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Netanyahu: It's Not Too Late to Prevent a Bad Deal with Iran


It is not too late to stop a bad nuclear deal between Iran and the West, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in New York City, in remarks made via video conference.

"Israel has no better friend in the world than the United States. And the United States has no better friend than Israel. I want to thank President Obama, the Congress and the American people for all they have done for Israel's security," Netanyahu said. "But," he continued, "even the closest of friends can respectfully disagree about issues of international security. And of these, none is more important to Israel, to the stability of the Middle East and to the peace of the world, than the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program.

"Preventing Iran from being able to build nuclear weapons is the preeminent challenge of our generation," stressed Netanyahu. "We must understand that Iran doesn't just threaten the destruction of Israel; it is conquering huge swaths of the Middle East as it seeks to export its Islamic revolution across the globe."

"Today," noted the prime minister, "Iran's campaign of aggression engulfs the entire Middle East: Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, Syria, Libya, elsewhere. Today, Iran is sponsoring worldwide terrorism in the Middle East, in Asia, in Africa, in Europe, in North and South America. Today, Iran is conducting an unprecedented conventional arms build-up: drones, rockets, satellites, submarines, precision guided missiles and other lethal weapons. And in recent months Iran has supplied increasingly sophisticated weapons to its terrorist proxies: to Hezbollah, to Hamas, to Islamic Jihad, the Houthis in Yemen and others. Today, Iran conducts cyber-attacks against Israel, its Arab neighbors and the West.

"Iran is doing all this today without nuclear weapons. Think of what Iran would do tomorrow with nuclear weapons," warned Netanyahu.

The framework reached between the sides in April, Netanyahu said, "paves Iran's way to produce the enriched uranium for an entire arsenal of nuclear weapons. That's the inevitable outcome if Iran keeps the deal. If they decide to break the deal, they can get to the bomb much sooner. The deal also gives Iran tens of billions of dollars immediately, and hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming years."

He called for "patience and resolve, to hold out for a better deal, one that will actually block Iran's path to the bomb, one that will tie the lifting of restrictions on Iran's nuclear program to changes in Iranian behavior. A better deal is still possible. It's not too late," said Netanyahu.

Israel Fires Missiles at Hamas Targets After Rocket Fire from Gaza

By VOA News & DEBKAfile
Israel's military says it has carried out an airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip in response to a rocket fired from Hamas-controlled territory into southern Israel. No casualties were reported Sunday from either strike. Air raid sirens sounded throughout Ashkelon, a city about 10 km (6 miles) north of Gaza with a population of about 120,000.

Sporadic rocket fire from Gaza in recent weeks has broken a lull in cross-border violence since a 50-day Israeli war against Hamas ended with an Egyptian-brokered truce last August.

A Jihadist Salafi group, the "Omar Brigades," sympathizers with Islamic State, claimed responsibility for firing the rocket at Ashkelon. It also claimed the previous recent firings at Israel. The group said the rocket aimed at Ashkelon was in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, and their own members incarcerated in Hamas-controlled jails in Gaza.

DEBKAfile reported that the IDF's automatic air strikes indicated that Israel had run out of answers for the new escalation less than a year after last summer's war. This time, after a rocket struck Ashkelon, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon also shut the Kerem Shalom and Erez border crossings, except for "humanitarian traffic" and only temporarily "until the security situation settled down."

But Israeli officials have carefully avoided fingering "Islamic State" or "Al Qaeda" as responsible for the rocket fire - referring only to "rogue organizations locked in a power struggle with the ruling Hamas." Israel continues to name Hamas as the only destination for reprisals. Indeed, Amos Gilead, policy coordinator at the Defense Ministry, stated in the Meet the Press radio broadcast Saturday: "Our deterrence is powerfully effective. Hamas understands this and is doing everything it can to prevent the [rocket] fire."

Israeli Actor to Play Jesus in 'The Shack'


Israeli actor Aviv Alush will play the role of Jesus in the film adaptation of "The Shack," a Christian novel by Canadian author William P. Young. The film, which is being produced by the Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation, will be directed by Stuart Hazeldine.

Apart from Alush, the cast will include famous actors such as Octavia Spencer, who won a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Minny Jackson in 2011 film "The Help," Sam Worthington, who is best known for the portrayals of Jake Sully in "Avatar," and Australian actress Radha Mitchell.

"The Shack," which was published in 2007, became a USA Today bestseller, having sold 1 million copies as of June 8, 2008, and was the #1 paperback trade fiction seller on The New York Times Best Seller list from June 2008 to early 2010.

Aviv Alush, who is represented by the ADD agency, is considered one of the most outstanding television actors in Israel. He is best known for his participation in "Ta Gordin" ("The Gordin Cell") (2012), "Lehiyot Ita" ("Being with Her"), "Asfur" and "Allenby." He is currently starring in a production of Molière's "The Miser" at Israel's national theater Habima and leading local coffee and fashion campaigns. Alush is 33 years old, married and has two children.

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