Wednesday, May 05, 2021

05/05 Links Pt1: Biden to UAE crown prince: Israel normalization of ‘strategic importance’; PMW caused the closure of 35,000 bank accounts of terrorists; The Lebanese Jew Working for Israeli Intelligence

From Ian:

Biden to UAE crown prince: Israel normalization of ‘strategic importance’
US President Joe Biden spoke by phone with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed al Nahyan on Tuesday, in his first call with the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates since entering the White House in January.

During the call, Biden hailed the Trump-era normalization of ties between Israel and the United Aarab Emirates, according to a White House statement.

“They discussed regional and global challenges, including Afghanistan, the nuclear and regional dimensions of the threat posed by Iran, as well as the common quest for de-escalation and peace in the Middle Peace,” the statement said.

“In that regard, the president underlined the strategic importance of the normalization of relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. He expressed his full support for strengthening and expanding these arrangements,” the White House said.

The Biden administration has told Congress it will move ahead with a massive arms deal to the UAE, including advanced F-35 aircraft, that was signed in the wake of Israel’s normalization deal with the Gulf nation, congressional aides told Reuters last month.

In January, the new administration put a temporary hold on several major foreign arms sales initiated by former US president Donald Trump, including the deal to provide 50 F-35 advanced fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates, which was fast-tracked by Washington after Abu Dhabi agreed to normalize relations with Israel.

A State Department spokesperson told Reuters that estimated delivery dates to the UAE were for after 2025.

In addition to the massive $23 billion transfer of stealth F-35 fighters to the United Arab Emirates, another deal being paused is a planned major sale of munitions to Saudi Arabia. Both sales were harshly criticized by Democrats in Congress.

Jared Kushner launches peace institute to advance Abraham Accords
Jared Kushner has launched an institute to promote his major accomplishment when he advised his father-in-law, former US President Donald Trump: the normalization agreements between Israel and a number of Sunni Arab countries.

Kushner founded the Abraham Accords Institute for Peace with Avi Berkowitz, a friend who Kushner brought in to be the chief Middle East peace negotiator in the latter part of his father-in-law’s single presidential term, Axios reported on Wednesday.

Berkowitz helped broker the accords last year that brought normalization agreements between Israel and Sudan, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

The institute will promote trade, tourism and people-to-people exchanges between Israel and the Arab countries.

The other founders include Haim Saban, an Israeli American entertainment mogul who also is a major donor to the Democratic Party. Axios said that Kushner wants to bring more Democrats on board. The Abraham Accords is one of the few diplomatic initiatives launched by Trump that President Joe Biden has fully embraced.

Kushner has laid low since his father-in-law left office and has not pronounced on the false claims Trump peddles that Joe Biden’s election was fraudulent. Kushner, who led Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns, is reportedly no longer among his father-in-law’s political advisers.
US pulls out of Durban anti-racism meet up, is Australia next?
As countries prepare to officially mark the 20th anniversary of a 2001 United Nations conference notorious for its extreme antisemitism, the United States has made the principled decision not to participate.

It is anticipated that other countries, Australia included, may consider following suit.

Held in the South African coastal city of Durban, the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance produced a conference declaration that singled out Israel alone for criticism, out of all the world’s nations. It was preceded by an NGO sideshow event where virulent antisemitic behaviour was widespread, facilitated by the organisers. The situation became so dire that Jewish participants had to be accompanied by additional security to ensure their personal safety at the conference.

The overall event, which became colloquially known as Durban I, was a watershed in the long and dishonourable history of the UN being manipulated to discredit Israel, the world’s sole Jewish state.

According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, the United States has decided it will not participate in the 20th anniversary event planned for September 22, 2021. A spokesperson told the Israeli publication: “the United States stands with Israel and has always shared its concerns over the Durban process’s anti-Israel sentiment, use as a forum for antisemitism and freedom of expression issues.”

Since 2001, there have been two follow up conferences, in 2009 and 2011. In both instances, there were few attempts to right the wrongs of Durban I. In both instances, the United States, Australia, and a small group of similarly minded truly anti-racist countries, boycotted.

