Tuesday, March 05, 2019

From Ian:

Abbas’s legacy
Abbas’s response was again quick to come. If Israel dares to implement the law, he will refuse to accept any of the remaining taxes.

Without these funds, the PA will no longer be able to provide essential services to the innocent Palestinian population or pay the tens of thousands of its law-abiding civil servants.

As if positively choosing to deprive the law-abiding Palestinians of hundreds of millions of shekels a year while instead squandering it to pay financial rewards to terrorists was not enough, Abbas is now positively choosing to inflict financial ruin on all the Palestinians. The PA has announced that public employees and employees in the private sector will have to take pay cuts in order for the PA to continue paying terrorist murderers in full.

In the absence of any other clear legacy, Abbas will certainly be remembered as the PA chairman who paid the most in financial rewards to terrorists, at the expense of and to the detriment of the millions of law-abiding and productive Palestinians.

The writer is head of legal strategies for Palestinian Media Watch, and a retired lieutenant-colonel who served for 19 years in the IDF Military Advocate General Corps, most recently as director of Military Prosecution in Judea and Samaria.
Hamas's Systematic Use of Civilians to Promote Terrorism
Since seizing power in a 2007 violent coup, Hamas has developed a range of cynical ways to exploit civilians in the Gaza Strip to build up its military wing and promote lethal terrorist activities.

Within Gaza, around its borders, and away from it, Hamas's military wing sends out tentacles disguised in civilian camouflage.

These tactics including importing equipment for its military build-up program, embedding rocket launchers in civilian neighborhoods, using human shields to protect its armed operatives, digging attack tunnels into Israel, and exploiting civilian infrastructure needs for terrorist purposes. Hamas regularly exploits humanitarian efforts, designed to save Gazan lives, in order to enable terrorist atrocities designed to kill Israelis.

Exploiting humanitarian traffic

Hamas frequently tries to exploit Israel's practice of allowing humanitarian crossings in from Gaza to send cash and explosive materials to its West Bank terror cells.

For example, when the Palestinian Authority stopped medical equipment supplies to Gaza, as part of its pressure tactics against Hamas last May, and reduced the number of medical referrals for Gazans that allow them treatment in West Bank hospitals, Israel increased the number of permits allowing Gazans to visit Israeli hospitals.

Israel did this despite having multiple intelligence warnings of Hamas intentions to take advantage of the measure.

A 65-year-old Gazan woman, received a permit last April to receive cancer treatment in an Israeli hospital. The woman was stopped at the Erez border crossing with enough explosives to blow up four buses.
What media ignored: 15-year-old killed at Gaza border was active military member of terror groups
On February 23rd, 2019, a 15 year-old Palestinian, Yusef al-Daya, was shot in the chest at a weekly event called the March of Return. The event is held every Friday at the Gaza border. Al-Daya was rushed to a local hospital where he was resuscitated but a short time later, succumbed to his wound.

Prominent media outlets such as Reuters stated; “Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian teen.” The article makes no mention of important facts about al-Daya and what he was doing at the security fence.

This is a common framing of the “protests” at the security fence, which portray the participants as civilians and highlight people under 18 (“children”) killed. The death received considerable media attention, and came not long before the UN Human Rights Council issued a report condemning Israeli killings of “civilians” at the Gaza security fence.

Al-Daya wasn’t just a civilian protesting, he was a member of the Palestinian Mujahideen Movement who have a military wing called Mujahideen Brigades.
"The Palestinian Mujahideen Movement mourns its knight: The knight of the Mujahideen / Yusuf Sayeed al-Daya, who was martyred during his participation in the March of Return and Breaking the Seige east of #Gaza." #Israel pic.twitter.com/tRGtLYnZgK
— Joe Truzman (@Jtruzmah) February 22, 2019

Caroline Glick: Time to walk away from Afghanistan
While curtailing U.S. support for Pakistan, the Trump administration has been working steadily to solidify a strategic alliance with India. Most significantly, last September, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis met with their Indian counterparts in New Delhi and signed an agreement that increased the interoperability of the U.S. and Indian armed forces, paving the way for Indian purchase of U.S. military technology that had been out of bounds until then.

