Friday, November 12, 2021

From Ian:

Sheikh Jarrah explains why Palestinians will remain stateless
Palestinians maintain that Arabs have the right to live in Israel but deny the right of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria. A Palestinian state that is Judenrein is far worse than an apartheid state. None of the two-staters or supporters of the Palestinians care, but Jews are supposed to support their ambition.

Palestinians complain about settlements, but did they really expect Israel to prevent Jews from moving to parts of their homeland while they plotted Israel's disappearance?

Consider that when they rejected autonomy in 1979, there were fewer than 10,000 Jews in the territories. When their terror attacks destroyed the 1993 Oslo Accords, there were about 150,000. There were 200,000 when Arafat rejected the Clinton Parameters in 2000 and about 275,000 when Abbas walked away from former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's offer in 2008.

In the years since then, the Jewish population has increased to 475,000, not counting the 200,000 Jews living in Jerusalem that the Palestinians also consider settlers.

Do the Palestinians, their supporters and two-staters seriously believe those Jews are going to disappear or that any Israeli government will force them out of their homes as part of an agreement that, like Oslo, won't be worth the paper it's written on?

The Arab states couldn't force the Jews into the sea, and now, they are more interested in peace with Israel than helping the Palestinians who they view as ungrateful and obdurate. Do the Palestinians think the EU or the UN can force Israel to capitulate to their demands? Do they listen to the insignificant members of "The Squad" repeating their propaganda and expect the United States to abandon its ally?

The Palestinians created fantasyland long before Walt Disney.

Two state advocates refuse to acknowledge not only this history but the present, which is not just reflected by the Sheikh Jarrah case but also by the broader Palestinian rejection of compromise. According to recent polls, for example, 66% support annulling the Oslo Accords, 54% oppose returning to negotiations, 54% believe a return to an armed intifada is the best way to achieve their goals and, by a 62-36% margin, oppose a two-state solution (and support has been steadily declining).

The Sheikh Jarrah residents' intransigence may lead to their homelessness just as their fellow Palestinians' obstinance has guaranteed their statelessness.
Palestinian officials outraged at slow pace of U.S. policy toward PA
Frustrated Palestinian officials say American promises to the Palestinian Authority (PA) are just a “mirage,” and that the United States’ policy toward Ramallah under President Joe Biden is no different than it was under his predecessor, Donald Trump, describing the contrast as a “cosmetic change.”

A Palestinian official close to PA President Mahmoud Abbas said that the 86-year leader is “outraged” at the slow pace of U.S. policy toward the Palestinians. Privately, officials in Ramallah have accused Washington of stalling and misleading them.

“Everything that they promised evaporated, they didn’t follow through on any of their pledges,” said the official.

Biden still refuses to meet with Abbas, according to sources in Ramallah, who said that Abbas canceled his trip to the United Nations General Assembly in September, because of efforts by the PA to secure a meeting for Abbas with Biden failed.

The two spoke once by phone last May, following the 11-day cross-border conflict between Israel and Gaza, and there is an official communication channel open between the two. Meanwhile, American officials are visiting Ramallah again.

Abbas became furious at the Biden administration in a meeting with Palestinian leadership last month, lashing out against U.S. officials, calling them “liars for not keeping the promises they made to us.”

Those promises include reopening the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington, providing financial support to the PA, and reopening the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem.

Recently, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, a member of the Central Committee of the Fatah movement headed by Abbas, said that “the current U.S. administration does not have any initiative for peace.”

The Palestinians were counting on renewed U.S. support, both politically and financially.

FDD: PFLP Boasts About its Ties to Iran
In a recent interview, Abu Jamal, a spokesperson for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, stated the group and the ‘Palestinian Resistance’ benefited from Iranian support in its war against Israel.

“We and the Islamic Republic fought the Zionist enemy in Lebanon and we also fought them in Gaza and the West Bank with the support of the Islamic Republic (sic),” Jamal stated.

