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OCCUPIED WASHINGTON — Officials at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee knew the odds were against them in the fight to block President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran from surviving a congressional vote. But the influential pro-Israel group threw itself into a nearly $30 million advertising and lobbying effort to kill the accord anyway.
On Thursday, the committee, known as Aipac, was handed a stinging defeat. After Mr. Obama mustered enough Democratic backing in the Senate to halt a vote on a resolution of disapproval against the deal, a group known for its political clout saw its power and reputation in Washington diminished.
In recent days, there’s been a steady stream of reports detailing an escalation of Russian military activity in Syria.
An investigation by Reuters, citing Lebanese sources, suggested that Russian troops had begun participating in operations in support of forces of the Syrian regime, a longtime Moscow ally. U.S. officials indicated that two Russian tank landing ships, aircraft and naval infantry forces had reached Syria this week.
OCCUPIED Jerusalem – The Abu Snineh family woke up at their home in east Jerusalem one morning to find Jewish settlers had moved into the building and Israeli flags were on the roof.
Their Silwan neighbourhood in the shadow of Jerusalem’s Old City has become a flashpoint in the struggle between ideologically driven Israelis moving in and longtime Palestinian residents.
“There are still areas where Jews want to go back,” said Daniel Luria, whose Ateret Cohanim activist organisation facilitates the purchase of homes by Jews from Israel and abroad.
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — In the week since it became clear that Congress would not block the Iranian nuclear deal he loathes, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has largely toned down his rhetoric on the issue and pivoted to others.
He did not utter the name of his nation’s nemesis in a pre-New Year’s toast to his office and the national security council on Monday, nor at the induction of his new military secretary on Tuesday. In a brief public statement before meeting with his British counterpart in London on Thursday, Mr. Netanyahu did mention Iran — but not in the usual context of its nuclear program posing an existential threat to Israel, only as a leader of “militant Shiites.”
War is not just death. Death is the easiest part of war. War is permanent injury and trauma. Mutilation and madness of soul. Disfigurement and debilitation. War is blind and armed anarchy. Indiscriminate violent chaos. Mindless perpetual hate. War is agonizing hunger and terror and sickness and suffering homelessness. Even statelessness – unbearably undignified refugeedom.
Apart from the long-gone Black Plague and the so-called Great Flood, nothing else but war creates refugees.
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The one who benefits the most from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to cancel all the holiday interviews to the media outlets is Netanyahu himself. On Sept. 8, the prime minister made an unexpected announcement canceling all the interviews that had been pre-arranged with the newspapers and the three television stations (Channels 1, 2 and 10). The reasons given by his office were his busy schedule and his need to plan for his upcoming visit to London.
The cancellation by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of all his scheduled Jewish New Year’s interviews is just another step in his strategy, portraying him as an eternal victim of the leftist press, thus freeing him from responding to criticism even when legitimate.
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After taking significant flak on social media that it definitely should have anticipated, the New York Times has significantly altered its graphic on the Democratic members of Congress who are opposing the Iran nuclear agreement, which originally noted, with helpful highlighting, if a member is Jewish. It was not a great look.
The graphic was a little better in the context of the article it was meant to accompany, which notes that the debate over the deal has “divided Democrats between their loyalties to the president and their constituents, especially Jewish ones,” but it still didn’t do a good job of explaining to readers why Jewish as a category in this chart was relevant information.
General Assembly passes resolution allowing flags of Palestine and the Holy See alongside full member states.
The United Nations has overwhelmingly voted in favour of raising a flag of Palestine at its headquarters in New York City in a symbolic move highlighting Palestinian aspirations for statehood.
A resolution was adopted on Thursday evening with 119 in favor, eight voting against – including Israel and the United States – and 45 abstentions.