Thursday, January 14, 2021

From Ian:

Seth Frantzman: B’Tselem's Israel 'apartheid' accusation masks its own sinister agenda
The real story here is that this is all part of a broader agenda. The notion that Israel exists as one state, encompassing Gaza and the West Bank, is increasingly being used by anti-Israel activists in the West in an effort to promote it as a solution. Their goal is to force Israelis and Palestinians into a single country that both sides have already rejected.

Dr. Sara Yael Hirschhorn, author of City on a Hilltop, recently noted that “B'Tselem needs to be honest about the fact that its endgame here is a one-state solution between the river and the sea, and the erasure of the Jewish character of the State of Israel.”

When the Left-wing writer Peter Beinart argued last year in favour of a “one-state solution”, he didn’t seem to have consulted with Palestinians. In July 2020 Beinart, together with other prominent progressives, debated the “viability of a binational state of ‘Israel-Palestine’ as an alternate path forward.”

No Palestinians took part in this all-Jewish panel. In an irony of the “apartheid” discussion, there is often an apartheid on left-wing panels discussing the matter: Palestinians are systematically excluded from expressing their needs by the Israel-bashing radical left.

The evidence shows that Palestinians don’t want to vote in Israeli elections, no matter how many times activists claim that Israel excludes them from voting. They want to vote for their own representatives. Only two percent of Palestinians in East Jerusalem make their voices heard in Jerusalem municipal elections. And there is no evidence that people in Gaza want to governed by Israel and vote for members of the Knesset.

The fact is that despite B’Tselem’s claim, one government does not rule everything between the river and the sea and Israelis and Palestinians don’t want to live in one state. They may have trouble divorcing from each other – and Israel’s military rule in the West Bank may be imperfect – but Israelis and Palestinians will link arms to resist an attempt to impose a single state upon them.

In essence, the Left’s support for one state is a throwback to the colonial era of the British mandate, which ruled the entire area. The discussions about it are paternalistic, rarely including Hebrew-speaking Israelis or Arabic-speaking Palestinians. Almost no one from Gaza to Ramallah, from Haifa to Ashdod, actually wants to be forced to live together after years of working to be separate. Especially by Western liberals.


B’Tselem and the Israel ‘Apartheid’ Myth
Previously, B’Tselem for the most part limited its criticism to Israeli policies that apply to Palestinians living beyond the pre-1967 borders (i.e. the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and the eastern part of Jerusalem). Now, the organization appears to have ventured into new territory: claiming that Zionism — namely, the right of Jewish people to self-determination — has produced an apartheid regime, even within what is regarded as Israel proper:
Israel is not a democracy that has a temporary occupation attached to it; it is one regime from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and we must look at the full picture and see it for what it is: apartheid.

Yet, facts are stubborn things, and in Israel, unlike the past situation in South Africa, national law guarantees equal rights for all.

And while the situation in the West Bank is more complex, Israel has on multiple occasions offered the Palestinians generous peace deals to end the prevailing status quo. Indeed, every Israeli prime minister since Yitzhak Rabin over a quarter century ago has publicly accepted in principle the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, only to be rebuffed by Ramallah.

Whereas the ultimate fate of the West Bank is a matter of robust debate even amongst Israelis, what is certain is that the media has spread an outright falsehood by suggesting that Israel is an apartheid state. Arab-Israeli citizens have the same freedom of movement and speech as their Jewish counterparts; receive an education and health care; are able to vote; and can work in whatever professions they choose. They also serve throughout the government, in the Knesset, and on the Supreme Court.

But the news coverage of B’Tselem and its latest report paints a distorted picture. As a result, opponents of the Jewish state can more readily discharge a loaded word that is not only totally inaccurate, but also used as ammunition by those who want to see Israel eradicated.

And the media is seemingly all-too-eager to jump on the bandwagon.


US envoy: Trump admin turning Middle East from challenge to positive force
Lightstone has been instrumental in getting normalization between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco off the ground, repeatedly jetting in recent months between Israel, where he is also senior adviser to US Ambassador David Friedman, and those countries.

“I’ve been involved since the first phone call on August 13,” Lightstone recounted. “That moment in the room, in the Oval [Office] was infectious with enthusiasm and excitement… The question is: what do you do with momentum and excitement?”

The Trump administration sought “to create facts on the ground that would yield excitement for that original Abraham Accords agreement, but also induce other countries to join the original circle,” he explained.

The UAE and Israel already had common interests and a desire to work together, but the coronavirus pandemic made doing so much more difficult. Lightstone and others from the US worked to further facilitate those ties.