Furthermore, Jamal lauded the relationship the group had with Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) by referring to them as ‘blood brothers’ and ‘comrades’ that shared a ‘common destiny’ in defeating Israel.

It’s unclear when Iran began supporting the group. However, in 2013, Iran reportedly resumed military and financial support to the group after leaders from both sides held several meetings in Tehran, Beirut and Damascus under the auspices of Hezbollah.

Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, PFLP, and Popular Resistance Committees have boasted about their relationship with Iran including military support they have received. After the May conflict in Gaza, the aforementioned groups praised Iran and Hezbollah for their military support during the eleven days of fighting. Additionally, smaller Palestinian factions have benefited from some Iranian aid including the now defunct Harakat al-Sabireen.

The close relationship between Iran and the PFLP was also on display when a PFLP delegation met with President Ibrahim Raisi after his swearing in ceremony in Aug. As expected, Raisi affirmed the Islamic Republic’s continued support for the ‘Palestinian Resistance’ and the ‘liberation of Palestine.’

Organizer of 2010 Gaza Flotilla Launches Congressional Campaign
An anti-Israel activist who helped organize the 2010 flotilla of ships to the Gaza Strip and was the lawyer for a Palestinian terrorist who killed two Jewish college students is running for Congress as a Democrat in Michigan.

Huwaida Arraf, who this week launched her campaign based on her record of "fighting injustice" on the world stage, is an activist lawyer who cofounded the International Solidarity Movement, which encourages anti-Israel activists to take "direct action" to force confrontations with Israeli forces. Arraf has used her status as an American citizen to protect Palestinian terrorists, including during the infamous 2010 flotilla to Gaza that was blocked by the Israeli military. The flotilla, which was paid for by a group with ties to terrorist organizations, was loaded up with weapons and military equipment for Hamas.

Arraf was also on the legal team for Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who planned a 1969 Jerusalem terrorist attack that killed two and injured several others. Odeh was released in a 1980 prisoner exchange and later moved to the United States, where she was granted citizenship after she lied on immigration forms. Documents show that Arraf joined Odeh's U.S. legal team in July 2016, as Odeh fought to maintain citizenship. Odeh was deported in 2017 by the Trump administration.

Arraf and the International Solidarity Movement did not respond to requests for comment.

Arraf's campaign comes as anti-Semites gain a foothold in the Democratic Party. Fellow Michigan activist Rashida Tlaib, first elected to Congress in 2018, has in just a few years become an influential member of the Democratic caucus.

The incumbent congresswoman whom Arraf is challenging told the Washington Free Beacon that the last thing the country needs is another "Squad" member.
NY’s Democratic Governor Blasts Anti-Israel Party Members
New York Governor Kathy Hochul slammed members of her party who oppose Israel during an address to the Jewish community on Wednesday.

“As a member of Congress a decade ago, I stood firm with Israel when they were under assault, and even more recently as a Democrat now I reject the individuals in my party who are making this an issue and questioning our commitment to Israel,” Hochul said during a virtual meeting of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.

It was Hochul’s first public address to the state’s Jewish community since taking office in August following the resignation of Andrew Cuomo amid allegations of sexual harassment.

Hochul is the first female governor of New York.

The political leader vowed to fight antisemitism and to bolster security at Jewish institutions.

“I’m conscious of what is going on, very much so, and working very hard to make sure the resources are there from the state government to fund security programs,” she said.

Hochul called for boosting economic ties with Israel, and said that she is planning to lead a trade mission to the Jewish state.
Sen. Schumer, Comptroller Stringer Give Commendations to Terror-Linked, Anti-Israel ICNA
United States Senator Charles Schumer and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer are two politicians who, time and time again, offer strong declarations of support for Israel. At pro-Israel events, they exploit their Jewish backgrounds to burn into their constituents’ minds that they are unflinching in their defense of the Jewish state. On occasion, their actions have mirrored their words, and they should be recognized for this. However, recently, the two have given signed commendations to ICNA, a group that conducts anti-Israel activities and is even linked to terrorism against Israel. This offense must not be ignored, and the praise must be rescinded.

