Tuesday, October 26, 2021

From Ian:

UN Watch: Ahead of Donor Conference, UNRWA Should Identify Teachers Suspended for Antisemitism
Ahead of a major international UNRWA donors conference in November that will seek $800 million from mostly Western states, a watchdog group is calling on the UN agency that runs schools for Palestinians to identify which teachers and other employees were recently suspended during internal investigations into allegations of widespread incitement to antisemitism and terrorism by more than 100 UNRWA staffers.

UNRWA has reportedly suspended at least six of its employees after a report by United Nations Watch, a Geneva-based non-governmental organization, exposed over 100 UNRWA educators and other employees who have publicly propagated violence and antisemitism on social media, in breach of the agency’s proclaimed policy of “zero tolerance” for incitement.

The suspension of UNRWA employees only came to light after the outraged reaction of Palestinians in Gaza was reported in Arabic-language media, including Al Jazeera and The New Arab, as a former UNRWA staffer—who was fired for his own ties to the Hamas terrorist organization—accused the agency of caving into “Zionist pressure” for taking measures against the employees.

Ahead of the November conference, and in the absence of any official statement from UNRWA, UN Watch has today sent a letter (full text below) to UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini asking him to reveal which of the 113 named employees were reportedly suspended.

The letter also expressed concerns over a series of recent controversial statements by Lazzarini that characterized legitimate oversight and accountability of his agency as “politically-driven attacks.”
Jonathan S. Tobin: The 'human rights' scam at the heart of the NGO controversy
The problem doesn't stop with these NGOs that help promote the work of Palestinian groups. The heart of the international human-rights scam that is now just a thinly disguised cover for Jew-hatred is the United Nations and its Human Rights Council, which lends a facade of legitimacy to these efforts to libel the Jewish state.

Sadly, the Biden administration reversed the decision of its predecessor and rejoined the Human Rights Council this year. While it says it will fight to reform it, such an attempt to do so was proved to be a fool's errand a long time ago. Instead, it just shows how the foreign-policy establishment, which is back in charge in Washington, is hopelessly compromised by its faith in diplomacy and multilateral engagement as an end in itself. In doing so, it also helps promote the credibility of a world body that became a safe place for antisemitism decades ago and shows no signs of changing.

Part of this is also linked to the growing popularity among liberal American elites of Intersectionality and critical race theory. Those toxic ideas falsely label Israel to be a function of "white privilege" and colonialism rather than an expression of the self-determination of the Jewish people, and they lie at the heart of the campaign against Israel that has been gaining traction in the international community since the 2001 Durban "anti-racism" conference that turned into a hate fest of antisemitism.

The UNHRC is at the heart of a web of groups acting in concert to attack Israel in this fashion of which HRW and Amnesty are major players. The six PFLP-associated Palestinian NGOs are essential for providing fodder for their smears.

It's long past time for those who care about human rights to reject the scam being perpetrated on a gullible world by those who parade under that banner. It can start with putting Palestinian terror NGOs out of business. But it will also require all decent people to treat HRW and Amnesty as the frauds that they truly are as opposed to giving lip service to the notion that they are human-rights groups. It will also require the United States and the rest of the West to thoroughly reject the organization at the top of this fraudulent scheme: the United Nations. Until that happens, Jewish groups, Israel and the United States will be acquiescing to the most overt expression of antisemitism on the globe rather than opposing it.
Israeli Foreign Ministry Argues Banned Palestinian Groups Are ‘Main Source’ of PFLP Funds
Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Monday provided further details on why it labelled six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist groups and charged them with having links to one of the most extreme and violent factions of the PLO.

The move comes after Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Friday signed an executive order to take action against six Palestinian advocacy organizations — Addameer, Al Haq, Bisan Center, Defense of Children International-Palestine, Samidoun and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) — who are alleged to have connections to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

“The PFLP, designated as a terrorist group by the US and the EU, operates an organizational and military apparatus, including a network of civilian institutions whose goal is to absorb donations from abroad and fund the group’s critical needs on the ground,“ Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated. “PFLP institutions operate under the guise of humanitarian aid, receiving funding primarily from Europe. These institutions serve as the main source of funds for the financing of the PFLP’s activities at all levels.“

The terror designation of the NGOs has sparked some international backlash against Israel, as well as domestic criticism from within the governing coalition, while the US said Friday it had been taken by surprise by the decision. In response, Israel plans to send envoys from the Shin Bet security agency and a Foreign Ministry representative to Washington in coming days, to present further intelligence and evidence linking the Palestinian human rights groups to the PFLP.

