Tuesday, July 23, 2019

07/23 Links Pt1: Washington should wake up to the fact that Hezbollah runs Lebanon; Bahraini FM: If not for Iran’s support of Hamas, we’d be closer to Mideast peace

From Ian:

Washington should wake up to the fact that Hezbollah runs Lebanon
The political order services it in turn. Bassil is not the only official Lebanese visitor to Washington in recent days. Last week, a delegation led by Ali Bazzi, an MP for the Amal party, was in town to discuss the US sanctioning of two Hezbollah lawmakers, which Bazzi called a threat to democracy.

Bazzi also compared Hezbollah to George Washington, saying: “George Washington fought the British occupation for the sake of freedom and independence, and also in my country there are people who resisted and are resisting occupation and terrorism.”

In April, a US official told an Emirati paper on background, “Hezbollah and Amal are one.” Regardless, Lebanese ministers who came to Washington at the time were reassured that Amal’s chief, Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri, would not be targeted with sanctions.

This is now a pattern. Lebanese delegates – both those allied with, and nominally opposed to, Hezbollah – all come to Washington and condemn any US action against Hezbollah, lobby to water down sanctions, and make the case for going soft on Lebanon, all while asking for continued aid even as they regularly collaborate with Hezbollah. The Lebanese government, in other words, is Hezbollah’s diplomatic and collections arm.

Washington’s long-standing policy that distinguishes between Hezbollah and the Lebanese state is sorely misguided. As Bassil’s relationship with Hezbollah exhibits, this distinction is a false one. An investment in Lebanon’s “state institutions” is an investment in the Hezbollah state.
Amb. Danon reveals new intelligence on Hezbollah smuggling at UN
On Monday, the United Nations Security Council held a discussion on the "Situation in the Middle East," with Israel participating. Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, revealed intelligence information about Iran's involvement in Hezbollah's buildup in Lebanon, with help from Syria, a direct violation of UN Resolution 1701.

"In the years 2018-2019, Israel found that dual-use items are smuggled into Lebanon to advance Hezbollah’s rocket and missile capabilities," Ambassador Danon revealed to the Council. "Iran and the Quds Force have begun to advance the exploitation of the civilian maritime channels, and specifically the Port of Beirut. The Port of Beirut has become the Port of Hezbollah."

According to Danon, Iran and Hezbollah were aided by Syrian agents who purchased the equipment from foreign civilian companies and transferred the equipment to Lebanon. These agents misled the companies when they officially unloaded the equipment at the Port of Beirut, but eventually succeeded in reaching Hezbollah's missile production facilities. Danon then asked the members: "Are you absolutely sure your companies are not the ones selling dual-use equipment to the hands of Hezbollah? Are you sure your citizens know the end-users of these dual-use items?"
Suspected Hezbollah agent arrested in Uganda with Mossad's help
A Lebanese citizen suspected of being an undercover Hezbollah agent was recently arrested at Entebbe International Airport by Ugandan intelligence agencies with the cooperation of the Mossad.

A report published by The Kampala Post on Tuesday said that Lebanese national Hussein Mahmoud Yassine was arrested on July 7 while boarding a flight to Lebanon via Addis Ababa. He had arrived at Entebbe International Airport from Tanzania earlier that day.

According to the report, the Mossad informed its Ugandan counterparts about Yassine due to the close intelligence relationship between the two countries. An anonymous intelligence source told The Kampala Post that Yassine was recruited to the terrorist group by a senior Hezbollah official called Ali Wahib Hussein, known as Abu Jihad.

Yassine, who is suspected of working for the Hezbollah foreign liaison unit and has lived and worked in Uganda since 2010, was reportedly tracked for months before his arrest.

According to the intelligence source, Hezbollah instructed Yassine to identify potential US and Israeli targets for terrorist attacks in Uganda; to recruit other Lebanese nationals for Hezbollah; and to attempt to recruit Muslim Ugandans to act as Hezbollah intelligence agents.

The source also revealed that Yassine had already identified at least 100 Lebanese citizens living in the country for potential recruitment, including some working with telecommunications provider Africell.

Bahraini FM: If not for Iran’s support of Hamas, we’d be closer to Mideast peace
Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa has said that if it were not for Iran’s support of Hamas and other armed groups in the Gaza Strip, Israel and the Palestinians would be nearer to peace.

