THE CANADIAN TIMES

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Israel

The Faces Behind the Success of the Iron Dome

Born in Kiryat Shmona, a city in northern Israel, Staff Sgt. Coral describes her experiences serving in an Iron Dome battery in southern Israel. "I am charged with protecting the area around the battery. If there is a minor technical problem, my soldiers and I are responsible for fixing it as soon as possible, regardless of when it occurs.  We make sure the Iron Dome can do its job."

The soldiers' work is vital in ensuring the functioning and effectiveness of the Iron Dome. Soldiers often endanger their own lives in order to optimize the air defense system's efficiency.

When asked about her motivation to join this indispensable unit, Staff Sgt. Coral refers to her childhood growing up in the north. "During the Second Lebanon War, every time I heard a loud noise, I was afraid, rockets flew over our heads and we had nowhere to go. Now, it is different. I feel protected by the Iron Dome."

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Netanyahu to US Jewish Audience: Iran Deal Supporters Are Squashing Debate

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Obama administration and other supporters of the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday of squashing debate, especially as the public's knowledge of the agreement has expanded.

Saying the Jewish people were in a historic position to loudly oppose an existential threat such as the one posed by Iran, whose military and proxies "on three borders" target every major Israeli city, Netanyahu called on the U.S. Jewish community in a conference call to oppose the current deal with Iran, which Congress must vote on by September.

Netanyahu struck back at U.S. officials who said opponents of the deal had provided no alternatives to the current plan and simply wanted war.

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Anti-Semitic Attack At Jewish Summer Camp

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today said it was deeply disturbed by an apparent anti-Semitic attack at Camp Karlin Stolin, a Jewish summer camp in Highland, New York, and praised the Town of Lloyd Police Department for a quick response and arrest of the suspected perpetrators.

According to reports, three 18-year-old assailants threw bottles and coins at campers and staff. Two of the perpetrators are being charged with a bias crime for aggravated harassment and conspiracy. The third suspect is facing a conspiracy charge.

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WITH IRAN DEAL UNDER REVIEW, THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TRIES TO BAIT THREE JEWISH SENATORS

And now The New York Times is playing its role in the Obama administration's Iran deal smear campaign. On Sunday, the paper of record charged that Republican congressmen and senators opposed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action are more loyal to the Prime Minister of Israel than the president of the United States: a Times editorial described the "vicious battle" as "the unseemly spectacle of lawmakers siding with a foreign leader against their own commander in chief."

Of course, it's not like Ted Cruz or Lindsey Graham care much about what the Times has to say. No, the old Grey Lady is echoing the White House, which is targeting three key Democrats from northeastern states where the Times is read as scripture, and who may be tempted to vote against the JCPOA. From this perspective, the three biggest threats to Obama's foreign policy legacy are Maryland's Ben Cardin, who co-authored the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 with Republican Senator Bob Corker, and two of the bill's co-sponsors, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and New York's Chuck Schumer. To keep these three Democrats in line, the White House, with the Times as an echoing chorus, is warning them that if they go against the JCPOA, they'll be tarred as dual loyalists, just like the aforementioned Republicans - a threat that's especially poignant for the three Democrats since they're Jewish.

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1938 and 2015: Only the Names Are Different

We say that evil is dark. But this metaphor is imprecise. Evil is actually intensely bright, so painfully bright that people look away from it. Many even deny its existence.

Why? Because once people acknowledge evil's existence, they know they have to confront it. And most people prefer not to confront evil.

That is what led to World War II. Many in the West denied the darkness of Nazism. They looked the other way when that evil could have been stopped and then appeased it as it became stronger.

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Top French Official Contradicts Kerry on Iran Deal

Secretary of State John Kerry has been painting an apocalyptic picture of what would happen if Congress killed the Iran nuclear deal. Among other things, he has warned that "our friends in this effort will desert us." But the top national security official from one of those nations involved in the negotiations, France, has a totally different view: He told two senior U.S. lawmakers that he thinks a Congressional no vote might actually be helpful.

His analysis is already having an effect on how members of Congress, especially House Democrats, are thinking about the deal.

The French official, Jacques Audibert, is now the senior diplomatic adviser to President Francois Hollande. Before that, as the director general for political affairs in the Foreign Ministry from 2009 to 2014, he led the French diplomatic team in the discussions with Iran and the P5+1 group. Earlier this month, he met with Democrat Loretta Sanchez and Republican Mike Turner, both top members of the House Armed Services Committee, to discuss the Iran deal. The U.S. ambassador to France, Jane Hartley, was also in the room.