“With the leadership of [Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi] Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed, the president [Donald Trump], Kushner and [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, the message was clear: Go big and go quick. Once you’ve committed to change a region for the better, it should not be isolated to one, two, three or four countries. You want something so big, so bold that people will want to grab onto it,” he said.

Lightstone also played a major role in bringing about the new diplomatic relations between Israel and Sudan.

The US, Israel, UAE and Bahrain have offered to aid Sudan as it transitions towards a democracy, he said.

“Sudan will be a measure of the success of the Abraham Accords,” Lightstone said. “The advantage of Sudan is that it really is a blank state. The transitional government will merge into a full-time, hopefully democratic government, and will create opportunities for their citizens and a safer anchor to that part of the region that will make everyone more safe and more prosperous.”

If Sudan’s economy stabilizes and prospers, it will have an “immeasurable” positive effect on its neighbors, Lightstone added.
Trump Signs Bill to Elevate Status of US Special Envoy on Antisemitism Into Law
US President Donald Trump signed a bill into law on Wednesday to elevate the status of the US special envoy on antisemitism.

The Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act, which was one of the last bills to pass the 116th Congress, upgrades the status of the special envoy for monitoring and combating antisemitism, a position at the US State Department, to an ambassadorship, thereby requiring US Senate confirmation.

The president will be required to fill the position within 90 days.

Having been vacant at the start of the Trump administration, the special envoy was designated in February 2019 with the appointment of Iraq war veteran and attorney Elan Carr.

With a week until President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in, barring a nomination by Trump of someone to the upgraded position, Biden will have the first opportunity to fill the role.


Israel Sees Drop in Negative Social Media Content in Arabic on Peace Agreements
There has recently been a 20% decrease in the number of negative content in Arabic posted on social media about the Abraham Accords, Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs reported Thursday,

A previous MSA report in October found nearly 95% of Arabic comments regarding Israel’s normalization with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco to be negative, but the recent study showed the negative posts fell by 20% to 75%.

The MSA, tasked by the government to tackle Israel delegitimization and boycotts, has been monitoring the public sentiment on social media in Arabic since August 2020, including reviewing trends through quantitative measures and qualitative research on Facebook and Twitter.

Following the signing of the normalization agreement with Sudan in November, the MSA re-examined Arabic social media and found a significant decline in the opposition to normalization with the Jewish State.

The levels of acceptance of the normalization agreements can be seen in Arabic-speaking users’ willingness to publicly support agreements. The positive comments justified their reasoning with economic or security reasons.


Seth Frantzman: The UAE’s unprecedented role in helping reunite Jewish family is symbolic
IN WESTERN universities, antisemitic conspiracy theories often find a welcome mat. For instance, Oxford, Cambridge and Columbia all hosted the openly antisemitic former leader of Malaysia who told audiences that Jews are “hook-nosed” and who justified Holocaust denial. These universities and media that often host antisemitism usually do it by pretending they are just giving a platform to a “leader” like the head of the Houthis or Malaysia’s former president, Mahathir Mohammed. They appear to never invite Malaysian politicians who are not antisemitic, however.

There are many politicians in Malaysia who have not pushed antisemitic conspiracy theories, and they did not get invites to Oxford, Cambridge and Columbia, leading Western academic institutions. This makes it appear that the real reason Mahathir was invited was to enable his antisemitism and show him that leading Western institutions embrace hatred of Jews.

The way Western governments, media and academic institutions today push antisemitism is not through using locals, but rather wrapping it in the guise of “hosting foreign leaders” or “community leaders.” In many Western countries, the number of attacks on Jews, including physical assaults and swastikas spray-painted on cemeteries, is measured in the thousands.

The UAE’s different and tolerant approach – hosting Jews and including positive messages of tolerance – illustrates an embrace for diversity. This is similar to the approach of most countries in Asia where Jews are never targeted and where antisemitism does not get a red carpet at leading universities.

Meanwhile, Western countries that claim to be against hate speech have the highest levels of attacks on Jews. Western governments and their diplomats in Yemen over the years did not play a public role in helping the Jewish community or opposing antisemitism by groups like the Houthis.

The Emirates has shown unprecedented leadership in the region in this regard. Its leadership is also part of a global trend in many non-Western countries, where anti-Jewish attacks are less than in Western countries. The UAE and its approach represent a potentially historic global shift.
Israeli, Moroccan envoys confirm cultural ties
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Eilon Shahar, met her Moroccan counterpart, Omar Zniber, on Tuesday to help cement the burgeoning ties between the two countries.

“The cultural bonds between our people are strong and I am looking forward to strengthening our collaboration in the multilateral arena,” Shahar said in a tweet about the conversation.