At the conclusion of Durban I, Australia’s then-foreign minister Alexander Downer noted there was language in the conference declaration “with which we could not be associated”.

Australia did not send a delegation in 2009, when then-Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a welcomed speaker, despite having called for Israel to be “wiped off the map” and denying the Holocaust.

In 2011, the Australian Government participated in early discussions, but soon withdrew. Then-prime minister Julia Gillard noted she had “not been convinced that the high-level meeting will avoid unbalanced criticism of Israel and the airing of anti-Semitic views.”

The Australian Government under Prime Minister Scott Morrison has already flagged its concern with the 20th anniversary event.

The Lebanese Jew Working for Israeli Intelligence
If K. has one dream, it's to go back to Beirut. To walk around the neighborhood he grew up in, to meet his old neighbors and friends. To sit in restaurants, to go for vacations in the north like he did when he was a kid. "I'll be the first to go to Lebanon once it's possible," he says.

Sergeant Major K. is known in Unit 8200, Israel’s Central Collection Unit of the Intelligence Corps, as "The Lebanese". He came to Israel from Lebanon with his family, among the last Jews who lived there, and was drafted into the IDF and made a career in Unit 8200 focusing on his former home – Lebanon and the fight against Hezbollah, who took over the country he grew up in.

He's 39 years old, married with two girls aged 8 and 3. His perfect Hebrew can be misleading: when he came to Israel, aged 12, he didn't speak a word. Everything he learned he learned by himself. Word after word, sentence after sentence.

His mother tongue is Arabic, and just like any educated Lebanese, he also speaks French and English. He studied in a Christian school, and most of his friends were Christian. "Most of the Jews left before us. Most of them after the Six Day War, and then after the Yom Kippur War. Those who stayed, dispersed after the civil war began in 1975, many moved to France or Canada, because they knew how to speak French, and also to Brazil."

His parents lived in Beirut. "They were convinced that in a few months the war will end, but like all the Jews who remained in the city, they decided to go up a bit north, to a more remote mountainous area. They were sure they would return when the fighting subsided, but it didn't, and we stayed there."
HonestReporting CEO Shares Israel’s COVID-19 Success Story on Turkish Television (VIDEO)
Israel’s world-leading COVID-19 vaccination campaign continues to bear fruit. This week, the number of seriously ill patients in the country dropped below 100, the lowest level since last July. The infection rate also remains low, with an average of less than 80 new cases being diagnosed daily. As the Jewish state moves to fully reopen its economy and completely roll back coronavirus-related restrictions, many governments are viewing Israel as a veritable light unto the nations. On Tuesday, the Turkish English-language news outlet A News invited HonestReporting CEO Daniel Pomerantz to discuss Israel’s success in battling the pandemic.

Dutch party equates COVID measures to Nazism on national Holocaust memorial day
A Dutch conservative party suggested on the country’s Holocaust memorial day that COVID-19 measures have undone the liberation from the Nazis.

The message by the Forum for Democracy, which drew a sharp rebuke from Dutch Jews, came in a banner disseminated online ahead of May 4 and 5, the national remembrance day for Holocaust and World War II casualties and the day celebrating liberation from Nazi Germany.

In what amounts to an epitaph, the Forum for Democracy banner reads: “On May 5 we will remember 75 years of freedom. 1945-2020.”

The banner was designed to resemble the official logo and font of the national 4 and 5 May Committee, which organizes commemoration events.

“This analogy by Forum for Democracy is unacceptable,” the Central Jewish Board of the Netherlands, CJO, wrote in a statement Monday. “It is deeply offensive and inexcusable to make political statements on the backs of victims and their relatives on the week of the national commemorations.”

Anti-vaccination and conspiracy theorists in Europe and the United States increasingly have been drawing parallels between the Holocaust and COVID-19 measures they oppose, like the lockdowns in Holland and around the world.
'Up to 1/3' of COVID-19 patients experience neurological manifestations
A recent study claims that "up to one-third" of COVID-19 patients developed neurological symptoms after contracting the novel coronavirus.

