Monday, January 01, 2018

From Ian:

PMW: Murderers of 179 Israelis honored by Fatah including 4 female suicide bombers
The official Facebook page of Abbas' Fatah Movement celebrated Fatah's 53rd anniversary by glorifying eight terrorist murderers from its ranks, four of them female suicide bombers. Fatah posted photos of the killers with the same text and logo on Dec. 30, 2017:

"The Palestinian National Liberation Movement - Fatah
Mobilization and Organization Commission - Communications Office
The 53rd anniversary of the outbreak of the Palestinian revolution"


The following are the photos of the terrorist murderers posted on Fatah's official Facebook page, with PMW explanatory notes:

Khalil Al-Wazir - Abu Jihad - former head of the PLO's military wing, was responsible for the murder of at least 125 Israelis, according to the PA's news agency Wafa.
Text:
"Heroic Martyr (Shahid)
Fatah Movement Central Committee member,
Khalil Al-Wazir 'Abu Jihad'"


The number "53" represents the 53rd anniversary of the "Launch" of Fatah. In the upper right corner is the Fatah logo that includes a grenade, crossed rifles, and the PA map of "Palestine" that presents all of Israel together with the PA areas as "Palestine".
JPost Editorial: Support the Iranian people
There was a time not so long ago when Israel and Iran were allies. And if one day the Iranian political leadership will go, there is no reason why Israel and Iran cannot once again collaborate.

A free, democratic, and independent Iran would give full expression – not only to the richness of Persian culture, one of the oldest on the planet – but could also tap into the extraordinary talents and energies of this remarkable people. Imagine the synergies of combining Israeli and Iranian abilities.

The only way there is even an outside chance of this happening, however, is if the US under Trump’s leadership, along with other nations, make it clear to Iran that they will not tolerate continued repression of the Iranian people.

As part of restoring the deterrence lost during the Obama era, the US should meet every case of repression with clear consequences, whether in the form of renewed sanctions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or the curtailing of imports, or the suspension of business ties.

You might not be able to tell by reading leading newspapers or watching the major TV news outlets, but we could be witnessing unprecedented signs of change in Iran. World leaders should, through both words and deeds, take advantage of this propitious time.
The Regime Chants "Death to America", Iranians Chant "Death to Mullahs"
Now, people are demanding not just limited reforms but regime change. After almost four decades of living under a theocracy -- with Islamist mullahs controlling them, rampant corruption, and the regime's persistent dissemination of propaganda -- the people have reached the boiling point. The government has been doing all it can to stoke the flames of hatred, but has been trying to deflect it to "Death to America" and "Death to Israel".

Protesters, risking their lives, have been chanting, "Death to Khamenei" -- a serious crime according to the clergy, and punishable, according to the Sharia law of the regime, with death.

People are also chanting, "Death to Rouhani", "Shame on you Khamenei, step down from power", "Death to the Dictator" and "Death to the Islamic Republic". Protesters are tearing down the banners of Iran's Supreme leaders, Khomeini and Khamenei.

Chants being heard all over the nation are, "Forget about Palestine, forget about Gaza, think about us", "Death to Hezbollah", "The people live like beggars / [Khamenei] lives like a God," and "Leave Syria alone, think about us instead".

The outcry leaves no question about the needs of the people, and the real voice of Iran. Demonstrators are making a clear distinction between the Iranian people's desired policies and those being carried out by the regime. All political and economic indications are that protests in Iran will continue to grow.

The Trump administration in the United States is taking the right side by supporting the Iranian people; they are the principal victims of the Iranian regime and its Islamist agenda.



JCPA: Protests Spread Across Iran
A Perfect Storm?

Even if the Iranian regime succeeds in suppressing the current wave of protest, the next wave is already in the making. The sweeping protest in 2009, which was brutally suppressed, continued to stir beneath the surface and erupted now. The Iranian people yearn for a long-awaited improvement of their living conditions, and the current Iranian regime cannot meet their demands with its adventurous foreign policy and export of the revolution.