The envoys met at the Moroccan Embassy a month after the two countries reestablished ties under the US brokered Abraham Accords after a two-decade hiatus.

Shahar has already held separate face-to-face meetings with her counterparts in Geneva from the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Morocco and Israel had enjoyed low level diplomatic ties from 1994-2000, that were severed by Rabat when the second intifada broke out. The two countries have revived those ties with a view to establishing full diplomatic relations in the future.

Zniber spoke very fondly of the Jewish community in Morocco and has explained that he has good relations with the Jewish community in Geneva, Shahar said.
Al-Qaeda Calls on Muslims to Target Israeli Visitors to Arab Countries
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula blasted the governments of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco for normalizing relations with Israel, calling on Muslims to target Israelis who visit these countries, according to a report shared exclusively with JNS by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM).

In the Jan. 8 issue of the terror group’s Al-Wa’y publication, an editorial described these Arab governments as “traitors.”

It accused them of a “humiliating stance regarding the Palestinian issue, the Jewish occupation and the violation of the criminal Jews against the Muslims ummah [‘nation’], the Palestinians and the sacred land.”

The editorial went on to describe the Arab governments’ positions as “shameful and submissive to the Ziono-crusader coalition” and “hostile to the mujahideen and those who are defending themselves in Palestine.” It further accused them of “blatantly selling out the Palestinians to the Jews in exchange for a handful of worldly goods.”
Emirates dismisses fake news of Tunisian pilot suspension for declining Israel flight
Dubai-based carrier Emirates airline on Wednesday denied claims that it suspended a Tunisian pilot for refusing to fly to Israel, after rumors circulated online.

Emirates Airlines, the official airlines of the UAE, responded to the claims by stating that they were false.

A tweet by the airlines read: “Emirates has never employed any pilot by this name and all reports circulating on social media around this are false.”

US-based Australian journalist and activist against Islamophobia, CJ Werleman, posted a tweet on Wednesday claiming that the airline fired the alleged Tunisian pilot.

The name of the alleged pilot is Moneem Saheb Tabaa who it is claimed, confirmed his suspension on his Facebook profile, which was then deactivated as soon as the story began to gain traction on social media.

The Middle East Monitor reported that Tabaa’s post read: “Today, I was suspended from my job as a pilot at Emirates Airlines for refusing to fly to Tel Aviv. God is [the] only [one] who takes care of me…I do not regret it”.

Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Palestine-based media, first broke the news of the pilot’s suspension.

Without fact-checking, once news of his suspension began to get attention on social media, mainstream outlets started to publish articles on the matter while users praised Tabaa for his stance in opposing the normalization deal between Israel and the UAE, signed last year.
Aljazeera removes an anti-Israel fake report, but damage already done
Aljazeera's English website retracted a story on Wednesday about an Emirates pilot who reportedly resigned to protest normalization between the United Arab Emirates and Israel in the wake of the Abraham Accords.

Ghanem Nuseibeh, Founder of Cornerstone Global Associates and chairman of the Muslims Against Antisemitism (MAAS) organization, reported the retraction on Twitter, adding that he was himself a victim of Aljazeera's misinformation and fake news. He said that he finds it "unsettling that the channel continues to peddle antisemitic stories, like BDS," and called on Aljazeera to apologize.

He continued, saying that although he was glad the fake news had been taken down, "the damage done, however, is that the antisemitic story is spreading widely in Arabic speaking circles."

On its website, Aljazeera in English gave the following reason for its action under an Editor's Note: "The text in this page originally showed a news story about an alleged Tunisian pilot, Monem al-Taba, who reportedly claimed in a Facebook post he was suspended by the UAE flag carrier Emirates for refusing to fly to Tel Aviv. Emirates has since commented via Twitter saying it “has never employed any pilot by this name and all reports circulating on social media around this are false."

"We have therefore retracted the story pending further review."

Following the Abraham Accords, 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.”


Al Jazeera Deletes Israel Report About Fake Emirates Pilot
Al Jazeera has deleted a fake news report about Israel that cited someone posing on Facebook as an Emirates pilot. The story alleged that the pilot, named as Monem Sahib al-Taba, was suspended for refusing to fly to the Jewish state. This, purportedly over objections to the recent normalization agreements between Israel and several Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates. The Emirati airline, which is expected to launch daily flights between Dubai and Tel Aviv in February, quickly debunked the Al Jazeera story. The company made clear that it never employed any pilot named Monem Sahib al-Taba.




Israel sending a signal to Biden
The strike on Iranian assets in Syria on Wednesday, widely attributed to Israel, had two targets: a kinetic one, namely the pro-Iranian militias based on in the Syria-Iraq border; and a diplomatic one – the incoming Biden administration in the US.

