Monday, November 25, 2019

From Ian:

Douglas J. Feith: Israeli Settlements Are a Political, Not a Legal Issue
In his statement about the legality of Israel's West Bank settlements, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made four main points.
- First, the settlements are not "inherently illegal."
- Second, the West Bank's fate should be determined through negotiations.
- Third, international law "does not compel a particular outcome" in favor of Israel or the Palestinians.
- Fourth, the issue is political in nature, not legal, and attacking the settlements' legality "hasn't advanced the cause of peace."

For 35 years U.S. administrations refrained from repeating President Carter's criticism of Israeli settlements as illegal, Pompeo recounted, but President Obama broke with this policy by taking the Carter position at the UN. President Reagan, who followed Carter, had rejected Carter's view.

President Carter had a strained relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and condemnation of Israeli settlements as illegal was supported by a five-page letter dated April 21, 1978, by State Department legal adviser Herbert Hansell.

That letter ignored entirely the rights of Jews under the 1922 Palestine Mandate, which called for "close settlement by Jews on the land." From ancient times until 1949, Jews could lawfully live in the West Bank. Hansell didn't explain when that right was terminated.

As a Middle East specialist on the National Security Council staff, I was asked for a short note on the subject for President Reagan. I said, "The issue is properly a political question, not a legal question." The sovereignty issue "is open and will not be closed until the actual parties to the conflict formally consent to a peace agreement." In the meantime, "there is no law that bars Jews from settling on the West Bank" and no one should be excluded from living there "simply on account of his nationality or religion."

What fuels the conflict is the notion that Israel is a vulnerable, alien presence that lacks roots, legitimacy, and moral confidence. Israel's enemies know that asserting that the Jews have no right to live in the West Bank - an important part of the Jewish homeland - calls into question the Jews' right to have created Israel in the first place.

PMW: The Jews came as "invaders 70 years ago," no evidence of Jews before then
Palestinian Authority policy is to routinely deny the entire Jewish history in the Land of Israel. Jews were never here, the PA says, until they came and “occupied” Palestine in 1948. Palestinian Media Watch has documented that the PA habitually refutes the authenticity of the numerous archeological artifacts and non-Biblical sources that testify to the Jewish presence and nationhood thousands of years ago. The following are three recent examples of this Palestinian denial of Jewish presence and history, showing that the PA’s political message passed on by Palestinian leaders for decades has been successfully adopted and is being repeated even by Palestinian academics.

Riyad Al-Aileh, a Palestinian political science lecturer from Al-Azhar University, stated that Jews only came as ”invaders 70 years ago”:
"The Jews claim that they were in Palestine 2,000 years ago. If we look at the history we will see that they were not in Palestine in the past, but rather only as invaders less than 70 years ago. For these 70 years they have been invaders, like the Hyksos, the Byzantines, the Persians, and [British] colonialism. The Canaanite Palestinian people has since succeeded in defeating those invaders and continue [to live] in this land." [Official PA TV, The Supreme Authority, Nov. 6, 2019]

Echoing this claim, Abir Zayyad, an archaeologist and member of Fatah’s Jerusalem branch, wrongly asserted that “no archaeological evidence” of Jews in Palestine has been found:
“We have no archaeological evidence of the presence of the children of Israel in Palestine in this historical period 3,000 years ago, neither in Jerusalem, nor in all of Palestine.” [Official PA TV, Jerusalem: The Scent of History, Nov. 7, 2019]






Pompeo urges Arab states to abandon boycotts of Israel
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday called on Arab states to end their boycott of Israel and instead engage with the Jewish state.

“It’s time for Arab countries to abandon boycotts and engage #Israel,” Pompeo tweeted. “#MiddleEast divisions = instability.”

Pompeo included a link to a New York Times article about a gathering last week in London of representatives of Arab civil society from 15 countries who similarly called for the end of Israel’s isolation in the Arab world.

