Friday, July 17, 2020

From Ian:

David Collier: Peter Beinart, a one state solution and the Jewish far-left
Peter Beinart recently wrote an article of Jewish surrender that was published in Jewish Currents. Falling over itself, the New York Times rushed to publish an abbreviated version to ensure the piece was given a much wider audience.
Beinart

The thrust of the Beinart argument is simple. Beinart used to believe in a Jewish state – he doesn’t anymore, and as he lives in his comfortable home in the US, he believes Israel should dismantle itself and embark upon a utopian one state existence with the Palestinians. Thus ending 100 years of conflict.

There is nothing new inside the article. It is a silly proposition, a notion that the answer to the conflict between Israel and its neighbours is for the Jews to to put away their guns, remove the walls that protect them, surrender their right of self determination – have faith – and create what would eventually become another Muslim majority state in the Middle East.
Beinart and privilege

The article and Beinart’s position is historically and politically illiterate. Beinart pushes a solution with all the privilege of a person sitting under the umbrella of US citizenship, 1000s of miles away from Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran. Or as Benjamin Kerstein put in his response in the Tablet – “Peter Beinart thinks Jews don’t need Zionism. That’s because he’s never needed it himself.”

Beinart, like many of those who dabble in such utopian theory, pushes immature politics. The secular democratic one state solution is a privileged imperialist western answer to a problem they have with ignorant natives in a far-off land. Nobody on the ground wants it – not the Israelis and not the Palestinians.

The simple truth is that Israel looks the way it does – because it reflects the reality of the Middle East. The 1947 partition plan was not written into the British Mandate, but developed as reality took over. The civil war and regional conflict became inevitable. Israel is a natural product of its people, history and neighbourhood. And this simple fact – that Israel is a Middle Eastern nation, is what lies at the heart of the problem.

For some western Jews, the Israel of reality is not the Israel of their dreams. These people tend to view Israel’s growing religious population with horror, they look down on the ‘arsim‘ of Bat Yam and they are quite derogatory about many aspects of Israeli culture. They don’t like the way many Israelis think or behave and clearly they have no respect for the way Israelis vote.

Perversely they show understanding for Israel’s enemies, including those like Hamas – but as is frequently pointed out – they never have any empathy for Israelis with different opinions to their own.

They openly display that they are fundamentally disappointed with Israeli people. Beinart’s position can be described thus: – Israelis don’t deserve their state because of the way they have developed and behaved.

So I was unsurprised by the article. Every few months we are presented with a similar article written by someone who says that they have supported Israel all their lives but because those pesky Israelis have just gone and ******* (fill in the blank with whatever has just occurred – with Beinart it is the ‘annexation’) they must now publicly state that Zionism is in tatters and doomsday is coming. Immature virtue signalling that sells out the millions of Jews who live in Israel.

But what interested me most about this episode was not another of the liberal Zionists falling off the ideological cliff. It was how our own Jewish fringe groups responded.
A Eureka moment: Peter Beinart and the One State Solution
Beinart buttresses his argument for a one state solution by citing Yousef Munayyer and Edward Said, who support his view that “Equality could come in the form of one state that includes Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.”

In the November/December 2019 edition of Foreign Affairs, Yousef Munayyer, director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, (USCPR) said the “only alternative with any chance of delivering lasting peace: equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians in a single shared state.” He argues “The Palestinians [are] a population struggling and surviving under decades of Israeli oppression.”

NGO Monitor reports “USCPR is a national coalition of hundreds of groups working to advocate for Palestinian rights and a shift in US policy and is a leader and mobilizer of anti-Israel BDS campaigns.” According to its “Common Principles,” “We oppose U.S. military, diplomatic, financial, corporate, and all other forms of support for Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies toward Palestinians.”

On March 6, 2019, the Jerusalem Post reported Munayyer appeared “to condone the efforts of PFLP [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine] on his Twitter feed, including retweeting a PFLP announcement of a terror attack in Jerusalem on June 16, 2017.”

The late Edward Said, a professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and Palestinian Arab activist, postulated that underlying cause of “the conflict between the two peoples has always been about possession of and sovereignty over the land.”

He accused the Zionists of being a “tool of imperialism” who usurped their land, established settler colonies and a sovereign state whose only means of preservation is by aggression and expansion.

