Friday, September 27, 2019

From Ian:

Welcome to the End of the Process
The elements of the Trump administration’s plan which have been rolled out could also be read as undercutting a key component of the rejectionist position: the so-called “right of return” for Palestinian refugees in neighboring Arab countries. At the “Peace to Prosperity” conference, which the administration organized in Bahrain in June, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner presented a plan to invest $50 billion in the Palestinian territories and in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. While the investment aims to encourage “Strengthening Regional Development and Integration,” it also might suggest an incentive to turn the page on the “right of return” fantasy. At any rate, this ought to be the US position, thereby putting an end to American indulgence of Palestinian maximalism, which the Obama White House chose to sign onto with UNSCR 2334.

As of now, there’s no information on the proposed shape or nature of the Palestinian polity. In July, the US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman pointedly spoke of “Palestinian autonomy” and self-governance, but shied away from any talk of Palestinian “statehood.” The history of the Levant, from ancient times to the present, is full of such polities acting as buffer or vassal states for larger neighboring powers. To be sure, the existing arrangement between Israel and Jordan in the West Bank is the only thing preventing that territory from becoming an Iranian satellite, more or less like Gaza, the Iranian outpost between Israel and Egypt.

This, after all, is the main point of the entire exercise. President Trump’s approach returns the issue of the Palestinians to its real size and function in the Levant as well as in US policy in the region. It readjusts America’s focus away from the fractured Levant and back on a sound geostrategic approach centered on the states on the Levant’s outer rim.

Bearing this in mind, the US cannot allow itself to be sucked into the irrelevant minutiae of the “peace process” enterprise and such fictions as “state institutions” in the Levant — already a proven failure in Iraq and Lebanon, where the state institution-building chimera has only strengthened Iran’s position.

Instead, the path forward for the US is to continue to strengthen Israel’s position as a security pillar in the region while shoring up the US-allied Arab states and fostering closer cooperation between them and the Israelis against Iran. Key to this effort is the dismantling of the central tenets of the rejectionist position, namely the 1967 lines. This would not only nullify the Obama administration’s attempt to realign the US position, but also would make it all but impossible for that legacy to be revived in the future.

What matters for the US in the region is to consolidate its state alliance system to contain Iran and its assets. Progress in peace talks with the Palestinians is a matter of far less concern.
The diplomatic developments that 5779 didn't offer ... and those it did
Israel knows from dramatic diplomatic years.

The Hebrew year 5738 (1978) was such a year, with the White House signing of the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel.

Another such year was 5752 (1991), with the onset of the Madrid Conference. So was 5753 (1993) with the Oslo I Accord, 5755 (1994) with the signing of the peace treaty with Jordan, and 5778 (2018) with the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

But not 5779, which will end Sunday night with Rosh Hashanah. This year will by no means enter the annals of the country’s history as one of those dramatic diplomatic years. It is not as if nothing happened diplomatically; there were some significant events – and especially nonevents – but it was by no means a diplomatic red-letter year.

Here’s a look at some of the key diplomatic events – and nonevents – that shaped 5779.

5779’s Person of the Year is a no-brainer: Avigdor Liberman
Our Person of the Year 5779 is not a scientist, artist, athlete or indeed any representative of merit.

Unlike other choices we have made along the years, like Nobel laureate Ada Yonath (5770) or world-renowned economist Stanley Fischer (5769), this time we could not flee to any of the many stories of Israeli excellence, for two reasons: first, there was no such major story this year, and second, 5779 was one of the most intensely political years in Israeli history, and our choice must reflect that distinction.

For that reason we also cannot choose this year a world leader, the way we did last year (Vladimir Putin) and three years ago (Donald Trump), or a Middle Eastern leader, as we did with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mohamed Morsi and Bashar Assad in 5766, 5772 and 5773, respectively.

Nor can we nominate a humble person who sacrificed for a cause, like Yigal Gueta (5777), the Shas MK who attended his gay nephew’s wedding even though it cost him his Knesset seat; or a martyr like Muhammad Bouazizi (5771), whose self-immolation sparked pan-Arab revolt; or a war victim like Alan Kurdi (5775), the Syrian toddler whose shipwrecked body was washed to a Turkish shore.

At the end of a year in which Israel held two general elections within five months, our choice must reflect this unprecedented distinction, the way we chose Alef (5767), the code-named woman whose accusation of Moshe Katsav triggered the president’s downfall, or Moshe Talansky (5768), whose testimony signaled Ehud Olmert’s political demise.

Having understood this, our choice of 5779’s Person of the Year is a no-brainer: Avigdor Liberman.

THE 61-YEAR-OLD tennis enthusiast who single-handedly thrust us into monumental tumult shaped this stormy year more than anyone else. All the rest of the year’s political protagonists seemed like pawns on Liberman’s chessboard.



