Clinton team advocates for tougher stance on Iran


Advisors to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton are articulating policies with a tougher line towards Iran, Eli Lake of Bloomberg View reported Wednesday.

Lake’s report focuses mostly on former acting CIA director Michael Morell, who said in a speech earlier this week that the United States is “back and we’re going to lead again.” Morell, who is expected to receive a high-level appointment in a future Clinton administration, added that the United States should consider new sanctions against Iran to fight its “malign behavior in the region.”

Morell also raised the possibility of U.S. naval forces boarding Iranian ships heading to Yemen to arm rebels there: “I would have no problem from a policy perspective of having the U.S. Navy boarding their ships and if there are weapons on them to turn those ships around,” he said, though he later acknowledged that this could be questionable under international law.

Morell’s approach, according to Lake, aligns with that of Clinton foreign policy advisor Jake Sullivan, who told the Truman Security Project in June that “We need to be raising the costs to Iran for its destabilizing behavior and we need to be raising the confidence of our Sunni partners.”

Lake reported earlier this month, based on documents released by WikiLeaks, that in 2013 Clinton expressed doubts that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was truly a “moderate,” as he was portrayed in the media, and dismissed his apparent moderation as a “charm offensive” intended to deceive the West. Additionally, Lake noted that leaked e-mails from last December showed Clinton to be more receptive to critics of the nuclear deal than the Obama administration has been.


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a war crimes investigation into the bombing carried out on Wednesday by either the Syrian regime or its Russian ally on a school in a village in Idlib province. The death toll from the attacks rose on Thursday: UNICEF gave a toll of 28, including 22 children, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the White Helmets civil defense group said that 35 were killed.

Ban said, “If deliberate, this attack may amount to a war crime.” Anthony Lake, the Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), echoed Ban and called for action to stop the massive violence, “This latest atrocity may be the deadliest attack on a school since the war began more than five years ago. Children lost forever to their families…teachers lost forever to their students…When will the world’s revulsion at such barbarity be matched by insistence that this must stop?” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest expressed the disgust and anger of the United States: “It is an outrage and it is an indication that the Assad regime, supported by the Russians, is plumbing the depths of dishonorable conduct, amoral conduct…At some point the words to describe the sense of outrage are hard to find.”

Stephen O’Brien, the UN’s chief humanitarian official, wrote that he was “incandescent with rage” at the Security Council’s lack of action in light of human rights atrocities in Syria, particularly in eastern Aleppo, which is being besieged by the Syrian government and its allies: Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, and various Iranian-backed Shiite militias. O’Brien wrote in his rebuke to the Security Council an account of what life is like for the civilians of eastern Aleppo: “In a deep basement, huddled with your children and elderly parents, the stench of urine and the vomit caused by unrelieved fear never leaving your nostrils, waiting for the bunker-busting bomb you know may kill you in this, the only sanctuary left to you, but like the one that took your neighbor and their house out last night.” He called the failure to stop the bombing of Aleppo “our generation’s shame.”

The Assad regime has carried out the systematic torture and indiscriminate murder of civilians through the use of barrel bombsmassacres, intentional starvation, and chemical weapon attacks, leading to the death of over 400,000 people and the world’s largest refugee crisis since the Second World War.


If ISIS or other terror groups expand their operations against Western nations, Europe should look to Israel as “a welcome guide in navigating the difficult moral, legal and tactical terrain ahead,” a Nobel Peace Prize winner wrote Thursday in The Telegraph.

Lord David Trimble, Nobel laureate and former First Minister of Northern Ireland, and Robert Quick, a former assistant commissioner in charge of anti-terrorism for London’s Metropolitan Police, observed that even if ISIS is defeated in Iraq and Syria, its fighters could still target European nations. Those countries face challenges not only in protecting their citizens, but also in sustaining “our societies’ liberal and democratic values in the face of this brutal menace.”

Trimble and Quick recommended expanded cooperation with “those who share our values and can help us build our capabilities.  One country fits this bill better than most – no democratic nation has endured Islamist terrorism to the extent that Israel has. ”

The writers recounted their experience on a recent fact-finding mission to Israel, which they took along with senior figures from the FBI, Australian National Police, and other law enforcement bodies. They found that despite the decades of terrorism that Israel has experienced, the country has “become extraordinarily resilient, coping with stresses until recently unimaginable to European policymakers, while flourishing as an economically successful democratic nation,” and laid out the elements of Israel’s success that should be adopted by European nations.


