Thursday, August 26, 2021

From Ian:

At least 13 said killed at Kabul airport in suspected IS suicide attack
Explosions went off on Thursday outside the Kabul airport, where thousands of people were gathered to try to flee Afghanistan on Western airlifts since the Taliban seized power earlier this month. Officials described the incident as deadly suicide bombings allegedly carried out by the Islamic State terror group.

The Pentagon and Russia’s Foreign Ministry said a second explosion then went off outside Kabul airport. Moscow said the twin suicide attacks killed at least 13 people and wounded another 15.

A Taliban official told Reuters children were among the killed and numerous Taliban guards were among the injured.

A US official told Fox News that the explosion near one of the airport gates in Kabul was a combined suicide bombing and firefight. The outlet said at least three US troops were injured and that there were also Afghan casualties.

A US official said on condition of anonymity that the attack was “definitely believed” to have been carried out by the Islamic State. The terror group, which is more radical than the Taliban and has carried out a wave of attacks targeting civilians, was yet to officially claim responsibility.

The US official said members of the US military were wounded in the attack, which involved two suicide bombers and gunmen.


Lee Smith: The Dream Palaces of the Americans
When new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett meets with President Joe Biden and his minders at the White House today, a few things seem like sure bets. First, Bennett and his aides will lay out a scheme for keeping Iran from going nuclear, which the Americans will nod at and ignore. Second, the American side will solemnly raise the necessity of establishing a Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel.

Instead of nodding, smiling, and pretending to share the dream of peaceful democratic Palestinian statehood, Bennett could show true friendship to America by pointing to the example of Afghanistan. It’s clear no one in the American political establishment has yet internalized the lesson.

For twenty years, official Washington, DC dared not describe Afghanistan as it truly is and would be after America’s exit. It would have been gauche to do so— worse, it would have shown that one lacked vision, high ideals. Anyone who didn’t believe there was a democratic polity just waiting to escape its despotic chains and unleash its liberal energies was guilty of “the soft bigotry of low expectations” — that is, a racist. In this fun-house-mirror version of Afghanistan, America was building yet another city on a hill, a citadel whose government would promote Western gender theory’s latest findings, which would be enforced by elite special forces units trained by American officers and loyal to the central government in Kabul.

These elements of the Afghani dream-state were part of a bespoke tapestry spun out by and for the policy establishment and Beltway defense contractors, NGO workers, think tank experts, and the rest of the client state. So long as everyone was getting paid, the mirage never hurt anyone — unless your child happened to subscribe to the fiction and put his or her life in danger either in uniform or as an aid worker. But now, the dream palace has burned to the ground, and as the smoke clears no one can mistake the fact that authentic Afghanistan is in the hands of the Taliban.

Bennett knows it would be more polite to nod along meaningfully with his hosts and that he’d insult them by explaining Palestinian statehood is a hallucination on the level of Afghani democracy. Speaking up, however, would nonetheless help safeguard the interests of his own country, while winning the favor of an American public that has seen their elites throw away the lives of thousands of the country’s most high-spirited and honorable young men and women to satisfy their whimsy.
The Caroline Glick Show: Episode 18 – The fallout for Israel (and the world) of Biden’s destruction of U.S. credibility
Episode 18 of the Caroline Glick Mideast News Hour with Gadi Taub focused on the strategic repercussions of the U.S. defeat in Afghanistan for the U.S. and it allies in the region and the world and of course on Israel. The Israel-centered second half of the show centered in on Israel’s unelected Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s trip to Washington this week to meet with Biden and his top advisors while they oversee the abandonment of U.S. citizens and Afghan allies in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. How will the rout in Afghanistan affect Bennett’s hopes of convincing Biden to work with Israel to block Iran’s efforts to become a nuclear power?




Dore Gold: The U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan: Will International Terrorism Now Be Empowered or Defeated?
Defending his withdrawal decision, President Joe Biden claimed that al-Qaeda was "gone" from Afghanistan. Yet at the same time, the American and British security establishments spoke of al-Qaeda's continued presence in the country.

A UN report to the Security Council, submitted in June 2021, stated that "despite expectations for a reduction in violence, 2020 (the year of the U.S.-Taliban agreement on withdrawal) emerged as the most violent year ever recorded by the United Nations in Afghanistan."

A common Western assumption is the hope that withdrawal would reduce the hostility of the Taliban and their allies. But this is a misinterpretation of what motivated jihadist groups. In the Middle East, withdrawals strengthen their motivation.

The Israeli experience was identical: when Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, Hamas won the Palestinian elections and took over Gaza from Fatah. Rocket attacks on Israel, after the Gaza withdrawal, increased by 500%.

To defeat the jihadist forces it was necessary to accompany withdrawal with actions that left no doubt that what happened was a defeat for them.

