Wednesday, November 11, 2020

From Ian:

Josh Hammer: How can pro-Israel policies still be advanced for conservatives Jews?
The Republican Senate, for its part, must hold the line against the worst excesses of the Biden-Harris administration. The Constitution’s framers famously wove an elaborate system of checks and balances into our legal order. Despite 100 years of accumulation of unwarranted power in the executive branch, Congress retains many tools to push back against a rogue president.

First and foremost is the power of the purse: A Republican-held Senate can, as a point of leverage, threaten to defund any number of nefarious presidential hobby horses. Chief among these for the Biden-Harris administration is a prospective return to the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal. A Republican-held Senate can also wield its investigative and oversight powers to expose any potential malfeasance of a Biden-Harris State Department — and foreign policy-national security apparatus, more generally. A Republican-held Senate can also easily forestall the administration from entering into any number of harmful formal treaties, thus ensuring that any prospective return to the Iran deal retains the comparatively weak legal status of nonbinding executive agreement. It was this weak legal basis for the JCPOA that allowed Trump to so easily withdraw the U.S. from the 2015 agreement.

It would be truly tragic if the Biden-Harris administration reneged on the stunning Middle East successes of the past four years, which emboldened Israel and our Sunni Arab allies and subdued the Iranian mullocracy and its henchmen, and instead returned to the failed decades-long consensus of browbeating Israel at every opportunity in order to force it to yield precious land for an elusive peace with an implacable foe.

Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed the lie at the heart of Washington’s bipartisan professional “peace process” — namely, that broader Israeli-Arab peace was impossible without a two-state solution. The Abraham Accord definitively disproved this fatal conceit, shelving aside the “Palestinian veto” that had previously hindered Arab-Israeli rapprochement. Friends of Israel — not to mention proponents of a generally more stable, secure and prosperous Middle East that aids American interests and contains hegemonic Iranian ambitions — need to relentlessly do their best to ensure the Biden-Harris administration not forsake all that genuine progress which Trump and his Middle East team made.

For pro-Israel Jewish conservatives, the next four years could prove difficult. But they can be made a lot less so if the relevant political actors and public figures urge the right people to hold the line and steer the course.

Gil Troy: Can Jews on the Right, Left find common ground? – opinion
As Joe Biden launches his transition, and the Republicans, telling Donald Trump he lost, show off their regrown tongues, spines and souls, the Jewish community remains polarized.

As a first step to rebuilding a healthy dialogue, can we agree on certain facts? By identifying enough inconvenient truths to unnerve partisans at both extremes, perhaps we can lower the rhetorical temperature and raise awareness about some of the goals, interests and values that unite us, not just the tactical issues dividing us.

Bidenistas should acknowledge that Trump leaves at least three welcome facts on the ground in the Middle East. First, America’s embassy is now in Jerusalem – fulfilling promises Democrats and Republicans made for decades. Second, the Abraham Accords have Israelis and Arabs excitedly building business, cultural, personal and diplomatic ties. Third, Trump’s economic sanctions have sent Iranian unemployment rates and consumer prices skyrocketing – while starving Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups that target Israelis, Jews, Americans, Westerners.

And it’s not controversial to admit that Biden’s win thrilled Palestinian rejectionists, progressive anti-Zionists worldwide, and the Democratic Party’s small, loud, growing anti-Israel faction.

How Biden Will Turn the Clock Back in the Middle East
The history of the Holy Land is ignored, for the Marxist framework does not fit the historical facts. For example, when the Romans invaded ancient Israel—it was the Romans who named it "Palestine"—all of Israel, "from the river to the sea," was inhabited by Jews, and Islam, which was not invented until six centuries later, and Muslims, were unknown.

Harris also asserts that "We will also oppose annexation and settlement expansion," by which she means Israeli presence beyond the 1949 green armistice line into the heartland of ancient Israel: Judea and Samaria. She even opposes the building of new houses within communities to accommodate population increase. We can fully expect the Biden-Harris administration to demand that Israel withdraw to suicidal boundaries and that Palestine be given independent state status with an independent military.

The Biden-Harris Administration will rejoin the JCPOA, remove the sanctions from the Islamic Republic of Iran, and perhaps repeat the Obama-Biden policy of sending pallets of cash to the mullahs so that they will have more money to pass on to Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iranian Revolutionary Guard legions in Syria. The Islamic Republic will be better able to ramp up its military, rocket, and nuclear capacity development, and to pursue its aim of destroying Israel.

