Tuesday, November 24, 2020

From Ian:

Netanyahu, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Former First Minister of Northern Ireland Lord David Trimble has nominated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, according to a statement from Netanyahu’s office.

Lord Trimble won the prize himself in 1998 for his efforts to find a solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland. As a Nobel laureate, his nomination of Netanyahu and Prince bin Zayed will lead the Norwegian Nobel Committee to discuss the issue.

The announcement comes less than a month after a ministerial delegation from the United Arab Emirates landed in Israel for the first-ever official visit from the Gulf state following the Sept. 15 signing of the US-brokered Abraham Accords with the UAE and Bahrain at the White House.

In a Nov. 20 letter to the Nobel Committee, Lord Trimble explained that he was nominating Netanyahu and bin Zayed “in recognition of their historic achievements in advancing peace in the Middle East.”

Noting that US President Donald Trump “has already been nominated for the prize for his contributions to this cause,” he said that therefore the Israeli and UAE leaders deserve the same recognition.

Richard Goldberg: What Saudi Arabia Is Thinking
How long will Saudi Arabia spend on the edge of friendship with Israel? The Saudi Royal Court is old-fashioned when it comes to the Jewish state. In its official response to the Abraham Accords, the Saudi foreign ministry declared that the kingdom would not normalize relations with Israel until peace is achieved between Israel and the Palestinians on the basis of the Arab (i.e., Saudi) Peace Initiative of 2002.

While bin Salman may assess that radical extremism, Iran, and an oil-based economy are the primary long-term challenges facing Saudi Arabia, his advisers may fear that radical clerics in coordination with rivals within the royal family and foreign intelligence services (e.g., those of Qatar, Iran, or Turkey) would use normalization with Israel as the pretext for a coup or assassination. Indeed, the U.S. philanthropist Haim Saban recently claimed that bin Salman told him exactly that. Incrementalism is thus the preferred approach—opening Saudi airspace to Israeli commercial flights; inserting Israeli characters into Saudi television dramas; and signaling Riyadh’s approval of other Arab countries normalizing with Israel.

But will this incremental approach provide enough reason for a Biden administration to shield bin Salman from what the pro-Iran deal, anti-Saudi wing of the Democratic party will push forward in Congress? Media coverage of the Abraham Accords gives little to no credit to Saudi Arabia for its behind-the-scenes enablement of the other peace treaties. Bin Salman needs a formal agreement with Israel—or at least an institutionalized process for reaching an agreement—to complicate anti-Saudi initiatives in Washington.

This week’s reported meeting between bin Salman and Netanyahu may be a step in that direction. But more is needed—and soon. Within hours of learning about the bin Salman-Netanyahu meeting, President-elect Joe Biden announced that Antony Blinken would serve as his secretary of state. Last month, Blinken told Jewish Insider that a Biden administration would “undertake a strategic review of our bilateral relationship with Saudi Arabia to make sure that it is truly advancing our interests and is consistent with our values.”

Ambassador Dennis Ross, a former Middle East peace envoy, has suggested a step-by-step approach that might appeal to bin Salman—that is, staged normalization in exchange for staged Israeli concessions to the Palestinians. Israel, however, may see the status-quo relationship with Saudi Arabia more favorably. Why give in to pressure to make concessions when other Gulf states have normalized in full and more Arab governments may follow?

The UAE wisely leveraged Arab fears of an Israeli sovereignty declaration in the West Bank to spin its normalization agreement as a win for the Palestinians, since the declaration never went forward. Is there something similar Netanyahu could offer to allow Saudi Arabia to claim an achievement toward Israeli-Palestinian peace?

Maybe a normalization agreement commits Israel to a peace process with the Palestinians based on both the Trump peace plan and Arab Peace Initiative. Maybe it recognizes the mutual importance of Jerusalem and guarantees Muslim access to holy sites. Framed correctly, it could offer Saudi Arabia something to tout not just in the Middle East but throughout the Muslim world—without forcing Netanyahu to make concessions his government would not allow.

Can creative and willing minds find something that works? Israel stands at the crossroads of the U.S.-Saudi relationship, and the ball is in the Royal Court.
Biden’s Cabinet: The Return of the Blob
We are indeed headed back to Obama-era “normalcy.”

