Wednesday, January 13, 2021

From Ian:

Michael Oren: The Death of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
The Abraham Accords merely dealt a coup de grace to this myth, but it had in fact been dying for decades. The process began with the Egypt-Israel peace treaty of 1979, the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO and the following year, Israel’s peace agreement with Jordan. Two Gulf wars, in 1991 and 2003, proved once again that the Arabs had faced bigger threats than Israel, and the Arab Spring of 2011 demonstrated that Middle Easterners had other things on their minds, such as democracy and freedom.

Yet still the myth persisted, albeit in a pared-down form. If, in the past, regional stability was only attainable through Arab-Israeli peace, now that peace could be achieved solely through Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation and the creation of a Palestinian state. This notion was enshrined in numerous organizations such as the U.S.-based Alliance for Middle East Peace and the European Union’s Middle East Peace Projects, which were not really dedicated to regional peace but almost exclusively to an Israeli-Palestinian accord. “Recognizing that the Israeli-Palestinian issue was at the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict,” the Foundation for Middle East Peace was established in Washington.

Not surprisingly, then, Palestinian-Israeli linkage became official American policy. “Of all the problems the administration faces globally ... This is the epicenter,” President Obama’s National Security Adviser, Jim Jones, declared in 2010. “If God had appeared in front of the President and said he could do one thing on the planet it would be the two-state solution.” Six years later, Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that “There will be no ... Separate peace with the Arab world without ... Palestinian peace. That is a hard reality.”

Like the Arab-Israeli linkage concept, the reduced Israeli-Palestinian version was disproved by the Abraham Accords and the agreement between Israel and Morocco. Though the Arab signatories continued to pledge fealty to the Palestinian cause, they effectively sidestepped the issue and even hinted that the Palestinians themselves were to blame. After rejecting three offers of statehood in the West Bank and Gaza—in 2000, 2001, and 2008—and then failing to take advantage of the eight years of Barack Obama’s highly sympathetic presidency, the Palestinians could no longer wield a veto power over peace. Eager to access Israeli technology and to ally with Israeli military strength, many Arabs states were ready to move on.

Their decision has irrevocably changed the region and created numerous opportunities. In addition to wedding the world’s most innovative state with some of the most affluent, the treaties will help erect a united front against common threats. They will also alter the peacemaking paradigm. If, in the past, the assumption was that Arab countries would first sign peace agreements with Israel and then only gradually normalize their relations with it, now normalization comes first with peace rendered largely a formality. If formerly Israel enjoyed peace with the leaders of Egypt and Jordan but not with their citizens, now the peace is not only between governments but peoples.

But there is one achievement that these diplomatic breakthroughs have not produced: an end to Middle Eastern conflict. On the contrary, such disputes will continue to plague the region and even proliferate. In place of the Arab-Israeli conflict, there is now a broader and potentially more explosive showdown between the Sunnis supported by Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and the Gulf states, and the Shiites backed by Iran. There is battle between moderate Sunnis and Islamic extremists, many of them embraced by Turkey. And there will still be civil wars in Syria and Yemen and chronic instability in Iraq. And there will be an unresolved conflict between Israel and the Palestinians waged in the U.N. and in the international courts but also, occasionally, on the battlefield.
UNRWA's education filled with hate, calls to jihad and violence - report
Educational content produced by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is filled with hate and encouragement to jihad, violence and martyrdom, and entirely devoid of any material that promotes peace and peace-making, according to the research institute IMPACT-se based out of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

IMPACT-se describes itself as a “research, policy and advocacy organization that monitors and analyzes education,” according to “international standards on peace and tolerance as derived from UNESCO declarations and resolutions.”

According to the report, children in the Gaza Strip are called upon to "defend the motherland with blood."

It can take the form of a math problem asking students to identify the correct number of martyrs from the First Intifada, to the complete eradication of Israel, a UN member state, from any maps featured in UNRWA-created books, with the entire territory being labelled as a modern-day Palestine with no demarcation lines.

When it is mentioned, Israel is usually referred to as “The Enemy” or the “Zionist Occupation,” a clear violation of the UN’s principles of neutrality that UNRWA is expected to prioritize, explained IMPACT-se in the research.
JCPA: An Israeli Official’s Meeting with Moroccan King Hassan II in 1993
From 1992 to 1994, I served as political advisor to the late Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, In that capacity, I was sent by Rabin to brief the King of Morocco, Hassan II, on Israel’s positions on the peace talks in 1993 with PLO leader Yasser Arafat after a bitter crisis over security responsibilities in the Judea, Samaria, and Gaza territories.