“Arab thinkers who risk their lives to bravely advocate a regional vision of peace and coexistence shouldn’t face retribution,” Pompeo wrote. “We need dialogue.”

Calling itself the Arab Council for Regional Integration, the newly established forum’s members have repudiated the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against the Jewish state, asserting that efforts to prevent normalization between their respective nations and Israel has caused more harm than good, and has been particularly bad for the Palestinians.

While the movement’s members admit to being marginal within their own societies, with only two politicians (one current and one former) attending, they expressed hope that their position would eventually influence the thinking of their contemporaries.

Pompeo’s call for normalization came after last week he strained relations between Israel and the Arab world by announcing that, after legal consultations, the US had concluded the establishment of Israeli settlements in the West Bank was “not, per se, inconsistent with international law.”
Arab League slams US shift on settlements as ‘biased, unacceptable’
Arab League foreign ministers denounced the Trump administration’s announcement that it no longer considers Israeli settlements to be a violation of international law.

In an emergency meeting convened Monday, a week after the US announcement, Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit called the decision “unfairly biased and unacceptable.” He said the US has forfeited its role as a neutral arbiter between Israel and the Palestinians.

Palestinians planned to hold demonstrations across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on Tuesday to protest US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s declaration on November 18 that the administration does not view the settlements as illegal.

Pompeo on Monday tweeted that Arab states should “abandon boycotts and engage #Israel.”
EU Ambassador to Israel: The EU and settlement products – what’s true, what’s not
• First, differentiation is not a new issue. A distinction already exists between products “made in Israel” and those made in the illegal settlements in the occupied territories. Israel’s free-trade agreement with the EU provides preferential tariff treatment to products coming from Israel within its internationally recognized borders. On the other hand, products coming from settlements can enter the EU market, but cannot enjoy this preferential treatment. This distinction is a response to a UN Security Council call on all UN members to distinguish between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967. It is also a reflection of the fact that, in line with international law, the EU does not recognize any change to the 1967 lines unless agreed to by the parties.

• Second, in line with the EU legislation, products must, wherever they come from, have a correct indication of origin, as failure to do so might mislead the consumer. The ruling confirms these rules in order to allow consumers to make an informed decision about whether to buy a product or not. “Made in Israel” should only be used for products produced inside Israel’s internationally recognized borders when entering the EU market.

• Third, accusations that this ruling is antisemitic in nature are unfounded and untrue. The EU stands firmly against all forms of antisemitism, as the phenomenon is incompatible with the values and principles on which the union is founded. Antisemitism needs to be fought wherever it exists – and the EU is committed to doing so. Calling out antisemitism where it does not exist is irresponsible because it detracts from the real issues at stake.

The EU has a privileged partnership and trading relationship with Israel, and this will not change. The requirement to correctly indicate the origin relates to the location where the goods were produced, not by whom. Only if the goods have been obtained or have undergone their last substantial processing or working in Israel can the indication of origin be “Made in Israel.”

• Fourth, the interpretation is not discriminatory, and it is not against Israel. The court was called upon to render an interpretation in connection to a specific dispute concerning products from settlements in occupied territories. The court was not asked to address other possibly similar cases. The EU’s policy differs, for example, in Crimea, Abkhazia or Ossetia, where it has an outright ban on imports.

• Finally, suggestions that the ruling or the EU rules – on the provision of food information to consumers are encouraging European importers and consumers directly and indirectly to boycott not only settlement products, but also products from Israel – are also incorrect. The ruling is neither a ban nor a boycott. The EU does not support any form of boycott or sanctions against Israel. And it rejects attempts by the campaigns of the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to isolate Israel.
More Than 11,000 People Urge Canada to Reverse UN Vote Calling Western Wall ‘Occupied Palestinian Territory’
More than 11,000 people have signed a petition urging the Canadian government to reverse its vote in favor of an annual United Nations resolution that deems the Western Wall and other sites of Jewish worship occupied Palestinian territories.

