Sunday, February 07, 2021

From Ian:

Amb. Alan Baker: This flawed decision turns the ICC itself into just one more Israel-basher
It is both tragic and ironic that the State of Israel, one of the founding fathers of the vision of creating an independent International Criminal Court after the unimaginable atrocities committed against the Jewish People during the Holocaust, has now become the target of that very International Criminal Court.

As one of the leading countries actively involved, from the start, in the negotiation and drafting of the founding document, the Statute of the ICC, it is all the more ironic that Israel now finds itself being accused by the Court based on Palestinian political manipulation.

What was intended to be an independent juridical body devoted to preventing impunity enjoyed by the most serious and atrocious war criminals, by bringing them to justice, is now being politically manipulated against the one state that since the early 1950s has consistently advocated the establishment of such a body, the State of Israel.

The irony is all the more evident given the legal acrobatics by the politically oriented and politically influenced prosecutor of the Court and the majority of judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber, in their obstinate and flawed insistence on attributing elements of statehood and sovereignty to a Palestinian entity that is distinctly, and by all international standards, not a state.

Nor does such entity have any sovereign territory, and thus, even according to the Statute of the ICC, cannot be the subject of the Court’s jurisdiction. The Palestinians have absolutely no standing in the court.

This ironic situation is not surprising given the prevailing international atmosphere of incitement and hostility towards Israel throughout the UN system.

However, what is shocking is the fact that the one international juridical institution that was hoped and intended by its founders, and stated in its founding document, to be “an independent, permanent International Criminal Court…with jurisdiction over the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole,” has allowed itself to be politically manipulated and abused.

Six actions Biden should take to hold the ICC and Palestinian leaders accountable
Though the Biden administration also condemned the ICC decision, there are indications that it wants to reverse the strong policies against the ICC adopted by its predecessor, the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Instead, however, Washington should take the following actions to impose consequences on the ICC and the Palestinian leadership:

First, it should implement Trump’s Executive Order 13928 to impose additional sanctions, such as the blocking of property and revoking of visas of “ICC officials, employees, and agents, as well as their immediate family members” who are part of this decision against Israel.

Trump firmly asserted that “any attempt by the ICC to investigate, arrest, detain or prosecute any United States personnel without the consent of the United States, or of personnel of countries that are United States allies and who are not parties to the Rome Statute or have not otherwise consented to ICC jurisdiction, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.”

His administration then imposed sanctions on ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and her aide, Phakiso Mochochoko, for launching an illegitimate investigation into alleged “war crimes” by U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Israel expressed support for the U.S. sanctions. But the European Union, along with more than 70 countries, announced opposition to them.

Unfortunately, the Biden administration is now reviewing those sanctions, and may acquiesce to the pressure campaign to lift them as part of a softer approach to the ICC. This would be a big mistake.

Second, the Biden administration should use Trump’s E.O. 13938 to impose sanctions on individual P.A. leaders who have been materially assisting or providing support for this charade against Israel. After acceding to the 2015 Rome Statute, P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas appointed a 45-member “higher national supervising committee,” chaired by the late PLO Executive Committee Secretary General Saeb Erekat, to pursue legal action against Israel in the ICC.

Erekat told Palestine TV that the committee was made up of the “the complete spectrum of Palestinian political factions,” including Hamas, the PFLP and DFLP—and that P.A. Foreign Minister Riyadh al-Maliki served as its official liaison to the ICC.

In other words, the P.A. has been collaborating with members of State Department-designated foreign terrorist organizations that seek the destruction of Israel to provide material against it to the ICC. This is in addition to public statements by Abbas, al-Maliki, P.A. Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and Hamas encouraging and lauding ICC actions against Israel.
ICC, ICJ push Joe Biden into Donald Trump’s shoes - analysis
In less than a week, the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice have shockingly put US President Joe Biden into former president Donald Trump’s shoes on the international law scene.

Last week, the ICJ issued a jurisdiction ruling against the US sanctions program on Iran. Then, over the weekend, the ICC issued a jurisdiction ruling against Israel in the six-year running war crimes controversy.

US reactions from the State Department to both rulings were highly critical.

To the layperson, the criticism might have sounded the same for the ICJ and the ICC as what would have come from the Trump administration. Israel would be happy if the US does not get too chummy with the ICC and the ICJ, since Jerusalem also supports US sanctions on Iran.

