Friday, September 11, 2020

From Ian:

Bahrain to Normalize Ties With Israel, Media Reports Say
The Gulf state of Bahrain is to normalize relations with Israel, the diplomatic correspondent for Israel‘s public broadcaster Kan said on Friday, without citing sources.

Another Israeli reporter, Raphael Ahren of The Times of Israel, said US President Donald Trump would on Friday announce that Bahrain was joining its neighbour the United Arab Emirates in formally establishing ties with Israel.

The White House had no immediate comment. Trump will on Tuesday host a White House ceremony solemnizing the Israel-UAE deal, which was announced on Aug. 13.

The Kan reporter, Amichai Stein, said in a tweet that Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa would be in Washington on Monday.

Neither Bahrain’s government communications center nor Bahrain’s embassy in Washington immediately responded to a request for comment.

Last week, Bahrain said it would allow flights between Israel and the UAE to use its airspace. This followed a Saudi decision to allow an Israeli commercial airliner to fly over it on the way to the UAE.

Bahrain, a small island state, is a close ally of Saudi Arabia and the site of the US Navy’s regional headquarters. Riyadh in 2011 sent troops to Bahrain to help quell an uprising and, alongside Kuwait and the UAE, in 2018 offered Bahrain a $10 billion economic bailout.
Israel Advocacy Movement: The EU's divides the Middle East while USA brings peace

Caroline Glick: The UAE and the Democratic-CAIR partnership
The US-brokered peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, which is scheduled to be finalized next week at the White House, strikes a major blow to the twin forces of Islamic imperialism and terror in the Middle East: the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood and the Shiite regime in Iran. The tripartite alliance between the US, Israel, and the UAE openly supported by Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco, gives an institutional structure to a pro-American regional bloc of moderate, anti-jihadist governments all with proven track records of action against the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran and their surrogates.

Based as it is on shared interests, the Israel-UAE alliance is likely to persevere in the years to come. But America's continued participation in the alliance is significantly tied to the outcome of the presidential elections.

In 2014, the UAE published a list of 82 designated terrorist groups. Nestled between al-Qaida and ISIS was the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, a group with deep ties to the Democratic Party.

The UAE designation was not a slander. As former US prosecutor Andrew McCarthy chronicled in his 2010 book, The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America, CAIR was founded in 1994 as a front organization for the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian branch Hamas. In conjunction with other Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood front groups and fundraising arms, CAIR's job was to promote political Islam. Its operations, based in Washington, were to focus on political influence. To achieve this end, it presented itself as a civil rights organization.

As McCarthy and terror experts Daniel Pipes and Steve Emerson have copiously documented, CAIR's ties to terrorism are legion and continuous. After 9/11, CAIR refused to condemn Osama bin Laden until after he acknowledged that he ordered the attacks. CAIR denied that al-Qaida was behind the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and demanded the removal of billboards in Los Angeles describing bin Laden as "the sworn enemy," of the US claiming the depiction was "offensive to Muslims."

Likewise, CAIR consistently refuses to condemn any terror attacks committed by Hezbollah or Hamas. Making this refusal explicit, in 2004, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad said, "If they want us to condemn a liberation movement inside Palestine or inside Lebanon they should condemn Israel dozens of times on all levels at all times, and we will not condemn any organization."

Sharansky on UAE peace treaty, rise of doublethink in US and Jewish unity
Former Prisoner of Zion Natan Sharansky and history Prof. Gil Troy are admittedly “a very unlikely duo,” said Troy on a recent Behind the Headlines video interview with The Times of Israel. But ideologically, he said, the pair of optimistic Zionists are on the same page. On over 450 pages, actually, the length of their newly published book, “Never Alone: Prison, Politics, and My People.”

“Never Alone” is what Troy tongue-in-cheekily calls a “memoirfesto.” It is part Sharansky memoir — recounting the three main periods of his life: prison, politics, and as head of the Jewish Agency — and part manifesto. Through the framework of Sharansky’s nine years in Soviet prisons, nine years in the Knesset, and nine years in the Jewish Agency, it’s also a rallying cry to every Jew to get personally involved in the Jewish story and push for unity.

“Never Alone” is a book of gratitude and great expectations. But it’s also an inside look at top Israeli, US and Russian leaders that portrays them as the flawed individuals they are. Readers gain not only Sharansky’s gulag anecdotes and behind-the-scenes insight into the Knesset, but also reap US historian and author Troy’s rich knowledge of the historical and personal context of the presidents who aided and abetted Sharansky in finding freedom for himself, and Israel.