Geographically, the current protest wave is more widespread than that of 2009, but it is not enough to guarantee that it will succeed in overthrowing or even change the regime, which has not hesitated so far to crush the protest, as the president and other spokesmen have already warned.

In recent years, the Revolutionary Guards has been implementing a tough and ambitious strategy to take over key centers of power in Iran such as the security forces (at the expense of the army “Artesh“), the economy, and large parts of the government, pushing out other traditional strata. The Guards will not give up any power without a violent struggle to preserve their expanded share.

The positions taken by the American administration will be of great importance if the administration does not interfere in Iran’s internal affairs. The United States should limit its support to the demonstrators by exerting international pressure on the Iranian regime to avoid violent suppression of the protest.

The current wave of protests has shown once again that the real threat to the stability of the religious regime in Iran is the Iranian people who have already proven in the past that they can topple a regime that abandons and ignores their needs.

Are we witnessing the beginning of a perfect storm in Iran? The groups participating in the demonstrations are diverse and go beyond the student sector that characterized the protest in 2009. This may indicate wide common denominators – economic, political, and religious – crossing camps within the Iranian people. This is the same broad coalition that enabled the (Islamic) revolution in the late 1970s.
WATCH: Netanyahu wishes Iranians 'success in noble quest for freedom'
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wished Iranian protesters "success" fighting for their freedom, in a video released on YouTube on Monday. The English language video was released with both Farsi and Arabic subtitles.

Netanyahu began the video addressing Iranian president Hassan Rouhani's claims that Israel is behind the protests, calling them "laughable."

He went on to commend the "brave Iranians pouring into the streets," who are fighting for freedom, justice and their basic rights.

"Iran's cruel regime wastes tens of billions of dollars spreading hate," said Netanyahu. "No wonder mothers and fathers are marching in the streets."

Netanyahu said that when the current Iranian regime falls, "Iranians and Israelis will be great friends once again."

"I wish the Iranian people success in their noble quest for freedom," concluded the prime minister.


Haley says Iran being ‘tested by its own citizens’
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday Iran’s government is “being tested by its own citizens” after over three days of protests against the clerical regime.

“We pray that freedom and human rights will carry the day,” she said in a statement.

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Haley’s comments echoed those of US President Donald Trump, who earlier Sunday said the United States was watching closely for human rights violations.
Ten People Reportedly Killed in Iran Unrest on Sunday
Ten people were killed during street protests in Iran on Sunday, state television said on Monday.

The nationwide protests have drawn in tens of thousands of people and represent the boldest challenge to Iran’s leadership since pro-reform unrest in 2009. Calls for more demonstrations on Monday raise the possibility of prolonged instability.

“In the events of last night, unfortunately, a total of about 10 people were killed in several cities,” state television said while showing footage of damage from the demonstrations. It gave no further details of the deaths.

Unsigned statements posted on social media urged Iranians to demonstrate again in the capital Tehran and 50 other urban centers.

Iran is a major OPEC oil producer and regional power, but frustrations have grown at home while the country is deeply involved in Syria and Iraq as part of a battle for influence with rival Saudi Arabia.

Those foreign interventions are also fueling anger in the Islamic Republic because Iranians want their leaders to create jobs instead of engaging in costly proxy wars.
Iran protest videos get out, despite regime’s muzzling attempts
Bypassing regime attempts to clamp down on social media during countrywide popular protests that began on Thursday, Iranian activists have been flooding Twitter and other sites with video clips of the mass demonstrations, including individual acts of defiance.

The protests, sparked by President Hassan Rouhani’s austerity measures and fueled by the shooting deaths of two protesters Sunday night in the small town of Izeh in southwestern Iran, have evolved into attacks against regime symbols. Videos have shown protesters tearing down posters of Rouhani and even of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, and of police vehicles being overturned and set ablaze.

