Wednesday, July 07, 2021

From Ian:

Biden Admin Deletes References to Palestinian Terror Incitement From Congressional Report
The State Department deleted references to the Palestinian government’s terror incitement in a report sent last week to Congress, highlighting what some see as an effort by the Biden administration to downplay Palestinian violence as it restarts U.S. taxpayer aid to the government.

The Biden State Department's latest report to Congress, issued under a mandatory reporting statute included in the 1990 Palestine Liberation Organization Commitments Compliance Act, omits specific references to the Palestinian government’s ongoing calls for violence, as well as its support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which wages economic warfare on Israel. Both issues, which are being closely tracked in Congress, were included in the outgoing Trump administration's October report, according to copies of both reports viewed by the Washington Free Beacon.

Officials in Congress say it is notable that the State Department would omit two closely watched issues in the report, which is otherwise nearly identical to the Trump administration version, fueling accusations the Biden administration is whitewashing the Palestinians' bad behavior. The changes come amid a broader push by the Biden administration to renew hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer aid to the Palestinian government, even as it continues to call for Israel’s destruction and lend support to the anti-Semitic BDS movement.

The Biden administration’s pivot on the Palestinian issue has already been the subject of heightened criticism, including in Congress, as the governing Palestinian Authority continues to use international aid dollars to pay terrorists and their families. The Biden administration approved millions of dollars in U.S. aid to the Palestinians earlier this year over congressional objections and a law that prohibits America from sending aid until the PA stops paying terrorists as part of a program known as "pay to slay."

The Free Beacon obtained copies of both reports and found the Biden administration deleted information about terror incitement and Palestinian support for the BDS movement. The State Department declined to comment on the changes.

Dave Vasquez, press secretary for Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), said the State Department wants to downplay Palestinian incitement in order to stifle debate in Congress. Cruz has been an outspoken critic of U.S. aid to the Palestinian government and the Biden administration’s decision to send it.


Demolition of home of deadly terror attack suspect said delayed at US request
Israel has delayed the demolition of the family home of a Palestinian accused of killing an Israeli student after Washington asked for the move to be stopped, Channel 13 reported Tuesday.

Muntasir Shalabi has been charged with killing Yehuda Guetta, 19, at the Tapuah Junction in the West Bank in May. The shooting attack also injured two other Israeli teenagers, one of them seriously.

The Israel Defense Forces subsequently mapped out Shalabi’s home in the West Bank town of Turmus Ayya in preparation for demolition — a controversial punitive measure that the Israeli security establishment maintains can deter future terror attacks.

The Hamoked human rights organization filed a petition against the demolition, noting that Shalabi suffered from mental illness, had been prescribed anti-psychotic medications and had spent time in a psychiatric facility in recent years. Mental illness has in the past been used as grounds by the High Court to cancel planned demolitions.

Moreover, Hamoked noted that for 11 months of the year, Shalabi does not live in the Turmus Ayya home slated for demolition, as he is estranged from his wife and only stays in a separate room during an annual one-month visit. During the rest of the year, he resides in the US where he also has citizenship, along with a large percentage of Turmus Ayya residents. Proof of consistent residential ties in the past has been required for Israeli force to move forward with a home demolition.

Hamoked argued that Shalabi’s estranged wife and children should not lose their home as state prosecutors provided no proof that they had any knowledge of his plan to carry out an attack.

For its part, the state prosecution argued that Shalabi still owned the house and had even renovated it recently. As for the family’s claims of the demolition order being collective punishment, prosecutors said the need to provide a deterrent against future attacks was weightier than the need for consideration of the relatives who may have been uninvolved in the attack.


Former Labour Chief Herzog Sworn in as Israel’s President
Former Labour party head Isaac Herzog was sworn in as Israel’s president on Wednesday and pledged to use the largely ceremonial role to try to heal deep divisions within Israeli society.

In a pomp-filled ceremony in the Knesset (parliament), Herzog embraced outgoing president Reuven Rivlin before taking the oath of office to applause from lawmakers, beginning a seven-year term.

“From here, I will go to Israel’s presidential residence and begin a journey between the rifts and chasms of Israeli society. A journey that aims to find the unifier within the differences, the unifier between the rifts, a journey designed to rediscover us,” Herzog, 60, said.