It is the story of an immigrant who faced sabra disdain and changed a system, but also warns against rising anti-Semitism and broken communications among the Jewish peoples, especially on campuses. And finally, it’s a story of an undying love of democracy and an optimism that peace will prevail.

The Times of Israel spoke with Troy and Sharansky as part of the ongoing Behind the Headlines series. The interview was streamed exclusively for The Times of Israel Community earlier this week. (To join the ToI Community and to catch future video interviews as they happen, please click here.)

Both authors are based in Jerusalem and while Sharansky is enjoying his so-called retirement (by speaking internationally and writing prolifically), Troy, who was formerly based at McGill University in Canada, is still teaching at a variety of institutions in Jerusalem and elsewhere.

Khaled Abu Toameh: The 'Merchants of the Palestinian Issue'
Many Gulf citizens described the Palestinian leaders as "merchants of the Palestinian issue" and accused them of financial corruption and embezzlement of public funds.

"The enemy of the Palestinian cause is not Israel, but the [Palestinian] comrades, the disgraceful merchants of Palestine, who don't want the Palestinian issue to be resolved. Before you [Palestinian leaders] criticize others, you need to take a look at yourselves and your miserable situation and the condition of your people, whom you have destroyed." — Shuja Al-Hothli, Saudi journalist and author, Twitter, September 7, 2020.

Palestinian leaders have accumulated huge personal fortunes, possibly in part thanks to donations from Western taxpayers and their unenquiring governments.

Some Gulf Arabs interpreted Hamed's remarks as incitement to carry out terrorist attacks against the Gulf states. "The funny thing is that Mueen Hamed called for armed actions against the Gulf, not Israel." — Saudi social media user who calls himself inthe_shade911, Twitter, September 6, 2020.

By alienating the Gulf Arabs, the Palestinian leaders are further ravaging their own people, especially those who live and work in these countries. Abbas has already wrecked the Palestinians' relations with Israel and the US. By offending the Gulf states and depicting their residents as backward illiterates, Abbas and the leaders of the Palestinian factions are convincing yet more Arabs to stay as far away from Palestinians as they can.
Exclusive: Former world leader played key role in Israel-UAE deal
Last Friday, the phone rang in former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's office. It was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was calling his old friend to tell him one thing: Thank you. Blair, as Israel Hayom is the first to reveal, played a key role in the historic breakthrough between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Relations between Israel and the Gulf Emirates began to thaw back in 2015, from nothing. In 2010, the Dubai police exposed the targeted execution, supposedly by Mossad agents, of arch-terrorist Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. The Emiratis were outraged. They ceased to trust the few Israelis with whom they had secretly maintained ties. Cooperation was frozen. The Emirati police, via Interpol, issued an arrest warrant for 33 Mossad personnel whom they suspected of carrying out the mission.

The affairs caused waves in the Mossad. Its tactics had been exposed, its people were grounded and at risk of arrest. No less serious – Israel had lost a vital relationship with an Arab nation. Not only were defense ties severed, so were the quiet business dealings that had been going on for years.

Change became possible when Netanyahu addressed the US Congress in March 2015 and spoke against the Iran nuclear deal. Like other Gulf states, the Emiratis felt bet rayed by then-US President Barack Obama. The stance Netanyahu took, against the deal and against Iran, as well as against the US administration, impressed Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed Bin Zayed. Since taking over in 2005, Bin Zayed has spearheaded a process of modernization, increased openness to the world, and tolerance in the UAE. He has labeled Iran, as well as radical Sunni Islam, dangerous.

'A life of their own'

It was Blair who identified an opportunity to build cooperation with Israel based on this shared outlook. When he stepped down as British prime minister in 2007, he said it was his life's dream to bring peace to the Middle East. He was appointed envoy to the Middle East Quartet (representing the US, Russia, the United Nations, and the European Union), but it 2015 resigned, having reached a clear conclusion.
In back-handed compliment, Biden praises Trump for Israel-UAE deal
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden railed against US President Donald Trump’s record in the Middle East during a Thursday campaign event, but acknowledged that the administration’s brokering of a normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates was a positive development.

“I think Trump is going to accidentally do something positive here, in terms of this issue of… other Arab states” acknowledging Israel, Biden said during a virtual fundraiser organized by the liberal, pro-Israel lobby J Street. The Times of Israel received a recording from the private event.

