Friday, April 23, 2021

From Ian:

Two-state solution sinks as Biden tries to resurrect it
Postponement of the upcoming Palestinian elections on 22 May for the 132-member Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) seems virtually assured with the report from an “unnamed US source” that Washington would not object to any such postponement.

The potential boost to Hamas’s power in winning this election at the expense of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) would spell the death knell for the creation of an independent Palestinian State located in all of Gaza, Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and East Jerusalem (“target area”).

Amazingly this failed solution still continues to be pushed by the international community 40 years after the Venice Declaration first embraced it.

President Trump’s plan to create another Arab State in about 70% – rather than 100% – of the target area – was effectively discarded by President Biden from the day he became President – rewarding the PLO for its unequivocal rejection of Trump’s proposal by resuming much of America’s financial largesse to the PLO and international organisations withdrawn by Trump.

Particularly shareworthy has been Biden’s failure to demand that the PLO end its “pay for slay policy” that rewards the killing and maiming of Jews with substantial payments to the perpetrators or their families – currently running in excess of $300 million per annum.

In agreeing to postpone the May 22 PLC elections – Biden is trying to keep alive the failed 40 years-old “two-state solution” that realistically has never had any chance of succeeding.

Caroline Glick: For Progressives Netanyahu isn't the problem, Israel is
As an anti-Israel Jewish-led lobby, J Street operates much differently than AIPAC did. J Street's job isn't to initiate anti-Israel policies as a counterpart to AIPAC. J Street's job is to serve as a Jewish fig leaf for anti-Israel Democrats.

Warren doesn't seek to block Israel from defending itself against Palestinian aggression because J Street asked her to. J Street supports placing conditions on US military aid to Israel because Warren and her comrades wish to condition the aid. The anti-Israel Democrats come to the J Street conference every year to receive J Street's Jewish stamp of approval for their anti-Israel policies. It can be assumed that the more powerful Warren and her comrades become, the less need they will have for their Jewish fig leaf. Over time, the rise of the progressives is likely to render J Street even more irrelevant than AIPAC.

The second lesson from Warren's speech and the J Street conference more generally is that the era of bipartisan support for Israel is essentially over. Israel has become a partisan issue.

The Republican Party is a pro-Israel party. Republicans, almost to the last want to maintain and strengthen the US-Israel alliance. While a majority of Democrats will still support US military aid to Israel, most Democrats prefer to keep their positions quiet because the Democrat base opposes Israel. The Democrat leadership in both houses not only refuses to take any steps against the Israel hating progressives. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Pelosi are promoting them even as the push policies openly geared towards empowering Israel's enemies and weakening Israel.

For many years, leftists in Israel and the US accused the Israeli Right – and Netanyahu in particular – of making US support for Israel into a partisan issue. But Warren's address and those of her colleagues this week proved that neither the right in Israel nor Netanyahu is responsible for what has happened.

In her 15-minute speech, Warren referred to her demand that Israel withdraw from Judea and Samaria as a "moral" imperative five times. As she and her camp see it, anyone thinks Israel should maintain its presence in the areas is immoral. And if withdrawal opponents are immoral, it follows naturally that they do not share the values of Warren's America. And since they do not share progressive values, they cannot be allies with the America of Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders.

As for President Joe Biden, so far, the difference between him and them is hard to find. While he may not be going down the anti-Israel path as quickly as Warren, Sanders and their comrades would wish, Biden has done nothing they disagree with. His trajectory, like theirs, is clear.

The Caroline Glick Show: Episode 2: The Rise of Israel's NeverNetanyahus
In the second episode of the Caroline Glick Midest News Hour, Caroline and co-host Gadi Taub discuss the pathological state of Israeli politics in the wake of the country’s fourth stalemate election. They take a deep dive into Senator Elizabeth Warren’s anti-Israel screed at the J Street conference and they consider the implications of the woke revolution on America and its relations with the outside world.

Does Israel Lie America Into Wars?
Colin Kahl’s creepy insinuation was debunked last week. The question is why Biden’s Pentagon pick said it in the first place.

