Tuesday, July 02, 2019

From Ian:

PMW: “There are thousands” of willing murderers - PA leaders implicitly threaten more terror against Israel
During the recent US-led Bahrain Conference, which the Palestinian Authority decided to boycott despite its stated purpose to discuss means of bringing financial prosperity to the PA, many PA and Fatah leaders spoke out against it.

Speaking at a rally protesting the workshop, PA Chairman Abbas’ deputy in Fatah, Mahmoud Al-Aloul, implicitly threatened Israel and the US that there might be more terror attacks and willing murderers on the way. Referring to a terrorist who murdered 2 Israelis just a few months ago - Omar Abu Laila - Al-Aloul addressed the US and Israel, stating that “your tyranny won’t pass” and that “there are thousands of Omar Abu Lailas who don’t agree to the tyranny”:

Fatah Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Al-Aloul: "We can’t in any way allow the implementation of your plans to eliminate the Palestinian cause. Never! Not your Deal of the Century and not the workshop in Manama [Bahrain]... This is Palestine - it is not for sale and not for purchase. The person has not been created who will relinquish Jerusalem...
Our message today to the US and this Israeli occupation: Your tyranny won’t pass like this. Don’t you understand? Have you not learned what the motives of Omar Abu Laila were? And there are thousands of Omar Abu Lailas who don’t agree to the tyranny and don't agree to the disrespect."

[Official Fatah Facebook page, June 26, 2019]
Fatah official threatens more terror against Israel

Abbas' deputy threatens: "There are thousands" of willing murderers, responding to US-led workshop

The EU Bias That Feeds the PA’s ‘Pay for Slay’ Policy
The EU again in June donated 15 million euros to the Palestinian Authority (PA). As Palestinian Media Watch has exposed, this is the second such donation.

The announcement of the donation exposes both the EU’s open bias against Israel, and its immoral support of the PA’s “Pay for Slay” policy.

Referring to the donation, Deputy EU Representative Tomas Niklasson explained, “We understand the financial crisis that the Palestinians are experiencing. … The EU has been in contact with both sides and … expressed our clear expectations that the governmental economic and financial agreements between the Israeli and Palestinian sides must continue to be fully implemented, including the Israeli obligations according to the Paris Protocol.”

When Niklasson says that the EU understands “the financial crisis that the Palestinians are experiencing,” he, in the name of the EU, is ignoring the fact that the PA “financial crisis” is actually self-imposed, because the PA is refusing to accept nearly 165 million euros a month that Israel has been transferring to the PA. This refusal is a direct result of the PA decision to prioritize paying salaries to terrorists at the expense of its law-abiding employees and the health of the Palestinians, including a seven-year-old undergoing cancer treatment in Israel.

Furthermore, it is shameful that Niklasson focuses solely on the implementation of the “Israeli obligations,” but ignores the fact that the PA is breaching its express commitments in the agreements that form the basis for the economic agreements.
Caroline Glick: The Palestinian Authority Hated the Bahrain Conference Because It Was About Helping Palestinians
PLO chief and PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas made it clear that this is his position when he deliberately forced the U.S. to defund the Palestinian Authority budget. Abbas forced the U.S.’s hand last year when he refused to end the PA’s allocation of 7 percent of its budget to convicted terrorists imprisoned in Israeli jails and to the families of dead terrorists. All Abbas needed to do to prevent defunding of the PA budget was end his regime’s subsidization of terrorism. And he refused.

So too, when Israel passed a law similar to America’s Taylor Force Act, which bars the U.S. from funding the PA so long as it pays salaries to incarcerated terrorists and to the families of dead terrorists, Abbas decided to refuse Israeli financial transfers to the PA. To deal with the funding gap, Abbas cut salaries of regular PA employees by 50 percent and raised the payments to terrorists.

In other words, Abbas chose to immiserate his own people to ensure the continued incentivization of terrorism against Israel.

For its part, Hamas, which destroyed Gaza’s economy, offers the residents of its terror state in Gaza no option other than to serve Hamas’s terror war machine against Israel. Like Hamas, by rejecting U.S. and Israeli funding in order to keep up his payments to terrorists and their families, Abbas denied the Palestinian residents of his West Bank fiefdom an alternative to supporting Israel’s annihilation through terrorism.

