Tuesday, October 05, 2021

From Ian:

UN prevented Erdan from displaying pro-Hitler posts by UNRWA teacher
UN security personnel stopped Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan from bringing a display poster into the General Assembly on Monday showing a social-media post by a UNRWA teacher that glorified Hitler.

“I see it as a very dangerous precedent here, preventing my freedom of expression, preventing my freedom of speech and hiding the truth from the UN,” Erdan said during his public speech to the UNGA.

He had meant to display the post during a discussion on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees so that he could illustrate his concern about the problem of incitement in UNRWA schools.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan decrying the UN's prevention of his display of pro-Hitler posts by an UNRWA teacher, October 4, 2021.

“I am shocked because I brought here with me a photo of a UNRWA teacher’s post glorifying the most horrific mass murderer in history, Adolf Hitler,” Erdan said. “Unfortunately, shockingly, I was prevented from bringing in this photo in order to share this proof with the other distinguished ambassadors here.”

UN protocol prevents ambassadors from using props when delivering speeches, a UN representative told The Jerusalem Post.

However, heads of state who speak during the high-level opening sessions that take place every September can do so, the representative added.
43 countries pledge to combat antisemitism at UNHRC session
Statement led by Austria, Czech Republic and Slovakia in coordination with World Jewish Congress

At least 43 countries signed a statement pledging to combat antisemitism that was issued at the 48th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Monday.

The statement was led by Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia with the coordination of the World Jewish Congress.

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg warned of the dangers of antisemitism in a video statement, saying that "we will remain steadfast in our pledge, never again."

"Even 75 years after the end of World War II it is a tragic reality that antisemitism is not a thing of the past," Schallenberg said. "This venom still exists, right in the midst of our societies. This is why today we declare our unequivocal solidarity in the face of hatred."

The statement was read at the start of a debate on racism, antisemitism and the growing threat from hate speech and the glorification of Nazism.

Countries that signed the declaration include: Israel, Germany, the United States, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Honduras, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Australia, the United Kingdom, Greece, Belgium, Cyprus, Ukraine, Cameroon, Japan, Slovenia, Argentina, Armenia, Croatia, Finland, New Zealand, Guatemala, Colombia, Chile, Poland, Moldova, the Netherlands, Latvia, Romania, Seychelles, Lithuania, Estonia, Uruguay, Norway and Sweden.

Also at the UNHRC special session on Monday, the World Jewish Congress and the Muslim World League issued a joint a statement calling for the protection of human rights for all in what is the first joint declaration between Jewish and Muslim organizations at a UN body.

Global Media and Leaders Tacitly Accept Palestinian Authority-Backed Violence
Why are attacks carried out by Israeli radicals that are denounced by Jerusalem more worthy of attention from media outlets and diplomats than the non-stop campaign of violence perpetrated by Palestinians with backing from their leadership?

On September 28, on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, dozens of Israelis and Palestinians clashed in the West Bank’s South Hebron Hills. According to eyewitnesses, the violence started in the wake of reports that Israelis had stabbed sheep owned by a Palestinian herder in al-Mufaqara. Israeli extremists went on to injure at least 12 Palestinians, including a three-year-old boy apparently hit by rocks thrown inside his house.

Indeed, videos published by Palestinian media (see here and here) show masked Israelis attacking al-Mufaqara’s residents and damaging their property. In addition, Hebrew media published photos of Arab stone-throwers. According to reports, three Israeli civilians, as well as an IDF soldier, were lightly wounded in the confrontation.

In an attempt to de-escalate the situation, Israeli troops declared al-Mufaqara a closed zone. Defying the military order, several Israelis nevertheless tried to reach the town. Footage from a helmet camera, released on Thursday by Israel’s public broadcaster, documented how at least one Israeli civilian — seemingly under the influence of alcohol — assaulted soldiers enforcing the closure.

Police officers arrested two agitators, a Jew and a Palestinian, on the spot. Five more Jewish suspects — three adults and two minors — were apprehended in the days that followed.

