Monday, June 22, 2020

From Ian:

Palestinians and Israelis Will Both Gain From Israeli Sovereignty Over West Bank
Palestinians and Israelis will both gain from what is wrongly being labeled West Bank "annexation." Soon after July 1, Israel is expected to apply its civilian law to roughly half of "Area C" of Judea and Samaria (i.e., the West Bank), which it governs under a power-sharing agreement made with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) 25 years ago. Area C is where almost half-a-million Israelis reside alongside a much smaller number of Palestinians. Naysayers from Israel and abroad have labeled the move an "illegal annexation" that would be responded to with regional violence. The more mundane reality is that applying Israeli law to the disputed area will have two main salutary effects that will benefit all the residents of the area, Israeli and Palestinian alike.

First, after 53 years, military administration of the affected areas will end. Military rule is far from ideal, and residents' needs will be better met under ordinary civilian governance provided by officials who have to answer for their actions at the ballot box.

Second, residents will no longer be subject to the antiquated mix of Ottoman, Mandatory British, Jordanian and military rules that confound even the simplest transactions. Area C's law is full of anomalies, from the absence of environmental law to a ban on the purchase of land by non-Jordanians. Non-Israeli residents of Area C have no access to Israel's unemployment insurance, subsidized national health care and other welfare programs. Israel's Supreme Court has essentially blocked piece-by-piece legislation to clean up the mess. Applying Israeli law as a whole will grant citizens the benefits of a modern liberal democratic legal codex.

Despite the obvious benefits of applying Israeli civilian law, opponents have decried the proposal on what they describe as legal and practical grounds.

The legal objection is easily summarized and easily refuted. Opponents note that international law forbids annexation justified by conquest of sovereign territory of another state during an unlawful war (or perhaps any war at all). They then attempt to characterize Israel's action as an example of such an unlawful annexation by connecting the rule to a string of falsehoods. They assume the PLO is a state, though it meets none of the conditions of international law, erase the history of the League of Nations designating the West Bank for a Jewish homeland (as it did in 1922), deny the international doctrine of uti possidetis juris that granted Israel sovereignty over Judea and Samaria upon its independence in 1948, pretend the PLO received sovereign title of the West Bank from Jordan's illegal conquest and annexation of the territory during its 1948 attempt to destroy Israel, imply the illegality of Israel defending itself from Jordan's aggression in 1967 and therefore misinterpret Israel's application of its civilian law to part of Area C as an attempt to gain sovereignty over another country's territory.

Sadly, those who wrongly claim that Israel's proposal is unlawful are rarely challenged to articulate their assumptions—let alone to justify their mendacity. Yet the truth remains that Israel's application of its law to parts of Area C is lawful and beneficial, and has nothing to do with annexing another state's sovereign territory. Israel already has a valid claim to territorial sovereignty, whether it applies its civilian law to the area or not.

The practical objections are more difficult to summarize, because they are, in large part, contradictory as well as illogical.

On the Left, opponents of the proposal claim it will destabilize the Palestinian Authority, lead to violence, foil the creation of a Palestinian state and destroy the chances of a peace agreement. On the Right, opponents claim the proposal will strengthen the Palestinian Authority and inevitably lead to a peace agreement and the creation of a Palestinian state on those parts of the West Bank where Israeli law is not applied. They view this as an unacceptable security threat and inimical to a true peace.
Netanyahu: Applying Israeli Law in Parts of West Bank Will Not Affect a Single Palestinian Neighborhood
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday explained his plan to apply Israeli law in parts of the West Bank in a memo to Knesset members from his Likud party.

"There can be no realistic Israeli-Palestinian peace accord in which the Judea and Samaria Jewish communities are evacuated. These are established communities in which hundreds of thousands of Israelis live. Relinquishing these territories would not only constitute a historic injustice; such a move would create an immediate existential threat to the Jewish state since Judea and Samaria border central Israeli cities."

The planned measure would replace the current military government "with Israeli law and civil administration in already existing Israeli communities in the territories so that those living there can be treated equally under the law like all Israelis."

