Wednesday, August 18, 2021

From Ian:

After American withdrawal from Afghanistan, implications for Israel look grimmer
As Israel observes the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, it’s difficult to forget the capitulation of the Iraqi army to ISIS in 2014 or the EUBAM observers who fled as Hamas seized power in the Gaza Strip in 2007, not to mention visions of the United States fleeing Saigon in the spring of 1975 as part of the collapse of the Vietnam War.

Noting the coincidental, yet equal number of years separating each of the Middle Eastern incidents in which Islamic fundamentalists defeated their adversaries, Eran Lerman, vice president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, half-jokingly called it the “seven-year-itch.”

“What worries me,” he says, “is a much broader symbolic message that Islamist radicalism is once again on the march, the Americans have no staying power, and the West is in decline.”

Lerman suggests that Israel learn lessons from the past, saying it should “band together with other countries to hold against the tide.”

Referring to Israel’s own concerns of Islamic fundamentalists taking over Palestinian areas besides Gaza, which Hamas already controls, Lerman says “I hope we never again hear lectures from the Americans on how you can trust Palestinian security forces to run their country and keep us safe once we leave.”

Israel has long argued that a future Palestinian state left to its own devices and without Israeli oversight would easily collapse if confronted by a terrorist organization like the Islamic State (ISIS), the Taliban or Hamas.

The fall of Afghanistan only strengthens Israel’s argument and, as Lerman argues, its leaders must learn the lessons here.

Having finally extricated itself from the mire that is Afghanistan—a goal shared by the previous two U.S. administrations, one Democrat- and one Republican-led—America has simultaneously sent a dark and ominous signal suggesting to its allies that it is no longer reliable, especially since it grossly underestimated the speed at which the Taliban took control.
Noah Rothman: The Magical, Self-Justifying Afghanistan Debacle
On Monday, President Joe Biden delivered what could only have been a hastily prepared speech on the meltdown in Afghanistan before resuming his vacation. In it, the president abandoned his rationale for total U.S. withdrawal which, in July, was predicated on the competence, training, and numerical strength of the Afghan National Forces. This week, Biden insisted, withdrawal was justified by the abject weakness and cowardice of those very same Afghan soldiers.

“American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves,” Biden insisted. “We gave them every chance to determine their own future. What we could not provide them was the will to fight for that future.” This sentiment must have appealed to Democrats like Sen. Chris Murphy, who took the opportunity of Afghanistan’s collapse to insist that the lesson here is that we should abandon the pursuit of America’s long-term interests in favor of applying Band-Aids to threats as they arise. Presumably, the rest of Joe Biden’s party will see the virtue of this sort of projection soon enough.

Leaving aside for a moment that running down an ally—even one we’ve summarily abandoned to the mercies of an Islamist militia—is an odd way to restore American credibility on the world stage, Biden’s exercise in blame-shifting has the added defect of being untrue. Tens of thousands of Afghan soldiers fought and died in defense of their country since NATO-led combat operations ended in 2014. They continued to do so well into 2020, when American “peace talks” with the Taliban began to sap those soldiers of the “will to fight” with the understanding that U.S. support was winding down. And when Biden pulled the plug on “air support, intelligence, and contractors servicing Afghanistan’s planes and helicopters,” a thorough Wall Street Journal expose revealed, “the Afghan military simply couldn’t operate anymore.” The Afghans didn’t lose the will to fight for their country; they were robbed of the means of effectively doing so by Washington.

The audience for President Biden’s self-soothing talk about the inevitability of Afghanistan’s implosion isn’t limited to stunned Democrats. A certain sort of conservative for whom retrenchment is both a means to an end and an end in itself is just as enamored of this dubious talking point.
Netanyahu: In 2013, John Kerry Offered Israel to Adopt ‘Afghanistan Model’ with PA
The former prime minister revealed Wednesday that in 2013, he was approached by then US Secretary of State John Kerry, who invited him on a secret visit to Afghanistan to see, as he explained, how the US had set up a local military force that could stand alone against terrorism.

“The message was clear – the ‘Afghanistan model’ is the model that the United States seeks to apply to the Palestinian issue as well,” he wrote.

He “politely declined” the offer and rejected the idea.