How can we understand that Kahl’s response to reported news of Israeli spies uncovering a “huge amount of new and dramatic information on the Iranian nuclear program” was to publicly retail a patently false anti-Semitic conspiracy theory? The possibilities are finite, and they all come with the same appendix. Maybe the top-secret U.S. government intelligence that Kahl was privy to before 2018 was in fact blind to Iran’s nuclear program, and really did make it seem reasonable to assume that the Iranian documents were forgeries. If not, and U.S. intelligence had long corroborated Israel’s eventual findings, then Kahl’s use of an anti-Semitic canard to deflate the new revelations was viciously cynical.

Kahl is now Biden’s nominee for the No. 3 position at the Pentagon. To support Kahl’s stalled confirmation, Obama’s former ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, and his former special envoy for Middle East peace, Martin Indyk, have spearheaded a letter in defense of the embattled nominee that attempts to portray him as a friend of Israel based on his 13 visits there while carrying out Obama’s policies. “Kahl has been unfairly and ludicrously smeared as anti-Israel,” Shapiro insists.

Really? A hallmark of the Obama years was the corruption of language—sometimes referred to as gaslighting—wherein people were asked to accept constantly evolving word definitions while rejecting contradictory evidence that they might have previously seen as clear-cut. In this case, the evidence suggests that Colin Kahl is a nuclear archive truther who deflected against unwelcome news by spreading anti-Semitic falsehoods. How friendly is that?

From an American national security standpoint, Kahl’s inability to tell the difference between friends and foes would appear to be matched by his failure to correctly analyze intelligence material, which might ordinarily seem like a prohibitive defect for the guy in charge of policy at the Pentagon. But these are not normal times. For Kahl’s brazen public supporters, the nominee’s empty toolkit must come second to his allegiance to the party line—which now apparently includes the idea that Israel lies America into wars.
The Tikvah Podcast: Jonathan Schanzer on the Palestinians’ Political Mess
To understand the Palestinian people and the region, one must understand the enduring cleavages and party affiliations that make up Palestinian politics.

In 2007, shortly after legislative elections that led to a surprising victory for the Islamist terrorist organization Hamas, Palestinians fought a brief civil war. By the end of the conflict, Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party retained power in the West Bank, while Hamas controlled Gaza. Today, the Palestinians remain divided along those same factional and territorial lines—lines that are now front and center, since Palestinian elections are once again being called for next month. If the elections go forward—and it’s now looking unlikely that they will—they will feature the first presidential election since 2005, when Abbas was elected for a single four-year term that’s now entered its sixteenth year.

To help us make sense of what’s happened and what’s likely to happen, we asked Jonathan Schanzer, a senior vice president at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the author of Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine (2008), to join our podcast this week. In conversation with Mosaic‘s editor Jonathan Silver, Schanzer outlines the history of Palestinian politics and brings listeners inside the vigorous competition for power taking place at this moment.

JPost Editorial: Israel must recognize the Armenian Genocide - editorial
When we recite “Never Again” on Holocaust Remembrance Day, it is obviously “never again” for our people, but there is nothing wrong with making it clear that we also believe that genocide should never happen to anyone else as well. The first step in ensuring “never again” is recognizing history as it was and making clear that what happened to the Armenians was in fact a genocide.

In addition, when considering geopolitics, what exactly does Israel need to fear from Turkey? Can the relationship with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan really get worse?

There is no reason to fear Erdogan, who behaves like an antisemitic bully in the Middle East. It is true that Erdogan recently said that he would like better relations with Israel, but he still hosts Hamas leaders in Ankara and the ruling AKP Party still compares Israel to Nazi Germany. Turkey has claimed it wants to “liberate al-Aqsa,” asserting that “Jerusalem is ours” in the past year.

“The Palestine policy is our red line. It is impossible for us to accept Israel’s Palestine policies; their merciless acts there are unacceptable,” Erdogan said this past December after Friday prayers in Istanbul.

Israel should of course explore what this rapprochement with Turkey might mean, but it cannot do so while ignoring its moral and historical responsibility of standing alongside the Armenians in the face of evil.

