Newsletter : 13fx1203.txt
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Former CIA Chief: Iranians Too Close to a Nuclear Weapon
By Israel Hayom, DEBKAfile & The Times of Israel
The preliminary nuclear deal reached in Geneva has left the Iranians on the brink of
achieving nuclear capability, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and the
National Security Agency Gen. Michael Hayden said on Sunday. "Right now, the Iranians are
far too close to a nuclear weapon," Hayden told Fox News.
"At the end of the day, Iran is going to be a nuclear threshold state. We have accepted
Iranian nuclear enrichment," the former CIA and NSA director said, noting the agreement
conflicts with U.N. resolutions. "What we have to do is push that threshold back as far as
possible, and that will define whether this is a good idea or a bad idea. We've hit the
pause button, now we have to avoid hitting the delete button."
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Kuwait for his first official
visit in the Gulf state. Regarding concern in the Gulf region over a nuclear Iran, Zarif
said, "The solution to this issue serves the interests of all countries in the region. It
is not at the expense of any state in the region." He added that he also intends to visit
Saudi Arabia, one of Iran's enemies and among the states most concerned about the Islamic
republic developing a nuclear bomb.
Meanwhile, Iran's semi-official Fars news agency reported that Israel and Saudi Arabia
have agreed to collaborate on disrupting the Iranian nuclear plan. A source close to Saudi
intelligence claimed that representatives from both countries considered creating spyware
to upset the progress of the Iranian nuclear program as the Stuxnet virus did in 2010.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said that talks between Iran and the world
powers will continue in the coming days and will focus on the details of the interim
General Amos Yadlin, the former chief of AMAN, Israeli military intelligence indicted
their respective governments of the US and Israeli for their failure to stop this
happening. Yadlin, who heads a national security think tank, had this to say: "Iran is
approaching breakout point to a nuclear bomb." On the Geneva accord, he commented: "
this is only a first step, not a final agreement, although it contains elements which
predetermine the final accord."
Speaking in Tel Aviv, Yadlin said: "The fact that Iran is a nuclear threshold state is
not the fault of this agreement. Iran spent many years developing this capability and no
one managed to stop it. Iran is a step before breakout to a bomb. This is unfortunate but
It was the first time that a former high-ranking Israeli intelligence officer had
admitted the responsibility of successive Israeli governments, defense ministers and heads
of its various intelligence agencies for the failure to pre-empt Iran's drive for a
MK Tzahi Hanegbi , a senior lawmaker who has the ear of Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu, expressed concern that the interim deal with Iran would be left standing as the
final accord, and so leave the Islamic Republic in place as a nuclear threshold state with
the capability to assemble a bomb within six to seven weeks.
In Rome, Netanyahu was heard to say for the umpteenth time that Israel would not allow
Iran to attain a nuclear bomb. He seemed to have forgotten the diagram he exhibited to the
UN General Assembly in September 2012 accompanied by a resounding pledge not to let Iran
accumulate enough enriched uranium for a weapon. Hanegbi, in his comments Sunday, put the
record straight: Iran has built a uranium stockpile of 7.2 tons, enough for several
Hanegbi, a former minister for nuclear affairs and current member of the Knesset's
Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, made the remarks Sunday evening during a panel
discussion at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. During the event,
Ehud Olmert, who was prime minister from 2006 until 2009, launched a bitter attack against
Netanyahu, saying he had "declared war on the American government" through his vocal
opposition of the Geneva nuclear deal with Iran.
Olmert also didn't spare criticism for Hanegbi, who defended the prime minister's
stance to speak out publicly and lobby Congress against President Barack Obama's Iran
policy. "I am very worried, because Tzachi Hanegbi is perhaps the best and most credible
person to talk about what the prime minister thinks. And therefore I am worried that he
again talks about a military operation," Olmert said.
The former prime minister, who is rumored to be considering a political comeback in
time for the next elections, then added that he is not really concerned about the current
government launching a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, because it "doesn't have the
ability to take such a decision." Olmert added that he was actually happy about that.