“I estimated then that as soon as the US left Afghanistan, everything would collapse. This is unfortunately what has happened these days: an extremist Islamic regime has conquered Afghanistan and will turn it into a state of terror that will endanger world peace,” he said.

“We will get the same result if we hand over swaths of land to the Palestinians. The Palestinians will not establish Singapore. They will establish a state of terror in Judea and Samaria, a short distance from Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, Kfar Saba and Netanya,” he warned.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan is now under full Taliban control after the fall of Kabul, as US forces and Western diplomats are fleeing the capital’s airport.

He further cautioned that “we saw the same wrong policy with regard to Iran. The international community has embarked on a dangerous agreement that would have given Iran an internationally condoned arsenal of nuclear bombs meant for our destruction.”

“I was then asked by our friends to keep quiet. Do not act or fight. I did not agree to that either. We have pursued an attack policy both in the operational field and in the diplomatic and explanatory field. I went out against the whole world, including many in Israel, and spoke in the US Congress against this dangerous agreement,” he recounted.




Douglas Murray: Joe Biden said: ‘America is back.’ Pity it doesn’t have your back…
In future, when America promises something, including friendship, these international competitors will say there is no point in being on America’s side.

Countries such as Russia and China will be able to say, “Just remember the scenes from Kabul airport. Remember the people turned away from the planes, desperately hoping to cling on.”

These images — broadcast 24/7 around the entire world — will stay in all of our minds, but they will be weaponised by our opponents in the most cynical ways.

When he came to office, Biden pretended that the years of Trump’s presidency had been years of American weakness. He pretended that America’s alliances had been frayed and her enemies emboldened.

It is true that Trump often appeared not to know what he was doing. But every one of the claims made against him has been proved many times more accurate in relation to his successor.

Biden’s appeal to the US electorate was that he was business as usual. A seasoned, experienced hand who would not make rookie mistakes. All that has now been exposed as meaningless bluster.

The President is just half a year into his term in office. And America has rarely looked weaker or more vulnerable on the world stage. Its armed forces have been fought to a defeat by a ragtag army of warlords.

Its political leaders are trying to defend actions which are indefensible.

It would be one thing if they had been cynics all along. But Biden and his administration presented themselves as something else.

They pretended to be great idealists, on a higher and better plane than everybody else. Just one more thing that has flown away this week.
Andrew Neil: The speech that shamed America: how can the liberals' hero Joe Biden ever recover?
It was the most contemptible speech by a U.S. president in modern times — a speech that shames America and leaves its global reputation in the dirt.

And given that, until last January, the White House was occupied for four years by a certain Donald J. Trump, there couldn’t be a more damning criticism of President Joe Biden.

Much of his address to the U.S. on Monday was Orwellian. In his classic novel 1984, set in a totalitarian dystopia, George Orwell created a Ministry of Peace which waged war, a Ministry of Truth which peddled lies, a Ministry of Love which tortured dissidents and a Ministry of Plenty which oversaw starvation.

Biden matched all of that and more with his own defiant doublethink, involving distortions, the rewriting of history, and nonsense and untruths that even Trump would struggle to rival.

His abject surrender to the Taliban was dressed up as political reality and common sense. His scuttle from Kabul, still ongoing, was depicted as geopolitical wisdom and a refocusing of U.S. priorities.

Any mistakes or problems were the fault of others, from Trump to the Afghan army.

But make no mistake: the person overwhelmingly responsible for the appalling scenes currently unfolding on our TV screens is the man sitting in the Oval Office.
Charles C.W. Cooke: Biden Took Ownership of the Disastrous Afghanistan Withdrawal Months Ago
At times, President Biden seemed to be arguing that what we’ve seen on our screens over the past few days were the inevitable wages of withdrawal. “If anything,” he contended, “the developments of the past week reinforced that ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision.” But this line of argument makes sense only if “the developments of the past week” had lined up with Biden’s predictions — which they most definitely did not. In July, Biden insisted that a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan was “not inevitable” and, indeed, that a unified Afghan government run by the group was “highly unlikely.” The Taliban, he suggested, was “not even close in terms of their capacity” to the Afghanistan National Security Forces and the federal police. And no, he assured a reporter who asked whether he saw “any parallels between this withdrawal and what happened in Vietnam,” they certainly weren’t equivalent to “the North Vietnamese army.” “There’s going to be no circumstance,” Biden told the press, “where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy in the — of the United States from Afghanistan.”

