Monday, May 03, 2021

From Ian:

Delegitimizing Israel has become a mainstream pastime - opinion
Human Rights Watch, the US-based NGO, has indicted Israel as an “apartheid” state, accusing Israel of institutionalized racial segregation. Israel, according to Human Rights Watch, is the new South Africa.

What is the impact of this offensive onslaught on Israel?

This ugly “apartheid” smear is central to the larger campaign to delegitimize Israel. Human Rights Watch’s assault on the Jewish state is designed to undermine Israel’s international legitimacy. Isolating Israel internationally is the intention. Turning Israel into a pariah state they hope will – just like the campaign against South Africa’s apartheid – cause the Jewish state to falter and collapse in the face of overwhelming international pressure.

“Apartheid” is a loaded word. “Apartheid” implies moral bankruptcy. It presumes a willful indifference to the consequences of one’s actions. HRW’s public charge of “apartheid” provides the campaign to delegitimize Israel with “moral standing” and an ethical basis to deny Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

And this is important – the delegitimize Israel assault is no longer just a marginal concept held by a few left-wing progressive radicals... no, no, no. The delegitimization of Israel has become a mainstream mindset.
Einat Wilf: How Not to Think About the Conflict
The irony is that the Israeli–Palestinian conflict doesn’t provide much in the way of heroism anymore either. It is one of the least violent conflicts in the world, leading to far fewer violent deaths than most American cities experience each year. The contours of the slow separation between the State of Israel and an emerging Palestinian state are becoming more defined, and Israelis and Palestinians continue their close security cooperation. The growing normalization between Israel and many Arab states points to a regional exhaustion with “the conflict,” and a sense that Israel is part and parcel of the Middle East. A dull gray envelops a region that once seemed to promise grand battles between good and evil, black and white, Armageddon and salvation.

Yet, in a world where so much is colored in dull gray, the market for black and white is as strong as ever. If actual, real-life Israelis, Arabs, and Palestinians are not going to supply the grand battle for right and wrong, then those who are addicted to this hallucinatory drug will have to invent it.

Yes, there are serious, complicated, and appropriate ways to understand the conflict between Israel, its Arab neighbors, and the Palestinians. None of them includes a grand battle between good and evil. But I can testify that when I sit with audiences and talk about the history of Ottoman decline, or the rise of nation-states to replace receding empires, or the interplay of various imperial and Cold War interests with those of various ethnic and religious groups, the eyes of most people glaze over. They want to know: Who are the good guys? Who are the bad? Which side should I root for — who is my team?

But Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs, are not sports teams. They are not stand-ins for good and evil, symbols for the struggles in one’s own group much closer to home — they are not a drug for generating intense feelings in a dull reality. Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs, are real people. They are struggling to resolve centuries-long conflicts, which they are slowly doing. That is a far better use of their time than serving as props and collateral damage in the domestic morality tales of other countries, giving an outlet for people to channel negative emotions with which they should be dealing on their own. Which is why, increasingly, Israelis and even Palestinians watch the intense debates taking place halfway across the world in their name and are left wondering: What does all of this have to do with us?
‘We are a true friend of Israel’
PRIME Minister Scott Morrison cited the importance of community and the writings of the late Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks in a speech at UIA NSW’s major donors event on Thursday night.

Morrison recalled how his father, who was a “big believer in community”, would tell him, “‘If you want to understand community, understand the Jewish community’, which he loved passionately and dearly.

“When President Rivlin visited Australia, he described Australia’s Jewish community as the ‘living bridge’ between our two countries and that is indeed what you are,” the Prime Minister said.

“Though numbering only about one per cent of our population, Jewish Australians have made a remarkable contribution to our national life and our story. You have sought to be a light unto the nations, performing the mitzvot or good deeds according to the Law of Moses.

“I honour you as Australians, and as people of a rich heritage, a great culture and a tremendous faith.”

Morrison said he been “deeply influenced” by the teachings of Lord Sacks.