That is not all.

True, the Biden administration has reaped global praise for signing a range of executive orders re-joining the Paris climate treaty, erasing Trump-era prohibitions on immigration and travel from certain Muslim countries and a more positive tone toward the UN and the EU.

But 17 days into his administration, Biden has neither rescinded Trump-era financial and visa sanctions against the ICC nor has he rescinded the executive order that could allow him to use such sanctions further in the future.
Kamala Harris signed letter in May against ICC's ‘dangerous politicization'
The bipartisan letter Harris signed last May when she was a senator, urged then-secretary of state Mike Pompeo to “stand in full force against any biased investigation of Israel” by the ICC. The leading signatories were Senators Ben Cardin of Maryland, a Democrat, and Rob Portman of Ohio, a Republican. Close to 70 more senators, including Harris, joined them.

The letter came six months after ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that she thought there was “a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation” into crimes by Israelis and Palestinians.

That announcement “constitutes a dangerous politicization of the Court and distorts the purposes for which the court was established,” the Senators wrote, pointing out that it was meant to be a court of last resort for prosecuting serious international crimes.

“ICC actions currently underway could lead to the prosecution of Israeli nationals despite the fact the ICC does not enjoy legitimate jurisdiction in this case,” the letter reads. “Both Democratic and Republican administrations have refused to join the Court in part because they feared its politicization and misuse.”

The Senators pointed out that “Palestine” does not meet the criteria for statehood and that Israel – as well as the US – are not members of the court, and that the court’s own rules “prohibit it from prosecuting cases against a country that has a robust judicial system willing and able to prosecute war crimes of its personnel,” which Israel has.

“By accepting Palestinian territorial claims over the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, the Prosecutor is making a political judgment that biases any subsequent investigation or trial,” the letter states. “Establishing the boundaries of any future Palestinian state is a political decision that must be determined through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Any ICC determination regarding its jurisdiction over the disputed territories or investigation of Israel would further hinder the path to peace.”

US President Joe Biden has used executive orders to overturn dozens of former US president Donald Trump’s policies, but lifting sanctions on ICC officials is not one of them.
Some Western leaders are ‘divorced from reality’ with regard to Palestinians, Iran
Iran and Israel were regional allies prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iran was one of America’s and Israel’s closest partners as many Arab states, such as Egypt and Syria, at the time were closely aligned with the Soviet Union and fought a series of wars with Israel.

Khodorkovsky quipped the peace deal could be called the “Cyrus Accords” on the heels of the Abraham Accords signed with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.

“The day will come when this regime is no longer in power,” he said, referring to Iran’s rulers. “That day may come sooner than we think.”

Coates said the previous administration “initiated a fundamental shift” in terms of seeing Israel as “the key positive in the U.S. engagement with the Middle East, rather than an irritant.”

That’s what changed the game,” she said. “And it changed it in terms of our Arab allies because it clarified for them what our position was. That’s what created an opportunity to reach the Abraham Accords.”

Coates warned that the Biden administration would be foolish to try and resort to older, disproven Mideast policies that have gripped Washington for far too long.

“You can’t turn the clock back,” she stated. “The Arabs have moved on. They aren’t giving the Palestinians a veto over their policy towards the region. If we try to force the Arabs to try to prioritize the Palestinian issue over their economic recovery from the pandemic, for example, we aren’t going to get very far.”

According to Coates, senior Biden administration officials “are paying lip service to being supportive of the Abraham Accords, but their actions have been anything but.”

With regard to the Palestinian issue, she said they are “paying lip service to the idea of peace, but at the same time their actions are undermining it.”

Their approach is “divorced from reality.”

With regard to Iran, Coates noted that Biden administration officials “see the current situation in Iran as inevitable—that we have to accommodate the regime because that is all we are going to get.”

And that, she said, “should be deeply concerning to all of us.”
Netanyahu: ICC Decision to Investigate Israel ‘Pure Antisemitism’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday accused the International Criminal Court at The Hague of antisemitism after it ruled that it has jurisdiction to open a war crimes investigation against Israel.

A three-judge panel at the ICC ruled on Friday that Judea and Samaria, the Gaza Strip, and eastern Jerusalem are within its jurisdiction, as “Palestine [is] a State party to the ICC Rome Statute.” The ICC’s 2-1 decision has cleared the way for Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to open a war crimes probe into IDF actions.