A terrorist organization by any other name
According to Steinberg, the paleo-Marxist, Ramallah-based PFLP–in competition with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction that doesn’t dare sideline it–was able to set up an autonomous network of self-legitimizng non-governmental organizations. Documents and photos prove, says Steinberg, that visiting diplomats from various countries have actually met with leaders of the PFLP, which in the last 10 years, has been given some 200 million euros ($232 million).

The administrative director of the UAWC, along with its accountant, was arrested and indicted by an Israeli military court for bomb attacks terrorist recruitment.

Hashem Abu Maria, the leader of Defense for Children International, died in a firefight with Israeli forces in 2014. The organization’s president was editor of the PFLP magazine. This NGO is funded directly by Italy.

The leaders of the UAWC are almost all members of the central committee and board of the PFLP. In addition, the vice president of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, already on the list of terrorist organizations, headed the military wing of the PFLP in Gaza and was sentenced to life in prison.

Al-Haq director Shawan Jabarin was accused of recruiting and organizing the training of PFLP members. Italy also directly finances Al-Haq.

The list is long, and speaks volumes.

The cloaking of terrorist groups in human-rights garb is an established practice for those who want to destroy Israel, and the cynicism of international politics not only enables pretending not to understand this reality, but helps the system.

So, the law goes to dust; the victim becomes persecutor; and the terrorist who ignores every democratic principle becomes the key protagonist of the NGO era.

It is sad that there are Israeli politicians who are, or should be, aware of the terrorist nature of these organizations, yet prefer to show how much they idolize the cause of “human rights.”

It is even more tragic that the term “human rights” has become a trap, creating an absurd inversion of the very real distinction between perpetrators and victims. The ongoing dispute over Gantz’s declaration should make the entire world tremble.
Emily Schrader: Israel is not suppressing Palestinian civil society - opinion
The evidence previously released by the ministry detailed how Addameer, one of the six organizations, has board members, legal staff, a researcher, a financial officer, a co-founder and a director-general who are also PFLP terrorists, some of whom carried out recruitment and acts of terror during their time working at Addameer. Multiple Addameer employees or officials have also been convicted of murder for terror attacks they committed, such as former Addameer financial officer Sameer Arbid and Addameer board member Yacoub Odeh.

Arbid, who was implicated in a recent terror attack that killed a 17-year-old Israeli, was also employed by the Union Of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), another organization of the six, along with his coworker and PFLP operative Razak Praj. An employee of the Bisan Center for Research and Development, Ataraf Rimawi, was also implicated in the same terror attack.

In the case of Al-Haq, another NGO of the six newly-designated terror groups, its director, Shawan Jabarin, was convicted and served time in prison for terrorism recruitment for the PFLP. Jabarin also sits on the board of DCI-P, another of the six organizations, along with numerous other PFLP members and convicted PFLP terrorists.

The sixth organization, Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC), is already designated by USAID as the official women’s organization of the PFLP. Additionally, Fatah declares the NGO as an official affiliate.

This evidence was compelling enough at the time for the EU to express concern over the misuse of funding, with suspicions that money was being diverted to terrorist organizations (PFLP), as well as for terrorist activities. The EU issued a demand that Palestinians NGOs that receive funding must first attest that they will not support terrorist organizations. Instead of complying, incredibly, 130 Palestinian NGOs refused to renounce ties to terrorist groups. Over the past few years, some EU member states have even halted funding to these same NGOs over payments to the PFLP.
NGO Monitor: NGO Reactions to Six NGOs Being Declared “Terror Organizations”
On October 22, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) designated six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations. According to the MoD, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Al-Haq, Addameer, Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC), and Bisan were included on Israel’s list of terrorist organizations because they are operated by and for the benefit of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), designated as a terrorist organization by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel.

International, Israeli, and Palestinian NGOs reacted with swift condemnations of the decision, using inflammatory rhetoric including “totalitarian” and “apartheid.” Tellingly, none of the NGOs addressed the extensive evidence of NGO-PFLP links. Instead, they tried to frame the designations as “an attack on human rights defenders,” without explaining how an NGO tied to a terror group could be considered to be defending “human rights.”

