Sunday, June 24, 2018

From Ian:

US freezes Palestinian aid budget
The United States has quietly frozen its aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) pending review, i24NEWS has learned. The move comes two months after Congress passed the Taylor Force Act, which aimed to force the PA to terminate its “pay-for-slay” policies of paying stipends to convicted terrorists in Israeli jails and to the families of dead terrorists.

The act orders that US assistance to the West Bank and Gaza “that directly benefits the PA” be suspended unless the Secretary of State certifies that the Palestinian Authority has met four conditions: terminating these payments to terrorists, revoking laws authorizing this compensation, taking “credible steps” to end Palestinian terrorism, and “publicly condemning” and investigating such acts of violence.

The Taylor Force Act was passed as part of an omnibus $1.3 trillion spending bill on 23 March 2018. It was named for the US army veteran who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in Jaffa in March 2016, in an attack that injured eleven people.

A Senate Foreign Relations Committee aide told i24NEWS, “Our understanding is that US funding to the West Bank and Gaza is on hold pending an administration review.”

Separately, i24NEWS understands that the West Bank and Gaza office of USAID -- the American international development agency -- has not received its budget for the upcoming fiscal year and therefore has not been able to put its projects out to tender.

Brendan O’Neill: Trump’s critics have destroyed the memory of the Holocaust
Comparing Trump’s policies to the Holocaust is a species of Holocaust denial.

This week, with the controversy over Trump’s separation of families arriving illegally from Mexico, has represented a turning point in their popularisation of the Hitler comparisons they once chided. They refer to the places in which the children of illegal migrants are being housed as ‘concentration camps’. The former director of the CIA, Michael Hayden, tweeted a photo of Auschwitz with the words, ‘Other governments have separated mothers and children’. Pre-empting the suspension of Godwin’s Law, a writer for the New Statesman said: ‘Stop talking about Godwin’s Law – real Nazis are back.’ Twitter buzzes with Trump-as-Hitler talk. ‘This is how the Holocaust started’, they all say.

This is how the Holocaust started. This is wrong in itself: the Holocaust started with racial laws forbidding Jewish and Gentile inter-marriage and severely restricting Jews’ rights to work, move and speak. Trump’s America has passed no law that bears the remotest resemblance to these hateful racial edicts. But perhaps this claim that Trump’s behaviour echoes the start of the Holocaust represents a tiny pang of conscience among those who are exploiting the horrors of the mid-20th-century to signal their disgust with Trump. Perhaps they know, at some level, that it is mad – not to mention immoral – to compare Trump’s policies to the Holocaust itself. To compare the temporary removal of children from their parents to the shoving of children into ovens. Actual ovens. The vast majority of children who were sent to Auschwitz were put in an oven and gassed to death and then their bodies were burnt, leading to their ashes raining down on their parents who had only been enslaved rather than gassed. They were gassed later.

That is what happened at Auschwitz. Does Michael Hayden know this? Do the thousands of people who retweeted his Auschwitz-Trump comparison know this? If they do, then their commentary on Trump’s child-migrant policy is more foul than the policy itself, because it renders Auschwitz mundane. It diminishes the horrors of that death camp through comparing them to some temporary, excessively harsh migrant controls at the Mexican border. To speak of the gassing to death of hundreds of thousands of Jewish children in the same breath as the temporary removal of scores of Mexican children from their parents insults those dead Jewish children. It relativises their suffering. It says it wasn’t that bad; it was merely on a spectrum with the largely ordinary stuff that happens in politics today.
Students Try To Ban Ben Shapiro
Students at the University of British Columbia are trying to get conservative author Ben Shapiro banned from campus, according to The Ubyssey.

Fifth-year UBC arts student Reid Marcus wants the school to cancel the event, saying “Shapiro is neither a scholar nor an activist.” Ahhh so because Ben isn’t involved in either the production or distribution of BS indoctrination, his opinion is invalid. I see. Marcus cited Shapiro’s views on Islam, by which he probably means his refutation of what he calls the “myth of the tiny radical Muslim minority.” He also cites Ben’s views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and gender identity.