For the world to ensure that these atrocities do not happen again, we have to be clear about what they are. Israel needs to recognize the Armenian genocide. It is a simple bill. It is time the Knesset pass it.
Khaled Abu Toameh: US, EU Help to Suppress Journalists, Political Activists
The malware, disguised as chat applications, would give the Palestinian Security Services access to targets' phones, including contacts, text messages, locations and even keystrokes, Facebook said. The hacking operation targeted Palestinian journalists, political activists and dissidents.

The Facebook revelation came two weeks after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the Biden administration decided to resume financial aid to the Palestinians, including "vital security assistance programs," a reference to support for the PA security forces.

US taxpayer money, in other words, is going to support a Palestinian security service whose main task is to spy on journalists, political activists and critics of Abbas and the Palestinian leadership. The same, of course, applies to European taxpayer money.

This is certainly not a way to advance prosperity, security, and freedom for Palestinians. On the contrary; by funding the Palestinian security forces, the Biden administration is actually assisting Abbas in his continuous efforts to silence his critics and intimidate journalists and human rights and political activists.

By spying on journalists and political opponents, the Palestinian security forces have violated Article 4 of their own law.....

In the past decade, the PA security forces have arrested or interrogated dozens of Palestinians over critical remarks they posted on Facebook. This crackdown has been largely ignored by the international community, specifically US and European Union donors to the PA.... This indifference has allowed the Palestinian leadership to enforce an atmosphere of menacing intimidation on the Palestinians living under its rule in the West Bank.

Now that Facebook has confirmed the PA's responsibility for hacking the accounts of journalists and political activists, the Biden administration and Western donors are morally obligated to emend their policy of providing financial aid to Abbas's security services.

The donors must make it clear to the Palestinian leadership that the PA security forces are tasked with enforcing law and order and combating terrorism, not misappropriating American and European money to crush their own people.

The time has come to answer the basic question: Why are Americans and Europeans propping up an authoritarian regime, to the tune of millions upon millions per year, that muzzles free speech and spies on reporters and political opponents?
Lawmakers Call for Immediate Freeze on U.S. Funding to Palestinian Refugee Agency
A group of 21 Republican senators is pressing the Biden administration to immediately cut U.S. funding to the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency, citing its anti-Israel bias and ties to regional terror groups.

In a letter sent Thursday to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the senators, led by Jim Risch (R., Idaho), slam the Biden administration for allocating $150 million in aid to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides educational and humanitarian services to Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. American funding to UNRWA was frozen in 2018 by the Trump administration after it determined the agency's anti-Semitic and anti-Israel agenda was too toxic to pay for.

The Biden administration moved almost immediately after taking office to restart funding to UNRWA, money that was allocated with no strings attached. Risch, the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his colleagues are pressuring the State Department to freeze these funds until the agency implements a series of reforms, including cutting ties with terror groups and erasing anti-Semitism and extremism from its lesson plans.

"We are concerned that this administration's decision to resume U.S. assistance to UNRWA was made in haste, without any actionable attempt to secure much-needed and meaningful reforms of the agency," the lawmakers write in the letter, which was signed by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.), Bill Hagerty (R., Tenn.), Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), and Rick Scott (R., Fla.), among others.

The Washington Free Beacon first reported last week that UNRWA continues to mainstream anti-Semitism in the classroom even though it has promised not to. Undercover videos taken by a watchdog group during the last year show UNRWA teachers promoting violence against Israel and using educational materials that call for the Jewish state's destruction. The findings, captured by the Center for Near East Policy Research, an Israeli investigative group, were presented last month to a bipartisan gathering of congressional staffers.

The Biden administration should have not resumed funding before first extracting promises from UNRWA that it would implement widespread reforms, according to the senators. Their concerns include the agency's hiring of "individuals affiliated with Hamas" and promotion of "material that is anti-Semitic, such as encouraging the destruction of the state of Israel and supporting martyrdom and/or violent jihad."

