Taliban kicked Jews out of prison for arguing too much

As the old saying goes, two Jews, three opinions.

Add one headache for the Taliban.

Meet Zabulon Simentov, 66, who is believed to be the last remaining Jew in Afghanistan.

Emran Feroz recently profiled Simentov for Foreign Policy and uncovered some incredible stories about the feisty Afghan — including that the Taliban once imprisoned him for arguing with a fellow Jew, then kicked him out because the constant bickering became too annoying.

There is a good amount of information available already on Simentov, given his newsworthy title as Afghanistan’s last remaining Jew. He always wears a kippah and observes the Jewish Sabbath, though he will watch television if a non-Jew has turned it on for him.

He lives in Afghanistan’s last standing synagogue — which he renovated himself — in the heart of Kabul’s flower district. Every Shabbat, he reads Torah from the bimah of the old sanctuary. He hates the Taliban, and is on a quest to reclaim a Torah stolen by its interior ministry. He allegedly charges a pretty penny (or euro) for interviews.

But Feroz’s article, framed around the imminent return of the Taliban to Afghanistan, adds much to the story.

“Everyone in these streets knows [him],” one neighbor told Feroz. “He is very salient and, sometimes, he is very choleric. But we have fun with him.”

Jews have more than a thousand-year history in Afghanistan, and only slowly began emigrating after World War II. But the rise of communism, the Red Army’s persecution of religious people across Central Asia and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 led the Jews of Afghanistan to leave for good to Israel, the United States and elsewhere.

When the Taliban took over Afghanistan in the late 1990s, Simentov went to Israel with his family, where his wife, daughters and sisters now live, but returned to Kabul after just two months.

“I did not want to stay there. Afghanistan is my homeland,” he told Foreign Policy.

When he returned, Simentov encountered Yitzhak Levi, nearly two decades his senior, living at the Kabul synagogue. The two did not hit it off: They “fought viciously about which of them was the rightful owner of the land,” according to a 2017 Jewish Telegraphic Agency profile of Simentov. They moved into different wings of the synagogue.

In 1998, Levi wrote to the Taliban interior minister to accuse Simentov of theft of Jewish relics. Simentov retorted by telling the Taliban that Levi ran a secret brothel where he sold alcohol, which Levi denies. Simentov also spread rumors that Levi had converted to Islam, which Levi denied as well.

“I don’t talk to him, he’s the devil,” Simentov told The New York Times in 2002. “A dog is better than him … I don’t have many complaints about the Taliban, but I have a lot of complaints about him.” Levi replied that Simentov was “a thief and a liar.’”

The Taliban was so annoyed by their constant fighting that they threw them in jail. But they eventually kicked them out when they continued to fight inside the prison. Levi died in 2005.

“[The Taliban] beat me a lot,” Simentov told Foreign Policy. “I was imprisoned several times because of this charlatan Levy [sic]. He wanted to get rid of me to sell the synagogue. But thank God he was not successful.”

Unfortunately, their feuding also allowed the Taliban to run away with the synagogue’s Torah.

Scribed in the 15th century, the scroll was allegedly taken by Taliban’s interior minister and sold on the black market.

Simentov vows to find the Torah, and to keep up his search until his dying days. He still believes that the Torah will resurface, but “whether the holy scripture re-emerges or not, there will be at least one Jew waiting for it — and he will continue to stay in Kabul.”

“I’m a man with no fear. I will never leave Afghanistan because of the Taliban or anyone else,” Simentov told Foreign Policy.

When Feroz asked Taliban official Khairullah Khairkhwa about Simentov and Levi, “he could not hide his grin.”

“Yes, I remember them, they caused me a lot of problems,” he said.

Source: JTA

Israel: Thousands sign petition supporting Dr. Moti Kedar

Thousands of people, including hundreds of students from Bar Ilan University, signed a petition supporting Dr. Mordechai Kedar following the decision by university management to summon him to a disciplinary committee for exercising his democratic right of free speech.

The summons comes after the university felt heat in consequence of a speech given by Kedar at a rally in Goren Square in Petah Tikva where he stated that Yigal Amir was not the one who murdered Rabin.

The petition, entitled “Citizens of Israel Support Dr. Mordechai Kedar, the State of Israel’s Information Fighter,” was initiated by Im Tirtzu members among the student body at the university.

