Friday, November 06, 2020

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Electing a president under an erupting cultural volcano
The U.S. presidential election has illustrated more graphically than ever before that we are living beneath an erupting civilizational volcano.

The flaming cultural lava is spreading well beyond America. We have to wonder whether we are now watching the steady asphyxiation in the West of both liberalism and democracy.

Nowhere is waiting with greater apprehension for the eventual outcome of the election than Israel. If President Donald Trump is finally edged out, the recent startling prospects for peace in the Middle East may well be extinguished by the hideous prospect of a terrible war.

Those who most threaten the Jewish people, as well as the peace of the world, have been banking on Joe Biden winning the presidency.

He has said he will reactivate the Iran nuclear deal from which Trump withdrew the United States. This would open the cash spigots for the Iranian regime, ending the financial pressure under which it has been weakened.

It would instead be enabled to resume its regional power grab, ramp up its attacks on Israel through its Palestinian and Lebanese proxies, and speed up its development of nuclear weapons with which it intends to wipe out Israel and attack the West. War between Iran and Israel would become much more likely.

There would also be a domino effect in the Arab world. The unprecedented moves by the Gulf states to normalize relations with Israel have been driven principally by their perception that Trump was determined to neutralize Iran, and that their interests therefore lay in an alliance with Israel and America.

If America reactivates the nuclear deal, these Arab states may well revert to the strategy they adopted during the Obama administration’s appeasement of Iran: to cozy up to the “strong horse” in the region, which would once again be the Iranian regime.
Michael Lumish: The Idiocy of the Jews
The American public, along with 71 percent of American Jews, just voted for a presidential ticket that has vowed to fund the Palestinian Authority even as the PA insists that it will finance the "Martyrs Fund" which we call "pay-for-slay."

What this means is that whenever some random Arab in Israel runs out to stab a Jew to death in the streets of Jerusalem or Haifa or Tel Aviv they will pay him or his family out of US tax dollars. That is what we mean by "pay-for-slay" and financing it is against the Taylor Force Act and, thus, against American law.

It is also against anything resembling human decency.

The Democrats, if they take the White House, will now require American Jews to pay for the murder of our brothers and sisters in Judea and Samaria (aka Israel) and will do so while smiling at us and telling us what great friends they are to both Israel and the Jewish people.

And please do not forget this, they honestly believe that Jews, even within our traditional homeland, deserve whatever beating we get for allegedly being mean to the innocent, bunny-like Palestinian Arabs.

The Jews and other dhimmis, like Christians and Zoroastrians, spent thirteen hundred years as second and third-class non-citizens under the boot of Arab and Muslim theocratic imperialism in the Middle East. They claimed traditional Jewish holy sites, such as the Temple Mount and the Tomb of the Patriarchs, as their own.
David Singer: The next 72 days
President Trump – fighting for re-election in America - has now lifted restrictions on American federal investment in science, research and agriculture projects undertaken in Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria (West Bank).

Trump’s peace plan, it should be recalled, provides for Israel to ultimately extend its sovereignty into about 30% of Judea and Samaria where some 460000 Israelis presently live.

Signing the agreement lifting the investment restrictions on 28 October - U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman – said:

“Just as we have seen tremendous regional progress on the Abraham Accords, we are also seeing the tangible benefits of President Trump’s policies for bilateral cooperation with Israel”

The Abraham Accords - brokered by President Trump - signed on 15 September by Israel, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and expanded on 23 October to include Sudan after Sudan and Israel agreed to normalize relations – states:

“We support science, art, medicine, and commerce to inspire humankind, maximize human potential and bring nations closer together.”

Trump’s initiative is consistent with this noble principle and has not met with any opposition from its Arab signatories.

However a spokesman for PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said lifting of the funding ban represented:

"American participation in the occupation of Palestinian lands".

The PLO continues to bury its head in the sand as the Arab world’s burgeoning relations with Israel expand. Abbas also runs the risk of missing out on the creation of a demilitarized Palestinian Arab State in Gaza and 70% of Judea and Samaria - as envisioned in Trump’s plan.