As it happens, Pompeo wasn’t on conservative radio this week, but in the Saudi Arabian city of Neom with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and head of the Mossad to meet with officials, including Mohammed bin Salman. The normalization of relations between the Sunni Arab world and State of Israel is one of the biggest foreign-policy stories of the past two decades — almost entirely ignored by our media for partisan reasons.

Because while Blinken might have served under Bill Clinton, as staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as a principal in a global lobbying firm, and as a top adviser in the Obama administration, he’s never come in the vicinity of a genuine peace deal.

Not long ago, Blinken lectured, “Israel has never been — until now, unfortunately — a partisan political issue. And I think it’s very bad for the United States and for Israel that someone tries to turn it into one.” But who made Israel a partisan issue? The Trump administration, which moved the embassy to Jerusalem — fulfilling a promise that Obama and numerous other presidents had made but failed to keep — or internationalists like Blinken, who sided with the theocrats of Iran over the democratically elected leaders of the liberal Jewish State?

It wasn’t Pompeo who appeared at 2012 conferences put on by Israel-antagonists J Street to mollify the hard-Left. It was at that conference that Blinken argued no Middle East peace could be achieved without the Palestinians. That ossified position is back in vogue, but it is now entirely debunked by the facts on the ground.

It was also Blinken who had farcically claimed that “Israel has no better friend, no stronger defender than John Kerry,” even as every pro-Israel organization and the entire political establishment in Israel — left, right, and center — were strenuously disagreeing. Kerry, friend of the Iranian mullahs and the PLO, is Biden’s new “climate czar.” Let’s hope that he’ll be kept clear of any foreign-policy decisions. Blinken, on the other hand, promises to revive the Iran deal.

Time for an Israeli peace initiative for Palestinian conflict – opinion
The time to act is now, while policies are being shaped and appointments to key positions are being determined. An Israeli peace initiative should preserve elements contained in the outgoing administration’s approach. Speaking the language that Democrats in the US prefer to hear, the point should be made that progress towards peace lies with abandonment of the fantasy of coercion, and with resuming negotiations toward a compromise between the two national movements. In parallel, the message should point out that even if little happens “top-down,” adopting “bottom-up” economic packages conducive to Palestinian welfare would be useful.

This initiative should reiterate the territorial principles put forward by prime minister Yitzhak Rabin (who is a hero of peace for many Americans, especially Democrats) in his last speech to the Knesset in October 1995. Thus, an Israeli peace plan should emphasize security arrangements; the strategic importance of the Jordan Valley; the unity of Jerusalem as a living city; rejection of the “right of return”; and an end to Palestinian incitement, BDS efforts and support for terrorists.

The Israeli initiative also should offer the Palestinians economic incentives as discussed at the Manama “workshop” in 2019, primarily supported by Israel’s new Gulf partners. Major infrastructure projects can be undertaken without waiting for an agreement. For example, “transportation contiguity” should be created for the future Palestinian state, i.e., travel routes connecting Palestinian areas without having to go through Israeli checkpoints, something that improves daily life and reduces friction between Palestinians and the IDF. This would fit in with the efforts, which lie ahead, for post-pandemic economic revival.

Israel can mobilize support in Washington from its new and old Arab peace partners against imposed solutions. Despite the likely objections from a radical minority, an injunction against coercion can be legislated, or at least declared in a bipartisan “Sense of Congress” resolution. This might inject a much-needed sense of reality into the emerging Palestinian discourse over the wisdom (or rather, folly) of their attacks on the Gulf countries and their outright vulgar rejection of the American 2020 peace plan.

An Israeli initiative is needed to mobilize pro-Israeli forces within the Democratic Party, within the administration, and within Congress; to project moderation and seriousness in seeking peace; and to open up the options for interim measures and economic growth. Generating a constructive image would also be useful in cementing a regional alliance aimed at meeting the Iranian challenge.
Josh Hammer: Bibi’s Trip To Saudi Arabia was all about a New Iran Deal
The mullahs are licking their chops at the prospect of a new Democratic president. They must be doubly pleased that he is committed to reconstituting the band that sold the farm to the world’s number one state sponsor of jihad during the previous Democratic administration.