Angelo tells me his club has hosted Jordan Peterson 5 times with no protesters. “Yet the moment we invite a pro-Israel speaker like Ben Shapiro, it’s chaos. Jewish students feel completely silenced by the campus culture and this campaign to shut down the event is proof of this. The opposition is comprised [of] SJWs who hate any opinion that isn’t their own, and raging anti-Semites who openly talk about violence towards Israeli Jews.”

Fight Hamas with ethics
Israel is employing a doctrine of attrition to counter the terrorism of incendiary kites – the opposite of the traditional doctrine of decisiveness behind the IDF's greatest victories. When employing a doctrine of attrition, victory is predicated on deterring the enemy (without vanquishing him physically) through erosion and fatigue, mainly emotional and psychological, over a prolonged period.

The source of Hamas' strength lies in international law, which is based on the Judeo-Christian ethical principle of sanctifying human life. But Hamas blatantly violates this principle by bombing civilians, using humans as shields and as "bangalores" to breach the border fence, launching incendiary kites and balloons at civilian areas, turning schools and hospitals into military bases and more. Israel, which is beholden to international law, is powerless with a Military Advocate General scampering among the troops.

To neutralize the "defensive barrier" that international law affords Hamas, Israel must launch a multipronged campaign – diplomatic, ethical-cultural and legal – perhaps its most intensive fight since securing the majority vote for its independence in 1948. The objective of the campaign would be to nullify the right of the lawbreaker in Gaza (along with Hezbollah) to claim protection under international law.

There are two arguments for stripping Hamas of its legal immunity. The first is that international law provides Hamas cover for sanctifying death – the polar opposite of the Western ethic of sanctifying life as a basis for social order, which also forms the foundation for the laws of war. The second argument is that upholding the laws of war, while Hamas violates those laws, forces Israel to play by Hamas' inhumane ethic of death – which in turn makes Israel's defenders and Hamas' supporters in the West partners to this coercion.
IDF destroys motorbike used by Gazan fire balloon launchers
Israeli drones carried out three airstrikes on targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, according to Palestinian media, including one that reportedly injured three people, in response to multiple airborne arson attacks from the enclave directed against southern Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed that it had launched one airstrike, but would not immediately comment on the reports of the other two.

Around 7 p.m., the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry reported that three people had been injured in an IDF strike east of Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood.

According to media reports, the men had been launching airborne incendiary devices into southern Israel. It was not immediately clear if the men had been deliberately targeted or if the military had intended to fire a warning shot, as it has in the past.

It was the third reported Israeli strike against a target in the Gaza Strip of the day.
Fresh fires sparked by flaming devices flown from Gaza
Fresh fires broke out Sunday in Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip as a result of flaming airborne devices launched from the Palestinian enclave.

Firefighters extinguished the fire near Kibbutz Kissufim and were working to put out a pair of blazes near the farming communities of Be’eri and Nir Am.

Earlier in the day, a suspicious balloon landed in the yard of a home in the southern city of Sderot, police said.

Police said officers arrived at the house and closed off the area following a report from a Sderot resident who saw the balloon land.

Police sappers were called to the scene to inspect the suspicious object.
A suspicious balloon in the yard of a house in the southern city of Sderot on June 24, 2018. (Israel Police)

Sunday’s fires came a day after flaming objects flown from Gaza started 26 blazes in southern Israel.

Palestinian media reported that Israeli military aircraft fired warning shots on Saturday near a group of Palestinians in Gaza launching incendiary devices toward Israel.
Gaza terrorists threaten head of Southern Command in video
The Al-Mujahideen Brigades, an Islamic terrorist organization operating in the Gaza Strip, posted a threatening video directed at Major General Herzi Halevi, who recently took up the post of head of the Southern Command, responsible for protecting the State of Israel from the threats emanating from the Gaza Strip.