“Chuck” Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader, is no stranger to the AIPAC Policy Conference held annually in Washington, DC; he has addressed many. At the 2010 Conference, he went as far as to tell the audience that his last name, Schumer – from the Hebrew term for “guardian” – was given to him, as if from G-d, Himself, to be a guardian over Israel. At the 2019 Conference, he declared, “I will always stand with Israel against those who would do her harm,” and he lamented that too many of the younger generation “don’t have the same understanding of the threats facing Israel…” Yet, it seems, the Senator lacks much of that understanding, as well.

Comptroller Stringer, who recently lost his bid to become Mayor, has also been outspoken in favor of Israel. He led a delegation to Israel in 2016, and he has denounced the BDS boycott movement as “anti-Semitic.” At a July 2014 pro-Israel rally, he emphatically told the audience, “[W]e need to back up Israel with our strong public opinion, making sure that there’s no excuse for you to be silent when it comes to protecting Israel against terrorists.” He further stated, “[I]f we can’t beat the terrorists and they win, shame on all of us.” Unfortunately, it appears that Comptroller Stringer does not feel the same about those associated with the terrorists.

ICNA or the Islamic Circle of North America is a radical Muslim group connected to South Asian terror. For over three decades, the group has harbored Ashrafuz Zaman Khan, a former death squad commander from the 1971 massacres that took place in what is now called Bangladesh, placing Khan in the highest of ICNA’s leadership positions. Moreover, as recently as December 2017, ICNA has promoted Lashkar e-Taiba (LeT), the group responsible for the November 2008 Mumbai, India terrorist attacks, whose targets included a Chabad House where the militants tortured and murdered six Jews.
Squad member Jamaal Bowman meets Israeli FM Yair Lapid
Jamaal Bowman, one of the six-member “Squad” considered the most Israel-critical faction in the US House of Representatives, is currently on a tour of the country with a liberal pro-Israel group and met with its foreign minister, Yair Lapid.

Israeli media reported that a number of progressive Democrats are on the tour organized by J Street, a group that advocates for a two-state solution and is harshly critical of Israel’s settlement activity, but which also promotes Israeli culture and values in its activities and opposes the boycott-Israel movement.

Among the others on the trip is Marc Pocan, a Wisconsin Democrat who, like Bowman, was outspoken in criticizing Israel during its Gaza conflict this summer. But Bowman’s inclusion is particularly noteworthy, given the New York Democrat’s alliance with a prominent group of legislators that includes some who openly back the boycott-Israel movement. The Squad comprised the most outspoken critics of Israel during the May conflict.

Bowman has stood apart from the Squad in not joining the calls to reduce or end defense assistance to Israel, and in being the only Squad member to vote for an extra $1b in funding to replenish the Iron Dome anti-missile system depleted during the Gaza conflict. Bowman’s district covers parts of Westchester and the Bronx, and has a substantial Jewish population. His predecessor, Eliot Engel, whom he ousted in a primary, was one of the most pro-Israel Democrats in Congress.

Disappointed ISIS Members Withdraw Request to Join ‘The Squad’ (satire)
Some of the most ardent fighters of what’s left of Islamic State recently faced disappointment after realizing that ‘The Squad’ was not at all what they thought it was. They have since withdrawn their request to join.

“For a moment, we thought that this so-called ‘Squad’ was pretty cool”, one disappointed IS member noted, while sitting somberly on the last remaining sand dune of the Caliphate. “We heard that there was this anti-American band of politicians, hell-bent on destroying the United States from the inside in a blaze of revolutionary glory. And we were led to believe that they even want a “jihad against the Jews“, so, naturally, we were excited. And when we read that former US President Trump once tweeted that they came from ‘totally broken and crime infested places‘ we thought ‘hey that sounds familiar!”