Well . . .

It is telling that, even now, Biden remains unable to tell a consistent story about his approach. The United States was in Afghanistan, the president said yesterday, to “get those who attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001, and make sure al-Qaeda could not use Afghanistan as a base from which to attack us again.” As a result, he concluded, “our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been: preventing a terrorist attack on American homeland.” And yet, just a few minutes later, he reversed himself on this completely, proposing that “human rights must be the center of our foreign policy, not the periphery.” He vowed that the United States will “continue to support the Afghan people,” will “lead with our diplomacy, our international influence, and our humanitarian aid,” will “continue to push for regional diplomacy and engagement to prevent violence and instability,” and will “continue to speak out for the basic rights of the Afghan people, of women and girls, just as we speak out all over the world” — with military force “if necessary.” Perhaps most disjointedly of all, Biden boasted that “we never gave up the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and we got him.” We? We? Joe Biden is famous for having opposed that operation. Does he expect us to have forgotten that?

Judging by the speed with which he contradicted himself yesterday, one rather suspects that he does. Just five seconds separated Biden’s stone-faced insistence that “we planned for every contingency” and his pained admission that “the truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated,” and those were taken up by a furrowed reiteration of the promise that, as president, Joe Biden will always “be straight with you” — which, funnily enough, was precisely the one thing he failed to be throughout the entire sordid affair.
John Podhoretz: All Biden Had to Do Was…Nothing
Smart talk. But Biden also assured Americans in July that they would not see a second Saigon 1975. Asked on July 7 about a possible parallel to the moment when U.S. helicopters evacuated embassy personnel on April 30, 1975, the president said, “None whatsoever. Zero….The Taliban is not the South, the North Vietnamese army. They’re not—they’re not remotely comparable in terms of capability. There’s going to be no circumstance where you’re going to see people being lifted off the roof of our embassy.”

Thirty-six days after he said it, we saw it. And the really awful part is, this was entirely predictable—because everybody I know predicted it. We didn’t know when exactly. But we knew it was coming. If we knew it, they knew it. If they didn’t know it, it’s because they chose not to know it. Or decided to let the chips fall where they may. Now the chips have fallen with one of the most evil political forces the world has ever seen back in charge of the government from which we rousted them 20 years ago.

We stand exposed today not as a country that finally exited a war we could no longer even imagine a victory in, as had been the case in 1975. Rather, we are revealed as a country led by a feckless president who chose to refuse to grapple with the obvious potential consequences of a decision he wanted to make so he could be declared a war-ender and a peace-maker. History will declare him something else, something worse, something darker. The real horror for Afghanis is that history will begin to make its declaration about Joe Biden this week, as the Taliban begin working their depravity on the them and the nation from which we once rightly took great national pride in having liberated.

As for the United States and its foreign policy, we are in uncharted territory. No country has ever really done what we did here. No country has ever deliberately chosen and charted a course into its own humiliation when there was no national demand for withdrawal above all things. After all, nobody much seemed to care about Afghanistan either way any longer—save for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have ennobled us through their sacrifices and the heroics they have performed over the past 20 years. It was they who stuffed the genie of Islamist terrorism back in its rancid bottle and spared us untold tragedies, disasters, and nightmares. God bless them. Now we may find ourselves, in the 2020s, living through the very nightmares they saved us from.
After epochal disaster in Afghanistan, Biden should step down
Biden was not duty-bound to abide by Trump’s determination to abandon Afghanistan. After Trump left office, the truly bipartisan Afghanistan Study Group , a distinguished panel without notably preconceived biases, concluded that the mission was accomplishing important objectives, that a continuing force of 5,000 U.S. military personnel was warranted, that withdrawal would likely lead to outright Taliban supremacy in the country, and, most important, that withdrawal would make a terrorist attack on the U.S. homeland “likely” within 18-36 months from a Taliban takeover. Biden completely rejected the Study Group’s wise advice and major warnings. He likewise ignored intelligence warnings of looming catastrophe.