The most common neurological manifestations included fatigue (32%), myalgia (20%), taste impairment (21%), smell impairment (19%) and headache (13%). Other rarer occurrences, such as stroke (2%) - one in 50 patients - or acute confusion or delirium (34%) were also prevalent.

It is not clear if the manifestations are bidirectional, considering patients who are critically ill are more likely to experience multi-organ system dysfunction over the course of their hospital stay.

"Critically, the pooled prevalence in our review for the diagnosis of stroke was 2%, with data extracted from 29 studies; the majority of studies reported prevalence between 1-3%," the study authors wrote. "To our knowledge this is the first time that pooled prevalence for stroke has been reported in COVID-19 patients and indicates an alarming, enduring neurological morbidity associated with the pandemic."

It is noted that the chance of stroke is "far higher" when compared to what has been reported on influenza patients.

"One recent study compared the risk of stroke in COVID-19 versus influenza and found the prevalence of stroke to be 0.2% in influenza versus 1.2% in COVID-19," the authors explained.
Records Contradict DOJ Nominee’s Testimony on Controversial Conference
Clarke, who will head the Justice Department's influential civil rights division if confirmed, has already come under fire for shading the truth in response to other questions from the Senate panel. Lawmakers have repeatedly pressed Clarke on past anti-Semitic writings and racially charged activism.

Clarke said last week in written responses to a question from Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) that she "did not have a speaking or other substantive role at the conference," which was hosted by Columbia University's Institute for Research in African-American Studies on April 23, 1999. She doubled down during her April 14 confirmation hearing.

The itinerary tells a different story. It shows Clarke moderated a panel on alleged human rights violations in the prison system. One of the panelists was Linda Thurston, whom Clarke introduced as a cofounder of Concerned Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther, was sentenced to death in 1982 for the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. His case became a cause célèbre for social justice activists who believe he received an unfair trial.

The Columbia conference featured several speakers who praised Abu-Jamal and other convicted cop killers, including Assata Shakur. "We must march in Philadelphia tomorrow because Mumia Abu Jamal never received a fair trial and was tried by a racist judge," said Manning Marable, Clarke's mentor at Columbia, according to a transcript of the Columbia symposium.

The American Accountability Foundation obtained the schedule and transcript of the conference from Marable's archives. The group shared the documents with the Free Beacon.

The inconsistencies in Clarke's Senate response, as well as other associations she had with left-wing activists, may complicate her nomination. Clarke has come under scrutiny over a 1994 article she wrote for the Harvard Crimson in which she promoted a pseudoscientific theory of black racial superiority. Months later, Clarke invited Tony Martin, the author of the anti-Semitic treatise The Jewish Onslaught to speak at a Harvard student group.

Ahead of 54th Jerusalem Day, capital's population nears 1 million
The population of Jerusalem is approaching 1 million, a review published by the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research ahead of Jerusalem Day, showed.

On Tuesday, JIPS researchers presented President Reuven Rivlin with a statistical review of the capital for 2021, which showed that Jerusalem continues to be the largest city in Israel. At the end of 2020, the capital's population comprised 952,000 residents.

The average age in Jerusalem, 24, was much lower compared to the national average, 30. In Tel Aviv, the average age was 36, in Haifa, 38.

At the same time, the Jewish population in the capital is statistically older than the Arab one. In 2019, the average Jewish resident was 26 years old and the Arab resident was 22.

According to JIPS data, Jerusalem experienced a negative net migration last year, with 8,200 residents having left the city. Most of those who move to and from Jerusalem are Jews.
JPost Editorial: Jerusalem Day: A unified capital remains divided - editorial
Israel and the Jewish people will mark Jerusalem Day on Sunday, commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli sovereignty over the Old City in the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War.

After 1,897 years, the capital of the Jewish people was finally whole. For Jews to be able to pray at Judaism’s holiest site – the Kotel – after 19 years of being barred from doing so under Jordanian rule was the culmination of a collective peoplehood dream. The importance of Jerusalem as the focal point of Judaism through the ages cannot be overestimated.