In view of the renewal of relations between Israel and Morocco, it is important to recall the 1993 encounter with the King and to take notice of his attitude towards Arafat and the Palestinian issue. The following appears in the book Between Rabin and Arafat, published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs in 2016.

On December 15, 1993, while Prime Minister and Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin was touring Gaza, Military Secretary Danny Yatom called me from the front and informed me that I was supposed to travel the next day with Member of the Knesset Rafi Edry to Morocco – and possibly to Tunis – in order to enlist the support of the King of Morocco and the President of Tunisia in the Israeli position in the negotiations with the PLO.

The meeting with King Hassan II of Morocco took place on December 18, 1993, at his Rabat palace. The King received us cordially in his grand chamber, and the conversation lasted about an hour – that is 20 minutes beyond its allotted time. The meeting was also attended by General Qadiri and Morocco’s Foreign Minister Abd al-Latif Filali. The conversation flowed, mostly in French and a bit of Arabic.

MK Edry opened and gave the King the Prime Minister’s blessing and explained that we had been dispatched to update His Majesty on the latest developments in negotiations with the PLO. He noted that the Prime Minister regularly briefs world leaders, especially President Clinton, President Mubarak, President Mitterrand, and him.

King Hassan II said, “Let me tell you first all I know. I met yesterday (December 17, 1993) with Mahmoud Abbas and told him that I was going to meet MK Edri and Dr. Neriah tomorrow. Abbas expressed warm words about Neriah and said he was a serious interlocutor. In truth, the Palestinians are frustrated with Arafat’s positions.


The Vaccine Blood Libel
The fact that Israel is eclipsing all countries in the world in terms of speed and efficiency of a national vaccine rollout does not vitiate Palestinian authority under Oslo and Amnesty bloody well knows that.

On Monday, a month or so after AP started sowing this latest Israel-Jew hating rumor, so enthusiastically lapped up in so many places, the PA very belatedly got around to issuing a media brief on this brouhaha, introducing the notion of “medical apartheid.” The lengthy document, likely produced in response to extreme pressure from the anti-Israel brigade, regurgitates all of the above attacks but, also, curiously omits mention of the ICRC commentary.

The issuance of this document is an unfortunate public humiliation of competent PA health officials. They have been managing the vaccine program capably thus far. And they, too, know better than to self-demean and outright lie.

By promoting the demonization of Israel in this context, the PA is forced to bow to its foreign propagandist overlords, practicing the most treacherous, sinister imperialism—while posing as superheroes concerned only with human rights.

If they truly were so high minded, Amnesty and their ilk would accept and encourage this considerable progress on the part of Palestinians to engage in critical self-determination efforts.

Instead, they bend over backward to perpetuate and reinforce a narrative of Palestinians as abject, helpless victims. It does nothing to reinforce their nascent and desperately needed foray into productive nation-building. Quite the opposite, it reinforces anger and hopelessness.

It also furthers the agenda of the Israel demonizers; a modern take on the Jew poisoning the wells in the Middle Ages.
Post Corona PodCast: When IS Post Corona, anyway? Part 1 – Vaccination Nation Hosted by Dan Senor
As we post this podcast, the US has vaccinated about 2 percent of its population, Canada is at 0.5 percent, France is at 0.001 percent, and Israel? 20 percent. By the end of this week, Israel will have vaccinated two-thirds of its population over 60 years old and most of the country’s medical staff, at which point they will all be called back for their second vaccination.

According to international studies, Israel’s healthcare system has been ranked among the most efficient in the world. And due to big data and AI, the Israeli health system is certainly one of the most digitally advanced.

What will we learn from Israel about a key stage of Post-Corona once it gets there?
UK looks to Israel’s ‘speed’ for Covid vaccination rollout
The UK this week copied the Israeli Covid-19 vaccination model as the government unveiled seven giant vaccination centres across England to boost numbers and streamline the process.

With three in the south-east, including one at the ExCel, the new mass vaccination centres are an idea borrowed from the Jewish state, which has led the world in getting its citizens immunised.

The UK’s vaccine deployment minister Nadhim Zahawi said the Israeli process meant that it took just four minutes for each patient to get the jab, which had informed Westminster’s focus on the “high throughput” facilities unveiled this week.