By following up on the historical Abraham Accords with this first-ever Netanyahu-MBS summit, Israel and Saudi Arabia are telegraphing to Iran that they will not be browbeaten or subdued, no matter what kind of misguided nuclear accord the next U.S. president may (or may not) sign with Tehran.

Moreover, if reports are correct that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo helped arrange the meeting, Israel and Saudi Arabia would be justified in interpreting such a gesture as a sign that Biden’s impending Republican domestic opposition will oppose any pro-Iran Middle East realignment — much like the John Boehner-led House did when it hosted Netanyahu’s anti-JCPOA speech in March 2015, over the Obama administration’s protestations.

Whether wittingly or unwittingly, Pompeo has laid the groundwork for the continuance of a domestic U.S. push to carry on the Trump-Netanyahu legwork, if in a “rump” form of sorts.

Foes of the Iranian regime’s menacing tentacles and nefarious influences ought to take solace in the meeting. Even if presumptive President-elect Biden does emulate his former boss and attempt to realign American regional interest away from Israel and the Sunni Gulf states and back toward Iran, Netanyahu and bin Salman have now taken an additional step toward solidifying their burgeoning tactical alliance.
In threat to Iran, US sends heavy bombers to Middle East via Israel
The United States this week rapidly deployed several heavy bombers to the Middle East this week in an apparent threat to Iran, amid swirling speculation that US President Donald Trump plans to take military action against Tehran before President-elect Joe Biden enters office.

US Central Command said the planes were sent into the region “to deter aggression and reassure US partners and allies.”

In a highly irregular move, the B-52H Stratofortress planes were seen flying toward Israeli airspace on Saturday en route to the base where they will be stationed, likely in Qatar. The aircraft were spotted on civilian tracking software approaching Israel before they apparently turned off their transponders, rendering them invisible on those applications.

It was the third time in the past year and a half that B-52 bombers, which are capable of carrying nuclear weapons and other powerful munitions, have been deployed to the region in tacit threats to Iran.

In previous cases, the bombers were not seeing flying through Israeli airspace. It was not immediately clear what accounted for the change in route.
Algemeiner Editor-in-Chief Urges Biden to Continue Trump’s Policies in Middle East
US President-elect Joe Biden should seek to preserve the foreign policy accomplishments of the outgoing Trump administration in the Middle East, the editor-in-chief of The Algemeiner said in a television interview last week.

Appearing on the “L’Chayim” talk show, hosted by Mark Golub on JBS, Dovid Efune remarked that if he was advising Biden, he would tell him, “Your first order of business in the Middle East should be to send emissaries to the capitals of moderate Sunni Arab states, and of course to Israel, and say, ‘Listen, we disagreed with the Trump administration on a hell of a lot, but on Middle East policy we’re going to keep it going.’”

“Right now, you have the Saudis, the Moroccans, the Omanis, sitting and waiting,” Efune noted. “They’re asking a fundamental question before they feel prepared dive in to new relations with Israel, new relations with the West, like the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan have done. They need to know where this administration stands on Iran. They need to know that this new administration has their back. With those reassurances, President Biden can score some early diplomatic victories in the Middle East that he can claim credit for.”

Jewish and pro-Israel groups, policy experts react to Biden national security picks
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announced a number of cabinet and national security picks on Monday that offers a view into the direction his administration will pursue regarding foreign policy. For the Jewish and pro-Israel community, most of the selections by Biden are familiar names who have long-served in senior foreign-policy positions in previous Democratic administrations, while others are newer names to the American public.

Tony Blinken, who served as Biden’s top foreign-policy adviser during his campaign, and was deputy secretary of state and deputy national security advisor under former U.S. President Barack Obama, will be nominated as U.S. secretary of state.

A GOP-controlled Senate would likely be receptive to Blinken; whether that comes to fruition will be decided after the two Senate-seat runoffs in Georgia on Jan. 5. Blinken said during the campaign that a Biden administration would keep some of the U.S. sanctions on Iran and reiterated Biden’s stance that the United States would not return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal unless the Islamic Regime returned to compliance.

