Tuesday, April 02, 2019

From Ian:

UN-Funded Social Studies Textbook Says ‘Zionist Occupation Started in 1856’
A 2017 United Nations-funded school textbook for Arab students offers a revisionist history of Israel as part of its goal to incite violence against Israelis.

“Since the Zionist movement established in 1856 its first settlement, known as ‘Montefioriyyah’ [Mishkenot Sha’ananim, built by Sir Moses Montefiore before the emergence of modern Zionism], south-west of the Jerusalem city wall, the series of division [actions] in Palestine has not stopped,” according to social studies book for ninth-graders funded by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, which was established by the UN General Assembly in 1949 to assist Arabs who became refugees during Israel’s War of Independence the previous year.

“It [i.e., the Zionist movement] established settlements that included training centers and arms depots. After the ‘Catastrophe’ [Nakba in Arabic] of 1948 it ruled over more than 78 % of Palestine’s territory,” continues the text. “More than 850 thousand Palestinians were made to emigrate and they and their families lived in refugee camps in Palestine and in the Diaspora. Nothing of it [Palestine] was left, except the Gaza Strip and the West Bank that were occupied [later] in 1967.”

Palestine has never been a state.
Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh leaves Germany after court rejects her deportation appeal
An appeals court in Berlin has ordered the deportation of the convicted Palestinian terrorist, Rasmea Odeh. The Higher Regional Court was responding to an appeal filed by Odeh’s lawyer, challenging the earlier deportation order issued by Berlin State’s Home Affairs Department, or Innensenat, ordering her to leave the country.

That deportation was promptly carried out. Odeh is out of Germany.

Odeh, feted by anti-Israel activists across the world, is the mastermind of the 1969 Jerusalem supermarket bombing that killed two Hebrew University students, Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner. She was convicted of the bombing and served a 10-year sentence, only to be released in a prisoner exchange for a captured Israeli soldier in Lebanon. She later moved to the U.S. where she applied for citizenship, concealing her terrorist past.

German authorities ordered the deportation, claiming Odeh had not disclosed her public engagements while applying for a visa at the German embassy in Jordan, where she currently resides. Odeh’s lawyers denied their client hid the real purpose of her visit. On Friday, the appeals courts accepted the version presented by the German embassy and reinstated the prior deportation order.

On Monday, the newspaper Berliner Morgenpost confirmed Odeh’s departure from Germany. “The ex-terrorist Rasmea Odeh has left Berlin. The Jordanian national voluntarily left the country, [Berlin’s] Department of Internal affairs declared,” the newspaper reported. “The police oversaw her departure from Germany.”

Odeh, member of the terror outfit Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), has a history of making false claims on visa applications. In 2017, a Michigan court stripped Odeh of her U.S. citizenship for lying on her visa and naturalization forms. She was allowed to leave the country without a prison term as part of a plea bargain.

Jim Hanson: Blood money and the corruption of American foreign policy
Foreign influence in the United States is a major problem, but it might surprise you to find out just who some of the biggest players are. You would certainly think of Russia given the massive coverage of their attempts to influence the 2016 US election. But one name you probably haven’t heard is Qatar, a small country in the Middle East which wields an outsized influence through a large and well-funded operation.

The characterization of Russia as a puppet master in US politics is, of course, utterly ludicrous to anyone familiar enough with the poorly funded, amateurish, and ham-fisted operations of Russia and her allies to influence US opinion in the 2016 cycle. This is not to say that foreign influence can’t be effective or that foreign nations and their lobbyists are not corrupting the policy-making process – they clearly are. A compelling case regarding this malicious influence is made in a new documentary called Blood Money, previewed at last month’s CPAC conference and set for release this week.

To illustrate the phenomenon of Washington, as a “playground for foreign interests,” the documentary tells the story of the Qatar lobby, and how they have effectively changed the conversation with regard to Middle East policy in establishment circles during the current administration. Under the Obama administration, the US threw its weight behind the Arab Spring movement on the theory that our support for democratization would lead to both greater stability and more pro-American outcomes. It was a bad bet. The overthrow of authoritarian regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya simply empowered radical forces like the Muslim Brotherhood, at once undermining stability in the region and leading to an increase in support for terror activities worldwide.

U.S. Eyes New Front to Combat Iran in Golan Heights
The Trump administration's recent recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the contested Golan Heights territory is part of a larger effort by the White House to open new fronts in efforts to combat Iranian militants and terror proxies in the region, according to U.S. officials familiar with the decision.

