Wednesday, February 20, 2019

From Ian:

Honest Reporting: Breaking the Silence’s Discredited Spokesman Slanders the IDF
The, an Irish media outlet published an opinion piece by Dean Issacharoff, the spokesperson for Breaking the Silence, a highly politicized organization that collects anonymous testimonies of Israeli soldiers of alleged and most often unsubstantiated misdemeanors or “war crimes” that it presents to a mainly foreign audience as a means of fighting Israel’s “occupation.”

As journalist Jake Wallis Simons recounted back in 2013 when he conducted interviews with BtS staff:

It was only a hunch at first. But later, the bias of the organisation became clearer. During a break between interviews, I asked Yehuda Shaul, one of the founders of the organisation, how the group is funded. It was with some surprise that I learned that 45 per cent of it is donated by European countries, including Norway and Spain, and the European Union. Other donors include UNICEF, Christian Aid and Oxfam GB. To me this seemed potentially problematic.

As is the case in all democracies, the IDF is an organ of the state, not a political decision-maker. If the goal of Breaking the Silence was simply to clean up the Israeli military, it wouldn’t be such a problem. Instead, the aim is to “end the occupation”, and on this basis it secured its funding.

It appeared, therefore, that these former soldiers, some of whom draw salaries from Breaking the Silence, were motivated by financial and political concerns to further a pro-Palestinian agenda. They weren’t merely telling the truth about their experiences. They were under pressure to perform.

Indeed, I later discovered that there have been many allegations in the past that members of the organisation either fabricated or exaggerated their testimonies.

Issacharoff himself was found to have fabricated his own testimony in 2017 after an Israeli legal investigation concluded that his claims that he assaulted a Palestinian man during his military service were false.
PMW impact: Swedish and Norwegian MPs to seek funding cuts to PA
Following Palestinian Media Watch Director Itamar Marcus' recent briefings before members of parliament and government officials in Norway and Sweden, MPs from both countries said they would seek changes in their governments' funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Marcus provided numerous examples of the PA's escalating antisemitic messages, and its hate education to children, and detailed the PA's policy of financially rewarding imprisoned terrorists and families of purported "Martyrs."

Marcus discussed the PA's payments of salaries to Palestinian terrorist prisoners and allowances to families of dead terrorists, the so-called "Martyrs," with government officials. He called on MPs in Norway and Sweden to follow the example of their Dutch counterparts and set the stage for a Europe-wide uniform 7% reduction in donor funds to the PA, unless and until the PA stops its "Pay-for-Slay policy" of paying salaries to terrorist prisoners, released prisoners, and families of dead terrorists.

Appalled that Norwegian humanitarian aid could be used to reward terrorists, Norwegian MP Ingjerd Schou commented:
"I do not think it's a good idea to give any funding to prisoners... We have to use Norwegian money to make peace. We should reinforce all the good activities."
[Norwegian Parliament, Jan. 29, 2019]

Upon seeing Marcus' documentation, Swedish MP Mikael Oscarsson immediately responded:
"We want to do as they've done in the Dutch parliament to cut the funding to the PA [by 7%], because we need to put pressure on the Palestinian Authority." [Swedish Parliament, Jan. 31, 2019]

Amazon Drive is hosting terrorist content. Here's what Jeff Bezos should do about it.
Terrorist groups usually find ways to exploit the ever expanding services offered by major online platforms and tech companies, and Amazon Drive is no exception. Designed for storing and sharing photos, videos, PDFs and other forms of content, it has been adopted by the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other organizations as a stable and reliable platform for disseminating their content. They upload it and then share the links to it with followers and sympathizers, primarily using the encrypted messaging app Telegram — terrorists' "app of choice."

Amazon Drive, established in 2011 and previously known as Amazon Cloud Drive, can store subscribers' photos, videos and other files for access from mobile devices, desktops or Amazon Fire devices. According to the Amazon website, "All photos, videos and other files you upload to Amazon Drive are securely and privately stored in your Files and your Amazon Photos library."

While Amazon has guidelines for its many platforms, including specific bans on terrorism, "bigotry, hatred, or illegal discrimination," or the use of its services by anyone who is "the subject of U.S. sanctions or of sanctions consistent with U.S. law imposed by the governments of the country where you are using Amazon Services," it has not been proactive in removing terrorist content.

