Friday, September 17, 2021

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Why Oslo still rules
Faisal Husseini, who held the Palestinian Authority's Jerusalem portfolio, gave an interview shortly before his death in the summer of 2001 in which exposed the fraud at the heart of the Oslo process. Speaking with Al Araby newspaper, Husseini said that Yasser Arafat, his deputies and henchmen never saw the "peace process" as a way of achieving peace with Israel. Oslo for them was a means to advance their goal of destroying Israel, "from the river to the sea."

Husseini described the Oslo process as a "Trojan Horse." Arafat and his people were the hostile army that infiltrated the city "in the belly of the wooden horse." When Arafat rejected Palestinian statehood and peace at the Camp David summit in July 2000 and initiated the Palestinian terror war two months later, it was as if he and his men exited the horse and began the fight.

"This is the beginning of the real work," Husseini explained.

The PLO used the seven years that preceded the Palestinian terror war to build up their power. Arafat held "peace" talks and Israel paid through the nose for the privilege of sitting across the table from him and his apparatchiks. Israel gave them the Gaza Strip. Israel gave them the Palestinian cities and villages in Judea and Samaria. Israel gave them weapons and ammunition. Israel gave them international legitimacy. Israel – and with Israel's permission, the nations of the world – gave PLO terrorists billions of dollars every year. Israel permitted the EU and the CIA to arm and train Arafat's terror legions.

Arafat promised that in exchange for all that, he would fight terror and build the institutions necessary to run a state. Instead, he and his minions transformed the cities Israel gave them into terror bases. They used the funds to finance terror armies. They used the international legitimacy Israel's recognition conferred to escalate and expand their political war against Israel's right to exist.

The Israeli public didn't need Husseini's interview to know that Oslo was gravest strategic error in Israel's history. The first Palestinian suicide bomber blew up at a crowded bus stop seven months after Yitzhak Rabin and Arafat shook hands at the White House on Sept. 13, 1993. Between their handshake and the beginning of the Oslo war in September 2000 the number of Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorists was twice the total killed from 1967-1993.

Despite the public's opposition, today, 28 years after Oslo's launch, we are still living the world Oslo unleashed. The strategic and political realities the Oslo process created still dominate the life of the country. The Palestinian Authority still exists. It still finances and incites terror and wages its political war against Israel. The Oslo-obsessed "international community" still demands that Israel "make painful concessions for peace," and together with the Israeli Left, insists that the "two-state solution" is the only possible way to resolve the Palestinians' never-ending war for the annihilation of Israel.

Melanie Phillips: The unstoppable engine of infamy
The NGOs that contributed to the Durban auto-da-fé are still producing vicious and sustained anti-Israeli lies and incitement. Yet no governments denounce them or hold them to account.

The United Nations itself continues to act as the crucible of the campaign to delegitimise and destroy Israel. Last year, for example, the UN General Assembly adopted 17 one-sided resolutions against Israel and only six against any of the other 192 member states for human rights violations.

Last September, the UN’s Economic and Social Council condemned Israel alone for allegedly violating women’s rights — even though Israel is the only upholder of women’s rights in the Middle East.

Last May, the UN’s World Health Organisation accused Israel of violating the Palestinians’ health rights over COVID-19 — a wickedly false claim, and with Israel once again the only country to be singled out during the entire assembly.

The UN’s charter says its role is “promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion”.

The world body betrays this commitment almost every day. Conspicuously failing to deal with the racism and gross abuse of human rights around the world, it chooses instead to persecute Israel, a country that guarantees human rights for all its citizens.

The Durban conference displayed the moral bankruptcy of the United Nations for all to see. Yet the west continues to treat it as the legitimate arbiter of world peace and justice. Support for the United Nations is the pivot for the west’s loss of moral compass.

The boycott of the New York meeting is thus an empty gesture. It’s the United Nations itself that is allowing evil to triumph — and in which the two-faced, cowardly and self-indulgent west is all-too complicit.

Abraham Accords Show that Israel Victory Enhances Arab Lives
Tuesday will mark one year since the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump on the White House lawn to sign agreements that recognized Israel and pledged their countries to mutual cooperation. They were followed shortly thereafter by Morocco and Sudan. Colloquially known as the "Abraham Accords," these agreements will be celebrated today in Washington at an event featuring the Israeli ambassador and representatives from every Arab country that recognizes Israel, as well as former U.S. administration officials.

