Congressman Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence and former chairman of its Homeland Security Committee told Arutz Sheva Thursday he has “never seen such an enthusiastic response” as the response to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's upcoming speech to Congress, in which he plans to lay out his objections to the deal being formulated with Iran regarding its nuclear weapons program. He added that he is mystified by the “grudging attitude” exhibited by the White House, which he described as defying “all rules of diplomacy” and an example of “politics at its worst.”
Speaking to Dr. Joseph Frager, King said that he would expect President Barack Obama to welcome Netanyahu and listen to what he has to say on the deal being worked out with Iran, rather than turn a cold shoulder.
“I would think that the president and Democratic leaders would welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu coming in to have a dialogue,” King said, “so if he does have legitimate objections, then raise them at the national level, so we can get this resolved.”
He also described hearing a lot of resentment about “people taking shots at our closest ally.”
If the Senate majority decides that the agreement with Iran is a bad one, he said, ways would have to be found to defund the deal, or “put a mechanism in force that it can't be enforced.” The deadline set by the negotiators for an agreement, he noted, is March 24.
"All of our survival is threatened by Iran, but you guys are right in that neighborhood,” he explained. “You feel it more than any of us... No one would have a greater knowledge" of the pros and cons of a proposed deal than the Israelis, he stated.
Members of Congress "are concerned" over signs that negotiations between world powers, led by the US, and Iran would end with an "insufficient" agreement, C continued.
On Tuesday, Netanyahu himself voiced similar concerns over the pending deal. "This agreement, if indeed it is signed," he warned, "will allow Iran to become a nuclear threshold state. That is, with the consent of the major powers, Iran – which openly declares its intention to destroy the State of Israel – will receive a license to develop the production of bombs.
"This is a bad agreement that endangers our future," and the reason he was so determined to address Congress, Netanyahu added.
Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) echoed those sentiments Thursday.
"It is unacceptable for Iran to have nuclear weapons capability, and the only acceptable agreement is one that ends their program, is completely transparent and verifiable," she told Dr. Frager, dismissing claims by Tehran that its nuclear program is peaceful: "You don't need enriched uranium or underground facilities or a plutonium reactor for peaceful nuclear power."
French President Francois Hollande on Friday condemned the "barbaric" destruction by Islamic State terrorists of priceless ancient artifacts in Iraq's city of Mosul.
"Barbarism affects people, history, memories, culture," Hollande told reporters in Manila at the end of a two-day trip to the Philippines, according to AFP.
"What the terrorists want to do is destroy all of humanity. When you seek to destroy heritage, you intend to silence all those who carry a message of culture."
Islamic State terrorists released a video on Thursday showing them destroying the ancient artifacts armed with sledgehammers and jackhammers.
The video showed the terrorists knocking statues off their plinths and rampaging through the Mosul museum's collection, which includes artifacts from the Assyrian and Hellenistic periods dating back to several centuries before the common era.
It also showed jihadists using a jackhammer to deface an imposing granite Assyrian winged bull at the Nergal Gate in Mosul.
"Muslims, these artifacts behind me are idols for people from ancient times who worshipped them instead of God," said a bearded terrorist speaking to the camera.
The destruction sparked widespread consternation and alarm, with some archaeologists and heritage experts comparing it with the 2001 demolition of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan by the Taliban.
A second pre-elections poll has been published Friday - this time, predicting a clear win for Labor and a struggling Jewish Home.
Labor is in the top spot with 25 seats, according to the Ma'ariv poll, ahead of Likud with just 23.
Yesh Atid is in third place in this set of results, with 13 seats, ahead of the Arab parties at 12 and Jewish Home at a mere 11.
Kulanu edges past the haredi parties, with 8 seats versus 7 each for United Torah Judaism (UTJ) and Shas.
Bottoming out this poll are Meretz and Yisrael Beytenu with 5 seats each, and Yachad-Ha'am Itanu back on the bottom at 4 seats.
Earlier Friday, a Walla! poll predicted a close race between Likud and Labor, with the right-wing parties stronger. Jewish Home had 13 seats, according to those results; Ha'am Itanu pulled ahead of Meretz, with 5 seats instead of four.
Police helicopters and search-and-rescue teams have been dispatched to the Kinneret Friday, after a 40 year-old man disappeared while fishing on an inflatable raft.
The man apparently has been fishing as little as 400 meters (0.2 miles) from the shore, but strong eastern winds Friday morning may have blown the raft out to sea.
Witnesses called the police, who began a search and found the boat itself, three kilometers (1.86 miles) from the beach. The police will continue searching for the man, who has remained unnamed thus far, until nightfall.
The case bears striking similarities to the disappearance of Israeli hiker Shai Noam last week, who went missing in the Dead Sea area just as Israel began to battle a snow and rain storm.
Noam's body was found in the northern Dead Sea area Tuesday.
Kulanu Party candidate Dr. Yifat Sasha-Biton heavily criticized Education Minister Shai Piron (Yesh Atid) Friday, writing on Facebook that he failed in his role.
"He entered the Ministry of Education with a big smile, but otherwise failed to connect words and ideas in the field," Sasha-Biton stated. "To be precise - almost any idea brought by the Ministry failed to reach its goal in terms of overall performance."
Sasha-Biton further slammed the Minister for preaching "education reform," when, in reality, nothing has changed in 2.5 years.
