Wednesday, January 01, 2020

From Ian:

After Monsey attack, Pittsburgh rabbi warns of ‘open hunting season on Jews’
For Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, the attack in Monsey had an eerie feeling.

“For me it was an ‘oh no, not again’ sort of moment,” he told CNN’s John Berman on Monday morning.

Myers was at the pulpit of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in October 2018 when a gunman opened fire inside, killing 11 worshipers.

On Saturday night in Monsey, an intruder injured five people with a machete at a Hanukkah party held at the home of a rabbi.

“It made me sort of wonder, I don’t recall them selling licenses to have open hunting season on Jews, but it sure can make Jews feel that way,” Myers said. He also said we “cannot allow terror to win.”

The rabbi said he cannot point to one “root cause” for the rise in hate and anti-Semitism, but singled out hate speech spewed by unnamed elected leaders and on social media as contributing to “this illness.”

“It sure makes you pause and wonder what’s going on in our society that people feel they have a god-given right to attack any human being for whatever reason they choose to,” he said.

In a statement released Sunday on behalf of Tree of Life, Myers wrote, “We call upon all good people to work together to remove this evil from existence. We must eliminate H* (which stands for hate speech) in its simplest form by getting to know our neighbors and fellow human beings.”

Labour’s defeat has not ended anti-Semitism
Progressives who talk of little else suddenly do not want to talk about race. That is because these attacks are, in the main, not being carried out by dead-eyed youths with ‘14 Words’ tattoos. The New Jersey killers, the alleged would-be killer in Monsey, and many of the spitters, punchers and verbal aggressors on the streets of Brooklyn and in the Subway cars beneath the city are black or other ethnic minority. We should bear in mind that some of these individuals will be mentally ill, though that standard should apply in all race-based incidents or none. Black anti-Semitism — the very locution unsettles liberal stomachs — is nothing new but now the fanatic pronouncements of some Black Hebrew Israelites and conspiracy theories of Jewish culpability for slavery vie with woke mutterings about ‘gentrification’ and the postmodern mindjunk of intersectionality, a worldview that is anti-Semitic in effect if not by design.

New York mayor Bill de Blasio has previously blamed the upsurge in anti-Semitism on ‘the forces of white supremacy’ and ‘the right-wing movement’. When progressives see a white man beat a black man, their instinct is to condemn. When they see a black man beat a Jewish man, their instinct is to look away. Just as British socialists struggle to comprehend anti-Semitism from their comrades, the American left needs all racism to flow from Donald Trump and be a product of ‘white privilege’. For it to emanate from elsewhere, for non-whites to be culpable, requires a doctrine-debunking revision of the demonology. Identity politics makes it more important that the bad guys be the right guys than that bad guys stop doing bad things.

This is what allows progressives to overlook Women’s March anti-Semitism, Jew-baiting from Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, and Bernie Sanders’ use of Linda Sarsour as a media surrogate. It is the breezy hipster upgrade to liberal forbearance of Al Sharpton (‘If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house’), Jesse Jackson (‘That’s all Hymie wants to talk about is Israel; every time you go to Hymietown, that’s all they want to talk about’) and, for some, even Louis Farrakhan (‘I’m here to separate the good Jews from the Satanic Jews’). There’s no end of racism you can get away with if you get yourself called a ‘civil rights leader’.

Jews have civil rights, too, and they are under attack almost daily in New York City and around the world. Whether that is from white nationalists or black separatists, Christian bigots or Islamist hate-mongers, anti-Zionist radicals or Bibi-loving Euro-populists hardly matters to the victims. Jew-hatred is Jew-hatred. Your terribly original rationale never is. Institutions whose anti-Semitism has thus far evaded scrutiny — higher education, mainline Protestant churches, the democratic right — should bear this in mind.
Nita Lowey and David Harris (NYT): Why Is Anti-Semitism Making a Comeback?
Why, when American Jews have felt unmatched levels of inclusion and equality, is anti-Semitism making a comeback? Anti-Semitism dates back millenniums. Its ability to reinvent itself should never be underestimated. Even here in the U.S., it never entirely vanished.

The resurgence of anti-Semitism could be a result, in part, of the vanishing legacy of the Holocaust. Recent surveys reveal abysmal levels of knowledge among young people about what happened to the Jewish people in the Second World War.