The General Assembly motion in question, which passed on Tuesday afternoon, describes east Jerusalem — home to the Temple Mount and the Jewish Quarter of the Old City — “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” without recognizing any Israeli claims to the land. It also condemned the construction of the West Bank security barrier, which was erected following a Palestinian campaign of suicide bombings and other attacks targeting civilians.

Canada was among 164 countries that voted in favor of the resolution, which was brought forward by the North Korean, Egyptian, Nicaraguan, Zimbabwean, and Palestinian delegations. Five nations voted in opposition — namely Israel, the United States, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Nauru — while nine other countries abstained, among them Australia, Guatemala, Honduras, and Rwanda.

The measure is one of 20 resolutions targeting Israel during the 2019-2020 General Assembly session. Only six other GA resolutions were adopted against all other countries combined, the UN Watch monitoring group said.

Critics said the Canadian decision had marked a reversal of a decades-long, bipartisan opposition to the resolution, and may have been an effort to curry favor for Canada’s campaign to gain a UN Security Council seat next year.

The petition, launched by UN Watch last week, condemned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the vote, saying it “broke with Canada’s long-standing policy of opposing the hijacking of U.N. bodies by dictatorships to scapegoat the Jewish state.”
France seeks to fill void of U.S. leadership in Middle East
France laid out a new posture for itself in discussions in the Gulf this week, chiding the Americans on not standing up to Iran’s threats against Saudi Arabia and other countries. Paris now wants to play more robust role in maritime security as Washington’s influence declines across the region.

French Defense Minister Florence Parly condemned the US for leaving the Iran Deal and condemned Iran at the Manama Dialogue confab in Bahrain over the weekend. The conference is organized by the International Institute of Strategic Studies and has foreign ministers and leaders from the region, as well as security and defense officials, in attendance.

“We’ve seen deliberate, gradual US disengagement,” she said. She also slammed former president Barack Obama for leaving the “fighter jets on the tarmac,” according to France24, a reverence to the US decision in 2013 not to punish Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria for chemical weapons attacks.

The French conjured up bad memories from 2013 when, according to Le Nouvel Observateur, French President Francois Hollande had prepared Rafale jets and SCALP cruise missiles to punish Assad. Targets included the Fourth Armored Division, missiles and commander centers. But the US decided to back down and the planes didn’t fly. The US, UK and France carried out airstrikes in 2017 and 2018 against Syria, but they were much smaller and less consequential than what might have occurred in 2013.

Parly says that Paris was disappointed to see a lack of US response to the September attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq facility. It followed Iranian attacks on ships and a US drone. The French say the US is retreating in the face of threats.
Australian PM Scott Morrison awarded Jerusalem Prize
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged to always defend Israel in the United Nations, as he was awarded the Jerusalem Prize by the Zionist Federation of Australia, the Zionist Council of NSW and the World Zionist Organization on Thursday.

“Australia chaired the 1947 UN committee that voted in favor of dividing the territory of mandated Palestine. That same year we became the first country to cast a vote in support of the partition plan as we've been reminded tonight,” he recalled.

Morrison said that “all too often,” an institution “that's supposed to do so much good has allowed anti-Semitism to seep into its deliberations, all under the language of human rights; and we're not buying that, my government is not going to buy that.”

“We know the character of our friend Israel and we will defend it,” he further said, describing the country as “a beacon of democracy.”

“We stand with our friends and under this government, that is what will occur. We've set up a trade and defense office in West Jerusalem to deepen ties on trade, defense industries, investment and innovation,” he noted.


Australian Panel Show: Q and A
Pro-Israel
Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor, The Australian

Anti-Israel
Samantha Power, Former US Ambassador to the United Nations
Tanya Plibersek, Shadow Minister for Education
Tamar Zandberg, Israeli Parliamentarian - Meretz
James Brown, United States Studies Centre





Is Michael Bloomberg, leading Jewish presidential candidate, good for Israel?
That connection helps explain why in July 2014, during the middle of Operation Protective Edge when the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibited US domestic airlines from flying to Ben-Gurion Airport after a Hamas rocket landed nearby, Bloomberg hopped on an El Al plane and flew from New York to Tel Aviv.