The video shows armed terrorists of the Al-Mujahideen Brigades observing IDF forces and marking the head of Major-General Herzi Halevi within the crosshairs of a sniper rifle.

Another terrorist in the video takes an intelligence file on IDF commanders and reads the report about Major General Herzi Halevi, which includes pictures of the general and basic information about him.

The video ends with a threatening message in Arabic and broken Hebrew, translated as: "Our patience towards you will not last long."
A Dead Gaza Baby
Last month Israel began to confront a daily barrage of fire kites and burning tire smoke across its Gaza border, igniting fires that destroyed thousands of acres of farm land and nature preserves. The day after fifty Palestinians were killed when they attempted to breach the border, The New York Times ran a front-page story accompanied by a four-column wide photo of a dead Gaza baby who had inhaled “acrid gas” during the fighting. The photo was taken by a Gaza photographer whose self-described specialty is parents weeping beside lifeless little bodies.

The reported death of baby Layla Ghandour sparked the memory of 12-year-old Muhammed al-Durrah. A decade ago the Gaza boy was reported by the Times as “fatally shot” by Israeli soldiers, falling dead into his father’s lap just when a free-lance camera man for France 2 happened to photograph him. An Israeli investigation subsequently concluded that Muhammad had not been hit by IDF fire and may not have been shot at all.

Tragically, Layla Ghandour’s death actually happened. Times Cairo bureau chief Declan Walsh, who reported it, described “the rules of grief” in Gaza society that transform private suffering — for which Israel, not Hamas, is routinely blamed — into a political frenzy. One day later Layla’s father carried her body wrapped in a Palestinian flag while leading a crowd chanting slogans about “Israeli blood lust.” The Times could not resist memorializing Layla Ghandour as a tragic symbol of Israeli cruelty.

It turns out that the story was more complicated and less truthful, undermining the reflexive Times narrative to blame Israel first. Layla was taken to the Gaza border area by her 12-year-old uncle. Several hours later, when she began to cry, the boy carried her to the border to find their grandmother, who was busy shouting at Israelis across the fence. Tear gas fell nearby; one hour later Layla died. In the Times, Israel was to blame.
HR's Daniel Pomerantz on i24 News: Hamas paid family to say IDF killed baby
Amid evidence that Hamas paid a family to falsly accuse IDF of killing their 8 month old baby, HR's Daniel Pomerantz says the media is suffering from a lack of self-reflection, and allegations of "fake-news" don't happen in a vacuum.

BBC continues to disregard developments in Gaza baby story
Last month we noted that the BBC had completely ignored the fact that Hamas had removed from its list of May 14th ‘Great Return March’ casualties a baby girl whom BBC audiences were told on numerous platforms had died as a result of Israeli actions.

BBC ignores removal of Gaza baby from casualty list

Even after Hamas had removed – on May 25th – Layla al-Ghandour’s name from its list of Palestinian casualties, the BBC continued to promote a filmed report by Jeremy Bowen in which viewers were given to understand that Israel was responsible for her death.

Twelve days after the Hamas announcement, Bowen’s report was embedded into an article published on the BBC News website’s ‘UK politics’ page and that item – along with several others – continues to be available to the public.
BBC admits its commentator misled viewers on Gaza deaths
British public broadcasted BBC over the weekend ‎rebuked one of their top hosts for breaching ‎editorial guidelines with a "misleading" claim that ‎Israel had killed "lots of Palestinian kids."‎

On April 8, Andrew Marr, the star of the eponymous ‎‎"The Andrew Marr‎ Show," concluded a discussion of ‎the Syrian regime's ‎chemical weapons attack on ‎civilians by saying, "And ‎the Middle East is aflame ‎again.‎ I mean there's lots of Palestinian kids being ‎‎killed further south as well by Israeli forces."‎

