Thursday, April 01, 2021

From Ian:

Walter Russell Mead [WSJ]: How to Bring Peace to the New Middle East
The old Middle East peace process is dead: The Israeli-Palestinian dispute no longer dominates the regional agenda. The old peace process developed at a time when the U.S. had no serious rival for world leadership, the Middle East mattered more to the global economy than it does today, and Arab states were more powerful in the region than they are now. Under those circumstances, promoting the peace process was a necessary aspect of America's diplomatic balancing act that helped maintain Washington's alliances with the Arab world while supporting Israel.

Since then, the leading Arab states have either fallen into chaos (Syria and Iraq) or become so worried about Iran that they have little energy to devote to the Palestinian cause. At the same time, Israel's attractiveness as a trading partner and source of technology and investment has dramatically increased. Any signal that the Biden administration intends to return to President Obama's Middle East policy would likely drive the Arabs and Israelis more closely together and increase the Arab states' willingness to overlook the Palestinians.

A new peace process would entail engaging the increasingly robust Israeli-Arab entente to resolve the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians, with a credible U.S. commitment to regional security against Iran as the cornerstone of a new Middle East reality.
Saudi Journalist: Arabs And Jews Should Stop Fighting, Start Cooperating
Against the backdrop of the normalization agreements between Israel and several Arab states, Prof. Safouq Al-Shammari, a Saudi physician, researcher and journalist, published a two-part article in the government daily Al-Watan, in which he called to stop the wars between the Arabs and Jews, strengthen the ties between them and cooperate with them in improving the state of the Middle East. Al-Shammari noted that, despite being a small minority in the world, the Jews have made great scientific achievements and significant contributions to mankind, including to the Arab world. Stressing that, throughout history, there was friendship between Arabs and Jews, and that today the conflict between them is confined to the issue of Palestine, he called to distinguish between Zionism and the state of Israel on the one hand and the Jewish people on the other, and to renew the historic ties between the Arabs and their Jewish cousins - in particular the Jews of the U.S. and Europe. This is especially crucial today, he said, in light of Iran's threat to perpetrate a second holocaust against both the Arabs and the Jews. Al-Shammari added that economic cooperation between the Gulf and the Jews of America - who include many of the world's largest tycoons - could boost the economic revolution that is already taking place in the Gulf, and this, in turn, could benefit the region at large and accelerate the resolution of the Palestinian problem.

It should be noted that Al-Shammari's first article sparked angry reactions from Arabs on social media who spoke against the Jews and urged him to support the Arabs rather than the Jews.

The following are excerpts from Al-Shammari's two articles.

Inventions Of Jewish Scientists Have Saved Billions Of Lives
In the first part of his article, Al-Shammari wrote: "Jews constitute 0.2% of the world's population, but 20% of the Nobel Prize winners, [that is,] 100 times their proportion in the population. Some 40% of the Nobel winners in economics are Jews, and 26% of the Nobel winners in physics and medicine. [Many people] are perhaps unaware that [the Jewish] Ernst Chain was a partner of [Alexander] Flemming in discovering the antibiotic properties of penicillin and thereby saving the lives of millions, or that the discoverer of the hepatitis C virus was a Jew. [They may also be unaware] that many inventors of vaccines were Jews, as was the discoverer of blood types, and the list goes on and on. Some assess that Jewish medical scientists saved the lives of 2.8 billion people with their discoveries and inventions. In the field of physics, the [world's] greatest physicist was Albert Einstein. And lest you think that [this list merely proves that] the West panders to the Jews, [let me add that] a quarter of the winners of the Japanese Kyoto Prize - one of the most prestigious prizes in science and literature - have [also] been Jews.

"The conflict between the two cousin peoples, the Jews and the Arabs, is relatively new… The resentment built up over decades of wars between the Arabs and Israel forms a kind of barrier… [but] we must distinguish between the Jews and Israel, and between the Jewish people, who are [our] cousins, and the Zionist political movement. There is a difference between people and political [movements]. There are [surely] Arab political movements that [you, the reader,] disagree with, but this does not mean that [you] disagree with all Arabs. This is also true with regard to the Jews.