This was after his third term as mayor ended, and he explained the move in an opinion piece he penned for his eponymous news service. He made the flight, he wrote, “to express solidarity with the Israeli people and show the world that Israel’s airports remain open and safe.”

Bloomberg wrote that the FAA’s decision was wrongheaded, and called for the ban to be lifted.

“Hamas would like nothing more than to close down Ben-Gurion, isolating Israel from the international community and seriously damaging its economy,” he wrote. “By prohibiting US carriers from flying into Ben-Gurion, the FAA handed Hamas a significant victory – one that the group will undoubtedly attempt to repeat. The FAA has, regrettably, succeeded only in emboldening Hamas.”

At a time when Israel was coming under a great deal of criticism for its actions in Gaza, Bloomberg wrote: “Every country has a right to defend its borders from enemies, and Israel was entirely justified in crossing into Gaza to destroy the tunnels and rockets that threaten its sovereignty. I know what I would want my government to do if the US was attacked by a rocket from above or via a tunnel from below; I think most Americans do, too.”
Bloomberg’s Mideast Peace Plan Gives $1m to All Non-Terrorists (satire)
In an ambitious blueprint towards an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, Democratic presidential candidate and former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed giving $1 million of his personal fortune to any Palestinian that agrees not to be a terrorist.

Speaking at his campaign launch, Bloomberg said a final status agreement is possible if both sides have sufficient incentives, which he will provide from his $52 billion bank account. In addition to his stipend to Palestinian non-terrorists, Bloomberg would allow payouts to settlers who do not vandalize Palestinian property, Islamists who do not launch rockets, and prime ministers who do not accept bribes.

“We have already planned a $100 million ad buy supporting the plan in key districts around Ramallah and Jerusalem,” Bloomberg said. “We are also currently determining the correct stipend level to win the peace deal support in the wider Arab and Muslim world.”
Israel taking credit for attacking Iran in Syria provoked retaliation
Israel’s decision to take credit for strikes against Iranian targets in Syria over the last year provoked the Islamic Republic to retaliate against Israel, a top former IDF general told The Jerusalem Post.

“The prime minister and [Foreign Minister] Israel Katz started talking about the strikes,” Brig.-Gen. (res.) Zvika Haimovich, former commander of the IDF’s Aerial Defense Division, told the Post this week. “I prefer the previous silence. Once we opened the gates, they react.”

In February of last year, Iran launched a drone armed with explosives from the T-4 airbase in the Syrian province of Homs to carry out a sabotage attack in Israel. The drone was detected by Israel and was shot down by an Apache attack helicopter near Beit She’an.

It was the first time that Iran directly tried to attack Israel.

“As a military man, you prefer activities over words,” Haimovich said. “You cannot fight or win fights with words – you can win with operations and missiles, and keeping it silent and under the radar and away from the public and media. You will have many more advantages when you are silent than when it’s all over the press.”

Haimovich warned that Iran was planning a “multi-directional” attack against the State of Israel together with its proxies, and that the Jewish state needed to prepare for it now.
Israel sends rare message to Tehran, Damascus and Moscow
The rockets were indubitably targeted at Israeli population centers, and had the rockets not been intercepted, they could have caused civilian casualties and great damage. All these details are important in order to understand why the Israel Air Force struck in Syria on such an unusually large scale.

The attack was intended to serve as a warning to three groups: the Iranians and their proxies operating in Syria; Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and his army, who grant complete freedom of action and air defense to Iran; and the Kremlin, which has not met its commitment to Israel to ward off the Iranians and their proxies from the Israeli border.

The Syrians can see that Israel is able to destroy their surface-to-air missile batteries as they fire at the planes and arms that Israel launches at Iranian targets. Some of these state-of-the-art interception batteries were purchased for hefty sums from Russia. Their destruction weakens the Syrian army and damages its prestige and—above all—its ability to defend Syria’s territory.

