Tuesday, June 08, 2021

From Ian:

I Worked on the Abraham Accords. It's Time to Free the Palestinians from Hamas—and Iran
Still, there is reason for hope. Twenty years ago, the Palestinian cause was priority number one in the region. Now, people in the Gulf see things differently. We still care. We still support support the Palestinians. We believe in the two-state solution. But people in the Gulf no longer believe that this should come at the expense of our national interest. Many activists responded to Hamas- and Jihad- influenced media and social media posts to say, we do care about the Palestinians—but we don't care about these terrorist organizations.

What the public doesn't understand is who is behind so much of the media they read—who is funding this misguided narrative, which only serves to protect Hamas, and ultimately, Iran.

This past conflict with Gaza should be the last war. We should all learn to speak one language: the language of peace. Now is the time to not just talk the talk, but for us all to walk the walk.

Hamas and the Palestinian leadership have hijacked the minds of 2 million Palestinians to sell their political and terrorist agendas. We want the Palestinian people to enjoy what we enjoy, to have what we have and create a better future for a new generation. But we have to do this together, with all the stakeholders in the region, from NGOs to schools, religious leaders and governments. We cannot do this alone.

Dr. Ali al Nuaimi is chairman of the Defense Affairs, Interior and Foreign Relations Committee of the UAE's Federal National Council, a representative legislature whose 40 members, half elected indirectly and half appointed, serve in an advisory role to the emirates' leadership.
US working on more normalization between Israel, Arab states - Ashkenazi
The Biden administration is actively involved in encouraging more Arab states to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said Tuesday.

“They fully adopted the Abraham Accords and are eager to expand them,” he said. “There is going to be someone appointed to be responsible for doing so.”

The Biden administration is considering appointing former US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro as a Middle East envoy responsible for handling the continuation of the Abraham Accords, The Washington Post reported last week.

The Biden administration does not use the Trump-era name “Abraham Accords,” instead calling them “normalization agreements.”

In a briefing summing up his time in the Foreign Ministry, as a new government is expected to be sworn in on Sunday with Yair Lapid taking his place, Ashkenazi said he is in daily contact with Washington.

Ashkenazi would not say which countries were likely to be next to establish full relations with Israel. But before US President Joe Biden came into office, there was progress with Saudi Arabia, Oman, Mauritania and others.

Tony Blinken Declines to Confirm Israeli Sovereignty over Golan Heights
Secretary of State Tony Blinken declined Monday to confirm that the U.S. recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, when asked directly by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) about the issue at the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Israel captured the area in the Six Day War in 1967, after the Syrian military had used it to shell Israeli civilians in the Galilee. Israel was prepared to give most of it back to Syria in peace talks in the 1990s, but was rejected by the regime.

The rise of the so-called “Islamic State,” or ISIS, a decade ago, and the subsequent intervention of Iran in the Syrian Civil War, cemented the importance of Israeli control over the Golan Heights as a strategic buffer against invasion.

President Donald Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights in 2019. In gratitude, Israel named a town in the Golan after him, “Trump Heights.” Blinken appeared to walk back that commitment, however, in February.

Zeldin asked Blinken directly about the issue, and the two had the following exchange during Monday’s testimony:
Zeldin: To clarify one other point: does the Biden administration recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights?

Blinken: With regard to that, as a practical matter, Israel has control of the Golan Heights, irrespective of its legal status, and that will have to remain unless and until things get to a point where Syria and everything operating out from Syria no longer poses a threat to Israel, and we are not anywhere near that.

Blinken’s response echoes the rhetoric of Arab states and radical Islamist movements that refuse to recognize Israel in a formal sense: they recognize that it is physically there, though they do not recognize its legitimacy and permanence. He implied that the territory could, one day, be ceded.

Biden’s War on Jerusalem
In 1992, Biden co-sponsored Senate Consecutive Resolution 113 stating that "Jerusalem must remain an undivided city" and in 1995 co-sponsored the Jerusalem Embassy Act declaring that "Jerusalem should remain an undivided city" and "be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel". All the way back in 1984, Biden was saying, “I happen to support this move”, but “I think it is the wrong fight to make it this time.” And it always went on being the wrong time.

