Wednesday, July 12, 2017

From Ian:

Daniel Pipes: Israelis Want Victory — Not Just Peace
What does the Jewish Israeli public think about convincing the Palestinians that they’ve lost their century-long war with Zionism — that the gig is up? In other words, what do Israelis think about winning?
To find out, the Middle East Forum commissioned the Smith Institute to survey 700 adult Israeli Jews. Carried out on June 27-28, the poll has a margin of error of 3.7 percent.
It reveals a widespread Israeli belief that a Palestinian recognition of defeat will eventually lead to the acceptance of Israel as the Jewish state, thereby ending the conflict.
Palestinian defeat: “A peace agreement with the Palestinians will only be possible once the Palestinian leadership recognizes the fact that it has been defeated in its struggle against Israel.” Overall, 58 percent of respondents agreed, with opinion deeply polarized by political outlook: 69 percent on the Right concurred, but only 16 percent on the Left did so.
Israeli victory: “The reason that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict still continues is that none of the military operations or diplomatic engagements with the Palestinian leadership have led to Israeli victory.” This resembles the first statement, but reverses it; doing so increases the positive responses to 65 percent of the Israeli public. More surprising, the results show that — across the entire political spectrum from Right to Left — an awareness exists that Israel needs to win. The results also show that a majority of every subgroup of voter — male and female, young and old, adherents of every kind of Judaism, supporters of every Jewish political party represented in the parliament — concur with this sentiment.
'UNHRC focuses on Israel, ignores companies operating in other occupied areas'
Despite pushing efforts to boycott businesses active in Israeli settlements, the UN Human Rights Council is turning a blind eye to more than 40 European companies that operate in four other areas deemed occupied by the UN.
A report issued last month by two pro-Israel advocacy organizations – Kohelet Policy Forum and NGO Monitor – says that “some of the world’s largest industrial, financial services, and other major publicly traded companies,” are operating in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara, Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus, Armenian-occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and Russian-occupied portions of Ukraine.
The UNHRC has been pushing efforts to boycott businesses that are active in Jewish settlements since it adopted Resolution 31/36 on March 24, 2016. A new boycott list is due out by December.
The report, authored by Kohelet legal expert and Northwestern University Prof. Eugene Kontorovich, accuses the UNHRC of formulating a boycott list that “is far too narrow in its scope, and fails to capture the full context and magnitude of business activities that support settlement enterprises in occupied territories.”
Its singular focus “undermines both the legal and practical value of the resulting database, and is likely to produce consequences both unexpected and undesired,” wrote Kontorovich.
Further, the report says that “as a matter of human rights, the council’s focus on Israel is difficult to understand.
UNESCO Supports Terrorism
Denying Jews' rights in Jerusalem and Hebron has long been a major component of the Palestinians' anti-Israel narrative. In school textbooks and other publications, Jewish religious sites are featured as "Arab, Palestinian and Islamic" religious places. The Western Wall, for example, is only described as "Al-Buraq Wall," while the Tomb of the Patriarchs is referred to as the Ibrahimi Mosque.
Generation after generation, Palestinian children are taught that Jewish history is a figment of some twisted Jewish imagination. They are also being taught that only Palestinians and Muslims are entitled to the Holy Land. And they learn this lesson well: many Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims continue to deny Israel's right to exist because they have absorbed this message of hate. This message, moreover, is pervasive -- it is disseminated not only through school textbooks, but also through media outlets and the rhetoric of their leaders, especially mosque preachers and imams.
As of now, Palestinians also have an international agency (UNESCO) to support their anti-Israel narrative and rhetoric. The UNESCO resolutions are being interpreted by many Palestinians as proof that Israel has no right to exist. For many Palestinians, the resolutions are a green light to pursue their "armed struggle" to "liberate Palestine, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river." Translation: UNESCO has given the Palestinians yet another incentive to take to the streets and kill the first Jew they meet.