In a September 29, 2015 interview [an article] in the Washington Post entitled “The one-state solution and the brutal honesty of Edward Said,” he said “… the only feasible alternatives to Zionism… have a majority Arab state in which Jews are, at best, a suppressed minority, or force all six million Jews living in Israel to flee to whatever countries (if any) will accept them, or some combination of the two. "

The idea that giving up on 'Zionism' makes you a 'liberal' is false, unless creating yet another Arab dictatorship in what is now Israel at the cost of six million Jews’ lives and liberty, and of by far the most liberal state in their region, is somehow a “liberal” option.” [originally from a Ha'aretz inteview from 2000, source]



Melanie Phillips: The Jewish surrender to the West’s eclipse of reason
Rarely has a journalist’s resignation from their newspaper created such an impact as the coruscating letter with which Bari Weiss resigned from The New York Times.

The moral bankruptcy of that paper has been plain for years to the many who have been shocked by its substitution of propaganda for objective journalism on many issues, including Israel.

What really horrified people was Weiss’s description of the way she was victimized by her colleagues for challenging the paper’s group-think. They singled her out for her support for Israel as a Jew, calling her “a Nazi and a racist.” She said she “learned to brush off comments about how I’m ‘writing about the Jews again.’ ”

I myself wasn’t shocked by any of this because of my own experiences over many years. In the 1980s and ’90s, as a writer on Britain’s left-wing papers The Guardian and Observer, I rebelled against their orthodoxies over issues such as education, family breakdown or multiculturalism. The reaction was so poisonous I eventually felt forced to leave.

Colleagues suggested to my face that my support for Israel (a country I had never even visited at that stage) meant I was no longer really British. Other journalists talked offensively about my Jewishness behind my back.

The venomous hatred of Israel on the left and their targeting of any Jew who stands up for it run rampant in Britain and America. Intersectionality has lined up the Jews with capitalist oppression and, as we have seen over the past few weeks, “white privilege.”

And as we have also seen, liberal institutions, including much of the media, the universities and the cultural world, have gone along with this cultural totalitarianism. As a result, numerous people have been pushed out of their jobs or “canceled” via social media. Which is, of course, why Weiss’s letter struck such a nerve.

Distressingly, many American and British Jews have not only swallowed these orthodoxies, but are also helping stamp out any dissent.
Bari Weiss’ Resignation Letter Was a Service to Press Freedom
When it comes to diversity of thought, the Times has become all the boredom that’s fit to print.

That’s why it was fascinating to read Bari Weiss’ letter of resignation from the Times. It made me realize I wasn’t delusional.

“The lessons that ought to have followed the election — lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society — have not been learned,” she wrote. “Instead, a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.”

Weiss was brought in three years ago to help fix that, to bring in voices, she says, “that would not otherwise appear in your pages: first-time writers, centrists, conservatives, and others who would not naturally think of the Times as their home.”

To her credit, she brought in many of those voices. She listed some of them: “The Venezuelan dissident Wuilly Arteaga; the Iranian chess champion Dorsa Derakhshani; and the Hong Kong Christian democrat Derek Lam. Also: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Masih Alinejad, Zaina Arafat, Elna Baker, Rachael Denhollander, Matti Friedman, Nick Gillespie, Heather Heying, Randall Kennedy, Julius Krein, Monica Lewinsky, Glenn Loury, Jesse Singal, Ali Soufan, Chloe Valdary, Thomas Chatterton Williams, Wesley Yang, and many others.”

Maybe in the age of Twitter mobs, groupthink, and political ultra-correctness, it was too good to last.
Justice Still Being Sought for Victims of Buenos Aires Jewish Community Center Bombing, 26 Years Later
Saturday will mark the 26th anniversary of the deadly bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in which 85 people were murdered.

The July 18, 1994 attack at the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) building was perpetrated by Hezbollah on behalf of its backer, Iran.

Major Jewish groups around the world are commemorating the atrocity with social media posts.

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) tweeted, “On July 18, 1994, a terrorist attack struck the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 85 people. Julio Menajovsky was one of the first photojournalists on the scene. More than two decades later, he reunited with survivors and relatives of the victims.”