But it does not seem that President Biden will pursue such a strategy, leaving the West with an empowered al-Qaeda to fight against in the years ahead.
UN Watch: Neuer to UN: Afghanistan Resolution Whitewashes Taliban Testimony delivered by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer, 31st Special Session of United Nations Human Rights Council, 24 August 2021.

After Afghanistan: A Letter to a Friend in the Gulf
Today, the world struggles with radical Islam, which aspires to impose its radical interpretation of Islam on all Muslim nations, and in the future, on the entire world. It does not believe in sharing power; it only considers its absolute rule as stability. Therefore, the battle against Islamic extremism cannot end in compromise, but only in a decisive triumph. This requires a forceful struggle, including the use of military force.

You and I, both citizens of loyal U.S. allies, are not in a position to preach to the president of the United States where to send his soldiers to fight. However, the American president is no longer in a position to preach values to Middle Eastern rulers such as Egypt's Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi or Saudi Arabia's Mohammad Bin Salman. He who has given up on the war on radical Islam must allow those who still fight it to act as they see fit.

Yes, my friend, we remain here in the Middle East, facing violent religious extremism. Pro-Iranian militias are aggressively taking over Iraq and Syria. Yemen has become a missile base for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. And in this region, we must survive. We have nobody to rely on other than ourselves. We together, alongside Egypt and Jordan, create a new balance of power in the Middle East, which grants us security and can provide the young generation across the Middle East with a different future.
As the U.S. Steps Out of the Middle East, It Must Help Israel Step Up
Israel has the Middle East's most powerful military. Its intelligence service is arguably the world's best. It's a scientific superpower and global leader in cutting-edge technologies central to the future of U.S. national security, including missile defense, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. Israel's assessment of the region's greatest threats mirrors Washington's. Israel's government and people are viscerally pro-American. It has become a strategic pillar of the West, countering American adversaries and bolstering American friends.

Israel is the only country undertaking sustained operations to thwart Iran's regional expansionism, conducting thousands of strikes against Iranian-linked targets in Syria. Its operatives have repeatedly penetrated Iran's nuclear program, stealing its most guarded secrets, blowing up key facilities, and eliminating the mastermind of its weapons program.

Israel helps Egypt contain the Islamic State in the Sinai. Its military and intelligence cooperation are essential to Jordan's stability. Increasingly, Israeli security cooperation has quietly extended to vulnerable U.S. allies in the Gulf, bolstering their ability to manage threats from Iran and Islamist terror groups.

After spending trillions fighting unsuccessful Middle Eastern wars, increasing aid to Israel - even doubling it - to enable it to counter serious threats to U.S. interests in a still-critical region is a downright bargain.
Noah Rothman: Don’t Let Them Blame the Americans Trapped in Afghanistan for Getting Left Behind
And even if the State Department’s messaging was at odds with itself and the president was projecting undue calm, so what? At best, this exercise in butt-covering is a non-sequitur. Let’s concede that a handful of cables were prescient and should have been observed by all Americans in Afghanistan. That’s irrelevant. They’re still there now. They’re being harassed, beaten, and prevented from accessing the airport. They’re about to be abandoned in the effort to preserve an artificial timetable, at which point the White House hoped to declare America’s commitments to Afghanistan fulfilled.

Now that this unachievable goal is plainly out of reach, the White House and its supporters are hoping to distribute the blame for the disaster to any and all—including the American citizens and green-card holders charged with executing the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

We’re in the end game now. America’s NATO allies are wrapping up their evacuation efforts or have concluded them even though they, too, are leaving their people behind. Government sources tell CNN that the U.S. mission in the country will conclude in mere hours. The Pentagon disputes the claim (“We will continue to evacuate as many people as we can,” Defense Department spokesman John Kirby meekly pledged), but getting American troops and materiel out before next Tuesday will necessarily put a halt to the evacuation of civilians. Indeed, that mission may have functionally concluded already. Overnight, an imminent security threat to the airport in Kabul (which subsequently materialized in a “complex” attack on Thursday morning) forced the State Department to warn Americans against approaching the last remaining evacuation site in the country.

Your American passport used to mean something that no one on earth could afford to ignore. The Biden administration chose to sacrifice that hard-won advantage—no one else. Many will share the blame when we leave the Americans to fend for themselves while they’re surrounded by a vengeful fundamentalist militia. But the fault will not lie with those who have been abandoned by their own government. Some will do their best to make that case. Don’t let them get away with it.


Lawmakers Push Biden To Rescue Americans, Afghan Translators From Taliban
A bipartisan group of lawmakers and activists renewed efforts to pressure the Biden administration into evacuating thousands of Americans and Afghan allies who remain in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover.

House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas) led several lawmakers, including former Green Beret Rep. Mike Waltz (R., Fla.) and former diplomats Reps. Tom Malinowski (D., N.J.) and Andy Kim (D., N.J.), alongside advocates for the Afghan people in a Wednesday press conference urging the Biden administration to act decisively and rescue the thousands stuck in Afghanistan.