NGO Reactions
Israeli NGOs
1. Joint statement by Adalah, Akevot, Association for Civil Rights in Israel, B’Tselem, Bimkom, Breaking the Silence, Combatants for Peace, Emek Shaveh, Gisha, Hamoked, Haqel, Ir Amim, Kerem Navot, Machsom Watch, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-I), Public Committee Against Torture (PCATI), Rabbis for Human Rights, Yesh Din

2. On October 25, the NGOs published a joint statement, “A draconian measure against human rights organizations.” The NGOs alleged that “The Minister of Defense’s designation of prominent Palestinian civil society organizations, among them our colleagues in the Palestinian human rights community, as terrorist organizations, is a draconian measure that criminalizes critical human rights work. Documentation, advocacy and legal aid are fundamental activities for the protection of human rights worldwide. Criminalizing such work is an act of cowardice, characteristic of repressive authoritarian regimes. Civil society and human rights defenders must be protected. We stand in solidarity with our Palestinian colleagues, and call on members of the Israeli government and the international community to oppose this decision unequivocally.”
NGO Monitor: Union of Agricultural Work Committees' Ties to the PFLP Terror Group
Union of Agricultural Work Committee (UAWC) defines itself as a “one of the largest agricultural development institutions in Palestine as it was established in 1986 by a group of agronomists.”

The group adds that “when established, UAWC depended on volunteers completely and formed agricultural committees in the West Bank and Gaza to set the priorities of farmers and help the Union in implementing its programs and community activities.” It is “registered as a non-governmental agricultural organization according to the Palestinian Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations Law No. 1 at the Palestinian Ministry of Interior.”

UAWC rhetoric includes accusations of “ethnic cleansing,” “collective punishment,” and “apartheid,” as well as supporting a Palestinian “right of return.” UAWC also promotes BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel.

UAWC is identified by Fatah as an official Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) “affiliate” and by a USAID-engaged audit as the “agricultural arm” of the PFLP. According to academic scholar Glenn E. Robinson, UAWC was founded in 1986 by “agronomists loosely affiliated with the PFLP.” On October 22, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Defense declared UAWC a “terror organization” because it is part of “a network of organizations” that operates “on behalf of the ‘Popular Front’.”

It is important to note that UAWC has offices in both the West Bank and Gaza. The two parts of the organization participate in annual meetings together, as noted in UAWC’s Facebook photo album of its 2018 meeting that shows both branches in attendance (the Gaza branch via Skype). UAWC’s West Bank and Gaza branches also share an organizational structure (see Appendix I).
Foreign Ministry baffled as US denies ‘heads-up’ on Palestinian NGO designations
The Foreign Ministry continued to insist it informed the US prior to the designation of six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations last week after US State Department Spokesman Ned Price said otherwise. Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General for Strategic Affairs Joshua Zarka spoke with an official in the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism ahead of the move. The Israeli Foreign Ministry would not name the person, but according to the State Department’s website, the senior official in that bureau is Acting Coordinator for Counterterrorism John T. Godfrey. “I certainly updated the US about our intentions,” Zarka told Army Radio on Monday. “Maybe they think the update should have been more in-depth. That’s legitimate.” Zarka said the Foreign Ministry wants “to repair this so such a case does not happen again.” “Relations with the Americans are important, and we don’t want them to feel like they are not our partners,” he said. Price said the evening before, during a daily press briefing, “We are currently engaging our Israeli partners for more information regarding the basis for these designations.” “It is, to the best of our knowledge, accurate that we did not receive a specific heads-up about any forthcoming designations,” he said, days after multiple Israeli government sources said the opposite. A senior Foreign Ministry source said he was “baffled” by Price’s remarks because Zarka did inform the State Department of the plans in advance. The source speculated that Zarka’s interlocutor might not have understood the gravity of the decision and did not pass on the information.
Sen. Cruz Slams Biden-Harris for ‘Reflexive Antipathy’ Toward Israel After State Dept. Criticism of Anti-Terrorism Action
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after Biden-Harris officials slammed Israel for designating six groups that served as fronts for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in accordance with Israel’s 2016 Anti-Terrorism Law:

“This unwarranted and false criticism yet again highlights the reflexive antipathy that President Biden’s State Department and Biden-Harris officials have for our Israeli allies. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is an Iran-backed terrorist organization that uses non-governmental organizations like these six groups to fundraise and launder money for its murderous activities. When an American ally blacklists groups facilitating terrorism against its citizens, the only appropriate response from American diplomats should be congratulations and support. It’s unacceptable but unfortunately completely believable that the Biden-Harris administration would use this incident as a pretext for criticizing Israel.”