Terrorist activity and content on Amazon Drive is the subject of a new report by my organization, the Middle East Media Research Institute and its Cyber & Jihad Lab, documenting how ISIS and other groups like it have been using this free service. The examples in the report include Amazon Drive links to content such as videos by ISIS, audio messages by its leaders, and official newsletters and other content created by the group, its secondary media organizations and its supporters.

World Council of Churches exposed as biased, anti-Israeli group - report
The World Council of Churches sent foreign nationals to pose as tourists to gather information about IDF operations and training in Jerusalem and Hebron, according to reports.

According to reports, the WCC-funded program was called the program the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel [EAPPI].

Working alongside Israeli human rights groups, the volunteers wore official looking brown vests with EAPPI written on them with a dove-shaped logo, lending them a false air of authority seeing as the organization doesn’t enjoy an official status in Israel.

They then returned to their home countries offering to speak about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict using theological terms that are “loaded with antisemitism” said Amit Barak, one of the main activists in exposing the group. They would also use graphics such as a “star of David bleeding on Palestinian children,” he said.

Barak, a resident of Nokdim in Gush Etzion, met EAPPI activists near his home. After several weeks in which they came “to bother us, to make provocations” he decided to “take the gloves off.”

Pointing to EAPPI activists being sent only to Israel and not to any other conflicted spot in the world, NGO Monitor expert Itai Reuveni said that “it’s a political project in disguise of human rights.”
Abbas meets with J Street delegation, Democratic congressmen in Ramallah
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with representatives of J Street in Ramallah, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

According to the report, Abbas met with a delegation from J Street and several Democratic congressmen. The two sides discussed "recent developments in the region, Israeli violations, the attacks on Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem and the way to stop the violations in the international arena."
Caroline Glick: Liberal Criticism of Warsaw Conference Proves It Was Success
The liberal media have been quick to pan last week’s Warsaw conference on Middle East security as a failure. And their unanimity of opinion is proof of the conference’s success.

At Warsaw last week, the U.S. delegation, led by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, met with representatives of 60 countries. Together they forged a broad diplomatic coalition to advance the goal of ending Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program and other malign, destabilizing, and aggressive Iranian actions in the Middle East and around the world.

A video from the opening dinner, briefly posted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, showed the foreign ministers of Sunni Arab states — including Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Saudi Arabia — discussing the threat Iran poses to their countries and to the Middle East more generally in language indistinguishable from Israeli rhetoric on the issue.

Sitting at the dinner with Netanyahu, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister blamed Iran for the absence of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The UAE’s foreign minister supported Israel’s bombing of Iranian targets in Syria. Saudi Arabia’s representative gave similar statements.

Noting the remarkable unanimity between Israel and the Arab states on Iran, former U.S. Middle East peace envoy, Ambassador Dennis Ross, who hosted the discussions at the dinner, wrote on his Twitter account, “At the Warsaw Conference, I conducted back to back discussions first with three Arab ministers and then with Israeli PM Netanyahu. Same room, same views of Iran’s aggressive, threatening posture in the Middle East, and unmistakable convergence of what should be done to counter it.”

Ross’s longtime deputy, Aaron David Miller, was similarly struck by the Arab-Israel diplomatic alliance. In an interview with Al-Monitor, Miller said, “What is so stunning, so preternaturally amazing is that at a time when there is no peace process and no prospect of one, and there is one of the most right-wing governments in Israeli history, and the [Trump] administration is waging a political and economic war against the Palestinians, Israel’s stock in the region and in the international community is higher now than at any point since the state was created.”
Dennis Ross: At Warsaw, European Ministers Embraced the Need to Counter Unacceptable Iranian Behaviors
I moderated a panel last week at the Peace and Security conference in Warsaw. The event was marked by a variety of convergences that should make Iran take notice. European ministers reemphasized that they would not walk away from the nuclear deal, yet they also embraced the need to counter unacceptable Iranian behaviors, including ballistic missile tests and threatening military actions in the Middle East.