The bloc pushed back against the Biden administration, which said it will comply with the Aug. 31 deadline for a full withdrawal of U.S. troops. Top Biden personnel, such as national security adviser Jake Sullivan, have said they cannot guarantee the safe retrieval of Americans from Afghanistan. At least one American—Navy veteran Mark Frerichs—remains in Taliban custody.

Waltz castigated the Biden administration for its failure to act. The Florida congressman said his office and many others have taken on responsibilities in bringing Americans home from Afghanistan, as diplomats in the State Department and elsewhere have been unable to complete the job themselves.

"We’ve had to have congressional offices devote their entire staffs now to connecting the dots and doing what needs to be done," Waltz said. "That’s wrong. We’re having to fight through our own bureaucracy to help fellow Americans and to help those who served with us…. But briefing after briefing, we hear this happy talk."


As Afghan Women Face Brutal Subjugation Under Taliban Rule, Biden Admin To Host 5K Run for ‘Women’s Equality’
As millions of Afghan women are abandoned to subjugation and torture at the hands of the Taliban, President Joe Biden's Defense Department will celebrate "Women's Equality Day" on Thursday by hosting a 5K run at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

"Women's Equality Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on the many benefits of true equality and the role of women in our public life," the military's diversity and inclusion officers wrote in an email announcing the event. No registration is required to participate, and prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Taliban soldiers are murdering Afghan women for not wearing burqas. On Tuesday, in a scene right out of the Handmaid's Tale, the militant group's official spokesman urged women to stay home until "women related procedures are in place." Taliban soldiers, he warned, are "not trained" to respect them or refrain from violent acts of misogyny.

A military veteran with knowledge of the email announcement told the Washington Free Beacon they were appalled, given the unfolding disaster in Afghanistan and the Taliban's medieval approach to women's equality. "It shows a complete lack of situational awareness, and shows how inept this administration is in handling a crisis—that they push woke bullshit during this time," the veteran said. "Soldiers will hate it."

Clarence Johnson, the Pentagon's director of diversity management and equal opportunity, announced the department-wide recognition of "Women's Equality Day" in a memo to senior leadership last week:


Erdogan to Meet Taliban Leader to Advise on Torture, Repression Techniques (satire)
In a sign of the Islamist militant group’s growing stature, the Taliban will meet this week with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss methods of torturing and killing political opponents.

With the Taliban now in control of nearly all of Afghanistan, Erdogan said that the time had come to treat the group with the respect it deserves as an emerging totalitarian state.

“I am really proud of how far they’ve come in massacring and jailing opposition figures, eliminating the free press, and keeping women in their place,” Erdogan said. “But they’ve still got a long way to go if they want to be taken seriously as tyrannical leaders.”

Rather than a traditional meeting between heads of state, Erdogan will prepare a day-long seminar on how to be an effective tyrant. The Mideast Beast has obtained a copy of the agenda for the seminar.

Agenda
9:00 a.m.: Session 1 – Blaming the West: Forgot to feed your citizens? Caught on tape telling your son how to steal taxpayer money? Don’t worry, it’s not your fault.

11:00 a.m.: Session 2 – The Art of the Self Coup: How to jail your enemies and delegitimize all dissent with this one easy trick.
Bennett-Biden meeting delayed due to Kabul attack
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's meeting with US President Joe Biden was postponed in light of the suicide bombings in Afghanistan. The bombing took place an hour before the leaders were set to meet for the first time in the White House. Israeli journalists, who had already gathered in the Brady Press Room, were asked to leave the White House.

The meeting was expected to take place on Thursday at 6 p.m. and is now scheduled for Friday morning, according to reports by Israeli media. However, the Prime Minister spokesperson denied the report and said that no new time had been set. The White House also denied the report. Following the delay, Bennett and his delegation could possibly remain in Washington until Sunday, staying there throughout Shabbat.

Bennett's visit to Washington was finalized days after the Afghanistan pullout crisis already began, and his staff and Biden administration officials said the timing was important due to developments on the Iranian nuclear front. However, the crisis in Kabul overshadowed the trip from its start on Tuesday.
PMW: Food for thought before the Biden-Bennet meeting
As Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet prepares to meet US President Biden for the first time in their new respective positions, there are a number of fundamental points regarding the Israel – Palestinians subject that must be discussed. These are four of the many subjects Palestinian Media Watch believe must be raised.

There is no Palestinian leadership to talk to
First and foremost, PM Bennet must emphasize that no progress can be made on achieving peace in the absence of a clear Palestinian leadership. While the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and then the Palestinian Authority leadership was traditionally seen to represent the Palestinian people, that is no longer the case.