That brings us to Afghanistan. The current U.S. policy is to leave after finalizing an agreement with the Taliban and other stakeholders through ongoing talks in Geneva. The talks are reportedly leading to an outcome that will see the Pakistan controlled-Taliban return to power in Afghanistan supported by Turkey on the one hand, and Iran on the other. This outcome, which may be inevitable in light of the balance of forces on the ground, is not one that redounds to the U.S.’s benefit.

Given that the outcome of the talks will not be a good one for America, the U.S. has no interest in being a party to such an agreement. The U.S. would be better off not signing any deal and walking away, rather than acquiescing to a settlement that isn’t in its interest. By walking away with no agreement, the U.S. would reserve its right to attack enemy targets, as it deems necessary, in the future.

Pakistan’s policy of using terrorism and nuclear brinksmanship to force India to accept its belligerence, like its policy of sponsoring the Taliban and other groups attacking U.S. forces in Afghanistan even while serving as the logistical base for U.S. operations, shows that it is well nigh time for the U.S. to follow through on Trump’s campaign policy of walking away from Afghanistan.

Just as there is nothing to be gained by taking a neutral stance between India and Pakistan, so there is no point in permitting Pakistan to play the U.S. for a fool in Afghanistan.

There are downsides to walking away from Afghanistan and Pakistan, but they are far smaller than the price the U.S. pays by funding the wars Pakistan wages against it.



The UK Admits That Hezbollah Is Nothing But Terrorism; Europe Must Follow
If there is one lesson the world should have learned from Hezbollah’s 34 years of existence, it is this: Hezbollah has no distinct military and political wings.

Now, that false wall has begun to crumble.

On February 25, the British government announced its decision to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in its entirety, a commendable — if not long overdue — move. Being a member of, or inviting support for, Hezbollah is now a criminal offense in the UK, carrying a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

But not everyone sang the praises of the new law.

First, there was Jeremy Corbyn, Hezbollah’s propagandist-in-chief in the UK, whose office implied that the proscription was driven by political motives. The theocratic regime in Iran called the move “irresponsible.” And French President Emmanuel Macron declared, “France and no other power has the right to decide what Lebanese political parties are good and which are not.”

That’s a problem. Because unless the rest of Europe comes to its senses, Hezbollah will continue to spread its financial and ideological tentacles there, with devastating implications for both Europe’s security and the stability of the Middle East.

A full ban of Hezbollah by the European Union would deal a major blow to the organization. And don’t just take my word for it. Take the words of Hezbollah’s secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah.

A ban “would dry up the sources of finance,” Nasrallah said several years ago, “end moral, political and material support, stifle voices, whether they are the voices of the resistance or the voices which support the resistance, pressure states which protect the resistance in one way and another, and pressure the Lebanese state, Iran and Iraq, but especially the Lebanese state, in order to classify it as a state which supports terrorism.”
The West’s Blind Approach to Hezbollah
No, it was not some Israeli or American hawk, eager to crush Iran's chief proxy force in Lebanon. On the contrary, Ammar Moussawi, the head of Hezbollah's international relations, uttered those words in 2013, when the European Union blacklisted the group's "military wing" as a terrorist organization, excluding its "political" activities as part of a separate, benign entity. Six years later, the EU still separates Hezbollah's so-called political arm from its militancy, drawing an arbitrary line between the two that does not exist. Apparently leaders in Brussels think they understand Hezbollah better than Hezbollah itself. They are not alone.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's administration also seems to see the mythical line neatly dividing Hezbollah's military and political wings. After the United Kingdom banned Hezbollah in its entirety last week, Berlin refused to follow suit. American sources familiar with Germany's thinking told the Jerusalem Post that Berlin does not ban the Shi'ite Islamist group's political arm because it is "linked to Israel-Palestinian peace talks." The same sources also told the newspaper last year that Germany considers the Trump administration too pro-Israel. Yet a spokesman for the German Interior Ministry said Monday that "the entire Hezbollah is against the idea of international understanding in the sense of the Basic Law, because it fights the right of existence of the state of Israel with terrorist means." The spokesman added, "Such an objective is anti-Semitic in nature."