“Dr. Kedar constantly devotes his time and energy to defending the State of Israel, fighting falsehood, incitement, and propaganda against the State and its citizens, all in his own time, with his whole heart and a genuine sense of mission for the people of Israel,” the petition reads.

They added: “While Israeli academics are infested with professors and doctors acting on their own behalf, whose salaries are paid by citizens of the State of Israel and who are busy devoting their time to defaming the State of Israel, supporting BDS from within, and giving support to the state’s haters and promoting anti- and post-Zionism, Bar-Ilan University has chosen specifically to discipline Dr. Kedar, and to suspend him from representing the university.”

The petition says the attitude towards Kedar is also tainted with discrimination: “Bar-Ilan University President Prof. Aryeh Zaban and University Rector Prof. Miriam Faust have chosen the wrong target. When Dr. Uri Weiss of Bar Ilan said after a terror attack in Kiryat Arba that ‘when parents choose in the name of fanatical theology to live in a place that endangers their children, it is a collective psychosis,’ he was not reprimanded nor subjected to a disciplinary committee.

“When Prof. Orna Sasson-Levy, a professor from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and from the Gender Studies Program at Bar-Ilan University, signed petitions and participated in events by the extreme propaganda organization Breaking the Silence, Bar-Ilan did not consider it inappropriate.”

At the conclusion of the petition it reads: “It is permissible to criticize Dr. Kedar as he criticizes others. It is fair to say that his words are in error or that they are unworthy. That is why the State of Israel is a free state with freedom of opinion and expression. But from here to the serious injury to his name and livelihood, and his silencing by summonses to disciplinary committees, is going a long way.”

Source: Arutz Sheva


“The officials say Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, head of the RSF, agreed with Saudi Arabia that he would not replace returned forces as fighting on the ground has dwindled in recent months,” said the AP

“They said a “few thousand troops” remain for training Yemeni government forces”.

The Sudanese officials further said the RSF participating in the Yemen war reached over 40,000 when the conflict was at its peak in 2016-2017.

In the week ending on October 27th, Saudi forces were deployed in Aden as the UAE withdrew its troops from Yemen.

In late 2018, the New York Times reported that the Saudi-led coalition was using Sudanese child soldiers in its intervention in Yemen.

The Sudanese fighters also insisted that they were the main barrier against the Houthi, safeguarding the Kingdom.

Regardless, if true, that spells quite bad news for Saudi Arabia, since the UAE retreated. Even with the Emirates taking part in the conflict, the Houthis have long had the upper hand in the conflict, without them it’s even more precarious.

The Sudanese troops are the core of the Saudi-led coalition’s army, without them, the claims of the Houthi movement taking over all of Saudi Arabia if they so wish seem more possible than ever.

In late September, the Houthis reported that a months-long operation had been successful and resulted in the capture of thousands of Saudi troops.

“Over 2,000 fighters were taken prisoner,” the Houthi spokesperson added, saying most of them were Yemeni but that they also included other prisoners, and they were captured in the region of Najran.

An unnamed Saudi-backed government source said the number of prisoners was “less than” the Houthis claimed, estimating “the number is about 1,300 soldiers,” including 280 wounded.

It should be reminded that the September 14th attack on Aramco’s oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, went through several Patriot defense batteries and other defense systems. The Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack and previous similar attacks, but Riyadh and Washington blamed it on Iran.

On September 20th, Houthi officials said they would halt missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia if the alliance stopped its operations in Yemen. Saudi Arabia continues its airstrikes and attacks, despite fighting a clearly losing battle.

Lingerie photos taken in dilapidated former synagogue in Romania show up online

JTA – Pictures of a young woman in her underwear amid the ruins of a dilapidated synagogue in Romania didn’t sit well with activists trying to preserve Jewish heritage.

Pictures circulating online show a lingerie photo shoot held inside what used to be the Great Synagogue of Constanța.

“Scandalous,” Maximillian Marco Katz, the head of the Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism in Romania organization, wrote Tuesday on Facebook. “In any other country in Europe, such a building would have been long ago restored. Why not in Romania?”

The photographer, identified by the Info Sud-Est website only as CvRshoots, told the news site that he had obtained permission from some workers in the area. He pulled the photos offline following protests.