At the very best, the PLO/PA, which has been constantly dominated by the Fatah faction (first under the leadership of Yasser Arafat and now under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas), represents only a small portion of the Palestinians. Dogged with complaints of corruption and nepotism, in the last PA elections held in 2006, the Fatah rival, Hamas – an internationally designated terror organization - won an outright majority in the PA parliament. While Abbas deposed the Hamas government, since 2007, the terrorists have controlled the Gaza Strip.

Despite the fact that the PA constitution ostensibly requires new elections for both the position of PA chairman and the PA parliament every four years, in practice Abbas was last elected in 2005 and has simply remained in his position ever since. While the PA parliament ceased to truly function in 2006, only in December 2019 did Abbas decided to officially dissolve the parliament promising elections within six months.

After Abbas called for new elections in May this year, it soon became clear that his Fatah party would lose and that Hamas would again win more seats in the parliament than any other party. Accordingly, in the true democratic tradition of the PA, Abbas decided to indefinitely postpone the elections.
Generals to Bennett: Tell Biden the Oslo era is over
A group of senior Israeli security officers and reservists called on Prime Minister Naftali Bennett Wednesday to press the Biden administration to rethink its positions vis-à-vis the Iran nuclear deal and negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

In an open letter to Bennett released by Israel’s Defense and Security Forum: HaBithonistim, a group representing some 2,400 senior officers, commanders, retired soldiers, and reservists, the officers called on Bennett to rethink Israel’s reliance on American hegemony in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.

The letter was released a day before Prime Minister Bennett is set to meet with President Joe Biden, his first meeting with the president since Bennett took office earlier this year.

“In the last few weeks there has been a significant shift in the Middle East geopolitical landscape with deep ranging implications and long-term consequences for Israel,” the officers wrote.

“The US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the swift dominance of the Taliban have highlighted the failures of current approaches to diplomacy and military strategy. Absent a new way of thinking, these radical, terrorist factions will only grow and bolster the extremists within the Palestinian and Israeli Arabs as well as the Iranian people.”

The officers called on Bennett to reject any overtures from the Biden administration to restart final status agreements with the Palestinian Authority on the basis of the Oslo process formula, and to work to convince the White House that the approach taken by previous administrations is no longer workable.
Palestinians: No return to peace talks under US leadership
The Palestinians are opposed to a return to the peace negotiations with Israel under the leadership of the United States, senior Palestinian official Azzam al-Ahmed said Thursday.

The Palestinians are also opposed to any US policy that envisages the management of the conflict as a substitute for solutions, he said ahead of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s meeting with US President Joe Biden in the White House.

“The Palestinians will not accept a situation where the US alone is in charge of the peace process in the Middle East,” Ahmed said in an interview on the Palestinian Authority’s Palestine TV.

The Palestinians, he said, insist that any future peace talks with Israel be held on the basis of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s initiative for convening an international peace conference with the participation of various parties, including the Quartet (the US, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations), Jordan, Egypt, South Africa and China.

“We will not agree under any circumstances to a policy of managing the conflict,” Ahmed said.
Defense Secretary Austin: US Committed to Israel’s Security, Including Against Iran
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the United States is committed to Israel’s security, including against the threat from Iran, during a meeting at the Pentagon on Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

“The [Biden] administration remains committed to Israel’s security and right to self defense. That is unwavering. It is steadfast, and it is ironclad,” Austin said at the beginning of talks held at the Defense Department headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC.

The Israeli prime minister arrived to Washington on his first official visit Tuesday.

He is scheduled to meet at the White House on Thursday with US President Joe Biden.

Earlier on Wednesday, Bennett met with AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr and was expected to meet with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken following his meeting with Austin.

The meeting with Blinken was scheduled for earlier in the day, but was delayed due to the nation’s top diplomat participating in a press briefing on the Afghanistan situation at State Department headquarters in DC’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood.

Austin cited the administration’s work with Congress to fund the replenishment of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system following its 11-day conflict with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in May as an example of the US commitment to Israel’s defense.
Iran’s New Cabinet Includes Two Fugitives Wanted in Connection With 1994 Bombing Atrocity at Buenos Aires Jewish Center
Iran’s new crop of political leaders includes two individuals wanted by international law enforcement authorities for their roles in the 1994 terrorist bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, in which 85 people lost their lives and more than 300 were badly wounded.

Both men — Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi and Vice-President for Economic Affairs Mohsen Rezaei — were among the cabinet nominees of newly-installed hardline President Ebrahim Raisi who were approved on Wednesday by the regime’s consultative assembly, the Majlis.

Vahidi and Rezaei were the subject of two of the six “red notices” issued in 2007 by Interpol, the international law enforcement agency, for the Iranian and Hezbollah operatives sought in connection with the AMIA atrocity. No person has ever been convicted in connection with the bombing, which has been the subject of a series of judicial and political scandals in Argentina, including an initial sham trial that resulted in the impeachment of the presiding judge in 2005, and the unsolved murder in 2015 of Alberto Nisman, the federal prosecutor appointed a decade earlier to take over the AMIA investigation, whose efforts led to Interpol issuing its red notices for the main executors of the attack.

