Friday, January 29, 2021

From Ian:

President Biden, please don't rock the Israel-PA boat
Please don't rock the boat. Don't stray from the path that has proven to be effective. Too many have died, too many lives ruined. Please,stay with the initiative that has ushered in one of the most peaceful times in recent history.

Why did previous administrations fail while the last administration slowed the cycle of violence and offered unprecedented hope for a true and lasting peace?

1. Examining the claims. Palestinian negotiator's claims were generally accepted outright, without much research into their validity, or consideration for the inevitable consequences of accepting such demands. This led to negotiations that started at a place much too steep for Israeli negotiators to even consider realistic talks. A basic and objective check on these claims would have quickly resulted in the nullification of many of them.

For example the demand for "the right of return". Well, why was it that so many Arabs left Israel in the first place? Were any even forced out? Why did Arab nations require the incoming refugees to remain in refugee camps, kept in squalid conditions, while other refugees have long ago been settled and rebuilt their lives?

Even the basic claim to "restore" the "Palestinian State" raises many red flags. Was there ever really a Palestinian Arab nation? Did they ever have rulership anywhere? Or perhaps it is all a pretext to simply gain valuable land? Perhaps the "poor Palestinian people" cause, is a multi billion dollar money maker where leaders like Arafat, Abbas and Hamas get filthy rich by inciting others to violence, continuously fueling the flames of hatred, while staying safely behind the scenes. Have you checked why they are sitting on billions of dollars? Why PA schools books are filled with antisemitism?

Caroline Glick: Maher Bitar and Israel's ideological elections
Israel's March 23 elections are being presented as a simple referendum on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The media and Netanyahu's opponents would have us believe that there is no ideological struggle. It's all just a question of whether you love or hate Bibi.

But this is untrue. The coming elections are primarily about ideology. To understand why this is the case, we need to look no further than President Joe Biden's appointments.

This week the White House announced that Maher Bitar has been appointed to serve as the senior director for Intelligence at the National Security Council. The position is one of the most powerful posts in the US intelligence community. The senior director is the node to which all intelligence from all agencies flows. He decides what to share with the President. And in the name of the President, he determines priorities for intelligence operations and collection.

The senior director of intelligence also determines what information the US intelligence community will share with foreign intelligence services. Likewise, he decides how to relate to information that foreign intelligence agencies share with the Americans.

As one former senior national security council member explained, "The senior director for intelligence controls the information everyone sees. And by controlling information, he controls the conversation."

Usually, the sensitive position is reserved for a CIA officer who is detailed to the National Security Council. Bitar, however, is not an intelligence professional. He is an anti-Israel political activist.
Blast outside Israel’s New Delhi embassy damages cars; security raised worldwide
A blast outside the Israeli embassy in New Delhi on Friday damaged cars but did not cause injuries, police said. Israeli authorities were treating the explosion as a suspected attack aimed at the embassy, The Times of Israel has learned, and was stepping up security precautions at missions around the world.

The district around the embassy was sealed off after the explosion and police and bomb disposal experts took over the scene.

A police statement described it as a “very low-intensity improvised device” that blew out the windows on three nearby cars and said a preliminary investigation “suggests a mischievous attempt to create a sensation.”

The New Delhi Television news channel said the explosive device had ball bearings wrapped in a plastic bag and was left on the pavement outside the embassy. There was no immediate police confirmation.

The blast in the high-security zone occurred while India’s president and prime minister were attending a ceremony marking the end of Republic Day celebrations. The venue is about 1.4 kilometers (1 mile) from the Israeli Embassy.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed the blast and that no one was hurt.

“The incident is being investigated by Indian authorities who are in contact with the relevant Israeli officials,” the ministry said. “The foreign minister is being updated regularly and has ordered all necessary security steps be taken.”

Biden’s first phone calls show where he’s looking — and it’s not at Israel
But what the commander in chief does sets the agenda. And so far, Biden has shown that he is in no rush to spend energy or political capital on the Middle East. He has signed a record 22 executive orders in his first week in office, none of which have anything directly to do with Middle East policy. His inaugural speech, 22 minutes long, dedicated only two sentences to foreign policy at all.