This was the fourth attack of this kind this month attributed to Israel and by far the most extensive of them. The targets posed a greater operational challenge as they were far deeper behind enemy lines. This means the IAF mostly likely had to coordinate with other forcers present in the area, including the US, which controls much of the relevant airspace.

This is probably why unnamed officials told US media the latter had provided intelligence for the operation.

That claim should be taken with a grain of salt: Israel's intelligence in the sector and on this specific enemy is superior to the Americans' meaning the strike was, most likely an Israeli production – but the Americans were notified ahead of time.

Such intelligence sharing on Iran is prevalent between Israel and the US, and it was most likely the reason for the highly publicized meeting between US Secretary of Stake Mike Pompeo and Mossad Director Yossi Cohen in Washington, on Tuesday.

Pompeo later exposed Iran's ties with al-Qaida.

Wednesday's wide-scale strike reportedly eliminated infrastructure used by pro-Iranian militias in al-Bukamal and Deir ez-Zur – areas that have been targeted in the past over Iran's growing presence there.

Iran focuses its activities on the Syrian-Iraqi border, assuming that Israel would find it harder to strike the area that it does near Damascus.
Seth Frantzman: Why were there massive airstrikes against Syria? - analysis
The regime army has been at war for 10 years and has been decimated fighting rebels and others. Iran has sponged up resources and entered these areas of Syria to displace the Syrians and the regime army and use the war-torn country as a launchpad for regional ambitions.

Tehran acts like an octopus and a sponge: dissolving, eating, occupying and eating up areas, and then replacing what was there by copycat militias that look like the IRGC in Iran but go by other names and act like a cross between a mafia and a religious, zealous crusading culture. The only thing in Iran’s favor in this respect is that its militias’ leaders are generally modest and have a kind of vow of poverty, living close to their fighters and not adorning their chests with medals or driving sports cars. For this reason, Iran’s occupation appears light-handed, even as it spreads.

Israel has vowed to stop Iranian entrenchment in Syria. The size of the airstrikes would appear to indicate that Iran is still there.

It’s unclear what the point was of hitting the warehouses, where Fatemiyoun allegedly distributes small arms. It is also unclear whether those on the ground were fully informed about what was in the warehouses and sites struck with missiles.

The high death toll is unusual for these kinds of precision strikes. June 2020 airstrikes in Syria struck an area known as “Radar Dish Hill” in the south, also near Palmyra, which was one of the most recent complex airstrikes resembling the strike launched on January 12.
Wooing Arab votes, Netanyahu claims 2015 ‘voting in droves’ remark was twisted
The premier visited the city as part of a campaign to pursue support among Arab Israelis ahead of the March elections, in a stark about-face from his party’s previous unsubstantiated warnings of electoral fraud in Arab communities and repeated attacks on Arab lawmakers.

After visiting a clinic where coronavirus vaccines were being dispensed, Netanyahu heralded what he called the opportunity for a “new era” for Jewish and Arab relations in Israel.

“If Jews and Arabs can dance together in the streets of Dubai, they can dance together here in Israel. A new era begins today, of prosperity, integration and security,” Netanyahu said, referring to the recently signed normalization deals between Israel and four Arab states.

Most Arab Israelis have vigorously opposed Netanyahu, saying that he has incited racism against them. They point to laws such as the 2018 nation-state law, which enshrined Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and demoted the status of Arabic, and the 2017 Kamenitz law, which deliberately targeted illegal Arab construction.

Netanyahu’s Likud party has also previously warned about what they have deemed to be Arab voter fraud, including seeking to install cameras in voting centers. Arab Israelis widely decried the attempt as an attempt at voter intimidation.
An Open Letter to UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay
Madam Director-General,

In the 28 years of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s NGO accreditation to UNESCO, it came as a shock to learn in February 2020 from the well-respected organization NGO Monitor, that the organization had granted academic certificates to terrorism “graduates” and their murderous “instructors.”

The NGO Monitor report focused on a 2018 ceremony at An Najah University in Nablus to celebrate 61 Palestinian terrorists who had completed a course on “Human Rights” while incarcerated in Israeli prisons. The university had claimed the ceremony was organized by UNESCO.

UNESCO then denied responsibility for the actions of the University Chairs in its name, even when they abuse the good reputation of the organization. We are aware, however, that member states’ National Commissions — in regular contact with Paris headquarters — can impact on unacceptable UNESCO University Chairs behavior.