The Great Synagogue Of Constanta was built between 1910 and 1914 at Constanta, Romania and abandoned in 1996.

Built in the Moorish style in the beginning of the 20th century, the Ashkenazi synagogue of the coastal city in Romania featured multiple arches and a majestic dome that make it one of the most remarkable buildings of its kind in Eastern Europe.

It had serviced the small Jewish community of Constanța into the 1990s but fell into disrepair as the community shrunk. The Jewish Community of Constanța, which owns the building and recently hired an asset management company that is supposed to renovate it, also protested the building’s use for the photo shoot, Info Sud-Est reported Tuesday.

“We are outraged. Nobody gave them consent. They got it fraudulently,” Sorin Lucian Ionescu, president of the Jewish community in Constanța, told the website.

Header image: A model in a dilapidated Romanian synagogue. (Edy Rosen/Facebook via JTA)

Source: The Times of Israel


The synagogue was built between 1910 and 1914 on the site of an earlier synagogue erected circa 1867/1872. The first steps were initiated in 1907, but the original building application submitted in 1908 was denied due to concerns about the strength of the proposed dome and galleries. Architect Anghel Păunescu thus replaced the proposed dome with a semi-cylindrical vault intended to express the same “seduction of the curved space”.

Photographs show the synagogue was still in use – and in good repair – as recently as 1996, but once abandoned, the building had been “ransacked of anything not nailed down”. The structure of the building is still standing, but is in an advanced state of degradation and is in danger of collapsing.

Only three of the four walls are intact, and the roof has partially collapsed. A tree grows in the middle of the sanctuary and most of the stained glass windows have been smashed.

The synagogue has three levels. The exterior doors and windows display a Moorish influence. Inside, the worship area is divided into three naves with traditional Jewish decorations.

‘Disciplining Mordechai Kedar violates academic freedom’

Association for Civil Rights in Israel calls on Bar Ilan University to cancel disciplinary actions over claims on Rabin assassination.

“We were very concerned about the University’s decision to invite Dr. Mordechai Kedar to a disciplinary committee, to suspend him from representing the University at conferences abroad and preventing his participation in a conference in South Africa as a University Representative.. Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a Ph.D. and a faculty member in the Department of Arabic at the University. Yesterday he took part in a rally in Goren Square in Petah Tikva, organized by those who support the prime minister and oppose his prosecution,” wrote Attorney Dan Yakir of the Association for Civil Rights.

“These steps constitute an improper violation of freedom of expression and academic freedom. Therefore, we would like to see to it that the disciplinary discussion to which Dr. Kedar is summoned and the suspension of his participation in overseas conferences be canceled.”

Earlier, Rector of Bar-Ilan University, Prof. Miriam Faust, summoned Dr. Kedar to the school’s disciplinary committee following his remarks about Rabin’s assassination.

Kedar threatened to resign if he was summoned to the disciplinary committee.

“If the university invites me to a disciplinary committee – I will file a resignation letter that instant,” he told Reshet Bet.

Ambassador Danon lauds US congress for recognizing Armenian Genocide

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon lauded the US Congress for recognizing the Armenian Genocide, writing in a tweet:

“I laud our friends in the US House of Representatives who made a decision to recognize the Armenian genocide and impose sanctions on Turkey. The decision was bipartisan and received support from the overwhelming majority. The Sultan of Ankara is listening and will have to think twice before doing more harm.”


Ankara has ordered the so-called Syrian National Army (SNA) to hand over a number of villages near the town of Tell Abyad in northern Raqqa to the Russian Military Police, Sputnik reported on October 30, citing sources from the Turkish-backed group.

“The Turkish military ordered, today Wednesday, Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions to withdraw from 11 villages, located on the M4 highway in the district of Ain Issa in the area of Tell Abyad, and to hand it over to the Russian Military Police,” the source told the Russian news agency.

According to the source, Ankara told the Syrian militants that these villages are not a part of the “safe-zone” agreed upon by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, last week.

The Russian-Turkish agreement allow Ankara to establish a safe-zone between the border towns of Tell Abyad and Ras al-Ain north of the M4 highway.

The M4 is considered the spine of transportation in northeastern Syria. The highway links al-Hasakah with Raqqa and Aleppo.