First elected to parliament in 2003, Herzog led the left-wing Labour party and held several portfolios in coalition governments. His most recent public post was as head of the Jewish Agency for Israel, which encourages immigration.

Defeated by former premier Benjamin Netanyahu in a 2015 election, Herzog was elected president by parliament in June just days before Netanyahu was toppled by a cross-partisan alliance led by new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

The Bennett-led government’s swearing-in followed four elections in two years that exposed deep political, religious and ethnic divides in Israeli society.
Reuven Rivlin: The chance to head a nation like no other
To the honorable President of Israel,

Truth be told, I’m a little envious of you. In a short while, you will find out exactly how magnificent the privilege of the presidency is. Over the next seven years, you will meet Israelis from all walks of life, and let me tell you right now—you’ll want to embrace all of them. You’ll want to share their laughter and their tears; and all the excitement they experience.

I’m sure you feel that you already know this, having such extensive experience as a public servant, but believe me, you have yet to find out what a wonderful country we have, and what wonderful people live among us. They will all find their way to your heart, where they will remain forever.

Amid the social rifts and polarity, you will find brave people who don’t speak of coexistence, they simply live it. Every day, every hour, in their homes and places of employment, in their visions, dreams and family. Secular with haredi, right-wingers and leftists, Jews and Arabs, veteran Israelis and immigrants, the young and the old, members of all religions, sectors and ethnicities—they are all Israelis. Beautiful, enlightening and kind. Kind beyond anything you can imagine.

These men and women have given me so much hope over the past seven years. Israeli hope, that’s what I called it, and I’m sure you will call it that as well, because they gave me hope that was quintessentially Israeli.

They were my beacon on the horizon and you, our dear president, will find that they are the horizon. You will find them in cities and rural areas, in hospitals, in the military, in the universities, in the police, in kindergartens and in schools, in the nearest and farthest localities, and on the street. You won’t even have to search. They will always be there, in happy moments, in the most difficult moments, and as storms loom near, as they so often do.

On some nights, you will lose sleep. Your mind will wander back to the soldiers you met at a checkpoint on the border; to the lone soldier who hasn’t seen his mother in six months—and you couldn’t be happier that he will attend the Passover Seder at the President’s Residence.
The presidency that was: Reuven Rivlin’s seven years in office
Isaac Herzog took office on Wednesday afternoon as Israel’s 11th president after a day of ceremonies with outgoing President Reuven Rivlin.

According to a statement Tuesday from the President’s Residence summarizing his seven years in office, Rivlin has the dubious record of overseeing more elections, tasking more lawmakers with forming a government, and spending more hours in consultations to form a government than any other president.

Waiting for Herzog on his desk in the president’s office will be a personal letter from Rivlin, addressed to “the president.”

“The truth is I am a little envious of you. In a short time you will discover the tremendous privilege that has fallen to you,” Rivlin wrote in the missive.

“In the coming seven years you will meet the men and women who are citizens of Israel. I am already telling you, you will want to hug them, all of them. You will want to cry with them, and to laugh with them. To be excited with them,” Rivlin wrote.

Here are some of the moments in which Rivlin himself hugged, cried and laughed with the Israeli public:
Richard Goldberg: United Nations Relief and Works Agency
Recommendations
The Biden administration and Congress must recognize that with less than 5 percent of the people served by UNRWA meeting the internationally recognized criteria for refugee status under the 1951 Refugee Convention, UNRWA is not a refugee agency. Rather, it is a politicized welfare agency riddled with oversight deficiencies and operating on an outdated mandate intended to block Arab-Israeli peace. UNRWA not only stands in the way of Arab-Israeli normalization and Palestinian-Israeli reconciliation; it also prevents millions from building better lives.

