Monday, December 03, 2018

From Ian:

Why the Palestinians Are Right to be Worried by Israel’s Outreach to Muslim Countries
You might not remember the debate about whether the road to Middle East peace ran through Jerusalem or Baghdad. In the early 1990s, U.S. Secretary of State James Baker believed that peace between Israel and Palestine was the key to solving the main problems of the Middle East. During the second Bush administration, a reverse suggestion was made — and debated: that solving the problem of Baghad would hasten a peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Time proved both theories wrong, or at least premature. Peace was not achieved, and the Middle East still has problems. Very few people still believe in a so-called “linkage.”

Of course, peace with the Palestinians has merit, but avoiding the linkage between achieving that goal and pursuing other Middle East advances removes some of the pressures on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. The Palestinians cannot hold all other Middle East advances hostage until their issue is resolved. The world no longer lives under the illusion that Israel-Palestine peace is the first priority (more important than, say, Iranian nuclear advances). Israel is no longer blamed — at least not by serious people — for causing trouble in other areas in the region.

With that linkage basically put aside, Israel is now aiming for the jugular of the second linkage: whether it can be legitimized in the Arab Muslim world when its conflict with the Palestinians is still an open wound.

Egypt was the first country to erode this linkage when it signed a peace agreement with Israel (with provisions aimed at advancing a solution for the Palestinians). Jordan likewise signed a peace agreement with Israel in the early 1990s, when Israel and the Palestinians seemed for a while as if they were moving toward resolution.

The situation today is much changed. It is clear that Israelis and Palestinians are not moving toward peace. It is also clear that when Arab Muslim countries get closer to Israel that they are not doing it because of the Palestinian issue but rather in spite of it. They are doing it because they have other priorities — concerns about Iran; economic or technological needs Israel can satisfy; or political needs that can be addressed through Israel’s ties in Washington.
Why Iran Funds Palestinian Terrorists
The message that Iran is sending to Palestinian families is: "If you want money and a good life, send your children to die on the border with Israel." This is a message that is likely to reverberate far and wide among Arabs, well beyond the Palestinians.

The declared goal of the Iranian-sponsored World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought is to forge unity between Muslims. For the Iranians and their proxies, Islamic unity is a prerequisite to advancing the ultimate goal of removing the "cancerous tumor" (Israel) from the face of the earth. Iran has been doing its utmost to achieve this goal.

Were it not for Iranian support, the Lebanese Shiite terrorist organization, Hezbollah, would not be aiming tens of thousands of rockets and missiles at Israel. Were it not for Iranian military and financial backing, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups would not have been able to fire more than 500 projectiles at Israel in 24 hours, as they did last month.

To set the record straight: Iran cares nothing for the Palestinians; Iran seeks to obliterate Israel, and if it could, obliterate the US, as its expansion into South America suggests.

It seems that some mullahs in Iran cannot wait for Khamenei's prediction of Israel's destruction in 2040. The Iranian money promised to the families is meant to encourage other all Arabs and Muslims to send their children to launch rocket attacks on Israel and throw stones and firebombs at Israeli soldiers.



JPost Editorial: The U.N.’s delusion
Former US ambassador to the United Nations and staunch Israel defender Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

For decades, the UN has repeatedly shown that it thinks it can set its own facts about Israel, history be damned.

Moynihan is known for, among other things, giving a speech against the UN’s 1975 decision that “Zionism is racism,” a distortion that he called an “infamous act” by which “the abomination of antisemitism has been given the appearance of international sanction.”

On Friday, 43 years later, UN member countries authorized six anti-Israel resolutions in the General Assembly, including writing the Jewish people out of Jerusalem’s history, showing all these years later that the institution has not changed.

A resolution approved by 148 countries, and opposed by 11 that are committed to the historic truth, denied Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. That and another, which was approved 156-8, spoke of al-Haram al-Sharif without mentioning that Jews and Christians call it the Temple Mount and that it is Judaism’s holiest site.

After the UN declared Zionism to be racism, Moynihan said in his speech: “As it is a lie which the United Nations has now declared to be a truth, the actual truth must be restated.”
US envoy: UN cannot vote away Jerusalem's status as capital
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman lambasted the United Nations on Monday over its anti-Israel bias, using the occasion of Hanukkah to highlight Israel's legitimate claim to Jerusalem.