“One of the things we learned is the speed at which they can actually vaccinate people,” Zahawi told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

“We want to make sure that we get to similar speeds. They at about four minutes per patient. That’s the sort of target we want to make sure we deliver on. At this stage it’s a race against time.”

A spokeswoman for the Israeli embassy in London confirmed that the two countries were working together on vaccine programmes.
Israeli Data Shows First Pfizer Shot Curbs Infection



JPost Editorial: As Biden takes office, Israel should refrain from aggravating tension
During an Israeli election season it is plausible that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may want to act tough and show that he can confront the new administration. This would put Israel’s long-term goals at risk by giving anti-Israel voices in the US an excuse to attack Israel and work to weaken the alliance with the US.

Unfortunately those anti-Israel voices have sought to increase their role. Some of them, including people like former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes, often slam Israel and particularly Netanyahu. This means Israel is constantly on the radar in a negative way. Another voice is Tommy Vietor, the NSC spokesman under Obama who tweeted on Monday night, after Netanyahu’s decision to advance settlement construction a week before the Biden inauguration, that “Netanyahu again welcomes Joe Biden with a big f**k you in the form of new settlements.”

Knowing one’s adversaries and their agenda is key to maneuvering in this new reality. Since it is well known that there are those who will seek to harm Israel’s relations with the new administration, it is incumbent on Netanyahu to prioritize Israel’s relations with Washington over short term political gains. Israel wants to empower friends in the US, not harm them in the opening days of the new administration.

We don’t want Israel to be a talking point, wedge issue, or play any controversial role in the current domestic crisis taking place in the US. These are uncertain and sensitive times and the appearance of even one Israeli flag at far-right protests – like last week during the Capitol riot – is unhelpful and potentially damaging. Similarly unhelpful is providing any excuse for the anti-Israel lobby to get the Biden administration off on the wrong foot with the Jewish state.

Israel’s diplomatic goals for the weeks and months ahead should be to cement the new relationships forged by the Abraham Accords, make sure concerns about Iran are heard by the new US administration and further strengthen the US-Israel strategic relationship. That is how Israel can best ensure its interests during this very delicate time.
Pompeo to 'Post': Biden appeasing Iran would be bad for US security
Lifting sanctions on Iran while it continues to pursue its nuclear aspirations will endanger America and the world, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned in an interview for The Jerusalem Post-Khaleej Times conference this week.

“If we appease Iran, if we underwrite Iran, if we allow Europeans to reenter [Iran] and create wealth for the kleptocrats at the head of this theocracy, that would be a bad thing for the region’s security, for Europe’s security and for American security,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo expressed hope that President-elect Joe Biden’s administration “will recognize that this is not 2015… The whole world can recognize that Iran is the destabilizing influence in the whole Middle East.”

The Trump administration left the 2015 Iran deal in 2018, and has maintained a “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign against the Islamic Republic. Biden has said he intends to bring the US back to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iran deal’s official name, along with an Iranian return to compliance. Iran has repeatedly violated the agreement, most recently declaring last week that it would enrich uranium up to 20% in the underground Fordow facility.

As a result of the “maximum pressure,” Pompeo said “it’s very clear that Iran is more isolated than it has ever been.”

“Our decision to abandon the ridiculous thing called the JCPOA, which enabled, armed and provided resources and money to the largest state sponsor of terror in the world… put Iran in a place where it had to make hard decisions about its own economy, whether to feed its own people or fund Shi’a militias in Iraq and Syria,” he said.
Inside Israel’s social media campaign to woo the Middle East
Their mission: using social media to convince Arabs to embrace the Jewish state.

The team is spearheading an Arabic-language campaign via platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as part of a multi-pronged diplomatic effort to win over popular acceptance in the Middle East.

But overturning decades of hostility is no easy feat, despite Israel in recent months having secured landmark Washington-brokered deals with the governments of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.

The magnitude of the task was underscored by a recent online backlash after photographs of Egyptian actor and rapper Mohamed Ramadan partying with Israeli celebrities at a Dubai bar surfaced on social media in November, along with a video showing guests partying as the Jewish song “Hava Nagila” played.

The Israeli Arabic-language social media team re-posted the photos from its main Facebook and Twitter accounts, including one of Ramadan hanging an arm around the neck of Israeli pop star Omer Adam with the caption “art always brings us together.”

