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Legitimizing Iran As a Threshold Nuclear Power

(Photo: wikicommons/ Farzaaaad2000)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Farzaaaad2000)

In today’s speech before Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak out against the legitimization of Iran as a world nuclear power. Such a thought is frightening to those who support Israel. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Yaakov Lappin says that the current deal being discussed is a bad one, as it endangers Israel:

The emerging Iran nuclear deal spells trouble.

For the past several months, Israeli security officials have privately been expressing concern over the emerging deal between the Obama Administration and the Iranian regime over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Defense officials familiar with the complex threat posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions have sought to stay clear of political statements, instead offering straightforward explanations as to why the deal, as it appears to be forming, will pose an extremely serious problem for the security of Israel and other Middle Eastern states in the path of Iran’s seemingly hegemonic aspirations.

Leaving aside the many technical details that are part of the wider picture of Iran’s nuclear activities, the essential problem with the would-be deal is that it will leave Iran with an enhanced ability to enrich uranium — an ability that can lead Iran to nuclear weapons production in a relatively short time.

The purpose of an agreement is to push Iran away from the ability to make nuclear weapons. Israel does not oppose the idea of an agreement, but it opposes the particular formula apparently being advanced in diplomatic talks.

The strength or weakness of any agreement rests on how long it would give the U.S. or Israel to respond in case Iran violates the agreement. An agreement that would be acceptable to Israel is one in which Jerusalem would have sufficient time to respond in case Iran violates it.

Under the terms of what seems to be the current proposal, however, the amount of time needed might not be adequate — meaning that Israel may not be able to consider itself bound by the agreement.

According to reports surfacing from the talks, the proposed arrangement will likely…

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Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 at 8:37 AM  | Stand For Israel

Freedom Is Under Attack Worldwide

(Photo: wikicommons)

(Photo: wikicommons)

We have been witnessing ever greater violence worldwide – anti-Semitic attacks in Europe through 2015 so far, as well as anti-Christian attacks in the Middle East just this week. In response to these attacks on freedom and faith, Ron Prosor – Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations – had this to say to the U.N. General Assembly:

Seventy years ago, the roar of the guns fell quiet over Europe and the Second World War came to a close. Today as we mourn the human tragedy of this war, we must also recognize those who made victory possible and ensured that freedom triumphed over tyranny. We owe our freedom to the courage and sacrifices of the soldiers of the Allied armies.

I stand before you as a man who has seen and experienced war — as a soldier, a diplomat, and the father of children who themselves have been sent to war. I also speak to you today as the son of a man who fled Nazi Germany to escape the annihilation of his people …

Mr. President, today, we are here to confirm that the responsibility for preventing atrocities rests on our shoulders. Seventy years ago, with the ashes of World War II still smoldering, the victors of the war came together to establish the UN and ensure that “Never Again” will not be a hollow promise.

Today the values at the very heart of this institution are being threatened by extremist ideologies that target our way of life. From West Africa to the Middle East, extremists group have unleashed a plague of persecution believing that by silencing individuals, they can silence civilization.

The terrorists that stormed the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris attacked liberty – the right of every person to express him or herself. The terrorist that targeted Jews in Paris and Copenhagen attacked equality – the idea that every person, no matter his faith, is equal. By aiming their attacks at innocent civilians, the terrorists also attacked brotherhood – the bonds of our shared humanity.

Make…

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Friday, February 27th, 2015 at 9:03 AM  | Stand for Israel

Now We Know Who to Believe on Iran

(Photo: ASHERNET/GPO)

(Photo: ASHERNET/GPO)

Yesterday we noted the growing concern Israel – and those who support her – have over the emerging nuclear deal with Iran. In today’s Times of Israel, the paper’s founding editor David Horovitz takes a further look at what we have learned about the impending Iranian nuclear agreement and who we should believe:

In an op-ed on February 9, I suggested that Israel’s opposition leader, Isaac Herzog, should stand alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before Congress on March 3, to underline “their common conviction that the regime in Tehran cannot be appeased and must be faced down.”