The Washington Post’s Report on ‘Biden’s Relationship with Israel’ is Full of Holes
An April 17, 2021 Washington Post report, entitled “Biden’s relationship with Israel shaping up to be less cozy than his predecessors,” is littered with misleading omissions, questionable claims and inaccuracies. The dispatch, by Post White House correspondent Anne Gearan, asserted “current Iran nuclear talks mark a defining moment for President Biden and the new, less-cozy relationship that is shaping up between Biden and Israel, its longtime leader and its American supporters.” Yet, the truth isn’t as clear-cut as the narrative that the Post would have readers believe.

The newspaper claimed that “an attack on a key Iranian nuclear facility, widely attributed to Israel, has made the simmering disagreement” between Biden and Israel more acute. What is more, the Post implies—without evidence—that this was an intentional move on Israel’s part, writing: “If Israel was behind the attack, as analysts believe, then the country apparently timed it not only to sabotage the Iran talks underway in Vienna, but also to send a message to Washington by embarrassing the visiting U.S. defense chief,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who was scheduled to visit Israel the day that news of the attack broke.

It is quite the claim to assert that Israel intentionally conducted an elaborate strike against Iran’s nuclear weapons program in order to “send a message to Washington” and “embarrass” a top U.S. official. It is precisely the sort of claim that requires evidence. But, contravening standard journalistic practice, the Post doesn’t provide any proof to buttress its assertion.

Later, the Post sought to blame Israel and its democratically elected prime minister for a decrease in support for the Jewish state among the American left. The newspaper singles out the relationship between Netanyahu and Trump as being particularly responsible, citing the latter’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, “which other presidents had resisted doing for decades” as an example of growing partisanship in the relationship.

“The result,” Gearan wrote of the Trump administration’s policies toward the Jewish state, “has been to align Israel, which has enjoyed bipartisan support as a central U.S. partner since its founding in 1948, more closely with the Republican Party.”

ISIS-Inspired NYC Bomber Sentenced to Life In Prison
An ISIS-inspired Brooklyn man who detonated a bomb on the New York City subway in 2017 was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday.

Akayed Ullah, originally from Bangladesh, detonated a pipe bomb strapped to his chest in the Port Authority subway station in December 2017. Authorities immediately arrested Ullah for the bombing, which injured Ullah and three others. Ullah built the bomb in his Brooklyn apartment in the weeks preceding his attack.

The ISIS-inspired terrorist began to radicalize in 2014 when he sought out radical Islamist materials online. On the morning of the attack, Ullah posted an ISIS slogan and said, "Trump you failed to protect your nation."

Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers said the sentence serves as a reminder that threats of ISIS-related terrorism remain real.

"Ullah constructed a pipe bomb and detonated it in a mass transit hub in the heart of New York City to harm and terrorize as many people as possible—and he admitted that he did it on behalf of ISIS," Demers said. "This case reminds us that the threat of ISIS-inspired terrorism remains real. This sentence holds Ullah accountable, as he will spend the rest of his life in federal prison for his crimes."

Since 2015, the number of Islamist terror acts has steadily declined in the United States, but the threat of homegrown domestic terror remains a concern, according to a report from the think tank New America. Domestic radicalization often occurs online through jihadist channels and social media, the report says.
French policewoman stabbed to death in suspected Islamic terror attack
A female police employee was stabbed to death by a Tunisian man at a police station southwest of Paris on Friday in a suspected Islamic terror attack, officials said.

The attacker was fatally wounded when an officer opened fire on him at the station in Rambouillet, a wealthy commuter town about 60 kilometers (40 miles) from Paris, a police source told AFP on condition of anonymity. The attacker shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great,) a source said.

Prosecutors said they were opening a “terror probe” into the attack that took place in the secure entrance area of the station at around 2:20 pm (1220 GMT.)

The woman, 48, was stabbed in the throat twice, the police source said.

Prime Minister Jean Castex and Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin both announced they were heading to the scene.