As for the Russians, Israel sends them two messages: first, it is highlighting their failure to uphold their promise to keep [Iran and its proxies] away from the Israel-Syria border and pressuring them to follow through on this commitment, while making clear that otherwise it will carry out the task itself. But the main message behind Wednesday’s attack was to tell the Russians that until the Iranians and their henchmen cease their attempt to establish a front against Israel from Syria’s territory, the Kremlin will not be able to achieve a ceasefire in the civil war in Syria.
Palestinians gear up for ‘day of rage’ Tuesday against US settlements policy
Palestinians are planning to hold demonstrations across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on Tuesday to protest US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s declaration that the Trump administration does not view settlements as illegal, a Palestine Liberation Organization official said on Monday.

Pompeo told reporters at the State Department last week that “the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law,” breaking with decades of US policy.

“We declared a day of rage to reject this statement by the American secretary of state,” PLO Executive Committee member Wasel Abu Yousef said in a phone call. “We totally condemn this American effort to legitimize the settlements.”

Like the Palestinians, most of the international community considers settlements to be illegal. That stance is based in part on the Fourth Geneva Convention, which bars an occupying power from transferring parts of its own civilian population to occupied territory.

Israel, however, maintains that the West Bank is not an occupied territory but rather disputed land that was captured from Jordan in a defensive war in 1967.

The PLO official, who is based in Ramallah, said that the protests also will denounce Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge last September to apply Israeli sovereignty over the vast majority of the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, if he is given another term in office.


Netanyahu agrees to hold Likud leadership primary in next six weeks
Embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looked set to face a party leadership challenge within weeks amid opposition within Likud to his continued reign, as he faces trial in three corruption cases.

Netanyahu on Sunday night acquiesced to the demand from party activists, led by challenger Gideon Sa’ar, for new leadership primaries. In talks Sunday with MK Haim Katz, who chairs the party’s central committee, Netanyahu agreed to hold the contest within the next six weeks.

According to Channel 12 news, while the premier “didn’t rule out” agreeing to Sa’ar’s call to hold the leadership contest in the 17 days remaining to avoid general elections, the scenario was seen as unlikely, the report said. Sa’ar had called for a snap contest to give the primary winner a chance to form a coalition and avoid sending the country to a third consecutive election.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s bombshell Thursday announcement of charges against the prime minister sent shockwaves through the Likud party, and helped drive the first serious leadership challenge to Netanyahu since late party leader Ariel Sharon left in 2005 to form the Kadima party, leaving Netanyahu at the helm.

It marked the first time in Israel’s history that a serving prime minister faces criminal charges, casting a heavy shadow over Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, and his ongoing attempts to remain in power.

Netanyahu sought to sound upbeat on a tour of the northern border on Sunday, insisting the legal turmoil had not hindered his ability to govern.
Benny Gantz: 119 MKs don't want elections
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz called upon the Knesset to prevent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from leading Israel to a third election in under a year, at a meeting of his faction in the Knesset on Monday.

"The first two elections were because of Netanyahu's legal situation, and a third would be for the same reason, Gantz told the faction. "There are 119 MKs who don't want to go to elections but one MK is dragging us to unnecessary and expensive elections."

Gantz's number two, MK Yair Lapid, said only Gantz should lead the government. He said Blue and White would not aid another Likud MK building a coalition, singling out Likud leadership candidate Gideon Sa'ar.

"We’re doing everything to prevent another election and to form a government led by Benny Gantz, without tricks and without spin," Lapid said.

"We won’t offer our signatures to Gideon Sa’ar or anyone else to form a government. Only Blue and White will form the next government.