A product of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Vahidi is returning to the Defense Ministry for the second time in his career, having served in the Minister’s post between 2009-13 under former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Rezaei, meanwhile, served as commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) between 1980 and 1997, a period that witnessed the bloody eight-year war between the Islamic Republic and the Ba’athist regime in neighboring Iraq.

Toby Dershowitz, a Washington, DC-based analyst who has written extensively on the AMIA case, told The Algemeiner that the appointments of Vahidi and Rezaei signaled Iran’s determination to “normalize mass murder.”
'Argentina won't rest until perpetrators of AMIA bombing brought to justice'
Argentina will continue to track down the terrorists responsible for bombing the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994, prosecutor Sebastian Basso assured this week, after former Quds Force commander Ahmad Vahidi, one of the alleged perpetrators of the attack, was named Iran's next interior minister.

Vahidi has been wanted by the International Criminal Police Organization – commonly known as Interpol – since 2007 and an extradition order has been issued against him by Argentina.

Vahidi's appointment drew outrage in Argentina, with its foreign ministry describing the move as "an insult to the justice system and the victims."

"We are doing our utmost to bring the perpetrators to justice in Argentina," Basso told Israel Hayom. "But there is not much we can do outside the borders of the state except ask the executive authority to move forward on the matter."

"The case is open, and the extradition orders are in force, and the prosecution is more interested in this person [Vahidi] standing trial in Argentina. We continue to investigate the case. We are working, among other things, to identify all those who were involved in carrying out the attack. We are aware, however, that after 27 years, it is a rather difficult task."
Merkel cancels visit to Israel due to Afghanistan crisis
German Chancellor Angela Merkel canceled her planned visit to Israel next week because of the crisis in Afghanistan, the Prime Minister’s Office announced Thursday.

Merkel told Prime Minister Naftali Bennett she needed to stay in Germany to oversee the evacuation of soldiers from Afghanistan, it said in a statement.

Bennett said he understood and expressed hope that the evacuation would end peacefully. He invited Merkel to visit another time. Merkel had planned to meet with Bennett in Jerusalem and participate in Sunday’s cabinet meeting.

She is set to step down later this year after 16 years in office. An election for her replacement will take place on September 26.
Shiloh Farmers Prepare to Fight Gantz’s Attempt to Uproot 42 Acre Vineyard
Border Police and Israel Police commanders on Wednesday conducted a preparatory tour ahead of the uprooting of the vineyards owned by Achiya Farm in the Shiloh Valley, which is due to take place in the coming days following a High Court ruling. Residents of Gush Shilo are calling on the public to “get ready for D Day,” and show up to fight the destruction.

Achiya Farm appealed to Defense Minister Benny Gantz asking to reach a compromise according to which the 42 acres of plants would be moved to alternative land after the end of the Shmita year that starts September 7 (planting and replanting are forbidden during the shmita year – DI). The High Court approved this option, but Defense Minister Benny Gantz is refusing the compromise proposal.

According to Kipa, in recent days, the Defense Ministry has expressed a willingness to uproot and replant only about 7.5 acres of olive groves, while the vineyards must be uprooted before Rosh Hashanah because, in Minister Gantz, it’s not possible to replant vines.

In mid-May, the High Court of Justice ordered the Civil Administration to vacate about 42 acres in the Shiloh Valley in Samaria, which are cultivated by Achiya Farm, one of the largest and best-known farms in Judea and Samaria. The justices ordered the state to clear that part of the farm’s plantation by next October.

The case combines three separate petitions from 2013 regarding unregulated land that was claimed by eight Arab petitioners who say they are the heirs of those who had claimed ownership of the land but never completed its registration.
The Israel Guys: Will Israel Actually BULLDOZE This Place?
42 acres of vineyards and olive groves in the Shiloh valley are slated for demolition. If Israel does not reverse this order, these beautiful farms will be completely destroyed, quite possibly before this year’s harvest can be taken in.


CAMERA Op-Ed Terrorist Groups Intimidate Journalists to Influence Coverage
On Aug. 21, 2021, Palestinian Authority Security Forces (PASF) assaulted two Washington Post employees, Sufian Taha and Salwan Georges. The Post staffers were covering a protest against the PA in Ramallah’s Manara Square.

According to an Aug. 24, 2021 statement by the Foreign Press Association (FPA), a “Palestinian policeman grabbed” Georges while he was taking pictures of the PA arresting protesters. The policeman “seized the camera” and “held the photographer’s neck and tore his press badge.” Although Georges “explained that he was with the international media and tried to hold onto his camera…additional security men surrounded him, taking away the camera and telling him: ‘Here it’s different. We don’t care.’”