The Europeans were alarmed by the similar stories they heard from Arab ministers and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in describing Iran's efforts to destabilize the region, whether by smuggling arms into Bahrain and Saudi Arabia; using Shia militias to coerce governments; providing missiles to Hizbullah, Hamas, and the Houthis; encouraging terrorism and subversion; deploying missiles on bases in Syria and western Iraq; or developing factories to build precision guidance capabilities for thousands of rockets in Lebanon and Syria.

In essence, those on the frontlines told their European friends that Iran will not stop fomenting trouble abroad unless its costs for doing so become far more acute. Unless Iran's decision-makers begin to see the costs - and not just the benefits - of foreign interference by the Qods Force and other organs, there is little prospect of the regime altering its behavior.
Elliott Abrams: Poll Shows No Weakening of American Jewish Support for Israel
Articles regularly tell us that American Jews are becoming increasingly distant from and disenchanted with Israel. But it seems that what everyone knows is simply wrong, as we learn from J Street, who did a post-election survey of American Jews in 2018.

The survey asked: "Compared to 5-10 years ago, do you feel more positive, more negative, or about the same toward Israel?" The result: 55% said about the same, 26% said more positive, and 19% said more negative. More people said they felt more positive about Israel now than said the opposite - with most saying their views had not changed.

Respondents were also asked: "Does the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank make you feel positive about Israel, negative about Israel, or have no impact on how you feel about Israel?" The result: 48% said it had no impact at all, 32% said a negative impact, and 19% said a positive impact.

The J Street survey suggests that there is no great crisis in relations between the American Jewish community and Israel and that the relationship is stronger than the prophets of doom constantly suggest.
AP Corrects on Saudi ‘Hostility’ Towards Israel
CAMERA’s Israel office yesterday prompted correction of an Associated Press article which erroneously reported that Saudi Arabia regards Israel with hostility. The Feb. 19 article (“China, Iran meet amid efforts to preserve nuclear deal“) had originally stated:
At the same time, China has sought to remain a friend to Israel – which both Saudi Arabia and Iran regard with hostility – partly to avail itself of the country’s cutting-edge technologies.

Saudi Arabia’s view of Israel has warmed in recent years, precisely because of their common foe, Iran. That warming has found expression in, for instance, the recent opening of Saudi air space for Air India flights to Israel. As AP reported Dec. 10, 2018:
Saudi Arabia broke a decades-long ban on the use of its airspace for flights to Israel last spring, when it allowed India’s national carrier to cross its skies.
US envoy calls on FM Katz apologize to Poland for anti-Semitism remark
The United States ambassador to Poland on Wednesday said that Acting Foreign Minister Israel Katz should apologize for his comment that Poles “suckle anti-Semitism with their mothers’ milk.”

“I just felt that two strong allies like Israel and Poland, of course they are strong allies of the United States, shouldn’t be using that kind of rhetoric,” the US envoy, Georgette Mosbacher, told reporters, according to the Reuters news agency. “We are too important to each other not to work these things out.”

The demand for an apology followed Mosbacher’s condemnation a day earlier of Katz’s remarks, when she tweeted that “there is no place for such offensive comments as yesterday’s statement by Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz.”

Poland pulled out of a summit of Central European countries scheduled for Jerusalem on Tuesday, leading to the cancellation of the event.

Mosbacher has herself previously come under fire from the Polish government over comments on the country’s Holocaust history, saying during a nomination hearing last year that Polish legislation outlawing the blaming of Nazi crimes against Jews during World War II on Poland was responsible for rising anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe.
Court resuscitates Palestinians' genocide case against Adelson in U.S.
A US court of appeals has resuscitated a civil damages lawsuit by a group of Palestinians claiming support for genocide against tycoon Sheldon Adelson, the Trump administration's envoy Elliot Abrams, megachurch pastor John Hagee and a range of banks, companies and NGOs have said. The Palestinians claim that these people and institutions are linked to the settlement enterprise and to alleged war crimes in the last three Gaza wars.

The $34.5 billion case was previously dismissed by the lower US district court for the District of Columbia based on the idea that it implicated political and foreign policy questions of which the judiciary traditionally stays out.