Israeli officials acknowledge the challenges of the task in a region where there is widespread support for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation or as refugees across the Middle East.
Could the UAE become one of Israel's largest trading partners?
Bilateral trade between Israel and the United Arab Emirates could realistically reach as high as $6.5 billion in several years, which would make the UAE one of Israel’s largest trading partners, Samir Chaturvedi, CEO of the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), said at the UAE-Israel Peace and Prosperity Roundtable, presented by The Khaleej Times and The Jerusalem Post.

“I think that’s a realistic goal, not overly optimistic,” Chaturvedi said in a fireside chat on increasing bilateral trade. “Both of our economies are similar, in terms of size, population and innovation.”

David Leffler, director-general of the Economy Ministry, agreed. “Both economies are export-oriented, and there are many reasons to be optimistic,” he said. “For example, the UAE imports about $58b. of precious stones and metals every year, and Israel imports $12b. That can come out of that.”

Therefore, Leffler said, after all the official ceremonies about peace, the next step is for the countries’ business communities to get to know each other.

In a talk on preparing for a decade of economic transformation, Hamad Buamim, chief CEO of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, expressed hope that normalization between the two countries will open up new opportunities in the post-pandemic world.

The year “2020 was a very difficult year, and everyone is looking for new markets to support economic recovery,” he said.
First of its kind: Bar-Ilan, UAE universities sign academic collaboration
Israel's Bar-Ilan University signed an agreement to academically collaborate with the UAE's Gulf Medical University on Monday via Zoom. GMU is considered to be one of the leading private medical universities in the region. The joint medical research agreement aims to advance medical research and public health in the Middle East.

“One of the most significant achievements of the Abraham Accords is the opportunity for academic collaboration between universities in Israel and the UAE," said BIU president Prof. Arie Zaban.

"Research and education in both countries will advance dramatically thanks to their human capital, which until now was unable to join forces for a common goal," he said. "We at Bar-Ilan University are proud to pave the way for such collaborative efforts in the fields of medical science and public health – fields in which we already play a leading role in Israel, by means of our innovative Azrieli Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee.

"I have no doubt that additional Bar-Ilan faculties will soon follow suit and widen the scope of collaboration between Bar-Ilan and universities in the UAE,” Zaban said.

GMU Chancellor Prof. Hossam Hamdy shared Zaban's enthusiastic sentiment: “The meeting here in Ajman between our researchers and researchers from the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine was incredibly exciting, as is the signing of this agreement, which will at last allow us to move forward with our ambitious plans for collaboration.

"We have waited for this moment for a long time, and as soon as the Abraham Accords were signed, our management seized the chance for a mutually beneficial cooperation with our counterparts in Israel. We hope to visit Israel shortly, and that the management of Bar-Ilan University will likewise visit us here.”
Israel, UAE sign visa-free travel agreement
Israel and the United Arab Emirates will allow visa-free travel between the countries, after the UAE ratified an agreement on the matter on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said “the ratification of the agreement is a central element of the full and quick implementation of the many agreements being worked on these days with the Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.”

Ashkenazi credited the Foreign Ministry with “quickly advancing the relations with these countries.”

The visa-free agreement will go into effect on February 12.

The UAE was originally expected to authorize the agreement in late December or early January, but deferred the final ratification.

Earlier this month, an Israeli diplomatic source said that the hold-up was due to large numbers of Israelis arriving in the UAE without visas in December, leaving the Emiratis to handle their cases upon arrival.

Last week, the Foreign Ministry confirmed that Eitan Naeh, the former ambassador to Turkey, will be Israel’s top diplomat in the UAE.
MEMRI: Moroccan Intellectual: Agreement With Israel Benefits Morocco Rather Than Harms It, As Some Claim
In a December 15, 2020 article, Ahmed Assid, a Moroccan secularist and political activist who belongs to the Amazigh (Berber) minority, welcomed Morocco's normalization agreement with Israel, which had been announced on December 10 along with a U.S. declaration recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara. Rejecting the position of the Arab nationalists and Islamists who claim that normalization will bring destruction and civil war upon Morocco, Assid stressed that it is not Israel that undermines the stability of the region, but rather the terrorist and violent policy of anti-Israeli elements. Some opponents of normalization, such as the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), he added, are hypocrites, since they criticize countries that hold ties with Israel but at the same time strive to maintain relations with it themselves. The real threat to Morocco, he concluded, are the extremist Islamists of the MB and Salafi movements, who divide society and sow ignorance and violence.