Another purpose that perpetuating Palestinian economic suffering serves is securing political support for the Palestinian campaign against Israel. Palestinian economic privation induces the United Nations, the European Union, and the international Left to maintain and expand their hostility to Israel, which is blamed for their plight.

UN and EU anti-Israel resolutions, BDS campaigns, and UN and European financial transfers to Abbas’s coffers will continue to flow only so long as the Palestinians living under the PA’s jackboot continue to suffer and Israel continues to be blamed.

If the Trump plan is implemented, and Palestinian suffering ends, the A-listers in the media, on college campuses, and on the diplomatic circuit also stand to lose.

In short, the Palestinian leadership doesn’t hate Trump and his team because they are trying to hurt the Palestinians. The Palestinian leadership hate Trump and his team because they are trying to help the Palestinians.

Why the PA Rejects the American Economic Plan
When you read "Peace to Prosperity," the American economic plan to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the first question that comes to mind is why is the Palestinian leadership rejecting it? The plan adopts Palestinian terminology and incorporates themes favorable to the Palestinian narrative and detrimental to Israel's. It would appear to give the Palestinians almost everything they want.

Yet the PA/PLO's rejection of the plan has nothing to do with its substantive contents. They reject the plan because it plainly says that for the last 25 years, the PA leaders have failed the Palestinian people.

Criticizing the PA's eternal narrative of victimhood, the plan suggests opening "a new chapter in Palestinian history - one defined not by adversity and loss, but by freedom and dignity." This approach undermines the PA leadership's message which for decades has blamed the woes of the Palestinians on Israel while absolving itself of any responsibility.

The reforms the plan suggests to the Palestinian legal, educational, and health systems reflect deep-seated and wholly justifiable criticism of the failed, biased, and ineffectual systems that the PA, abusing billions of dollars of donor aid, has created.

The final PA rejection of the plan came when the U.S. authors dared to state that the capital raised would not be given directly to the PA but rather would be "administered by a multilateral development bank" that would ensure that "all the Palestinians - not just the wealthy and connected - share in the benefits of peace."

For years, Palestinian leaders and their cronies have lined their pockets with millions of dollars of donor aid. This, according to the plan, would all come to an end.
MEMRI: Editor Of Saudi Daily: Palestinian Boycott Of Bahrain Workshop A 'Strategic Mistake'
In a June 29, 2019 article in the Saudi English-language daily Arab News, the daily's chief editor, Faisal J. 'Abbas, wrote that the Palestinians' boycotting of the U.S.-led Peace to Prosperity economic workshop in Bahrain had been a "strategic mistake." He stated that, in contrast to the Iranian and Qatari propaganda, which presented the American economic proposals as a "bribe" aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause, the American team actually did a good job of preparing a detailed and serious plan for reigniting the Palestinian economy. Noting that the Palestinians should have taken this opportunity to advance their cause and obtain favorable terms in the upcoming political part of the deal, he advised the U.S. not to give up and to make further efforts to bring them to the table.

The following is his article, as published in Arab News.[1]
"As the G20 summit concluded in Osaka, I could not help but imagine how great it would have been if last week’s Peace to Prosperity workshop in Bahrain had taken a different path. Indeed, think what would have happened if both Israelis and Palestinians had not only come to Manama but also agreed on a negotiation agenda, and Jared Kushner had flown to Japan bearing the good news.

"I imagine the final communique of the Osaka summit would have included an endorsement and a pledge of political and financial support from the world’s 20 biggest economies.

"Alas, there was no agreement in Manama, mainly because the Palestinian leadership boycotted the workshop. In addition, the Israeli government remains in limbo until new elections in September.

"Two things must be said about the Bahrain workshop. First, while there is much ambiguity and skepticism about the unannounced political element of Kushner’s peace plan for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, there is no question that his team did an impressive job on the economic front; the details show a great deal of thought and planning for what it would take not only to reignite and sustain the Palestinian economy, but also to help neighboring countries by making Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt beneficiaries.