In this case, the Palestinian UNESCO National Commission should then be compelled to stand by the values of UNESCO — or else continue extolling terror.
PreOccupiedTerritory: UNWRA To Lexicographers: Add Infinite Descendants To Definition Of ‘Refugee’ (satire)
An international organization mandated to see to the healthcare, education, housing, and feeding of Palestinians who fled or were expelled from areas that came under Israeli control in two separate wars has asked dictionary-makers to modify an important term to include the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of refugees in the definition of the term “refugee,” among other changes.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), founded in the aftermath of the 1948-49 Israeli War of Independence to care for many displaced Arabs who previously lived in places that the nascent Jewish State claimed during that defensive war, has grown weary of the need to employ the specialized term “Palestine Refugee” in all of its literature and documentation, a spokesman explained, while the term “refugee” itself refers, with few exceptions, only to those who themselves fled, not their eventual families, and even then only to those who now have no citizenship or official country of residence. UNRWA, however, retains the designation of “Palestine Refugee” for its rolls in perpetuity, regardless of where those Palestine Refugees live now, as part of a decades-long effort by Israel’s enemies to wield the growing Palestine Refugee population’s misfortune as a political and diplomatic cudgel against Israel.

“The nomenclature issue is a big one,” acknowledged Chris Gunness, who once served as the organization’s official spokesperson for its operations in the Gaza Strip. “The UN has an entire other organization for resettling and caring for refugees as such, and almost none of the Palestine Refugees qualify under the standard definition of ‘refugee.’ UNRWA does the opposite – it keeps Palestine Refugees in a perpetual state of limbo, with the increasingly impossible promise of restoring them to Palestine. The organization can’t fulfill its mandate of draining international coffers for purposes of sustaining a time bomb of human suffering without a little cooperation from the gods of language, among them dictionary-makers. If those can be shamed into redefining ‘sexual preference’ as an offensive term at the drop of a hat, it shouldn’t be too hard to get them to include Palestinians of all sorts in the definition of ‘refugee,’ regardless of what those Palestinians even want, or how that might adversely affect the UN’s success with refugees from other conflict zones.”
Hamas bars patients from US charity hospital in Gaza
Gaza's Hamas rulers said Wednesday they would bar patients from the Palestinian territory from going to a field hospital opened by a US charity in protest of what they say are insufficient services.

The hospital, located on no-man's land along the Israeli border, is meant to support the overwhelmed health system in the blockaded enclave.

Medical workers access the site from Israel, while patients must cross through a Hamas-run checkpoint to reach the area. The idea of the hospital came under an informal truce between Israel and Hamas, the militant group that has ruled Gaza since 2007, to mitigate dire living conditions and prevent further cross-border violence.

Initially, Hamas and Israel – bitter foes that have fought three wars and dozens of smaller rounds of skirmishes – saw a common interest in the project. Gaza's overburdened health system has been gutted by years of an Israeli-Egyptian blockade meant to isolate the Islamist terrorist group, conflicts, and inter-Palestinian divisions.

The evangelical Christian group FriendShips, which quietly built its "Camp Gaza" tent hospital over the past year and a half, said this week it was "ready to receive patients." With a photo of a smiling medical worker on the project's Facebook page, it added that "we anxiously await the coordination of patients from the Ministry of Health in Gaza."
PMW: Abbas’ advisor praises rock thrower: “May his hands be blessed”
The picture above of an older Palestinian man throwing a rock with a sling ‎shot would almost be comical if rocks being thrown by Palestinians were just ‎a game and not a lethal weapon with which Israelis have been murdered.‎

The PA claims rock throwing is "peaceful resistance," but in reality it is an act ‎of terror and thousands of Israelis have been injured and some have been ‎murdered by rocks thrown by Palestinians, among them, for example, these ‎victims: ‎

Asher Palmer (25) and his infant son Yonatan were murdered by a ‎Palestinian who threw a rock at their car, making it overturn, killing ‎them both in 2011. ‎

Adele Biton (3) was driving with her mother and siblings in 2013, ‎when Palestinians threw rocks at their car, causing Adele’s mother to ‎lose control of the car, which crashed. Adele sustained severe head ‎injuries and never recovered. She died in 2015.‎

Alexander Levlovitch (64) was murdered by Palestinian terrorists who ‎threw rocks at his car and caused it to crash in 2015.‎

Israeli soldier Amit ben Yigal (21) was murdered by a Palestinian ‎terrorist who threw a rock down on his head from a building in 2020.‎


By posting the picture of the middle-aged Palestinian rock thrower above, PA ‎Chairman Abbas’ advisor Mahmoud Al-Habbash encouraged this lethal ‎means of “resistance” and added his praise too:‎


Palestinian Banks Barred from Delivering PA Payments to Terrorists (pdf)
On Jan. 1, 2021, an order went into effect banning the banks in Judea and Samaria from providing banking services to Palestinian prisoners, released prisoners, and the families of "martyrs" receiving payments from the Palestinian Authority.

