Thursday, June 24, 2021

From Ian:

Gerald Steinberg: 20 Years after the UN’s Durban event, the antisemitism continues to grow
We now stand 20 years later, and the Durban NGO strategy is being implemented through attacks on different fronts. Poisonous “apartheid weeks,” featuring the same NGOs and their anti-Israel slogans, are annual events on university campuses, inciting attacks on Jewish students who identify with Israel. Human Rights Watch and their allies, such as Al Haq, as well as some radical Israeli NGOs generously funded by European governments to act as political sub-contractors, continue to market the “apartheid” slogan, including a recent campaign and report that used the term 200 times, and received widespread media coverage, with no justification. Now, they have combined under the false banners of intersectionality and solidarity, adding the term “Jewish supremacy” to the poisonous agenda. Antisemitic attacks are at the highest levels since the end of the Holocaust. And in parallel, the NGO network is pushing a well-funded propaganda campaign to dismantle the IHRA working definition, disguised as an alternative “Jerusalem definition” without the Israel-related examples, precisely because it is the most effective mechanism for defeating the Durban strategy.

As if the current plague of antisemitism is insufficient, the UN Human Rights Council is planning a conference to revive and “celebrate” Durban, likely to be held in September 2021. In 2009, the major democracies stayed away from Durban 2 in Geneva, and under the leadership of NGO Monitor and like-minded groups, the NGO Forum was cancelled. Durban 3 in 2011 was also a non-event, but now, the anti-Israel majority of the UN Human Rights Council, under the leadership of Michelle Bachelet, is trying again. While the US, Canada, Australia and the UK have announced a boycott, others, particularly in Europe have not.

For the Jewish people, the scars of the original Durban events remain very painful, and the powerful UN and NGO network that hijacked the human rights agenda in order to demonize Israel continues to spread its poison. For world leaders who claim to oppose antisemitism, their complicity and silence in the wake of the virulent targeting of Israel and the Jewish people has already gone too far. Saying no to another Durban hate fest is the least they can do.
Pressure on Europe about Palestinian textbooks is working
In December, speaking at the opening of the weekly Cabinet meeting held in Ramallah, P.A. Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh told his colleagues: “The Palestinian curriculum is the product of our history, culture, struggle, religion and contribution to civilization, which we held on to at the negotiating table and which we will not give up.”

He added, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA: “Those who link their assistance to us to this, then we will finance our curriculum from our budget.”

Last year, following a vote by parliamentarians to withhold some funding if the curriculum wasn’t changed to become more inclusive, the P.A. made noises that it would instigate some changes. But when the education minister addressed his colleagues, he made it clear that the narrative of Palestinian armed resistance to Israel would be amplified, not reduced.

This means that education could well become the issue that breaks the Mephistophelian pact between the E.U. and the P.A.

It is clear to any sensible person that teaching Palestinian children to fear and hate Israelis, and to engage in the violent destruction of Israel, is no basis on which to build a two-state solution. Not only is it detrimental to Israel, but it is deeply wounding to the children themselves, who are given no hope of a bright future within their own state. The E.C., whose commitment to the Palestinian cause is ideological, has nowhere to hide on this issue.

Meanwhile, the P.A.—whose senior members have grown fabulously wealthy from all the funding poured into their coffers—is trapped between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, if they give in to demands to deliver a fit-for-purpose curriculum, the drive behind their Palestinian nationalist narrative will quickly falter, leading eventually to normalization with Israel and to their rule being toppled in favor of true moderate rule. On the other, if they brazen it out and have funding pulled, they risk an impoverished Palestinian population turning on them.

Either way, the true winners in both scenarios would be the children of Palestine, who might, at last, have a chance of receiving a reasonable education, setting them up for a prosperous life. Which is precisely why the pressure on the E.C. must not let up at any cost.
The Joshua and Caleb Network: Can Israel Take the Pressure of Iran's New Butcher?
Israel has a new government in place, and it’s confusing! Is the new prime minister liberal or conservative? The answer….is yes! Find out all the details on today’s program.

At the same time, the United States is attempting to install an anti-Israel Consulate General in Jerusalem. And they are attempting to re-negotiate a deal with Iran, who just elected a “butcher” for their president.

Can Israel stand up to all of this pressure, and do what is necessary to keep their nation safe?