Palestinian Arabs celebrate murderers of U.S. citizen; will Biden's Administration react?
The very week that the Biden Administration announced that it is sending hundreds of millions of dollars to the Palestinian Arabs, the Palestinian Authority publicly lauded three terrorists who masterminded the brutal murder of an American citizen and ten other civilians.

I must ask:
-Is the PA so depraved that it genuinely adores people who savagely torture and kill innocent civilians?
-Is the PA so contemptuous of the United States that it assumes there will be no consequences for praising murderers of Americans?
-Is the PA convinced that groups such as J Street and B’Tselem are so slavishly committed to the Palestinian cause, that they will continue lobbying in support of the PA, no matter how low the PA stoops?

Apparently the answer to all three questions is “yes.”

Thanks to Palestinian Media Watch, we know that on April 10, the PA’s official television station and newspaper commemorated the anniversary of Israel’s assassination of three of the masterminds of the Munich Olympics massacre.

PA TV’s reporter declared that Abu Yusuf Al-Najjar, Kamal Nasser, and Kamal Adwan were “three of the most prominent leaders of the Palestinian revolution, through whose death as Martyrs the Fatah movement and the revolution presented the most spectacular aspects of pride, glory and loyalty.” He called them “three righteous Martyrs,” and said that “the stories of [their] lives that emit a pleasant aroma remain present, so that they will always be the compass of preserving the national principles.”

That same day, the PA newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, enthusiastically praised the three mass-murderers for “their outstanding activity in the Palestinian resistance,” specifically citing “their participation in planning the Munich operation [in 1972].”

Eleven Israeli athletes were massacred in the Munich attack. One of them was an American Jewish weightlifter who was a member of the Israeli team, David Berger of Cleveland.
NGO Monitor: Primer on Sheikh Jarrah Property Claims
On February 10, 2021, the Jerusalem District Court1 upheld an October 2020 Jerusalem Magistrate Court2 decision, requiring a number of Sheikh Jarrah residents to vacate properties they are living in by May 2, 2021. Following this decision, the residents appealed to the Supreme Court. The Court has given the two sides until May 6, to report if they have reached a compromise to settle out of court.

These developments have been the source of extensive NGO campaigning- particularly by the Palestinian group, Al-Haq- including submissions to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and to UN officials, alleging that the court order and the expected forcible removal represent war crimes.

Such claims and campaigns distort, obfuscate, and erase the facts of the case, as litigated over 50 years in multiple Israeli courts. Legal status of the property
- According to the Supreme Court, the land in question “was owned by Chief Rabbi (Hacham Bashi) Avraham Ashkenazi and Chief Rabbi Meir Orbach until the War of Independence [1948], after they purchased it in 1875 from its Arab owners.”
- Subsequently, two Jewish organizations, Va’ad Eidat HaSfaradim and Va’ad HaKlali L’Knesset Yisrael, worked to register the land with British Mandatory government in 1946.
- The properties were registered with Israeli authorities under these two organizations in 1973.
- These organizations sold the properties to the Nahalat Shimon organization in 2003.

Status of the residents
According to a 1979 High Court decision, and re-affirmed repeatedly in subsequent cases, as in the case of any tenant living on someone else’s property, residents living on the land owned by these organizations were required to pay rent to the organizations that owned the properties.4 Their failure to do so, along with instances of illegal building and illegally renting properties to others, resulted in the current legal proceedings against them, culminating in the District Court decision.

Crucially, in 1982, a number of residents- including those whose descendants appealed to the District Court- agreed in Magistrate Court that the 2 Israeli non-profits were the legal land owners.5
NGO Monitor: Palestine Legal’s Hypocrisy on Title VI Complaints
Palestine Legal is a US-based NGO that works to provide legal cover for those advancing the BDS agenda on college campuses. Palestine Legal does not publish financial information, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability; independent research shows that Rockefeller Brothers Fund has granted $275,000 to Palestine Legal since 2016.