Actors Gal Gadot and Lynda Carter got big cheers – and a few jeers — for taking part in an event that named the Wonder Woman superhero character as an honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls. Wonder Woman was chosen to highlight gender equality and women’s empowerment – and simultaneously celebrate the 75th anniversary of the fictional demigoddess character. “Wonder Woman seeks to promote strength, wisdom, leadership, justice and love. Qualities that combined make us the very best that we can be,” Gadot told the UN body. “Sometimes we need something or someone to inspire us . . . a character like Wonder Woman or a real live superhero in your own world.” Championing women’s rights is something this former Miss Israel has been doing since she was chosen to play Wonder Woman in the 2017 film. She participated in a video clip celebrating accomplished young Israeli women. And the actress-model-mom has spoken publicly about shifting the princess role model into a strong, kindhearted role model who can stick up for herself. (via Israel21c)

Israel recalls its ambassador to UNESCO after second anti-Israel resolution this month is approved


Israel withdrew its envoy to UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural body, after the organization’s World Heritage Committee approved an anti-Israel resolution on Wednesday, the second such resolution approved this month. The resolution refers to the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, only by its Muslim names of Al-Haram Al-Sharif and Al-Aqsa Mosque, and only as “a Muslim holy site of worship,” with no mention or Judaism or Christianity. It was passed with 10 votes in favor, two against, and eight abstentions.

After the vote, Israel’s ambassador, Carmel Shama-Hacohen recalled the infamous resolution of 1975 that equated Zionism with racism, and how the Israeli Ambassador to the UN at the time, Chaim Herzog, had tor a copy of the resolution in half on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly. He said, “I have no intention of doing this today – not because of our dignity, or the dignity of this organization, but because it is not even worthy of the energy needed for tearing it up.” Shama-Hacohen proceeded to place a copy of the resolution into a waste basket with the word “History” taped onto it.

Shama-Hacohen told UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, on Tuesday night, “Israel respects Muslim and other faiths and their presence in our holiest of places, and it is tragic that the other side doesn’t have a leadership that will do the same, but rather one that is engaged only in going the exact opposite.” Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said that the resolution “is history denial and history will render this embarrassing decision as meaningless as previous ones.”

The ambassador said of his withdrawal, “The motive [for the recall] is the need to rethink and reevaluate our relations with UNESCO given the persistent persecution of Israel and the Jewish people.”

The Palestinian Authority is naming a school after the mastermind of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported Tuesday.

A school in the West Bank city of Tulkarem has been named “the Martyr Salah Khalaf School” in memory of the leader of the Black September terrorist group. Khalaf, who was also known as Abu Iyad, planned the attack on the Israeli Olympic compound during the 1972 Munich Olympics, which led to the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches. Khalaf also had a role in the 1973 takeover of the American embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, which ended in the killing of two American diplomats.

This is the fourth school dedicated to the memory of Khalaf; the three others are in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

PMW wrote a letter to the European Union calling on the group to stop funding the PA’s education budget as long as the Authority is “presenting terrorist murderers of Israeli civilians as role models for Palestinian children.”

The EU said in response to another PMW letter earlier this year that it would not stop its financial support of the Palestinian Authority, despite revelations that the PA was paying salaries to imprisoned terrorists. The United Kingdom suspended $30 million in aid payments earlier this month for that reason.


At least 26 people, mostly children, were killed in airstrikes carried out either by Russian or Syrian regime warplanes on Monday, rescue workers and a human rights monitoring group reported. The airstrikes targeted the village of Haas, in rebel-held Idlib province. The White Helmets civil defense group said that 20 of the dead were children while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that there were 15 dead children. The White Helmets tweeted that a “complex of 3 schools was targeted…including a double tap.” A double tap refers to the Syrian government and Russian planes’ tactic of dropping their payload, flying off, and then circling back to bomb first responders on the scene.

BBC News explained the significance of Idlib to both the Syrian opposition and the Bashar al-Assad regime: “Idlib is where civilians from other parts of Syria have been evacuated after being forced to surrender by years of siege and bombardment by government forces.”