It’s still unclear if SNA militants have handed over the villages to Russian forces. In the last 48 hours, the militants captured 18 Syrian service members and launched a large attack south of Ras al-Ain, violating the agreement with Russia.

In the afternoon of October 30, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) withdrew from some of its newly-established positions in the northern al-Hasakah countryside, according to the Kurdish Hawar News Agency (ANHA).

Pro-government activists claimed that the forces withdraw due to problems related to their supply line and equipment. Some units of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) withdrew from the same areas.

A new video emerge with captured YPG Kurdish fighter Cicek Kobane

A member of the majority-Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) who was captured by Turkey-backed Syrian fighters on Oct. 21, is being held by Turkish security forces in the southeastern border province of Şanlıurfa, the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya Agency reported on Tuesday.

Cicek Kobane, whose official name is Darze Salih Temo, had been captured in Tel Abyad after suffering an injury. A video had been posted in a Telegram channel showing the Syrian militia threatening her with beatings and threatening to kill her.

Cicek Kobane (Temo), whose family lives in Şanlıurfa’s Suruç district, is currently detained in Şırnak’s provincial anti-terror police headquarter, the agency said. She is a Syrian citizen.

It was learned that Temo’s family is original from Raqqa (a city in Syria located on the northeast bank of the Euphrates River. Raqqa was the sixth largest city in Syria) and had been living in Suruç for 6 years, taking refugee from the Syrian civil war.

Citing one source, also another YPJ member is held in detention at the Şanlıurfa Gendarme command, but the agency said there could be also other Syrians under custody in Turkey.

The two YPJ members are expected to face terrorism charges, it said. They are expected to be referred to the Urfa Courthouse on the grounds of terrorism related activities, being members of a terrorist organization.

Earlier, another video of the same wounded fighter was circulated on social media, in which the gunmen make fun of their screams, callousness and are threaten her with beatings.

The YPJ Command stated in a previous statement that their fighter had been targeted at a time when the ceasefire agreement had not entered into force.

Prime Minister pushes back on claims by Professor Mordechai Kedar that someone other than Yigal Amir murdered Yitzhak Rabin

Rector of Bar-Ilan University, Prof. Miriam Faust, has summoned Dr. Mordechai Kedar to the Disciplinary Committee following his remarks at a demonstration in Petah Tikva in which he claimed that convicted assassin Yigal Amir was not actually responsible for the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Earlier, the administration announced that it had dropped Kedar from a planned trip to South America, where he was to have represented the university at an academic conference.

“The Bar-Ilan University administration strongly condemns Dr. Kedar’s comments,” the university said in a statement. “The things he said were said on his own accord, and in no way represent the university or its members. We believe that there is no place for these kinds of statements in Israeli society.”

Later, Bar-Ilan added that Dr. Kedar would not be permitted to speak on the university’s behalf and that he had been dropped from a planned trip to South America.

At a pro-Netanyahu rally Tuesday evening, Kedar claimed that Rabin had been the victim of a political conspiracy, and that Amir was not the actual assassin.

Kedar, who is a professor at Bar-Ilan University — where Amir was a law student — addressed a rally in support of Netanyahu in the central city of Petah Tikvah on Tuesday night.

“From here, I call to remove the deceitful ‘top secret’ title from the documents that don’t line up with the theory that the right murdered Rabin. It is about time. For 24 years the right has been tarnished, my Bar-Ilan University has been tarnished, we have all been tarnished,” he said.

“Rabin’s murderer was a man with the initials Y.R. – not Yitzhak Rabin. Y.R. The person behind this was, apparently, a leading politician who wanted to eliminate Yitzhak Rabin because he wanted to ditch the Oslo Accords.”

The Left had then turned the assassination into a political weapon against the Right for something “Yigal Amir might not have done”.

“Why is he sitting in solitary confinement? So that he won’t tell people the truth,” continued Kedar, before calling for a “real investigation” into Rabin’s assassination.

While the State of Israel’s Shamgar Commission, and the trial of Yigal Amir both found the then-25-year-old Bar-Ilan University law student responsible for the killing, numerous conspiracy theories have been promoted over the years suggesting that Amir may not have been the actual murderer.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday rejected claims by Bar-Ilan professor Mordechai Kedar that convicted assassin Yigal Amir was not responsible for the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

“The Prime Minister condemns the nonsense said in regard to Yigal Amir, the murderer of Yitzhak Rabin,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement Wednesday.