Moreover, even if he did insist upon complete withdrawal, Biden could have secured evacuation of nonmilitary personnel and of proven Afghan allies before continuing the troop drawdown, not after. Observers from across the spectrum repeatedly and increasingly urgently implored him to grant the visas of and begin voluntary expatriation of as many of the 88,000 Afghans who had requested asylum as possible, or at least of the tens of thousands whose bona fides as friends of freedom could be readily determined.

Rather than bugging out of the extremely valuable Bagram Air Base a full month before completing withdrawal, Biden should have kept it operational until the end. Indeed, he should have sent in more troops during the transition to provide extra support for an orderly transition. That temporary troop augmentation should have been instituted before the U.S. exit while the Taliban were still at bay. Instead, we are now belatedly bolstering troop strength to 7,000, nearly three times as many as were there before the withdrawal began — but only after the Taliban have taken over most of the country, begun instituting horrific reprisals, and created the scenes of abject horror we have seen in Kabul.

As it is, not only will tens of thousands of directly friendly Afghans (not to mention millions of innocent Afghan bystanders) be left at the mercy of the Taliban , but now we learn that some 11,000 Americans remain somewhere in the country, with no guarantee of, and diminishing hopes for, timely escape. Yet, this outlandishly feckless administration now sends word that while flights back to freedom are available, “please be advised that the United States government cannot guarantee your security ” en route to the airport.

With all this going on, this poor excuse for a leader, this abject moral coward, dared claim in his blame-casting national address , after days of hiding out at Camp David, that “we planned for every contingency.” Well, if he doesn’t consider the lives of 11,000 American civilians a “contingency” worth including in his planning, he isn’t fit to spend another minute in office.

Biden inherited a strategically useful stalemate in Afghanistan. Through his own choices, he has produced an abject defeat, a diplomatic and humanitarian disaster, and an open invitation for our enemies to cow other allies into submission by telling them the U.S. is not to be trusted . Every bit of this was predictable, and every bit was avoidable.

For his disgraceful lack of competence and especially of character, the already doddering Biden ought to leave office. Resign now, before he does further, irreparable damage to these United States.


Poll: Biden Approval Drops to Lowest Level After Taliban Takeover
President Joe Biden's approval rating dropped by 7 percentage points and hit its lowest level so far as the U.S.-backed Afghan government collapsed over the weekend in an upheaval that sent thousands of civilians and Afghan military advisers fleeing for their safety, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The national opinion poll, conducted on Monday, found that 46% of American adults approved of Biden's performance in office, the lowest recorded in weekly polls that started when Biden took office in January.

It is also down from the 53% who felt the same way in a similar Reuters/Ipsos poll that ran on Friday.

Biden's popularity dropped as the Taliban brushed aside Afghan forces and entered the capital, Kabul, wiping away two decades of U.S. military presence that cost trillions of taxpayer dollars and thousands of American lives.

A separate Ipsos snap poll, also conducted on Monday, found that less than half of Americans liked the way Biden has steered the U.S. military and diplomatic effort in Afghanistan this year. The president, who just last month praised Afghan forces for being "as well-equipped as any in the world," was rated worse than the other three presidents who presided over the United States' longest war.


Congress Vows Probe of Afghanistan Withdrawal
Members of the U.S. Congress, including many of President Joe Biden's fellow Democrats, said on Tuesday they were increasingly frustrated with events in Afghanistan, and they vowed to investigate what went wrong.

"The events of recent days have been the culmination of a series of mistakes made by Republican and Democratic administrations over the past 20 years," Senator Bob Menendez, Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement.

"We are now witnessing the horrifying result of many years of policy and intelligence failures," Menendez said.

Menendez said his committee would hold a hearing on U.S. policy toward Afghanistan, including negotiations between former Republican President Donald Trump's administration and the Taliban and the Biden's administration's execution of the withdrawal.

The date of the hearing was not immediately announced.

Senator Mark Warner, the Democratic Intelligence Committee chairman, had said on Monday he intended to work with other committees "to ask tough but necessary questions" about why the United States was not better prepared for the collapse of the Afghan government.
NATO Threatens Military Strikes Against Taliban if They Host Terrorists Again
The Taliban must not let Afghanistan become a breeding ground for terrorism again, NATO said on Tuesday, warning that the alliance retained the military power to strike any terrorist group from a distance.

