Delil Souleiman/GettyLate Sunday night in Washington, the White House announced it was pulling U.S. troops out of northeast Syria to clear the way for a Turkish invasion. The Kurds there who led the fight on the ground that defeated the so-called Islamic State had seen President Donald Trump’s betrayal coming. But still they hoped it could be avoided. “Don’t let the Turks disrupt my wedding,” our translator texted in September prior to our arrival in the region. For more than a year, we have been visiting almost monthly to interview captured ISIS cadres held by the Kurdish and Arab troops of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as part of a project for the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism. Trump’s Crazy Syria Move Will Wipe Out America’s Allies and Set Up a Big ISIS ComebackIn September, we saw the Turkish threat to invade at any moment was held off by tense U.S. negotiations in which the SDF made considerable concessions, allowing Turkey to patrol jointly a large swath of territory while agreeing to remove checkpoints and military positions farther back from the Turkish border.“They should put their patrols inside Turkish territory, and not enter Syria,” SDF leaders told us at the time, as they reluctantly acquiesced to U.S. demands.* * *BITTER FRIENDS* * *Many current and former White House advisors counseled against the kind of announcement made Sunday night. Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned last year over Trump’s threat to remove the few thousand U.S. troops in Syria, who not only served as advisors in the fight against ISIS, but as deterrence against Turkish operations east of the Euphrates River. In a particularly bitter post on Twitter, Bret McGurk, who served as the special U.S. presidential envoy for the fight against ISIS from 2015 to 2018, wrote, “Donald Trump is not a Commander-in-Chief. He makes impulsive decisions with no knowledge or deliberation. He sends military personnel into harm’s way with no backing. He blusters and then leaves our allies exposed when adversaries call his bluff or he confronts a hard phone call.”The U.S. military learned about the withdrawal plan only after Trump decided on it following his Sunday phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It has pulled out of two small observation posts in the security-mechanism zone near the Syria-Turkey border so far. But no further withdrawals are imminent, according to a knowledgeable source. The military, remembering Trump’s December order out of Syria and subsequent reversal, is waiting to learn if Trump will follow through with withdrawal this time.A recently departed senior Pentagon official considered the pullout a “blatant betrayal” of the U.S.’ Kurdish partners that gives “carte blanche to Erdogan” for a widely forecast bloodletting. “It’s going to be a massacre, that’s clear,” the ex-official told The Daily Beast. “It’s fundamentally wrong. They destroyed the Caliphate.”But the Kurds are not entirely defenseless. Military leaders of the dominant group, known as the YPG or People’s Protection Units (and their female YPJ partners), already were in overdrive in September, preparing for what they had long anticipated—a possible betrayal by their closest ally, the United States.* * *DIGGING IN* * *Alongside every major highway and criss-crossing the entire Northern Syria area, in fields, cities and towns, we saw digging for an extensive system of tunnels. “We’re ready either way,” the Kurdish leaders told us when we asked if they trusted the Americans to keep the Turks at bay.Kurds don’t have much, but their spirit of freedom and their desire to protect their hard-won territory and what they see as their incipient democracy was evident everywhere in September as the YPG troops prepared for battle with a much better equipped foe—the Turkish armed forces, the second biggest military in NATO. But nobody who fought ISIS in Syria in one vicious battle after another has forgotten that the huge Turkish army stood by and did nothing against the Islamic State as its killers carried out genocidal campaigns against Yazidis and Shiites, while abducting, torturing, ransoming or beheading Americans, Europeans, and Japanese, among others. Through all that, NATO ally Turkey was not interested in intervention. Far from it.That was until the White House statement Sunday night, up to which the U.S. military denied Turkey the ability to operate in airspace over SDF controlled territory, effectively making it more difficult to enter Northern Syria to conduct the “terrorist cleansing operation” that Turks insist upon. They already carried out one such operation in Afrin, west of the Euphrates, in January 2018, displacing Kurds and effectively taking over the area, using what Kurds claim are former ISIS cadres to fight for them.Turks view the Northern Syria area of Rojava, and the YPG dominated SDF, as controlled by Kurdish PKK terrorists operating under another name—wolves in sheep’s clothing. Indeed, in times past—until 1998—PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, lived freely in Syria and the father of the current Assad allowed him to train and equip his highly disciplined terrorist group for attacks into Turkey. It’s also true that over time, the various governing parties of Syria, Iraq and Iran have made use of PKK assaults on Turks as a way to exert pressure on Turkish politics. Turkey has suffered greatly from PKK terrorist attacks both inside Turkey and globally, and the PKK is clearly designated on the U.S. and EU’s list of terrorist organizations. In recent concessions to Turkey’s alarm over the SDF, a group they view as being in the hands of the PKK, the U.S. recently added additional individuals involved in the PKK to the U.S. State Department’s specially designated terrorist list. Turkey has also developed drones that fly over the Qandil mountains, in northern Iraq, making it easier to spot PKK movements and routinely send fighter jets to bomb them. In the case of northern Syria however, until President Trump’s announcement late Sunday night Washington time, the U.S. policy was to deny the Turks military incursions into territory where U.S. troops patrol and the U.S. military controls the airspace and claims by Turkey that the SDF is PKK have also been hotly disputed.While Turkey sees the SDF as dominated and led by a terrorist organization, the U.S. has a completely different perspective, viewing the YPG and SDF as valued allies in the fight against ISIS. Indeed, YPG and YPJ (Women’s People’s Protection Units) fighters lost over 1,000 lives fighting ISIS and it is common to see Kurdish men and women in Rojava on crutches, in wheelchairs and otherwise suffering from serious and lifelong injuries sustained in the battle to retake ISIS dominated areas, including Raqqa. While the rest of the world was silent, the YPG and YPJ can also take credit for going to the rescue of the Yazidis on Sinjar mountain in 2014, fighting to stop ISIS from carrying out a massive genocidal campaign in which ISIS cadres captured and enslaved countless Yazidi women, boys, and girls. The men were killed by ISIS, the boys killed or indoctrinated. The women and girls subsequently were raped and treated as chattel. But thousands were able to escape with YPG help.* * *THE PRISONERS* * *At present the SDF houses thousands of captured ISIS prisoners, holding the men in repurposed schools and prisons overflowing with former fighters and in camps similarly run at overcapacity for ISIS women and children. According to a March 2019 UN report, a total of 8,000 Islamic State fighters currently are held in SDF custody. In our recent visits to north and east Syria from May through August, relying on our primary intelligence sources, we were told that approximately 2,000 of these Islamic State prisoners were considered “foreign terrorist fighters” from North Africa, Europe, and the Americas.The same data was also corroborated in an August 2019 press release by the Office of the Spokesperson, Special Envoy of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, Ambassador James Jeffrey. Just under a 1,000 of the prisoners are believed to be Europeans. ICSVE has interviewed approximately five percent of those detained. Most appear to have become totally disillusioned, are exhausted from battle and prison and say they want to lay down arms. While there is no specific deradicalization or rehabilitation program applied to them at present and we have been requested by the SDF and also agreed to build one, it’s safe to say the majority are spontaneously deradicalizing and simply want to return home to their former lives after facing a judicial process.The SDF prisons are overcrowded and the SDF leadership repeatedly has expressed a need to ICSVE researchers for technical assistance in dealing with terrorist prisoners and for financial assistance to build at least five prisons. Riots and attempted jail breaks have occurred in SDF prisons holding foreign fighters. Likewise, recent news reporting shows over-capacity has prisoners sleeping next to each other on their sides to be able to fit into small and overcrowded rooms. Three detention centers holding ISIS women and children also are administered by the SDF: Camps Hol, Ain Issa and Roj. According to a UN Report as of April 2019 an estimated 75,000 women and children were being held. Our data suggests that at least 60,000 are Syrians and Iraqis. At least 8,000 children and 4,000 wives of foreign fighters remain in the camp.Women and children live in tents in these camps which are hot in the summer, freezing cold during winter, and leak cold rainwater as well. Dust blows around the camps causing breathing difficulties for some. Women and children have died of typhus, tent fires, and other dangers in the camps. Recently vaccinations have been offered, but many mothers don’t trust the program and refrain from having their children vaccinated. The women cook for themselves and complain that the food provided them lacks nutritious fruits and vegetables. Schools are lacking as well.All of the camps housing women have suffered from ISIS enforcers still dedicated to the group who require the other women to continue to cover themselves and punish those who speak out against them. These women have attacked other women, set their tents on fire, stolen their possessions, attacked, bitten, beaten and stabbed guards and have murdered other women creating a sense of chaos, constant danger and oppression in the camps. Recently a gun fight broke out in Camp Hol, with one woman killed and seven wounded.Foreign fighters from about 60 countries remain in SDF custody. We have interviewed foreign fighters who are nationals of the United States, Canada, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago, the UK, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Dagestan, Turkey, Denmark, Russia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia, Indonesia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Libya, Switzerland, Egypt, and Germany. * * *A TRIBUNAL?* * *While the SDF has struggled to contain the overflow of captured ISIS fighters, they have been frustrated by Turkish politics and threats to their very existence. In recent years with the Syrian uprising and rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the Turks saw it to be to their advantage to fund, train and equip Islamist rebels that they believed could keep the Kurdish independence movements in Syria in a weakened state or altogether destroyed. The Kurds, meanwhile, fought back in 2015 when ISIS invaded the city of Kobani on the Turkish border and rose up as a valiant on-the-ground force to repel the terrorists. The U.S. led coalition began arming and supplying the YPG and YPJ, and providing air cover, infusing the Kurds with a powerful sense of valor and military might that ultimately led to the complete territorial defeat of an Islamic State “Caliphate” that had taken as its motto “remain and expand.”ISIS is hardly a defeated foe however, with weekly sleeper cell attacks occurring in both Syria and Iraq and the likes of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi still making video and audio appeals to supporters around the world to reinstate the Caliphate, starting with breaking the ISIS prisoners out of captivity.The subject of ISIS captives is one of great importance to President Trump who repeatedly has threatened to release the roughly 12,000 ISIS foreign men, women and children prisoners held by the SDF in prisons and camps. Trump’s view is that each country has to take its citizens back, even countries like Sweden that lack a terrorism law under which to prosecute returnees, and countries like France, which already has a serious militant jihadi prison problem and fears any more potential ISIS cadres inside its penitentiaries. These countries have continued to tell the SDF that an international tribunal can be established in its territory to try ISIS prisoners in place. But the UN Counter Terrorism Directorate and U.S. State Department strongly disagree with this proposal and President Trump continues to tweet that he is simply going to release the prisoners to European countries refusing to repatriate them—even though it is the SDF, not Washington, that has them in custody.In a series of tweets on Monday, Trump claimed erroneously that most of the ISIS prisoners are foreigner terrorist fighters and seemed to ignore that ISIS, even when based far away in Syria, is a very real threat to U.S. citizens and interests. It is “time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home. WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN. Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to … figure the situation out, and what they want to do with the captured ISIS fighters in their “neighborhood.” They all hate ISIS, have been enemies for years. We are 7000 miles away and will crush ISIS again if they come anywhere near us!”While arguments of who should be responsible to prosecute and hold ISIS prisoners can be made on both sides, in many ways Europe, Jordan and many other countries effectively did “flush the toilet” of their militant jihadi problem by allowing them to freely exit their countries to go fight in Syria, most of them ultimately joining ISIS. The U.S. at present repatriates all of its ISIS fighters bringing them to swift and sound justice at home.* * *ISIS AMBASSADOR TO TURKEY* * *Turkey also has a responsibility in the rise of ISIS, having allowed over 40,000 foreign fighters to cross over its border into Syria, many unabashedly on their way to join the Islamic State. Many prisoners tell us of Turkish complicity with their journey into ISIS-land and being wished well by border guards who winked as they crossed into Syria.Abu Mansour, a 36-year-old Moroccan ISIS emir interviewed by ICSVE in February 2019 in Iraqi prison, told us that he basically functioned as the ISIS ambassador to Turkey, negotiating border issues, the transfer of ISIS wounded into Turkey for treatment, the flow of foreign fighters across the Turkish border into ISIS territory, and other logistics. “The subject of Turkey is a very big one,” he said, “and the mutual interests include the obvious and the hidden.”“Their benefit was that it was a border area and we have a border strip with them,” Abu Mansour continued. “Security is one of them, and they wanted to control north of Syria.” The Turks wanted to control the entire border region in Syria and even into Iraq as far as Mosul, according to Abu Mansour, but they wanted to do it through a proxy force. “So, they wanted to find organizations that would do this favor for them, including terminating the presence of the Kurdish Workers Party [the PKK], without a direct interference from Turkey. At the same time, especially since they were part of NATO, they don’t want to anger NATO, because they need NATO.”By the same token, Turkish President Erdogan’s background as a committed Islamist created a certain sympathy, as did his ambition to revive in modern form the old Ottoman empire, Abu Mansour claimed. “The pretext of [controlling the] Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK] is a strong pretext for Turkey, but they have ambitions, as they have entered regions that don’t have PKK in them.” Abu Mansour explained the Turkish and ISIS relationship through his own experiences. In 2013, he said, he was assigned to receive the ISIS volunteers arriving in Turkey, but later, “I supervised the country entry operations, registration as a whole.” Then in 2015, he said, “I worked on external relations, relations with the Turkish intelligence. It started when I was at the borders.” First there was an agreement about passing the wounded from Syria into Turkey, about the border crossing and security arrangements. “Ambulances, especially in critical and serious situations, could go straight to the [border] gate,” said Abu Mansour. “Then a Turkish ambulance takes the case to the Turkish hospitals, and it is followed up inside Turkey. There was a hotline with intelligence who are located at the borders. Most places were available, [including] hospitals in Turkey [and] there was a technical staff of doctors who follow up the case in Turkey. The [Turkish] state was paying for certain operations performed in private hospitals, but most cases referred by the public hospitals were for free.”Abu Mansour said he had “face-to-face meetings with Turkish delegations. Sometimes they represented the intelligence services, sometimes the Turkish army, depending on the issue. “Most meetings were in Turkey on the border strip, but there were also meetings in Ankara and Gaziantep, depending on the issue,” said Abu Mansour. He would travel with a delegation of two or three ISIS people.”Referencing the easy relationship, as he saw it, between ISIS and the Turkish intelligence and military, Abu Mansour claimed, an ISIS emir could “go to Ankara without a problem. They always sent a car, or a bodyguard. At one point, we met weekly, depending on the issue and its importance to Turkey and to us, according to the demand.”The situation described by Abu Mansour raises a question: did the ultimate defeat of ISIS in fact deprive the Turks of the proxy buffer zone they wanted—which they are now invading Syria to establish?Abu Mansour recalled, “Turkey asked on many occasions for a safe zone.” This would be a demilitarized zone where it would provide ISIS with whatever it wanted, but only inside Syrian territories. According to Abu Mansour, , ISIS refused to grant it, and relations started to fall apart. Eventually, Turkey grew sick of the back and forth, and there was also a split in ISIS leadership, with one faction deciding it would take the terror war into Turkey with a 2016 bombing at Istanbul airport. At the time, Abu Mansour was in Gaziantep, Turkey, and the Turkish authorities told him they thought this was an orchestrated act to pressure Ankara. But he says that was not the case. The external security services of ISIS had started setting their own agenda, “carrying out operations everywhere,” Abu Mansour told us. “We reached a state in which they couldn’t care less about politics, and they worked like gangs, [and would] strike anywhere.”While Turkey continues to claim that the SDF, our strongest ally in fighting ISIS, is a terrorist dominated group, many questions remain about Turkey’s own complicity with ISIS. Given that during a bitterly fought war with ISIS, in which many Kurdish lives were lost, that the SDF managed to take control of the area, institute a functioning political system that included granting an impressive array of minority rights and rights to women, the SDF deserves our respect and protection.But U.S. President Donald Trump has put a price on all this. “The Kurds fought with us,” he tweeted, “but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so.” That they saved countless lives in the process, including American lives, does not seem to have been a factor.Spencer Ackerman also contributed reporting to this article.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Saudi Arabian interests reported spending just over $16 million on foreign influence operations from October 2, 2017, until October 2, 2018, according to OpenSecrets’ analysis. In the year since Khashoggi’s death, Saudi interests have poured more than $27 million into influence operations disclosed in Foreign Agent Registration Act filings in OpenSecrets’ Foreign Lobby Watch database.
The vast majority of Saudi Arabia’s influence spending targeting the U.S. in the past year went to a lobbying and communications firm called MSLGroup in a stream of payments starting days after Khashoggi’s killing. From October 2018 to January 2019, MSLGroup raked in more than $18.8 million from Saudi government — more than Saudi Arabia spent lobbying the U.S. in the entire year leading up to Khashoggi’s death.
One year ago, Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey. He was working for the Washington Post because he was in exile from his Saudi Arabia. He was a vigorous advocate for openness, accountability, and transparency. He used his platform to urge the Saudi leadership to embrace these important values and was assassinated by their agents as a result.
Khashoggi knew that using his voice in this way carried risks. He nevertheless pushed for democratic reforms in Saudi Arabia. His commitment to democracy aligned him with a foundational element of our democracy here in the United States, which is a free and independent press. In the year since his murder, his legacy has become even more profound.
A commitment to openness, accountability, and transparency is a hallmark of journalism. These principles deserve to be memorialized in a permanent way. The Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation was recently launched to build a memorial in Washington so that we never forget Khashoggi and others like him. The memorial will not include any names. Instead, it will be a testament to the commitment shared by journalists to the values of democracy all over the world.
The best part of Ottawa is the Rideau Canal Skateway, which is the world's largest skating rink. When all sections are open, it stretches 7.8 km (4.8 miles). The season seems short as the ice tends to last for four to six weeks, if we're lucky. And a skate on the canal for me always ends with a BeaverTail. Freshly made bread dough is dipped in hot oil and then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. The line ups are always long, but worth the wait for this bite of sweetness.
BeaverTail shacks have been around since 1978 and started in Ottawa. Now franchises can be found in other parts of Canada, Colorado and recently in Saudi Arabia!
I tried making BeaverTails at home, and although they are delicious, they can't measure up to the ones from the BeaverTail shack.
adapted from Link
1/2 cup warm water
5 teaspoons active dry...
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Kaharian ng Saudi Arabia – Oktobre 3, 2019 Sinimulan na ng Specialised Criminal Court (SCC) ang paglilitis sa 45 na akusado sa kasong terorismo, kaugnay sa pagpatay kay General Ketab Al Hammadi noong 2016 at...
BABY STEPS: Saudi Arabia to allow foreign couples to rent hotel rooms. “Saudi women can rent hotel rooms and foreign unmarried couples can share a room as restrictions eased to boost tourism.” The easing of stringent regulations governing social interactions comes after Riyadh launched its first tourist visa scheme, as part of efforts to open up the country to foreign visitors and diversify its oil-reliant economy. The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage posted the new requirements on Twitter on Sunday, confirming a Friday report by the Saudi daily Okaz. The commission said women will be allowed to rent hotel rooms with proof of identity – an ID card for Saudi women, residency card for foreign residents living in the kingdom or passport for tourists. The same would be required of foreign couples, without the need for them to present a marriage certificate. Previously women needed permission from a male guardian to rent a hotel room. Plus:…
Since Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March 2015, the United States gave its full support to a relentless air campaign where Saudi warplanes and bombs hit thousands of targets, including civilian sites and infrastructure, with impunity. From the beginning, US officials insisted that American weapons, training and intelligence assistance would help the Saudis avoid causing even more civilian casualties. But this was a lie meant to obscure one of the least understood aspects of US support for Saudi Arabia and its allies in Yemen: it’s not that Saudi-led forces don’t know how to use American-made weapons or need help in choosing targets. They have deliberately targeted civilians and Yemen’s infrastructure since the war’s early days – and US officials have recognized this since at least 2016 and done little to stop it. A team of United Nations investigators, commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council, presented a devastating report in Geneva in early September detailing how the US, along with Britain and France, are likely complicit in war crimes in Yemen because of continued weapons sales and intelligence support to the Saudis and their allies, especially the United Arab Emirates. Despite pressure from Saudi Arabia, the Human Rights Council voted last Thursday to extend its investigation. If the council pursues an aggressive investigation based on the 274-page report, the world might finally see some accountability for war crimes committed in Yemen over the past five years. The report’s authors submitted a secret list of individuals who may be responsible for war crimes to the UN human rights commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, but it’s unclear if that list includes any western officials. The report said third states that have influence on Yemen’s warring parties – including the US, Britain, France and Iran – “may be held responsible for providing aid or assistance for the commission of international law violations”. American complicity in the Yemen war goes beyond providing training and intelligence support, and selling billions of dollars in weapons to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which has become Washington’s largest weapons buyer. The US is looking the other way while its allies commit war crimes and avoid responsibility for instigating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
True. There's a reason so many around the world do not see our country as good or even not bad. We have a strong inclination to ignore that view. Hillary Clinton fanatics, for example, in the US refuse to recognize the feelings of so many in the Middle East when they express distaste for Hillary as a result of the policies she has supported that have destroyed their lives, the lives of their friends and their family. We don't want to own what our government has done. This goes exactly to Trina's post last night. Not only do our rulers need to be held accountable, we need to take accountability for looking the other way and ignoring the damage done to so many.
Meanwhile, Bernie proves again why he should be president.
Thursday, October 3, 2019. Even Joe Biden's friends in the press denying anything wrong took place demonstrates that Joe did something wrong and meanwhile the protests continue in Iraq.
In the United States, the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues. While Senator Bernie Sanders has been temporarily sidelined due to surgery, War Hawk Joe Biden continues to flounder as desperation hits in.
I will put the integrity of my whole career in public service to this nation up against President Trump's long record of lying, cheating, and stealing any day of the week.
Joe Biden Speaks in Reno
1,254 replies3,987 retweets21,462 likes
Will you put that record up?
Is that the record where you tell the public that you always believed Anita Hill but others -- including a US senator -- are on the record saying you told them you knew Anita was lying? Is that the record?
Or is it the record where you were a cheerleader for the Iraq War? Have you ever apologized to the Iraqi people for that? You certainly haven't apologized to the American people. You've either said that you were tricked by Bully Boy Bush or you've lied that you were against it as soon as it started.
Is it the record where you pushed through the 'crime' bill that targeted African-Americans? This as your little blond princess niece assaults a police officer and does no time and then, a few years later, is caught stealing over $100,000 and does no time.
Caroline Biden. Apparently she has a major vag problem. Apparently she's crusty lips down there. Apparently she had to steal a credit card and charge over $100,000 worth of Vagisil at a drug store to deal with her crust lips and to stop popping out loafs of sourdough bread from her personal oven. Apparently, one of her boyfriends asked her why she was chewing bubble gum with her vagina and she replied that wasn't bubble gum, those were yeast bubbles.
That's got to be it, right? The press doesn't want to talk about a thirty-something woman who's Joe Biden's niece and stole over $100,000 so it's got be vag related, right? That's the only reason they're so mum on the topic. (See Nora Ephron's essay "Dealing With The, Uh, Problem.")
When is Joe going to be asked why his niece was shown favoritism?
Joe's hoping and praying that his hideous campaign can struggle on through South Carolina. He knows he's losing Iowa, he knows he's losing New Hampshire. but if he can stay in until South Carolina, he just knows he'll prove to be a winner.
Now Iowa, please remember, knocked him out of the race in 2008. He bowed out immediately after.
But he thinks the myth of Joe Biden support among African-Americans will save him this go round.
He is not huge with African-Americans. He's popular with middle-aged and elderly African-Americans but, as his own campaign polling demonstrates (his campaign poured over it Monday), it's a very soft support. It's doubtful South Carolina African-Americans from his age range will stick with him if he loses Iowa -- forget losing Iowa and New Hampshire.
Twitter has since removed the video featuring Nickelback’s song “Photograph” for copyright reasons that President Trump tweeted on Wednesday. This, as the president accused Joe Biden of abusing his power to help his son. There’s no evidence of wrongdoing, @kwelkernbc reports.
Zain Group has announced that its subsidiary in Saudi Arabia has launched commercial 5G services, with the first phase of the rollout being implemented through a network of 2,000 towers that cover an area of more than 20 cities in the Kingdom. The company is planning a gradual expansion of the network to a total of 26 Saudi cities utilising 2,600 towers by the end of 2019. Commenting on the milestone, Zain Group CEO Bader Al Kharafi said: ‘5G will bring substantial change for the Kingdom’s telecom industry, creating new business models and unlocking opportunities for many sectors such as financial, ICT, agricultural, tourism, entertainment, automotive, health, education and public sectors, to name a few. The technology is also expected to contribute significantly to the country’s economy, creating thousands of new jobs.’
Abiy Ahmed, the ethiopian pm came up with ‘innovative projects’, to bring back eritrean asylum seekers ‘under wonderful conditions’. It looks as if it has come out of one of trump’s twitter posts. It seems that all dictators use fake news as a major weapon during elections.
Maybe Netrnyahu was trying to sell his meeting and the discussion he had with Abey as a political ploy to gain more votes from the Israeli people, because he was afraid that people were turning their backs on him. Even the visit was said to be a means to win the hearts and minds of the ethiopian jews who seem to have been disappointed with the racist policies of Netenyahu’s government.
The PM of Israel may think that Abey is the right person to talk to Isaias Afeworki about eritrean refugees, and world leaders similarly believe the same thing since the last peace agreement. Unpredictable as Isaias maybe, it seems that that was not the case. Nothing has been heard since Abiy’s return.
Doing even the least thing that may help somebody in despair is not a bad idea, and when it is done to alleviate the sufferings of eritrean refugees in israel and elsewhere, be it the person is an eritrean or a foreigner. Abiy has shown on many occasions that he has a soft spot in his heart for refugees. Wherever he went he came back with a plane full of ethiopian refugees or sent planes to bring them back home, wherever they were stuck, be it in Saudi Arabia, Libya, Tanzania, etc. I am sure that he has already done a lot if his aim was to gain recognition and a title. It is part of his nature.
I do not know if the 200k eritrean refugees in ethiopia are raw material as well for Abiy, if the 20k are characterized as such. If there is money that comes out of refugees, it won't be the same as some eritreans have done through trafficking human beings and trading in human organs of their compatriots, that caused an immense mental and physical sufferings and deaths. If Abiy has anything to do, it is humanitarian - it is not about money or title.
The aim, in my opinion, is to soften the heart of the dictator, which many think that Abiy is the right person to do, so that IA accepts back home his people. Eritrean elites have not brought an iota of change in their country to ameliorate the plight of their people, other than to wait for the dictator’s natural demise, and the fittest is expected to survive until that day, be it in ten, twenty or even thirty years. Even after the demise of the dictator, no-one knows how that day is going to be - different or the same? Accusing somebody who may try to help, even if it is against their political stand, is not the right thing. They should accept even the little relief from suffering that might come by softening the heart of the dictator, because Abiy is in no place to force it upon IA, other than calling upon a change of heart.
If somebody does nothing to help, he/she is accused of doing nothing, even if somebody does something to help, again no one is spared of accusation. It is a weird world that can’t give a solution nor accepts another solution. The isaias factor, could be influenced at last against all odds, is the main point here. No solution is the right solution unless the solution is to the satisfaction of the eritrean elites, and the dire situation of the refugees does not seem to be an urgent agenda. It is wrong. Why shouldn’t eritreans return back to their homes instead of suffering and dying in the four corners of the world even if IA is in power, provided he changes his modus operandi, even at this late stage in his life. No one knows, it could happen. Otherwise, one must go and get him. Accusing somebody else will not help the situation. Unfortunately, whatever ethiopia does is simply an anathema.
Finally, the so called the “Orit” nation shows the frustration and hopelessness, the danger of giving up on independent eritrea, and the wish to sail blindly to uncharted waters, wherever they may end up. When reality is replaced with myth it shows that the situation has become stagnant for too long and it is creating hallucinations.
Within hours of the September 14, 2019, droneborne bomb attacks on oil-processing facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais in Saudi Arabia, the first telephone call received by Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, secretary-general of the Organisation of Petroleum...
In the bad old days when advertisements for tobacco products were still allowed, a slogan for an American cigarette said, ‘I’d walk a mile for a Camel’. Saudi Arabia might do worse than pinch that line as, for the first time, it rolls out the red...
At the United Nations, where once-hardened ex-generals like Barak quaked about the prospect of the world uniting to force Israel to accept a Palestinian state, the situation for the Jewish state’s foes is particularly dismal. It’s true that many UN agencies, like its Human Rights Council, are still cesspools of antisemitism and hypocrisy, focusing almost exclusively on bogus attacks on Israel while ignoring real human-rights catastrophes in countries around the world.
But as is the case elsewhere, the diplomatic isolation that Barak and so many others feared never happened. Indeed, as Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon recently wrote, the world body is no longer the “home court” for those who oppose Israel. The majority of member states joined the United States and Israel in condemning Hamas terrorism in the past year. In a variety of steps, both large and small, Israel’s presence there has become normalized.
At the same time, the Palestinians have become more of an afterthought. It’s probably better for Abbas that even the Palestinians’ usual cheerleaders on the left paid no attention to his recent address at the UN General Assembly, where he spoke of his devotion to democracy and his plans to hold an election. Abbas is so devoted to democracy that he is currently serving the 15th year of a four-year term as president of the PA, to which he was elected in 2005. No one takes his talk of finally holding another vote seriously, since there is no way he would risk being defeated by his more radical Islamist rivals in Hamas, who currently rule Gaza.
The Arab and Muslim worlds may still be hotbeds of antisemitism and may have successfully exported their Jew-hatred to the West in the form of the BDS movement. However, Arab states have effectively dropped the Palestinian cause as a priority and instead are increasingly looking to Israel as an ally against Iran. Though they still pay some lip service to the Palestinian cause, the governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt have little interest in creating another failed and unstable Arab state for the Palestinians.
To note these facts is not to deny that the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians is not going away and remains a serious problem. But as long as both the PA and Hamas are stuck in the mindset of their century-long war on Zionism, peace will have to wait until the Palestinians are ready to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state.
The fact that the “tsunami” that so many Jews feared has fizzled into the BDS flop that can only intimidate someone like Lovato demonstrates that the conventional wisdom peddled by Israel’s noisy critics shouldn’t be taken seriously. Those who listen to the counsels of despair in 2011 have turned out to be as confused as a second-tier pop star.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz on Sunday confirmed that he has been advancing non-aggression treaties with several Arab countries in the Gulf, a “historic” démarche he said could end the conflict between Jerusalem and those states.
“Recently I have been promoting, with the backing of the prime minister, a diplomatic initiative to sign ‘non-aggression agreements’ with the Arab Gulf states,” Katz wrote on Twitter.
“It’s a historic move that will end the conflict and enable civilian cooperation until the signing of peace agreements,” he said, in what appeared to be a tacit acknowledgement that no Arab country is currently willing to establish full diplomatic relations with the Jewish state as long as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains unresolved.
Katz further confirmed that he presented his plan to several Arab foreign ministers during his visit to New York last week at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. He also discussed the proposal with the US administration’s outgoing special envoy for the peace process, Jason Greenblatt, Katz said.
“I will continue to work to strengthen Israel’s standing in the region and around the world,” he pledged.
Katz’s tweet included a link to a report aired Saturday night by Channel 12, which first revealed the existence of the potentially groundbreaking initiative.
In fact PMW's reports show that Fatah does all of that and worse on its Facebook page, and PMW has pointed this out to Facebook more than once. Yet Facebook continues to leave the platform open for Fatah's terror promotion.
Fishman further explained that Facebook finds that governments and academics are acting too slow in terms of designating who are "terrorist actors" and therefore designates such themselves: "We [Facebook] designate terrorist actors ourselves. This is pretty unique, but the reason we do this is because although there are a variety of lists of terrorist organizations in the world that are maintained by academics, that are maintained by governments, we find that academics and governments act too slowly. They don't actually maintain comprehensive lists in real time, and the expectation on us by our users and by the community globally is that we are able to respond to these things in near real time."
One can only marvel at the speed with which Facebook claims that it responds to terror promotion when looking at its inaction in the face of PMW’s thorough documentation. Nine months ago Facebook was supplied by PMW with explicit evidence that Fatah’s mission includes terror and violence. Yet in its statement to the Jerusalem Post last week Facebook said: "We have received reports about potentially violating content on this page and, as we do with all such reports, are in the process of reviewing that content to determine whether it violates our policies."
Facebook boasting would be laughable, if its behavior was not life-threatening. Facebook claims to have a policy according to which “there may be no praise, support, or representation of a terrorist organization, a terrorist actor, a terrorist event,” and boasts ‘we are able to respond to these things in near real time.”
In the case of Fatah, Facebook has failed repeatedly to deal with the terror promotion on its platform. Despite being provided with the evidence, Facebook did nothing to remove Fatah’s terror glorifying and promoting posts. While their actions were no more than piece-meal, it appears that even Fatah accepted PMW’s claim that many of their posts contained terror glorification and promotion and decided to take them down.
Facebook removes terror promotion in “real time,” except when the murder of Israelis is being celebrated and promoted. For Israelis a full nine months is necessary and Facebook is still “in the process of reviewing that content,” that clearly celebrates and promotes terror.
While Facebook is bragging about fighting terror, Palestinian terror is being embedded in the hearts and minds of the next generation of potential terrorists, thanks to Facebook.
The Palestinian Authority has removed any mention of past agreements with Israel from their school textbooks, with the exception of the Oslo Accords, which are mentioned in far less detail than in previous editions of the schoolbooks, according to a new report by Yedioth Aharonot.
The new curriculum, which has been progressively implemented throughout the past three years, and the textbooks in particular, are studied between 1st and 12th grades in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, east Jerusalem and refugee camps. They, unlike their previous editions, make no mention of the historical Jewish presence in Israel, and speak about every quarter in Jerusalem's Old City – except the Jewish Quarter.
The portions of the textbooks that do mention the Oslo Accords portray Israel in a negative light, claiming that "the Zionist occupation was forced to recognize the PLO after the First Intifada in 1987."
In addition, the old textbooks contained the full contents of the letter written in 1993 by then-PA chairman Yasser Arafat to then-Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, which detailed the values of peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
The new textbooks, however, censor the part in which Arafat writes that the declaration of principles "is the beginning of an era of coexistence in peace without violence and any action that may risk the peace."
The few times in which Israel is mentioned throughout the rest of the textbooks are in parentheses, a habit typically taken on to claim the illegitimacy of the state by extremist organizations such as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, according to Mako.