The Assad regime, which has perpetrated countless atrocities against Syrian civilians, is staunchly backed in its brutality by Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah, as well as a variety of Iranian-backed, -trained, and –funded Shiite militias. The Syrian government has carried out the systematic torture and indiscriminate murder of civilians through the use of barrel bombsmassacres, intentional starvation, and chemical weapon attacks, leading to the death of over 400,000 people and the world’s largest refugee crisis since the Second World War.


An ancient papyrus from the First Temple period containing the earliest Hebrew mention of Jerusalem outside the Bible was unveiled by the Israel Antiquities Authority on Wednesday.

The document is from the 7th century BCE, according to radiocarbon dating, making it one of three existing Hebrew papyri from that time period, The Times of Israel reported. It is the first non-biblical source to mention Jerusalem from that time, and predates the Dead Sea Scrolls by several centuries.

The papyrus measures 4.3 inches by 1 inch and describes the shipment of two wineskins to Jerusalem. “From the female servant of the king, from Naharata [a place near Jericho] two wineskins to Jerusalem,” the text reads. According to the IAA, the Naharata mentioned in the text is the same location “that is referred to in the description of the border between Ephraim and Benjamin in Joshua 16:7: ‘And it went down from Janohah to Ataroth, and to Naʽarat, and came to Jericho, and went out at Jordan.’”

The fact that the shipment was recorded on papyrus rather than cheaper pottery shards suggests that it was sent to someone prominent. Israel Prize-winning biblical scholar Shmuel Ahituv said that the term “female servant of the king” indicates that an important woman sent the wineskins to Jerusalem, the capital of the Judean Kingdom.

Palestinians warn UNESCO committee member states not to vote against anti-Israel resolution


The Palestinian and Jordanian delegations to UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural body, threatened the organization’s member states if they did not vote in favor of an upcoming anti-Israel resolution that denies Jewish and Christian connections to holy sites in Jerusalem. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee will vote on the draft resolution on Wednesday in Paris. Both the Palestinian and Jordanian delegations expect the draft resolution to pass unanimously, so that it does not have to go to a vote. “Otherwise,” they warned, “the delegation of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the delegation of Palestine would and according to the rules of procedure be obliged to consider other options.” The resolution only refers to the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, as al-Haram al-Sharif, its Muslim name.The vote comes two weeks after a previous anti-Israel resolution was passed by the member states of UNESCO and then ratified by the body. Mexico and Brazil later announced that they regretted voting in favor of the resolution, and would abstain from similar resolutions in the future. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said last week that his country, which abstained, would vote against such resolutions in the future. “I think this is a mistaken, inconceivable resolution,” he said. “It is not possible to continue with these resolutions at the UN and UNESCO that aim to attack Israel. It is shocking and I have ordered that we stop taking this position…even if it means diverging from the position taken by the rest of Europe. I have asked diplomats handling these issues to cease doing so.”

Carmel Shama-Hacohen, Israel’s envoy to UNESCO, said, “The Palestinians and the Arabs understand that after Mexico and Italy they can expect a number of additional unpleasant surprises.” With this warning, he continued, they are trying to say: “Stop abandoning us or we’ll burn the house down with extreme anti-Israel resolutions that will cause tremendous damage to the organization.” Mexico, Brazil, and Italy are not, however, on the World Heritage Committee and therefore will not be casting a vote on this resolution’s text.

U.S. lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and both houses of Congress signed a letter that was sent to the committee, emphasizing that “attempting to erase the Jewish and Christian connection to this sacred city will further damage the prospects of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.” Last week UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova wrote to Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, “Allow me to reassure you of my absolute commitment to continue all efforts in countering all forms of anti-Semitism, including those drawing on partial or distorted visions of culture and history, as well as those that seek to challenge the existence of Israel.”


Dual Iranian-American citizen Reza Shahini, 46, was sentenced to 18 years in prison in Iran over the weekend, Vice News reported. He was penalized for charges related to espionage and “collaborating with a hostile government.”“It was a terrifying moment, and they blindfolded me and they took me to the custody and I did not know where I was,” Shahini said, speaking to VICE News via phone from prison. “They were interrogating me every morning, every afternoon, and I was always by myself in my cell.”

Shahini also said Iranian officials refused to reveal the evidence against him and that “they are all brainwashed to think that the U.S. is a hostile government. Even the judge.”

This comes after just last week when Iranian-American Siamak Namazi, a businessman who advocated for closer ties between the U.S. and Iran, received a 10-year prison sentence along with his 80-year-old father.