On May 12, 1968, the government proclaimed that Jerusalem Day would be celebrated on the 28th of Iyar, the Hebrew date on which the divided city of Jerusalem became one. And in 1998, the Knesset passed the Jerusalem Day Law, making the day a national holiday.

Since the heady days of 1967 and the actualization of Jewish aspirations to redeem their eternal capital, there has been a somewhat rocky collision with reality. Anyone crossing the invisible line that still in essence separates the western Jewish part of the city with its eastern Arab section realized that for all the platitudes about Jerusalem being united and undivided, there is a clear delineation.

There are currently more than 350,000 Arab east Jerusalemites, around 37% of the capital’s population. Only a small percentage of them are Israeli citizens. The rest are labeled as permanent residents, a designation under which they pay taxes and are entitled to certain benefits from the state including healthcare and bituah leumi. They are excluded from voting in national elections and obtaining Israeli passports. Although they’re eligible to vote in municipal elections, most choose not to out of protest over Israeli sovereignty.
Jerusalem: The model for Jewish-Arab coexistence - opinion
The intersection of cultures in Jerusalem is rare and unique on any scale. The multiplicity of religious, cultural, political, and social identities within the city creates constant interaction between its residents – in supermarkets, clinics, gardens, and public parks, on mass transportation as well as on the street and in the city center. Despite this, Jerusalem is a city torn in two, whose dividing line is Route No. 1, creating a concrete physical division between east and west Jerusalem. The evident gaps between the two sides in terms of resources and infrastructures are exposed, with the immediate outcome immediately obvious every time there is tension due to security issues. Jerusalem of the past year has been a “red city,” due to the widespread COVID-19 cases throughout the ultra-Orthodox and Arab neighborhoods, in a way that actually highlighted what they have in common. Culture and religion allegedly create built-in tension and hatred, but also produce a characteristic similarity between these two societies in the way they celebrate, mourn, and create family and community life.

The common saying holds that life is stronger than anything, yet despite the human spirit, genuine coexistence takes place only in neutral areas that are not yet “zones of influence.” On both sides of the city, exciting joint projects are flourishing, enterprises in spheres of culture, welfare, education and employment, but they have no power to be seen and heard in such a way that would change the polarized status quo.

I have seen one example of this in Studio of Her Own, a women’s art center active in Jerusalem, with the support of the Genesis Prize Foundation. For the past three and a half years, religious women artists from the studio have met together with embroiderers from east Jerusalem and other Arab neighborhoods, coming together to embroider and make art, meetings that culminated in a joint exhibition. Although there was no single common language, there was a great desire to get to know one another and together to experience points of connection as women, mothers, and creative artists.
Israel’s President Picks Netanyahu Opponent Lapid to Form Government
Israel’s president on Wednesday chose Yair Lapid, a centrist politician and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s strongest rival, to try to form a new government, but his path to success was still uncertain.

Israel’s longest serving leader, Netanyahu, 71, has been fighting to hold onto office through four inconclusive elections since 2019.

President Reuven Rivlin, in a televised address announcing his choice of Lapid, said the former finance minister had the pledged support of 56 of parliament’s 120 members, still short of a majority.

“It … became clear that Yair Lapid has the possibility to form a government that will win parliament’s approval, but there are many difficulties,” Rivlin said.

The most recent vote on March 23, held while Netanyahu is also on trial for corruption charges he denies, yielded no majority for the prime minister or for a loose alliance of rivals from across the political spectrum aiming to topple him.
Political pressure hinders Jewish construction in east Jerusalem, report finds
Jews are almost five times less likely to begin construction in east Jerusalem than in the capital's west, a report commissioned by Israel Hayom ahead of Jerusalem Day and conducted by the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research reveals.

According to data, construction on 1,310 residential buildings began by Jews in east Jerusalem within the last three years, compared to 5,016 in west Jerusalem.

In 2018, 797 Jewish building starts were recorded in eastern Jerusalem, compared to 1,430 in the west. In 2019, 335 building starts were recorded in the city's east compared to 2,031 in its west. Last year saw 178 projects break ground compared to 1,555, respectively.