His ‎comments referred to clashes between Israeli ‎security ‎forces and Palestinian rioters in the Gaza ‎border. ‎

British media said the BBC's extraordinary ruling ‎against one of its top personalities is almost ‎unprecedented.‎

It follows a complaint by anti-Semitism campaigner ‎Jonathan Sacerdoti.‎

‎"When talking about a story on the use of chemical ‎weapons in Syria, Andrew Marr for some reason ‎decided to talk about Israel [which was unrelated ‎anyway]. He stated there's a lot of Palestinian kids ‎being killed further south by Israeli forces," he ‎wrote in his complaint to the BBC.‎

‎"This is completely incorrect and is made up. This ‎was irrelevant to the conversation on Syria … and ‎also actually completely false."‎
Reaching out to Palestinians, Kushner says he’s willing to work with Abbas
Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said he is ready to work Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in an interview published Sunday, as the top peace envoy toured the region ahead of the launch of a fresh peace effort.

The trip, which is taking Kushner and US president Donald Trump’s Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt to Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt, does not include meetings with the Palestinian leadership.

Kushner told the East Jerusalem based Al Quds newspaper that he is “ready to work with [Palestinian Authority] President Abbas, if he wishes” according to a translation of the Arabic carried by Reuters.

Kushner, Greenblatt and other White House officials have been effectively blackballed by Ramallah amid anger over Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and his decision to move the US Embassy there in May.
Kushner to Palestinians: Don’t let your leaders reject a plan they haven’t seen
Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner appealed directly to the Palestinian people, urging them to not let their “scared” leadership reject the Trump administration peace plan, which the Palestinian Authority has yet to see. Directly critiquing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, he said he was not sure Abbas truly wanted an accord.

In an interview with a Palestinian paper published Sunday, Kushner said he is ready to work with Abbas, but voiced doubt the 83-year-old leader has the ability or desire to make peace because he has not altered his negotiating position in over two decades.

“There have been countless mistakes and missed opportunities over the years, and you, the Palestinian people, have paid the price,” Kushner said, according to a transcript of the interview provided by the White House. “Don’t let your leadership reject a plan they haven’t even seen.”

“A lot has happened in the world since this conflict began decades ago. The world has moved forward while you have been left behind. Don’t allow your grandfather’s conflict to determine your children’s future,” he added.
Erekat hits back at ‘biased’ Kushner, says US views PA as terrorists
A top Palestinian official fired back at the Trump administration Sunday, after senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said in an interview that the Palestinian Authority was “scared” of US peace efforts and that he doubted its leadership had the capacity or desire to finalize an agreement with Israel.

“This whole administration is biased in favor of Israel,” Saeb Erekat told Israel’s Channel 10 news. “Their peace plan will fail. They want to impose facts, but that will not work for them.”

“They see us as terrorists, and Kushner himself said that [the Trump administration] wants to replace [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] and Erekat. It is unacceptable, we are the elected leadership of the Palestinian people,” added Erekat, the PA’s point man for peace talks.

In a statement, Erekat said “there’s nothing of substance” coming out of the Trump administration.

“Kushner’s interview again illustrates the US refusal to talk substance, to mention Palestinian rights or a Palestinian state. This is an attempt to push forward a plan that consolidates Israel’s colonial control over Palestinian land and lives while telling the Palestinian people that money will compensate for our inalienable rights,” he said.

“Plain and simple: Palestine and Palestinian rights are not for sale.”
Netanyahu Criticizes Itinerary for Prince William’s Visit: ‘Jerusalem Is Israel’s Eternal Capital’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday leveled pointed criticism of British Prince William’s planned visit to the Jewish state.

The official itinerary for the trip refers to Jerusalem as “part of the occupied Palestinian territories,” a determination which has rankled Israeli officials. According to Hebrew news website Walla, Netanyahu was asked about the reference by Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin at the government’s weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.