The FPA noted that “police held on to the camera for over an hour, deleting seven photos and preventing him from doing his job. When the camera was returned, both journalists were ordered to leave and told there would be a ‘big problem’ if photos of one of the officers were published.”

As of Aug. 25, 2021, the Washington Post itself, including the newspaper’s Jerusalem bureau chief, have yet to release a statement.

CAMERA has frequently highlighted how terrorist groups and authoritarians use intimidation to distort news coverage—including, most recently, in an Aug. 19, 2021 op-ed for the Washington Examiner, which can be found here.
Washington Post Doesn’t Find Harassment of Its Own Journalists by Palestinian Authority Newsworthy
This weekend, Palestinian police assaulted and arrested two journalists from The Washington Post.

Despite this attack on the free press, the incident has not been covered anywhere in the international media — not even by the Washington Post itself.

Apparently, the newspaper doesn’t consider the harassment and arrest of its own journalists by the Palestinian Authority to be newsworthy. The Story The Post Isn’t Publishing

On Saturday, 21 August, 2021, Palestinian Authority security forces assaulted two journalists employed by The Washington Post: Sufian Taha and Salwan Georges. Salwan Georges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist. Sufian Taha is the Post’s West Bank Correspondent.

The journalists were covering the latest in a series of protests against the PA in Ramallah’s Manara Square over the death of Nizar Banat, a critic of the PA government who died in police custody in June.

The situation has become so severe that Palestinian journalists have resorted to asking the UN for protection. Yet despite the fact that several journalists have been injured as a result of the PA’s crackdown, international news organizations have for the most part ignored the story.

The story has only seen the light of day because the Foreign Press Association in Israel issued a press release on Tuesday, 24 August
Squad Congresswoman persona non grata in Palestinian Authority
One of the members of the so-called "Squad" a group of far-left US Congresswomen, is now persona non grata in the Palestinian Authority, according to Jerusalem Post journalist Khaled Abu Toameh.

"The US Congresswoman who smeared President Mahmoud Abbas on social media is persona non grata in Palestine, according to a senior Palestinian official in Ramallah," Toameh wrote on Twitter Thursday.

Toameh appears to be referring to Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Mi), who criticized Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas by name earlier this week.

"Dear President Mahmoud Abbas, This is NOT how you protect and serve the Palestinian people. Shame on you for suppressing Palestinian voices who are trying to seek liberation from not only the Israeli apartheid government, but from your corrupt leadership," Tlaib wrote in response to the PA's violent crackdown on protestors in Ramallah.

Tlaib, who is of Palestinian Arab descent. refused an Israeli offer to allow her to visit her grandmother in Judea and Samaria in 2019 because she would not accept conditions which would have prevented her from using the visit as a propaganda stunt against the Jewish State.


Despite tensions with Hamas, Israel announces further relief measures for Gaza
Israel on Wednesday announced it would allow further relief measures for Gaza, expanding the scope of equipment and goods entering the Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing for international civilian projects.

The move follows a security assessment and has been approved by the government, the Office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said.

Other measures will see the import of new vehicles into the Gaza Strip and the resumption of gold trade between Gaza and the West Bank.

COGAT further said that the number of Gazan traders passing through the Erez crossing will be increased by another 1,000, but said permits will be issued only to those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recovered from the disease.

"The civilian measures approved by the political echelon are conditional on continued security stability over time," a COGAT statement said, adding that future relief measures for the coastal enclave will be reviewed in accordance with ongoing security assessments.

The announcement followed relatively calm border protests Wednesday, as Hamas, the terrorist group controling Gaza kept them from again escelating into riots.

Over 1,000 people took part in the demonstration, burning tires, hurling rocks and firebombs, and occasionally rushing the security fence while the IDF responded with crowd control measures.
MEMRI: Munitions Cache Explosion At Gaza Market Sparks Renewed Internal Criticism Of Hamas' 'Contempt For Human Life'
Although the Hamas security apparatuses keep a tight lid on protests against the Gaza authorities, including by arresting citizens who voice criticism on social media, these media continue to serve as a platform for criticism by Gazans against Hamas.[1]

Two catastrophes that occurred in Gaza markets in the last 18 months evoked especially intense criticism from Gazans on social media, who drew a connection between them and blamed them on the terror organizations in Gaza and in particular on Hamas. One was the July 22, 2021 explosion of a munitions warehouse belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Al-Zawiya market, which killed one person and wounded 10. The other incident is a massive fire that broke out in the Al-Nusairat refugee camp in March 2020, which killed 25 people and which, according to reports on social media, was caused by Hamas activists throwing a firebomb at a bakery that refused to pay them protection.