When President Trump called Biden’s bluff by moving the embassy to Jerusalem, Biden conceded that “I wouldn’t reverse it. I wouldn’t have done it in the first place.”

Biden promised to open a consulate to the “Palestinians” in Jerusalem and he’s on it. The proposed consulate has no legitimate government function because it’s not in Ramallah.

The only purpose of the consulate is to undermine President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem.

After years of enthusiastic speeches at AIPAC, Biden offered a sonorous video in 2020 warning of a "humanitarian crisis" in Gaza and telling Israel that it needed to stop Jewish "settlements".

Biden threatened Israel that if it didn't keep Jews from living on land claimed by the terrorists, it would "choke off any hope for peace" and undermine support from Democrats.

During his campaign, Biden promised, “I will reopen the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem”.

He’s not reopening it to “engage Palestinians”, but to counter Israel’s claim to Jerusalem. After decades of pretending that he supported recognizing a united Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, Biden is doing everything he can to undermine Israel’s presence in Jerusalem.

In 2013, Biden told AIPAC that he was jealous because Obama "gets to be the one to say ‘This year in Jerusalem'". In 2021, he’s promising, “This year in Jerusalem” to the terrorists.
Reopening Palestinian Missions Would Violate Law, Senators Say
The Biden administration's efforts to elevate diplomatic relations with the Palestinians violate the law and will undermine America's historic recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital city, according to a group of Republican senators.

In the weeks since Israel went to war with the Iranian-backed Hamas terror group, the Biden administration has taken steps to reopen the U.S. consulate general facility in Jerusalem that oversaw relations with the Palestinians. This mission was closed in 2019 after the Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel's unified capital city, in accordance with U.S. law. The Biden administration also wants to reopen the mission of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington, D.C., which was shut down in 2018 amid efforts by the PLO to promote terrorism against Israel and block American efforts to foster peace in the region.

A group of 16 Republican senators led by Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) is warning the Biden administration against reopening both Palestinian missions, saying these policies are part of a quiet effort by the Biden administration to walk back the United States' decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's undivided capital, in a letter sent late Monday to the White House.

"We urge you to adhere to U.S. law and ensure both of these diplomatic missions remain closed," write the group of lawmakers, which also includes Sens. Bill Hagerty (R., Tenn.), Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), Tim Scott (R., S.C.), and Joni Ernst (R., Iowa), among others. "We oppose any efforts by your administration to provide rewards and incentives to the Palestinian leadership or Hamas for their abhorrent support of violence and terrorism."

While the Biden administration has repeatedly vowed to continue the Trump administration's policies regarding Jerusalem, the senators are concerned that reopening the Jerusalem-based U.S. consulate that managed diplomatic relations with the Palestinian government will undercut that historic policy shift. "Reopening this diplomatic mission to the Palestinians in Israel's capital would wrongly indicate that the U.S. supports dividing the capital city of our close ally and would only reward the Palestinian leadership's continued hostility toward Israel," they write.

Reopening that consulate also violates the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which Congress passed as a means to legally recognize the entirety of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the lawmakers say.
Danish MP cites PMW for uncovering PA fraud and payment of terrorist salaries with western aid
MP Søren Espersen, Danish People’s Party: “We [the Danish People’s Party] want to stop the payments to the PA effective immediately, because if you look closer at the huge sums in this gigantic aid scandal, then you can’t help but be deeply shaken by what happens when the PA receives their annual payments - from the EU, from the US, from the UN, from the Arab countries, etc. We're talking about corruption. We're talking about nepotism. We're talking about payments to convicted terrorists and their families. We are talking about how the PA with great cunning is trying to hide how the money actually ends up in all possible and impossible pockets. PMW - Palestinian Media Watch and the Norwegian MIFF - With Israel For Peace have followed for years the neat and tidy money transfers from trusting Western governments [that turn] into money that smells of fraud and deception… It’s peculiar that we in Denmark actually have a law that prohibits providing financial support to terrorists. I’ve noted that different Danish governments repeatedly violate their own law.”