"Who pays the price? Teachers and students," she added.
"Piron decided to enter the role with this idea of 'meaningful learning,' as if all that was here before was insignificant," she continued. "All this without having to take responsibility and do something real that builds a nation from the field."
Sasha-Biton also attacked Piron for announcing that Psychometric exams - the standardized tests which determine the options for thousands of Israelis looking to learn in colleges and universities - would be cancelled.
"For whom were they cancelled?" she asked. "There are mature students who are ready for the Psychometry, with 4 and 5 Bagrut [matric] units, the same students who could easily integrate into the university system with dignity and success without the exams."
"If Piron meant to encourage higher quality students, then we have to start with the ideal of equal opportunity for everyone," she continued. "Continuing these declarations and the decision to reduce the number of matriculation units [required] increases the burden and doesn't change the system."
Real change, she said, begins from retraining teachers - a factor she claimed those in the government have forgotten.
Sasha-Biton joined Kulanu on an educational platform; she holds a doctorate in education and is the former deputy mayor of Kiryat Shmona.
Pro-Palestinian rallies and groups are being used to aid the rise of Islamic State (ISIS) in Europe, according to a book the group released this month - united under the front of "bringing down Zionsim."
The book, Black Flags from Rome, encourages European Muslims to rise up and aid ISIS from within, according to a report on the PJ Media website - and notes that terror cells have already been formed.
“There were small armies of the Islamic State within every country of Europe by late 2014, and the intelligence agencies didn’t even know about it!” the book exclaims.
“If you have ever been at a pro-Palestine / anti-Israel protest, you will see many activists who are not even Muslims who are supportive of what Muslims are calling for (the fall of Zionism)," it continues. "It is most likely here that connections between Muslims and Left-wing activists will be made, and a portion from them will realize that protests are not effective, and that armed combat is the alternative."
Such “recruits” being lured to ISIS due to frustration over their lives “will give intelligence, share weapons and do undercover work for the Muslims to pave the way for the conquest of Rome," the book also predicts.
The text also gives detailed instructions on building Molotov cocktails, beginning local "turf wars" to aid in the process of Islamist land-grabbing, and consolidating extremist groups to build armies.
The point, it says, is to lead to an armed takeover of Europe - and it presents a highly intricate plan that includes battling local mob bosses to storm Rome, with the aid of such widely available planning tools as Google Earth. It predicts a defeat of a Russia-Iran alliance and the Italian army for an ISIS takeover of Italy by 2020.
The plans surface amid a rising tide of anti-Semitism in general, with a recent study demonstrating that attacks against Jews have risen 383% worldwide since 2013, including a 436% hate crime hike in Europe.
The 2015 Tel Aviv marathon has begun on the wrong foot Friday, after two 30 year-old runners were taken to Ichilov Hospital in critical condition - and after 75 additional people were injured.
Magen David Adom (MDA) medics rushed to resuscitate one man Friday morning, after he collapsed during the race briefly before regaining consciousness. The man was taken to Ichilov Hospital for further treatment.
Another runner collapsed due to heatstroke, and has been taken to Ichilov as well.
After 75 people approached MDA medics with injuries, the Tel Aviv Municipality and MDA decided to shut down the race, it announced later Friday.
The marathon includes several tracks and races. The first, which launched at 5:45 am, includes a full marathon at 42km (26 miles) long; any runner who could break the record - two hours, 14 minutes, and 39 seconds - will win a $25,000 prize, according to Walla!.
A half-marathon will also be held at 21.2 km (13 miles) long, as well as a 10km (6 mile) run, a 5km (3 mile) run, a couples' run and a children's race.
Streets and avenues are closed throughout Tel Aviv for the annual marathon.
By region, the following will be closed until 1:00 pm Friday:
Athletes from all over the world attended the marathon, as well as several politicians, who are running in the 5km run for the benefit of Israeli children with cancer.
Among the attendees: MK Omar Bar-Lev (Labor), MK Danny Danon (Likud), candidate Yoav Galant (Kulanu), MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) and candidate and journalist Sharon Gal (Yisrael Beytenu).
Some 85 people were injured during the 2014 Tel Aviv marathon.
Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV recently aired a report which featured Gazan women training in the use of weapons and explosive devices in the Al-Nasser Salah Al-Din Brigades, the “military wing” of the Popular Resistance Committees.
The report aired on February 20, 2015, and was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
In the report, the women are described as learning the art of war “in order to become one day mujahid women fighting the occupation”.
The report also says that some 40 women “graduated” from the war training after the last Gaza war, meaning Israel’s anti-terrorism Operation Protective Edge in Gaza last summer. 40 others are currently in training.
The Popular Resistance Committees is one of the three groups that participated in the kidnapping of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in June 2006.
The terror groups in Gaza have been recruiting women and children to their ranks. MEMRI released a video earlier this month which shows footage from a youth camp organized by the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s so-called “military wing”.
The video shows young cadets demonstrating military skills, such as use of weapons, and simulating the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier.
A clip released by MEMRI last year shows a televised graduation ceremony for a similar Hamas youth camp in Gaza. At the ceremony, suicide terror attacks against the “Zionist enemy” were glorified by Hamas officials.
In a previous video exposed by MEMRI, principals in Gaza schools and Hamas officials defended the paramilitary training that children are forced to undergo in schools as “chivalry” class and “sports training.”