Friedman, the first U.S. envoy to serve in the recently opened embassy in Jerusalem, tweeted: "More than 2,000 years ago, Jewish patriots (Maccabees) captured Jerusalem, purified the Holy Temple and rededicated it as a house of Jewish worship. The U.N. can't vote away the facts: Jerusalem is the ancient and modern capital of Israel. Happy Hanukkah from this blessed city!"

Friedman, who is Jewish, is among U.S. President Donald Trump's close associates and is considered very pro-Israel. He served as Trump's adviser on Israeli-related matters during his presidential campaign.

In December 2017, Trump upended decades of U.S. policy by officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Several months later, he inaugurated a new embassy in the city.

These decisions triggered condemnation from Arab states and other countries, and the U.N. General Assembly passed a nonbinding resolution condemning Trump's stance on Jerusalem. The U.S. reacted angrily to this, with Trump vowing to "take names" of those who voted against the U.S.


EU warns Palestinians to drop Muslim-only language for Temple Mount
In an unusual move, the European Union has publicly warned the Palestinians that they must drop their United Nations bid to reference the Temple Mount solely by its Muslim name of al-Haram al-Sharif.

It spoke out about the issue on Friday at the UN General Assembly, which approved six anti-Israel resolutions, including two that ignored Jewish ties to the most holy site in Judaism, the Temple Mount.

Its 28 member states voted in favor of those two resolutions, but warned that this was the last year it would do so.

“The EU stresses the need for language on the holy sites of Jerusalem to reflect the importance and historical significance of the holy sites for the three monotheistic religions, and to respect religious and cultural sensitivities,” it said in a statement that was read out on the floor of the UN.

“The future choice of language may affect the EU’s collective support for the resolutions,” it added.

Traditionally the EU has been harshly critical of Israeli activity over the pre-1967 lines and its policies on that score have created tensions with Israel.
Vice President Pence: We Will Stand with Israel to Confront Those Who Seek War
Vice President Mike Pence told the Israeli-American Council on Friday:

"71 years ago this week, the United States joined with 32 other nations to declare to the modern world an ancient truth - that the Jewish people have a natural, irrevocable right to an independent state of their own in their ancestral and eternal homeland of Israel."

"If the world knows nothing else, let the world know this: America stands with Israel....We stand with Israel because her cause is our cause, her values are our values, and her fight is our fight. We stand with Israel because we believe in right over wrong. We believe in good over evil, liberty over tyranny. And we stand with Israel because support for the Jewish state is not a partisan issue; it is an American issue."

"As we've seen in recent weeks, the terrorist threat still festers at Israel's borders. Hamas has sent a stream of rockets into Israel, including more than 300 rockets and mortars in a single six-hour span earlier this month. These attacks against Israel must end, and they must end now."

"But we recognize terrorists across the region, from Hamas to Hizbullah, are really, truth be told, nothing more than proxies of a vile regime. They're the pawns of Iran and its ayatollahs, who in recent years have devoted more than $16 billion to spreading violence, sowing chaos and bloodshed across the Middle East and the wider world."

"As we continue to hope and work toward peace, we will continue to stand without apology with Israel and all our allies and partners across the world to confront those who seek war."

"What happened that day...at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh... was not just criminal, it was evil. The 11 members of the Jewish community who perished were victims of one of the oldest hatreds known in the human race....There is no place in America for anti-Semitism and violence, and we will confront and condemn it 'everywhere it rears its ugly head.'"
Netanyahu heads to Brussels to discuss Iran, Hezbollah with Pompeo
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left for Brussels Monday for a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he said would focus on joint efforts to curb Iranian aggression in the region.

The meeting, reportedly described as urgent, comes days after Pompeo said Tehran was testing missiles that could carry multiple warheads to Europe and as Israeli defense officials indicated Iran was continuing to illegally send arms into Lebanon for the Hezbollah terror group, raising concerns in Jerusalem.

“I will discuss with Mike Pompeo a series of developments in our region as well as the measures we are taking together to curb the aggression of Iran and its proxies in the north,” Netanyahu said in a video statement prior to taking off for Brussels, where the meeting will be held at 8 p.m. Israel time.

