Newsletter : 18fx0904.txt
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Liberman: 'No Ruling Out Israeli Strikes on Iranian Targets in Iraq'
By AFP & the Jerusalem Post
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Monday signaled Israel could strike
Iranian targets in Iraq if they threatened Israel, saying it would hit wherever necessary.
"We will face any Iranian threat, no matter where it comes from," Liberman said in
response to a question about reports that Iran had provided ballistic missiles to allied
Shiite militias in Iraq in recent months. Our freedom of action is total," he told a
conference organized by an Israeli media company.
Israel has pledged to stop Iran, its main enemy, from entrenching itself militarily in
neighboring Syria, where Tehran is backing President Bashar al-Assad's regime in his
country's civil war. A series of recent strikes in Syria that have killed Iranians has
been attributed to Israel.
Israel also acknowledges carrying out dozens of strikes in Syria against what it says were
advanced weapons deliveries to Hizbullah, the Iranian-backed Shiite group. Asked about the
possibility of Israel hitting Iranian military positions in "Iraq or Tehran," Liberman
said: "We do not limit ourselves to Syrian territory alone. It must be clear."
A strike by Israel on Iranian ballistic missiles in Iraq would be a major escalation in
Iranian-Israeli hostilities, a Middle East expert told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
"Conducting strikes in real mainland Iraq would be a big escalation in Iranian-Israeli
hostilities and could very well bring more risks on the Israeli side than we've seen
before because of the expanded scope," said Charles Lister, senior fellow and director of
the Extremism and Counterterrorism Program at the non-partisan Middle East Institute in
A report by Reuters over the weekend stated that Iran had transferred ballistic missiles
to Shi'ite proxies in Iraq over the course of several months and that it is developing the
capacity to build more there. The missiles include the Fateh-110, Zolfaqar and Zelzal
types, which have ranges of 200-700 km., allowing them to be able to threaten both Saudi
Arabia and Israel.
While the report was denied by Tehran, Lister told the Post, on the sidelines of the
International Institute for Counterterrorism's annual conference, that "it makes sense"
that Iran would make such a move, saying that it was similar to the North Korean model of
building a broad range of rockets and missiles to establish deterrence.
"The only other thing that would have made sense from a strategic standpoint would be to
add Iraq into that equation, particularly given the extent of confidence that the Iranians
would have been feeling several months ago about the shape and trajectory of Iraqi
politics," he said.
Lister told the Post that Iran has won a strategic victory in Syria despite Israeli
operations against them, including the large-scale "House of Cards" operation carried out
by the IAF in May, in which jets struck 50 mainly Iranian targets in Syria. That operation
sent a "very strong message that the behavior [of Iran] as it was then was totally
unacceptable," Lister said, adding that the psychological effect was greater than any
Nevertheless, he said Iran hadn't stopped any of its activities in Syria. But that
"doesn't mean that Iran feels that it is in a massive position of weakness; if anything
the fact that it can make that decision is a reflection of the fact that it is actually
quite confident with what it has still won in Syria."
"Iranians know already that they've won their strategic victory in Syria. While they had a
presence and influence in Syria prior to the civil war, Tehran has managed to establish,
shape and consolidate a solid parallel security structure in the country," Lister said.
"They have obviously established a much more strategic military position than ever before,
notwithstanding just the militias and despite the Israeli operations."
According to Lister, Israel is widely alleged to be behind an air strike on the
Syrian-Iraqi border in June near the town of Al-Bukamal which killed 22 members of a
Shi'ite militia. "If that's true, that's a huge statement of intent," he said. Israel
rarely comments on foreign reports of military activity in Syria but has publicly admitted
to striking more than 100 Hizbullah convoys and other targets in the war-torn country.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said strikes would continue when "we have information
and operational feasibility."
Netanyahu: `Bad' Iran Agreement Brought Israel `Closer to Arab World'
By World Israel News Staff
In an address on Monday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lauded the Iran nuclear
agreement's unintended outcome of aligning the interests of Israel and several of its
neighbors in the Arab world. During a toast for Foreign Ministry personnel, Netanyahu
extolled the Iran nuclear agreement's unexpected outcome of uniting Israel and its Arab
neighbors against a common enemy.