The move should not be called an annexation, as this word "connotes the forcible acquisition of one state's territory by another state. Israel is doing no such thing. Israel has valid legal claims to the territories while no other state claims the area." Applying Israeli law would not change the status of the Palestinian Authority "in a single Palestinian neighborhood."
UN envoy tells Palestinians rallying against annexation not to give up on statehood dream
United Nations envoy Nikolay Mladenov tells Palestinians never to give up on their dream of statehood, emphasizing that Israel’s planned annexation of the West Bank was not only illegal but “would kill the dream of peace.”

“You’re not renting a house here, this is your home. You do not throw away the keys to something that you have been building for 25 years. You protect it and you invest in the future, a future that is built on shared values of democracy, accountability and prosperity for everyone,” Mladenov says.

“People of Palestine — never give up, never give up, never give up,” Mladenov concludes, “because peace is what we’re all for.”

During his speech, Mladenov also leads a moment of silence for Iyad Hallak, a young Palestinian with special needs killed by Israeli police earlier this month.
David Singer: Jordan Backs PLO in Rejecting Trump Deal of the Century
Jordan has backed the PLO in rejecting President Trump’s deal of the century – as Israel readies to regain sovereignty after 3000 years in 30% of Judea and Samaria (aka West Bank) – the biblical heartland of the Jewish people.

Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi met with PLO President Mahmoud Abbas this week to confirm that Jordan stood in solidarity with the PLO against the Trump plan to create a Palestinian State in the remaining 70%:
“The stance that I have carried today is the Kingdom’s historical position: Attaining the rights of our brothers in Palestine to freedom and a full Palestinian state with occupied Jerusalem as its capital on the June 4, 1967 lines is the only means to realise a just and comprehensive peace”.

Safadi’s statement of Jordan’s historical position was false.

No Palestinian State – “full” or otherwise – was ever contemplated during Jordan’s illegal annexation of the West Bank between 1948 and 1967. To the contrary Jordan extended Jordanian citizenship to all the Arab residents of the West Bank from 1954 to 1988.

Jordan’s rejection of the Trump Plan could see Trump dealing with Jordan similarly to the way he dealt with the PLO’s rejection of Trump’s Plan – sight unseen – two years before its release on 28 January 2020:
“’We told Trump we will not accept his project, the ‘deal of the century,’ which has become the ‘slap of the century’. But we will slap back.
“We do not take instructions from anyone, and say ‘no’ to anyone if it is about our destiny, our cause, our country and our people… 1,000 times no'”

Trump answered the PLO by progressively:
· Recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the US Embassy there
· Recognising Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights
· Cutting off funding for Palestinian refugee programs
· Closing down the PLO diplomatic office in Washington
· Confirming that the Israeli settlements in the West Bank did not contravene international law

Responses to Jordan’s defiant stance could see Trump:
· Agreeing to Israel extending its sovereignty beyond the 30% of the West Bank currently contemplated in Trump’s Plan. This proposed area is in fact only 50% of Area C - already under Israel’s complete security and administrative control pursuant to the Oslo Accords – so there is plenty of scope for enlarging the area of Israeli sovereignty.
· Reviewing existing US-Jordan security and financial agreements
· Calling on Jordan to replace the PLO in negotiations with Israel to allocate sovereignty in the remaining 70% of the West Bank between their two respective states.

Jordan’s King Abdullah would find Trump’s offer to regain a major part of “The West Bank of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan 1950-1967” difficult to reject.

Abdullah’s father the late King Hussein wrote in "Uneasy Lies The Head" (page 118):
"Palestine and Jordan were both under the British Mandate, but as my grandfather pointed out in his memoirs, they were hardly separate countries. Trans-Jordan being to the east of the River Jordan, it formed in a sense, the interior of Palestine"

Guardian op-ed by Avi Shlaim rails against the 'injustice' of Israel's founding
Shlaim’s suggestion that even Israeli and diaspora Jews who criticise annexation aren’t sufficiently moral if they fail to highlight the ‘injustice’ to Palestinians is a well-worn trope of post-colonial ideology, which insists that all political discourse must be based on the empowerment of those considered the “victim” and the removal of those considered the “aggressor”.