No ceasefire in Palestinian anti-Americanism
Alyssa Rubin of the anti-Israel group IfNotNow goes even further, telling The New York Times that with America’s racial reckoning, more young people are “looking at Israel/Palestine and realizing it is the exact same system.” Even worse, the Jewish and non-Jewish left has now adopted the ugly phrase that neo-Nazis developed accusing Jews of arrogance: “Jewish supremacy.”

Palestinians should not hitch an ideological ride on the backs of blacks. They neither experienced the helplessness African-Americans suffered while enslaved nor the vilification African-Americans endured once free.

An effective foreign policy balances what President Barack Obama called “our interests and our conscience.” Overlooking Palestinian anti-Americanism and illiberalism demonstrates the dangers of reducing every complex issue to yet another Trumpians versus Progressives, Black Lives Matter versus White Supremacist, Culture War clash. Distracting us from our foreign policy’s dual mission, it leaves us unprotected while tarnishing our ideals.

Reporters treat the Middle East conflict as being about who did what to whom last week, month, year, century—and just what border might be drawn here or there. But it often plays out on other levels, including this more primal level that transcends what Israel or America do or don’t do. This sobering situation doesn’t mean that America cannot be an “honest broker,” but it should not be a naive broker.

Palestinian anti-Americanism reminds us that education counts, that civil society-building is necessary, and that donor money should be distributed carefully and strategically.

Americans keep learning that we cannot buy popularity when it’s too useful for dictators to demonize us. But aid money can be invested wisely or sloppily. If the goal is not simply to show support or rush to a treaty that won’t last but build a Palestinian democracy seeking a constructive peace, then diplomats should strategize about where to spend the money, what benchmarks to impose, and when, if necessary, to redirect or cut off the financial flow.
Erdan to AP CEO: Hamas worked on anti-Iron Dome tech in AP Gaza building
Hamas worked on a device to disrupt the Iron Dome missile defense system in the same building in Gaza as the Associated Press’s office, which Israel bombed during Operation Guardian of the Walls, Israeli Ambassador to the UN and US Gilad Erdan said on Monday night. Erdan relayed the information, in coordination with the IDF, to AP CEO Gary Pruitt and Vice President for Foreign News Ian Phillips in New York.

The ambassador explained that Hamas had intelligence and technological research and development offices in the building Israel struck last month. No one was killed in the strike, after Israel gave advanced warning.

The target was of “utmost importance,” Erdan said, because of the work on an electronic system to disrupt the Iron Dome system that saved millions Israelis from over 4,000 rockets terrorist groups launched from Gaza.

According to the IDF, the site was used by the Hamas terror organization for intelligence R&D and to carry out SIGINT (signals intelligence), ELINT (electronic signals intelligence), and EW (electronic warfare) operations, targeting both IDF operational activity and civilian systems in Israel.

Erdan emphasized Israel’s commitment to freedom of the press, and that Israel does its utmost to avoid harm to civilians, including AP journalists.

“Israel does not think that [AP] workers were aware of the Hamas activities in the building, because it was a secret Hamas unit,” he said.

An examination of the names of the fatalities in the IDF airstrikes during the first two days of Operation Guardian of the Walls reveals that most of them were terrorist operatives
The following is a preliminary summary of the findings of the examination of the names of the Palestinians who were killed in IDF airstrikes in the Gaza Strip during the first two days (May 10-12, 2021 at 12:00) of Operation Guardian of the Walls. The ITIC examined 74 names of fatalities reported by Palestinian sources. Sixteen of them were killed during an unsuccessful launch of rockets at Israel. It is evident from the examination that of the 58 remaining fatalities, at least 42 (about two-thirds) were terrorist operatives, according to the following distribution: 31 Hamas operatives, 3 PIJ operatives, and 8 Fatah members.