The appeals court’s decision late on Tuesday was not close to a final victory for the plaintiffs, and the case may still be dismissed before it reaches a trial. But the appeals court did say that the lower court had applied the political doctrine too broadly and could not dismiss the case based only on those technical grounds.

There is speculation about whether the defendants will appeal to a broader panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, appeal to the US Supreme Court or try to beat the case on other jurisdictional grounds at the lower court.

U.S. Palestinian mission to merge with Israel embassy in March
The United States Consulate General in Jerusalem, which serves Palestinians, will be absorbed into the new US Embassy to Israel in March, a US official said on Tuesday, giving a date for a merger that has been condemned by Palestinians.

The decision to create a single diplomatic mission was announced last October by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who did not say at the time when this would take place.

"The merger of the consulate and the embassy will take place on March 4th or 5th, at which point the position of the consul-general will end, said the US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the date has not been announced yet by Washington.

US President Donald Trump outraged the Arab world and stoked international concern by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December and moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May. Palestinian leaders suspended ties with the US administration after the embassy move.

The consulate general in Jerusalem is the top mission for Palestinians, who with broad international backing seek east Jerusalem as the capital of a state they want to establish in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
U.S. Blocks Transfer of F-35 Fighter Jets to Turkey
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday signed a spending bill that blocks the transfer of the country's F-35 new generation fighter jets to Turkey.

According to spending bill signed by Trump on Friday, delivery of the jets to Turkey will be blocked until the U.S. Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense submit an update to the report regarding the purchase of Turkey of the S–400 missile defense system from the Russian Federation.

In earlier report to the Congress in late November, Pentagon said Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile systems could result in Ankara’s potential expulsion from the F-35 program, as well as affecting its acquisition of other weapons including Boeing Co.'s CH-47F Chinook helicopter and Lockheed’s F-16 fighter and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
F35s S400

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed the purchase and stated that there was no turning back from receiving the S-400 air defense systems from Russia in 2019.

Turkey expects the delivery of the defence missiles to start this year with Russian officials promising the delivery within this year.
Australian leaders praise Israel in parliament as they mark 70 years of ties
Australia’s prime minister and opposition leader reinforced the bond between Israel and Australia in back-to-back addresses to parliament marking 70 years of friendship with Israel.

Israel’s ambassador to Australia, Mark Sofer, was in parliament to hear the leaders speak of the relationship between the two countries.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that Israel is “a beacon of democracy in the Middle East.”

He said that though Australia chaired the 1947 UN Committee which voted to divide the territory of Mandate Palestine, the country will be “standing by Israel in the face of biased and unfair targeting of Israel in the UN General Assembly.”

Morrison described Israel as “a nation of immigrants with a free press; parliamentary democracy; financially prosperous; the source of innovation in the world; and a refuge from persecution and genocide, that is somehow now the center of cruelty in the world, according to some in the UN. That is intellectual fraud.”

Leader of the Labor opposition Bill Shorten said that: “The hard truth is that 70 years after Israel’s recognition, peace and security still elude the region.”

“All of us in this place support the right of the people of Israel to live safely within secure borders. And as a true friend of Israel, my party strongly supports a two-state solution,” he said.
Thousands sing and cry in march for Ori Ansbacher
More than 6,000 people streamed to the First Station in Jerusalem on Tuesday evening to join some 800 hundred youth from Tekoa, who marched from Ein Yahel to commemorate Ori Ansbacher, the young woman who was savagely murdered 13 days before by a Palestinian terrorist.

The organizers of the march called the event “A City Wrapped in Light,” in reference to Ansbacher’s first name, which means light.

The event was organized by a small group of pro-Israel activists, including Elyasaf Peretz, the son of Israel Prize awardee Miriam Peretz, and Yossi Furman, son of the late rabbi of Tekoa, Menachem Furman.

Ansbacher, a resident of Tekoa, a village located in the south of Jerusalem, was raped and murdered by a Palestinian man as she was enjoying some quiet time in the woods outside of Ein Yahel, a nature museum where she volunteered with children.

