UPDATE 7 pm Israel time Tuesday:
Sometimes you just have to wonder at the incredible stupidity of the IDF General Staff headed by Benny Gantz.
On a morning which has seen the IDF bravely send a contingent of soldiers out to the Samarian community of Maoz Ester which it destroyed last week to re-destroy a ramshackle building that had been reconstructed at the site from the remains of an original building, Benny Gantz announced that General Noam Tivon has been exploring possible violations of international law committed by IDF soldiers during the operation against Hamas in November.
According to Gantz, the IDF has undertaken the investigation based on complaints and letters from self-proclaimed “human rights” NGOs and lawyers concerning incidents in which it is alleged that “civilians” were killed in addition to terrorists. So far according to Gantz, out of the 80 such incidents that have been examined, 15 have been singled out for special scrutiny.
Can you believe this? The IDF is setting up its own soldiers to be accused of violations of international law? Based on the complaints of virulently anti-Israel “human rights” NGOs and lawyers?
It is because of investigations like these that the IDF has become a shadow of its former self–and we have the revolting scenes of IDF soldiers running away from Palestinian rioters in Judea and Samaria.
The farce that is Iran’s presidential election begins to draw to a close with the number of candidates now down to six. The latest candidate to drop out is Mohammad Reza Aref, former vice-president and the only “reformist” candidate” on the ballot. According to Aref, he dropped out after receiving a message that his remaining in the race was “not expedient.”
By your humble servant’s count, this brings to six the number of candidates still remaining in the race including: Haddad Adel (related to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) and apparent front runner Saeed Jalili who is Iran’s laughingly called “nuclear negotiator” and prominent disciple of Khamenei.
The whole Iranian “democratic” process is simply ridiculous on its face. As Joseph Stalin once observed: “It’s not the people who vote that count, it’s the people who count the votes.” We’ll find out on June 14th or 15th who Ali Khamenei wants to be president.
Meanwhile, the Iranian nuclear program marches along. Yesterday, Yuval Steinetz ominously warned that Iran is within weeks of crossing Benjamin Netanyahu’s red line of 250 kilograms of 20% fissile material. Steinetz, by the way, is Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs, Intelligence, and International Relations–and is a close confidante of PM Netanyahu.
Here are Steinetz’s comments:
“The Iranians are getting very close now to the red line… They have close to 200 kilos — 190 kilos (418 pounds) — of 20 percent enriched uranium. Once they have 250 kilos (551 pounds), this is enough to make the final rush to 90 percent, the level of enrichment required for a nuclear warhead.
It is a matter of weeks or maybe two months to jump from 20 percent to 90 percent with so many centrifuges.
What they are doing now — instead of crossing the red line, they are widening and enlarging their capacity by putting in more centrifuges, faster centrifuges. Many people are saying it’s a question of the Iranian bomb – whether they will have it or not. No. We are speaking about an Iranian arsenal.”
It doesn’t take a nuclear scientist to parse Steinetz’s remarks, and so I leave it to you, dear readers, to draw your own conclusions.