On Monday evening, as details of the looming US-led deal with Iran emerged from Geneva, Israel’s most respected Middle East affairs analyst, Channel 2 commentator Ehud Ya’ari, made precisely the same suggestion. So problematic are the reported terms of the deal, Ya’ari indicated, that Israel’s two leading contenders in the March 17 elections, Netanyahu and Herzog, need to put aside their differences and make plain to US legislators that the need to thwart such an accord crosses party lines in Israel and stands as a consensual imperative.

After anonymous sources in Jerusalem leaked to Israeli reporters in recent weeks the ostensible terms of the deal being hammered out, various spokespeople for the Obama administration contended that the Netanyahu government was misrepresenting the specifics for narrow political ends. They sneered that Israel didn’t actually know what the terms were. And they made the acknowledgement — the astounding acknowledgement for a United States whose key regional ally is directly and relentlessly threatened with destruction by Iran — that the Obama administration is consequently no longer sharing with Jerusalem all sensitive details of the Iran talks.

And yet among the terms of the deal being reported by the Associated Press from Geneva on Monday are precisely those that were asserted in recent weeks by the Israeli sources, precisely those that were scoffed at by the Administration. Centrally, Iran is to be allowed to keep 6,500 centrifuges spinning, and there will be a sunset clause providing for…

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Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 at 8:39 AM  | Stand For Israel

We Are All Brothers: A New Path for Israeli Christians

PStand for Israel has long admired Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Christian pastor in Israel whose organization The Fellowship funds, who speaks up for the freedoms afforded Israeli Christians and the safety that Israel provides, and whose own son has joined the IDF to serve the Holy Land and its people. Now Father Gabriel has written this piece on Christians in Israel and the new path of partnership they have taken:

We, sons of the Christian community in Israel, have decided to get off the fence we straddled for decades. We are no longer victims of the turbulent reality like a leaf in the wind, but warriors who shape their surroundings with power; no longer accepting the blurring of identity and falling into the trap of double loyalty, but rather demanding a clear, distinct identity arrived at by choice.

The passive and submissive approach, dragged along by Arab nationalism and foreign interests, has been replaced by a profound and forthright desire to be part of Israeli society and to integrate into it as citizens with equal rights and obligations, fortunate to live in an enlightened democratic state. We wish to say out loud, and ensure that it should be clearly heard as part of the variety of voices which make up the rich tapestry of Israeli society …

Today, after the radicalization which has washed over the Christian community in Israel, it is now a time for truth and introspection; a time for work and activism, the time to say our piece. We see what is happening in the Arab states around us. We see the intolerable suffering of the Christians in these states: the persecutions, the ethnic cleansing and the daily murders of Christians just for being Christian.

These harsh historical events are a resounding wakeup call for us. The silent majority of the Christian community which never expressed itself, especially our youth, understand today that they must become active partners in the state which protects them and grants them freedom in a democratic…

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Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 at 2:19 PM  | Stand For Israel

Israeli Ambassador Hands Out Oscars at the UN

This past weekend, Hollywood handed out its yearly Oscars. But this week, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations handed out some awards of his own – including a “Best Actor” award to Iran “for acting like a peace loving country while developing nuclear capabilities, denying the Holocaust, and threatening the destruction of another member state…” Watch Ambassador Ron Prosor’s speech above.

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Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 at 12:11 PM  | Stand For Israel

Israel Concerned by Emerging “Bad Deal” with Iran

(Photo: wikicommons/ Fastfission)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Fastfission)

Yesterday, the Associated Press reported on details of the emerging deal concerning Iran’s nuclear program. Today, Israel Hayom notes that Israel is concerned with these details that would reward Iran for supposed “good behavior”:

Israeli government officials in Jerusalem are not hiding their concerns about the progress in the ongoing nuclear talks between Iran and world powers, particularly in light of The Associated Press report on Monday that exposed the details of the emerging agreement.