Abbas promises to continue paying families of martyrs, receives applause at U.N. General Assembly
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday in his speech at the U.N. General Assembly that despite Israel's demands, the Palestinian Authority will continue to pay salaries to terrorists.

"Even if I had only one penny, I would've given it to the families of the martyrs, prisoners and heroes," said Abbas and received a round of applause from the crowd.

Abbas also attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following Netanyahu's statement earlier this month to annex the Jordan Valley.

"We completely reject this plan. If the Israeli government goes through with it, all our commitments to previous agreements will be canceled," Abbas said.

Abbas also bashed the United States for its last year's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a disputed territory up until that point, calling it an "aggressive measure".

"The United States has taken illegal and aggressive measures, such as recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transferring its embassy to it. Jerusalem is part of the religious heritage of the Muslims and will remain the eternal capital of the Palestinian people. The U.S. administration continues its aggression, shutting down the PLO's agency in Washington for no reason," said the Palestinian president.

Abbas also said that the Palestinians would no longer agree to only one country mediating at a time in their negotiations with Israel and called for an international conference to promote the peace process.

"Our hands are always extended for peace. More than one country has invited Netanyahu and me to meet. Netanyahu refused three calls from Russia, but we always turned to peace. I am calling for an international peace conference, which will involve Arab and international parties. The international community must put an end to Israeli aggression and arrogance," said Abbas.
PMW: Smuggled sperm needs 6 eye witnesses
Terrorist prisoners father children outside of prison via smuggled sperm
Palestinian terrorist prisoners smuggle their sperm out of prison to father children, and a clinic in Ramallah helps the prisoners’ wives become pregnant with the sperm. Palestinian Media Watch has reported on this system, which according to the PA by August 2018 had produced at least 61 babies.

A prisoner's wife who gave birth to a son via smuggled sperm shed more light on the issue and the procedures. Lydia Al-Rimawi is married to prisoner Abd Al-Karim Al-Rimawi, a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades (Fatah’s military wing), and together they have their son Majed who was born from sperm that the father smuggled out of prison. In an interview published by the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, Lydia Al-Rimawi explained that “six witnesses” are needed to verify that the sperm actually “came from prison”:

Lydia Al-Rimawi: "We took out the sperm that came out [of prison] in the morning and arrived [at the medical center] at around 10:00 p.m. There need to be six witnesses with you to witness that this sample came from the prison. My relatives came and waited at the gate of the [medical] center. We brought the sample and, thank Allah, from the first examination the sample was very good."
[Facebook page of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, Sept. 18, 2019]

Lydia Al-Rimawi didn’t elaborate on how the witnesses are supposed to verify it.


Israel: Outwardly Turbulent But Internally Stable
Political hatred in Israel is no longer as decisive as it was back in the early days of the state, when Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion refused even to mention the name of opposition leader Menachem Begin, much less invite him to join a coalition government. The fighting in the recent campaign was more pro wrestling than blood sport.

Partly this is a function of intimacy. Today's political Israel (including journalists and commentators as well as candidates and office holders) is a small circle of players, many of whom grew up together, served in the same military units, attended the same universities, and worked with one another on the way up the ladder.

To outsiders, Jewish Israel may seem to be in a perpetual state of civil war, but beneath the turmoil there is surprising solidarity, based on shared national insecurity. There's very little space between Netanyahu and Gantz on the fight against Iran and Islamic terrorism (including in Gaza), the need to hold strategic land and major settlements in the West Bank, or the crucial nature of the U.S.-Israel alliance.
Dr. Martin Sherman: BDS (Bibi-derangement syndrome) & the myth of Israel theocracy
The detriments of BDS (Bibi derangement syndrome)

I have purposely avoided broaching the subject of the pending indictments against Netanyahu – as this is something I have dealt with elsewhere – and about which, I am convinced, that anyone, who is not an obsessive Bibiphobe, would tend to agree that “[t]he unrelenting drive to bring an indictment – any indictment—against Netanyahu has long exceeded the bounds of reasonable law enforcement”.

Instead, I have focused on the issue of Netanyahu’s record of governance, rather than on his alleged personal misdeeds.

It is here that his political opponents should exercise greater caution and restraint.

For in their unbridled assaults on Netanyahu and on what Israel has allegedly become under his leadership, they are playing right into the hands of the country’s most vehement detractors. Indeed, it is difficult not to imagine them rubbing their hands in malicious glee, gloating over every caustic condemnation of Netanyahu by his domestic rivals.

After all, what more need they do to prove their case that Israel has become a fascist, racist state, run by xenophobic religious zealots, nudging it ever closer to totalitarian theocracy, than to quote the largely baseless barbs, hurled at him by those struggling to dislodge him from power?

