this deal law.

As much as I want these Democrats kicked out of office, I think having the Iran deal approved will be worse for the nation and the world. It will immediately dump billions of dollars into the hands of Iran’s radical terrorist leaders, surely resulting in more violence against many innocents across the globe. And it will announce to the world our willingness to allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons, which will almost certainly instigate a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and probably prompt Israel to attack Iran, possibly with its own nuclear weapons.

None of this is good. Better that the Democrats should save themselves the political cost and oppose this horrible deal.

Unfortunately, I am not hopeful. The track record of today’s Democratic Party is that of a group of people willing to put ideology ahead of everything, even if it means they will lose elections like crazy afterward. I see nothing to make me think they will do different here.

Our only option afterward then will be to throw them out of office. I pray that come 2016, the election results will make the Republican landslides of 2010 and 2014 look like mild rebukes in comparison.

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Iran: We “reject the existence of any Israeli on this Earth.”

Hey, let’s sign a deal wth them allowing them to build nuclear weapons! A major Iranian official made it clear this week that his nation remains committed in destroying Israel, and all the Jews that live there.

Hussein Sheikholeslam, a senior adviser to Iran’s Speaker of Parliament, told the Hamas-affiliated newspaper al-Resalah that Tehran “reject[s] the existence of any Israeli on this earth,” a position he says Iran relayed to the P5+1 powers during the nuclear negotiations, The Times of Israel reported Wednesday. According to Sheikholeslam, Iran “will do everything to renew” its support for Hamas, which Tehran lessened in retaliation to the Sunni group’s opposition to the regime of Bashar al-Assad after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war.

Sheikholeslam’s comments are the latest in a series of threats issued against Israel by Iran since the Islamic Republic signed a nuclear agreement with the P5+1 powers last month.

There’s really not much to say, except to note the mental bankruptcy of any American politician who decides to support Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

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