Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Attack in India May Produce More Evidence of Iranian Plot to Kill Israelis Abroad

Police investigating an attack on an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi last February reportedly are helping to piece together more evidence of an alleged plot by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to target Israelis abroad. Read

Monday, July 30, 2012

Candidate Obama Also Called Jerusalem Israel’s Capital, Then Backtracked

While campaigning for the presidency in 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama called Jerusalem the capital of Israel when addressing a pro-Israel audience, just as Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney did this week. Read

Olympics Opening Ceremony Honored British Terror Victims, But Not Israelis Killed at Munich Games

The International Olympic Committee’s assertion last week that Friday’s London 2012 opening ceremony was not the appropriate setting to remember the Munich terror assault 40 years ago rang hollow after the event did include a moving tribute to others who have died, including British terror victims. Read

Forget ‘Foolish and Silly’ Hopes of Reform, Says North Korean Regime

North Korea has dashed hopes that the recent removal of a top general and Kim Jong-un’s more relaxed style may signal a softening in the Stalinist regime, dismissing speculation about a break with past policies as “a foolish and silly dream.” Read

Friday, July 27, 2012

Europe Wants ‘Tangible Evidence’ of Hezbollah Terrorism Before Acting Against It

Israeli officials and Jewish organizations have criticized the European Union’s continuing reluctance to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, warning that at a time of escalating Iranian-sponsored international terrorism and the crisis in Syria failure to do so could impact on Mideast and global security. Read

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Iran’s Support for Terror Has Been Low-Cost For Too Long, Experts Tell Lawmakers

While Iran faces unprecedented sanctions for its nuclear activities, it has got off lightly over many years for its support for terrorism, experts told a congressional panel on Wednesday. Read

‘Gut Infection’ Deprives Iranian of Chance to Compete Against Israeli at London Games

So much for the Olympic spirit. Just days after U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon announced the traditional Olympic Truce – for people and nations to “set aside their differences” during London 2012 – news emerged that the one Iranian athlete likely to face an Israeli in competition has withdrawn with a “gut infection.” Read

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

UN Arms Trade Treaty Could be Amended in Future Over US Objections

With a Friday deadline looming, negotiators at the United Nations are circulating a draft of a global conventional arms trade treaty that critics worry will do little to “constrain bad actors,” while countries like the United States duly comply. Read

Iran Pledges to Deploy Warships in the Atlantic

For the second time in less than a year, Iran’s top naval commander has said Iranian Navy vessels will soon be plying the Atlantic Ocean, having made great strides in recent years in expanding its presence beyond Iranian waters. Read

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Olympic Chief Remembers Slain Israelis: A Fitting Tribute or Bid to Defuse Growing Controversy?

Facing mounting calls for the International Olympic Committee to pay tribute at Friday’s opening of London 2012 to 11 Israeli athletes and coaches killed by Palestinian terrorists during the Munich games 40 years ago, IOC president Jacques Rogge on Monday led a minute of silence during a tour of the athletes’ village. Read

Russia Sends New Warning on U.S. Human Rights ‘Interference’ As It Prepares to Join WTO

As Russia’s 18-year quest to join the World Trade Organization nears its goal, the Kremlin is stepping up its opposition to a congressional plan to attach a human rights component to legislation designed to enable American companies to benefit from the WTO accession. Read

Monday, July 23, 2012

Romney to ‘Listen and Learn’ During Visit to Key Allies

Amid a myriad of pressing domestic issues, foreign policy will elbow its way onto the campaign agenda in the coming days as Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney travels to three of America’s most important allies, a visit likely to be dominated by the turmoil in the Middle East. Read

Friday, July 20, 2012

No Sign Vietnam Took Clinton Seriously on Human Rights

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent visit to Vietnam appears to have had little effect on the communist government’s approach to human rights, reinforcing criticism that the administration is more concerned about expanding economic ties with Hanoi than the way it treats its citizens. Read