President Donald Trump won plaudits from the pro-Israel community and allies on Capitol Hill when he announced that America would officially recognize the Golan territory on Israel's northern border as belonging to the Jewish state, which annexed the area following war with Syria several decades ago.

U.S. officials last week faced down critics of this decision at the United Nations, a forum unfriendly to the Jewish state, telling member countries that the Trump administration will take every step necessary to protect Israel's right to self defense against Iranian militants and Hezbollah fighters who have used the Golan area to launch terrorist attacks on Israel.

Behind the scenes, U.S. officials acknowledge that the decision to formally recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights is due in no small part to Iran's efforts to station militant fighters and terror proxy groups such as Hezbollah on the Jewish state's borders. In Syria, for instance, Iran has operated with impunity and made the most of the country's unrest by sending scores of highly trained militants.

"This decision is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and the stability of the Middle East," one White House official familiar with the recent decision told the Washington Free Beacon. "To allow the Golan Heights to be controlled by the likes of the Syrian and Iranian regimes would turn a blind eye to the threats emanating from a Syrian regime that engages in atrocities and from Iran and terrorist actors, including Hezbollah, seeking to use the Golan Heights as a launching ground for attacks on Israel."
To Improve Its Middle East Policy, the U.S. Must Look Beyond States
While the Middle East remains as messy as ever, writes Samuel Tadros, Washington cannot afford to ignore its problems even though it cannot solve them. It can, however, improve its approach to the region:

It is natural to see states as the building blocks of the [Middle East] and, indeed, of the international system. But that assumption puts the U.S. in a weakened strategic position as it approaches the region. While the United States looks at the map and sees states and borders, both the peoples of the region and U.S. adversaries see a map composed of overlapping communities with national aspirations or attempts at survival.

This is hardly new. The reality is that the state system in the region has always been weak and has nearly collapsed in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. The inherent weakness of the Middle Eastern state is the result of its failure to find an answer to the [challenges] of modernity and offer sustainable governance to its people. This internal collapse has in turn led to the breakdown of the regional order, an order the United States has long sought to maintain. . . .

In lieu of a grand strategy, more modest goals are appropriate: short-term steps to protect U.S. interests and counter adversaries; a limited goal of protecting order where it exists and where a local buy-in is present; and circumscribed efforts of partnership with local actors in areas where order has collapsed that have a chance of producing results.
The Duplicitous Double Standard of the United Nations and the Golan Heights
There are 194 nations in the world. Out of those, precisely 193 acquired their territory through the use of military force. That’s how borders have traditionally been drawn. Most of these campaigns were offensive. I have asked many military experts, historians, and scholars about this, and they have, to a person, told me that there is only one nation in the world that gained territory through the use of force that has been sued, time and time again, to relinquish that territory. You guessed it: The State of Israel.

What is so profoundly outrageous about this is that Israel acquired lands in defensive wars. It’s not as though Israel is a colonial state that set out to acquire land to enrich itself and its people. Israel acquired the Golan Heights in an act of self-defense after being attacked from all sides as part of the June 1967 Six Day War and managed to successfully retain this land in the 1973 war.

Syria is a failed state. We have seen how the eight-year-old brutal Syrian civil war led by the President Bashar Assad has left at least a half a million of his own people dead and 5.6 million refugees, along with 6.8 million internally displaced persons.

According to a recent article in Commentary by the legal scholar Vivian Bercovici, “Since World War II, the accepted understanding of international law that involves territorial loss during conflict is quite straightforward: The attacking nation may not retain permanently land acquired as a result of armed conflict.”

Rivlin in Canada: Gazan people not our enemy; we have no war with Islam
President Reuven Rivlin told the world that Gaza is not Israel’s enemy, after he laid a wreath at the Holocaust memorial in Ottawa on Tuesday during his diplomatic visit to Canada.

“The people of Gaza are not our enemy. We have no war with Islam,” Rivlin said. Nonetheless, the president stressed that “Israel will do whatever needed to protect the security of its citizens.”

“For years, our citizens in the South have lived with missiles from Gaza. Sleeping in bomb shelters, night after night for years, is a reality that is hard to grasp. Just last week a rocket fired from Gaza hit a house in the center of Israel and wounded seven people, including a six-month old baby. These rockets are fired by Hamas, a ruthless and cruel terrorist organization.”