“The ICC has again proved that it is a political body — not a judicial institution,” Netanyahu said on Friday immediately following the decision.

“The ICC ignores the real war crimes and instead pursues the State of Israel, a state with a strong democratic government that sanctifies the rule of law, and is not a member of the ICC,” he said.

“In this decision, the ICC violated the right of democracies to defend themselves against terrorism and played into the hands of those who undermine efforts to expand the circle of peace. We will continue to protect our citizens and soldiers in every way from legal persecution,” he added.

In a video released by his office, the prime minister said, “When the ICC investigates Israel for fake war crimes, this is pure antisemitism.”
Bennett: ICC 'is a sham'. Sa'ar: Ruling is 'dangerous', 'shameful'
Prime ministerial candidates Naftali Bennett and Gideon Sa'ar have both spoken out in condemnation of the International Criminal Court, after the ICC ruled it has the jurisdiction to probe allegations of war crimes perpetrated by Israel in Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Such war crimes suits could be leveled at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, defense ministers and any other high-level officials involved in such activity since June 13, 2014. Soldiers and commanders could also be targeted.

"Let me be clear, the ICC has no right to investigate, no right to indict, no right to try and no right to convict any Israeli whatsoever," said Yemina Party leader Bennett. "The International Criminal Court is a sham."

"Israel is not a member of this fake court," he added.

Bennett then went on to explain a document that every Israeli soldier has to carry with them during their service, called the "Spirit of the Israel Defense Forces." The document explains the values IDF soldiers are meant to uphold.
ICC war is far from over - analysis
It is imperative from an Israeli perspective to be highly involved diplomatically in who succeeds Bensouda, a process that is still very much in play.

At December 2020 meetings on the issue, the international community was so divided on the issue that they skipped deciding on a successor, postponing the decision indefinitely.

All of this is why June would probably be the earliest there could be arrest warrants, and more likely they would be a couple of years off. A second worrying issue for Israel is that the majority of the ICC judges adopted the world view of the Palestinians in how to look at international law.

Instead of looking at Israel’s more traditional understanding of international law and statehood, the ICC said it accepted what the ICC’s political-legislative body, the Assembly of State Parties, decided.

If this is the trend at this stage, then it could be the trend at later stages and lead to arrest warrants (whether in months or years) and even indictments at a much later stage.

Some full criminal probes have taken up to 10 years, such that the sooner concern is arrest warrants as opposed to indictments.

Still, Israeli officials projected confidence Saturday night that either by using complementarity or other legal arguments or diplomatic pressure, arrests will never happen.

Over and over again officials emphasized how many top donors of the ICC took their side on the Palestinian statehood issue. These countries may yet have an influence on how the ICC comes out on the criminal probe, issue of arrest warrants and, farther away, indictments.

February 5, 2021 was another major loss for Israel’s six-year war crimes struggle with the ICC, but it was not the end of the line by a long shot.
Honest Reporting: ICC Gives Itself Authority to Adjudicate Israeli “War Crimes:” What It Means
Why does it matter?
The ICC is empowered to issue an international arrest warrant, which can be enforced by any nations willing to cooperate. The ICC may then impose punishments including lengthy prison terms. ICC punishments can be applied to national leaders, soldiers, and even civilians. Thus, Israel could potentially find its national leaders unable to travel abroad, its citizens being arrested in countries throughout the world, and even young soldiers being tried and imprisoned at the Hague. The present approach of prosecutor Bensouda realistically points to an outcome in which any Israeli civilian living in a “settlement” or any Israeli soldier who ever guarded a checkpoint would be defined as a “war criminal,” arrested upon leaving Israeli territory, and imprisoned for decades. It is not for certain that this extreme outcome would necessarily come to pass, however according to the specific phrasing of the Rome Statute, it is absolutely possible.

The International Criminal Court is not a “court”
The words “International Criminal Court” are seductively misleading: they give the impression that the ICC is a body that interprets legislative law. It is not. Certainly, in theory, the ICC is supposed to perform like a court. In practice, however, it functions as political body that carries out decisions based on the interests of its members.

Case in point: prosecutor Fatou Bensouda came to the ICC after her tenure as Minister of Justice of Gambia, where she presided over and enforced the country’s laws and practices in favor of torture, arbitrary arrest, legal rape, sex trafficking and female genital mutilation. Despite a 2018 US State Department report detailing these practices, and despite the fact that Gambia is a signatory to the Rome Statute, prosecutor Bensouda has not seen fit to prosecute the leadership of her homeland, including herself.