This modern intellectual theory that Shlaim embraces, by definition, elides any and all facts and historical events which contradict the chosen moral binary. So, it naturally follows for Shlaim and fellow radical leftists that, since Palestinians are entirely victims and Israelis entirely aggressors, the only truly moral action that Jews can take is one which emphasises and tries to alleviate Palestinian suffering.

The only moral Jew, for Shlaim, is an anti-Zionist Jew.

Gerald Steinberg has observed that adherents of this view, those who seek to empower groups that are defined as disenfranchised and oppressed, and to weaken the strong “colonial” parties, patronisingly view the latter as “incapable of moral or ethical choices”. Indeed, though most Guardian contributors avoid directly employing post-colonial rhetoric, their similar failure to assign agency to Palestinians is one of the defining characteristics of their coverage.

The objective of such writers (or ‘historians’) isn’t to carefully consider the myriad of factors which contribute, and have contributed, to the conflict, and engage in an objective analysis of events based on universal moral standards that are applied equally to each party. It’s to ‘speak truth to power’ and be on the ‘right’ side of history – a form of virtue signaling masquerading as journalism for which truth and history are often the greatest casualties.

NYRB Looks To 1947 Partition Plan to Determine Palestinian Territories
According to the profound reckoning of the erudite New York Review of Books, the southern Israeli city of Beersheba is Palestinian territory. By the editors’ logic, the same goes for the central Israeli cities of Ramle, Lod, Modiin (home of this Israeli researcher and over more than 90,000 other Israelis), as well as Ben-Gurion International Airport. The ruling by Review of Books editors from their lofty perch in Manhattan also places Nahariya, Acco, Nazareth in Palestinian territory.

The intellectual giants at the elite literary journal have made clear that, for them, it is the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan – categorically rejected by Palestinian Arabs and surrounding Arab states at the time – which is the basis for now determining what is Palestinian territory.

Thus, while The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Voice of America, Deutsche Presse-Agentur have all commendably corrected erroneous assertions that the disputed West Bank, and in particular areas in which Israeli settlements are located, are Palestinian territory, The Review of Book outliers have preferred to redraw the map entirely. When challenged about the designation of disputed West Bank land as “Palestinian,” NYRB editors cited the United Nations Partition Plan – a proposal roundly rejected by the Palestinian Arab leadership over seven decades ago – insisting that the West Bank is Palestinian territory. The natural conclusion about other areas also designated as part of the Arab state under the plan that the Arabs never accepted – Beersheba, Ramla, Lod, Modiin, Bet Shemesh, Acco, Nahariya, the airport, and more – is that they, too, are Palestinian territory. (On the other hand, under the 1947 Partition Plan, Palestinians have no right to Jerusalem, as it was intended to be an international corpus separatum, under United Nations administration.)

The issue arose with the mischaracterization of West Bank land in Omri Boehm’s June 9 article, “After Liberal Zionism, the One Hope for a Democratic Israel,” when the associate professor of philosophy at the New School for Social Research referred to a “coalition pact that cleared the way for Israel to annex a large tranche of Palestinian territory in the West Bank.”
Reviewing the BBC’s ‘annexation’ backgrounder – part one
On June 16th the BBC News website published a backgrounder titled “Israel, annexation and the West Bank explained” on its ‘Middle East’ page.

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is planning to effectively annex parts of the occupied West Bank in what would be a major – and highly controversial – act.”

The first section after that introductory sentence is headed “What is the West Bank?”.

“It is a chunk of land located – as the name suggests – on the west bank of the River Jordan and bounded by Israel to the north, west and south. To its east lies Jordan.”

Seeing as the area to which that term refers varies in width between 30 and 55 kilometers, it is clearly includes far more than just the bank of a fairly small river. BBC audiences are however given no information concerning the relatively recent origin of the term ‘West Bank’.

In 1947 the UN referred to “the hill country of Samaria and Judea” in the proposed Partition Plan which was rejected by the Arab states. The term ‘West Bank’ of course did not exist at that time because the country that invented it – referred to in the same document as “Transjordan” – had not yet invaded, occupied and subsequently illegally annexed that territory.