Jake Sullivan, who also served as a foreign-policy adviser on Biden’s campaign and succeeded Blinken as national security advisor to Biden when he was vice president, has been named as incoming U.S. national security advisor—a position that does not involve Senate confirmation. Sullivan reportedly met with Iranian officials in 2013 in order to foster a possible nuclear agreement with the regime.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a 35-year diplomat, will be nominated as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Avril Haines, who served as deputy national security advisor and deputy CIA director under Obama, will be nominated as director of national intelligence. If confirmed, she would be the first woman to serve in the role, which oversees all U.S. intelligence agencies.

Haines was a signee of a letter to the Democratic National Committee that called for the party’s platform to include language critical of Israel, expressed sympathy with the Palestinians and advocated for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Biden tells Jordan’s king he is eager to ‘support a two-state solution’
In his first conversation with an Arab leader since his election earlier this month, US President-elect Joe Biden spoke with Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Tuesday, telling the monarch that he hopes to cooperate on “supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

According to a statement put out by Biden’s office Tuesday, “the president-elect thanked King Abdullah for his warm congratulations and expressed his personal determination to strengthen the US-Jordanian strategic partnership.”

King Abdullah was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Biden, tweeting hours after his victory was announced: “I look forward to working with you on further advancing the solid historic partnership between Jordan and the United States, in the interest of our shared objectives of peace, stability and prosperity.”

In their conversation Tuesday, Biden “conveyed his appreciation for Jordan’s invaluable role in hosting Syrian and other regional refugees,” the statement said.

“The president-elect also noted that he looks forward to working closely with King Abdullah on the many interests shared by our countries, including containing COVID-19 and combating climate change; countering terrorism and addressing other regional security challenges; and supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” it concluded.
Why national security adviser designate Jake Sullivan will be celebrated in China, Iran, and Russia
As noted, Sullivan was a key architect of the JCPOA nuclear deal. That means he was part of a deal that gave Iran a month to hide materials on notice of an inspection request, contained no constraints on Iranian ballistic missile activities (a slight problem), and has, in the past twelve months alone, allowed Iran to repeatedly breach the agreement with no sanctions snapback. Sullivan offers only the heightened prospect of a regional arms race by two pathological, paranoid, and theologically vested enemies (buckle up), and/or Israeli military strikes. Those who suggest that America's returning to the Iran nuclear deal means easy stability are either people who have never heard of Baghdad (criticisms of Trump could also be made here), or Beirut, or who care little about avoiding war.

China provides perhaps Sullivan's brightest spot out of the three countries.
Even then, his record must be judged against the Vice President he was the chief national security adviser to. Because for all Biden's claims to the contrary, the president-elect's record on China is one of appeasement and hesitation. A record that China will very quickly seek to take advantage of. Positively, Sullivan has more recently written in favor of taking challenging China on matters of technology and trade. And I would suggest his favor towards the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is apt (Trump is wrong, here). Yet, what China is now doing in the South China Sea, in trade manipulation, in human rights desecration, and in online malevolence, is not just a major challenge. These actions represent a deliberate and coordinated effort to replace the U.S.-led liberal international order with a Beijing-centered feudal mercantile order. If allowed to advance, that Chinese Communist order will make the world - and Americans - poorer and less free. As a most basic minimum, confidence that our government will counter China requires said government's willingness to describe China as an adversary. Sullivan won't do that.

Where does this leave us?
Well, that this is a good man who wants to do what's best for America. But a man who is wrong on the core concerns. A man who is more comfortable with addressing American enemies with words than confrontation, and with building alliances on the back of requests rather than reciprocity-driven action. In an August conference call, Sullivan hinted that he had little humility or concerns over the Obama administration's failures. Instead, he said, that administration offered an example for Biden to follow, because it recognized that the choice to "leverage diplomacy backed by pressure, is the kind of formula that can work again to make progress, not just on the core nuclear issues but on some of [the] other challenges as well."

Just as alliances require surety, pressure doesn't count for much if it is unbound from unyielding expectation and associated consequence.

Saudi Arabia-Israel link said planned as part of new Google fiber-optic cable
US tech giant Google is planning to deploy a fiber-optic network that will run through Saudi Arabia and Israel to open a new global internet traffic corridor, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the plans.

The network will, for the first time, link two nations that have no official diplomatic connection but are showing signs of warming relations. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Saudi Arabia on Sunday, where he met with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Israeli and Saudi officials said Monday. The visit marked the first known high-level meeting between an Israeli and a Saudi leader.