In Tehran, demonstrators stopped an Islamic Revolutionary Guard van carrying arrested protesters. The cameraman can be heard shouting, “Topple it!”

In Isfahan, central Iran, protesters attacked and set ablaze vehicles belonging to members of the Basij after the latter had opened fire. The Basij forms part of the regime’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps.
Video: The Iran-Hamas Relationship - Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories - COGAT)
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman addressed the Palestinian population of Gaza on Thursday:
"After the Iranians managed to totally destroy Yemen, Sudan, Lebanon and Syria, they are starting to do precisely the same thing in Gaza."
"The regime leaders in Tehran have no interest in the sorry state of affairs in Gaza or the children's future there. What does interest them is extremist ideology and inflicting as much damage as possible to the State of Israel."
"After the Iranians arrive in Gaza, no international body will invest a penny there. After Operation Protective Edge [in 2014] we allowed the international community to construct projects at a cost of billions of dollars. If the Iranians become the dominant influence, no one will put up a penny."
[Hamas leaders] "Yahya Sinwar, Saleh al-Aruri and others are nothing but glorified salesmen for the Shiites - for the Iranians - in Gaza. They serve the interests of Iran and of the Revolutionary Guard. Saleh al-Aruri is under the patronage of Hizbullah in Lebanon."
"I suggest to you: think about your children, about their future, and begin to put pressure on the leaders of Hamas to change direction. At this point in time it's a road to nowhere. If you change direction, believe me, you will build here, first and foremost, a good future for your children. Start putting pressure on the Hamas leaders."


Intelligence Minister: Iran directly involved in upgrading Hamas threat
Iran is currently working on upgrading Hamas’s capabilities, Intelligence Minister Israel Katz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Monday.

“In recent days, while we face the known threat from Gaza, there is a direct Iranian intervention. Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas are involved in operative preparations to upgrade the threat to Israel from the direction of Gaza,” he stated.

Katz said that Iran increased its involvement after Hamas was forced to leave Qatar due to pressure from Saudi Arabia.

“This meeting is under the shadow of a four-letter word: I-R-A-N,” he quipped.

“It’s amazing how everything has to do with Iran,” Katz said, delineating ways in which Iran is consolidating its power in the region. “Whether it’s their nuclear aspirations and the need to prevent them from developing nuclear weapons... the attempt to improve its military preparedness in Syria, training Shi’ite militias [or] actions improving Hezbollah missiles.”

“In a short time we will see ourselves fighting a much more challenging threat on the operative and military levels if we don’t change direction,” he warned.
As for the ongoing protests in Iran, Katz said that Israel is not involved in Iranian internal matters.
Iranian protester tells Israeli TV: The regime has to fall
In an interview with an Israeli television station on Sunday, an Iranian anti-regime protester said that the brutally suppressed protests of 2009 have shown the Iranian people that the only way in which they can gain the rights they deserve is if the ayatollahs’ regime falls.

The protester, who was shown with his features blurred and used the pseudonym Muhsan, told Channel 10 TV that the Iranian people were “taking to the streets spontaneously in most cities in Iran” and have concluded that they must “get to the root” of Iran’s problems — “the regime and the leadership.”

Iranian authorities have alleged that the US, UK and Israel have been fomenting unrest in the country. Muhsan, evidently undeterred, said he wished the viewers in Israel “a good life wherever they are.”

Speaking as anti-regime protests continued for a fourth day, amid unconfirmed reports of further fatalities and much of the internet closed down as the leadership seeks to contain the demonstrations, Muhsan said the protests had initially erupted because of public anger at financial abuse. He said some of the country’s banks had stolen public money, and then declared bankruptcy, “and the worst thing is that the regime silenced protests over this.”
Muhsan, an anti-regime protester in Tehran, speaks to Israels Channel 10 news on December 31, 2017 (Channel 10 screenshot)

Exacerbating public anger, he said, was that the 2018 budget recently passed by parliament “will raise the cost of living by a great deal.” The people, he said, “can’t take it any more.”