The president also thanked Canada for its support for Israel and strong stance against BDS as well as antisemitism.

“I want to thank you not only for your friendship, but for your moral leadership. The mark of a true leader is his willingness to take a clear moral stand. Your moral stance against antisemitism in all its forms, the strong support for Israel in the UN, the annual UNGA resolution on the human rights situation in Iran are just some examples of your moral leadership,” Rivlin said.
Netanyahu announces Putin visit just after phone call on Syria
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday in the aftermath of a phone conversation between the two leader on military coordination in Syria.

Putin had spoken with Netanyahu on Monday at Israel’s request.

"We talked about the situation in Syria and the continued coordination between the IDF and the Russian Army. You know how important this relationship is for Israel,” Netanyahu said.

Both the Prime Minister’s Office and the Kremlin confirmed Tuesday that that a brief working meeting would now be held between the two leaders, just five days before the April 9 Israelis elections.

As part of his election campaign, Netanyahu has hammered home his diplomatic successes including his strong ties with both Russia and the United States.

Last month, Netanyahu met with US President Donald Trump in the White House. At the end of February he also visited Putin in Moscow. This week he is hosting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Jerusalem.

Election campaigning aside, however, Israel and Russia have joint interests in regional issues, such as Syria, particularly given the Russian military’s involvement in the country and Israel’s continued aerial strikes against military targets.
Is a Fake Twitter Account Outed by NY Times Really Real?
In the New York Times and Israel's Yediot Ahronot, reporter Ronen Bergman relays charges that a network of fake accounts has been activated to support Benjamin Netanyahu's drive for reelection.

An Israeli watchdog group has found a network of hundreds of social media accounts, many of them fake, used to smear opponents of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in next week's election and to amplify the messages of his Likud party, according to a report to be released Monday.

But there's been some controversy about the claims Bergman makes, including because the single example of a fake account he names in the Times article has purportedly spoken out, and insists he is a real human tweeting his real thoughts under his real name

According to the Jerusalem Post's Lahav Harkov and Alon Einhorn,

The people behind other Twitter accounts named in the Yediot report outed themselves on Monday, saying that they are not bots or paid operatives.

“What is this nonsense? I’m not allowed to support the Right?” Moshe Mahlev of Rishon Lezion told 103FM. Mahlev, who used a photo of a Greek male model for his Twitter account, was used as an example of a pro-Netanyahu bot in the article. He said he had not been called by anyone from Yediot or the Times for a reaction.

“Everything there is real, except for the photo,” Mahlev added. “What do they think, real people don’t vote for Likud in this country?”
Netanyahu calls claim of a fake social media network a bad joke
The report of a network of fake social media accounts supporting the Likud are libels meant to help the Blue and White Party, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a press conference on Monday.

“I thought it was an April Fool’s joke, but it’s not,” Netanyahu said of the Yediot Aharonot-New York Times report. “They say I don’t have support from real people, just from robots. They can’t accept that you, citizens of Israel, support me.

“A million Likud voters are not bots,” Netanyahu added.

Acclaimed journalist Ronen Bergman reported on a network of hundreds of fake social media accounts advocating for Netanyahu, in an exposé in Yediot and the Times hours earlier, but most of the examples given in the story have since spoken up as real, live people.

Netanyahu presented a man named Yoram, who goes by Captain George on Twitter, and whose account was called fake in the report.

Waving, Yoram said: “I’m not a bot. I wasn’t paid... Whatever I write comes from the heart. I see the injustice done to our prime minister and I react... I am a father to three children, six grandchildren and a seventh on the way, and that’s it. I stand behind every word I tweet.”

Netanyahu said “Yoram says what he wants. No one is telling him what to do. It’s one big lie.”

The prime minister called the report “blood libels” in Blue and White leaders’ Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid’s “home newspaper.”
Yisrael Beytenu hopes to convince a million U.S. Jews to move to Israel
The government needs to push for more Jews to immigrate to Israel from the US and other Western countries, by funding Jewish education and Hebrew lessons in their communities, Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forrer said on Tuesday.

Forrer, number two on Yisrael Beytenu’s list and a former director-general of the Immigration Absorption Ministry, described his plan, which comes in conjunction with the party’s focus on aliyah, in light of its voter base of Israelis from the former Soviet Union.