Although the term ‘West Bank’ (along with the name change from Transjordan to Jordan) was conceived by an invading country seeking to legitimise its occupation of land to which it had no legal claim (the territory had in fact been assigned to the creation of a Jewish national home by the League of Nations over two decades earlier) the BBC exclusively employs that partisan term both in this backgrounder and in its content in general.

Despite the origin and intention of the term ‘West Bank’, the obviously relevant question of the appropriateness of its use (given the BBC’s supposed editorial obligation to impartiality) does not even arise in the corporation’s ‘style guide’.
Reviewing the BBC’s ‘annexation’ backgrounder – part two
Under the sub-heading “What would change with annexation?” readers are told that:

“In practice, Israeli laws already apply to settlers, though not to Palestinians, who are subject only to Israeli military orders and Palestinian [sic] laws, so there would be little noticeable change in that respect.”

The situation as it actually exists was described as follows by Pnina Sharvit Baruch in 2018:

“In Judea and Samaria […] there is no applicability of Israeli law. The local law that applies is based on the laws that existed prior to 1967 and security legislation, i.e., orders issued by the IDF GOC in the region. However, the military commander issued municipal orders in relation to all of the Israeli settlements, which adopt many arrangements from Israeli law by way of referral, such as in relation to education, welfare, local government, and so forth, so that there is significant synchronization between the two systems of laws. […] The main material gap relative to settlement residents relates to the laws applying to land and infrastructure.”

It is blatantly obvious that the purpose of this BBC backgrounder is not to provide audiences with the full range of information which would enable them to make up their own minds on the topic of the as yet theoretical proposal to apply Israeli civilian law to certain parts of Area C. Rather, this article merely seeks to preemptively reinforce and amplify the political narrative – and partisan terminology – that the BBC has chosen to adopt.
Israeli UK Amb. Mark Regev: Only Israel Is Disrespected over Its Capital City
A country not relocating its embassy to Jerusalem is “discrimination against Israel,” Regev continued saying. He gave examples of countries that changed capital cities in the past (such as Turkey moving its capital from Istanbul to Ankara), and in each case, the international community responded by relocating embassies to the new capitals.

“Only in the case of Israel is this universal norm not applied,” said the ambassador. “Only in the case of Israel do people say we don’t respect your right as a sovereign independent country to choose your own capital city. And in the case of Jerusalem, it’s particularly egregious because Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people not since the founding of the State of Israel, but this goes back 3,000 years to the time of the Bible. To ignore the Jewish connection to Jerusalem over so many centuries is to ignore reality.”

Regev also addressed the threats that Iran poses to the Jewish state, the world and regional security in the Middle East. He began by listing the Iranian regime’s “fundamentally aggressive and destabilizing” actions, such as its “nefarious” nuclear program, sponsorship of terrorism and stronghold in Syria that is aiding President Bashar Assad’s “brutal dictatorship.”

He then criticized Tehran, saying its “leadership is stuck in this revolutionary Islamist, Khamenei-ist outlook, which is to export their version of the Islamic revolution, and it’s a threat to us all.”

“I’d say to the Iranian regime: You want to be treated like a normal country? Start acting like one. Until you do, we’re gonna keep the pressure on.”
Watchdog Group Slams UN Human Rights Council After Presentation of ‘Blacklist’ of Companies Doing Business in Settlements
The United Nations Human Rights Council, long noted for its hostility to Israel, was formally presented with a “blacklist” of various companies doing business in Israel’s West Bank settlements and eastern Jerusalem, prompting criticism from a major watchdog group.

The UNHRC’s blacklist was included in a report that was personally presented this week by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and covers companies involved in almost anything to do with life in the specified areas, including “provision of services and utilities,” “the use of natural resources,” “pollution,” and a bizarre reference to “captivity of the Palestinian financial and economic markets.”

The list was formulated under a mandate from the UNHRC to create a “database” of such companies, presumably for the purpose of targeting them for boycott, divestment, or other hostile activities.