Ted Cruz Calls Out CNN's 'Iranian Pravda'
Fox News contributor and writer Stephen Miller has harangued CNN’s coverage, or lack thereof, regarding Iran's anti-government protests throughout the weekend. One tweet caught the attention of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), leading the staunch conservative statesman to compare CNN to the parody site The Onion as well as calling their stories “Iranian Pravda.”

Miller’s tweet highlights the fact that CNN’s lead story earlier this morning, after little to no coverage at all, focused on Iranian protests…but not the anti-government demonstrations. CNN’s lead story reported on the relatively minor gatherings on Saturday supporting the theocratic state and commemorating the anniversary of the end of prior anti-government protests in 2009.

This led Sen. Cruz to give some pointed advice for the alleged "fake-news propaganda” outlet.


"Iranian Pravada" is in reference to the “newspaper” of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, titled “Pravda.” In reality it was not a newspaper at all, but a propaganda machine used to bolster the USSR’s communist leaders and shield its people from the truth. Cruz’s jab at CNN was preceded by a retweet of Mark Levin lambasting western media for not covering these protests.
DISGUSTING: Feminist Groups SILENT As Women Protest Real Oppression In Iran
American feminist groups are gearing up for a repeat of last year's "Women's March," but as their sisters take to the streets to protest a truly oppressive, fundamentalist government, seeking true equal rights, American feminist organizations are — disgustingly — silent.

The symbol of the Iranian freedom protests, this time around, is even a woman who threw off her veil in front of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and stood defiantly as freedom fighters massed around her.

That's not a white flag. That's her torn off headscarf.

True feminists should be rallying to these women's cause; after all, the fight for global equality isn't about cheaper tampons or correct pronouns or poorly knitted pussy hats. It's about making sure the world is safe for women to truly be equal to men, and the Islamic fundamentalist country of Iran has, for decades, kept women as second class citizens, dictating what they can wear, whom they can communicate with, and what they can do with their lives.

But while women in Iran are fighting for their freedom, the leaders of the women's rights movement in America have . . . other priorities.
Likud top body votes to annex parts of the West Bank
The Likud Central Committee, the party’s top decision-making body, unanimously passed a resolution Sunday urging the faction’s leaders to formally annex parts of the West Bank and allow unlimited construction in the settlements.

The vote by Likud Central Committee is not binding on its Knesset lawmakers, but does carry political force as MKs need the support of the 3,000-member body to succeed in the party’s primaries.

The resolution reads: “Fifty years after the liberation of Judea and Samaria, and with them Jerusalem, our eternal capital, the Likud Central Committee calls on Likud’s elected leaders to work to allow unhindered construction and to extend Israeli law and sovereignty in all the areas of liberated settlement in Judea and Samaria.”

A number of party heavyweights have released statements or online videos expressing support for the vote, which took place at the Avenue Conference Center, near Ben Gurion Airport. They included Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz.
Abbas says Likud bid to annex parts of West Bank has US blessing
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday condemned a Likud Central Committee vote a day earlier calling for parts of the West Bank to be annexed and implied Washington was involved in it.

The resolution “could not be taken without the full support of the US administration, who have refused to condemn Israeli colonial settlements as well as the systematic attacks and crimes of the Israeli occupation against the people of Palestine,” he said, according to the PA’s official Wafa news agency.

“We hope that this vote serves as a reminder for the international community that the Israeli government, with the full support of the US administration, is not interested in a just and lasting peace,” Abbas added. “Rather, its main goal is the consolidation of an apartheid regime in all of historic Palestine.”

Earlier Monday, a spokesman for the PA said the resolution passed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party showed derision for United Nations and other international decisions.
Ramallah shoe store demands Brits and Americans apologize before entering
It's not the prices at a shoe shop in Ramallah that will keep tourists out — it's the demand for an official apology before entering.