EU official meets with groups designated by Israel as terrorist entities
Officials from the Office of the European Union Representative met Tuesday with members of the six Palestinian groups that Israel had designated as terrorist organizations.

The move was announced last week by Defense Minister Benny Gantz following an investigation that, according to Israeli officials, proves that the groups, which are ostensibly designed to promote human rights or operate as civil society organizations, are in fact linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The PFLP is a terrorist group designated, among others, by Israel, the United States, and the EU.

Posting through its special "EU and Palestinians" Twitter handle after the meeting, the EU representative's office said it took the matter seriously and asked Israel for an explanation as to why it decided to outlaw the groups.

It also tweeted that "past allegations of the misuse of EU funds by certain Palestinian CSO [civil society organizations] partners have not been substantiated."

The 27-member bloc further stressed it will continue "to stand by international law" and support the groups in "promoting human rights and democratic values."

GOP bill seeks to stop Jerusalem consulate for Palestinians
US Senator Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, along with 33 other Republican senators, introduced a bill on Tuesday meant to block the Biden administration from opening a consulate serving Palestinians in Jerusalem.

The Upholding the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law Act of 2021 is meant to ensure the full implementation of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act and stop what Hagerty views as the Biden administration’s attempted subversion of that law.

US President Joe Biden has said he will not reverse former president Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

However, Biden promised in his election campaign that he would reopen the consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem, which was merged into the US Embassy to Israel in 2018, when Trump implemented the 1995 law and moved the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other US officials have said they will reopen the consulate, which was historically in a building on Agron Street in downtown Jerusalem.

The US would need Israel’s approval to open a consulate, and the current Israeli government opposes the move.

MEMRI: Emirati Analyst: Strategic Developments, Chiefly The Iranian Threat, Pushed Arabs To Normalize With Israel; More Arab States Are Likely To Follow Suit
In an October 6, 2021 article on the liberal Arab news website Elpah.com, Emirati researcher and political analyst Dr. Salem Al-Ketbi wrote that the Palestinian cause is still a prominent concern for the Arab world, but, due to strategic changes in the recent years, especially the Iranian threat, new approaches have emerged in the region to promoting this cause. The Abraham Accords for normalization with Israel, led by the UAE, which contain potential benefits for the Palestinian cause, for the Arab countries and peoples and for the Israeli people, are the best living example of this, he said. Al-Ketbi expressed optimism that more Arab countries will join these agreements, given Israel's determination to make peace with the Arabs, as well as the positive shift in the Arab position on normalization with Israel. However, he stressed that the ball is in Israel's court, and urged it to resist escalation vis-à-vis the Palestinians and to persuade the Arab world to take the Abraham Accords to the next level by seeking to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians once and for all.

The following are translated excerpts from his article:[1]
"A decade ago, all the Arab states were in agreement that the Palestinian issue was the main cause of instability in the region. This is still true, for course, because no just and final solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been achieved. But the threats to the security and stability of the region are now numerous and diverse, mainly the threat posed by the terror organizations and by the spread of militias supported by [various] regional countries, [countries] which plan to expand their control at the expense of Arab national security. Iran is the chief of these countries that support chaos and conflict in [other] states, such as Yemen and Lebanon, not to mention its intervention in other places, like Syria and Iraq. Until a decade ago, the Arab nation states did not face an existential threat, like the threat that has faced them since chaos and upheavals swept many of them in 2011 [i.e., with the advent of the Arab Spring]. Therefore, in the period [since 2011], their top priority has been the fear and concern over the indirect effects of the collapse of Arab nation states. [hence,] defending the states and their unity gained a significant place on [the agenda of] the Arab capitals…

"The above does not mean that there is waning interest in the Palestinian cause, which is still felt to be the most central cause of the Arab regimes and peoples… But this prominence does not rule out the emergence of alternative approaches to dealing with this cause, [involving] new tools and perspectives, instead of the ones that dominated Arab-Israeli relations for many decades.
FDD: The U.S. Rejoins the UN’s Human Rights Violators Club
If the United Nations Human Rights Council were a figment of George Orwell’s imagination, you’d probably say: “Okay, very entertaining but, even accounting for dramatic license, this is a bit over the top.”