“The Israeli government has to set a goal for there to be 10 million Jews in Israel in the next 10-15 years - and to reach it, we need massive aliyah from Western countries… We need to bring the number of olim up from 30,000 a year to 60,000-70,000, or even 100,000,” Forrer told The Jerusalem Post. “For once, we have to work to encourage aliyah from those countries, through Jewish education."

The key to his plan is to sponsor Jewish education abroad, with an emphasis on Hebrew lessons, because learning Hebrew would strengthen their connection to Israel.

In addition, Forrer said that those who learn Hebrew and Israel’s history would be less subject to manipulation by false information about Israel, and they would have an easier time acclimating once they immigrated to Israel.

Jpost Editorial: Bolsonaro’s visit
It is hard for Israelis to imagine the vastness of countries like Brazil, whose president Jair Bolsonaro arrived here for an official four-day visit on Sunday. The South American country spreads over some 8,514,877 sq.m. and has a population of approximately 210 million. Israel, with its almost nine million citizens, could fit into Brazil more than 400 times.

But it is not the country’s size alone that makes the visit of Brazil’s president important. As Bolsonaro said on his arrival: “Brazil is a giant and rich country; that is why our two countries are close – religiously, culturally and democratically.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the visit as “an amazing new start in Brazil-Israel relations” and noted that the two countries had signed a series of important agreements in the fields of defense, homeland security and cyber security, health, aviation, and science and technology – and were discussing more in fields including aquaculture and water management.

Marking the start of a new era, Netanyahu traveled to Brazil in January for Bolsonaro’s inauguration. This reciprocal visit is the Brazilian president’s first official trip outside of South America, a sign of the affection he undoubtedly feels, particularly as a religious Christian.

Bolsonaro is often compared to US President Donald Trump. There is no doubt that both hold similar conservative views and appeal to a fast growing sector of Evangelical voters. Bolsonaro’s Evangelical beliefs and support are noteworthy and a sign of the changes in what was once considered a Roman Catholic stronghold.
Joined by Netanyahu, Brazilian president makes trailblazing trip to Western Wall
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was joined by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Western Wall on Monday, becoming the first foreign head of state to visit the site together with a senior Israeli official.

His unprecedented step could be seen as a tacit recognition of Israeli sovereignty over that location in Jerusalem’s Old City, which the international community generally considers occupied Palestinian territory. The Western Wall, part of the retaining walls of the Second Temple, is the holiest place where Jews can pray.

After Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch read a chapter from the Book of Psalms, Netanyahu and Bolsonaro approached the wall, braving the rainy Jerusalem weather.

After the Brazilian president placed a note in one of the cracks, the two leaders leaned against the ancient stones for several seconds in quiet contemplation.
Brazilian President's Visit at Jerusalem's Western Wall

The Next Gaza War Has Been Postponed, but For How Long?
Given the recent rocket attacks on Israel and the fact that Hamas planned a larger-than-usual mass demonstration at the border fence for last Saturday, there has been ample reason to fear that another military confrontation, like that of 2014, could begin at any moment. The IDF had called up reserve units and prepared them to enter the Strip if necessary. But the protests were far less violent than the weekly riots of the past year, only a few rockets were fired, and Israeli snipers fastidiously held their fire. There has been quiet since. Alex Fishman explains what he refers to as the “Gaza timebomb”:

The Egyptians were able to find a convergence point between Israeli and Hamas interests at least for the next few days, perhaps even until after the April 9 elections. But the detonator is still attached and the charge is still hot. . . . Therefore, the entire army is still on alert in the south, in the north, and in the West Bank. [But] both sides have assumed a gradual process of normalization, which could even be extended—incrementally—to last for more than a year. . . .

In the first stage, Hamas commits itself to stopping the firebombs sent by balloon, the nightly harassment, and the flotillas. The demonstrations can continue, but all the [terrorist] organizations active in the Gaza Strip have promised the Egyptians that they will create a security cordon to prevent demonstrators from reaching the security fence—as was the case on Saturday. It turns out that of the tens of thousands who took part in the demonstrations [that day], almost 20 percent were “stewards” whose job was to prevent the masses from nearing the fence. . . .