The latest UNESCO resolutions are a catalyst for Palestinian terrorism against Israelis. Yet they are more than that: they also make the prospect of peace even more distant. UNESCO and other international agencies that deny Jewish history are sending a green light for violence and extremism to Palestinians and other Arabs and Muslims.
These resolutions are seen by Palestinians as supporting their false and invented narrative that they are the true owners of the land and that all the holy sites belong solely to Muslims.
Global Christian Group Says UNESCO Has Become Mouthpiece for Global Jew Hatred
The World Council of Independent Christian Churches (WCICC) is calling on member states of the United Nations to defund the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in the wake of the passage of a resolution to declare the Cave of the Patriarchs and the Old City of Hebron to be World Heritage Sites in Danger, and under the authority of the Palestinian Authority government.
“Instead of protecting our shared history and values, UNESCO has become the mouthpiece for global Jew Hatred,” the organization said in its release. “Their latest motion which suggests that Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs are Palestinian Heritage sites is both pathetic and offensive to history and the billions of Jews and Christians worldwide.
“There can be no place for such hatred within a world organization that exists to foster peace and understanding and protect history. It’s time to defund UNESCO once and for all.”
WCICC represents more than 45 million Evangelical Christians around the world, and is represented at the United Nations by special envoy Laurie Cardoza-Moore, president of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN).
Cardoza-Moore said Monday in a statement of her own, “UNESCO has once again proven that they are not interested in protecting historic sites globally, but instead, blatantly disregarding over 3,500 years of documented history, they are more interested in their outrageous attempts at revisionist history.



Group Connected To Linda Sarsour Pledged $100,000 To This Jewish Cemetery In March. The Cemetery Hasn't Received Any Of It Yet.
An organization connected to Linda Sarsour pledged to give at least $100,000 to a Jewish cemetery in Colorado back in March. It's now July and the cemetery still hasn't received a single penny of it.
According to The Algemeiner, Sarsour had partnered with Tarek El-Messidi, founder of the Celebrate Mercy nonprofit, to launch a crowdfunding effort aimed at raising money from Muslims to fix Jewish cemeteries. A total of $162,468 was raised; $50,000 went toward Jewish cemeteries in St. Louis, MO, Chicago, IL and Rochester, NY.
Those three cemeteries received the money from the crowdfunding effort, but somehow the Golden Hill Cemetery in Lakewood, CO has yet to receive any of the remainder of $100,000 or more from the crowdfunding effort that they were promised on March 24.
El-Messidi was given a tour of the cemetery, which was the last time they had been in contact with him.
Neil Price, who has been the chief caretaker of the Golden Hill Cemetery for a year, told Algemeiner that he had left three voicemails for El-Messidi, to no avail. He doesn't think the cemetery will ever see the money.
"You need budgets and time tables, and none of that is here," Price said.
A plan to restore the cemetery was already in place, which included "bids on landscaping, a fence and other security" that was premised on receiving the money from Celebrate Mercy.
Shapiro at 'National Review': The Jihad-Loving Left Loves Linda Sarsour
Last week, Women’s March organizer and leftist darling Linda Sarsour spoke before the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). There, she called for a “jihad” against President Trump, specifying that she hoped Allah would accept her “word of truth in front of a tyrant or leader” as a “form of jihad.” Sarsour was playing a double game, naturally: She used the word “jihad” because she knew it would generate headlines and because she knew that “jihad” means more than any mere mental struggle. In fact, Sarsour led off her speech by paying tribute to Siraj Wajjah, her “favorite person in the room.” Wajjah was an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, a witness on behalf of the Blind Sheikh terrorist, and a man who has repeatedly embraced the notion of violent jihad. Sarsour, too, explicitly rejected assimilation. Sarsour is also friends with Islamist terrorist Rasmeah Odeh, took a picture with former Hamas operative Salah Sarsour, and brags about relatives in prison in Israel.