The following are translated excerpts from Assid's article:[1]
"The U.S. decision [to recognize Morocco's sovereignty over the Western] Sahara, and Morocco's decision to renew the open relations with Israel, triggered a flood of negative reactions, all of which [claimed] that this move harms the stability of the region and may plunge it into a vortex of violence, social unrest, etc. The first to issue this 'prophecy' was Palestinian journalist 'Abd Al-Bari 'Atwan, who wrote in an article in [the online daily] Rai Al-Yawm… that 'the Morocco-Israel agreement may be a recipe for civil war or even for wars [between] and unrest within the Maghreb countries, which have heretofore been immune to the wars and unrest that characterized the Arab East.'[2] The same position was taken by the [pro-Palestinian] Moroccan Organization for the Support of National Causes, which condemned the renewal of the ties with Israel, describing it as a move 'which will cost Morocco dearly [and undermine] its history, stability, future and relations with the region.'[3]

"The Al-Tawhid Wal-Islah movement, the da'wa [Islamic proselytizing] arm of [Morocco's ruling] Justice and Development Party,[4] which is seeing one of its worst periods in government, issued a condemnation of its own, stating that '[the renewal of] relations with Israel opens the door to [Israel's] infiltration of [the Moroccan] state and society, which threatens the integrity of the social fabric and the stability and unity of the homeland…'[5]
MEMRI: Pakistan's Islamic Clerics Debate Normalization Of Relations With Israel
Pakistan is once again engaged in an intellectual debate about its religious identity. The issue is whether to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, which, seen as the Jewish state, Pakistanis deem ideologically incompatible with the Islamic State of Pakistan. Pakistanis view their country as the Medina-e-Saani, the second Medina, after the holy city of Medina, which was the first Islamic state established by Prophet Muhammad after he proclaimed Islam.

Although this debate has been a recurring theme in Pakistan's intellectual life, it re-emerged recently after several Islamic countries – the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco – decided to normalize relations with Israel. In December 2020, Pakistan's top-ranking Islamic scholar, Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani, reignited this debate by publicly advocating normalization with Israel.

Sherani is not an ordinary Islamic cleric in Pakistan. He has served two terms in Pakistan's National Assembly and has also served as chairman of Pakistan's Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), a constitutional body tasked with ensuring that the religious identity of the state of Pakistan remains in compliance with Islamic shari'a. He was also a central leader of the religious-political party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) but has now been expelled.

Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani: "Educated Muslims Need To Understand That The Koran And History Prove To Us That The Land Of Israel Belongs Only To The Jews"

In an interview, Sherani said: "This is an international issue. I support recognition of Israel [by the state of Pakistan]"; "Educated Muslims need to understand that the Koran and history prove to us that the Land of Israel belongs only to the Jews. King David built the house of God in Jerusalem for the Israelis [sic] and not for the Palestinians."[1] He said: "It is worthy of the intellectual Muslims to read the Holy Koran ... [where Allah] said to the Prophet Moses: We have given land in your name or we have given land to your followers."[2]


Shots fired at IDF bulldozers in 2 attacks on Gaza border, none injured
Gunshots were fired at Israeli military bulldozers operating on the southern Gaza border in two separate attacks on Wednesday afternoon, the Israel Defense Forces said.

No Israeli troops were injured. At least one vehicle was lightly damaged, the military said.

In response to the two attacks, Israeli tanks shelled empty Hamas positions near the border. Palestinian media published photos of the demolished posts, which were principally constructed of tin sheets.

Residents of southern Israel, as well as Palestinian media outlets, reported that Israeli fighter jets were heard overhead following the second exchange.

The first shooting attack was reported shortly after noon Wednesday. Just over an hour later, the military said a second round of shots were fired at another engineering vehicle on the border.

Photographs of the bulldozer that was hit in the first shooting, which were quickly shared on social media, showed damage caused to the vehicle’s bulletproof windshields.
Syrian Army Says Israeli Jets Struck Iran-Backed Militias in Eastern Syria
Syria said Israel bombed Iranian-backed militia bases near the Iraqi border in the early hours of Wednesday, in a raid which military defectors and Western intelligence sources said was one of Israel’s most extensive in recent months.

Syrian news agency SANA and state media said Israel had struck sites in Al Bukamal, a border town on the Euphrates river which lies on an important supply route, as well as areas in the province and city of Deir al Zor, where the militias have a heavy presence.