So the German government is hesitant to ban all of Hezbollah because of its role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also acknowledges that the group seeks Israel's destruction. If those ideas sound contradictory, that is because they are. Perhaps Merkel can explain how an entity dedicated to destroying the Jewish state can play a beneficial role in the peace process.
Netanyahu Thanks May for Country’s Designation of Hezbollah as a Terrorist Entity
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday for the United Kingdom officially designating Hezbollah as a terrorist group, announced the former’s office.

The Israeli leader also expressed gratitude for the United Kingdom’s “strong stand against antisemitism,” in addition to applauding a free-trade pact made between the two nations, according to Netanyahu’s office.

The UK officially blacklisted Hezbollah last week as a terrorist organization.

“Hezbollah is continuing in its attempts to destabilize the fragile situation in the Middle East, and we are no longer able to distinguish between their already banned military wing and the political party,” said UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid. “Because of this, I have taken the decision to proscribe the group in its entirety.”

Two weeks ago, Israeli Minister of Economy Eli Cohen and United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox signed a free-trade accord between the two countries ahead of the upcoming United Kingdom split from the European Union.
Former commander of British Army SLAMS Labour over opposition to Hezbollah ban
Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of the British Army in Afghanistan, has rebuked Labour over its opposition to the Government’s decision to ban Hezbollah, which he describes as the most dangerous organisation in the world.

Tweeting ahead of a statement from Labour, Kemp said, “Corbyn’s Labour Party may oppose full U.K. ban on the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world: Hizballah. Not surprising — they are Corbyn’s friends. This is why he must never be PM & Abbott must never be Home Secretary. Unfit for office.”

The criticism of the Labour leadership by the former Army commander came as the party challenged yesterday’s decision of the Home Office to ban the terrorist group Hezbollah. Shockingly, the statement released Tuesday afternoon called on Sajid Javid to prove the validity of the ban and accused the Home Secretary of banning the group because of “leadership ambitions”.

It was announced this week that Hezbollah was to be added to the list of proscribed terrorist organisations in the United Kingdom, with Home Secretary Sajid Javid releasing a statement on Monday and set to officially announce it in parliament today.

A terrorist group being banned is a good thing in the eyes of most British people. However, the Labour leadership could not let it go without raising a challenge to the decision.
Saudis laud British Hezbollah ban as ‘constructive’
Saudi Arabia on Tuesday welcomed Britain’s decision to outlaw the political wing of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, describing it as an “important and constructive” step.

Britain announced on February 25 it would seek to make membership of the Shiite movement or inviting support for it a crime, blacklisting the group as a terror organization.

The decision followed outrage over the display of the Hezbollah flag, which features a Kalashnikov assault rifle, at pro-Palestinian demonstrations in London.

“Categorizing the (Hezbollah) militia, which is backed by Iran, as a terrorist organization is an important and constructive step in combating terrorism around the world,” said a foreign ministry source, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

“Britain’s decision is in line with the decision Saudi Arabia has taken towards the terrorist party, both politically and militarily.”
NGO Monitor: Letter to CUNYLaw Regarding its Joint UN Submission with Defense for Children International - Palestine (DCI-P)
DCI-P’s Ties to the PFLP

NGO Monitor has identified numerous DCI-P board members, officials, and employees who are members of the PFLP – and some of whom have been convicted of terror offences such as planning and carrying out attacks targeting Israeli civilians.

This includes Hashem Abu-Maria, the coordinator of DCI-P’s community mobilization unit until he was killed in clashes with the Israeli military in July 2014. Upon his death, he was hailed by the PFLP as a “leader,” and a “comrade”; the terror group issued an official mourning announcement, noting that “he was in the ranks of the national liberation struggle and the PFLP from an early age.” DCI-P dedicated its 2014 annual report to Abu-Maria, and DCI-P officials spoke publicly at PFLP gatherings in his honor.