Sarsour’s two-faced approach to “Islamophobia” demonstrates her extremism. While she complains in the pages of The Washington Post about “attacks from xenophobes and the conservative media,” she was far more explicit on Twitter about her perceived enemies: “white supremacists & right wing Zionists,” whom she said were even paying moderate Muslims who oppose Sarsour’s radicalism. “Zionist” is the ultimate insult in the Sarsour pantheon: She has stated in the past that Zionists cannot be feminists. She has also stated that anti-radical Islamic activists such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a victim of Islamic female genital mutilation, should have their vaginas removed. Sarsour is a big fan, however, of Saudi Arabia’s maternity-leave policies, even if women aren’t allowed to drive.
The group before which Sarsour was speaking, ISNA, has its own issues with terrorist associations. ISNA was founded by Muslim Brotherhood members and was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation terror-funding trial; ISNA actually shared an address with the Holy Land Foundation. One of the founders of the group was Sami Al-Arian, who would later be deported to Turkey thanks to his aid to terrorist groups. For years, the head of the ISNA Political Awareness Committee was led by Abdurahman Alamoudi, who would be convicted on terror charges.
Suffice it to say that neither Sarsour nor ISNA has a clean record with regard to “jihad.”
INSANE: ACLU Defends Linda Sarsour
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) demonstrated once again that they're a left-wing hack organization as they announced that they're standing with radical Islam advocate and Women's March Organizer Linda Sarsour.
Here's their tweet on her:

The ACLU's nauseating blog post on Sarsour, which is titled "Muslim, American, & Intersectional: The Activism of Linda Sarsour" and written by Ali Gharib, begins with Sarsour speaking at a concert benefitting her Arab American Association of New York organization, as she bloviates that "it’s really bad" for Muslims in America, and that her organization is focused on "creating safe spaces for people who don’t feel safe."
The blog post goes on to drool over Sarsour's involvement in various left-wing causes like the cop-hating Black Lives Matter, the idiotic concept of intersectionality, and how she fought against a "backlash" against Muslims in the aftermath of 9/11. She had also previously partnered with the ACLU in filing a lawsuit alleging "unlawful police spying" against Muslims that ultimately resulted in a settlement in which the New York Police Department (NYPD) agreed to curtail its surveillance methods.
Linda Sarsour's All-Star Team of Radical Theologians
SNA welcomed Yasir Qadhi despite such views, and despite his other preaching that women should not work unless they have no choice, because that is the role God created for them.
"Stay at your house," he said in a 2012 sermon. "Your food and drink will come to you. What more do you want? Your husband will provide for you all that you need ... you take care of the small, little things of the house. You please your husband. And in return your husband will give you the far more difficult things to do of earning money and doing this and that."
Call attention to these facts and Sarsour will blast you as part of right wing Zionist conspiracy to silence her. This ignores liberal opposition to Sarsour, which we highlighted after January's Women's March.
One of those liberal critics, University of Chicago evolutionary biologist and author Jerry Coyne, sees manipulation behind Sarsour's recent actions. He calls her "a canny and self-promoting woman—a hijabi who believes in sharia law, demonizes Israel, accepts BDS and a 'one state solution' that would wipe out Israel" who still manages to be "seen as a feminist hero."
Sarsour knew invoking jihad would create a stir, one which could become a vehicle for advancing a sanitized interpretation of the word.
"And that is why Sarsour is dangerous, and a terrible icon for progressivism," Coyne writes. "She's trying to make the words 'sharia' and 'jihad' into progressive terms."
Sarsour may work with progressive activists on their causes. But her core cause is advancing a conservative form of her religion. Her choice of heroes makes that clear.
Linda Sarsour on Terrorism - "Foreign policy causes terrorism not muslim community"
American-Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour said that Muslims should not need to defend themselves in the media against charges of terrorism, because "the root of the problem does not come from within the Muslim community. It comes from a politicized foreign policy of war on our people." Sarsour, former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, made her statements at the annual ISNA convention. The video was posted on YouTube on June 30.