B’nai B’rith International tweeted, “Twenty-six years after the #AMIA terrorist bombing in Buenos Aires, there’s still no justice for the victims & their families.”
Argentine president tells Jewish leaders he wants results in AMIA bombing trial
In the days before the 26th anniversary of the Buenos Aires AMIA Jewish center bombing that killed 85 in 1994, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez has conveyed to Jewish leaders his desire to end the decades-long legal case that followed the attack, which has been complicated by corruption allegations and the likely murder of Jewish prosecutor Alberto Nisman.

Speaking in an online event Thursday with Dina Siegel Vann, the director of AJC’s Belfer Center for Latino and Latin American Affairs, Fernandez said “condemnation of terrorism can’t be under discussion, as the Holocaust, it can’t be neglected nor tolerated.”

Fernandez’s comments are significant given that his vice president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, has been on trial for years over allegations that she conspired with the Iranian government to cover up Iran’s involvement in the bombing.

Fernandez’s predecessor, the conservative Mauricio Macri, took a hardline stance on the investigation, vowing to find justice for the bombing victims and for the family of Nisman — who was found dead in his apartment on the day in January 2015 he was to present his findings in the case.

Iran and Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, have long been linked to the attack, and seven people — six Iranians and one Lebanese — have been on Interpol’s most wanted list since 2007. During the online event, Fernandez said Iran’s refusal to extradite suspects has been a key factor in the investigation’s holdup.

Argentina signed a controversial memorandum of understanding with Iran in 2013, under Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, which stated that the two countries would jointly investigate the attack. The agreement was voided in 2015 after critics said it violated the executive branch’s principles of independence. Even though Fernandez opposed the pact in the past, on Thursday he said that it was an effort to advance the investigation.
The fallacy that is the 1967 line that divided Israel and the West Bank
The June 5 lines were entirely abolished and not mentioned in any document. Israel was entitled to secure and recognized boundaries to be negotiated between the parties. Only such arrangements would help in ensuring future Israeli security.

Nor was Johnson the only US president to confirm this formula. President Ronald Reagan in his Mideast Peace Effort address of September 1, 1982, declared, “Having followed and supported Israel’s heroic struggle for survival ever since [its] founding... in the pre-1967 borders, Israel was barely 10 miles wide at its narrowest point. The bulk of Israel’s population lived within artillery range of hostile Arab enemies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again.”

Thus, the American position renouncing the 1948 armistice lines as null and void is a reflection of bipartisan policy.

The question, therefore, arises: From where do these Europeans take this June 5 formula? The answer is that on December 23, 2016, the Security Council, at the behest of president Barak Obama, adopted Resolution 2334, which sought to renew the old formula of the June 5 lines.

This was Obama’s parting gift, three weeks before leaving the White House, to his faithful antagonist, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But 2334 also reaffirms Resolution 242, so it cannot cancel what 242 established. Moreover, 2334 was adopted over the abstention of the United States, which means only 242 remains the accepted and recognized scheme for any settlement.

In short, the June lines were killed by Nasser and buried by the adoption of 242. The effort to resuscitate the June 5 lines must be acknowledged to have been aborted. Israel is acting in accordance with international and UN law in rejecting any such abortive effort.
Israel’s Gantz Wants West Bank ‘Cultivation’ Now, Not Annexation
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s top coalition partner wants Israel to shelve West Bank annexation plans and instead focus on improving conditions for the territory’s residents, both Israeli and Palestinian, two cabinet ministers said on Friday.

Centrist ex-general Benny Gantz and the conservative Netanyahu had agreed to begin discussing annexation as of July 1, but the initiative — already dogged by diplomatic blowback — has been sidelined by a coronavirus resurgence.

Gantz says the health crisis should take precedence over any West Bank moves that may inflame the conflict with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu could go it alone in declaring Israeli sovereignty over West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley. But Gantz’s misgivings have complicated Israeli efforts to present a united front on annexation and how it might fit with US President Donald Trump’s plan for Middle East peace.

While Gantz — whose popularity has plunged since he broke with an opposition alliance to join Netanyahu in March — has limited political clout, his role as defense minister also puts him directly in charge of civilian activities in the West Bank.