Other members of DCI-P have also spoken on behalf of the PFLP in various public forums. (See attached report with further details about PFLP links.)

In June 2018, in light of the PFLP links, Citibank and Arab Bank closed accounts belonging to DCI-P. Global Giving, a US-based crowdfunding resource, also removed DCI-P from its website.2

Political Propaganda in Violation of Professional Standards
The content of the Clinic’s sloppy and typo-laden submission is also highly disturbing and reflects the partnership with a PFLP-linked NGO. It is replete with egregiously false statements, gross distortions of the law and the facts, and the whitewashing of terror groups including Hamas. This publication is propaganda and not in accordance with professional standards for legal education or conduct required by the New York State Bar.




Corbyn calls on UK to freeze arms sales to Israel after UN Gaza report
UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn renewed his call for a British arms embargo against Israel after a United Nations Human Rights Council commission of inquiry said that IDF has likely committed war crimes on the Gaza border.

“The UK government must unequivocally condemn the killings and freeze arms sales to Israel,” Corbyn tweeted on Friday. Last year, the Labour Party approved a motion that called for an arms ban to Israel.

The 22-page report investigated the death of 189 Palestinians by the IDF during the Hamas-led weekly Great March of Return protests which have taken place along the Gaza border since March 30.

The UNHRC report was authored by a three-person commission of inquiry, which plans to submit a full report prior to a March 18 debate on the matter at the UNHRC’s 40th session in Geneva.

The report focused primarily on Israeli and not Hamas violence, and concluded that the protests were peaceful. It warned that the International Criminal Court could prosecute Israeli leaders and soldiers.

Last year, the UNHRC passed a resolution which called on all UN member states to halt the sale of any arms to Israel that could be used to violate international human rights law.
Jimmy Carter: Israeli-Palestinian peace impossible with Netanyahu at helm
Former US president Jimmy Carter said he doesn’t think Israeli-Palestinian peace is possible as long as Benjamin Netanyahu is prime minister, since Netanyahu isn’t interested in peace.

The 94-year-old, who is currently on a trip to Israel marking 40 years since the signing of the Israel-Egypt peace accord he brokered, said he’s “not sure” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wants an agreement either.

The comments were made in an interview with Israeli journalist Tali Lipkin Shahak, which will be screened next week at a conference at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Excerpts from it were aired Monday on Channel 12.

“I don’t see any way to make peace with Netanyahu as prime minister, I don’t think he wants peace. And I’m not sure that Abu Mazen does either right now,” Carter said, referring to Abbas by his popular nickname.

Taking an apparent jab at US President Donald Trump, he added: “And you don’t have a trusted mediator who can bridge the gap and secure the step-by-step small concessions that are necessary for accommodation.”
Publication of UNHRC blacklist on West Bank settlements delayed
The United Nations has delayed yet again the publication of its much-anticipated blacklist of companies doing business with Israel over the pre-1967 lines.

The UN Human Rights Council has initially instructed the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2016 to compile and complete the list within the next year.

The United States has pressured the UNHRC not to publish the list. Initially the UNHRC delayed the project with an eye to swaying the United States not to leave the council.

Once the US left the council, it was presumed that the publication of the list would be forthcoming with former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al-Hussein promising and failing to complete it before he left office in August 2018.

His replacement, Michelle Bachelet took over the task of compiling the report and her office said it would be published prior to the start of the UNHRC’s 40th session on February 25.

On Monday, Bachelet pledged to complete but said it would not be finished during the 40th session which ends on March 22.
Muslim activist guilty of assaulting pro-Israel activist in Australia
A Muslim activist in Australia named Sam Ekermawi who has filed numerous racial vilification and discrimination complaints against prominent Australians was found guilty on Friday of assaulting pro-Israel activist Avi Yemini during a scuffle outside a courthouse in Sydney in June 2018.