Congress is taking incremental steps to address concerns over UNRWA’s educational curricula, while a group of senators are demanding that more comprehensive conditions be placed on U.S. assistance.9 As Congress considers the Biden administration’s decision to resume funding, members of both parties should consider imposing conditions on U.S. assistance. These conditions should require UNRWA to:
Allow annual U.S.-led expenditure and beneficiary verification audits.
Establish a board of governors for oversight.
Change UNRWA’s mandate to integrate populations wherever they live and terminate the organization within five years.
Transition responsibility for populations served by UNRWA to host governments by the end of the five-year period, including steps to transition U.S. assistance from multilateral assistance to bilateral assistance in all geographic areas of transition wherever allowed under U.S. law.
Transition responsibility for at-risk displaced Palestinians, such as those in Syria, to UNHCR, which is already operating in the area.

During the proposed five-year transition period, technical teams from the U.S. Agency for International Development and other agencies should design programs, projects, and budgets to help Palestinians achieve economic independence and long-term opportunities.

The Biden administration and Congress should encourage Arab states normalizing with Israel that are donors to UNRWA, starting with the United Arab Emirates, to support UNRWA reforms and increase their financial support to Palestinians during this transition period. This process can be a win-win for Arab governments – removing a future impediment to normalization, while increasing support for the Palestinian people.
Clifford May: Russia and China’s conquest of the United Nations
Recognizing that the UNHRC had become “a cesspool of human rights violators,” Amb. Haley led the effort to withdraw the U.S. “We care too much about human rights and individual freedom to be part of a group that undermines both,” she argues.

The UNHRC spends much of its time, energy, and funds demonizing Israel, the only nation in the world where Jews constitute a majority, the only nation in the Middle East where Arabs and Muslims serve in parliament after competing in free and fair elections. The UNHRC “has passed 10 times as many resolutions condemning Israel as it has for China, North Korea, Iran, and Cuba combined,” Amb. Haley notes.

The United States is fair game as well. A report issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights last week declares: “The murder of George Floyd on 25 May 2020 and the ensuing mass protests worldwide have marked a watershed in the fight against racism.”

Mr. Floyd’s killer has been tried, convicted, and sentenced to 22 ½ years in prison. Meanwhile, the UNHRC has never issued a report on Beijing’s mistreatment – rising to the level of genocide according to both the Biden and Trump administrations – of the Uyghurs of Xinjiang.

Despite all this and more, the Biden administration is now seeking reelection to the UNHRC and has already rejoined and restored funding to the WHO. Neither agency has enacted reforms.

“Accommodation is not a strategy,” Richard Goldberg, editor of the FDD monograph, points out. “Talking about reform is not the same as achieving it. Engaging in diplomacy is not the same as achieving an outcome that strengthens America’s national security and economic prosperity.”

Shortly after taking office, President Biden observed that the world’s democracies are “under assault” from authoritarian regimes seeking to dominate the global order, render it illiberal and impose their own rules. Preventing them from succeeding, he declared, must be “our galvanizing mission.”

That mission cannot be accomplished if the U.S. continues to allow those regimes to conquer the U.N. system. But the White House, the State Department, and the Congress have not begun to fight.
Israel applauds first inclusion of antisemitism in UN terror resolution
Israel lauded the first linkage of antisemitism and terrorism in a broad United Nations General Assembly resolution on global counterterrorism strategy adopted by consensus in New York.

“Israel welcomes the resolution” and was “pleased to see a number of issues we had flagged,” Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan told the assembly on Tuesday.

He spoke during a debate, expected to continue today, on the resolution and an accompanying report UN Secretary-General António Guterres authored on the subject.

This is the seventh such report, which the secretary-general’s office submits on the topic every two years. It was expected to be issued in 2020 but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report explained that terrorist groups are frequently motivated by hate. They are “informed by racism, neo-Nazism, antisemitism, Islamophobia or anti-Muslim intolerance, racial supremacism, ultranationalism, xenophobia, intolerance, related to sexual orientation or gender ideology and misogyny.

“Not all member states regarded such groups as a threat to international peace and security in 2020, but increasingly evidence of their transitional dimensions has been exposed through investigation, information exchange and cooperation between states,” the report explained.
UN condemns use of civilians as human shields, anti-Semitic terror
The United Nations on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning the use of civilians as human shields by terrorist groups, a strategy frequently used by organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

The UN General Assembly adopted the resolution of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS), which was first approved in 2006 and is reviewed every two years. This year marked the seventh review of the document that prioritizes the counter-terrorism strategy of member states.