Indeed, by their own hand, they are laying the foundation for incalculable—and potentially irreversible – damage to Israel, damage which, even if they manage to remove and replace Netanyahu, they themselves will not be able to repair.
Ben-Dror Yemini: Netanyahu is holding us hostage, Gantz could change that
We are entering days of crisis - Israeli democracy isn't in danger, it's functioning, but it doesn't offer even a shred of comfort, because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz were supposed to show flexibility, which they haven't.

Netanyahu's responsibility is a little greater because he has already led us to unnecessary elections in order to save himself.

His gamble didn't pay off and now he might put us through another one of his gambles. We are all held hostage.

President Reuven Rivlin had offered compromise: A government headed by both Netanyahu and Gantz.

The experienced Rivlin should have known that the moment Netanyahu created a 55-seat bloc and insisted on negotiating on the bloc's behalf and not only on behalf of his Likud party – these are no longer negotiations. It was just a way to kill time.

After all, unity should create a compromise between the parties and Netanyahu's insistence on sticking with the right-wing bloc was meant to thwart any chance of a compromise.

Negotiating on behalf of the bloc and not Likud doesn't only show Netanyahu's clear attempt to put a spoke in Gantz's wheel, it's also a statement of principles - that which hath been is that which shall be.

What is Blue and White's answer? What does Gantz have to say about Israel's must crucial issues? We have no clue.
Lengthy coalition meeting with Likud and Blue and White ends in anger
The first official coalition talks between Likud and Blue and White started and ended on the wrong foot on Friday, but in a sign of hope, teams representing the two parties did meet for more than four hours at Jerusalem's Orient Hotel.

The meeting ended with the two parties issuing statements summarizing the meeting in which they both complained that the other party did not want to talk about what really mattered and focused instead on issues that are irrelevant.

The Likud complained that Blue and White did not respond to the Likud's request that the basis for the talks be a compromise idea presented by President Reuven Rivlin as a basis for negotiations. Rivlin's idea is to pass a law enabling a prime minister to suspend himself indefinitely to deal with an indictment and a bolstered vice prime minister to run the country until the prime minister is cleared of charges.

A Blue and White spokeswoman said the Likud liked Rivlin's plan because it would let Netanyahu start off as prime minister, but refused to discuss key policy issues. She also complained the the Likud continued to insist on negotiating as a bloc.

"Blue and White will continue to insist that the essence and the content be the thrust of the negotiations to form a government," the spokeswoman said. "But the Likud just cared about Netanyahu remaining prime minister as the basis for the discussion."
A BBC R4 ‘Today’ Israeli election interview takes an interesting turn
The September 18th edition of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme included six different items (three in news bulletins) relating to the previous day’s election in Israel. In the last of those items (from 2:35:17 here) presenter Mishal Husain spoke with the BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen before going on (from 2:37:59) to interview Likud MK Sharren Haskel. However things took an interesting turn when the Israeli member of parliament raised the issue of the Palestinian Authority’s payments to terrorists.

In one of her later questions (from 2:40:36), Husain made the false claim that the Israeli prime minister said he “wanted to annex the West Bank”. Netanyahu actually spoke about applying Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Rift Valley and Israeli communities rather than to the entire area previously illegally occupied by Jordan.

Husain: “Now over the course of this election campaign Mr Netanyahu said that he wanted to annex the West Bank. Would that prevent an alliance – a coalition government – with Blue & White?”

Haskel: “I don’t think that’s what’s going to prevent it because even Blue & White have spoken about the Jordan Valley and the north of the Dead Sea, which was the declaration of Prime Minister Netanyahu. There is a consensus among most Israeli[s] about these area[s] because it is a very important security and defence strip for the State of Israel and it is also a very historical area that goes back thousands of years…”

Husain [interrupts]: “And occupied territory under international law.”


Unsurprisingly, Husain did not bother to clarify which country’s sovereign territory she thinks that area was before it was ‘occupied
Jason Greenblatt: World Must Demand More from Palestinian Leaders
Palestinians are among the largest recipients of donor assistance per capita in the world today. Yet despite decades of work and billions of dollars, euros, shekels, and dinars donated, life continues to get worse in Gaza and in what some call the West Bank and others call Judea and Samaria.

Hamas has driven Gaza to a state of utter desperation. With unemployment at nearly 50%, Hamas' decade-long experiment in governance is an utter failure. The West Bank has fared better, but efforts there are frustrated by the Palestinian Authority's self-made budget crisis, its continued diversion of funding to reward terrorists, and an anti-normalization movement that delegitimizes Palestinians who do business with Israel.