In the incident, Ekermawi, a Palestinian immigrant to Australia, was attending a hearing involving a complaint he filed with the Australian Human Rights Commission, which investigates alleged infringements of anti-discrimination legislation, against TV news presented Sonia Kruger.

In a 2016 on-air discussion, Kruger backed a ban on Muslim immigrants to Australia and said that there was a correlation between the number of Muslim immigrants in a given country and the number of terror attacks it suffers.

Ekermawi, 75, sued Kruger under anti-discrimination legislation. The case against Kruger was dismissed in February this year, since Australian law bans discrimination on a racial basis only, and the court determined that while Kruger had vilified the Muslim community as a whole, Muslims do not constitute a racial group.

Following a court hearing in June 2018, Yemini confronted Ekermawi while recording the incident on a cell phone to protest his frequent legal complaints and what he and fellow activists describe as an assault on freedom of speech in Australia.
Blue and White: 'Israel will never withdraw from the Golan'
Senior Blue and White party officials, among them party co-chairs Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, as well as Gabi Ashkenazi and Moshe Ya'alon, embarked on a tour of the Golan Heights, Monday.

Speaking in the Golan, Gantz said, "We are now encountering here a terror network, an Iranian front that is sitting on the border with the State of Israel. We know how to handle any threat, in any one of the arenas, for as long as necessary. We will build a responsible and assertive cabinet. We will be unforgiving of any form of aggression against the State of Israel in any of the arenas."

Lapid said they were there "to remind the entire world that we will never return the Golan Heights [to Syria]. Israel has sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and will always have sovereignty over the Golan Heights. We expect the European Union and the U.N. to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights."

Ya'alon said the Israel-Syria border before them was more than just a border between countries, but a "border between civilizations: the green, blooming, flourishing and thriving on our side opposite the black, the burned, the bloody on the Syrian side. This is the border of hope against evil," he said.

Ashkenazi had a message for all of Israel's enemies inside Syria and the region, saying, "In the face of any existential threat to the State of Israel, we will act and we will not contain: action – not containment."
A synagogue on the Temple Mount? Activists say let the Jews move in
A group of Israeli activists are calling on the government to establish a synagogue on the Temple Mount and open it for Jewish prayer.

According to Asaf Fried, a spokesman for an association of organizations dedicated to Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, more than 50 leaders from across the religious spectrum gathered on Sunday to discuss the situation on the Temple Mount, known as Har Habayit in Hebrew. Participants included Rabbi Yehudah Glick (Likud), Baruch Marzal (Otzma) and members of the Rabbinate.

Jews believe the site – venerated as holy in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam alike – is where the Beit Hamikdash used to sit.

Riots have continuously erupted on the Temple Mount since last month, when thousands of Palestinians stormed the Golden Gate, which had been closed by a court order since 2003. Jerusalem police arrested two senior Wakf officials – east Jerusalem Wakf chairman Sheikh Abdel Azim Salhab and deputy director of the Wakf Sheikh Najeh Bkeirat – banning them from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for 40 days.

In response, the Muslims took over and converted a 1,500-year-old structure located near the Golden Gate (known as Sha’ar Harachamim to Jews) into a mosque. Currently, the Muslims have four other mosques on the mount, said Fried. Jews, on the other hand, “if you try to pray, you will be arrested.”

The activists argue that by opening the Golden Gate and establishing a new mosque, the Muslims have broken the status quo agreement. Israel has made attempt to shutter the gate, but the Muslims have refused, threatening increased violence.

“If the status quo is broken anyway, then Israel needs to break it, too,” said Fried, arguing that Jews should be able to pray on the Temple Mount. “We need a place to pray and we want that structure near Sha’ar Harachamim.”
2 Israeli Families Attacked After Entering New Home in Old City of Jerusalem
Two Israeli families were attacked on Tuesday shortly after entering a house on Tuesday that was purchased from an Arab on Ma’alot Ha-Prachim Street in the Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The home is located near the Herod’s Gate entrance to the Old City. Shortly after the families moved in, dozens of Arabs surrounded the house and attempted to break in hurling rocks at the home and rioting. Israeli police forces arrested several Arab rioters.