Social media may also be playing a role. In the past, anti-Semites lived in small ideological circles with limited reach. Now the Internet amplifies the voices and influence of these otherwise marginal groups.

We need to recognize the problem for what it is: an epidemic. We are no longer talking about isolated, occasional actions but a regular phenomenon. There are multiple ideological sources feeding this hate; it is not a result of a single political outlook. There is no one-size-fits-all profile for the perpetrators of these attacks.

We cannot allow this situation to become the "new normal," as if attacks on Americans because of their religious or ethnic identities are now an expected part of our everyday lives. These attacks violate everything that Americans should hold dear. An attack on any American group is a threat to the pluralistic fabric of our nation.

In a survey of American Jews by the American Jewish Committee, released in October, 31% said that they had taken steps to hide their Jewish identity in public, while 25% said they now avoided Jewish sites. This is unacceptable. It is not our America.

Family: Monsey stabbing victim suffered permanent brain damage
New details regarding the condition of one of the five Hasidic Jews wounded in a machete attack in Monsey, New York last Saturday night were released Wednesday, revealing the extent of the injuries he suffered in the attack.

The victim, who has been identified as 71-year-old Josef Neumann, is a married father of seven and a grandfather and great-grandfather, the family said in a statement.

Neumann, the most seriously wounded of the five victims of the machete attack, suffered serious permanent brain damage, according to the family’s statement, which has left him unconscious ever since the attack.

Doctors believe it is unlikely Neumann will ever regain consciousness, the family said, and if he does, he will be left paralyzed for the rest of his life.

“Our father Mr. Josef Neumann was severely stabbed multiple times during the mass attack Saturday night.”

“The knife penetrated his skull directly into the brain. He also suffered three cuts to the head, one cut to the neck, and his right arm has been shattered.”

“Our father's status is so dire that no surgery has yet been performed on the right arm. Doctors are not optimistic about his chances to regain consciousness, and if our father does miraculously recover partially, doctors expect that he will have permanent damage to the brain; leaving him partially paralyzed and speech-impaired for the rest of his life.”

“Our father has seven children, many grandchildren, a great grandchild, and brothers and sisters. We thank all of those who have contacted us for prayers and support. Please continue to pray for Yehosef Ben Perel. (Yeohosef is our father's Hebrew name. Ben means son, and Perel was the name of our grandmother OBM.)”

‘We urge fellow Jews across the United States and around the globe to please share on social media their own experiences with anti-Semitism and add the hashtag #MeJew. We shall not let this terrible hate-driven attack be forgotten, and let us all work to eradicate all sorts of hate.”

Locals described Neumann as an "incredibly kind human being."

"One of the most selfless people I know, said Yisroel Kraus, according to CNN. "Since I knew him he was a very poor man. He never had a dime to his name and always goes around collecting money for other poor families. It was never about himself."
Anti-Semitic incidents in the New York area in 2019
There have been so many anti-Semitic attacks in the New York area within the past month that it’s difficult to keep them all straight. In trying to sift through this timeline myself using YouTube and local news reports, I kept coming across earlier incidents. I decided I would close out 2019 by attempting to assemble a timeline of anti-Semitic attacks in New York and surrounding areas which took place this year. I’m certain I won’t uncover them all simply because there are so many.

See Also: Clunker: Buttigieg bundler pushed “Cash for Fatties” federal proposal

Jan 8: A stranger attacks a 13-year-old Jewish girl on the street in Brooklyn, grabbing her neck and slapping her in the face:

Jan 14: A 19-year-old Jewish man is attacked by a group of teens in Brooklyn:

The 19-year-old victim was walking down Empire Boulevard when he was accosted by a group of black teens.
“Do you want to fight?” one of the teens asked the victim, before punching the Jewish teen in the face.
The assailants knocked the victim to the ground, beat him repeatedly, then began to flee the scene.
When the victim pulled out his cellular phone to call for help, however, the gang turned back and attacked him again.
FBI data underscores rising threat to places of worship
When a machete-wielding attacker walked into a rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York, during Hanukkah and a gunman fired on worshipers at a Texas church 14 hours later, the two congregations in different regions of the country joined a growing list of faith communities that have come under attack in the US.

It is a group that crosses denominations and geography and has companions around the world. The frequency of attacks has faith leaders and law enforcement grappling with how to protect people when they are at their most vulnerable.