Turkey will soon move forward with its long-planned military operation to create what it calls a "safe zone" in northern Syria – and U.S. forces will not support or be involved in it, the White House press secretary announced early Monday morning. The move is an extraordinary reversal of US policy that leaves America's allies wondering whether they can still rely on the Trump administration.
The statement came after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump discussed in a phone call Turkey's plans to establish a "safe zone" east of the Euphrates River in Syria. For four years, the US and mostly Kurdish fighters have fought and defeated Islamic State in northeast Syria.
The White House decision will effectively displace the partner forces the US had been working with. For more than a year and a half, Trump has been seeking to leave Syria. In the midst of the impeachment crisis, he has now made the decision to sacrifice US allies in the war on ISIS as opposed to pressuring Ankara with diplomatic means.
"Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria," the White House press secretary said in a statement.
"The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial 'Caliphate,' will no longer be in the immediate area," it added.
The White House looks at the overall picture in eastern Syria, not as one in which the US fought and sacrificed alongside Kurdish partner forces, but as a simple transactional issue.
In this view, the US has no interests in eastern Syria, except the ISIS fighters. Washington has no interests in creating stability, preventing Iranian influence, defending its partners, preventing ethnic cleansing or the destruction of property, or in managing the crisis. Instead, it decided that its mission was tailored and narrow, and nothing beyond the ISIS issue.
Turkey's Erdogan government will be invading northern Syria to slaughter the Kurds, America's loyal allies against ISIS; release captured ISIS fighters, and doubtless seek to stay permanently in control of the area. The horror is that it will be doing all this with the tacit blessing of the US.
"I am saying this today: We have not got the required support from the world -- particularly from the EU -- to share the burden of the refugees we have been hosting, so we might have to [open the gates] to get the support." — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Takvim, September 5, 2019
"If we open the floodgates, no European government will be able to survive for more than six months. We advise them not to try our patience." — Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, Anadolu Agency, July 21, 2019.
Erdogan's threats are not new... and his claims are flawed.... Ankara has not lived up to its commitments.
"The most important question is why the refugee camps are not open to civil monitoring. Entry to refugee camps is not allowed. The camps are not transparent. There are many allegations as to what is happening in them. We are therefore worried about what they are hiding from us." — Cansu Turan, a social worker with the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV), to Gatestone Institute, August 2016.
"Turkish authorities are detaining and coercing Syrians into signing forms saying they want to return to Syria and then forcibly returning them there." — Human Rights Watch, July 2019.
Israel has “great challenges around us” and it's cooperation with Russia is “critical,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday, a day after US President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw troops from Syria and allow a Turkish incursion there against Kurdish forces.
Netanyahu made the comments at a holiday toast with workers in his office, during which he relayed that he just had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Netanyahu phoned Putin to wish him a happy birthday.
“I met with him a few weeks ago about issues that are important for the security of the State of Israel, and this conversation as well was important to Israel's security,” he said. Though he did not provide details, the Netanyahu-Putin conversation is believed to have dealt with the changing dynamics in Syria resulting from the White House's dramatic announcement on Sunday.
“We have great challenges around us, but we enjoy important cooperation and coordination with Russia, something that is critical for us, and which we will continue to deal with,” he said.
The Trump administration's move, which opens the way for a Turkish strike on Kurdish fighters long aligned with Washington, runs counter to the positions of even some of Trump's top allies in his own party.
Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator who is generally a vocal Trump supporter, wrote in a series of Twitter posts that he was trying to set up a call with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and would introduce a Senate resolution opposing the withdrawal decision and calling for it to be reversed.
"It's never in our national security interest to abandon an ally who's helped us fight ISIS," Graham said in an interview with Fox News Channel, using an acronym for Islamic State.
"This impulsive decision by the president has undone all the gains we've made, thrown the region into further chaos."
Former US Ambassador the United Nations, Nikki Haley also responded on Twitter, saying, "We must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back. The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake."
Republican Senator Marco Rubio tweeted that "If reports about US retreat in #Syria are accurate, the Trump administration has made a grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria."
US-backed Kurdish-led forces in Syria said American troops began withdrawing Monday from northeast Syria ahead of a Turkish invasion that the Kurds say will overturn five years of achievements in the battle against the Islamic State terror group.
The Syrian Kurdish fighters also accused Washington of failing to abide by its commitments to its key allies in the fight against IS. It’s a major shift in US policy.
The American withdrawal came just hours after the White House said US forces in northeastern Syria will move aside and clear the way for an expected Turkish assault — essentially abandoning Kurdish fighters who fought alongside American forces in the years-long battle to defeat IS.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened for months to launch the military operation across the border. He views the Syria Kurdish forces as a threat to his country as Ankara has struggled with a Kurdish insurgency within Turkey.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkey was “determined to ensure our country’s existence and security by clearing terrorists from this region.”
“From the start of the Syria war, we have supported that country’s territorial integrity and will continue to do so from now on,” Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter. “We will contribute to bring serenity, peace and stability to Syria.”
The United Nations said Monday it was “preparing for the worst” in northeast Syria after the United States said it would step aside to allow for Turkish military operations in the area.
“We don’t know what is going to happen… we are preparing for the worst,” UN regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria, Panos Moumtzis, said in Geneva, stressing that there were “a lot of unanswered questions” about the consequences of the operation.
Moumtzis added that the UN was “in contact with all sides” on the ground.
But he made clear his office did not have advance warning about the US decision that effectively abandons the Kurds, who were Washington’s main ally in the long battle against the so-called Islamic State group.
Moumtzis said the UN’s priorities were to ensure that any prospective Turkish offensive not result in new displacements, that humanitarian access remain unhindered and that no restrictions be put in place on freedom of movement.
The UN has a contingency plan to address additional civilian suffering, but “hopes that will not be used,” Moumtzis said.
In a cabinet meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed a massive air defense system to defend against Iranian attacks, especially cruise missiles like those used in attacks on a Saudi Arabian oil facility last month, according to KAN.
Last month, cruise missiles and explosive drones were used in an attack on two plants at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, including the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility.
The United States, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France and Germany have publicly blamed the attack on Iran, which denies involvement in the strike.
The attacks on the two facilities cut Saudi Arabia’s crude oil supply by around 5.7 million barrels per day, or about 50% of its output.
The plan proposed by Netanyahu will cost billions of shekels. Some of the funds for the project won’t be allocated officially until after a government is formed, assuming that there aren’t third elections.
The funds for the project will either come from cuts within the security establishment or from funds cut from social services. According to KAN, it’s more likely that the funds will be taken from social services.
The Iranian military says it has produced a new conversion kit to upgrade artillery rockets to surface-to-surface missiles, technology that Israel has accused Tehran of attempting to deliver to the Hezbollah terror group.
The Iranians unveiled the new guidance system upgrade, called Labeik, at an event Thursday at which a number of new military technologies were showcased, according to Jane’s Defence Weekly.
Jane’s reported that Labeik appeared similar to the guidance systems on the Fateh-110 series of rockets, many of which are believed to be in the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon. According to the report, the new system also looks to be compatible with Zelzal heavy artillery rockets.
Video footage of the new conversion system aired on Iranian television shows a short body featuring four inverted fins that can be fitted between the rocket and its payload.
According to Iran’s Fars News, the “anti-armor ‘Labeik 1’ missiles… enjoy precision-striking power.”
“There is nothing new in the conversion itself, they have been doing it for years, and they already showed conversion kits for the Fatah 110 family of missiles,” Uzi Rubin, one of the pioneers of Israel’s earliest attempts at missile defense, told The Times of Israel.
“What’s new here are the aerodynamics of the winglets — very unique, unseen in Iran to date and unseen in any other country. Going to indigenous design rather than copying others indicates self-confidence. The purpose of the new and unique aerodynamics is probably to increase the maneuverability of the converted rockets.”
Growing global antisemitism and the dangers of Iran make it more important than ever that the US maintain close ties to Israel, leading Republican Representative Ann Wagner of Missouri said during a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, in which she spoke against BDS and promoted joint Palestinian-Israeli business ventures over the Green Line.
“Israel is deeply invested in achieving peace in the Middle East, and so is the United States of America,” said Wagner, who is a member of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee. “And we will all stand collectively with Israel as they work toward the achievement of this goal.”
At “a time of heightened antisemitism that we are seeing across the globe, it is more important than ever that we maintain a strong connection to this very key ally of ours in Israel,” said Wagner. Such a stance is also significant given that Iran is threatening Israel, including through its proxies Hezbollah and Hamas.
Part of a small congressional delegation that traveled to Israel in August, Wagner was on a trip sponsored by the US Israel Education Association (USIEA). The trip focused on security issues and the work of the Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce and Industry, co-led by Avi Zimmerman of the Ariel settlement and Ashraf Jabari of Hebron.
According to the chamber, it has a membership of some 250 Israeli and 250 Palestinian business people. Jabari was among a small number of Palestinian entrepreneurs who attended the US-led economic workshop in Manama, Bahrain, in June.
Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz has ordered his office to draw up plans to stop the Turkish government's efforts to undermine Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem and protect Jordan's special status as guardian of Muslim holy sites in the city.
Katz intends to present the plan to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu soon, so he can authorize its implementation. Due to the sensitivity of the plan, whose implementation will almost certainly lead to a direct confrontation with Ankara, it is also expected to be raised for discussion by the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet. According to ministry officials, as the plan pertains to security matters, there is nothing preventing it from being implemented by a transition government.
The issue of Turkey's influence on members of Jerusalem's Arab population has weighed on security and diplomatic officials' minds for years. As Israel Hayom has previously reported, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been buying influence over sites and prominent figures in east Jerusalem for years. Nevertheless, Jerusalem has not made any effort to challenge these efforts up until now.
The Foreign Ministry's plan would see the Muslim Brotherhood, which has close ties to Erdoğan's Justice and Development party, deemed an illegal association in Israel. Further ministry recommendations for thwarting Ankara's efforts include restricting the activities of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, or TIKA, in Israel. The organization, whose stated objective is "preventing the Judaization of Jerusalem," spends some $12 million annually on activities aimed at undermining Israeli sovereignty in east Jerusalem. It should be noted that these activities are personally managed by Erdoğan.
The plan's architects propose obligating TIKA to coordinate its activities with Israel in advance and preventing the association from act unequivocally in Jerusalem. In addition, they propose Jerusalem not renew the head of TIKA in Jerusalem's, a move that would strip the organization head of his diplomatic status in Israel and render his presence in Israel illegal.
Additional steps would include restricting communications between members of the Islamic Waqf.
This is why a new plan from Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz should be seen more as a declaration of intent and less as an operational plan. For the plan to take effect, defense and security officials who have been dealing with the issue for several years already must supply the top political echelon with evidence. Anyone who wants, for example, to limit the activity of TIKA, a well-endowed Turkish government agency, in Jerusalem will have to first prove that its activity goes beyond the bounds of civil/community service and slides into violence and incitement. Thus far, no evidence of that has been found, although attempts have been made to do so.
The steps the Foreign Ministry wants to take against the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood organization could also turn out to be complicated. It's doubtful whether Israel can point to direct activity by the Muslim Brotherhood. On the other hand, it is definitely possible to identify violent activity by groups or individuals with ideological links to the Brotherhood or its international headquarters in London. Steps have been taken against the Muslim Brotherhood in the past, and we can assume that more will be done in the future. Only recently, two female rioters were barred from the Temple Mount for a period of six months.
It looks like the best way to fight Erdoğan, who is hostile to Israel and trying to buy influence in Jerusalem, is to continue to expose Turkey's ties to Hamas. For years, Turkey has served as a haven for Hamas terrorists and commanders. For years, terrorist attacks or attempted terrorist attacks on both sides of the Green Line have been initiated and directed from Turkish territory. Erdoğan has repeatedly made it clear that as far as he is concerned, Hamas is not a terrorist organization, but the facts on the ground prove differently. Dozens of Hamas cells handled from Turkey have been exposed over the past few years, and the Shin Bet recently reported, "Turkey contributes to the military empowerment of Hamas, through methods that include the SADAT company, which was founded on the orders of Adnan Basha, a close advisor to government officials in Turkey."
This is where Israel has to operate, both operationally and in terms of public diplomacy and traditional diplomacy. The Turkish nonprofits active in Jerusalem are tough to check unless legislative changes can be made that alter the definition of "hostile" activity in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.
Israel’s envoy to Cyprus on Monday expressed backing for the Mediterranean island state after Turkey moved a gas drilling rig into Cypriot waters last week.
“Friends should stick with each other,” Ambassador Sammy Revel tweeted.
He added that Israel is “following closely and with concern” the Turkish move.
Revel’s comments come after Cyprus lashed out at Turkey’s new attempt to drill for gas in Cypriot waters where European energy companies are already licensed to conduct a search, calling it a “severe escalation” and vowing to fight the move.
Israel and Turkey, once close allies, have had increasingly strained relations since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan became the country’s leader. Erdogan is a staunch supporter of the Palestinians and launches frequent verbal attacks on the Jewish state.
Israel also voiced support for Cyprus in July over Turkish operations in the country’s exclusive economic zone.
Israel, Cyprus and Greece have forged an energy-based partnership that has steadily grown following the discovery of gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean. The United States began joining the talks earlier this year.
Members of Germany's Jewish community are speaking out against the World Jewish Congress's decision to honor Chancellor Angela Merkel with its prestigious Herzl Award.
Every year, the organization bestows the award to figures who act to promote Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl's "ideas for the creation of a safer and more tolerant world for Jews."
Along with Merkel, former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has also been selected for the award, which the two women are set to receive in separate ceremonies.
However, the announcement of WJC's plan to honor Merkel with the award has been met with piercing criticism from members of Germany's Jewish community, who note the change in Merkel's stance toward Israel in recent years, her support for the 2015 nuclear deal, and the increasing sense among the country's Jews that Berlin is not doing an adequate job of contending with the growing threat to Jews as a result of the anti-Semitic views of Arab and Muslim migrants to the country.
Among the points of contention raised by the local Jewish community: Germany's continued pattern of voting against Israel in UN and other international bodies; Berlin's continued funding for organizations that support the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement; its refusal to ban Hezbollah activities in the country; and Germany's increased financial support for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, without conditioning those funds on the cessation of incitement against Israel. There also those who cite Merkel's vocal opposition to US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's official capital and Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
The Israel Defense Forces have set up a special engineering corps company to discover and prevent terror tunnels dug across Israel’s northern border from Lebanon.
The new company is intended to deal with the long-term threat from tunneling attempts by Hezbollah, Israeli news website Mako reported on Sunday. It will use cutting edge technology to do so, most of it tested on Hamas tunnels dug from Gaza, but adapted to the northern terrain, which is quite different.
The main tactic employed by the company is the use of new technology, and as a result is heavily invested in research and development.
One department deals with developing technologies to detect tunnels and tunnel digging activity, while another examines the practical engineering means of interdicting and destroying them.
The head of the company, Captain Moshe Asraf, said it was established according to the “lessons” learned during last year’s Operation Northern Shield, during which he served as a commander in the engineering corps.
Dozens of Palestinians rioted on Sunday night following the pilgrimage of some 1,000 Jews, under Israeli security escort, to the Tomb of Joseph in Shechem/Nablus to pray. The rioters threw firebombs and burning tires at security personnel.
Israeli security forces responded with riot dispersal methods.
There were no Israeli reports of casualties during the incident, however the PA’s Wafa news agency reported that seven rioters were wounded after “Israeli forces escorted a convoy of buses packed with over a thousand fanatic Jewish settlers to the site, located in the Palestinian-controlled area, sparking confrontations with Palestinian residents.”
Wafa stated that the injured Palestinians had been “protesting” the “raid” and “attempting to block settlers’ access to the site”
“Among the settlers who raided the site were Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen, leader of the council of settlers in the occupied West Bank Yossi Dagan, and Knesset member Moshe Arbel,” Wafa reported.
Abbas' remarks, which were less acerbic in tone than those he made in previous addresses to the General Assembly, reflected a concern over the ineffectiveness of his policies and the sidelining of the Palestinian issue from the international, regional, and Israeli agenda.
It is also nevertheless evident from Abbas' remarks that he does not intend to bend as far as his fundamental positions on the conflict are concerned. This was given clear expression in Abbas' stated enthusiastic commitment to continue to pay salaries to Palestinian terrorists and their families, despite the fact that Israel has deducted this amount from the tax revenues it transfers to Ramallah. While there is nothing new about this declaration, Abbas' decision to repeat it in a major international forum is indicative of the PA chairman's commitment to the expectations of the Palestinian street, as he perceives and shapes it.
In practice, despite the cuts in the transferred funds and the Palestinian decision to avoid accepting a further installment of payments Israel is willing to transfer, the PA continues to pay these terrorist salaries as usual. According to the PA budget implementation report for 2019, the Palestinian Authority transferred 276 million shekels (around $79 million) in payments – i.e., salaries – and another 75 million shekels (around $22 million) in "social" payments to families, family expenses, medical insurance coverage, and legal expenses, among other things. In total, the PA Prisoner Affairs Ministry spent some 364 million shekels ($105 million) on these terrorist payments.
These numbers reveal that the PA's payments to terrorists in 2019 were similar in scope to those made the previous year. The significance of this is that despite increasing pressure, the Palestinians are sticking to their guns, as it were, and as a result, the chances of the PA becoming a partner for peace under Abbas' leadership continue to be slim to none.
The crisis between Israel and the Palestinian Authority over Israeli deductions of payments made to security prisoners and families of Palestinians killed while carrying out attacks against Israelis remains unresolved, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Monday.
Speaking at the weekly meeting of his cabinet in Ramallah, Shtayyeh announced that the PA has received NIS 1.5 billion from Israel in accordance with the deal reached between the two sides last week.
“The problem with Israel [over the funds withheld by Israel] has not been resolved until this moment,” Shtayyeh said. “There is no government in Israel that is capable of making a political decision on this matter.”
Despite Israel’s decision to deduct the payments from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinians, the PA government continues to fulfill its duties toward the prisoners and the families of the “martyrs,” Shtayyeh said, and the PA government will remain committed to paying salaries to the families of the prisoners and “martyrs.”
PA President Mahmoud Abbas also said that the PA’s position regarding payments to the security prisoners and families of “martyrs” remains unchanged.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that he would discuss plans for new parliamentary elections with all factions, including longtime rivals Hamas.
Meeting with senior Palestinian leaders in the PA’s administrative capital of Ramallah in the West Bank, Abbas renewed a pledge to hold the polls — the first since 2006 — but without giving a timeframe.
He announced that they had formed committees to “communicate with the election commission and factions such as Hamas and all factions, as well as with the Israeli authorities.”
He said any elections should take place in “the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.”
Hamas and Fatah have been at loggerheads since 2007, when the terror group seized Gaza and threw out Abbas’s forces, which retained control of the internationally recognized Palestinian government, based in the West Bank.
No parliamentary elections have been held since 2006, with the two sides trading blame.
In other words, Islamic Jihad's promise is one of unending toxicity: to go on poisoning the hearts and minds of generation after generation of Palestinians – as well as to continue investing millions of dollars in building tunnels and amassing weapons to ensure that the fight against Israel continues forever.
"The policy of resistance and jihad is the genuine policy to liberate all Palestine, and the Palestinian people will not abandon this path. We will not accept any agreement that contradicts the project of jihad and liberation. Under no circumstances will we give up one inch of the land of Palestine." -- Senior Hamas official Salah Bardaweel.
For [Hamas and Islamic Jihad] , a ceasefire means further amassing weapons and preparing their people for war without worrying about Israeli military action. When will the international community pull its head out of the sand in which it has so long been buried and understand that with organizations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad running the show, the Gaza Strip will remain the humanitarian disaster that is so bitterly blamed on Israel?
Lebanese authorities have arrested a Syrian national accused of having made phone calls to neighboring Israel, the army said Friday.
An army statement said the suspect, who was not identified, was referred to court for “contacting Israeli phone numbers and communicating with Israelis present in the occupied Palestinian territories.” It did not elaborate.
Lebanon is home to tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who fled the war raging in their country.
In August, tensions spiked between Lebanon and Israel after two drones packed with explosives were sent into the Beirut bastion of the Shiite movement Hezbollah.
Iran-backed Hezbollah and the Lebanese army accused Israel of being behind the drone launch.
Lebanon’s government and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah both described the apparently botched operation as an act of aggression.
A few days after the August 25 drone incident in Beirut, the army opened fire on Israeli drones flying over southern Lebanon.
At the same time, over the past few weeks, there have been increasing calls from senior religious figures in Iran and the leadership of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard for the destruction of the State of Israel. This is similar to statements issued by the Supreme Leader in 2016 that Israel would cease to exist in another 25 years. It is possible that this round of criticism against Israel serves a smokescreen while negotiations are taking place between Iran and the United States to enable Iran’s return to the nuclear deal.
In any case, by November 7, 2019, a further reduction is expected in Iran’s commitment to the nuclear agreement (including the enrichment of uranium to 20 percent and even higher). There is a window of opportunity for diplomacy and European efforts to try what has failed until now – to promise economic compensation to Iran for the American sanctions or alternatively to bring Washington back to the negotiating table. Iran’s oppositional regional policy (against Israel and Saudi Arabia, in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria) will apparently make it harder for Europe and the United States to advance the negotiations with Iran. However, in the past, Europe has shown that it is prepared to ignore repeated violations of human rights in Iran, such as its role in terror activities (including within European territory!), to fulfill the nuclear agreement, which eventually leads to investment and economic cooperation with Iran. Iran is well aware of Europe’s modus operandi and uses it and U.S. weakness to achieve maximum profit to renew negotiations regarding the nuclear agreement.
“Today, the Nuclear Deal Is in the Intensive Care Unit” In this regard, Abbas Aragchi, deputy foreign minister and one of the patrons of the nuclear deal, stated at a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the opening of the German embassy in Tehran that, “today the nuclear deal is in the intensive care unit.” He added that to save it, cooperation was necessary between the P5+1 states. This could “bring down the walls of American sanctions and one-sided policies, which have become its weapon against independent countries.” According to him, Iran, along with the European countries, China, and Russia, are attempting to reach a balanced agreement through negotiations, but because of America’s one-sided policies, this balance has been violated and lost.5
Iran has confirmed the arrest last week in Tehran of a Russian journalist, saying the case was a matter of a visa violation.
Government spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters that Yulia Yuzik’s case is under “quick review” by authorities and wasn’t related to matters concerning the “counter-espionage” department. Her ex-husband said last week she had been arrested for allegedly spying for Israel.
The Russian Embassy in Tehran said on Friday that Yuzik flew into Tehran the previous Sunday and that Iranian officials seized her passport at the airport for unknown reasons. She was arrested from her hotel room on Wednesday.
The Russian foreign ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador to Moscow to explain Yuzik’s arrest.
Prior to her arrest, Yuzik posted photographs from her trip on Instagram, saying she loved being in Iran.
It wasn't that long ago that the Palestinian Authority was on the record as adamantly opposing boycotting Israel, to the point of actually arresting BDS protesters.
Things have changed, though.
This week, the Palestinian prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh and 12 members of his cabinet are meeting in Cairo for four days.
The stated purpose of the meeting is to come up with a plan to boycott Israeli goods and replace them with Jordanian, Iraqi and Egyptian goods.
The attendees include the ministers of economy, agriculture, public works, higher education, endowments, interior, local government, communications, transport, energy, foreign affairs and finance.
The Palestinian economy is heavily dependent on imports from Israel now but the percentage of imports from Israel has been steadily decreasing over the years, While virtually all imports were from Israel in the 1990s, in 2016 only 58% of its imports came from Israel.
Interestingly, the meeting this week doesn't seem to be at all about Palestinian exports, of which 83% went to Israel as of 2016. This is especially interesting since while the PA exports tens of millions of dollars worth of items to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE and Qatar, there are virtually no exports to Egypt - the country hosting this conference. This seems to indicate that this conference isn't about diversifying the number of trade partners for Palestinians as it is for boycotting Israeli goods.
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After initially refusing to accept any tax revenues Israel collected and transfered to the Palestinian Authority because Israel implemented its anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has now capitulated and agreed to accept the vast majority of the funds.
In February 2019, Israel's cabinet decided to implement one part of the 2018 anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law and started to deduct the sum the PA spent in 2018 paying salaries to terrorist prisoners and released prisoners from the 2019 tax revenues Israel collects and transfers to the PA.
Initially, rejecting Israel's implementation of the anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law, because he argued that paying financial rewards to Palestinian terrorists is legitimate, Abbas refused to accept the money Israel tranfered and plunged the PA into a self-made financial crisis.
"[PA] Minister of Civil Affairs [and Fatah Central Committee member] Hussein Al-Sheikh said yesterday [Feb. 10, 2019] that he has conveyed an official message at the request of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas that emphasizes that 'He will refuse to receive the collected [tax] money if Israel deducts even one penny from it.'" [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 11, 2019]
When he made that decision, Palestinian Media Watch speculated that Abbas was probably planning to use the ensuing impoverishment of the Palestinian population as a tactic to put pressure on Israel to transfer to him the money he uses to reward terror. PMW also suggested that he was using the decision as a means to leverage the international community to put pressure on Israel to ignore its own laws. Abbas was also hoping that the international community would again side with the PA against Israel and further subsidize the PA.
As a show of his resolve to plunge the PA economy into the abyss, Abbas decided to cut the salaries of the PA's law abiding employees by 40-50% while guaranteeing the payment, in full, of the salaries to the terrorists. The PA also stopped allowing Palestinians to receive medical treatment in Israel, under the false claim that Israel was deducting $100 dollars a year for this service. This ban did not apply to senior Fatah figures like Jibril Rajoub who continued to receive medical treatment in an Israeli hospital.
Abbas' decision to accept the tax revenues, even though Israel continues to implement its anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law, reflects an understanding that all these goals have failed.
The Department for International Development (DFID) must now release documents to UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), having abandoned part of its appeal from the decision of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
The ICO ordered DFID to disclose to UKLFI audits of accounts into which British grant aid was transferred and then used to pay salaries to convicted Palestinian terrorists. British Ministers relied on these audits when concerns were expressed that British money was being used to pay terrorists.
Various countries, including the UK, paid large sums of money into the World Bank’s Palestinian Recovery and Development Program Multi donor trust fund (PRDP-MDTF), which were then transferred to the Palestinian Authority’s Central Treasury Account.
Funds from this account were used to pay convicted terrorists, rewarding them for their crimes.
On 26 July 2019, the ICO ordered DFID to disclose the audit reports of the PRDP-MDTF and the terms on which the auditors were engaged. The ICO concluded that there was a significant public interest in the disclosure of the information, which outweighed any harm that may be done to diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority.
DFID had filed a Notice of Appeal on 19 August 2019, saying that it intended to appeal the release of the documents, on the grounds that the ICO’s assessment of the public interest was wrong, and that it also disputed the ICO’s conclusion that the Palestinian Authority was not a State, for the purposes of section 27 of the Freedom of Information Act.
Israel is surrounded by enemies – especially Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria and Hamas in Gaza that could be tempted to exploit the fractured nature of Israel’s current political circumstances.
There are pressing political issues awaiting Israel’s next Government – most notably negotiations on President Trump’s deal of the century and Netanyahu’s election promise to annex large parts of the "West Bank."
Ending this state of suspended uncertainty has now been thrust on the shoulders of Netanyahu and Liberman – following the failure of Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to achieve a deal they could both live with.
Netanyahu and Liberman would do well to heed the sage advice contained in the Ethics of the Fathers:
“Do not seek greatness for yourself, and do not lust for honor”
Achieving greatness and honor together by compromising their political expectations will secure Netanyahu and Liberman a special place in the annals of Israel.
It’s that at a time when a rising tide of anti-Semitism is spreading over the globe – and Jews are facing the twin threats of white-supremacist hate from the far-Right, as well as leftist anti-Zionists seeking to delegitimize both Israel and American Jews – using it as a partisan political weapon is dangerously irresponsible.
Trump’s actions and statements are fair game for criticism and, like any other leader, can be held accountable by Congress and the courts.
But labeling him an anti-Semite is a blatant falsehood. That’s not merely because he’s clearly the most pro-Israel president America has had, in addition to someone with Jewish family, and with a staff and cabinet filled with many Jews.
It’s also true that his administration has in some respects taken anti-Semitism more seriously than his predecessors. He has ordered civil-rights investigations into attacks on Jewish students and others on US college campuses that were ignored by Obama, and Trump’s Justice Department convened a summit on the subject that addressed issues not treated seriously before this.
If anti-Semitism is just one more brickbat to be tossed around with impunity in the course of bitter and all-too-savage debate on impeachment, then those who are using it in that way are effectively saying that it’s not as important as their partisan goals.
It’s time for both Democrats and Republicans of goodwill to recognize that whatever the outcome of the impeachment battle, injecting false charges of anti-Semitism into the discussion will not advance their cause. It will, however, materially damage the fight against hate.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, well-known for cultural appropriation, sent a fundraising email on behalf of Leslie Cockburn late yesterday afternoon.
Warren’s support comes well after the Republican Party of Virginia revealed that Leslie Cockburn was a “virulent anti-Semite” for espousing bizarre conspiracy theories regarding the Jewish people and Israel. It was also recently discovered that Cockburn’s work has been used as source material for a number of white nationalist organizations. Notably, at least one of those websites was responsible for promoting and organizing the deadly Charlottesville rally of last August. Cockburn’s history of anti-Semitism has been well-documented since she wrote Dangerous Liaison in the early 1990s.
It is also worth noting that Cockburn’s co-author, at a debate at Oxford in 2007, said “the Israel lobby in the United States dictates American policy.” Andrew Cockburn also had this to say about the so-called Israel Lobby: “I mean, you know, we’ve had comparisons of the National Rifle Association lobby, very powerful, supremely powerful in Congress, but you can get up and run for office against the National Rifle Association for gun control and no-one tries to demonise you or drive you out of public life. That’s different with the Israel lobby. It’s across, it’s the Congress, it’s the executive branch and it’s in the culture, in the media.”
“Either Elizabeth Warren didn’t do her homework, or she supports what Cockburn stands for; anti-Semitism.” said RPV Executive Director John Findlay. “Elizabeth Warren should answer whether she agrees with Leslie’s co-author when he said that “the Israel lobby in the United States dictates American policy.” This endorsement by a Massachusetts Democrat exemplifies the truth about Leslie Cockburn – she is an out-of-touch, out-of-state liberal who only wants to go to Congress to push a far-left agenda.”
The UN's Insane Israel Bias: Ben Shapiro on UN Watch Statistics
Turkey has re-written the rules of international law in Syria, declaring that when there is a presence of what it views as a “terrorist organization,” it has a right to invade and create a “safe zone” or “peace corridor” along the border. Other countries including India, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Egypt may take note and begin to study Ankara’s doctrine that has wide implications for international affairs.
In international relations, countries generally enjoy a right to self-defense. This is enshrined in various international laws, precedent and treaty law. The UN Charter, for instance, argues in Article 2 that “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.” Article 51 notes that nothing in the charter “shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense.”
Ankara re-written these norms, arguing that when a country has designated an organization a “terrorist group” that it will have a right to invade the neighboring country and set up a “safe zone” along the border. This doesn’t require Ankara to present any evidence that there was a threat or attacks from northern Syria. Turkey simply took over Jarabulus and Afrin in 2016 and 2018 respectively. Now Turkey says it has a right to take over eastern Syria, redraw property lines and international borders, and settle one million Syrian refugees there, creating hundreds of towns regardless of the local population’s views.
This is a new step in international law, one which has broad implications. Israel’s conquest in 1967 of the West Bank and Golan Heights have generally been seen as illegal under international law. But Israel may now argue it is setting up a “safe zone.” This could also be Israel’s argument for distancing Hezbollah from the Lebanese border.
Wider ramifications mean that India can now argue that it needs a safe zone in Pakistan to keep extremists away from parts of the border of Kashmir. Pakistan may need to take over parts of Afghanistan to create Turkey-style safe zones. Russia can say that its role in eastern Ukraine is a “safe zone” or peace corridor. Saudi Arabia now likely needs a safe zone in Yemen. The number of safe zones that can be created on the Turkish model may be endless. Many porous borders across the Sahel in Africa mean that various countries may need to set up safe zones in the territory of their neighbor.
In an article last week on the occasion of IDF's Brig. Gen. Eran Niv wrapping up his post as commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, Haaretz's English edition whitewashes the July 2017 killing of two Druze police officers shot dead by three Israeli Arab assailants just outside the Temple Mount.
Haaretz's English edition, both in print (page 4, Sept. 29) and online refer to the "deaths of two Border Police officers" in the summer of 2017: The perceived violation of religious symbols is a particularly potent accelerant for violence, Niv says, recalling the violence that erupted after Israel installed metal detectors at the Temple Mount in the summer of 2017, following the deaths of two Border Police officers, as well as the brief outburst that followed visits by Jews to the Temple Mount in August on Tisha B'Av, which coincided with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
Why does the English edition fail to note that the border police officers were killed by Israeli Arab assailants leaving the Temple Mount? Indeed, violence didn't erupt only after the officers' "deaths" -- their deaths themselves, ie murders, were violent.
The Hebrew version of the same article more precisely reported that the officers were killed
China's state oil company has pulled out of a $5 billion deal to develop a portion of Iran's massive offshore natural gas field, the Islamic republic's oil minister said Sunday, an agreement from which France's Total SA earlier withdrew over US sanctions.
The South Pars field deal, struck in the wake of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, appears to be just the latest business casualty of America's pressure campaign on Tehran following US President Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal of the US from the deal.
It also comes as China and the US engage in their own trade war, as Beijing and Washington levy billions of dollars of tariffs on each other's goods.
Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh, quoted by the ministry's Petroenergy Information Network (SHANA), said Sunday that the China National Petroleum Corp. was "no longer in the project." He did not elaborate or give any reason for the withdrawal, though SHANA said the company "had pulled out of a contract" to develop the field.
Officials in Beijing didn't immediately acknowledge their decision. Phone calls to the CNPC rang unanswered on Sunday and its website bore no mention of the withdrawal.
Australia will not extradite an Iranian academic to the United States, Australia’s attorney-general said over the weekend, following a 13-month detention of the researcher for allegedly exporting American-made military equipment to Iran.