Among the companies assaulted by the Council in the report are Airbnb, a series of Israeli banks, Expedia, TripAdvisor, General Mills, and Motorola.

To be removed from the database, a business must “provide information indicating that it is no longer involved in the relevant listed activity,” an obvious euphemism for divestment.

Watchdog group UN Watch, which tracks malfeasance at the international body, called the blacklist “discriminatory” and asserted, “The goal of the database is to pressure Israel to withdraw from the settlements — a move which according to the Oslo Accords should be taken only in the context of final status negotiations.”
UNIFIL: Israeli breaches of Lebanese sovereignty could renew hostilities
The head of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Maj.-Gen. Stefano Del Col, warned on Monday that continued flights of IDF aircraft over Lebanese territory could renew hostilities between Lebanon and Israel.

"Such violations of Lebanese sovereignty and of resolution 1701 escalate tensions and could potentially trigger incidents endangering the cessation of hostilities between Lebanon and Israel," said Del Col to Lebanon's National News Agency (NNA).

Del Col added that UNIFIL has noted an "increase in activities of Israeli fighter aircraft flying in the Lebanese skies." The flights are violations of UN Security Council resolution 1701 and of Lebanese sovereignty, according to the UNIFIL head.

The UNIFIL head called on Israel to cease all overflights of Lebanese territory immediately." Del Col noted that the situation along the Lebanon-Israel border is relatively calm, according to NNA.

Lebanese often accuses Israel of operating military aircraft in Lebanese airspace. Syrian state media has reported in a number of incidents that airstrikes on targets in Syria were conducted by Israeli aircraft flying in Lebanese airspace. Video shared on social media has shown Israeli aircraft flying in Lebanese airspace, especially in recent months.

On Sunday, IDF aircraft were spotted as far north as the Beirut area, according to NNA.

Caroline Glick: Bolton's temper tantrum
Bolton never understood what Trump was doing. And rather respect the businessman who came out of his gilded tower in Manhattan to run for the presidency and won, rather than try to understand and align his thinking with his boss, Bolton belittled Trump and his achievements. Towards the end of his tenure at the White House, Bolton seemed to reject Trump's very right to see the world in his own way.

The big break for Bolton, it seems, came on June 20, 2019. That day Iran's Revolutionary Guards shot down a US drone over the Straits of Hormuz.

Initially, Trump heeded the counsel of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Bolton and ordered a retaliatory strike against Iran. But at the last moment, Trump changed his mind and canceled the strike. When Bolton arrived in Israel several days later, he was beside himself with rage.

In his fury then and now, Bolton overlooked two simple facts. First, Trump is a politician. As such, he has considerations that unelected advisers do not have. As a former presidential candidate, Bolton might have been expected to understand that. But as national security adviser, Bolton clearly disregarded the importance politicians generally and Trump specifically places in maintaining loyalty to his voters.

Second, Bolton refused to see the forest from the trees. True, Trump refused to launch a direct retaliatory strike over the drone attack, and from a tit-for-tat perspective, his inaction may have looked like a sign of weakness. But it is inarguable that by June 2019, Trump's policy towards Iran was lightyears away from his predecessors' policies.

George W. Bush gave Iran a free pass for masterminding the deaths of hundreds of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Barack Obama legitimized Iran's nuclear weapons program and transferred billions to the ayatollahs.

Trump abandoned Obama's nuclear deal and instituted the harshest economic sanctions on Iran ever while supporting Israel's actions against Iran's clients in Syria.

At base, Bolton's conduct, both during his White House tenure and since his departure, is the behavior of a man who was unable to accept that he was an adviser to the president, not the president.

Rather than embrace the opportunity Trump gave him to have a seat at the table of the world's most powerful leader, Bolton begrudged Trump's position at the head of the table. Since leaving office, Bolton has dedicated himself to undermining the president whose only sin was failing to see the world through John Bolton's eyes.
Khaled Abu Toameh: The Reasons behind Palestinian Political Apathy
The Palestinian Authority and the ruling Fatah faction are hoping that widespread protests will start this week against Israeli intentions to apply sovereignty to parts of the West Bank. So far, however, the Palestinians have failed to heed the call to demonstrate.