“However, after conducting thorough research on Wikipedia we realized that they were just a bunch of fringe Democrats, most of whom were born and raised in America. They keep going on about a green new deal and high tax for high earners. Some of them do appear to have some problems with Jews, but it doesn’t reach the ‘drive them into the sea’ levels of enthusiasm that we really need if we are going to sign on.”

“Also, no one explained they were all women. Gross!”
‘Apartheid state’? Israel stood against racist South Africa in ’61
Sixty years ago, Arieh Eshel, the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, unambiguously condemned apartheid — with far more determination than either the British or the Americans at the international assembly.

“It is because the Jewish people has been the classic victims of the doctrine of racial inequality that my delegation appeals with such fervour to South Africa to abandon its present policies,” he said.

Israel’s stand in the UN Special Political Committee, along with 92 other countries, caused ructions in the Jewish community in South Africa. Figures such as Louis Rabinowitz, the outgoing Chief Rabbi in Johannesburg, were delighted — Israel’s action put him even more at odds with many congregants who resented his searing and scathing sermons condemning apartheid. They simply wanted a normal life — working hard, committed to shul and community and stable families. The Board of Deputies of South African Jews remained publicly silent on the basis that the Jewish community was divided on the issue.

This crisis occurred a year after the Sharpeville massacre in which police killed 69 black protesters. The Rand Daily Mail journalist Benjamin Pogrund, who later worked with Rabbi Micky Rosen at the Yakar Centre in London, was at Sharpeville and bore testimony to “the nightmare scene of the field strewn with bodies”. His colleague, Humphrey Tyler, recalled: “There were hundreds of women (at the outset). Some of these people were laughing, probably thinking the police were firing blanks. But they were not.”

In the UK, the annual conference of Anglo-Jewish ministers condemned apartheid a few weeks later. For Rabinowitz in South Africa, this was not enough. He asked UK Chief Rabbi Brodie mischievously “for guidance”.

“Is one supposed to postpone one’s denunciation and an expression of fundamental Jewish ethics until it has become the declared policy of the government of one’s country?” he said.
Honest Reporting: Media Accuse Israel of Violating Jerusalem ‘Status Quo’, Turn Blind Eye to Foreign Gov’ts That Actually Do
PA, Hamas Attacks on Israeli Sovereignty
During May’s conflict, the media near-uniformly and incorrectly painted Hamas’ aggression as a response to Israeli police efforts to quell massive ‘protests’ by Palestinians in Jerusalem, including on the Temple Mount. In fact, Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh and the terror group’s military commander Muhammad Deif threatened to unleash havoc in Jerusalem if the Israeli government carried out the court-mandated evictions of Arab families squatting in Jewish-owned homes in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah/Shimon HaTzadik.

As reported by HonestReporting, Haniyeh instructed Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah to reject the Israeli Supreme Court’s compromise that would have resolved the festering dispute on the basis that Israel is “an illegal entity on our [Palestinian] land.”

Meanwhile, the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces — a coalition that includes Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Palestinian Islamic Jihad — likewise demanded that the court’s proposal be rejected.

Concurrently, the Palestinian Authority, which media constantly and inaccurately depict as a moderate entity, likely violated agreements between Ramallah and Jerusalem by engaging in political activities throughout Israel’s capital city. Left unreported in the widespread coverage of the Sheikh Jarrah story is that PA officials, who also pressured the Palestinian families to reject the compromise, are forbidden from “engaging in threats [and] intimidation” of Jerusalemites.

Moreover, domestic laws passed by the Israeli parliament require the PA to obtain permission to conduct activities of a “political or governmental nature” in sovereign Israel.

Biased Coverage Normalizes Palestinian Rejection of Coexistence
By not reporting on the undermining by external forces of stability in Jerusalem that aims to chip away at Israel’s sovereignty over the city, media outlets have erased crucial context from a complex issue.