On April 13, Palestine Legal filed a Title VI complaint with the Department of Education, alleging that Florida State University “tolerated” and “amplified… a hostile environment of anti-Palestinian racism” on campus. The NGO demanded an investigation into Florida State University for “target[ing] [the student] for expressing his core Palestinian identity” (emphasis in original) when he “courageously reject[ed] Israel’s discriminatory practices and dehumanizing narratives in the face of erasure are doing so because their humanity is at stake” (emphasis in original). In addition, the university “bolstered this bigotry by adopting a distorted definition of antisemitism” – the widely accepted IHRA working definition – “as official campus policy.”

According to the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, “Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people from discrimination based on race, color or national origin in programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance … Anyone who believes there has been an act of discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin, against any person or group, in a program or activity that receives ED [Department of Education] financial assistance, may file a complaint with OCR under Title VI.”

Apparently, Palestine Legal acknowledges that Title VI complaints can make an important contribution to addressing racism on campus.
Ha'aretz[$]: A Dangerous Attempt to Threaten U.S. Military Aid to Israel
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) has proposed "The Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act." This is a terrible bill. Rep. McCollum, a veteran BDS supporter, is perhaps the leading anti-Israel voice in the House.

Furthermore, the bill is 19 pages of pure demonization, presenting Israel as an unrelenting torturer of Palestinian children. It omits any reference to a two-state solution as a possible means to resolve the conflict. It calls on Israel to change its policies but asks nothing of the Palestinians. It suggests that Israel has misused American aid, without any evidence that such misuse has occurred.

And its real purpose is to prepare the way for reducing U.S. military aid to Israel, calling for various certifications and reports by the State Department that are clearly intended to serve as the basis for cutting aid. In response, AIPAC organized a letter opposing conditions on military aid to Israel and backing a two-state solution. The letter was signed by 331 House members, Republicans and Democrats, who were not prepared to jeopardize the military aid that is self-evidently necessary for Israel to defend itself against Iranian threats, Hizbullah rockets, and turmoil and terror in Syria and Iraq.
Why Is Joe Biden Embracing the Group That Promotes the ‘Apartheid State’ Libel?
Margon’s views fit in nicely with the Biden administration’s declared intention to downgrade advocacy for religious freedom abroad. She’s also on board with a desire to demote Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which are brutal dictatorships at home but have embraced peace with Israel, from the status of important allies to objects of criticism and censure. That’s despite the fact that the only alternative to the authoritarian leaders of those nations are Islamists who are just as opposed to human rights as the government. The upshot of Margon’s advocacy is to treat American forces fighting Islamists as villains and attack friends of America and Israel. As Rep. Lynne Cheney (R-Wyo.) told theWashington Free Beacon, Margon “has a record of prioritizing the interests of terrorists over the security of the United States.”

Just as damning is her support for the blatantly antisemitic United Nations Human Rights Council from which Trump rightly withdrew and which Biden has rejoined. She’s also supported the International Criminal Court and its attempt to label Israeli self-defense against Palestinian terrorism as war crimes.

Margon is not the only Biden nominee with a record of hostility to Israel, but she is unsurpassed in terms of her ties to anti-Zionists and antisemites.

Democrats may claim that Margon will merely be taking orders from Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. But just as the appointment of Robert Malley signaled the administration’s determination to return to a policy of appeasement of Iran, so too does the choice of Margon indicate what can be expected on policy towards Israel. Indeed, Biden would have been hard-pressed to find anyone else who would be more likely to undermine the alliance with Israel or to support those seeking to delegitimize it.

Biden’s apologists claim that despite differences with Israel’s government on the conflict with the Palestinians or the threat from Iran, he and Blinken are still strong friends of the Jewish state and opposed to those who wish to see it eliminated. Yet the appointment of Margon exposes that argument to be a lie. A pro-Israel administration simply doesn’t put someone with Margon’s beliefs in a position to wreck the alliance and give aid and comfort to the Jewish state’s enemies.

On this nomination, there can be no compromise. Supporters of Israel — be they Republicans or Democrats — are obligated to vote against her. Margon’s confirmation would make it clear that Israel has an enemy in a position of power in Washington who will assist those who masquerade their hate under the guise of human-rights advocacy rather than oppose them.
Col Kemp: Biden's Withdrawal from Afghanistan Undermines His Own Global Strategy
Far worse than failing to intervene is intervening to fail. The withdrawal from Afghanistan is just that.