US President Donald Trump has accomplished a modern miracle - opinion
Embracing Jew-haters and Israel-haters in the Democratic Party is a shattering reality. Support for Israel can never be taken for granted, and dismissing or ignoring these dangers would fulfill the second part of my father’s warning. The risk that a Biden-led administration would be less supportive of Israel, indifferent or become hostile, is compelling. In the past, he has been silent when Israel was attacked and, as a senator, he was openly critical of Israeli policies. Although important, Israel however is – relatively – a side issue.

The current hostilities between the political parties began four years ago when former Obama officials and leaders of the Democratic Party tried to impeach Trump based on false charges, using a Clinton-funded discredited dossier, and led by politically-motivated Department of Justice and FBI leaders. This abuse of power undermined the integrity of American institutions and its political system. As state governments collapsed when faced with street riots, violence, anarchism and calls to defund the police, many Americans felt helpless and betrayed.

This election, therefore, is not only Trump vs Biden: It’s Trump vs Obama and his supporters. On the big foreign policy issues – China, and to a lesser extent Iran – will Biden, if elected, follow Trump’s policy of confrontation and containment, or will he return to Obama’s policy of appeasement?

Being almost 80 and having no real leadership experience, few accomplishments and a staff filled with former Obama advisers, it’s hard to know. Although Biden has recently become critical of China’s policies, what will he do if elected? Are his policies with regard to China any different than those of Trump?

American elections are not fundamentally about Democrats and Republicans: They are about fulfilling the promise of America, protecting and preserving its values, and celebrating its contributions to civilization. Proud of our achievements, we are also mindful of our mistakes and we learn from them. There really is a “big picture,” and we are part of it.

As my father would often say, “We have so much to be thankful for. We need to appreciate what God has given us.”
Harris: Biden administration would reverse several Trump policies on Palestinians
Vice-presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said a potential Biden administration would reverse several moves by the Trump administration regarding the Palestinians.

"We will take immediate steps to restore economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, reopen the US consulate in east Jerusalem and work to reopen the PLO mission in Washington," she said in a recent interview with the Arab American News,

The Trump administration has virtually cut off all US aid to the Palestinian Authority due to Ramallah's "pay to slay" program, rewarding terrorists and their families, in accordance with the Taylor Force Act. The PLO mission was closed in October 2018.

Biden has already pledged to keep the US embassy in Jerusalem, a move that was made from Tel Aviv in May 2018. In March 2019, the US Consulate in Jerusalem that handled Palestinian affairs was merged into the embassy, which now operates a Palestinian Affairs Unit.

Harris also reiterated her support for a two-state solution, as well as unilateral moves by Israelis or Palestinians.

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"We are committed to a two-state solution, and we will oppose any unilateral steps that undermine that goal. We will also oppose annexation and settlement expansion," she said.
Jonathan S. Tobin: What a Biden presidency could mean for Israel
Biden’s support for Israel has always been conditioned by his insistence that he knew better than the Jewish state’s leaders what was best for their country. As infuriating as that can be, it’s also true that he has a warmer feeling for the country than Obama ever did. It would be best to keep that in mind instead of assuming that Biden will rewind American Middle East policy to that awful moment when Obama stabbed Israel in the back at the United Nations on his way out of office.

Even if Biden was to be so foolish as to waste precious political capital on policies predicated on pointless demands that Israel surrender its rights and security as Obama did or on another round of appeasement of Iran, Israel doesn’t have to bow to U.S. pressure.

As Netanyahu proved during the eight rocky years of the Obama administration, Israel can always say “no” to the United States any time it believes that it must defend its interests against misguided American policymakers.

The alliances with the Arab states that have been forged with Trump’s help will become stronger, not weaker if Biden were to choose policies that would strengthen Iran. The Arab states that have embraced Israel have not done so as an act of charity or out of a sentimental attachment to Zionism; they did it in order to strengthen their security. And if Biden repeats Obama’s mistakes in the Mideast, they will need Israel as much if not more than ever.