John Hagee and Amb. Nikki Haley: Israel Endures - What We Witnessed after Hamas' Rocket Attacks
In Israel last week we saw the wreckage caused by the latest round of terrorist rockets. We were outside the home of a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor - at least, what was left of it. She lost her legs and nearly her life. Her caretaker died when the house was destroyed. The next-door neighbor invited us into her home. It was badly damaged, too. When the rocket hit, she was holding her grandchild. The blast threw them into the wall. We could see the outline of her body, and even her hair, which had stuck there.

We went to Israel in the wake of the war. Less than three weeks earlier, Israel's citizens endured 11 straight days of rocket attacks. Hamas launched more than 4,300 rockets at Israeli schools, homes and synagogues. Their goal was to kill as many innocents as possible. Israel came through the crisis thanks to the Iron Dome and the iron will of its people.

Israel was completely in the right to take the fight to Hamas. With the terrorist leaders operating from hospitals, apartment buildings and even a foreign media hub, Israel targeted them with the utmost precision and protection for innocent Palestinians. Israel's restraint is all the more remarkable given the threat it faces. Every Israeli citizen knows that Hamas would kill each and every one of them if given the chance.
Hold Hamas Accountable for Human-Shields Use during the 2021 Gaza War
During the May 2021 Gaza conflict, Hamas relied heavily on the use of civilians as human shields, which is a war crime. The Sanctioning the Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act, enacted unanimously by Congress in 2018, requires the president to impose sanctions on persons involved in the use of human shields by Hamas or Hizbullah.

The Biden administration should start implementing the Shields Act, including by imposing sanctions on Yahya Sinwar, the top Hamas political leader in Gaza, and other terrorist officials. The Associated Press found that "Palestinian fighters are clearly operating in built-up residential areas and have positioned tunnels, rocket launchers, and command and control infrastructure in close proximity to schools, mosques and homes."

Moreover, Shields Act sanctions on Hamas would be an important step toward countering the extensive use of human shields against the U.S. and its allies. In 2019, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, said that, considering the frequency and effectiveness of human-shields use against NATO forces, "it is essential that further measures be taken at the national level to maximize enforcement of the international legal prohibition of the use of human shields."
Mike Pompeo: US should bypass Palestinian Authority to provide aid to Gaza
If foreign governments are serious about assisting the Palestinian people, the objective should be establishing an honest destination for such aid – one that does not rely on groups who have remained only tenuously off the State Department’s list of Foreign Terror Organisations.

A reasonable answer to the lack of such a destination would be to establish one. A new NGO – funded by Arab countries, the US and interested European powers – would help to create an alternative power base focused primarily on the welfare of Palestinian society.

While there are certainly hurdles to creating such an organisation, including determining its staff, its immediate efficacy in Gaza would be two-fold. It would provide a destination to ensure that aid to the Palestinians reaches the civilian population, and it would remove the danger of trusting a third-party conduit. Indeed, some Arab countries curtailed PA financial assistance in part due to its general incompetence. The groundbreaking Abraham Accords are yet another affirmation of that exasperation.

In the long term, establishing a new organisation of this nature has the potential to create an alternative power base for the Palestinian people. If the ultimate goal is to rid Gaza of terrorists, surely that goal is not reached by empowering an organisation with links to terrorism, albeit one that is opposed to Hamas.

Finally, setting up such a structure would allow the US to assist the Palestinian people without violating its own Taylor Force Act. Given that the PA spends roughly seven per cent of its budget on the “pay for slay” programme, removing the PA from the aid equation would ensure a cleaner transfer of funds. Indeed, anything less could result in laundering US taxpayer dollars for terrorism.

Those committed to helping Palestinians must realise that the current institutions tasked with doing so are corrupt, insufficient and self-interested. Tackling this perennial problem begins with removing the PA from the aid equation.

As chairman of the PLO since 2004 and president of the PA since 2005, Mr Abbas has done little to change the fact that both organisations are sponsors of terrorism. It is time to introduce new slogans for those currently demonstrating for peace in the Middle East: “Replace the PLO with an NGO” and “Replace the corrupt PA. End pay for slay”.
Biden administration says it’s pushing Ramallah to reform terror payment policy
The senior State Department official said Tuesday that the Biden administration “is closely tracking requirements under the Taylor Force Act and other similar legislation. In administering assistance for the West Bank and Gaza, the Biden-Harris administration has made clear it will do so consistent with the Taylor Force Act and all applicable requirements under US law. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

The comments appeared to be a swipe at Congressional Republicans, who in recent weeks have sought to block US humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, saying it would violate the Taylor Force Act.