Attorney-General Christian Porter said in a statement that “in all the circumstances of this particular case” the academic, Reza Dehbashi Kivi, should not be extradited.
“My decision was made in accordance with the requirements of Australian domestic legal processes and is completely consistent with the powers provided to the commonwealth attorney-general under our law,” Porter said.
The statement came hours after Iran had agreed to free an Australian couple from a Tehran prison who were held on spying charges. Later on Saturday, Iranian media reported that Dehbashi Kivi had already returned to Iran.
Porter would not say whether the two cases were related.
“The Australian Government does not comment on the details behind its consideration of particular cases,” Porter said in his e-mailed statement.
“And while it is likely that because of Mr Kivi’s nationality some will speculate regarding this matter, consistent with prior practice I do not intend to comment further on the particular details of this case, particularly when any such response from me may diminish our government’s capacity to deal with future matters of this type in Australia’s best interests.”
An Iranian newspaper linked to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Iraqis to seize the US embassy in Baghdad, in a move similar to the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran during the Iranian revolution of 1979, according to Radio Farda.
"Historical evidence has shown that US embassies in all countries, even in friendly and allied countries, are the focus of conspiracy. The US Embassy in Iran is a clear and exemplary example of this bitter reality," wrote Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of the Kayhan newspaper, in reference to the former US embassy that was taken over and held hostage during the revolution in 1979.
Documents found in the embassy in 1979 "revealed the betrayal of some Iranian political figures and exposed the countless US crimes in Iran and some other countries in the region," according to Kayhan.
The author of the Kayhan article asked "young Iraqi revolutionary believers" why they don't "end the presence of the US Embassy in Baghdad, the same espionage and conspiracy center against the oppressed Iraqi people."
Shariatmadari claimed that "There are many documents about the presence of U.S., Israeli and Saudi Wahabi agents, as well as Ba'thist elements behind the Iraqi protests."
More than 300 people are accusing local Iranian medical officials of infecting them with the HIV virus, according to Iranian media sources.
The residents, located in the village of Chenar Mahmoud and the towns of Lordegan, Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari, say adults and children contracted HIV from local medical centers and health clinics due to unsanitary medical practices, including from contaminated syringes used by the local health organizations during a widespread test for diabetes two months prior.
There are similar unconfirmed reports by individuals in neighboring villages.
On Saturday, large groups of the affected townspeople, along with their loved ones and supporters, stormed the office of the Friday Prayer Imam and set it ablaze. Another group protested in front of the governor's building in the province, demanding that the courts investigate the case.
Radio Farda and the Mehr-news agency (MNA) both reported on the incidents.
"A limited number of 'opportunists' attempted to create disruption and sedition outside the Governor's building, but failed," MNA reported about the incident in front of the governor's office.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government declared the Iranian regime’s call to obliterate the Jewish state is not an expression of antisemitism in an eye-popping statement to The Jerusalem Post on Friday.
On October 1, Merkel’s Foreign Ministry merely labeled the call to destroy Israel by commander-in-chief of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Gen. Hossein Salami “anti-Israel rhetoric.”
When the Post asked the Merkel administration if it agrees with the statement of its foreign ministry, a spokesman told the Post: “We have nothing to add to the reply of the foreign office.”
The Post specifically asked if Salami’s statements are antisemitic.
In late September, Salami delivered his call to exterminate the Jewish state before an audience of IRGC leaders that was publicized by the state-funded IRNA agency, as well as other Iranian regime-controlled outlets.
Salami said that “This sinister regime must be wiped off the map and this is no longer… a dream [but] it is an achievable goal.”
He added that his country has “managed to obtain the capacity to destroy the impostor Zionist regime” 40 years after the 1979 Islamic revolution.
We don’t believe that Lovato is an antisemite but she does need to understand that by backtracking on her praise for Israel, she is playing into the hands of antisemites and forces that seek Israel’s destruction.
By caving to BDS pressure, Lovato let herself be used as a political tool. She backtracked on her praise for Israel out of some distorted sense of solidarity with the Palestinian cause.
It is true that Israel has an unsettled conflict with the Palestinians and this paper is not alone within Israel of calling – repeatedly – on the government to find ways to reengage with the Palestinian Authority and to work toward a solution.
The BDS movement, Lovato should know, does not want peace and is not interested in a two-state solution. It openly seeks the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, a right afforded to Israel by the United Nations.
Like Lorde, Lovato has joined the forces that believe the Jewish people do not deserve that right. They hold Israel to a double standard and believe that song line out the Jews is okay and not hypocritical or wrong.
She may have distanced herself from Israel and apologized for visiting here, but she needn’t be “Sorry, not Sorry,” as her famous hit song goes. Israelis might not get to hear her perform anytime soon in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv but they will get to hear Celine Dion next summer. Our hearts, as Dion famously sings, will go on.
In a surprise to nobody, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) announced that its upcoming national conference, set to commence on November 1, will be held on the University of Minnesota Campus in Minneapolis (UMN). Why is this not a surprise? Because Minneapolis happens to be the district of antisemitic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a prominent figure in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
This is not a coincidence. In fact, the very first goal stated on the conference website is to capitalize on shifts in the political climate, represented by the elections of BDS supporters Rep. Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib. However, the real shift in the political climate – one that SJP itself has played a substantial role in – is the resurgence of the world’s “oldest hatred” in the US under the guise of BDS.
Countless articles and in-depth studies have delineated the various calls for violence by the SJP leadership, as well as their intimate connection with Palestinian terrorist organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), all of which thrive off an ideology of Jew-hatred. It’s not just the leadership that is guilty of promoting antisemitism, but many student members of SJP as well.
How many times must an SJP chapter host convicted terrorists like Rasmea Odeh at its events before they are called out for their antisemitism? How many social media posts fawning over convicted terrorist Marwan Barghouti and PFLP founder George Habash must be shared by official SJP accounts until the tech overlords ban SJP from their platforms? How many T-shirts glorifying PFLP terrorist Leila Khaled must be sold at their events before the world opens its eyes?
HonestReporting's Daniel Pomerantz Exposes BDS Co-founder Omar Barghouti
HonestReporting's Executive Director Daniel Pomerantz goes head to head with on live television with Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. This is a 3 minute highlight reel. For the full 20 minute segment click here: https://youtu.be/xq0#utm_source=googlier.com/page/2019_10_08/49600&utm_campaign=link&utm_term=googlier&utm_content=googlier.comXUFpVoCA This was originally aired on CGTN's The Heat news talk program. CGTN is China's English language international channel, with an estimated global viewership of 4 million.
A Sept. 27th Financial Times book review written by David Feldman, director of the UK based Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, gave a mostly positive account of “How to Fight Anti-Semitism” by NY Times editor Barri Weiss.
However, on the topic of Muslim antisemitism, Feldman is critical.
Weiss is strong on how rightwing anti-Semitism functions, and she scores some hits in her attacks on the left and radical Islam. But sometimes she misses the target. Her writing about anti-Semitism among Muslims is a case in point. It is because of the growing Muslim presence, Weiss claims, that “it is dangerous to be a Jew in Europe.” In fact, so far as we can tell, most anti-Semitism in Britain stems from white men who are nominally Christian.
This is extremely misleading.
Whilst it’s narrowly true that most antisemitic incidents in the UK are committed by “white men”, this is not a terribly significant fact given the overwhelming majority of British citizens are white. When taking into account antisemitic incidents by perpetrator, based on the size of racial and religious groups, CST’s 2018 report demonstrates that Muslims commit acts of antisemitism at a rate disproportionate to their numbers. (page 8 of the report)
Further, according to a major 2017 study of antisemitic attitudes in the UK, by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research and CST, levels of antisemitism in the UK are “2 to 4 times higher among Muslims compared to the general population“.
On its website, the BBC has an animated series entitled An A-Z of -isms – including one episode titled “Zionism: A Very Brief History” – and gives this strapline: “Writers, academics and thinkers share their takes on some of the world’s most important ideas (plus a few fun ones).”
The corporation declares that it is “the world’s leading public service broadcaster,” and creates “distinctive, world-class programmes and content which inform, educate and entertain millions of people in the UK and around the world.” Therefore, although, so far, only 79,300 or so of those millions have clicked the Zionism animation, it must be remembered that it is on the BBC’s website and not on some obscure ranter’s internet outlet.
As it is, for now, one of the most viewed -isms, it cannot be ignored and remains relevant. Also, Israel is a subject close to the BBC’s keyboards.
In setting itself up as educator, and because it is here dealing with “some of the world’s most important ideas,” the BBC is duty-bound to ensure editorial rigor of its content. Yet, the corporation shirks this duty when it complacently defers it to the author of the “potted history” of Zionism. Using drab and noisy illustrative cartoons that are in some cases inaccurate and inappropriate, with the voice-over veering high and low, further underlines the utter slovenliness of this BBC product.
Clearly, the Zionism -ism was also a “fun one” of the -isms. Theodor Herzl gets tomatoes thrown at him, Jews are swivel-eyed and other such – it adds up to a bit of a list in this 3.08-minute agitated animation.
Who or what was editing Colin Shindler’s “take” on Zionism? You won’t find out who Herzl was, a Jew, because you’re not told.
You are also not told about how Europe, with its fanatical crusades, was long ago set on its path to Hitler’s “Final Solution.” Nor is there any mention of the horrifically violent history of antisemitism across Europe, in which entire villages of Jews were regularly burned to the ground – and this was before the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions, the latter of which was a wedding gift of sorts. Alfred Dreyfus was dispensable and so Shindler dispensed with him, and with this swipe, a major defining point in modern Jewish history is elided.
Russian antisemitism – the only mention of “antisemitism” – is quickly and quaintly dismissed as a “heavy hand.” Also not mentioned is the specially coined Russian term, “pogrom,” with all the wanton and brutal destruction of whole Jewish communities that it entailed. It is interesting, though, how the word “Diaspora” is used, without any irony about the way in which it has become a common term, far beyond the Jewish context – a bit like pogrom (but then again, it was not mentioned). Whereas Herzl got tomatoes thrown at him, “Arab nationalism” is treated reverentially. Not even one falafel flies (but then again, falafels are Pharaonic).
A BBC article published on September 24th on the network’s Arabic website was corrected last week (no earlier than October 1st, based on the date attributed to a cached copy of the inaccurate version) following a complaint made by CAMERA Arabic on the day of publication.
The article – which aimed to provide a detailed, informed introduction to Israel’s major Arab parties – contained three factual errors, one memorable typo and one major omission – all in one subsection.
Under the headline “What are the components of the Joint Arab List in the Israeli Knesset and [what are] their orientations?”, the article discussed the Joint List – a union of four Israeli parties, three of which self-identify as “Arab” while the fourth, Hadash, describes itself as “Arab-Jewish” (although the vast majority of its voters are estimated to be Arab).
The inaccuracies appeared in the part of the article portraying one of the Joint List’s components: the nationalist Arab party of the National Democratic Alliance (Balad). The correction addressed all the issues raised by CAMERA Arabic. (all translations, emphasis and in-bracket remarks are by CAMERA Arabic unless otherwise specified)
The number of hate crimes against Jews in New York City has risen significantly over the first nine months of this year, part of a citywide rise in such offenses.
The New York Police Department has reported 311 total hate crimes through September, as opposed to 250 reported through the same period in 2018, according to Deputy Inspector Mark Molinari, who heads the department’s Hate Crimes Task Force.
Molinari said 52 percent of the reported hate crimes, or 163, have targeted Jews. Over the same period last year, the NYPD reported 108 anti-Semitic hate crimes.
At a meeting Thursday with Jewish philanthropists, Molinari discussed the numbers and how to prevent anti-Semitic crimes in the city. He recounted a list of anti-Jewish hate crimes that had made the news just this week: - Two Jewish men had their hats knocked off by a group of teens. - A separate group of children broke the windows of a Brooklyn synagogue during the Rosh Hashanah holiday. - Also during the holiday, a third group of kids harassed a Jewish woman, pulling off her scarf and wig.
Robert Kraft, chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group, announced today the hiring of Dr. Rachel Fish as the founding executive director of the Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism. Fish will begin her new role on Monday, October 7.
Kraft established this new foundation in response to the growing rise in antisemitism in the U.S. and abroad, particularly in light of the spread of hateful rhetoric online and the initiation of hate crimes against the Jewish people through social media. He announced the foundation when he was awarded the Genesis Prize in June in Jerusalem, along with his own $20 million founding investment and the generous donations of others.
“I am thrilled to have Rachel lead this new and important effort,” Kraft said. “Rachel’s education, experience and, most importantly, her commitment make her the right person for this role. She is equipped to face the growing epidemic of antisemitism with tenacity and a proven track record of progress through a lifetime of work in this arena. Our family is honored and privileged to have Rachel lead this new foundation, which is so close to our hearts.”
Fish brings with her a thorough background and history in the fight against antisemitism, including a strong academic understanding of the issues and varied experience in advocacy work. Most recently, Rachel was Senior Advisor and Resident Scholar of Jewish/Israel Philanthropy at The Paul E. Singer Foundation in New York City where she aided in developing the strategic approach for the foundation’s giving and worked directly with practitioners to implement their missions and initiatives.
Israel defense firm Elbit has secured a drone deal with an Asian country worth approximately $153 million, the company said on Sunday.
The contract will comprise a networked, multi-layer drone system, with aerial vehicles of varying sizes and capabilities, and will be delivered to the unnamed southeast Asia country over a 22-month period.
The materiel will include over 1,000 of Elbit’s THOR mini-drones, which look like consumer rotor drones and are meant to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance operations. The unmanned aircraft can fly at altitudes of 2,000 feet and at 65 kilometers per hour (40 mph).
It will also include dozens of Skylark drones, small aircraft launched and operated by a team of two that are widely used by the Israel Defense Forces. The Sky Rider, as it is known in Hebrew, is a tactical surveillance drone operated by the Artillery Corps that provides a live video feed to soldiers on the ground.
“Disruption” is a common superlative applied to technology startups. Craigslist disrupted the classified advertising business. Uber and Lyft have disrupted the taxi industry.
Now, a new Israeli company aims to disrupt the fruit market, encompassing some 116 million acres of fruit orchards globally.
Markets in general are ripe for disruption when inefficiencies eat away at their core. The issue with fruit is knowing how much the trees on a farm will produce in a given year.
In industrial farming, this is known as “yield estimation” and it’s accomplished today in a remarkably low-tech way: Farm crews do a manual, visual “count” from the sampling of a few randomly selected trees in the field or in photographic images. From there, they extrapolate to the entire orchard.
But because it’s very difficult to distinguish unripe green fruit from green leaves, inaccuracies ranging from 30% to 40% are common. And wrong yield estimation results in less (or even no) profitability.
Miri Nahari’s father, Tzvi Netzer, was the point-man for pre-Mossad clandestine efforts bringing 250,000 out of 300,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors from Poland to Israel.
Despite that near-miraculous accomplishment, strangely, Netzer is not as much of an international household name as his boss, Shaul Avigur.
Avigur helped found the Haganah’s intelligence wing, and at points headed all of Mossad Aliyah Bet and Nativ – which, respectively, brought massive numbers of European and Russian Jews to Israel.
Still, Netzer was the operational leader on the ground for “the Bricha” (the Jewish Escape) in Poland.
That meant getting Jews out of Poland post-World War II and essentially made him the pre-Mossad Israeli intelligence station chief in one of the key countries in Europe for Jewish survivors.
But before he got to that point, he, in typical Mossad-level spellbinding style, survived quite a few precarious situations, Nehari tells The Jerusalem Post Magazine with a flicker in her eye.
At this point, Nehari herself is a grandmother, and spent aspects of her career carrying out important activities for the state. Her dynamic and bubbly personality is on full display as we make small talk and she offers a hot drink in the living room of her Ramat Hasharon home.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman eulogized Ari Fuld in Gush Etzion Sunday evening, lauding the murdered father of four as an ‘outstanding American, an outstanding Israeli, and an outstanding Jew’.
Speaking during a ceremony marking the first yahrzeit (anniversary of his death) of Fuld in Gush Etzion south of Jerusalem, Friedman recalled Fuld’s pro-Israel activism, and his jubilation over the White House’s decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“The voice of your brother cries out to me from this ground…and it reminds us, as only Ari can, that we must always stand for the truth. I remember how excited Ari was on the day that we opened the United States Embassy in Jerusalem, some 17 months ago,” said Friedman.
“He issued several moving videos. Through all his excitement and all his commentary, the point that reverberated over and over again was not that the opening of the embassy was good, not that it was the right policy, not that it was appropriate or that it was just. Rather what Ari said was that the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem was an act in solidarity with the truth.
“The United States did not discover something new when it opened our embassy there. Rather, the United States was the first among nations to take a stand for the truth, in recognizing Jerusalem’s undeniable eternal status as the capital of Israel, and Ari implicitly recognized this.”
“It was a great privilege to see Ari rejoice at President Trump’s decision. While we had no doubt that we had taken the right path, positive reinforcement from an American and an Israeli and a Jew of Ari’s stature was most welcome.”
Friedman went on to call Fuld, who was murdered in a stabbing attack by a Palestinian Arab terrorist near the Gush Etzion bloc last year, a ‘proud American, Israeli, and Jew’.
The ruins of a 5,000-year-old megalopolis were uncovered in northern Israel, the Antiquities Authority announced on Sunday, in one of the most significant archaeological findings in recent history.
The ruins were discovered in a major excavation project in the Ein Assur site near Harish. According to the IAA, the city was the largest and most central one in the area during the Bronze Age. According to the archaeologists, about 6,000 people lived there, a huge number at the time.
“About the same time that the first pharaoh established his rule over Egypt, this city was founded,” IAA official Yitzhak Paz, explained in a video, calling the city “the New York of that era.”
Paz explained that the location offered exceptionally good conditions to settle, such as sources of water and strategic proximity to ancient commercial routes.
The city was fortified and its urban design is clearly visible, he added.
The ruins clearly show a web of roads and alleys, as well as the design of the buildings. Among the most unique structures uncovered, was a temple where religious rituals were performed. A seal imprint featuring the figure of a stylized man raising his hands in prayer and a head figurine were found at the site.
An even earlier settlement, dating to the Chalcolithic period from 7,000 years ago, was uncovered in deeper excavations made beneath this city's houses. It seems that two abundant springs originating in the area in antiquity were a site of attraction throughout the period.
According to the authority, the finding will change everything scholars know about the urbanization process in the Land of Israel in ancient times.
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I am intellectually curious about Weiss’s thoughts on the fourth pillar of antisemitism that contaminates Western Europe: Guilt-defensiveness antisemitism.
The Israeli psychoanalyst Zvi Rex famously remarked, with biting sarcasm, that “The Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.”
Based on my nearly 20 years of writing and analyzing contemporary antisemitism in Continental Europe, I posit that Rex’s formulation about German society punishing Jews because of the memory of the Shoah, which infuses pathological guilt into many Germans, needs to be updated.
In a modernized version of Rex, one might say that Western Europeans will never forgive Israel for the Holocaust. In short, that Western European countries such as France, Sweden, Austrian, Italy and others that were complicit in the Shoah are intensely focused on imposing discipline and punishment on Israel because of their guilt associated with Holocaust. What other plausible explanation exists for Western Europe’s relentless attacks on Israel and its singling out of Israel, only Israel, for a punitive demarcation of its products from the disputed territories in the West Bank and the Golan?
There has been progress recently in Germany in the fight against contemporary antisemitism, Weiss notes, for example the Bundestag decision to classify the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign targeting Israel as anti-Semitic.
However, there is still the problem that John le Carré described so forcefully in his novel The Little Drummer Girl (1983), when the Palestinain terrorist Khalil says, “We have many friends in Germany. But not because they love Palestinians. Only because they hate Jews.”
A 2017 German government study revealed that nearly 33 million Germans, out of a total population of 82 million, are infected with contemporary antisemitism–that is hatred of the Jewish state.
The report said, in a section titled “Agreement with Israel-related antisemitism,” that 40% of Germans who were polled approved of the following statement: “Based on Israel’s policies, I can understand people having something against the Jews.”
The two most powerful Democratic politicians in America, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, will headline the annual conference of J Street, the liberal Israel lobby.
The conference, which drew 3,000 people last year, is among the most prominent liberal Jewish gatherings of the year. It will take place in late October, and Pelosi and Schumer will speak on the night of Oct. 28. Pelosi recently launched an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
Schumer’s presence at the conference is especially notable because he has established a reputation as a traditional pro-Israel voice in the Senate. He is a perennial speaker at the annual conference of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, which is to the right of J Street. He also voted against President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement in 2015, a deal that J Street strongly supported.
J Street advocates for an end to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, and has been a frequent Trump critic. Its affiliated political action committee, JStreetPac, raised $5 million for more than 100 Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterm elections.
“At a time when many of our core values are under threat both in Israel and here at home, J Street is proud to stand with so many allies who are defending democracy and working towards a better future,” J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami said in a statement.
New Jersey is experiencing a “huge increase” in antisemitic activity and “every tool” needs to be used to combat the trend, the congressman representing the state’s 5th electoral district declared on Friday.
Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer was speaking on a conference call arranged to address a spate of swastika daubings and other antisemitic offenses in New Jersey public schools in recent weeks.
Highlighting the growing threat posed by white supremacist groups across the state, Gottheimer emphasized that his office was actively assisting security enhancement at religious institutions.
“We’re working together with our communities and our religious institutions by providing them with non-profit security grants,” Gottheimer said.
Grants of over $1 million this year have assisted synagogues, mosques, temples and other religious buildings with extra lighting, better locks and other safety measures.
Misogynist thinking and actions exist in America today but not only among right-wing conservatives. It is also flourishing among our media and academic elites. Such thinking is flying high under the banner of “free speech,” “multi-cultural relativism,” “anti-racism,” and “political correctness.” Dare to question this elite’s right to silence and shame those who challenge their views—i.e., that the West is always to blame, that jihadists are freedom-fighters, that the Islamic face veil is a free choice or a religious commandment, that polygamy encourages sisterhood, that Islam is a race, not a religious and political ideology—and, as I’ve noted many times, one is attacked as a racist, an Islamophobe, and a conservative, and swiftly demonized and de-platformed.
While MGM/Hulu’s TV series is dramatically compelling, part soap opera, part horror movie, part Warrior Queen fantasy, the series is radically different from Atwood’s 1985 novel. For example, Atwood’s narrator, Ofglen, is not an increasingly daring, crazed, female assassin, as Elizabeth Moss brilliantly plays her. She is hardly heroic at all; under totalitarianism, heroism, collective or individual, is quickly ferreted out and destroyed. It exists but is rare.
Contemporary viewers are hungry for multi-racial characters, interracial and same-sex couples, “badass” women. Hulu gives them to us. Hulu’s Canada is a multi-racial, politically correct refuge for Gilead’s escapees; same-sex couples and feminists are government leaders. This is not true in the novel. On the contrary, in her 1985 Epilogue, Atwood has Canada rounding up and returning all Gilead escapees.
Atwood the divine novelist is absolutely entitled to depict whatever she wishes. But the current crop of reviewers as well as the filmmakers are playing partisan politics with her original vision and are refusing to see other and larger global dangers contained in her work.
Women’s freedom and women’s lives worldwide are under the most profound siege. To focus solely on the United States or on the Caucasian, Judeo-Christian West is diversionary. It scapegoats one country, one culture, for the far greater crimes of other countries and cultures.
The confidence of 1967 had turned out to be arrogant pride in 1973; its optimism, the folly of wishful thinking. Although there had been ample indications of the impending Egyptian and Syrian attack, Israel’s leadership had refused to believe it would happen and had not taken the necessary precautions. Menachem Begin, then the leader of the opposition, was speaking for all Israelis when, shortly after the war’s end, he declared in the Knesset: Grief over the terrible mistake [of not calling up the reserves in advance and/or undertaking a preventive strike] . . . will never cease to haunt us. All would have been different, militarily and politically, were it not for the New Moon to the Tenth’s blindness.
Begin, a master rhetorician, had chosen his words carefully. “The New Moon to the Tenth,” beyn keseh l’asor, is a traditional rabbinic phrase for the ten “days of awe” from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur; the literal meaning of keseh (based on Psalms 81:4) is “covering up,” that is, the disappearance of the old moon at the month’s end before the new moon is sighted. Furthermore, the literary term used by Begin for “blindness,” likuy m’orot, which in Hebrew signifies more a judgmental or moral loss of vision than a physical one, also means “eclipse.” The intended parallelism was painfully apparent: as the light of the moon is eclipsed at the beginning of the ten days preceding Yom Kippur, so was the judgment of Israel’s leaders.
Ever since 1973, Yom Kippur has had a significance in Israel that it does not have in the rest of the Jewish world. Besides being a day of judgment for the sins of the individual, it has been seared into Israeli consciousness as a day of judgment for the nation—one on which a whole country was found guilty of the sin of hubris and made to pay a terrible price for it.
In colloquial Israeli speech, the words yom kippur have come to denote any shocking comeuppance, so that saying that something was someone’s “Yom Kippur” is like saying in English “It was his Waterloo.” There will never again be a Yom Kippur in Israel without this double sense of it, and the day’s heavy somberness is felt even by those who do not relate to it religiously. It will indeed always continue to haunt.
Israel is the only country in the world that lives in a status called “the war between the wars.” Since it is surrounded by enemies who seek its destruction, even when not in official wartime, it is constantly dealing with small scale attacks from those enemies. The greatest example of this status is the three-year period from 1967 to 1970, a period which is now referred to as the “War of Attrition.”
One would have thought that Israel’s resounding victory over all the neighboring Arab countries in the June 1967 Six Day War would have given the Jewish state a few years of peace and quiet.
But this wasn’t the case.
Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser was determined to do whatever possible to win back the Sinai Peninsula which Israel captured during the war that ended on June 9, 1967. While the Six Day War was over, it wasn’t long until the War of Attrition began.
As early as July 1, Egyptian commandos moved to within 10 miles of the Israeli position on the eastern side of the Suez Canal. Israel, working under a plan to prevent Egyptian forces gathering in the area, attacked the commandos and lost one soldier with 13 wounded. The next day, the Israeli air force bombed the Egyptian artillery that was providing cover for its commandos. That led to an Egyptian air force strike against Israeli forces in the Sinai and, for all intents and purposes, the June 9 ceasefire was no longer relevant. Skirmishes between the two sides continued throughout July with numerous Egyptian fighter jets shot down by Israel and Israel sinking two Egyptian torpedo boats.
There was relative quiet during August, September and most of October but then on October 21, 1967, the Egyptian Navy sunk the Eilat, an Israeli naval destroyer, in international waters off the coast of Port Said, killing 47 Israeli sailors. Israel retaliated with extensive bombing of Egyptian oil refineries and depots in the region, resulting in significant artillery battles between the two sides, with the Egyptians suffering civilian casualties.
Microsoft said Friday that it believed that hackers linked to the Iranian government have recently targeted a US presidential campaign, as well as government officials, media targets and prominent expatriate Iranians.
Overall, the hackers attempted to penetrate 241 accounts — four successfully — though none of those penetrated was associated with presidential campaigns or current or past US officials, Microsoft said. A company spokeswoman declined to identify those targeted, citing customer privacy.
Reuters and The New York Times reported that the attacks targeted US President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, but this could not be independently confirmed.
A review of publicly available internet records by AP showed that the Trump campaign’s official website is linked to Microsoft’s email service.
The campaign website is the only major candidate’s site connected to Microsoft’s cloud email service, and his campaign has spent tens of thousands of dollars on the company’s products, Reuters said.
The New York Times report saying Trump was targeted cited two people with knowledge of the attacks who were not allowed to discuss them publicly, and said it wasn’t clear if the campaign had been compromised in any way.
Israel is reportedly negotiating with several Gulf states on a “non-aggression pact” between them as they face off against an increasingly emboldened Iran. The deal, which Channel 12 news described as potentially “historic,” aims to put an end to the state of conflict between these states and Israel.
Advancing the Israeli initiative, Foreign Minister Israel Katz met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last month with several foreign ministers from Arab Gulf states, Channel 12 news reported Saturday night.
There was no immediate comment from the Foreign Ministry, but Katz himself on September 23 tweeted that he had held talks with an unnamed counterpart from an Arab country with which Israel does not have formal relations, and said they discussed “ways to deal with the Iranian threat” and a process for boosting “civilian cooperation.”
Katz, who is leading the effort with the backing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, agreed with his Gulf Arab interlocutors to set up working teams to take the non-aggression pact forward, the TV report said. Foreign Minister Israel Katz and his Bahraini counterpart Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa (R) pose for a photograph at the State Department in Washington on July 17, 2019. (Courtesy)
Katz presented his Gulf counterparts with a draft text of the intended pact, which was drawn up by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the TV report said. It reportedly highlights the opportunity to advance common interests in the context of the threat posed by Iran, and is drafted in accordance with principles of international law. Among other elements, the TV report said, the draft text specifies cooperation in the fields of war, the fight against terror, and economic interests.
Sensing US reluctance to respond forcefully to Iranian aggression in the region, and following the devastating September attack on its oil facilities blamed on Tehran, Saudi Arabia is quietly moving toward possible rapprochement with the Islamic Republic, according to multiple media reports.
The New York Times reported Friday that the Trump administration’s failure to react militarily to the September 14 missile and drone attack on Saudi oil facilities, which jolted global oil prices and temporarily knocked out nearly 6 percent of the world’s daily crude production, had led Riyadh to recalculate.
“The worst outcome for the Saudis is to move to a confrontation with Iran expecting the US to support them and find out they won’t,” Philip Gordon, a former White House Middle East coordinator told the Times. “This administration has shown it’s not really ready to take on Iran.”
The strikes were claimed by Houthi rebels in Yemen, but Saudi Arabia, the US and other Western powers have said the attack was sponsored by Tehran. In its aftermath, US President Donald Trump was presented with a range of military options, including potential airstrikes on targets inside Iran. But he was also warned that military action against the Islamic Republic could escalate into war, according to US officials familiar with the discussions.
Trump during a White House meeting last Friday put off, at least for now, any immediate military strike on Iran, but approved a broader effort to beef up security in Saudi Arabia and the region. He told reporters that showing restraint “shows far more strength” than launching retaliatory strikes now.
Two projectiles fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Friday fell short of the border fence, landing inside the Hamas-held territory, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.
The launches triggered incoming rocket sirens in the Gaza border community of Kissufim in southern Israel shortly before midnight.
The incident came hours after a Palestinian man was killed during riots along the Gaza-Israel border fence on Friday, according to the Hamas-run health ministry, as thousands took part in weekly protests.
Alaa Hamdan, 28, was shot in the chest by IDF soldiers in a clash near Jabalia in northern Gaza, the ministry’s spokesman said. The IDF had no immediate comment on the death.
Israel’s Channel 12 said the death may have been caused by a Palestinian grenade.
Five other demonstrators were wounded by gunfire, the Hamas-run ministry said.
Around 6,000 Palestinians took part in the day’s protests with some rioters throwing rocks and explosives at the security fence and troops along the border.
Youths from the village of Kober, northwest of Ramallah, posted a video and photos showing a camouflaged video camera that was hidden inside a concrete block by Israeli security forces in the village cemetery, Ma’an reported Friday.
According to Arab social network sites, the young men who found the spy device set it on fire after confirming it was a broadcast camera that transmits their movements.
In a video posted on the website of the journalist Tamer Barghouti from Kober, the young men appear to dismantle the device, which included a camera, a transmitter, and a battery, and celebrate their discovery with great joy.
On Tuesday, the IDF arrested three young men from Kober, out of whom it released two brothers and kept suspect Nassim Barghouti in detention.
According to Ma’an, the surveillance device was made by the Holon-based Israeli company AnyVision (“We build the future, Pixel by Pixel”), which specializes in facial recognition technology.
In June, Microsoft’s M12 venture fund announced its investment in AnyVision, just as soon as it is determined whether its products adhered to Microsoft’s tough AI ethics standards. Eventually, AnyVision reported that all its investors, including Microsoft, were satisfied it was a “tool for good.” But by mid-July, Haaretz reported that the IDF is using AnyVision’s face recognition technology at Judea and Samaria checkpoints as well as inside Arab communities, leading to a wave of criticism of Microsoft’s investment in AnyVision.
The Palestinian Authority has agreed to accept hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues collected by Israel, after months of declining them in protest over Jerusalem withholding money over payments to terrorists, Palestinian officials said Friday.
The transfers amount to some 600 million Israeli shekels (about $170 million) a month and are a key source of financing for the PA.
The PA had refused to accept the funds because Israel was withholding an amount equal to what the Palestinians pay to terrorists and their families, but the cash-strapped PA appears to be retreating in the face of an economic crisis.
Israel says the so-called Martyrs’ Fund rewards and encourages violence, while the Palestinians say it is a way to provide for needy families affected by the decades-old conflict.
Hussein al-Sheikh, an aide to Abbas, tweeted Friday that he had met with Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon the day before to discuss “all outstanding issues” and that committees would continue the negotiations on Sunday.
“The agreement was also on transferring a payment from the #PA’s financial dues. The dispute (remains) over the salaries of the families of #prisoners and #martyrs. We are determined to pay their dues at all costs.”
The speaker of Egypt’s parliament on Wednesday clarified his praise of Adolf Hitler a day earlier to justify spending on government construction projects.
At the opening session of parliament Tuesday, Ali Abdel Aal implored lawmakers to back Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi amid anti-government protests. According to the Middle East Eye news site, Aal asked lawmakers to observe a minute of silence as a sign of support for Sissi’s “project to build the modern Egyptian state.”
“Hitler had his mistakes, but what allowed him to expand eastward and westward was that he created a strong infrastructure for the German state that remains the source of its leading position in the First World,” Aal was quoted saying.
After the remarks were reported on, Aal said Wednesday that Hitler “has committed a lot of crimes” and that his praise was of German civilization and development, not the Nazi leader.
“Everybody is aware of what Adolf Hitler has done to humanity; hence no one with the minimum level of knowledge can praise him for his actions,” Aal said during a parliamentary session, Egypt Today reported.
Unexpectedly, on the margins of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, Arab League secretary-general Ahmad Abu Al-Gheit approached the Syrian delegation, greeted Syrian Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Walid Al-Mu'allem and called him "brother," shook his hand and the hand of his deputy Faisal Al-Miqdad, kissed them both, and said he was happy to see them.