The prime minister replied, “Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital.”

Elkin had previously criticized the royal designation of Jerusalem, saying, “United Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years and no distortion in the tour itinerary can change that reality.”
Yad Vashem mad at prince for skipping visit to tree honoring ancestor
The Yad Vashem holocaust Memorial and Museum staff were shocked to learn on Sunday that Prince William aims to skip a visit to a tree planted to honor his great-grandmother who rescued Jews in Nazi-occupied Athens during his planned visit to the site on June 26.

Instead, he is expected to honor the memory of his great-grandmother, who was recognized as a righteous among the nations in 1994 for saving the life of Jewish widow Rachel Cohen and the lives of two of her sons in Nazi-occupied Athens, by visiting her grave in Church of Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem.

“How is it possible that the prince is going to visit Yad Vashem and not visit the tree,” an anonymous source from Yad Vashem told The Jerusalem Post. “Is it for fear of upsetting the Arabs?”

During his historical visit to the region Prince William opted to meet a Holocaust survivor who, as a child, was given asylum in England because of the Kindertransports.

The UK accepted roughly ten thousand Jewish children from Germany, Poland and other central European countries. These children were often the only members of their extended families to survive the war.
Netanyahu: Bulgaria to open honorary consulate in Jerusalem
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said his Bulgarian counterpart assured him that his country will open an honorary consulate in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu told the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in the capital that he had spoken with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov on Saturday night about setting up the mission.

In the wake of the US relocating its embassy to Jerusalem in May, Israel has been urging other countries to follow suit.

“He decided, after he was here a few days ago, to open an honorary consulate here in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “He took care to explain to me in our conversation that this consulate will not only deal with Bulgarian matters in Jerusalem, but with Bulgarian issues all over Israel.”

“I told him the step is welcomed, and that I very much hope that it will lead to the swift opening of the official full Bulgarian embassy in Jerusalem,” added Netanyahu.
I will do everything for Israel, Togolese foreign minister says
Most Israelis would have trouble finding Togo on a map or name one significant fact about it. It's a tiny country that rarely features in the Israeli headlines. And yet, it is one of the most pro-Israel places in the African continent. It is no wonder then that Togolese Foreign Minister Professor Robert Dussey begins his interview with the declaration that "I came here to reassure [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu that Togo will support Israel. Our support for Israel is constant."

Officially the minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration, Dussey is one of the strongest political figures in his country (and the entire continent). He thinks of Israel as his second home, both spiritually and politically. So much so, in fact, that he can't even remember how many times he has visited Israel.

The reason for this deep connection with the people of Zion may lie in the fact that before he was appointed minister, for 10 years, Dussey served in a number of different roles in the Community of the Beatitudes. For this Catholic group, the welfare of Israel and the Jewish people is a top priority. Ever since he was a Catholic monk and to this day, Dussey recites daily prayers in Hebrew, maintaining a strong spiritual bond with Israel.
Driver in suspected car-ramming attack turns self in, says it was an accident
A Palestinian man from the West Bank who is suspected of carrying out a car-ramming attack on Israel Defense Forces soldiers on Saturday night turned himself in hours later and told the Israeli authorities it had been an accident.

Four IDF soldiers on foot patrol were lightly injured when a car with Palestinian license plates ran into them near the entrance to the West Bank village of Husan. On Sunday, two of the soldiers were released from Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, while the other two were kept for observation, a hospital spokesperson said.

The driver, 21, gave himself up to security forces overnight Saturday-Sunday. Video of his surrender to IDF soldiers was shared on social media.

In the video, the alleged driver is seen approaching an IDF checkpoint together with a group of well-wishers. After saying his farewells, the Palestinian man walks toward the soldiers, speaks to them, and is then led away.