Members of youth movements and some of Ansbacher’s friends marched in her memory from the spot where she was brutally murdered in the woods all the way to the First Station in the city – a place where Jerusalemites of all denominations and sectors – mingle and meet.
Palestinian suspect in murder, rape of Ori Ansbacher remanded for 8 more days
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday extended by eight days the remand of a Palestinian man suspected of brutally murdering Israeli teen Ori Ansbacher earlier this month in the woods on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Arafat Irfaiya, a 29-year-old Hebron resident, was arrested on February 8 in the West Bank city of Ramallah, with investigators from the Shin Bet security service and Israel Police aiming to indict him for murder in the context of a terrorist act, in addition to a charge of rape.

It is Irfaiya’s second remand after the court last week ordered him detained for ten days.

Police requested the additional remand, saying they needed more time to complete the investigation, especially to examine forensic evidence.

On Tuesday evening, thousands gathered in the First Station culture compound in Jerusalem for a memorial concert for the 19-year-old Ansbacher. Singers who performed voluntarily included Ehud Banai, Yuval Dayan, Amir Benayoun, Micha Shitrit, Shlomi Shabat and the Shalva Band.

Last week, the Shin Bet announced that the murder was a nationalistically motivated terror attack, saying Irfaiya reenacted the murder in front of interrogators and “implicated himself definitively in the incident.”
A Palestinian Terrorist Too Brutal for Fatah
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has finally found a terrorist act committed by a Palestinian against an Israeli that it wants to disassociate from. The horrific rape and knife murder of 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher prompted Qadura Fares, head of the PA-affiliated Prisoner’s Club, to say, “From our perspective, this [rape] becomes a criminal case. We’re against the idea that anyone who commits a criminal act can then try to cloak themselves in the nationalist flag.”

A senior Fatah official said, “Even if there was no rape, a murder like this is unacceptable. The victim wasn’t a soldier, and this wasn’t wartime. If you want to be a hero, you don’t go and murder an innocent woman who went into the woods to read a book.”

No go, guys. In the world of the PA, everyone is a soldier and every day is wartime. You own this, and you own Arafat Irfaiya.

Irfaiya is 27 years old, just about the same age as the Oslo Accords. In 2006, when Irfaiya was just a boy, the PA, aware that it could not field an army to go to war against Israel, adopted a strategy of “popular resistance” (i.e., terrorism) at the 6th Fatah Conference. Seemingly unplanned low-tech attacks (car rammings or stabbings) against Israelis and Jews were described after the fact by Palestinian leadership as “heroic actions” and “the natural response to Israel’s crimes.”

Palestinians clash with police on Temple Mount amid efforts to end crisis
Dozens of Palestinians tried to force their way into the Golden Gate site on the Temple Mount on Tuesday, triggering scuffles with police officers, eyewitnesses said.

According to the eyewitnesses, a number of Palestinians were arrested and lightly wounded during the confrontation, which erupted after the protesters removed an iron gate the police had placed at the entrance to the controversial site. One of the wounded men was identified as Nasser Qos, a senior Fatah official in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The Palestinians entered the site – also known as the Gate of Mercy – just hours after Palestinian sources said Israel and Jordan had reached understandings to end the crisis over the site, which erupted on Monday after another attempt by worshipers to pray at the area.

The sources warned, however, that the continued closure of the site by the Jerusalem Police to Muslim worshipers would spark violent clashes at the site and in other parts of east Jerusalem.

The Palestinians claim that Israel is planning to turn the site into a section for Jewish prayers.

As part of the reported understandings, police officers on Tuesday removed chains from the iron gate leading to the site, which had been ordered closed by a court because of illegal construction and excavations by the (Jerusalem) Wakf Islamic religious trust.

The current crisis is the second of its kind on the Temple Mount in recent weeks. Last month, a scuffle broke out between Muslim protesters and police forces after Wakf guards tried to prevent a policeman wearing a kippah from entering the Dome of the Rock.

The two incidents are seen in the context of the Wakf’s effort to assert its absolute control over the Temple Mount, or Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary).
PA refuses to accept tax fees from IL following 'pay-for-slay' deduction
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has decided not to accept any tax money from Israel after the Israeli government announced it would withhold some tax money from the PA that is currently being used to pay the families of terrorists, according to a Kan News report.