How will Israel respond to this American abandonment of keeping Iran in check? Israel will return to its "blue and white" strategy of self-reliance, as it did in the past in destroying Iraqi and Syriannuclear facilities. In other words, Israel will consider striking Iranian nuclear facilities, which would probably entail pre-emptive strikes on Hamas and Hezbollah as well. In this case, Iran would not stand idle, and the result could be an all-out war in the Middle East.

Joe Biden, in collaboration with Democrat Party socialists and Islamists, will return to the post-American stance of the Obama-Biden administration, which demanded that America be transformed into a democratic socialist state and that America apologize to the world for its ill deeds, and bow to international organizations such as the United Nations, now run by a majority of third-world despots. An integral part of this plan is a return to all of the Obama failed policies in the Middle East and the conflict and loss of blood and treasure that will inevitably follow.
What Jews in America and in Israel Should Expect from the outcome of the US Elections
Speaking with Caroline Glick on what Jews in America and in Israel Should Expect from the Outcome of the US Elections.

Pompeo announces a visit to Israel, Gulf countries
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to seven countries, including Israel, the State Department announced on Tuesday. Pompeo will leave for a 10-day trip on Friday.

His first stop will be France, where he is expected to meet President Emmanuel Macron, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and other senior officials.

In Istanbul, Pompeo will meet the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (present-day Istanbul), Bartholomew I, “to discuss religious issues in Turkey and the region and to promote our strong stance on religious freedom around the world,” the State Department said.

Following Turkey, the secretary will depart to Tbilsi, Georgia, where he will meet with President Salome Zourabichvili, Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, and Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, “to express support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, to urge further progress in democratic reforms.”

Next week, Pompeo is expected to arrive in Israel to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the Abraham Accords, “and our joint efforts to address Iran’s malign activities.”

He will then visit three Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates that recently normalized its ties with Israel in a White House-brokered agreement. Pompeo is expected to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed “to discuss security cooperation and regional issues,” in Abu Dhabi.
Seth Frantzman: Requiem for Trump Doctrine: Is this Pompeo’s last MidEast tour? – analysis
The highlight will be support for the Israel-UAE Abraham Accords. He will meet Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed and discuss security cooperation and the new F-35 sales. He will then go to Qatar, which is a partner with the US and helping with Afghan peace talks. “The secretary’s final stop will be in Saudi Arabia, where he will meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” the statement says.

This is an important trip, and it will be interesting to see how he is received in Turkey. The ruling party in Turkey has been hostile to Biden but also now dislikes Trump. It tried to buy up influence in Washington and lobby the Trump administration, but its increasing extremism has harmed its image even among those in the US administration who used to believe appeasement would work.

With James Jeffrey, the pro-Turkey Syria envoy, now out of Pompeo’s team, some of the most pro-Ankara voices are diminished. A red carpet for Hamas terrorists seems to have been one of the last straws for Pompeo.

It will be surprising if Pompeo can achieve more deals in the region, as countries here now must weigh their reception of him with the incoming administration. His comments on November 10 about a second Trump administration, even though said in jest, angered some in the US and they didn’t matter that much in the region, but his visit will be watched carefully.
Pompeo confident of 'second Trump administration'
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday voiced confidence that once every "legal" vote was counted, it would lead to a "second Trump administration," appearing to reject Democrat Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump.

But hours after withering criticism over his comments, Pompeo, a close ally and appointee of Trump's, in a Fox News interview appeared to soften his tone.

"I am very confident that we will have a good transition, that we will make sure that whoever is in office on noon on January 20th has all the tools readily available so we don't skip a beat with the capacity to keep Americans safe," Pompeo said.

Major media and polling outlets called the presidential election for Biden on Saturday but Trump and his allies insist "illegal" ballots may have been cast despite no evidence of mass voter fraud, which is extremely rare in US elections.

Pompeo did not make any comments in either set of remarks to suggest he recognized Biden as the president-elect.

Asked during the Fox interview if he was being "serious" regarding his comments about a "second Trump administration," Pompeo did not say either way but did not repeat the phrase.
Pompeo calls for release of Yemeni Jew held by Houthi militia
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called for the immediate and unconditional release of Levi Salem Musa Marhabi, a Yemeni Jew who is being held by Iranian-backed Houthi militia in Yemen.