Gazan social media users noted that the Hamas authorities had evidently failed to learn from the March 2020 catastrophe, and that both incidents show that the "resistance" movements – Hamas and the PIJ – place little value on the lives of Gaza's residents. They predicted that the investigation of the Al-Zawiya explosion, just like the investigation of the Al-Nusairat fire, will yield no findings, and that Hamas will not hold the culprits to account.

This report presents some of the responses to these incidents by Gazan social media users who blamed them on the organizations controlling the Gaza Strip.


Hamas: Thrown Out of Saudi Arabia into the Arms of Iran and the Taliban
Last week Saudi Arabia, which used to be an economic paradise for members of al-Qaeda and Hamas, sentenced 64 Hamas operatives to prison. Among them is Dr. Mohammed Al-Khudari, 80, who headed the Hamas delegation to Saudi Arabia for 30 years and who has now been sent to prison for 15 years. Only two decades ago, 60% of Hamas' budget came from Saudi sources and millions were handed over to families of suicide bombers. Today, from Israel's perspective, Saudi Arabia has been moving from an enemy state and supporter of terrorism to an entity that is a loyal member of the axis against Iran and its satellites.

Hamas has now become an open ally of Iran. Hamas' representative in Yemen, Moaz Abu Shamala, recently met with Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of the Houthis' Supreme Political Council, who are allies of Iran and enemies of Saudi Arabia. Abu Shamala gave his Houthi hosts a shield of honor from Hamas in thanks for the Houthis' support for the Palestinians. Earlier this month, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh visited Tehran and declared that Hamas would stand alongside Iran against any threat from Israel or America. As if to complete the picture, senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouk congratulated the Taliban for its victory in Afghanistan.
MEMRI: PFLP-GC Secretary-General Recalls Role Iran, Soleimani Played in Palestinian Factions’ Arms Industry
PFLP-GC Secretary-General Talal Naji recalled the role that Iran and IRGC Qods Force Commander Qasem Soleimani played in the arms industry and military training of all the Palestinian factions in an interview that aired on Al-Alam TV (Iran) on August 11, 2021. He said that Soleimani, who was killed by U.S. Forces in January 2020, told him that he sent 10 ships full of weapons to the Palestinian factions, even though only the Karine A, which was apprehended by Israel, became well known. Naji emphasized that the Karine A was not sent to Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, PFLP-GC or the PFLP but to Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement. He added that the PFLP-GC cooperated with Hamas to transfer the weapons from ships sent to Gaza from Lebanon and then shared the weapons with them.

Naji explained that the Palestinian weapons and rocket industry was developed by Soleimani after it was decided that Palestinian factions should manufacture weapons themselves. He added that Soleimani supervised the rocket development with the cooperation of the “brothers in Syria” and that the military training took place in Iran, Syria, and Lebanon alongside Hizbullah. Naji said that Soleimani would supervise “these things” himself. Talal Naji assumed the leadership of the PFLP-GC in July after the death of the movement’s founder Ahmad Jibril.


Reuters Transforms Grenade-Wielding Palestinian Into ‘Anti-Israel Protester’
Hundreds of Palestinians rioted along the Gaza-Israel border in response to a call by the Hamas terror group on Saturday, August 21. Several Gazans — some of them wielding weapons, explosives and stones — stormed the security fence and managed to shoot an Israeli border police officer at point-blank range, critically injuring him. Sources in Gaza have reported that the gunman is a lieutenant in Hamas’ forces.

Despite the violence, the Reuters news agency this week described the riot merely as an “anti-Israel protest” — and the members of US-designated terrorist groups who participated as nothing more than “Palestinians.”

When Pictures Lie: The Truth About Osama Dueji
An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) statement said that the army responded with riot dispersal means after Gazans on the afternoon of August 21 “approached the security fence, attempted to climb the fence, and hurled explosive devices at IDF troops.”

The riots were orchestrated under the pretext of marking the 52nd anniversary of an arson attack on Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque by Australian Denis Michael Rohan. The Christian extremist was deemed insane by an Israeli court and admitted to a psychiatric institution. Despite this well-documented fact, Hamas continues to use the 1969 incident to incite violence against the Jewish state.

Some 41 Palestinians were injured in the clashes, one of them being Osama Dueji, a Hamas terrorist. Reuters evidently considered Dueji’s connection to Gaza’s leading terrorist organization superfluous.
Osama Dueij’s Death Is News; His Hamas Affiliation Less So
The death today of Palestinian Osama Dueij, who wounded last Saturday during violent clashes at the Israel-Gaza border, made big news. On the other hand, his status as a fighter belonging to the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Hamas’ military wing, which the United States, European Union, Israel and others consider a terror organization, made not so much news.

Take, for example, Agence France Presse’s article today, “Palestinian wounded in Gaza clashes dies ahead of new protest.” The incomplete article reports:
A Palestinian has died from injuries sustained during weekend clashes with Israeli forces on the Gaza border, the territory’s health ministry said, ahead of fresh protests called for Wednesday.