Alon Schuster, Israel‘s agriculture minister and a member of Gantz’s Blue and White party, said he was working to achieve “cultivation and not annexation, now” for West Bank farmers.


In Washington, a debate over conditioning US aid to Israel heats up
If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unilaterally annexes parts of the West Bank, he will do so knowing that virtually the entire United States Democratic Party opposes the move.

The entire leadership has spoken out against it, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and at least 210 of the 233 Democrats in Congress have sent or signed on to letters urging Jerusalem to drop the proposal.

But now, some Democrats are no longer just stating their disapproval of annexation; they are now calling for a policy response should Netanyahu go through with it.

Last week, Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen introduced an amendment to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to block US funds from going toward the prime minister’s planned annexation of roughly 30 percent of the West Bank.

The motion currently has 13 co-sponsors, including Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, and is backed by a coalition of liberal Zionist groups, such as J Street and Americans for Peace Now.


UN Watch: Watchdog calls out UN rights council’s hypocrisy, anti-Israel bias
As we are the first to take the floor, after all the statements by Iran, Syria, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and other distinguished supporters of the Palestinian delegation, let me state — for the record — that everything we have just heard has no basis in fact, or in law.

Now, 14 years ago, this Human Rights Council was founded to rectify what UN Secretary General Kofi Annan decried as the selectivity and politicization of the old Commission on Human Rights — which, he said, was casting a shadow upon the reputation of the United Nations as a whole.

And yet, in 2007, only one year later, the Council created the agenda item under which we meet today, for the 44th time. It requires — at every meeting of this world body — that Israel alone be singled out, for unique scrutiny. There’s one agenda item for the entire world, for 193 countries, which we had yesterday — and then today, one agenda item on Israel alone.

Right after its adoption, on 20 June 2007, the new Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, condemned this agenda item. He was “disappointed at the Council’s decision to single out only one specific regional item, given the range and scope of allegations of human rights violations throughout the world.”

Why has the Council not removed this stain on its reputation?

Madam Chair,

No other country in the world is subjected to its own agenda item — not even one that has killed half a million of its own people, or another that has 1 million Muslims locked up in re-education camps, an action that, incidentally, was praised by the Palestinian Ambassador in the letter published as HRC/41/G/17.

And so as the Council gathers today for the 44th time to vilify the Jewish state, it will simply have no time for millions of victims around the world. They continue to go ignored.


Hillel Neuer: Why China Picked Amnesty International's Ex-Chief as U.N. Free Speech Monitor
China's appointment in April to a U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) panel that selects world human rights monitors sparked global outrage.

Even worse, it now turns out that among the 17 different appointments to be made this year by this five-nation consultative group, the vetting of the expert on freedom of speech—an appointment to be finalized today by the Council's plenary—was actually chaired by Beijing.

Only in the Orwellian world of the UNHRC would a totalitarian regime that systematically silences, jails and crushes dissenting voices, and which operates the notorious Great Firewall of China to block Internet content from its people, be allowed to lead the process in selecting the next U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression.

Out of 48 applicants worldwide for the prestigious six-year position, the top choice put forward by the China-led panel is Irene Khan, the former secretary-general of Amnesty International from 2001 to 2009.

But why would the Chinese Communist Party, which locks up democracy advocates like Wang Bingzhang, endorse a human rights champion?

A closer look at Khan's record—her role in moving Amnesty away from its founding mission of protecting prisoners of conscience, her growing ties to China's government—suggests Xi Jinping's advisers will have little reason to fear Khan's wrath.
Coronavirus cases climb: Nearly 2,000 people diagnosed in a single day
To allow for preparations and due to the purchase of food by restaurants for the weekend, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz said Friday that restaurants could remain open until 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 21. At that time, they will revert to takeaway and delivery only.

The government is required to approve the decision.

The announcement, made via a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, came after several restaurants announced that they would not adhere to the new coronavirus directives and would open anyway, and amid strong protest by the Association of Restaurants and politicians.

“Once again, we are witnessing the capricious and irresponsible conduct of a government that has lost its way,” the association said in a statement, stressing that they had already stocked up on raw materials that would otherwise be thrown away or donated.