Israel’s military did not immediately comment. Asked by Israel’s Reshet Bet radio about the reports, Israeli Settlement Affairs Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said he would not comment about the incident.

But Hanegbi said Israel targeted Iranian targets in Syria “time after time … whenever our intelligence dictates it and according to our operational capability.”

Israel’s Defence Force Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said last month that missile strikes had “slowed down Iran’s entrenchment in Syria”.

Israel has said its goal is to end Tehran’s military presence, which Western intelligence sources say has expanded in Syria in recent years.

The Western intelligence sources said the raids on Wednesday focused on Al Bukamal, which lies on the most important land route for deliveries of Iranian weapons and fighters into Syria, and ranged in territory from the east of Deir al Zor province to the city of al Mayadeen, the provincial capital, in the vicinity of its airport.
Monitor: Alleged Israeli Airstrikes Kill 16 in Syria

Police say Palestinian shot after trying to stab officer near Hebron shrine
A Palestinian man tried to stab an Israeli policeman outside Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs and was shot and wounded by the officers early Wednesday, police said.

The suspected attacker, 22, was hit in the leg and was moderately wounded, police said.

There were no injuries to the Border Police force.

The shrine, revered as the final resting place of most of the Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs, is one of the holiest sites in Judaism and is also revered by Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque.

The flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron, where Palestinians live in close proximity to settlers who are guarded by Israeli troops, has been the scene of numerous stabbings and attempted stabbings.

The incident came hours after a Palestinian man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of trying to stab Israeli guards with a screwdriver at a West Bank crossing.

The suspect, a 51-year-old from Nablus, arrived by foot at the Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem, but didn’t have a permit to enter Israel, according to police.
PMW: PA slow to secure Covid-19 vaccines, so it decides to blame Israel
Palestinian Media Watch has repeatedly exposed that the PA often blames Israel for its ‎own failures, and the PA’s behavior following its inability to acquire the Covid‏-‏‎19 ‎vaccine fast enough is no different.‎

The PA has been assuring its population for two months that its Ministry of Health is in ‎control, has ordered vaccines, and that their arrival is imminent, without Israel's help. ‎However, it is not progressing to their satisfaction, so the PA has chosen its default ‎excuse for all PA failures: to blame Israel!‎

Already on Nov. 21, 2020, the PA Minister of Health, Mai Alkaila, met with the WHO, ‎UNICEF, UNRWA, the PA Ministry of Finance, the PA Ministry of Information, and the ‎Epidemiological Committee. Alkaila announced that the PA would “submit the ‎necessary documents to the WHO and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and ‎Immunization (GAVI) to ensure that Palestine is provided with adequate coronavirus ‎vaccines.” [Wafa, Official PA news agency (English), Nov. 21, 2020] Israel was not ‎even part of the meeting.‎

Now after two months, the PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs changed tunes and ‎launched a demonization campaign against Israel accusing Israel of racism and what ‎they called ”health apartheid,” because Palestinians are not being vaccinated by ‎Israel: ‎
“The [PA] Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates emphasized in a statement ‎yesterday evening that Israel’s obligation as the occupying power is to supply ‎the Palestinian people with Coronavirus vaccines. This is at a time when it is ‎supplying these vaccines to its citizens, ignoring its obligations as an occupying ‎power, racially discriminating against the Palestinian people, and negating ‎its right to health [services]… The Ministry of Foreign Affairs praised the ‎positions of the states, institutions, parliamentarians, jurists, and international ‎figures who have viewed Israel’s violations as an apartheid against the ‎Palestinian people in the field of health.” ‎
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 10, 2021] ‎


This sudden attack ignores the fact that the PA did not want Israel's help and did not ‎ask for Israel's help, and contradicts its repeated assurances that it succeeded to ‎secure the vaccines.‎
MEMRI: Palestinian Authority Commemorates, Glorifies Terrorists In 'Martyr Day' Events; Article In PA Daily: Jesus Was The First Palestinian Martyr
As it does every year, the Palestinian Authority (PA) marked Palestinian Martyr Day (January 6) with events and activities glorifying the ethos of armed resistance against Israel and the actions of the "martyrs," including terrorists who killed Israeli civilians and soldiers. This year the PA's Higher Council for Youth and Sports, headed by Fatah Central Committee secretary Jibril Rajoub, marked the day by launching a commemoration project sponsored by PA President and Fatah Chairman Mahmoud 'Abbas, in which a tree will be planted for every Palestinian martyr. At the launching ceremony, attended by Palestinian officials, trees were planted for terrorists like Islamic Jihad secretary-general Fathi Al-Shqaqi; Dalal Al-Mughrabi, deputy commander of the Coastal Road massacre, in which 35 Israeli civilians were killed, and Bilal 'Adnan Rawajba, a Palestinian Preventive Security officer who carried out a shooting attack in November 2020. In addition, the PA press and Fatah's social media pages published statements and articles praising the martyrs and presenting them as sources of pride and emblems of Palestinian liberty.