As in previous operations and this time even more, entities in the Gaza Strip (the Health Ministry and the terrorist organizations) hardly publicize the deaths of terrorist operatives. This, with the exception of senior operatives and officials, in which case the organizations they belong to published official death notices. The Hamas administration is trying to create a false impression that the vast majority of those killed were uninvolved civilians. In its announcements, the Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip emphasizes the number of women, children and seniors killed and, unlike in the past, it does not publish detailed lists that include the names of those killed. Many of the dead terrorist operatives are also presented on social media and by Arab media outlets as “civilians” for the same reason.

Full document in PDF format
PA TV admits Israel warned Gaza residents prior to airstrikes on buildings
Official PA TV reporter: "A short while ago the Israeli occupation and its intelligence services called the owner of this tower… so that he would evacuate it… The area around this tower was evacuated, and some of the roads leading to it were blocked to protect the lives of the residents due to the Israeli warning about the bombing of this tower. In a few hours we may see an attack on this tower, and thus it will be the fifth tower that received a warning, and four of them have been leveled to the ground.”

[Official PA TV, May 18, 2021]

Rep. Ilhan Omar compares US to Hamas and Taliban terrorists, says all are guilty of 'unthinkable atrocities'
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Monday seemingly compared the United States and Israel to Hamas and Taliban terrorists.

Hamas, the Gaza-based terrorist group, is officially classified by the U.S. government as a "foreign terrorist organization." However, Taliban soldiers who terrorize Afghanistan are not technically part of a U.S.-designated terrorist group.

What are the details?

Omar, one of the most far-left members of Congress, claimed the U.S. and Israel — along with Afghanistan, Hamas, and the Taliban — have committed "unthinkable atrocities" and human rights abuses.

"We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity," Omar said.

The context of Omar's inflammatory claim included her questioning Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday about how perpetrators of human rights abuses — she cited the Israeli security forces and Hamas, the Afghanistan government and the Taliban — will be held accountable, especially because the U.S. government opposes the International Criminal Court, the global tribunal tasked with prosecuting war crimes.

Why exactly, then, Omar invoked the U.S. in her tweet and lumped America into a group with terrorist organizations is unclear — unless she is also publicly accusing the U.S. of committing war crimes and human rights abuses.

Omar did not elaborate on what crimes against humanity she thinks the U.S. is guilty of committing. Interestingly, Omar did not cite the U.S. when she questioned Blinken.

Combating anti-Semitism in Congress
As Israel was struggling to defend its citizens from the heinous and barbaric Hamas missile attacks instigated, engineered and financed by Iran, the above agents of vulgarity unconscionably attempted to hold up the resupply of critical arms to Israel.

As a Jew aware of our history, I can say that the true impact of such vile behavior goes way beyond mere ribald incivility and has far greater consequences.

It has been well-chronicled that antisemitic attacks both domestically and globally are skyrocketing. History demonstrates that fighting antisemitism involves far more than platitudinous proclamations. It must be encountered, rather, with zero tolerance and a third-rail-like reactiveness – no different from the way in which racist or discriminatory statements against African Americans are answered.

When Schneider and other Jews (such as New York Sen. Chuck Schumer) who serve in America's highest political body fail to vociferously reject these unprecedented salvos of racist derision, the absence of public rebuke has the effect of validating and normalizing grotesque utterances from within the halls of the once-cherished sanctum of tolerance and equality.

We are told that the reason that Schneider and others are unable to publicly invalidate these racist taunts is that alienating the progressives in the party that Sanders, Omar, Tlaib and their ilk represent would create a political liability for the Democrats. To which I would ask: Is the normalization of antisemitic discourse a price that the Jewish community ought to be expected to pay for the stability of the Democratic Party?

Quelling antisemitism means erecting a granite wall of opposition. If part of that wall is crumbling, as it presently appears to be, then it will not be a wall at all. Our Democracy, despite its occasional blemishes on which detractors like Sanders and fellow progressives choose to fixate, was unique in the history of the world. It was built on a foundation of a core of values that reflexively abhor and reject the now-surging cancer of antisemitism. For Schneider to finally rise to challenge this unprecedented toxicity would be a true and welcome exercise in courage.