FBI hate crime statistics show that incidents in churches, synagogues, temples and mosques increased 34.8% between 2014 and 2018, the last year for which FBI data is available.

“For a person bent on hate crime against a particular religion or race, you go to a place where you know a lot of people in that group will be congregating — and vulnerable,” said James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Boston’s Northeastern University. “One place you can go to find people of a certain religion is where they worship.” Most congregations, he said, do not have security.
Lawfare Project Offers Antisemitic Attack Victims Pro Bono Legal Services
The Lawfare Project announced on Monday a new partnership with Ken Belkin of Spodek Law Group to offer pro bono legal services to victims of antisemitic assaults.

“We’re here to help victims navigate the criminal-justice system and make sure their interests are represented,” said The Lawfare Project. “If you or someone you know has been the victim of an antisemitic attack, please contact us today.”

Ken Belkin of Spodek Law Group said, “We’re proud to work with The Lawfare Project to support the Jewish community during these trying times. Our firm has an excellent reputation and extensive experience working within the New York criminal-justice system, and we’re excited to pool our resources with The Lawfare Project’s top-notch network of legal professionals.”

The Lawfare Project and Spodek Law Group are already representing Lihi Aharon, an Israeli woman who was left bleeding following an antisemitic assault on the New York City subway earlier this month.

According to the ADL, there were 1,879 antisemitic incidents in 2018, the third-highest number ever recorded by the ADL since it started keeping track in 1979.
Michael Lumish: Old Pogroms and New
There are a lot of people wondering just why this American pogrom is happening now. Most Jews have no clue as to why young Black men are attacking Chassidim and the openly Orthodox in the areas around New York. But behind the Black pogrom against the Jews in and around New York is the politics of hatred toward Israel from the academe and from the activists. There is the yawning silence of our alleged friends among Congressional Democrats. And then there is "the squad." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.

Pressley is probably the best of the four and I am not even certain that she should be lumped in with them. She at least had the decency to send out the following tweet:

As of this morning, I cannot find a whisper by AOC, Omar, or Tlaib in opposition to Black-on-Jewish racist violence. Ilhan Omar did take the opportunity to politicize the pogrom to retweet a note by Rep. Eric Swalwell blaming the current left-wing pogrom against the Jews on Donald Trump. Rashida Tlaib who, along with AOC and Omar, favors the movement to eliminate Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people via BDS, joined Omar in blaming Trump for Black-on-Jewish violence.

"He fuels people's anger & misguided hate. Instead of leading with compassion, he simply gaslights and laughs about it," Tlaib said.

The truth is that this new breed of progressive-left "intersectionalist" Democrats do not care about the well-being of Israel or the Jewish people. If they did they would speak up. More importantly, however, remains the fact that the established Democratic leadership, including the Jewish Democratic leadership, stands behind these people. They also support funding the Palestinian Authority which means funding the murder of Jewish Israelis under "pay-to-slay."

And they honestly believe that they deserve Jewish support even as they remain silent among the ongoing attacks.
After string of violent attacks, Jewish groups to hold solidarity march in NY
Jewish groups will hold a solidarity march in New York City next week under the banner “No Hate. No Fear.”

The January 5 event comes in the wake of attacks in Monsey, Jersey City, and Brooklyn.

The march will leave from Lower Manhattan and cross the Brooklyn Bridge, followed by a rally in Columbus Park.

“In light of the ongoing and persistent attacks against our community, it’s time for us to come together and demonstrate our collective resolve,” the organizers said.

The sponsors are the UJA-Federation of New York along with the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, the Anti-Defamation League of New York, the American Jewish Committee of New York and the New York Board of Rabbis.

Around 250 people gathered to show solidarity with the Jewish community at a rally in Brooklyn on Tuesday, Haaretz reported. The event, whose organizers included Palestinian-American activists, was attended by controversial former Women’s March co-chair Linda Sarsour, who has herself been accused of anti-Semitism by some in the Jewish community.

Judge won’t say why he freed Monsey stabbing suspect last year
Asked why he set free a man who went on to allegedly attack five Orthodox Jews with a machete at a Hanukkah party in a Monsey rabbi’s home — despite the man’s own mom asking he be committed — an Orange County judge passed the buck.

Greenwood Lake Justice Keith Garley, a retired NYPD cop, acknowledged that he presided over the since-sealed prosecution of Grafton Thomas following his arrest for allegedly menacing a cop last year.