Palestinian Reporter Nurit Yohanan told Kan that the Palestinian Authority said it would pay the terrorists and their families even if they had only $20 million or $30 million shekels left.

Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, warned that Israel's decision to deduct funds by withholding tax fees will have consequences, in a statement on Sunday night.

"The Palestinian Authority views the approval of the decision to deduct funds as a robbery of the Palestinian people's money and as a unilateral violation of the agreements signed between the two sides, such as the Paris agreement," Abu Rudaina said in a statement.

"This decision will have dangerous consequences on all levels, "Abu Rudaina concluded.

The PLO Department of Public Diplomacy and Policy said ,"The Israeli government took the unlawful decision of stealing once again Palestinian tax revenues," in a statement late Sunday night.
Hamas official threatens border raid if Israel doesn’t keep to ceasefire deal
A senior Hamas official said on Tuesday that if Israel does not keep to the terms of a de facto ceasefire agreement it reached with the terror group, Palestinians will rush the Gaza Strip’s border with the Jewish state.

Fathi Hamad, a member of Hamas’s politburo who is known for his heated rhetoric, made the statement at a protest in the northern border region between Israel and Gaza.

“If the enemy does not return to its senses and does not implement the understandings, we will storm the border,” he said in a short speech, without elaborating on what he specifically wanted Israel to do. “Our patience has run out. Our patience has run out.”

Since late March 2018, the Hamas terror group, Palestinian political parties, civil society groups and others have orchestrated weekly protests in the Gaza border region, which, they say, aim to force the Jewish state to lift its restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and out of the coastal enclave. Israel says it maintains the blockade to prevent Hamas, which is sworn to destroy the Jewish state, from importing weaponry.

The protests have seen many violent acts, including the lobbing of firebombs, rocks and other objects at IDF soldiers and the sabotaging of the border fence.
For first time in months, Gaza balloons spark fire in south
A balloon carrying an incendiary device from the Gaza Strip sparked at least one fire in southern Israel on Tuesday, the first such arson case in several months, authorities said.

The blaze burned grasslands in a wooded area outside the community of Kibbutz Kissufim in the Eshkol region. It was quickly extinguished, according to the Israel Fire and Rescue Services.

Initially, the Eshkol Regional Council said the cause of the fire was not immediately known, but it was later confirmed to have been sparked by arson devices from Gaza, a fire department spokesperson said.

A second blaze that was sparked in the Eshkol region around the same time was found to have been an intentional controlled burn, and not the result of a Palestinian incendiary device, according to the fire department.

In addition, a helium-filled condom with a suspected explosive device attached to it was found outside another community in the Eshkol region.
Dore Gold: The Iranians and the Russians Are Not Natural Allies
One of the things that we miss in discussions about Iran, Russia, and Israel is the fact that the Iranians and the Russians are not natural allies. One of the underlying assumptions of the permission the Russians give to the Iranians to be in Syria is that the Russian conflict is with the Sunni Muslims. It's the Sunni Muslims in the Sunni states that have supported the Mujahideen in the Caucasus, and that's the Russians' number-one national security concern.

I think they're making a huge mistake because the Shia extremists in Iran have been supporting Sunni extremists for years. So the policy of going after Sunni states and supporting the Shia intervention in Syria can boomerang against Russia. In my communications with the Russians, we would often go into these details. It was an argument that they could understand. They didn't speak about Iran as a country with similar values or as a country that they are so firmly allied with.

Why are the Russians in Syria? Do they want to show the world, and the Arab world as well, that, unlike the United States with Mubarak, they don't abandon their allies? It could be that they have other motivations to reestablish their global position vis-a-vis the United States. A third goal is because the Chechens and other Mujahideen from the Transcaucasus have been involved in Syria, and so a victory of jihadi Islam in Syria, from their perspective, will affect their security directly.

I think something is going to happen that will shift the Russian policy at some point, but I can't say when. I can say these are not allies that are locked together for cooperation for the long term. I think something is going to separate them from one another.

Russia is more of a status quo power, meaning it achieved what it hoped to achieve, and it wants to preserve what it achieved in Syria. The Iranians are still a revolutionary power, and they're not only just employing their own forces. The big story in Syria are the Shia militias, which come from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, and they are there to upset the applecart, which is not the Russian interest. If Russia's achievements will be put at risk because of Iranian policy, I see a serious conflict.