According to Hadashot TV news, the driver said he did not intend to ram the car into the IDF foot patrol and maintained it was a traffic accident.
Concerns raised southern Syrian regime offensive may spill over to Israel
Artillery and bombs rained down on Syrian rebel-held areas in southern Syria as the Syrian regime ramped up its offensive against the rebels after years of relative quiet and cease-fire. On Saturday, the first Russian air strikes in more than a year were carried out against rebel positions. The offensive, currently 20 kilometers from Israel’s Golan border, has the potential to cause spillover in the form of refugees or clashes. On Sunday, the IDF fired a Patriot missile at a drone near the Golan.

In mid-June, the Syrian regime and its allies, including Shi’ite militias aligned with Iran, began concentrating forces in southern Syria. The rebels hold a U-shaped area in southern Syria. One side runs along the Golan Heights and the other stretches north from the Jordanian border. At the bottom of the “U” is Dara’a, a city next to the Jordanian border that the regime and the rebels have contested since the start of the rebellion in 2011.

On June 21, the US State Department said it was “troubled by reports of increasing Syrian regime operations in southwest Syria.” It reminded Russia of its agreement to a “de-escalation” zone or cease-fire in talks with US President Donald Trump in July and November. Jordan is also part of the agreement. “The US continues to warn both the Russian government and the Assad regime of serious repercussions of these violations.”
IDF: Patriot missile fired at incoming UAV from Syria, which retreats
The Israel Defense Forces launched a Patriot interceptor missile at a drone that was heading toward Israeli airspace from Syria, prompting the incoming unmanned aerial vehicle to beat a retreat, the army said.

“As a result, the aircraft fled from the border. No interception was reported,” the army said in a statement.

The drone was being used as part of the Syrian military’s activities in the Quneitra region, near the Israeli Golan Heights, a commander in the coalition supporting Syrian dictator Bashar Assad later told the Reuters news service.

The IDF did not immediately identify the operator of the drone.

The military said its systems spotted the incoming aircraft and fired at it before the UAV reached the border.

“The IDF will not allow a violation of the aerial sovereignty of the State of Israel and will take action against any attempt to harm its citizens,” the army said.
Palestinian employees hurt by BDS speak up about its negative effects
What effect does denormalization and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction campaign actually have on Palestinian society? That was the question discussed by Palestinians and Israelis who gathered for a roundtable discussion on Monday, to talk about building “bottom-up peace” through economic cooperation in Area C of the West Bank.

The forum at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs was centered around its new book, Defeating Denormalization: Shared Palestinian and Israeli Perspectives on a New Path to Peace.

In the book, nine of the book’s contributors share their opinions and stories.

For Nabil Basherat, a factory manager for the Israeli company SodaStream, the BDS movement caused hundreds of factory workers to be laid off.

“The BDS movement has threatened my job security and livelihood,” Basherat wrote in his chapter of the book. “It damaged the livelihoods of hundreds of SodaStream factory workers, who were laid off as SodaStream left its Mishor Adumim facility in the West Bank.”

According to Basherat, the factory closed due to BDS protests in the US and Europe.

Workers then had to find new jobs or emigrate. Some workers chose to commute to a different SodaStream factory that was farther away, choosing it over working for Palestinian companies that were closer.
The Israeli-Palestinian Path to Economic Prosperity

Social media giants Facebook, Twitter block Hezbollah accounts
Social media giants Facebook and Twitter shut down accounts belonging to Hezbollah over the weekend, blocking the terrorist group's channels Friday night. Hezbollah officials said the blocks were implemented "without prior warning."

Using the Telegram encrypted messaging app, Hezbollah representatives protested the move, saying that the sanctions came without warning and were "part of the propaganda campaign against the resistance due to the important role of the organization's information apparatus in various arenas."

Neither Facebook nor Twitter has thus far provided an explanation for their decision to deactivate the accounts.

Hezbollah's Facebook account was previously blocked in 2017, but the organization bypassed the block by launching an alternate account.

Despite the closures, internet users were redirected to new and existing pages affiliated with the terrorist group, Israeli media reported.