The UNHRC is a club for many of the world’s worst and most chronic violators of human rights (read FDD’s assessment here). Among the privileges of membership: virtual immunity to criticism.

The U.S., by contrast, is fair game for criticism. And Israel has long been the council’s whipping boy.

President Trump and his ambassador the UN, Nikki Haley, withdrew from the UNHRC three years ago. President Biden has reversed that policy. The U.S. has just won election to that body again – with the Biden administration promising that re-engagement will lead to reform.

Joining host Cliff May to discuss the UN and human rights are Rich Goldberg, senior advisor to FDD, who has held senior positions in the House, Senate, and National Security Council; Orde Kittrie, a senior fellow at FDD and a tenured professor of law at Arizona State University; and Morgan Viña, who served as Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor to U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, and is now Vice President for Government Affairs at JINSA, the Jewish Institute for National Security of America.
Israel’s Shadow War Delayed Iran’s Takeover of Syria — But Only for Now
The Syrians have been happy to fire surface-to-air missile systems, such as the Russian-made SA-5, at areas in the sky where they believed an Israeli jet might have been recently, in a haphazard manner. Russia has never fired its own air defense capabilities at Israel, using them instead to protect its own assets on the ground.

In response to Israeli counter-measures, Iran merely adapts the ways in which it seeks to take over Syria.

The end result so far is decidedly mixed. On the one hand, the threat from Syria is significantly smaller than it could have been. Still, Syria remains the focal point of the Iranian-Shiite axis’s activities.

Another idea reportedly promoted by King Abdullah of Jordan and President Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt, is to try to drive a wedge between the Assad regime and its Iranian backer. A new initiative to supply Egyptian natural gas to Lebanon, which is in an economic crisis and enduring widespread blackouts, via a pipeline that runs through Syria, aligns with this logic.

However, the idea that the Assad regime will be strong enough to push back on Iran’s activities has so far failed to stand up to the test of reality

The Iranians have complained bitterly about Assad granting lucrative reconstruction contracts to Russia at the expense of Iran, and also about the failure to significantly expand Iranian-Syrian trade. This suggests that Damascus can make some decisions on its own — but not many. The Syrian regime remains weak, only partially in control of Syrian territory. It is unable to apply any meaningful sovereignty without its two main backers, Iran and Russia.

The Assad regime is simply too weak, intertwined with Iran, and dependent on it to be separated from the Iranian mother ship — even if it wanted to. For now, the shadow war is set to continue.
Iran sending advanced anti-aircraft batteries to challenge Israel
Iran has begun deploying advanced anti-aircraft missile batteries to the region, including in Syria where Israeli jets routinely carry out airstrikes, in an attempt to challenge Israel Air Force jets.

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria in an attempt to thwart Iranian entrenchment and the smuggling of advanced weapons to Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon, according to foreign reports, and in countries like Iraq and even further as part of its war-between-wars campaign against Iran.

Over the past year, while Israeli strikes have intensified in Syria, the response time by Syrian air-defense batteries has become quicker. This has lead to the IAF changing how it acts during such operations, including by having larger formation during operations so that more targets can be struck at once instead of having jets return to the same target.

In 2018, an F-16 crashed in northern Israel after it was struck by an S-200 missile fired by Syrian forces during an Israeli operation. Syrian missiles have also landed in Israel in recent years, including this year when shrapnel from one missile hit northern Tel Aviv, and when another errant interceptor missile landed close to the Dimona nuclear site in the Negev Desert.

Iran is a top priority for Israel’s military, and Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi has set aside an additional defense budget for war readiness and military exercises. The IAF has also resumed intensive training for scenarios in which Iran’s nuclear facilities are targeted.
Seth Frantzman: Could the Iran drone attack on US in Syria be message to Israel? - analysis
Iran conducted a complex and coordinated attack on US forces in Syria last week. It used up to five armed drones to strike at the Tanf garrison, a lonely US outpost in Syria near the Jordanian and Iraqi border.

The assessment by the US is that Iran was behind this attack. It is the latest of numerous drone attacks on American forces in the region this year. Iranian-backed groups in Iraq have used drones to target US forces at Erbil’s airport and other locations.

The attacks are also part of the rising Iranian drone threat across the region. This means the attack on Tanf is a message not just for the US, but also for Israel, Saudi Arabia and other countries facing Iran’s drones.