US allies who have themselves invested huge military and economic resources in Afghanistan fear a Taliban return to power and the blood-bath that would likely accompany it. Their concerns are shared by General Kenneth McKenzie, commander of US CENTCOM, responsible for Afghanistan, who told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that Afghanistan's forces might well collapse following US withdrawal.

Jihadists everywhere would be encouraged and empowered by a perceived US defeat at the hands of the Taliban, which was being trumpeted by Al Qaida within days of Biden's announcement.

Biden justified his withdrawal with the need to counter challenges from China and Russia and strengthen democratic allies and partners against autocracy. His actions are likely to have the reverse effect.

The abandonment of Afghanistan will long be remembered by countries around the world as they weigh their choices between the US and authoritarian regimes. Already Saudi Arabia has recognised that Biden will not protect them from Iran....

Chinese President Xi Jinping says Taiwan must and will be "unified" with China, by force if necessary.... Xi will be... count[ing] the potential cost of moving against the country that he considers his own.

As Russian forces massed along the border with Ukraine last month, Xi will also have noticed that Biden cancelled a planned transit of the Black Sea by two US warships after Russia told Washington to stay away....

Like a kettle of vultures, Pakistan, Iran, China and Russia will all be circling the Afghan carcass following US withdrawal. Iran, which has long provided weapons, funding and safe haven to the Taliban, has been building its influence with them in recent months. Russia has also helped fund and arm the Taliban — sometimes in collaboration with Iran — to kill Afghan, US and NATO forces in order to challenge the US and increase its own influence in the country.

China too has been cooperating with the Taliban.... It also sees influence in Afghanistan as a means to confront New Delhi. Beijing knows that India, as a US ally and democracy, is the only regional power that could play a genuinely constructive role in a future Afghanistan. Xi is not willing to see that happen.

Pakistan, in cahoots with China, is also determined to keep India out of Afghanistan. Its Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate created the Taliban and today remains by far the greatest external backer of its campaign against Afghan and international forces. Islamabad sees the country as vital strategic depth in a future conflict with India and intends to hold sway over a future Taliban regime in Kabul.

The truth is this is a forever war only in the rhetoric of those who support surrender to the Taliban. The last US combat death there was over a year ago.

The net strategic effect of Biden's unconditional withdrawal is shaping up to be the opposite of what his national security strategy seeks to achieve: diminished confidence among allies, increased boldness among adversaries, the vital strategic territory of Afghanistan ceded to anti-democratic autocracies, a destabilised region containing two nuclear powers with associated proliferation risks, a spiralling of the global jihadist threat and massive population displacement.
U.S. Tells Morocco It Will Not Reverse Recognition of Moroccan Sovereignty over Western Sahara
U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken told Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita in a phone call on Friday that the Biden administration would not reverse President Trump's recognition of Morocco's sovereignty over the Western Sahara, two sources familiar with the call said.

U.S. recognition of the Western Sahara as part of Morocco last December was part of a broader deal that included the renewal of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel.

Senior White House and State Department officials have held multiple discussions on this issue over the last few weeks.
IDF chief Kohavi visits scene of shooting attack, possible vehicle found
As the Israeli military continued with the manhunt for the perpetrator of Sunday’s shooting attack which left two teenagers in critical condition, a vehicle with bullet holes was located in the Palestinian village of Aqraba.

The car, a silver Hyundai, is suspected to be the vehicle from which the attacker fired shots towards Israeli civilians at Tapuach junction. It was found Monday afternoon in the village east of Nablus, close to where the attack happened. Earlier in the day, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi visited the scene and held a situational assessment with senior officers.

The IDF will beef up its presence in Judea and Samaria following an escalation of violence, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi said on Monday after he visited the scene of Sunday’s shooting attack.