None of the over $235 million in aid announced by the Biden administration in recent months is slated to go to the PA or Hamas in Gaza and instead will be funneled to various USAID programs as well as UNRWA — the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

Highlighting the $38 million in assistance to Gaza that was announced following last month’s war, the senior State Department official said, “This critical assistance will support humanitarian organizations to provide emergency shelter, food, relief items, and health care, as well as mental health and psychosocial support for those who experienced trauma.”

“The administration provides assistance in a manner consistent with US law and does not direct assistance to Hamas. As we do around the world, the administration will provide assistance in the West Bank and Gaza through experienced, and trusted independent partners on the ground, who distribute directly to people in need,” the official added.

The aid announcements have been a reversal of the Trump administration’s policy, which effectively ended financial assistance to the Palestinians completely over Ramallah’s refusal to engage with its peace plan.

The State Department official echoed comments made by the Biden administration since January, asserting that “Israelis and Palestinians alike deserve equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and dignity, which is important in its own right and as a means to advancing the prospects for a two-state solution.”

While the official did not go as far as to warn of any consequences, they cautioned both sides against “unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution.”

The official added that this includes Israeli settlement building. Over a dozen projects in the West Bank were advanced by the Defense Ministry on Tuesday, in defiance of the Biden stance.
Bipartisan Bill to Sanction Those Financing Hamas Terror Introduced in Congress
A bipartisan bill that would sanction persons and organizations who help finance the Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad has been introduced in the US House of Representatives.

H.R.3685, titled the Hamas International Financing Prevention Act, was introduced by Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Brian Mast (R-FL), and has 50 co-sponsors from both the Democratic and Republican parties.

The bill seeks to curb any financing of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other Palestinian terror groups, especially funds that circumvent already existing US sanctions.

Both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are already designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations by the United States government. But the bill’s co-sponsors cited reports of a surge in cryptocurrency donations to Hamas following its 11-day conflict with Israel in May, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that bitcoin funds have increasingly been used for the terror group’s military operations.

Rep. Gottheimer, who serves as Vice Chair of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security, said in a Wednesday statement, “Last month, the terrorist group Hamas fired thousands of rockets into Israel while using Gazans, including women and children, as human shields. It is critical that the United States and our allies continue to isolate terrorist groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad by cutting them off at the source.”

“This bill will strengthen sanctions to weaken these terrorist groups that threaten our ally Israel, undermine peace, and further destabilize the Middle East,” he asserted.

“I hope Congress will come together to pass the bipartisan Hamas International Financing Prevention Act so it can be signed into law,” he concluded.

'New government likely to expand Abraham Accords, put PA issue on back burner'
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is scheduled to travel to the United Arab Emirates next week, marking his first visit there since he became the country's top diplomat.

The visit comes as Israel and the Biden administration seek to find common ground on mutual issues. While both have expressed a desire to expand the Abraham Accords, key differences are likely to remain on issues such as the Palestinians and Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, like his predecessor, is opposed to the United States rejoining the Iranian nuclear deal, and the new government is unlikely to possess the political willpower to make any significant moves on the Palestinian front.

The international move to offer Iran concessions has put countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE on edge – not to mention Israel – and decreases their willingness to take diplomatic risks. As a result, the Saudis and Emiratis are again engaging with Tehran because they want to contain the damage of the revival of the nuclear deal, Reuters reported earlier this month.

Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that the Biden administration is considering appointing former Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro as a Middle East envoy to expand ties with Arab states and Israel.

Shapiro is currently a distinguished visiting fellow at INSS.

"Appointing a special envoy to promote the Abraham Accords would be positive, and if it is Shapiro, that would be a good choice," said Yoel Guzansky, a senior research fellow at Israel's Institute for National Security Studies. "The combination of the Biden administration's emphasis on pushing the Palestinian file and the recent Gaza war means there may not be any momentum for new countries to join the Abraham Accords soon."

These factors could keep Saudi Arabia on the sidelines, seeing no benefit from joining the accords.
Honduras becomes 4th country to open embassy in Jerusalem
Honduras officially moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem on Thursday in the presence of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and visiting Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández.