Bloodshed and Uncertainty in Syria as Ramadan Begins

Muslims in Syria and neighboring nations enter Ramadan on Friday facing deep uncertainty following a dramatic escalation in Syria’s civil war and the failure of the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution stepping up international pressure on the Assad regime. Read

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hezbollah Leader Says Syria Provided the Rockets It Used Against Israel in 2006 War

The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah on Wednesday extolled the Assad regime in Syria and disclosed that it was the source of the “most important” rockets, which his group fired into Israel during a brief but bloody war in 2006. Read

Bulgaria Blast Shows Widening Tentacles of Iran’s Anti-Israel Campaign

If Israel’s accusation that Iran was behind Wednesday’s deadly attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria proves correct, it will shed further light on what appears to be an ambitious scheme targeting Israelis on at least three continents to date. Read

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Support for Israel Brings a Divided Congress Together

Briefly setting aside divisions over a multitude of issues, Republican and Democratic lawmakers Tuesday came together in a strong show of support for legislation reaffirming and strengthening America’s security relationship with Israel. Read

House Passes Bipartisan Bill Aimed at Putting State Department ‘Back on the Books’

In a bipartisan bid to reassert congressional influence in the executive branch’s exercise of foreign policy, the House of Representatives on Tuesday evening passed State Department authorization legislation free of politically contentious provisions that have helped to scupper previous bills for almost a decade. Read

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Protests As UNESCO Awards Prize Sponsored by African Dictator

Two years after the U.S. led a campaign to prevent UNESCO from setting up an international award in honor of one of Africa’s most disreputable dictators, the U.N. cultural agency on Tuesday will go ahead and award the prize. Read

‘Here in Israel’: In Jerusalem, Clinton Breaches U.S. Policy

Contradicting a longstanding U.S. policy that irks many conservatives, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday identified Jerusalem’s location at least three times as being in Israel. Read

Monday, July 16, 2012

U.S.: Iran’s Role in Arms Treaty Conference ‘Undermines the Credibility of the United Nations’

Nine days after Iran was elected to a body overseeing a United Nations conference negotiating a global arms trade treaty, the Obama administration responded on Thursday, reprimanding members of the world body for elevating a weapons proliferating regime to the position. Read

In Egypt, Clinton Fends Off Allegations of U.S. Support for Muslim Brotherhood

On her first visit to Egypt since the country’s post-revolution, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was confronted by allegations that the Obama administration had quietly backed the Muslim Brotherhood in its successful quest for the presidency. Read

Friday, July 13, 2012

Democrat Urged to Lift 'Hold' on Bill Supporting Vulnerable Religious Minorities in Middle East and Asia

With time running out on the legislative calendar, a Republican lawmaker is urging a Democratic senator to lift a “hold” on legislation that would establish a special envoy to promote religious freedom in the Middle East and South-Central Asia. Read

Thursday, July 12, 2012

With ‘Rogue Regimes’ in U.N. Leadership Posts, Why Should U.S. Continue ‘No Strings Attached Funding,’ Lawmaker Asks

Citing Iran’s election to a body overseeing a United Nations conference negotiating a global arms trade treaty, a senior Republican lawmaker Wednesday slammed the world body for continuing to elevate disreputable regimes to leadership positions. Read

Reformers Disappointed, As Obama Includes Burma's State-Owned Oil Industry in Sanction-Easing Announcement

In an announcement that pleased the U.S. business community and Burma’s military-linked leaders but unsettled reformers in Burma, President Obama announced on Wednesday he was “easing restrictions to allow U.S. companies to responsibly do business in Burma,” including allowing partnerships with its state-owned oil company. Read

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

U.N. Salary-Setters Meet in New York, Amid U.S. Complaints of Excessive Pay

A year after the body that sets United Nations pay scales came under fire for approving an effective three percent salary increase to thousands of U.N. staffers, it is meeting again in New York for a session that may reveal how successful the Obama administration has been in urging belt-tightening at the world body. Read