Donor countries must ask themselves why they should keep struggling to raise money when everyone can plainly see the Hamas regime and the Palestinian Authority are squandering the opportunities that donor money provides. It is time to demand more of the Palestinian leaders. The many Palestinians I meet want the opportunities we are seeking for them, none of which will be accomplished through maintaining the status quo of donations.
Dennis Ross: Prospects for Israeli-Palestinian Peace
The Middle East today is not the Middle East of 2000. In 2000, Iran was still weakened by its war with Iraq, ISIS did not even exist, the Iranians had not provided over 100,000 rockets to Hizbullah, Hamas was controlled in Gaza and not the ruling party there, and Turkey was an ally of Israel, not a partner of the Muslim Brotherhood and a place of refuge for Hamas figures.

As a result, the security arrangements in any contemporary peace agreement would have to be different. The fear that a Palestinian state might become a failed state or dominated by Islamists is real.

At the same time, the mood of Palestinians is so negative that there is little or no inclination to look for possible compromises and creative solutions.

Having socialized their publics for so long to believe they should not have to make concessions, Palestinian leaders now fear any concession would produce a backlash.

With succession to Mahmoud Abbas looming in the West Bank, all those around him are positioning themselves for the future - and they know that purity, not accommodation, is the political coin of the realm.

Formal agreements with Israel now are seen as surrender and are not in the cards.
Foreign minister tells UN: Jews will not be 'separated from homeland'
Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday where he took the opportunity to slam critics of Israel, declaring that the Jewish people would not be "separated from their homeland," and warned of the growing threat posed by Tehran and its proxies.

Katz, who was announced as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's replacement after Israel's general election on Sept. 17 ended in deadlock, began his speech by thanking US President Donald Trump for his support of Israel before launching into a condemnation of Israel's greatest antagonists in the region.

Addressing the Palestinians, Katz urged leaders in Ramallah "to stop incitement … and financing terrorism."

He also called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to recognize "the right of the Jewish people to its own state" and "to come back to direct negotiations without any pre-conditions."

The foreign minister also urged Hamas, the ruling authority in the Gaza Strip, to release "two Israeli citizens, Avraham Mengistu and Hisham Al-Sayed, and the bodies of two Israeli soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul," from their custody.

In addition, Katz issued a condemnation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who earlier in the UNGA accused Israel of stealing Palestinian land while questioning the country's sovereign borders.
At UN, foreign minister urges more pressure on Iran, taunts regime in Persian
Foreign Minister Israel Katz lashed out against Iran during an address at the United Nations Thursday, calling the Islamic Republic the world’s greatest sponsor of terrorism and urging the world to join America’s sanctions against the regime.

Katz teased the leadership in Tehran by citing a well-known Iranian adage, in Persian, that implies the regime’s opponents will have the last laugh.

In a relatively brief speech to the UN General Assembly, Katz also called on the Palestinians to resume direct negotiations with Israel, but refrained from endorsing a two-state solution to the conflict or even raising the prospect of a peace agreement with Ramallah. By contrast, he repeatedly stressed Israel’s desire to normalize relations with Arab states in the Gulf.

“The main problem threatening stability and security in the Middle East is Iran, which threatens to destroy Israel, and works against the regimes of many countries in the region,” he said.

Katz, who is also intelligence minister, said a recent attack on Saudi oil facilities was carried out with Iranian missiles with the clear goal of destabilizing world oil supplies.

“This terror attack against Saudi Arabia was done on the direct orders of Iranian [Supreme] Leader Ali Khamenei,” Katz claimed. “Iran is the biggest terror state, and the biggest sponsor of terror in the world.”
Israel Reaches Out to Arab Gulf States at UN, Citing Iran Threat
Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz reached out to representatives of the Arab Gulf states in an address to the United Nations General Assembly Thursday, saying they all face a common threat from Iran.

Katz said that Iran is the main threat to stability and security in the Middle East and accused Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khameni of ordering a recent attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. Saudi Arabia is one of seven Arab states that border the Persian Gulf. The others are Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Iran has denied responsibility for the attacks, for which Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility. He also called on the international community to support Trump's "maximum pressure policy" against Iran.

"They promote terror in the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, and all over the world," Katz of the Tehran regime. "And the world must stop them."
At UN Assembly, Israeli Minister Calls Out Turkey, Points to Terror Groups
Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz on Thursday evening called out Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and called on the United Nations to designate Hezbollah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as terrorist groups.

“The other day I heard Erdoğan attack Israel, and I want to say to him: You that brutally oppress the Turkish people, slaughter the Kurdish minority and support the terror organization Hamas,” said Katz in his speech at the annual UN General Assembly. “You are the last one that can lecture Israel. You are not the sultan, and Turkey is not the Ottoman Empire. Shame on you.”

In his UNGA speech on Tuesday, Erdoğan compared Jews in Europe during World War II to the situation in the Gaza Strip.