Iran has a history of arresting dual nationals, which it does not recognize, meaning that the individuals cannot receive consular assistance; the number reached six in July, which, according to Reuters, comprised “the highest number of Iranians with dual-nationality detained at one time in recent years to have been acknowledged.” One more dual national, a former member of the Iranian nuclear negotiating team, was arrested in August. Many analysts believe that Iran is “seeking concessions from the West in exchange for releasing” dual nationals, the Associated Press wrote that month.


The United Nations has abandoned plans to evacuate patients from east Aleppo, which it had hoped to accomplish during a three-day lull in fighting last week. Eastern Aleppo is currently under siege by the Assad regime and its allies: Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, and various Shiite militias. An estimated 250,000 people remain trapped in the city.

“The evacuations were obstructed by various factors, including delays in receiving the necessary approvals from local authorities in eastern Aleppo, conditions placed by non-state armed groups and the government of Syria’s objection to allowing medical and other relief supplies into the eastern part of the city,” UN Under-Secretary-General for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator Stephen O’Brien said in a statement.

The news of the aborted mission comes the same day The Wall Street Journal published a devastating article on the destruction of Aleppo. Aleppo is “another Srebrenica, another Rwanda,” said United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura. “Thousands of Syrian civilians, not terrorists, will be killed.”

Only 30 doctors are left in eastern Aleppo, and their overworked skeleton staff does not have adequate resources. One doctor recounted delivering three babies during the winter only to watch each one of them die almost immediately due to lack of warm blankets. The massive influx of dead bodies has also caused a shortage in burial sites—forcing relatives to bury their loved ones in their own small vegetable gardens.


The Israeli avocado season is underway, and health-conscientious Europeans are keeping a watchful eye on this super fruit’s journey from orchard to cargo hold to their local grocery store. High on the lists of global health fads, the avocado is in hot demand. And the Israeli avocado specifically is an extremely popular commodity. “There is an increase in avocado demand every year. Israeli farmers can’t keep up with the demand,” Itzik Cohen, CEO of the Israel Fruit Growers Association, says. “2016 looks like it will be a very good year for business.” According to Cohen, Israel exported 60,000 tons of this creamy fruit in 2015. This year, the Israeli Agriculture International portal announced that it expects an avocado yield of almost 100,000 tons of fruit. Of that, 70 percent will be earmarked for export. Because avocados can grow in a wide range of soil, orchards stretch from the coastal plain to the Jordan Valley and Upper Galilee. “Every fruit grows with a different flavor in each country. Apples taste different depending on where they’re grown. The same happens with avocados,” says Cohen. “People like the Israeli varieties of avocados so they must have a very good taste.” Israeli avocados are exported to France, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavian countries and Russia. (via Israel21c)

Palestinian Authority arrests four Palestinians after attending Jewish holiday event


Four Palestinians who attended a Jewish holiday event in a Jewish town in the West Bank were arrested by Palestinian Authority security forces shortly thereafter.

“Any Palestinian cooperation with settlers is viewed as violating the law, as he cooperates with the enemy,” a senior Palestinian security official told The Times of Israel.

Oded Revivi, the mayor of Efrat and a lieutenant colonel in the army reserves, invited a few dozen Palestinian men from surrounding villages to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. The Palestinians mingled with around 30 Israelis. “Everyone was very polite,” The Washington Post reported. “A Palestinian farmer sat next to an Israeli diplomat. They live a mile and a world apart. A rabbi from the settlement broke bread with a Palestinian stonemason. Guests shook hands, took selfies, patted one another on the back. Both sides seemed a little stunned to be together celebrating a Jewish holiday.”

“It is absurd that having coffee with Jews is considered a crime by the Palestinian Authority,” Revivi said after the arrests. “Initiatives that seek to foster cooperation and peace between people should be encouraged, not silenced. It’s time the Palestinian Authority asks itself whether it would prefer to fan the flames of conflict instead of working to bring people together.”


A Hamas terrorist was killed in a tunnel collapse on Saturday, marking the second time a member of the group has been killed in such a cave-in this past week. Nearly two dozen members of Palestinian terrorist organizations have died building tunnels since the beginning of the year.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Monday, “If [terrorists in the Gaza Strip] make the decision to stop digging tunnels, smuggling arms and firing rockets at us, we will be the first investors in the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip. We will be the first to invest in a maritime trading port, an airport and an industrial zone. Gaza could one day be the new Hong Kong or Singapore.”