Kohavi and senior officers who accompanied him on his visit, held a situational assessment as troops continued to scour the area in search of the gunman.

"The IDF will increase its forces and expand its operational activities in recent weeks in Judea and Samaria as part of its readiness for escalation,” Kohavi said at the end of the visit.

"Many forces, with the help of intelligence officers and the Shin Bet have been working since after the shooting to try to find the terrorists, and will continue to do so until their task is completed," he added.
Palestinian Authority says working 'to prevent violence’
The Palestinian Authority is working to prevent an upsurge in violence in the West Bank and continues to support “peaceful” protests against Israel, a senior PA official said on Monday.

The official warned, however, that “Israeli policies and measures against Palestinians could lead to a popular uprising.”

The official told The Jerusalem Post that he did not believe that Sunday’s shooting attack at the Tapuah Junction near Nablus that left two seminary students critically wounded was directly related to PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision last week to postpone the Palestinian parliamentary and presidential elections indefinitely.

“Such attacks are not new and they often take place in response to the practices of the Israeli government, army and settlers against Palestinians,” the official, who asked not to be identified, told the Post.

Israeli security restrictions in the Old City of Jerusalem, which have led to nightly clashes between dozens of youths and police officers, are among several reasons behind the mounting tensions, the official said.
PMW: Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah defends terror attack and calls to erase evidence in security cameras
Fatah posted on its Facebook page (of Nablus branch) today a call to Palestinians in the area of the escape route taken by a terrorist who shot and critically injured two Israelis yesterday, to delete the video footage on their security cameras that might have evidence that will enable Israel to catch the terrorist:
“Our lauded people, honored members of our people, we call on you to get rid of the contents that were stored in the [security] cameras of your homes or your businesses today, and not to transfer any media content among yourselves."

[Facebook page of the Fatah Movement – Nablus Branch, May 2, 2021]

In a second post on Facebook by the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, clearly in response although not specifically mentioning yesterday’s terror attack, expressed its support for terror against Israelis:
“The Fatah Movement’s Nablus branch emphasized that resistance is a natural right of the Palestinian people against the Zionist arrogance.”

[Facebook page of the Fatah Movement – Nablus Branch, May 2, 2021]

“Resistance” is the Palestinian euphemism for terror against Israelis, including the murder of civilians.

PMW has documented repeatedly that Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah, although proclaiming in English to the international community that it rejects terror, in Arabic routinely supports, honors, and encourages terrorists.
Elliott Abrams: After the "Postponement" of Palestinian Elections, Now What?
Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has now “postponed” parliamentary elections scheduled for May 22. As I noted in a previous blog post and in an article in Fathom, this was no real surprise. Since the elections were announced, divisions within the Fatah party had emerged, there were dozens of tickets to vote for, and Hamas was likely to do well. So Abbas pulled the plug, blaming Israel for his decision on the ground that it would not permit voting in Jerusalem. This is an old ruse, useful whenever Fatah leaders decide to call an election off.

Now what? There were to be three elections this Spring and Summer: after the parliamentary elections in the Palestinian Authority were supposed to come a presidential election and an election for the PLO’s own sort-of parliament. One has to assume that these will be “postponed” as well. Presumably Abbas has no desire to give up his post, and polls suggest clearly that he would lose to the convicted and imprisoned terrorist and popular Fatah figure Marwan Barghouti.

The continuing lack of elections since 2006 will create real unhappiness among many Palestinians. Ghaith al-Omari analyzes the effect of “postponement” in an astute article for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He notes that Abbas thought holding an election would increase his own legitimacy, but as the event got closer internal divisions showed that elections could undermine his grip. Moreover, as al-Omari puts it, “Abbas seems to have underestimated the depth of the legal and political obstacles to U.S. engagement with the PA if Hamas is brought back into its structures.”