Similarly, Israel is both economically and militarily stronger than it was in 2009, and while the friendship of its sole superpower ally is still necessary, it need not quail before Biden any more than it did before Obama. It still has many friends in U.S. politics, and it can and should point to the principles of Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan as the only solid foundation for a path to a possible resolution to the conflict with the Palestinians. It’s only sensible to prepare for the worst, though that’s not the only possible outcome. A Biden administration would have more than it can handle dealing with problems relating to the coronavirus pandemic, the economy, infrastructure and other crucial issues. A stubborn refusal on the part of Obama veterans to admit that they were wrong about the Palestinians the last time they were in power would be an unforced error on Biden’s part that will do him no good. Trump’s possible exit from office creates challenges for Israel. Still, it isn’t the end of the alliance or a harbinger of Israel’s destruction. And it’s vital that Israelis and those who care about the Jewish nation remember that as they prepare for the next chapter in this vital relationship.
Angered by Cuomo and de Blasio, powerful Orthodox and Hasidic communities break ranks with the Democrats and challenge NYC’s political math
Activists correctly sensed that in 2020, the Orthodox vote could be unlocked in more organized fashion than in previous years. “Our grassroots outreach was building on broad, communal discontent with our political voice,” says Schwab. The introduction of new methods, and the accurate sense of the need for some deeper and more proactive forms of political engagement, still doesn’t entirely explain why nonvoters were convinced to turn out this time—someone can be reminded to vote, and even convinced that it’s important to vote, and still decide it’s just not worth doing. Perhaps the political environment, both in New York and in the country at large, changed in a way that made Orthodox Jews believe they couldn’t sit this election out.

One shift had to do with the unique appeal of Donald Trump, whose seeming commitment to Israel, claims to defending religious traditionalism, and surprisingly granular overtures to the Orthodox community dating from the early days of the 2016 campaign turned the president into a beloved figure in parts of Brooklyn and Queens—in the days before the vote, Trump flags festooned intersections on 13th Avenue in Borough Park. The other shift was the coronavirus.

In the month before voting began in New York, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo enraged Orthodox communities by shutting down schools and religious institutions by decree in response to a local increase in coronavirus test positivity rates. The Jewish community did not appreciate their neighborhoods being declared “red” and “yellow” zones during televised press conferences while viral upticks in the rest of the state went suspiciously unremarked upon. Yeruchim Silber, a rabbi and director of New York government relations for Agudath Israel of America, wrote by email that he believes high Orthodox turnout was a function of high turnout nationally. Still, he added, “The whole COVID issue is one where people’s lives and routines have changed in a discernible way due in large part to government regulations in regard to closing of schools, houses of worship, along with other restrictions. People have felt frustrated and speaking at the ballot was a way for them to be heard.”

Voting didn’t rectify the insult—Cuomo is still the governor. But it might have reminded politicians of both parties that there are large communities that will not automatically vote in lockstep with New York City’s Democratic political monoculture, and that there are pockets of real, increasingly organized dissent from the state's and the city’s current path. God might not want Jews to vote from a certain nusach, and there may indeed be more worthwhile things than an election as far as causes of all-consuming existential panic go. But New York’s Orthodox Jews are seeing less and less of a virtue in political apathy.
Arab states fear Biden victory will bolster Iran
With Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden currently in the lead in the president election, moderate Sunni Arab states fear the possibility a Biden administration will forge a new nuclear accord with the ayatollah regime in Tehran, a move that could serve to intensify instability in the Middle East.

Senior officials from these moderate Arab states tell Israel Hayom that their concerns stem not from Biden's expected foreign policy, but from the individuals in his cabinet.

According to a senior official from the United Arab Emirates' capital of Abu Dhabi, "There is a great deal of concern that an American administration under Joe Biden would remove sanctions on Iran imposed by the Trump administration and strive toward a new deal with Iran. Such a step would result in the radical regime in Iran being able to possess nuclear weapons within a short period of time, and threaten the stability of the entire region. The removal of sanctions on Iran would lead to the ayatollah regime being able to continue to fund radical Islamist terror organizations, which threaten the world order, and not just the Middle East."

In Egypt and Bahrain as well, senior officials admitted they were hoping for President Donald Trump's re-election, and that there were serious concerns a Biden White House would result in the crumbling of the regional alliance forged between Israel and the axis of moderate Sunni states should a Biden administration act, as expected, to renew the Iran nuclear accord, and even reach a compromise with the Iranians on a watered down version of the deal.