The Hezbollah accounts were blocked a day after the Lebanese group aired previously unseen footage from a 2006 border attack against Israeli soldiers that sparked the Second Lebanon War.
Risks of Doing Business with Iran
Executive Summary

“[Iran’s] objective is to ensure that no legitimate company or government knows that they are being used to achieve Iran’s illicit aims. ... To those in the private sector, I urge you to also take additional steps to ensure Iran and its proxies are not exploiting your companies to support their nefarious activities. You may think your clients and counter parties are legitimate, but they may be in fact part of the Iranian regime’s deceptive schemes to fund terrorism and human rights abuses.”
– Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker, June 5, 2018

Conducting business with the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to entail profound risk, especially following the reinstatement of all U.S. sanctions suspended in accordance with the 2015 nuclear deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). After the U.S. announced its withdrawal from the JCPOA and its reinstatement of sanctions, major multinational corporations such as Total, General Electric, Maersk-Moller, and Siemens have announced they will be winding down their business in Iran.

Even before the reinstatement of sanctions, the risks of doing business in Iran were substantial, because of pervasive corruption, legal risk, systemic human rights violations, and persistent support for foreign terrorist organizations. In May, the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated the governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) for covertly funneling millions of dollars to Hezbollah on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force. The involvement of the central bank governor in money laundering and illicit finance illustrates the extreme degree to which Iran’s entire financial system has been compromised.
Iran Rial Plunges to New Lows as US Sanctions Loom
The Iranian rial plunged to a record low against the US dollar on the unofficial market on Sunday, continuing its slide amid fears of returning US sanctions after President Donald Trump in May withdrew from a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.

The dollar was being offered for as much as 87,000 rials, compared to around 75,500 on Thursday, the last trading day before Iran’s weekend, according to foreign exchange website, which tracks the unofficial market.

Iran’s semi-official news agency ISNA said the dollar had climbed to 87,000 rials on Sunday from about 74,000 before the weekend on the black market, and several Iranian websites carried similar reports.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Tehran Radio Host Arrested After Anti-Semitic Rant Not Anti-Semitic Enough (satire)
A popular on-air commentator in Iran faces charges of libel after he launched into a Judaeophobic tirade during his program that proved insufficiently Judaeophobic for the mullahs who run the country.

Police escorted Alqildeh Jouz of Radio Quds, a station based in the capital but whose reach spans the country, from the premises of the station Monday following the host’s two-hour show dedicated to its weekly “Zionist Crimes” feature. A statement by the police declared that Mr. Jouz faces prison time for violating the terms of his contract, which contains a clause mandated by law obligating him to devote at least forty percent of his air time to exploring the ways in which Israel and its supporters undermine moral values, especially in the Islamic world, and a further twenty percent to litanies of alleged Zionist genocide or manipulation of government, media, and economies. Two programs in a row, asserted the police, the percentages remained below thirty and ten percent, respectively.

“Last week we warned Mr. Jouz of his lackluster approach to upholding the law,” announced police spokesman Alhaf Nazijizim. “During last week’s program he devoted less than the allotted time to the right themes, and we advised him immediately following the show that this week’s program would be monitored closely for adherence to the requirements, and that officers would be standing by to enforce the provisions of the law. But he did it again this week, electing to play back interviews with Holocaust skeptics at the expense of reporting on the genocide of Palestinians happening right now.”

Jewish Organizations call upon the San Francisco Unified School District to drop its contract with AROC
The extremist group, Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC), directed by Lara Kiswani has signed a memorandum of understanding with the San Francisco School Unified Board to facilitate Arabic language and cultural teaching in our local public schools. The SF Unified Boards decision is a shocking breech of responsibility towards the young people of our city.

The 6-1 vote gives AROC a 3 year contract to provide workshops once a week at five San Francisco high schools: Balboa, Galileo, Mission, Raoul Wallenberg and S.F. International.