Other parties who have never been prosecuted at the Hague include leaders of Syria who are responsible for the largest genocide in recent history, Turkey, which in the last decades murdered thousands of Kurds; China, which is holding millions of Muslims in “reeducation” camps; Iran, which is behind the war crimes being perpetrated in Yemen, and many more.

The sheer number of human lives that might have been saved by a proper application of the ICC’s mission is in the millions. Instead, the ICC, an unelected, undemocratic political body is attempting to apply unchecked global power based on political agenda. This stands to injure global trust in international institutions and the very nature of international law, thus posing serious and long-term harm to our world’s growth as a cooperative global community.

ICC Clears Way for War Crimes Probe Against Israel

Australian Government commended for ICC approach
The Australian Government has shown its commitment to the consistent and just application of international law in condemning the recent decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Pre-Trial Chamber.

This case considered whether the ICC had the authority to investigate allegations of war crimes committed by the Israel Defence Forces, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups.

Australia had previously made a formal submission to the ICC in this case outlining that the ICC does not have the jurisdiction to consider “The situation in Palestine”. This is because “Palestine” is not a sovereign state according to international law and not a party to the ICC.

In expressing “deep concerns” with the ICC’s ruling, Foreign Minister Marise Payne and the Morrison Government have maintained commitment to this important issue of international law.

“The Australian Government is commended for calling out a blatant injustice in the ICC’s ruling to accept the non-existent ‘state of Palestine’,” the national chairman of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) Mark Leibler said.

“This principled approach to international law is welcomed by AIJAC. AIJAC thanks the Australian Government for its continued interest and astute advocacy in this case.”

AIJAC executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein added: “This case should be called out for what it is: a legal witch-hunt against a democratic country with enemies at its border.”

IDF Forces Enter Palestinian Village After Thwarted Terror Attack
Israeli forces entered the village of Ras Karkar in Judea and Samaria early on Friday, following a terror attack in the Sde Ephraim Farm earlier in the day, the Israeli military said in a statement.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, preliminary investigations show that at 3:45 a.m., the suspect, a resident of Ras Karkar, approached the Sde Ephraim Farm in a vehicle at high speed, stopped at the doorstep of the farmhouse, then got out of his car and attempted to break through the front door, while shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is great in Arabic).

An unarmed guard at the farm identified the terrorist and began shouting to alert the other guards, who were asleep in a nearby building. The terrorist then ran at the unarmed guard, at which point one of the other guards — along with the farm owner, who had come out of his house with a weapon — shot and killed the suspect.

The suspect’s body and vehicle were cleared by IDF sappers, and no weapon was found at the scene, according to the military.
PMW: Who said Palestinians are victims of “a second holocaust” and Netanyahu is “the ugly face of Mussolini and Hitler”?
One of the PA officials mentioned as a possible successor of PA Chairman Abbas is Jibril Rajoub. Rajoub holds a range of positions in the PA, one of which is Fatah Central Committee Secretary. Palestinian Media Watch has documented that Rajoub is fond of belittling the crimes of the Nazis against the Jews in WWII by comparing Israelis to Nazis.

Thus Rajoub recently referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “the ugly face of Mussolini and Hitler.” While he did acknowledge the Holocaust against the Jews and others in WWII, Rajoub claimed that Israel is doing “what happened to them to the Palestinians”:

Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub: “[After Trump’s election,] the American administration [was] cooperating with the path of the fascist right-wing that is being led by Netanyahu, the ugly face of Mussolini and Hitler… [The Israelis] have exploited the issue of the Holocaust… They were slaughtered in Europe. It was a despicable massacre, and we all oppose it and do not accept it, but we did not do it! Neither we as Arabs nor we as Muslims. What is happening in Palestine is a second holocaust. We are 14 million people who are being eliminated and erased geographically, historically, humanly, religiously, and culturally. The slaughter- of course, in the 21st century [the occupation] can’t do what was done in the 1940s, but what is the difference? … They are the criminals. They are the murderers. They are the lowly ones. They are doing what happened to them to the Palestinians.”
[Facebook page of Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub, Jan. 20, 2021]

A similar statement was made by an unidentified preacher in a sermon broadcast by official PA TV. The preacher claimed that Israelis are “invaders” who are “avenging the gas ovens by attacking a peaceful people.” He also vowed that these invaders will be “expelled”:

“Armed resistance” is “conditional on the developments on the ground” – top PA official

PA encourage kids to boycott all Israeli products

Biden: US will not lift Iran sanctions until it stops enriching uranium
US President Joe Biden said on Sunday that the US would not lift sanctions on Iran to get the Islamic Republic back to the negotiations table. During an interview with CBS “Face the Nation” ahead of the 55 Super Bowl, he was also asked if Iran must stop enriching uranium first, and nodded his head in affirmation.