"Second, it is difficult to disagree with Kushner’s view that the Palestinian boycott was a 'strategic mistake.' While we as Arabs have always respected the Palestinian leadership’s decisions, and always will, many of us — respectfully — disagree with the decision not to attend the Manama workshop.
Hamas doesn't care about rehabilitating Gaza
Upon learning that US President Donald Trump's peace plan includes investing $50 billion in Judea and Samaria, the Arabs rejected it and then boycotted the Bahrain economic conference. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has reiterated one key principle we refuse to internalize: "They [the Israelis] don't understand our language." Iran, too, isn't giving an inch despite heavy economic sanctions and continues spending vast sums to fund terror against far-flung Israel.

It is important to internalize this message because it explains why Israel's deterrence strategy against Hamas in Gaza falls apart repeatedly; and why even when Israel permits the transfer of money and goods, there still has been no reprieve from cross-border arson and missile attacks.

What's new? Tens of billions of dollars have already been dumped into Gaza and nary one cent has gone toward rehabilitating or developing the coastal enclave to improve the lives of its straining residents. When money does arrive, the various terrorist leaders take a large chunk. The rest of the funds are diverted to making weapons, missiles and digging tunnels, all to enhance deterrence against Israel.

The heads of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are extremely wealthy and live in relative luxury. The horrendous humanitarian situation in Gaza is of no interest to them; indeed it is even convenient. Many Israelis argue that Gaza is still Israel's responsibility and that we should build them air and seaports, desalinization and manufacturing plants, and more. If they were interested, the terrorist leaders would have had these things a long time ago. But improving the lives of Gazans would largely eradicate their motivation to serve these terrorist organizations, and this is not in Hamas' interest.
Jonathan S. Tobin: A sledgehammer blow didn’t 'Judaize' Jerusalem
The critics are right about US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman’s presence at the ceremonial opening of Jerusalem’s “Pilgrimage Road” is unprecedented. None of his predecessors would have been caught dead at a Jewish site on the wrong side of the “Green Line.” Up until last year, the United States had stubbornly refused to recognize that any part of the ancient capital of the Jews belonged to the Jewish state.

But even if we concede that the participation of Friedman and US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt was a departure from past policies – and that the ambassador’s swinging of a sledgehammer to break down the symbolic wall that completed the opening of the biblical route provided a metaphor for the critics of the Trump administration – that doesn’t mean it was wrong or a mistake.

If we have to use the imagery of the Americans smashing anything, it was not – as critics of President Donald Trump and Friedman contend – a symbol of their destruction of the already dead-in-the-water peace process. Rather it was yet another reaffirmation of the administration’s correct determination to emphasize the absurdity of the Palestinians’ willingness to go on denying Jewish history.

The “Pilgrimage Road” is a project created by the El Ad Association that operates the City of David National Park in association with the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Nature and Parks Authority. Archeologists working at the site first uncovered evidence of the city that was King David’s capital of biblical Israel. The “road” is a tunnel that has been dug underneath a present-day Jerusalem neighborhood that permits scholars and visitors to trod the path taken by ancient Jewish pilgrims. Thousands of years ago, Jews would walk from the Pool of Siloam at the City of David and then ascend to the Temple Mount above to worship. Those who walk through the excavated tunnel now will emerge several hundred yards from its entrance to a point near the Western Wall inside the Old City.

Since the international community normally considers the preservation of ancient heritage sites a good thing, an observer might wonder why the opening of the tunnel has provoked so much fuss and criticism.
'We need to take advantage of Trump's time in office'
There were plenty of difficult discussions between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former US President Barack Obama. In one of the last they held, Netanyahu asked for the US to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel. This was when the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran was being signed. Obama threw all his weight behind that deal, and Netanyahu was waging a war against it, the like of which had never been seen in the history of relations between the two countries. The battle ended with the deal being implemented but not ratified by the Senate, and a meeting was set for the two leaders in November 2015. Historian and former Israeli Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren prepared a "compensatory" list of demands for Netanyahu to present to Obama.

"At the time, I was no longer the ambassador," Oren tells Israel Hayom.