In ‘Cool’ Hanoi, Clinton Praises Controversial U.S. Ambassador and Prods Vietnam on Human Rights

A day after a Republican lawmaker urged the administration to fire the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam for “sidelining” human rights concerns, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on a visit to Hanoi, singled out the envoy for praise. Read

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fire U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam for ‘Sidelining’ Human Rights, Lawmaker Says

A U.S. lawmaker called Monday for the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam to be fired, one day before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in Hanoi to discuss, in the words of an administration official, “our bilateral relationship, areas that we can strengthen our political and economic ties.” Read

Israel Still Ignored at Obama Administration’s Flagship Counterterror Initiative

As the Obama administration’s new international counterterrorism initiative develops, the exclusion of Israel becomes more glaring with each passing meeting -- most recently on Monday, at the beginning of a conference focusing on victims of terrorism. Read

Monday, July 09, 2012

Iran Named to Group Overseeing U.N. Arms Treaty Conference; ‘Like Choosing Bernie Madoff to Police Fraud’

Iran has been chosen as a member of the “bureau” overseeing a month-long United Nations conference in New York aimed at finalizing a controversial global “arms trade treaty.” Read

Pakistan Reopening NATO Supply Lines, But Cooperation on Counter-Terror Efforts Doubtful

Pakistan may have agreed to reopen supply lines to NATO-led forces in Afghanistan but resolution of the seven-month dispute with the United States has brought no assurances that it will now start taking U.S. counterterrorism concerns seriously. Read

Friday, July 06, 2012

Administration Hails Positive Moves by U.N. Human Rights Council, But No Comment on ‘Right to Peace’ Vote

Calling it a “momentous” achievement, the Obama administration touted a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution Thursday backing the right to online freedom of expression. But on the same day, the U.S. was steamrolled by authoritarian regimes, which pushed through a controversial “right to peace” resolution, which endorses resistance against "foreign occupation." Read

U.N. Proposes Global Taxes to Fund ‘Global Challenges’ Such As Climate Change

Prompting warnings of a “global governance” push, the United Nations released a report Thursday proposing mechanisms including a global carbon tax, currency transaction tax and a “billionaire’s tax,” to finance development and global needs such as combating climate change. Read

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Pakistani Gov’t Under Fire Over Agreement to Reopen NATO Supply Lines

Pakistan’s full cabinet on Wednesday endorsed an earlier decision by its defense committee to reopen NATO supply lines to Afghanistan, as opposition parties voiced anger and geared up to protest a step they see as capitulation to the United States. Read

As U.N. Finalizes Arms Trade Treaty, Opponents Warn of Global Gun Grab

Amid energetic lobbying from both sides, the Obama administration is taking part in month-long negotiations at United Nations headquarters aimed at finalizing a conventional arms trade treaty, which supporters say will save millions of lives but opponents fear threatens to restrict Second Amendment rights at home and U.S. arms sales policies abroad. Read

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Kenyan Church Attacks Prompt Warnings of Collaboration Among Terror Groups

Responding to deadly terrorist attacks targeting churches Sunday, Kenya’s prime minister warned Monday of the danger posed to the broader region if Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab – the suspected perpetrators of the attacks – teams up with similarly-minded groups such as Boko Haram in Nigeria. Read

Monday, July 02, 2012

UNESCO Decision Declaring Jesus’ Birthplace ‘Endangered’ Ignored Advice of Experts, Church Leaders, and U.S.

Their identities hidden behind a secret ballot, 13 members of a UNESCO committee overruled the advice of independent experts and local church leaders when they voted for an “emergency” application by the Palestinian Authority to have the traditional birthplace of Jesus recognized as an endangered World Heritage site. Read

Clinton: Fear of Regional War Prompted Russia to Back Syrian Transition Plan

Fear of the Syrian conflict spreading through the broader region was behind Russia and China’s decision to move behind a U.N.-brokered plan for a political transition in Syria, according to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Read