Alan Johnson: “One more heave” doesn’t work: we need a new peace paradigm for the Middle East
BICOM and Fathom are launching a major new report today – “A Future for Israeli-Palestinian peacebuilding” by Ned Lazarus, preface by Jonathan Powell (download here). I’ve written this oped in Prospect about why we commissioned the report and what it tells us.
The old paradigm of peacemaking between Israelis and Palestinians is exhausted and a new one is needed. “Old peace” meant set-piece, time-limited, bilateral negotiations, mediated by the United States with the goal of reaching a permanent agreement based on separation between Israel and the Palestinians. Three efforts have ended in failure: Camp David-Taba in 2000-1, Annapolis in 2007 and the Kerry Talks of 2014. “One more heave” is unlikely to work.
“New peace” also means direct negotiations and a final status agreement, of course. But there is an emerging consensus about two things. First, that future success will depend on creating something that has been lacking so far: a supportive environment in which bilateral negotiations move from a framework agreement through incremental implementation to successful final status talks. Second, this means new approaches and securing the participation of new actors: a regional framework that draws in the Arab states, and grassroots social movements that animate both peoples.
Last year, I helped organise a series of unofficial discussions between Israelis and Palestinians and heard the same message from both grizzled negotiators and younger activists: civil society has a key role to play and it has been neglected, patronised, and even demonised. Today, it is too often the spoilers rather than the peacemakers that receive the élan, the budgets and the backing of global civil society. Yet social movements promoting mutual recognition, compromise and a political solution may now be essential for leaders to be able to articulate a shared language of peace in public—and if the excruciating compromises required by any final-status deal are to be eventually made.
US envoy: Trump plans to relaunch Israel-PA talks 'soon'
Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump's special envoy to the Middle East, met with Palestinian officials in Jerusalem on Tuesday, relaying the American president's plan to declare renewed peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians "soon," the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat reported Wednesday.
Following the meeting, a White House official issued a statement saying that "Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt, accompanied by U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem Donald Blome, introduced Ambassador David Friedman to members of the Palestinians' senior negotiating team. They had an open, cordial, and frank discussion on many topics related to peace negotiations."
"The [American] administration believes that in order to give everyone the best chance to reach an ultimate deal, it is critical to have negotiators that are close with the president and that is why the team includes senior adviser Jared Kushner, Greenblatt and Friedman," the statement continued.
The meeting reportedly included chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, head of Palestinian intelligence Majid Faraj and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' economic adviser Mohammed Mustafa.
Israel denies it agreed to settlement slowdown during talks
Israel on Wednesday denied that it agreed to a slowdown in settlement construction as part of any future peace talks.
The denial came after the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat quoted Jason Greenblatt — US President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process — telling a senior Palestinian official on Tuesday that Israel had agreed to “slow down” settlement construction during formal negotiations between Palestinians and Israel, which Trump will “soon” be calling for.
The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was due to meet with Greenblatt Wednesday, denied the report, saying, “There is no such commitment” to freeze settlement building.
According to the report, the US intends to facilitate “open negotiations” between the two sides, in which the thorny final status issues will be negotiated separately. These include Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, borders, water and security.
Agreement reached on any of these issues would be “immediately announced” in order to create a “positive atmosphere.”
Cabinet revisits divisive plan to expand Palestinian city
The Knesset's Diplomatic-Security Cabinet was set to convene Wednesday for a second round of discussions on authorizing the construction of thousands of new housing units in the Palestinian city of Qalqilya.
The cabinet authorized the plan last year, but several ministers have since claimed they were not aware what they had been voting for. After ministers from the Likud and Habayit Hayehudi voiced opposition to the plan Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he could not recall the details of it. The prime minister ordered a revote on the plan, which is slated to be held soon.
Qalqilya is the West Bank's most densely populated Palestinian city. Because it is surrounded on three sides by the separation barrier, the only way the city can expand is eastward into privately owned Palestinian land in Area C, where Israeli approval is required. According to forms submitted to the cabinet, the plan includes building permits for 14,000 apartments by the year 2035.
However, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said this week that the number of permits for new housing units was actually 6,300, 1,000 of which would actually comprise retroactive approval for apartments that have already been built illegally. The plan also features an industrial park, playgrounds, a waste management plant and a cemetery.
Qalqilya has been among the quietest Palestinian cities in the West Bank, and has even been singled out by Lieberman as a model city. The planned expansion is an example of Lieberman's "carrot and stick" policy toward the Palestinians.
Ahead of cabinet debate, Liberman defends plan to expand Palestinian city
Touring a West Bank settlement, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman defended his proposal to allow Palestinians to expand the city of Qalqilya Wednesday, ahead of a cabinet meeting on the plan scheduled for that night.
Qalqilya, which is surrounded on three sides by Israel’s security fence, is the West Bank’s most densely populated Palestinian city. Under Liberman’s plan, the Palestinian Authority would be allowed to double the size of the city by expanding into land that is currently under Israeli control, in a part of the West Bank known as Area C.
The proposal was approved last year as part of Liberman’s policy of “carrots and sticks,” in which Palestinians would be rewarded for maintaining calm and swiftly punished for attacks and other disturbances to day-to-day life in the West Bank and Gaza.
Amid recent pushback against the Qalqilya proposal by some members of the right-wing coalition government, the issue was brought back on the docket, with the possibility of having it overturned.
Hungary to take down controversial Soros posters ahead of Netanyahu visit
The Hungarian government will take down controversial posters attacking Jewish US-Hungarian billionaire George Soros, before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Budapest next week, Hungarian media reported Wednesday.
Hungarian news outlet HVG reported that the posters would be taken down by July 15, with the completion of the government's campaign against Soros, whom it attacked for his pro-immigrant stance.
Netanyahu is due to meet with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on July 18.
The Israeli government had given mixed messaging about the anti-Soros campaign, which was slammed by the Hungarian Jewish community as antisemitic.
John Bolton: Trouble among America's Gulf Allies
In recent weeks, governments on the Arabian Peninsula have been having a diplomatic brawl. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain (together with Egypt and other Muslim countries) have put considerable economic and political pressure on Qatar, suspending diplomatic relations and embargoing trade with their fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member. Kuwait and Oman, also GCC members, have been mediating the dispute or remaining publicly silent.
The Saudis and their supporters are demanding sweeping changes in Qatari policies, including suspending all financial support to the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist groups; joining the other GCC members in taking a much harder line against the nuclear and terrorist threat from Shia Iran and its proxies; and closing Al Jazeera, the irritating, radical-supporting television and media empire funded by Qatar's royal family.
The United States' response so far has been confused. President Trump has vocally supported the Saudi campaign, but the State Department has publicly taken a different view, urging that GCC members resolve their differences quietly.
As with so many Middle East disputes, the issues are complex, and there is considerable underlying history. Of course, if they were easy, Saudi Arabia and Qatar would not be nearly at daggers drawn seemingly overnight.
Washington has palpable interests at stake in this dispute and can make several critical moves to help restore unity among the Arabian governments, even though the issues may seem as exotic to the average American as the Saudi sword dance Trump joined during his recent Middle East trip.
Saudi General Sees Egyptian-Jordanian Umbrella for Israeli-Palestinian Peace
Last week, the Saudi general emerged again, presenting fascinating world views in an interview with German newspaper Deutsche Welle and tying the ends together. Here’s a summary: The islands of Sanafir and Tiran are being transferred to Saudi Arabia only after a sweeping commitment was received to allow Israeli ships to sail freely in the Tiran Straits. According to Eshki, ownership transfer turns the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty into an international agreement which binds Saudi Arabia and will serve as a basis for the development of collaborations. But, he dissolved illusions, there will be no normalization until Israel works to solve the situation with the Palestinians.