Iran is a backer of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas terror group’s armed wing, and the al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad’s military branch.

“We don’t want to let this issue [of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict] continue to be used by countries or terror groups that seek dominance in the region. And that will bring us to the issue of Iran,” the top Bahraini diplomat said Wednesday at an Atlantic Council event in Washington, DC.

“If it wasn’t for Iran being present — Iranian soldiers, Iranian money, Iranian support for Hamas and jihadis that take control of Gaza — we would have been much closer to achieving a better peace between the Palestinians and Israelis and we would have a better chance,” he said. “But that role was so toxic that it would make things difficult every time.”
Foreign Minister Israel Katz and his Bahraini counterpart Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa (R) pose for a photograph at the State Department in Washington on July 17, 2019. (Courtesy)

Like Israel, Bahrain has long vociferously criticized Iran over its support for armed groups in the Middle East. Iran also supports the Houthi rebels in Yemen, the Popular Mobilization Units in Iraq and Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government.
Saudi blogger attacked by Palestinians sings in Hebrew at meeting with Netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday hosted in his office a delegation of journalists and bloggers from Arab countries, including a Saudi Arabian national, Mohammed Saud, who was harassed and attacked by Palestinians on Monday as he was touring Jerusalem’s Old City.

During a lengthy meeting, Netanyahu apologized to Saud on Israel’s behalf for the incident. Saud, for his part, underlined his support for Israel by singing a song, in Hebrew, by poet Leah Goldberg, the Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson for the Arabic media, Hassan Caabia, told The Times of Israel.

Later on Tuesday, the delegation of six Arab journalists and bloggers also had an hour-long meeting with Foreign Minister Israel Katz.

“He took it somewhat harshly, but he understood that this is the real face of the Palestinians,” Caabia said, referring to the insults and attacks to which Saud was subjected Monday when he toured the Temple Mount and walked through Jerusalem’s Old City.

Three suspects in the harassment of Saud were arrested Tuesday.

In the wake of the incident, a scheduled meeting of the visiting group with Israeli journalists was canceled.
Saudi blogger attacked by Palestinians in Old City, told to 'go to synagogue'
Mahmoud Saud, a Saudi law student and blogger, who is part of an unprecedented six-person media delegation from the Arab world, was cursed, spat at, jeered and told to “go to a synagogue” on Monday as he went to the Temple Mount.

One video clip showed Saud walking on the Temple Mount as people shouted epithets at him such as “traitor,” “animal” and “normalizer,” and small boys approached and spat in his face. Another video clip showed plastic chairs and sticks being thrown at him as he walked in the market in the Old City.

Saud is the only member of the six-person delegation who was willing to go public, having agreed to be photographed in the Knesset with Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter.

Dichter released a photo, even though a day earlier a Foreign Ministry official would not give any identifying information about the members of the delegation – which also includes citizens from Iraq, Jordan and other countries with whom Israel does not have diplomatic relations – because of concern for their safety when they return home, he said.

Saud, according to the Foreign Minister official, was unconcerned about going public.
According to a statement by Dichter, one member of the delegation said, “This visit to Israel is like touring a dreamland. If only we would be able to bring hundreds of people from our countries, so that when they go back they can tell what they saw and felt.”

JCPA: Saudi Blogger Attacked on the Temple Mount for Visiting Israel
Who Failed to Protect the Muslim Visitor?

Israel’s police are responsible for public safety on the Temple Mount; it does not keep order inside Muslim holy site. The Arab Waqf, comprised of Jordanian and Palestinian representatives, provides its own guards to keep order in the holy sites and to prevent Jewish prayers on the holy plateau.

In the case of Mohammad Saud, however, the Waqf guards were not only present, but they openly ignored the attacks, spitting, and curses hurled at the Muslim visitor. The screenshots show Waqf guards in their blue shirts observing – often taking pictures – as Saud ran the gauntlet, a fact so far unreported by the general media.

Blogger Mohammad Saud makes no secret of his support for Israel and desire for peace between Saudi Arabia and Israel, and he is very public about it on his Twitter account,

Beyond Palestinians’ animosity for the young Hebrew-speaking Saudi blogger, an inter-Arab skirmish may be playing out between Jordan and Saudi Arabia, as well. Jordan, responsible for the Waqf authority, is recognized as the “custodian of holy sites” in Jerusalem, while Saudi Arabia is seen as the “custodian of the two holy mosques” in Mecca and Medina. According to one analyst, “Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries perceive the Al-Aqsa mosque as a rival to the holy city of Mecca.”1 The century-old rivalries between the Hashemite and the Saudi tribes over the sites have never totally been resolved.
Radical Anti-Israel Group to Host Capitol Hill Briefing
A virulently anti-Israel advocacy group is hosting a Capitol Hill briefing tomorrow where it will allege Israeli mistreatment of American citizens.