MEMRI: Article On Al-Jazeera Website: Ramadan, 'Month Of Jihad And Victories,' Is The Season Of Palestinian Armed Operations
One of the articles published on the website of the Qatari Al-Jazeera network on the occasion of Ramadan is headlined "How the Palestinian Resistance Turned Ramadan into the Season of Attacks and Victories." Written by 'Adnan Abu 'Amer, a Palestinian Political Science lecturer at Al-Ummah University in Gaza, the article notes that, throughout Muslim history, Ramadan has always been the month of jihad and victory, and that the Palestinian terror organizations "take advantage of the spiritual atmosphere" during this month, and of the heritage of the Muslims battles and victories that took place during this month throughout Muslim history, to step up their jihad against Israeli targets.[1]

Abu 'Amer lists a long line of deadly attacks by the Palestinian terror organizations – against both soldiers and civilians, including suicide bombings – that were deliberately carried out during Ramadan due to the month's special character. He also mentions the Israel-Gaza war of July 2014, which likewise coincided with Ramadan, and which he says serves as a model for resistance groups to this day because it included "the most prominent acts of heroism by the resistance in the history of Palestine and the conflict with the occupation." He adds that the Israeli security apparatuses are aware that, on Ramadan, the Palestinian organizations are especially motivated to carry out attacks and therefore prepare for it in advance.

The following are translated excerpts from his article.[2]
"The Palestinian resistance takes advantage of the spiritual atmosphere in the month of Ramadan to raise the morale of its members and step up their activity, a fact that Israel's security and military apparatuses take into account each year as this month approaches. The history of the Palestinian resistance shows that it has often chosen to carry out its harsh operations and attacks against the Israeli occupation in the month of Ramadan, thanks to the [special] tactical and ritual role of this month, exemplified by famous battles in Islamic history. Below I will use a question-and-answer format to review the most prominent attacks carried out by the Palestinian resistance in the recent months and the losses they inflicted on the occupation, [and explain] why [the resistance] deliberately chose to carry out these armed attacks during Ramadan…

"What Ramadan victories are etched in the Palestinian memory?
"The Palestinian [custom] of mobilizing for operations and intensifying them in the month of Ramadan is inspired by [Islamic] history, which is replete with wars and conquests that took place during this month, because the Muslims clearly made special efforts to carry out attacks then. Prominent among these attacks were the Battle of Badr,[3] the conquest of Mecca,[4] the conquest of Andalusia,[5] the Battle of Tours,[6] the Battle of 'Ain Jalut,[7] and the October/Ramadan War [between Israel and the Arabs in 1973]. All these [battles] are a source of inspiration for the Palestinian resistance.

"Every year, at the beginning of Ramadan, the military branches of the Palestinian resistance factions stress that this is a [special] month, in which the jihad fighters pray during the daytime and defend their Palestinian homeland during the night. It is a month marked by outstanding Muslim victories, and the month during which the resistance carried out [its] most impressive wars of heroism and sacrifice.
Terrorist responsible for murder of at least 9, including infant, praised by Fatah Fatah: Terrorist who planned murder of 9 was “one of the greatest ones wanted by the Zionist entity” Head of Hamas Diaspora Office: To Hell with Worthless Scum that Supported Normalization with Israel

Hamas officer said to assault Gaza journalist for not wearing hijab
Hamas apologized to Palestinian journalist Riwa Murshid on Friday, after she was attacked by a member of the Islamist terror group’s security services, allegedly because she was not wearing a hijab.

Hamas Interior Ministry spokesperson Iyad al-Bozm said that the group was “presenting an apology to Riwa Murshid,” following the results of an investigation into the officer’s conduct. Al-Bozm added that the ministry would imprison the officer involved.

“There was an argument between Murshid and one of the members of the Breach Defenders [a Hamas military unit], who then broke the guidelines for dealing with civilians. He beat her with a tree branch before his colleague rectified the incident and allowed them to leave,” al-Bozm said.

Murshid attested that the source of the “argument” was her decision not to wear a traditional headscarf worn by religiously observant Muslim women, known in Arabic as a hijab.