In a statement issued by the US Department of State on Tuesday, Pompeo said that the United States “stands with the Yemeni Jewish community” in calling for Marhabi’s release.

“Mr. Marhabi has been wrongfully detained by the Houthi militia for four years, despite a court ordering his release in September 2019,” Pompeo said. “His health continues to deteriorate as he languishes in a Sanaa prison, where the threat of contracting COVID-19 is a real possibility.

He added: “Mr. Marhabi is one member of an ever-shrinking community of Yemeni Jews, who have been an important part of Yemen’s diverse social fabric for thousands of years. We call on the Houthis to respect religious freedom, stop oppressing Yemen’s Jewish population, and immediately release Levi Salem Musa Marhabi.”
Biden can do well in the Mideast, if only because expectations are so low
The US election is more than a week past. Donald Trump, elected in 2016 as an unapologetic standard-bearer of a culture war, refuses to concede, seeking to overturn swing-state ballot counts in the courtroom. Joe Biden, meanwhile, on Tuesday appointed his “agency review teams,” groups of experts tasked with mapping out the current policies and organizational priorities of the federal government’s many agencies ahead of the “transition.”

Outsiders don’t realize — and Americans don’t realize it’s strange — that a changeover in administration from one party to another is such a herculean task. The upper levels of the administration serve “at the pleasure of the president,” who has powers of appointment and reorganization that have no equivalent for an Israeli prime minister.

An incoming administration is an organization unto itself, which must quickly settle into the federal apparatus, establish its management culture and hierarchies, appoint hundreds of officials, and efficiently pivot the policies of enormous federal agencies to the new president’s vision. Immigration, treasury, foreign policy, justice, education — a significant portion of the upper echelon of the federal administration either pivots with them or gets out of the way. It’s a kind of controlled revolution.

So it will take time before the Biden administration gets to thinking seriously about the Middle East.

But when it does so, the president-elect will discover a region fundamentally altered from — or at least, no longer pretending to be — what it was when he helped advance the Iran nuclear deal.
Ben-Dror Yemini: Israel should at least thank Donald Trump
Something is wrong with us Israelis. Yes he is crass and yes he is rude, but let us not forget that nearly 50% of all Americans supported President Donald Trump in last week's U.S. elections - and an even larger percentage of Israelis favor him over President-elect Joe Biden.

And there is no doubt we Israelis owe Trump at least a word of gratitude.

The current trend is vexing, because from the moment it became clear that Biden had won, most of the Israeli media seemed to create the impression that the enemy of the Jewish people was finally being ousted from the White House.

For a few hours, one could barely detect even a hint of the media showing Trump in a different light.

Let us not forget that without him Israel would not have made peace with the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan. Without him the U.S. wouldn’t have recognized Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel. Without him there would be no recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Israeli settlers blow the Shofar, a ceremonial ram's horn, as they gather to show their support for U.S. President Donald Trump in the upcoming U.S. election,

And of course, without the Trump administration, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government would have led us into the disaster that is annexation of the West Bank.

The Trump initiative is also what led the Israeli right to understand that the Palestinians deserve at least 70% of West Bank territory and small pieces of land from Israel to make up their state and make the two-state solution a reality.

Despite all of the above, we have become ungrateful.
Jonathan S. Tobin: Should we care if Biden cools off relations with Saudis?
It’s the greatest of ironies. It wasn’t that long ago that Saudi Arabia was thought of as an implacable enemy of Israel and the Jewish people.

The Saudis were not merely a foe of the Jewish state, using their oil wealth to fund Palestinian groups; Riyadh was also the principal funder of fundamentalist Islamic madrassas around the world, institutions that were fueling a new surge in global anti-Semitism.

A generation ago, U.S. plans to sell the Saudis early-warning and combat-control planes (AWACS) that were not offensive in nature set off one of the biggest and nastiest political fights in memory in which the AIPAC lobby engaged in a bruising battle with the Reagan administration.

But a lot has changed since the Saudis were viewed as a threat to Israel. Today, the prospect that a new Democratic government would cool off relations with the Saudis or—as former Vice President and prospective President-elect Joe Biden put it, treat them like a ”pariah”—is worrying the pro-Israel community and will likely to lead them to back a push to head off such efforts. Indeed, a hard line against the Saudis, which would have once been welcomed by Jews, is now seen as hurting Israel and undermining the chance for more normalization agreements between the Jewish state and the Arab world.