Apparently, this friendliness towards the Syrian leadership on the part of the secretary-general of the Arab League – which suspended Syria's membership on November 12, 2011 because of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's harsh repression of the Arab Spring protests in the country – is further evidence of an uptick in Syria's status in the Arab world and of the erosion of Arab opposition to the Syrian regime.
For some three years, a number of Arab states – including Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, Lebanon, Algeria, and the Palestinian Authority – have been calling to allow Syria back in to the Arab League. UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash even stated, in a June 7, 2018 interview, that "expelling Syria from the Arab League was a mistake." In addition, the Arab Youth and Environment Union, which belongs to the Arab League, announced on October 2 that it would reinstate Syria as a member in the next few days.
A variety of videos coming out of Baghdad show security forces shooting at protesters. Over the last twenty-four hours, as Friday turned to Saturday, the number of reports of snipers gunning down activists has grown. The elephant in the room cannot be ignored: Someone in Iraq’s government told a section of the security forces to use live-fire to kill protesters. It wasn’t a mistake, it wasn’t because police were outnumbered, and it wasn’t isolated incidents.
Why would Iraqi forces shoot the protesters from the same cities and southern provinces that many of the security forces or Popular Mobilization Units are drawn from? The question may is worth asking because there have been various rumors and claims about the protests in Iraq that have posited that those doing the killing and using the most heavy-handed measures are Iranian-linked groups. This creates an easy narrative of “Iran suppressing protests in Iraq,” as part of the larger Iranian goal to control Iraq for its own purposes.
To support the narrative of Iran’s role there have been stories about “Farsi speakers among the security forces” and “units changing uniforms” before attacking protesters. There are stories about plain-clothes officers among the security forces which leads to claims those in plain clothes are outsiders. In this narrative, spread in Arabic on social media, an “Iranian Revolutionary Guard Brigade” was permitted to enter Iraq by Fatah Alliance leader Hadi al-Amiri. Evidence? Some people tweeting about it.
The claim of foreign interference goes both ways. Others have pointed out that a concerted social media effort has been made to fuel protests and some of the accounts are located abroad. Lastly voices in pro-Iranian media have portrayed the protests as directed by foreign powers. None of these stories present a full picture of what happened. Like the proverbial elephant, they all only capture one part of what happened. From the first moments of the protest the security forces that were sent used heavy-handed tactics. Video showed men in camouflage uniforms, heavily armed, involved in clashes, as well as other police-style units in darker uniforms.
Farsi-speaking Iranians, not Iraqi forces, have been firing on protests in Iraq in which 65 people have died, said one protester interviewed by Reuters, according to Al Arabiya.
"There is no work, you come to protest, they fire at you. Live gunfire,"said the unnamed protester."They are all Iranian-speaking in Farsi. You want to speak to them, they answer in Farsi. The Iraqis would not fire at you."
The Shi'ite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) milita in Iraq is backed by Iran.
Witnesses at the protests in Baghdad said that pro-Iranian security forces opened fire on protesters.
Protests broke out throughout Iraq against the deterioration of living conditions and health services, government corruption, unemployment and Iranian interference in the country.
The protests have no clear leader and seem to consist of gatherings of angry protesters.
In a possible swap, an Australian-British blogger and her fiancé returned home Saturday after being freed from a three-month detention in Iran.
The couple, Jolie King and Mark Firkin, returned to Australia after all charges against them were dropped.
At the same time, Iran’s state TV reported that an Iranian scientist, Reza Dehbashi, who was detained for 13 months in Australia over purchasing a defense system for his country from the United States, had returned home.
“We are extremely happy and relieved to be safely back in Australia with those we love,” the Australian couple said in a statement. “While the past few months have been very difficult, we know it has also been tough for those back home who have been worried for us.”
They thanked the Australian government for helping secure their release.
There was no immediate acknowledgment Saturday by Iranian officials or in the country’s state media of the couple’s release. However, that has happened in previous cases.
Iranian TV said that the Australian judiciary had planned to send Dehbashi to the US but that he was released through Tehran’s diplomatic efforts.
A man armed with a knife attempted to run into a synagogue in central Berlin Friday evening, German media reported Saturday.
The man, apparently a Syrian refugee, was tackled by security personnel at the entrance to the Neue Synagogue. According to the Bild website, he was heard calling out “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Great” in Arabic) and “F##k Israel.”
German police said the man, identified as Murad M., was hit with pepper spray by guards and then subdued and disarmed.
Officials said he carried documentation identifying him as 23 years old, originating from Damascus and with a residency permit, which ends in December 2020.
The incident occurred at around 5:30 p.m. according to Bild, likely shortly before the start of Friday’s evening prayer service.
Police said the assailant had no prior record and was not known to authorities.
The investigation was ongoing, but German media said that the man was released from police custody on Saturday morning.
The Government’s new antisemitism adviser has warned that between overstatement and understatement of antisemitism, “the biggest danger is that we will understate the problem.”
Speaking after his first public engagement in his new job, John Mann MP, who has resigned from the Labour Party and will become a crossbench peer in the House of Lords, explained that he accepted his new advisory role to prevent “good people, young people” from deciding to emigrate from the UK because of rising antisemitism.
Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer has shown that 40% of British Jews have considered leaving the country due to antisemitism.
If action were not taken against antisemitism, he warned, “the reality will be that good people will leave. Not necessarily quickly — but good people will not see their future on the continent of Europe or on the UK because they are Jewish, and they wish for their identity to be proudly held at all times. We are not going to accept – and government is not going to accept — that impingement on civil liberties in this country.”
Observing the rise of antisemitism on university campuses, Mr Mann noted too the “pernicious, silent, isolating disdain” shown towards Jewish students “from hostile elements in their universities,” adding that he would be pushing for the adoption and application of the International Definition of Antisemitism by “our major institutions, football clubs, universities — this is achievable.”
The University of Nottingham has defended a decision to invite Chris Williamson MP to speak on its campus.
Mr Williamson was suspended from Labour and then readmitted, only to be resuspended following a public outcry after claiming that Labour has been “too apologetic” over antisemitism.
The disgraced MP is scheduled to speak on 11th October as part of a series on “British Politics in Crisis” at the Centre for British Politics.
Jewish students at the university have reportedly called for the invitation to be withdrawn, citing Mr Williamson’s “history of Jew baiting.”
Gideon Falter, Chief Executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “It is a damning reflection on the University of Nottingham that it chooses to invite a politician suspended from the Labour Party over his attempts to minimise the Party’s antisemitism crisis and who has a record of praising antisemites to give a lecture. If the university wishes to teach its students why British politics is in crisis, it might start by exploring why leading institutions are so ready to legitimise Labour antisemitism by inviting one of its chief defenders to speak.”
On 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
Emma Dent Coad, who was elected as a Labour MP in 2017 for Kensington, ‘liked’ a comment on Facebook by another user that read: “I’ve always been a Bevanite — my ultimate political hero…and as a Jew, the current Israeli apartheid regime disgraces all of us Jews worldwide.”
The comment was posted in response to a post by another user that criticised “Blairite” MPs and “members of the Netanyahu fan club”.
Following media attention, Ms Dent Coad apologised and ‘unliked’ the comment.
On 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
In recent months, twelve MPs and three peers have resigned from the Labour Party over antisemitism, along with a large number of MEPs, councillors and members.
Over 55,000 people have now signed our petition denouncing Jeremy Corbyn as an antisemite and declaring him “unfit to hold any public office.”
The Conservative MP Crispin Blunt made a reference to “the demand for special status” on the part of British Jews in an interview on the sidelines of the Conservative Party Conference this week.
Mr Blunt made the comment following a fringe event at the Party Conference in his capacity as patron of the Conservative Humanists group. At the event, which was held in conjunction with Humanists UK, the chair of Conservative Humanists protested previous comments by the Chief Rabbi, who had apparently suggested that some humanists were becoming intolerant of religion.
Asked for his reaction to the chair’s comments, Mr Blunt suggested: “I think what he was saying was regarding the demand for special status…what’s required is for everyone to have tolerance of other people’s position and not to impose unfair views.”
The notion, however casually expressed, that Jews demand or receive special status in British society is baseless and offensive. Any dispensations that Jews do receive, for example in the workplace, are also shared by other faith groups and protected classes.
Late last month, a musician named Alison Chabloz was sent to prison in the United Kingdom for violating the terms of an earlier court decision prohibiting her from using social media — a decision stemming from her dissemination of videos featuring songs she wrote that mocked the Holocaust. In the UK, this story made many of the major papers, but it has hardly registered at all in the United States.
But here’s why it should: This case was a watershed decision in the battle against antisemitism. The UK has laws expressly forbidding hate speech that tries to incite hatred of other groups or is grossly offensive in nature. As such, and in light of her social-media malfeasance, Chabloz — who has posted content on her website alisonchabloz.com#utm_source=googlier.com/page/2019_10_08/49604&utm_campaign=link&utm_term=googlier&utm_content=googlier.com with headlines such as “In Defence of a Myth–‘Holocaust’ lobby shifts into top gear” and “Hear the Jew cry out in pain as the White lady sings” was incarcerated for a couple of days before being released pending her appeal hearing. That is scheduled for late October.
Chabloz, who has remained unrepentant despite her losing cause, has become something of a symbol of resistance to anti-hate speech legislation. Her supporters argue that Chabloz shouldn’t have been put in jail just for singing songs. They claim that regardless of the fact that Chabloz perpetuated an utterly repellent ideology through her music, the idea of instituting such a harsh punishment for posting content on social media is extreme in light of a person’s right to self-expression.
The University College Union in the United Kingdom sent an email to branches that excluded mention of Jews among the groups persecuted during the Holocaust. According to The Jewish Chronicle, the UCU has since apologized. However, in a review of several websites connected to upcoming commemorations of Holocaust Memorial Day 2020, which will be held on January 27, references to Jews appear to be too often missing.
In the case of the UCU, a long list of those persecuted were mentioned, just not Jews. This included members of “trade unions” and “Roma” and “black people,” as well as gays and lesbians and “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” In addition, “non-Jewish Poles,” were mentioned – but not Jews. The UK’s special envoy for post-Holocaust issues, Eric Pickles, said the incident sends a “chilling message.”
But the problem is much larger than just the UCU. Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 is already being wrapped into the easier to pronounce acronym “HMD 2020,” which in itself removes the word “Holocaust.” On some websites, such as the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s page devoted to “75 memorial flames,” it is clearly noted that the Holocaust was “the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jews of Europe.” However, a press release from April about the “HMD 2020” theme, called “Standing Together,” doesn’t mention the word Jew. The press release, also at the Trust’s website, notes that “HMD 2020 will also include marking the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Bosnia.” It is interesting that while Bosnia is mentioned, the place that the Shoah began in Germany is conveniently left out, lest anyone recall it was Germany that began the Holocaust and was largely responsible for it.
The April press release of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust notes that it is “calling people to Stand Together in memory of the millions of people affected by the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.” The UCU seems to have used similar language as part of the Stand Together campaign.
I well up with emotion when I hear of Jewish kids being subjected to physical assaults, bigoted stereotypes and insults, exclusion, degrading text messages and social media lynching. The day is not too far off when young people will have to hide their Jewish faith so as not to be singled out and vilified by their classmates. The victims are traumatised, filled with feelings of despair and abandonment, convinced that the system has failed them. And they are right.
Not infrequently, distraught parents are concerned that the anti-Semitic abuse will escalate if they notify the school since their child will become an even-bigger target. Some remain silent believing that the school leadership will not be sympathetic to their complaint. In fact, some administrators trivialise the attacks as a childish aberrations, as "kids being kids", or blame the victims ("it's your child's fault since they provocatively choose to exhibit their Judaism" or "we are a non-Jewish school so if you don't like it, leave"), are very slow to respond, and do not impose the appropriate punishment. In effect, they are enabling the wrongdoers by sending a crystal-clear message that Jewish pupils are fair game.
The elephant in the room is that very few of our elected representatives are actually speaking out about the darkening clouds that are gathering. And so, this cancer of intolerance, which is spreading like wildfire, must end. All of it. Because we literally have no choice and because that is not who we are as a nation. Good intentions and words are not enough. We now need bold action by the state and federal governments that matches the scale of the runaway problem we face, and which effectively tackles this menace at every single step. One solution is to institute mandatory reporting so schools are obliged to notify the Education Department when such incidents occur. Such reporting will then necessitate the investigation of each individual case and if warranted, appropriate penalties for the perpetrators.
Countering religious bigotry in the long run also hinges on making anti-bias and Holocaust education compulsory in every class. One example is the Anti-Defamation Commission's Click Against Hate program, a free, groundbreaking educational program, which equips students with the skills to respond to the hate they encounter in schools, urging them to action when it happens to them or when they see it happening to others. Further training for teachers and headmasters is also urgently needed so they understand that antisemitism is a threat to our way of life and that inaction is not an option. It's time for the adults in the room to stand up and protect the defenceless and vulnerable - our children.
Victoria’s Education Minister James Merlino has ordered an immediate review into the way two Melbourne schools dealt with separate "appalling and shocking" cases of sustained anti-Semitic bullying earlier this year.
Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg also weighed into the "completely unacceptable" incidents, calling for lessons on the Holocaust, in which about 6 million Jews were killed in Europe, to be included in the Australian curriculum.
Mr Merlino said he would also meet with the parents of the two Jewish boys; a 12-year-old year 7 student who was at Cheltenham Secondary College, and a prep student at Hawthorn West Primary School. The meetings are scheduled to take place on Monday. James Merlino has ordered a review into how two schools handled separate cases of anti-Semitic bullying.
James Merlino has ordered a review into how two schools handled separate cases of anti-Semitic bullying. Credit:AAP
Both boys have since left the schools where they were bullied, after their parents lost confidence in the schools' handling of the matter.
The year 7 boy was made to kneel and kiss the shoes of a Muslim boy in a public park, under threat of being bashed by several other boys who were watching on.
The humiliating act was filmed and published on social media.
The boys who were watching on were not Muslim, the victim’s mother said. She sought out the offender’s parents, who were horrified.
Five physicians from Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center recently brought medical equipment to Kathmandu and shared their expertise on women’s and children’s health with the medical staffs of two local hospitals.
Sponsored by the Embassy of Israel in Nepal, the Israeli team led a week of workshops and continuing medical education courses in neonatology, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology. They taught the Nepali medical professionals how to use the new lifesaving technologies they donated.
Senior gynecologist Dr. Ronit Almog said this was the fifth such foreign delegation sent out by Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in the past year.
“Our aim is to reduce fetal and maternal morbidity and mortality in developing nations,” she said. “We met warm and welcoming medical teams and had a great cooperation. We saw a very good health level and system in Nepal and look forward to future mutual cooperation.”
Dr. Shyam Sundar Dhaubhadel, founder and president of Siddhi Memorial Foundation – which provides accessible healthcare services for women and children through Siddhi Memorial Hospital– compared the two nations to siblings. “Nepal is a toddler; Israel is a grown-up sister that has to share her expertise.”
Eric Pleskow, who escaped the Nazis to become a film executive whose movies won the Academy Award for best picture seven times, has died. He was 95.
Pleskow was the president of the United Artists studio when it took home the best picture Oscars for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Rocky” and “Annie Hall” in 1975, 1976 and 1977, respectively — an unprecedented three-peat for a movie studio.
Later, as the co-founder of Orion Pictures, he oversaw four more winners for top film: “Amadeus” (1984), “Platoon” (1986), “Dances With Wolves” (1990) and “Silence of the Lambs” (1991).
Pleskow was born Erich Pleskoff in Vienna in 1924. He escaped the city with his family in 1939 after the SS had seized their home, which was blocks away from Sigmund Freud’s office, according to The Washington Post.
After arriving in New York City, he briefly worked at a film company, and was later drafted into the U.S. Army, where he was tasked after the war with reviving a film studio in Bavaria. From there he was hired as an executive at United Artists’ foreign department.
Pleskow rose to become president of the studio in 1973, and raised its profile by working with directors such as Woody Allen and Jonathan Demme. He broke off to co-found Orion in 1978.
While Demi Lovato apologized for her trip to Israel — after receiving backlash — her mother won’t be following suit.
Dianna De La Garza, who accompanied Lovato on the free trip this week, said their visit was one of “only love” and that she will “unapologetically go again.”
Along with a photo of their two hands touching the Western Wall, De La Garza wrote that stop in the Old City of Jerusalem “was the highlight of my trip.” She said she will “never forget that day... or that trip as we celebrated life and Christianity as we learned about the Jewish faith while listening to the Muslim call to prayer. There was no fighting, no judgement, no cruel words...only#utm_source=googlier.com/page/2019_10_08/49604&utm_campaign=link&utm_term=googlier&utm_content=googlier.com love.”
De La Garza made it clear that there will be no apology coming from her, adding, “And I will undoubtedly, unapologetically go again one day.”
On Wednesday, Lovato found herself apologizing for the free trip — during which she was baptized in the Jordan River and had a spiritual awakening — amid criticism that she was taking a side in the country’s longstanding conflict with Palestine. Lovato apologized to those she offended in a message on social media, saying the trip was not mean to be “a political statement.”
When Ceen Gabbai argued with her first-grade teacher about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, she didn’t realize how big of a risk she was taking.
The year was 2000 and students across the world held strong opinions about the Second Intifada, an outbreak of violence that claimed thousands of lives and began in September of that year. But Gabbai’s situation was different: She was one of the few Jewish students in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Standing up for Israel in a Baghdad elementary school was not an advisable move.
“Saddam was all crazy about Palestine,” she told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “I go to school and they’re talking about what a horrible thing that is and how Israel was horrible. And I go and I’m like, ‘I think that’s a lie.’”
Gabbai was called to the school office, took a letter home to her mother and her parents had a meeting with the principal. Soon after they moved homes and she switched schools. Following the episode, her parents did not talk with her about Israel or Judaism.
Gabbai has had a dangerous life. Born a Jew under an Iraqi dictatorship, she endured constant anti-Semitism from a young age, then survived the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the years of war that followed.
In 2015, Gabbai received asylum in the United States. She is now living in an Orthodox neighborhood in Brooklyn, raising a child, teaching elementary school and writing children’s literature. She does not look back fondly on the hardships she endured, but feels they taught her to persevere no matter the situation.
You may have heard that Sir Moses (Moshe) Montefiore was the force behind Mishkenot Sha’ananim, the first Jewish neighborhood outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls. But were you aware that the wealthy English knight visited pre-state Israel seven times, most often with his wife, Lady Judith?
Dr. Louis Loewe, a linguist and author who was not only intimately acquainted with the couple but had even accompanied them on journeys around the world, greatly admired Sir Moses and Lady Judith. In a book, the “Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore,” which he published in 1890, he depicts them as a compassionate, caring, and observant Jewish couple that lived life to the full. They were also quite the wine connoisseurs. In fact, wine is mentioned in the diaries 24 different times.
One of their most interesting trips to the Holy Land, described in detail in Loewe’s book, took place in 1839. The volume abounds with descriptions of their overnights in tents, palaces and elegant homes. They rode horses atop mountains, along easy roads and atop barely discernible paths. The Plague was rampant that year, and they were careful to stay away from infected towns and villages.
Wherever the Montefiores went they distributed money and gifts, all the while taking the time to find out what their fellow Jews needed in order to improve what was very often a miserable existence. Quite possibly it was this trip that planted the seed for the eventual establishment of Mishkenot Sha’ananim in 1860.
That pioneering neighborhood came equipped with a windmill produced in Canterbury, a copy of one that stood near the Montefiore estate. With its help, the residents were meant to grind wheat into flour and become self- sufficient. In 1892, more buildings were added and the new neighborhood was called Yemin Moshe.
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BUT ISRAEL has some issues on the horizon that, if they would come together at the wrong time, would be a perfect storm. Among these is the increasing hostility of Turkey. Ankara has become more nationalist and religious-nationalist, a toxic mix. It is flexing its muscles, taking over swaths of northern Syria and seeking to keep on track to totally remove the Americans from the region. That would be a setback for the US – and setbacks for the US also impact Israel. Turkey is buying the S-400, not in itself a problem for Israel. Ostensibly, both Ankara and Jerusalem have an interesting relationship with Moscow today, borne of Russia’s increased role in the region, particularly in Syria.
Russia’s role in Turkey is strategic and also related to energy and Syria. This can impact Israel in a complex way. Turkey’s current government is seeking to take up the mantle of being the main opposition to Israel in the region. It bashes Israel over Jerusalem, and its media run hyperbolic stories about Israeli abuses. Turkey is close to the Muslim Brotherhood today and wants to see Hamas have a more prominent role in Ramallah. Yet Israel can deal with Turkey’s anger. The question is whether it can deal with the emerging Turkey-Iran relationship.
Iran has been a challenge for Israel due to a variety of reasons, but lately it is capitalizing on the weakness of its adversaries. That means it is increasingly playing a role in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. That means it is transferring precision missile technology to Hezbollah.
Iran’s IRGC says that it can destroy Israel. It launched an attack on Saudi Arabia on September 14 that has ramifications for Israel. That Riyadh did not respond shows that Israel’s supposed common interests with the Gulf are more problematic than in reality. Saudi Arabia won’t confront Iran. So who will confront Iran? The US? No. The US has signaled it will not. And the next US administration may be more pro-Iran than this one. That could give Tehran what it wants in Syria, which means a kind of “land bridge” that ends near the Golan and threatens Israel.
What Israel faces today is potentially two strong adversaries in Turkey and Iran, although they are quite different in how they confront Israel. Turkey uses soft power; Iran uses hard power. But Israel, appearing strong, now faces these challenges in some ways alone. It is not like the 1950s, when Israel was truly alone. Israel has made major inroads in India, China and elsewhere. But the immediate challenges are still there. It is dangerous to be too confident and arrogant today, and it is essential that Jerusalem seek to analyze and deal with these challenges in the long-term because short term planning won’t work. Iran thinks in the long term – and its role in the region is a long-term role.
Against that backdrop, the 22nd Knesset was sworn in on Thursday in Jerusalem. Many are wondering if, like the 21st Knesset, it will also last for less than two months and perhaps become the shortest-lived legislature in Israel’s history.
As the Post’s Lahav Harkov pointed out on Wednesday, there are only eight new members of this Knesset, as well as another nine who are returning from past stints as legislators, which means that 103 members of the 22nd Knesset will be sworn in for the second time this year.
A proud institution, the Knesset is in danger of becoming a laughing stock. But it’s no joke. Israel needs a stable government and a stable Knesset. Every attempt must be made to prevent the newly sworn-in Knesset from becoming the shortest Knesset in Israeli history.
All parties should take the responsibility upon themselves as if they alone are charged with insuring that a third election is not called for. The country has survived some nine months of paralysis, but it’s only a matter of time before the string starts to unravel out of control and the situation begins to do irreparable damage to Israel and its population.
At Thursday’s ceremony, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein led the MKs with “I pledge allegiance to the State of Israel and to faithfully fulfill my mission in the Knesset.” And the newly sworn-in lawmakers responded: “I pledge.”
Let’s hope they take that allegiance and mission seriously and prevent a third election.
European Union Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Susanna Terstal, writing in the Jerusalem Post on Sep. 21, evidently believes that incessant repetition of the phrase "two-state solution" adds some element of legitimacy and feasibility to the idea. But the two-state solution has never been agreed-upon between Israel and the Palestinians, and does not figure in any of the agreements between them. It is nothing more than an expression of wishful thinking within the UN and the EU.
To the contrary, the Oslo Accords, to which the EU itself is a signatory, clearly leaves the issue of the permanent status of the territories to be decided in negotiations. Thus, whether the outcome will be one, two or three states, or a federation or confederation, remains on the negotiating table. By incessantly plying a two-state solution, the EU is in fact prejudging an agreed negotiating issue.
Suggestions by Israeli leaders to "apply sovereignty" led EU representatives to complain that unilateral modification of the Oslo Accords "undermines the entire agreement" and "dismantles Oslo." One wonders why the EU did not view the recent declarations by the Palestinian leadership canceling the territorial division between areas A, B and C in a similar light. Did this not undermine the accords?
The EU representative also expressed support for a "Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines." Yet the issue of borders is an agreed-upon permanent-status negotiating issue, and her presumption of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines clearly contradicts and prejudges both the Oslo Accords and UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967.
The EU cannot in good faith claim that it does not take sides in the conflict. The EU has not only taken sides, but clearly demonstrates a distinct political bias against Israel in virtually all its positions, policies, statements and dealings regarding the Israeli-Palestinian negotiation process.
The National Museum of Iran opened on Wednesday an exhibition of around 300 cuneiform clay tablets returned from the United States after a drawn-out legal saga.
The tablets were found at the ruins of Persepolis, capital of the Persian Achaemenid Empire (6th – 4th c. BC) in the south of Iran. Cyrus the Great, who ruled during the Achaemenid Empire, is said to have liberated the Jews from Babylonian captivity in 539 BCE, allowing them to return home and build the Second Temple.
The works on display belonged to a group of 1,783 clay tablets or tablet fragments returned to Iran by the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.
In the 1930s, the university had received on loan around 30,000 tablets or tablet fragments found at Persepolis for research purposes, Iranian media reported.
A large portion of the tablets were returned in three batches between 1948 and 2004 before their restitution was blocked by legal action initiated by American survivors of an attack in Israel in 1997 carried out by the Palestinian Hamas terror group.
Blaming Tehran for supporting the armed group, the plaintiffs demanded the seizure of the tablets and their sale put toward the $71.5 million that Iran was ordered to pay in the case.
The proceedings only ended in February 2018 when a US Supreme Court decision banned the seizure of the works.
In March 2018, Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, 58, updated then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo on what the Mossad had found inside Iran's secret nuclear archives that it had stolen from the heart of Tehran in January 2018. Sources close to Cohen told the Jerusalem Post that the information the Mossad seized is "still being used right now" to glean high-quality and valuable intelligence. A map of nuclear sites captured in the operation has yet to be made public. These revelations "even go beyond Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's revelation of the Abadeh nuclear site" earlier this month. Cohen says Pompeo praised the Mossad for redefining "daring and boldness."
Dozens of agents were involved in surveillance missions and the heist itself. Neutralizing any electronic surveillance that could expose them, they spent six hours and 29 minutes nabbing Iran's secret nuclear files, which were kept in 32 safes. They used special torches to slice into these safes. They loaded the vast files onto trucks and used Iranian smugglers to get across the border.
Cohen's view is that relations with Sunni countries in the Gulf are "not as much about personal trust, but about overlapping national interests" - especially when it comes to Iran. For example, while Cohen would be against sharing sensitive Israeli technologies with the Saudis to combat the drone threat from Iran, he would seek to help states in the Gulf combat Iran together in other ways.
Regarding the Palestinians, sources close to Cohen indicate that he does not believe anything will move on the peace process until PA President Mahmoud Abbas leaves office.
There is no chance of a “peace party” returning to Jerusalem unless Israelis see that Palestinians have unequivocally denounced the past, that the celebrations of those who’ve died killing Israelis are rejected. That is impossible to envision in the near-term: neither Fatah, nor Hamas, nor the Israelis, nor Washington want the Palestinian people voting. All fear the worst—the wrong side winning. Perhaps most perversely, the Israelis are invested in a security status quo with Fatah that likely negates the chance of any Palestinian change, and surely makes Hamas more popular on the West Bank than its tyranny in Gaza has earned. But it’s possible that if there were a free vote among Palestinians the hostility towards Israelis—the fundamental rejection of the legitimacy of a Jewish state—could be the common denominator among Palestinians who otherwise loathe Fatah’s and Hamas’ dictatorships. Palestinians again voting could lead to intense violence, among Palestinians and against Israelis. Nonetheless, Palestinian popular sovereignty is likely the only way out of this cul-de-sac. We have two peoples wanting the same land with national and especially religious narratives that negate the other’s. For even non-practicing Muslims, Moses is a great prophet, trying to lead his people toward the one, true calling—Islam. A Jewish homeland wasn’t in Allah’s message. Yet the unrelenting secularism of Westerners reduces the most compelling stories we have to differences about water rights, East Jerusalem, and security checkpoints.
The basic character of a people and faith can change, but that usually happens after a truly devastating military defeat or a long evolution. The Palestinians haven’t actually seen a society-crushing catastrophe; they have endured foreign, non-Muslim overlords, with all of the indignities, and incompetent, avaricious, ambitious, insouciant, deluded and sometimes brutal native rulers (they, however, get a middling score in hideousness in the modern Middle East).
Since 2002, the Israelis appear to have a consensus: Palestinians cannot be trusted. On the other side, Palestinians seem more conflicted about the Jews, more divided religiously and culturally, more prone to internecine violence today than they were when the Israelis directly ruled all of the West Bank and Gaza.
The continuing decline of America in the Middle East will unavoidably remove certain delusions about what might be possible between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The torpor of the peace process under Obama and Trump is likely the new American standard. If they haven’t already, Palestinians will give up on the idea of Washington’s intercession, of American democracy coercing Israeli democracy into making concessions to unelected Palestinian officials. For the Palestinian people that will, at least, change the rhetoric and excuses of the ruling elite.
America’s retreat may tempt the Israelis to act more hubristically towards the Palestinians, to take land in the West Bank that has no plausible security value. But the most effective check on ugly Israeli actions has always been the internal debate, the tension between the executive, legislative, and judicial authorities in Israel’s messy democracy.
For decades out, it’s hard to see anything better than an unpleasant modus vivendi between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Given that it is the Middle East, however, that isn’t an awful state. Americans always want to believe that honesty is the best policy, that without honesty solutions aren’t possible. We are certainly tardy in applying that principle to the Israeli–Palestinian clash.
UAV Warfare Another hint of the effectiveness of Patriot defense are Houthi/Iranian alliance efforts both to suppress it and evade it. To elucidate this point, we need to refer to another aspect of the Houthi/Iranian war machine in Yemen: UAV warfare. UAVs are one of the main pillars of Iranian military doctrine. Together with other weapon shipments, Iran has been providing the Houthis with numerous types of UAVs, both of the larger types used for armed reconnaissance such as the Shahad 129 (roughly equivalent to Israel’s Hermes 450) and smaller “suicide” UAVs (such as the Ababil, used by Hezbollah in 2006 for attacks deep within Israel, which for the sake of Iranian deniability has been renamed Kasef 2). The Houthi arsenal is augmented by the acquisition of mail order UAVs such as the Chinese “Skywalker” available online from Ali Baba. More remarkable, the Iranians have provided the Houthis with knowhow, production machinery and expertise to set up a UAV industry of their own in their stronghold of Sad’ha in northern Yemen. The Houthi UAV industry is now producing unique designs of long-range machines, some equipped with jet engines, obviously designed in Iran. Beyond the classic UAV roles of reconnaissance and light bombardment, the Houthi/Iranian alliance is using them for direct “suicide” attacks on Patriot batteries. Three incidents of direct attacks on Patriot batteries have been claimed: Two attacks were within Yemen, probably targeting UAE batteries in Mocha and Marib, and one attack on a Patriot battery defending the Saudi border city of Najran, with unknown results.
Even more significantly, the Houthi/Iranian alliance exploits the Patriot’s system limitations in engaging low and slow threats in order to penetrate beneath the Saudi air/missile defense shield. In fact, UAVs are now being used by the Houthi’s as ersatz land attack cruise missiles. With immunity against air and missile defense, and with much better accuracy than ordinary ballistic missiles, UAVs now seem to be the preferred weapons for imaginative and audacious strikes deep within Saudi territory. For example, the civilian airport of the Saudi town of Abha, about 120 km. from the Yemeni border, was attacked by Houthi suicide UAVs no less than three times during the month of June 2019, wounding 28 passengers and airport workers. In August 2019, the Houthis managed to strike the Shaybah oilfield deep within Saudi Arabia, almost 1200 Km from the Houthi stronghold in Sad’ha. The attack was carried out by no less than 10 UAVs and sparked a fire in gas storage tanks. Such a complex attack needs precise coordination and excellent navigation, which demonstrates the proficiency achieved by Iran’s UAV operators. While those strikes did not cause excessive damage – perhaps intentionally so – they were propaganda coups for the Houthis, providing them with solid achievements in the cognitive battlefield.
The fourth lesson for Israel is the growing military role of UAVs both for missile defense suppression and for evasion. UAVs were first used by Hezbollah for reconnaissance over Israel even prior to the 2006 Lebanon war. At the closing stage of that war, four suicide UAVs were launched by Hezbollah against Israeli targets (One suffered a failure and fell near the border, two were intercepted by Israeli jet fighters, and the fourth vanished). In the 2014 Gaza war Hamas tried to attack Tel Aviv with its own UAVs (Two, perhaps three UAVs were shot down by Patriot air defense batteries). This experience is not indicative of the future. The Yemen war demonstrates how UAVs will be employed in future wars in significant numbers to erode Israel’s missile defense capabilities by attacking the Iron Dome, David Sling and Arrow batteries. Hostile UAVs, in conjunction with precision rockets, may well be tasked to damage Israel’s critical infrastructures such as desalination plants. Consequently, Israel needs to integrate air defense capabilities into its missile defense systems, and to provide its critical infrastructures with their own point defenses.
The current civil wars in the Middle East – especially in Syria and in Yemen – resemble the Spanish civil war of the 1930s inasmuch as they are exploited by outside powers to test new doctrines, weapons and tactics in realistic battle conditions. What the Axis powers (and to a lesser extent the USSR) did in Spain during the 1930s is being done today by Iran in Yemen.
It would be advisable for Israel’s Ministry of Defense and the IDF to closely study the civil war in Yemen, particularly its rocket and drone warfare aspects. The weapons and tactics in use in Yemen today will be employed against Israel tomorrow.
Israel wants to “share the land and find a way to live together” with the Palestinians, President Reuven Rivlin told Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, one of the highest-ranking Vatican diplomats, when they met at the President’s Residence on Thursday night.
Sandri, who is the Prefect of the Congregations for the Oriental Catholic Churches, came with a delegation that included several Franciscan priests, as well as the Papal Nuncio and the Custos of the Holy Land.
He is in the region to mark the 800th anniversary of the Pilgrimage of Peace to the Middle East by St. Francis of Assisi and his dialogue with the Sultan of Egypt.
Rivlin, who has met with Pope Francis and is aware of the efforts being made by the Vatican to bring about a cessation of hostilities in the Middle East in general and between Israel and the Palestinians in particular, told Sandri that he knows how hard the Vatican is working to find a solution to this century-old tragedy.