Before the order went into effect, Qudri Abu Bakr, chairman of the authority for prisoners affairs, announced that payments for December 2020, and January and February 2021, had been made in advance.

That is expected to give the PA breathing space to formulate an alternative method for making the payments.


“I'm coming with my rifle… I’m coming towards you, my enemy” – song promoting violence in PA TV quiz
Official PA TV narrator: “Because songs are a basic part of our culture and they express our national identity… and because these songs are present in our consciousness and still fascinate us with values and meanings… It’s here: ‘The Tune of the Homeland.’” Lyrics: “We pledge to Allah - we won’t leave! …
We pledge to the revolution, the revolutionaries, and the public – we won’t leave! ...

Official PA TV narrator: Who wrote the song “We pledge to Allah - we won’t leave!”?
Lyrics: “I'm coming towards you, my enemy, from every house, neighborhood, and street
I'm coming with my rifle and my faith, I'm coming towards you, my enemy
Our war is a war of the streets
I'm coming towards you, my enemy
[Official PA TV, The Tune of the Homeland, Jan. 1 (twice), 2, 4 (twice), 5, 6 (twice), 2021]

Note: Additional lyrics of the last song, which were not included in the sound bite at the end of the quiz, explicitly call for murder: “I'm coming towards you, my enemy, from every house, neighborhood and streetWe're going down from every house with cleavers and knives”
Take my blood” – song encouraging martyrdom-death glorified in PA TV quiz
Official PA TV narrator: “Because songs are a basic part of our culture and they express our national identity… and because these songs are present in our consciousness and still fascinate us with values and meanings… It’s here: ‘The Tune of the Homeland.’”


Lyrics:
“The Palestinian people – a revolution
A revolution against Zionism”?
It has carried its weapons and begun its struggle
Take, O revolution, and give to me –
Take my blood, and give me victories…

Official PA TV narrator: Who is the composer the song “The Palestinian people – a revolution A revolution against Zionism”? ...
Lyrics:
I’m confronting you with my bullets
O my enemy, stop in front of me
and don’t cross
The Palestinian people – a revolution
A revolution against Zionism.”
[Official PA TV, The Tune of the Homeland, Jan. 9 (twice), 10 (twice), 11, 2021]


Father of murderer: “With our skulls we will pave the path to victory, until the liberation of Palestine”
[Official PA TV, Good Morning Jerusalem, Jan. 1, 2021] Fatah member and father of terrorist murderer Anan Abu Habseh Muhammad Abu Habseh: “Our heads will reach the sky and our feet will continue to be planted in this good and pure land. With our skulls we will pave the path to victory, until the liberation of Palestine. Our compass will not deviate from Jerusalem nor from Palestine.”

Abu Habseh’s statement is a paraphrase of a statement attributed to arch-terrorist Abu Jihad who planned attacks in which at least 125 Israelis were murdered.

Fatah has posted the quote on its Facebook page:
“Our heads will remain high, and our feet planted in the soil of our homeland.With our skulls we will pave the path to certain victory and return.The compass will never deviate from the path and will continue to point towards Palestine.” [Official Fata Facebook page, Feb. 20, 2019]

Muhammad Abu Habseh is the father of terrorist murderer Anan Abu Habseh (20) who together with Issa Yassin Assaf (21) carried out a stabbing attack at the Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on Dec. 23, 2015. They murdered 1 Israeli and wounded another in the attack. Israeli police shot and killed the two terrorists, and accidentally shot and killed another Israeli who was trying to stop the terrorists.




Restart, Reset or Renew? The Strategy against Iranian Nuclear Ambition
Even if the deal negotiated in 2015 by the Obama administration were worth the effort, it is impossible to imagine the Iranians willingly recommitting to enrichment levels they have long since blown past. No one believes in their professed "peaceful use" of nuclear energy. So why does a return to the deal make any sense?

The killing of top terror-funding IRGC official Qasem Soleimani by the US military and Iran's relatively toothless retaliatory attack against two US bases in Iraq suggest that the regime fears what an escalation of tensions would mean to its own future more than it desires to stab at the "Great Satan." The regime may finally be on the verge of collapse.

Those sanctions are the only leverage the U.S. really has against Iran, and they may finally succeed, much as the Reagan administration was able to do to the USSR in the 1980s. Now is not the time to reduce or remove them in exchange for paper promises born of a campaign slogan, from a regime whose movements suggest it fears its days are numbered.