The Saudi government is still a family-run authoritarian regime. It has a dismal human-rights record and, as the guardians of the holiest shrines of Islam in Mecca and Medina, the royal family is loath to do anything that would undermine its stance as the center of the Muslim world.
Why the Muslim Brotherhood Came Out of Its Hole
The labeled terrorist organization [Muslim Brotherhood] said, with a straight face, that it "wishes Mr. Biden, the American people, and the peoples of the whole world to continue to live in dignity under the principles of freedom, justice, democracy and respect for human rights."

"There are several reports confirming the Muslim Brotherhood's support for Biden so that the organization would be able to avoid restrictions on political Islam movements.... Now, they are hoping that the US will remove them from the list of terrorist organizations." — Israa Ahmed Fuad, Egyptian political analyst and author,, November 7, 2020.

The Muslim Brotherhood "are partners of Democratic administrations in ruining the region and supporting extremism." — Amin Al-Alawi, Moroccan researcher,, November 8, 2020.

No US administration can afford to dismiss the warning bells sounded by Arabs in the wake of the Muslim Brotherhood's attempt to present itself as a peaceful group that seeks to bring freedom and democracy to the Arab world.

The Islamists are desperate to return to power in Egypt, which is why they are prepared to even court the American "Satan" to reach this goal. These are the same Islamists who have been condemning Arabs who have any contact with Americans. At this time of possible administrative change in America, the Arabs who do not support the Muslim Brotherhood -- particularly those living in Egypt and the Gulf states -- fervently hope that their alarm about Islamists will be heard loud and clear by Biden and his group.
US Approves $23.37 Billion Advanced Arms Sale to UAE, Pompeo Says
The Trump administration told Congress on Tuesday it had approved the US sale of more than $23 billion in advanced weapons systems, including F-35 fighter jets and armed drones, to the United Arab Emirates, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

The formal notification followed a US-brokered agreement in September in which the UAE agreed to normalize relations with Israel, becoming the first of three Arab states to make such a move in recent months.

“This is in recognition of our deepening relationship and the UAE’s need for advanced defense capabilities to deter and defend itself against heightened threats from Iran,” Pompeo said in a statement.

The $23.37 billion package includes up to 50 F-35 Lighting II aircraft, up to 18 MQ-9B Unmanned Aerial Systems and a package of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions, the State Department said.

The US Senate Foreign Relations and House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committees — whose members have criticized UAE’s role in civilian deaths in Yemen’s civil war — review major weapons sales before the State Department sends its formal notification to the legislative branch.

Any deal the United States makes to sell weapons in the Middle East must satisfy decades of agreement with Israel that it must not impair Israel’s “qualitative military edge” over its neighbors.
Israeli Parliament Approves Deal Establishing Ties With Bahrain
Israel‘s parliament on Tuesday approved a US-brokered deal establishing formal relations with Bahrain, by a vote of 62 lawmakers in favor and 14 opposed.

The Middle East countries signed a joint communique on Oct. 18 to formalize their nascent ties. Bahrain is one of three Arab countries — along with the United Arab Emirates and Sudan — to set aside hostilities with Israel in recent months.

Israel‘s deals with Gulf Arab states Bahrain and the UAE were forged in part over shared fears of Iran. But they angered the Palestinians, who have long demanded statehood before any such regional rapprochement.

“The Knesset (parliament) plenum approved the joint announcement regarding the establishment of diplomatic relations, peace and friendship between the State of Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain,” a Knesset spokesman said in a statement.

Speaking at parliament ahead of the vote, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu predicted more regional countries would move to open relations with Israel.
Bahraini Prime Minister Prince Khalifa Al Khalifa Dies at 84; Netanyahu Extends Condolences
Bahraini Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa has died at the age of 84.

Al Khalifa passed away at the Mayo Clinic in the United States on Wednesday morning, the Bahrain News Agency reported, and King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has declared a week of official mourning, during which flags will be flown at half mast. Government ministries and departments will be closed for three days beginning on Thursday, according to the report.

Prince Al Khalifa had been Bahrain’s prime minister since the nation declared independence in 1971, making him one of the longest-serving prime ministers in the world.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who recently signed a normalization treaty with the Gulf state, responded to the news by stating: “On behalf of the people of Israel, I extend my sincere condolences to His Majesty the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa, the royal family and the Bahraini people on the passing of Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.”