As for the “mistaken” firing of long-range rockets into Israel, Hamas has promised the Egyptians—and has already launched—a comprehensive review of the firing locations and to correct all the “mishaps” and check the “procedures.” Failure to do so, the Egyptians declared, would mean settling accounts with [Cairo] after the next so-called mishap, and not with the Israelis.
Hamas: We received timeline for ceasefire with Israel
Hamas said on Tuesday that Israel gave them a timeline for the implementation of ceasefire understandings that were reached with Israel.

Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas “political bureau,” said that his movement received the timeline from the Egyptian intelligence officials who returned to the Gaza Strip after holding talks in Israel about the ceasefire understandings.

Speaking to reporters in Gaza City, Haniyeh said that the Egyptians relayed to Israel a number of Hamas demands concerning Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.

The demands, he said, include removing signal-jamming devices installed by the Israel Prison Service to stop inmates from using smuggled cellular phones. Hamas is also demanding that the Israel Prison Service cancel sanctions imposed on the Palestinian prisoners after the stabbing of two guards two weeks ago at Ketziot Prison in the Negev, Haniyeh added.

Haniyeh did not provide details about the understandings. Palestinian sources, however, said that the Egyptian-sponsored understandings include expanding the fishing zone, reopening border crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip, and the delivery of Qatari funds to the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.
Hamas denies reports of prisoner swap discussions with Israel
The Hamas terror group on Tuesday denied a Palestinian report that indirect talks with Israel include negotiations over a prisoner swap deal that would see Palestinian terror convicts released by Israel in exchange for two Israeli citizens and the bodies of two IDF soldiers believed to be held in the Gaza Strip.

Senior Hamas member Ismail Radwan told Gaza’s Dunya al-Watan news site that the talks also are not focusing on a long-term ceasefire deal, but rather on stabilizing the truce agreed to after Operation Protective Edge in 2014, as well as the conditions of Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails and the status of the Temple Mount compound, including the Al Aqsa Mosque, in Jerusalem.

“What is being discussed is understandings to reinforce the ceasefire in accordance with the 2014 agreement,” Radwan said.

According to the Hamas-linked al-Resala daily, leader Ismail Haniyeh said the group has conveyed to Israel — through Egyptian mediators — three demands regarding security prisoners in Israeli jails who have recently rioted and attacked guards and are threatening to start a hunger strike.
Hamas threatens families of captured Israelis: 'accept our terms'
The tweet featured pictures of family members of the four captured Israelis.

The post was released in the midst of ceasefire negotiations between Hamas and Israel after tensions rose in recent weeks when Hamas fired rockets into Israel and the IDF clashed with Palestinian protestors along the Gaza border.

Shaul and Goldin were captured and killed by Hamas during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Hamas is using their remains as bargaining chips.

Mengistu was captured by Hamas after crossing the Gaza border in September 2014 and is presumed to be alive. Hamas has not released any information about his location or well-being.
Israeli drone fires at Gazans launching balloon-borne arson devices — report
An Israeli drone fired twice at a group of Palestinians launching balloon-borne incendiary devices into southern Israel from east of Gaza City on Tuesday, according to Palestinian media.

No injuries were reported in the alleged strikes.

The Israeli military refused to comment on the reports.

Outlets in the Gaza Strip said the cell was targeted at approximately 3:30 p.m. as its members launched balloons carrying incendiary devices from east of the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City in an apparent effort to spark fires in southern Israel.

Less than an hour later, Palestinian media reported that an Israeli drone had fired at the group a second time.
MEMRI: Lebanese Anti-Hizbullah Daily: Iran Has Evacuated Bases, Weapons Depots, Near Damascus International Airport For Fear Of Israeli Attacks – And Will Operate Out Of Airport Near Syria-Lebanon Border
On March 23, 2019, the Lebanese anti-Hizbullah Al-Modon daily reported that during February 2019, Iran had evacuated its bases and weapons depots near the Damascus International Airport.[1]It explained that this move was based on understandings with Russia and was aimed at preventing further attacks by Israel in the region. In accordance with these understandings, it added, Iran would be able to continue to send fighters, light military equipment, and logistical support via the Damascus airport, but that precision and long-range missiles, according to the assessment of sources cited in the report, would from now on be sent to Syria via Iraq or Lebanon.

The report added, citing a source described as close to the Damascus airport administration, that most of the Iranian missiles at the evacuated bases had been transferred to commands of the Syrian Army's Fourth Division in the Rif Dimashq Governorate, and that some of the equipment and ammunition were transferred to bases of the Syrian Army First Division as well as to the Al-Mezzeh Military Airport southwest of Damascus.