Hamas spends an estimated $40 million of its $100 million military budget on building tunnels into Israel that can be used in future terrorist attacks. In July, an Israeli official estimated that Hamas digs some six miles of tunnels every month. Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, formerly the head of the research division of Israeli military intelligence and later the director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, told reporters in May that the tunnels were a sign that Hamas is preparing for another war against Israel. “They definitely invest a lot in making the necessary preparations so that in the next round, when they decide to start it, they will be able to inflict the heaviest damage on Israel, including through those tunnels,” he said.

In September, Israel began constructing a $530 million underground barrier along its border with the Gaza Strip to prevent further tunnels from being built into Israeli territory. Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Gadi Eisenkot described the barrier as “the largest project” ever undertaken in Israel’s military history.

The Israeli Air Force carried out strikes in the Gaza Strip on Monday after Palestinian terrorists launched a rocket toward Israeli territory. The rocket reportedly was short of its target and landed in the Strip. Terrorists fired rockets at southern Israel in two incidents earlier this month, one of which landed in a residential neighborhood in the town of Sderot.


Hezbollah will fight alongside Bashar al-Assad in Syria to the bitter end, the terrorist organization’s leader vowed in a speech Sunday. Hassan Nasrallah declared that the Syrian revolt is “not about the fall of the regime, but about targeting the axis of resistance”: in other words, that the goal of the rebels is not the fall of Assad, but a conspiracy targeting the alliance between Iran, Hezbollah, and the Assad regime. Nasrallah has stated several times that the Syrian rebels are not actually interested in freedom from Assad’s tyranny, but rather are the puppets of the United States and “Zionists.” Hezbollah will stay in the fight until what Nasrallah called the “defeat [of] the apostate project.”

A ceasefire that was unilaterally declared by the Syrian regime and its ally Russia ended on Sunday, when airstrikes pounded rebel-held eastern Aleppo. Hezbollah is deeply complicit in the Syrian regime’s onslaught against Aleppo, and has lost several of its fighters there, including a top commander.

The United Nation’s top human rights official, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, called Aleppo a “slaughterhouse… where the lifeless bodies of small children are trapped under streets of rubble and pregnant women deliberately bombed” and asserted that Russian and Syrian bombardment of the city “constitute crimes of historic proportions.” The United Nations Human Rights Council called for a war crimes inquiry into the bombings of the city.

The Syrian government, bolstered on the ground by Iran, Hezbollah, and Shiite militiamen and from the air by Russia, has besieged the eastern half of Aleppo since July, which is home to some 300,000 civilians. The Assad regime and Russia have carried out human rights atrocities such as the barrel bombing of civilians and the systematic targeting of aid convoys and hospitals. The regime has launched chlorine gas attacks on the people of Aleppo; it and its Russian allies have purposely targeted first responders arriving on the scene to help those trapped in rubble. Nearly 500,000 people have died in Syria’s civil war, the vast majority victims of the Assad regime and its allies.


A new pleasure cruise line connecting the ports of Haifa and Acre is proving to be a popular tourism attraction. The 45-minute sailing ride is a Tourism Ministry initiative meant to promote sightseeing in the northern Israeli cities. “This is the first such project of its kind in Israel, a complex one that I set as a central objective in developing the tourism infrastructure in the north, and this, after many years of talk but without implementation. This scheduled pleasure cruise line will serve as a fixed-price tourism attraction and will help significantly in promoting tourism to Haifa and Acre,” said Tourism Minister Yariv Levin. The first cruise set sail on October 10. High demand for a sailing ride during the Sukkot holiday – which is now underway — has prompted the Tourism Ministry to add evening sailings, in accordance with sea conditions. (via Israel21c)

Italian PM: UNESCO resolution is ‘inconceivable’


Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Friday slammed the anti-Israel resolution adopted by UNESCO last week, saying that he found it “shocking.” The resolution denied the Jewish and Christian historical connections to Jerusalem, as Josh Block, President and CEO of The Israel Project, wrote in an op-ed Wednesday in The Hill. Democratic congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) found the vote so ludicrous he accused the organization of living in an “alternate universe…where you will see unicorns and flying dragons”.
“I think this is a mistaken, inconceivable resolution,” Renzi said during an interview with Italian radio while on a trip to Brussels. “It is not possible to continue with these resolutions at the UN and UNESCO that aim to attack Israel. It is shocking and I have ordered that we stop taking this position (i.e, the abstention) even if it means diverging from the position taken by the rest of Europe. I have asked diplomats handling these issues to cease doing so.”He said that upon his return, he will summon Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni to find out why Italy abstained from the vote instead of voting against the resolution.