"I was serving as an MK, but I suggested, among other things, that the US and Israel prepare a document in which they would jointly define what would be considered a violation of the nuclear deal and agree ahead of time on how the US would respond to any violations. At the end of the list, I included a request for American recognition of the Golan Heights as sovereign Israeli territory. Netanyahu brought the matter up, but Obama laughed in his face," Oren says.

Oren served as ambassador to the US for over four years, but his intimate knowledge of bilateral relations started long before that. He grew up in New Jersey in the 1960s, the son of a Conservative Jewish family who lived in a mostly Catholic neighborhood, where he racked up a few experiences with anti-Semitism.

"So I'm not upset about or wonder at what's happening today," he says.

He joined the Habonim Dror Zionist youth movement, which wound up changing the course of his life.
'The relationship between Netanyahu and Trump is a full-blown bromance'
Israel's standing in the United States is not a function of any particular administration because it has remained a largely bipartisan issue, a panel of experts said during the second day of the Herzliya Conference 2019 at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.

The panel, which focused on US-Israel relations included Israel Hayom Editor-in-Chief Boaz Bismuth, former US Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and David Makovsky, who is a distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

"Ehud Barak, when he was the defense minister, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was prime minister, both said that security relations had never been better, so what you want is a president on both sides of the aisle – Republican or Democrat – who thanks the United States as Netanyahu did," Makovsky said.

"I don't think it helps anybody to demonize the Democrats when they've been so supportive in the past," he continued.

Senator Kirk said that "Netanyahu has correctly adjusted the relationship between Trump and himself. We see that the president is very attached to personal relationships, so the relationship between Netanyahu and Trump, I would call it a full-blown bromance."
Klobuchar: Keep Embassy in Jerusalem
residential contender Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) said, if elected president, she would not move the American embassy in Israel from Jerusalem back to Tel Aviv.

Klobuchar added that she wishes the decision, made by President Donald Trump in 2017, was made under different auspices.

"I think it would have been better if that was done as part of a negotiation for a two-state solution," she told Jewish Insider. "I think it's unfortunate it was done the way it was done but I wouldn't reverse it."

Klobuchar is the second 2020 Democratic candidate to declare that she would keep the embassy in Jerusalem. South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg was the first.

Klobuchar declined to comment on whether or not she supported Trump's decision to declare Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, telling Jewish Insider, "I think it should be part of the negotiations." Unlike with the embassy decision, which she believes should have been a discussion between Israelis and Palestinians, Klobuchar said that sovereignty of the Golan Heights should have been a global conversation.

"I think again while that isn't about two-state solution, it's better to have global discussion with America having a leading role," she said.
Settlers plea with Netanyahu to stop Palestinian construction near Area C
Residents in the Binyamin Regional Council recently sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other cabinet ministers, pleading with the Israeli government to halt work being done in Area B, which is controlled by the Palestinian Authority, due to a fear of security concerns.

The residents of Binyamin are claiming that the work being carried out by the Palestinian Authority is located too close to two Gush Shilo Israeli settlements (Adi Ad and Amichai) in Area C, an area controlled entirely by the Israeli government.

The residents contacted the IDF, which is responsible for security control over Area B, who reported the construction work was to create agricultural roads for Palestinian farmers. However, after a few residents visited the construction site, they secretly documented a Palestinian contractor claiming the roads are to map out an initial infrastructure for a new Palestinian city, according to Ynet News.

According to the conversation the residents held with the contractor, the paving of infrastructure will be completed within two months and the first stage of homes will contain 150 plots, one dunam each, spread over 250 hectares of land.

"This is a construction that seriously harms the personal security of every Israeli living in the communities of Gush Shilo and especially in Amichai, and the public expects the cabinet to wake up, take responsibility and stop this thing immediately," the letter to the cabinet read.
Netanyahu likely won't address UN General Assembly for 1st time since 2011
Israel's do-over election scheduled for September 17 will likely force Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to forgo speaking this year at his favorite speaking venue: The UN General Assembly.

This year the General Assembly's High Level debate, where leaders from all over the world address the world body, does not conflict with Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, which it has done many times in the past, but rather with Israel's election calendar.

The debate begins on Tuesday, September 24, exactly a week after the elections. Netanyahu is expected to be deep in the thick of post-election coalition-formation machinations at that time, and will most likely be unable to drop everything to fly to New York and give a speech at the UN – regardless of how much he enjoys giving that speech, and how important it might be.