"Those now taking power have the responsibility to ensure that international terrorists do not regain a foothold," NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels.

"We have the capabilities to strike terrorist groups from a distance if we see that terrorist groups again try to establish themselves and plan, organise attacks against NATO allies and their countries," he added.

The fight against the militant Al Qaeda organisation, that was responsible for the 9/11 attacks and whose leadership was hosted by the Taliban, was the main reason for the West to intervene in Afghanistan in 2001.

As NATO this summer completed military operations after almost two decades, the Taliban rapidly advanced, capturing the biggest cities in days rather than the months predicted by U.S. intelligence.


The last Jew in Afghanistan is staying - report
Afghanistan's last remaining Jew, Zabulon Simantov, has decided to remain in Afghanistan despite the Taliban's takeover due to his refusal to give his estranged wife a get, a Jewish divorce document, according to Makor Rishon.

In a WION interview, Simantov stated his reason for staying is to maintain his synagogue.

"I will not leave my home. If I had left, there would have been no one to maintain the synagogue," he said.

Simantov, 61, had previously stated he was planning to leave during the High Holy Day season: “I will watch on TV in Israel to find out what will happen in Afghanistan."

His wife and their two daughters have lived in Israel since 1998, but Simantov has stayed in Afghanistan to tend to the lone synagogue, located in Kabul.

Attempts have been made to assist his Israeli wife for years, though he is yet to agree to give her a divorce, according to Makor Rishon. As halacha (Jewish law) requires the husband to voluntarily grant his wife a divorce, many women are rendered "agunot" – literally "chained women" – as they are "chained" to their marriages if they aren't given a get.

Business Moti Kahana offered to fund a private airplane to take Simantov to Israel, an offer the Afghan Jew initially accepted. Security guards filmed Simantov reading the "Tefilat Haderech" prayer, the prayer read before traveling.
Taliban deny they knowingly gave interview to Israeli TV
Taliban international media spokesman Suhail Shaheen denied Monday that the organization gave an interview to Israeli media, after an interview was broadcast on Israel’s KAN station.

“I do many interviews with journalists every day after the falling of provincial centers of Afghanistan and the capital, Kabul, to the Islamic Emirate. Some journalists may be masquerading, but I haven’t done an interview with anyone introducing himself [that] he is from an Israeli media,” wrote Shaheen after news of the interview broke.

The interview was widely reported on August 18. Many observers commented that it was part of the Taliban’s new public relations strategy, with others expressing shock and surprise that Israeli media had secured the interview.

The interview with Roi Kais asked how the Taliban had changed since 9/11. The Taliban spokesman said, “We will not allow our land to be used against other countries.”

Commenters online expressed interest in the interview, particularly in South Asia. One said, “Taliban spokesperson gives interview to an Israel News TV. This is an interesting PR strategy post-Kabul takeover. Taliban isn’t changing but their strategy to establish Islamic Emirate is, learning from past mistakes. More surprises in store, I am sure.”

Mohammad Soliman, a scholar at the Middle East Institute, noted, “This could be a savvy PR moves [sic] so far – international outreach, amnesty, interviews with foreign/Israeli/female journalists and guarantees for Shia minority. Taliban 2.0 pretends to be different from Taliban 1.0 that lost power in 2001.”

Iranian media are very interested in whether their new neighbors to the east were going to be talking to the Israelis. In the wake of various normalization and peace agreements in the Gulf, Iran is of course interested if Jerusalem might be talking to Kabul. But Fars News reassured readers that the Taliban spokesman has said he refused to speak to the “Zionist regime network.”