The international body also condemned anti-Semitic terrorism for the first time, as well as the use of the internet as a tool for the recruitment of terrorists.

The adoption of the counter-terrorism stances came after a diplomatic push by the Israeli delegation, led by ambassador Gilad Erdan, who posted to Twitter that he welcomed the decision and was "glad that the diplomatic effort we led bore fruit" more than a month after the fighting between Israel and terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

"Terrorists must not be allowed to use schools, homes and hospitals to shield their murderous activities," Erdan said at the UN following the adoption of the resolution.

"Terrorism is terrorism is terrorism and should never be explained away, justified or excused. No matter what."


Former Bush Advisor Richard Perle: 'Israel-Palestinian Problem Could End In All-Out War'
Former Bush advisor Richard Perle tells Christian Malard that the Israel-Palestinian conflict could become an all-out war if Iran acquires nuclear weapons and unleashes Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.




Israeli envoy to Polish senate amid Holocaust row: Restitution law harms rights
Poland’s proposed law on property restitution claims violates the rights of current and former Polish citizens, said Israel’s charge d’affaires in Warsaw in an impassioned address in front of the Polish Senate on Wednesday.

Speaking in English through a Polish translator, Tal Ben-Ari Yaalon made the case that the legislation is harmful to many Polish citizens beyond Holocaust survivors.

‘The changes introduced into the legislation…will block past property owners who were unable till now, for different reasons, to pursue their cases from doing so,” said Ben-Ari Yaalon, stressing that the bill would harm thousands of victims of both the Nazis and the Communist authorities.

“This is a very serious violation of the individual rights of various Polish plaintiffs. This is not just a problem of Jews,” she said.

At the same time, Ben-Ari Yaalon emphasized that the rights of Holocaust survivors represent a fundamental moral interest that must not be ignored in the legislation.

“We share a moral obligation to respect the rights of Holocaust survivors, former citizens of Poland, current citizens of Israel. It is our duty. Each and every one of us,” she said.
Exclusive - Polish chief rabbi to Polish Senate: Thou shalt not steal
Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich will tell the Polish Senate on Wednesday that it is the country’s moral duty to provide compensation of some kind to anyone whose property was confiscated, Jew or non-Jew, by the Polish Communist government, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The rabbi has told close associates he will tell the Senate that this duty is derived from the Biblical injunction in the Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt not steal.”

Last month, the lower house of the Polish parliament, the Sejm, approved legislation that would apply a thirty-year statute of limitations to claims on property confiscated from its original owners by the Polish Communist regime after the Second World War.

After the war, the Communist authorities enacted a massive program of property confiscation across the country, which included large amounts previously belonging to Poland’s pre-war Jewish population of some three million people, some 90% of whom were murdered at the hands of the Nazis in the Holocaust.

The new legislation would prevent Polish Jews who survived the Holocaust and then lost property due to such confiscations – and their heirs – from reclaiming their property, or getting compensation for it.
Hamas, Palestinian Jihad and Pakistani ISI have a common goal - Israel and India beware!
Due to such extreme cordiality between Pakistan and Palestinian Arabs, Arab nationalist Haj Amin el Husseini travelled to the Arab countries during the 1971 war of independence of Bangladesh and branded Bengali freedom fighters as “terrorists”. Even after Pakistani occupation forces were defeated in the war and Bangladesh got independence, Palestinian Arab leaders, including Yasser Arafat had taken desperate diplomatic moves in stopping the Arab and several Muslim nations from extending recognition to Bangladesh.

Now, Pakistani spy agency ISI (Inter Service Intelligence) has expressed readiness in extended support and cooperation to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in using the foreign fighters for forming foreign branches of these terrorist entities. According to intelligence sources, Pakistani ISI is keen in using thousands of former foreign fighters who joined Hamas and Islamic Jihad and fought against Israel in destabilizing the security of a number of “enemy nations”.

According to Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star: “In the early 80s, plenty of Bangladeshi youths went to Lebanon to fight against the Israeli invading force. According to the US Library of Congress, the then Bangladesh government put the number of volunteer fighters at nearly 8,000 – a figure which might have been exaggerated to show a significant contribution from the country to the Palestinian cause”.