“Mr. President, you are a true friend of Israel,” Bennett told Hernández shortly before the inauguration ceremony at the Technological Park in the Malha neighborhood of Jerusalem. “The Jewish people have a long memory, and you will be recorded in the pages of history as having done a brave and justified deed for the State of Israel.”

Thursday’s ceremony made Honduras the fourth country to open an embassy in Jerusalem, following the United States, Guatemala and Kosovo.

“We hope to continue building the solid relationship between our two countries,” Hernández tweeted after the event, referring to Jerusalem as “the eternal capital of Israel.”

Hernández noted that he first visited Israel 30 years ago to take part in a leadership development program run by Mashav, or the Agency for International Development Cooperation, which he called “a life-changing experience.”

He also pointed out that after he took office in 2014, Honduras became “one of the two countries in Latin America, and one of the five in the world, that most often abstains from the resolutions that Israel opposes.”
Breaking silence, Abbas says he’s willing to work with new Israeli government
In his first public remarks about the new government in Israel, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday he is willing to work with “whoever the Israeli people choose.”

“There was — and still is — a crisis of government in Israel. The new government, the change government, won by one vote. We will deal with whoever the Israeli people choose. So we will deal with them,” Abbas said in a speech aired on Palestinian television.

But Abbas said cooperation relies on Israel “stopping its aggression and so on” before progress can be made on final status peace negotiations.

Abbas delivered the speech on Monday at a multi-day conference of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council, a senior deliberative body in the Palestinian movement.

The PA has been wary of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, saying in public comments that it expects to see Bennett pursue similar policies to those of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Bennett has been a vocal opponent of a Palestinian state.

“It is inaccurate to call it a “government of change,” unless one means to say that Netanyahu is no longer there. As for [the new government’s] policies, we estimate that will see no difference, or perhaps even worse ones, ” the Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry said after Bennett’s government was sworn in.

Palestinian opposition figures in the West Bank have also expressed skepticism that Bennett would herald a change in Israeli policies towards them.

“Again, the two of them are basically the same,” former senior Fatah official and Abbas critic Nasser al-Kidwa said two weeks ago, referring to Netanyahu and Bennett.

Abbas also praised what he called the “popular resistance” practiced by residents of the West Bank Palestinian town of Beita, near Nablus.
Oman urges Israel to create independent Palestinian state
Oman's foreign minister told his Israeli counterpart he hopes Israel's new government will take concrete steps towards creating an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital, Omani state media said on Thursday.

Oman's Badr al-Busaidi spoke by phone to Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, according to ONA, the state news agency of Oman, which has a longstanding policy of neutrality in the turbulent region and often acts as a mediator.

In February, Busaidi said Oman was satisfied with its current relationship with Israel, even after fellow Gulf States the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain normalized ties with Israel last year under US-brokered accords.

Lapid will travel to the UAE next week in the first official visit by an Israeli minister to the Gulf state since they established diplomatic relations. He will inaugurate the Israeli Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General of Israel in Dubai.
Pentagon Staffer Sentenced for Passing Information to Hezbollah
The Department of Justice announced the sentencing of a Pentagon staffer who provided Hezbollah with sensitive information related to individuals who helped the United States target Iranian warlord Qassem Soleimani.

Mariam Taha Thompson, a former Department of Defense linguist in Iraq, transferred dozens of files containing personal information, background, and photographs of human assets who assisted in planning the airstrike that killed Soleimani to a co-conspirator. Thompson, who was romantically interested in the co-conspirator, thought the information would end up in the hands of Lebanese Hezbollah forces. The Department of Justice reported that the information concerned at least 8 clandestine human assets and 10 American targets.

A Washington, D.C., district court sentenced Thompson to 23 years in prison on charges of delivering classified national defense information to aid a foreign government. John Demers, the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's national security division, said Thompson's punishment fits her crimes.

"Thompson's sentence reflects the seriousness of her violation of the trust of the American people, of the human sources she jeopardized, and of the troops who worked at her side as friends and colleagues," Demers said. "That Thompson passed our nation's sensitive secrets to someone [who] she knew had ties to Lebanese Hezbollah made her betrayal all the more serious. Thompson's sentence should stand as a clear warning to all clearance holders that violations of their oath to this country will not be taken lightly, especially when they put lives at risk."