Italy is the third country to announce a change in position since the vote, following Mexico and Brazil. Since the vote last week, Italy’s Jewish community has demonstrated against its country’s position, and senior members of the community have published articles and public letters in the press.


The United Nations’ top human rights official called Aleppo a “slaughterhouse” and the UN’s Human Rights Council (UNHCR) passed a resolution calling for an immediate cessation of bombing of Aleppo and a war crimes inquiry on Friday. Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said at an emergency session of the UNHRC in Geneva, “The violations and abuses suffered by people across the country, including the siege and bombardment of eastern Aleppo, are simply not tragedies; they also constitute crimes of historic proportions.” He continued, “The ancient city of Aleppo, a place of millennial civility and beauty, is today a slaughterhouse – a gruesome locus of pain and fear, where the lifeless bodies of small children are trapped under streets of rubble and pregnant women deliberately bombed.” Earlier this month, Secretary of State John Kerry similarly called for a war crimes investigation into the Syrian government and Russia’s bombing of Aleppo.


While Russia has instituted a “humanitarian pause” in eastern Aleppo, Britain’s junior Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood said it was “being used simply for them to regroup and further their own stranglehold over Aleppo.” The United Nations General Assembly discussed on Thursday ways to override the Security Council on the issue of Syria, where Russia is the chief obstructionist. Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, said, “The perpetrators have names. When we don’t say ‘the Syrian regime’ or ‘Russia,’ we obscure their responsibility.”


The Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad, bolstered on the ground by Iran, the terrorist group Hezbollah, and Shiite militiamen and from the air by Russia, have besieged the eastern half of Aleppo since July, which is home to some 300,000 civilians. They have carried out human rights atrocities such as the barrel bombing of civilians and the systematic targeting of aid convoys and hospitals. The regime has launched chlorine gas attacks on the people of Aleppo, and its Russian allies have purposely targeted first responders arriving on the scene to help those trapped in rubble.


Argentina has requested the extradition of Iran’s former foreign minister due to his alleged role in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aries, Agence France-Presse reported Friday.

The extradition of Ali Akbar Velayati, currently a close advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was sent by Investigating Judge Rodolfo Canicoba to the government of Iraq, where Velayati is currently visiting. Canicoba made similar requests to Singapore and Malaysia when Velayati visited those nations in July.

Argentinian authorities suspect five senior Iranian officials, including Velayati and former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, of being involved in the bombing, which killed 85 people and is the deadliest-ever terror attack on Argentinian soil.

Prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was charged with investigating the AMIA bombing, died of a gunshot wound to the head in January 2015 under mysterious circumstances. In March, a three-judge panel unanimously referred the inquiry into Nisman’s death to a federal court to be investigated as a political murder.

Nisman was also investigating a pact made by then-Argentinian president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to jointly investigate the bombing with Iranian authorities. Nisman alleged that Kircher and other senior Argentinian authorities were engaged in a quid pro quo to cover up Iran’s involvement in the bombing in exchange for favorable trade deals. He died shortly before he was due to present his proof to the national congress.

A court later declared that the joint investigation was unconstitutional. New president Mauricio Macri, who was elected last December, said that he would not renew the agreement to jointly investigate the bombing.

Israeli actress Gal Gadot may be Wonder Woman on the big screen but Keren Herscovici, Noya Lempert and Efrat Dayagi – the initiators of a program for advancing women in prominent positions in their careers – are the true wonder women of Israel. They started Woman2Woman to help young women in top decision-making positions advance in their careers (in all fields) with some guidance from mentors who have already been there and succeeded. “A number of times in my life, I’ve felt that I’m really in need of a mentor. And that’s what our initiative is geared toward, answering this need,” Dayagi, a lawyer, tells ISRAEL21c. “You can’t just cold-call someone and say, ‘So and so told me to call you for advice.’ I’ve sought something like this program and I would have loved a connection like this with a mentor.” Herscovici, Lempert and Dayagi say they are different from other female empowerment initiatives because they don’t see women as underdogs. (via ISRAEL21c)