“We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again,” he promised from the dais. “Not to meet yesterday’s challenges, but today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.”

That was it. Nothing on Iran, nothing on the peace process, nothing on the Middle East.

Biden’s turn away from the Middle East is a continuation of broader trends in American public opinion and in the threats the country faces.

America became deeply involved — many would say bogged down — in the Middle East after the September 11, 2001 attacks. As the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq turned into insurgencies and America’s death toll mounted, voters began to ask why American blood and treasure was being wasted in far-flung countries, especially with pressing problems at home. Obama began reducing America’s military commitment to the region, and Trump accelerated the process. There is currently no appetite among US leaders from either party to invest significant resources in the Middle East.

In addition, the US has recognized that the most pressing international threats it faces are not from Islamic terrorism, but from Russia and China. This view is evident in American strategic documents, including the 2018 National Defense Strategy.

“The central challenge to US prosperity and security is the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition by what the National Security Strategy classifies as revisionist powers,” it reads. “It is increasingly clear that China and Russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model — gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions.”

US military forces are being designed and structured to face a multi-domain threat from near-peer adversaries like Russia and China.

Still, the Middle East has a way of overtaking world events and insinuating itself into the agenda of US presidents. Eventually, a call will come, but until then, one doubts that Netanyahu will be sitting by the phone waiting for it.

Pakistan Government Appeals Against Acquittal of Men Convicted of Beheading US Journalist Pearl
Pakistan’s government on Friday appealed to the Supreme Court to review its decision to free an Islamist convicted of kidnapping and beheading US journalist Daniel Pearl, a day after the United States expressed “deep concerns” over the ruling.

A panel of three judges of the court on Thursday acquitted British-born Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh and his three co-accused, who had been convicted in 2002 on charges of kidnapping and murder of the Wall Street Journal reporter.

The court ordered the Islamist and his co-accused released forthwith if they are not required in any other case.

The government in southern Sindh province filed a petition asking the top court to review its decision, the Pearl family’s lawyer Faisal Siddiqi and the Sindh government’s prosecutor told Reuters.

“We have filed three review petitions,” prosecutor Faiz Shah said, explaining that the petitions would seek a reversal of the acquittal and the reinstatement of Sheikh’s death penalty.

“Being aggrieved of and dissatisfied with the judgement, the petitioner files an instant criminal review petition for leave to appeal on matters of law, facts and grounds,” the petition seeking the reversal of the acquittal said.
Condemnations Pour in After Pakistani Court Orders Release of Killer of Slain Journalist Daniel Pearl
Jewish leaders and former colleagues and friends of the murdered US journalist Daniel Pearl sharply condemned the Thursday decision by Pakistan’s supreme court to approve the release of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the Islamist militant convicted of the 2002 killing.

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, called the decision “a travesty of justice and an insult to Pearl’s family” on Twitter.

“We strongly urge US officials to begin legal efforts to bring his killer to justice.”

The British-born Sheikh was sentenced to death in 2002 for his role in the beheading of the Jewish journalist Pearl, who was kidnapped while in Pakistan investigating Al-Qaeda for the Wall Street Journal.

In April, Sheikh was acquitted along with three other men by a regional court, and on Thursday the country’s high court upheld that ruling and dismissed appeals from the Pearl family and the Pakistani government. The timing of any impending release was not yet known, and the US State Department asked Pakistan — which maintains custody over Sheikh — to review its legal options and “ensure justice is served.”

“The United States is deeply concerned by the Pakistani Supreme Court’s decision to acquit those involved in Daniel Pearl’s kidnapping and murder and any proposed action to release them,” it said in a statement. “We take note of the Attorney General’s statement that he intends to seek review and recall of the decision. We are also prepared to prosecute Sheikh in the United States for his horrific crimes against an American citizen. We are committed to securing justice for Daniel Pearl’s family and holding terrorists accountable.”

In a statement, Pearl’s parents Ruth and Judea said the family was in “complete shock” at the decision, which they said “puts in danger journalists everywhere and the people of Pakistan.”

“We urge the US government to take all necessary actions under the law to correct this injustice. We also hope that the Pakistani authorities will take all necessary steps to rectify this travesty of justice. No amount of injustice will defeat our resolve to fight for justice for Daniel Pearl,” they said.