Following Saturday’s unrest — which wounded dozens and left an Israeli police officer in critical condition — 32-year-old Palestinian Osama Khaled Deaih died after being shot by Israeli forces, the ministry said.

The Israeli army said it responded with live fire and other measures toPalestinian“rioters” who were hurling explosives over the border fence and attempting to scale it.


AFP’s story contains no mention of Dueij’s (English spelling varies) role in the terror organization.

In addition, the even more inadequate photo captions of Dueij’s funeral likewise omit the key point that he is terrorist belonging to Hamas’ Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. They state: “Osama Deeij, who died of a wound he sustained during an anti-Israel protest at the Israel-Gaza border fence last week. . . . ” Not only do the captions ignore that he was a fighter in a designated terror organization, but also that the so-called “protests” were violent clashes in which participants tried to climb the border fence and threw explosives over it.


Report: Fearing Leaks, Netanyahu Downgraded Iran Intelligence Sharing with Biden Administration
After the US’ informers network in Iran had been quashed by the regime’s counterintelligence agencies, Israel filled the gap with reliable intelligence on Iran’s nuclear and missile programs and its proxy militias gathered by its intact and wide-reaching operations.

But according to a NY Times report on Thursday (Israel’s Spy Agency Snubbed the U.S. Can Trust Be Restored?), after the election of President Joe Biden, then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reduced the flow of intelligence sharing with the US because he mistrusted the Biden administration.

The Times noted that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has an advantage in his Thursday’s meeting with Biden because of the Americans’ complete dependence on Israel for information on Iran. Without Israel, all the US has in its arsenal is electronic eavesdropping, which doesn’t come close to having a robust in-country spy network like Israel’s.

According to the Times, Netanyahu’s mistrust led at least once to the humiliation of his American allies, when, back in April, Israel alerted the US only two hours ahead of its attack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear plant. There was nothing the Americans could do with this information so close to the attack itself, certainly not to evaluate it and demand that Israel call it off.

The Times cited Israeli officials who said they had to play it close to the vest because the Biden administration had leaked information about Israeli operations – which US officials are denying. But in mid-March, the Wall Street Journal reported that Israel had been systematically wrecking Iranian tankers that were smuggling oil from Iran to Syria in defiance of the Western sanctions. The WSJ cited at least 12 ships that were taken down by the Israelis. IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi is convinced the leak did not come from Israel.
Iran Reinforces the Aerial Defense around its Nuclear Facilities
In parallel with reports of Israel’s preparations for a possible attack on Iran and a visit by the Israeli prime minister to the United States, Iran inaugurated a command and control facility of the Hazrat Masumeh Air Defense Group (HM ADG) around the nuclear site in Fordow in the Qom district. Iran’s military air defense commander Brigadier General Alireza Sabahifard inaugurated the headquarters, saying that Iran was expanding its air defense system and “the enemy cannot even think of attacking Iran.” He praised Iran’s air and cyber defense systems, saying they were very technologically advanced.1 The HM ADG was formed in 2009 to protect the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP).

Fordow is an underground facility for enriching uranium using IR2-M centrifuges. In January, Iran began enriching uranium at the facility to 20 percent. At the same time, the Natanz enrichment facility in Isfahan began enriching uranium to 60 percent with advanced IR-6 and IR- 4 centrifuges.2 A fire broke out in the Natanz facility in April 2021.

In January 2013, an explosion occurred at a facility in Fordow and at a nearby electrical facility.
Iran president Raisi said homosexuality is ‘nothing but savagery’
The new president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, declared in an anti-gay tirade in 2014 that same-sex relations are “nothing but savagery.”

The US-based Center for Human Rights in Iran said in its Tuesday fact sheet that “Iranian government officials engage in hate speech against the LGBTQ community, which encourages state and societal violence against individuals. For example, Ebrahim Raisi, who is now Iran’s president, said in 2014 (when he headed Iran’s judiciary) that homosexuality is ‘nothing but savagery.”’

Peter Tatchell, a prominent British LGBT activist and human rights campaigner, told The Jerusalem Post that “Raisi’s ignorant bigoted views are commonplace among the Iranian religious and political elite. They sanction the death penalty for consenting same-sex relations. That is the real savagery, along with the torture of political prisoners. Raisi is allegedly implicated in the barbaric execution of thousands of dissidents in the 1980s.”

He added, “Ending the death penalty and the criminalization of homosexuality should be made additional preconditions for the lifting of sanctions on Iran.

According to the center’s research, “Iran is one of only six countries that impose the death penalty for same-sex relations,” and “the death penalty can and has been applied to juvenile LGBTQ individuals.”

In 2019, the Post reported that the Islamic Republic publicly hanged a man based on the Iranian regime’s anti-gay law.











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