“The immediate establishment of an independent Palestinian state with homogeneous territories, on the basis of the 1967 borders with east[ern] Jerusalem as its capital, is the only solution,” he said.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz addresses the General Assembly of the UN at the 74th Session
On Thursday, September 26, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz addressed the United Nations General Assembly at the 74th Session in New York.
FM Katz stressed the need for the international community to put an end to Iran's global terrorism and discussed Israel's ongoing and growing cooperation with its Arab neighbors.


At UN, Abbas threatens to nix agreements with Israel if West Bank land annexed
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned Thursday he would cancel all diplomatic agreements with Israel if the next Israeli government carries out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign promise to apply Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank.

In his address to the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, Abbas slammed Netanyahu for “arrogantly” promising the annexation of the Jordan Valley and Israel’s “colonial settlements,” and warned a religious war could break out over Israel’s policies in Jerusalem.

“We reject entirely and completely this illegal plan. Our response, if any Israeli government is to proceed with this plan, all signed agreements with the government of the occupation and any obligations therein will be terminated.”

Abbas called on the international community to bring an end to “Israeli aggression and arrogance” and enforce UN resolutions related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The PA leader also used his platform at the world’s most prominent diplomatic gathering to slam the Trump administration’s policies toward the Palestinians, saying the US could not act as a peace broker in the region.
Poland denies report that its president blamed Israel for increased anti-Semitism
A senior official in Polish President Andrzej Duda's office dismissed a Jewish Insider report claiming that the Polish leader had accused Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz of causing an uptick in anti-Semitic attacks in Poland.

The official said the report was "fake news" and the accusation was never made.

According to Jewish Insider, during a meeting with Jewish leaders in New York this week, Duda reportedly said that Katz caused the increase in incidents in his country because the Israeli chief diplomat accused Poles of "suckling their anti-Semitism with their mother's milk," causing a diplomatic war of words between the two countries.

According to the report, Duda said Katz’s comments, which were a reiteration of a famous accusation uttered by the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, "were a humiliation and were the reason for an increase in antisemitic attacks against Jews in Poland."

Later, the office issued an official statement. The Spokesperson of President Andrzej Duda, Błażej Spychalski, said: "The quote is not only inaccurate. It is plainly not true. President Duda never said that 'Israel is responsible for recent anti-Semitic attacks in Poland.' All participants of the said meeting can corroborate this. Jewish Insider made this up."
Shmuley Boteach: What really happened in the meeting with Polish President Duda?
The president told our group the Polish people were incredibly offended by Katz’s remark. He said many Poles had told him he should not visit Israel until Katz apologizes. Duda seemed disappointed not only that Katz has not apologized but also that not enough people have spoken out against his remarks.

I jumped in again and pointed out that many people in the room had spoken out against Katz’s comments. I said at the time that his remarks were unacceptable and unfortunate. I told President Duda that the Foreign Minister’s statement in which he collectively blamed all Poles as being antisemitic was, obviously, not just factually wrong but an affront to Jewish values. Judaism judges each person by their individual actions. We always reject collective guilt.

Going back to last February, I told the Jerusalem Post at the time that Katz’s comments were particularly misguided coming at a time when the Polish government had made the incredibly courageous decision to host a conference in Warsaw – which I attended – holding Iran accountable for their aggression against Israel. The conference, which was attended by Vice President Pence, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, and the foreign ministers of many Arab states was unprecedented. Why would Katz have chosen to attack Poland – especially with words that deeply contravene Jewish values – at that precise moment? It was mind-boggling. I was quoted in the Jerusalem Post as saying that Prime Minister Morawiecki had just “showed great moral courage in convening an international conference with the United States to counter Iranian aggression and genocidal threats to Israel and the Jewish people.”

The conversation continued with the other Jewish leaders and then Edward Mosberg stood up to speak. Mosberg is a well-known holocaust survivor and someone who commands respect as an eloquent witness to the decimation of our people. A man in his 90s, a successful real estate developer in New Jersey, and a survivor of multiple camps and philanthropist, he speaks every year at March of the Living and his fire-and-brimstone speeches rattle the crowd with the depth of the horrors of what the holocaust represents and what he experienced.

He was born in Poland and is close to the Polish government. He was wearing the Order of Merit medal they had given him. He started to speak and mentioned that Katz’s comments had created antisemitism in Poland.

The more he said and the insinuation that Jews are responsible for any Polish antisemitism, the more uncomfortable I began to feel.
Look Out, Muhammad Tamimi’s Got his Gun
Muhammad, the younger brother of notoriously nasty teen Ahed Tamimi, has been photographed holding a gun, which officially starts the countdown to his arrest on terrorism charges, if not worse.

The picture, uncovered on Instagram by rightwing nonprofit ‘Ad Kan’ investigators, shows terrorist Ahed Tamimi’s brother holding a Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle. The person who initially posted the photo on social media was Mom, Neriman Tamimi.