The report offers two possible explanations for the striking contrast. First, despite the government denying it, political pressure exerted by Europe and the United States limits Jewish construction in east Jerusalem. Second, there is a relatively small amount of land available for construction in that part of the capital to begin with, which is also partially the result of the political restrictions.

The annual demand for residential units for Jews in all of Jerusalem is 5,000, of which only 2,100 are supplied, leaving many Jerusalemites no option but to move elsewhere.
What the Media Won’t Tell You: The Root Cause of Riots in Jerusalem
Whereas a week had passed since the start of the TikTok Intifada, many mainstream media only began paying attention to the riots in Jerusalem following the Lehava march. And the headlines that emerged were devoid of crucial context.

The Huffington Post published an article titled, “Israeli Extremist Group Chants ‘Death To Arabs’ During Jerusalem Protests.” ABC News in Australia ran the story under the similar headline, “Why are mobs in Jerusalem chanting ‘death to the Arabs’?”

CNN, CBS News and several others followed in stride. The first paragraph of a New York Times article included the sentence: “The violence broke out as an extremist Jewish supremacy group marched in the city.” Vice News noted that “Palestinian authorities voiced their concern over the growing violence from the far-right groups,” but notably omitted the part of the statement in which Palestinian President Abbas praised the Palestinian rioters for their “steadfastness in the face of Israeli schemes aiming to control the holy city.”

Where were these media outlets when Palestinians were assaulting Jews in a concerted campaign? Where were they when Eli Rozen, a Jewish resident of Jerusalem, was almost beaten to death by a Palestinian mob? Or when Yahya Jardi was chased by multiple attackers, kicked to the ground, and had his car set on fire?

Instead of painting the full picture of the story, the media seemingly jumped at the opportunity to smear Israel over the despicable actions of a radical organization that were immediately denounced by all Israeli leaders.

As a result, the Palestinians have again been depicted as victims without any agency — a lie that, ironically, does not benefit them in any way, shape or form. It does not serve to bring peace closer; rather, only to portray Israel — an admittedly imperfect country with imperfect citizens — in an inaccurate light.
Palestinian suspect in West Bank shooting attack said to have US citizenship
Muntasir Shalabi, identified in Palestinian media as the main suspect in a drive-by shooting attack this week that wounded three Israelis, has United States citizenship, residents of his West Bank hometown told the Haaretz daily on Tuesday.

Shalabi, 47, has been on the run since the Sunday shooting at the Tapuah Junction, which seriously wounded two Israeli teenagers and lightly injured a third. Security forces launched a major manhunt to find him.

According to residents of Turmus Ayya, Shalabi recently returned from a trip to the US and was in financial straits after losing money gambling. He had previously spent several years in the US, they said.

Several of Shalabi’s relatives were arrested overnight Tuesday, including his wife and a number of her family members in Turmas Ayya and in the nearby village of Aqraba, where the car used in the terror attack was found.

Shalabi’s 17-year-old son was arrested earlier in the week.
Syria: Israel Struck Multiple Targets Near Port City of Latakia
The Israeli Air Force struck multiple targets in northwest Syria early on Wednesday, Syrian state television reported.

The attack, launched shortly after 2 am, targeted several sites in the region of the port city of Latakia, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA). One of the strikes hit a “plastics factory” and killed a civilian, as well as injuring six people, said the report.

Reuters described the strike as a “rare attack on the ancestral home region of the Syrian leader,” in reference to the predominantly Alawite population in the area. The area also hosts a Russian air force base.

A second strike reportedly hit a target in the town of Masyaf, which is also in the northwest of the country.

SANA quoted a Syrian military source as saying “some of” the enemy’s missiles had been downed by Syrian air defenses.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor group based in the United Kingdom, the strikes constituted the tenth Israeli wave of strikes this year. Israel’s targets had included regime military positions and pro-Iranian militias, as well as weapons and ammunition depots, it said.