France’s DGSI domestic intelligence service will participate in the inquiry as France remains on high alert over a string of jihadist killings that have killed hundreds in recent years.
Seth Frantzman: Israel Police work to keep Jews, Arabs from clashing - reporter's notebook
It’s worth noting that the large march and clashes on April 22 did not come spontaneously. Over the week since Ramadan began, there were several TikTok videos that showed Arabs attacking Orthodox Jews near the Old City. Clashes in Jaffa and near Damascus Gate frame the tensions. The fact that large numbers of people can once again gather at bars in West Jerusalem, with the vaccination program leading to an end of restrictions, and the gatherings on Ramadan near Damascus Gate, have helped provide the masses of people that fuel the exploitative tensions by religious right wing troublemakers on both sides.

Around the police cordon, near Damascus Gate on Thursday night, hundreds of Arab men gathered mostly to watch police and to watch the fifty journalists who had also come. These kinds of groups have their own dynamics. Because of the cameras and police presence there is a tendency for the police to become a magnet for altercations. That is what happened on Thursday night. Some youths threw stones at the two large “stink tanks,” kind of white whale-like trucks that can spray water mixed with stink substance on people. It was not clear if both the vehicles had the stinky cannons, because it appears water was also used.

Riot police chased young men around the streets and shops near Damascus Gate. For the most part they didn’t appear to detain anyone. But a dumpster was set on fire and a fire was begun between Damascus and Herod’s Gate. This gave the evening a bit of a hellish feeling, with smoke billowing and flash-bang grenades, used to scare the crowd, bursting with fire-work like intensity. From where I was only one person was lightly wounded. Reports said that dozens were detained in injured elsewhere.

The police, without a massive presence but using metal barriers effectively, used the water cannons, several police mounted on horses and crowd control measures to keep the crowds away from each other. The potential for more violence was clear because when Arab youths heard rumors the Jewish activists had broken through they ran to confront them shouting “Allahu akbar” and other slogans. In the end police appeared to have kept the sides apart. However, in another part of the city, near Wadi Joz, a Jewish man was badly beaten and a car set on fire. This illustrated the potential for much worse.

These kinds of rallies and the cycle of hate that come with them, including the videos that lead to rising anger on both sides, can lead to murder. That was the case in 2014 when the murder of three Jews in the West Bank by Hamas members helped set the stage for the Abu Khdeir murder in Jerusalem. These kind of tensions can also lead to radicalization and terror attacks. However, just 100 meters from the clashes, relative calm and normal life continued in Jerusalem. In East Jerusalem people went home to Ramadan. In West Jerusalem people sat at bars and drank, un-aware of the clashes just around the corner.

Daniel Pipes: Can the Koran Solve Israel's Political Impasse?
Here's a novel idea to resolve Israel's increasingly painful political impasse.

The crux of the problem lies in the fact that one of Benjamin Netanyahu's potential coalition partners, the Religious Zionist Party (RZP) headed by Bezalel Smotrich, refuses to support him should Netanyahu rely in any way on the Islamist Ra'am party to reach a majority of 61 in Israel's parliament, the Knesset. Yet without both the RZP and Ra'am in his coalition, Netanyahu cannot reach 61 seats. Thus the impasse.

So far, Smotrich's rejection of Ra'am has been absolute and unconditional, based on the fact that Ra'am rejects the very existence of the Jewish state of Israel. To quote from its 2018 charter, the party calls Zionism a "racist, occupying project," rejects allegiance to the Jewish state, and demands a right of return for Palestine refugees. Reasonably enough, Smotrich fears that legitimizing Ra'am in any way will lead to a host of dire consequences for Israel. He stands resolutely on this point.

Fine. But it would be more productive if Smotrich and the RZP set out the conditions under which they accept Ra'am support. What would it need to amend in its charter? How would Ra'am's leader Mansour Abbas have to talk to his constituents in Arabic about Israel? Implicitly assuming such a change to be out of the question, RZP until now has not even raised the idea – reasonably enough, as presumably no Islamists anywhere in the world, much less among the Palestinians, recognize Israel.

The Koran is a proto-Zionist document, with verses that endorse the Jewish presence in the Holy Land.