MEMRI: Al-Jazeera Reporters Celebrate 'Taliban Victory', 'U.S. Defeat' As Historic Triumph For Islamic Ummah
The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban's takeover of the country sparked many reactions worldwide, including in the Arab world. Conspicuous among these reactions were expressions of joy by Islamist organizations such as Hamas,[1] the Palestinian Islamic Jihad,[2] the International Union of Muslim Scholars[3] and various elements identified with the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, satisfaction over the U.S. "defeat" was also evident in tweets by reporters and presenters for the Qatari Al-Jazeera network, who wrote that the U.S. "collapsed" and stood "dumbfounded" and "terrified" in the face of the Taliban's advance. This, they said, was a historic event that "put an end to the foolish American escapade in Afghanistan" and proved that the will of the peoples could defeat even the mightiest force. Some these journalists tweeted under the "Taliban Wins" hashtag, which went viral among users who welcomed the resurgence of this terror organization.

It should be noted that, in the recent two years, Qatar, which supports the Taliban, has been mediating between the U.S. and this organization. In recent months Qatar also hosted talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government aimed at establishing a joint rule, but at the same time the Taliban took over the country.

Below is a sampling of tweets by Al-Jazeera reporters and presenters rejoicing over the U.S. "defeat" in Afghanistan:

Al-Jazeera Reporter: "A Victory For The Islamic Ummah"
On August 14, amid reports that the Taliban was taking over more and more of the country and would soon enter the capital, Kabul, Al-Jazeera reporter Ahmad Muwaffaq Zaidan, the former head of the network's offices in Pakistan, tweeted: "#Taliban wins. [This is] a victory for the [Islamic] ummah, because anyone who belongs to this ummah feels its pain and shares its hopes. The faces [of the Muslims] are shining and beaming with imminent victory. As for their enemies and rivals, their faces have been covered with dust for a while… The Islamic ummah is like a globe whose center is at any point on its surface. Today the center is Afghanistan."[4]
Explosions Heard Near Border With Israel in Southwestern Syria: State Media
Explosions were heard on Tuesday in Quneitra province in southwestern Syria near the border with Israel, state media said, an area where military defectors say Iranian-backed militias are dug in.

The pro-Damascus Lebanese Mayadeen television channel said that Israeli missiles struck an area near the Druze frontier town of Hadr, a particularly sensitive zone as it lies next to the Golan Heights that Israel captured from Syria in 1967.

“We don’t comment on foreign reports,” an Israeli military spokesperson said.

The area near where UN peacekeepers maintain a longstanding ceasefire between Israel and Syria has a strong presence of Iranian-backed militias led by the Lebanese Hezbollah group.

Israel has over the last two years dramatically expanded air strikes on suspected Iranian targets in Syria to repel what it sees as a stealthy military encroachment by its regional arch-enemy.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Gov’t Runs Out Of Ways To Explain Ban On Temple Mount Jewish Prayer Without Phrase ‘Scared To Enforce The Law’ (satire)
Enforcement officials acknowledged Tuesday that their supply of euphemisms, excuses, and blather aimed at obscuring their fear of upholding freedom of worship for Jews at Judaism’s holiest site has now been exhausted, and further discourse on the subject might soon require those officials to make open statements about their unwillingness to perform the role the public has assigned them.

Police and government figures who make and enforce policy, and whose primary function involves combating violence against law-abiding citizens, disclosed this morning that with the terms “status quo,” “provocation,” “order,” “maintain calm” and others no longer available in the face of an impatient public, they will now be forced to state outright that they are afraid to refrain from preventing Jews from worshiping on the Temple Mount because of the violent reaction by Muslims there, and instead of protecting those whose rights are curtailed, they choose to side with the mob.

“You have to understand, we’ve been reluctant for decades to acknowledge this fear openly,” explained former Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh. “If we admit we can’t do our job, that undermines public confidence, and we could end up losing our jobs, which would be the biggest tragedy of all. On the other hand, if we do our jobs and have to face the violent mob, people might get killed and we might lose our jobs, which would be the biggest tragedy of all.”
PMW: Hamas congratulates Taliban on defeat of the US in Afghanistan
Terror group Hamas have put out a statement celebrating the Islamist Taliban jihad victory in Afghanistan, following the departure of American soldiers.

The statement, published on Hamas’ website, reads:
Headline: “Hamas congratulates the Afghani people for defeating the American occupation in its land.”

“The Islamic Resistance Movement ‘Hamas’ congratulated the Muslim Afghani people for defeating the American occupation in all the Afghani territories (refers to Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in Aug 2021 -Ed.).