The project, which will connect India and Europe, is Google’s newest cross-world infrastructure feat. The search engine’s parent company Alphabet Inc. competes with Facebook to build more powerful networks to support growing global internet demand and make Google more competitive as a cloud-based service provider.

The underwater cable project, called Blue Raman route, will be more than 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles) long and is expected to cost $400 million, according to calculations by Salience Consulting, a Dubai-based communications company, cited in the WSJ report.
El Al announces flights to Dubai starting December
Israel's flag carrier El Al announced on Monday it will launch direct flights to Dubai starting Dec 13.

The airline said it will operate three flights to the UAE on Sundays and Thursdays and two flights in the rest of the week.

An Emirati official stands near an air-plane of El Al, which carried a US-Israeli delegation to the UAE following a normalisation accord, upon it's arrival at the Abu Dhabi airport

The company will reportedly use its 737-900 Boeing aircraft as well its newest acquisition, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Prices for a round trip flight ticket to Dubai in economy class, not including baggage and seating, will start at $299. A ticket for the premium class will start at $599 and tickets for the business class will start at $899.

VP of Commerce & Aviation at EL AL, Miki Strassburger said: “Three months El Al's first historic commercial flight between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, which was also the first Israeli flight to pass over Saudi Arabia, we are pleased to announce the launch of regular flights to the UAE and are excited to reunite with our customers on direct flights to Dubai.”

Despite the announcement, only Israelis with a foreign passport will be able to enter Dubai, at least until Israel and the UAE sign a visa exemption agreement between them.

Netanyahu to follow Saudi visit with Bahrain trip
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday announced plans to travel to Bahrain in the aftermath of his unusual visit to Saudi Arabia, a country that has no ties with Israel.

As a sign of Netanyahu’s deepening relationship with regional Arab leaders, Netanyahu said he had spoken Monday with Bahraini Prime Minister Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

“This was our second conversation; it was very friendly,” Netanyahu said.

“Both of us are very moved by the fact that we can bring peace to our peoples and our countries in a very short time. Therefore, he also invited me to make an official visit to Bahrain soon. I will do so, on your behalf, with pleasure,” Netanyahu said on Tuesday.

Israel this month ratified its normalization deal with Bahrain, which followed a similar deal with the United Arab Emirates.

Last Wednesday, Netanyahu hosted a trilateral meeting between himself, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani in Jerusalem.
Sudan denies knowledge of Israeli delegation’s visit to Khartoum
Sudan’s government on Tuesday denied having information about the visit of an Israeli delegation to Khartoum that an Israeli official had revealed the previous day.

“The cabinet is not aware of an Israeli delegation and we have no confirmation that this visit took place,” government spokesman Faisal Mohammed Saleh told AFP.

“We also have no information on a Sudanese delegation visiting Israel.”

On Monday, a senior Israeli official said the Jewish state had sent a delegation to Sudan — the first such visit since last month’s announcement of an agreement to normalize relations between the two countries.

The Israel-Sudan pact has yet to be formally signed.

“We have a preexisting deal that normalization with Israel should be approved by the transitional parliament,” said Saleh.

Before that happens, “there should not be any form of communication with Israel,” he added.
PA: We hope Saudi Arabia won’t join normalization with Israel
Palestinian officials in Ramallah said on Monday they were not surprised to hear of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s secret visit to Saudi Arabia, where he met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but expressed hope that Riyadh would not establish relations with Israel.

Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, meanwhile, strongly condemned the visit, dubbing it a dangerous precedent.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, in opening remarks during the weekly meeting of the PA cabinet, did not comment directly on reports about the secret meeting but warned that “attempts to portray normalization between Israel and the Arab countries as a substitute for peace with the Palestinians is an escape from the truth.”

Shtayyeh said that the Palestinians were “saddened by the news that Arab countries are talking about opening embassies in Israel”, referring to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the two Gulf states which signed peace agreements with Israel this year. Shtayyeh noted they do not even have embassies or diplomatic missions “on the lands of the State of Palestine.”

He called for dialogue among the Arab countries concerning normalization with Israel and pressed for Arab coordination with the Palestinian leadership on issues that affect the Palestinians.

