Iran Won’t Stop Till It Reaches Jerusalem

Caption: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech in Tehran prior to Iran’s parliamentary elections on Jan. 20, 2016. ( Pool / Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

 

In a world where leaders rarely say what they mean, Iran’s supreme leader says exactly what’s on his mind.

ERUSALEM—It can be easy to allow the frequent Iranian diatribes against Israel to become cliché. Especially when headlines such as “Iran’s Supreme Leader Backs Holy Intifada to Destroy ‘Cancer’ Israel” or “Israel Is a ‘Cancerous Tumor,’ ‘Fake Nation’” appear so regularly in the news, as they did this week. This type of rhetoric from the Iranian regime has been used so often and for so long that we might be lulled into believing they are mere words. After all, after years of such hateful threats, Israel still exists.

However, every so often, it’s good to remember: This is not just rhetoric: the Iranians really do believe what they say. This is not mere hyperbole; the regime does believe in the destruction of the Jewish state. It really does believe that Israel is a cancerous tumor that it must literally remove from the Middle East. It really does believe that Israel needs to be wiped off the map. The only reason this has not happened already is not because Tehran lacks the will, it only lacks the means. Continue reading

Ex-Israeli Security Chief Diskin: ‘All the Conditions Are There for an Explosion’

In an interview with SPIEGEL, Yuval Diskin, former director of Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet, speaks of the current clash between Israel and the Palestinians, what must be done to achieve peace and the lack of leadership in the Middle East.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Diskin, following 10 days of airstrikes, the Israeli army launched a ground invasion in the Gaza Strip last week. Why now? And what is the goal of the operation?

Diskin: Israel didn’t have any other choice than to increase the pressure, which explains the deployment of ground troops. All attempts at negotiation have failed thus far. The army is now trying to destroy the tunnels between Israel and the Gaza Strip with a kind of mini-invasion, also so that the government can show that it is doing something. Its voters have been increasingly vehement in demanding an invasion. The army hopes the invasion will finally force Hamas into a cease-fire. It is in equal parts action for the sake of action and aggressive posturing. They are saying: We aren’t operating in residential areas; we are just destroying the tunnel entrances. But that won’t, of course, change much in the disastrous situation. Rockets are stored in residential areas and shot from there as well. Continue reading

US officials: Even if Israel doesn’t like it, Palestinians will get state

Members of Kerry’s team slam Netanyahu, empathize with Abbas, warn Palestine will rise ‘whether through violence or via int’l organizations’

American officials directly involved in the failed Israeli-Palestinian peace process over the last nine months gave a leading Israeli columnist a withering assessment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the negotiations, indicated that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has completely given up on the prospect of a negotiated solution, and warned Israel that the Palestinians will achieve statehood come what may — either via international organizations or through violence.

Speaking on condition of anonymity to Nahum Barnea, a prominent columnist from Israel’s best-selling daily Yedioth Aharonoth, the officials highlighted Netanyahu’s ongoing settlement construction as the issue “largely to blame” for the failure of Secretary of State John Kerry’s July 2013-April 2014 effort to broker a permanent peace accord.

They made plain that US President Barack Obama had been prepared to release spy-for-Israel Jonathan Pollard to salvage the talks. And they warned that “the world will not keep tolerating the Israeli occupation.” Continue reading