Biden Admin Will Have to Thread Needle as it Resumes Palestinian Aid
The Biden administration will have to walk a fine line when it resumes U.S. aid to the Palestinians due to an American law that blocks funding until they end a policy known as "pay to slay," in which Western aid money is used to care for imprisoned terrorists and their families.

Republican lawmakers say a resumption in U.S. aid to the Palestinians could violate the Taylor Force Act, which mandates the Palestinian government stop using Western aid dollars to pay terrorists and their families. Congressional leaders told the Washington Free Beacon they will be closely watching the administration to ensure it does not violate U.S. law. The State Department maintains any resumption in aid will be done in compliance with the law, which does include exemptions for humanitarian assistance.

The Biden administration’s decision sets up an early showdown between the State Department and Congress over the future of U.S. foreign policy regarding the Palestinians and their continued support for terrorism. The Free Beacon first reported in October that the Palestinian government has continued paying terrorists despite the passage three years ago of the Taylor Force Act, according to findings that were published in a non-public State Department report sent to Congress.

"The resumption of any U.S foreign assistance that indirectly funds the Palestinian Authority’s pay-for-slay terrorist program would violate U.S. law, betray our Israeli partners, and put Americans living in or visiting Israel in harm’s way," Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) told the Free Beacon.

A State Department official said the new administration would "fully comply with U.S. law, including the Taylor Force Act," when it resumes U.S. aid to the Palestinians but did not outline any specific projects or causes that might receive funding. U.S. aid will be spent on economic development projects and humanitarian causes, the official said.

The Biden administration maintains that President Donald Trump’s hardline policy on U.S. aid "neither produced political progress nor secured concessions from the Palestinian leadership," as it was meant to do. "It has only harmed innocent Palestinian people, while undermining the credibility of the U.S. as an honest broker" in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the State Department official said.
White House Punts on Condemning BDS Movement
White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to condemn the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement on Thursday when questioned by a reporter during the daily press briefing.

"I don't have anything more for you on our position," Psaki said when asked if the administration considers the BDS movement, which wages economic warfare on Israel, to be anti-Semitic in nature.

Psaki's position contrasts sharply with comments recently offered by other senior Biden administration officials, including newly installed secretary of state Antony Blinken and Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the nominee to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who have both condemned the BDS movement in recent days.

Psaki would not say whether the White House agrees with Thomas-Greenfield, who said during her confirmation hearing this week that BDS is "unacceptable" and "verges on anti-Semitism."

"With regard to BDS, the president-elect—and I strongly share this conviction—is resolutely opposed to BDS for the reasons that you cite: It unfairly and inappropriately singles out Israel," Blinken said during his own confirmation hearing. "It creates a double standard and a standard we do not apply to other countries."

President Joe Biden, while on the campaign trail, said that he "firmly rejects" the BDS movement, raising further questions about Psaki's decision to avoid answering questions about it.

The Biden administration has hired at least one individual who sought to bolster economic boycotts of Israel.

Biden Pledge to Reopen PLO Mission in Washington Faces Legal Hurdles
US President Joe Biden’s plan to work to reopen the Palestinians’ diplomatic mission in Washington could be held up over a law that exposes Palestinian officials to US anti-terror lawsuits, officials and advisers to the Palestinians said.

The Biden administration hopes to repair relations with the Palestinians after a sharp deterioration under former President Donald Trump, who closed the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Washington office in 2018 and cut millions of dollars in aid to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

But under an anti-terror amendment passed by Congress and signed into law by Trump in 2019, the Palestinians would become liable for $655.5 million in financial penalties against them in US courts if they open an office in the United States.

There are also questions about how Biden will fulfill a pledge to resume economic aid to the Palestinians. The Taylor Force Act, passed by Congress in 2018, restricts some aid until the Palestinians end payments to people jailed by Israel over violent crimes, among other conditions.

Speaking to the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, Acting US envoy Richard Mills said Washington “intended to take steps to reopen diplomatic missions that were closed for the last US. administration,” without giving a timeline.