What a mishpucha.

The brother, Muhammad Tamimi, was part of the infamous August 2015 video which led to Ahed Tamimi’s arrest for assaulting two IDF soldiers who stood quietly and took the abuse. In fact, it was Muhammad the soldiers were arresting on suspicion of throwing stones at them when the ululating started. The video, which went viral, begins with the soldiers attempting to arrest Muhammad, when a large group of crazed Arab women attacks one of the soldiers in what emerges in a a life-threatening situation.

Our nation turned its lonely eyes to you, IDF soldiers driven crazy by wicked rules of engagement, and all we wanted to see was a short sub-machine gun burst – even if just in the air. Instead we saw our beautiful boys being slapped around by a sinister kennel of repulsive women.

The photograph published by ‘Ad Kan’ demonstrates yet another level of the Tamimi family’s support for terrorism, as they are grooming of their 12-year-old to a life mired in weapons and murder.


The Muslim Brotherhood Must Be Confronted
The motto of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) states: "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our constitution. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope." If "jihad is our way" and "the Quran is our constitution," it would irrational not to postulate that the MB and its related groups in the U.S. endorse violence to change the U.S. constitution and replace it with the Quran.

We cannot say at this stage that Saudi Arabia and Egypt have been brought fully into modernity. We can say, however, that we have two leaders who want to -- or are actually are -- taking their Muslim majority countries onto this path. This is a nightmare for the MB, whose goal is to return the Muslim world to the time of Islamic Caliphate. Designating the MB as a terrorist group can impede their ability to resist the noble attempts of these leaders.

"The importance of identifying the Muslim brotherhood as a terrorist organization could not be more clear to our national security and counterterrorism strategy.... Designate the Muslim Brotherhood (MP) a foreign terrorist organization beginning in Egypt and then on a country by country basis. Libya, Syria, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq and Yemen branches of the MB are the most obvious follow-ons.... Stop engaging Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups in government and media and NGO's and recognize their Islamist terror sympathies, misogyny, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and anti-American ideological underpinnings. We must recognize that they are not the only voice for American Muslims or any community of Muslims." — Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, hearing before the Subcommittee on National Security of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives, July 11, 2018.
MEMRI: Qatar Fanning Anti-Sisi Protests Via Al-Jazeera, With Aim Of Toppling Egyptian Regime
On Friday, September 20, 2019, citizens took to the streets in several Egyptian cities to demand the ouster of President 'Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi. Apparently, the immediate cause of the sudden outbreak of protests was the allegations and calls made by Mohamed 'Ali, an Egyptian actor and contractor who worked with the Egyptian regime, and in particular with the Egyptian military, in the last 15 years. After leaving Egypt a month ago, 'Ali began posting videos on social media in which he made bold corruption claims against top officials in Egypt's military. He also harshly criticized the management of mega-projects initiated by Al-Sisi, including the widening of the Suez canal and the construction of new presidential palaces, stating that they were wasteful, especially considering the desperate poverty of many Egyptians.[1]

'Ali's social media campaign was extensively promoted by Qatar's Al-Jazeera network and other Qatari media outlets, which lent 'Ali a platform as part of the hostility that has prevailed between Qatar and Egypt in the last few years and Qatar's support of the Muslim Brotherhood organization, which is outlawed in Egypt.[2]

Egypt's pro-regime media initially tried to disregard Mohamed 'Ali and spoke in general terms against maligning the army, without mentioning his name. However, after 'Ali's videos went viral, Al-Sisi decided to respond and answer his claims directly. In a youth conference he convened in Cairo on September 14, he called 'Ali's claims "falsehoods and lies" while declaring his own integrity and his loyalty to Egypt, and came to the defense of the army. On the construction of presidential palaces he said that he builds them for Egypt, not for himself, and that he is proud of this.[3]

'Ali, for his part, continued to post videos against Al-Sisi and called on Egyptians to take to the streets on Friday, September 20, 2019, and hold non-violent protests for an hour to demand Al-Sisi's resignation.[4] The call was heeded by hundreds to thousands of Egyptians who dared to demonstrate against the regime, which in the last two years has escalated its measures against its critics and taken steps to control the media and limit freedom of speech in the country.[5] Protests were reported in several Egyptian provinces and in Cairo, including in Tahrir Square, the emblematic site of Egypt's Arab Spring protests, which had been empty of demonstrators for several years. Videos circulated on social media showed protesters chanting "Al-Sisi, leave!" and "Say without fear, Al-Sisi has to go." The security forces eventually dispersed the protests with tear gas and arrested dozens of them. On the next day, September 21, the protests continued but on a smaller scale.[6] Since the outbreak of the protests, the Egyptian regime has exacerbated its measures against its critics and opponents, and against human rights organizations, which report that over 1,000 have already been arrested.[7]
MEMRI: IUMS Head Dr. Ahmed Al-Raissouni, Who Promotes Extremist, Antisemitic, Anti-Western Discourse, Joins Faculty Of Qatar University
On September 14, 2019 the Sharia and Islamic Studies Faculty in the University of Qatar announced via Twitter that Dr. Ahmed Al-Raissouni, head of the International Union of Muslims Scholars (IUMS), has joined its teaching staff.[1] The website of the IUMS reported that Al-Raissouni will teach at the university for three to four months during the coming academic year. [2]