Perhaps the most significant outcome of this journalistic malfeasance is that the PA’s rejectionism is given a pass. For while many insist that Jerusalem must be divided in the event of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, Ramallah marks no distinction between the eastern and western parts of the city.

In 2020, one of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ advisors, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, made clear in a television interview that “Jerusalem and Palestine” will be liberated and “will belong to us alone.”

The media’s refusal to report on any of this has effectively legitimized the assault on Israel’s sovereignty over its capital city.

The ongoing manipulation of the “status quo” by foreign actors, and the apparent cover-up by their media allies, has significantly harmed coexistence.
Caroline Glick: Ra'am's success is Israel's failure
Like many members of the nationalist camp, I initially fell for Abbas' charm offensive. I perceived Abbas' willingness to join a right-wing coalition government led by then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a domestic expression of the spirit of Arab conciliation with the Jewish state which stands at the heart of the Abraham Accords. The seeds of the accords were planted a decade ago with the rise of Muslim Brotherhood parties to power in Sunni Arab states. The Saudis and the Emiratis, who had financed and supported the Muslim Brotherhood for decades, suddenly viewed the jihadist movement as an existential threat.

In Israel, the so-called "Arab Spring" caused thousands of Arab Israelis to revisit their longstanding hostility towards Israel. Many came to view their Israeli citizenship as their most precious possession – the one thing protecting them from the terror and genocide in places like Syria. Thousands of Arab Israeli families began sending their children to Jewish Hebrew language schools. According to a 2013 University of Haifa survey, 90% of Arab Israeli youth supported participation in national service. For the first time in Israel's history, Arab Israelis – particularly Christians – began volunteering to serve in the IDF.

Halabi's statement drives home that this trend is being rapidly reversed. As the recent exposes of Ra'am all show, Ra'am's outreach is no domestic Israeli version of the Abraham Accords. It's a wolf-in-sheep's-clothing stunt. Like Hamas, Ra'am – and the Islamic Movement as a whole –is a Muslim Brotherhood organization. Whereas Hamas carries out a violent jihad against Israel, Abbas told an Arabic-language media outlet that he is leading a "civil jihad" against Israel.

Abbas and his colleagues don't want Arab Israelis to embrace their Israeli identity. They intend to use their membership in the coalition to gain control over the Israeli Arab sector and transform it into a large, unified, irredentist front dedicated to dismantling Israel's Jewish identity.

This brings us back to the four hours Abbas and Alihan spent with King Abdullah on Tuesday. Attempts by Bennett's office and initially, by Abbas himself to play down the meeting and present it as a nothingburger didn't survive the morning headlines in the Jordanian media, which celebrated the event as a major milestone. On Wednesday, Abbas dropped the pose of innocent lamb for a moment and told Army Radio that unlike the leaders of the government he ostensibly serves, he supports the Biden administration's plan to open a consulate for the Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Days before he abandoned the Likud-led right-wing bloc and formed the current government with Lapid and Abbas, Bennett admitted to me that he didn't know what to make of Abbas's willingness to join the governing coalition. But as he put it then, "It's worth looking into the option" of working with Ra'am.

Today, the results are in. Ra'am's nature and intentions are totally exposed. Bennett and his colleagues must draw the appropriate conclusions before it is too late.
The Caroline Glick Show Ep26 : China weaponizes space as the U.S. loses its bearings | Guest: Dr. Stephen Bryen
In Episode 26 of the Caroline Glick Mideast News Hour, Caroline is joined by Dr. Stephen Bryen a former Pentagon official who played a key role in the development of the Strategic Defense Initiative. Dr. Bryen discussed China’s recent testing of a hypersonic missile and its launch of a satellite killing satellite and their consequences for U.S. national security and the U.S.’s position as a global superpower and ally.