The Daily Star, a known anti-Semite and anti-Israel newspaper, expressing its support towards BDS anarchy wrote: “A group of Palestine supporters has developed an effective and non-violent method to fight Israel's brutal occupation: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. As its title itself suggests, the strategic campaign advocates for a cultural, academic and economic boycott against Israel, and urges for divestment from all Israeli and international companies that operate in Israel, and hence contribute to solidifying its occupation and colonial project. It also calls on countries to hold Israel responsible for its gross human rights violations and crimes against humanity by imposing sanctions against it. As we speak, the movement sweeps the leading university campuses across both sides of the Atlantic”.

Hamas, Palestinian Jihad and Pakistani spy agency ISI’s latest bids to spread Hamas activities in foreign countries is a matter of grave concern particularly for Bangladesh and India. As we know, there are over eight thousand Palestine-repatriated Bangladeshi fighters. Our intelligence agencies and counterterrorism organizations should bring these fighters under strict surveillance, as they may onwards emerge into another threat to national security similar to those of ex-fighters from Afghanistan.


Israel Advocacy Movement: The truth about Silwan



PMW: Canadian representative handed out PA map erasing Israel, but Canadian FM warns Israel not to be “provocative”
During his recent meetings with Israeli officials, Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau warned Israel that “continued building of settlements” is “provocative.” [The Jerusalem Post, July 6, 2021] However, the actions of a Canadian representative earlier in the year was more than provocative – it was a severe breach of Israel – Canadian friendship.

At a ceremony honoring female Palestinian entrepreneurs hosted by the PA Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Head of Cooperation at the Representative Office of Canada in the PA, Jason Tulk, together with PA Minister of Women’s Affairs Dr. Amal Hamad handed out an honorary plaque in the shape of the PA map of “Palestine” which entirely erases the State of Israel:

The use of this PA map replacing Israel with “Palestine” has been condemned by the international community. Former US President Barak Obama called it a security threat to Israel alongside terror:
“As President I will never compromise when it comes to Israel's security… Not when there are terrorist groups and political leaders committed to Israel's destruction. Not when there are maps across the Middle East that don't even acknowledge Israel's existence.”

[Then US President Obama’s speech at AIPAC, 2008]


Agreeing to hand out this particular map, which Palestinian Media Watch has exposed is used by the PA in all frameworks - from schoolbooks, to official logos, and cartoons in the official PA daily and more - the Canadian representative implicitly legitimized the PA vision of a world with only “Palestine,” and the destruction of the State of Israel.

As PMW has exposed, the PA and Fatah untiringly promote the ideology of “liberation” of “Palestine from the Sea to the River.” It is disappointing to see a Canadian government representative actively use such a symbol.
Israel again tears down contested Palestinian hamlet in Jordan Valley
Dozens of Palestinians saw their tents demolished again in the Jordan Valley on Wednesday morning as Israeli authorities took apart the small hamlet of Khirbet Humsa for the third time since November.

The hamlet is a collection of tents and pens for sheep, and most of the Palestinians living there are herders and belong to the same extended families.

Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians said it destroyed structures that had been erected illegally on an Israeli military live-fire zone. Khirbet Humsa is one of 38 Bedouin communities on land the Israeli military has designated for training, according to the United Nations.

“The [enforcement action] included the confiscation and demolition of tents that were once again illegally erected by Palestinian residents who invaded the firing range in the Jordan Valley in 2012,” the liaison, known by its acronym COGAT, said in a statement.

Palestinian residents see the demolitions as part of an attempt to remove their presence from the Jordan Valley. They also claim their presence predates 2012, going back decades.


Khaled Abu Toameh: Why Palestinian Leaders Are Really Inciting Violence Against Israel
Less than three hours after Banat, 42, was taken into custody, the PA announced that he had "died after his health deteriorated during the arrest."

Banat's family has called for a neutral international committee to investigate....

The Palestinian government, which is responsible for the killing of Banat and assaults on journalists, political activists, and social media users, is now supposedly trying to beautify its image by joining a UN treaty against torture.