Ned Price, the State Department Spokesperson, said on Friday that the US approach would be “to ensure that we are consulting and coordinating very closely with first and foremost our allies, but also our partners, and of course, with members of Congress” about Iran.

“We want to make sure that we are working in lockstep with our European partners and to ensure that they know exactly where we are and we know exactly where they are, and we will move forward together,” he added.

Earlier last week, Price said at a State Department press briefing that if Iran comes back into full compliance with its obligations under the JCPOA, “the United States would do the same, and then we would then use that as a platform to build a longer and a stronger agreement that also addresses other areas of concern.”

“Of course, though, we are a long way from that,” he added. “Iran has distanced itself from compliance on a number of fronts, and there are many steps in that process.”
Seth Frantzman: Inside Iran’s failure to become a gas hub
Iran holds 18% of the world’s proven natural gas reserves and should be in a strategic position in the market, according to an article at Fars News on Sunday. The country gambled on a $200 million gas facility and “peace” pipeline with Pakistan, but the work was “abandoned altogether.” Why? In the groundbreaking article at Fars, the pro-regime website sent its economic correspondent, Ehsan Hosseini, to figure out what happened. The article reveals how Iran sought to build pipelines to Pakistan, Turkey and also through Iraq to Syria, and once sought deals that spanned Kuwait to India and Europe. However, as things fell apart in the last seven years, Iran was punished by its neighbors and even had to trade gold to make amends.

Iran’s media, unlike many totalitarian regimes, is pro-government but also has a degree of wiggle room due to different factions within the tent of the regime. The agenda here, like many articles at Fars and Tasnim, appears to be to undermine the government of President Hassan Rouhani, or prod it to do more. It’s not the first article to slam the government for economic mismanagement. This is important because the regime puts on a brave face in its English propaganda media, such as Press TV, and also sings one song in Europe and another in Moscow. It also is quite good at creating largely mythical stories about Iranian “moderates” and “hardliners,” which are sold to pro-Iranian voices in the West.

The reality, if more Westerners bothered to read Iran’s actual media, is quite different. The 3,000-word article at Fars slamming the government gas mismanagement is interesting in this respect. “Iran can play a role as one of the main players in this market and with the help of natural gas exports and trade, long-term strategic ties with countries that have demand,” the article notes. “In addition to its great economic advantage, gas exports can be considered in terms of influencing the political equations of the region and the world, as well as improving the national security of the country; Because energy trade (oil, gas, etc.) with other countries causes their dependence on Iran and as a result increases political power and promotes national security.”

This is a clear admission from Iran that gas is part of the military-industrial complex. Iran, like Russia, China and Turkey, views its economy as one of the building blocks of national security power. Unlike Western countries that are often chaotic and have military policy that is often at odds with diplomats and both at odds with business interests, Iran pursues an ostensibly Clausewitzian style method of diplomacy, military and business affairs all wrapped into one hammer blow. The point of the Fars article is that, in this case, the hammer failed.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Biden Admin Hints At Selling F-35s To Iran Instead Of UAE (satire)
Senior administration officials suggested today that the review announced two weeks ago of an upcoming sale of advanced fighter aircraft to a moderate Persian Gulf ally will lead to not just to cancelation of the transaction, but to the provision of those strategic and tactical assets to that ally’s enemies, as part of a shift back to the Obama-era approach of empowering the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism.

During a press conference at the White House, Press Secretary Jen Psaki addressed the Biden administration’s decision to reexamine the Trump administration’s agreement to sell F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates, an agreement that played a role in encouraging the UAE and several other Arab states to normalize relations with Israel over the last several months. Psaki noted that the strengthening of the anti-Iran coalition that includes Israel and those Arab states will get in the way of a reboot of Obama’s Iran policy, which viewed Iran, with its conduct of proxy ward throughout the region and its financing and arming of numerous terrorist groups opposed to US and Western interests, as a stabilizing force in the region and a good candidate for responsible ownership of nuclear weapons.