And then he drops the bomb about the plan that has been put on the back burner: Any solution reached by the parties would be sponsored by Jordan (in the West Bank) and Egypt (in Gaza). This is no longer an unrealistic declaration about a Palestinian state torn between Gaza and Ramallah, but the creation of a sort of Egyptian-Jordanian umbrella and getting the two countries involved in the solution. Whatever the Palestinians accept, he adds, will be accepted by us in Saudi Arabia too. In other words, Saudi Arabia is willing to give up the Arab peace initiative, which would force Israel to mark borders and argue about the right of return. Saudi Arabia would also agree, according to Eshki, to postpone Jerusalem’s division to the last stage of the talk, to prevent the negotiations from reaching a deadlock.
As the real enemy is Iran, the relations with Israel will be shaped only “according to interests,” Eshki says. The intensity of the relations will be determined according to the intensity of the peace process. In Saudi Arabia’s eyes, the renewed alliance with the United States is much more important, and Israel is a supporting player. Putting it in the simplest terms: With all due respect, Israel is invited to contribute intelligence information, technology and matters which will guarantee the stability of the kingdom’s regime against Tehran’s schemes.
Inking anti-terror deal with US, Qatar vows backing for Hamas-ruled Gaza
A Qatari envoy said the energy-rich nation will continue development projects in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, despite a rift with its Gulf neighbors stemming in part from its ties with the Palestinian terror group.
The comment by Mohammed El-Amadi came as the US signed an agreement with Doha to boost counter-terrorism efforts.
El-Amadi spoke Tuesday as he signed a new agreement with a Palestinian contractor to build eight residential buildings.
Qatar has been the largest single donor to Gaza over the past five years, disbursing about a half billion dollars for housing, reconstruction, infrastructure development, and health projects.
In addition to being the largest financial patron to the Hamas-ruled Gaza, Qatar has hosted senior Hamas officials on its soil. It argues its aid is for the Palestinian people rather than the terror group.
IDF Troops Come Under Attack in West Bank, Two Palestinians Killed in Return Fire
IDF troops came under attack at the Jenin refugee camp overnight Tuesday, with Palestinian terrorists throwing dozens of explosives at them.
The troops from the Special Forces unit Maglan returned fire, killing two of the terrorists and wounding a third. One of them, Saad Salah, 20, was killed instantly, while a second, Awss Salameh, 17, was seriously wounded and later succumbed at the hospital. A third has been hit in the leg.
The IDF said none of the soldiers were hurt.
Israeli security forces—including IDF, Shin Bet, Border Police, and police forces—arrested 21 wanted Palestinian suspects in the West Bank overnight. Eighteen of them are suspected of being involved in terror activity against civilians and security forces.
Family house of Damascus Gate attacker to be demolished
The IDF announced on Wednesday that the family house of the perpetrator who carried out the deadly June 16 terror attack outside Jerusalem's Damascus Gate will be destroyed.
The attack killed Border Police St.-Sgt. Maj. Hadas Malka.
In June a riot broke out as IDF troops raided the homes of the three Palestinians who had taken part in the attack which killed Malka. Around 200 Palestinians in the West Bank village of Deir Abu-Mashal, near Ramallah, hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails and tried to block entrances to the village with burning ties.
The terrorist's family has been informed and has 72 hours to challenge the IDF's decision.
Family of Palestinian burglar shot dead by Israeli says he was ‘murdered’
The family of a West Bank man who was shot and killed Monday night while reportedly breaking into the home of an elderly Israeli man denied Tuesday that he had been involved in burglary, and claimed he had been shot without cause.
The incident occurred in Beit Yitzhak in the Sharon region, where an 80-year-old Israeli told police he shot two burglars after finding them in one of the rooms of his house, holding tools. One, Suliman Shalif, a 41-year-old father of eight from Tulkarem, was killed. The second was badly wounded and was taken to a Netanya hospital.
But Shaluf’s family said the homeowner was lying.