The toast was held in anticipation of the Jewish New Year next week, and Netanyahu's
statements at the event were released in a statement following the event. "The agreement
with Iran was a bad agreement in every respect except for one it brought us closer
to the Arab world on a scale that we never knew, and one of our goals is that it
continues," declared Netanyahu. "I think that another important thing is, of course, the
fact that there is a gradual normalization with leading countries in the Arab world," he
The agreement to which Netanyahu referred is the 2015 deal that lifted crippling economic
sanctions on Iran in return for the Islamic Republic's submission to an inspections regime
intended to prevent it from developing a nuclear weapon.
Critics of the deal, such as Netanyahu and President Donald Trump, maintained it did
nothing to prevent Iran from arming and funding regional terror proxies, propping up
brutal Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad, or developing intercontinental ballistic missiles
to carry nuclear warheads, all of which Iran continued to do after the deal was signed.
Critics also questioned the deal's efficacy in actually preventing Iran from developing a
nuclear weapon. While Netanyahu didn't mention Saudi Arabia specifically, the kingdom
recently signaled a willingness to potentially end a decades-old policy of refusing to
recognize the Jewish state. In an interview in The Atlantic in April, for instance, Saudi
Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman was quoted as saying that Israelis have a right
to their own land.
Later that month, it was reported that the Bin Salman expressed frustration with
Palestinian leadership in a closed-door meeting with heads of Jewish organizations in New
York in March, according to a report by American news site Axios. Last year at this time,
rumors circulated that the prince had visited Israel during a secret trip. Iranian terror
proxies menace both Israel and Saudi Arabia, both of which exist under the looming threat
of the Islamic Republic developing a nuclear arsenal.
At the toast on Monday, Netanyahu concluded, "We are in the process of flourishing
diplomacy. We are also in a struggle for justice and truth and . . . gradual
normalization, which in the end heralds a genuine opening for peace."
Israeli farmers file ICC war crimes complaint against Hamas
By Israel Hayom
Israeli farmers from Gaza-vicinity communities flew to the Netherlands on Sunday to
formally file a war-crimes complaint with the International Criminal Court against Hamas.
The complaint comes in the wake of ongoing attacks against Israeli communities by means of
incendiary kites and balloons launched across the border from the Gaza Strip into Israel.
The devices have sparked near-daily fires in fields near the border and inflicted
significant financial damage to Israeli farmers.
The complaint was drafted by the Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center, an NGO dedicated to
"fighting terrorism and safeguarding Jewish rights worldwide." Along with the farmers,
some 50,000 people from Israel have co-signed the complaint as plaintiffs.
Shurat Hadin also plans to set up an exhibit in front of the ICC headquarters with
displays of "blown-up photos of their fields destroyed by the terrorist kite arson."
According to a statement issued by Shurat Hadin, the complaint "demonstrates that Hamas
directed its members to attack Israeli agricultural communities and urged them 'to murder,
slaughter, burn and never show them any mercy.'"
According to the statement, the complaint will also show that "beginning on March 30,
2018, persons under the direction of Hamas have continuously launched airborne incendiary
devices at residential property where, according to Hamas, 'Allah willing, [the incendiary
devices] will light up and burn fields and houses.
They will get to a place where
it will burn a large area.'"
The farmers ask that the court prosecute Hamas leaders, including deputy political bureau
chief Saleh Arouri and former political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal, for violating the
Rome Statute, the international convention that serves as the legal basis on which the ICC
According to Shurat Hadin, Hamas' culpability is clearly evident since the Rome Statute
"prohibits the murder of noncombatants, the destruction of civilian property for unlawful
purposes, and the use of civilians as human shields."
According to Shurat Hadin president Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, "For many months, Israeli
farmers have endured thousands of destructive arson attacks and rocket fire from Gaza,
while the world stood by in silence. Amazingly, Hamas which has orchestrated this campaign
of terror against Israeli civilians, accuses Israel and the IDF of utilizing excessive
force in defending its civilians. We are demanding the ICC put an end to this hypocrisy
and diligently investigate these Palestinian war crimes and bring the perpetrators in Gaza
to justice," she said.