“The arbitrary decision to close the restaurants again is a death sentence for the industry,” accused MK Avigdor Liberman in a Facebook post. “Restaurants that opened after a long period of closure, that had to adapt themselves at record speed to the changing restrictions, are now forced to close again without prior notice.”
Israelis donate millions to the poor after PM’s pledge of virus stipends for all
Following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s unveiling of a widely criticized plan to cut checks to all Israelis amid the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of people have donated millions of shekels in an effort to redirect the money to those in need.

Netanyahu announced on Wednesday that the government would distribute stipends to all Israelis, regardless of financial standing. Anyone above 18 will receive NIS 750 ($217). Families with one child will receive NIS 2,000 ($580), those with two NIS 2,500 ($725) and those with three children or more will get NIS 3,000 ($870).

While Netanyahu explained the stimulus program as motivated by the “need to get the wheels moving and make sure nobody falls between the cracks,” it was met with criticism by top finance officials, members of his government and by many citizens.

In the wake of Netanyahu’s announcement, Channel 13’s late-night news program “HaTzinor” opened up a crowdfunding campaign for people interested in redistributing the grants from “those who need less to those who really are in need.”

“We are inundated with difficult stories,” the show’s staff wrote in a post on its official Facebook page. “People who do not receive assistance from the state at all. Children who are disgracefully hungry. Families whose electricity has been cut off. Let’s now pass on to them the grants we have received from the government.”

As of Friday morning, some 5,633 Israelis had donated NIS 2,772,112 ($803,767) to the program’s crowdfunding campaign on the online GiveBack platform.
Israel Third Only to US and China in Covid-19 Solutions, Says Life Sciences Expert
The convergence between healthcare and technology is the next phase in the evolution of life sciences innovation, says Dr. Laurent Choppe, Managing Partner at Cukierman & Co. Life Sciences, the life sciences arm of the leading investment house. But for anyone hoping that health tech will solve the Covid-19 crisis anytime soon, Choppe has got little good news, saying that at the very best a vaccine will be available during the first quarter of 2021.

Choppe, who splits his time between Israel and Switzerland, knows what he’s talking about when it comes to coronavirus, and not just because of his medical background or the fact that he has been keeping close tabs on life sciences progression for decades. Choppe’s mother was hospitalized in Israel three months ago after contracting Covid-19. Fortunately, she made a full recovery and Choppe said that she was recently checked and it was determined that she is still carrying coronavirus antibodies. However, he said he knows of other cases diagnosed at the same time who no longer have antibodies, which is an example of another challenge with major implications presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The majority of cases in Israel today are infections without symptoms. You have thousands of people identified and from what I see either the virus is less aggressive or it is mainly young people being infected so it is less impactful on them while the older population is being very protective,” Choppe told CTech.

The fact there are fewer serious cases and less people requiring respiration has actually made clinical trials of medication for Covid-19 more complicated. “You need to move from country to country following the pandemic which is today more active in the US and South America. It is very complicated to follow,” said Choppe. “For a vaccine, it is even more complicated because the trial takes a long time as you don’t see immediate results the way you do with other drugs.”

“There will be several vaccines because companies are developing them from different angles of the technology,” added Choppe. “The regulatory system will help to get fast approvals, but I don’t see anything before Q1 next year, assuming it works. If what they are trying today on a big number of patients doesn’t work, which is very often the case, it could be even later and there is no way to speed it up. You need to show that the vaccine is protecting people for a certain time. If it protects a person for one month nobody will use it. You need to show it works for six months, a year, or more.”

Many Israeli startups and companies have thrown themselves into the Covid-19 vertical, with Choppe saying that of the 1,600 life sciences companies in the country, around 180 are either fully or partially dedicated to coronavirus.
13 promising Covid treatments emerging from Israel
Scientists across the globe are working on vaccines to prevent Covid-19 infection. (Click here to read about six Israeli vaccine candidates.)

But in the meanwhile, and even after initial vaccines are approved, there is an urgent need for effective treatments for the respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Most potential treatments target the life-threatening lung inflammation typical of serious Covid-19 cases. It’s caused by a phenomenon called a “cytokine storm.”

Cytokines are proteins that trigger inflammation as a natural response to infection. In response to a virus overload, in this case in the lungs, the immune system activates a storm of cytokines. Too many cytokines lead to too much inflammation, which can damage the lungs and cause respiratory distress.