He said other issues would be discussed as well, without expanding.

Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office told the pro-Netanyahu Israel Hayom daily that the sit-down was “urgent.”

The prime minister will be joined by Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, National Security Adviser Meir Ben Shabbat and military secretary Col. Avi Blot.

The meeting had been scheduled last week and set for Wednesday, but was moved up to Monday because Pompeo will be flying back from Europe early in order to attend the funeral for former US president George H.W. Bush.
The US is Israel's ally, not its sponsor
Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump surprised quite a few people when he said that with Arab oil no longer a significant factor, the United States has no reason to remain in the Middle East, but U.S. forces would remain in the region out of a commitment to Israel. This statement comes a week after he said he would support Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite the prince's involvement in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, in order to "ensure Israel's interests" in the region.

Indeed, Israel has a true friend in the White House who is deeply committed to its security.

But although this was certainly not the president's intention, these statements should be a warning sign for Jerusalem.

Ever since the U.S. became Israel's closest ally in the mid-1960s, Israel has made every effort to make it clear to the world that it would not ask American soldiers to fight its battles. This principle was also acceptable to U.S. administrations, Republican and Democrat alike, which were willing to provide Israel with financial aid and with the best of U.S. weapons and technology so that the Jewish state would maintain its qualitative edge over its enemies.

President Harry Truman was the first to recognize Israel when the state was established in 1948, despite serious opposition from the State Department and the Defense Department. Then-Defense Secretary James Forrestal feared the U.S. would be forced to send in troops to save the Jews, just as it did in World War II. He also claimed that Israel's establishment would destroy U.S.-Arab ties.

Over time, Israel proved it had the ability to defend itself and, beyond that, was a regional ally and genuine strategic asset for the United States. And as history has shown, U.S.-Israel ties did not harm the U.S. relationship with the Arab states.
Pelosi emphasizes pro-Israel cred of leaders she plans to name in House
Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat who likely will be speaker of the new US House of Representatives, listed pro-Israel lawmakers she plans to name to key committee positions and said her party remained fundamentally pro-Israel.

“We have people very well placed to share our values,” Pelosi, a California Democrat, said in addressing the final event Sunday of the annual Israeli-American Council conference, after listing planned assignments.

Pelosi said she would name Rep. Nita Lowey, D-New York, to chair the Appropriations Committee; Eliot Engel, D-New York, to chair the Foreign Affairs Committee; Ted Deutch, D-Florida, to chair the Middle East subcommittee; Adam Schiff, D-California, to chair the Intelligence Committee; Alcee Hastings, D-Florida, to chair the human rights-monitoring Helsinki Committee; Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, to a key Appropriations Committee position; and Lois Frankel, D-Florida, to a key Foreign Affairs Committee position.

All have longstanding pro-Israel records and all but Hastings are Jewish.

Pelosi, appearing together with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, the minority leader in the Senate, were pushing back against the perception that Democrats have drifted away from Israel. Interviewing them was Haim Saban, the Israeli-American entertainment mogul who with casino magnate Sheldon Adelson are major backers of the IAC. Saban is also a major backer of Democratic politicians, and Adelson is seen as a Republican king-maker.
Support for U.S.-Israel alliance is losing support among the young, Schumer says
Enthusiasm for U.S. support for Israel is dying out among young Americans and the two countries must gin up a high-powered educational campaign to restore it, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer told a crowd of Israel supporters Sunday.

“We need a campaign aimed particularly at the young, using the media they care about and the language they use,” Schumer said, to convince them that “Israel’s very existence is still precarious.”

Schumer, a New York Democrat, made his remarks during a joint appearance with U.S. House speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi at the annual national conference of the Israeli-American Council in Hollywood.

Pelosi and Schumer were the highlight Sunday as the conference at the Diplomat Beach Resort, attended by more than 3,000 Israel supporters, wrapped up its four-day run. Vice President Mike Pence and Florida governor-elect Ron DeSantis addressed the conference on Friday.

Both Pelosi and Schumer agreed these are worrisome times for the U.S.-Israeli alliance, threatened by what they described as a rise in anti-Semitism combining with a general lack of awareness of how the relationship between the two countries benefits America.