Knowing that Sandri is also going to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Rivlin asked him to convey his regards, and noted that Abbas had sent New Year greetings to the people of Israel.
Emphasizing the need to build understanding between Israelis and Palestinians, Rivlin was of the opinion that a valuable asset in this regard was the restoration of the baptismal site at Qasr el-Yahud on the Jordan River near Jericho, where Jesus first met John the Baptist.
The restoration project was approved by Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian leadership, said Rivlin, who was personally involved in the process.
Although the details of the “Deal” are as yet obscure, it would appear the Jordan is slated to play a major role in it—grudgingly or otherwise. Accordingly, the feasibility of the “Deal”—indeed its acceptability—will be dramatically impacted by the nature of the regime east of the Jordan River and its prospective stability (or lack thereof).
After all, although some may hope otherwise, there seems little prospect that any successor regime in Amman will be more favorably disposed toward Israel than the current one.
This takes us back to the crucial strategic importance for Israel of the highlands of Judea-Samaria and the Jordan Valley. As I have been at pains to point out on numerous occasions, not only are these highlands the only topographical barrier between Jordan and the heavily populated coast plain, but any forces—regular or renegade—deployed on them will have complete topographical command and control of virtually all Israel’s airfields (military and civilian, including Ben Gurion, the only international airport), its major ports and naval bases, is principal traffic axes (rail and road), vital infrastructure installations/systems (electrical power, desalination plants and water conveyance), centers of civilian government and military command and 80% of the civilian population and commercial activity.
All of these will be in range of cheap, readily available weapons that have already been used against Israel from areas evacuated by it and transferred to Arab control.
Thus, the rationale of any plan that entails Israeli evacuation of this vital territory will hinge critically on the nature of the regime-type in Jordan, which abuts it from the East.
For whatever other grave detriments their might be in such a plan, it will matter greatly if Jordan is ruled by a government that strives to reign in forces hostile to Israel, or one that is indifferent to their aggressive intent—or worse, is complicit with it.
After all, should the Trump plan entail significant territorial concessions, Israel may well find itself in a situation in which it will have to contend with a huge expanse of hostile territory, stretching from the fringes of Greater Tel Aviv to the border of Iraq—and perhaps beyond.
Accordingly, Israel’s security establishment should indeed draw up plans to deal with prospective alternatives in Jordan—not only how to cope with them once they arise, but to prevent them from arising at all.
Another Arab Spring-like protest movement now seems to be arising, seeking to topple the present Iraqi government. As Israelis, we should support the Iraqi people in their quest for true freedom and democracy.
Mendi Safadi, heads of the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, has noted that if we want to prevent the creation of another Syria, we should call upon the community of nations to intervene as soon as possible to uphold the rights of the protesters, prevent additional bloodshed, and stop the radical Islamists, Iran, and the former Baathists from overtaking the protest movement.
“Today, this Arab Spring has begun to take over Iraq against a government that is corrupt and loyal to Iran,” Safadi said. “These protesters are against the Iranians taking over Iraq. Talks with activists on the ground and the leaders of the protest movement reveal that the people are repulsed by the government, who betrayed their nation by becoming a proxy of Iran. The Iranian takeover of Iraq has gotten the people to revolt, to take to the streets and to demand that Iraq be returned to its rightful owners. They seek freedom and basic human rights that every citizen of this world deserves.”
According to a report from the Internal Commission of Iraq, “The Iraqi government takes instructions from Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qassem Soleimani. Over 700 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard shot live fire at Iraqi demonstrators. There were demonstrators who were killed including men, women and children. The Iranians even went as far as burning a 2-year-old child in a car with her father. The Iraqi people are calling upon the international community to intervene urgently in order to save the Iraqi people, who have suffered under Iran and political Islam. We demand that all pro-Iranian parties be banished from Iraq and to take away all of Iran’s influence in the country. We seek to hold the regime accountable and to change from a parliamentary system to a republican form of government. We seek that the rights of women be respected, as the number of women in the country is very high. The Iraqi people will stop protesting only once our demands are met.”
Protesters in Iraq prepared Friday for bloody clashes with security forces in Iraq after three days of protests that saw the government order live fire against the demonstrators. The protesters are angry. They have tried to block roads to the airport in Baghdad and break into the “Green Zone” where foreign embassies are located. They are shocked that officials have ordered live fire used against them.
The protests began on October 1 in the wake of Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi sidelining a popular Counter-Terrorism service commander named Abdul Wahab Al-Saadi. But the real reason for the protests are much larger. They are angry over corruption and wage stagnation and lack of opportunities.
The Prime Minister has closed down internet and sought to isolate cities in Iraq. He gave a speech on Thursday evening and has indicated he could meet the protesters. But there are no clear leaders of the protests. The demonstrators gained some solace when the Shi’ite religious leader Ayatollah Ali Sistani appeared to express sympathy on Friday. Many believed that after prayers on Friday there would be bloody clashes unless the government retrains its tactics. It is not entirely clear which police have been ordered to fire on the protesters, because protesters say they cannot identify them by uniform. Some said it was not the Federal Police but other interior ministry forces. Others claims it was members of Shi’ite militias loyal to Iran, including the Saraya Khorosani unit. But much of this is rumors and has not been confirmed. What is clear is that security forces can be heard in dozens of videos using gunfire. Up to fifty demonstrators may have been killed and thousands injured, including members of the police.
The UN has called on Iraq to have a transparent investigation about the shooting of the demonstrators. “We call on the Iraqi government to allow people to freely exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”
Iranian media and local sources in Iraq have reported on the protests sweeping the country with increasing concern that the protesters oppose Iranian influence. This concern has now reached the highest levels of Iran’s regime where the narrative that has been concocted is to blame “foreign” hands for the unrest. Under this logic tens of thousands of young men, leaderless and braving the gunfire of security forces, have been sacrificing themselves by the dozens all because of some complex conspiracy.
Iraq’s government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has shut down internet, social media and even made phone calls difficult in areas across Iraq, all to stop the protests. Yet the protests continue. To discredit them an Iranian cleric on Friday claimed the US and Israel are behind the protests. Supposedly it was to “disrupt a major annual Shi’ite Muslim pilgrimage planned to be held in Iraq later this month,” Reuters reported. “The enemy is now determined against the Islamic nation, America and Zionism are targeting the Arabaeen pilgrimage in Iraq, causing trouble,” claimed Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani.
His full Friday sermon, published at Tasnim News in Farsi claims that “America and Zionism are the enemies of God.” He mentions the Houthi rebels in Yemen who “have shown themselves against the miserable Saudi rulers,” and notes that Saudi Arabia’s reputation has been weakened. This is a reference to the September 14 drone and missile attack on Saudi Arabia. He also mentions the US “maximum pressure” sanctions on Iran and says that it has not been successful. “Endurance is the way of the martyrs.” It is in this context he says that the “enemies” are targeting the religious pilgrimages to the holy sites in Karbala, where Shi’ites make pilgrimage. He calls on people to take refuge in the shrine of Imam Hussein.
In Iraq the senior Shi’ite religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, lamented the deaths of dozens of protesters and called for an end to the deaths, casualties and destruction. He called on the government to listen to the people’s demands about corruption and other issues.
A Russian journalist has been arrested in Iran on suspicion of spying on the Islamic Republic on behalf of Israel, according to family members and Russian media reports.
Yulia Yuzik was first declared missing earlier this week by family members who said she was arrested in Tehran days ago. Her ex-husband Boris Voytsekhovskiy posted on Facebook that Yuzik was facing charges of cooperating with Israeli intelligence services, and that her trial is scheduled for Saturday.
According to Voytsekhovskiy, Yuzik’s charges carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
It wasn’t clear when Yuzik was arrested; her last post on social media was a series of Instagram pictures taken in Kashan, a city in northern part of Isfahan province.
Voytsekhovskiy told Russian media outlets that Yuzik used to work as a correspondent in Tehran several years ago, and she returned to the Iranian capital last week at the invitation of an unknown party.
An anti-Hamas bill has been severely watered down by Congressman Eliot Engel. It’s a turn of events that should trouble every supporter of Israel.
The New York Post revealed this week that Engel (D-NY), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, agreed to change the bill after heavy pressure from Qatar and the Palestinian Authority (PA)
The Post quoted “a personal acquaintance of Engel’s” as saying, “Eliot told me directly that he was getting a lot of pressure from the Qataris” about the bill. At the same time, Engel or his representatives held seven meetings this past spring with lobbyists for the PA, apparently to discuss the bill.
The Qataris didn’t like the fact that the bill mentioned Qatar’s massive financial support for Hamas. The PA didn’t like the fact that it would have penalized regimes—like the PA—that assist Hamas in various ways.
So the bill, which was authored by Rep. Brian Mast (R-Florida), was changed. The language about Qatar was removed, and loopholes were added so that aid to Hamas which is considered “humanitarian” would not be blocked.
We put “humanitarian” in quotation marks because we all remember how “humanitarian” concrete, which supposedly would be used to build homes, instead was used to build tunnels to kidnap and murder Israelis.
At this point in the story, you would imagine that those Jewish leaders who claim to be Engel’s buddies would have intervened to restore the original language of the Mast bill.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan last week dismissed speculation that his country was moving toward the establishing of open diplomatic relations with Israel. Speaking at the Asian Society in New York City last Thursday, as reported by the Middle East Eye website, Khan reiterated Pakistan’s traditional stance on the issue:
“Pakistan has a very straightforward position,” the Pakistani prime minister and former cricket star said. “It was our founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah who was very clear that there has to be just settlement, a homeland for Palestinians, before Pakistan can recognize Israel.”
His remarks, according to Middle East Eye, were met with enthusiastic applause. They came amid widespread recent speculation at a possible diplomatic breakthrough between Jerusalem and Islamabad. Prominent Pakistani journalist Kamran Khan launched the rumors with a tweet on August 25, asking “Why can’t we openly debate pros cons of opening direct and overt channels of communication with the State of Israel?”
What is the background to the recent speculation, and is there a realistic chance of a breakthrough, or do Imran Khan’s remarks settle the matter in the negative?
THERE IS a school of thought in Pakistan that favors the abandonment, or at least the questioning, of Islamabad’s long rejection of formal ties with the Jewish state. Why now?
A 45-year-old technology administrator at the police headquarters in central Paris went on a knife rampage inside the building on Thursday, killing three police officers and an administrative worker before he was shot dead by an officer, French officials said.
French broadcaster BFM TV said the attacker had converted to Islam 18 months ago.
Officials did not say anything about the motive for the attack and said they were still trying to discover if there was a terrorism link.
The man launched the attack in his office then moved to other parts of the large 19th-century building across the street from the Notre Dame Cathedral.
An officer stopped the attack when he shot the assailant in the compound's courtyard, said a police official. The official was not authorized to talk publicly about the case and requested anonymity.
The IDF and Israel Police thwarted an attempt to smuggle weapons from Lebanon into Israel in September, according to an IDF spokesperson.
An IDF field observer from the 869th battalion spotted two suspects acting suspiciously on the Lebanese side of the border with Israel near the border fence. IDF soldiers went to the scene to check the issue.
Bags found in the area contained about 40 pistols and magazines which were meant to be smuggled from Lebanon into Israel. The background of the incident is being looked into.
One suspect was arrested on the Israeli side of the border and was transferred for questioning by security forces.
"I saw a suspect approaching the fence and immediately realized that this was an unusual incident," said Pvt. Adi ben Naim, the field observer who identified the suspects. "I alerted the troops and directed them to the location. It was only after the incident that I realized that a very large weapon-smuggling attempt was thwarted. My job as a field observer is to identify what takes place in the field and alert my commanders; which is exactly what I did in this incident.
Thanks to the vigilance of Adi, an 18-year-old combat intelligence soldier, a smuggling attempt of 40 guns from Lebanon into Israel was thwarted.
The Israel Defense Forces marked “Mean Girls Day” this week by tweeting a meme of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah.
The meme, posted on Thursday, October 3, was an altered version of a “never before seen” photo published by the Iranian government showing the supreme leader, Nasrallah and Qassem Soleimani — the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force.
The IDF photoshopped the Iranians into a “Mean Girls” scene alongside Lindsay Lohan, with the caption: “There’s no one meaner than the mean girls of the Middle East…”
The IDF added #DontSitWithThem and #MeanGirlsDay to their post.
October 3 was a date that was mentioned in passing by Lohan’s character to her crush in Mean Girls, and has since become a pop cultural phenomenon marked annually by movie fans.
The “Don’t sit with them” refers to a line in the movie when Rachel McAdams’s character Regina George is turned away from popular clique’s table at lunch because she’s wearing sweatpants.
The Arab citizens of Israel need rapid development of their areas. They dream of having high-tech zones and industrial centers; they seek enhanced police work to battle the crime that is raging in the streets of Arab cities; and they resent the vicious incitement against them that was led for years by the prime minister and the ruling party. Will the future government, which for now is still nowhere to be seen, be able to fulfill all of these demands and build bridges between the establishment and one-fifth of Israel’s population?
During the recent political campaign, the Likud party accused Gantz numerous times of “planning to create a government with [Joint List MKs] Ahmad Tibi and Ayman Odeh,” but the leaders of the bloc had ruled it out many times. When Blue and White MK Ram Ben-Barak, ex-deputy director of the Mossad, turned to the Arabs this summer, he said that Blue and White needed them “to change the government.” But what will happen the day after such a change is accomplished?
Amjad Iraqi, a contributing editor at +972 magazine, said to The Media Line that what is missing from the tactical decision of the Joint List is thought about the day after. “This decision is quite some gamble that could also backfire, especially if a unity government will be formed eventually between Likud and the Blue and White bloc. I do understand the logic —Ayman Odeh decided to prioritize getting rid of Netanyahu, and most of the public endorsed him because they want to change at least some part of the equation. But how do we know that the Blue and White bloc, whose leaders had their share of critical and negative remarks about Arabs, will be able to live up to its promises?” said Iraqi.
El-Sana believes that if the Joint List is unable to maximize its gains this time around, the alternative for the next time will be voting for existing Jewish parties or for a joint Arab-Jewish party, a project that el-Sana tried to run this time together with the former Knesset speaker, Avrum Burg. There are also many question marks about the participation of the Balad party, which is increasingly seen by many in the Arab public as a destabilizing element that fails to serve its people. “If they were to participate in the elections today by themselves, they would go down. They have three seats in the Joint List, but they are worth only 1.5 seats, or even less” says Darawshe. On the opposite side, Iraqi believes that Balad gives legitimacy to the Joint List, serving as a link between them and the wider Palestinian cause. “Balad still represents a significant portion of voters. They need the Joint List, and the Joint List needs them,” he concludes.
For now, Arab voters seem to be quite satisfied with the result. They proved to be resilient against incitement and intimidation, increased their representation at the Knesset, and now will wait just like everyone else to see how the current political reality TV unfolds.
The leaders of the Joint List will now have to prove to their voters that they can make some real gains with the increased power that they received this time. Considering the shaky structure of the bloc, which includes four different parties with contradicting ideologies, this will not be easy. If no government is formed and Israel goes to a third round of elections, the bloc will have to campaign extremely hard to maintain its success. For now, it is unlikely that the Joint List will top its current result—13 seats. The quiet revolution in the Arab sector, however, will continue, sweeping Arab Israeli citizens away from segregation and isolation, toward integration and equality.
Thousands of Arab Israelis held protests Friday at the conclusion of prayers, a day after a general strike over a wave of deadly violence within the minority community.
Protesters blocked roads, including sections of the major highways in the north of the country. Demonstrators carried signs with slogans such as “our children’s blood is not cheap” and chanted slogans about what they say is police inaction on the issue.
Ayman Odeh, the head of the Knesset’s predominantly Arab Joint List faction, called on the Jewish community to join the protests, saying that a society without weapons should be the ideal for everyone.
“I also urge the Jewish public to join the protests. A society without firearms is a civil and social aim for us all,” Odeh tweeted.
Some Israelis — many, in fact — will celebrate the holiday of Sukkot this year holding their four species bound with holders produced in the Gaza Strip.
Ahead of the Jewish holiday, the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) has approved the import of tens of thousands of four species holders, used for the traditional customs of the holiday.
The four species – the etrog, a citron fruit; the lulav, a frond of a date palm; the hadas, a myrtle bough; and the aravah, a willow branch – are the species the Jewish people are commanded to bind together during the holiday.
The holders are made out of dried palm leaves, woven into a shape that allows the four species to be held together comfortably during the holiday prayers. The abundance of palm trees in Gaza, as well as cheap labor, makes the enclave a prime location for the production of the holders.
Despite the growing tension between Hamas, the terror group that controls Gaza and Israel, COGAT was able to facilitate the import successfully, passing it through the Kerem Shalom Crossing under heavy security inspection.
Halfway between the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Nablus, the road gives way to an exit unlike any other along Israel’s Highway 60. At first glance, this route — lined with palm trees and polished sidewalks that lead up to lavish stone villas — looks like a well-funded Jewish settlement. But a closer look reveals that unlike other typical settlements, there is no security gate at the entrance to the community and its houses are not lined up in rows along the hilltops.
The expensive homes scattered on slopes among olive trees, reminiscent of the famous Hollywood Boulevard, are actually a window into the Palestinian diaspora. The majority of their dwellers are dual American-Palestinian nationals who live in the United States for most of the year and treat the village of Turmus Ayya as their summer home.
Turmus Ayyans are not only based in the United States. These Palestinian villagers are spread throughout the world, with members of the community living in Spain, Panama, Cuba and Brazil. According to the village’s municipal office, there are some 11,000 Turmus Ayyans in total; 4,000 are permanent residents, while 7,000 made their home abroad.
Unlike the majority of Palestinians living in the diaspora, Turmus Ayyans are not refugees of the 1948 war. Rather, they are economic immigrants who chose to leave this West Bank village in pursuit of better financial opportunities. Residents told Haaretz that the first villager to immigrate was Odeh Abdel Qader, who left for the United States in 1909 and worked in Manhattan's Little Syria (where the Financial District is situated today). Local Wadi Abu Awad recalls Qader’s return to the village: "He was the guy who came from America," he says. Throughout the 20th century, Qader’s legacy became an inspiration for other Turmus Ayyans who wished to chase the American Dream.
A picture making the rounds on social media shows the leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, with his six sons, standing healthy in tailored suits, and beneath it, a picture of Gaza youths who have had a leg amputated after rioting at the Gaza fence.
Another example is a recording by a Gazan father whose son was wounded at the border confrontations.
"I was told I needed to provide his medicine out of my own pocket. If he were the son of one of the Hamas higher-ups, the whole world would have given aid."
"Where am I supposed to get money for medicine? They told my boy to get on the bus and protest, and then they threw him out to die."
Iran has not drawn back to a less threatening military posture in the region following the Sept. 14 attack on Saudi Arabia, the top U.S. admiral in the Middle East told Reuters, suggesting persistent concern despite a lull in violence.
"I don't believe that they're drawing back at all," Vice Admiral Jim Malloy, commander of the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet, said in an interview.
The United States, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France and Germany have publicly blamed the attack on Iran, which denies involvement in the strike on the world's biggest crude oil-processing facility. The Iran-aligned Houthi militant group in Yemen has claimed responsibility.
Malloy did not comment on any U.S. intelligence guiding his assessment. But he acknowledged that he monitored Iranian activities closely, when asked if he had seen any concerning movements of Iranian missiles in recent weeks.
Malloy said he regularly tracks Iranian cruise and ballistic missile movements -- "whether they're moving to storage, away from storage." He also monitors whether Iran's minelaying capabilities head to distribution sites or away from them.
"I get a briefing of movements on a daily basis and then assessments as to what that could mean," he said.
Relations between the United States and Iran have deteriorated sharply since President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear accord last year and reimposed sanctions on its oil exports.
For months, Iranian officials issued veiled threats, saying that if Tehran were blocked from exporting oil, other countries would not be able to do so either.
However, Iran has denied any role in a series of attacks that have followed, including against tankers in the Gulf using limpet mines earlier this year.
The UN’s nuclear watchdog said Friday Iran had taken “a step in the right direction” towards dealing with questions on its nuclear program but cautioned that the issues have not been “completely addressed.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) did not detail what the questions related to but said it was “discussing substance” with the Iranians.
There has been “engagement” from Tehran in recent weeks on questions relating to its nuclear safeguards declarations to the agency, IAEA acting head Cornel Feruta told journalists in Vienna.
“[That] engagement doesn’t mean that the issues are completely addressed but it’s a step in the right direction,” he added.
Feruta said the queries did not touch directly on the faltering 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers but rather on Iran’s separate safeguards agreement with the agency.
Diplomatic sources in Vienna say the agency has been waiting for information from the Iranians relating to samples taken earlier this year from a warehouse near the capital Tehran.
Iran and the United States have one month to get to the negotiating table, France's foreign minister warned, suggesting Tehran's plan to increase its nuclear activities in November would spark renewed tension in the region.
French President Emmanuel Macron attempted but failed to broker talks between US President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York last week.
"We consider that these initiatives, which didn't succeed, are still on the table and it is up to Iran and the United States to seize [them] in a relatively short amount of time because Iran has announced new measures to reduce its commitments to the Vienna accord in November," Jean-Yves Le Drian told parliament's foreign affairs committee.
Iran is breaching the restrictions of its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers in response to US sanctions imposed since Washington pulled out of the agreement in May of last year.
It has said its next roll-back would be at the start of November, and diplomats fear that this next breach could force European powers, which are trying to salvage the accord, to respond.
Iran said on Friday that France's call for it to release a detained French-Iranian scholar was an interference in its internal affairs and would not help resolve the issue, the official news agency IRNA reported.
France's Foreign Ministry on Thursday demanded Iran release dual national Fariba Adelkhah, a senior research fellow at Sciences Po university in Paris, who was detained on unspecified charges earlier this year.
"(Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas) Mousavi said the French Foreign Ministry's interference in the case of an Iranian citizen was irrelevant..., and added: 'This will not only fail to help resolve the issue, but rather make the legal process more complicated'," IRNA reported.
Rights activists have accused Iran of arresting a number of dual nationals to try to win concessions from other countries - a charge that the Islamic republic has regularly dismissed.
Adelkhah's arrest came at a time when France and other European powers were caught up in an international standoff over Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal, which the United States abandoned last year.
More than 20 ships carrying around one million tonnes of grain are stuck outside Iranian ports as US sanctions create payment problems and hamper the country’s efforts to import vital commodities, sources directly involved in the trade said.
Trading companies such as Bunge (BG.N) and China’s COFCO International have been hit by payment delays and additional costs of up to $15,000 a day as the renewed US restrictions stifle the processing of transactions, trade sources said.
According to Reuters, food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are exempt from sanctions Washington re-imposed after US President Donald Trump said he was walking away from a 2015 international deal over Iran’s nuclear program.
But the US measures targeting everything from oil sales to shipping and financial activities have deterred several foreign banks from doing any Iranian business, including humanitarian deals such as food shipments.
The few remaining lenders still processing Iranian business face multiple hurdles to facilitate payments as financing channels freeze up.
The conflict between Iran and the U.S. that has created tensions throughout much of the Middle East is now also being felt in Lebanon, where Washington has slapped sanctions on the Iran-backed Hezbollah and warned they could soon expand to its allies, further deepening the tiny Arab country’s economic crisis.
The Trump administration has intensified sanctions on the Lebanese militant group and institutions linked to it to unprecedented levels, targeting lawmakers for the first time as well as a local bank that Washington claims has ties to the group.
Two U.S. officials visited Beirut in September and warned the sanctions will increase to deprive Hezbollah of its sources of income. The push is further adding to Lebanon’s severe financial and economic crisis, with Lebanese officials warning the country’s economy and banking sector can’t take the pressure.
“We have taken more actions recently against Hezbollah than in the history of our counterterrorism program,” Sigal P. Mandelker, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the U.S. Treasury, said in the United Arab Emirates last month.
Mandelker said Washington is confident the Lebanese government and the central bank will “do the right thing here in making sure that Hezbollah can no longer have access to funds at the bank.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign ministry blasted a prominent German official on Wednesday after the commissioner tasked with combating antisemitism told The Jerusalem Post that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration should withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions on Tehran for its nefarious conduct.
The Iranian regime-controlled PressTV wrote that "in an online statement on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi condemned the remarks by Uwe Becker, commissioner of the Hessian federal state government for Jewish life and the fight against anti-Semitism.”
PressTV added that “Becker on Monday called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to put Israel's security above ‘possible economic interests’ that comes with the deal – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).”
Becker, the commissioner of the Hessian federal state government for Jewish life and the fight against antisemitism, told the Post on Monday that “the current escalation with Israel should be reason enough for Germany to advocate the.... Iran nuclear agreement, which has been undermined by Iran... [as] dead, and for the necessary sanctions against Tehran to become effective again in their entirety.”
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In his sermon for Rosh Hashanah, Ammiel Hirsch, the rabbi of a prominent Reform synagogue in Manhattan, urged his congregants not to lose sight of “the central Jewish principle [that] all Jews are responsible one for the other.” It is impossible, he argued, to “live a full Jewish life” without feeling that “the pain of a Belgian Jew is our pain; the fear of an Israeli child terrorized by rockets is our fear; the insecurity of Orthodox Jews attacked repeatedly on the streets of Brooklyn is our insecurity.” Yet, in the face of the anti-Semitic threats that come from so many different directions—which Hirsch went on to analyze—Jews must not lose their sense of pride, or begin to see Judaism as a burden rather than a privilege.
In the war against BDS, the most recent development in academia was the Department of Education censure of Duke University and the University of North Carolina for the misuse of Federal Title VI funds, prompted by complaints over a BDS related event in the spring. Title VI of the Higher Education Act is intended to support foreign language instruction and US national security needs, but has become a slush fund for tendentious Middle East Studies education and programming aimed at college students and K-12.
The Education Department’s letter to the Duke-UNC Center for Middle East Studies complained that fewer than 1,000 students were taking Middle East language courses, while almost 7,000 were enrolled in Middle East Studies courses with “little or no relevance to Title VI.” The complaint also criticized the lack of focus on religious minorities in the Middle East and the near exclusive emphasis on Islam, particularly for K-12 teachers.
The schools were instructed to respond with a compliance plan. In the interim, however, predictable complaints were voiced by academics regarding the alleged “chilling effect on academic freedom” and by BDS advocates, who characterized the move as “anti-Palestinian.”
The investigation comes after a recent study demonstrated that Arab and Muslim countries had donated billions of dollars to American colleges and universities in the past decade, with over $1.5 billion from Qatar alone. The impact of these donations is difficult to measure, but the deference and obsequiousness shown by universities and academics to donors generally is well known.
Underscoring the impact of BDS and biased pedagogy on campus, another report also indicated that Israel-related antisemitism on campuses increased dramatically between 2017 and 2018. Strong increases were seen in accusations of “genocide” against Israel, along with justifications for terrorism. Most important were dramatic increases in faculty-led BDS activities including sponsored events and individual boycotts of Israel and supporters.
Finally, it was announced that the National Students for Justice in Palestine conference would be taking place at the University of Minnesota at the beginning of November. The announcement also touted the election of Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). The conference is designed to train BDS activists, many of them already on record espousing violence, as well as expand “intersectional” alliances of those “who struggle against state violence, settler-colonialism, and imperialism — from Palestine to Turtle Island, from the Philippines to Mexico and beyond.”
The majority of recent reports on the connection of the BDS movement to both terrorism and antisemitism make many different recommendations on how to stop the growing antisemitism of our era. One recommendation of particular note is that countries should accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, uphold its principles and outlaw the BDS movement.
The IHRA’s working definition is a concise description of a complex hatred that takes many forms. It reads: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
The people who lead the BDS movement bring many different kinds of antisemitic hatred into our public conversation, and the IHRA definition helps identify the sort of bigotry they spread. It defines antisemitism as accusing Jews or Israel of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust; accusing Jews of dual loyalty; using blood libel to criticize Israel; comparing Israel to the Nazis; and holding the Jewish state to a double standard – or, in one of its purest forms of hate, denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination. Now that many in the world are finally acknowledging just how evil BDS is, our Jewish community and fellow Americans must follow suit. Governments and NGOs must adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Our local, state and federal governments must pass laws and resolutions that condemn and delegitimize the vile hatred of BDS. Politicians and bureaucrats should stop funding educational programs that include BDS bigotry. Financial platforms should not be allowed to provide services to BDS organizations that publish antisemitic content or have links to terrorism. And we shall all demand that social media platforms remove antisemitic BDS content.
After a decade of excuses and inaction about BDS, it seems that some people are finally waking up to the danger this movement poses – not only to the Jewish people, but also to the basic values of the liberal societies in which we live.
It is the responsibility of our leaders to build on the recent momentum to inform the public about the BDS movement’s antisemitic agenda, its shadowy funding sources, its true aim of denying Jewish self-determination, its lopsided and underhanded tactics, and its connection to terrorism.
BDS is the new face of the old antisemitism, and when it comes to fighting antisemitism, the old adage “better late than never” is particularly apt for our moment. It’s time for us all to get to work.
Chief Rabbi of UK Speaks of BDS and the Rise of Antisemitism
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis of the United Kingdom spoke with Jordana Miller on the rise of antisemitism and the effects of the BDS movement in the UK.
Dozens of neo-Nazis marched through the German city of Dortmund on Monday, calling for Palestinian support to eradicate Israel.
The demonstration, which came on the heels of an anti-fascist protest in the western German city, involved approximately seventy neo-Nazi activists marching through the streets, holding flags of the Third Reich flag and chanting, "Palestine help us, Israel still exists" and "Israel no more."
Israel's Ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff posted condemned the neo-Nazi rally, writing on Twitter: "Disgraceful to see neo-Nazis openly on the streets of Dortmund just as we celebrate the Jewish New Year, my wife’s great grand parents were from Dortmund and were murdered by the Nazis, where there is no remorse there can be no forgiveness."
Dortmund is considered to have the biggest neo-Nazi presence of any city in western Germany, with the majority of them living in the Dorstfeld quarter.
Dorstfeld is littered with graffiti of Third Reich's flag, symbols and writings.In September, anti-fascist activists arrived with police backup in Dorstfeld, where they covered the hateful graffiti with colors and messages calling for unity and tolerance.
When the neo-Nazis pledged retaliation for the clean-up, the anti-fascist activists vowed to march against them every Monday for the next 13 weeks.
The creation of the State of Israel was an act of racism, imperialism, and colonialism. Eleanor Roosevelt supported it, which means she was not the humanitarian everyone believes her to be, but rather a racist, imperialist, and colonialist. That is the central thesis of Geraldine Kidd’s dissertation-turned-prosecutorial brief against the most influential first lady in American history.
Readers will have no trouble surmising where Kidd (who teaches at University College in Cork, Ireland) stands on the Arab–Jewish conflict, and why she is so disappointed in Mrs. Roosevelt’s sympathy for Zionism. Arab violence in Mandatory Palestine was merely a response to “incursions by the land-hungry Zionists” (p. 90) and “the insidious and ever-growing [Jewish] colonization” (p. 91), Kidd asserts. Arab leaders who violently opposed the creation of a Jewish state of any size were merely “vigorously defending Palestinian rights in the face of Jewish imposition” (p. 80). As for Mrs. Roosevelt, she “aspired for a Jewish-occupied Palestine” (p. 240) and her “growing interest in Palestine as a Jewish state bade ill for the indigenous people, whose land the Zionists coveted” (p. 54).
“Indigenous,” incidentally, is a term invoked by Kidd with almost comic frequency. She applies it to the Arab residents of Mandatory Palestine no less than eleven times in the first 100 pages of her book, yet never feels it necessary to explain the basis for that assertion. For Kidd, it is self-evident that the Arabs have been the rightful owners of every inch of the country since time immemorial, while “the foreign, migrating Jewish minority” should be regarded as usurpers and criminals (p. 31).
As she chronicles Mrs. Roosevelt’s views and record on Palestine, Kidd has trouble letting her have the last word. Again and again, she cites some remark by the first lady, then quickly follows with a rebuttal of her own. The book at times resembles a meeting of a debate club. Mrs. Roosevelt states that Palestine did not belong to Britain; Kidd interjects, “She was ignoring the fact that the Mandate granted them legal authority to govern it” (p. 123). Mrs. Roosevelt alludes to illegal Arab immigration into Palestine; Kidd retorts, “This statement is an extraordinary reversal of the facts, for it was not the Arabs who had moved into the Jewish orbit but instead it was the Jews who had steadily encroached on the Arabs” (p. 123). The former first lady finds fault with the Palestinian Arabs who fled in 1948; an incensed Kidd responds, “This argument is weak, as obviously the Palestinians, in their panic, had no way of knowing what the future might hold for them.” Kidd adds, for good measure, that Mrs. Roosevelt’s point “neatly coincided with contemporaneous Zionist thinking” (p. 174).
In his Conservative Party Conference speech, Prime Minister Boris Johnson lambasted “the fratricidal antisemitic Marxists who were in Brighton [at the Labour Party Conference] last week.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism reported multiple instances of antisemitism or concern over anti-Jewish abuse at the Labour Party Conference, and has warned that the Labour Party is now institutionally antisemitic.
"Let's get #Brexit done!"@BorisJohnson reiterates his promise for the UK to leave the EU on the 31 October.
He also hits out at Labour saying he wants to win an election "against the fratricidal anti-semitic Marxists".
On 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
In recent months, twelve MPs and three peers have resigned from the Labour Party over antisemitism, along with a large number of MEPs, councillors and members.
British Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid reiterated his support for the Jewish state at a Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) event on Tuesday.
Addressing the gathering, which was attended by six cabinet ministers as well as a slew of other prominent figures, Javid said, “When I look at Israel… it is a country that aligns with all of our values… it’s great to see how strongly this party supports the values of Israel at every level.”
Javid also condemned antisemitism in the UK, declaring, “Everyone in this room has a duty to stop it.”
“Anyone with a sense of history knows full well why the Jewish community feels uneasy now, and nowadays we don’t have to look to the past to learn, sadly you just have to look around you,” he continued.
Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev told Javid, “You can be proud… that under this Conservative government, the Israel-UK partnership is stronger than ever before. Our trade is growing beyond the £8.6 million we had last year, we have just signed a trade agreement so that trade will continue to grow in the years to come. That’s prosperity and that’s jobs.”