But, in fact, the basis does exist for such a recognition. It exists not in the turmoil of current politics but in the founding scripture of the Islamic faith, the seventh-century Koran. Believe it or not, but the Koran is a proto-Zionist document, with verses that endorse the Jewish presence in what it calls the Holy Land (al-ard al-muqaddasa), the territory that roughly makes up the modern state of Israel.

For example, Koran 5:20-21 quotes Moses saying to the Jews, "O my people! Enter the Holy Land which God [Allah] has ordained for you to enter." Likewise, Koran 7:137 states that "We made those who were persecuted successors of the eastern and western lands [of the Jordan River], lands which We had blessed. In this way, your Lord's fair word was fulfilled for the Children of Israel." Other Koranic verses (2:40, 7:159-60, 17:100-04)) confirm this theme, as do Hadith reports and leading Koranic scholars of the premodern era.
Responding to Muslin Ball Games on Temple Mount, Israeli Org Demands Transfer of Holy Site to Jewish Authority
Several clips recently posted on social media sites showing Muslims playing ball games on the Temple Mount have prompted an Israeli organization to demand the prosecution of the offenders and the transfer of control of the holy site from the Muslim Waqf to a Jewish authority.

The shocking videos featuring Muslims desecrating the holy site with football games, which landed at times right near the Dome of the Rock, and parkour pranks, “evoke deep horror in the heart of every Jew,” the Temple Mount Organizations Administration stated Wednesday.

“This is a terrible desecration of the sanctity of the place, especially when it is performed in the Dome of the Rock plaza, the site of the Jewish Holy of Holies on the Temple Mount,” the organization said.

Following the publication of the videos, they appealed to the police and demanded the arrest of the offenders and their prosecution in accordance with the law.

Assaf Fried, spokesman for the organization, stated that “the despicable behavior of the Muslims on the Temple Mount proves that beyond the mosque next to it, the Temple Mount is not sacred to Arabs, except the sanctity of robbing it from the Jews.”

“It is obligatory to immediately remove the Waqf from the Temple Mount, and hand over the responsibility for the holy place to a Jewish body, for which the sanctity of the Temple Mount is important,” he said.

The Temple Mount Organizations Administration noted that according to High Court rulings, football games are banned on the Temple Mount.
Coronavirus in Israel: No deaths in past day for first time in 10 months
For the first time in approximately 10 months, no one has died from the coronavirus in the past day in Israel, according to Health Ministry data.

The current death toll is 6,346. The daily death toll has been decreasing since January, when daily coronavirus deaths were around 60 per day. There were 129 new coronavirus cases in Israel in the past day the Health Ministry announced Friday morning.

The Health Ministry also announced they conducted 35,027 tests - around 0.4% of tests returned a positive result.

Some 160 of current patients are in serious condition, with 97 intubated.

Over five million people in Israel have received a second dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of Friday, the Health Ministry announced, Israeli media reported.

Terror candidates must not run in Palestinian elections, US tells UNSC
The United States cautioned against allowing Palestinian politicians who do not recognize Israel or who support terrorist activity — such as members of Hamas or the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — from running in the upcoming Palestinian elections when it addressed the United Nations Security Council on Thursday.

"I want to acknowledge the upcoming Palestinians elections, which we believe are a matter for the Palestinian people to determine," the political coordinator for the US Mission to the UN Rodney Hunter told the UNSC.

"The United States and other key partners have long been clear that participants in the democratic process must accept previous agreements, renounce violence and terrorism, and recognize Israel’s right to exist," Hunter said.

Hunter spoke as the Palestinians prepare for their first Legislative Council election since 2006 set for May 22nd, in which 132 seats must be filled.

The Biden administration has been supportive of the elections, but on Thursday it revived a set of criteria for those elections that had in the past been held by the Quartet and the former Bush administration. The Quartet is composed of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.

Candidates from Hamas and the PFLP, both of which support violence against Israel and have not recognized its right to exist, are running in the election.
EU nations at UNSC: Israel must allow east Jerusalem Palestinians vote
Israel must allow Palestinians to vote in east Jerusalem, five current and former European Union members of the United Nations Security Council said on Thursday.