These agreements represented a sea change in Arab-Israeli relations and led to massive benefits both to Israel and their new Arab friends.

The Abraham Accords were in stark contrast to another agreement, signed 53 years before, almost to the day. In September 1967, the Arab League famously signed the Khartoum Resolutions, more colloquially known as the "Three No's," indicating that Arab countries would never have peace with Israel, would never negotiate with Israel, and would never recognize Israel. This rejection of Israel's legitimacy governed Arab-Israeli relations for decades.

But how did we move from Arab rejection of Israel's very existence to this new era of mutual recognition and cooperation?

The Khartoum Resolutions came in the immediate aftermath of the Six-Day War, a multistate effort by several Arab countries to destroy Israel that ended in a catastrophic tactical defeat. By signing the "Three No's," the Arab League nations were signaling that while the battle may have been lost, they maintained their aim of destroying Israel and some day would finish the job. Israel, for its part, declined to commit national suicide.
Abraham Accords prove a major success one year later
More importantly, despite the usual doomsday predictions from opponents of peace, recognizing Israel has not led to backlash with local Arab populations.

In fact, Morocco’s Islamist party, which foolishly rejected peace with Israel, suffered a crushing defeat in this month’s parliamentary elections.

Once Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan and the UAE effectively conceded they cannot destroy Israel, they benefited economically, culturally, and in security terms.

“The Abraham peace deals took a totally different approach. Unlike previous administrations, the deals did not involve ‘land for peace,’ only ‘peace for peace,'” Jeff Dunetz wrote this week at The Lid. “The supposed peace experts of previous administrations had always bloviated that no Arab country would ever formalize ties with Israel before a Palestinian state was created. The Abraham Accords proved them wrong.”

Even the United Nations took a moment to recognize the achievement, one day after a major initiative to combat anti-Semitism was signed by more than 300 lawmakers.

Lastly, it’s a rare bipartisan moment for the United States.

Though begun by the Trump administration, the accords are also backed by the Biden administration, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying earlier this year, “We think that Israel normalizing relations with its neighbors and other countries in the region is a very positive development, and so we applauded them. We hope that there may be an opportunity to build on them in the coming months and years ahead.”

While the accords generated little backlash in the signatory nations, the same will not occur in Gaza and the 'West Bank' until the Palestinian Liberation Organization gives up its perpetual quest to destroy Israel. Cheered on by anti-Semites in the U.S. Congress, their futile religious war continued earlier this year, resulting in more poverty and loss of blood and treasure. As the PLO continues to fund terrorists, it’s clear it has learned nothing.
Blinken pledges US backing to expand Abraham Accords between Israel, Arab states
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged on Friday that the Biden administration would actively work to support and expand the growing diplomatic ties between Israel and Arab nations.

Speaking at a Zoom event to mark the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on the White House lawn, Blinken pledged that “this administration will continue to build on the successful efforts of the last administration to keep normalization marching forward.”

Blinken laid out three main lines of effort to support the agreements — fostering Israel’s ties with the UAE and Bahrain as well as Morocco, Sudan and Kosovo; deepening Israel’s existing relationships with Egypt and Jordan; and encouraging more countries to join the Abraham Accords.

Sudan and Morocco joined the Abraham Accords in the months after they were signed, while Kosovo agreed to recognize Israel as part of a separate US-brokered agreement involving Serbia.

“We want to widen the circle of peaceful diplomacy,” said Blinken, “because it’s in the interest of countries across the region and around the world for Israel to be treated like any other country.”

Notably, Blinken used the term “Abraham Accords,” something Biden administration officials have tended to avoid when discussing the agreements.

Blinken was joined by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, former UAE foreign minister Anwar Gargash and Bahrain’s US envoy Abdullah Al Khalifa.
Sisi calls for Israeli-Palestinian talks after meeting Bahraini King
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for the resumption of Israel-Palestinian talks, which have been frozen since 2014 after he met this week with Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

"The two sides confirmed the importance of working .. to intensify international efforts to break the stalemate in the peace process and resume negotiations so as to resolve the Palestinian crisis based on international legitimacy resolutions," Sisi's office said in a statement about Wednesday's meeting at Sharm el-Sheikh.