A senior Egyptian Foreign Ministry official told Israel Hayom, "We have quite a few concerns. An administration under Biden could cause regional instability given Biden's, and particularly his advisors', apparent enthusiasm to forge a new deal with Tehran. In light of the Iranian threat, such a situation could lead countries like Sudan, Bahrain, and the UAE to not trust the US umbrella of support that was given them when they signed the treaties to normalize relations with Israel."
Ruthie Blum: Biden, Israel and 'Squad' pressure – opinion
In an interview with Middle East Eye on October 30, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants said, “I need an administration that I can get through the door and speak the truth about the oppression of the Palestinian people and the violence toward the Palestinian people.” Tlaib – who, like Omar, Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders, is hostile to Israel – told the online publication that she had informed Biden of her intention to push for progressive policies “with a sense of urgency.”

Liberal Jews are foolish to support a party with radicals so proudly in its ranks, especially when the alternative is the most pro-Israel administration in US history, and a president making Mideast peace before their very eyes. At least the only Israelis rooting for Biden are themselves on the far Left. The rest are bemoaning Trump’s likely exit.

Underscoring Biden’s supposedly stellar record on Israel, too, is ridiculous. In the first place, he wants America to return to the dangerous nuclear deal with Iran.

This would jeopardize the Trump-brokered Abraham Accords that the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed with Israel; it would shake Sudan’s resolve to normalize relations with the Jewish state; and it would block several other budding agreements in the region based on a unified stance against the mullah-led regime in Tehran.

Secondly, Biden still holds with the false credo that true peace cannot be achieved without Israel relinquishing land and evicting the Jews living there, to make way for an independent Palestinian state along the 1967 borders. It’s one “pro-Israel” approach that the likes of Omar and Tlaib might grudgingly accept.

Finally, Biden himself is irrelevant, as the squad attests.

The good news, if any can be gleaned from this election, is that while the Democrats spend the next four years in fruitless battles to pass squad-initiated laws, Trump’s legacy will live on, at home and abroad, whether or not he remains at the helm.
BDS contingent in Congress has increased by 50%, JTA Bureau Chief reports

Far-Left ‘Squad 2.0’ Set to Join Congress
After a series of electoral wins for far-left candidates Tuesday night, a "Squad 2.0" prepares to join Congress.

"Squad 2.0 let's go," tweeted incoming congresswoman Cori Bush (D., Mo.) to congratulate fellow representatives-elect Jamaal Bowman (D., N.Y.) and Mondaire Jones (D., N.Y.) on their victories.

Justice Democrats, a PAC that backs far-left Democratic candidates, endorsed both Bush and Bowman during their congressional bids. The group also endorsed the entire incumbent "squad," which includes Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.), Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.).

The views of the self-identified "Squad 2.0" largely align with those of the current squad. A former Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) campaign aide, Bush defeated a 10-term incumbent Democratic congressman in her primary race on a platform that supported the Green New Deal, universal basic income, and abolishing ICE. In recent weeks, Bush also championed the idea of defunding the Pentagon.

Bowman, a longtime schoolteacher, has explicitly supported defunding the police, and although he claims to denounce the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, Bowman has embraced the support of anti-Israel activists.

Bowman bested Rep. Eliot Engel (D., N.Y.), a staunch Israel ally, in the Democratic primary. Current squad members such as Tlaib, Omar, and Ocasio-Cortez have touted support from anti-Semitic causes and organizations that have called for the destruction of Israel.

A former Justice Department official during the Obama administration, Jones also supports "defunding police and reinvesting this money in health, education, and alternatives to incarceration." The incoming congressman also supports the Green New Deal, codifying Roe v. Wade, and cutting the defense budget.
Ilhan Omar blasts Israel for 'ethnic cleansing' after IDF partially razes illegal Palestinian hamlet
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar accuses Israel of violating international law and carrying out "ethnic cleansing" in response to the partial demolition of Khirbet Humash an illegal Palestinian Bedouin village in the West Bank earlier this week.

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Israel's military liaison agency with the Palestinians, confirmed that demolition had been carried out against illegal structures.

"This a grave crime – in direct violation of international law. If they used any US equipment it also violates US law," Omar tweets, pointing out that federal law prevents American-funded military equipment from being used to perpetrate war crimes.