Palestinian Authority sources claimed the house was sold to the Israelis by land dealer Issam Aqel, a Jerusalem resident who was kidnapped in October by the Palestinian Authority Security Service, and subsequently arrested and charged with selling land to Jews — a capital crime in the Palestinian Authority.

Land sales by Arabs to Israelis are considered treason by the PA because they supposedly threaten the founding of a future state.
Algeria releases blogger jailed for interview with Israel
Algeria’s government released on Monday blogger Marzoug Touati, who had launched a hunger strike last July to protest his seven-year prison term he received after interviewing an Israeli Foreign Ministry official.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) wrote on its Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Twitter feed: “Today, blogger Marzoug Touati was freed after a criminal court sentenced him to two years in prison, which he already served, in addition to a three-year suspended sentence.”

CPJ MENA wrote that “Marzoug Touati was initially handed a 10 year prison sentence on charges of ‘intelligence with a foreign power’ after the blogger interviewed an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson. Today, he finally walks free.”

The release of the citizen journalist comes amid large protests against a fifth term of Algeria’s ailing 82-year-old president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who is currently in Switzerland receiving medical attention for his condition following his stroke in 2013.
Honest Reporting: So Why Can’t the Palestinians Vote?
After the Six-Day War, Israel offered to return the captured territory to the Arabs for an end of hostilities. In August, 1967, Arab leaders met in Khartoum to coordinate a response to Israel’s sweeping land-for-peace offer. It became known as The Three Nos: No peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, and no recognition of Israel.

It took years for those Nos to soften. The process that created the Palestinian electoral process also recognized the presence of Israeli security forces. Unfortunately, checkpoints are necessary to stop terrorists. Sadly, Palestinians have elected lawmakers associated with terror groups, which is why many are imprisoned. This phenomenon’s poster boy would be Hebron Mayor Tayseer Abu Sneineh, who in 1980 was convicted of murdering six Israelis and released in a 1983 prisoner swap.

As for restrictions on political activity in Jerusalem, that’s what Palestinians agreed to in the 1993 Oslo 2 agreement (see Article XVII (1a)).

Ignored is the Palestinian diaspora. Refugees living in UNRWA camps abroad face varying restrictions on employment, property ownership, as well as the right to participate in their host country’s elections. This is an issue for every refugee population, but the Palestinians are unique in terms of the extended stalemate over their status and how the UN defines and supports them.

Contrast the three million disenfranchised Palestinians living in Jordanian, Lebanese and Syrian refugee camps with naturalized Palestinians living in far-flung but vibrant communities including Chile, Honduras, Germany and the US. For example, in November, 2018, Rashida Tlaib made international headlines for becoming the first Palestinian-American woman to win a seat in the US Congress.

“Occupation” is a convenient word to lay blame on Israel’s doorstep. But the combination of Hamas-Fatah enmity, ineptitude and indifference is what really cripples Palestinian society.


Gaza's Kerem Shalom crossing closed after Monday’s violence- initial report
Israel closed Gaza’s main commercial and humanitarian crossing at Kerem Shalom on Tuesday morning to all goods – except for fuel – according to a local source and initial Arab media reports.

The IDF has yet to comment on the matter.

Closure of the crossing comes in the aftermath of Monday’s launch of two incendiary balloons from Gaza into Israel. The balloons exploded in the air and did not cause any damage. Israel struck two Hamas posts in Gaza in response.