"The Bahraini King lauded Egypt’s recent endeavors in this file at the highest level, its tireless efforts to firm up the ceasefire between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and its initiative for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip," Sisi's office said.

Egypt is attempting to broker indirect talks between Israel and Hamas that would lead to a permanent ceasefire over Gaza.

Sisi has also been holding talks with relevant players on the need to resume Israeli-Palestinian talks toward a two-state resolution to the conflict based on the pre-1967 lines.

‘In the Operating Room, It Doesn’t Matter Whether You’re from New York or Nazareth’: Arab Israeli Biotech Founder
When Reem and Imad Younis launched the technological system they developed, it filled the biomedical community with hope and excitement. The system’s great potential, which started a revolution in intracranial navigation during operations, immediately captivated many. Naturally, all the excitement and wonder raised several eyebrows: when a senior Israeli brain researcher sent an exclamatory email to his colleague overseas, sharing the news of the system, the colleague asked where the company’s offices are based, and thought the researcher was joking.

The address was Maayan Mariam Square in Nazareth, a place that has long been considered a holy religious pilgrimage site for Christians and differs drastically from the high tech hub in central Israel. The company’s idea was born in the home of Imad when he was a young Arab engineer in 1993. Over the past few years, the company has become a leader in the field of surgical intracranial navigation and has also created lab equipment for conducting brain research. The company owes its success to its founders Imad, 60, and his spouse Reem, 57, who opened Nazareth’s gates, turning the city into the capital of the Arab high tech industry in Israel, which today houses no less than 70 companies.

Due to these impressive achievements, Reem and Imad were awarded the 2018 Industry Leaders Medal at a special ceremony that took place at the Israeli President’s Residence in Jerusalem. But despite their breakthrough success, Alpha Omega remains private and is owned by family, preserving its intimate character. Currently, it only employs 120 people — 48 percent of them women compared to the average of 33 percent in Israeli high tech. “We’re a small company that’s playing in the big leagues,” Imad said during an interview with Calcalist. “Our customers are Medtronic, Boston Scientific, or Abbott Laboratories, so people have high expectations from us. Surgeons who use our system don’t mind how many employees we have, or whether we’re from Nazareth or New York.”

The number of surgeons using Alpha Omega’s smart system is growing. It already operates in over 200 different hospitals around the world and has been used in a large number of life-changing brain surgeries.

16-Year-Old Syrian Appears Before German Judge Over Alleged ‘Islamist’ Plot to Attack Synagogue on Yom Kippur
A 16-year-old Syrian boy was set to appear before a judge in Germany on Friday after he was arrested with three members of his immediate family over a threatened attack against a synagogue as Jews marked Yom Kippur, the holiest day in their calendar, on Thursday.

The unnamed minor was the only family member to remain in custody on Thursday night in the wake of a major police deployment around the synagogue in Hagen, a city just east of Dusseldorf in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia. The 16-year-old’s father and two brothers were also taken into custody, but were released later on Thursday after police concluded that there was no evidence of their involvement in a crime. The family reportedly arrived in Germany in 2014 as refugees from the civil war in Syria.

In a statement following the arrests, Armin Laschet — the state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia and the main candidate for the center-right CDU Party in Germany’s Sept. 26 federal election — said that the planned attack was motivated by Islamist ideology.

“It appears that prior to today on Yom Kippur, an Islamist motivated attack was averted,” Laschet said. He said the local authorities would “do everything we can to clarify which networks may have been behind” the plot.

German media outlets reported that the 16-year-old in custody had admitted to being in contact with a bomb-making specialist on the Telegram social media channel, but denied that there was a plan to attack the synagogue in Hagen specifically.

The specialist was reported to have been an ISIS operative. Germany’s foreign intelligence service was tipped to the contact by a “foreign secret service,” the Jüdische Allgemeine newspaper reported.

Belgium charges 10 over 2016 bomb attacks in Brussels
Ten men accused of involvement in the March 2016 bomb attacks in Brussels that killed 32 people will face trial, Belgian federal prosecutors said Friday.

Six of the suspects, including 32-year-old French-Moroccan Salah Abdeslam, are currently on trial in France over the November 2015 Paris attacks.

“Ten of those charged were today ordered to stand trial in the Court of Assizes by the indictment chamber in Brussels,” spokesman Eric Van Duyse tweeted.