This report reviews some of the PA's Martyr Day events and articles published on the occasion in the PA media.
As stated, the PA's Higher Council for Youth and Sports, headed by Fatah Central Committee secretary Jibril Rajoub, marked the day by launching a commemoration project sponsored by President 'Abbas, in which olive trees will be planted in the martyrs' memory in all the PA governorates, "from Jenin to Rafah," during 2021.[1] Named "Living and Surviving," the project was launched with a ceremony in Independence Park in the Ramallah, attended by family members of martyrs and by Fatah, PLO and PA officials, including Jibril Rajoub, Fatah Central Committee members Sabri Saidam and 'Abbas Zaki, and PLO Executive Committee members Wasel Abu Yousuf and Saleh Rafat.[2]

During the ceremony, trees were planted in memory of prominent terrorists such as Islamic Jihad secretary-general Fathi Al-Shqaqi; Dalal Al-Mughrabi, who participated in the 1978 Coastal Road massacre, in which 35 Israeli civilians were killed, and who is commemorated by the PA in numerous ways,[3] and Bilal 'Adnan Rawajba, a Palestinian Preventive Security officer who carried out a shooting attack only several months ago, on November 4, 2020.
PA: Jews visiting the Temple Mount are “defiling the Al-Aqsa Mosque”
Official PA TV host: What are you thinking to do this year [2021] to stop these attacks, these break-ins by the hateful extremist settlers who are defiling the Al-Aqsa Mosque…

Al-Aqsa Mosque Manager Omar Al-Kiswani: The fact that Israeli Parliament members [visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza] constitutes dangerous signs of an attempt to impose facts on the ground at the Al-Aqsa Mosque [plaza].
[Official PA TV, Good Morning Jerusalem, Jan. 1, 2021]

The PA and its leaders misrepresent all of the Temple Mount as an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Therefore, they vilify any presence of Jews on the mount as a "break-in." It should be noted that Jews who visit the Temple Mount only enter some sections of the open areas, and do not enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock. Israeli police ban Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount because of threats of violence by Palestinians.


Hamas official says Qatar to provide aid to Gaza for another year
Senior Hamas terror group official Moussa Abu Marzouk announced on Tuesday that Qatar will continue to provide humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip for another year.

“The Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, informed us of the renewal of the Qatari grant for a full year, rather than another six months,” Abu Marzouk said in a statement put out by Hamas media.

Qatari aid had previously been set to expire in March, although Qatari authorities had indicated that they would extend the aid package.

Abu Marzouk said that Qatar would be providing $30 million as part of its monthly stipend for poor families in the Gaza Strip. In 2019, $150 million in Qatari fuel subsidies alone were dispensed in the Gaza Strip, which suffers from chronic power shortages.

With Israel’s approval, Qatar since 2018 has periodically provided millions of dollars in cash to Gaza’s Hamas rulers to pay for fuel for the Strip’s power plant, allow the group to pay its civil servants and provide aid to tens of thousands of impoverished families.


Interpol Red Notices Issued for Ship Captain, Owner Over Beirut Blast: Lebanese State Media
Interpol has issued red notices for the captain and owner of the ship that carried the chemicals which devastated Beirut in an explosion in August, killing 200 people, Lebanon’s state media said.

Five months since one of the biggest non-nuclear blasts on record, big questions remain about the ammonium nitrate that detonated after being stored at the port for years.

The Interpol notices, which are not international arrest warrants, ask authorities worldwide to provisionally detain people pending possible extradition or other legal actions. Interpol issues them at the request of a member country.

State news agency NNA said on Tuesday that Interpol also issued a notice for a Portuguese trader who examined the cargo at Beirut port in 2014, without giving a name or further details.