Mordechai Kedar was born in Tel Aviv. He is a Religious Zionist and an expert in Israeli Arab culture. He served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence, where he specialized in Islamic groups, the political discourse of Arab countries, the Arabic press and mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena.

He holds a Ph.D. from Bar-Ilan University. He is fluent in Hebrew, Arabic, and English. He is described as “one of the few Arabic-speaking Israeli pundits seen on Arabic satellite channels defending Israel”.

Note: ”The details and contradictions pointed out in a book by Barry Chamish make it clear that it was not Yigal Amir who killed Rabin and that there was a huge cover-up. The Y.R. in theis article is probably Rabin’s bodyguard”.

Source: Arutz Sheva

Erdogan’s terrorists cut off water supplies to Hasaka locals

Turkish regime-backed terrorist groups continue to prevent the specialized teams from reaching Alouk drinking water plant in Ras al-Ain countryside to put it into service again. The plant is the main source of drinking water for the locals of Hasaka province.

SANA reporter in Hasaka said that terrorist groups impose control on Alouk Water Plant in Ras al-Ain eastern countryside, which has been shelled in the beginning of the Turkish aggression on the Syrian territories.

Alouk water plant is considered the main source for supplying more than 700 thousand of the locals in Hasaka province with drinking water, and the continued control of terrorists over the plant which has went out of service has led to preventing the locals from the clean drinking water as they currently depend on the water of dams and some wells which don’t meet their needs.

The lines which had been supplying the plant with electricity were targeted in the beginning of the Turkish aggression on the Syrian territories as the water supply to the city has been cut off, yet the technical teams on Oct. 19th were able to fix the electric lines which feed the plant, but the plant has stopped pumping water from a week ago after terrorists imposed control on the area.

A source at the General Establishment for Drinking Water in Hasaka told SANA reporter that there have been many attempts to reach the plant through the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and all of them have been doomed to failure due to the terrorists as the water supply has been cut off from more than six days and the workers have been prevented from entering the plant and putting it into service again.

The source added that the Establishment will depend on the stored water at the eastern dam to supply the city with water despite of the fact that the amount of the stored water is not enough, indicating that there must be a way for putting Alouk plant into service again.

He affirmed that the pumping of water from the dam to the city will start on Tuesday evening.

The Governorate has also taken the required measures to provide the drinking water for the locals as eight wells have been put into service in the city, yet the needs of Hasaka city exceed their capacity.

Source: SANA 

Turkish-backed Militants Executed Syrian Soldier Captured Near Ras Al-Ain (Video 18+)


On October 29, a series of clashes between the Syrian Army and Turkish-backed forces erupted near Ras al-Ain. The Turkish Army even used a Leopard battle tank to shell positions of the Syrian Army.

Allegedly moderated oposition, supported by the West, US and Turkey…

The International Court of Justice must wake up. Turkey perpetrates war crimes inside Syria and nobody seems to really care. The jihadists are again in action. STOP them.

US House serves blow to Turkey with votes on sanctions in connection with Turkey’s military incursion into Syria & Armenian genocide

American lawmakers voted on Tuesday to pass two unprecedented resolutions against Turkey amid already heightened tensions. The House of Representatives passed a resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide and a second bill imposing sanctions in connection with Turkey’s military incursion into Syria and demanding to know Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s net worth.

The Protect Against Conflict by Turkey Act (PACT) imposes sanctions on Turkish officials, including Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, connected to Operation Peace Spring – the military offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria. The resolution also calls for sanctions on Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank and any financial institutions that facilitated transactions to the armed forces or Turkey’s defence industry for the invasion.

The bill also asks for reports submitted within 120 days on “the net worth of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his family” and the impact Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria has had on US national security.

The bipartisan bill passed with 403 votes to 16 and is a rebuke of US President Donald Trump who gave Erdogan the green light to launch the offensive.

The attack, launched on October 9, displaced an estimated 300,000 people and killed 130 civilians, according to conflict monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Syrian militias supported by Turkey are accused of war crimes ,  including the summary execution of a politician, targeting health workers and facilities, and desecrating the bodies of killed fighters.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have abided by agreements made by the United States and Russia, pulling their forces away from the border, but continue their calls for international monitoring of the border area because of fears Turkey will carry out ethnic cleansing of the Kurds and demographic change by resettling one to two million Syrian refugees who hail from other parts of Syria and are now sheltering in Turkey.