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Worse than we could have imagined

When you write a column, as did I two weeks ago, headlined "The worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history," you don't expect to revisit the issue. We had hit bottom. Or so I thought. Then on Tuesday the final terms of the Iranian nuclear deal were published. I was wrong.

Who would have imagined we would be giving up the conventional arms and ballistic missile embargoes on Iran? In nuclear negotiations?

When asked Wednesday at his news conference why there is nothing in the deal about the American hostages being held by Iran, President Obama explained that this is a separate issue, not part of nuclear talks.

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JOHN KERRY IS BLOWING THE IRAN NUKE DEAL

It's hard to imagine a worse salesman for the Iran deal than John Kerry. Kerry couldn't sell himself to Americans as a presidential candidate. Now he has to sell a nuclear Armageddon to Americans.

National security was Kerry's undoing during his presidential campaign. He had shot American soldiers in the back during Vietnam to build a base for his own political future. He had eagerly pandered to Marxist-Leninist terrorists who massacred native peoples and burned their churches. He had been for the Iraq War before he was against it and for Assad's Syrian dictatorship before he was against it.

Now Kerry is supposed to sell the most controversial and explosive national security issue since the Cold War to a skeptical nation. And he's doing just about as well as you would expect.

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Officials suspect terror motive in shooting that killed 4 Marines

Gunman who opened fire at two U.S. military sites in Chattanooga, Tennessee, identified as Kuwaiti-born Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, 24 - Three wounded in attacks, one seriously - Shooter apparently acted on his own, FBI investigating.

A gunman unleashed a barrage of fire at a recruiting center and another U.S. military site a few miles apart in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Thursday, killing at least four Marines before he was shot to death by police, and sending service members scrambling for cover as bullets smashed through the windows.

Federal authorities said they were investigating the possibility it was an act of terrorism, but have no evidence yet that anyone but a lone gunman was involved. They also said there was no indication that the general public was in danger. The FBI took charge of the case.

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75% of Jewish North American College Students Exposed to Antisemitism in 2014

Nearly three quarters of Jewish U.S. and Canadian college students and young adults reported having been exposed to antisemitic vitriol last year, according to a study by Brandeis University released on Tuesday.

In the study - conducted by Brandeis University's Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and titled "Antisemitism and the College Campus: Perceptions and Realities" - nearly 75 percent of respondents reported being exposed to "at least one of six anti-Semitic statements," including claims that Jews had too much power and that Israelis behaved like Nazis in their treatment of Palestinians.

The study, which was based on the responses of 3,199 students to an online questionnaire of those eligible for the free Taglit-Birthright Israel trips to the Jewish state, also found that more than 25 percent of students find a "fairly" or "very big" problem of hostility towards Israel on campus, while another 25 percent reported being blamed for the actions of Israel because they are Jewish.

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Kerry, Iran's Zarif Recommended for Nobel Peace Prize

Critics accuse US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of having sealed a nuclear deal on Tuesday that will lead to a regional nuclear arms race in the Middle East - but the two may be on their way to winning a Nobel Peace Prize.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a leading Swedish think-tank, has recommended Kerry and Zarif for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for their leading roles in the nuclear deal, reports the International Business Times on Wednesday.

Tariq Rauf, director of SIPRI's Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Program and formerly chief of Verification and Security Policy at the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 2002 to 2011, said the two deserved a Nobel prize.

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Toronto Jewish community on alert after threats by hooded men taking photos of synagogue

The greater Toronto Jewish community is disquieted and on the alert after three hooded men took photos and yelled threats outside a Thornhill synagogue.

York Regional Police received a call from Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto (BAYT) on Friday, according to Const. Laura Nicolle. That afternoon, alerts went out via email and social media from synagogues across the GTA.

"This past Wednesday night, three men with concealed faces were observed taking photos of BAYT," read one alert posted to Facebook and viewed by more than 20,000 people. "When they were approached, they yelled "F- Jews. Watch!", jumped into their black Volkswagen Golf and drove off. The car's licence plates were covered. Unfortunately, they were out of range of the BAYT cameras. Please be alert when walking, especially near our shul, and be on the look-out for such vehicles and/or people."

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Canada won't lift Iran sanctions, will judge 'actions,' not words

Canada's Foreign Minister Rob Nicholson came out strongly in favor of Israel over the new Iran nuclear deal on Wednesday, saying that his country would maintain a policy of economic sanctions against Iran in spite of the accord signed Tuesday by Tehran and world powers.

"We will continue to judge Iran by its actions, not its words," Nicholson said. "We will examine this deal further before taking any specific Canadian action."

Canada has traditionally served as a pro-Israel bulwark, vehemently supporting the Jewish state on the world stage.