American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) was able to secure a room in the Longworth House Office Building, which serves U.S. House of Representatives members and their staffs. AMP plans to allege that U.S. citizens visiting Israel and the West Bank "have reported being physically abused, detained for hours of humiliating questions, strip searched, denied entry and forced to buy plane tickets back to the US. Worse (sic) of all, Israeli forces have killed or gravely injured US citizens."

AMP is not a reliable actor. It routinely hosts conferences that serve as a platform for Israel bashers and openly approves of "resistance" against the "Zionist state."

It is one of the principal advocates of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. BDS campaigns are considered inherently anti-Semitic because they include groups and people dedicated to Israel's elimination and single out Israel for criticism while ignoring far more severe human rights abuses by other nations.

A recent investigative report by Canary Mission, an organization that investigates hate groups, cited AMP leaders making strong anti-Semitic and pro-terror statements.

"I believe in [the] holocaust. One of my fav parts of history," AMP-Chicago's Leena Yousef was quoted saying.

"We will resist until we get our freedom without your BS negotiations! # ... #We_Are_All_Hamas," another AMP activist Ahmad Aburas was cited saying.
Organizing Hatred: American Muslims for Palestine
Uncovering the anti-Semitic agenda of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) - the organization created by SJP founder Dr. Hatem Bazian. Video exposes the close partnership between AMP and notorious anti-Israel group IfNotNow. (h/t IsaacStorm)

Israel Condemns European Parliament for Hosting Palestinian Terrorist
Israel has condemned the European Parliament for recently inviting a Palestinian terrorist to speak at the venue, and is urging the European Union to take steps to prevent members of designated terror groups from doing so in the future.

In a letter to European Parliament President David Sassoli, Israel’s minister of strategic affairs Gilan Erdan expressed his “dismay” that Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) member Khaled Barakat, who also serves in the BDS-promoting NGO “Samidoun,” was invited to speak to the parliament by Spanish MEP Manu Pineda.

“Barakat, a PFLP Central Committee member was recently prohibited by German authorities from speaking at a political event due to his ties to terror … and the European Parliament must not be used as a platform for members of murderous terrorist organizations,” wrote Erdan.

PFLP is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia and the European Union.

Barakat, who was joined by Mohammed Khatib—the European coordinator for Samidoun—were prominently featured in the Ministry of Strategic Affairs recent report “Terrorists in Suits,” which revealed the close ties shared between the BDS movement, and the terrorist groups Hamas and the PFLP.
German Antisemitism Tsar Endorses Probe into Diplomatic Representative to Palestinians Over Anti-Jewish Tweets
Pressure has continued to pile on Christian Clages, Germany’s official diplomatic representative to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, after an investigation by the newspaper Bild last week revealed that several antisemitic and anti-Zionist posts on Twitter had received “likes” from his verified account.

The German Foreign Office immediately launched a probe into the tweets, with some German parliamentarians and government officials expressing shock at the revelation that Clages’ account had, among other offenses, liked a tweet posted by the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke condemning “Jewish supremacists.”

Among those who voiced support for the probe into Clages was Felix Klein, Germany’s federal commissioner tasked with combating antisemitism, who described the scandal as fundamentally a question of “trust.”

“If German interests are to be effectively represented, it is necessary that the representative in Ramallah has good relations not only with Palestinians in the West Bank, but with Israelis too,” Klein added.

A spokesperson from Germany’s Foreign Ministry told Bild that it distanced itself “emphatically” from the tweets that had been approved from Clages account, describing them as an “unacceptable” deviation from German government policy that “will not be tolerated.”
British PM-elect Boris Johnson hailed as a 'true friend of Israel'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted "heartfelt congratulations from Jerusalem" to British Prime Minister-elect Boris Johnson on Tuesday evening, hours after after it was confirmed that Johnson had won the race to lead the British Conservative party and would thereby be replacing outgoing Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May.