Omar is one of the most vocal Israel critics in Congress and a known supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. In the past, she has called for the US to condition aid to Israel based on the country's policies toward the Palestinians.
Raphael Warnock signed letter likening West Bank to apartheid South Africa
Rev. Raphael Warnock, the Democratic Senate candidate who on Tuesday advanced to a January runoff in Georgia’s hotly contested special election, last year signed his name to a statement likening Israeli control of the West Bank to “previous oppressive regimes” such as “apartheid South Africa” and suggesting that “ever-present physical walls that wall in Palestinians” are “reminiscent of the Berlin Wall.”

The statement, published on the website of the National Council of Churches, was signed by several Christian faith leaders who traveled to Israel and the Palestinian territories in late February and early March of 2019 as part of a joint delegation including representatives of “historic black denominations of the National Council of Churches” as well as “heads of South African church denominations of the South African Council of Churches.”

The Progressive National Baptist Convention also released the same statement but included additional resolutions, one of which calls on the United States to end military aid to the Jewish state “and to work in cooperation with the United Nations to demand,” among other things, that Israel “cease the building of new, or expansion of existing, illegal Israeli settlements, checkpoints and apartheid roads in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

In the National Council of Churches statement, the faith leaders did not go so far as to call for an end to military aid but expressed hope for “an end of weapons sales and proliferation to all sides in the conflict and, indeed, to the entire region.”
UN Committee Passes Resolution Downplaying Jewish Connection to Temple Mount
The United Nations General Assembly’s Special Political and Decolonization Committee passed a resolution on November 4 that downplayed the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount.

U.N. Watch reported that the resolution, titled “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,” refers to the Temple Mount entirely as Haram al-Sharif, its Muslim name. The resolution expressed concern over “the tensions and violence in the recent period throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and including with regard to the holy places of Jerusalem, including the Haram al-Sharif, and deploring the loss of innocent civilian life.”

One-hundred and thirty-eight countries, including Britain, Cuba, France, Qatar, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates, voted for the resolution.

“The UN today showed contempt for both Judaism and Christianity by passing a resolution that makes no mention of the name Temple Mount, which is Judaism’s holiest site, and which is sacred to all who venerate the Bible, in which the ancient Temple was of central importance,” U.N. Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer said in a statement.

Jewish groups also weighed in.

“UN pushing itself into irrelevancy by continuing to promote a pernicious lie,” the Simon Wiesenthal Center tweeted. “No nation or international org will ever succeed in erasing Jewish people’s connection to their heart – the undivided capital of the Jewish state.”
UAE, Bahrain bash Israel at UN, despite normalization deals
The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan bashed Israel at the United Nations this week, in spite of their burgeoning normalization agreements with Israel.

They were among the many countries that signed onto seven draft anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian resolutions that the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee approved this week. No other country has that many resolutions levelled against it on an annual basis.

The texts are part of what has been an annual slew of almost 20 anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian approved by the UNGA at the end of each year. Israel’s diplomatic relations with nations is often divorced from this process, so that countries otherwise considered allies of Israel, still vote against it at the UN. This includes Egypt and Jordan, who have peace deals with Israel, but who always oppose it at the UN, including drafting and submitting texts against it.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan warned the UN that these cyclical resolutions harmed the cause of peace and pointed to the normalization deals as an example of what is possible outside the arena of the UN.

“In the past couple of months, Israel has made peace with three Muslim countries. One of the reasons that we were able to achieve this peace was because the UN, with its distorted view of reality, was not involved,” Erdan said.


Scorched earth and international law
In defiant breach of international law, fires are ravaging Israel daily. It is noteworthy that this strategy of destroying the food and water supply of the civilian population in an area of conflict is banned under Article 54 of Protocol I of the 1977 Geneva Conventions. The relevant passage states: “It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies, and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive.”

The past few months have brought many civilians to the very area that is burning, along the Gaza border, for a gathering that highlights the unacceptable breach of international law and offers much the same clarity as to the enemy that Israel faces. Week after week, we gather to demand the return of the remains of Hadar Goldin, abducted and murdered by Hamas, the very same terrorist organization responsible for the implementation of the scorched-earth strategy. In a cynical abuse of the humanitarian ceasefire, under the auspices of the UN and brokered by the US in the “last blast from the warfare past” in the form of underground tunnels. In a cynical abuse of the understanding of the sanctity of life, and in violation of international law, they have been holding Goldin’s remains for four years. Week after week, en route to the gathering, the heartbreaking changeover from green to black can be seen, the demoralizing smoke in the air can be smelled. Week after week, we continue to go, recognizing the importance of standing together in solidarity, and of understanding and sensing reality.