“I want to circle back to an earlier point,” Psaki stated in answer to a reporter’s question. “I mean, we want to circle back to 2015, when we flew pallets of cash to Tehran overnight to grease the wheels of the JCPOA and smooth the Islamic Republic’s path toward atomic weapons. Nothing in their rhetoric indicates they would make destructive or misguided use of such technology, least of all as a bulwark against retaliation for fomenting violence, provided you disregard about half their rhetoric and all of their actions. The best way to circle back might be to provide Iran with some of the incentives the previous administration offered to other countries in that region.”

Anti-Israel UK lawmaker who blamed anti-Semitism rise on Jewish groups retires
Baroness Jenny Tonge, who was suspended from the British Liberal Democrat party for anti-Israel rhetoric and has faced numerous accusations of anti-Semitism, will step down from the House of Lords on February 19, she said Thursday.

“I have always promised myself and my family that I would retire when I am 80 years old which is in mid- February. I informed the authorities some months ago,” she told the UK Jewish News. “Indeed I think many of us should retire from the Chamber at my age — there are far too many people in the [House of] Lords.”

However, Tonge said she would continue her activism: “I shall continue to campaign for justice for the people of Palestine.”

According to the Daily Mail, a non-binding petition calling for her expulsion from the House of Lords gained 10,000 signatures online.

Tonge, who was suspended from the Liberal Democrat party for anti-Israel rhetoric and later quit over the suspension, last month blamed rising anti-Semitism on British university campuses on the “illegal actions of the Israeli government.”

She came under fire last year when she said Britons must “not allow our country to fall under the shadow of the United States of America and its puppet master, Israel.”

Guardian op-ed by Brian Eno evokes antisemitic tropes whilst denying BDS is antisemitic
Last year, the German parliament passed a resolution by an overwhelming majority labeling the international BDS movement antisemitic. The motion, which noted Germany’s national responsibility to protect Israel and fight those who seek its delegitimisation and destruction, concluded that Israeli products labeled with “Don’t Buy” stickers was reminiscent of the Nazi-era boycott of Jewish businesses, which used slogans such as: “Don’t buy from Jews.”

British musician Brian Eno considers himself a victim of Berlin’s moral reckoning with their country’s descent into annihilationist antisemitism, and was provided a forum by Guardian editors to lament his struggle in an op-ed (“Artists like me are being censored in Germany – because we support Palestinian rights”, Feb. 4).

Eno isn’t just a leading cultural figure in the BDS movement, but someone whose hatred of Israel is such that he’s compared Jewish settlers to the Ku Klux Klan, and accused the Jewish state of engaging in barbarism threatening the “civilisational achievements of The Enlightenment”.

Despite the fact that the German resolution against BDS is non-biding, in his op-ed he decries the decision by some cultural venues not to host Eno as representing a form of “blacklisting” targeting “critics of Israeli policy towards Palestinians” – forgetting, it seems, that, he’s a supporter of the cultural boycott of Israel, a movement that targets Israeli Jews (and only Israeli Jews) for social exclusion.

Not only does Eno’s op-ed completely ignore the anti-Jewish racism that’s endemic within Palestinians society, and, as studies have demonsrated, disproportionately represented within the Western pro-Palestinian movement he’s a part of, but suggests that it’s Israeli Jews who are are guilty of failing to learn the lessons of ‘Never Again’, by virtue of their “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians.
Nazi secretary at Stutthof camp charged for role in 10,000 murders
A woman who served as a secretary at the Stutthof Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust has been charged for being complicit in the murders of 10,000 people as well as attempted murder, according to German prosecutors, CNN reported.

According to the claims of the prosecutors, the woman "is accused of having assisted those responsible at the camp in the systematic killing of Jewish prisoners, Polish partisans and Soviet Russian prisoners of war in her function as a stenographer and secretary to the camp commander," between June 1943 and April 1945.

As the woman was under 18 when she served at the camp, she will be charged at a juvenile court.

The woman is not the only recent trial relating of a Nazi from the Stutthof camp. In July, a German court convicted 93-year-old Bruno Dey, who served as an SS guard at the camp between August 1944 and April 1945. As he was also a minor at the time, having started at the age of 17, he was also tried in juvenile court.