The Tanf attack was a “complex, coordinated and deliberate attack,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. But Washington didn’t go into more specifics, reports said.

US knowledge about the planning of the attack appears to be more than is being reported in the media. This is because reports say the US was “tipped off” to the attack and that around 200 troops were evacuated on a C-130 transport aircraft, Fox News reported.

It is not the first time the US had some knowledge that an attack was coming and prepared for it. In January 2020, after the US killed Iranian IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, it received hours of warning about an Iranian ballistic-missile attack on Al Asad air base in Iraq. Troops were sent to bunkers, and sensitive equipment was moved away.
MEMRI: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, At Rallies In NY And Canada, Calls For Intifada, Rejects Israel's Existence, Chants 'Millions Of Martyrs Are Marching To Jerusalem' – From The MEMRI Archives
Over the past few years, MEMRI TV has released clips featuring the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, which in February 2021 was declared terrorist by Israel as a part of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).[1] In September 2021, Discover froze donations to the organization; earlier, in January 2021, Mastercard, Visa, and American Express removed the option to give money to Samidoun through them,[2] and two and a half years previously, in June 2019, PayPal, Donorbox, and Plaid had shut down Samidoun's accounts on the platforms.[3]

Samidoun was founded by members of the PFLP in 2012. Representatives of the organization are active in Europe and North America, led by Khaled Barakat, who is part of the leadership of the PFLP abroad. Barakat is involved with establishing militant cells and motivating terrorist activity. The formal goal of Samidoun is to help get Palestinian prisoners released from Israeli prisons, but the organization is a front of the PFLP abroad, playing a leading role in its anti-Israel activity, fundraising, and recruitment. The PFLP has been a U.S. Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization since 1997.[4]

The following are MEMRI TV clips of a protest held in September 2021 by the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in Canada, and of statements by a representative of the organization at earlier rallies.

Ottawa, Canada Rally In Support Of Palestinian Prisoners: "We Don't Want Two States, Bring Us Back To '48; "Millions Of Martyrs Are Marching To Jerusalem" – October 3, 2021

At a protest organized by the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in Ottawa, Canada, on September 19, 2021, demonstrators chanted: "Millions of martyrs are marching to Jerusalem." A video of the protest was posted on the Chicakee DeeDee YouTube channel on September 20, 2021. Protesters chanted in English: "Bring us back to '48!" In Arabic, they chanted: "With our souls and our blood, we will redeem the Al-Aqsa Mosque!" The protest was held to show solidarity with Palestinian prisoners, and according to reports, posters of escaped Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) prisoners, who were at large during the time the rally took place, were raised during the demonstration.

PMW: PA Police and Fatah teach 50 girls to see terrorist murderer Mughrabi as role model
Although the summer is over, the PA and Fatah continue what they call “summer camp activities” for youth that present terrorists as role models. At the PA Security Forces’ university, Al-Istiqlal University, the PA’s police administration and Fatah’s Shabiba High School Movement are teaching 50 female teenagers to see terrorist Dalal Mughrabi who led the murder of 37 Israelis as a role model. The teens, who are from schools in the area, participate in a camp named after the murderer, who together with other terrorists hijacked a bus full of Israeli civilians in 1978, murdering 25 adults and 12 children:
“The [Fatah] Shabiba High School [Movement] Committees, the student wing of Fatah’s Salfit branch, continued the summer camp activities at Al-Istiqlal University (i.e., PA Security Forces university) in Jericho, in cooperation with the [PA] police administration. Fifty young women from the Salfit schools are participating in the [training] camp, which is named ‘Class of Martyr Dalal Mughrabi’.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 23, 2021]

The Salfit branch of Fatah’s Shabiba High School Movement Committees posted photos of the camp participants during training at which they wore military uniforms and stood in formation.
Posted text: “Some of the activities and drills of the Fatah Shabiba High School [Movement Committees] – Salfit Branch camp, which is currently being held at Al-Istiqlal University (i.e., PA Security Forces university) in Jericho for this the second consecutive day. It should be noted that 50 female students from the schools in Salfit are participating in this camp that bears the name ‘Class of Mart.yr Dalal Mughrabi’.