As was the case when some Israelis shouted racist slogans at a Jerusalem march, officials immediately condemned the unacceptable “violent rampage of lawbreakers” perpetrated in the Palestinian village. In a statement, Hebron Hills Council head Yochai Damari said, “Our way is not violence. Not against soldiers and not against Arabs.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid went a step further, condemning the incident as “terror.”
MEMRI: Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh: If The Two-State Solution Falls Apart We Will Return To The Starting Point Of 1948 And 'The Palestinian People, From The River To The Sea, Will Have A Single Leadership'; 'Israel Is Bound To Die Demographically'
On September 30, 2021, the London-based Qatari Al-Quds Al-Arabi daily reported on a meeting that took place that day between Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh and Israeli Arab journalists, including a correspondent for Al-Quds Al-Arabi. According to the report, Shtayyeh asked that the meeting, which took place in his office, not be recorded. In the meeting, he said that Israel is not interested in a solution to the Palestinian issue – neither the two-state solution nor the one-state solution – and persists in its efforts to fragment the Palestinian people and ignore its cause. Given this reality, he said, there will be no choice but to go back to the starting point of the Palestinian issue in 1948, and in that situation the Palestinian people "from the river to the sea" will have a single united leadership. He also stated that Israel is bound to "die demographically since the Jewish human reservoir in the world has dwindled." He added that, in a meeting one month ago in Ramallah between PA President Mahmoud 'Abbas and Israeli Foreign Minister Benny Gantz, the former said that if the two-state solution was not implemented, the solution would be to return to the 1947 partition resolution. Ganz, said Shtayyeh, was astonished by the Palestinian president's words.

According to the report, Shtayyeh also expressed disappointment in the current U.S. administration which, he said, has promised to reopen the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem and the PLO offices in Washington, and to renew funding to organizations aiding the Palestinians, but in practice has done almost nothing to fulfill these promises.

It should be noted that, in his speech at the September 24, 2021 UN General Assembly, 'Abbas gave Israel an ultimatum, saying it has one year to withdraw to the 1967 borders and reach a permanent solution with the Palestinians, otherwise the Palestinians will revoke their recognition of Israel. He stressed that, in such a situation, various options will be available, including "returning to a solution based on the partition plan of resolution 181 (II), adopted in 1947, which gives the State of Palestine 44% of the land," and appealing to the International Court of Justice "on the issue of the legality of the occupation of the land of the Palestinian state."[1]

Israeli Tycoon Says Its Back to ‘Business as Usual’ After Cyprus Assassination Scare
Israeli-Cypriot billionaire Teddy Sagi, who escaped an assassination attempt in Cyprus last week, is downplaying the incident, telling Channel 12 News on Monday that while he “thanks all relevant officials,” the dramatic investigation in Nicosia “has nothing to do” with him.

Cypriot authorities announced last Tuesday that they had arrested an Azeri national on suspicion that he had been hired to target Israelis in Cyprus. The suspect, 38, was arrested in Engomi, in western Nicosia, following an undercover investigation. At the time of his arrest, he was found in possession of a handgun with a silencer and is said to have been casing the office building where Sagi’s operations are headquartered on the island.

He also reportedly had a target list of at least five individuals, including Sagi.

Speaking with Channel 12, the Israeli tycoon said that while media reports made the events sound “very scary,” he was “never warned to leave” the eastern Mediterranean island nation, but rather decided to depart Cyprus in accordance with his regular business schedule.

Sagi, 49, is the founder of gambling software company Playtech and owns Camden Market in London. He splits his time between the United Kingdom, Cyprus and Israel. According to Forbes, he is worth $5.6 billion, making him the fourth richest person in Israel.

“It’s been a fascinating 24 hours,” he said. “At the end of the day, the truth has come out, for which I’m very glad. I continue about my business as usual.”

When early reports of the assassination plot emerged, Cypriot media pointed the finger at Iran, saying the plot may have been part of a plan to target high-profile Israelis as part of the shadow war being waged between the Jewish state and the Islamic republic.
Is the Ron Arad announcement tied to Iran's hitman in Cyprus? - analysis
In fact, the attack was not specifically targeting Sagi, Sidi said; rather, the Iranian-hired hit man arrested in Cyprus was trying to attack Israeli businessmen, generally.

When Sidi sent out his message, it seemed unusual, but it was easily chalked up to the shadow war between Israel and Iran, as well as the importance in highlighting to the world that Iran is a bad actor seeking to annihilate Israel.

Various outlets reported that the attempted murder of Sagi and others was an Iranian revenge mission; some tied it to the Mossad killing Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the leader of Iran’s nuclear program, late last year.

But new details emerging about the Arad-related operation could mean that the two matters are related.

The Mossad kidnapped an Iranian general based in Syria and took him to an African state and interrogated him, before letting him go, London-based Arabic newspaper Rai al-Youm reported the following day. Iran reportedly found out that the Mossad was responsible for the capture.

The Iranian operation in Cyprus was retaliation for the kidnapping of the general, Rai al-Youm speculated.

Although Iran has never needed a reason to attack Israelis, it is a distinct possibility that the kidnapping was the impetus.

Bennett and his office have been reticent to reveal more about the operation to garner details about Arad, other than to insist it was not a failure, though defense sources say no information was actually found.

The mysterious announcement could have been a way to get ahead of the news cycle of details of the Mossad operation that could have been revealed by local or foreign press following the trail of the attempt to kill Sagi.
Mossad kidnapped an Iranian general to obtain info on Ron Arad – report
A recent Mossad operation that aimed to discover information about the whereabouts of missing Israeli airman Ron Arad saw agents kidnap an Iranian general for interrogation, according to an Arabic-language report.