While Dey admitted to having been at the camp, he denied any complicity.

"I don't bear any guilt for what happened back then," the defendant told the Hamburg court in 2019, according to the international public broadcaster. "I didn't contribute anything to it, other than standing guard. But I was forced to do it; it was an order."

Elbit Systems awarded $82 Million contract, NL protection systems
Elbit Systems said on Sunday that it was awarded an approximately $82 million contract from BAE Systems Hägglunds to supply the Royal Netherlands Army (RNLA) with Active Protection Systems (APS) and electro-optical commander sights.

According to the company, the contract will be performed over a period of four and a half years.

It added that under the contract and as part of the modernization program led by BAE, Elbit will equip CV90 armored combat vehicles of the RNLA with Iron Fist APS and Commander Open Architecture Panoramic Sights (COAPS).

Iron Fist is a lightweight system that uses optical sensors, tracking radars, launchers and countermeasure munitions to defeat threats at a safe distance, with negligible residual penetration. COAPS is a modular dual-axis stabilized sight that facilitates fire-control computation and long-range target acquisition in day and night, in both stationary and mobile situations.

Yehuda (Udi) Vered, General Manager of Elbit Systems, said in response to the announcement that the company is “pleased with the opportunity to cooperate with BAE Systems Hägglunds and to support this important modernization program of the RNLA.”

Also on Sunday, Elbit said that it was awarded a contract valued at approximately $46 million to supply VBTP 6X6 Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) to the army of a country in Asia-Pacific.
Israeli companies invited to join World Expo exhibit in Dubai
Israel is preparing to present itself at the World Expo in Dubai, which begins October 1. The Foreign Ministry has issued a call for proposals from companies interested in participating in the Israeli pavilion’s exhibits.

The six-month World Expo event is expected to attract some 25 million visitors from around the world and will include more than 200 booths. The Foreign Ministry will be in charge of the Israeli pavilion, which will take up 1,500 square meters.

The expo, which was postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, is still called Expo 2020 for marketing and branding purposes. Israel had already accepted an invitation to the event in 2019 before it signed a normalization agreement with the UAE as part of the Abraham Accords. The Expo in Dubai is a great opportunity for Israel to present its economic and tourism assets to audiences who generally cannot learn about and experience them firsthand, the ministry said.

The themes of the exhibition, “Connecting Minds” and “Opportunity Mobility Sustainability,” are areas in which Israel’s expertise is recognized by countries and business communities around the world, including Arab countries, it said. More than 70% of the expo’s visitors are expected to come from outside the UAE.

Promotional materials published by the Foreign Ministry showed a massive hall with 14 large LED display screens sharing information about Israel’s economy and culture, as well as a large conference room and interactive exhibits.
Taiwan program seeks Israeli startups in AI, big data to pave way to Asia
A Taiwanese innovation program, IP² LaunchPad, that aims to create tech collaborations between Israeli startups and the East Asian country’s industry and academia, will be selecting 12 companies for the second cohort of the accelerator program, to pave the way for their entry into Far East markets.

The companies will be in advanced stages of development of their products and will focus on a variety of sectors, including digitalization in healthcare, high-tech and renewable energy industries, big data, artificial intelligence, internet of things, 5G and cybersecurity, the program organizers said in a statement.

The selected companies will receive guidance from industry executives in Taiwan’s tech ecosystem and an introduction to strategic distribution partners in the Far East, Taiwanese strategic manufacturers, healthcare systems in Taiwan, research and development organizations, and investors. In addition, a local activity center will be set up as a gateway to Far East and global markets, the statement said.

The $70 million IP² LaunchPad program was set up in June by Taiwan’s innovation firm Innovation to Industry (i2i). Rani Shifron, CEO of Israeli consulting firm Healthier Globe and manager of IP² LaunchPad’s activity in Israel (Shlomi Arbib)

“Taiwan is showing positive growth despite the global pandemic, and is offering Israeli companies an active and growing global business center. While we are seeing a slowdown in many economies around the world, the country that has succeeded in dealing with the pandemic is showing growth, thanks in part to the increasing demand for technology products. The growth trend is expected to continue due to the vaccines and recovery of the global economy,” says Rani Shifron, CEO of Israeli consulting firm Healthier Globe and manager of IP² LaunchPad’s activity in Israel.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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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