Al-Raissouni is known for promoting extremist, anti-Western and antisemitic discourse in his statements and writings and in communiques issued by the IUMS, which he has headed since November 2018. The IUMS, which is supported by Qatar and Turkey, [3] was founded in 2004 by Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, who headed it until late last year. Considered to be a major ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaradawi resides in Qatar and has been supported and sponsored for decades by the Qatari regime. He and the IUMS under his directorship likewise promoted an extremist discourse, including rhetoric against Jews and Christians and encouragement of jihad and martyrdom.[4]

As stated, this extremism continues to be disseminated by Al-Raissouni and by the IUMS under his directorship. The following are examples from reports published by MEMRI in the recent months.

IUMS Under Al-Raissouni Supports Jihad In Palestine
In a statement it issued on June 23, 2019, the IUMS called on the Muslim nation and the Arab leaders to boycott the Peace to Prosperity workshop in Bahrain, which was held on June 25-26 to discuss the economic part of the U.S. administration's peace initiative known as "The Deal of the Century." The statement, signed by Al-Raissouni and by IUMS secretary-general Dr. 'Ali Al-Qaradaghi, blasted the Arab leaders for "rushing towards the deal" instead of rejecting it and for falling over each other in their haste to serve the enemies. It warned them that the current and future generations may curse them and that Allah may condemn them for this on the Day of Judgement. The statement also urged the Arab leaders, the entire Muslim nation and "all people of conscience in the world" to take part in restoring Palestine to its rightful owners, since this is a religious and human duty, and to support the jihad of the Palestinian people against the occupiers.[5]
U.S. Accuses Syrian Government of Chemical Weapon Attack in May in Idlib
“The Assad regime is responsible for innumerable atrocities, some of which rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Pompeo told a news conference in New York, where he has been attending the United Nations General Assembly.

“Today I am announcing that the United States has concluded that the Assad regime used chlorine as a chemical weapon on May 19,” Pompeo said.

The United States said in May it had received numerous reports that appeared consistent with chemical exposure after an attack by Syrian government forces in northwestern Syria, but it had made no definitive conclusion as to whether they used chemical weapons.

The Trump administration has twice bombed Syria over Assad’s suspected use of chemical weapons, in April 2017 and April 2018.
Seth J. Frantzman: Are Air Defense Systems Ready to Confront Drone Swarms?
According to the Saudi Defense Ministry, 18 drones and seven cruise missiles were fired at Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities on Sept. 14.

Impeded by radar ranges as well as the speed and angle of the drones and missiles, Saudi air defenses did not engage the drones.

"If U.S.-supplied air defenses were not oriented to defend against an attack from Iran, that's incomprehensible. If they were, but they were not engaged, that's incompetent. If they simply weren't up to the task of preventing such precision attacks, that's concerning," said former U.S. ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro, a visiting fellow at Israel's Institute for National Security Studies.

"And it would seem to validate Israeli concerns that even effective air and missile defense systems, as Israel has, could be overwhelmed by a sufficient quantity of precision-guidance missiles."

IDF Brig.-Gen. Pini Yungman, former air defense commander with the Israel Air Force, noted, "Drones, even drone swarms, are not a strategic threat, even if you take dozens to attack. They carry a very low weight of bomb or ammunition."

Uzi Rubin, former director of the Israel Missile Defense Organization, doesn't think what happened in Saudi Arabia could happen in Israel. "We have a smaller area, and that has an advantage in many respects because it is an advantage in controlling our airspace."

"When it comes to guarding, the issue is things that can sneak in near the ground," Rubin explained.

He said shooting down drone swarms can be accomplished with anti-aircraft guns, noting that Iraq downed several Tomahawk cruise missiles in 1991 after discovering their flight path.
Rouhani's Uncompromising Comments at UN Make Prospect of Curbing Iran's Aggression More Remote
Iranian President Rouhani's UN address provided a fresh insight into how Tehran really views the world. Rather than acknowledging the destabilizing influence Iran's confrontational approach has on the Middle East, as well as the wider world, Rouhani sought to portray Iran as the victim, the innocent target of American aggression that aimed to destroy the country. The biggest challenge to regional security, he contended, was not Iran but the U.S. and its allies.