PMW: PMW caused the closure of 35,000 bank accounts of terrorists
As a direct result of action taken by Palestinian Media Watch, the banks operating in the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority closed 35,000 bank accounts of imprisoned terrorists, released terrorists, and families of dead terrorists - the so-called “Martyrs.” PMW had notified the banks that if they continued to operate these accounts and accept terror reward payments from the PA into them, it would violate Israeli law, exposing them to civil and criminal liability. In response to PMW’s warning, the banks closed the accounts of the terrorists.

However, the PA did not heed PMW’s warning as did the banks. In April, for the first time in 2021 and for the first time since the Israeli law came into effect, the PA paid the illegal salaries to imprisoned and released terrorists, and allowances of the families of the dead terrorists.
“Today, Tuesday, the PA began to pay the salaries of the prisoners in the Israeli occupation’s prison, the released prisoners, the wounded, and the Martyrs’ relatives through the Palestinian post office branches. This was after approximately 35,000 of their accounts were closed at the banks operating in the Palestinian territories following an Israeli military order.”

[Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, UK Arab news website, April 6, 2021]

Announcing that the terror salaries would be paid through the PA postal service, the PA-funded Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs said: “The Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs said in a statement it issued today, Monday, that the salaries of the prisoners and released prisoners will be paid tomorrow, Tuesday, through the Palestinian post office branches in all districts of the West Bank, and through the commission’s departments in the Gaza Strip.”

[Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, April 5, 2021]
PMW: Abbas’ advisor denies Jewish history
Abbas’ advisor denies Jewish history: “Not one relic” proves “they ever had any kind of collective political nature in the land of Palestine”

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “From the end of the 19th century and to this day they have been excavating the Palestinian land to its length and width, archaeological excavations in a number of sites, everywhere searching for proof… that will prove that Israel ever existed in this land, and the invented kingdom of David and Solomon… The more they search or excavate and find archaeological landmarks-”

Official PA TV host: “They discover the opposite (sic.).”

Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “They discover the opposite! The deeper they go, Canaanite antiquities are discovered, Arab antiquities, Jebusite ones, and then of Rome, of Greece… There is not one relic, not one, that constitutes an advocate for them that they ever had any kind of presence of a collective political nature in the land of Palestine.” [Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, March 17, 2021]

Mahmoud Al-Habbash also serves as Supreme Shari’ah Judge and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice.

Germany bans fundraising group, saying it aids Hamas, other terror organizations
Germany on Wednesday banned a purported aid organization, Ansaar International, accusing it of collecting donations to help finance terrorism worldwide.

The prohibition came along with a series of raids on properties in ten states, with investigators also seizing items.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer “has banned the association Ansaar International and its related organizations. The network finances terrorism worldwide with donations,” tweeted ministry spokesman Steve Alter.

“To fight terror, one must dry up its sources of money,” said Seehofer.

The NGO based in Duesseldorf says in its statutes that its purpose is to support projects for Muslims worldwide.

In 2018 alone, it collected 8 to 10 million euros in donations, according to its first chairman.

The interior ministry said, however, that the funds are in fact raised with the intention of financing foreign groups such as Palestinian terror group Hamas as well as the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab and Jabhat al-Nusra.
Hamas terror chief threatens Israel over East Jerusalem evictions
The Hamas terror group in Gaza threatened Israel on Tuesday over tensions in East Jerusalem, as a number of Palestinian families face eviction as part of an ongoing effort by right-wing Israelis to take control of homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

In a rare public statement from Mohammed Deif, the elusive head of Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas warned that Israel would pay a “heavy price” if the evictions went ahead.

“I salute our steadfast Palestinians at Sheikh Jarrah in occupied Jerusalem. The resistance leadership and al-Qassam are watching closely what is happening in the neighborhood,” Deif said.

“This is our final warning; If the aggression against our people in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood does not stop immediately, we will not stand idly by and the occupation will pay a heavy price,” he warned.