Biden said conditioning the normalization agreement on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to shelve plans to annex parts of the West Bank was “not a bad thing either.”

“Even our brethren in the Arab world… have come to realize that it is in their interest that there be a two-state solution [and] that Israel is able to live in peace and be recognized,” he added.

Biden said he was glad annexation was off the table for now, but acknowledged that Netanyahu could move forward with the plan in the future.

“I don’t know how much is off the table in terms of Bibi’s notions. But he knows and the Israelis know my position,” Biden said, referring to Netanyahu by his nickname.

He highlighted his longstanding relationship with Netanyahu, but did not shy away from sharply criticizing the premier.

At the same time, Biden said responsibility for the conflict’s stalemate lies with the Palestinians as well.
US, Oman Discuss Ways to Strengthen Security, Boost Economic Ties
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday spoke with Oman’s leader, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said, about ways to enhance regional security and strengthen economic ties between the two countries, the White House said in a statement.

Trump thanked the Omani leader for his statements of support following a US-brokered agreement by the United Arab Emirates and Israel to normalize relations, the White House said.

“President Trump highlighted the importance of the United States-brokered Abraham Accords announced on August 13th and thanked the Sultan for Oman’s comments in support of the Israel-United Arab Emirates deal,” the statement said.

Oman has been mentioned by Israeli officials as another country that could follow the UAE lead in normalizing ties with Israel, but there was no mention of that in the White House statement.

White House adviser Jared Kushner last week said he hoped another Arab country would normalize ties with Israel within months.

Israel’s neighbors Egypt and Jordan reached peace deals with it decades ago, but other Arab states have long held the position that Israel must agree to give more land to the Palestinians for a state before ties can be normalized.
Special Report: Why Israeli firms are licking their lips over UAE trade
Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, Jerusalem’s Deputy Mayor, is looking forward to her first trip to Dubai. The British-educated leader is planning to make the most of the business opportunities that will come with the historic Abraham Accord, marking an era of more open relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

As co-founder of the UAE Israel Business Council, she has plans to boost tourism between the two nations, bring UAE funding into key projects in East Jerusalem and even lead a women’s delegation to promote female business relations in both countries.

“It feels like our countries are dating,” Hassan-Nahoum says. “We both see each other as exotic birds. There’s such excitement in the air, both sides are thirsty for peace. I really hope other nations will follow with this accord, from Morocco to Oman.

“It’s a very good shidduch, because the UAE have the largest sovereign wealth fund and know that in the next 20 to 30 years oil is over. They’re looking for new horizons for investment and we Israelis are generators of game-changing solutions that could lead us into a brand new era.

“There are Emiratis who want to pray at Muslim sites in Jerusalem and there are tonnes of Israelis who want to go on holiday to Dubai.

“No one expects this to happen next month, but you have to start laying down the infrastructure. We could start tour guides and who knows, there could be a kosher hotel in Dubai in Pesach.”
Coming soon to Israel: Medical tourism from UAE, as part of new hospital deal
Israel’s biggest hospital expects to see an influx of medical tourists from the United Arab Emirates, following a deal with a large Emirati investment fund.

Seizing on opportunities opened up by the new Israel-UAE normalization agreement, Sheba Medical Center has just signed a memorandum of understanding with Abu Dhabi-based APEX National Investment. There will be a special ceremony in Abu Dhabi later this month which will be attended by the UAE’s minister of health and members of the royal family.

The signing is a “great indicator of the potential of the Abraham Accords,” said Avi Berkowitz, White House Special Representative for International Negotiations, referring to the Israel-UAE treaty.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said: “It is fitting that the first significant partnership between Israel and the UAE is in health care. The Abraham Accords are already making the Middle East safer and more prosperous.”

Yoel Hareven, director of Sheba’s international division, told The Times of Israel that the agreement with APEX has provisions for the establishment of significant medical tourism from the UAE to his hospital, which is expected to begin in earnest when travel restrictions enacted for the pandemic are relaxed.
Abu Dhabi tech firm Group 42 to open office in Israel
Group 42, an Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing company, will open a wholly-owned subsidiary in Israel.

The new office will allow it to access technologies and talents available in Israel and assist Israeli companies to expand their operations in the Middle East region, state news agency Wam reported on Thursday.

“The establishment of the new Israeli office will strengthen Group 42’s presence in the region and give us access to one of the most vibrant and mature tech ecosystems in the world,” Peng Xiao, the company’s chief executive, said.

