Israel provided Germany specific intelligence on threats that led to a cancellation in a soccer match between Germany and the Netherlands last week, according to reports on Wednesday. The Times of Israel, based on a report from the German news site Stern, wrote that German authorities received “a specific intelligence warning” from Israel that led to the match’s cancellation. The day after the November 13 terror attacks in Paris, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Israel possesses intelligence; we aren’t a marginal player in this field, and the information we have we share with France and with other relevant countries, not just since yesterday…This is an important part of cooperation against the terrorism of IS and the terrorism of radical Islam in general.” He also told reporters that he directed the Israeli intelligence community to aid their French and European counterparts “in every way possible.” According to Israel’s Channel 2, in the hours after the attacks, Israel provided details to the French on some of the Islamic State terrorists who perpetrated the attacks, even though Israel “had no advanced warning” of the attacks.
Israel’s expertise in counter-terrorism has also proved invaluable to the fight against ISIS, in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks. As French authorities attempted to capture the mastermind behind the Paris attacks, a French special police unit, RAID, conducted a raid in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis that required almost 100 officers last Wednesday. The group’s commander Jean-Michel Fauvergue said that his officers used methods they learned from Israeli special forces.
The State Department acknowledged that the nuclear deal with Iran is not a binding agreement, but rather a set of “political commitments,” the National Review reported Wednesday. The admission was made in response to an inquiry from Rep. Mike Pompeo (R – Kan.).
“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document,” wrote Julia Frifield, the State Department assistant secretary for legislative affairs, in the November 19 letter.
Frifield wrote the letter in response to a letter Pompeo sent Secretary of State John Kerry, in which he observed that the deal the president had submitted to Congress was unsigned and wondered if the administration had given lawmakers the final agreement. Frifield’s response emphasizes that Congress did receive the final version of the deal. But by characterizing the JCPOA as a set of “political commitments” rather than a more formal agreement, it is sure to heighten congressional concerns that Iran might violate the deal’s terms.
“The success of the JCPOA will depend not on whether it is legally binding or signed, but rather on the extensive verification measures we have put in place, as well as Iran’s understanding that we have the capacity to re-impose — and ramp up — our sanctions if Iran does not meet its commitments,” Frifield wrote to Pompeo.
Reacting to the State Department’s letter, Pompeo released a statement, saying, “unsigned, this agreement is nothing more than a press release and just about as enforceable.” Pompeo also called on Congress to “stand ready, willing, and unified in combating aggression by a regime who continues to view America as the ‘Great Satan’ and has been emboldened by this deal.”
The administration’s view of the nuclear agreement contrasts sharply with Iran’s. In a letter published this March, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif argued that the United Nations Security Council’s ratification of the deal would effectively bind the United States to its terms. “If the next administration revokes any agreement with the stroke of a pen, as they boast, it will have simply committed a blatant violation of international law,” he wrote.