Through covert operations, hidden diplomacy, an intense military buildup, and a series of actions designed to throw sand in the gears of the Soviet economy, American policy destroyed the USSR from its fingertips to its heart. Former Soviet leaders including Mikhail Gorbachev have admitted it with grudging admiration. The only ones who were wrong were those in the liberal foreign policy establishment who pretended it was all just a coincidence.
In further breach of nuclear deal, Iran to produce uranium metal for reactor fuel
The United States on Wednesday blacklisted two Iranian foundations controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and their subsidies, saying the institutions enabled Iran's elite to sustain a "corrupt" system of ownership over large parts of the economy.

The measure was introduced as Iran announced it has started producing uranium metal-based fuel for a research reactor – the latest breach of its nuclear deal with six major powers as the country presses for a lifting of US sanctions.

Iran has been accelerating its breaches of the deal in the past two months. Some of those steps were required by a law passed in response to the killing of its top nuclear scientist in November, which Tehran has blamed on its arch-foe Israel.

They are also, however, part of a process started by Tehran in 2019 of committing breaches in response to US President Donald Trump's 2018 withdrawal from the deal and his reimposition of US sanctions that the deal lifted in exchange for restrictions on Iran's nuclear activities.

The moves raise pressure on US President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office next week and has pledged to return the United States to the deal if Iran first resumes full compliance. Iran wants Washington to lift sanctions first.
Report: IDF drawing up plans to strike Iran’s nuclear program
The Israel Defense Forces is drawing up plans for an attack on Iran’s nuclear program, the Israel Hayom daily reported Thursday in a front-page article.

The newspaper said that IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi has asked for three alternate proposals to derail Tehran’s program, without elaborating on them. It only indicated one of the proposals is a military strike, noting that such a plan would require a significant budgetary boost for the Israeli military.

Iran resumed enriching uranium to 20 percent last week, well in excess of the threshold set out in its landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and a short technical jump from the 90% level of enrichment needed to produce weapons.

The Israel Hayom report came a day after Likud minister Tzachi Hanegbi, considered an ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, threatened that Israel could attack Iran’s nuclear program if the United States rejoined the nuclear deal, as US President-elect Joe Biden has indicated he plans to do.

“If the United States government rejoins the nuclear deal — and that seems to be the stated policy as of now — the practical result will be that Israel will again be alone against Iran, which by the end of the deal will have received a green light from the world, including the United States, to continue with its nuclear weapons program,” Hanegbi said in an interview with Kan news.

“This of course we will not allow. We’ve already twice done what needed to be done, in 1981 against the Iraqi nuclear program and in 2007 against the Syrian nuclear program,” he said, referring to airstrikes on those two countries’ nuclear reactors.
Ex-IDF intel expert: Iran retaliatory attack certain, unclear when, where
First of all, the Biden administration is coming in only one week. Everyone is talking about the likelihood of attacks from Iran even before then, but there was a recent INSS annual report that came out and said that the likelihood might even go up under the Biden administration, that there's an "open account" between Israel and Iran, between Iran and the United States, and maybe because the Biden administration might be a government with more restraint in general, that maybe Iran might see this as a green light to finally get revenge on Israel for various events that Israel might have been involved in over the last year related to certain top Iranian intelligence and other officials officials disappearing. Please, what do you think about that?

Well, as you said, we just published our annual strategic assessment for 2021 and the Iranian paragraph is titled something like "Iran is at a low point but still poses the main threat to Israel's security," and that's much broader than the current situation. As to your question, I think Iran, like all the key players in the Middle East, does not want large scale escalation. Iran suffered from a very difficult year from the sanctions, from the maximum pressure policy from the Trump administration, the huge number of deaths from COVID-19, and the year started with the killing of Soleimani, the commander of the Quds force and architect of the Iran regional policy and ended with the killing of Mohsen Fakrizadeh, who was in charge of the weapons group within the nuclear program. And it also had the attack on the advance centrifuge facility Natanz. All these -

Not that we're saying that Israel was responsible for these operations.
[Laughs] I think there was some difficulty with the communication. But I think you were referring to Israel's responsibility, so it's good that we have this communication problem because we don't really know. But no doubt from the Iranian perspective, Israel is responsible for at least some of these operations, so I think you're right.