According to the AP report, the deal would clamp down on Iran’s nuclear activities for at least 10 years but then slowly ease restrictions on programs that could be used to make nuclear weapons …

The core idea would be to reward Iran for good behavior over the last years of any agreement, gradually lifting constraints on its uranium enrichment and slowly easing economic sanctions.

The U.S. initially sought restrictions lasting up to 20 years; Iran has pushed for less than a decade. The prospective deal appears to be somewhere in the middle.

One variation being discussed would place at least a 10-year regime of strict controls on Iran’s uranium enrichment. If Iran complied, the restrictions would be gradually lifted over the final five years.

One issue critics are certain to focus on: Once the deal expires, Iran could theoretically ramp up enrichment to whatever level it wanted.

Experts say Iran already could produce the equivalent of one weapon’s worth of enriched uranium with its present operating 10,000 centrifuges. Several officials spoke of 6,500 centrifuges as a potential point of compromise, with the U.S. trying to restrict them to Iran’s mainstay IR-1 model instead of more advanced machines.

However, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said last year that his country needed to increase its output equivalent to at least 190,000 of its present-day centrifuges …

Israeli officials reacted with alarm to the AP report. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said, “The agreement with Iran, as it is…

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Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 at 8:31 AM  | Stand For Israel

Jerusalem Mayor Subdues Terrorist After Stabbing Attack in City

nir barkatWhen a 27-year-old Jewish man was stabbed on Sunday by an Arab assailant in Jerusalem, Mayor Nir Barkat and his bodyguard, who happened to be passing by, didn’t hesitate in taking action to subdue the terrorist and prevent a more serious attack, Israel’s NRG news website reported:

In an interview with Channel 2, Barkat – who had served as a company commander in the Paratroopers Brigade – said, “We were on our way to a meeting to be held in the municipality. When we arrived at IDF Square, my security detail noticed what was going on, and my body guard and I got out of the car. We saw a young man holding a knife. My bodyguard drew his weapon on the terrorist, who then threw away the knife. We didn’t think twice, we jumped on him and brought him to the ground. If he hadn’t dropped the knife, he wouldn’t have remained alive. When he was finally neutralized, we attended to the young man who was stabbed in his stomach. We waited for the police to arrive, and to my relief and joy, the whole incident ended fairly quickly.”

Murad Salman, a Magen David Adom Paramedic who arrived at the scene, said, “when we arrived, we saw a young man of about 27 years lying on the pavement in the Square, near the railroad tracks close to City Hall. He was bleeding from  a stab wound to his upper body. He was fully conscious and said that he had felt that someone had suddenly stabbed him. And when the stabber tried to stab him again, he fought with him with the aid of a wedding gift that he was holding in his hand, preventing additional injuries. We gave him medical treatment, which included stopping the bleeding, and gave him fluids. We then evacuated him to a hospital.”

The  youth was taken to Shaare Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem. Salman added that his condition was defined as moderately serious.

Police are investigating the incident, and so far have determined that nationalistic motives were behind it. The…

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Monday, February 23rd, 2015 at 11:36 AM  | Stand For Israel

Toddler Injured in 2013 Attack Dies

(Photo: courtesy)

(Photo: courtesy)

In 2013, two-year-old Adele Britton was severely injured by rock-throwing terrorists. Yesterday, the young Israeli girl passed away. The Times of Israel reports that hundreds attended little Adele’s funeral to mourn her loss and support her grieving family:

Hundreds of people on Wednesday attended the funeral of 4-year-old Adele Bitton, who was critically injured in a 2013 rock-throwing attack and died of complications of pneumonia on Tuesday.

The funeral took place in the West Bank settlement of Yakir, where the Bittons live, and near the site of the March 2013 attack that left Adele Bitton with severe brain damage.

“When you were a baby, you didn’t like to sleep,” her mother, Adva Bitton eulogized at the funeral. “‘No sleep, Ima [Mother],’ you would wake up at night and cry ‘Abba [Father], Ima, pacifier, bottle, no sleep.’ Now I understand that you had to get things done. You managed to get a lot done in this short life.”