"Sadly, this resentment, and the confusion between Jews and Zionists, caused the Jews to emigrate from the Arab countries after [living there] for centuries…and we [thus] lost an important component [of our societies]. Iraq lost its Jews, including the first finance minister of modern Iraq, Sassoon Eskell… who served five terms in this capacity, and is known, among other things, for refusing to grant the Iraqi king 20 dinars for building a fancy residence on the grounds that the parliament had not approved this. Some Arab countries have Jewish ministers and officials even today, such as Serge Berdugo, [a former Moroccan minister of tourism and a leader of the Jewish community there], and André Azoulay, [a royal advisor] in Morocco.

"Know that Arabs and Muslims respected their Jewish cousins throughout history. Abdelkader Ben Ghabrit, founder of the Muslim Institute of the Paris Mosque, saved hundreds of Jews from the Nazis by providing them with [forged] papers certifying them as Muslims. Hundreds of thousands of Jews lived for centuries in the Arab countries [and were treated well there], in contrast to the humiliation they suffered in the Western ghettos in those days…


The Tikvah Podcast: Jacob J. Schacter on Joseph B. Soloveitchik and the State of Israel
This week marks the yahrzeit, the annual remembrance, of the passing of one of the outstanding sages of 20th century Judaism, and perhaps the key intellectual figure of Modern Orthodoxy in America, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. This week’s podcast looks back on a speech he delivered before a rapt audience on Israel’s Independence Day in 1956, during the tense days leading up to the Suez Crisis. It was titled in Hebrew “Kol Dodi Dofek” or “Hark, My Beloved Knocks,” a line from the Song of Songs, which will be chanted in synagogues across the world this Shabbat.

A few years ago, the distinguished scholar and rabbi Jacob J. Schacter of Yeshiva University joined Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver for a discussion of Soloveitchik’s speech, which was later published as a short book entitled Fate and Destiny. In this discussion, Schacter describes the dramatic history behind Soloveitchik’s address and guides us through the “six knocks” that to him demonstrated God’s involvement in the creation of Israel. In the process, he also discusses Soloveitchik’s attitude toward suffering, messianism, and secular Zionism.
JINSA PodCast: Iranian Escalation, Drone Technology, and Everything In Between: A Chat with The Jerusalem Post’s Seth Frantzman
Seth Frantzman, Senior Middle East Correspondent and Middle East affairs analyst at The Jerusalem Post, joins host Erielle Davidson, Senior Policy Analyst at JINSA, to discuss the latest escalations by the Iranian regime—including a series of recent proxy attacks against U.S. bases in Iraq—and how such attacks might impact the Biden Administration’s ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran. Seth also explores in depth his upcoming book Drone Wars and the security implications of this rapidly changing military technology.
Counterbalance PodCast: Ep. 5: Ed Husain, Islam and the West
Mike and Marshall talked to Ed Husain, the author of The Islamist, a memoir of his time inside radical Islamism, who long ago rejected extremism and now advises governments and political leaders on Islam and the Middle East. Ed shared his views on the relations between the Islam and the West today, the fate of secularism in the Muslim Middle East, the Abraham Accords and more.


Israel Signs Multi-Million-Dollar Strategic Accord With Morocco
Jerusalem and Rabat have signed a strategic accord worth hundreds of millions of dollars, Israel Hayom has learned.

The heads of the Israel Manufacturers Association, the Israel Farmers Federation and the Israeli Federation of the Chambers of Commerce signed the unprecedented agreement with the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises, also known as CGEM, on March 27.

According to Zeev Lavie, director of international trade at the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, “The leading fields of trade will be food and agriculture, spare parts and vehicles, chemicals and mechanical equipment. On the other hand, Morocco looks forward to various technologies in the renewable energy fields, water treatments, agriculture and health.”

At the signing ceremony, the president of CGEM said, “Beyond the important potential for additional trade, there are now infinite investment opportunities that Moroccan and Israeli private sector[s] can take advantage of locally, regionally and globally; in particular, as far as existing advantages in various sectors in our countries—like tourism, industry and innovation—are concerned.”

Israel Manufacturers Association President Ron Tomer said that he was “happy and thrilled to stand at the forefront of economy and trade through the renewal of Israel’s Morocco ties, following a lengthy, 15-year break. Many Israelis’ roots are in Morocco, where there has been a large, thriving Jewish community for years. It’s only natural that we are renewing and bolstering ties between the two states through a genuine, long-term partnership that will yield trade cooperation and assist in promoting imports and exports between Israel and Morocco.”
Israel and Bahrain Sign $3 Million ‘First-of-Its-Kind’ Deal to Share Knowledge on Water Technology
Israel’s state-owned water company Mekorot has inked a $3 million deal to provide Bahrain’s Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) with consulting services on water projects and to share knowledge on technologies, in what marks the first “significant” agreement between the Jewish state and the Gulf emirate since the Abraham Accords.