If the PA were really serious about human rights, it would stop arresting, torturing, harassing and intimidating its critics and political rivals. The PA talk about joining the anti-torture treaty is solely aimed at deceiving the international community into believing that Abbas and his government actually care about reforms and human rights.

Senior Fatah official Ahmed Bahar said that any Palestinian who protests against the Palestinian leadership, and not Israel, is a "traitor."

This is the same Palestinian leadership that has told the new US administration that it is keen on resuming the peace process with Israel. While Abbas and senior Palestinian officials are talking about the resumption of the peace process with Israel, they are at the same time urging their people to forget about the killing of the anti-corruption activist and continual attacks on their own citizens, and instead engage in violent confrontations with Israelis.


World Bank: Gaza war caused $570 million in Palestinian damages
The 2021 Gaza war caused $570 million in structural and economic damages – recovery could cause cost upwards of $485 million over the next two years, the World Bank said in a preliminary report it released on Tuesday.

"With this assessment, we hope to mobilize donors’ support to help restore dignified living conditions and livelihoods in Gaza and lead the way to recovery.” said Kanthan Shankar, World Bank Country Director for the West Bank and Gaza.

The bank's Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA) report was presented to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, which met virtually on Tuesday to discuss donor funding for the Palestinians. The 15-member body includes representation from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, the United Nations and the United States and typically meets only twice a year in the spring and fall.

The AHLD parley comes as the international community seeks a safe mechanism to prevent Hamas from confiscating for military use cash and material assistance designed for civilian humanitarian aid in Gaza.

"We are committed to seeing to it that the humanitarian – that the Palestinian people receive that humanitarian relief" without "empowering Hamas," US State Department spokesman Ned Price said.


MEMRI: Teen Attendee Of Islamic Jihad Gaza Summer Camp: Hitler Left Some Of You Alive To Show Us How Wicked You Are; We Will Tear Your Bodies Apart With Our Rockets; PIJ Official: The Children Of Palestine Will Sacrifice Their Blood And Body Parts
A teen camper of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) "Sword of Jerusalem" summer camp, said: "We did not come here to enjoy ourselves or play," rather, he said, campers came to sacrifice themselves for the sake of Palestine and their people. He made these remarks in a news report about the camp that aired on Al-Quds Al-Youm TV (Islamic Jihad – Gaza) on June 29, 2021. The teen boy said that Hitler left some Jews alive to show how wicked they are. He threatened that the PIJ will tear the Jews' bodies apart with their rockets, and said: "Scram into the shelters, you mice, you sons of Jews!"

Ahmad Al-Ra'I, spokesman for the "The Sword of Jerusalem" summer camps, said that the camps are run by trainers and commanders with the Al-Quds Brigades and that they instill military knowledge and skills in the boys, which will enable them to confront the enemy in the "next stage." "Abu Omar," a PIJ commander in charge of training at the "Sword of Jerusalem" summer camp said that the commanders are training the campers so they can follow in the footsteps of their fathers. He said that the children will sacrifice their blood and their body parts on behalf of the Arab and Islamic nations, "who stay silent regarding our cause."

Camp Spokesman: Training Is Led By "Trainers And Commanders Of The Al-Quds Brigades [;] These Boys Will Be Able To Confront The Plundering Enemy And Disfigure Its Face In The Next War"

Ahmad Al-Ra'I, PIJ summer camp spokesman: "Regarding the military programs, as you can see behind me... The brothers who are responsible for these programs are the trainers and commanders of the Al-Quds Brigades, so they can instill military knowledge in these boys, teach them how to complete missions, as well as military skills like shooting positions, camouflage, shooting in motion, and urban warfare, so that in the next phase, Allah willing, these boys will be able to confront the plundering enemy and disfigure its face in the next war."


Iranians protest over power outage crisis, chant 'Death to Khamenei'
President Hassan Rouhani apologized to Iranians on Tuesday over massive power outages during a heatwave that have drawn widespread criticism and triggered street protests.

Officials have blamed the blackouts on surging demand for power, along with low rainfall cutting hydroelectric output and illegal cryptocurrency mining farms accessing subsidized electricity.