Lebanese Singer Elissa: Israel Being Our Enemy Is "the Biggest Lie we Have Been Living"
Lebanese Singer Elissar Zakaria Khoury, known by her stage name Elissa, said in a November 12, 2020 interview on MTV (Lebanon) that the recent talk about demarcation of Lebanon’s borders with Israel is evidence that Israel is not really Lebanon’s enemy, and that there has been a conspiracy to spread this lie. She said she supported peace with any country. She also said that Lebanese politicians Dr. Samir Geagea and Saad Hariri should be held accountable for bringing Lebanese President Michel Aoun to power. In addition, Elissa said that Lebanon’s leaders would all quit if they had any self-respect or if they contemplated what the people think of them.

Hizbullah Warns Lebanon’s President Not to Negotiate Directly with Israel
Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah declared on November 11, 2020, that responsibility for negotiations over sea border demarcation with Israel, like the land border, rests with the Lebanese state, headed by President Michel Aoun. Nasrallah stressed that it was not Hizbullah’s business to intervene in the matter. In doing so, Nasrallah clarified that Hizbullah does not oppose talks between Israel and Lebanon on marking the maritime economic border that were going on in Nakura.1

The newspaper Al-Akhbar, which is close to Hizbullah, reported on November 24, 2020, that Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, invited President Aoun to talks in Europe to advance the currently stalled water boundary negotiations. “I am convinced,” Steinitz asserted, “that if we could meet face-to-face in a European country in order to have open, or secret, negotiations, we would have a good chance of resolving the maritime border dispute once and for all.”2

The al-Akhbar commentary emphasized that Lebanon had agreed to negotiate the maritime demarcation under U.S. pressure, which together with Israel thought that Lebanon’s economic distress would result in concessions by Lebanon and compliance with Israel’s demands. Moreover, Israel expected in vain that progress on marking the maritime border would open the door to a discussion on normalization between the two countries.3

Hizbullah warned President Michel Aoun, through Al Akhbar, and threatened that any responsiveness to an Israeli invitation would undermine relations between Hizbullah and the Lebanese president and his party, which is a political ally of Hizbullah.
Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Scholar: Boycotting French Products Is Obligatory for All Muslims
Egyptian politician Muhammad Al-Sagheer, who served as an advisor to the Egyptian Minister of Religious Endowments and an MP under Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood government, said in a November 20, 2020 interview on Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar) that boycotting French products is the least that the Muslims can do to oppose France. Sheikh Al-Sagheer, who was speaking from Doha, said that France is a colonialist state that is harboring “extreme Catholicism” and that is waging a war on Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. He added that any economic or business contracts between Muslims and French companies are null and void.

IDF, Shin Bet Bust Hamas Funding Network at Birzeit University
Five students at Birzeit University near Ramallah have been arrested for their role in a Hamas money transfer scheme in a joint operation of the Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet security agency operation, it was cleared for publication on Monday.

The students maintained contact with senior Hamas officials based in Turkey for the purpose of transferring funds through the Gaza Strip to Judea and Samaria.

The transfer method worked as follows: One of the students would submit a funding request for kutla (Islamic student group) activities, Hamas leaders in Turkey would approve the request and instruct Hamas headquarters in Gaza to transfer the funds. The money would be transferred via credit cards by individuals who had entered Israel for medical treatment. The students would then withdraw the funds at ATM machines across Ramallah.

Additionally, some of the students also confessed that they had agreed to carry out shooting attacks on Israeli settlers and IDF troops in the area.

According to a senior IDF official, “Hamas headquarters in Turkey and the Gaza Strip exploit students who study on their families’ dime and harms them. The students are involved in terrorist activity, are arrested, and don’t finish their studies, thus hurting their families.”

Arab authors call for UAE boycott
A group of Arab authors are calling for a boycott of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) and the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, which are both funded by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to protest Abu Dhabi's decision to normalize ties with Israel, according to Financial Times.

Seventeen former IPAF winners, as well as jury members and shortlisted authors wrote a letter in which they appealed to the trustees of the IPAF event to stop taking Emirati funding for the prize to "maintain its independence."

Palestinian academic and author Khaled Hroub, a founding member of the IPAF, said he could no longer be associated with the award while it is funded by the UAE and resigned in protest. The UAE’s decision was a “shocking and sad trade-off” for the rights of Palestinians, he told Financial Times.