Such a closure is often seen as an initial step toward an Israeli response to Gaza violence. There are only two other crossings into Gaza, a pedestrian one at Erez and an Egyptian one at Rafah. The Egyptian crossing is not set up to handle a massive influx of goods into the Hamas-led enclave of two million Palestinians.
Report: Putin Promises Netanyahu to Stop Delivery of S-300 to Syrian Regime
Russian President Vladimir Putin has informed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Moscow would stop the transfer of the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to the Syrian army, political sources said. During the meeting in Moscow last Wednesday, Putin also pledged to allow Israel to operate freely in Syria, the sources said. Russia has dispatched advanced S-300 air defense batteries to Syria, but they have yet to be deployed, according to intelligence assessments.

On Sunday, Maariv reported that the deal struck between the Russian and Israeli leaders means that the Syrian army would not control the S-300 air defense system, already installed in northern Syria, and would be banned from using it unilaterally against Israeli jets. However, Maariv's military analyst Tal Lev-Ram said that the "Russians would not exert pressure to force the pullout of Iranian forces from Syria."
ISIS bride's violent social media posts revealed in MEMRI report
MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, has released a detailed report on Hoda Muthana, the former Alabaman who was an ISIS bride three times in Syria, but now wants to return to the US.

For over four years, MEMRI tracked and recorded Muthana’s Twitter and Instagram posts, which often called for or praised terror.

Muthana left Alabama for Syria in late 2014, where she married Suhan Rahman, an Australian ISIS fighter who also went by Abu Jihad al-Australi.

Muthana, who became known as “Umm Jihad,” became an ardent advocate for ISIS, taking to Twitter to urge Americans to join the jihad, according to the MEMRI report. In January 2015, she tweeted “Allahumma barik [God bless] there are sooo many Aussies and Brits here but where are the Americans, wake up u cowards.”

Muhana joined ISIS’s all-female Al-Khansaa Brigade. The brigade often shared photos of themselves brandishing rifles and tweeted threats regularly.

After her husband died in a battle in 2015, Muthana eulogized him on Twitter with a picture of his body, saying “May Allah accept my husband, Abu Jihad al Australi. Promised Allah and fought in the front lines until he obtained shahadah [martrydom].”

Later in 2015, she tweeted “Kill kuffar [infidels] in alleyways, stab them and poison them. Poison your teachers. Go to haram [banned] restaurants and poison the food in large quantities,” reported MEMRI.


Iranian media: Code Pink defends Iran’s right to missiles, slams Israel
Fars news in Iran held a press conference Tuesday with the American activist group Code Pink in which members of the group reportedly defended Iran’s right to missile defense and claimed the US government was not allowed to critique Israel.

Code Pink has been in Iran since late February, according to a statement they put out on the Common Dreams website. Their 28-person “American peace delegation” had met with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on February 25. They held a press conference on February 28 slamming the Trump administration for leaving the Iran deal and claiming Israel and Saudi Arabia had carried out lobbying against the deal. “The Israelis got as a compensation more of our tax dollars,” Medea Benjamin, Code Pink co-founder, was quoted saying by Press TV.

Fars News held a press conference with the group termed “anti-war organization Code Pink in Iran,” at which several of the women activists held signs saying “peace with Iran.” The women covered their hair with pink head-scarves to follow Iran’s laws while the men on the delegation wore pink T-shirts. According to the report the activists told journalists that they believe their work will be effected “because the American people are tired of war and although the Trump administration claims that Iran is the source of all the challenges and conflicts in the Middle East, many Americans have come to believe that this claim is wrong.”
Iran: Three Torah scrolls stolen from synagogue
Three ancient Torah scrolls were stolen from a Tehran, Iran, synagogue last Thursday, shocking the Jewish community.

Each of the scrolls was several hundred years old.

The Torah scrolls were stolen from the city's Ezra Abrishami synagogue late Thursday night.

The complex where the synagogue is located also contains a kosher restaurant, men's and women's ritual baths, schools for elementary and teenage boys, and a lab for checking whether a garment contains sha'atnez - a forbidden mixture of wool and linen.

Between 15,000 and 25,000 Jews live in Iran, with most of them located in Tehran, Isfahan, and Shiraz.

It is not yet clear whether the theft was criminal or anti-Semitic in nature.




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