A sign recently posted outside the shop, shared on Twitter by COGAT, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, said any British or American citizens who wish to enter must apologize first.

"To all British and American citizens," the sign reads. "Before entering, you should offer your apologies and hold responsibility for the Balfour's [sic] Declaration and Trump's dirty decision which has caused all the pain and suffering for the Palestinians since its declaration till this very moment." The sign ended with the oddly friendly: "You are most welcome."


It has been almost a month since US President Donald Trump gave an official speech recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and pledging to move the US Embassy there. And it has been just over 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, the British government's statement of support for establishing a Jewish state.

COGAT called the sign "disgraceful" and lamented it being posted "during the busiest month of tourism." (h/t Yenta Press)
Military court indicts soldier-slapping teen Ahed Tamimi, her mother
A military court on Monday indicted 16-year-old Palestinian Ahed Tamimi and her mother, Nariman, both of whom were filmed slapping and shoving IDF soldiers last month in their West Bank village of Nebi Saleh.

The mother and daughter were both charged with aggravated assault of soldiers in the December 15 incident.

The indictment against the teenager cited a total of 12 counts, which took into account five other squabbles with IDF soldiers that she was alleged to have taken part in over the past two years.

While the Military Advocate General requested that both Ahed and Nariman be remanded until the end of proceedings against them, the Judea Military Court judge ruled that the pair be remanded only for an additional eight days to provide the Tamimis’ attorney enough time to prepare a defense.

Among the charges against Ahed were aggravated assault of a soldier, threatening a soldier, preventing soldiers from carrying out their duties, incitement, disturbing the public peace and stone throwing.
Shin Bet breaks up alleged Hamas cell planning West Bank attacks
Israeli security forces broke up an alleged Hamas terrorist cell planning to carry out attacks in the West Bank, arresting five of its members in November, the Shin Bet security service revealed Monday.

The cell was led by Alaa Salim, a resident of the Palestinian West Bank town of Jaba, north of Jerusalem, but it received its directions from Abdallah Arar, a known Hamas terrorist living in the Gaza Strip, the Shin Bet said.

Arar, who was convicted for his involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Israeli man Sasson Nuriel in 2005, was released to the Gaza Strip from an Israeli prison six year later as part of a contentious prisoner exchange to secure the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who was being held hostage by Hamas.

The service warned that the Gaza-based terrorist group was increasingly trying to carry out attacks in the West Bank and Israel.

“Recently, there’s been a marked increase in motivation by the Hamas high command in the Gaza Strip to encourage terror attacks by their operatives in the West Bank,” a Shin Bet official said in a statement.
'Steps to prevent illegal migrants from entering Israel 100% effective'
Not one migrant entered Israel illegally in 2017, according to figures from the Border Crossings, Population and Immigration Administration. The figures mark a turning point in the fight against illegal immigration in the country.

According to the administration's figures, 4,012 illegal residents – 3,332 of them citizens of African countries – voluntarily left Israel in 2017.

Over the past year, 1,682 asylum requests were submitted by Eritrean nationals, 868 were submitted by Sudanese nationals, 7,170 were submitted by Ukrainian nationals and 1,350 were submitted by Georgian nationals.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Sunday agreed to begin the process of shutting down the Holot detention center in southern Israel.

The move will leave illegal migrants in Israel with only two options: voluntary departure or indefinite detention in a prison elsewhere. To start the process, the immigration administration will issue an announcement to the migrant population in Israel to inform them of the option of leaving the country voluntarily.

The cabinet will convene a special meeting on the matter Wednesday and ministers will bring their decision before the government for approval.
Following recall, PLO Ambassador to U.S. to return to Washington
The Palestine Liberation Organization’s envoy to the US, Husam Zomlot, will return to Washington next week, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said, after PA President Mahmoud Abbas recalled the top Palestinian diplomat in the American capital.