Netanyahu says a prime minister can only be replaced at the ballot box. We did. We beat him. We’re the largest party in Israel. He’s just refusing to leave the prime minister's residence."
PreOccupiedTerritory: Bibi Agrees To Resign If Gantz, Lapid, Yaalon, Ashkenazi, Liberman Do Too (satire)
Israel’s embattled prime minister strode further into the political morass surrounding his legal troubles today, issuing a challenge to his chief rivals for leadership of the government: he will step down as premier on condition that the chiefs of the parties that stand to benefit most from his departure also leave politics, to demonstrate the purity of their desire to see him go, as opposed to a vehicle for their ambition.

Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu, who now faces indictment on a raft of corruption-related charges, offered on Monday to resign after ten years in office if Blue and White leaders Benny Gantz, Yair Lapid, Moshe Yaalon, and Gabi Ashkenazy, plus Yisrael Beiteinu chief Avigdor Liberman, step down as well. Only such an arrangement, he asserted, will assuage the electorate’s suspicions that the calls for his resignation stem from genuine concern for the integrity of Israeli democracy and rule of law, and not just an opportunity to get rid of the person who stands in the way of their own designs on the helm of the state.

“If the good of the State and of Israeli democracy stand at the center of these men’s calling for my resignation, and it is not their own naked quest for power that drives them, then they should have no problem accepting this arrangement,” declared Netanyahu at a press conference.
Are Palestinians Not Entitled to Human Rights?
"The protection of rights and freedoms requires that the right to human rights be guaranteed to judges. Judges have the right to express their opinions freely in the media and social media. Al-Haq, while condemning the violation of the right of judges to express their opinions freely, calls on [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas to ensure an environment conducive to the reform of the judiciary and the justice system in Palestine." – Al Haq, Palestinian human rights organization, based in Ramallah, West Bank.

These human rights violations continue in the face of the PA government's pledge to stop any violation of press freedoms. Ibrahim Milhem, spokesman for the PA government, was quoted earlier this year as saying: "The government will exert all efforts to make the media work environment in Palestine more open and free and to stop any violation of press freedoms."

Unless the Palestinians manage to rise up against their abusive and corrupt leaders -- which they can only do with the backing of the international community and media -- their hope of building a democratic society will remain nothing more than a dream.

The international community, particularly those countries that provide financial aid to the Palestinians, should at least speak out against human rights violations committed by Palestinian leaders. That way, the Western donors will embolden reformists and other Palestinians who are working to end corruption and dictatorship. The donors should also make their financial aid to the PA leadership conditional on halting human rights violations and persecution of political opponents.
MEMRI: Retired Egyptian General Fouad Fayoud: MB Founder Hassan Al-Banna Was a Jew
In an October 27, 2019 interview on Channel 1 (Egypt), retired Egyptian General Fouad Fayoud suggested that Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan Al-Banna had been a Jew because he had lived in a neighborhood inhabited by Moroccan Jews and had been known as “the watchmaker,” a profession that General Fayoud said had been practiced exclusively by Jews at the time. In addition, General Fayoud claimed that the Mossad has had agents trying to wreak havoc in Egypt and that Israel aims to tear apart Arab countries such as Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq by causing sectarian conflict.


Lebanese Protesters Clash With Supporters of Hezbollah, Amal in Beirut
Clashes broke out between anti-government demonstrators and supporters of the Shi’ite groups Hezbollah and Amal in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, early on Monday, as tensions escalated when demonstrators blocked a main bridge.

Lebanon has faced five weeks of anti-government protests, fueled by anger at corruption among the sectarian politicians who have governed Lebanon for decades. Demonstrators want to see the entire ruling class gone from power.

Hezbollah and Amal were both represented in the coalition government led by Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, who quit on Oct. 29 after the protests began. The heavily-armed Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, had opposed Hariri’s resignation.

Army soldiers and riot police formed a barrier separating the protesters from the supporters of the Shi’ite groups on a main road known as the Ring Bridge as rocks were thrown by both sides, television footage broadcast by Lebanese media showed.

Security forces fired tear gas to disperse the crowds, three local television stations reported.