Trump imposed sanctions on Turkey on October 14, but lifted them nine days later after Ankara committed to a ceasefire.

Congressman Eliot Engel, who introduced the bill, said it “underscores the devastating consequences of Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria & Trump’s decision to let it happen. It employs sanctions to incentivize Erdogan to stop his military offensive, cease violence against Syrian Kurdish communities & withdraw from Syria.”

Ilham Ehmed, head of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political wing of the SDF, welcomed the vote with a reference to a well-known Kurdish proverb: “The Kurds have friends more than the mountains, they have the US congress. Thanks for passing the bill to impose sanctions on Turkey.”

Ehmed frequently visits Washington and meets with senior American officials.

Turkey condemned the adoption of the bill and accused the United States of “carelessly legitimizing a terrorist,” referring to the Kurdish forces of Syria which Ankara considers a terror organization.

The bill “is incompatible with the spirit of our NATO Alliance, and contradicts with [sic] the agreement reached on Syria with the US Administration on 17 October,” read a statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry, adding that nothing will be achieved with the threat of sanctions.

The bill must now pass through the Republican-controlled Senate and, if passed, would then be put before the president. Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that is not likely to happen at the moment. “We need to think extremely carefully before we employ the same tools against a democratic NATO ally that we would against the worst rogue states,” he said.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a vocal supporter of America’s Kurdish allies in northern Syria, tweeted that the Senate is ready to take up the House bill and “let Turkey unequivocally know that the United States will not sit on the sidelines as they create problems for us and our allies.”

“Erdogan created this mess and he needs to fix it,” Graham added. “Congress is intent on standing by the Kurds and SDF forces who heled us destroy ISIS against Turkish aggression.”

The second bill passed by the House recognizes the Armenian genocide. At least 1.5 million Armenians were systematically killed by the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.

“Too often, tragically, the truth of this staggering crime has been denied,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in the House on Tuesday. “Today let us clearly state the facts on the floor of this house to be etched forever into the Congressional record the barbarism committed against the Armenian people was a genocide.”

The resolution, which states the US will commemorate the genocide and reject association with efforts to deny the genocide passed with cheers in a 405 to 11 vote.

The Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan welcomed the vote as a “bold step towards serving truth and historical justice that also offers comfort to millions of descendants of the Armenian Genocide survivors.”

Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said the “tribute” to the Armenian victims is an act of empowerment “to work anew for prevention of mass atrocities anywhere in the world.”

Turkey admits that mass deaths occurred, but refuses to call it a genocide and condemned the House vote. “The resolution which has apparently been drafted and issued for domestic consumption is devoid of any historical or legal basis,” read a statement from Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs that draws a direct link between the Armenian genocide vote and Turkey’s military incursion into northern Syria.

“Those who felt defeated for not being able to forestall Operation Peace Spring would be highly mistaken should they thought [sic] that they could take vengeance this way,” the statement read.

The ministry points out that the resolution is not legally binding.

Header image: A member of the Kurdish internal security services (Asayesh) stands guard during a demonstration by Syrian Kurds against the Turkish assault on northeastern Syria in Qamishli on October 28, 2019. Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP

Decorated US officer testifying on impeachment is a Jewish refugee from Ukraine

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council staffer set to deliver dramatic testimony confirming that US President Donald Trump sought dirt on a political rival from Ukraine, is a Jewish refugee from that country when it was part of the Soviet Union.

“I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a US citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the US government’s support of Ukraine,” Vindman, an army officer and the top NSC official handling Ukraine, says in testimony posted Monday evening by the New York Times, which he is set to deliver to congressional investigators on Tuesday.

Vindman, who listened in on the conversation in his official capacity, would be the first whistleblower to have firsthand knowledge of the call.

“I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained,” he said in his prepared testimony. Burisma is a mining concern that for a period employed Biden’s son, Hunter. Allegations by Trump and others that Biden and his son were engaged in corrupt behavior have not been substantiated.

Vindman earned a purple heart when he was wounded in Iraq.