Jeremy Corbyn sparked outrage for releasing a Rosh Hashanah video that features an activist who last year led a public Jewish mourning prayer for dead members of Hamas.
In the clip posted on Twitter ahead of the Jewish holiday, Corbyn visits a grocery store with Jewish Labour Party members to discuss the symbolism of honey and apples for the Jewish new year and promote Labour’s “Green Industrial Revolution” program.
Alongside him is Rob Abrams, a Jewish anti-Zionist activist who in May 2018 led the Kaddish prayer in Parliament Square for 62 Palestinians killed on the Israel-Gaza border, at least 50 of whom were Hamas operatives, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
Israel activist David Collier wrote in response to the clip, “There is no way you are not aware much of the Jewish community were outraged when this person explicitly led a prayer service for dead Hamas terrorists. Which makes your actions here deliberate. Your spiteful nature highlights you are a real danger.”
Also in the video is Labour counselor Sue Lukes, who tweeted an article titled the “Jewish ‘War against Corbyn’ risks bringing real antisemitism to Britain” and wrote a piece to “honor” Malia Bouattia, the former National Union of Students president who was accused of antisemitism.
A local UK Labour party branch is planning a no-confidence vote against a Jewish MP on the eve of Yom Kippur.
Dame Louise Ellman, the Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, who is Jewish, has been active in Jewish Labour groups and critical of antisemitism in her party.
Labour has been beset by series of antisemitism scandals since Jeremy Corbyn became its leader in 2015.
Ellman has held leadership positions in the Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement, and is currently vice president of the Jewish Leadership Council.
The proposed motion by the St. Michael’s Labour branch states, “This Branch is fully behind Jeremy Corbyn,” and cites a statement by Ellman in which she said that she understood “why Jews would seriously consider leaving Britain if Corbyn became PM.”
As a result of her statement, says the motion, “We have no confidence that our MP Louise Ellman will carry out the wishes of our [Constituency Labour Party] and the Riverside constituency, or that she will follow Labour Party policy.”
“This Branch therefore calls on our Riverside MP, Louise Ellman, to resign,” the motion concludes.
The motion will be taken up at a meeting to be held at 8 p.m. next Tuesday, which is the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year.
Stephen Marks, a member of the antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation, Jewish Voice for Labour, has been re-elected to Labour’s National Constitutional Committee, the Party’s disciplinary body.
Mr Marks signed a 2017 petition in support of Jackie Walker, a former vice-chair of Momentum and one of those exemplifying the institutionalisation of antisemitism in the Labour Party. Mr Walker was repeatedly suspended by Labour and finally expelled earlier this year. She has persistently claimed that complaints of antisemitism are part of a plot to destabilise the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and has rejected the International Definition of Antisemitism.
Last year Mr Marks also reportedly shared a petition in support of David Watson, who was suspended from Labour in 2016 for allegedly sharing claims on social media comparing the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad with the Nazis and accusing Israel of genocide. Mr Marks is reported to have written in respect of Mr Watson: “It is cases like this which ‘bring the party into disrepute’. Those responsible are the ones who should be suspended!”
Earlier this month Mr Watson reportedly called for the abolition of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which launched a full statutory investigation into Labour antisemitism on 28th May following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
Jenny Manson, the co-chair of the antisemitism-denial group and sham Jewish representative organisation, Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), is scheduled for a speaking engagement on Kol Nidrei, the night of Yom Kippur.
The event, titled “Resisting the rise of the racists and fascists”, will feature Ms Manson on a panel with Weyman Bennett, a member of the Socialist Workers Party’s central committee. The panel is part of a larger “West London stand up to racism” event at St Mary’s Church Hall in South Ealing on 8th October. It is anticipated that there will be debate on far-right extremism and antisemitism.
Although Ms Manson has previously admitted that JVL was founded in order “to tackle allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party”, she has reportedly been “hurt” by suggestions that question her Jewishness and the organisation has also stressed its Jewish credentials (including in its name). Some have suggested that this stance is somewhat undermined by undermined by Ms Manson’s decision to participate in a speaking engagement at a church on Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar and is marked by most Jews with fasting and synagogue attendance. Communal organisations are shut and work or public engagements are generally discouraged.
Labour’s MP for Kensington has apologised for liking a Facebook comment claiming Israel “disgraces all of us Jews worldwide.”
Emma Dent Coad, who was elected in 2017, ‘unliked’ the comment within hours of Jewish News reaching out for comment.
A spokesperson for the MP said: “Emma liked this in error and apologises.”
A comment posted by online user Earl Okin on Monday evening read: “I’ve always been a Bevanite – my ultimate political hero….and#utm_source=googlier.com/page/2019_10_08/49615&utm_campaign=link&utm_term=googlier&utm_content=googlier.com as a Jew, the current Israeli apartheid regime disgraces all of us Jews worldwide.”
It was reported to Jewish News by the anti-racism Twitter account GnasherJew.
The post was a response to another post by online user Bob Pandy critical of “Blairite” MPs and “members of the Netanyahu fan club”.
On Monday, former pogrom leader and current Democrat kingmaker Al Sharpton boasted on his Facebook page the fact that he was “being presented to speak at the Rosh Hashanah Services of the East Side Synagogue by Rabbi Perry Berkowitz and Rabbi Leah Berkowitz.”
For the record, the ESS informed its members that “this year our worship space of many years, the All Souls Sanctuary, is undergoing extensive renovation and is not available for our use. We are blessed that services will be held instead at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church at corner of 73rd Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan. This is a beautiful and awe-inspiring space that will deepen our High Holyday (sic) experience.”
Like the old joke says, “The synagogue is closed for the holidays.”
By now practically every Jewish newspaper in New York has condemned the notion that Sharpton, who is identified more than anyone else with the August 1991 Crown Heights Pogrom, should be preaching to Jews on the “High Holyday.” Sharpton marched through Crown Heights and in front of the 770 Eastern Parkway headquarters of Chabad-Lubavitch shortly after the riot, leading some 400 rioters who were chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “No justice, no peace!” Sharpton himself notoriously called Jews “diamond merchants,” which was his personal contribution to the anti-Semitic vernacular.
Remember New York State Senator Julia Salazar? She’s the Democratic socialist who lied about being an immigrant and a Jew. This will probably come as a major shock to you, but it seems that the kind of person who would lie about being Jewish doesn’t actually have a whole lot of respect for Jews.
On September 30, teenage thugs threw large objects (reportedly milk crates) through the window of the Rivnitz synagogue in Brooklyn during a Rosh Hashanah service:
Two nights ago, some young people apparently threw objects into a window of a building at Throop & Bartlett St, where neighbors were gathered for Rosh Hashana prayers.
We need to care for each other and protect each other. This isn’t acceptable in our district or in our city.
Pro-Trump youth group Turning Point USA (TPUSA) announced this week that it has severed ties with one of its brand ambassadors following a picture of her at a dinner over the weekend with accused antisemites and white nationalists.
A spokesperson confirmed on Monday to Right Wing Watch, a project of People for the American Way, which monitors far-right activities and content, that Ashley St. Clair is no longer part of TPUSA.
“TPUSA is a large national organization that touches hundreds of thousands of people all across the nation,” said the spokesperson. “Ashley is no longer one of our thousands of volunteer activists and ambassadors. [Founder and executive director] Charlie [Kirk] and TPUSA have repeatedly and publicly denounced white nationalism as abhorrent and un-American and will continue to do so.”
The spokesperson also noted that St. Clair wasn’t representing the organization while she was photographed.
St. Clair, who is Jewish, attended a dinner held after a debate between antisemitic and white-nationalist podcaster Nicholas Fuentes, who attended the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., and conspiracy theorist Jacob Wohl.
St. Clair, who wasn’t at the debate, attended what she told Right Wing Watch was a “diverse dinner.”
Grammy-nominated American singer and actress Demi Lovato’s love affair with Israel on her recent visit here seems to have come to an abrupt halt.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday that was then deleted, Lovato apologized if her trip offended anyone.
Lovato’s visit initially appeared to have gone well, so the controversy that followed came as a surprise. The pop singer, who has more than 74 million Instagram followers, posted photos of herself at the Western Wall, being baptized in the Jordan River, touring Yad Vashem, and visiting the Shalva National Center for people with disabilities.
“There is something absolutely magical about Israel,” she gushed. “I’ve never felt such a sense of spirituality or connection to God… something I’ve been missing for a few years now... I’m grateful for the memories made and the opportunity to be able to fill the God-sized hole in my heart. Thank you for having me, Israel.”
But on Wednesday, she wrote in an Instagram story: “I’m extremely frustrated. I accepted a free trip to Israel in exchange for a few posts. No one told me there would be anything wrong with going or that I could possibly be offending anyone. With that being said, I’m sorry if I hurt or offended anyone, that was not my intention. Sometimes people present you with opportunities and no one tells you the potential backlash you could face in return. This was meant to be a spiritual experience for me, NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT, and now I realize it hurt people and for that I’m sorry. Sorry I’m not more educated, and sorry for thinking this trip was just a spiritual experience. Going against all advice right now and apologizing because it feels right to me and I’d rather get in trouble for being authentic to myself, than staying quiet to please other people. I love my fans, all of them, from all over.”
The BDS backlash began as soon as Lovato posted photos of her Israel visit on Instagram. Angry fans responded with scathing comments that she was ignoring the plight of the Palestinians and that she should boycott Israel.
Lovato then deleted the comments on a photo showing her Jordan River baptism where she praised Israel as “magical.” Her detractors took to Twitter to criticize the singer. Among the comments, Nouran Ahmed wrote: “Hey, Demi... actually, you need to read more about the history of this land because it’s called Palestine, not Israel, and the magical feeling that you felt, it’s back to the history of the land (Palestine) not Israel.”
While BDS supporters have long campaigned to persuade celebrities to cancel planned trips to Israel, the controversy over Lovato’s visit is unusual in that the pressure came following her visit. Apparently, the singer was taken by surprise by the criticism. But why she then removed her apology – which lives on in screen grabs – is unclear.
Meanwhile, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Ze’ev Elkin took credit for inviting her as an initiative of his ministry. (h/t Esty)
Just fyi, one pic she posted I saw yesterday was her meeting with special-needs kids.
This is what she's feeling made to apologize for. Bringing smiles to the faces of Jewish children with special needs.
BDS is a genuinely cruel way to express hatred of Jews.
On Monday, the German city of Aachen announced that it had withdrawn a decision to give a prestigious art prize worth €10,000 (roughly $10,900) to artist Walid Raad, citing his alleged support for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, a pro-Palestine movement. But, according to a new report, that move is not the end of the story.
The German news network WDR reports that Raad will receive the award after all, via the Ludwig Forum for International Art, a museum in the city that facilitates the award, the Aachen Art Prize. The museum’s board reportedly made the decision on Tuesday night.
Marcel Philipp, the mayor of Aachen, previously said in a statement, “According to research, we have to assume that the designated prizewinner is a supporter of the BDS movement and has been involved in various measures for the cultural boycott of Israel.” He added that, when the city of Aachen had inquired with him about his alleged support for BDS, Raad had been “evasive.” The city alleged that Raad “could not distance himself from BDS,” which it referred to as an “anti-Semitic” movement.
The Ludwig Forum’s board reportedly disagreed with the city’s of Aachen’s decision, however, and WDR said that its members could not find any evidence that Raad was an anti-Semite.
The Ludwig Forum and Raad did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In an interview with the German publication Deutschlandfunk, the Ludwig Forum’s CEO, Michael Müller-Vorbrüggen, said that the museum had obtained the funds to give out the award, and it was therefore it did not need to the city’s permission to offer Raad the prize.
The University College Union (UCU) has apologised after it left out Jews from a description of the different groups murdered in the Holocaust, an omission the chief executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust called “completely unacceptable”.
The UCU had sent out an e-mail to branch and local association secretaries, in which chapters of the union were encouraged to observe HMD 2020, which takes place on January 27.
It described how the Nazis had persecuted groups such as “trade unions, including social democrats and Communists”, “Europe’s Roma and Sinti people”, “Black people”, “disabled people”, “freemasons”, “gay and lesbian people”, “Jehovah’s witnesses” and “'asocials’, which included beggars, alcoholics, drug addicts prostitutes and pacifists” were persecuted by the Nazi regime.
It also specifically mentioned “non-Jewish Poles and Slavic POWs”. However, it made no mention of Jews, the primary targets of the Holocaust.
When the e-mail was publicised, Jews on social media attacked the “shocking” and “sickening” omission, with others suggesting that the mention of “non-Jewish Poles” showed the Union had clearly been thinking about who to include – and who to leave out.
A link in the e-mail led to a specific page on the UCU about HMD, which also neglected to mention Jews as victims of the Holocaust, while mentioning other significant groups.
In a subsequent e-mail from the union’s “equality support official”, the organisation apologised for what it called “drafting errors” in its initial message.
I want to give Mohamad credit on one score: He’s honest about his Jew-hatred. He doesn’t pretend he’s only attempting to champion Palestinian rights. He doesn’t pretend to be supporting boycotts just to encourage Israelis to withdraw from “occupied territories.” He doesn’t claim that he’s not anti-Semitic but merely anti-Zionist.
That last claim I find particularly misleading and annoying. Because, given a choice, I’ll take anti-Semites over anti-Zionists any day. Garden-variety anti-Semites – I’m not talking about neo-Nazis or Stalinists or Khomeinists or Salafi/jihadis – disparage Jews. They don’t want them working in their businesses, living in their neighborhoods, or joining their clubs. That’s nasty but disparagement is survivable, and alternative businesses, neighborhoods and clubs can generally be found.
Anti-Zionists, by contrast, seek a more consequential goal. They want to deprive Israel of its fundamental right to exist. They want to end Jewish self-determination in any part of the ancient Jewish homeland, a unique refuge for Jews who fled not only from Europe but also – and in larger numbers – from Arab and Muslim countries.
Were anti-Zionists to achieve their goal, were they to succeed in eradicating the Jewish state, what would happen to the more than 6 million Jewish Israelis who live there? I think you know. I think Mohamad knows too. Perhaps he’d be “very sympathetic to them.” If he’s still around, of course.
Last week, during a forum of world leaders held in my school, Columbia University, Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad spoke.
The 94-year-old leader is probably the most anti-Semitic head of state. He doesn’t try to hide his anti-Semitism, he doesn’t just criticize Israel, he practices classic anti-Semitism, the kind that has been associated with various slurs against the Jewish people (they have long noses; they rule the world; they cause others to fight and die for them, and so forth).
Letting the Malaysian leader speak is only the latest example of the institution's problematic choice of speakers, having already let former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speak at the university about a decade ago.
The organization that I head, Students Supporting Israel (SSI), has refused to stay silent. Although we could not get Mahathir's speech canceled, we decided to generate a critical conversation so that the university won’t even consider inviting someone like the Malaysian prime minister ever again.
We were told that we would lose, that he would be welcomed with great honor at the university and that his anti-Semitic agenda would not be condemned.
But we did not relent. We created a petition that got more than 3,000 signatures, we sent a letter to the university president and to the professor who was to introduce the prime minister at the event, and we demanded that both university officials condemn Mahathir.
Websites that support the Iranian regime, state media in Turkey, and voices from authoritarian regimes and human rights abusers sought to cynically exploit the anniversary of the murder of former Saudi insider Jamal Khashoggi. Since last year, the genuine grief over the death of Khashoggi has been hijacked in some countries and media to use it for ulterior motives, talking about press freedom while journalists are jailed, expelled and harassed.
“Even as Turkish leaders call for an international inquiry into Saudi Arabian journalist Khashoggi’s murder, the Committee to Protect Journalists found the Turkish government to be the world’s biggest jailer of journalists for the third consecutive year,” ABC news noted last year.
Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders were on hand in Istanbul this year to commemorate the murder of Khashoggi. Amnesty published a special call to honor his legacy.
While Amnesty was commemorating Khashoggi, the human rights organization also pointed out the long list of abuses of freedom in Turkey. Yet Ankara’s state media outlets have sought to highlight Khashoggi’s death as an example of press freedom.
A scientist was sentenced to 15 months in prison just days before the Khashoggi commemoration for the apparent crime of publishing environmental findings. Amnesty has called for charges to be dropped against the academic, whom it describes as a whistle-blower.
Amnesty noted in August that Turkey carries out mass blocking of websites, a “full-frontal attack on freedom of expression.” According to the human rights organization, the Reporters Without Borders representative that attended the Khashoggi event was himself detained in 2016 “after symbolically guest editing a publication for a day as part of a solidarity campaign.”
A Sept. 25th op-ed at the Guardian (“Ousting Netanyahu isn’t enough for Israel’s Palestinians. They want equality”) by former +972 contributor Amjad Iraqi included the claim that Israel has “dozens of discriminatory laws”.
Iraqi’s claim that Israeli Arabs are afforded less rights than Jews links to a report by the radical-left NGO Adalah (where he works as its advocacy director) alleging the existence of at least “50 racist laws” in Israel. However, CAMERA and other watchdog groups have refuted Adalah’s claims of racism – a term used so carelessly by the NGO that even an Israeli public health law requiring that parents vaccinate their children is included on their list of “racist laws”.
Among the most comprehensive analyses of the “50 racist laws” claim was conducted by the Institute for Zionist Strategies (IZS), a policy and research organization dedicated to preserving Israel as a democratic Jewish state.
Here are the highlights from their detailed July 2016 report:
- The overwhelming majority of the laws featured in the list (53 out of 57) do not even relate to the citizens’ ethnic origins and those that do, are designed to prevent and avoid discrimination. For example, the Law and Administration Ordinance (1948) that defines the country’s official rest days, and the Law for Using the Hebrew Date, both explicitly exclude institutions and authorities that serve non-Jewish populations for whom the law provides for definitions and procedures appropriate for their specific needs.
- In 21 cases, Adalah’s claims of discrimination stem from the organization’s extremist stance that rejects the nature of Israel as a nation-state in general and as the nation-state of of the Jewish people in particular. For example, the Yad BenZvi Law is defined as a discriminatory law because of the institution’s objective of promoting Zionist ideals.
- 18 of the laws reflect customs in other Western democracies whose democratic character no one would disparage. For example, according to Adalah, the flag constitutes a discriminatory law. Needless to say, this unfounded reasoning would mean that any country, the flag of which bears a cross or crescent discriminates against its non-Christian or non-Muslim minorities. A more in-depth comparison between the laws frequently found that Israeli legislation is actually characterized by a higher degree of tolerance for its national minorities.
The overwhelming majority of American Jewry has a positive view of Israel. Yet, the overwhelming majority of opinion pieces and reporting from major U.S. news outlets doesn’t reflect this reality. Instead, the media promotes a small and unrepresentative minority. The Washington Post offers a case in point.
Ninety-five percent of American Jews have a “strongly positive” view of Israel, according to an August 2019 Gallup poll. The pollster noted that this was “significantly more pro-Israel than the overall national averages of 71% favorable views of Israel and 21% favorable views of the Palestinian Authority.”
Similarly, a 2013 Pew survey observed: “76% of Jews (identified by religion) said they were at least somewhat emotionally attached to Israel. In addition, almost half said that caring about Israel is an essential part of being Jewish (with most of the rest saying it is important although not essential) and nearly half reported that they had personally traveled to Israel.”
In short: American Jewry is, except for a miniscule minority, pro-Israel. Yet, the American media often chooses to give a megaphone to Jews that actively oppose, or are hypercritical of, the Jewish state.
The Washington Post, for example, gives inordinate column space to the tiny fraction of Jews, American and otherwise, who are against the right of Jewish self-determination. In a Sept. 20, 2019 tweet, Mairav Zonszein of +972 magazine cheered that her publication was “all up in The Washington Post opinion pages today,” with two pieces from the same organization appearing on the same day. Zonszein proudly noted that editors of “mainstream outlets” were no longer editing out or tweaking her use of the term “apartheid.”
As this city’s Jewish community celebrated Rosh Hashanah this week, the Tree of Life synagogue stood closed, its doors blocked by a chain-link fence.
A brown, wilted wreath hung on a tree near the synagogue, where a gunman killed 11 worshipers last year in the worst anti-Semitic attack in American history. Jewish stars bearing the names of the victims are taped to a glass door at the front entrance, behind a fence and under an Israeli flag and a sign thanking first responders. A makeshift wooden sign on a barricade next to the building reads “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.”
The synagogue is built to welcome hundreds of Jews. But the only person to enter regularly now is a custodian who maintains the building while the three congregations that meet there decide what to do. Tree of Life has been shuttered since the attack.
“I hope it’s torn down,” said Ellen Surloff, who was president of one of the congregations, the Reconstructionist Dor Hadash, at the time of the shooting. “I don’t think that I could ever go back in that building and not be continually reminded of what took place there.”
Signs of the attack remain everywhere in Squirrel Hill, the quiet, warm, tree-lined community that has been the home to Pittsburgh’s Jews for more than a century, and which otherwise feels idyllic as summer turns into fall.
Local businesses display a sign created shortly after the attack that reads “Stronger than Hate” alongside a yellow Star of David and blue and red diamonds — the city’s traditional colors. The kosher supermarket hangs a banner with the names of the 11 victims. The local Starbucks has three large hearts painted on its windows with the words “love,” “kindness” and “hope” painted in Hebrew and English on each one.
A FIVE-YEAR-OLD student began wetting himself in class after he was subjected to antisemitic bullying over the course of four months, while a 12-year-old student was forced to kiss the feet of a Muslim child and was physically assaulted.
Both Jewish students, who have asked to remain anonymous, had to leave their public schools because their families felt the principals did not provide them adequate support.
The first child, a prep student at Hawthorn West Primary School, started wetting himself in bed at night, and in class. He also became agitated, began using derogatory language and looked for an excuse each morning to avoid going to school. His parents knew something was wrong, but were unsure if it was all a part of the adjustment process from kindergarten.
Then, after spilling his cereal one morning, the five-year-old broke down. “He literally fell down on the floor,” his mother shared with The AJN, “and said, ‘Mummy, you shouldn’t love me. I’m a worthless, Jewish rodent. I’m vermin.'”
Mortified, his mother crumbled on the floor with him.
It was later revealed that the young boy was being bullied on a daily basis by five classmates in the school bathrooms. It started when he was questioned about being circumcised. Then came the barrage of antisemitic insults, including “Jewish vermin”, “the dirty Jew” and a “Jewish cockroach”.
But when raised with the school, the mother says they were “dismissive” of the antisemitic element. The school’s solution was to keep the student from using the regular bathroom, offering the facilities of another bathroom instead.
“But we felt uncomfortable because obviously you’re not addressing the issue,” remarked the student’s mother.
The parents called for an education policy about antisemitism to be rolled out. But the school declined.
According to the student’s mother, “they refused to accept there was an antisemitic issue. ‘It’s not antisemitism, it’s just bullying.’ The principal said, I don’t want to make other students feel uncomfortable”.
Back in 2012, I drew attention on this blog to a disturbing trend identified at schools in north-west England.
The repellent state of affairs had been revealed by the noted Anglo-Jewish historian Professor Geoffrey Alderman:
'Last November, in my capacity as a visiting professor at York St John University, I had the privilege of hearing a presentation by doctoral student Joy Schmack. Mrs Schmack, an extremely experienced teacher and inspector of secondary-school religious education, is researching the use of the word "Jew" in teenage classrooms in the north-west of England. She presented chilling evidence of the unmistakeable revival of the word "Jew" as a common term of abuse amongst teenagers, who apparently habitually use it as a synonym for "cheat" or "swindler", or "snitch". "Don't you dare Jew me", one Merseyside youngster might say to another - perhaps hardly realising the significance of these words.
Scarcely four months after hearing this presentation I received a communication from a retired gentleman whose family escaped from Nazi Germany in 1934 and who now devotes his retirement to talking about antisemitism to youngsters in schools in Cheshire, Merseyside and Lancashire. He had been moved to write to me because of his experience at one such school, where his presentation was discourteously received and where a teacher confessed to him that the word "Jew" had now replaced the word "gay" as a playground term of abuse. The teacher said: "If kids wish to insult each other, they now use (the word) Jew" [Emphasis added]....'
Now, the Australian Jewish News, in a scoop, reveals the antisemitic targeting that Jewish schoolkids at non-Jewish day schools in Melbourne have been enduring, causing them extreme anxiety and distress, and of the craven, odious response of the school authorities when the abused kids' parents (having tardily learned of the abuse from their persecuted offspring). That response was basically: "It's not antisemitism, it's bullying, and your kids should learn to toughen up".
They refused one set of parents' request to teach the school body about the realities and consequences of antisemitism.
Jacek Tchorzewski, an 18-year-old neo-Nazi Polish national staying in Buckinghamshire, has been sentenced to four years in prison.
Mr Tchorzewski was arrested at Luton Airport in February on suspicion of terrorism offences as he tried to board a flight to Poland, with police recovering an “enormous amount” of digital documents, including manuals on making explosives and weapons. In one voice recording, Mr Tchorzewski said it was his “dream” to “plan some terrorism” and carry out an attack, and he wrote in a notebook found while he was remanded: “Let’s fill our hearts with terror and London’s streets with blood.”
Other documents included extreme right-wing material which praised Hitler, neo-Nazism and Satanism and also featured antisemitic sentiments and even called for genocide. He was also said to be connected to convicted terrorist Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, who was jailed in June.
Mr Tchorzewski pleaded guilty on 21st June at the Old Bailey to ten counts of possession of information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, contrary to section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000. He was sentenced on 20th September at the Old Bailey.
The trial of an alleged neo-Nazi terrorist cell accused of plotting violent political upheaval in Germany opened Monday amid reports the country’s far-right scene is growing more armed and radical.
Eight members of the so-called Revolution Chemnitz group aged between 21 and 32 will answer to charges of forming a right-wing terrorist organization, according to federal prosecutors.
Almost a year to the day after most of the suspects’ arrest in coordinated raids, the proceedings took place under tight security in Dresden, the capital of Saxony state, a stronghold of the extreme right.
Resentment runs deep in the region over Merkel’s liberal refugee policy that led to the arrival of more than a million asylum seekers to Germany since 2015.
The anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim Alternative for Germany (AfD) party scored 27.5 percent in a state election earlier this month, just shy of the 32 percent garnered by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives.
The suspects are accused of “coming together to achieve their political goals — to shake the foundations of the state — with serious violent acts,” a spokeswoman for the superior regional court said.
They allegedly sought to carry out “violent attacks and armed assaults” against immigrants, political “opponents,” reporters and members of the economic establishment.
The Museum of the Holocaust in Argentina’s capital on Wednesday took custody of the largest collection of Nazi artifacts discovered in the country’s history.
Federal police and Interpol agents found the more than 70 Nazi objects hidden behind a bookcase in a collector’s home north of Buenos Aires in 2017 as part of an investigation into artworks of illicit origins. The Nazi items include busts of Adolf Hitler, an instrument to measure people’s heads to supposedly determine their racial purity and statues of the Nazi eagle with a swastika under its talons.
Owning Nazi objects in Argentina can be illegal if it is determined that the items incite racial or religious hate in public, although they can be allowed in private. It has not been determined if the collector violated the anti-discrimination law, although he has been charged with owning pieces of illegal origin.
Agents with Interpol began following the collector and with a judicial order raided the house on June 8, 2017. A large bookshelf caught their attention and behind it agents found a hidden passageway to a room filled with Nazi imagery.
Police said Thursday a Jewish woman reported being harassed in Brooklyn on Rosh Hashanah.
The 22-year-old said that she was approached on Sunday evening by a female teenager who “pulled her scarf and wig from her head,” a New York Police detective, Annette Shelton, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in an email.
The incident occurred in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and the perpetrator, who was described as being 16 years old, was accompanied by another teenager, the woman told police.
Shelton said that the police’s Hate Crimes Task Force was investigating the incident.
The incident is the second alleged attack that occurred on Rosh Hashanah in the borough. On Monday, the windows of a synagogue were broken in the Williamsburg neighborhood.
That incident drew condemnations from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
BREAKING: Jewish woman attacked in Williamsburg; headscarf yanked off her head.
We cannot allow this to continue! The Jewish community is being terrorized!
Fliers bearing white nationalist language and hate speech were circulated to businesses in Whitefish, Montana.
The fliers were circulated on Monday, the first day of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.
“The hate literature was not only offensive in relation to the Jewish holiday, but it is concerning as there is a recorded rise and mainstreaming of antisemitism in the United States, including the troll storm perpetrated from outside the community onto the Jewish people of Whitefish just two and a half years ago,” Rachel Carroll Rivas of the Montana Human Rights Network said in a statement.
The fliers included code words like the number “88,” which stands for “Heil Hitler” (because H is the eighth letter of the alphabet) and “14 Words” which represents a 14-word statement asserting white supremacy that was created by white nationalist David Lane, who is specifically named on the flier, according to the network.
Similar fliers appeared in Helena, Montana, over the weekend.
Neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin launched a campaign in December 2016 against Jews in Whitefish in which he published personal details and photos of Jewish residents, including a child. The campaign stemmed from a real estate dispute in Whitefish between Tanya Gersh, who is Jewish, and Sherry Spencer, the mother of white supremacist leader Richard Spencer.
Gersh said that anonymous internet users harassed her family after Anglin revealed her home address and phone number, her husband’s business contact information and her son’s Twitter handle.
Other Jewish families in Whitefish were also targeted. The Jewish population of the city is about 60.
Ride-sharing company Uber is set to expand its collaboration — first announced in February — with Israel-based public transit app developer Moovit App Global, the latter said Wednesday. The original partnership saw Uber leverage Moovit’s application programming interface to provide users in London and four other cities with public transportation information, so that riders can access real-time transit data and route planning in the Uber app. As part of the expanded partnership, Uber is set to expand its service to 15 additional cities globally, including Paris and San Francisco.
Moovit also announced that ride-sharing company Lyft is set to implement a similar service in New York.
Founded in 2012 and based in central Israel, Moovit develops and offers a free mobile navigation app providing real-time public transit information in 3,000 cities and 92 countries. Its app has over 500 million users, adding to the company’s database of over 7,000 public transportation operators, according to the company’s statement.
Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is negotiating a deal to acquire a 25 percent stake in web and mobile monetization company IronSource for $450 million, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke to Calcalist on condition of anonymity. The deal, which values IronSource at $1.55 billion, is expected to be signed in the upcoming 24 hours, the people said, adding that the company is expected to hand out $100 million-worth of dividends to shareholders before the deal is complete.
The negotiations almost came to an unsuccessful end two months ago due to disagreements over IronSource’s valuation, which has since been resolved, the people familiar with the matter said. If completed, the deal is expected to be the biggest secondary deal of an Israeli company. CVC will become IronSource’s largest shareholder, but its founders will keep a controlling share with a 45-50 percent stake held between them, down from the 60 percent they currently hold, according to the people. The company’s employees, which hold options worth $25 million, will also take part in the sale.
The CVC sale is expected to be the last funding IronSource raises before its initial public offering, scheduled for the second half of 2020. The company, which is expected to see revenues of around $1 billion for 2019 with an EBITDA of $150 million, expected to see its revenues and profit grow by its IPO. Its net profit for 2019 is estimated at $120 million to $130 million for 2019, according to the people familiar with the matter, and the company has no debt.
Founded in 2009, IronSource was originally a download optimization software developer, which shifted its focus to rewarded ads following a series of acquisi
Samer Arbid, the alleged leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist cell responsible for murdering 17-year-old Rina Shnerb near Dolev in August, worked for a European-funded NGO linked to BDS, NGO Monitor reported on Wednesday.
Arbid, 44, considered one of the PFLP’s top officials in Ramallah, was previously arrested for preparing PFLP explosive devices during the Second Intifada.
IDF and Border Police forces arrested him on Sunday for allegedly preparing and detonating the improvised explosive device that killed Shnerb and wounded her father Eitan and brother Dvir.
On Monday, Haaretz reported that the Justice Ministry opened an investigation into “potential wrongdoing” by officers of the Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) after Arbid was in critical condition in at Hadassah-University Medical Center on Mount Scopus following his interrogation, which involved torture. It was subsequently reported that the agents were authorized to conduct a “violent interrogation” but went “too far.”
Media sources reported on Tuesday that the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) and several Joint List MKs sent a letter to Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit demanding a criminal investigation be opened regarding Arbid’s interrogation.
According to the NGO Monitor, Arbid was listed as an accountant for Addameer (Arabic for conscience) Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, a Palestinian NGO that provides legal representation to Palestinians detained in Israel. The Ramallah-based organization’s mandate includes “ending torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment inflicted upon Palestinian prisoners” and “guaranteeing fair, impartial and public trials.” The organization was listed as a PFLP-affiliated institution on Fatah’s website in September 2015.
According to Israeli security officials, on August 23, 2019, Samer Arbid commanded a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror cell that carried out a bombing against Israeli civilians, murdering 17-year old Rina Shnerb, and injuring her father and brother. According to the Israel Security Agency (Shabak), Arbid prepared and detonated the explosive device.
Ties to PFLP-linked NGOs Arbid worked for Addameer – a Palestinian NGO closely linked to the PFLP, 1 which listed him as the organization’s accountant for several years.
In addition to his work for Addameer, Arbid appears to have worked for another NGO with ties to the PFLP, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC). According to Samidoun, yet another PFLP-linked NGO, Arbid was the “financial director of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees in the West Bank” in 2016. Prior Arrests - In an Addameer-produced video from April 2013, Arbid describes his numerous arrests. He states that he was arrested at the beginning of 2003 and sentenced to two and a half years in prison, and served an additional year in administrative detention. - According to Samidoun, Arbid was placed in administrative detention from March 2007 to August 2008. - Similarly, Samidoun reported that Arbid was arrested on September 23, 2013 and placed in administrative detention. - According to Samidoun, Arbid “was ordered to an additional three months’ administrative detention” on March 12, 2016.
A senior member of the terror cell suspected of being responsible for the West Bank bombing that killed teenager Rina Shnerb in August was arrested by Israeli security forces early on Thursday, Palestinian media reported.
According to the reports, security forces arrested Walid Muhammed Hanatsheh at his home in the village of al-Tireh outside of Ramallah during overnight arrest raids across the West Bank, which saw 13 Palestinians arrested by IDF troops and Border Police officers.
Wafa News reported that the raids took place in several villages in the Ramallah area including Kobar, Deir Abu Mashaal, Jifna and al-Tireh. During Hanatsheh’s arrest, a Palestinian TV cameraman was injured after troops fired a rubber bullet toward rioters.