“My body or my clothing were inappropriate, in the words of my assailant, which was why one of the officers used a tree branch to beat me until he left clear and painful marks on my body,” Murshid wrote in a Facebook post describing the incident.
This Time Turkish, Not Saudi, Schoolbooks Are Under Scrutiny
According to a recently released analysis of 28 Turkish textbooks, that country’s education system, which was once a model of secularism that taught evolution, cultural openness, tolerance toward minorities, and Kurdish as a minority language, has increasingly replaced those concepts with notions of jihad, martyrdom in battle, and a neo-Ottoman and pan-Turkist ethno-religious worldview in its curricula.

The report, by the Israeli research group Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (Impact-se) and Britain’s Henry Jackson Society, assert that recent curricula — in a NATO country that has long aspired to EU membership — include anti-American and anti-Armenian messages, display “sympathy for the motivations of ISIS and Al-Qaeda,” focus exclusively on Sunni Muslim teachings, and replace electives such as Kurdish with religious courses.

Kurds are believed to account for 15-20% of the Turkish population.

The textbooks promote concepts like “Turkish World Domination” and the Turkish or Ottoman “Ideal of the World Order,” the report said.

“Education is a prime pillar in [President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan’s efforts to drape the country in the cloak of Sharia… The Ministry of Education has been pressuring citizens to conform to conservative Islamic practices in public schools,” commented Turkey scholar Soner Cagaptay in a forward to the study.

The study was released as Turkey was attempting to repair relations with Europe and Middle Eastern states, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Israel, that were bruised by Ankara’s aggressive assertiveness in Libya, Syria, the Caucasus, and the Eastern Mediterranean.
What the Recently Leaked Recordings Reveal About Iran
The same dispute between the two camps took place around the IRGC’s ambitious entrenchment program in Syria.

The reformists were critical about the scope of resources that the IRGC was pouring into its Syria takeover program (though not necessarily about the effort itself), at the expense of the economic interests of Iranian citizens, and criticisms also arose over the scope of its “adventures” in the Middle East

This could help explain why Zarif temporarily resigned in February 2019 after being left in the dark about a visit by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Tehran.

Zarif also said he was surprised when US Secretary of State (and current US Climate Envoy) John Kerry, told Zarif about 200 Israeli airstrikes on Iranian assets in Syria.

Kerry called Zarif’s claim “unequivocally false. This never happened – either when I was Secretary of State or since.”

And even if this did happen, the news was hardly secret.

In 2018, Israeli officials confirmed to media outlets that 200 strikes were carried out on Iranian targets in Syria since 2016.

This constant power struggle is, in actuality, comfortable for Khamenei, Kuperwasser argued. “He does not rush to one side or the other,” he said. “Khamenei is closer to the IRGC, but he allows this argument to run on. He usually backs the IRGC, but not always.”

Ultimately, Khamenei is able to use the ‘good cop bad cop’ routine to extort concessions from the West, just as he did from US negotiators in 2015, said Kuperwasser.

“Iranian negotiators said in 2015 that they were under restrictions placed on them by the supreme leader, as if the US has to take this into account. And negotiators fell into this game. That was the real problem with Kerry and the nuclear deal,” he argued. “Kerry’s claim that the West must strengthen Zarif and Rouhani against the IRGC came at the expense of US … interests” — in the form of a poor nuclear deal that empowered the Islamic Republic and its radical agenda.
Biden Informs Mossad Chief That US Is Far From Returning to Iran Deal: Report
US President Joe Biden reportedly told Mossad chief Yossi Cohen that the US is far from returning to the nuclear deal with Iran, according to a report on Sunday from Walla, which cited a senior Israeli official.

Cohen told Biden that it would be a mistake for the US to return to the deal without making improvements first, to which the president responded that the US had “a long way to go” before agreeing to a return to full compliance with the 2015 agreement, according to the report.

This latest report comes after talks between Cohen, Biden and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan took place last Friday.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly briefed Cohen on the talking points to raise with top US officials.

On Saturday, parties to the Iran nuclear agreement adjourned the third round of negotiations in Vienna aimed at bringing the United States back into the accord, with the Russian side expressing “cautious and growing optimism” and saying they hoped to achieve concrete results within three weeks.


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