The case resulted in an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal over the summer, a Rockland County prosecutor said at Thomas’ arraignment Sunday on five counts of attempted murder.

“That decision was made by the District Attorney’s Office,” Garley told The Post outside his Greenwood Lake home. “It’s a sealed case and I can’t comment on it.”

The Orange County DA’s Office declined to respond to Garley’s remarks, citing “the sealed aspect” of the case.

But Chief ADA Christopher Borek said, “In general, it’s the policy of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that offenders and those accused of offense receive appropriate referrals to mental health professionals.”
US Marines: Monsey attack suspect was kicked out of boot camp
The man charged with stabbing five people during a Hanukkah celebration in New York began boot camp to enter the US Marine Corps but was separated from the service a month later for “fraudulent enlistment,” military officials said Tuesday.

A Marine Corps spokeswoman would not provide details on why Grafton Thomas left the Marines as a recruit in late 2002, about a month after he started training.

“Those specifics are administrative in nature and therefore information we are required to keep private,” Capt. Karoline Foote told The Associated Press.

Federal prosecutors filed hate crime charges against Thomas on Monday, accusing the 37-year-old of using a machete to wound five people inside the home of a rabbi in Monsey, New York, north of New York City.
Left-Wing Jews Oppose Additional Police Protection for Brooklyn Chassidim
The move, designed to combat a rise in anti-Semitic hate crime, was welcomed by many in the city’s Jewish community.

But the move was also criticized, ironically, by the ethnic brethren of those it is intended to protect: liberal, left-leaning Jewish groups who contend the new measures will “further divide” communities instead of work to bring them together.

Jewish Voices for Peace focused their attention on white nationalists, not that white nationalist attacked any Chassidim in Brooklyn or Jersey City these past few weeks. And then, presumably referring to the police, said the police are killing their friends, families and neighbors.

Another leftwing group, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, also focused on the white supremacists (who were not attacking the Jews of Brooklyn and Monsey), and denounced additional police on the streets.

“Our response to anti-Semitic violence must focus on building solidarity with other groups targeted by white supremacy, not increased policing,” tweeted the Jews for Racial & Economic Justice group.

The group was well represented at the eighth night Chanukah candle lighting at Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza, writing in a tweet following the event, “Jews of all denominations surrounded and celebrated Chanukah with Haredi and Hasidic siblings. POC & Muslim volunteers surrounded all of us in protection.”

“This is what dividing vulnerable communities looks like,” Jews for Racial & Economic Justice” wrote in a separate tweet. ““Instead of investing in restorative solutions that prioritize the safety of all communities, [De Blasio] is implementing a plan that treats abuse of black and brown communities as the answer to anti-Semitic violence. It isn’t.”

Audrey Sasson, executive director of “Jews for Racial and Economic Justice” told the Democracy Now! global independent news program, “We believe that the answers to what is happening is not more policing, necessarily, or not policing as the only response.

“Anti-Semitism is on the rise. It is in the water. It is being fueled by a white nationalist administration,” she contended in what seemed to be a reference to the Trump administration.
Giuliani: Mayor de Blasio Responsible for Wave of Anti-Semitism
Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday told WOR AM radio that Mayor Bill de Blasio has failed to learn the lessons of the Holocaust, and charged: “You’re the mayor, you’re responsible, do your job.”

“The two great lessons of the Holocaust are: ‘Never forget, and ‘Never ignore.’ Never ignore means you have to stand up to the first act of anti-Semitism,” Giuliani said.

Giuliani, who is President Donald Trump’s attorney and adviser, lashed at de Blasio for saying the President was partially to blame for the wave of attacks on religious Jews in the metro area throughout the month of December, 2019.

“He’s the mayor of the city of New York. He is in charge. And isn’t it fascinating that all of these communities that have been victimized by anti-Semitism … all of these communities, they love the president. They are his greatest supporters,” the former mayor of NYC said.

Giuliani stated: “It’s hard to say in a nice way – he’s probably the worst mayor in my lifetime. He’s a failure as a leader, he does exactly the opposite. You’re supposed to take responsibility as a leader, and he forgot, or maybe he never learned, the great lessons of the Holocaust.”