Hezbollah attempted to gather such information about American intelligence assets in the wake of Soleimani's January 2020 death. The Iran-backed terrorist group has remained active in the Middle East since the strike, with former secretary of state Mike Pompeo saying in May that the group was considering joining in Hamas's bombardment of Israel. Hezbollah also applauded the June victory of Iranian presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi, an ultraconservative cleric and mass murderer, saying he would act as a "shield against Israel."
Four students arrested for attempted bombing at Israeli embassy in India
Indian police inarrested four men suspected of that they were involved in an attempt to bomb the Israeli embassy in India back in January, Army Radio tweeted on Thursday.

The four suspects were reported by the Press Trust of India news agency to be college students. They were arrested in Kargil, in the Ladakh union territory that is part of disputed Kashmir region.

These arrests follow two suspects who were caught on CCTV footage, and efforts were made by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to identify them, including tthe offering monetary rewards, India TV reported last week.

Jaish-ul-Hind, a terror organization believed to be associated with Iran, took responsibility for the attack six months ago. There were no casualties or damage to the embassy building at the time.

The organization has been in the news recently for suspected involvement in the murder of a businessman Mansukh Hiran and planting an explosive device on his car in the vicinity of the home of a prominent industrialist Mukesh Ambani in South Mumbai, according to the Hindustan Times.
Gantz: Israel aspires to peace but will use force if necessary
A memorial ceremony for fallen soldiers who were killed in the 2006 Second Lebanon War was held at the National Memorial Hall for Israel's Fallen on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, Thursday.

President Reuven Rivlin, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, and bereaved family members were among those in attendance at the event, which saw bereaved relatives read letters written by the fallen soldiers and join together in prayer.

Speaking at the ceremony, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who said: "We went to war on a Zionist mission and out of a need to stand at the forefront and defend Israeli citizens from its enemies. In their deaths, the war's fallen brought years of quiet and deterrence, more than any other period, since Israel become a land of terrorism."

He said: "Not everything worked as requires and as expected, but the fighters' esprit de corps is what led to the impressive military achievements and created many years of deterrence and a new strategic equation that continues today."

As for military preparedness, Gantz said that "in recent years, there has been a revolution in the military, both in technological means and in the incorporation with the other arms [of the military]. We increased the scope of training, we changed the way we train for it to be focused, and we built training environments that better simulate the enemy. The ability to fight at night was upgraded. In the coming operations or Heaven forbid wars, when we need to reach deep into the enemy again, these forces, which are based both upon conscripts and reserves, will arrive immediately and with force, and will constitute a central part in the fighting. We will use them if need be, not recklessly, but with the knowledge and understanding that the military's ability to deter is necessary, existing, and ready to deploy for the missions at hand."
Seven Indicted for Murder of Jewish Lod Resident During May Riots
Israel’s Central District State Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday that it had issued criminal indictments for seven suspects arrested on Sunday for the murder last month of Lod resident Yigal Yehoshua.

Yehoshua, 56, died after being stoned while sitting in his car on May 11, as riots rocked the mixed Arab-Jewish city during Israel’s Operation Guardian of the Walls against Hamas in Gaza. He died six days later.

The suspects — Yosef Kadaim (21), Walid Kadaim (25), Karim Bahlul (18), Iyad Marhala (20), Khaled Hasouna (51), Ahmad Danon (25) and Kamel Allah (21) — were charged with aggravated murder in a concerted act of terrorism, terrorism by means of stoning a vehicle, racially motivated sabotage of a vehicle and obstruction of justice.

Five of those indicted are Arab Israelis. The other two are Palestinians who were illegally staying in Israel at the time of the incident.

Prominent Abbas critic dies in PA custody after ‘vicious beating’ by officers
A prominent critic of the Palestinian Authority died early on Thursday morning after what his family charged was a violent arrest by PA security forces.

Nizar Banat, 44, a resident of Dura, near Hebron, was well-known for his caustically sarcastic videos tearing into the PA leadership, including PA President Mahmoud Abbas, for alleged corruption and fraud. His Facebook page had over 100,000 followers.

In a statement confirming Banat’s death, Hebron Governor Jibrin al-Bakri said that a unit of PA security forces had entered a house where Banat was hiding in the morning with a warrant for his arrest.