"It's also not good to talk about it [a military strike]. It doesn't lead anywhere. It
didn't help until today," he said, adding that Netanyahu's constant saber-rattling did not
achieve anything, and had eventually led to the less-than-satisfying interim deal with
Supporters of Netanyahu's position argue that his constant vocal warnings of the
dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran helped establish the sanctions regime that brought the
Iranians to the negotiating table, and that his criticism ahead of the Geneva agreement
improved the terms of the deal, from Israel's perspective.
In the immediate aftermath of November 24's "Joint Plan of Action" between Tehran and
the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, many analysts agreed that an Israeli
preemptive strike has become exceedingly unlikely as Jerusalem would not dare attack Iran
after the international community decided to test the regime's willingness to solve the
nuclear standoff diplomatically.
Officials in Jerusalem, however, have argued that the military option remains on the
table. "As to the [Iranian] actual threat, we will act against it in time if need be,"
Netanyahu said Sunday night during a visit to Rome's Great Synagogue.
"The most dangerous regime in the world must not be allowed to have the most dangerous
weapon in the world. As we have warned, and I say this with regret, the sanctions regime
has started to weaken and very quickly. If tangible steps are not taken soon, it is liable
to collapse and the efforts of years will vanish without anything in exchange. But at the
same time," Netanyahu concluded, "we will not allow Iran to receive a military nuclear
Hanegbi, who is rumored to be set to replace Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman as the
Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee's chairman this week, is known to be among the prime
minister's closest confidants. "I know Netanyahu. And nothing will prevent Netanyahu from
doing what he believes is right," he told The Times of Israel last month.
Is Islam Suppressing Free Speech?
By Ed Ziegler (Commentary)
It is very simple. Are you willing to give up your constitutional right to freedom of
speech? That is exactly what will very likely happen if the world continues to implement
anti-blasphemy laws to avoid offending fanatic Muslims in the hope that they will not
In Islam, if someone is even perceived as having insulted Islam, the individual may be
tried and or attacked by a mob, or even sentenced to death.
You might ask if Islam commands that those who insult the religion should be put to
death? Under Sharia, those who insult Muhammad or Allah are to be put to death. So are
those who desecrate the Qur'an, or commit other insults. Qur'an (6:93) - "Who can be more
wicked than one who inventeth a lie against Allah?" If the death penalty is prescribed
for lesser crime, then it stands to reason that it should be imposed for the most
This tradition began with Muhammad, as recorded by his biographers, and in the Hadith
Bukhari (4:241). Those who mocked Muhammad at Mecca were killed after he had retaken the
city and asserted his authority.
More recently a leaflet was circulated stating "The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
announced the beginning of the implementation of Islamic law regarding the execution of
all those who curse Allah, hurt his sacredness or treat him improperly, and all who curse
the Prophet (Muhammad), hurt his dignity or refer to him in an appropriate way."
AsiaNews reported that, in March 2010, in India, a Christian professor (TJ Joseph) at
Newman College was accused by an Islamic fundamentalist group (Popular Front of India ) of
using offensive questions about Muhammad. Under constant threats, TJ apologized publicly
for his "unintentional error. However the apology was not sufficient. A few months later
TJ was attacked by a group who cut off his hand and part of his right arm.
In November 2013 CNN reported that a western security contractor was dragged from his car
by a dozen men and was severely beaten. The contractor allegedly insulted Islam by tearing
down flags of important Imams.
After viewing a you tube video of an Egyptian Muslim destroying a Koran, a white-robed
Dr. Mahmoud Sha'ban, was supposedly shaken and said:" Someone like him must receive the
punishment he deservesand it is death."
In England, author Salman Rushdie published "The Satanic Verses," a 1988 novel deemed
offensive to Muhammad. The Ayatollah Khomeini pronounced a death sentence that was, and
still is, supported by Muslims around the world.