Bitton referred to the stone-throwing attack as “the day your body was murdered by the evil people, but your soul continued to pulsate.”

“You didn’t give up, my warrior, the terrorists didn’t manage to take away your beauty, my beauty, my heart is breaking,” she said.

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Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 at 11:11 AM  | Stand For Israel

Palestinians Escalating West Bank Tensions

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

We’ve reported on the Palestinian Authority’s various tactics to pressure Israel – including their attempts to wage diplomatic warfare against the Jewish state and their threats to halt security cooperation. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Yaakov Lappin says that such maneuvers are increasing tensions in the West Bank, making it a dangerous region with the greatest potential for violence in the coming year:

As tensions in the West Bank between Israel and the Palestinians continue to grow, the West Bank is now the least stable arena in Israel’s environment, and the risk of a new, large-scale wave of violence breaking out in this area next month is rising steadily.

Already, IDF personnel serving in the West Bank have noted a significant spike in violent incidents across their sector of operation …

Several factors are colluding to make the West Bank the most likely region to flare up in 2015.

The first is the attempt by Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas to initiate a diplomatic confrontation with Israel, by using international legal institutions for his attack.

Aside from the significant challenges Abbas’s maneuver poses to Israel on the legal, political, and “international legitimacy” fronts, the PA president may be playing with fire, and end up igniting the Palestinian street.

Abbas’s goal appears to be to limit the confrontation with Israel to the diplomatic arena, but his chances of preventing violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces have been decreasing by the week.

Palestinians’ frustrations with the lack of economic growth in the West Bank, and the lack of any diplomatic progress in talks between Ramallah and Israel, are filling the air with explosive fumes. The more concentrated the fumes, the easier it will be for any spark to ignite them.

Ongoing incitement to hatred, by both the Palestinian Authority leadership and Fatah and at the grassroots level (such as the Palestinian community’s Facebook pages), adds to the tension …

In recent weeks, PA officials have threatened to put an end to security coordination between Israel and PA. Although…

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Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 at 8:31 AM  | Stand For Israel

Ambassadors of Terror

(Photo: wikicommons/ Farzaaaad2000)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Farzaaaad2000)

Iranian diplomat Ahmed Sabatgold has been more involved in terrorism than diplomacy, as he was recently caught gathering intelligence about the Israeli embassy in Uruguay, and is also suspected of having planted an explosive device near Israel’s embassy in Montevideo in early January.

Sabatgold was serving as a political consultant for the Iranian embassy when he was caught planning a terrorist attack against Israeli diplomats. Apparently, while wining and dining other diplomats, Iranian diplomats also gather intelligence in order to facilitate terror attacks on foreign soil.

The government of Uruguay tried to keep a lid on the affair, so as not to embarrass and thus damage its relations with Iran, which has one of the world’s largest oil reserves and far-reaching influence in South America. So Ahmed Sabatgold was given sufficient time and warning to leave Uruguay as a diplomat with his head held high, as opposed to being expelled or detained for being the terrorist that he is.

Only a few weeks ago, Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman was assassinated hours before he was set to reveal the Argentinian government’s role in covering up Iran’s direct involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires that killed 84 people. Nisman’s body was discovered shortly before he was to present evidence which would have exposed Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández‘s central role in the cover-up.

Iranian tentacles have a global reach, and its influence in South American countries should worry Israelis and Americans. It amazes me how the Western world has taken up the fight against ISIS, yet Iran is being treated as though they are different from the thugs beheading journalists in Iraq and Syria.

Remember when Barack Obama called ISIS a JV team? Compared to Iran’s global influence, oil reserves, money, army, and missile capabilities, ISIS really is in many respects a junior varsity team. If the West does not wake up before the Persian version of ISIS attains nuclear capabilities, we will enter a period where the most sadistic and extreme Islamic regime will…

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Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 at 8:14 AM  | Stand For Israel

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Rabbi’s Commentary
What Leadership Looks Like

This past Tuesday, all eyes were on Washington, D.C., where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brought his case against a nuclear Iran…


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