Poll: Democratic Voters Support Israel
A majority of Democratic voters broadly support the United States-Israel relationship, according to a poll that highlights a growing divide between the party's radical anti-Israel flank and its more moderate members.

Around 65 percent of self-identified Democrats support the United States's relationship with Israel either "strongly or somewhat," according to a poll by Tipp Insights, which asked Americans about Israel in the wake of its latest conflict with the Iranian-backed Hamas terror group. Fifty-eight percent of self-described liberals expressed similarly positive views about the Jewish state.

The findings indicate that as anti-Israel attitudes becoming increasingly prevalent in the Democrat-controlled Congress, the party's voter base is not being swayed. As Israel fought its latest war with Hamas, Democratic lawmakers such as Reps. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.) pressed the Biden administration to adopt stronger anti-Israel positions.

The poll's findings show "solid numbers for a country frequently portrayed in the U.S. media as polarizing, and suggest that what opposition to the relationship there is among the American people is localized to specific Congressional districts, and would not be a successful platform for a state- or nation-wide election," according to Victoria Coates, a former senior White House National Security Council official in the Trump administration. Coates analyzed the findings in a report published on the Tipp Insights website.

While voters from both parties and political ideologies broadly expressed support for the United States-Israel relationship, the matter of U.S. arms sales to Israel is more divisive.

Sixty-two percent of Democratic voters polled said they strongly or somewhat support blocking arms sales to Israel. Similarly, 63 percent of those who identify as liberals expressed a level of support for cutting arms sales. Just 9 percent of the Democrats surveyed said they strongly oppose ending the United States-Israel security alliance.

Among Republicans, the numbers were stronger, though 34 percent said they would support ending arms sales to Israel. Thirty-six percent of Republicans polled said they strongly oppose ending these security agreements. Coates said Republican support for cutting arms sales to Israel could illustrate voters' increasing weariness with war in the Middle East.
Al-Qaeda Calls on Muslims to Attack Jewish, US Interests Worldwide
Al-Qaeda’s main media outlet published a call on Muslims to carry out attacks against U.S. and Jewish interests, as well as urged individuals to support the mujahideen in Palestine financially, with men and weapons, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (MEMRI-JTTM).

The media outlet, Al-Sahab, published the call in issue 35 of its Al-Nafir bulletin in which it praised those who rushed to “defend” the Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and the people of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem, which was a center for Arab rioting and violence.

It stressed that “waging jihad and fighting against the enemies is the way to revive the ummah [‘Islamic nation’], and bring it back to its religion and glory.”

It further noted, according to the MEMRI-JTTM report shared exclusively with JNS, that “rights can only be restored by the might of the weapon and by revolting against the usurping Zionist occupier and its allies [when] each one does what he can, [whether] launching rockets, [carrying out] martyrdom operations, [perpetrating] storming attacks, throwing rocks, taking part in demonstrations and promoting the issue on social-media platforms.”

The Al-Qaeda publication then condemned U.S. President Joe Biden, describing him as “criminal” and accusing him of “rejecting” an earlier ceasefire resolution “to give the Jews more time to spill blood and destroy properties.”
The Myth of Arab Displacement in Eastern Jerusalem
As CAMERA’s senior media analyst Ricki Hollander has explained, “when Israel gained control of the area in 1967, only 4 Arab structures stood on this land. Jerusalem municipality plans to preserve the land as public parkland were ignored and 88 Arab buildings, housing 700 residents, were constructed without permits on the conservation site, mostly in the 1980s and ’90s.”

Hollander explains further that there is no infrastructure in this area because the houses are all built illegally, and the area is essentially a slum. The municipal government in Jerusalem attempted to solve this problem by legalizing 66 of the illegally built houses that were built in the eastern area of this neighborhood, while demolishing the rest of the illegally built houses in the western side; it would also give the people living in the demolished houses land on the eastern side to build new homes. The western side would then become a nature reserve, as it was during Ottoman times.

Furthermore, there is no such thing as the “King David Park” in Jerusalem — the plan by the Jerusalem government is to maintain public parkland in the area, which was referred to as the “King’s Garden” in the Torah.