The Shabiba High School Committees – Salfit Branch”

(The “.” in the word “Martyr” is an apparent attempt to evade Facebook’s algorithm)

[Facebook page of the Fatah Shabiba High School Movement Committees – Salfit Branch, Oct. 22, 2021]

Iran’s Enrichment to High Levels at Natanz Plant Is Expanding, IAEA Says
Iran is expanding its enrichment of uranium beyond the highly enriched threshold of 20% purity at a Natanz plant where it is already enriching to 60%, but the new activity does not involve keeping the product, the UN nuclear watchdog said on Monday.

The move is likely to help Iran refine its knowledge of the enrichment process — something Western powers generally condemn because it is irreversible — but since this time the product is not being collected it will not immediately accelerate Iran’s production of uranium enriched to close to weapons-grade.

It has, however, prompted the International Atomic Energy Agency to “increase the frequency and intensity of its safeguards activities” at the above-ground Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP) at Natanz, the IAEA said in a report seen by Reuters. As of around 90% uranium is considered weapons-grade.

The IAEA said in a statement outlining the report that Iran informed it last week of changes to the setup of centrifuges, machines that enrich uranium, at the plant — Iran would feed uranium enriched to up to 20% into limited numbers of extra centrifuges without collecting the product.

“On 25 October 2021, the Agency verified that Iran began feeding (uranium hexafluoride gas) enriched up to 20% U-235 into a single IR-6 centrifuge in R&D line 2 at PFEP and that the resulting product and tails streams were being re-combined,” the IAEA report said, meaning that after separating the enriched product it was mixed with the centrifuge’s waste and not kept.

A look at Iranian run “charities” in the U.S.
As indicated in the beginning of this piece, we cannot simply assume all these ties are mere coincidences. Connecting the dots provide us circumstantial evidence that lead to important questions that deserve answering. Refusing to answer such questions will raise even more suspicions about the nature of those who wish to keep such issues in the shadows.

1) What is the relationship between Iranian run “charity” entities such as the ISCC, KCIS, and MAHAK, with Iran’s DC-based lobby groups NIAC, PAAIA, and others?

2) Why are these “charity” entities not practicing transparent policies? Where is all their money going to?

3) Is it a mere coincidence that officials of these “charities” have family members running in U.S. elections and reaching certain offices? Is it a mere coincidence that Iran’s lobby groups endorse these certain individuals as candidates for office?

4) Why do these “charities” and Iran’s lobby groups only establish ties with a certain circle of American politicians? If they truly seek the better good of the Iranian people and Iranian Americans, why not seek bipartisan support in Washington?
Iran Says Cyberattack Causes Widespread Disruption at Gas Stations
A cyberattack disrupted the sale of heavily subsidized gasoline in Iran on Tuesday, state media reported, causing long lines at gas stations across the country weeks before the anniversary of 2019 street protests that followed fuel price hikes.

Iran says it is on high alert for online assaults, which it has blamed in the past on the United States and Israel. The United States and other Western powers meanwhile have accused Iran of trying to disrupt and break into their networks.

“The disruption at the refueling system of gas stations… in the past few hours, was caused by a cyberattack,” state broadcaster IRIB said. “Technical experts are fixing the problem and soon the refueling process…will return to normal.”

The oil ministry said only sales with smart cards used for cheaper rationed gasoline were disrupted and clients could still buy fuel at higher rates, the ministry’s news agency SHANA reported.

The disruptions came ahead of the second anniversary of an increase in fuel prices in November 2019 which led to widespread street protests in which hundreds were reported to have been killed by security forces.
Tehran suffering worst drought in 50 years, says water supply official
Iran’s capital is suffering its worst drought in half a century, a water resources official said Tuesday, citing a 97 percent drop in monthly rainfall compared with last year.

Tehran has had 0.4 millimetres of rain since September 23, compared with 14.3 mm over the same period in 2020, said Mohammad Shahriari, deputy director of the company that supplies the region.

“Groundwater and surface water are at a critical state and there has not been a similar drought for the past 50 years,” he was quoted as saying by Iran’s ISNA news agency.

The five dams supplying water to the capital are at less than a third of their capacity, holding just 477 million cubic meters (under 17 billion cubic feet) of water instead of two billion cubic meters.

In September last year, the reserves held 729 million cubic metres of water.

Water consumption in the agricultural sector has gone up by 14% compared with last year, and by eight percent for industry.

Hydroelectricity generation has dropped by 40% percent in the past six months, according to Shahriari.


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