The agreement comes after Bahrain and United Arab Emirates agreed to formalize their diplomatic ties with Israel with the support of the US in October last year. The Jewish state has struck similar deals with Sudan and Morocco in recent months.

“This is a historic and first-of-its-kind agreement between Mekorot and an Arab state,” Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz stated. “The four countries that signed peace agreements with us within the framework of the ‘Abraham Accords’ suffer from water shortages like us, and therefore the innovative solutions of Mekorot and other Israeli technology companies in the field of water can be a broad cushion for cooperation between the parties and strengthen ties between us.”

As part of the deal with Bahrain’s water authority, Israel’s Mekorot will provide consulting, planning and support services to Bahrain in a number of areas, including seawater and brackish water desalination, automatic control systems for water stations and water resources management, as well as help upgrade the country’s water resources.

Outside of Israel, Mekorot provides consulting services in water projects in India, South America, Mexico and Cyprus.

Israel has over the years built a well-known industry and developed technologies in fields like wastewater reuse, water security and desalination. Mekorot has developed a management system to integrate all types of water in a single system: desalinated water, well water, surface water, brackish water, treated wastewater, and floodwater.
Israeli Intel Officials Met With Libyan Candidate for President
Israeli intelligence officials met privately this month with the son of Libya's top warlord to discuss his 2021 presidential candidacy, a signal that Israel is supporting his bid, a source familiar with the meeting told the Washington Free Beacon.

Saddam Haftar has been quietly seeking Western backing for his campaign, which is expected to pit him against Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, the son of former strongman Muammar Qaddafi. Haftar is seen as a proxy for his father Khalifa Haftar, a dual U.S.-Libyan citizen and commander of the Libyan National Army.

A victory by Haftar could lead to closer relations between Israel and Libya, which doesn't recognize the Jewish state. In the past year, Morocco, Sudan, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates all agreed to normalize ties with Israel.

During the meeting with Israeli intelligence officials, which took place earlier this month, the younger Haftar discussed "the situation in the region" and "his aspiration for stability of his country," as well as his professed support for "democracy in his country, law and order," according to the source familiar with the meeting. "The Israelis are supporting him."

The Israeli embassy did not respond to a request for comment. Israel's intelligence agencies have long been believed to support Haftar's father, but the Israeli government has not stated this publicly.
US: It's our longstanding position that the West Bank is occupied
The Biden administration on Wednesday clarified that it considers the West Bank to be occupied territory, but ducked a question as to whether it held that settlements were illegal.

"It is a historical fact that Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights after the 1967 War," US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters in Washington on Wednesday.

The issue was raised after the Biden administration published on Tuesday the 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. It is the first of the annual reports released since US President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.

The report affirmed steps taken by the previous Trump administration, which had both recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

It also kept in place a description change made to the report by former US president Donald Trump, in which he replaced the phrase "Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories" with "Israel, West Bank and Gaza."

But within the report, the Biden administration reintroduced the word "occupied" to describe Israel's seizure of territory during the 1967 Six Day War.
Is Israel an Occupying Power? | The Israeli-Palestinian Context | Unpacked
Israel’s presence in the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria, has a laundry list of labels, many of which have been built on historical assumptions and modern ideas. At the top of this list is one word that has been capitalized on by the Palestinian cause, political left, and anti-Israeli groups for decades: Occupation. In this episode, we seek to thoroughly understand how “Israeli Occupation” came to be synonymous with the call for Palestinian statehood and what this means for peace between Jews and Arabs.


Biden Administration to Allocate $90 Million in Aid to Palestinians
The Biden administration has allocated $90 million in aid to the Palestinians, with only a portion of the money being publicly announced, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The United States announced last week that it would give $15 million in coronavirus relief to the Palestinians. However, the Biden administration notified Congress a day later, without a public announcement, that it will allocate $75 million to the Palestinians for economic support to be used in part to regain their “trust and goodwill” following Trump administration cuts, the AP report said.

The State Department declined to comment on the report, and it remains unclear if the $75 million includes the $15 million in COVID aid.

US President Joe Biden has been outspoken in wanting to re-engage with the international community, especially European allies but also with Iran and the Palestinians, and rolling back many of former President Donald Trump’s foreign policy positions.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said that in general, the United States supports the restoration of aid to the Palestinians.