On March 22, 2016 two suicide bombers blew themselves up in Brussels international airport and a third in a crowded Metro station in Brussels.

Investigators linked the gang that carried out the attacks in Belgium to the earlier attacks in Paris in November 2015, which killed 130 people.

Abdeslam is the best known of the suspects, allegedly the only surviving member of the group directly involved in the Paris attacks, arrested after a shootout in Brussels.

Both sets of attacks were claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.
Armed group opens fire towards IDF soldiers at West Bank checkpoint
An armed group of men opened fire towards IDF soldiers at the Jalama checkpoint, located between Mount Gilboa and Jenin, Walla reported on Friday morning.

According to the report, no one was harmed in the incident.

In addition, a number of violent disturbances were reported in the Palestinian village of Azun in the West Bank throughout the early hours of Friday morning.

IDF forces thwarted an arms smuggling attempt in the Jordan Valley in the early hours of Friday morning, according to Israeli media. The IDF apprehended 23 firearms that were suspected to be smuggled into Israel.

The smugglers were located and identified by IDF field observers in the Jordan Valley region, according to Walla. The firearms were given to Israel Police for further investigation.

Violent riots broke out Friday night at the entrance to Jericho, at the Huwwara checkpoint, and in front of Givat Evyatar, according to Walla News. The IDF dispersed the protesters with tear gas, and no casualties were reported.

Seven suffered bullet wounds during confrontations in Beita and Beit Dajan.

The Surrender of Deraa
The key aspect in Deraa al-Balad’s surrender was the Russian decision to abandon ambiguity and make clear that it would support further regime action against the area if the former rebel fighters did not agree to regime demands.

As of now, the former rebels have agreed to terms in the Russian mediated negotiations which represent their complete surrender to the demands of the regime. The agreement, according to reporting from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, will see the establishment of ten security points and checkpoints inside Deraa al-Balad, under Russian military police supervision, where the Russian flag and the Syrian regime flag will be raised. In addition, individuals wanted for mandatory military service will need to ‘regularise’ their situation with the regime. All individuals wishing not to conform to these terms will have to depart for the Turkish and Islamist rebel controlled area in the north west.

Abdullah Jabbasini, a Syrian researcher who monitors the south west, noted in addition that the agreement will include the surrender of light weapons by the fighters in Deraa al-Balad. Jabbasini also recorded that according to the agreement, Russian military police will be involved in direct contact with the community, including checking id cards at checkpoints, and that local notables will accompany the security forces.

These two latter elements are clearly intended to soften the blow for the former rebels, and to reduce as far as possible the friction that would result from direct contact between them and Assad’s security forces. But what has taken place is a significant achievement for the Iran-aligned element within the official Syrian security forces. It also represents an abandonment by the Russians of the stance which they sought to maintain since July 2018 – namely, the effort to maintain the status quo established by the reconciliation agreement of that time.

Why has this happened now? Tensions in this area are not new, and have smouldered ever since the regime’s return in 2018. But the latest events reflect growing Iranian confidence, which itself appears to derive from a fading Russian commitment to the status quo. The latter element is the crucial point, creating the space for change which the most Iran-aligned element of the regime has now exploited. The reason for this apparent shift in Russia’s position is less clear, but the direction appears unmistakeable. It may well be that the sense of an American weakening in the region also contributes to Iranian boldness, and Russian disregard of the concerns of local US allies. The result will be the further advance of the Iranian interest in south west Syria. This interest is woven into the decrepit structures of the Assad regime. It represents ambitions, strategy and priorities determined in Teheran, not in Damascus. And it is currently extending all the way to the border with Israel.
US denies involvement in reported airstrike along Syria-Iraq border
Alleged US strikes hit Iranian militias in the Syria-Iraq border earlier this week, according to reports, although the US has denied involvement.

Explosions were heard in Syria's Deir ez-Zor province, in the area of Al Bukamal, on Tuesday, said the Britain-based watchdog group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Syria's state-run SANA news agency said the US struck the Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella group of Iraqi Shiite fighters, who were "securing the Syrian-Iraqi border strip."

The group said it does not operate outside of Iraq when asked about the incident by Newsweek magazine.

The attacks damaged three cars and four thermal cameras, with no casualties, SANA reported.