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Huckabee hits back at Obama for ignoring Iran's 'Big Holocaust' threat

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee stood by widely criticized comments accusing US President Barack Obama of "marching Israelis to the door of the oven," accusing Iran of planning a "Big Holocaust."

The comments came hours after Obama himself swiped Huckabee. In the latest volley of an ongoing and increasingly personal argument over the Iran nuclear deal, the president described the comments by Huckabee - in addition to those of other Republican candidates - as "ridiculous if it weren't so sad."

Earlier this week, Huckabee likened the nuclear agreement to "marching the Israelis to the door of the oven," a clear reference to the Holocaust.

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Pastor Hagee calls Iran nuke agreement 'historic, bad deal for the world'

One of the nation's most prominent evangelical Christian supporters of Israel warned that the Obama Administration’s deal with Iran jeopardizes American and Israeli security.

"It is an historic, bad deal for the world," Pastor John Hagee told Fox News in an exclusive interview.

Hagee is the pastor of Cornerstone Church, a megachurch in San Antonio. He is also the founder of Christians United for Israel, the largest pro-Israel organization in the nation.

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Amnesty protests 'staggering execution spree' in Iran

Amnesty International on Thursday protested at what it called a "staggering execution spree" in Iran so far this year that has seen almost 700 people put to death.

"Iranian authorities are believed to have executed an astonishing 694 people between 1 January and 15 July, 2015," said the London-based rights group, in what it termed an unprecedented spike.

"At this shocking pace, Iran is set to surpass the total number of executions in the country" recorded by Amnesty for the whole of 2014.

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'A mistake of historic proportion': Israel vows to stop arch enemy Iran from acquiring the bomb after deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Tuesday's nuclear deal with Iran a mistake of "historic proportions" and vowed to keep up efforts to block the Islamic Republic from obtaining an atomic bomb.

The strong reaction was echoed across the political spectrum in Israel, where concern is high the country's arch enemy has duped the world and will acquire nuclear weapons to use against Israel. Iran already backs militant groups that attack Israel and its leaders frequently have referred to Israel's destruction in the past.

Netanyahu has been at the forefront of global opposition to the deal and has openly clashed with the Obama administration and other Western powers that have been pushing for an easing of sanctions in return for greater restrictions on its nuclear program. Netanyahu showed no signs of tempering his criticism Tuesday and added a veiled threat of his own.

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Presbyterian Church USA Voted on Erasing "Israel" from Prayers

As if actively supporting a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel wasn't enough, turns out the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) considered banning the word "Israel" from its prayers.

In a report on the Algemeiner, a resolution was presented but ultimately rejected by the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA to "distinguish between the biblical terms that refer to the ancient land of Israel and the modern political State of Israel."

To carry out such a plan, the resolution called for the development of "educational materials, with the help of our Presbyterian seminaries, for clergy, church musicians, worship leaders, and Christian educators regarding 'ancient Israel/modern Israel' distinction."

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Tehran prepares for celebrations in the streets over anticipated nuclear deal

Foreign ministers from world powers converged once again on Austria's capital on Sunday, hoping to finally end talks with Iran over its nuclear program with a deal.

The agreement is essentially complete, Iranian officials here say, and will be formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. But the highly-anticipated agreement was not announced on Sunday, as many had expected, after pronouncements from Iranian officials suggested a deal was imminent.

Midday Sunday, a senior US State Department official warned journalists against "speculation" over the timing of an agreement, saying that "major issues" remained unresolved in the talks. The official did not elaborate.

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Torontonians protest Iran nuke deal

Chants of "Never again!" echoed through the crowd outside the U.S. Consulate Wednesday as rabbis, pastors and other protesters demanded the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran be scrapped.

The nearly 700 protesters made it clear they want the U.S. Congress to strike it down.

"As long as those very values that we as Americans and Canadians hold so dear are threatened, we must stand up to those threats and we must fight evil. My friends, evil still exists in the world today," Rabbi Daniel Korobkin, of Beth Avraham, told the crowd.

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Oldest complete copy of Ten Commandments goes on display in Israel

The world's oldest complete copy of the Ten Commandments is going on rare display at Israel's leading museum in an exhibit tracing civilization's most pivotal moments.

The 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scroll, from a collection of the world's most ancient biblical manuscripts discovered near the Dead Sea east of Jerusalem, has never before been publicly displayed in Israel and has only been shown in brief exhibits abroad, said Pnina Shor of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The manuscript is so brittle that it will only be on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem for two weeks before it is returned to a secure, pitch-black, climate-controlled storage facility at the museum.

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