Schumer described Israel as “a mighty aircraft carrier” in service of U.S. interests in the Middle East. “Israel does the job so American soldiers and sailors don’t have to be there,” he said. “Israel does more to help against terrorism than any other place.”

Added Pelosi: “It is in our national security interest” to support Israel. “It’s about security. It’s about values.”
Klein: Kirsten Gillibrand Continues Her Move Away from Israel Support
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, widely expected to mount a 2020 presidential bid, continues to maintain her distance from the bipartisan “Israel Anti-Boycott Act,” which opposes the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel.

Gillibrand has refused to back the bill, which is co-sponsored by fellow Democrat Sen. Cory Booker and would impose monetary penalties on those working in an “official commercial capacity” who support any international government’s efforts to boycott Israel.

Gillibrand was an original co-sponsor of the pro-Israel legislation, but she stunningly withdrew her support after meeting with the heavily George Soros-funded American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on the matter. Also, her initial sponsorship for the anti-BDS bill was questioned at town halls by such radical anti-Israel groups as Jewish Voice for Peace and the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, both of which support the BDS movement.

The New York politician claimed she withdrew her support over charges that the legislation had some civil liberties issues. This even though free speech champions within her own party support the bill and reject the notion that the legislation impedes civil liberties.
Protecting Children in Conflicts: The UN and What You Can Do
Using children in armed conflicts is, sadly, a worldwide reality. It’s not only child abuse, but also a war crime. What does the UN do about it? And what can you do to help?




PM rejects corruption allegations, decries police 'witch hunt'
‎Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday lambasted the ‎Israel Police for recommending an indictment against him on corruption ‎charges, saying the recommendations lack any legal ‎basis and are part of a "witch hunt" against him and his ‎family. ‎

Earlier, the police said there was sufficient evidence to pursue ‎criminal charges against the prime minister and his wife, Sara, for ‎alleged bribery, fraud, breach of trust, and fraudulently receiving ‎benefits in Case 4,000 – a corruption case involving Israel's telecom ‎giant Bezeq and the Walla news website, which Bezeq owns.‎

The police allege that Bezeq's former controlling shareholder, Shaul ‎Elovitch, ensured positive coverage by Walla for Netanyahu, in ‎exchange for the prime minister promoting government regulation ‎worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the company.‎

Journalists at the Walla news site have attested to being ‎instructed ‎to refrain from negative reporting on Netanyahu and his family.‎

The police recommendation also included charges against Elovitch and ‎his wife and son.‎

Shortly after the police recommendation was announced Sunday, Netanyahu said it "came as ‎no ‎surprise to anyone."

He slammed the "obvious timing" of the announcement, which coincided with Police ‎Commissioner Roni Alsheikh's last day in office.
Netanyahu uses Hannukah video to joke about corruption charges
Prime Minister Netanyahu appeared to laugh off police recommendations that he be indicted in a series of corruption investigations in a video released Sunday for the start of the Hanukkah holiday.

In the Hebrew-language clip, Netanyahu approaches a man complaining about life in Israel, as he waits in line at a bakery to buy doughnuts traditionally eaten for Hanukkah, who asks the premier if they being filmed for a live stream.

“No, no we’re in the same boat,” Netanyahu reassures the man. “I call them all the time, ask to order take-out and they don’t believe [me] and think I’m joking with them. They called the police on me.”

“Case 5000,” the man says jokingly in response, referring to the so-called cases 1000, 2000 and 4000 in which Netanyahu has been implicated.

“Leave it. Who is even counting,” Netanyahu says dismissively.
Bereaved Families, Minorities and Wounded IDF Vets tell New Israel Fund CEO: “Stop Harming Us”
A new series of videos addressed to the CEO of the New Israel Fund, Daniel Sokatch, call on him to stop funding organizations that delegitimize Israel and the IDF in the upcoming year.

The videos include personal testimonies from bereaved parents, Druze and Muslim minorities, a wounded IDF veteran and a resident of the Gaza periphery, each stating how the New Israel Fund has “harmed” them.
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“The New Israel Fund harms me as well,” states Israeli-Arab Issam Ottman, whose son Youssef was murdered in a terrorist attack in September 2017.