Hanatsheh, who acts as finance and administration manager for the health work committees (HWC), has been a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine since the Second Intifada, and has been arrested by Israel several times for his membership in the terrorist group.
The terror cell leader, Samer Arbid, was employed (despite his past history of involvement in terror activity) as an accountant by the Palestinian NGO ‘Addameer’ which is known for its links to the PFLP – a designated terror organisation in the US, the EU, Canada and Israel.
Five days after Rina Shnerb was murdered the BBC News website published a video report which included an interview with the director of ‘Addameer’, Sahar Francis.
Partisan report on detained Palestinian ‘children’ from BBC’s Gender and Identity correspondent
That heavily promoted report was made available on the BBC News website for fourteen consecutive days.
In other words the producers of that report, along with additional BBC journalists, apparently saw nothing at all problematic in the amplification of the unchallenged narrative of a political NGO that is linked to a terrorist organisation that the BBC knows has murdered Israeli civilians in the past and which, we now learn, employed the leader of the PFLP terror cell apparently responsible for the brutal murder of a seventeen-year-old out hiking with her family.
After failing in 1948 to stop the U.S. from supporting the creation of a Jewish state, writes Samuel Tadros, the Middle East experts of the State Department put forth the theory that America could not achieve its strategic goals in the region without first solving the Arab-Israeli conflict. This soon became “dogma” in Foggy Bottom, at think tanks, and in academia. Even President Trump, for all his unorthodoxies, is not immune to the allure peacemaking.
In reality, no one [in the Middle East] actually cared about the Palestinians, at least not the region’s rulers. [Their] priorities were everywhere besides Palestine: toppling the monarchs for some, searching for hegemony for others, or, for most, simply protecting their rule from revolutionary upheaval. The Palestinians, if they were considered at all, served simply as a bargaining chip; a cause to rally supporters and attack opponents.
Despite this, Washington’s Middle East experts were not deterred. The centrality of the issue was never to be questioned, but the method to solve it changed.
[Today], stepping back from the details and daily changes on the ground, [it is necessary to confront] an inconvenient proposition: maybe there is no solution to the conflict. After all, it is uniquely American to think that every problem must have a solution. Maybe the reality is that there are two peoples who claim the same piece of land and that no amount of effort or innovative solutions can solve this simple fact.
For the past several weeks, the death of Israa Ghrayeb, a twenty-one-year-old Palestinian woman, has garnered much attention on Arabic-language social media and also in the Arab press. Ghrayeb was apparently beaten to death by family members for appearing in public—at a café—with her fiancé. To Hussain Abdul-Hussain, her death is a stark reminder of the ways in which Arab intellectuals have used the ideas of the Egyptian-American literature professor Edward Said, along with the those of the many postcolonial theorists who followed in his footsteps, to avoid critical examination of honor killings and other social ills:
“Orientalism” [was the term Said gave to] the collection of stereotypes through which the West is purported to understand the Middle East. For anti-colonialists . . . those stereotypes are proof that the colonial powers failed to understand the people they colonized. Honor killing is one of the stereotypes unjustly attributed to Muslims and Arabs, so the argument goes. But it is no stereotype. . . . It is a reality.
Though women are the main victims, honor killing falls under the Islamist concept of “promotion of virtue and prevention of vice.” For many Arabs and Muslims, this involves the restoration of some long-ago, supposedly perfect society that exists only in their imagination. But [this mythic ideal] is used to justify killing adulterers (of both sexes) or homosexuals or men who are perceived as effeminate, such as the Iraqi teenager whose murder by stabbing was recorded by his killer. . . . In Lebanon, a non-Druze man who married a Druze woman had his penis cut off by relatives of the bride.
Honor killing . . . is a flaw in Muslim society and it can be rectified only if that society is prepared to look inward at itself rather than blaming outsiders. . . . [B]ashing colonialism and Orientalism won’t solve the [Arab world’s] problems. On the contrary, it will only conceal them. . . . [T]o eradicate an abomination such as honor killing, Arabs and Muslims must first acknowledge its existence and take ownership of it.
Top PA religious figures prohibit Palestinian women from submitting complaints over spouses to Israeli police
PA Ministry of Justice is working on improving legislation on family matters, including "ensuring punishment of those who commit crimes from a motive of honor"
The Israeli Arab party The Joint List has announced that it will boycott today's swearing-in ceremony of the Israeli Parliament in protest of what it calls the government's failure to address the rising levels of violence in Arab towns. Yet while Israeli Arab politicians are complaining that not enough is being done to tackle the growing problem of violence in Israeli Arab communities, the PA is telling Palestinian women not to go to the Israeli police with complaints over their husbands
An anti-Israel group called the Association for Supporting Resistance and Confronting Normalization claimed that Jordanians who work in Eilat and other Israeli cities are often recruited as informants by the Israeli security services. The group accused the Jordanian government of "complying with all the demands of the Zionists on the pretext of cooperation for the sake of peace." The claim that Jordanians who go to work in Israel or help clean the beach are recruited as spies is aimed at painting them as traitors, a charge that is likely to put their lives at risk.
Instead of thanking Israel for allowing Jordanians to come and work in Eilat, the "anti-normalization" activists are inciting the workers to boycott Israel. These activists, of course, are not offering the Jordanian workers jobs and salaries.
In March 2019, Israel agreed to increase by 33% the number of Jordanian day laborers employed at hotels in Eilat from 1,500 to 2,000. The permits for the Jordanians are designed to allow them to work in the hotel industry of Eilat, close to the border with Jordan. The move is part of an agreement signed between Israel and Jordan to advance ties between the two countries through economic and social cooperation initiatives.
As far as the "anti-normalization" activists are concerned, inciting their people against Israel and the Jordanian workers is more important than any economic and social initiatives. These activists hate Israel to a point where they prefer to see 2,000 workers lose their jobs than continue working and earning good salaries in Eilat.
If greeting a Jew on his or her holiday, cleaning the beach with an Israeli, or working in Israel are considered by many Arabs a "crime," what will be the fate of any Arab who makes peace with Israel?
Those who are calling for boycotts of Israel -- and are threatening and inciting their people against any Arab who dares to host a Jew or send him or her greetings -- are also emphatically opposed to peace with Israel. For them, making peace with the "Zionist entity" is considered an act of treason. They are worried that an Arab who greets a Jew may one day make peace with Israel. They are worried that an Arab state that hosts Israeli athletes may one day make peace with Israel. They are worried that Arabs who go to work in Israel may fall in love with Israelis and stop thinking of ways to kill them or destroy Israel.
The United States gave a cold shoulder last week to the major bi-annual meeting for donor aid to the Palestinian Authority, known as the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), which has operated for the last 25 years.
“We limited our participation to working-level observers only,” US special envoy Jason Greenblatt told The Jerusalem Post this week as he described the downgrade.
It is the latest Trump administration action against traditional venues that help provide financial assistance to Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority.
As part of its peace plan known as the “Deal of the Century,” the administration plans to create new funding venues for the Palestinians, the blueprint for which was unveiled at a Bahrain conference in June. But action on the plan is dependent on success with the political part of the peace process, which has yet to be published.
The US was previously one of the largest donors to the Palestinians and the PA, providing upward of half-a-billion dollars a year through the United Nations and other venues, but it has slowly halted that funding over the last two years.
The high-level 15 member AHLC meeting, held in the spring in Brussels and in the fall in New York, is one of the bedrock pillars of international funding for the Palestinians. It has remained a neutral venue where Israelis, Palestinians and the United States interact, even when all other communication is frozen.
In the past, the meetings chaired by Norway have been attended by high-level officials such as Greenblatt, or secretaries of state such as John Kerry. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini often attends, and was one of the dignitaries who gathered in New York for the meeting on September 26.
Israeli democracy is in a state of emergency, and a government must be formed as soon as possible, President Reuven Rivlin said at the 22nd Knesset’s inaugural meeting, which was overshadowed by the political uncertainty on Thursday.
Rivlin and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein addressed the long period of political uncertainty, which saw the 21st Knesset be inaugurated and dissolved in a period of less than two months, less than six months ago. They both said the solution is a unity government.
“We are facing a time of crisis for the House of Jacob, an emergency for Israel’s security and for Israeli society, an emergency for Israeli democracy,” Rivlin said. “Forming a government is not only the wish of the people. More than ever, in times like these, it is an economic and security need the likes of which we have not known for many years.”
Rivlin said a broad governing coalition would allow Israelis “to put the disagreements between us to one side and work on finding areas of agreement...to#utm_source=googlier.com/page/2019_10_08/49618&utm_campaign=link&utm_term=googlier&utm_content=googlier.com give us all an opportunity to breathe a little, to heal.”
The President listed a number of “real life” areas that the government must address, from combatting the Iranian threat to making day-care cheaper to tacking rising crime in Arab communities.
Blue and White’s co-candidate for prime minister in last month’s election, MK Yair Lapid, announced on Thursday that he would no longer be a candidate for prime minister in the next government.
The announcement came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused him of being the obstacle to the formation of a national unity government. Netanyahu said Lapid was trying to stop Gantz from joining a coalition government that he is currently trying to form because he would not give up his goal of rotating in the Prime Minister’s Office with Gantz.
“For the sake of a unity government, I’m forgoing the rotation,” Lapid told the Blue and White Party. “There won’t be a rotation with three people. That’s not serious. Running a country is a serious matter. It’s far more important to me that there’s unity in the country. That there won’t be another election. That this country begins a healing process. Mends the wounds. Changes the national priorities.”
Lapid warned that Netanyahu is trying everything to drag Israel to its third election within a year.
“One man with three indictments stands between us and a national unity government,” he said. “That’s what the country needs.
This country needs a national unity government led by Blue and White, with Likud, with Liberman, with Labor. That’s what we said throughout the campaign. In that government there will be a rotation. Gantz will be prime minister for the first two years. There’s no other option.”
Lapid ruled out a coalition in which Gantz rotates as prime minister with Netanyahu but did not rule out a rotation with another Likud leader.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman to join the government he is forming, in a meeting Thursday morning at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu told his former aide and ally and current political nemesis that he should join as soon as possible in order to contribute to the formation of a unity government.
But Netanyahu’s spokesman said there did not end up being a breakthrough in the meeting.
Liberman released a statement after the meeting saying that he urged Netanyahu to have Likud, Blue and White and Yisrael Beytenu meet to decide the next government's guidelines on policy and only then deal with distributing portfolios and who should go first in a rotation in the Prime Minister's Office.
"I am making a major effort to form a broad unity government," Netanyahu told the Likud faction. "This is what the voters decided, and this is what is right. This should be taken for granted."
Following the meeting with Liberman, Netanyahu went to update the heads of the right-wing and religious parties in his political bloc.
The IDF Prosecution filed an indictment in the Judea Military Court on Thursday against five Palestinians in connection with the murder of IDF Corporal Dvir Sorek on August 8.
The five Palestinians, all of who are affiliated with Hamas according to the indictment, are: Qasem al-atzafra, Nazir al-atzafra, Ahmad al-atzafra, Yusef Zahur and Mahmoud Atuna.
Previously, the IDF announced that it sent messages to the defendants' families announcing its intention to demolish their houses. Some of the defendants have already objected and the High Court of Justice will hear the issue on October 31.
The stabbing attack occurred against Sorek near Migdal Oz on August 8.
U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt told Asharq Al-Awsat in an interview: "I can't imagine a world in which a peace agreement is signed where issues like the Palestinian Authority's 'Pay to Slay' program remains - a program that rewards terrorists who murder or attack Israelis. It's a basic concept that you cannot encourage people to kill and expect a peace deal that works."
"I can't imagine the Israeli government ever signing such an agreement. It would make no sense and it's completely antithetical to the concept of peace. To deal with that abhorrent program, the USA has cut all funding to the PA and we continuously raise awareness of this issue to other donor countries. I cannot understand how donor countries continue to donate funds knowing that some of their taxpayers' money is used to fund terrorism and the murder of Israelis."
The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Religious Endowments and Religious Affairs published a report on the holy sites, which included 24 Jewish 'incursions' of the al-Aqsa mosque and 52 cases of denial of prayer for prayer at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Patriarchs Cave.
The Ministry of Endowments accused Israel of continuing the 'siege' and intervention at the Ibrahimi Mosque (the Cave of the Patriarchs) and closed it completely to Muslim worshipers during Rosh Hashanah.
According to the report, the Israeli authorities were not only content with preventing Muslims from entering the place, but they allowed settlers to get on the roof of the Cave of the Patriarchs and IDF soldiers attacked and humiliated Muslim workers.
It was also alleged that the "occupation forces" demolished the Al-Uma Mosque in Jabal Jawhar Hevron, which was in final stages of construction, and the level of incitement at the Al-Aqsa Mosque increased as Jewish holidays and the calls of the Temple Mount trustees came closer.
Every year, the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Hajj and Umra hosts for free 1,000 people from the families of Palestinian martyrs to perform the hajj in Mecca.
After Anas Radwan, son of Hamas leader Ismail Radwan, went on the pilgrimage, activists argued on social media that he did not have the right to do so.
To calm public anger, Hamas formed a committee to investigate the incident, which concluded that Anas was not supposed to join the pilgrims. He was fined 5,000 dinars ($7,000), to be distributed among those who were denied travel to Mecca.
The Palestinian street is not accustomed to Hamas disclosing the details of any punitive measures against its leaders and members.
Gas giant Delek Group Ltd.’s announcement that it had updated an agreement for the export of liquefied natural gas from the Leviathan and Tamar offshore reservoirs to Egypt sent share prices soaring on Wednesday.
In February 2018, Delek Drilling and Texas-based Noble Energy – partners in the Leviathan and Tamar LNG projects – signed a $15b. decade-long deal to supply 64 billion cu.m. of natural gas to Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings Ltd.
The new agreement provides for a 35% increase in the total gas supply that will now reach 85 billion cu. m.
“The agreement is a further proof of the important economic cooperation between the two countries and the tremendous positive impact that these relations have on the Egyptian economy and the Israeli economy, as well as the great potential for additional cooperation in the mutual interest of the parties,” Yossi Abu, CEO of Delek Drilling, said in a statement on Wednesday.
The deal with Egypt followed a September 2016 agreement worth $10b. between Jordan’s National Electric Power Company Ltd. and the Leviathan project partners to supply a gross quantity of 45 billion cu.m. of natural gas to Israel’s eastern neighbor over 15 years.
Police and gunmen exchanged fire in a southern Iraqi city on Thursday killing one person, after 11 others were killed overnight as nationwide anti-government protests escalated into one of the worst security challenges in years.
At least 19 people have been killed since the protests erupted three days ago, seemingly independent of any organized political party and taking the security forces by surprise.
Police said protesters carrying guns had fired at them in the town of Rifae on Thursday morning, near the southern city of Nassiriya where seven people died overnight. Fifty people were wounded in Rifae, including five policemen, they said, adding to hundreds already injured across the country.
Clashes in another southern city, Amara, killed four people overnight.
A curfew, lifted early in the morning in southern cities, was reimposed immediately in Nassiriya and later in Amara.
In Baghdad, the authorities attempted to head off protests by imposing a curfew from 5 a.m. Troops patrolled main roads and public spaces, but by morning sporadic demonstrations had begun, and troops opened fire with live rounds to disperse them.
“Despite the curfew we are going out to protest to call for our rights. We want to change the regime. They have arrested our people. They have done things to our people they did not even do to Islamic State,” a youth told Reuters TV after gunshots could be heard nearby.
“They have beat them up and humiliated them while firing live gunfire. What did we do? Are we suicide bombers? We are here to call for our rights and all these people.”
Iran's deployment of its own forces and proxy militias recruited from other countries has been decisive in the Assad regime's reversal of territorial losses to the Syrian opposition.
As a result, Iran now has wide latitude to pursue its own geopolitical agenda on Syrian territory, including the introduction of sophisticated weapons systems that will enable Iran to open a new front against Israel and threaten freedom of navigation in the eastern Mediterranean.
The Syria Study Group believes the U.S. can still influence the outcome of the Syrian war in a manner that protects U.S. interests.
The U.S. has meaningful tools of leverage to prevent the reemergence of ISIS and counter other terrorist groups, stop Iran from turning Syria into a forward operating base, provide relief to displaced Syrians and Syria's hard-pressed neighbors, and advance a political outcome that stops Syrian territory from serving as a net exporter of terrorism and instability.
The key near-term goal should be to prevent further entrenchment of Iran and its partners and proxies while raising the cost to Iran for its actions in Syria.
To this end, the U.S. should continue its support of Israeli air strikes; enforce sanctions aimed at undermining Iran's ability to fund its proxies and partners in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq; and maintain the U.S. military presence at the al-Tanf military base.
The U.S. should insist that any political settlement require the withdrawal of Iranian forces and proxies from Syria.
Has French President Emmanuel Macron forgotten that he is helping and appeasing a state leading in human rights violations? In 2018, according to Javaid Rehman, the UN expert on human rights in Iran, at least 273 people were executed in Iran, and 6,000 over ten years, according to Iran Human Rights.
In addition, the use of cruel and inhuman punishment is also on the rise in Iran; according to Amnesty International, the use of various forms of torture such as amputation and flogging has been increasing at an alarming rate.
Macron also fails to recognize that the nuclear deal never contained or adequately addressed Iran's multifaceted threats, which include but are not limited to: The arming and financing of terror and militia groups in the region; intervening in the internal affairs of regional countries; pursing a sectarian agenda by pitting Shiites and Sunnis against each other; carrying out cyber attacks against other nations; and committing human rights violations inside Iran and abroad through its proxies.
We have been digging tunnels since 1984 when we first began making missiles.” These were the words of Revolutionary Guards general Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Force. He was interviewed by the Iranian regime’s Documentary TV a few hours after the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)- US representative office, revealed the existence of numerous tunnel formations across Iran that were used to stock long-range missiles.
Hajizadeh had played a vital role in the September 14, 2019 drone and cruise-missile attack against Saudi Arabia’s ARAMCO facilities deep inside Saudi territory, according to information revealed on September 30 by the NCRI’s US representative office in Washington DC.
Even though Hajizadeh is not a member of the regime’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), according to the NCRI’s information, provided by the People’s Mojahedin (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK), he was present in the SNSC’s session on July 31, 2019, when the decision to prepare an attack on Saudi oilfields was made.
After the decision was approved by the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, Hajizadeh was instructed to begin the implementation of the plan.
More than ten points of construction/stockpiling of missiles with ranges of up to 2000 km were revealed for the first time by the NCRI’s US representative office. Satellite photos of all the locations were made available to the public.
“We have to protect our arsenal in an adequate way. The idea goes back to 1984, just when we began thinking of missiles. Before the first such material was imported into the country, we had already begun digging the tunnels to hide them,” Hajizadeh affirmed in his interview, broadcast a few hours after the revelations made by the Iranian Resistance.
A proven political strategy to divert popular resentment from the corrupt, repressive government and toward an outside foe might not remain effective forever, a new report by this Islamic country’s ministry of the interior warns.
Israel remains a potent rhetorical magnet for focusing Pakistanis’ anger despite its physical distance and negligible measurable impact on Pakistani lives, acknowledged the report, but the authors caution that overplaying the Israel card may carry unwanted consequences during a time of increased access to alternative sources of information that can both attenuate the desired anti-Israel and anti-Jewish effect of the rhetoric and reflect some of the anger back at Pakistan’s own leadership. The risk of this development has reached a likelihood unknown thirty years ago, according to the report, and appears to increase with each passing year, such that by the middle of this century, it estimates, Pakistan may be forced to forgo anti-Zionism as a primary domestic pacification strategy.
“Whereas during the latter half of the previous century the very mention of Israel, Zionists, or Palestine served as a reliable lightning rod for popular anger, it no longer riles the populace as it once did,” the report warned. “An outright majority of Pakistanis still view an assertive Jewish presence on historically Muslim-ruled land as a source of existential shame, but indications have emerged that they no longer rank that shame at the top of their troubles, a development that points to an emerging challenge for the leadership in deflecting attention from its cronyism, nepotism, incompetence, corruption, support for terrorists, warped domestic priorities, and other issues best left shrouded in distraction.”
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Saudi financial news website Maaal reported that Sanabil Investments, a unit of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), acquired a 49% stake in New York-based Richard Attias & Associates, LLC. The estimated price was tens of millions of British pounds. Track Record Richard Attias & Associates is run by Richard Attias, who is the former […]
Thailand has been approved to receive the light attack helicopter, which is sought to provide special forces support.
September 27, 2019, 3:36 AM
The U.S. Congress has approved a potential deal for eight Boeing AH-6i light attack helicopters for Thailand, worth around $400 million. The foreign military sales (FMS) package would see the AH-6i armed with 50 AGM-114R Hellfire missiles and 200 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System laser-guided rockets. This kind of precision-guided munition will be new to the Thai arsenal. Also included are 10 M134 Miniguns, GAU-19/B 0.50-inch machine guns, AN/APX-123 IFF, and a range of avionics and systems.
The notification commented that the AH-6i will replace the Royal Thai Army’s (RTA) seven Bell AH-1F Cobras, but AIN understands that the light helicopters are for a separate program for the Royal Thai Army’s Special Warfare Command and that the AH-1 replacement program has slipped in terms of priority. Bell is promoting its AH-1Z Viper as the natural replacement for the Cobra. The RTA later also revealed that the budget for the program is around $138 million, meaning a downsized package either in terms of airframes or munitions and systems.
The proposed sale follows the delivery of the first pair of M1126 Stryker infantry carrier vehicles in mid-September and would be the first arms deal between Washington and the kingdom since the Thai general election in March 2019. Thailand could become the second nation to order the AH-6i, following Saudi Arabia, which ordered 24 for the National Guard in 2014. Jordan had earlier announced an intention to buy the AH-6i, but no subsequent progress has been reported.
Initial focus is on 5G for 20 cities supported by 2,000 towers Middle East telecom group Zain has launched commercial 5G operations in Saudi Arabia, the telco said in a release. Zain said that the first phase of its 5G rollout program stipulates the deployment of a network of 2,000 towers that cover an area [...]
[…] Personal bodyguard of King Salman of Saudi Arabia killed in personal dispute – Royal Central — Weiterlesen royalcentral.co.uk/east/saudi/personal-bodyguard-of-king-salman-of-saudi-arabia-killed-in-personal-d#utm_source=googlier.com/page/2019_10_08/74601&utm_campaign=link&utm_term=googlier&utm_content=googlier.com… […]
On 1 October 2019, the Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Frédérique Vidal, and her German counterpart Anja Karliczek, Minister of Education and Research, launched the Franco-German facilitation of the “Make our Planet Great Again” scientific initiative at Musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac. The event provided an occasion for presentation of research projects and the winners' joint statement against climate change.
Launched by the President of the Republic in 2017, the “Make our Planet Great Again” programme aims to strengthen international commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Germany lost no time in joining France in this initiative, so creating powerful momentum in the heart of Europe.
The programme seeks to provide researchers with optimal conditions in working against climate change, on behalf of our societies and the environment alike.
Organised in the form of calls for projects, the programme has enabled researchers, entrepreneurs and representatives of civil society to join forces in key fields: global change, earth and universe sciences, climate change, sustainable development and energy transition.
The programme selected 55 winners, who assembled at Musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac in the presence of representatives of host institutions. Winners came from institutions based in Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Peru, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Their research projects were presented to a high-level international audience. The winners drew up a joint statement on their vision of the programme and ways of combating climate change.
The event was held a few days after reports preparatory to the future Research Programming Act were delivered to the Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe. The upcoming law aims to give French research the necessary resources, time and visibility. It will be presented by the Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation within the next few months and is set to come into force next year.
It confirms the Government's full commitment to higher education, research and innovation, the budget for which has increased by 1.7 billion euros since 2017, even though the Programming Act has not yet been presented.
The United Arab Emirates said Thursday that it would join a U.S.-led maritime coalition aimed at protecting international shipping in and near the Strait of Hormuz following alleged Iranian attacks on oil tankers there. The UAE joins neighbors Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, along with the United Kingdom and Australia, in the effort to protect vessels in the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf and the narrow Strait of Hormuz waterway that separates the gulfs and acts as a transit point for a fifth of the world's oil exports. The announcement came as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in the UAE on Thursday for a brief stopover after visiting Saudi Arabia. Emirati Foreign Ministry official Salem al Zaabi was quoted by the state-run WAM news agency as saying that the UAE joined the coalition to "ensure global energy security and the continued flow of energy supplies to the global economy." It was not immediately clear what the UAE would contribute to the effort, but the country's small navy
Saudi Arabia kicks off anti-corruption campaign Mazen al-Khamous, the newly appointed head of Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption commission, announced his plans to go after ordinary government employees in the Kingdom’s anti-corruption campaign. Al-Khamous’ plan is to end bureaucratic corruption and to meet monthly with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss his progress. The Crown Prince…
Saudi Arabia is allowing foreign men and women to rent hotel rooms together Saudi Arabia is allowing foreign men and women to rent hotel rooms together without proving they are related, after the conservative Muslim kingdom launched a new tourist visa regime to attract holidaymakers.
* Yom Kippur: Can the Nations Also Repent? With Yom Kippur (Day of atonement) around the corner, Jews worldwide are preparing to fast in an effort to be angel-like as they repent and have their final judgment decided for all the sins committed in the year 5779.
* Iran Congratulates PRC on 70th Anniversary Senior Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, have sent messages of congratulations to the People's Republic of China (PRC) on the 70th anniversary of its founding.
* 'Don't Go Wobbly' on Iran Iran has, indeed, seen its economy crumble, inflation and unemployment soar, and its oil exports rapidly fall to under 200,000 barrels a day from more than two million.
* Roadmap for a Chinese-Iranian Strategic Partnership Relations between Iran and China go as far back as the ancient Silk Road - but despite the recent establishment of a formal comprehensive strategic partnership between the two, Beijing's economic, political, and strategic interests remain too complex and self-contradictory to permit a close alignment with Tehran.
Royal Commission for AlUla for Saudi Arabia: Paris (ots/PRNewswire) - - AlUla ist eine historisch wichtige Wüstenoase im Nordwesten von Saudi-Arabien. - "AlUla, Wunder Arabiens" ist die erste große Ausstellung, um die spektakuläre Natur, die archäologischen Schätze und das kulturelle Erbe von ...
Register to upcoming shows and exhibitions in Saudi Arabia, organized by the Riyadh Exhibitions Company (REC). The application is suited for both Visitors and Exhibitors and allows them to instantly exchange contact information by simply scanning a QR Code.
With REC Events, you will be notified for new, upcoming events and you can register on an event with a single tap of a button. No more waiting in the on-site registration desks; just show your electronic badge directly from your smartphone!
Recent changes: * Now you can directly scan the badge of an exhibitor or visitor even if they haven't yet installed the application from their side. * Fixed downloading events' documents. * Few minor improvements and fixes.
A bombshell whistleblower report that was revealed in September sparked the latest concerns over President Trump's contacts with foreign leaders, but senior administration staffers have reportedly long been horrified by Trump's behavior in calls and public appearances.
Written by John Bennett As the Islamic State of Iran stands accused of attacking Saudi Arabia oil facilities, Iran warns of “all-out war” if the U.S. or Saudi Arabia attack Tehran in retaliation. Saudi Arabia received help from the U.S. to bomb Yemen position believed to be Iranian-operated launch points for the attack on Saudi […]
The US has continued supporting its efforts against the Houthis.Since the beginning of the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen in 2015.
Despite wide-ranging and seemingly endless support, which comes in spite of bombing of civilian targets and other questionable methods of fighting the war, such as using child soldiers from African countries, Saudi Arabia is losing the war vs the Yemeni group.
The US maintains that it assists the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, because the Houthis are an Iranian-backed group whose “malign influence” must not be allowed to spread any further. Support against the Houthis is allegedly only expressed in weapon deliveries, training assistance, logistics and intelligence support.
However, the US is actively taking part in counterterrorism actions in Yemen, allegedly targeting ISIS and al-Qaeda, but there is little clarity of what exactly is going on in that regard.
In short, the US support for the Kingdom can be summarized in the following groups, laid out in a report focused on the war in Yemen called “Yemen: Civil War and Regional Intervention,” published on September 17th, 2019. [pdf]
Anybody who is even an involuntary and sporadic observer of the situation in Yemen can see that there is no such thing as a Civil War there, but regardless the efforts of the Trump administration, most of which began during the Obama administration are properly presented. Some are simply exaggerated, such as support for UN resolutions on the conflict:
Support for U.N. efforts to advance a political process – U.S. policymakers have repeatedly expressed confidence in the role of Special Envoy Griffiths to move the various Yemeni parties toward a political settlement. Moreover, U.S. officials have emphasized Yemen’s unity, saying that “dialogue represents the only way to achieve a stable, unified, and prosperous Yemen.” In September 2019, one U.S. official also announced that the United States was conducting talks with the Houthis to further a negotiated solution to the Yemen conflict.
This would make a difference if it was a bipartisan solution coming from US Congress and supporting by the presidential administration, but currently it is just hollow rhetoric.
Condemnation of Iran’s destabilizing role in Yemen – U.S. policymakers have repeatedly portrayed Iran as a spoiler in Yemen, bent on sabotaging peace efforts by lending support to Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia.
This goes without saying, Iran’s role in anything at all is “destabilizing,” the Islamic Republic is “the enemy” and it must be opposed in any way possible.
Assistance for the coalition – According to President Trump’s most recent report to Congress on the deployment of U.S. armed forces abroad, “United States Armed Forces, in a non-combat role, have also continued to provide military advice and limited information, logistics, and other support to regional forces combatting the Houthi insurgency in Yemen. United States forces are present in Saudi Arabia for thispurpose. Such support does not involve United States Armed Forces in hostilities with the Houthis for the purposes of the War Powers Resolution.” In the summer of 2019, President Trump ordered the deployment of a Patriot air defense battery to Prince Sultan Air Base in central Saudi Arabia, as Saudi King Salman reportedly approved the deployment of U.S. forces on Saudi territory. According to the State Department, “We stand firmly with our Saudi partners in defending their borders against these continued threats by the Houthis, who rely on Iranian-made weapons and technology to carry out such attacks.”
It is simply a way to fight against Iran, through supporting the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen and disregarding any atrocities that are carried out, since Saudi Arabia claims it attempts to avoid civilian casualties and tries to protect human rights, but that is still simply a claim that is backed by no concrete efforts whatsoever.
Sales of armaments and munitions to Gulf partners – Though the Obama Administration placed a hold on a planned sale of precision guided munitions (PGMs) to Saudi Arabiain 2016, both the Obama and Trump administrations have approved several billions of dollars in major weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. When the Trump Administration notified Congress of 22 emergency arms sales in May 2019, Secretary Pompeo cited Iran’s “malign activity” and the need “to deter further Iranian adventurism in the Gulf and throughout the Middle East” as justification for the sales.
Again, any actions that are undertaken are specifically aimed at countering Iran, regardless of whether there’s really any concrete evidence of Iran being present there. Yes, the Houthis are supported by Iran, but it apparently never gets excessive. Iran’s “malign influence” is the be-all and end-all of all justifications.
Humanitarian Aid for Yemen – As previously mentioned (see, The Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen), the United States is one of the largest humanitarian contributors in Yemen.
How much of that humanitarian aid reaches those that require it the most, those trapped in al-Hudaydah with the Saudi-led coalition continuing its attacks on the city in spite of the UN-brokered ceasefire surely aren’t being reached by it, or not by a significant part of it.
Finally, here comes the other be-all end-all justification – counterterrorism efforts by the US in Yemen – the United States has continued to work with local and regional actors to counter terrorist groups operating in Yemen such as al-Qaeda and ISIS.
These counterterrorism efforts are outlined in a June 2019 letter by Trump to US Congress:
“A small number of United States military personnel are deployed to Yemen to conduct operations against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIS-Yemen. The United States military continues to work closely with the Republic of Yemen Government (ROYG) and regional partner forces to dismantle and ultimately eliminate the terrorist threat posed by those groups. Since the last periodic update report, United States forces conducted a number of airstrikes against AQAP operatives and facilities in Yemen, and supported the United Arab Emirates-and ROYG-led operations to clear AQAP from Shabwah Governorate. United States Armed Forces are also prepared to conduct airstrikes against ISIS targets in Yemen.”
In 2019 in southern Yemen, AQAP has periodicallystruck both ROYG troops and forces allied with the Southern Transitional Council. Fighting between the ROYG and the STC has raised some concern that a divided south will provide AQAP breathing room to reemerge as a terrorist threat both to Yemen and its neighbors.
Al-Hudaydah, one of the most significant, if not the most significant “stronghold” of the Houthis against the Saudi-led coalition is in the South, thus it would make sense it needs to be overwhelmed in order to defeat the terrorists. Such a justification is not too far from any possible future scenarios.
Regardless of this support, the Saudi-led coalition is losing against the Houthis, and it is losing heavily.
Even the UAE initiated a drawdown, with groups affiliated to it even carrying out strikes on the Saudi-controlled Southern Transitional Council (the “internationally-recognized” Yemen government).
“As previously mentioned, one possible explanation for the summer 2019 phased drawdown of UAE forces from Yemen was out of concern that the reputational damage the UAE had incurred from its active participation in the war in Yemen outweighed the military results it had achieved on the ground after more than four years of warfare.”
Clearly Saudi Arabia and the US have no such worries. After all, following the international outcry against Saudi Arabia’s aerial campaign in Yemen in 2018, Saudi Arabia reportedly invested $750 million in a training program through the U.S. military in helping mitigate civilian casualties. Clearly, they’re putting effort through paying copious amounts of money to silence the most influential “defender” of human rights – the US.
Reports praising US efforts to train and prepare the Saudi army for the fight are numerous, some of the most famous ones are regarding Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, who served as Program Manager (PM) for Saudi Arabian National Guard (OPM-SANG) for two years.
Muth quickly learned that the assignment needed three ingredients to be successful. “First, I had to develop a relationship with the Saudi leadership, and that took time and trust to build those relationships, and over time they trusted our recommendations,” Muth explained. “Of course, it wasn’t just me building the relationship, every Soldier and civilian that works for OPM-SANG plays a tremendous role in developing a strong relationship with their Saudi counterparts.”
He seems to have learned wrong, since his efforts led to quite little in terms of actual military success.