The legal hurdles underscore the range of challenges Biden may face in restoring ties with the Palestinians and reversing actions taken by Trump, who took a series of pro-Israel steps including ending US opposition to Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Palestinian leaders have welcomed Biden’s pledges of rapprochement, but while he can reverse some measures through executive orders, others involve laws passed by Congress and are not as easily changed.
Return of US aid for Palestinian refugees won’t cover shortfall, UN says
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees expressed hope on Thursday that the United States will resume its funding, but said it still would not be enough to cover a shortfall.

Under former president Donald Trump, the United States halted its support for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or UNRWA.

On Tuesday, Washington’s interim UN envoy, Richard Mills, said President Joe Biden intends to “restore US assistance programs that support economic development and humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people,” without mentioning UNRWA.

“We welcome the Biden administration’s decision to restore assistance to Palestinians and look forward to continuing conversation with them about resumption of aid to UNRWA,” said the UN agency’s spokeswoman, Tamara Alrifai.

Alrifai said the “2021 financial year looks very difficult.”
US Embassy in Jerusalem plans ambitious expansion
When former US president Donald Trump moved the American embassy to Jerusalem three years ago, he upheld a promise given decades earlier and fueled a vision of Israel’s capital as a world metropolis. The hope was that once the US does it, other nations would follow and Jerusalemites would live in what once seemed a Messianic dream: a city filled with embassies, consulates and cultural centers hard at work building the best possible relations between the Jewish state and the nations of the earth.

Two new permits the city green-lighted recently – one an expansion of the current location on the slopes of Arnona to a five-floor building and the other a construction of a 10-floor building as part of a larger compound at northern Arnona (or Talpiot) on the corners of Hebron Road, Daniel Yanovski St. and Hanoch Albek St. – envision the US Embassy being an “anchor” that will transform the entire urban space around it into a diplomatic sector, Deputy Mayor for Foreign Relations, Economic Development and Tourism Fleur Hassan-Nahoum said. She pointed out that the current plans have been deposited at the local council, the next stage will be to show them to the district committee, after which members of the pubic may present their objections.

The Americans requested permits to expand the existing embassy structure and build a new one, without stating which would be what, an embassy or a consulate, apartments for the families of serving diplomats or office spaces, as they are still at the early stages of this project. It is estimated roughly 700 construction workers will start working in about two years’ time and end the project more or less around 2026.
Biden administration to review sanctions on International Criminal Court officials
The Biden administration will "thoroughly review" US sanctions on International Criminal Court officials imposed over investigations into U.S forces in Afghanistan, a State Department spokesman said on Tuesday.

"Much as we disagree with the ICC's actions relating to the Afghanistan and Israeli/Palestinian situations, the sanctions will be thoroughly reviewed as we determine our next steps," the spokesman said in a written response.

The Trump administration last year accused the Hague-based tribunal of infringing on US national sovereignty when it authorized an investigation into war crimes committed by Afghan forces, the Taliban or US troops.

It targeted court staff, including prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, with asset freezes and travel bans for investigating American citizens without US consent. The United States is not a member of the court.
NBC’s Dilanian Stands By Story Network Retracted Amid Accusations of Anti-Semitism
A senior NBC News reporter is standing by a controversial report that was retracted by the network on Wednesday in the face of criticism that it advanced a longstanding anti-Semitic trope.

National security and intelligence correspondent Ken Dilanian told the Washington Free Beacon on Thursday that he stands by his reporting, which focused on a senior National Security Council official's generous contributions to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

"The story is accurate and was published by NBC News after our normal editing and vetting process, which includes review by our legal and standards departments," Dilanian told the Washington Free Beacon in an email.

NBC News on Wednesday retracted the piece, telling readers that it "fell short of our reporting standards." The piece remains online accompanied by a lengthy editor's note detailing the shortcomings.

A spokesman for NBC News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The original report, which followed on a similar news story from Mother Jones‘s David Corn, an MSNBC analyst, focused on donations to AIPAC from a family foundation linked to Anne Neuberger, whom Biden has appointed as deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology.
NBC, Mother Jones Articles on AIPAC Donations by Jewish Cybersecurity Official Spread ‘Dual Loyalty’ Canard, Say Jewish Groups
Reports from NBC News and Mother Jones on a Jewish Biden Administration official drew sharp rebuke by leading Jewish groups Wednesday, for implying that donations to the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC raised questions about her loyalty to the United States.