“It also reaffirms our ideals of openness and inclusiveness as we engage with international partners to harness best ideas and capabilities and solve problems in every sector for the benefit of society," he added.

Group 42 will use its new office to focus on areas including healthcare, Covid-19 diagnostic solutions, artificial intelligence, smart cities, renewable energies, agri-tech and water supply solutions.

The UAE and Israel agreed to normalise relations last month. Businesses in both countries have since announced partnerships in different sectors. This is the first time a UAE company establishes an office in Israel.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, is leading a high-ranking delegation to Washington for the signing ceremony of the UAE-Israeli accord on September 15.

In the past couple of months, Group 42 has partnered with various Israeli companies to conduct research.
Emirati children are taught peace, tolerance, study finds
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has broken new ground in the region with the introduction of a Moral Education curriculum designed to teach morality to enable students to navigate the modern world successfully. Remarkably, it is the first curriculum in the region to separate moral education from religious education.

The finding came in an initial report by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), a research and policy institute that analyzes schoolbooks and curricula within the prism of UNESCO-defined standards on peace and tolerance.

Well-versed in the content of school textbooks throughout the region, IMPACT-se found that the Moral Education curriculum was unique in the region for its willingness to embrace an outward-looking, inclusive worldview.

"The fact that this Moral Education curriculum is independent of religious education makes it unique to the Arab world, IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff said, adding: "It is a highly visible result of Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan’s stated aim to take back control of the education ministry from the Islamists who originally wrote the country’s textbooks. The material we have reviewed so far is a roadmap for young Emiratis towards moderation, respect for the 'Other', peace-making and tolerance."
Qatar’s Media Campaign Against UAE-Israel Deal Reflects a Wider Gulf Rift
In the weeks since U.S., Emirati, and Israeli leaders announced a historic normalization agreement on August 13, Qatari media has leveled major criticism of the deal. Yet the motivations for this criticism seem to reflect direct competition between Qatar and the UAE as much as genuine critique.

The direct competition between the UAE and Qatar, combined with the broader boycott of Qatar by the Arab Quartet—the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Bahrain— helps contextualize vocal, conflicting media responses to the deal, as Qatari, Saudi, and Emirati media have some of the broadest reach and largest influence regionally.

In Qatar, both semi-official and government-backed media have come out strongly against the deal, emphasizing Palestinian outrage and criticizing the UAE directly for the diplomatic move. Pro-Qatari government Al-Sharq newspaper mischaracterized the accord with a headline quoting Turkish President Erdogan, “History won’t forgive the UAE for signing a deal with Israel.” The same newspaper also ran the headline, “MbS is ready to establish open relations… The mediator is the Jew Haim Saban.”

State-owned Qatar TV claimed that Israel had deceived the UAE and is not planning to stop annexation, featuring images of Israeli police forces stopping Palestinian protesters from burning the Emirati flag and images of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ) inside Al-Aqsa mosque to claim that Israelis are protecting Emiratis from Palestinian outrage. Additionally, the Al-Jazeera channel aired tens of political shows in which interviewees from different Arab nationalities condemned the deal aggressively. Most of the coverage was directed specifically against the persona of the Emirati leadership, and the wording of these programs sought to delegitimize them.

In contrast, Arab Quartet media has pushed hard in the opposite direction as Emirati, Saudi, and Bahraini channels—with the notable exception of those channels affiliated with Bahrain’s Shia opposition—have defended the normalization deal. The fourth member of the Quartet—Egypt—has been notably quiet.
Why the U.N. targets Israel - Hillel Neuer on Sky News
While visiting Melbourne in February 2020, ?UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer was interviewed by Sky News Australia's Andrew Bolt, on U.N. hypocrisy and anti-Israeli bigotry. The Bolt Report.

Syrian state media reports Israeli airstrikes near Aleppo
Israeli aircraft launched a number of missiles at targets near the Syrian city of Aleppo in the early hours of Friday morning, Syrian state media said.

Syrian news outlets reported the strikes hit unspecified targets in the town of al-Safirah, southeast of Aleppo, an area that once contained a Syrian regime missiles production facility.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The Israel Defense Forces did not comment on the reported strikes, in accordance with its long-standing policy to neither confirm nor deny its activities in Syria.

Aleppo is a major city in northern Syria, near its border with Turkey, and is an uncommon — but not unprecedented — site for reported Israeli airstrikes.