Although the discussion centered mainly on the implications of Chinese and Russian dominance of space weaponry for U.S. security and superpower status, they also had a detailed discussion on how the U.S. failure to keep up with its competitors/foes impacts its allies. They also discussed Israel’s central role in helping the U.S. to develop and deploy anti-missile systems. It was an eye-opening discussion. Watch, share and subscribe to our channels.

Report: Gantz Gifted the PA Half a Billion Shekels to Cover Shahids' Salaries
Israel thawed hundreds of millions of shekels that were supposed to be deducted, by law, from the taxes and customs collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority to avoid having this money go to jailed terrorists’ salaries, Palestinian Media Watch reported. The report is based on the analysis of an official report the PA sent to Western countries.

According to the report by Attorney Maurice Hirsch, last September, shortly after the August meeting in Ramallah between Defense Minister Benny Gantz and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Israel transferred NIS 500 million ($170 million) to the PA in addition to the taxes and customs Israel collects and transfers every month.

Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories argued that the NIS 500 million is a loan based on future collections, so, in a way, the half-billion shekels did not come “from the public coffers of the Israeli taxpayer.”

So, first off, that’s not true, the loan certainly did come from the Israeli taxpayer, even if it will be paid back someday.

But worse, the loan violated the 2018 Freeze Terrorist Funds Act which compels the Defense Minister to submit every year to the Political-Security Cabinet a report detailing the total amount of money paid in the past year by the Palestinian Authority to terrorists behind bars in Israel and their families, so that in the following year, an amount equal to 1/12 of it would be deducted every month from the taxes and customs earned by the Palestinian Authority.

But wait, it gets much worse. In recent days, the Palestinian Authority has released its budget execution report for September 2021, in English. The report is published as part of the PA’s commitments to its donor nations and the international community for the sake of budgetary transparency.

According to the report, in September alone, Israel transferred a total of NIS 1.77 billion ($569 million) to the PA.
The Israel Guys: The PA Prime Minister LIED, A LOT!
At the recent (COP26) climate change conference in Glasgow, the Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh bashed the Israeli settlements for being the most significant environmental dangers in the area. His absurd claims of Israel’s environmental policies were all complete lies.

Conveniently, the Palestinian Authority representive didn’t care to mention any of the PA’s actions towards polluting the area.

A ‘Jewish antisemite’ is fast becoming the new threat in France
British Jews may think we know it all about candidates for the highest office in the land having a tricky back catalogue of statements on Jews. But whatever we went through in recent years would be dwarfed by what is about to hit our cousins in France.

Eric Zemmour, much talked about as a far right candidate for the French presidency in next spring’s elections, said in September that the Jewish victims of the notorious Toulouse terror attack of 2012 — a rabbi, his two sons, aged just six and three, along with another little girl, aged eight — were not really French because they were buried in Israel. That proved, he said, that “they were foreigners above all and wanted to stay that way even beyond death.”

Last year, Zemmour touched on one of the defining traumas of both modern Jewish history and modern French history, hinting that Alfred Dreyfus — the French Jewish army captain wrongly convicted, jailed and publicly humiliated on false charges of espionage in 1894 — might not have been innocent after all. “We will never know,” he said.

Zemmour has views on the Holocaust too. These days, there are few defenders of the Vichy regime which collaborated with the Nazi occupation and connived in the deportation of more than 70,000 French Jews to their deaths in the east. But Zemmour claims that the Vichy regime tried to save Jews born in France: it was only foreign-born Jews it was happy to give up. Even if that were true, it hardly amounts to a moral defence — but there’s next to no evidence for it.

The would-be president’s Jewish targets are not all dead. Last month he took aim at the celebrity intellectual, Bernard Henri-Levy, calling him a “cosmopolitan” and “traitor par excellence.” Note the choice of words. Those are slurs that have been directed against Jews since the age of Dreyfus and long before.