Netanyahu has spoken as Israel’s prime minister at this forum on 10 different occasions: the first time in 1998, and then every year since he became prime minister for a second time in 2009, with the exception of 2010.

Live: In first, US embassy celebrates Independence Day in Jerusalem
For the first time, the US embassy in Israel was set to hold its annual Independence Day celebration in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Although US President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December of 2017, last year’s event took place in Airport City, outside Tel Aviv.

The fact that this year’s celebration is set to take place in Jerusalem might have to do with an explicit request made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the 2018 celebration.

In a video the US embassy posted on Facebook this week, Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and his wife, Tammy, can be seen eating popcorn while watching a clip from the embassy’s last Independence Day party.

In the clip, Netanyahu can be seen thanking Trump for moving the embassy to Jerusalem earlier that year. “David, I have one message for you. I have one request: Next year in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu says in the clip, addressing the US envoy.

“This is a fine and beautiful hall, immaculately done. Next year in Jerusalem, right next to the American embassy. There can’t be a more glorious gathering with greater friends,” he says.

Oman denies Mossad chief’s claim it’s establishing diplomatic ties with Israel
Oman on Tuesday denied it was establishing ties with Israel, a day after the head of the Mossad intelligence service publicly touted the forging of diplomatic relations between Muscat and Jerusalem.

Oman’s Foreign Ministry, in a tweet, said such claims were “baseless.”

“The Sultanate is keen to make efforts to prepare diplomatic conditions favorable to restoring contacts between all international and regional parties in order to work to achieve peace between the Palestinian Authority and the State of Israel’s government, leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state,” it said.

The head of the Mossad said Monday that Israel was renewing ties with Oman.

“Just recently, renewal of formal relations with Oman was declared and the establishment of a representative office of the Foreign Ministry in that country,” Yossi Cohen said at the Herzliya Conference, hosted by the Interdisciplinary Center this week.

“That is only the visible tip of a much broader secret effort,” he said, adding that in addition to Israel’s historic treaties with Jordan and Egypt, other Arab countries had discreetly joined “the states of peace, some of them in an unseen manner.”
Syria accuses Israel of "state terrorism" for alleged airstrikes
Syria accused Israel of “state terrorism” after alleged Israeli airstrikes on Monday targeting Iranian military positions killed 15 people, including six civilians, and warned that it would change how it responds to future airstrikes.

“Israeli authorities are increasingly practicing state terrorism,” Syria’s foreign ministry was quoted as saying by SANA news agency, adding that “the latest heinous Israeli aggression falls within the framework of ongoing Israeli attempts to prolong the crisis in Syria.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad also warned that “we will change the way we will respond in the future.

The Syrian government also filed a complaint against Israel at the United Nations Security Council, calling the strikes “dangerous and hostile.”

“Syria underlines that Israel continuation in its dangerous hostile method would never have been done except by the unlimited support offered by the US administration in particular and the immunity from punishment presented by it and known countries at the Security Council,”the Ministry said.
Ethiopian youth shooting shows Israel imperfect, not rotten to the core - analysis
It's only a matter of time before Israel's detractors, and they are legion, will jump on the truly heartrending killing of Ethiopian-born Israeli Solomon Tekah to prove “the rot in Israel's soul.”

“Israel is a racist country,” they will intone with sanctimonious self-righteousness. “It oppresses the Palestinians and treats the Ethiopians with equal disdain. Look how it kills Ethiopian youth.”

What happened at the playground in Kiryat Haim when an off-duty police officer shot and killed the 19-year-old Tekah is indeed a tragedy that needs to be fully investigated, and – if necessary – prosecuted. If indeed the off-duty police officer was trigger-happy and shot Tekah without justification than the book should be thrown at him.

The incident is first and foremost a tragedy for the Tekah family, who immigrated here from Ethiopia in 2013.

It is also a point of great concern for the Ethiopian community, still reeling from a similar incident just six months ago when Yehuda Biadga was killed by another police officer.