Also according to the report, Iran is planning to establish a new military airport near Al-Kiswah in the west of the Rif Dimashq Governorate, and that it has recommenced activity at the Al-Dimas Airport in the same region, near the Syria-Lebanon border. The new military airport will be used, inter alia, to launch drones into Israel for fighting and surveillance purposes, and as a Hizbullah intelligence base.
Jordanian MP Tarek Khoury Calls for Attacks on Israeli Military Bases within 1967 Borders
Jordanian MP Tarek Sami Khoury said in a March 28, 2019 interview on Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV (Lebanon) that Israel is a cowardly enemy and that the Palestinian people should take advantage of this fact. He said that Omar Abu Layla, the Palestinian terrorist who murdered two Israelis, a soldier and a civilian, in the West Bank on March 17, 2019, proved that any Palestinian can carry out such attacks. Khoury called for more attacks throughout the West Bank and Israel, particularly within the 1967 borders. He said that it often takes reinforcements and emergency responders a long time to arrive on the scene, and that military bases within the 1967 borders are easy to enter.

Ahed Tamimi: UK Is Occupied by Israel; Zionism Uses Cover of Judaism to Conquer Palestine
In a March 30, 2019 episode of Russia Today's program, Going Underground, that commemorated one year of the Great Return Marches in Gaza, Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi said that the UK is completely controlled and occupied by Israel. She criticized the UK for having brought Zionism to Palestine, and she said that the Palestinians will return dignity to the whole world, including the UK. Tamimi said that Israel wants only to kill Palestinians and take their land, and that Zionism uses to cover of the Jewish religion to do whatever it wants. Tamimi also said that the Palestinian people will continue to struggle until Palestine and the Golan Heights are free.

Palestinian prisoners to launch major hunger strike over cellphone crackdown
Palestinian security prisoners at Israel’s Ketziot Prison have announced that they will launch a major hunger strike next week to protest an intensifying crackdown on illicit cellphone usage among inmates, according to the Palestinian Authority.

PA Prisoners Affairs Commission spokesman Hassan Abd Rabbo told The Times of Israel on Monday that the strike will be launched on April 7, two days before Israeli elections, and be observed by inmates affiliated with Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian factions.

Rabbo said the hunger strike will begin at Ketziot, and be extended gradually to include Palestinian prisoners in other Israeli jails. He said the prisoners were launching the strike to protest their incarceration conditions — particularly the recent Israeli measures to restrict cellphone usage by the prisoners, including the installation of jamming systems.

On Sunday, the Palestinian Prisoners Club said that riots at Ketziot sparked by the crackdown have injured over 120 Palestinian inmates since February. According to the group, Israel Prisons Service officials have completely isolated several prisoners involved in the riot in “very dire conditions,” stripping them of their personal belongings, family visitation rights and interactions with other prisoners.
Hamas Terrorist Ahlam Tamim: Being Jordan Gives Me Strength Because No Extradition Agreement With US
Ahlam Tamimi, a Hamas terrorist sentenced to 16 life sentences for her involvement in the 2001 Sbarro pizzeria suicide bombing in Jerusalem, was interviewed by Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar) on March 28, 2019. Tamimi explained that her 2011 release from Israeli prison with her husband as part of the Shalit prisoner exchange was the beginning of a new life, but that her life is a bit shaken by the fact that she is still wanted by American authorities. Tamimi said that being in Jordan gives her strength because Jordan does not have an extradition agreement with the U.S. and has refused to extradite her. Tamimi said: "Why are we considered to be terrorists?... I am part of a resistance movement that strives for liberation." The interview was posted to Al-Jazeera's website but did not air on its TV channel. Tamimi is currently wanted by the U.S. government for conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction against U.S. nationals abroad, and the FBI, which considers her to be armed and dangerous, has placed Tamimi on its list of most wanted terrorists and offers a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to her arrest or conviction. For more about Ahlam Tamimi, see MEMRI TV Clips No. 3539, No. 3157, and No. 5951.

Honest Reporting: The Hezbollah Threat to Israel
No matter what its apologists say, the Hezbollah threat to Israel cannot be minimized or explained away. Since its founding in the 1980s, Hezbollah has amassed a stockpile of rockets larger than all the combined armies of Europe, carried out some of the deadliest terror attacks around the world, and now facilitates Iranian expansionism.