For those who recognize the significance of international law in a world rife with conflict, that believe in the power of humanitarian law in a world plagued by human suffering, the smoke should not cloud our vision or dull our understanding. The message is loud and clear if you are willing to look and listen. It must serve as a call to action. Transcending politics, the recent rebirth and implementation of scorched-earth strategy clarifies that the struggle against the State of Israel has absolutely nothing to do with post- 1967 borders. It has absolutely nothing to do with “settlements” or “settlers” who can be removed to create a Palestinian state that will coexist with the Jewish state.

Dusting off the scorchedearth practice sets ablaze a simple and clear message, which appeared on a terror balloon launched from Gaza stating, bluntly and simply: “Leave our land or there will be nothing green.” If international law is to have any meaning at all, it is imperative that individuals, societies and countries that cherish international law and value humanitarian law hold those in outright breach of it accountable.


Facebook says Iranian fake news network sought to back anti-Netanyahu protests
Facebook said Thursday night it had removed a network of Facebook and Instagram accounts involved in a deception campaign targeting Israelis, including some supporting the popular protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The social media company said it deleted “12 Facebook accounts, two Pages and 307 Instagram accounts linked to individuals associated with EITRC, a Tehran-based IT company. This activity originated in Iran and targeted primarily Israel, and also Iraq. This network was early in its audience building when we removed it.”

It included memes, images and other content in Hebrew and Arabic, including “anti-Prime Minister Netanyahu protests in Israel, criticism of his policies and response to the pandemic.”

One such account was called “Black flags II,” in reference to the Israel Black Flags protest movement, one of the leading groups in the ongoing mass demonstrations against Netanyahu over his corruption charges and attacks on democratic institutions.

Facebook also said it removed a second network originating in Iran, whose accounts “focused on Saudi Arabia’s activities in the Middle East and claims about an alleged massacre at Eurovision, an international song contest, hosted by Israel in 2019.”

Netanyahu’s Likud party responded to the reveal by attacking the protest movement.

“The backwards regime [in Iran] is supporting the left-wing protesters. The goal is a shared one: to bring down Netanyahu.”
Police stop 2,000 Palestinians illegally going to pray at Temple Mount
Israel's Border Police stopped approximately 2,000 Palestinians who were illegally in the Old City of Jerusalem on their way to the Temple Mount on Friday, according to the Israel Police Spokesperson's Unit.

The people were stopped as part of a joint operation by Border Police and Israel Police and was intended to round up Palestinians who are illegally in Jerusalem and return them to Palestinian territories on police busses.

The operation began Friday morning and continued into Friday afternoon.

The operation was part of wider efforts to prevent infiltration into Jerusalem of those attempting to pray in Jerusalem's Old City. Security forces fear that this illegal entrance for prayer was an opportunity for possible terrorists to enter the city.
PMW: Palestinian university’s new gate named after mastermind of Munich Olympics massacre
What the PA has taught kids for decades has registered: Terrorists and murderers of innocent Israelis are heroes.

In the latest proof of this, the Student Union Council at Palestine Polytechnic University gifted the institution with the gate seen in the photo above, named after Salah Khalaf “Abu Iyad” – the terrorist who headed the Black September terror organization and planned the Munich Olympics massacre, in which 11 Israeli athletes were murdered in 1972.

During the inauguration ceremony, the chairman of the Student Union Council Saif Al-Muhtasib stated that the students are “proud” of the terrorist leader:

Palestine Polytechnic University Student Union Council Chairman Saif Al-Muhtasib: “We have built this structure to commemorate the name of late Martyr Salah Khalaf ‘Abu Iyad.’ We are proud of the distinguished leaders whose bodies are no more, but whose spirit remains among us.”