“The NIF funds millions of dollars to ‘Machsom Watch,’ which according to testimonies of soldiers at the scene, a ‘Machsom Watch’ activist caused a disturbance at the checkpoint where the attack occurred and shouted “You’re a disgrace” at one of the soldiers, moments before the attack.”


Battle-weary Israeli towns near Gaza border to get $188M boost
The government on Sunday approved a special auxiliary budget ‎of 700 million shekels ($188 million) to bolster social resilience in ‎Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip border.‎

The bill, sponsored by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calls for the allocation of the funds over the course of 2019-2020. It follows meetings between Netanyahu and mayors ‎of the border communities, which have been ‎suffering from Palestinian arson terrorism and sporadic rocket fire for months.

"We will ‎present the government with a plan to strengthen the civilian ‎resilience in the Gaza-vicinity communities. This decision ‎follows meetings I held with the heads of the local authorities there, ‎and the finance and interior ministers,"‎ Netanyahu said ahead of Sunday's cabinet meeting.

"We decided to continue the aid program ‎that was introduced to the area over the past few years and we will ‎invest another NIS 700 million in programs promoting the residents' ‎welfare. They stand firm and we support them.‎

‎"The resilience displayed by the residents of the Gaza-vicinity ‎communities is an important component of Israel's national ‎resilience. This resilience helps me and my colleagues in the ‎government and the cabinet to make the right decisions in the right ‎way and at the right time."
Court rules against Gaza doctor who sued over shelling that killed 3 daughters
An Israeli court on Monday ruled against a Gazan doctor who filed a compensation suit against the state over the death of three of his daughters by IDF shelling during 2009’s Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip.

The Beersheba District Court said in its decision that it was terror groups that bore responsibility for the girls’ deaths by fighting from within a civilian population and storing weapons in the building where they died.

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish’s daughters and a niece were killed when two tank shells struck his Gaza home in the waning days of Israel’s 2008-9 war with Hamas. The Israeli shelling on January 16, 2009, occurred as Abuelaish, a longtime advocate for coexistence with Israel, was speaking with then-Channel 10 reporter Shlomi Eldar on a live broadcast via telephone.

He found out his daughters had been killed during the broadcast, with Israeli viewers listening as he cried out into his phone.

For Israelis, the deaths of Bessan, 21, Mayar, 15, and Aya, 14, along with their cousin Noor, put a face to Palestinian suffering during Operation Cast Lead.

Justice Shlomo Friedlander said in his ruling that IDF shells hit the building in the midst of a battle in the area because figures on the roof the building were suspected of acting as lookouts for terror groups and directing fire at IDF forces. In addition, he said, there was evidence that secondary explosions were apparently cause by weapons stored at the site, albeit without Abuelaish’s knowledge.
Hamas: Israeli forces in raid posed as medical workers to get into Gaza
Hamas officials have told a British news outlet that Israeli special forces troops posed as medical workers for a non-governmental organization during a raid inside the Gaza Strip last month that went awry.

On the night of November 11, the Israeli unit was exposed inside the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis following a search at a Hamas checkpoint, resulting in a firefight in which an Israeli lieutenant colonel was killed, along with seven Palestinian gunmen.

After the special forces operation and subsequent gun battle, Hamas and the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group launched the largest-ever bombardment against Israel from the Gaza Strip, lobbing some 500 rockets and mortar shells mostly at Israeli communities surrounding the coastal enclave — pushing Israel and terror groups to the brink of war.

Most details of the operation remain under a strict gag order by the military censor, and all articles about it must be approved, including this one.

According to a report Monday in the Independent newspaper, the Israeli troops used “detailed but fake” identity cards with the names and personal information of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas court sentences 6 to death for ‘collaborating’ with Israel
A Hamas-run military court has sentenced five Palestinians and an Israeli resident to death for “collaborating” with Israel, the Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry announced on Monday in a memo on its official website.

Five were sentenced to death by hanging and one by firing squad, the ministry said. The Israeli resident, identified by her first name, Amal, was sentenced in absentia, it added.

One of the five Palestinians sentenced to death, identified by his first name, Ali, was first connected to the Israel intelligence services in 2000 and had since provided it with information on operatives in Gaza, their residences and their means of transportation, the ministry claimed.