“We don’t believe he wanted to steal anything,” Shaluf’s mother-in-law Hiyam Abu Zahra told the Ynet news website. “He never did anything of the sort. He worked as an electrician in Israel and would come home once a week. He has a wife and eight children and he provided for them through his job, not through theft.”
Abu Zahra insisted Suliman and his friend were “on their way home and waiting for a car to pick them up.
UN Report Highlights Hamas Abuses in Gaza
A new UN report released on Tuesday highlighted the negative impact of a decade of Hamas rule in Gaza, ending with the grim prediction that living conditions in the coastal enclave will worsen significantly over the next three years.
The report, “Gaza – 10 Years On”, published by UNSCO — the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process — examines the progressive deterioration of Gaza’s public services and infrastructure in the decade that has elapsed since the civil war of 2007. After months of internecine fighting, Hamas seized absolute power in Gaza in a coup in June of that year, driving out the rival Fatah faction and launching fresh rocket attacks against Israel. Both Israel –which has the longest land border with Gaza — and Egypt imposed a blockade on the territory within months of the coup that remains in place.
“Upon seizing control of Gaza, Hamas has increasingly tightened its grip on power, including by executing, maiming and jailing opponents and suppressing dissent,” the report’s introduction stated. “For years, Hamas was able to sustain its de facto authority and build up its military strength primarily through controlling the movement of goods smuggled through tunnels between Gaza and Egypt and taxing this trade, while the Palestinian Authority paid for essential services to Gaza residents, including some civil service salaries, electricity, water and medical care.”
The report underlined that successive efforts since June 2007 to resolve the conflict between the Islamists of Hamas and the ruling Fatah Party of PA President Mahmoud Abbas had all failed. “The key issues separating the factions have remained unchanged over the years, with continuing ideological differences, including over the recognition of the right of Israel to exist and the use of violence,” it stated.
Oops, They Did It Again! Hamas Sprung BDS Failing
Hot off the heels of Hamas’ endorsement of BDS and Britney Spear’s Israeli concert comes news that Hamas went ahead and did it again!
They’ve been spotted enjoying the delights of Zionist Death JuiceTM (not to be confused with this)
I said again, because as I pointed out last time, Hamas sure loves their Zionist food products.
But I understand the allure of our tasty Zionist treats. So I suggest these Hamasholes take it slow and begin with no longer benefiting from Israeli hospitals.
Baby steps. (h/t Yenta Press)
PreOccupiedTerritory: Abbas To Start Mass Execution Of Palestinians To See If World Blames Israel For That Too (satire)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas intends to follow up on the severe reduction of exit permits for Gazans to receive treatment in Israel and the West Bank by rounding up Palestinians and killing them by firing squad, to determine whether the international community will continue to blame only Israel for Palestinian suffering.
A senior Palestinian Authority official who spoke on condition of anonymity told journalists that the president plans to begin the mass executions next month, following the Muslim festival of Aid al-Adha.
“Now that the Raïs has successfully pushed the Egyptians not to open the Rafah crossing from the Gaza Strip, lest the humanitarian crisis there be alleviated, he will increase the pressure even further,” the official declared. “His Excellency has determined that there is nothing he can do against his own people for which he will be blamed. The United Nations, human rights organizations, and the news media have established that they will seek to pin ultimate blame on Israel for any Palestinian suffering, and this is a way to ratchet up that opprobrium to levels not seen since the 2014 Gaza War.”
Last month Abbas ordered a cessation of payments to Israel for fuel to run Gaza’s sole power plant, leading not to condemnation of him by the Security or Human Rights Councils, but to international pressure on Israel to supply the fuel free of charge, and to denunciation of Israel for refusing to do so. The anonymous official described the diplomatic consequences as a secondary goal of the move, with the primary aim inflicting political damage on the rival Hamas movement that governs the Gaza Strip.