"Looking forward to working closely together, both in facing our common challenges and seizing the opportunities ahead," Netanyahu's tweet read.

"Mazal Tov to Boris Johnson," Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

"I look forward to working with Prime Minister Johnson and his team to build on the existing strong relationship between the UK and Israel," Katz tweeted.

Chairman of the Jewish Agency Isaac Herzog called Johnson "a true friend of Israel."

"I trust you will continue working to make the Jewish community feel safe in the UK in these challenging times," Herzog added in his tweet.

Boris Johnson’s Middle East policy problems
The next UK prime minister already has a full plate of problems in the Middle East, even as he must address numerous issues at home and in Europe. Boris Johnson will be wading into a tight schedule to address London’s attempt to leave the European Union, but he also faces a tanker crisis in the Straits of Hormuz and issues in Syria.

Iran’s Press TV celebrated on Tuesday the country’s seizing of a UK ship, the oil tanker Stena Impero, arguing that it was “justice two centuries in the making.” This is an attempt to humiliate London at an opportune time because the UK is in the middle of its own political changes and struggling to fulfill Brexit.

Tehran is gambling that the new Johnson government will not want to engage in any kind of conflict in the Middle East with Iran, or even raise tensions, while putting together a plan at home. The crisis emerged from the US leaving the Iran Deal in 2018, upping sanctions on Iran and asserting that Iran is threatening US allies in the region. The UK is a key US ally. Earlier this month, British Royal Marines took control of a tanker accused of bringing Iranian oil to Syria. Iran said it would retaliate and it did, taking over a British-flagged tanker. The UK has sent the HMS Duncan to join the HMS Montrose, but they have also dithered on calls for an international force to protect shipping. Although it wants the force in place, especially since its tankers are being targeted, neither London nor Washington have moved fast enough since the first sabotage of tankers in May to put the force together. Instead, tankers have been targeted consistently by Iran from May 12 to June 13 and then on July 11, until Iran was able to finally seize the Stena Impero on July 19.

Boris Johnson will also face calls by the US for the UK to increase its troop levels in Syria. The US has sought to create an international force that is larger so that the US can drawdown forces in Syria in line with US President Donald Trump’s December decision to leave Syria. US envoy James Jeffrey has been trying to work with Turkey and also European powers about this controversial safe zone concept that would create a buffer between Turkey and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. This whole concept is likely doomed to failure because the gaps are too large for the US to fill successfully, but nevertheless Washington continues along this road. Johnson will have to decide if he wants to commit more UK forces to Syria.

The Fearless Israel Kibbutz Volunteers Near Gaza
The Israeli periphery surrounding Gaza has its share of scares over the course of the months of the year. But these international volunteers at a kibbutz in the area are unphased. Our Jonathan Regev has the story.

PA calls east Jerusalem demolitions ‘war crime,’ threatens ICC action
The Palestinian Authority on Monday condemned the demolition of several buildings illegally erected in the east Jerusalem of Sur Baher.

The high-rise buildings were built only a few hundred feet from the security fence, making them a security risk as well, the IDF said.

Livid, the Palestinian Authority said the demolition was tantamount to a “war crime” and constituted “ethnic cleansing,” The Jerusalem Post reported.

"This is a crime of ethnic cleansing carried out by the Israeli occupation authorities on Monday morning against 16 buildings containing nearly 10 housing units in Wadi al-Hummus in the village of Sur Baher, south of the occupied city of Al-Quds," a statement from Ramallah said.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on the international community "to provide international protection to the Palestinian people and to bring to justice the leaders of the occupation for their crimes.”

An official statement called the demolition a “massacre” perpetrated as part of the US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century,” which Abbas decried as seeking to “eliminate the Palestinian issue.”

PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said the demolitions in Wadi al-Hummus were in violation of international and humanitarian laws.
JCPA: Hamas Delegation in Iran to Discuss “Regional Crisis”
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has met many times with delegations from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad,1 but his meeting on July 22, 2019, with a Hamas delegation was unusual because his previous meetings were limited to organizational leaders, like Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh. The latest meeting was led by Salah al-Arouri, Hamas’ deputy political chief, and included the head of “Hamas abroad,” Maher Salah, and Moussa Abu Marzouk, Hamas’ chief of international relations. Arouri came bearing a letter from Hamas chief Haniyeh.