The tales of police profiling and harassment of Ethiopian youth are well known. I would not want to trade places with Ethiopian parents who, in addition to all the other regular worries they have regarding the upbringing of their children, also have to be concerned that their kids will be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and wrongly treated by the police.

The incident is also secondarily a public diplomacy nightmare for Israel, a country that prides itself – and presents itself abroad – as a land of great diversity; a land where Jews and Muslims and Christians – and people from all across the globe – enjoy the same rights and opportunities ... at least inside the Green Line.

And then this happens, and the refrain suddenly becomes, “Look how Israel treats the Ethiopians.”

Well, yes, let’s look.
Father of slain teen: We didn’t come to Israel for our children to be murdered
Hundreds of protestors from the Ethiopian community took to major roads and junctions around the country to protest the killing of Soloman Tekah on Sunday and the release to house arrest on Monday of the police officer who shot him.

Azrieli junction in Tel Aviv was blocked by protestors Tuesday afternoon, while the Yokneam Junction was also blocked by protestors as was the road towards Kiryat Ata in the north.

Other protests blocking the roads are expected in Petah Tikva, Netanya, Ashkelon, Jerusalem and additional locales during the evening.

The police said that its investigation into the circumstances in which Tekah was killed was ongoing which it said was being conducted in a “thorough and comprehensive” manner, although the police statement said that the court had issued a gag-order over details of the inquest.

Earlier on Tuesday, hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of 18-year old Solomon Tekah in Kiryat Haim on Tuesday afternoon where Tekah’s father spoke tearfully of his son and demanded and independent investigation into his death.
PA’s Erekat censures US envoys over unveiling of ‘fake’ archaeological site
A senior Palestinian official Monday condemned the participation of US envoys in the unveiling of an archaeological site in East Jerusalem and scoffed at the “fake” account of Jewish history attributed to the subterranean road.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and White House adviser Jason Greenblatt were among US officials attending the event organized by the City of David Foundation on Sunday night.

Hammering through a thin wall erected for the ceremony, they helped open what organizers say is an ancient road, now underground, that pilgrims took to reach the Second Temple some 2,000 years ago.

The tunnel, located next to Jerusalem’s Old City, passes underneath homes in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan.

Palestinians and anti-settlement activists see it as another attempt by Israel to cement its control over East Jerusalem.
Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas: No Peace as Long as Israel Exists
The Hamas charter quotes Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan al-Banna: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”

These antisemitic views predate Israel’s establishment.

Al-Banna called Jews and Zionists “the enemies of Allah” in his book Fee Qaafilatil-Ikhwaan al-Muslimeen.

He reached out to Sheikh Muhammad Amin al-Husseini, then the grand mufti of Jerusalem, in 1935, with the aim of helping him fight Jewish migration. Brotherhood leaders launched a fundraising campaign for Palestinian jihadists and sent weapons to use against Jews.

The Brotherhood took a strong pro-Nazi stance, and al-Husseini went to Germany to meet with Adolf Hitler. He told Hitler that Jews were the common enemy of Islam and the Nazis. Al-Husseini shared al-Banna’s ideas with Hitler, and served as an intermediary between the Brotherhood founder and the Nazi dictator.

Al-Husseini helped recruit Muslims from the Balkans, Egypt, and elsewhere to fight for the Nazis, and became an SS general. France later arrested al-Husseini as a war criminal, but the British persuaded France to release him to Egypt to prevent further violence in the Muslim world.

Al-Husseini and the Brotherhood rejected the post-war 1947 United Nations partition plan that would have created two states, one Israeli and one Palestinian. Instead, the Muslim Brotherhood chose the path of violence. Members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Special Apparatus entered Palestine in March 1948, two months before the proclamation of the State of Israel. The Brotherhood rejected repeated UN truce resolutions and vowed to fight until “we shoot the last Zionist soldier to the sea.”