For the record, the worst mayor of NYC, in Rudy’s lifetime and mine, had to be David Dinkins, who beat Rudy in 1989 and was then defeated by him in 1993. Dinkins was in charge during the Crown Heights riot of blacks against Jews that lasted from August 19 to 21, 1991. On August 20, a group of at least 20 black men surrounded Yankel Rosenbaum, 29, a University of Melbourne student, stabbed him several times in the back and beat him severely, fracturing his skull. He died that night. Mayor Dinkins and Police Commissioner Lee Brown were accused of purposely delaying police response in order to allow rioters to vent their rage.
'Revolving-door' of justice shuts — for now — on NYC hate crime suspect
Tiffany Harris — arrested and released twice in three days after being charged in separate misdemeanor assaults in Brooklyn, including on a trio of Orthodox Jewish women — was arrested a third time on New Year’s Eve.

Harris was picked up by New York City Sheriff’s deputies at a Brownsville, Brooklyn, hotel on an arrest warrant issued earlier Tuesday after she allegedly failed to comply with court-ordered monitoring, officials said.

She had allegedly blown off an appointment with social workers at Brooklyn Justice Initiatives, which runs a supervised release program that helps defendants make their court dates and connect with such services as drug treatment and mental health counseling.

“They issued a bench warrant around 5 p.m. this evening,” New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito told The Post.
NY Cops Release Video of Brooklyn Street Gang’s Assault on Orthodox Jew in Crown Heights
Surveillance video of a group of youths who attacked Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn during a spate of antisemitic hate crimes over the holiday season has been released by the New York City Police Department.

According to the NYPDת the group attacked two Jewish men in the Crown Heights neighborhood on Dec. 24. Both assaults occurred roughly 30 minutes apart as the victims were walking along the neighborhood’s streets.

The first victim, a 56-year-old man, was walking on Union Street when the group reportedly approached from behind and punched him in the back of the head.

The video published on Wednesday showed the group’s attack on the second victim, two blocks away, near the intersection of Albany Avenue and Lincoln Place. A 23-year-old Jewish man was struck by a chair and then punched in the face by members of the group.

Israel issues travel warning on South Africa
The Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning on South Africa Wednesday because of its high level of crime.
“In South Africa, there is a high level of crime,” reads the statement.

“Violent crimes are also common and target tourists. The majority of criminal episodes are concentrated in townships and homeless areas, including commercial areas, especially in the evenings and after dark.”

The ministry presented several recommendations for Israeli visitors, which include avoiding public transportation and carrying too much money or valuables, leaving natural reserves and other tourist areas before dark, and hiding valuables under the seats when driving. Moreover, women are advised not to walk alone.
Erekat likens step toward ICC probe to that of first astronaut on moon
Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, recently described International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s announcement of her intention to investigate alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories as akin to late US astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.

Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969. While on the moon, he famously uttered the words: “One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.”

“It is my belief that I can compare this step to the steps of Neil Armstrong when he put his foot on the moon in 1969,” Erekat told Al Jazeera last week. “I do not want to exaggerate with regard to this matter, but the inability to achieve peace throughout these years…was because the Israeli occupation authorities have not been questioned and held accountable.”

Bensouda announced on December 20 that at the end of a five-year preliminary examination, she had found “a reasonable basis” to open an investigation into what she called “the situation in Palestine” and said she was “satisfied” that war crimes have been committed in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Her preliminary examination looked at alleged war crimes by Israel, the Hamas terror group and other parties.

The prosecutor, however, asked judges to first determine the ICC’s territorial jurisdiction. Israel has argued that the court lacks jurisdiction over the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, arguing that there is no Palestinian state that has a mandate to transfer criminal jurisdiction over its territory to The Hague.
Giant Palestinian flag raised, pulled down in Jerusalem’s Old City
Police and Jerusalem municipal inspectors removed an oversized Palestinian flag that was hung over a wall of Jerusalem’s Old City on Wednesday.

The flag, which featured the faces of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and PA President Mahmoud Abbas, was placed by an unknown person over the wall near the Damascus Gate on Wednesday afternoon.

One suspect was arrested, according to Hebrew media reports

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion denounced the hanging of the flag, which he said challenged Israeli control of the city.

“The only sovereignty in Jerusalem is Israeli sovereignty.”

The incident came as the Fatah group headed by Abbas marked its 55th anniversary with marches in the West Bank and Gaza.

Similar marches are planned elsewhere in the West Bank in the coming days.

Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that police took down Fatah banners in several locations in the city, including the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Silwan, al-Tur and Issawiyeh, and that two Fatah activists in the city were detained.

JPost Editorial: On same page
Iraqi protesters, holding Iranian-backed militia flags, attacked the US embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday. It was a carefully orchestrated campaign by pro-Iranian groups in Iraq to strike at the heart and symbol of US power in the country. The heavily-defended Green Zone was opened by the Iraqi government for the militias to attack the American embassy. US diplomats had to be evacuated.

The attack follows a US airstrike against Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed militia, in Iraq. That airstrike was in retaliation for a dozen rocket attacks on US forces in the last months, including an attack on December 29 that killed a US contractor and wounded American soldiers.

Iran was behind those attacks and the US had warned Iran that any attack by Tehran or its proxies would result in a decisive response. That is in line with Israel’s policies as well, which has made it clear to Iran that any attacks against Israel will result in massive retaliation.

Israel has been contending with increased Iranian threats since 2018 when an Iranian drone launched from Syria entered Israeli airspace.

Combined with the rocket attacks against Israel since then, this is an increasing crescendo of threats as Iran moves precision-guided munitions across Iraq and into Syria with the hope of supporting Hezbollah. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps also entrenches itself in Iraq. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi recently warned that Israel would oppose Iran’s entrenchment, adding that “it would be better if we weren’t the only one acting against them.”

The US, which has supported Israel’s actions against Iran over the years, is now contending with the same Iranian threats in Iraq. US airstrikes this week, which killed more than two dozen Kataib Hezbollah members, show that the US understands that the Iranian threat is not just in one country but is part of Iran’s octopus-like policy of projecting its influence and power across the region.
SHOCKER. Leader of Attack on the Us Embassy in Baghdad Was a Guest of the Obama White House
The Washington Post reports today on the men leading the mob action directed against the US Embassy. This one stands out:

Also in attendance Tuesday was Hadi al-Amiri, a former transportation minister, who is considered Tehran’s man in Baghdad. Amiri heads the Badr Organization, which is one of the largest pro-Iran militias in Iraq and is part of the PMF. It was originally founded in the 1980s to fight for Iran against then-President Saddam Hussein as part of the Iran-Iraq war.

The Badr Organization fought U.S. forces after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and in the brutal and bloody sectarian war that followed. Members have also gone to Syria to fight on Assad’s side. The group is additionally deeply embedded in Iraqi politics: The Badr Organization is the military wing of the Fatah coalition in Iraq’s parliament.

This name has surfaced before. Back in 2011, al-Amiri was part of an Iraqi delegation that was received at the White House by Barack Obama.

Even at the time, it was known that al-Amiri was an Iranian stooge who had killed American troops and had an active role is the summary executions of opponents of the Iranian regime.

It is worth noting, yet again, how the Obama administration’s slavish obeisance to Iran destroyed American credibility and influence in the region. When the history of this is written we’ll see that Obama was following a foreign policy of gifting the region to Iran and setting Iran up to be a counterweight to, one has to believe, Israel. Iraq was given over to Iran by Obama, Iranian thugs were feted by the Obama administration, the Iran nuclear agreement was signed to curry their favor, when they pirated two US Navy vessels and ten sailors there were no consequences, and on the eve of leaving the White House, we had the unsightly spectacle of US Air Force aircraft delivering pallets of currency to the Iranians.

This will not be another Benghazi because we have a president who is not so monomaniacally focused on appeasing Islamist and Iranian forces that he will sacrifice US lives. But we can’t lose sight of the fact that what is happening today in Baghdad has its roots in the former administration’s relentless fluffing for the mullahs.

Trump warns Iran of ‘BIG PRICE’ for attacks, sends 750 more troops to Mideast
The US flew a rapid response team of Marines into Baghdad to reinforce its embassy on Tuesday after a mob of pro-Iranian demonstrators stormed the compound, setting fires and chanting “Death to America!”

Angered by US air strikes that killed two dozen fighters, hundreds of protesters spilled through checkpoints in the high-security Green Zone, demanding the ouster of US troops from Iraq and voicing loyalty to a powerful Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani of the Revolutionary Guard Corps.

US President Donald Trump blamed Tehran and warned that it would face punishment if Americans are killed.

“Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities,” Trump said on Twitter late Tuesday.

“They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat,” wrote Trump, adding “Happy New Year!”

