Momentum Grows for Halt to U.S. Funding of Palestinian Authority - Alina D. Sharon (jns.org)
U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Bob Corker (R-TN) on Friday released a joint statement calling on the U.S. government to defund the Palestinian Authority (PA) over its decision to join the International Criminal Court (ICC).
"The Palestinian Authority's decision to join the International Criminal Court is deplorable, counterproductive, and will be met with a strong response by the United States Congress," the senators' statement said.
They declared that nothing will bring about a Palestinian state "other than direct negotiations" between Israel and the Palestinians.
At the same time, three Republican senators - Marco Rubio (FL), Rand Paul (KY), and Ted Cruz (TX) - have similar stances.
Iran Out Billions of Dollars in Oil Revenue - Daniel J. Graeber (UPI)
A decline in oil exports, largely because of Western economic sanctions, has cost the Iranian economy more than $100 billion, said Mohsen Rezaei, secretary of Iran's influential Expediency Council, noting a 50% decline in Iran's oil price over the past two months.
Israeli Arab Who Crossed into Syria Tortured by Assad Security Forces - Yaakov Lappin (Jerusalem Post)
Yousef Yaakub Nasrallah, 20, an Israeli Arab from Kalansuwa in central Israel,
was arrested in December at the Jordan River crossing.
During questioning, he confessed to traveling to Syria via Jordan in April 2014. In Syria he was captured by Assad regime security forces and tortured, the Israel Security Agency said on Monday.
Saudi ISIS Members Attack Saudi Border Guards on Iraqi Frontier (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
A deadly attack that killed three Saudi border guards along the Saudi-Iraqi frontier this week was carried out by Saudi members of the Islamic State seeking to cross back into the kingdom, security sources in Riyadh said.
The Saudi Interior Ministry confirmed that at least three of the four attackers were Saudi nationals.
Saudi Blogger Flogged for Islam Insult (BBC News)
Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail, was publicly flogged 50 times after being convicted of insulting Islam, reports say. The flogging will be carried out weekly.
Badawi, the co-founder of a now banned website called the Liberal Saudi Network, was arrested in 2012.
See also Global Outrage at Saudi Arabia as Jailed Blogger Receives Public Flogging - Ian Black (Guardian-UK)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- Obama Reassures Netanyahu on Iran, PA War Crimes Bid - Sean Kennedy
President Barack Obama spoke by phone Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, telling him he opposes the Palestinians' move to join the International Criminal Court to pursue war-crimes charges against Israel.
Obama said the Palestinian Authority isn't yet a state and isn't eligible to join the court. Obama says the Palestinian application to the court isn't constructive and undermines trust with Israel.
The U.S. is reviewing its aid package to the Palestinians because of their bid to join the court.
The White House says Obama also told Netanyahu the U.S. is working toward a nuclear deal that prevents Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. (AP)
See also Readout of the President's Call with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel (White House)
- Obama Administration Urges Congress to Delay New Iran Sanctions - Paul Richter and Rahim Mostaghim
With negotiations over Iran's nuclear program about to resume, the Obama administration urged Congress on Monday to delay imposing any new economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, argued that piling new economic penalties on Iran would undermine the negotiations and lead other nations to blame the U.S. for their collapse - although previous sanctions helped force Iran to negotiate.
The Senate may consider new sanctions legislation by the end of the month, in the middle of a negotiating round that U.S. officials hope will yield a nuclear deal by March. Discussions with Iran failed to meet deadlines in July and November.
(Los Angeles Times)
- NY Trial Starts for Palestine Liberation Organization - Larry Neumeister
Eleven years after filing a billion-dollar lawsuit, victims of terror attacks in Israel between January 2001 and February 2004 hope to prove to a Manhattan federal court that the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization were behind the attacks. Jury selection begins Tuesday in the lawsuit brought under the Antiterrorism Act. (AP-ABC News)
See also Palestine Liberation Organization Terror Trial Set to Begin - Gary Buiso
The woman, who was doing college studies in Israel, was shot in the chest by a terrorist's M-16.
"I'm never going to fully recover. I have one lung. I am missing ribs. I have shrapnel near my heart. I have scars on my feet. I have PTSD. It affects every part of every moment of my life. It's terrible."
She is one of the plaintiffs set to testify in the trial against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization for supporting attacks by Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
The suit alleges that seven terrorist acts that killed 33 and wounded at least 393 were perpetrated by officers and employees of the PLO. Plaintiffs include 11 American families with members either killed or wounded in the attacks.
(New York Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Four Jews Killed in Paris Buried in Israel - Yair Ettinger and Nir Hasson
The four Jews killed in Friday's terror attack in Paris were buried on Tuesday in Jerusalem.