“I offer my personal condolences to his family,” he added. “I appreciate the Prime Minister’s important contribution to achieving peace between our two countries.”
Azerbaijan's victory in war brings out Israeli flags. Will relations grow?
Azerbaijan’s recent war against Armenian fighters in Nagorno-Karabkah, an area that Azerbaijan claims, has led to a major victory by Baku and celebrations have gone on for days. Numerous social media users have posted photos of Israeli flags among the sea of Azerbaijan and Turkish flags.

Turkey supported Baku’s war effort and Azerbaijan has purchased drones and munitions from Israel over the years, and is seen as a strategic partner. This means that the relationship could now grow.

When the war broke out in late September, it came after months of tension going back to July, and also to 2016 when there was brief fighting. Baku has sought to rapidly increase its capabilities in the last decades, improving its army and seeking to use modern drones or UAVs as a kind of instant air force, to take out enemy tanks and artillery. This unfolded in such a way that Baku made slow progress on the ground for the first month, but then hammered Armenia’s armored units.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a disputed area of land that was in Soviet times an autonomous area inside Azerbaijan. Later, in the 1990s, Armenia defeated Baku in a war and the area was run as a self-declared Artsakh republic. This was typical in the Caucasus and post-Soviet areas. Artsakh was similar to Abkhazia and South Ossetia and other small states that were not recognized by anyone. Various international efforts tried to solve the conflict but it went unresolved.
MEMRI: Writers In Qatari Media Rejoice At Trump's Electoral Defeat
Following Joe Biden's victory in the U.S. presidential election, the Qatari media published many expressions of joy at the electoral defeat of outgoing President Donald Trump. Many of the writers stressed that they are pleased by this defeat more than by the victory of his rival Biden. They maligned Trump and his policies, which they said harmed the entire world, and especially condemned his policy toward Qatar, saying that he had "sold" this country to its rivals - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain - and allowed them to boycott it throughout his term in office. The Qatari press published cartoons mocking Trump for being ousted from the White House and consigned to the "trash bin of history."

The following are translated excerpts from some of these responses.

Qatari Writer: Glad To Be Rid Of Trump, Hope Biden Will Fix His Mistakes
In a November 9, 2020 column titled "Congratulations, Joe" in the Qatari daily Al-Sharq, Ibtisam Al-Sa'd rejoiced at the defeat of Trump, who caused America "to lose its prestige," and expressed hope that his successor, Joe Biden, will mend his mistakes. She wrote: "Biden won! Although I did not foresee this victory… I am glad that we are rid of Trump, a president who unfortunately excelled at demagogy but was unable to take responsibility for actions… [These actions] were also the basis of his country's relations with most of the other countries in the world, which entered into a [state of] cold war with the U.S., and Trump was the main reason for this. In addition, his policy [involved] withdrawing his country from most of the international treaties and caused it to lose its prestige, and the world soon began to ascribe America's poor leadership on fateful issues to Trump's deficient management… It is too early to judge Biden's policy… but we certainly hope that he will restore things to their proper course, for he seems to be determined to fix the mistakes of his predecessor, one by one."[1]

On November 5, 2020, even before the election results were definite, Ibtisam Aal Sa'd tweeted: "By Allah, I will rejoice if [Trump] loses."[2]
Dutch Senate: Reject UN resolutions denying Temple Mount Jewish ties
The Dutch Senate on Tuesday passed a motion calling for the Netherlands to vote against UN resolutions that only use the Arabic name for the Temple Mount, thus denying Judaism’s connection to its holiest site.

The motion by Sen. Peter Schalk of the Christian SGP faction, asked the government “to vote as much as possible against UN resolutions referring to the Temple Mount using only the Arabic name ‘al-Haram al-Sharif’ and to encourage other EU countries to do the same.”

The senate approved the motion with 50 in favor and 25 opposed.

The vote came after the Netherlands voted in favor of six out of seven annual UN resolutions concerning Israel last week, including “Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Including East Jerusalem,” which only refers to the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, as al-Haram al-Sharif.

This is not the first time that lawmakers in The Hague called on their government to vote with Israel at the UN. In 2017, the Dutch parliament called on the government to come out against the disproportionate focus on Israel at UN institutions. That motion was an initiative of the Kees van der Staaij, also of SGP.
World Jewish Congress honors UN boss for efforts to end anti-Israel bias
Since taking over as secretary-general of the United Nations nearly four years ago, Antonio Guterres has taken action and spoken against the widely seen anti-Israel bias in the world body.