“During [his arrest], his medical condition deteriorated, and he was immediately referred to the Hebron public hospital for treatment. Doctors at the scene who examined him found he was dead,” al-Bakri said.

According to al-Bakri, the PA public prosecutor’s office had already opened an investigation into Banat’s death.

Banat’s family, who say they were with him during the arrest, accused over twenty PA officers of violently beating him.

PMW: A kid called Eichmann
The ways Palestinians can “resist” and “fight” Israel seem to be unlimited. One such way, which was praised by the official PA daily, is to give your child a name that “angers Zionism.”

You can name your child Eichmann, for example!

In the following story, the official PA daily praised a Palestinian “fighting family” for its “love of the struggle” against Israel through generations. Recounting the many ways different members of the Abu Atwan family have “struggled,” the paper highlighted the fact that one of the men named his son “Eichmann” after Adolf Eichmann, a high ranking officer in the Nazi SS and one of the major architects of the genocide of over 6,000,000 of the Jews of Europe:
“Out of his love for his homeland, he gave birth to a son and gave him the name Eichmann to anger Zionism. After the Mossad (Israeli Secret Intelligence Service) executed Adolf Eichmann, [Al-Ghadanfar’s] grandfather said: ‘The one who burned the Jews out of hatred has passed on, and the Palestinian Eichmann has been born.’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 13, 2021]

Palestinian Media Watch has reported on other names given to Palestinian children that reflect the Palestinian “struggle” and venerate terror and violence against Israelis. Just hours after terrorist murderer Muhannad Halabi stabbed 2 Israelis to death at the onset of the 2015-2016 ‎terror wave, Palestinian parents named their newborn son “Muhannad” after the murderer. Also back then, the official PA paper reported enthusiastically on the choice of name:
Khaled Abu Toameh: The Palestinian Jihad Summer Camps
As the international community seeks ways to help the residents of the Gaza Strip after the recent war between Israel and Hamas... and PIJ are diverting their budgets to training children to become soldiers in the war to destroy Israel.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad confirms that... the Palestinians "are preparing the liberation generation for the 'great liberation' battle for this blessed land."

They have enough funds to launch camps to brainwash and indoctrinate their own children, but are not prepared to invest in rebuilding homes that were destroyed or damaged during the last Israel-Hamas war.

For Hamas and PIJ, the ambition to destroy Israel is evidently stronger than the desire to protect the lives of their children and raise them to become, say, doctors or engineers. The children who are now undergoing military training in the Gaza Strip will soon appear as masked men in the armed groups of Hamas and PIJ.

This bodes rather ill for the Biden administration's talk about a "two-state solution" and the need to revive the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

Expert: U.S. Promise of a "Longer and Stronger" Iran Deal Will Not Happen
In his first news conference since his victory in Friday’s election, Iran’s President-elect Ebrahim Raisi immediately adopted a defiant stance on Monday, saying, “The U.S. is obliged to lift all oppressive sanctions against Iran,” adding that Iran’s foreign policy “will not be limited to the nuclear deal.”

On Sunday, the P5+1 wrapped up its sixth round of talks in Vienna over the possibility of a return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal negotiated between Iran and world powers in 2015.

Michael Segall, a senior analyst at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, told JNS the international community is “at a crossroads” regarding Iran and the nuclear deal.

He noted the most important issue now is that Iran “has the know-how” to go nuclear. “They have proven they are capable of reaching 60 percent and can get to weapons-grade levels.” Subscribe to The JNS Daily Syndicate by email and never miss our top stories

Segall noted that the next problem facing the international community is that now, Iran will have a president who’s not pretending to be a moderate, like Hassan Rouhani.

Iran’s entire system of rule, which includes the government, parliament (Majles) and judiciary, is now all made up of “radical conservatives.”

“There is one Iran now,” he said. “There is no mix of pragmatists, conservatives or moderates. There is only one face of Iran.”
New Iranian Law Would Ban Negotiations With U.S.
Iran's parliament is considering a new law that would ban the government from conducting any negotiations with the United States, signaling that Tehran is moving even further from the West in the wake of Ebrahim Raisi's election last week.

The measure "banning any negotiations between Iranian and American authorities" was presented on Wednesday to the Iranian parliament's presiding board, according to Iran's state-controlled press, which did not provide further details on the legislation.