Palestinian political analysts said the apathy could be attributed to a number of factors. Many Palestinians are more worried about the growing number of coronavirus infections and the bad economy. Many remain skeptical about the PA leadership's motives and intentions, and its ability to confront Israel and the U.S. Many do not feel that most Arab states now fully support them.

Palestinians also feel less motivated to take to the streets as Fatah and Hamas leaders continue to engage in an incomprehensible struggle over money and power, which recently entered its 13th year.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: The 'Un-Islamic' Family Protection Law
"I understand the head of the clan, who does not want sovereignty other than the rule of the male, but what do the lawyers refuse?" Harhash asked. "This means that the woman here would not have a law that protects here or a lawyer who represents her if she is killed, beaten or assaulted." — Nadia Essam Harhash , Palestinian journalist,

"Is preserving the Palestinian family by beating and killing the woman and denying her right to inheritance? How can a lawyer stand against a law that might do justice to an oppressed woman or person? How can a lawyer stand against a law that might do justice to an oppressed woman or person?" — Nadia Essam Harhash , Palestinian journalist,

For now, it appears that the PA government is hesitant to pass the law out of fear of alienating Islamists and conservative clan leaders. The widespread opposition to the proposed legislation is further proof of the growing popularity... of Hamas and other extremist Islamist groups among Palestinians. According to them, criminalizing the beating or murder of women is a clear-cut violation of Islamic teachings and values.
Major Canadian Jewish Group Expresses Concern After Supporter of Terrorism Appointed Secretary of Fatah Movement in Canada
A major Canadian Jewish group expressed deep concern after it was announced that a supporter of terrorism would be the new head of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ political party in Canada.

Nabil Nassar, who has repeatedly glorified terrorists on social media, was recently appointed Secretary of the Fatah Movement in Canada.

In 2018, Nassar praised terrorists Karim Younis, Raed al-Karmi, and Ahmad Nasr Jarrar, the last of whom killed an Israeli rabbi.

In 2019, Nassar called Dalal al-Mughrabi, who participated in the murder of 37 Israelis, including 12 children, in 1978, “The epitome of the Palestinian woman … a symbol of resistance and pride.”

In January 2020, Nassar expressed support for Ali Hassan Salameh, who planned the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre. Earlier this month he mourned the death of Ramadan Shalah, an ex-leader of the Islamist terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai B’rith Canada, said in a statement, “This questionable appointment by Mahmoud Abbas’ political party raises real concerns about his supposed commitment to peace.”
PMW: PA and Fatah promise terror against Israel
An editorial in the official PA daily yesterday focused on glorifying Fatah’s past terror attacks. This served as an introduction to its warning of future terror, should Israel annex land as proposed in US President Trump’s Middle East peace plan.

The editorial warned:
“The enemies and rivals know the Fatah Movement well. They know that when it speaks, it acts… it will turn [the rejection of the plan] into actions of popular struggle (i.e., term used by Palestinians, which also refers to the use of violence and terror) on various levels, because our people will not agree to the annexation of one centimeter of its land.”

The editorial took pride in Fatah’s past murderous terror:
“Fatah has always said only what it is capable of doing, even though once it did the impossible when it fired the first shot (i.e., first terror attack against Israel), and when it turned the rocks of the youths during the glorious [first] Intifada (i.e., Palestinian wave of violence and terror against Israel, murdering approximately 200 Israelis, 1987-1993) into a symbol of the victory of the weak over the strong.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 21, 2020]

The official PA daily also stated that the fact that it has “a full quorum in Paradise” is proof that it is properly focused on the Palestinian “national path.” This refers to Fatah’s vanguard role in attacks against Israel, during which terrorists have died as “Martyrs” for “Palestine.”