Yohan Cohen, 22, who worked at the kosher supermarket, was reported to have been killed trying to stop the terrorist from killing a 3-year-old boy. Yoav Hattab, 21, had just returned from a Birthright tour to Israel. Philippe Braham, 45, a computer engineer, is survived by his wife and four children. Francois-Michel Saada, 64, a pension fund manager, was the father of two children, both living in Israel. (Ha'aretz)
- Two Hamas Men Convicted of Plotting to Bomb Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem - Yonah Jeremy Bob and Yaakov Lappin
Hamas members Ahmad Rishak, 23, and Ismail Abu Mfalfal, 27, were convicted Monday by the Jerusalem District Court of plotting to bomb the Mamilla mall in Jerusalem during the High Holy Days in 2013.
- Israel Closes Three Islamic Charities for Causing Unrest on Temple Mount - Ben Hartman
The Israel Security Agency and Israel Police on Monday closed three Arab NGOs formed in October 2014 by the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel "with the purpose of funding activities meant to disrupt the security of visitors to the Temple Mount and in order to inflame tensions and cause disturbances." The groups paid Muslim activists to harass visitors at the Temple Mount "while harming freedom of religion." (Jerusalem Post)
- A Global War on Radical Islam - Joseph Lieberman
The three attacks in France last week showed clearly that the international movement of violent Islamist extremism has declared war on Western civilization's foundational values. Radical Islam will continue to threaten what we hold dear unless it is fought and eventually defeated.
The truth is that the enemy is stronger today in more places than it was on 9/11 and is gaining more ground than ever. It is also true that homeland defenses are significantly better in the U.S. But wars aren't won on defense. The world must go on the offensive.
The civilized nations of the world must acknowledge that we are at war with violent Islamist extremism and that as long as these extremists continue to recruit, attack and expand territorially, the civilized world will continue to lose and the number and frequency of attacks like those in France will increase.
The U.S., along with the world's other great powers, should form and lead a global alliance against radical Islam. That alliance must include leading Islamic nations - Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, to name a few - because Muslims who do not share the extremist views of the terrorists constitute the largest number of its victims.
The writer is a former four-term U.S. senator from Connecticut.
(Wall Street Journal)
- Like It or Not, Israel Is Europe's Outpost in the War on the West - Moshe Arens
The entire Muslim world is not on the offensive against the West. But as you connect the dots of the increasingly frequent terrorist acts committed against Western targets, it is clear that radical Islam is on the warpath against the West. The Arab terrorists in Paris shouted "Allahu Akbar" as they mowed down the cartoonists in the offices of Charlie Hebdo. The Islamic terrorists who murdered four worshippers in the Jerusalem Har Nof synagogue also cried out "Allahu Akbar" before opening fire and swinging their hatchets.
Radical Islamists vent their anger against Israel because they see Israel as an outpost of Western civilization that has the temerity to be located in their midst. It is part of their war against the West.
The writer served as Israel's Minister of Defense three times and once as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- Fear Radical Islam - and Fight Back - Ezra Levant
Jihad means holy war against infidels. Infidels are all non-Muslims, or even Muslims who aren't radical enough. Those at Charlie Hebdo magazine were attacked because they would not submit to the edict that no one may draw an image of Mohammed, let alone insult him. They would not submit, so they were murdered.
You have to work very hard to pretend radical Islam is not at war with the West and our secular, liberal democracies.
Israel is besieged, it's surrounded. But it has one advantage over the West: it is not in denial. No one in Israel pretends that there is no jihad; no one in Israel talks about terrorists being just "lone wolves"; no one in Israel denies that terrorism was really terrorism. They don't blame the victim. Jihad cannot be appeased.
Everyone is scared of radical Islam. But you can meet fear with resolve and the decision to fight back. That's what Israel has; that's what the West used to have, back when the Nazis stormed across Europe. (Toronto Sun-Canada)
The Paris Terror Attacks and Israel (Tablet)
- After a solidarity rally on Sunday brought an estimated 1.5 million people into the streets to declare their support for free speech and their opposition to Islamist terrorism,
French President Francois Hollande entered the Grand Synagogue of Paris, followed 40 seconds or so later by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who unlike Hollande was greeted by loud and spontaneous cheering.
- The fact that the crowd cheers when Netanyahu enters the synagogue has nothing to do with whether the people gathered inside are socialist or conservative. As in every Jewish crowd, there are no doubt people in all camps. The reason they are cheering is far more basic, and it has to do with the harsh lesson that history has engraved into the souls of every conscious and self-aware Jew in the world today.
- We know, whether overtly or in a dark half-acknowledged corner of our minds, that there is one state in the world - however imperfect it is in some of its particulars - where we and our children will be welcome, and whose government will do its best to protect us, with all the force at its disposal.
- One of the great lessons of the Holocaust for the Jewish people, and for all other peoples who have since been threatened with genocide by fanatics, is that the world will always talk a good game but will do precious little to save you. The fact that the State of Israel exists means that the Jewish people will never be radically alone. That's why the people in the Grand Synagogue of Paris are cheering.
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