Why Germany Tolerates Iranian Cheating
While Schmidbauer said that the engagement focused on humanitarian issues, both the Iranian ambassador and other German officials suggested otherwise. A German official speaking anonymously to Der Spiegel, ridiculed that claim, saying, “Whoever says that only humanitarian subjects were discussed is a brazen liar.”
Der Spiegel subsequently reported that the German intelligence service had supplied four computers and photographic equipment to Iran and helped train Iranian intelligence agents. Meanwhile, despite the evidence of Iranian-sponsored terrorism on German soil, German-Iranian trade ballooned. By 1995, German exports to Iran had increased to $1.4 billion, more than twice the level of any other country, and Germany became Iran’s largest trading partner. German newspaper Handelsblatt described the mood of German businesses at the Tehran trade fair as “euphoric.” Even after the 1997 Berlin court verdict, which founded Fallahian and other senior Iranian officials guilty of ordering the hit against the Kurds, Christoph Wolf, spokesman for the German Congress of Industry and Commerce, advised German firms to continue their trade with Iran and not to be distracted by “political matters.”
German diplomats have not only been willing to excuse Iranian terrorism, but also nuclear cheating. On November 20, 2003, IAEA Director Mohamed ElBaradei reported that there was a “deliberate counter effort that spanned many years, to conceal material, facilities, and activities that were required to have been declared under the safeguards agreement – material, facilities, and activities that covered the entire spectrum of the nuclear fuel cycle, including experiments in enrichment and reprocessing.” Despite finding that Iran had been developing a uranium centrifuge enrichment program for 18 years, and a laser enrichment program for 12 years, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer corralled European Union authorities to give the Islamic Republic another chance.
German leaders might preach human rights and the virtues of multilateralism, but when it comes to the Islamic Republic, the German government’s desire to promote business always trumps holding Iran to account. Yes, Iran likely seeking to renew and advance its nuclear weapons program. Iranian leaders correctly calculate that even if they paraded a nuclear missile through the streets of Tehran or tested a warhead in their southeastern desert, German authorities would embrace any excuse however implausible to look the other way, deny reality, and run interference; all in order to keep trade channels open.
IRAN SENTENCES FOUR CHRISTIAN CONVERTS TO 10 YEARS IMPRISONMENT IN TRIAL LACKING DUE PROCESS
Three Azeri men and one Iranian man, all Protestant Christian converts, have been sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Revolutionary Court in Iran, according to Mansour Borji, the advocacy director of Article 18, an organization that defends Christians in Iran.
No evidence was presented by the prosecution during the trial to show the defendants had acted against national security, Borji told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
He added that Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh of Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court-who has issued sentences ranging from five to 15 years in prison to 16 Christian converts since April 2017-referenced a report by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) during the trial.
The report was not included as evidence in the case files, Borji said, so the defense was unable to respond to its content.
Islamic State’s Defeat Doesn’t Mean Victory for the U.S.
Earlier this week, Mosul—the largest city under Islamic State’s control—fell to Iraqi forces, while Islamic State has been driven almost entirely from its capital of Raqqa in Syria. Reports even circulated yesterday that the caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had been killed. With Islamic State (IS) poised to fall, Elliott Abrams explains what’s next for the U.S.
The defeat of Islamic State as a “state” will leave two serious questions facing the United States. The first is: who will fill the spaces from which the jihadist group is driven? There is a clear effort by the new Iran-Hizballah-Shiite militia-Russia coalition to reply: “We will.”
That is an answer the United States should reject. Such a development would cement an anti-American coalition in place, threaten Jordan and Israel, and leave Iran the dominant power in much of the region.
To reject this challenge verbally would be a joke, however; it must be resisted on the ground, through the use of force by a coalition that must be built and led by the United States. . . .
[O]ne can envision a discussion with Russia of how our interests and theirs can be accommodated while bringing the violence down to a level that allows many refugees to return home. But that discussion will achieve nothing unless American power first gains Russian respect and the Russians come to realize that compromise is necessary.




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