Ali, 48, provided Israel with information on the area where Mazen Fuqha, a senior Hamas official who was mysteriously assassinated in Gaza in March 2017, lived, it said.

The court also sentenced eight Palestinians to various degrees of hard labor for “collaborating” with Israel, according to the ministry.

The memo did not say when the Hamas authorities in Gaza plan to carry out the execution sentences.

Hamas authorities have held public executions in the past of those it accuses of collaborating with Israel.
Palestinian Workers Look To Israel For Help Against PA’s Unpopular Social Security Law
Opponents of the law charge that it was unfairly passed by presidential fiat in an unstable, ‘occupied’ context

Palestinians that work in Israel gathered at the Qalandia military checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah to call upon the Histadrut – Israel’s labor federation – not to send their benefits to the Palestinian Authority (PA) following the latter’s newly unveiled Social Security Law.

The law, passed by presidential decree, established the Palestinian Social Security Corporation, an entity that administers social security benefits on behalf of Palestinians in the West Bank. Ever since it came into effect early last month, opponents of the law have held angry protests in different cities demanding its cancellation.

Many argue the law was unfairly passed outside the proper legislative process in an unstable, Israeli “occupied” environment.

“We don’t need or trust their so-called Social Security Fund, while we [Palestinians] are under occupation,” Hussien al-Qassem, a 42-year-old Palestinian laborer who participated in the protests, told The Media Line.

Al-Qassem added that he prefers his money to remain in Israel, rather than be transferred to the PA. “I have been working in Israel for the past 25 years and I demand that the Histadrut not transfer any of my allowances to them. It is time for the labor federation to prove that it works within the law to protect the rights of its workers.
Second installment of Qatari funds to enter Gaza this week
The second installment of $15 million in Qatar funds is expected to be delivered to 30,000 Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip this week. Post office branches across the strip are preparing to distribute the money on Tuesday, according to credible sources.

The money is supposed to enter the strip through the Erez border crossing, with Israel's approval. Qatari officials headed by the Qatari Ambassador to Gaza Mohammed Al-Emadi in Gaza will supervise the money distribution.

Alongside Gaza's civil servants, the Qatari funding will also go to families of Palestinians killed or wounded during clashes with the IDF on the Gaza border since March.

Last month, amid Egyptian mediation aimed at reaching a long-term agreement between Israel and Hamas, three large leather suitcases containing $15 million in cash entered the coastal enclave, after arriving in a Qatari executive jet. It seems the cash infusion will take a similar route this time as well.

This time, however, both Israel and Hamas have decided to keep the money transfer low key in the wake of the public criticism that was sparked by the first transfer. An Israeli official went as far as saying that photographing the money suitcases would not be allowed.
U.S. Introduces UN Resolution to Condemn Hamas
Leslie Ordeman, Deputy Political Coordinator at U.S. Mission to the UN, told the UN General Assembly on Friday, "The United States continues to oppose the annual submission of a disproportionate number of unfair resolutions biased against Israel. As in the past, this one-sided approach damages the prospects for peace by undermining trust between the parties and failing to create the kind of positive international environment that is critical to achieving peace."

"Again, we see resolutions that are quick to condemn all manner of Israeli actions, but say almost nothing about Palestinian terrorist attacks against innocent civilians. This is particularly acute now, when the rocket attacks on November 12 saw more projectiles fired on a single day than on any day since 2014. That is also why, for the first time, we are introducing a stand-alone resolution to condemn Hamas and other militant groups for their indiscriminate attacks on civilians and primary role in the worsening humanitarian and economic situation in Gaza, and actions to restrict free expression and silence political dissent." (U.S. Mission to the UN)
JCPA: Palestinian Authority and Hamas Join Forces against U.S. at UN
Although reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah in Cairo have failed, and in spite of continuing sanctions imposed by Mahmoud Abbas on the Gaza Strip, and notwithstanding the vast differences of opinion between the two organizations over the past 10 years, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have joined forces to torpedo a U.S. draft resolution [text below] on which the UN General Assembly is expected to vote on Thursday, December 6, 2018.