Europe: Trying to Legitimize Iran's Regime
"The E.U. only seems to care about the nuclear agreement and trade ties. It pretends that the regime is legitimate and that Iranians have no alternatives to living under tyranny". — Alireza Nader of New Iran, reported by Benjamin Weinthal, Fox News.

"The fact that the Ayatollah had executed thousands of people, including many writers and poets since his seizure of power in Tehran had provoked only mild rebuke from Western governments and public opinion... With the fatwa against Rushdie, we thought the whole world would mobilise against the ayatollah, turning his regime into an international pariah. Nothing of the kind happened". — Amir Taheri, former executive editor-in-chief of Iran's leading newspaper, Kayhan.

Worst of all, now Europe's highest court has effectively adopted Khomeini's idea of blasphemy. The European Court of Human Rights recently decided that an Austrian woman's conviction for calling the Prophet of Islam "a pedophile" did not breach her freedom of speech. The sharia style of "blasphemy" has now become a potent weapon to stifle and suppress free speech.

MEMRI: Iranian Ayatollah Nouri Hamedani: The Zionist Regime Has Opened A Shopping Center For Trafficking In Women
In a letter to the contestants in the 12th Dar Al-Quran of the Imam Ali contest – a Quran memorization contest for women – which opened December 15, 2018 in Jamkaran, near the holy city of Qom in Iran, Iranian Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani, a senior Shi'ite scholar and part of the Iranian ruling establishment, stressed the appreciation of the merit of women in Islam and their importance in the Quranic tradition. He contrasted this with the denigrating and humiliating treatment of women in pre- and post-Islamic cultures, in both the East and the West.

Opening his letter with Quranic verses about women's equality to men, and directing a warning to humanity about the "Zionist regime's" treatment of women, he went on to say that this regime had opened a shopping center for publicly trafficking in women. He added that it also was murdering people and selling their organs, as was its protégé, the Islamic State (ISIS).

The following are highlights of Ayatollah Nouri Hamedani's letter to the contestants:[1]

"Our teacher [Ayatollah] Alama [Mohammad Hossein] Tabataba'i [leading Shi'ite Quran commentator, d. 1981] said in his 'Al-Mizan' commentary that these [Quranic] verses [on equality between men and women] descended in the era when it was thought that a woman who transgresses must take responsibility and be punished, but if she does a good deed, her husband should get the credit. This stemmed from the fact that women [were considered] base and disgraceful, and unworthy of receiving credit. These verses reject this thinking.

"But barbaric views of this kind have not been limited to the era [of the Prophet Muhammad] or to the Arabian Peninsula, and the humiliation and degradation of women has a sad history worldwide, throughout many generations.

PreOccupiedTerritory: There Was No Holocaust And Thanks Hitler For Killing All Those Jews By Salam Jabari, Egyptian Academic (satire)
Our society must not fall prey to the pernicious notions infecting other cultures, chiefly the idea that Hitler led the slaughter of millions of Jews. Conceding that Jews have suffered compromises the absolute justice of the Arab struggle to oust the thieving usurper Jew from Palestine, and one can only feel gratitude to Mr. Hitler for saving us the trouble of there being millions more Jews to oust, owing to his killing millions of them.

The West has been blinded by the Holocaust hoax, which the Jews wield as if that can justify the real ethnic cleansing and genocide they perpetrate against Palestinians, a genocide so successful the Palestinian population has increased tenfold since the establishment of the Zionist entity. Every moral person shudders at the thought of more Jews around to participate in those atrocities, so the fact that the Nazis systematically dehumanized, isolated, persecuted, tortured, robbed, enslaved, and murdered them by the tens of thousands provides some relief.

We must remain vigilant lest this perversion of history take hold in Egypt or the Arab world at large. Heaven knows what injustice would ensue were we, as a society, to endow the Jew with legitimate victim status. It would turn the entire ethos of the culture on its head! Thank Heaven, then, and Hitler, for ensuring there are many fewer Jews in existence now to whom that status might be granted. We dodged a bullet there, so to speak.

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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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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


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