On Sunday night, official PA media reported that Maliki recalled Zomlot for consultations, without elaborating, but subsequently deleted the report from its websites.

Later on Sunday, the official PA news agency Wafa issued a new report that said Abbas ordered Zomlot to come to Ramallah to consult about “what happened at the UN General Assembly and future steps that will be taken.”
On December 21, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution that rejected US President Donald Trump’s changes to American policy on Jerusalem.

In early December, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and initiated a process to relocate the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to the holy city, breaking with decades of American policy. Nonetheless, the US president said the final status of Jerusalem would be up to Israel and the Palestinians to decide.

Zomlot posted on his Facebook page that he met with Abbas “for hours” and received orders to return to “the battlefield in Washington.”
Palestinian Authority’s Abbas Arranging to Meet With Hamas Terror Leader Haniyeh
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas is arranging to meet with Ismail Haniyeh, the top leader of the Gaza-ruling terror group Hamas, a senior official from Abbas’s Fatah party stated last Friday.

“We are actually working on arranging [a meeting],” Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad told the Lebanon-based and Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen media network, without confirming when and where the meeting would occur.

Abbas last met with the top Palestinian terror leader in Qatar in October 2016. Reports of the potential meeting between Abbas and Haniyeh come after Hamas and Fatah agreed in November to delay the full implementation of a Palestinian unity deal that would see control of Gaza transferred to the PA.

The power transfer was originally scheduled to be implemented Dec. 1, but was delayed in order to allow the rival factions time to “complete arrangements,” according to Palestinian officials.
Pakistan Government Reportedly Mulling ‘Crackdown’ on Alleged Mastermind of November 2008 Mumbai Terror Attacks
Alleged Mumbai terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed is showered with flower petals outside a court in Lahore. Photo: Reuters / Mohsin Raza.

Pakistan is reportedly planning to seize charities and other financial assets controlled by the terrorist leader accused of masterminding the November 2008 terrorist attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai, whose targets included Nariman House, the local Chabad center.

The Pakistani government detailed its plans to crack down on Hafiz Saeed — the leader of the Islamist Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) organization — in a secret order to various provincial and federal government departments on Dec. 19, three officials who attended one of several high-level meeting discussing the crackdown told Reuters news agency on Monday.

Marked “secret,” a Dec. 19 document from the Finance Ministry directed law enforcement and governments in Pakistan’s five provinces to submit an action plan by Dec. 28 for a “takeover” of Saeed’s two charities, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and the Falah-e-Insaniat (FIF) Foundation.

The United States has labeled JuD and FIF “terrorist fronts” for the LeT, a group Saeed founded in 1987.

Saeed was released from house arrest last November after a court in the city of Lahore rejected the Pakistani government’s arguments that he was a threat to public safety. Dozens of cheering supporters greeted Saeed as he exited the court. Saeed has repeatedly denied involvement in the Mumbai atrocities.
Trump blasts Pakistan for aiding terrorists while taking billions in US aid
President Trump opened 2018 with a social media salvo against Pakistan, accusing the Muslim-majority nation of harboring terrorists while expressing frustration that the United States has “foolishly” sent billions in aid to the country.

“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” Trump tweeted Monday morning. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”


The New York Times reported last week that the Trump administration is considering withholding $255 million in aid to Pakistan to demonstrate its dissatisfaction with how they confront terrorism in their country.

For years, the United States has had frustrations with Pakistan, a country that has been rocked by terrorist attacks and whose ISI intelligence agency is viewed suspiciously. It was in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad where Usama bin Laden hid until killed by United States Navy SEALS in 2011. Meanwhile, the country is still holding Dr. Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA pinpoint Bin Laden ahead of the raid.

In response to Trump’s tweet, Khawaja M. Asif, Pakistan’s foreign minister, vowed to “let the world” know the “difference between facts and fiction.”



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