“We continue to believe that American support for the Palestinian people, including financial support, is consistent with our values. It is consistent with our interests. Of course, it is consistent with the interests of the Palestinian people. It’s also consistent with the interests of our partner, Israel, and we’ll have more to say on that going forward,” he told reporters.


Rep. Elaine Luria: Israel's New Democratic Champion in Congress
Former New York Reps. Nita Lowey and Eliot Engel, who finished their terms in 2021, were arguably Israel's most stalwart Democratic supporters in Congress over the past several decades. Rep. Elaine Luria, a 45-year-old Navy veteran from Virginia who operated nuclear reactors on combat ships, has attempted to fill the void. She acknowledges there are "some very loud voices" in Congress that do not share her views and that the media tends to amplify those voices. "Sometimes detractors get more oxygen than I think they should," she says.

The first time she spoke on the House floor was to respond to her Democratic colleague Rep. Ilhan Omar, who in the context of anti-Semitism accusations and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict raised claims of dual loyalty by other members of the Democratic caucus. "I never envisioned that would be the course I took...so quickly after coming to Congress. I thought it was just incredibly important to speak up against anti-Semitism."
ALP recognises state of Palestine
RECOGNISING a Palestinian state is now an official part of the platform of Australia’s alternative government.

Shadow foreign affairs minister Penny Wong moved an amendment at the ALP conference on Tuesday elevating the status of a 2018 resolution that “calls on the next Labor government to recognise Palestine as a state and expects that this issue will be an important priority for the next Labor government”.

But in moving the amendment, she implied a future Labor government would not be bound by it.

“It has no greater or lesser weight [than the 2018 conference resolution],” she said. “It reflects our belief that Israelis and Palestinians deserve to prosper in peace behind secure and recognised borders.

“It reflects this conference’s prior expression of its view on statehood, while recognising this is a decision for a future Labor government. An Albanese Labor government will take a principled approach to these issues.”

Insisting Labor’s policy “has not changed at all”, Macnamara Labor MP Josh Burns said, “We remain supporters of a two-state solution and we remain strong and unwavering friends of the State of Israel.”

But Burns’ predecessor Michael Danby – who was to have spoken in support of a withdrawn amendment conditioning recognition upon a Palestinian state meeting certain criteria – claimed party leaders Anthony Albanese and Richard Marles had not only adopted former UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s pro-Palestinian policies “but also his Stalinist methods by suppressing debate on the foreign policy motions”.

He added, “This raises significant legal issues about whether the platform adopted is valid.
Former Labor MP claims he was 'censored' from speaking against Palestine recognition
Former Labor MP Michael Danby says he has been "suppressed" and "censored" by his party from speaking at a national party convention about his concerns regarding its official recognition of Palestine policy. Mr Danby said the party's right faction had asked for an amendment - which was withdrawn without his agreement - that no taxpayers' money be used to "fund terrorists". "We asked... no Australian taxpayers' money be used to fund terrorist salaries of ex-murderers, that there be no misogynist or homophobic legislation in the Palestinian Authority," he said. "Now we've got this unconditional change to Australian foreign policy recognising Palestine as a priority. "There are bombers flying over Taipei every night from China, there's a military coup in Burma where 500 people are killed, there's COVID rampaging across PNG - that's not a priority. "Then when I used the standing orders as a credentialed delegate ... to ask formally and informally for the right to speak against Penny Wong's report, to make some of these modest points about the craziness of giving this priority and unconditionality, I'm suppressed and censored”. Mr Danby called for an apology from Penny Wong for being "discriminated against", stating Ms Wong and her "socialist, left mates" denied his legitimate right to speak.




Jpost Editorial: Israel's politicians must take risks to form government
“If you will it, it is no dream.” With those words in his book Old New Land, Theodor Herzl planted a seed that would grow into the modern State of Israel. People dared, they took risks and they succeeded.

Those words could not be more relevant today when it comes to the ongoing political crisis. That is because there are ways out of this situation, but for them to succeed, people will need to dare and take risks.

Two of the options are the most obvious. Either Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu establishes a coalition with Naftali Bennett’s Yamina as well as the support of Mansour Abbas’s Ra’am, or the “change bloc” – as they call themselves – manages to coalesce into a governing coalition, also with some level of Arab support.