Al-Arouri, Haniyeh’s deputy, spent 15 years in Israeli prisons. He admitted planning the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in June 2014 that unfolded into war in Gaza. Arouri is based in the Hizbullah neighborhood of Beirut, Lebanon.

The delegation also met with the head of Iran’s Foreign Policy Strategic Council and former foreign minister, Kamal Kharrazi, who told his visitors that the “visit proves that the Iranian Islamic Republic continues to support Palestinian resistance.”2

Regime news agencies stressed that the current meetings come at a time of regional crisis.

Documentary Reveals Global Recruiting of Child Soldiers, Suicide Bombers for Jihad
The images speak for themselves. Just look at the horror taking place around the globe: toddlers carrying assault rifles as big as they are, children just old enough to play football strapping on suicide vests.

The people behind the documentary Kids: Chasing Paradise say the epidemic of terrorist organizations and radicalized parents training young children to commit murder and suicide is largely ignored. They hope to change that.

Last week, a producer of the film and some others involved with the project spearheaded by the Clarion Project came to Capitol Hill for a world premiere screening of the documentary and to share efforts to educate people and provide tools to prevent the phenomenon.

“The bottom line is hate being taught at a very young age because you can’t really harm another person unless you’ve been taught to hate them,” Raheel Raza told Breitbart News. “No one is born a killer — you teach people to become a terrorist and that is taught through hate.”

Raza, an adviser to the Clarion Project and the founder of Muslims Looking Forward, is a self-described “reformist Muslim” who rejects the brand of Islam that incites acts of violence or jihad to accomplish their ultimate goal of a world under Sharia, the notoriously restrictive Islamic law.
Kids: Chasing Paradise - Official Trailer - Summer 2019
Clarion's forthcoming film Kids: Chasing Paradise is a powerful new film that takes an unflinching look at the brutal exploitation of youth by extremists worldwide. The documentary features compelling personal stories of children, who are actively influenced by extremists, and their families, and showcases activists and experts who confront this growing global threat.

Has Iran Complied with the Nuclear Deal?
Supporters of the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) note that according to the reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran has been entirely compliant with its commitments. But how compliant has Iran really been? Evidence shows that Iran has hardly been fully compliant with serious nuclear-related issues.

A recent report of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, headed by former nuclear weapons inspector David Albright, has concluded that the underground and heavily fortified uranium enrichment facility at Fordow has not been reconfigured as stipulated by the JCPOA.

The IAEA found traces of radioactive material from soil samples that were taken from a nuclear warehouse in Tehran in April 2019. This warehouse was revealed by Prime Minister Netanyahu in his September 2018 speech to the UN. Incriminating evidence of radioactive material being stored there up until 2018 is clearly a post-JCPOA violation.

Several reports from German intelligence services over the past few years involve Iran's continued efforts to procure equipment and materials that can be used in a nuclear weapons program. The efforts were thwarted, but it is not clear why these ongoing Iranian efforts are continuing.

Iran has admitted to lying about the facility at Arak. The Arak heavy water reactor was supposed to be rendered inoperable, according to the terms of the JCPOA, by pouring cement into its core. In the end, cement was poured only into the surrounding piping. But the Iranians had already purchased new piping before the JCPOA - piping that they can now install.

The picture of Iran as the innocent party complying with the JCPOA is thus clearly inaccurate. The current tensions are not due to the U.S. leaving the deal, but rather to the serious flaws in the deal that led the U.S. to withdraw, as well as Iran's non-cooperative and bad faith behavior that has continued since that time.
Eat Iran's Lunch Before They Have Us for Dinner
Diplomatic efforts notwithstanding, the free world must realize that the threat posed by a nuclear Iran would be different from any other nation obtaining such weapons.

At the very least, Iran, once it had both nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them, would not even have to use them: the threat to do so would be sufficient to blackmail other countries into doing whatever it asked. If it wanted to control the oilfields of Saudi Arabia or its holy cities, Mecca and Medina, how could Saudi Arabia resist?... What about the tempting oil fields of Abu Dhabi or Kuwait?

Since its revolution in 1979, Iran, often through its proxies such as Hezbollah, has dedicated its resources to expansion and terrorism -- not only in Yemen, but also in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and by funding Hamas in the Gaza Strip -- to create a geographical arc from Iran to the Mediterranean. Iran has also for years been expanding into South America, particularly Venezuela.
MI6 fears Iran used Russian GPS tech to send UK tanker off course - report
MI6 and GCHQ are investigating whether Iran used Russian GPS “spoofing” technology – which produces incorrect location data – to send the British-flagged Stena Impero off course and into Iranian waters before it was seized by IRGC forces, according to British media sources.