Mossad agents took the man from Syria to an unnamed African country, interrogated him there, and eventually released him, the London-based Rai al-Youm online newspaper reported on Monday.

The report, which was prominently cited in Hebrew media Tuesday amid considerable confusion and contradictory reports regarding the recent Mossad operation, provided no further details on the alleged abduction.

Speaking at the opening of the winter Knesset session on Monday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett revealed that Mossad agents recently went on a mission to uncover the whereabouts of Arad, an Israeli Air Force navigator who was captured in 1986 and was last heard from in 1988.

Initial accounts in several Hebrew media outlets late Monday portrayed the operation as entirely unsuccessful, and accused Bennett of revealing its existence for political reasons. Channel 12 news cited Mossad chief David Barnea as calling the operation courageous, daring and complex but nonetheless a “failure” in an internal meeting.

But on Tuesday, the same TV channel reported that Barnea actually asked for Bennett to reveal the operation and that “the praise and recognition for the Mossad sacrificing to return Arad and other captives and MIAs was important for members of the organization along with the praise for soldiers.” The network also said that Barnea sent a letter to the organization’s staff portraying the operation as a major success.
Ron Arad operation: Mossad extracted DNA from body in Lebanon - report
The Mossad reportedly carried out an operation to extract DNA from a body buried in Nabi Sheet village in Lebanon in September, according to a report by Al-Arabiya.

DNA was reportedly taken from a body buried in Lebanon to examine the possibility that the body may be Ron Arad.

A second concurrent operation, in Syria, involved the kidnapping and interrogation of a retired Iranian general to glean what information he may have regarding the whereabouts of the long-missing soldier. He was later released.

Additionally, there was an indication that Iran may have tried to respond to this development by trying to assassinate an Israeli businessman in Cyprus.
PMW: European-funded foundation trains Palestinian teachers using text on child-murderer as example
The European-funded A.M. Qattan Foundation recently completed a training course for Palestinian teachers in the Hebron area “in partnership with the supervisory unit of the North Hebron Directorate of Education” - i.e., a branch of the PA Ministry of Education. The foundation, which according to its website is an “independent, not-for-profit developmental organization” based in the UK with a branch in the PA, reported that the “learning experience” for 50 English and Arabic teachers was “applied to one of the 5th grade lessons titled ‘Dalal Mughrabi’.” [Website of the A.M. Qattan Foundation]

Terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi led the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history in which terrorists killed 37 civilians, among them these 12 children:​

The instructors from the foundation saw no problem choosing educational material for young children that glorifies the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history and honors the murderer who led it.

The material should certainly bother the foundation’s many European donors.

The A.M. Qattan Foundation lists among its “co-funding partners” the EU, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, UNICEF, and UNRWA. [Website of the A.M. Qattan Foundation, accessed Aug. 30, 2021]

The A.M. Qattan Foundation did not elaborate further on what educational material was used other than stating that it was “one of the 5th grade lessons titled ‘Dalal Mughrabi’.”

However, since the North Hebron Directorate of Education - which is a branch of the PA Ministry of Education - was a partner in the training course, they probably used the PA’s 5th Grade Arabic Language schoolbook. Palestinian Media Watch translated the chapter on terrorist Dalal Mughrabi of the book published in 2017, which glorifies the murderer as follows:
“Dalal rode the sea while leading her group of self-sacrificing fighters… . Dalal and her group snuck ashore. Dalal took a handful of the soil of her bleeding homeland (i.e., Israel's coast), and passionately inhaled its scent… ‘We are a people who demands its right to its homeland, which you have stolen.' Then she took out a flag of Palestine from her bag, kissed it, and hung it inside the bus… Dalal and eight of her heroic squad members ascended to Heaven as Martyrs… Dalal… watered the soil of Palestine with her pure blood, and brought to bloom a history full of unrelenting revolution."

[PA 5th Grade Arabic Language Schoolbook, Part B, 2017]

5 kids on PA TV children’s show praise mass-murderer

PreOccupiedTerritory: US, Europe Hoping For Peaceful Transfer Of Political Repression After Abbas Dies (satire)
Supporters of the current Palestinian Authority president and his ruling faction remain wary of the instability that threatens to occur upon the passing of that already-frail leader, and aim to guarantee a smooth transition to a successor despot who will also suppress dissent, imprison political rivals, intimidate journalists into silence, beat protesters, and both glorify and incite violence against Jews.