The Interpol global police coordination agency says it does not confirm or deny red notices that are not publicly available on its website. An Interpol spokesperson said if there was a notice and it was not published online, that meant it was for law enforcement only.

Lebanese officials have faced accusations of negligence, with some port and customs employees detained in connection to the blast, which injured thousands of people. Families of the victims are still waiting for results of the investigation.

Lebanon’s public prosecution asked Interpol in October to issue arrest warrants for two people it had identified as the Russian captain and owner of the Rhosus ship which arrived in Beirut in 2013, security and judicial sources said.


UAE Has ‘No Reason’ to Be in Conflict With Turkey, Minister Says
The United Arab Emirates has no reason to be in conflict with Turkey and wants Ankara to stop being the “primary backer” of the Muslim Brotherhood, a top official said.

“We want to tell Turkey that we want normal relations with it that respect mutual sovereignty,” Anwar Gargash, minister of State for Foreign Affairs told Sky News Arabia. “We don’t have any problems with Turkey, like border issues or other such issues,” he said.

The call for Turkey to “recalibrate its relations with Arabs” comes as the UAE and neighbor Saudi Arabia ended a three-year economic and political boycott of gas-rich Qatar, which pushed the Gulf nation closer to Ankara. Abu Dhabi and Ankara are on opposing sides of a proxy war in Libya and disagree on issues ranging from Syria and Iraq to the eastern Mediterranean.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are suspicious of Turkey’s influence in Arab countries and see its regional ambitions as diametrically opposed to their own. Qatar and Turkey don’t share their antipathy toward the Muslim Brotherhood.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said last month that the UAE’s policies toward his nation “are absolutely not friendly” and efforts to mediate “haven’t done any good.”
General Hossein Salami Commander-in-Chief of the IRGC: Our Ballistic Missile Power is Non-Negotiable
General Hossein Salami, commander-in-Chief of the IRGC spoke about Iran’s ballistic missile capability on Al-Manar TV (Hizbullah-Lebanon) on January 7, 2021. He said that Iran now has so many missiles that they have a problem finding depots to store them all. Salami said that Iran’s missile power is one of its essential “pillars of deterrence.” He added that the issue of Iran’s ballistic missiles is non-negotiable, and its “fundamental policy” regarding the missiles will enable it to conduct a lengthy missile war. Salami added that seeing that the Trump era is drawing to a close, and it seems unlikely that the U.S. would enter into a long war in the region, at the behest of Saudi Arabia or Israel. Regarding the “reactionary and lackey countries” that have normalized relations with Israel, Salami said that Iran “will not overlook and we will not forgive any country that becomes a source of threat […] anyone who hosts threats [against Iran] will have to pay the price for that.”




PreOccupiedTerritory: My Incitement Focuses On Jews, So At Least My Twitter Account Is Safe by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader, Islamic Republic of Iran (satire)
Recent uproar over the harsh response to US President Donald Trump’s lifetime banishment from social media giant Twitter has called attention to the tech company’s alleged laxity in enforcing its standards elsewhere, leading numerous concerned parties to challenge the firm on why the government of China, for example, may maintain a Twitter presence despite that regime’s genocidal policies and flagrant false propaganda. I, however, need not worry that my ongoing calls for the destruction of an entire nation-state will result in any such action affecting my account, because that nation-state is merely a Jewish one. Twitter’s principal rationale for banning Trump involved his use of the platform to encourage supporters in their demonstrations on behalf of his claim that his loss in the November elections resulted from fraud, many of whom resorted to violence. The social media backlash against him, and then against conservative voices in general, soon spread to other social media platforms, to the point that the conservative-heavy alternative to Twitter called Parler found itself without the basic services such a company needs to function. But none of that need concern me; I focus only on calling for the indiscriminate murder of millions of Jews, and Twitter is fine with that. It’s just Jews, and wanting them to suffer and die is as old the hills. This does not mean I don’t call for the violent deaths on non-Jews; my call for the destruction of the Zionist Entity all but presumes the collateral damage of up to two million Muslim deaths in the process; our ambitions toward acquiring atomic weapons and ballistic missile technology do not extend to developing a weapon that would only kill Jews. Moreover, our hegemonic ambitions for the region have directly involved the ethnic cleansing and massacres of Syrians, Iraqis, Yemenis, and whoever else happens to live in our way. Also we shoot down Russian airliners in a hissy fit over the assassination of the guy in charge of all that ethnic cleansing, but, you know, side quests.





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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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