“Russia has the technology to spoof GPS, and may have helped Iran in this venture as it was extremely brazen,” said an anonymous security source in a report published by the Daily Mail. “It would make British shipping extremely vulnerable, and will be of grave concern to Royal Navy warships in the region.”

Iran’s Fars news agency said the IRGC had taken control of the Stena Impero on Friday after it collided with an Iranian fishing boat whose distress call it ignored.

The vessel, carrying no cargo, was taken to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. It would remain there with its 23 crew members – 18 of them Indians – while the accident was investigated, Iranian news agencies quoted Allahmorad Afifipour, head of Ports and Maritime Organization in southern Hormozgan province.
UK fears Iran-backed terror cells could attack Europe in case of escalation
British intelligence fears that Iranian-supported terrorist cells in Europe could launch attacks on the UK and the rest of the continent if the situation in the Persian Gulf escalates, according to The Telegraph.

Iran ranks behind Russia and China as the nation posing the greatest threat to British national security, according to senior intelligence officers, and the seizure of the British flagged Sten Impero only deepened concerns about Iranian aggression in MI5 and MI6.

Intelligence agencies believe that Iran has organized and funded sleeper terrorist cells throughout Europe, including the UK, and could order them to carry out attacks in response to an escalation in the Gulf conflict.

The cells are linked to the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist group, according to The Telegraph. One such cell was uncovered by counter-terrorism police in 2015, with tons of explosive materials at businesses on the outskirts of London.

“Iran uses proxies and they have control of a network of individuals linked to Hezbollah," said one source to The Telegraph. “Iran has Hezbollah operatives in position to carry out a terrorist attack in the event of a conflict. That is the nature of the domestic threat Iran poses to the UK.”

Speakers at Iran's Conference on Human Rights in America: U.S. Has No Right to Discuss Human Rights
On July 3, 2019, Ofogh TV (Iran) aired Iran's 4th Annual International Conference on Human Rights in America. A music video that was shown at the event showed cartoons of American soldiers and officials killing people, and the lyrics said: "We are aware that "human rights" is nonsense… We kill in cold blood and we laugh while doing it." Allahyar Malekshani, the Head of the Majlis Legal Committee, said that since America violates human rights, it is unfit to express an opinion and judge other countries in the matter. He said that the 2nd Amendment, police violence, and abuse of women and Muslims are among America's human rights violations. A group of young men performed a song with the lyrics: "The heart of Tel Aviv is full of fear… We swear upon the grave of martyrs [to] remain together in the IRGC until the liberation of Jerusalem." Another video depicted ballistic missiles being launched at Israel. One of the awards was given to Iranian filmmaker Nader Talebzadeh, and TV personality and former MP Dr. Bijan Nobaveh-Vatan also won an award. Dr. Nobaveh-Vatan said: "The person who deserves this prize [is] the commander of the 3rd Missile Battery in Khordad… [By shooting down the American drone on June 20,] he wrinkled and squashed America's hegemony."

Debate on Qatari vs. Bahraini Support for Terrorism Degenerates into Argument
On July 15, 2019, Russia Today TV aired an Arabic-language debate about support for terrorism by Qatar and Bahrain. Amjad Taha, the Director of the British Middle East Center for Studies and Research (BMCSR), said that Qatar shelters terrorists and that the Qatari-sponsored Al-Jazeera TV acts as a "foreign ministry" for terrorists. Taha said that Qatar's protection of and support for the Muslim Brotherhood and for terrorists in Kuwait, Libya, and Syria is evidence of its support for terrorism. Turkish political analyst Bekir Atacan argued that Bahrain's support of the "deadly" Israeli regime and of the Arab Spring revolt is evidence that it supports terrorism, and he claimed that Bahrain and the Gulf states created and financed ISIS. The debate degenerated into an argument in which Taha accused Atacan of speaking in an "inciting" fashion. In turn, Atacan wished for somebody like Fethullah Gülen to come to Bahrain, and he said that Bahrain would "commit suicide" if it knew the crimes that it was guilty of. The argument escalated until the RT studio muted it, and the anchor ended the segment while Taha and Atacan were still arguing.

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