Mahmoud Abbas, who will turn 86 next month, has yet to name a successor or initiate any processes through which Palestinians may choose one. American and European diplomats sounded a tone of caution on the matter in numerous conversations over the last several months, with emphasis on the question of who will guarantee the continued abuse of power, corruption, cronyism, lifetime payments to terrorists, official antisemitism, and utter disregard for the notion of putting people above politics once Abbas dies, is incapacitated, or steps down.

“Much of American foreign policy over the last decades has relied on strongmen to impose decisions on the populace in the various non-democratic nations,” explained US Assistant Secretary of State for Near-Eastern Affairs Pupp Etrejeem. “It’s much easier to deal with just one guy – let’s face it; it’s always a guy – and his interests than it is to try to win over enough of a population to get some democracy behind us. Just look how hard it is to convince our own countrymen we’re not bollixing everything up! So naturally, we favor despots. Abbas is the go-to guy for the Palestinians, just as Arafat was before him. If he doesn’t find a way soon to designate his replacement, the peaceful transfer of dictatorship will be in peril.”
Biden Aides to Tell Israelis US Will Pursue ‘Other Avenues’ if Iran Diplomacy Fails
Top US officials will tell their Israeli counterparts on Tuesday that the Biden administration remains committed to diplomacy with Iran, but if necessary would be prepared to pursue “other avenues” to ensure Tehran does not acquire a nuclear weapon, a senior US official said.

A visit to Washington by Israel’s national security adviser, Eyal Hulata, will allow the two allies to share intelligence and develop a “baseline assessment” of how far Tehran’s nuclear program has advanced, the official said.

Under a 2015 deal, Iran curbed its uranium enrichment program, a possible pathway to nuclear arms, in return for the lifting of economic sanctions. Then-US President Donald Trump quit the deal in 2018 and the Israeli government opposes US efforts to revive it.

In broad terms, US experts believe the time it would take Iran to achieve nuclear “breakout” — enough enriched uranium to build a nuclear bomb — has “gone from about 12 months down to a period of about a few months” since Trump pulled out of the pact, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Obviously that is quite alarming,” the official told reporters ahead of Hulata’s talks with US national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

Iran has consistently denied it is developing nuclear weapons.

Echoing President Joe Biden’s comments in a White House meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in August, the official said: “We of course remain committed to a diplomatic path.”

“But obviously if that doesn’t work there are other avenues to pursue, and we are fully committed to ensuring that Iran never develops a nuclear weapon.”
Iran urges UN watchdog to condemn nuclear site ‘sabotage’ it blames on Israel
Iran on Tuesday urged the UN atomic agency to clearly condemn a “sabotage” attack on a nuclear facility west of Tehran that it has accused Israel of carrying out.

Tehran said on June 23 that it had thwarted the attack on the building belonging to its own nuclear agency near Karaj, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the capital.

At the time, it did not identify the nature of the attack, with state television saying only that “saboteurs failed to carry out their plan.”

On Sunday, Iran’s atomic agency chief Mohammad Eslami said the UN watchdog and Western powers had failed to condemn the “terrorist act” that “severely damaged” the site.

“The latest act of sabotage by the occupation regime in Jerusalem against our country’s nuclear program was the terrorist attack on the TESA complex in Karaj,” the official IRNA news agency said on Tuesday.

It repeated Eslami’s accusation that the site was targeted by Israel, adding that the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency “must therefore clarify its position on this incident.”

Seth Frantzman: Is Iran threatening Azerbaijan over Israel ties?
Iran’s media has begun to up the rhetoric against Azerbaijan, with a headline claiming that Baku has “denied the presence of the Zionist regime near the border with Iran,” a claim that appears to contrast with its insinuation that Israel’s close relationship with Azerbaijan is a threat to Tehran.

The larger context is that Iran has carried out military maneuvers near the border with Azerbaijan and Armenia and hosted an Armenian delegation, signaling its commitment to a robust policy that wants the status quo maintained on the border.

What’s really going on here? A year ago, Azerbaijan launched a war against Armenian forces in the disputed area of Nagorno-Karabakh. In Baku’s view, backed by Turkey, the Armenians had for too long dominated disputed areas that they captured in the 1990s. In Armenian’s view, these were historical lands where Armenians lived and which the Soviet Union had arbitrarily made an autonomous part of the Azeri Soviet republic in the 20th century.

Regardless of who is correct in this dispute, it shares similarities to many others such as in Northern Cyprus, the West Bank and other places. What matters is that a rising and increasingly powerful Azerbaijan is asserting itself militarily.

Israel and Iran’s northern neighbor enjoy close relations and Baku has acquired a large number of Israeli-made drones in recent decades, becoming a pioneering drone power. Azerbaijan frequently shows off Israeli-made drones and boasts of their effectiveness. Recent videos posted online even appeared to show IAI Harop drones in launch formation on the back of trucks being toured by Azeri leader Ilham Aliyev, according to videos on Twitter.


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