Russia says all Kurdish fighters have left Syria border zone — Turkey

Russia has informed Turkey that Kurdish fighters in Syria have completed their withdrawal from areas near the border, in accordance with a deal agreed between Ankara and Moscow, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday.

“Russia informed our competent authorities of the terror groups’ complete withdrawal from there,” Erdogan said in a televised speech in Ankara marking Turkey’s Republic Day.


Israel’s UN envoy: Erdogan has turned Turkey into a ‘regional hub for terror’

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations on Monday blasted Turkey’s invasion of Syria, and accused Ankara of promoting anti-Semitism and the ethnic cleansing of Kurds.

Danny Danon told the Security Council’s monthly Middle East meeting that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “has been destabilizing the region through violence and supporting terror organizations,” adding that Turkey’s “shocking” incursion into Syria had come as no surprise.

Once-warm relations between Israel and Turkey have greatly deteriorated since Erdogan came to power. The Islamist leader is a vocal critic of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians, particularly in Gaza, and he has good relations with the territory’s terrorist Hamas rulers.

“Erdogan has turned Turkey into a safe haven for Hamas terrorists and a financial center for funneling money to subsidize terror attacks,” Danon said. “Erdogan’s Turkey shows no moral or human restraint toward the Kurdish people. Erdogan has turned Turkey into a regional hub for terror.”

Danon said Erdogan was dragging his country down an “imperialist path. He threatens journalists, persecutes religious minorities and promotes anti-Semitism.”

The Israeli envoy added that Erdogan was not only persecuting Kurds in Turkey, but sending troops “to massacre Kurdish people in Syria as well.”

“Israel warns against the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds,” he said, “and calls upon the international community to take action and provide aid to the Kurdish people.”

Last week, an official in the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who spoke on condition of anonymity, called on Israel to take action against Turkey’s military incursion into northern Syria and also expressed confidence that the Jewish people would not neglect the plight of Kurds in northern Syria, invoking its history of persecution.

On October 10, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced Turkey’s invasion of Kurdish-controlled areas of northeastern Syria and said Israel was prepared to offer humanitarian aid to the Kurds there.

The Security Council’s Middle East meeting almost always focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an issue most of the speakers chose to address on Monday.

Danon said it was “a disgrace” that the council focused on Israel “as Erdogan expands his terror campaign into Syria.”

Turkey’s UN Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu dismissed Danon’s speech as a “daily dosage of lies” from “the representative of a government of terror.”

The Syrian Kurdish fighters have until 3 p.m. GMT Tuesday to pull back to positions about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the Turkish border. Turkey and Russia will conduct joint patrols along a border strip once the Kurdish forces leave. Cavusoglu said a Russian military delegation was scheduled to arrive in Turkey to discuss the planned joint patrols.

Turkey is to keep sole control of a large section in the center of the border, most of which it captured in its invasion launched October 9. Turkey wanted to drive the US-allied Kurdish forces out of a “safe zone” along the border, after US President Donald Trump pulled American troops from the area. Syrian Kurdish forces have turned to Russia and the Syrian government in Damascus for protection.

US troops were allied with the Kurdish-led fighters for five years in the long and bloody campaign that brought down the Islamic State terror group in Syria.

Header image: Israel’s Ambassador Danny Danon speaks in the Security Council at United Nations headquarters, Monday, April 29, 2019. (AP/Richard Drew)

A result of Trump’s pullout: Turkey unmasked

With President Donald Trump as our Intelligence analyst, who needs all the hundreds if not thousands of CIA and Military Intelligence personnel? President Trump is a one-man real-time military intelligence laboratory.

If not for Trump’s move, think how many conferences would have taken place, how many secret and totally misguided intelligence briefs would have been written on whether Turkey had fully evolved into an Islamic caliphate and an implacable arch-enemy of NATO. Turkey is a member of NATO and therefore supposed to be an ally, not a genocidal Islamic regime.

Strategic practical businessman Donald Trump cuts through all the fog of US and Turkish military alliance inertia, and gives Turkey’s would-be “Caliph” Erdogan all the rope he needs to hang himself, exposing Turkey for what that country has become – the principal enemy of NATO at the gates of Europe.

Trump has exposed the real threat to America and NATO: Turkey.  Why fight Islamic State in Syria, when Trump has  just called out the real Islamic State of “Ottoman” Turkey?