The law marks another setback for the Biden administration as it engages in negotiations with Iran aimed at reentering the 2015 nuclear accord. Iranian leaders have already said they will abandon talks in the near future if the United States does not lift all economic sanctions on the country, even those that were applied outside of the nuclear agreement, such as for terrorism-related infractions.

With Raisi now in power, the country has taken a radical shift, with the hardline president-elect saying in his first public address that he will not meet with President Joe Biden or agree to talks about Tehran's contested ballistic missile program, which includes weapons capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Raisi's refusal to discuss the issue sets up yet another roadblock for the Biden administration, which is hoping to negotiate a new, more stringent nuclear deal after it finishes up talks on reentering the original accord.
Iran nuclear centrifuge facility substantially damaged in attack - sources
A sabotage operation against one of the buildings of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) caused major damage – despite Iranian denials, The Jerusalem Post learned on Wednesday night.

Although Iran has claimed throughout the day that the sabotage failed and caused no damage or casualties, the Post has been given strong indications otherwise, though it has no way to independently confirm.

The Post also reported that the attacked site was likely one of Iran’s centrifuge manufacturing sites, which meant a major setback for the Islamic Republic’s uranium enrichment program for nuclear weapons.

A 2017 Institute for Science and International Security report by founder and director David Alrbight and former International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) official Olli Heinonen stated that in 2011, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran revealed the location as one of Iran’s centrifuge manufacturing sites, near the city of Karaj, referred to as the TABA site.

The report also said that centrifuge components are reportedly made in the three workshops at the location.
Seth Frantzman: Iran’s new fears: From drones to remote control weapons, sabotage
Iranian sources said on Wednesday that a facility in Karaj was targeted by a quadcopter-style drone. Iran says it shot down the drone.

The alleged target was a complex run by Tehran’s Atomic Energy Organization. The Jerusalem Post reported that the sabotage caused major damage. The New York Times also reported that the attack targeted production of centrifuges.

Several aspects to this incident that are of interest. One, is that Iran admitted it happened but downplayed it or claimed to have foiled the attack. Second, are the reports that the site was making advanced centrifuges. Third, is the use of a drone – not just any drone, a quadcopter. The use of a quadcopter, which usually has a short range and can remain airborne for a relatively short time, has led reports to conclude that the drone took off from inside Iran.

While many popular, commercially available quadcopters, like the DJI Mavic, can fly for only around half an hour, and don’t have a long range, some companies have achieved longer ranges using gas/electric hybrids. However, in general, quadcopters don’t fly very far, can’t carry much of a payload, such as a bomb so would not be very effective for sabotage or major destructive operations.

That is why militaries around the world, including Iran, have opted for kamikaze drones, or loitering munitions, which are essentially a cruise missile that can fly around until it finds its target and destroys it. Some of these have long ranges. Iran has pioneered several versions that it exported to the Houthis in Yemen and which Hamas has copied and used.
Iran’s global propaganda network threatens the UK
An analysis of the 782 most popular tweets showed that 282 were likely posted by bot accounts. Four hundred were judged to be sent by humans, while 100 were unclassified.

Iran’s state-owned television outlet, Press TV, issued 16 tweets in English using the hashtag. It was joined by other Iranian media outlets, including Iran International, Tasnim News Agency, Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), ILKE news Agency, and Mehr News Agency.

Many Quds Day messages were re-tweets from an account called Soureh Design, which claimed to be run by a student in Tehran, which apparently showed huge Quds Day marches in Yemen.

Soureh Design has issued 450,000 tweets since September 2013. This works out at a rate of 160 tweets a day, or one every nine minutes round the clock.

One of the highest profile accounts that retweeted the Soureh Design post about Quds Day rallies in Yemen was an account called Socialist Voice, which names Jeremy Corbyn’s son Tommy as one of its 78,500 followers.

Our investigation also found that Apple and Android were offering IRGC-linked apps. These included an app representing the al-Masirah TV satellite channel, which is run by Yemen’s pro-Iran Houthi movement, and whose website was seized by the American authorities this week.

Apple and Google were also offering an app developed by a Revolutionary Guards front called the Iraqi Radio and Television Union, which enabled access to live media broadcasts.

The findings raise questions about the role of tech giants in aiding the spread of propaganda and whether they have breached financial sanctions on the Iranian regime.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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