Israeli hospitals were among the first anywhere to use dexamethasone, a steroid drug, to stop cytokines storms and reduce lung inflammation in severely ill Covid-19 patients. However, steroids can suppress the immune response too strongly.

Additionally, an Israeli hospital is among the first to do a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of ivermectin, a drug to treat parasitic infections in people and animals, to see if it can shorten the duration of the disease if given to Covid-19 patients immediately after diagnosis.

Israelis are also formulating novel therapeutics of their own.


PMW: JPost: French Consul 'too vague' on issue of legitimizing Arab terrorism
Failure by the French Consul to condemn Palestinian calls for terrorists to be released from jail endangers Israeli lives by legitimizing terror as a weapon in the Israeli-Arab conflict, an NGO told The Jerusalem Post.

French Consul-General, René Troccaz, recently met with PLO Executive Committee Secretary and Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat, where, according to the official PA daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Troccaz is said to have agreed with all of the PA's demands for peace, including a return to the 1967 borderlines, a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, and the release of all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, including terrorists responsible for deadly terror attacks.

According to a translation by Palestinian Media Watch, on July 3 the newspaper reported: “During a meeting between Erekat and French Consul General René Troccaz, … the French consul general emphasized his country’s absolute rejection of annexation, and demanded to cancel it and begin a credible peace process on the basis of international law, the international bodies, and the defined agreements and sources of authority in such a way that will guarantee the end of the occupation, the realization of the independence of the State of Palestine whose capital is East Jerusalem within the 1967 borders, the resolution of the permanent status issues – foremost among them the issue of the refugees based on [UN] Resolution 194, and the release of the prisoners.”

Resolution 194 guarantees right of return for Arabs who left Israel during Israel's War of Independence, and their descendants, now amounting to some 5.5 million people, and stipulates that compensation must be paid to those who choose not to return.

A spokesman from the Consulate General of France in Jerusalem told the Post in an email: "These reports are inaccurate. The French position is public and well known. We will not further comment on this official's bilateral talks."
Hamas admits naval officer spied for Israel
After denying such reports, Hamas has now confirmed that one of its naval commanders fled to Israel after providing it with intelligence.
Abu Mohammed, a Hamas military spokesman, told The Media Line that the defector was a junior officer in the organization’s highly regarded naval unit.

The daring escape was first reported on Saturday by the Saudi news channel Al Arabiya, which said the officer and his brother escaped with a laptop and surveillance equipment as part of a 72-hour operation led by Israel’s Mossad spy agency.

Hamas immediately issued a statement calling the report "fake news" benefitting Israel, and harshly criticized the news outlet.

"The aim [of the report] is to harm the Palestinian people and [damage] their confidence in the resistance and liberation project," Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem said at the time. “Al Arabiya is promoting rumors that serve the occupation by destabilizing the home front in Gaza.”
Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Saudi Arabia has been trying to quash. The kingdom has also drawn closer to Israel in recent years although the countries do not maintain official ties.
Hamas bans two Saudi TV channels from reporting in Gaza
The ban came after reports surfaced that it had arrested several members accused of collaborating with Israel

The Palestinian terrorist movement Hamas has decided to ban Saudi television channels Al-Arabiya and Al-Hadath from reporting in the Gaza Strip, a journalist working in the coastal enclave said Thursday.

The Hamas Interior Ministry and Al-Arabiya confirmed the ban, which was imposed following reports by the channels that Hamas had arrested several of its members for "collaborating with Israel."

According to an Al-Arabiya journalist speaking on the condition of anonymity, the decision prohibits "anyone or any business from providing services" to the two channels.

Hamas closed the Al-Arabiya satellite channel in the Gaza Strip in 2013 after the dissemination of "false" information about aid from the Islamist movement to the Muslim Brotherhood."

But both Al-Arabiya and Al-Hadath, which are Saudi channels based in Dubai, continued to work with independent journalists in the Palestinian enclave.

Hamas, which took power in Gaza following a bloody coup of the Palestinian Authority in 2007, is largely dependent on aid from Qatar, which is the target of a regional blockade led by Saudi Arabia.