Regarding the second option, there are disagreements as to the best way to move forward. Yair Lapid, whose Yesh Atid Party received 17 seats in the election, believes that he should form the government. Gideon Sa’ar on Tuesday night attacked Lapid for not putting his ego aside, warning that if he doesn’t give up the first go as prime minister, Bennett will join Netanyahu and the chance of replacing the embattled Likud leader will be lost.

On the one hand, the need for Arab involvement in the government is a positive development and good for Israel. For too long, the active participation of 20% of Israelis in the governing coalition was viewed as off limits. It was anyhow time for this change.

There are other options as well. If the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) parties – Shas and United Torah Judaism – break away from Netanyahu, they could give Lapid, Bennett or someone else the ability to form a government without needing Arab support, within or outside the coalition.

President Reuven Rivlin hinted at these different options which he called “unconventional alliances” upon receiving the official election results from the Central Elections Committee on Wednesday.
Israel Elections: Bennett to hold fateful meetings with Netanyahu, Lapid
Yamina head Naftali Bennett will hold long-awaited meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Yair Lapid, a spokesman for Bennett said on Thursday.

The meeting with Netanyahu will take place on Friday at the Prime Minister's Office and with Lapid on Saturday night, ahead of Bennett's consultations with President Reuven Rivlin on Monday, in which Bennett will have to reveal who he wants to see form the next government. Both Lapid and Netanyahu want Bennett and the seven MKs of Yamina to recommend them to form the next government during consultations with Rivlin. Lapid is said to be willing to offer Bennett to go first in a rotation in the Prime Minister's Office. Netanyahu will offer him a merger with Likud and reserved slots on the Likud list.

The Yesh Atid leader met with Joint List heads Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi on Thursday and discussed ways to form a new government that would prevent Netanyahu from building a coalition with Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel Smotrich and MK-elect Itamar Ben-Gvir.

"The three discussed a range of painful issues affecting the Arab community, especially the scourge of violence, and possible solutions," a Yesh Atid spokesman said. "They agreed to continue discussions to explore the options available to change both the current government and Netanyahu’s policies, and to bring about real change."
Commentary Magazine Podcast: Israel: Great Vaccinations, Horrible Elections
We’re joined today by Israeli journalist Ruthie Blum to discuss the bizarre phenomenon of Israel likely heading toward a fifth election in two years despite the multiple triumphs in the past year attributable to the leadership of embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Why hasn’t Israel’s success in national vaccination carried Netanyahu to new heights? And we continue to discuss vaccine hesitancy and its problems.
Abbas said to refuse call from Blinken, wants to hear from Biden first
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly refused to accept a phone call from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken a month and a half ago, demanding that the new administration’s first call come directly from the Oval Office.

However, more than two months into the new presidency, a call between US President Joe Biden and Abbas has not taken place.

Meanwhile, Biden has spoken twice with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — once after Biden’s election victory in November, and again several weeks after he entered the White House in February. The second call was widely covered by media in Israel and abroad, which noted that Netanyahu was not among the first world leaders to hear from the new American leader.

According to the Kan public broadcaster, upon rejecting Blinken’s call in February, Abbas noted that a secretary of state being the first in a new administration to call a foreign leader is against traditional protocol.

US officials have started planning a possible phone call between Blinken and PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh or senior PA official Hussein al-Sheikh, according to the report on Thursday.

Despite the lack of direct communications between the leaders, the Biden administration has been quietly freeing up funds for Ramallah after the Trump White House cut off nearly all funding.
US State Department: U.S.: PA Tortured Participants in American-Led 2019 Bahrain Conference
The State Department's 2020 Human Rights Report stated that in 2019, there were reports Palestinian security forces arrested, intimidated, and tortured Palestinians following their participation in an international conference in Bahrain. Some of these individuals, labeled "collaborators" for working with or engaging with Israelis on political initiatives the PA did not support, reported threats of violence from Fatah, Hamas, and other groups with ties to the PA. They reported damage to personal property and businesses. There were reports that the families of those targeted were pressured to disown them, and that they and their family members were denied medical treatment in PA health facilities.