A broader look at the situation in eastern Jerusalem also dispels the myths about colonial expansion and displacement proliferated in the petition.

Hollander notes that the Arab population of Jerusalem has increased since Israel gained control of the city and unified it in 1967 — from 26% in 1967, to 38% of the population in 2019.

Additionally, she explains that “the percentage of fulfilled requests [for building permits] in eastern Jerusalem in 2009 was 55%…vs. 63% in West Jerusalem. The proportion of granted requests for permits was similar, as well, in other years…In 2008, for example, 46% of building permits requested were granted in eastern Jerusalem vs. 47% of permit requests granted in west Jerusalem. In 2010, 80% of building permit requests for Arab-majority neighborhoods in Jerusalem were approved vs. 89% in Jewish-majority neighborhoods.”

The groups responsible for this petition want to sensationalize the Sheik Jarrah case to condemn Israel. The rhetoric they use is inaccurate, and it emboldens antisemites who attack Jews in the name of anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism.

This petition is just another attempt to demonize Israel without explaining any relevant context, and without placing any responsibility on Palestinians.

For First Time Ever, Israel Receives Seat on UN Economic and Social Council
For the first time ever, Israel was elected on Monday to serve on the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

“An incredible achievement for Israel at the UN today being elected to ECOSOC! Thank you to the 154 states that voted for us & all our diplomats who made this happen,” Israeli Ambassador to the United States and the United Nations Gilad Erdan tweeted on Tuesday, along with a video clip expressing the same sentiment. “Choosing Israel is recognition of our innovation & creativity, which benefits all nations of the world!”

The ECOSOC, one of six main bodies at the UN, focuses on international economic and social matters. Eighteen countries other than Israel were elected to the 54-member body, and each will serve a three-year term. ECOSOC decisions are reached by a simple majority, each member having one vote.

Israel’s election to the UN body came less than three weeks after Erdan walked out of a session of the General Assembly at which Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki accused Israel of committing war crimes and “deliberately massacring children” in Gaza during “Operation Guardian of the Walls.”

Gantz to Hezbollah: War With Israel Will Cause ‘Immense’ Damage to Lebanon
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz issued a warning to Hezbollah on Monday, saying that the damage to Lebanon in any future war with Israel would be “immense.”

Speaking at an event marking Israel’s recognition of its 18-year presence in southern Lebanon as an official military campaign, Gantz said that such a war would be fought on Lebanese and not Israeli territory.

”Lebanon needs to know that what Gaza experienced a few weeks ago is only the tip of the iceberg. The targets are ready. Those with rocket launchers hidden in their yards are putting their neighbors in jeopardy. Those who are armed by Iran and trying to operate in the aerial sphere—will be marked and shot down at the place of our choosing. The war that erupts from Lebanon—heaven forbid—will mostly take place on the enemy’s territory, and the damage to it will be immense, painful and comprehensive,” said Gantz. In an apparent message to the Lebanese government, Gantz said: “War is not predestination. We can put an end to the decades-long fighting if only Lebanon’s leadership wanted to.”

Turning to Hamas, which is holding captive two Israeli civilians and the remains of two Israeli soldiers, Gantz said that Israel will not pay the prices it once did to secure the release of captives.
Qanta Ahmed: Inside Hamas’s tunnel complex
The Arab world, in contrast to Iran, is deeply vested in normalising ties with Israel. Former president Donald Trump’s proposed Israel Palestine Peace to Prosperity Plan was widely mocked as Jared Kushner’s vanity project. But the Arab nations involved in the Abraham Accords, such as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, are deeply engaged in developing relations across the board, from economic, agricultural, tourism, trade, intelligence and military ties.

Kushner envisioned that his plan would have allowed Palestinians in Gaza a better economic future, mobility and freedom. The Palestinians rejected it at inception, setting aside the opportunity for $50bn (£35bn) of Gulf nations’ investment, the chance for a free and mobile economy and regional development.