"We call on the Israeli authorities to facilitate the holding of elections across all of the Palestinian territories, including in East Jerusalem, in line with commitments made in the Oslo Accords as well as to facilitate the participation of international observers across all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem," the countries said.

Estonia, France, Ireland, Belgium and Germany issued the statement in the aftermath of the UNSC's monthly meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Germany and Belgium ended their UNSC term in 2020, but still signed onto the statement.

Palestinian officials have threatened to delay or cancel the elections, citing Israel’s failure to respond to their request to hold the vote in Jerusalem.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas is “facing a real dilemma,” one official told The Jerusalem Post. “If he cancels the elections, he will be accused by his political rivals of depriving the Palestinians of the chance to elect their representatives. If, on the other hand, he holds the elections in Jerusalem, he will be accused of submitting to Israeli dictates.”

Netanyahu ‘Had a Point’ About Iran Nuclear Deal, a Star New York Times Reporter Concedes
A veteran New York Times reporter has conceded publicly that Prime Minister Netanyahu “had a point” when he warned against the Iran nuclear deal reached by President Barack Obama.

For years, editorials in the New York Times have cheered the deal and mocked Netanyahu’s opposition. “Mr. Netanyahu’s Unconvincing Speech to Congress,” was the headline over a 2015 Times editorial. “Netanyahu’s Flimflam on Iran,” was the headline of a 2018 editorial in the same genre. In recent months, the Times editorial column has been relentlessly campaigning for President Joe Biden to re-enter the deal, which the Trump administration had exited.

Yet in a recent episode of “The Daily,” a Times podcast, the paper’s White House and national security correspondent David Sanger let slip that the Israeli leader had a concern that was actually legitimate.

Was the Deputy Head of the Iranian Quds Force Assassinated?
On Sunday, April 18, the media arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), “Sepah News,” announced the death of Brigadier General Muhammad Hosseinzadeh Hejazi, deputy head of the IRGC’s external branch, the Quds Force. The news agency said Hejazi had succumbed to a heart condition. But hours after the news broke, Muhammad Mehdi Hemmat, the son of the late Muhammad Ebrahim Hemmat, tweeted a condolence that read: “I just want to say that the cause of death was not a heart condition. My leader, this soldier of yours [was] sacrificed for you, I offer my condolences, I also sacrifice myself for you.”

Hemmat’s father, Muhammad Ebrahim, was a high-ranking IRGC commander who participated in the 1982 Lebanon War and was later killed during the Iran-Iraq War. Because his father was so closely linked to the Islamic establishment, Muhammad Mehdi Hemmat’s tweet is attracting media attention inside Iran.

Muhammad Hejazi was born in Isfahan in 1956 and held a PhD in strategic management from the Supreme National Defense University. After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Hejazi joined the IRGC and was active in fighting the 1979 rebellion in Iranian Kurdistan.

For nearly a decade, between 1998 and 2007, Hejazi was commander of the Basij, the paramilitary unit of the IRGC responsible for putting down unrest inside the country. Between 2008 and 2009 he was Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the IRGC. He also served as head of the Joint Staff of the IRGC.

After leaving his post as Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Hejazi was appointed head of the Tehran branch of the IRGC. He was instrumental in the massive crackdown on the post-election protests of 2009, during which an unknown number of protesters was killed by the IRGC and Basij militias. Because of his role in the crackdown, Hejazi was sanctioned by the EU in October 2011.

The Joshua and Caleb Network: Will the US Allow Iran to Get a Nuclear Bomb?
Iran just announced they are enriching uranium at 60%. The 2015 JCPOA deal only allowed them to enrich uranium at 3.67% and they need to reach 90% enrichment to create a nuclear weapon. In the meantime, the United States is trying to coax Iran to return to the same 2015 deal, possibly without preconditions!

Who will stop Iran? Israel seems determined to do so, despite America’s apathy towards this dangerous regime.

Ramadan has started, and the Palestinian Authority is preparing to hold elections. As a result, riots, terrorism and violence have increased throughout Israel. Ironically, the Arab shop owners of East Jerusalem are begging the Israeli police to put a stop to the riots!

Don’t miss this week’s power-packed show.


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