The Palestinian journalists' union denounced the Hamas decision, saying in a statement that "restrictions on press freedom and repeated shutdown of media" in the enclave were "contrary to national values ​​and principles."






EU must designate Hezbollah as terror organization, 230 lawmakers say
Some 230 lawmakers have urged the European Union to designate the Lebanon-based Hezbollah organization as a terrorist group.

“Hezbollah, the Iranian regime’s most deadly proxy, operates a global terror network that threatens not only its neighbors, but also Western democracies,” the lawmakers said in a letter they planned to send to the EU on Friday.

“In Germany alone, Hezbollah has over 1,000 supporters... the group’s violent and antisemitic ideology is poisoning the fabric for our pluralistic societies,” the lawmakers said.

The EU already recognizes Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist group, but has not extended that designation to the organization’s political wing. Such a designation must be made by the unanimous consent of the EU's Council of foreign ministers, where opinions on the matter are divided.

In their letter, the lawmakers urged “the EU to end this false distinction between ‘military’ and ‘political’ arms – a distinction Hezbollah itself dismisses – and ban the entire organization,” the lawmakers said.

Signatories to the letter included 131 members of European national legislatures, 73 members of the European Parliament, 17 members of the US Congress, eight members of the Parliament of Canada and six Knesset members.

The letter was organized and released by American Jewish Committee’s Transatlantic Institute in Brussels. It was designed to come out around the July 18th anniversary of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Argentina, in which 85 people were killed. It’s believed that Iran and Hezbollah were behind the bombing. The letter is also linked to the July 18, 2012, Hezbollah-backed bombing of a tour bus of Israelis in Bulgaria, in which five Israelis and the Bulgarian bus driver were killed.

The text, referred to as the Transatlantic Declaration, was scheduled to be sent to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, European Council President Charles Michel, European Parliament President David Sassoli and to the governments of all EU member states.
Iran's Military Alliance with China Threatens Middle East Security
Announcing Iran's intention to build a new military base in the Indian Ocean, Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, the commander of the naval attachment of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said that the base would be used to protect fishing and commercial vessels from piracy and "foreign ships", a reference to the US-led multinational naval task force that is currently protecting Gulf shipping from Iranian interference.

As part of the deal negotiated with Beijing, China is to be allowed access to a number of Iranian ports, including Chabahar, with the Chinese reported to be planning to build a new military base in the vicinity of the port.

The construction of such a base would enable the Chinese Navy to monitor the activities of the U.S. Navy in the area, in particular the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet in the Gulf, which is permanently deployed to protect shipping passing through the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most important economic waterways.

Any expansion in Iranian and Chinese military activity in the region would also have an impact on the jointly-administered U.S.-UK base on the island of Diego Garcia, one of the Pentagon's most important military assets in the region.
After the China-Iran deal, why is Israel still working with Beijing?
In six weeks, at the end of August, a number of international construction groups will submit their offers for an estimated NIS 15 billion tender to construct the Tel Aviv Light Rail’s Green and Purple lines.

This is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Israeli history, meant to connect portions of Gush Dan with the middle of Tel Aviv. What makes the tender noteworthy is that out of the six groups pre-approved to submit proposals, three of them include a Chinese partner. In addition, all three of the Chinese companies are owned by the state.

Why is this important? Because this past week, The New York Times revealed that China and Iran had quietly drafted an economic and security partnership that will see billions of Chinese dollars be invested in Iranian infrastructure projects. The investments are reportedly going to be spread out over 25 years, and will reach a whopping $400 billion.

In other words, while China does business with Israel’s #1 enemy, Israel is doing business with China. One could say that while Israel is reportedly waging a covert battle against Iran’s nuclear program with one hand (think about the series of recent explosions across the country), with the other hand it is giving China billions of dollars that could then make their way to Iran.

One of the groups competing for the tender includes CRRC, a state-owned Chinese company that a couple of years ago won the tender to supply rail cars for the Red Line for a hefty NIS 1.2 billion. CRRC already works in Iran. A few years ago, it signed massive contracts to provide the Iranians with subway cars.




Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd: See it in Action: DAVID's SLING Flight Test
DAVID's SLING / SkyCeptor - Defeating Current & Emerging Threats
The system protects against multiple targets at long range ? including artillery, rockets, short-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and tactical ballistic missiles.






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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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