Rouhani declared that the conflict in Yemen could only be resolved when Saudi Arabia terminated its "aggression" in the country, a somewhat ludicrous claim given that it was Iran's support for the Houthi rebels in their bid to remove the country's democratically elected government that provoked the conflict in the first place.

Rouhani said the U.S. was engaged in "merciless economic terrorism" against his country, and defended his support for Hizbullah and Hamas, widely regarded as terrorist organizations. He defended the continued financial support Tehran gives to these groups by arguing that they were freedom fighters, not terrorists.

Rouhani's comments might appear delusional but they underline the enormity of the challenge Western powers and their allies face in trying to curb further acts of Iranian-sponsored aggression.
Trump: Iran wanted me to lift sanctions and I said no
US president Donald Trump denied on Friday that the US has agreed to lift sanctions in exchange for opening negotiations on a new agreement between the sides.

"Iran wanted me to lift the sanctions imposed on them in order to meet. I said, of course, NO!" The president tweeted.

He responded to the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, who claimed earlier today that European leaders told him that the US "would lift all sanctions" to enter negotiations with Iran.

“Americans had propagandised about being ready for negotiation, and that it is Iran who is stubborn," Rouhani said, according to his official website. "They had sent messages to almost all European and no-European leaders that they wanted one-to-one negotiations between the two Presidents, but we had rejected it, saying that negotiations had to be done in the framework of P5+1, and they accepted.”

He added that three European leaders, Chancellor of Germany, Prime Minister of Britain, and President of France, "all insisted for the meeting to be held, saying that the US would lift all sanctions."

“But the problem here is that under sanctions and maximum pressure," he continued, "even if we want to negotiate with the Americans within the framework of P5+1, nobody can predict about the end and upshot of the negotiation”.
Iran releases seized UK-flagged tanker after more than 2 months
A British-flagged oil tanker held by Iran since July was released Friday and was heading toward the United Arab Emirates, the company that owns the vessel said.

Iran’s marine and port authority said the Stena Impero left Iran Friday morning. Hours earlier, the tanker had begun transmitting its location for the first time in weeks just outside the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, where it had been held since its seizure.

Erik Hanell, President and CEO of Swedish-based Stena Bulk, the ship’s owner, said the vessel and its crew had been released, and the ship would be transiting through Dubai for the crew to disembark and receive medical checks.

“The families of crew members have been informed and the company is currently making arrangements for the repatriation of its valued seafarers at the earliest possible opportunity,” Hanell said in a statement.
Iran arrests family of outspoken U.S. Iranian women's rights activist
An award winning dissident outspoken Iranian women's rights activists, Masih Alinejad, reported that the Islamic Republic of Ministry of Intelligence arrested her brother on Wednesday.

Alinejad currently works as a journalist, author, activist, correspondent for VOA Persian Service and contributor to other Persian outlets, according to Radio Farda.

"We have no information about my brother's whereabouts. My mother and the family members of my brother's wife are deeply worried," Alinejad said Wednesday, adding that, "They have been threatened to remain silent, or else."

More notably, Alinejad is the founder of the anti-hijab protests known as "White Wednesday" and "My Stealthy Freedom."

White Wednesdays, is a popular campaign which urges women to share pictures and videos of themselves on social media every Wednesday, wearing white headscarves or white pieces of clothing in protest of compulsory veiling; My Stealthy Freedom, encourages women from Iran to post online pictures of themselves without headscarves [to show opposition to] forced veiling.

Intelligence forces pillaged their family home, confiscated all of her brother's electronic devices, blindfolded him and then took him off to prison, according to Alinejad.
FIFA to send delegation to Iran to ensure woman can attend World Cup qualifier
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) are weighing plans to send a delegation to Tehran October 10, to ensure that women will be admitted and able to attend the World Cup qualifying match between Iran and Cambodia.

Youri Raffi Djorkaeff, a former French national team member and part of the squad who won the 1998 World Cup in France, was recently elected CEO of the FIFA Foundation and told AFP Thursday that he plans to be a part of the delegation hading to the Islamic Republic in October.

"Established in March 2018, the FIFA Foundation was created as an independent entity with the objectives to help promote positive social change around the world and raise support for the recovery and reconstruction of damaged or destroyed sports infrastructure worldwide," according to the FIFA website - one of their founding goals include making soccer more accessible to women in the Middle East, especially in countries such as Iran who ban women from entering stadiums.

"Iran is a hot topic and I am organizing myself to be there on October 10," Djorkaeff said, adding that the presence of the delegation is "to show that FIFA intervened [against the situation in Iran] with conviction."

FIFA has been "assured" by Iranian authorities that women will be able to attend the October World Cup qualifier in Tehran, Gianni Infantino, president of the body said last week.

A 29-year-old female Iranian fan died earlier this month, after setting herself on fire to protest against her arrest for attending a match.



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