My hope is that this proposal (or a similar one under president Joe Biden) will come to life when the Palestinian leadership recognises that Gaza must be demilitarised and that Israel has a right to exist. Only then can there be peace.

It is time for the Arab world to stand in defence of human values by repudiating Hamas’s shameful use of Palestinian people as human shields. The moment Hamas, hiding in its tunnels, elected to bombard a civilian population in a sovereign state, which is home to – and safeguards – religious freedom for the three monotheistic faiths, they abandoned any semblance of ethics, any remnant of Geneva conventions, and any right to decry Israel’s actions. Claiming to defend Muslim Palestinians, Hamas instead violates all Islam’s codes of just war which expressly forbid the targeting of unarmed civilians, women, children, the elderly and the disabled.

If the conflict is ever to end, Hamas must not only be muzzled, but fully defanged. Dismantling the tunnel network would be a start. Israel deserves support from the Arab world in its legitimate efforts to safeguard all peoples in its sovereign territory. It is time the Arab world demanded the disarmament and neutering of Hamas. Only then, will the Palestinians have a chance at achieving peace and prosperity.
Top PA official Rajoub approves of rockets and riots against Israel
“We welcome all the types of resistance that took place” – Top PA official Rajoub approves of rockets and riots against Israel Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub: “We do not condemn, the opposite is true. We welcome all the types of resistance that took place. These rockets shocked them (i.e., Israel) and struck their security doctrine. As for Jerusalem, the [Arab] residents of Jerusalem stomped with their feet on the idea that Jerusalem is part of such and such [Israel], and what happened in Lod, Umm Al-Fahm, Kafr Qassem, and Nazareth (i.e., refers to violent Israeli Arab riots) ended the story of so-called coexistence in the shadow of a racist and fascist regime.”

[Official PA TV News, May 22, 2021]

Fatah praises “heroic commander” terrorist from PA Security Forces involved in murder of at least 9

Palestinian Premier: No Proof Jewish Temple Ever Existed on Temple Mount
The years of archaeological excavations Israel has conducted on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City have yielded no proof that a Jewish Temple ever existed in the city, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told Al Jazeera on Monday.

When asked about current tensions in Jerusalem, Shtayyeh said that Jerusalem was at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

“Since 1967 and the occupation of the West Bank, Israel has carried out a series of excavations underneath al-Aqsa mosque which haven’t proved any connection whatsoever to the hall [Temple] or anything similar,” said Shtayyeh.

He went on to say that since 1967, Israel has been implementing a plan known as “Jerusalem 2020,” which he claimed is designed to reduce the Palestinian population in the capital to some 19 percent.

“This has failed completely,” he said, adding that “Palestinians make up 40 percent of the population of Jerusalem.”

With regard to the Temple Mount, he said, “Israel seriously wants to divide the compound in terms of space and schedules.”
New documentary exposes radicalization of children by terrorist groups
A new documentary is exposing the brutal lives of children radicalized and abused by terrorists worldwide.

Using shocking hidden camera footage from schools, media outlets, houses of worship, and eyewitness accounts, the film, Kids: Chasing Paradise by the Clarion Project shows how terrorist organizations rob victims of childhood, indoctrinating them to become the next generation of Hamas and other extremists.

The movie’s producers, based in Washington, DC, said they were motivated by the chance their work could force policymakers to address the problem.

“These atrocities against children are enabled by our own complacency,” said Ryan Mauro, national security expert and director of the Clarion Intelligence Network. “This infrastructure of hate and abuse is not an inevitable problem. It is manufactured. And the hate factories can be dismantled.

"This problem can start being decisively addressed relatively quickly and with minimal expense or risk,” he continued. “If the US and its allies focused on this root cause, President Biden could have major, measured impacts by the end of his first term.”

The film features dynamic stories of several individuals: a former extremist, a mother whose son was radicalized by ISIS, a Islamist summer camp attendee and many others, each telling his or her personal experience.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Girl’s Entire Doll Collection Starring In Rubble Photos All Over Gaza (satire)
A six-year-old in this Hamas-controlled coastal territory woke up today to discover that her father and older brothers had removed every single stuffed animal and plush toy from her bedroom for purposes of posing them amid the bombed-out ruins of buildings and taking staged pictured of the destruction that resulted from retaliatory and preventive airstrikes by Israel against militant positions and weapons last month.