In the lengthy video he explains what transpired at SANG, and how it could’ve been successful back in 2017. In 2019 it is quite obvious that it wasn’t.
Most recently, the Saudi-led coalition’s “success,” in addition to the US’ massive support of its efforts there were once more reinforced.
The Houthis reported that they had carried out a successful months-long operation in southern Saudi Arabia that has resulted in the deaths of 500 Saudi-aligned troops and the capture of approximately 2,000.
Furthermore, the Houthis said that the attack on Aramco’s oil infrastructure was part of the operation, which the US and the Kingdom blamed on Iran. After all, drones and missiles went past several Patriot defense batteries and caused heavy damage, with almost all of them not being stopped. Those that were stopped, were actually aimed poorly, and weren’t really dismantled by the Patriot systems.
Geolocation of Buqayq facilities Air defense systems. this facilities at least defended by one Patriot PAC-2/3 , 3 Skyguard and one Shahine Batteries.
Saudi Arabia has bought fighter jets, warships, air and missile defense systems for billions of dollars. The US even said that it plans to deploy more hardware to Saudi Arabia to defend it, that is surely not to be free, as well.
Regardless, there is very little result in terms of military success and a very large promise that if a larger regional conflict were to start, Saudi Arabia would be very decisively on the losing side of it.
SADAA, NORTHERN YEMEN — Third-grader Farah Abbas al-Halimi didn’t get the UNICEF backpack or textbook she was hoping for this year. Instead, she was given an advanced U.S bomb delivered on an F-16 courtesy of the Saudi Air Force. That bomb fell on Farah’s school on September 24 and killed Farah, two of her sisters, and her father who was working at the school. It will undoubtedly have an irrevocable effect on the safety and psyche of schoolchildren across the region.
Over the course of Yemen’s pre-war history, which locals fondly refer to as the happy Yemen years, never has an entire generation been subjected to the level of disaster and suffering as that levied upon Farah’s generation by the Saudi-led Coalition, which has used high-tech weapons supplied by the United States and other Western powers to devastating effect since it began its military campaign against Yemen in 2015.
Last week a new school year in Yemen began, the fifth school year since the war started, and little has changed for Yemen’s schoolchildren aside from the fact that the Coalition’s weapons have become more precise and even more deadly, leaving the futures of the country’s more than one million schoolchildren in limbo.
“I want to go to school, I can’t wait any longer,” a relative of six-year-old Ayman al-Kindi told MintPress, recalling how Ayman, surrounded by proud family members, waited impatiently to leave for his first day of school. Ayman would never make it to school; in fact, he never even made it outside. “Ayman wanted to become a doctor but a bomb took him away from school. What these American bombs do to our children is terrifying,” his relative told us.
In late June 2019, Coalition aircraft targeted Ayman’s family home located on their farm in the Warzan area, south of Taiz province in southwestern Yemen. Six of Ayman’s family members were killed, including three children aged 12, nine and six. According to Amnesty International, the laser-guided precision weapon used in the attack was made by Raytheon. Amnesty’s arms experts analyzed photos of the remnants of the weapon recovered from the scene of the attack by family members and identified it as a U.S.-made 500-pound GBU-12 Paveway II.
The use of a U.S.-made weapon in the attack on the al-Kindi home was no anomaly: most of the weapons possessed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which between them have carried out a quarter of a million raids on Yemen since the beginning of the war, are American-made. This week, families who lost loved ones in Coalition airstrikes held an exhibition called “Criminal Evidence” in the city of Sana`a. The event was an opportunity to consolidate evidence of potential war crimes and prompted hundreds of Yemeni civilians to attend the event with remnants of U.S.-made weapons in tow, remnants recovered from the rubble of the attacks that killed their loved ones.
Photos from an Amnesty investigation show the Al-Kindi home and the Raytheon bomb that destroyed it.
The airstrike on the al-Kindi home was one of nearly a dozen carried out by Saudi Arabia using U.S. weapons that were included in a recent UN report. A team of investigators appointed by the UN Human Rights Council found numerous cases of Saudi airstrikes that violated international humanitarian law and, for the first time, directly implicated the United States, Britain, France and Australia for supplying the weapons used in the attacks.
Charles Garraway, a former military lawyer and one of the experts behind the report, recently told PBS, “We have a war that’s going on. It’s causing immense suffering and frankly most of that suffering is caused by arms.” Garraway continued, “The tragedy in Yemen is so awful at the moment that somehow one has got to reach some form of settlement to stop the war.”
Despite the abundance of evidence proving that Saudi Arabia and the UAE have routinely targeted schools and other civilian facilities, the United States continues to replenish the Coalition’s arsenal. Earlier this year, the Trump administration tried to force through an $8.1 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan; and, despite growing opposition within his own government, President Donald Trump seems determined to maintain the flow of U.S. weapons to Saudi Arabia and its allies.
Not your normal “back-to-school” day
Eleven-year-old Mohammed AbdulRaham al-Haddi is one the few schoolchildren to have survived the horrific August 9, 2018, Saudi airstrike on a school bus on the outskirts of Dahyan in Yemen’s northwestern province of Saada. The attack killed more than 35 of his classmates, but Mohammed miraculously survived. Today, he returns to school for the first time since the deadly attack, but to an underserved school and without his classmates. Al-Faleh, Mohammed’s new school, lies nestled in a dusty valley near Yemen’s northeastern border with Saudi Arabia
Mohammed al-Haddi, a survivor of an August 2018 airstrike on a school bus, returns to school for the first time since the attack. Ali al Shurgbai | MintPress
The attack on Mohammed’s school bus was carried out using a Mark 82 (MK-82) bomb, jointly manufactured by U.S. weapons companies Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. The MK-82, along with other general-purpose MK-series bombs, has been sold to the Saudi-led Coalition by the United States through a series of contracts made in 2016 and 2017. In addition to last year’s atrocity, the Coalition has used the MK-82 to target Yemeni civilians in the past, such as its bombing of a funeral in 2016 that left over 140 dead and 525 wounded.
As the war in Yemen enters its fifth year, the tragic consequences of these weapons deals are difficult to describe, but their effects are noticed everywhere. Some 3,526 educational buildings have been at least partially destroyed by bombs since the war began, with most yet to be rebuilt. Of those, 402 were completely destroyed, according to a new field survey conducted by the Ministry of Education. Approximately 900 of Yemen’s schools are still being used as shelters for the internally displaced. And 700 schools have been closed as a result of ongoing clashes.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that two million children are out of school in Yemen. “A fourth of the two million Yemeni children have dropped out since the beginning of the Saudi war in March 2015,” UNICEF representative in Yemen Sara Beysolow Nyanti said in a statement released last Wednesday.
Beysolow raised concerns about the future of Yemeni children, saying:
[They] face increased risks of all forms of exploitation including being forced to join the fighting, child labor and early marriage. They lose the opportunity to develop and grow in a caring and stimulating environment, ultimately becoming trapped in a life of poverty and hardship.”
According to the Geneva-based human rights monitoring organization, SAM, four hundred thousand schoolchildren in Yemen suffer from acute malnutrition, exposing them to the risk of sudden death, 7 million schoolchildren face hunger, and more than 2 million do not go to school.
Even before the war began, the education system in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, was not in good health; a lack of equipment, unqualified teachers, and a shortage of textbooks plagued the country’s schools, which were bursting at the seams with overcrowding. Coalition bombs and a blockade supported by the United States have effectively destroyed what was left, just as schools were beginning to show signs of recovery.
Many of Yemen’s teachers have not received a paycheck in years and some, unable to eke out a living, have sought work as soldiers-for-hire on Yemen’s battlefields, leaving millions of children without prospects for education and the country as a whole with a 70 percent rate of illiteracy. Beysolow warned that the education of a further 3.7 million Yemeni children is at risk, as teachers have not received their salaries for over two years, adding that one fifth of schools in Yemen can no longer be used as a direct result of the conflict. “Violence, displacement and attacks on schools are preventing many children from accessing school,” she said.
In a bid to stop teachers from leaving schools, the Ministry of Education, based in Sana`a, has imposed a fee on students of $2 per month to pay teacher salaries, but that seemingly nominal fee has added a huge burden to families with more than one child, many of whom are living in extreme poverty as a result of the war and siege. “I have six students, meaning that I need to pay $12 a month; I can’t save that amount,” one mother told us. She lost her husband in the clashes that erupted between the former president Ali Saleh and opposition tribes on Hasabah Street in 2011. Now, her only source of income is begging and it is not enough to feed her six children, let alone send them to school.
To make matters worse, just weeks before the new school year began, the Saudi-led Coalition prevented 11 oil tankers from entering Yemen. The move sparked an acute shortage of fuel, which meant that school buses could no longer run, leaving even those with the means to pay school fees unable to send their children to school.
The severe psychological toll
The effect of U.S.-made weapons upon Yemen’s children does not end there. Children who have survived the fighting are often left with physical disabilities and severe and chronic psychological symptoms, turning their environment into the worst place in the world, according to UNICEF.
Beyond the direct casualties from airstrikes, the largely unnoticed and unrecorded (by the world) sounds of explosions and buzzing warplanes are leaving Yemen’s children with irreversible psychological damage.
Terrified children take cover at the entrance of a cave used as makeshift shelter in the Maran border area, September 30, 2019. Taha al Shurgbai | MintPress
Like other students, Mohammed often gets distracted while at home or sitting in class, unable to focus and laden with severe anxiety. While students the world over occupy their minds with the day-to-day matters that should accompany adolescence, Yemen`s students, especially those who live in border districts, are filled with an ever-present fear of an impending airstrike.
Since the school year began on September 15, the Saudi-led Coalition has reportedly dropped more than a thousand bombs and missiles in 400 separate airstrikes targeting border districts including Sadaa, Hajjah, Sana`a, Amran, Dhali, and Hodeida. The hundreds of sorties are accompanied by frightening whizzing noise and have left great panic in the hearts of civilians, especially Yemen’s schoolchildren.
“Before the war, the sound of planes meant happiness for families who were expecting loved-ones returning [from abroad], but now the sound of planes mean destruction, death, blood,” Dr. AbdulSalam Ashish, a consultant for psychological and neurological diseases, told MintPress. Dr. Ashish continued, “Now, the planes bring nothing but fear and panic and are a reminder of tragedies and crimes that were committed with U.S., British, and French weapons.”
“It was 1:45 p.m., when we heard a missile strike; we were able to calm the students down but when the third strike hit we lost control of the students as they began to scream and chaos spread throughout the school,” Hana Al Awlaqi, a school agent at the “Martyr Ahmed Abdul Wahab Al Samawi” School, said, recounting the moment a Saudi attack took place just tens of meters away from the school. “The sound of the fourth bomb made matters worse, as the school was being broken into by panicked parents and many teachers were fainting.”
School children react to bombs dropped outside of the Martyr Ahmed Abdul Wahab Al Samawi school on Nov 11, 2017. Mohammed al Alkabsi | Yamanyoon
Al Awlaqi went on to say that many students convulse into spasms when they hear the sound of airplanes, while others have refused to come back to school. “The sound of an explosion or the buzz of the aircraft stays in the mind. The sound of an aircraft can send these children into severe panic attacks and anxiety,” Dr. Ashish confirmed.
Jalal Al-Omeisi, a pediatric nurse at the Psychiatric and Neurological Hospital in Sana`a told MintPress that most of the cases that arrive at the hospital are from areas subjected to intensive Saudi Coalition raids, such as Sana`a, Hodeida, and Saada, as well as the border areas. Al-Omeisi went on to say that most medics lack the training to deal with the complex psychological issues that these children are developing.
Such experiences in children go well beyond the temporary impact on their education and, without proper care and the knowledge necessary to address treat these psychological issues, many will suffer life-long consequences that hinder their ability to obtain an education. This is especially true in light of the lack of programs, centers or hospitals for the rehabilitation of war-affected children in Yemen.
Asking Americans to open their eyes
Schoolchildren living along Yemen’s porous border with Saudi Arabia and throughout its southern districts face a reality even more grim than that faced by their peers. Many are recruited or even forced to join the fight to defend the Saudi border via local trafficking networks, which funnel children into training and recruitment camps in the southern Saudi provinces of Jizan and Najran, as well as to Yemen’s southern districts.
According to a recent report by SAM, Saudi Arabia has been enlisting thousands of Yemeni children to fight along its southern border with Yemen over the past four years. Those have who died as a result of the fighting at the border are often buried in the Kingdom without their families’ knowledge. At least 300 had to have their limbs amputated as a result of their military injuries.
A 17 year-old boy holds his weapon in High dam in Marib, Yemen, July 30, 2018. Nariman El-Mofty | AP
MintPress managed to speak to dozens of school-aged Yemeni children who were captured in a recent Houthi operation that saw thousands of militiamen, including dozens of schoolchildren, and Saudi officers taken into captivity. Fifteen-year-old Adel was among those captured. He left his home in the southern city of Taiz, chasing promises of a regular paycheck of up to 3,000 Saudi riyals ($800). Adel told MintPress:
We were left alone in Wadi Abu to face our destiny. Older recruits were fleeing on pickup trucks and armored personnel carriers; Saudi airstrikes hit us as we were surrendering to the Houthis.”
Saudi warplanes targeted the captured mercenaries in Wadi Abu Jubarah, killing more than 300 of their own recruits.
Adel, who left school for the promise of a paycheck, went on to say, “Me and the others were recruited to wash the clothes of Saudi soldiers but they gave us rifles and forced us to go to battlefields.” When asked what he would do when freed, Adel said simply, “I want to go back to my mom and school. I don’t want to fight.”
The recruitment of Yemeni children by Saudi Arabia is not without precedent. Although the Kingdom signed the international protocol banning the involvement of children in armed conflict in 2007 and again in 2011, it was accused of recruiting Sudanese children from Darfur to fight in Yemen on its behalf as late as 2018.
Mohammed, who often visits the memorial to his classmates located only a few hundred meters away from his new school, said he will continue to attend school every day, regardless of how much bombing there is. He asked that Americans open their eyes to see what their weapons are doing to Yemen’s children.
Ahmed AbdulKareem is a Yemeni journalist. He covers the war in Yemen for MintPress News as well as local Yemeni media.
Authors: Abeer Alshehri (1 and 2), Tim Miller, Liz Sonenberg ((1) School of Computing and Information Systems, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (2) Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia)
In most multiagent applications, communication is essential among agents to
coordinate their actions, and thus achieve their goal. However, communication
often has a related cost that affects overall system performance. In this
paper, we draw inspiration from studies of epistemic planning to develop a
communication model for agents that allows them to cooperate and make
communication decisions effectively within a planning task. The proposed model
treats a communication process as an action that modifies the epistemic state
of the team. In two simulated tasks, we evaluate whether agents can cooperate
effectively and achieve higher performance using communication protocol modeled
in our epistemic planning framework. Based on an empirical study conducted
using search and rescue tasks with different scenarios, our results show that
the proposed model improved team performance across all scenarios compared with
Iran's foreign minister was quoted on Tuesday as signalling his country would be willing to sit down to discuss regional issues with Saudi Arabia, but that Riyadh had to stop "killing people". Saudi Arabia, which is locked in several proxy wars in the region with arch foe Iran, has blamed Tehran for attacks on Saudi [Read more]
Following the brutal killing of Saudi dissident and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi at Saudi Arabia’s Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, one year ago, the Saudi government became something of a toxic commodity in American politics....
Saudi Arabia has introduced measures to facilitate the entry of foreign issuers to the Saudi stock market and encourage investment in NOMU, the country's secondary market, the Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) said on Sunday. The Saudi main stock exchange, Tadawul .TASI, opened to foreign investors in 2015. The kingdom has since introduced a raft of reforms to attract overseas share buyers and issuers as part of efforts to lure foreign capital and diversify the oil-dependent economy. CMA said on Sunday it had adopted rules that will facilitate foreign issuers' listings of their shares on the main Saudi market. The move will "create greater opportunities for diversification of investment for investors," Mohammed bin Abdullah Elkuwaiz, Chairman of the Capital Market Authority, said in a statement. The new measures follow an agreement earlier this year between Tadawul and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) aimed at boosting dual listings in Saudi Arabia and United Arab
'You are handing him the win!' Eric Trump says his father's reelection campaign has raised $15MILLION in the 72 hours since Nancy Pelosi announced impeachment inquiry
Eric Trump has said that his father, President Donald Trump, has raised $15 million for his reelection campaign since House Democrats announced an impeachment probe.
'We have now raised almost $15 million in small dollar donations (including 50,000 NEW donors) since @SpeakerPelosi started this impeachment charade 72 hrs ago!' Eric Trump wrote in a tweet on Friday.
'Unbelievable numbers!! Keep it going — you and the dems are handing @realDonaldTrump the win in 2020!'
Speaker Nancy Pelosi had long resisted calls for impeachment from within her party, fearing backlash in the 2020 election — but the dam broke suddenly this week after allegations that the president pressured his counterpart in Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.
After Pelosi announced an impeachment probe on Tuesday, Donald Trump's campaign seized on the opportunity to bolster his reelection effort. 'I need you on my Impeachment Defense Team,' the campaign said in one fundraising text message sent Tuesday.
'Huge groundswell of support leading to Trump landslide in 2020!' Trump's campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted on Wednesday.
The swell of contributions comes right before next week's third-quarter fundraising reporting deadline and will further pad what is already expected to be a massive haul.
More than a year out from the November 2020 contest, his campaign and the RNC have already reported pulling in more than $210 million since the start of 2019, Federal Election Commission records show.
That's more than all the current Democrats seeking to replace him raised combined during that period.
Democrats attack Trump because their policy goals aren't winning over the American public
Why do Democrat presidential candidates think that their “vote for me because I’m the biggest hater of everything President Donald Trump” is a winning strategy? Why are congressional Democrats redoubling their efforts to impeach Trump even after Robert Mueller’s investigation blew up in their faces? Well, a recent survey conducted by Harvard/Harris may offer the best answer.
The poll of 2,531 registered voters was somewhat unique: It presented not the candidates running for office but only questions regarding policy issues without associating the policies with either political party. For example, a question stated:
Which candidate are you more likely to vote for?
"A presidential candidate who stands for the green new deal on climate change, Medicare for all, free college tuition, opening our borders to many more immigrants and raising taxes to pay for these programs.
A presidential candidate who stands for lower taxes and reduced government regulations, strengthening our military, strengthening our border to reduce illegal immigrants, standing up more to China and Iran and seeking better trade deals for the US."
For almost anyone who regularly follows politics, it’s quite clear that the first presidential candidate most accurately represents the policy proposals of the Democrat Party, while the second candidate’s policy agenda mirrors that of Trump. So, did the poll end up reflect many other national polls that show Trump trailing much of the Democrat field? Not quite.
A whopping 61% of those polled favored Trump’s agenda, which included a third of registered Democrats. And 65% of independents picked Trump’s policy agenda over what Democrats are offering. In fact, as Issues & Insights reports, “The poll went further and broke out specific policy issues. There wasn’t one item on the Democratic agenda that came in the top six. Only 38% say they were likely to vote for a candidate who promised to ‘raise taxes to pay for these programs.’ On the other hand, 83% said they’d likely support a candidate who promised to lower taxes.”
This explains why Democrats are playing up the fallacious “Trump is Adolf Hitler” narrative in the hopes that it will distract enough Americans from seeing their terrible socialist agenda. Moreover, it appears they see no other way to defeat Trump, which explains Rep. Al Green’s (D-TX) recent insistence that “if we don’t impeach this president, he will get reelected.”
The United States has blacklisted several Chinese companies and officials for allegedly shipping Iranian oil in violation of sanctions.
The sanctions, imposed by the US Treasury Department, against two subsidiaries of Cosco, a Chinese state-owned shipping giant, and four other companies, affect dozens of tankers and will further complicate talks to end the trade war.
American legislation to help protect democratic rights in Hong Kong will also heighten tensions.
Two Congress committees cleared the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act yesterday, paving the way for the bill to be voted on the floor in both chambers. The law would require an annual US review of the territory’s human rights records.
The bill follows more than three months of increasingly violent protests in Hong Kong against interference by Beijing. Joshua Wong, a leading pro-democracy campaigner, travelled to Washington this month to lobby Congress to pass the bill.
On his Facebook page he called its progress the result of “Hong Kong people’s sacrifice of blood and sweat”.
China said that its dealings with Iran were legal and should be respected and also denounced the Hong Kong legislation.
Geng Shuang, a spokesman of the foreign ministry, said: “China expresses strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the US sanctions against Chinese companies and individuals. China has always firmly opposed to the unilateral sanction and long-arm jurisdiction by the United States. China objects to the bullying acts in which US uses its domestic law to wilfully crack down on Chinese companies.”
On Hong Kong, he added: “This act confuses black and white in disregard of facts, blatantly backs the Hong Kong violent radicals up and grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs. China expresses strong indignation and firm opposition to that. Any attempt by the US to harm China’s interests will be met with a strong response.”
Carrie Lam, chief executive of Hong Kong, has withdrawn the extradition bill that first prompted the protests, but demonstrators say that they will fight on until all of their demands, including universal suffrage and an independent inquiry into police brutality, are met.
In an effort to defuse tensions, Ms Lam held her first community dialogue today. She encouraged the 150 participants, chosen by lottery from the more than 20,000 people who signed up to the event, to freely express themselves and even vent their anger. Yet she is highly unlikely to make further concessions to the protesters.
Aside from the Cosco subsidiaries, the companies sanctioned are the China Concord Petroleum Co and Kunlun Shipping Company, both registered in Hong Kong, and Kunlun Holding Company, registered in the Virgin Islands.
Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, said that the sanctions were intended to restrict the activities of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and punish those who continue to deal with them. “We are telling China, and all nations: know that we will sanction every violation,” he said.
The US has blamed Iran for attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities on September 14, which have rattled the Middle East and raised concerns about a broader war. Iran denies involvement.
Mr Pompeo said: “The more Iran lashes out the greater our pressure will and should be. That path forward begins now with two new actions.”
He said that Washington was also ramping up efforts to educate countries on the risks of doing business with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard entities and that it would punish those who continued to engage with them.
The junior senator from California has cemented herself as a presidential contender, but her history of changing her positions to secure new offices has created distrust. Harris ran to the right of former District Attorney Terence Hallinan and tacked to the center as attorney general, but now is veering to the left as a presidential candidate.
Jamal Trulove was innocent, but he spent nearly seven years in prison.
The father of four was convicted in 2010 of murdering his friend, Seu Kuka, in the Sunnydale housing project in San Francisco. Kuka was shot nine times in his head and back shortly before 11 p.m. on July 23, 2007, and, despite a crowd around the body when police arrived, only one person claimed to have seen the shooting, a neighbor who did not identify Trulove as the shooter.
The appeals court ruling that overturned Trulove's conviction found that the prosecutor had committed misconduct when she argued that the witness had risked her life and the lives of her family to testify. "This yarn was made out of whole cloth," Justice P.J. Kline wrote.
Since Trulove's release in 2015, he has resumed his acting career with a role in the 2019 film The Last Black Man in San Francisco. He also has won a $13.1 million settlement from the city of San Francisco and become a vocal critic of the chief district attorney whose office brought the flimsy case against him to trial. Just after he was convicted of a murder he didn't commit, that district attorney was elected attorney general of California. Then in 2016, she won election to the U.S. Senate.
Now, Kamala Harris is running for president of the United States, one of 19 Democrats still standing in the race to replace Donald Trump.
"Kamala Harris talks about how she's proud of her work as California AG, but never as head DA of San Francisco, where evidence of my framing by the SFPD was covered up by 'HER' office just to get a conviction," Trulove wrote on Twitter in August.
But in fact, Harris has made her experience as a prosecutor a key component of her presidential campaign. Earlier this month, she released what she called a "comprehensive plan to overhaul the criminal justice system."
Even her slogan — "For the people" — invokes the introduction of every prosecutor in a courtroom.
"I believe we must have the ability to prosecute the case against four more years of Donald Trump, and it will take a prosecutor to do that," Harris told the Democratic National Committee in San Francisco on Aug. 23. "And I'll tell you, we've got a big long rap sheet to work with."
Outside the grand ballroom where Harris gave her speech, a lone protester wandered the halls with a sign that read, "Kamala convicted innocent people in order to advance her career."
Defining Kamala Harris
Through a campaign spokesperson, Harris declined to be interviewed for this story. But she and her supporters say she worked to reform the criminal justice system from the inside as district attorney and attorney general while taking principled stances against the death penalty, targeting complex criminal enterprises, and going after big banks that hurt homeowners during the foreclosure crisis.
"She was one of the earliest leaders to fight human trafficking and invest in reentry," Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said at Harris' first presidential campaign rally in Oakland in January. "She was one of the earliest leaders on criminal justice reform. Back when it was still popular to be tough on crime, she was smart on crime."
Criminal justice reform advocates, however, have pointed out that in her first race for district attorney, Harris unseated former defense attorney Terence Hallinan, who was actively working on reforms, by criticizing his conviction rate.
She took a stand early as DA by refusing to seek the death penalty for a man accused of killing a police officer. Though highly controversial with the police, it was a politically popular stance in progressive San Francisco. But as attorney general, Harris appealed a court ruling that the state's death penalty was unconstitutional. Though controversial back in the Bay Area, it was a politically popular stance at the statewide level. Advocates for the rights of sex workers note that she opposed a ballot measure to decriminalize prostitution and led the charge to prosecute Backpage, an online listing site that facilitated the sex trade but which sex workers say was paramount to their safety.
As a presidential candidate, Harris rose to double digits in the polls after the first Democratic debate on June 27, at which she confronted former Vice President Joe Biden for his historic opposition to court-mandated school busing. But Harris faltered following the July 31 debate, when she was forcefully challenged on her record as a prosecutor by U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.
Gabbard claimed that Harris jailed people for minor marijuana offenses and fought to keep exonerating evidence for death row inmates from coming to light. "The people who have suffered under your reign as prosecutor, you owe them an apology," Gabbard said.
Among the states where Harris is struggling to gain traction is California, where she trailed Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Biden in a Sep. 12-15 poll from KQED and Change Research. Harris bolstered her campaign in California in August, bringing on seven new staffers. But she remains well behind Biden, Warren and Sanders in national polls.
Joe Tuman, a professor of political communications at San Francisco State University, said most Democratic voters primarily want a nominee who can beat Trump. But polls show that most top-tier Democratic candidates could win in a head-to-head match-up, so Harris needs to find a way to differentiate herself from the moderate Biden and the progressive Warren and Sanders. Tuman believes that Trump fears Harris more than he does Biden, Warren or Sanders, pointing out that the president has yet to brand her with a nickname, such as "Sleepy Joe," "Pocahontas" or "Crazy Bernie."
SCALIA CONFIRMED: "The Republican-led Senate on Thursday confirmed lawyer Eugene Scalia, a son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, as President Donald Trump's new labor secretary. The Senate voted along party lines, 53-44, to approve Scalia's nomination." (Fox News)
MCCARTHY CONFIRMED: "The Senate has confirmed President Trump's choice to be the top civilian leading the Army. In a Thursday afternoon voice vote, the Senate confirmed Ryan McCarthy as Army secretary. McCarthy, who has served as Army under secretary since 2017, will fill the role formerly held by Mark Esper until he became Defense secretary in July." (The Hill)
IRANIANS BANNED: "The Trump administration on Thursday banned all members of the Iranian regime and their family members from entering the United States, a move aimed at stopping regime figures from sending their children to America for schooling and other opportunities. ... Iranian regime figures have long taken advantage of America's educational institutions, with many sending their children to the United States for college. This will immediately end, according to the Trump administration." (The Washington Free Beacon)
SYRIAN CHEMICAL-WEAPONS ATTACK: "Syrian government forces carried out a chlorine attack in May, the first confirmed violation of the international accord banning chemical weapons since President Trump authorized a U.S. military strike on Syria in 2018 over its alleged use of poison gas, a new U.S. intelligence assessment says. The episode took place on May 19 near the village of Kabana as President Bashar al-Assad's forces sought to subdue resistance in Latakia province, a senior U.S. official said." (The Wall Street Journal)
The murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi has drawn the world's attention to the young Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). Frontline investigates the rise of MBS, his vision for the future, his handling of dissent, and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: OK, let's go back to that moment when two women confronted Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator on Capitol Hill about the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Look at me when I'm talking to you. You're telling me that my assault doesn't matter. KELLY: After that confrontation, Flake insisted on an FBI investigation, prompting some to praise the moment as evidence that protest works. Well, protests continued. Here's this past Saturday. (SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST) UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Chanting) Hey-hey, ho-ho, Kavanaugh has got to go. KELLY: People rushing the doors of the Supreme Court as Kavanaugh was sworn in. But what some see as constructive protests others, including the president, call a mob. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You don't hand matches to an arsonist. And you don't give power to an angry left-wing mob. And that's
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: We're going to talk now about the man behind a name you have been hearing a lot these last few days, Jamal Khashoggi. he is the Saudi journalist who walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week and then disappeared, was never seen walking out, prompting reports that he was kidnapped or maybe murdered by a hit squad flown in from Riyadh for that express purpose. But who is or was Jamal Khashoggi, and why would he have been seen as posing such a danger to the Saudi regime that such an extraordinary operation would have been put in motion? Well, we're going to put those questions now to Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institution. Welcome. SHADI HAMID: Hi. Thanks for having me. KELLY: Glad to have you with us. All right, we know some basic facts - Jamal Khashoggi's age, 59; that he's an editor, that he's a critic of his government in Saudi Arabia. What else should we know about him? HAMID: So the interesting thing about
By Yishai Fleisher, DailyWire.com#utm_source=googlier.com/page/2019_10_08/142569&utm_campaign=link&utm_term=googlier&utm_content=googlier.com MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images The recent attack on Saudi Arabian oil is a watershed moment in the Middle East balance of power. It is also an opportunity. It is yet unclear what exactly happened. A combination of drones and missiles coming directly from Iran or from their associates — the Houth rebels in Yemen — struck at the Khurais oil field and the al-Abqaiq facility, Saudi Arabia’s largest oil processing plant. The strike may have knocked out potentially half of the Saudi oil production, and has already affected global crude oil prices. Sword Dancing is Not Enough The Read More
T. Belman. I disagree with a lot of the author’s critical comments on Netanyahu. Nevertheless the ME appears up for grabs. Israelis were astounded this week by the PM’s warning of imminent war with Iran – and by the realization that their hero U.S. president won’t have their backs Chemi Shalev, HAARETZ A stoplight in front of a Netanyahu campaign poster, showing him with Trump, Jerusalem, September 14, 2019.AFP Saudi Arabia has agreed to launch informal and indirect talks with Iran in an effort to de-escalate rising tensions in the Persian Gulf. News of the contacts between Riyadh and Tehran would Read More
Fears that gas prices would spike significantly after last month’s attack in Saudi Arabia appear to be calming now that gas prices are steadying and actually declining at the pump here in Tennessee. The current average for a gallon of gas in Tennessee is $2.34. That is down three cents from a week ago and …
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Tuesday that the United Nations is facing its "worst cash crisis" in nearly a decade because 64 of its 193 members have not paid their annual dues — including the United States, its largest contributor.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the secretary-general has written to all members saying "the organization runs the risk of depleting its liquidity reserves by the end of the month and defaulting on payments to staff and vendors."
By the end of September, Dujarric said, member states had paid only 70% of the total assessment for the regular budget, compared with 78% at the same time last year.
According to the U.N., 129 countries had paid $1.99 billion in dues for the U.N.'s 2019 operating budget by Tuesday. It said $1.386 billion is owed for this year.
In addition to the United States, other countries that haven't paid their dues are Brazil, Iran, Israel, Mexico, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay.
Because of the U.S. government's budget calendar, Washington usually pays its dues in October.
According to the U.N., the U.S. owes $674 million for the 2019 regular budget and $381 million for previous regular budgets.
The U.S. is also in arrears in payments for the separate budget for the U.N.'s far-flung peacekeeping operations. It owes $255 million for peacekeeping missions that have been closed and $2 billion for active peacekeeping missions, according to the U.N.
Dujarric said measures the U.N. Secretariat put in place early in the year to align expenditures with cash inflows have averted "major disruptions" but "are no longer enough."
Since the U.N. Secretariat could face a default in salaries and payments by the end of November, Dujarric said the secretary-general has requested immediate...
The 79th annual National Newspaper Week, October 6 - 12, 2019, is a recognition of the service of newspapers and their employees across North America and is sponsored by Newspaper Association Managers. It is also a great opportunity to write a bit about the the history of journalism and newspaper publication in the Beaufort District.
There are those who say that there would be no United States Constitution without the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects 5 freedoms concerning religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. The actual text of the First Amendment is:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Freedom of the press, of speech, of religion, of assembly and to petition the government are woven, like stars in the flag, into the fabric of the First Amendment.
The blood of patriots is the seed of the Republic. The founders and those who followed in their footsteps invested their lives in this country. They assured there would be freedom of religion, and from religion, so the government could neither bless nor ban what anyone believes, as occurs under radical theocracies and communist regimes. The founders secured freedom of speech, to assemble and to petition the government to redress grievances, which is denied by China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and others that fear opposition. They also created one freedom that binds and protects all others, and has done so from before the founding of the republic – freedom of the press....
In short, "Journalists help keep us free to question, learn and disagree." One can often identify the editorial position of a particular newspaper by careful reading of its contents, position of its articles, what it includes and what it omits. This has been the case historically and it remains the case in the contemporary newspaper publications both in print and online. For example, the Civil War era newspapers published in Beaufort District were pro-Union newspapers after the Battle of Port Royal Sound. We have the Free South, New South, and Palmetto Herald on microfilm - all Union instruments and on Friday, a book with transcriptions of the 100th Pennsylvania Regiments soldiers newspaper, The Camp Kettle, arrived in our Research Room. There was no corresponding Beaufort published newspaper from a Confederate perspective.
Sometimes the political disagreements get so out of hand that people end up dead. Listen as Dr. Curtis Rogers of the State Library interviews author James Underwood about one of South Carolina's most notorious crimes. Underwood's book Deadly Censorship: Murder, Honor and Freedom of the Press is available in the Research Room and through the SCLENDS consortium.The book recounts the circumstances surrounding the 1903 murder of Narciso Gonzalez, editor of The State newspaper and member of the extended Beaufort Elliott family, by the brother of Governor Ben Tillman.