“We call on @MotherJones to withdraw its attack on Deputy National Security Adviser Anne Neuberger for her family’s support for @AIPAC,” tweeted the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “She has served the American people with distinction. This attack on her character smacks of age-old antisemitic canards.”

The stories — initially reported by David Corn at the magazine Mother Jones, followed by NBC News‘ Ken Dilanian — cited over half a million dollars donated to AIPAC by the a family foundation linked to Anne Neuberger, who is senior director for cyber policy on the White House National Security Council (NSC). These donations, they claimed, could create the appearance of bias in favor of Israel over American interests.

In a statement, AIPAC said that it was “inexcusable for a major news outlet to perpetuate this offensive charge.”

“The charge of dual loyalty has a long and disturbing anti-Semitic history. It has been used for generations to question the patriotism of pro-Israel Americans and undermine our rights. It is a targeted accusation that our community cannot be trusted, and that we are unlike other Americans,” it said.
RJC slams Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ‘indefensible’ Jewish space laser comments
The Republican Jewish Coalition said the latest revelation about anti-Semitic conspiracy theories embraced by Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene are “indefensible and unacceptable.”

In 2018 Greene speculated that the Rothschild family may have used a laser beam from space to start a devastating California forest fire, as a means to profit from it.

“We rightly opposed Marjorie Taylor Greene in her primary election for Congress and proudly supported her GOP opponent, Dr. John Cowan,” RJC director Matt Brooks said Friday.

At the time that the RJC backed her opponent, Greene was already controversial because of her apparent embrace of the QAnon movement, which peddles wild conspiracy theories, some with anti-Semitic themes.

Brooks said it was too early to say whether the RJC would once again back a primary against Greene, because no one has yet declared whether they would run against her. Greene is popular in her district.
Israel, Morocco to exchange delegations next month to push normalization deal
National Security Council chairman Meir Ben-Shabbat spoke on the phone with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita on Friday and the two agreed to send delegations to the respective countries in February to advance their recent normalization agreement.

A high-level Moroccan delegation will visit Israel at the end of next month and an Israeli delegation headed by Ben-Shabbat will visit Morocco also some time in February, depending on the virus situation in each country, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

Ben-Shabbat and Bourita also agreed to establish “joint working groups” to promote cooperation between the two countries in a variety of areas, including investments, transportation, water, environment, energy and tourism. Due to the pandemic, those groups will hold meetings virtually, the PMO said.

The two leaders “discussed the great potential” their countries’ normalization agreement presents “which will benefit not only Morocco and Israel, but the entire region,” the PMO added.
Moroccan delegation to visit Israel, ‘region-changing cooperation’
A Moroccan delegation is expected to visit Israel by the end of February, and an Israeli one to visit the North-African kingdom providing COVID-19 infections rates in Israel do not rise.

The decision was reached during a Friday conversation between National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat spoke with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita.

Ben-Shabbat, born to Moroccan-Jewish immigrants, will lead the Israeli delegation.

The two officials agreed to create several work groups to discuss mutual cooperation concerning water, energy, investments and tourism. Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic the groups will hold discussions using online means for now.

The great potential of these and other relations were addressed as “region-changing cooperation.”
Kosovo says it will formally establish diplomatic ties with Israel on Feb. 1
Kosovo’s Foreign Minister on Friday said a formal ceremony will be held next week to establish diplomatic ties with Israel, a “historic moment” in the Balkan country’s history.

Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla said she and her Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi would hold a virtual ceremony on Feb. 1.

“Recognition by Israel is one of the greatest achievements for Kosovo, coming at a key moment for us, thanks to the United States of America, our common and eternal ally,” she said.

The decision on mutual recognition between Muslim-majority Kosovo and Israel was achieved last September at a summit of Kosovo-Serbia leaders at the White House in the presence of then-President Donald Trump.

At the meeting Belgrade also agreed to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, something it hasn’t done so far.

The Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017 and moved the US embassy there in May 2018.

Washington has encouraged other countries to do the same but has been widely criticized by the Palestinians and many in Europe because the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains unresolved.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II exhorts Israel to vaccinate Palestinians
Jordan’s King Abdullah II stated on Thursday that Israel not providing vaccines to Palestinians in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip was counterproductive for the Jewish state, AFP reported.

“The Israelis have had a very successful rollout of the vaccine, however the Palestinians have not,” Abdullah told the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“You cannot vaccinate one part of your society and not the other and think that you are going to be safe,” he said via videoconference. “That is the number one lesson that COVID-19 taught us,” adding that the novel coronavirus “does not care about borders, the rich or the poor or whoever.”

“We have got to look at the practicalities and the challenges that are ahead of us, to be able to communicate with each other and realize that we are one world, one small village,” he said.
COVID-19: Israel walks back ‘joke’ about Dubai-infection rate connection
Israel apologized to the UAE for what it claimed was an “unsuccessful joke” which linked the surge of infection rates with the number of Israeli tourists to the Gulf State, Khaleej Times reported on Friday.

Health Ministry Chief of Public Health Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis said, in jest, that "more people died in two weeks of peace with Dubai [because Israeli tourists returned with COVID-19 infections] than in 70 years of war with them." Alroy-Preis was alluding to the fact the Gulf State, which doesn’t share a border with Israel, was never involved in any direct conflict with the Jewish State.

Israel is facing alarming coronavirus infection rates, causing the airport and land borders to shut down in order to prevent more infected persons from coming since Monday. The IDF found that 900 Israelis who returned from Dubai had COVID-19, these people didn’t carry out the the required quarantine upon arrival. This created a chain of infection causing roughly 4,000 people to be infected, the Star Tribune reported. Israeli officials quickly apologized for the comment, saying the Health expert made "false allegations" and that she isn't meant to speak on behalf of Israel on such matters.

Dubai was the first travel destination to claim it is back to normal, meaning open to pre-COVID-19 travel.
Greece asks Israel to ‘cooperate’ on COVID-19 vaccination campaign
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis about Israel’s coronavirus vaccine campaign. Mitsotakis expressed "great interest in cooperating on the issue,” according to the prime minister’s office.

Netanyahu also spoke with Slovenia Prime Minister Janez Janša and Romanian Prime Minister Florin Cîțu on Friday. During those conversations, the leaders discussed the fight against coronavirus, the impact of the vaccines on infection, mutations and the possibilities of opening the economy.

This was Netanyahu’s first call with the Romanian prime minister, according to the PMO. The two agreed to deep economic cooperation.

“The prime minister invited the prime minister to visit Israel at the first opportunity,” the PMO said.

Netanyahu has reported regular conversations with world leaders about Israel’s management of the coronavirus pandemic.

PA daily and Fatah Facebook page eulogize Munich terror mastermind as role model
Official Palestinian media has praised a terrorist notorious for orchestrating the kidnapping and murder of 11 Israeli athletes in Munich. Marking last week’s anniversary of his assassination by Mossad, the Palestinian Authority’s official daily called Ali Hassan Salameh “a skilled commander,” and a Fatah Facebook page eulogized him as “exceptional” and a role model “on the path to liberation.”

Salameh, security chief for the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Fatah movement in the 1970s, masterminded the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre on behalf of the PLO’s Black September terrorist group.

The Fatah-dominated PLO was committed to armed struggle against Israeli soldiers and civilians wherever they stood, and regularly carried out terror attacks against Israelis in Israel and abroad.

In the Munich massacre, the Palestinian terrorists initially killed two Israeli athletes and kidnapped another nine. In exchange, they demanded the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, as well as two prominent West German leftist militants.

After a failed attempt by German security forces to retake the hostages, the Palestinians turned their weapons on the Israelis, killing them all.

The Munich attacks horrified the world, drawing international condemnation.
Once Again, the Palestinians Desecrate Holocaust Memory
For most people, Holocaust memorial events such as those that recently took place to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day are crucial both to remember the victims and to ensure that the horror of Nazism can never again raise its head. In the Palestinian Authority (PA), Holocaust remembrance is a very different story.