Although many in the Middle East are currently reconciling with Israel, the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian offshoots remain firm in their belief that there can be no peace as long as Israel exists.
Iran Seeks Chemical and Biological Weapons as Well as Nuclear Ones
As early as 1984, the Islamic Republic was manufacturing agents to be used in chemical weapons; several U.S. intelligence assessments have concluded that it continues to develop and maintain such weapons. And while Tehran may not yet have fully operational biological weapons, there is no doubt that it can produce them on short notice. Alan Goldsmith cautions Washington against ignoring the dangers these programs pose:

The Trump administration has rightly called out Iran for its continuing chemical-weapons activities. . . . The U.S. should also engage in vigorous diplomacy to encourage foreign governments to pay more attention to Iran’s chemical-warfare program. Further, if Washington has intelligence on Iranian chemical-weapons sites, it should consider seeking a “challenge inspection” of [these] sites by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons . . . and ask other countries to join in this request.

[In addition], Washington should better integrate [its assessment of the dangers of] Iran’s chemical and biological weapons into America’s [overall] policy on Iran. For example, the Trump administration has issued twelve demands on the Iranian regime as prerequisites for the end of U.S. sanctions and restoration of normal diplomatic relations. . . . The U.S. should [add] a thirteenth demand: a full accounting and dismantlement of Tehran’s chemical- and biological-weapons programs.

As the Syrian regime has shown in recent years, chemical weapons [can indeed cause] the mass destruction of human lives. The same holds true for biological weapons. It is past time for the U.S. and other responsible international actors to act with seriousness to ensure that Iran, one of the world’s worst rogue regimes, cannot use or threaten the use of such weapons to advance its malign agenda.

Former IRGC commander: We should have accepted U.S. call to negotiate
Iran should have begun negotiations when the US pulled out of the nuclear deal, said the former joint chief commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in a speech on Sunday, Radio Farda reported.

"It would have been better to have negotiated when [US President Donald] Trump announced he would leave JCPOA, and tried to prevent it, or when Trump said he would negotiate without preconditions," said Hossein Alaee, the former IRGC commander. "We should have responded, saying that we will negotiate but based on our own agenda [priorities]."

Alaee added that "we cannot leave aside negotiations, whether at the apex of power or in a position of weakness."

Addressing concerns of war breaking out, Alaee said that both sides are capable of conducting an armed conflict, but that "the possibility of war breaking out is at its minimum," according to Radio Farda.

He added that both countries are trying to avoid war, but considering the situation in the region, the danger of “an incident leading to limited war should not be ignored.”

In June, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the US wanted to enter negotiations with Iran.

"We're prepared to negotiate with no preconditions," said Pompeo. "They know precisely how to find us. I am confident that at the very moment they're ready to truly engage with us we'll be able to begin these conversations. I'm looking forward to that day."
France, Germany and UK still committed to nuclear deal with Iran
France on Tuesday urged Iran to rapidly reverse its first major breach of a nuclear pact, a move denounced by President Donald Trump as "playing with fire," as world powers try to pull Washington and Tehran back from confrontation.

China, like France a signatory to the 2015 deal, said it regretted Iran's move but urged all parties to exercise restraint and said the U.S. policy of increasing pressure on Iran was the "root cause of the current tensions."

Iran's announcement on Monday that it had amassed more low-enriched uranium than permitted under the deal was confirmed by U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which monitors Iran's nuclear program under the deal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the move was not a violation of the accord, arguing that Iran was exercising its right to respond to the U.S. walkout last year.

But the gambit may have far-reaching diplomatic consequences and comes less than two weeks after Trump said he ordered air strikes on Iran, only to cancel them minutes before impact.

The nuclear deal lifted most international sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear work. It aimed to extend the time Tehran would need to produce a nuclear bomb, if it chose to, from roughly 2-3 months to a year.
Trump says Iran ‘playing with fire’ after nuclear deal limit breached
US President Donald Trump warned Monday that Iran was “playing with fire” after Tehran said it exceeded a limit on enriched uranium reserves under a 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by Washington.

Israel urged European states to sanction Iran, while Russia voiced regret but said the move was a consequence of US pressure, which has pushed the deal towards collapse.

Britain called on Tehran “to avoid any further steps away” from the landmark deal, and the UN said Iran must stick to its commitments under the accord.

“Iran has crossed the 300-kilogram limit based on its plan” announced in May, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the semi-official news agency ISNA.

But he also said the move could be reversed.

“They know what they’re doing. They know what they’re playing with and I think they’re playing with fire,” Trump told reporters at the White House when asked about Iran.

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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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