Britain's Former Chief Rabbi Warns of 'Existential Threat' to UK Jews
By Israel Hayom
Britain's former chief rabbi has warned that Jewish people are thinking about leaving
the country because of anti-Semitism. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks told the BBC on Sunday
that for the first time in the 362 years Jews have been in Britain, many question whether
it is safe to raise children there.
He singled out Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, a possible candidate for the prime
minister's seat, for failing to address anti-Semitic attitudes in the main opposition
party, saying Corbyn would pose a danger as prime minister unless he expresses "clear
remorse" for past statements.
Sacks said, "When people hear the kind of language that has been coming out of Labour,
that's been brought to the surface among Jeremy Corbyn's earlier speeches, they cannot
help but feel an existential threat."
Gordon Brown, the most recent Labour Party leader to serve as prime minister, added his
voice to the chorus of party figures calling for Labour to endorse an internationally
agreed-upon definition of anti-Semitism rather than the more limited one now in place.
Speaking at a meeting of Jewish Labour MPs in London, Brown said it was "not just a
procedural issue but about the soul of the party.'It is time to say that this wrong must
and can be righted. It is needed now to deal with practical threats, to confront gathering
dangers and on-the-ground realities of very real, week-by-week threats to Jewish
communities that demand an unequivocal response and unqualified resolve."
The party's executive committee is set to discuss its definition of anti-Semitism at a
conference in Liverpool in the coming days. The party came under fire recently for opting
to reject the official definition of anti-Semitism issued by the International Holocaust
Corbyn consistently denies allegations that he is anti-Semitic but has been the subject of
much controversy in recent weeks amid a focus on the Labour Party's failure to address
rising anti-Semitism among its members.
Recent reports have shown him alleging that British Zionists don't understand English
irony at an event promoted by Hamas and laying a wreath at a memorial to the Black
September terrorists who were involved in the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972
In late July, three Jewish newspapers in the U.K. ran a joint editorial calling Corbyn "an
existential threat to Jewish life in this country." The editorial, which ran in the Jewish
Chronicle, the Jewish News, and Jewish Telegraph, said that since Corbyn's election as
Labour leader in 2015, the party had grown increasingly tolerant of anti-Semitism. The
party that was, until recently, the natural home for our community has seen its values and
integrity eroded by Corbynite contempt for Jews and Israel," the editorial said.
Monica Lewinsky Cuts Short Jerusalem Interview After Question About Clinton
Monica Lewinsky, an anti-bullying advocate famous for her affair with President Bill
Clinton while serving as a White House intern, cut shot a live interview in Jerusalem
after the first question, about the former president.
Lewinsky appeared at a conference in Jerusalem organized by the Israel Television News
Company, where she delivered a speech and then sat down on stage for a live interview with
Israel Channel 2 news anchor Yonit Levi.
Levi asked Lewinsky if she was still expecting a personal apology from Clinton over the
inappropriate relationship, for which Clinton was impeached, Channel 2 reported. "I'm so
sorry, I'm not going to be able to do this," Lewinsky said as she walked off stage
following the question, according to reports.
Lewinsky did not publicly discuss her relationship with Clinton until 2014. In February
she wrote a personal essay for Vanity Fair on the 20th anniversary of the investigation
into the affair, in which she admitted that she suffers from PTSD over the fallout from
the investigation and publicity, and that the #MeToo movement had changed her perspective
on the affair and its aftermath.
"I don't think I would have felt so isolated if what happened in 1998 happened in 2018,"
she told her Jerusalem audience. "By and large I had been alone. Publicly alone. Abandoned
most by the main figure in this crisis, who knew me well and intimately."
She also told the audience that after the news broke of her affair with Clinton: "I was
shunned from almost every community which I belonged to, including my religious community.
That led to some very dark times for me."
Clinton said in an interview in June with NBC's "Today" show correspondent Craig Melvin
that he felt his public apologies for the relationship were enough.
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