[Facebook page of Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki, Oct. 18, 2020]


On the gate are images of former PA Chairman Yasser Arafat and terrorist Salah Khalaf. Underneath the images is written: “The fortress of Martyr Saleh Khalaf ‘Abu Iyad’”

The following sign appears on another part of the gate, announcing that it is a gift from the Student Union Council:

Text: “On behalf of All Merciful Allah
‘And say, “Do [as you will], for Allah will see your deeds, and [so will] His Messenger and the believers”’ [Quran 9:105, Sahih International translation]
This gate was provided as a gift by the Student Union Council
2019-2020 session Led by Council Chairman
Saif Al-Din Sufyan Muhammad Hijazi Al-Muhtasib”
Muslims: Al-Aqsa Mosque Does Not Belong to Palestinians
These Gulf Muslims are also demanding an end to the Palestinian "monopoly" over the Islamic holy site in Jerusalem."

"We will visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque because it does not belong to you, it belongs to all Muslims." — Laila Al-Awadhi, Emirati political activist.

"How wrong we were when we thought that Israel was preventing Muslims from visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque." — Ali Al-Aslami, Emirati social media user, Twitter, October 19, 2020.

The furious response of these Muslims to the Palestinian assault on the Emirati delegation is yet another sign of the deepening crisis between the Palestinians and the Arab world, particularly the Gulf states.... Yet, once again, the Palestinians have opted for hating Israel and any Arab who seeks peace with it over improving their basic living conditions.
Former prisoners employed by PA to bypass Israeli sanctions
To circumvent Israeli sanctions on the Palestinian banking system, the Palestinian Authority decided this week to permanently cease paying monthly stipends to about 7,000 former prisoners, in order to transfer them to work within security, military or civilian institutions, so they can receive salaries as government employees.

A questionnaire was distributed in the past few days to all Palestine Liberation Organization followers who spent time in Israeli prisons, to identify their qualifications and allow them to choose into which field they prefer to integrate.

Hasan Abd Rabbo, the spokesperson of the PLO’s Commission of Detainee Affairs, explained to The Media Line that recently the commission worked to fill out the questionnaires for those prisoners who spent more than five years in Israeli prisons, “in order to transfer them to become PA employees, based on their wishes and the information they provide us.”

Abd Rabbo clarified that payments to the families of “current prisoners [in Israel] and martyrs” will remain unchanged, “including their salaries, legal expenses and everything they need, which come as part of the greatest Palestinian national interest.”

He stressed that the change is intended to protect the former prisoners’ income, amid Israeli and American pressure to deal with them as terrorists. “The move is providing these former prisoners job security and social stability.”


US expands Hezbollah sanctions, targeting allied Lebanese Christian leader
The US Treasury on Friday slapped sanctions on Lebanon’s former foreign minister and a leading Christian political ally of the Hezbollah terror group, singling him out for what it said was his role in corruption.

Gebran Bassil, a lawmaker who leads the largest bloc in parliament and a son-in-law of President Michel Aoun, has emerged as a major target of Lebanese protesters who thronged streets in an uprising last year over endemic corruption and state mismanagement.

The Treasury designation did not mention Bassil’s alliance or links to Hezbollah, but the sanctions targeting him appeared to be part of the Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign against Iran and its allies in the region.

The United States has been sanctioning Hezbollah officials for years, and recently began targeting politicians close to the group. In September, the Treasury imposed sanctions on two former Lebanese cabinet ministers allied with the terror group in a strong message to Hezbollah and its allies who control majority seats in the parliament.

Friday’s announcement is a major expansion of the scope of sanctions targeting Hezbollah’s political partners in Lebanon.
Iran Unveils New Ballistic Missile Launcher Platform
Iran unveiled Wednesday a new domestically-developed ballistic missile launcher platform it claims to be using at its underground launch pads.

In a video posted on YouTube, the semi-official Iran’s Military Achievements Media posted footage of multiple ballistic missiles being stacked vertically in a line at a purported underground site.

The platform, which appears to be set on a rail track, is designed to deliver the projectiles one by one for launches in quick succession and somewhat resembles the magazine of a handgun or rifle.

The new system appears to increase the intensity of the strike launched from a single bunker, while also storing the missiles more effectively, taking up less space at the site.

According to the reports in regional media, the platform is produced by the aerospace arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

During the unveiling, IRGC chief Hassan Salami proclaimed “our missile power guarantees the withdrawal of enemies,” Iranian media report.

Earlier this year, Iran unveiled what it called “missile cities” — missile launch sites located deep underground to ensure their safety from airstrikes.





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

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