This week, Palestinians tuning in to official PA TV were told that the Jews brought the Holocaust upon themselves — that it was Europe’s way of punishing the Jews for their “conspiracies and wickedness.”

The claim was made on the program “From the Israeli Archive,” which is currently airing parts of an Israeli documentary series from 1981, “Pillar of Fire,” misinterpreting — and even mistranslating — the original narration so it presents a Palestinian and even antisemitic perspective. The above statement was the host’s introduction to a segment from an episode about the 1930s and Nazism’s rise to power.

Far from remembering the Holocaust as a warning against antisemitism, the PA weaponizes it against the descendants of the survivors and the Jewish people at large, using the genocide to promote antisemitism. Unfortunately, this latest example is far from the first.
PMW: PA fake news in real-time: 12 hours after terror attack, PA presents terrorist as murder victim
A 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist attacked an Israeli female soldier and tried ‎to stab her. Another soldier shot and killed the terrorist.‎

But by the next morning, the PA had already rewritten history: ‎
“The Israeli occupation forces… executed a young person at a ‎junction next to the village of Hares, west of Salfit… ‎
Young Atallah Muhammad Rayyan, 17, from Qarawat Bani Hassan ‎died as a Martyr after being shot by the occupation’s soldiers while ‎he was at the junction near the village of Hares.”‎

In the entire article the PA did not mention that the “Martyr” was actually a ‎terrorist who attempted to murder. Nor was this mentioned in a second article ‎in the official PA daily about the attack.‎

Palestinian Media Watch has exposed many other examples of PA fake ‎news in real time. When an Israeli soldier tried to protect Palestinian ‎journalists and instructed them to move to safety across the road to avoid ‎oncoming cars, the PA TV reporter mistranslated the soldier’s words into a ‎racist statement, claiming they were told to move because it was not a road ‎for Palestinians: ‎​

As a rule the PA presents killed terrorists as innocent “Martyrs,” falsely ‎claiming that Israel “executes them in cold blood.” ‎

The PA was not alone in ignoring the circumstances of the event. The Palestinian chapter of Defense of the Child International (DCI-P) also ignored the fact that the terrorist was shot as an act of self-defense, merely announcing on twitter that " Israeli forces shot dead the first Palestinian child killed in 2021."

Palestinian Elections are in Sight, but Prospects for Reform Remain Slim
With the recent decree by Mahmoud Abbas to hold Palestinian general and presidential elections later this year, the issue of Palestinian political unity comes back to the surface. Abbas, who is 85 years old, is in the 16th year of his four-year term and presides over a population divided into several territories and under different political forces.

While distrust and division are nothing new in Palestinian history, it seems that with each passing year Palestinians lose more hope of a solution. Hamas, the terrorist organization ruling Gaza, remains stubborn, polarizing and popular while Fatah and Abbas maintain their monopoly over power in the West Bank. After several rounds of talks between the two factions in Doha, Ankara and Cairo, the situation shows no sign of progress towards reconciliation or cohesion. Fatah announced last week that Abbas is to remain its candidate, making it obvious that not much change is to be expected. Despite the possibility of significant rivalry from other members of Fatah, namely Mohamed Dahlan—who is close to the rising center of Arab power in Abu Dhabi—and Marwan Barghouti—a terrorist mastermind currently in an Israeli prison—many remain profoundly skeptical of any meaningful potential for political change.

Conversation about the potential election has been wide ranging. There have been discussions of the electoral participation of Arab residents of Jerusalem, reports—and then denials of those same reports—about coming meetings between Fatah and Hamas in Doha, inner schisms, doubt over the fairness of the elections and so on. For most Palestinians, the idea that Fatah would abdicate power is simply unthinkable. The last time they held elections, it resulted in a civil war which broke down any dreams of national cohesion the Palestinians might have built up in the post-Oslo years. Thus, in recent polls, the Palestinians rightfully express ambivalence towards an electoral process they know they can't really decide. Endemic infighting even causes many to doubt that the elections will actually be held.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Iran Turns Gaza Into Storehouse for Weapons
Instead of storing medicine and vaccines, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are busy storing rockets and explosive devices.