As for those people attacking President Trump for temporarily stepping aside the 50 American troops in Northern Syria, I have one question: Was President Trump supposed to let American soldiers get killed by this so-called NATO Ally while defending Northern Syria when neither the House nor the Senate had passed an authorization of the use-of-force for President Trump to sign?

Congress may have passed meaningless and totally worthless resolutions, but, if these legislators really meant to defend the Kurds, Congress should have passed a use-of-force law for the President to sign, expressly authorizing the President to defend the Northern Syrian Kurds.

In that case, Congress would have had to debate the national security value of defending the Kurds. And that would have meant the American people would have been been informed of the debate. That is what we mean by the Democratic Process, but nstead, the feckless legislators are going for President Trump’s jugular vein, calling him a “traitor” for not having American soldiers die at the hands of Turkey.

What, then, should America do? The most important thing to do is to haul the B-61 nuclear gravity bombs out of Incirlik NATO Airbase in Turkey. There are about 50 nuclear bombs on Turkish soil in western Turkey. and President Trump should strip Incirlik of them now.

A  2016 New Yorker article describes these bombs: “According to Hans M. Kristensen, the director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, underground vaults at Incirlik hold about fifty B-61 hydrogen bombs—more than twenty-five per cent of the nuclear weapons in the NATO stockpile. The nuclear yield of the B-61 can be adjusted to suit a particular mission. The bomb that destroyed Hiroshima had an explosive force equivalent to about fifteen kilotons of TNT. In comparison, the “dial-a-yield” of the B-61 bombs at Incirlik can be adjusted from 0.3 kilotons to as many as a hundred and seventy kilotons.” That means that right now, there are about 550-600 Hiroshima-power equivalent nuclear bombs located in Turkey.

Every minute those bombs stay on Turkish soil is a minute closer to having Turkey swipe them.  They should have been removed from Turkey months, if not years, ago, but the American military can’t seem to come to the realization that Turkey is an enemy of NATO and Europe.  Did they need Turkey’s massacres of Kurds to finally realize that “something is rotten” in Ankara?

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Turkish President Erdogan recently threatened NATO about what would happen if his country doesn’t receive adequate support for its military offensive in Syria targeting U.S.-backed Kurdish forces. In a televised speech, the Turkish president said, “Hey EU, get your act together. If you try to describe our current operation as an occupation, our task will be simple. We will open the gates and send 3.6 million refugees your way.”

However,  Article Five of the NATO Charter says: “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them..”  I will stipulate that ordinary refugee migration is not an “armed attack.” Nevertheless, where an armed sovereign country purposefully sends refugees from its armed territory into the territory of a neighboring NATO country, the offending country (in this case,Turkey) is, in effect, using its “armed” territory to effect an invasion of another sovereign NATO country.

In response, Trump must convene a meeting of NATO heads that declares that the Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.” And then he should pass a NATO resolution that any release of refugees by Turkey into Europe will be considered an “armed attack” by Turkey for purposes of NATO Article 5.

President Trump and Europe should also jointly declare that Turkish exploration of South Cyprus territorial waters for gas is an illegal armed attack on Cyprus and will be considered a war-crime by Turkey against Cyprus. Turkey has been illegally drilling for gas in the South Cyprus territorial waters protected by the military threat of Turkish naval ships.

If Turkey attacked and massacred the Kurds, imagine what Turkey would be willing to do to get its hands on the South Cyprus/Greek gas reserves.  President Trump needs to enter into a 6-way quasi-defense agreement with Greece/Cyprus/Egypt/Israel/America/EU to protect the South Cyprus gas from Turkish banditry.  Turkey’s military threats in the South Cyprus waters prove that it is an enemy of NATO, Europe, and America.

President Trump has spared NATO years of dithering over whether Turkey is an ally or enemy of NATO.  Turkey’s invasion and genocidal massacres in Northern Syria prove that Turkey is an irremediable enemy of NATO and has to be treated as such.

Instead of excoriating President Trump, we all should be sending him accolades.  Imagine the threat to American National security if the strategic Turkish threat had been allowed to fester and harden for years without being exposed.  Instead, President Trump has allowed Turkey to convict itself with its own genocidal anti-NATO war-crimes.

Source: Arutz Sheva, article by Mark Langfan