Deif, one of the founders of Hamas’s military wing, is held responsible by Israel for personally orchestrating numerous suicide bombings and other terror attacks since the mid-1990s in which dozens if not hundreds of Israelis were killed, and has long been at the top of the Israeli wanted list. He has been wounded in several Israeli assassination attempts. One of his wives and two of his children were killed in an Israeli attempt on his life during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

Israel’s border with Gaza has been largely quiet in recent months following a truce between Israel and the terror group; however, last week saw dozens of rockets fired at Israel following clashes in Jerusalem.

Khaled Abu Toameh: Arabs Warn West: Do Not Let Iran Fool You
"Those who commit the same mistakes and expect different results are deceiving themselves." — Abdullah bin Bajad Al-Otibi, Saudi writer and researcher,, April 19, 2021.

After the deal expires in a few years.... Iran may build as many nuclear weapons as it wants. In that sense, the JCPOA deal was a runway to a full-blown nuclear weapons program.

"[T]he agreement did not address the Iranian regime's ambitions of hegemony and its blatant interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries through direct and semi-direct occupation in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.... Iran today is targeting Saudi oil and global energy supplies, as well as civilians, as the world is watching." — Abdullah bin Bajad Al-Otibi,, April 19, 2021.

"All the concessions that the Western powers intend to make to Tehran do not bind anyone in the Middle East, and cannot force Israel or the Arab countries to respect the outcome of the talks in Vienna, especially if these negotiations increase the danger of the Tehran regime to stability and security." — Syrian writer Bahaa Al-Alawam, Al-Ain, April 19, 2021

"The truth is that there is a political, military, security and economic Iranian occupation of four Arab countries – Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen." — Former Jordanian Minister of Information and Culture Saleh Al-Kallab, Asharq Al-Awsat, April 15, 2021.

This message, directed mainly at the Biden administration, accuses the West of ignoring Iran's ongoing occupation and terrorism in the Arab countries. Evidently, there is a profound fear among Arabs that a revival of the nuclear deal will add fuel to the mullahs' fire and support their slash-and-burn policies of destabilizing Arab countries and promoting terrorism through their proxies, including Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthi militias in Yemen.
Caroline Glick: Diplomacy is not geared towards preventing Iran from getting the bomb
CAROLINE GLICK, Senior Columnist, Breitbart News, Senior Contributor, Jerusalem Post and Maariv, Author, “The Israeli Solution: A One State Plan for Peace in the Middle East,” Senior Fellow, Center for Security Policy, Host, Caroline Glick’s Mideast News Hour, @CarolineGlick

Part 1:
Caroline Glick argues that the Biden administration is effectively siding with the Iranian regime
Robert Malley is back in government, this time as the State Department’s envoy to Iran
Glick: U.S. diplomacy is not geared towards preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon

Part 2:
Iran has always wanted to develop a nuclear weapon – their intensions were never peaceful
Glick claims that the Obama administration knew that the Iranian regime was actively deceiving the international community
Glick recaps on the successes witnessed during the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign

Part 3:
Areas of interest where Iranian proxies are most active today
Kerry-Iran allegations – Biden must fire his climate czar if reports are true

Part 4:
The Elephant of Jew Hatred
Glick: Hatred of the Jewish ethnicity dominated most of the anti-Semitic sphere throughout the 20th century, now anti-Zionism is on the rise, raising questions about the legitimacy of a Jewish homeland
Updates about Israel’s domestic and political situation

Iranian sentenced to 20 years in Belgium over terrorism
Iranian diplomat Assadolah Assadi, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for planning a bomb attack in France, has dropped plans to appeal and will serve his sentence, his representative said Wednesday.

Belgian authorities said they would oppose any potential swap deal with Western prisoners, lawyers said.

Assadi was found guilty of attempted terrorism in February after a foiled plot to bomb an Iranian opposition march in Paris in 2018 organized by the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran.

It was the first time an Iranian official had been tried for suspected terrorism in Europe since the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

"This has been a political trial since the beginning, and he does not want to participate any longer," Assadi's lawyer Dimitri de Beco told reporters in Antwerp, where the envoy was sentenced on Feb. 4. Judges had ruled that diplomatic immunity did not protect Assadi from criminal charges.