"I apologize to our dear people who have faced problems and suffering in the past few days and I urge them to cooperate (by curbing power use). People complain about power outages and they are right," Rouhani said in remarks carried by state TV.

"The Energy Ministry is not at fault... but the minister should come and explain to the people what the problem is and we have to find a solution."

Angry residents gathered in several cities to protest against the outages, which often did not follow blackout schedules announced by the state-run electricity companies, according to Iranian news outlets and postings on social media.

Protests turned political in some areas, with people chanting "Death to the dictator" and "Death to (Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei" and other slogans during blackouts, according to videos posted on social media.


For third straight day, US forces attacked in Syria, Iraq - analysis
For the third day in a row on Wednesday, pro-Iranian militias have carried out attacks on US forces and facilities in Iraq and Syria, according to reports.

The attacks were said to be confirmed and targeted the US base near Omar oil field across from Deir Ezzor in Syria, and also a US facility at al-Asad base in Iraq. This is the first time that coordinated attacks have struck US forces in both Syria and Iraq.

The US-led coalition is in Syria and Iraq to fight ISIS. US forces in Syria work by, with, and through local partner forces called the Syrian Democratic Forces. In Iraq, the US withdrew from most of its facilities in 2020, leaving forces at Asad base and in Baghdad and the Kurdistan region at Erbil airport.

The attacks on Wednesday, during the height of the heat in the afternoon, occurred after a drone attack was reported on Erbil around 1 a.m. The attack was supposed to be larger with pro-Iran media saying some 20 rockets and three drones were involved. In fact, only one drone was apparently involved and the airport closed briefly closed. It was targeted in April as well when a drone struck a secret CIA hangar.

There have been more than a dozen drone attacks this year and some 55 attacks using rockets and other means by pro-Iran groups since January. The Biden administration has carried out two rounds of airstrikes, one in late June, targeting pro-Iran groups in Syria.


PreOccupiedTerritory: Israel Hoarding Jews, Won’t Let Arabs Perform Traditional Massacres (satire)
Activists and government representatives from around the region continued to accuse the Jewish State today of keeping almost all of the Middle East’s Jews for itself, leaving only a token amount in various surrounding countries and depriving those societies of the opportunity to engage in the venerable local custom of rounding up Jews for killing, or at least of joining a rampaging mob that loots, rapes, beats, and murders whichever Jews cross their path.

Syria, Lebanon. Egypt, and Jordan, Israel’s immediate neighbors, together boast a Jewish population of perhaps a few dozen, in a region where once more than a million Jews lived since ancient times. The establishment of Israel in 1948 and its successful defense against local irregulars and invading troops from five countries sparked the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from around the region, many of whom Israel accepted. Continued persecution of remaining Jews in the Levant and beyond further reduced their numbers in those lands, while in Israel their numbers grew steadily; today Israel’s Jewish population stands at over six million, which the state’s armed forces stubbornly defend and prevent large-scale killings that once served as an important outlet for surrounding populations to express aggression, leaving those populations without the centuries-old avenue of showing anger, superiority, or just plain boredom by marauding through the streets of the city and bludgeoning Jews.

“It’s just one more example of Zionists erasing our culture,” lamented Syrian Minister of Religious Minorities Butyur Notmuslim. “Various activists try anyway to kill Jews from a distance, but those numbers are always disappointing. Nothing like the [1941 massacres in Baghdad known as] the Farhud; not even the dozens of Jews killed in Hebron in 1929. Our way of life is disappearing. It’s a kind of ethnic cleansing, when you think about it. Preservationists should be campaigning to let us perform the traditional massacres.”

“Riots aren’t the same without local Jews to scapegoat, beat, rape, and despoil,” acknowledged Lebanese activist Mustafa Massikr. “Once upon a time that would fill an entire weekend, but now I don’t think we have any Jews left in the country. Certainly not enough for a respectable, old-fashioned massacre that used to result from the traditional Jews-kill-non-Jewish-children-and-use-the-blood-in-matza accusation. We have to settle for accusing the Jewish State of killing Arab kids, and while that’s satisfying in its own way, there’s a certain impotence in not being able to kill one’s own neighbors as part of the ritual.”











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