First-grader Ahlam Djimli disclosed to playmates Tuesday that all but one of her dolls went missing overnight, and that inquiries of her mother revealed that her father Hamad, and her older brothers Faisal, Sami, and Yusef, all Hamas personnel, had taken the toys and will spend the next four or five days locating rubble sites where they can pose a suitable stuffed character and use the resulting photo in anti-Israel propaganda efforts.

According to friends, Ahlam remains circumspect about the development, but harbors particular worries about five of her dolls. “It would be six, but she was holding too tightly to her favorite penguin and they didn’t want to wake her,” explained Wafa, a classmate at an UNRWA school that currently has no sessions because of IDF bomb damage done to a Hamas tunnel that ran underneath the facility.

Ahlam’s anxiety pertains specifically to a purple unicorn with a rainbow tail; a Minnie Mouse in hijab, the only kind her parents would allow in the house; a monkey that her brother Sami named Yahud; a life-size plush hand grenade; a knockoff Barbie, also in hijab; and a baby that used to say “Mama” when squeezed just so but whose battery has run low and now simply grunts.

Tel Aviv bus bomber freed from Israeli prison, gets hero’s welcome in Jordan
A Palestinian-Jordanian terrorist jailed in Israel after planting a bomb on a bus that wounded 13 civilians in 2000 was released Tuesday after serving his 20-year sentence.

Abdullah Abu Jaber, 46, was welcomed with flowers and shouts of joy by his family after he entered Jordan across the Sheikh Hussein Bridge.

Jaber, originally from Jordan’s Baqaa refugee camp, hid a bomb on a bus in Tel Aviv on December 28, 2000, detonating it remotely and wounding 13 people. He was arrested the following day.

“Twenty years ago, I made a journey not for tourism, but of resistance,” Jaber said, draped in Jordanian and Palestinian keffiyeh headscarves.

“I have done my duty as a Palestinian, because it is the land of Palestine and we must liberate it as quickly as possible,” he said.

He called for rival Palestinian factions Fatah and the Hamas to end their long division and form a common front against Israel. “I hope that the Palestinians will be united again,” he said.

Yunis Abu Sil, a member of the Palestinian National Council, the PLO’s legislative arm, said he was “very happy” and called Jaber a “hero.”

Blinken: Iran nuclear 'breakout time' could be weeks if not restrained
The United States still does not know whether Iran is ready to resume compliance with its 2015 nuclear deal, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday.

And if Tehran continues to violate the pact, he added, the "breakout time" it needs to amass enough fissile material for a single nuclear weapon will shrink to weeks.

"We've been engaged in indirect conversations, as you know, for the last couple of months, and it remains unclear whether Iran is willing and prepared to do what it needs to do to come back into compliance," Blinken told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"We're still testing that proposition," Blinken said.

"Meanwhile, its program is galloping forward. ... The longer this goes on, the more the breakout time gets down ... it's now down, by public reports, to a few months at best. And if this continues, it will get down to a matter of weeks."

The United States and Iran began indirect talks in Vienna in April to see if both sides might agree to resume compliance with the 2015 accord under which Tehran agreed to restrain its nuclear program to make it harder to obtain fissile material for a weapon in return for relief from US, EU and UN sanctions.

The fifth round of talks ended on June 2 and diplomats have said a sixth may begin on Thursday, though that was not set in stone. The United States abandoned the flawed agreement in 2018 due to Iranian belligerence in the Middle East.

"We're not even at the stage of returning to compliance for compliance," Blinken said. "We don't know if that's actually going to happen."

Resuming talks on Thursday would leave only eight days to reach a pact before Iran's June 18 election, which is likely to usher in a hard-line president. Some delegates say that while a deal is possible by then, it appears increasingly unlikely.

Ex-Israeli pilot recalls 'Operation Opera' on Iraqi nuclear site 40 Years Ago


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