Supporters of Hezbollah and Amal waved the groups’ flags. Earlier, they had chanted: “Shia, Shia” and slogans in support of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. On the other side, demonstrators chanted: “Revolution, revolution.”
Iran Tortures Protesters, World Yawns
This internet blackout, according to Iran Human Rights director Amiry-Moghaddam, "might indicate the Iranian authorities' plans to use even more violence against the protesters."

On November 22, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Twitter: "The U.S. is sanctioning the Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Mohammad Jahromi, for helping shut down the Iranian internet. We will hold members of the Iranian regime accountable for their violent repression of the Iranian people. #Internet4Iran."

It is likely that Pompeo's warnings had a direct effect: the following day, on November 23, NetBlocks confirmed that: "[Internet] connectivity has been restored with multiple fixed-line providers across much of Iran, allowing users to get online via wifi."

To help the Iranian people, at the mercy of their oppressive regime, the world would do better to emulate the Trump administration's tough posture. European appeasement and diplospeak only embolden, rather than weaken, tyrants such as those in Iran.
NYTs: U.S. Judge Orders Iran to Pay $180 Million to Washington Post Reporter and Family
Federal judge Richard J. Leon on Friday ordered Iran to pay Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and his family nearly $180 million in damages after the reporter was imprisoned for almost 18 months during which he was psychologically tortured and physically abused.

Rezaian, an accredited journalist arrested in Iran on July 22, 2014, was subjected to solitary confinement, sleep deprivation and aggressive interrogations and was denied basic medical care for illnesses and infections.

While it is highly unlikely that Iran would pay any damages, they could be paid from a fund established by Congress in 2015 to pay victims of terrorism, said Rezaian's lawyer, David W. Bowker.

The fund, which has paid out more than $2 billion, has been augmented with money collected in sanctions.
MEMRI: Turkish NGOs Meet With Jihadi Leaders In Syria, Help Fighters Cross Border, Fundraise For And Organize Events With Hamas, Hizbullah, Sell Jihadi Publications, Raise Money From Schoolchildren In Coordination With Turkish Government
The following is an excerpt from a MEMRI JTTM report. To view the report in full, you must be a paying member of the JTTM; for membership information, send an email to jttmsubs@memri.org with "Membership" in the subject line. JTTM subscribers can click here to view the full report.

Note to media and government: For a full copy of this report, send an email with the title of the report in the subject line to media@memri.org. Please include your name, title, and organization in your email.

This report will review the terror-related and jihadi activities of nine Turkish NGOs. The activities of these organizations include meeting jihadi leaders in Syria, housing jihadi fighters traveling to Syria, raising money for and organizing events with Hamas and Hizbullah, hosting Hamas leaders at conferences, and spreading jihadi ideology online and via printed matter such as books and magazines.

IHH Sent 6.6 Million Euro To Hamas, Reportedly Helped Jihadis Cross Into Syria, Received Award From Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS)

German intelligence found that the Turkish NGO İnsan Hak ve Hürriyetleri İnsani Yardım Vakfı ("People's Right And Freedoms Humanitarian Relief Foundation," IHH)[1] had donated 6.6 million euros to Hamas and in 2010 banned the activities of the organization in Germany. In August 2018 it upheld this ban.[2]

According to a January 2014 report, a jihadi in Reyhanlı, Turkey, a city on the Turkey-Syria border, said: "We could not get into Syria, the crossings these days are very difficult. We were in contact with the Turkish humanitarian organization IHH. They were supposed to bring us to Syria in an ambulance but it didn't happen."[3] In the indictment for a trial opened by the Ankara Attorney General's Office of 26 people regarding membership in Al-Qaeda, a telephone conversation about IHH was discovered. Oğuzhan Gözlemecioğlu, who was in June 2016 fighting in the ranks of the Islamic State (ISIS) and managing the work of bringing personnel and material to the organization spoke on the phone on September 23, 2013, with another suspect named Yusuf about aid materials to be sent to Syria. Gözlemecioğlu reportedly said: "I can prepare the way for one container or three big trucks of aid material, if necessary I can move the materials with the help of IHH."[4]



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