The Palestinian terror groups that moan about a crippling economic crisis in the Gaza Strip somehow always seem to find enough money to purchase, smuggle or manufacture weapons.

In addition, Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups have frequently violated the laws of war by firing rockets from within populated areas.

It is important to stress that Hamas is planning to participate in the election while continuing to store weapons in residential areas in the Gaza Strip.

Had the explosion in Bet Hanoun been caused by Israel, international media outlets would have been falling over themselves to shout about another Israeli "war crime." Perhaps it is time to heed the postings.... that call out the true enemy: Hamas, PIJ, and other Palestinian terrorist groups.
Iran’s nuclear activities do not mean it’s seeking atomic bomb, FM Zarif says
Iran’s nuclear activities do not mean that it is seeking to build an atomic bomb, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Friday, according to Iranian media reports.

Meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara, Zarif claimed Tehran does not view nuclear arms as a tool for security.

He once again stressed that Iran expects the US to return to the 2015 nuclear deal before it halts its increased enrichment activities and returns to compliance with the accord.

“The United States unilaterally withdrew from this comprehensive course of action,” Zarif told journalists, speaking through an interpreter. “It is the duty of the United States to return to this agreement and to fulfill its obligations.

He added: “The moment the United States fulfills its commitments, we would be prepared to fulfill ours.”

Cavusoglu said Turkey hopes the United States will return to the nuclear deal, and would like to see sanctions imposed on Iran lifted.
Iran says it will install 1,000 centrifuges at nuclear plant in next 3 months
Iran said Thursday it plans to install 1,000 new centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear facility within three months and that its scientists had exceeded previous goals for uranium enrichment.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, made the announcement about the centrifuges while Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf visited the Fordo nuclear facility, an underground site near the city of Qom.

Natanz is Iran’s main nuclear enrichment plant. An explosion at the site last year, which foreign media reports have attributed to Israel or the US, damaged an advanced centrifuge development and assembly plant.

Qalibaf said during the visit that in less than a month, Iranian scientists made more than 17 kilograms (37.5 pounds) of 20% enriched uranium. Qalibaf’s speech and Kamalvandi’s comments about the centrifuges were broadcast by Iranian state media.

Uranium enriched to 20% is a short technical step away from weapons-grade 90% enrichment. Western nations have criticized Iran’s enrichment activity and called on Tehran to adhere to its 2015 nuclear accord with world powers.

Iran has said it would produce 120 kilograms (44 pounds) of 20% enriched uranium per year, or 12 kilograms per month on average, so 17 kilograms would exceed that timetable.
Biden Picks Negotiator of Original Iran Deal Robert Malley to Repeat the Same Thing, Get Different Results
Robert Malley, the Obama administration’s negotiator of the historic Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal with Iran who is also an expert on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, is President Joe Biden’s pick to be his special envoy for Iran, the NY Times reported Thursday citing two senior State Department officials.

According to the Times, Malley will be “responsible for trying to persuade Tehran to rein in its nuclear program — and stop enriching uranium beyond limits imposed by a 2015 deal with world powers — and agree to new negotiations before the United States lifts its bruising economic sanctions against Iran.”

The Times then commented demurely: “It is far from clear if the strategy, as directed by Mr. Biden, will succeed.”

And so, the Biden administration has succeeded in erasing President Trump from an entire section of US foreign policy, bringing the parties involved, including, most prominently, Israel, to the nightmarish summer of 2015, when the Obama White House elbowed its ways with false promises and outright lies into getting a majority in Congress to support JCPOA. Robert Malley (L) with Secretary Kerry in meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif in Austria, June 27, 2015. / US Department of State

Malley was the lead US negotiator on JCPOA, which was signed on July 14, 2015. Malley later and his partner in negotiations, diplomat and today VP Kamal Harris’s Deputy National Security Advisor, Philip Gordon, wrote in a critical article attacking Trump in The Atlantic (Destroying the Iran Deal While Claiming to Save It): “The real choice in 2015 was between achieving a deal that constrained the size of Iran’s nuclear program for many years and ensured intrusive inspections forever, or not getting one, meaning no restrictions at all coupled with much less verification.”


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