Significant human rights issues with respect to the Palestinian Authority include: reports of unlawful or arbitrary killings, torture, and arbitrary detention by authorities; holding political prisoners; significant problems with the independence of the judiciary; serious restrictions on free expression, the press, and the internet, including violence, threats of violence, unjustified arrests and prosecutions against journalists, censorship, and site blocking; substantial interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, including harassment of nongovernmental organizations; acts of corruption; lack of accountability for violence against women; violence and threats of violence motivated by anti-Semitism; anti-Semitism in school textbooks; and reports of forced child labor.
Gaza Man Who Met on Zoom with Israeli Peace Activists Tortured by Hamas, Forced to Divorce Wife
After months of torture in a Hamas prison, Palestinian activist Rami Aman, 39, says he was told: Divorce your wife and you are free to go.

Aman had recently signed a marriage contract with the daughter of a Hamas official. Now he says the love of his life has been whisked out of Gaza against her will, and he may never see her again.

AP contacted the woman, who confirmed she was forced into a divorce and wanted her husband back.

Aman did not think he was doing anything subversive when he joined an innocent online meeting with Israeli peace activists last April.

For over two hours, Aman and his group of peace activists, the Gaza Youth Committee, talked about coexistence with dozens of Israelis.

As word of the meeting leaked out, Aman was branded a traitor on social media.

On April 9, Aman and seven members of his group were summoned by Hamas Internal Security.

He was blindfolded and forced to sit in tiny kindergarten chairs from 6 a.m. until 1 a.m., accused of collaborating with Israel - a crime punishable by death.


PreOccupiedTerritory: No, We Will Not Share Our Riches With Poorer Terrorist Groups, You Commies by Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas political chief (satire)
Forbes reported last week that our movement has surpassed Hezbollah as the world’s best-funded terrorist organization, with more than a billion dollars moving through our coffers on a per annum basis, a tidbit that prompted more than a few less-fortunate (pun intended) allies and… others to drop some broad hints that we might consider some largesse in their direction, to which I declare, in your dreams, wretches. That money is ours and ours alone. Stop trying to redistribute things to which you have no right. We earned that money with our own sweat and blood. OK, much of the blood was Jewish, but the point stands.

Hamas worked hard to get where it is today: spearheading the resistance to Zionist occupation of Palestine. We emerged from the shadows of bigger players in the arena such as the PLO, and charted a course that strove to maintain integrity and consistency where others – again such as the PLO – made compromises that call into question their commitment to the Palestinian cause. Now that our policy has paid off in literal terms, we cannot squander that effort by rewarding parties whose choices condemn them to financial mediocrity or worse. Mercifulness never liberated an inch of land.

Some key strategies, however, I can share with anyone willing to implement them with discipline and courage. For one thing, diversify. Diplomatic or other pressures can cause the wellsprings of terrorism-support to dry up from a single source, but if one takes care to secure material or pecuniary funding from multiple sources – from, say, Qatar and Turkey as well as Iran – then, when circumstances and Jews conspire to deprive you of one, fall back on the others. Pro tip: European governments are suckers for local “human rights” NGOs that are little more than fronts for terrorism and terrorism apologia. Milk that cow while it still has what to give.
Lebanon’s Top Christian Cleric Criticizes Hezbollah in Leaked Video
Those dragging Lebanon into regional conflicts were not acting in its best interests, the country’s top Christian cleric said, in unusually direct comments that appeared to refer to Hezbollah.

“I want to tell them … Do you want to force (Lebanon) to go to war? Are you asking before you go to war? Before you go to Syria? … You’re not looking out for the interest of your people,” Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai said in a video circulated by local media on Thursday.

Rai has called for Lebanon to remain neutral, referring to Hezbollah’s role fighting in neighboring Syria to support Damascus and its alliance with Iran in regional conflicts.
CAMERA Op-Ed POLITICO’s Softball Interview with Iran’s Foreign Minister
Less than four months ago, Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, used an antisemitic Persian term for Jews — jahood — in a December 9, 2020, interview with Arman TV.

Jahood, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) noted in its translation, is equivalent to “kike.” Yet, in a recent interview with Zarif, Politico failed to take Zarif to task for his — or the regime’s — antisemitism.

Indeed, reporter Negar Mortazavi’s March 17, 2021, question and answer session with Zarif was largely a missed opportunity to hold the regime, and one of its chief interlocutors, responsible.

Politico’s interview — conducted via Skype — focused, as the magazine’s headline suggests, on “what it will take to break the US-Iran impasse.” But Mortazavi’s questions overlooked the nature of the authoritarian dictatorship that Zarif serves.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a chief state sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for supporting US-designated terrorist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and others that are hostile to the United States and are responsible for murdering Americans, Israelis, and others. Mortazavi, unfortunately, failed to mention this to readers, much less to ask Zarif how this behavior squares with a supposed desire to “break an impasse” with the US.