On Monday, the World Jewish Congress honored Guterres for those efforts.

At a virtual gala, WJC President Ronald Lauder said Guterres will receive the Theodor Herzl Award this year for his work to change the “bizarre fixation on the Jewish state” at the UN.

One of those moves came three months after Guterres succeeded Ban Ki-moon as secretary-general. In March 2017, Guterres ordered the withdrawal of a report from a website of the world body that accused Israel of apartheid in March 2017.

The same year, during a speech for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Guterres referenced the Jewish people’s historic ties to Jerusalem – an issue whose erasure or downplaying in UN documents and resolutions prompts criticism from Jews, Israelis and their allies.

In 2017, the Portuguese-born Guterres said that “a modern form of antisemitism is the denial of the right of the State of Israel to exist” and that Israel “needs to be treated as any other state, with the same rules.”

Saeb Erekat's doctor to 'Post': We went above and beyond
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat passed away on Tuesday in the Intensive Care Unit of Hadassah-University Medical Center. He was 65.

Erekat had been transferred to the hospital three weeks ago Sunday, on October 18, after suffering for nearly one month from the novel coronavirus. A survivor of a lung transplant, he arrived at the hospital in critical condition from his home in Jericho and was intubated almost immediately.

According to Hadassah, during the course of his hospitalization, he received intensive treatments, including being connected to an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) life support machine.

The hospital said his condition did not improve and he passed away from multisystem organ failure.

“He was provided with every treatment available,” said Vernon van Heerden, head of the hospital’s General Intensive Care Unit and the coronavirus unit in which Erekat was treated. “I believe we went above and beyond in our efforts to try to save him.”

Van Heerden said that the hospital had consulted widely with doctors because of the unique combination of a lung transplant and COVID-19, which directly impacts the lungs. He said that the hospital “cannot say it strongly enough: We really tried to save him.
BBC cancels interview with Sharren Haskel about Saeb Erekat
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) canceled an interview it scheduled with Likud MK Sharren Haskel after, according to her, it became clear to them that she was not mourning the death of terror-supporter Erekat.

According to MK Haskel, she agreed to the BBC's request to be interviewed about Erekat's death, but in the briefing call she told them that he "promoted, financed, and pushed for an armed struggle against the State of Israel."

After a few minutes, she was called again by the BBC and informed that the interview with her was canceled.

"A few hours ago, they contacted me from the BBC and asked to interview me about the death of Saeb Erekat," MK Haskel wrote on her Twitter account.

"In a briefing call with me, I explained that although in English Erekat was portrayed as a peacemaker, in Arabic he promoted, funded, and pushed for an armed struggle against the State of Israel. In his last days, too, he fought the historic peace signed between Israel and the Arab states, which have finally recognized that the obstacle to peace is the Palestinians and not Israel.

"When I went on to remind them of his statement that Israel's position has always retreat and therefore the Palestinians can stick to their refusal, the researcher politely ended the conversation," she wrote. "After a few minutes they got back to me and informed me that the interview was canceled."

CNN, Media Heavyweights Fail to Give Full Picture in Erekat Obituaries
Not Relevant: Repeatedly Turning Down Peace

CNN, Reuters. Associated Press, Sky News and others described Erekat as dedicated to peace negotiations. CNN’s opening sentence called him a “veteran Palestinian negotiator,” while AP’s obituary began by calling him a “veteran peace negotiator.” Those descriptions set the tone for a pattern in which Erekat is portrayed as committed to the peace process that was supposed to deliver a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

That tells only part of the story.
The aforementioned media outlets failed to note that, Erekat, as the chief Palestinian negotiator, was very much part of the dynamic that led to the failure of peace talks. Repeatedly, the Palestinians proved themselves determined to refuse any meaningful compromise, thus stymieing the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state. Significantly, the Palestinian leadership turned down generous offers for statehood in 2000 at Camp David, as well as at Taba in 2001, and at Annapolis in 2008. The Palestinians also rejected efforts in 2014 and 2016 to revive negotiations. Under Erekat’s leadership. the Palestinians time and again rejected reasonable offers on the table – but his obituaries fail to note this ongoing failure. Media’s Failure to Accurately Describe Erekat’s Legacy
In his support of terrorism through the Martyrs Fund, demonization of Israel by incessantly taking to the media to characterize Israel’s acts of self-defense as escalations, and in spreading barefaced lies about a massacre that never was, Erekat cannot simply be portrayed as a “Palestinian negotiator,” much less one ostensibly dedicated to peace. These, too, were defining aspects of his career, and the public deserves to be able to make their own judgment of him, with full and accurate information.