In 2006, when a Danish newspaper published cartoons of Muhammad, Imams whipped up
hatred that resulted in deadly rioting on three continents. Demonstrators in London held
signs reading "Massacre Those Who Insult Islam."
It was reported, in July 2013, that a Saudi court sentenced an activist, Raif Badawi,
to seven years and 600 lashes for insulting Islam through his website and on television.
Yet, Saudi Arabia claims it supports reform.
In January 2013 ABC News reported that a 14 year old boy (Mohammed Qatta) selling
coffee in northern Syria was arrested by Islamist rebel fighters for insulting the Prophet
Mohammed, beaten and then executed in front of his family. Qatta simply refused to give a
customer coffee, saying "Even if [Prophet] Mohammed comes back to life, I won't." I do not
understand how his comment insulted Mohammad.
I refuse to give up my freedom of speech here in the United States of America, in fact
anywhere, in order not to anger Muslims in hopes they will stop their violence. I pray
that you agree with me. We must continuously speak out and remind our elected officials of
what is important to the American people. Appeasement has a history of failure.
French Firm to Change Name of Detergent Reminiscent of Zyklon B
By The Times of Israel
A French detergent maker said it will change the name of a product called Cyclone B
following complaints that it is offensive to Holocaust victims. "We are aware of the
issue and are working to address it," a spokeswoman for the firm IPC-SA from Brest in
northwestern France told the media on Monday.
She was referring to complaints that the product's name was too reminiscent of the
Zyklon B poison that the Nazis used to murder hundreds of thousands of Jews in gas
chambers during the Holocaust.
The issue was brought to attention by Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the European
Jewish Association, a Brussels-based lobby group promoting Jewish religious interests. "It
is horribly ignorant at best and a Guinness world record in evil cynicism if it turns out
that the company knew of the horrible use that the Nazis made of the poison," Margolin
The detergent was used in the European Union parliament, but EU officials ordered ties
with the brand severed following complaints, according to the Jewish Chronicle. Margolin
added that IPC-SA officials told him the company was unaware of the name's
Report: 25% of Israeli Women are Overweight
Israel is in the 17th place in overweight and obesity rates, similar to the
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development average, according to figures
compiled by the Central Bureau of Statistics and submitted to the OECD as part of the
Health at a Glance 2013 report.
The figures, which refer to 2011, point to 20% of men and 24% of women in Israel
suffering from overweight, similar to the OECD average 21% of men and 23% of women.
Overall, 15.7% of the adult population in Israel suffers from overweight.
The number of doctors over the age of 55 is the highest in Israel among all OECD
countries - 49% of all doctors, while the OECD average is only 32%.
In addition, in Israel only 4.9 per 100,000 inhabitants graduate from medicine school,
putting Israel in the last place among OECD countries, where the average is 10.6 per
100,000 population. Israel has been experiencing an upward trend in this field, after the
number of students every year increased to 700. The average number of doctors per 1,000
inhabitants is slightly higher than the OECD average 3.3.
The report further shows that there is a serious shortage of doctors, which is one of
the reasons why the Israeli health system is finding it difficult to provide accessible
health services for all residents.
Another concern stems from the fact that such a small number of people are supposed to
care for a high number of patients: In Israel the average occupancy rate of hospital beds
is 98%, the highest number among all OECD countries, where the average is 78%.
Despite the shortage of labor and hospital beds, the cancer mortality rate in Israel is
relatively low compared to other OECD countries. A total of 219 men and 167 women per
100,000 inhabitants died of cancer, compared to the OECD average of 278 men and 166 women.
Overall, Israel is in the eighth place out of 33 countries. In the past 20 years the
cancer mortality rate dropped 10% compared to an average drop of 14% in the OECD.
Israel is in the 11th place among 33 countries in deaths from heart diseases
79.5 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 122.2 in OECD countries. The mortality rate fell
by 63% in the past 20 years, compared to an average of 42% in OECD countries. In total,
82% of the population over the age of 15 reported being in good health, much higher than
the OECD average of 68%.
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