Four separate strikes by drones destroyed the vehicles, which had recently arrived from Iraq, the Observatory said.

US Issues Sanctions Tied to Supporters of Hezbollah, Iran
The United States said on Friday it was imposing sanctions on Lebanon and Kuwait-based financial conduits that fund the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah as well as financial facilitators and front companies that support the group and Iran.

Among individuals designated and sanctioned, the US Treasury said the measures apply to businessman Morteza Minaye Hashemi, who lives in China and who had funneled money to Iran’s Quds Force. Two Chinese nationals had helped Hashemi establish bank accounts and served as straw owners for his companies, which were based in Hong Kong and mainland China, according to a Treasury news release.

It named the Chinese nationals as Yan Su Xuan and Song Jing. The statement said Yan Su Xuan, on Hashemi’s behalf, also purchased U.S.-origin, dual-use products for onward shipment to Iran.

“Together, these networks have laundered tens of millions of dollars through regional financial systems and conducted currency exchange operations and trade in gold and electronics for the benefit of both Hezbollah and the IRGC-QF,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement, referring to Iran’s Quds force, the arm of its Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) that controls its allied militia abroad.

“Hezbollah uses revenues generated by these networks to fund terrorist activities and to perpetuate instability in Lebanon and throughout the region,” the statement said.

Blinken said Hezbollah was increasingly looking for additional sources of revenue to bolster its coffers and he called on governments around the world to take steps to ensure it and other terrorist groups do not exploit their territory and financial institutions.
Israel won’t interfere with Hezbollah-run oil shipments from Iran to Lebanon
Israel won’t move to stop Iran shipments of fuel to Lebanon, amid the serious economic and energy crisis plaguing the neighboring country, according to a senior military official and a television report on Thursday.

Dozens of trucks carrying Iranian diesel arrived in Lebanon on Thursday, the first in a series of deliveries organized by the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group. The overland delivery through neighboring Syria violates US sanctions imposed on Tehran after former president Donald Trump pulled America out of a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in 2018.

The shipment is being portrayed as a victory by Hezbollah, which stepped in to supply the fuel from its patron, Iran, while the cash-strapped Lebanese government grapples with months-long fuel shortages that have paralyzed the country. Hezbollah operates independently from Lebanese authorities, which are struggling to deal with a crippling energy crisis.

While Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria to prevent Hezbollah weapon shipments from reaching their targets, officials are concerned that targeting the fuel would be seen as needlessly harming the economic recovery of Lebanon, Channel 12 reported on Thursday night. Israel has therefore decided to avoid intervening, the report said.

Israel’s just-retired navy commander, Vice Adm. Eli Sharvit, confirmed the policy in an interview with The Associated Press.

With Lebanon’s economy in disarray, he said Israel has “no interest” in stopping fuel deliveries meant for civilian use.

Iran accuses IAEA of being 'unprofessional and unfair'
Iran on Thursday dismissed the UN nuclear watchdog's work as "unprofessional" and "unfair" shortly before the two sides are due to hold talks aimed at resolving a standoff over the origin of uranium particles found at old but undeclared sites in Iran.

The issue is a thorn in the side of both Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency since the particles suggest Iran once had undeclared nuclear material at three different locations, but the IAEA has yet to obtain satisfactory answers from Iran on how the material got there or where it went.

"The statement of the Agency in its report is completely unprofessional, illusory and unfair," Iran's envoy to the IAEA, Kazem Gharibabadi, said in a statement to a meeting of the IAEA's 35-nation Board of Governors.

Gharibabadi was referring to a passage in an IAEA report last week that said the lack of progress was seriously affecting the IAEA's ability to determine that Iran's program is entirely peaceful, as Tehran says it is.

Failure to resolve the issue complicates efforts to restart talks aimed at bringing the United States and Iran fully back into the fold of the 2015 nuclear deal, since Washington and its allies continue to pressure Iran to give the IAEA answers.

Having obtained concessions last weekend from Iran on another issue, keeping some monitoring equipment running, IAEA Director Rafael Grossi is due to meet Iranian nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami in Vienna next week for talks on the particles.

To Iran and allies like Russia, the fact the three sites mainly seem to date back to the early 2000s and there is no indication any of the material present was enriched to a high degree means the world and the IAEA should move on.

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