It was not immediately clear what was hit in the reported airstrike.

Syrian state news agency SANA cited a military source as saying that Syrian air defenses downed most of the Israeli missiles before they hit their targets. Syrian war analysts generally dismiss the military’s regular claims of interceptions as false, empty boasts.
Huge explosions rock military facility in Jordan, army blames heat wave
A series of massive explosions that rocked Jordan's second largest city early on Friday was caused by mortar shells stored at an army munitions depot warping in an intense heat wave, the army said.

The government had earlier blamed an electric short circuit for the dawn blasts, which lit the desert sky and could be seen in the capital Amman, 35 km (22 miles) to the southwest. Both it and the army command said there were no reports of injuries.

Army spokesman Brigadier General Talal al Ghobain said investigations now indicated the intense heat caused the "thermal expansion of mortar shells" in the arms depot on the eastern outskirts of the sprawling city of 1.5 million people.

The blast site lies within a high security zone where some of the country's major US-equipped army bases are located, military sources say.
"We felt like an earthquake had struck. Our windows shook and glass shattered. My kids started crying," said Zarqa resident Nabila Issa, a housewife and mother of five children.

Government spokesman Amjad Adailah said earlier that mortars stored at the facility were old and not usable. An army source said on condition of anonymity that some of the weapons at the site were precision-guided anti-aircraft missiles; an army spokesman said no such missiles were stored there.
The ITIC has published an updated analysis of Palestinian Authority text books and teachers’ guides.
“As far as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was concerned, three fundamentals were found prominent in the examined schoolbooks: De-legitimization of the State of Israel’s existence, demonization of Israel and the Jews (“the Zionist enemy”), and advocacy of a violent struggle for the liberation of the Land of Israel (“Palestine”). Not a single call for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, or for co-existence with Israel, was found in any of the PA’s schoolbooks and teachers’ guides. During the year 2019, new editions of these schoolbooks appeared, with some changes, which necessitated an updating research. The examination of 133 books published in 2019 revealed that quite a few changes had been made there. But a thorough review of these changes made it clear that they strengthened the general picture regarding the conflict, as crystalized on the basis of the former studies, and that they did not change it.”
PMW: Always blame Israel! Palestinian custom of shooting in the air at celebrations is Israel's fault, says PA Security Forces
Feeding the libel that Israel deliberately spreads weapons among Palestinians so they can shoot each other and not attack Israelis, the spokesman of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces, Adnan Al-Damiri, claimed that Israel is turning a blind eye to and even encouraging those Israelis who sell weapons to Palestinians:

PA TV caption: “Gunfire at events – a dangerous phenomenon that disturbs the residents”

Official Spokesman of the PA Security Forces Adnan Al-Damiri: “The aims of these weapons are not defined by those carrying them, but rather the occupation – the enemy – is the one that has defined them. They have defined them as not harming their security and not harming their interests. They have been silent about them and allowed the Israeli merchants and discharged soldiers to sell them.”

[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, Aug. 30, 2020]

This is a classic example of the PA’s way of rationalizing and disclaiming all responsibility for problems within PA society. Be it the problem of drug abuse, natural disasters, or the spike in the number of Palestinians infected with the Coronavirus – the PA is never at fault. Israel is always to blame!

Earlier this year, Palestinian Media Watch reported that the PA blames Israel for the rise in violence within the PA and for accidents caused when Palestinians use fireworks at celebrations. In general, the PA is always quick to accuse and blame Israel, as it did recently after the explosion in Beirut.

Hamas chief Haniyeh's visit to Beirut puts burden on Lebanon
One genuinely assumes that the people of Lebanon have experienced the worst they can, especially after the August 4 Beirut port explosion, the destruction of which still echoes in the sleepless nights of many Lebanese as they try to confront their trauma.

Yet the visit of Ismail Haniyeh, deputy head of Hamas, to Lebanon this week clearly shows that Lebanese’ trouble and suffering is far from over.

Haniyeh’s visit to Beirut comes as Lebanon tries to muster international support to salvage what remains of its economy and rebuild its ravaged capital. Lebanon is currently at a crossroads and is trying to woo Western donors to bail it out, many of which designate Hamas as a terrorist organization. The US has designated Haniyeh as a terrorist and has sanctioned him.

The fact that Haniyeh arrived in Lebanon from Turkey where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received and granted the Hamas leader Turkish citizenship makes his Lebanon incursion even more perilous, as it clearly reflects the extremist nexus between Turkey, Qatar and Iran – all of which have shares in Hamas.