The draft resolution was drawn up and led by U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who is soon leaving her position at the United Nations. It includes a demand to condemn the firing of rockets into Israel and incitement to violence by Hamas.

The United Nations is being called upon to denounce Hamas’ usage of civilian resources for military purposes.

Ambassador Haley and Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon are making intense efforts among the ambassadors of other UN member states to pass the resolution denouncing Hamas. The idea is to obtain extensive international condemnation of Hamas’ terror activities, which would put both Hamas and the PLO under pressure.

Riyad Mansour, the PLO’s permanent observer to the United Nations, is working very hard to torpedo the U.S. draft resolution, claiming that it “is intended to cause harm to the entire Palestinian people.”

At the end of November 2018, Hussein al-Sheikh, a member of the Fatah Central Council, called upon UN member states to reject the U.S. draft resolution condemning Hamas, and he expressed his opposition to the wording of the resolution.


Zarif to Hamas: We'll protect you in the UN
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke Monday with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh about the United States' efforts to submit a resolution condemning the terror organization at the UN.

Zarif added that Iran would do everything in its power to prevent the resolution from going up to a vote.
Takeover Complete: Iran’s Control Of Lebanon Demands Reevaluation Of West’s Support For Beirut
Analysts argue that the West, in general, needs to acknowledge that Hizbullah is the all-encompassing dominant force in the country

While relatively well known that Iran has for decades projected power in Lebanon through its Hizbullah proxy, analysts contend that recent events reinforce the West’s blindness to the degree to which the mullahs have systematically and comprehensively taken over the country’s political, military and economic apparatuses.

News surfaced last week of a direct flight from Tehran to Beirut allegedly hauling advanced weaponry destined for Hizbullah; this, a month after Iran reportedly shipped GPS components to its underling that can be used to transform rudimentary projectiles into accurate missiles. Notably, the latest plane landed, and thus presumably unloaded its cargo, at Rafik Hariri International Airport, named after the nation’s former prime minister who was murdered by Hizbullah operatives and whose son now serves in the same capacity. The brazenness of the move suggests that Lebanese officials are either complicit in Iran’s militarization efforts or fully lack the ability to thwart its ambitions.

This comes on the backdrop of numerous warnings by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that Hizbullah—at the direction of its Iranians masters—is constructing subterranean factories to produce precision-guided rockets with ranges that cover the entirety of the Jewish state. On Thursday, Brian Hook, United States Special Representative for Iran, confirmed that Washington also has “evidence that Iran is helping Hizbullah build missile production facilities,” adding that this “is a problem that is not getting better” but, rather, worse.
U.S. Confirms: Iran Successfully Fired Nuclear Capable Missiles
Senior U.S. officials confirmed early Monday that Iran has successfully test-fired multiple nuclear-capable missiles in violation of United Nations restrictions on such activity, drawing a fierce reaction from the Trump administration, which will pressure European leaders this week to take immediate action aimed at countering Iran's latest military moves.

Refuting Iranian claims that its illicit missile tests are defensive in nature, Trump administration Iran envoy Brian Hook vowed tough reprisals for Iran's most recent missile tests, which are among the most provocative in recent memory.

"Iran has launched missiles that are capable of carrying multiple warheads, including a nuclear weapon," Hook confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon while talking to reporters aboard Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's airplane en route to Brussels for NATO meetings.

The Iranian ballistic missile test comes on the heels of new evidence unearthed by the United States tying Tehran to the proliferation of advanced weaponry and missiles across the Middle East, including in Yemen, where Iranian-backed rebels continue to attack a Saudi coalition seeking to stem the violence.

The Trump administration's response to these latest tests stands apart from that of its predecessor, the Obama administration, which intentionally left Iran's ballistic missile technology off the table when inking the landmark nuclear pact.

"The Iranian government claims that its missile testing is completely defensive in nature. How exactly is the world's leading sponsor of terrorism entitled to the claim of defense?" Hook asked. "In fact, Iran's security concerns are entirely self generated. Was the plot to bomb Paris defensive? Was the assassination attempt in Denmark defensive? Is smuggling missiles to the Houthis in Yemen to attack Saudi Arabia and the Emirates defensive? Is harboring al Qaeda defensive?"






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Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

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