Led by Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah has also managed to maintain a stranglehold on Lebanese domestic politics.

Hezbollah was founded in the early 1980s by Lebanese Shiite clerics inspired by the teachings of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the radical leader of the Iran’s Islamic revolution. They received crucial assistance from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and from Syria. Their immediate goals included driving the Israeli military out of a security zone in southern Lebanon and ridding the country of international peacekeepers; their long-term goals included launching a revolutionary Islamic movement in Lebanon and destroying Israel.

Hezbollah put itself on the map with coordinated pair of suicide bombings on the morning of October 23, 1983. The truck bombings of the Beirut barracks of US and French peacekeeping forces killed 241 US servicemen, mostly Marines, 58 French military personnel, and six civilians. Hezbollah’s prominence rose even more when, four months later, the Western peacekeepers withdrew from Lebanon.

The 1990 agreement ending the Lebanese Civil War called for the disarming of all militias. However, thanks to Iranian and Syrian influence, Hezbollah was given an exception to allow it to continue “resisting” Israel.
From Colombia to Lebanon to Toronto: How a DEA probe uncovered Hezbollah’s Canadian money laundering ops
Professional money laundering networks are growing in Canada, washing vast sums of cocaine and fentanyl cash, and helping to drive up prices in Vancouver and Toronto real estate. Canada’s federal government proposed a new federal anti-money laundering task force last week, specifically to tackle these concerns. But according to U.S. law enforcement sources, Canada has been aware of this for over a decade. This story explains untold international details behind recent RCMP investigations, missed early warnings, and lessons from Australian police, that could jump-start Canada’s late response to these growing risks, sources say.

In January 2008, a team of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents travelled to Ottawa to meet with RCMP leaders. They had stunning news. The DEA said an elite group of Middle East narco-terrorists in Colombia was using Canada as a key money laundering hub.

According to a former senior U.S. official with knowledge of the meeting, the DEA had “dirty calls” — meaning calls providing criminal evidence of cocaine shipments and cash movements in Canada — from narco-kingpins in Colombia to a network of operatives in Halifax, Vancouver, Calgary, and London, Ont.

The evidence included allegations from an elite Colombian police unit and extensive DEA phone tap records.
Official: US Considering Additional Iran Sanctions, Perhaps in May
The US government is considering additional sanctions against Iran that would target areas of its economy that have not been hit before, a senior Trump administration official told reporters on Monday.

The official said the administration aimed to follow through with new sanctions around the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and several world powers, which President Donald Trump announced last May.

“We just want a continued chilling effect,” the official said. “We want businesses to continue to think doing business with Iran is a terrible idea at this point.”

Trump announced last May that the United States would pull out of a 2015 international agreement designed to deny Tehran the ability to make nuclear weapons and he ordered sanctions be imposed again on the country.

The deal, agreed by the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Russia, China and Iran, sought to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb in return for the removal of sanctions that had crippled its economy.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the administration hoped to take the additional measures in the coming weeks.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Venezuela Tries Blaming Israel For Rationed Electricity: ‘Just As Plausible As For Gaza’ (satire)
Officials in the embattled regime of Nicolàs Maduro announced new measures this week to address shortfalls in electricity generation, and resorted to a tactic that has paid important rhetorical dividends for the president’s allies in Gaza facing a similar dilemma: assert against evidence that the Jewish State bears the blame for the situation.

Venezuela accused Israel of “strangling” the South American country’s electricity supply, just as it has provided to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip only the electricity for which the latter pays. While Venezuela enjoys the world’s largest proven oil reserves, and Gaza has none, Maduro’s government has also charged that Israel refuses to supply the fuel necessary to run power plants, just as Israel has only supplied to Gaza the fuel for which it pays. Both Hamas and the Maduro government have now instituted electricity rationing, amid civil unrest and with a government that blames foreign interests for domestic turmoil.

A Venezuela Ministry of Energy spokesman explained the accusation in a message Tuesday. “No one exposed to Hamas’s accusations of the Israeli ‘siege’ causing Gaza’s hardships appears to care about what’s actually happening,” observed Pedro Filìa. “The important thing is to blame Israel no matter how much the situation is actually a direct result of Hamas’s own decisions: using funds to arm itself and dig tunnels, for example, instead of paying for the fuel and electricity its people need. Well, if the world disregards facts and reason in order to blame Israel for things, that should also work for Venezuela.”

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

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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