In a press release on Monday [Aug. 16, 2021], Hamas congratulated the Taliban Movement and its brave commanders for the victory, which constitutes the climax of its long jihad over the last 20 years.

Hamas wished the Muslim Afghan people and its leadership success in all that will give Afghanistan and its people unity, stability, and prosperity, and emphasized that the end of the occupation of the Americans and their allies proves that the resistances of the peoples, and foremost among them our fighting Palestinian people, are promised victory and the achievement of its goals – freedom and return, Allah willing.”

[Hamas website, Aug. 16, 2021]


In the last general elections held in the Palestinian Authority, in 2006, Hamas won 74 of the 132 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council (the PA parliament) winning the outright majorities in both Gaza and the West Bank. In the run-up to the most recently called elections that were due to be held in May, it was clear that Hamas would again win a majority in the PA parliament. For that reason, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas cancelled the elections.
PMW: Murder is “heroic” ex-prisoner who lives in the occupied Israel Two PA fundamentals in one short Facebook post
One short post on the Facebook page of the PA funded PLO Commission for Prisoners’ Affairs has managed to encapsulate two fundamental Palestinian Authority principles: that terrorist prisoners are ‘heroes’, and that the State of Israel is ‘occupied territory’.

The post, which featured photographs of the head of the Commission, Qadri Abu Bakr, meeting with released terrorist Rushdi Abu Mukh, read:

“Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr received released heroic prisoner Saleh [Rushdi] Abu Mukh in the commission’s offices in Ramallah today [Aug. 11, 2021]…

Saleh [Abu Mukh], a resident of Baqa Al-Gharbiya that is in the occupied Interior, sat in the occupation’s prison for 35 years. He was released this April [2021]. He is one of the oldest prisoners – ‘the generals of endurance’ – who were arrested before the signing of the [1993] Oslo Accords.”

[Facebook page of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, Aug. 11, 2021]


Evidently, in the eyes of the PA Abu Mukh is a “releasedheroic prisoner.”

Abu Mukh was arrested in 1986 for his part in the kidnapping and murder of Israeli soldier Moshe Tamam. Originally sentenced to life in prison (an unlimited term), his sentence was commuted for unknown reasons by then Israeli President Shimon Peres, and capped at 35 years. He was released in April this year.

Herein lies PA principle number one. As Palestinian Media Watch has shown repeatedly, in the eyes of the PA, terrorists like Abu Mukh and indeed all the other terrorists including murderers and mass murderers are “heroic” prisoners.

The post continues that Abu Mukh is “a resident of Baqa Al-Gharbiya, that is in the occupied Interior.”


Khaled Abu Toameh: Iran's Renewed 'Promise' to the Palestinians
[T]he leaders of various Palestinian factions are seeking Iran's support for their jihad (holy war) against Israel.

This means that Iran under Raisi will continue to provide the Palestinian terrorist groups in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with financial and military aid.

Iran did not promise to contribute to the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of last May's 11-day war between Hamas and Israel. Iran did not promise to build new hospitals and schools in the Gaza Strip. Iran did not promise to help the two million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip cope with the rising number of Covid-19 infections.

Iran's renewed promise to help the Palestinians in their fight against Israel shows that the mullahs in Tehran feel emboldened by the perceived weakness of the Biden administration and other Western powers in dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat.

The silence of the US and the rest of the international community towards the latest threats from Iran and its Palestinian proxies signals that it is only a matter of time before the Palestinian terror groups' jihad toward Israel, most likely enthusiastically assisted by Iran, resurges in a way that is entirely expectable.
Iranian Official Claims in Bad Hebrew That Israel Will Suffer Same ‘Fate’ as US in Afghanistan
A top Iranian official was mocked on Twitter by an Israeli official on Wednesday after the Iranian posted a tweet in inept Hebrew that claimed Israel will suffer the same fate as the US in Afghanistan.

Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, posted in Hebrew, “The end of every occupation is humiliating dismissals. The fate that befell the US in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq is also the inevitable fate of Israel.”

The use of the term “humiliating dismissals” is bizarre, as the word piturim or “dismissals” usually refers to layoffs or being fired from a job.

Shamkhani made a similar post in English that used the phrase, further suggesting that he believed it to be correct Hebrew usage.











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