“I used to have great cultural contacts in the UAE over the years, had many Emirati friends and took part in many activities, book fairs and festivals in the country. These activities have certainly contributed to the Arab cultural scene. But all this has now been thrown into uncertainty and replaced by Israel,” he was quoted as saying.

Palestinian-Jordanian author Ibrahim Nasrallah, Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury and Moroccan author Bensalem Himmich were also signatories. IPAF was launched in Abu Dhabi in 2007 in co-operation with the Booker Prize Foundation, a UK charity.
Attorney: Palestinian Soccer Chief is Terror Supporter

PMW: PA libel: Israel “is deliberately killing the Palestinian children” - PA TV host demonizes Israel on kids’ program
On the occasion of International Children's Day, Palestinian children were taught that Israel "deliberately" targets and murders them. This demonization of Israel was fed to the young viewers by the host on official PA TV's kids' program The Best Home:

Official PA TV children’s host Walaa Al-Battat: “Unfortunately – and this is a very painful thing that I want to tell you about – a number of friends have lost their right to live because the occupation is deliberately killing the Palestinian children, and this is a very painful thing.”
[Official PA TV, The Best Home, Nov. 21, 2020]

Official PA TV News repeated this libel as well, falsely claiming that Israel murders Palestinian children in “random summary executions”: Official PA TV reporter: “The Palestinian children are being subjected to random summary executions, and there is no security for their lives that are threatened by danger at every moment. Every one of them – on the road or at home – is a candidate to be the next Martyr.” [Official PA TV News, Nov. 20, 2020]

“Allah willing, one day, my children friends, our entire land will return to us” - PA TV host

“Jews have no right” to the Temple Mount – PA official

PA Shari’ah Judge: “Allah, liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque… from the impurity of the occupying thieves”

Iran Can’t Wait for Biden And everyone else is preparing for a war.
President Hassan Rouhani celebrated media claims of Biden's victory as “an opportunity for the next US government to make up for past mistakes." “The next American administration will surrender to the Iranian nation," the Iranian leader boasted after the election.

The terrorist state’s vice president hailed the end of President Trump’s “warmongering”.

The Islamic terrorist state has every reason to want Biden in the White House. The full scope of Iran’s interference in our presidential election still remains unknown, but one dirty trick involved sending threatening emails to Florida and Arizona voters from “Trump supporters”. A video showed Iranian hackers supposedly sending in illegitimate absentee ballots using stolen voter data, and the Director of National Intelligence warned that Iran had accessed voter data.

“Iran has no interest in interfering in the U.S. election and no preference for the outcome,” Iran's spokesman at the UN claimed.

But Iran’s preference for Biden is an even worse kept secret than its nuclear program. The Iran Lobby had been investing in Biden before anyone outside D.C. or Delaware knew him.

Forty years ago during the Iran Hostage Crisis, Biden had been against rescuing the American hostages, putting him even further on the appeasement side than the Carter administration.

After September 11, Biden even suggested, “this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Khamenei Disappointed Not To Be Named Part Of Biden Transition Team (satire)
Insider reports emerged today that Iran’s Supreme Leader has admitted he feels let down at the fact that the incoming US president has not seen fit to invite him to participate in shaping the next administration directly.

Aides to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of the Islamic Republic of Iran disclosed Tuesday that their leader had expected to form part of Joe Biden’s transition team, and now admits to disappointment that such a position has not come to pass.

“It’s not a big deal, I don’t think,” explained one official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It was just the general thrust of the way things were going, with all the conciliatory rhetoric from Biden and some of his coterie, about going back into the JCPOA and maybe lifting some sanctions – it seemed that making everything the next administration aims to do dovetail with the Ayatollah’s interests was the new trend, nd what could serve that trend better than having the Supreme Leader himself take part? So you can see he might find this a letdown of sorts.”

A second anonymous adviser also noted that some time remains before the situation can change. “There could be late hires,” he argued. “Perhaps with all the current brouhaha in American society surrounding the Trump campaign’s legal battles against the vote tallies, Biden prefers to disturb the waters only a little at a time. Think about how Republicans would pounce all over again were this announcement to take place right now. Give it a week or two.”

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


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