In fact, at the time of the interview, the Houthis, a Yemeni Iranian proxy, had been launching terrorist attacks aimed at US allies. As NBC News reported five days prior, on March 12, “Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen ramp up drone, missile attacks on Saudi Arabia.” NBC news reporter Dan de Luce pointed out that the Pentagon told him that “the Houthis launched more than 40 drones and missiles” aimed at the Kingdom “in February alone.” And, as AP and The Times of Israel reported on March 14th, Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu even indicated that he avoided Saudi airspace due to these attacks. Considering that the Houthi’s motto is “Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse the Jews, Victory to Islam,” this might have been a wise choice.
Iran adds advanced machines at Natanz enrichment facility
Iran has begun enriching uranium with a fourth cascade, or cluster, of advanced IR-2m machines at its underground Natanz plant, a report by the international atomic watchdog showed, in a further breach of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

It was the latest of many steps by Iran raising pressure on US President Joe Biden with the two sides in a standoff over who should move first to salvage a deal that was meant to curb Iran's ability to develop a nuclear bomb, if it so intended.

The deal imposed limits on Iran's nuclear activities that it started breaching in 2019 in response to a US withdrawal from the accord under Biden's predecessor Donald Trump, as well as the reimposition of US sanctions against the Islamic republic that had been lifted under the agreement.

The deal only lets Iran enrich with relatively antiquated first-generation IR-1 centrifuges at the underground Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) at Natanz, a commercial-scale enrichment facility. Last year Tehran began adding more advanced centrifuges there able to enrich much faster than the IR-1.

"On 31 March 2021, the Agency verified at FEP that: Iran had begun feeding natural UF6 into a fourth cascade of 174 IR-2m centrifuges," the International Atomic Energy Agency said in its confidential report dated Wednesday and obtained by Reuters on Thursday. By UF6, it was referring to uranium hexafluoride, the form in which uranium is fed into centrifuges for enrichment.

Iran has informed the IAEA that it plans to use six cascades of IR-2m machines at the FEP to refine uranium up to 5% fissile purity. The report said the remaining two cascades were installed but not yet enriching. Installation of a planned second cascade of IR-4 machines had not yet begun, it added.
EU to Sanction Iran Militia, Police, Three Entities Over 2019 Protests, Diplomats Say
The European Union will target eight Iranian militia and police commanders and three state entities with sanctions next week over a deadly crackdown in November 2019 by Iranian authorities, three diplomats said on Wednesday.

The travel bans and asset freezes will be the first time the EU has imposed sanctions on Iran for human rights abuses since 2013 and are set to be put in place some time next week after the Easter holidays in Europe, the diplomats said.

The individuals to be targeted include members of Iran’s hardline Basij militia, who are under the command of the Revolutionary Guards, the most powerful and heavily armed security force in the Islamic Republic.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that the EU was planning the sanctions. The bloc declined to comment on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Iran has repeatedly rejected accusations by the West of human rights abuses. The Iranian Embassy in Brussels was not immediately available for comment, nor were other Iranian officials.
Joe Rogan: If Iran ‘can kill Navid Afkari who's so beloved, they would kill anybody’
Popular American podcast host Joe Rogan devoted part of his show on Tuesday, which has 9.5 million followers, to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s execution of the champion Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari.

While discussing international wrestling with American Olympic Gold Medalist Dan Gable, Rogan said about Afkari and the regime in Tehran: “It seems like what they were/are doing was just making sure that people were scared. If they can kill a man who’s so beloved – a national hero – they would kill anybody.”

Rogan started off his podcast on the media service platform Spotify by telling Gable that “I am sure you are aware what happened recently… with the Iranian wrestler who was killed because he was involved in a peaceful protest and they made an example out of him.”

Gable responded by doubting the Islamic Republic’s reason for executing Afkari in September 2020: “And they claimed that he killed somebody, but you know you can claim whatever you want to help satisfy the people. But chances are he didn’t.”

Human rights organizations and many Western governments contend that Iran’s regime imposed an extrajudicial execution on Afkari because he protested against regime corruption in 2018.







Printfriendly

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz

comments

Speaking

Follow by Email

translate

E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years

Hasbys!

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.

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options


One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs

Categories

#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW hum Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion Opinon oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Blog Archive