Erekat was a media darling, and these omissions mean readers were not provided with the full picture. Erekat might well have advocated for a two-state solution, but he was not simply a man committed to peace negotiations. He also propagated anti-Israel smears through a compliant media. And for all this to be excluded by so many leading news outlets is both negligent and likely indicative of an underlying bias.
The BBC News website’s airbrushed portrait of Saeb Erekat
Moreover, ‘analysis’ provided to readers of this article by the BBC Jerusalem bureau’s Yolande Knell strips Erekat and his colleagues of any responsibility for the ‘dim prospects’ brought about by policies such as the refusal to engage with the US administration in recent years.

“Palestinians will feel his loss deeply at a time when relations with Israel are at a new low – and prospects for the creation of an independent Palestinian state, the goal of his life’s work, look increasingly dim.”

The BBC’s report informs readers that:

“In addition to his role as a negotiator, Erekat also served as minister for local government in the Palestinian Authority and represented Jericho in the Palestinian Legislative Council.

In 2009, he was elected to both the PLO Executive Committee – its top decision-making body – and the Central Committee of Mr Abbas’ Fatah movement. Six years later he became the PLO’s secretary general.”

No mention is made of the relevant issue of the PA and PLO policy of payment of salaries to terrorists and their families which Erekat defended in print only last year. Neither did the BBC bother to remind readers of Erekat’s central role in the promotion of the myth of a ‘massacre’ in Jenin in 2002 (a myth which remains online in BBC archive content to this day).

Over the years Saeb Erekat was regularly given BBC platforms from which to promote his propaganda to audiences worldwide. Just as BBC journalists largely failed to challenge his often bizarre and always politicised claims in those articles and broadcasts, the writer of this article promotes the image of Erekat as a frustrated ‘peacemaker’ by erasing the narrative-conflicting parts of the story.
Ex-CBC Reporter Neil Macdonald Laments Death of Saeb Erekat, As Does CBC Seemingly
Via Twitter today, ex-CBC reporter Neil Macdonald lamented the death of Palestinian chief “negotiator” Saeb Erekat.

Known for his anti-Israel bias, Macdonald chose to describe Erekat as a “good, decent man…” Macdonald conveniently forgot the following about Erekat:
He led a $400-million Palestinian ‘Pay for Slay’ policy of paying salaries of terrorists & murderers of Israelis
He demanded “right of return” meaning war & ‘s destruction
He undermined peace, promoted conflict & terror
He promoted the antisemitic BDS movement
He spread the Jenin Massacre blood libel
He received VIP treatment and died at an Israeli hospital
He supported rejectionism, unilateralism, incitement & propaganda
Not surprisingly, Macdonald’s former employer, the CBC, published a report today which lionized Erekat and ignored his anti-peace credentials.

PMW: Fatah indifferent to murder of Israeli civilian, vows to rebuild murderer’s demolished house
Israeli citizen Rabbi Shai Ohayon was stabbed to death in Petah Tikva, 10 km. from Tel Aviv, on Aug. 26, 2020 by a Palestinian who had a permit to work in Israel. Terrorist murderer Dweikat was arrested near the scene of the attack and has confessed to the murder. As is Israeli policy, Israel demolished the murderer’s home, as this has proven to be an effective deterrent against terror and has saved lives.

Unsurprisingly, Abbas’ Fatah Movement is completely indifferent to the fact that an Israeli civilian has been murdered, and has vowed to rebuild the murderer’s house:

Posted text: “Fatah Movement Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Al-Aloul: ‘There is no home that the occupation has destroyed and we have not rebuilt. We will rebuild the home of prisoner Khalil Dweikat (i.e., terrorist, murdered 1) in the village of Rujeib.” [Official Fatah Facebook page, Nov. 2, 2020]

It is PA policy to reward and honor terrorist murderers, including rebuilding their demolished houses. Palestinian Media Watch has documented that the PA has rebuilt the house of terrorist Omar Abu Laila, who murdered two, as well as the houses of other murderers – on orders from PA Chairman Abbas himself.