Anyways, there is an open account, but moreover, I think Iran needs to retaliate in order to rehabilitate its deterrence. These are a series of events that are threatening the sovereignty of Iran, the deterrence of Iran. The question, I think, is a question of timing. I don't have any doubts Iran needs to retaliate, needs to do something. The open question is, what, where and when. And here, I think we are talking about a very sensitive issue, because on one hand, this is the right time to retaliate, these days, and I think they were afraid of certain Trump activity against them if they do something. And I think the beginning of the Biden administration, the Biden term, is not the perfect time because strategically, what drives Iran, what Iran really wants, is the removal of the sanctions, lifting the sanctions, going back to JCPOA and continuing what suddenly stopped in May 2018.
Seth Frantzman: The US targets Iran’s key henchman ‘Abu Fadak’ in Iraq
Abu Fadak has a habit of avoiding the cameras.

But he was thrust into the limelight after the US used a drone to kill Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in January last year.

Muhandis was the deputy of the Popular Mobilization Units, a group of mostly Shi’ite militias in Iraq. He was a key operator who was responsible for terror attacks in Kuwait in the 1980s and ran one of Iraq’s most disciplined pro-Iranian militias. Muhandis was the head of the Kataib Hezbollah.

In the waning days of the Trump administration US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has sought to sanction and designate a large number of people and groups, and countries, as terrorists or terror supporters. He has targeted the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, Cuba, and also alleged Iran is a base for Al-Qaeda.

On Wednesday, Abu Fadak al-Mohammadawi was listed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. It comes days after the US targeted his boss, Falih al-Fayyadh, who has been head of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and played a role in the attack on the US embassy in 2019 in Iraq. Fayyadh was close to Muhandis, his deputy, and IRGC leader Qasem Soleimani.

The US killed Soleimani and Muhandis in the same strike.

Abu Fadak, the US says, is also called Al-Khal, the “uncle.” He was born in 1968. The US mistakenly listed him as linked to ISIS. In fact Fadak’s Kataib Hezbollah is a pro-Iranian Shi’ite group that fought ISIS, which is a fascistic genocidal Sunni jihadist group with roots in Al-Qaeda.
JCPA: Iran's Man in Yemen Is a Revolutionary Guard Officer
Arab commentators suggest that Iranian General Hassan Irlu was behind the terrorist attack at Aden airport two weeks ago when three guided missiles hit, just as a plane carrying new government ministers landed. The terrorist attack killed 26 people and wounded about 100. Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed said he had intelligence that Iranian experts carried out the attack.

Placing an Iranian “ambassador” with Houthi rebels in Yemen is a violation of international treaties. This Iranian move shows Iran’s attempt to recover from Qassem Suleimani’s assassination and increase its terrorist activities in the Middle East. Iran places great importance on the battle lines in Yemen and wants to directly monitor battle management and political negotiations conducted by the UN envoy to Yemen. The Iranian military also seeks to monitor the secret contacts of the Yemeni government with Saudi Arabia.

General Hassan Irlu has been named the Iranian governor of Sanaa and is tasked by Iran to plan and carry out attacks on Israeli targets, if necessary.

Israel is conducting a very cautious policy with the Houthis in Yemen. Prime Minister Netanyahu revealed in November 2019, that Iran had begun equipping the Houthis with precision missiles. Israel has excellent intelligence information about what is happening in Yemen and the Houthi rebels’ ties to Iran’s “Revolutionary Guards.”

Irlu has become a key figure in the operation of Houthi rebels under Iran’s directions, but Israel is currently not initiating any actions against the Houthis in Yemen. Israel does not seek to open a new front even though all indications are that Iran plans to turn northern Yemen into a base for attacks on Israeli targets.

According to statements by President-elect Joe Biden during the election campaign, he opposes the war in Yemen and wants its immediate cessation. Israel is watching developments and judging whether Iran will act to quiet the Yemeni front or escalate its activities in order to put pressure on the new administration.
Iran Positions ‘Suicide Drones’ in Yemen, Within Range of Israel
As tensions escalate in the Red Sea region, Iran has sent several Shahed-136 loitering munitions, known as “suicide drones,” to its proxies in Yemen, Newsweek reported on Thursday.

According to the report, satellite footage from Dec. 25 shows that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps sent the drones to the Al-Jawf province in northern Yemen, an area controlled by the Houthi rebels. These drones are capable of reaching destinations 2,200 kilometers (1,400 miles) away and can therefore reach Israel.

Meanwhile, the Iranian army is conducting naval exercises in the Gulf of Oman, just a week after performing drone drills involving hundreds of aircraft and the infantry.

Iranian Maj. Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri announced on Wednesday that Iran intends to conduct naval patrols in the Red Sea to protect Iranian shipping.

Two weeks ago, the London-based Arab newspaper Al-Hayat reported that Israel and Saudi Arabia are pressuring US President Donald Trump to take military action against Iran before the end of his term.





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