The real story of Haniyeh’s visit is not that Hezbollah welcomed him warmly, nor that Hamas used his visit to reaffirm its dominance over the Ain al-Hilwi camp, one of the biggest Palestinian refugee camp, but rather that Haniyeh received a royal reception by the Lebanese state and from a member of the political elite, Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri.

Haniyeh’s meeting with Nasrallah is somewhat expected as both are member of the same pro-Iran axis. But the question remains why would the Lebanese state grant Haniyeh and his delegation a visa to tour the country, and why would Berri and the outgoing Prime Minister Hassan Diab extend to Haniyeh the honors reserved for the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, Mahmoud Abbas, which Hamas continues to undermine and challenge thus, dividing the ranks of the Palestinian people.

Perhaps more importantly, while the Lebanese state treated Ismail Haniyeh as a statesman, his actions reflected that of a militia leader that has no respect for Lebanon nor its frail sovereignty. At Ain al-Hilwi, Haniyeh was hoisted up by his supporters who were armed to the teeth, in a blatant disregard to the Mahmoud Abbas’ brave commitment to “abide by Lebanon’s decision on arms in refugee camps.” Lebanon historically has not involved itself with security inside the camps, saying that the matter will be left to Palestinians living there.
Hezbollah’s Dirty Money and Illicit Activities in Canada
Earlier this summer, Italian port authorities in the city of Salerno announced that they had discovered a hidden shipment of 84 million pills of Captagon, an illegal amphetamine drug worth 1.4 billion Canadian dollars, in one of the largest drug seizures ever.

While Italy has remained quiet about the likely culprit, given the size of the find, it didn’t take long for Middle East analysts to identify a main player in the drug trade: Hezbollah. The Iranian-terror proxy Hezbollah has been connected in recent years to the trade of Captagon, including recent busts in the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere in Europe.

While most Canadians’ images of Hezbollah may be that of a Lebanese terrorist group banned by the Canadian government and occasionally mentioned in the news media as a group fighting in Syria and against Israel, Hezbollah is in fact one of the world’s most foremost paramilitary forces.

Founded in 1982 as the extremist Shiite “Party of God” aimed at attacking Israel, Hezbollah quickly became one of the main allies of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad in his civil war, forced displacement and genocide of hundreds of thousands of Syrians. Throughout the last nine years, Hezbollah has been an active combatant defending the regime, losing thousands of its fighters in the process, but gaining far more valuable combat skills and know-how as a result.

While Hezbollah is closely allied with the Islamic Republic of Iran and receives funding, training and weaponry from its patron in Tehran, Hezbollah also actively raises funds for its terrorist activities all over the world to finance its estimated 1.3 billion dollar (Canadian) annual budget.
Iranians call out education ministry for removing images of girls from math textbook
Iran removed illustrations of girls from the front covers of a third-grade math textbook, prompting dozens of Iranians to take to social media platforms to call out the Ministry of Education.

As schools in Iran reopened following months-long closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, Iranian parents noticed that the cover of the latest edition of a textbook was different.

In previous years, an illustration of three boys and two girls playing under a tree was sketched on the front cover. This year, however, only the three boys remained.

“I think I drew this in the year [1992] for the third grade math textbook… it is unbelievable to me that they would take [someone’s] drawing so easily and remove the girls!” the drawing’s illustrator, Nasim Bahari said in an Instagram post of an earlier version of the book alongside the latest copy.

According to Bahari, the illustration was changed because one girl was drawn sitting on a tree while another looked as if she was reaching out to hug one of the boys.

“Iran’s Department of Education removed picture of girls from 3rd grade Math book cover! Just a reminder that Iranian Mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani who was the first women in the world that received the highest award in math! You can delete female pictures but not their success!” one Twitter user said.

Iranian Religious Scholar Praises Child Martyrdom: 7,070 Of Our Iraq-Iran War Martyrs Were Under 14
Iranian religious scholar Mohammad-Bagher Heydari Kashani said in a September 8, 2020 lecture that aired on Channel 2 (Iran) that children should aspire to be martyrs, and that each and every one of Iran's offspring can become like Qasem Soleimani. He also said that 36,000 Iranian primary school students had been killed in the Iran-Iraq War, and that these students, 7070 of whom had been under the age of 14, are a source of Iran's pride and are God's favorites.

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The EU's hypocritical use of "international law" that only applies to Israel

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