Lebanon PM's brother calls for peace in interview with Israeli journalist
Lebanese businessman and billionaire Bahaa Hariri, the brother of prime minister-designate Saad Hariri, stressed that Lebanon and Israel "need to have peace," in an interview with Israeli journalist Barak Ravid published on American news outlet Axios on Tuesday.

The interview raised controversy as it is illegal for Lebanese citizens to deal with Israelis or people or entities based in Israel in any form, directly or indirectly, including in media interviews, under the 1943 Lebanese Criminal Code and the 1955 Lebanese Anti-Israeli Boycott Law.

For example, in January, a US national residing in Lebanon was arrested after being accused of live-streaming protests in Beirut for the Haaretz newspaper.

Within hours of Axios's publication of the interview, Hariri's legal office released a statement saying that he was unaware that the journalist conducting the interview was Israeli and that if he had known "he would have refused to do the interview."

Ravid is the diplomatic correspondent for Walla! News and is marked as the "author from Tel Aviv" on his byline on articles on Axios's website.
Israel, Lebanon complete third meeting over disputed maritime border
The Israeli delegation for holding negotiations over the disputed Mediterranean Sea border between Israel and Lebanon completed on Wednesday the third round of talks with the Lebanese delegation at the UNIFIL base in Naqoura, Lebanon.

At the end of Wednesday's meeting, held at the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) HQ in Naquora, southern Lebanon, and attended by American mediator John Desrocher, both sides agreed to resume talks next month.

Negotiations between Israel and Lebanon were launched in September, as Israel and Lebanon reached an agreement to hold talks on their maritime border after a years-long impasse. However, according to Beirut-based media, Lebanon has been pushing for more maritime territory than had previously been under negotiation with Israel.

The Lebanese negotiators sought more maritime territory than the 860-square-kilometer triangle that had been under dispute with Israel for more than a decade, and their new demands encroach into Israeli gas fields, Lebanon’s Daily Star and Al Jazeera English reported.

The disputed area starts from the countries’ border on the Mediterranean Sea, and is 5 -6 km. wide on average. The area would be about 2% of Israel’s economic waters.
Hezbollah presence in south Syria much larger than previously revealed
Hezbollah’s presence in southern Syria is much larger than previously revealed to the public, a new report by the ALMA Research and Education Center has found, with some 58 sites where the terror group’s Southern Command and Golan Project have been deployed.

The report, which is based on Syrian opposition websites and cross-referenced with actual locations of sites (some military) damaged by Israel, revealed 58 locations belonging to the group in the southern Syrian provinces of Quneitra and Dara’a.

“In our estimation, the operational and intelligence infrastructure, which is widely deployed in southern Syria, constitutes a quality basis for Hezbollah’s ongoing activities in the sector, with an emphasis on intelligence gathering and operational planning,” the report read.

Syrian troops recaptured southern Syria seven years after losing the area to rebel groups and returned to its positions along with Hezbollah operatives and Iranian-backed troops.

Though the Israeli military revealed Hezbollah’s network on the Syrian Golan Heights last year, the deployment of the group’s forces was not completely known, with less than a dozen places known in the province of Quneitra.
Iranian chess team faces ban for refusal to compete against Israelis
The Iranian Chess Federation (ICF) could be facing an imminent international ban for its continued refusal to allow Iranian chess players to compete against their Israeli equivalents, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) said.

The warning also included the mention of Iran boycotting events that lists Israeli players as participating.

"We are increasing pressure on Iran to follow the law, and if it does not comply, the Iranian federation will see the consequences," said vice-president of the FIDE Nigel Short, according to Radio Farda. Short added that Iran's refusal "to request their players compete against all countries in FIDE before the next GA, or any future boycott by an Iranian player will automatically result in the ICF's suspension from all FIDE activities."

Iran notoriously uses this practice across all sporting disciplines, where in tournaments if one of its competitors is set to go up against an Israeli, the Iranian athlete will often feign injury, bow out of the competition or just flat-out refuse to compete.

Within a few documented cases, the most recent being the Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei who claimed he was forced to lose his final two bouts at the 2020 World Judo Championships in Tokyo so as not to face his Israeli counterpart, Sagi Muki, or share the podium with him. Iranian athletes are specifically instructed by government authorities to do so. The Iranian Judo Federation was shortly placed under investigation following Mollaei's claims, where it still remains.

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