PreOccupiedTerritory: Jewish Voice For Peace Says Kaddish Over Recent Lack Of Terrorists For Whom To Say Kaddish (satire)
An activist group known for treating the deaths of even the most violent, heinous Palestinian militants as occasions worthy of Jewish expressions of grief shifted tacks this week, given that zero Palestinians have met their demise trying to kill Israelis since the end of May: the group now engages in those mourning rituals because they mourn the absence of dead Palestinian terrorists whose deaths otherwise give the group purpose.

Members of the anti-Israel organization Jewish Voice for Peace assembled yesterday in Central Park to recite the Kaddish prayer, this time with a twist: whereas normally the activists recite Kaddish as part of the mourning ritual for Palestinians who died while engaged in terrorism against Jews, the fact that no Palestinians have fallen in such a manner since late last month now serves as the impetus. Without dead terrorists, a spokesman explained, JVP cannot showcase its pro-terrorism, antisemitic credentials wrapped up in the mantle of Jewish ritual.

“Under normal circumstances we would be out there demonstrating solidarity with those who have no choice but to continue the attempted genocide the Arabs began in 1948,” observed organizer and JVP activist Benedict Kapowitz. “I mean, what other options does anyone have to a situation they find objectionable, except trying to eliminate Jewish sovereignty in the ancestral Jewish homeland, in favor of yet another corrupt, repressive Arab regime, and the slaughter of who knows how many Jews in the process? But now that June is mostly over and we haven’t seen a single fatal incident involving Palestinians and the IDF or Israeli police, or even those evil settlers, we’re concerned that people will forget about us as an organization, as a movement. We and our clones at If Not Now, who exist to manufacture the perception that we’re not all basically the same people pretending we represent significant numbers, have nothing to wield as a rhetorical cudgel unless Palestinians get themselves killed trying to kill Jews. The IDF can’t be relied on to supply the requisite number of Palestinian corpses with any regularity, and that’s a tragedy.”
Another Iranian Ship Reaches Venezuelan Waters, as Trade Ties Grow
An Iranian ship was approaching the Venezuelan port of La Guaira on Sunday with a cargo of food that will supply the South American nation’s first Iranian supermarket, according to Refinitiv Eikon and Iran‘s embassy in Venezuela.

Iran supplied 1.5 million barrels of fuel to Venezuela last month amid a collapse of refinery operations and tightening sanctions by the United States that has made it more difficult for Venezuela to obtain fuel on international markets.

The Iranian-flagged general cargo ship Golsan, owned by Mosakhar Darya Shipping Co, departed on May 15 from Bandar Abbas. Five tankers left for the Caribbean from the same port in March after loading fuel, according to Eikon data.

“The Golsan will arrive carrying food to open the first Iranian supermarket in Venezuela,” the Iranian Embassy wrote on Saturday via its Twitter account. It did not provide details.

Venezuela’s Information Ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Iran is expected to dispatch two to three monthly shipments of gasoline to its ally Venezuela, sources close to the matter said, which would help offload the gasoline inventory that Iran accumulates, while helping to alleviate the fuel shortage in Venezuela.
Iran May Offer Discounts to Lure Airlines to Fly Through Its Airspace
Iran is drawing up plans to offer discounts to some foreign airlines using its airspace, state news agency IRNA quoted a senior aviation official as saying on Saturday, after a slump in flights due to the coronavirus pandemic and regional tensions.

Nasser Aghaei, director of the state-run Iran Airports and Air Navigation Company, said the discounts would go to the top eight airlines providing transit income as well as airlines boosting their flights by 20 percent.

However, no general cut in fees are planned, IRNA said. Iran is one of many countries to charge so-called overflight fees, which are generally used to fund services such as air traffic control, weather data and aeronautical information.

The planned discounts still have to be approved by the government, Aghaei said.

Before the pandemic, major airlines in January rerouted or cancelled flights to avoid airspace over Iraq and Iran following an Iranian missile strike on US-led forces in Iraq.

On Jan 8, all 176 people aboard a Ukrainian airliner flight were killed when the plane crashed shortly after takeoff en route from Tehran to Kiev.

Iran acknowledged shooting the plane down but said it had done so by mistake while under high alert, hours after it had fired at US targets in retaliation for a US strike that killed an Iranian general.

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