Hours later American officials said the US has deployed hundreds of troops to Kuwait and they they would likely be sent to neighboring Iraq.

“At least 500 members of the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division have left Fort Bragg in the US, and up to 4,000 may ultimately be deployed,” the official told AFP.
Iran-backed terrorist-turned-politician leads demonstration against US Embassy in Iraq
A longtime Iran-backed Shiite terrorist group leader turned Iraqi politician reemerged as one of the ringleaders of the massive New Year’s Eve attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.

Qais al Khazali, 44, is one of Iran’s key allies in Iraq as the founder of the Asaib Ahl al Haq militia responsible for hostage-taking and the killing of U.S. soldiers, but which recently won seats in Iraq’s controversial 2018 parliamentary elections. He showed up Tuesday with his supporters at what the U.S. government condemned as a violent Iranian-fomented protest.

Khazali is known as a former acolyte of Shiite cleric leader Muqtada al Sadr, whose Mahdi Army played a deadly role in the Shiite-Sunni civil war involving al Qaeda in Iraq a decade ago. Khazali’s savvy and connections with Iran, though, made him a powerful player himself.

“Americans are unwanted in Iraq,” Khazali told Reuters on Tuesday. “They are a source of evil, and we want them to leave.”

Khazali was captured by British special forces in 2007 and held by the NATO-led coalition at Baghdad International Airport. Declassified interrogation reports show he shed light on a number of issues. These include Iranian influence, the Sadr movement he splintered from, his hostage-taking strategy, financial assistance Iran gave to Shiite militias at war with the United States, the existence of Iranian training camps in Iraq, and weapons smuggled from Iran into Iraq. The latter include penetrator bombs that killed hundreds of Americans.

Dale “Chip” McElhattan, who had years of experience dealing with Khazali while director of U.S. hostage affairs in Baghdad, told the Washington Examiner that Khazali’s role in the protest was a foreboding indicator of the hand of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
MEMRI: Reactions To Attack On U.S. Embassy – PMU Leader: 'The Siege Of The U.S. Embassy In Tehran Back In 1979 Extends To Today's Siege Of The Embassy In Baghdad'
On Tuesday, supporters of the Iraqi Al-Hashd Al-Sha'bi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) stormed the International Green Zone, the home of several diplomatic corps, scaling the walls of the U.S. Embassy and breaking into the compound in protest of the U.S. airstrikes, which came in response to the December 27 rocket attack on the K1 military base near Kirkuk in northern Iraq, which houses U.S. and coalition forces.

Among today's demonstrators were five militia leaders: Falih Fahad Al-Fayyad, a government appointee and head of the PMU; Hadi Al-Amiri, head of Badr Organization; Qais Al-Khazali, head of 'Asaeb Ahl Al-Haq; Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, head of Hizbullah Brigades; and Rayan Al-Kaldani, head of Babelyoon Brigade.

Militia Leader Echoes 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis
Commenting on the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Abu Alaa Al-Walai, leader of Kata'ib Sayyid Al-Shuhada, which is another PMU group, tweeted in praise of the attack saying that "the popular mobilization forces, more accurately the mobilized people, surrounded today the embassy of evil in Baghdad and will soon surround the camps and headquarters of the U.S. killers that are spread all over the Iraqi lands."[1]

He went on to say, that the demonstrators will go further to surround "the embassies of its [the U.S.] tails and submissive countries," naming Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain.

Al-Walai concludes by linking today's events to the siege of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran that took place 40 years ago. " The siege of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran back in 1979 extends to today's siege of the embassy in Baghdad, 2019. It summarizes the history: Allah will bring victory to those who support Him." In his tweet, Al-Walai also used a hashtag that reads "#America_out", a play on the "#Iran-out" hashtag used by anti-Iran protesters in Iraq.

Rayan Al-Kaldani, a militia leader sanctioned by the U.S., extended his support to those who stormed the U.S. Embassy with a tweet that shows photos of him attending the demonstration in the Green Zone. "How I like to stand here, there is no confusion in the [political] compass. Here [at the embassy] lies the anger toward the source of the troubles and terrorism, [anger] at an enemy plundering my country and its heritage, killing its old and young people. Here, the Iraqi throats unite and cry out for all the pain that tormented us and all the blood we shed: Long live Iraq and death for the enemies of Iraq and for the reckless Trump policy."[2]


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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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