Lara Kiswani is infamously known for taunting a tearful student at UC Berkeley, who after expressing her desire for open communication, was subject to Kiswani's hateful retort.

“See, part of the problem with the Palestine question particularly on campus is it always gets framed as this two-sided thing and liberal democracy loves to make it seem like everyone has a right to speak, including the oppressor alongside the oppressed. … I don’t think that this form of liberal democracy really has a place in terms of real struggle. … Maybe liberal Zionists here on this campus have a hard time understanding what that means. … As long as you choose to be on that side, I’m going to continue to hate you.”

Lara Kiswani also participated in the assault on a peaceful vigil at Reem's bakery in Oakland, prancing around with signs ripped out of the hands of Jewish seniors.
George Galloway Screws Up Again
Fresh from his incredible stupidity inadvertently eating at an Israeli restaurant – and then his laughable responses after being outed – Israel hater George Galloway has continued to score own goals: he has posted the iconic Australia-Palestine soccer video.

(Note how he even made it his “pinned” tweet!)

I have explained many times before why it is incredibly stupid of the Israel haters to draw attention to this. In short: it was a team made up of solely of Jews, thus showing how the Jews of the area then known as British mandate Palestine were known as palestinians.

Note how Galloway claims “They say there was never a Palestine.” He is referring to us Israel advocates, and this is patently false. We do not deny there was an area referred to as Palestine – of course this was its name at the time. And as the video shows, there were already Jews living there and representing the area in sports and other fields. Rather, we deny there was ever a state called Palestine.

Thank goodness for the stupidity of people like George Galloway!

Update: Meanwhile, Galloway got a call regarding his sighting in the Israeli restaurant. This is priceless!
We Salute You, Sgt. S
Sgt. S, an intelligence investigator in the IDF and recipient of the Presidential Award of Excellence, recounts his life-altering accident from 11 years ago that could’ve prevented him from joining the IDF.

“I looked upwards and saw the car that had hit me against the fence on its two back wheels and then looked to my right and saw my foot which had clearly got cut off when it hit the fence,” he continued.

Many people will find themselves faced with doubt, fear, and despair in the face of tragedy and will let those feelings consume them. But not Sgt. S. From the day of his accident, through his recovery period, and up until today, S. has displayed an unwavering amount of courage.

“S., are you okay?! S. are you okay?!,” his brother screamed as he was rushed to the ambulance. He wasn’t okay. But he was only focused on protecting his mother and brother. “I tried to calm him down and remember saying to him ‘I’m okay, go make sure everything is alright with mom, she shouldn’t see me like this.”

His selflessness never left him. Regardless of his accident and despite his exempt from military service, S. drafted nonetheless.
Child heart surgery NGO first Israeli charity to win UN Population Award
Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), an Israeli non-profit that provides medical treatment to children from developing countries suffering from heart disease, will receive the United Nations Population Award this coming Tuesday, marking the first time an Israeli organization will receive the award.

According to a statement from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), there will be an official ceremony held at the UN headquarters in New York Tuesday evening to commemorate the three 2018 laureates.

Dr. Sir Prince Ramsey, an Antiguan physician credited with improving health care for thousands of people in Antigua and Barbuda, and the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization that advances sexual and reproductive health and rights internationally, will receive awards alongside SACH.

The laureates were chosen by a committee of 10 UN member states from several international nominees for their outstanding work in population and in improving the health and welfare of individuals.

The organization founded by surgeon Dr. Amram Cohen 21 years ago has treated children arriving from Ethiopia, Vietnam, Jordan, Moldova, Tanzania, Russia, the Philippines, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Angola, Iraq, Haiti, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, Ecuador, Mauritania, Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Somalia, China, Romania, Ukraine, and others.

The organization brings children to Israel in groups of four to seven at a time, accompanied by an adult from their place of origin. A parent or a relative accompanies children under the age of three.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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