So it’s clear that Zemmour is no friend of France’s Jews and that his candidacy to displace Marine Le Pen as the nationalist right’s challenger to Emmanuel Macron will be a source of grave alarm, not least because opinion polls identify him as Macron’s closest competitor even before he has officially entered the race. But there’s a twist: Eric Zemmour is a Jew.
Turkey arrests Israeli couple for photographing presidential palace
An Israeli couple in their 40s was recently arrested in Istanbul after photographing a compound where photography was forbidden. The case has not been reported by Turkish media, but according to some reports, the compound in question is the palace of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The case is being handled by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, but Turkish authorities have not provided any official information about the arrest, and therefore the couple is officially missing.

According to Walla, the Israelis – Egged drivers from Modi’in – sent the photos they took to a family WhatsApp group. The picture of the palace was apparently taken as a ship passed nearby.

The two did not know that photographing the compound violated the law in Turkey.

The woman’s family filed a complaint about her absence after the couple did not return to Israel last night as planned.

“Their crime lies in having photographed Erdogan’s palace during an innocent trip,” said lawyer Nir Jaslowitz, representing the two. “This is the rare case where justice requires that the Foreign Ministry must do everything in its power to ensure that Israeli citizens are not detained outside the state’s borders.”
Israel skips Poland antisemitism meet, but some still see thaw in ties ahead
A Polish opposition politician expressed regret at the passage of a law this summer that limited Holocaust restitution efforts, and said he hopes ties between Poland and Israel — put in deep freeze by the legislation — will be repaired soon.

“I personally, from the very beginning, was opposed to both legislations that made so much damage to Polish-Israeli relations,” Michał Kaminski, a Polish senator and a deputy marshal of the Senate with the opposition Union of European Democrats, told The Times of Israel during an interview earlier this week. “Those legislations I opposed in both chambers, they are very unfortunate.”

Kaminski was referring to not just the legislation from July regarding Holocaust restitution, but also a 2018 law that criminalized statements implying the Polish nation played a role in victimizing Jews in the Holocaust. The law was later amended to remove the possibility of criminal charges, but the legislation caused major diplomatic tension between Warsaw and both Israel and the United States.

Three years later, a law that effectively prevents future restitution to the heirs of property seized by the Nazis during the Holocaust led to a downturn in ties between Israel and Poland that has remained in effect since the summer. Each nation recalled its ambassadors, and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called the law “antisemitic and immoral.”

Poland “turned into an anti-democratic, illiberal country that doesn’t respect the greatest tragedy in human history,” Lapid charged. Poland responded by accusing Israel of “baseless and irresponsible” behavior.
Israeli Cyber Unit Action Removes Black Shadow Iran-Affiliated Hacking Website
The Israeli Cyber Unit, part of the State Prosecution Office, led the removal of a website belonging to the Black Shadow Iranian-affiliated hacking website after it targeted a number of Israeli websites, Walla reported on Thursday.

“The removal of the site means a significant reduction to expose personal materials publicized by Black Shadow, a hacking group affiliated with Iran that has operated against Israeli sites in the past two years,” said the report.

One of the recent targets of Black Shadow was the LGBTQ dating site Atraf, which has been subject to a ransom demand, with attackers leaking names of users from the application. In the past, the group also attacked the Israeli insurance company Shirbit.

The site that was removed from the Internet offered leaked databases stolen from Atraf, according to the report, as well as other databases that were taken from the CyberServe company, which built Atraf’s website.

The State Prosecution’s Office said it sent legal messages to companies whose servers hosted the site, leading to its removal.
IAI unveils new defensive electronic warfare systems
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) unveiled a family of new electronic warfare (EW) systems on Thursday which can combat a range of threats, including UAVs, ships, missiles and radar systems.

The Scorpius family of systems scans the entire surrounding area for targets and deploys narrowly focused beams to interfere with multiple threats across the electromagnetic spectrum. The system effectively disrupts the operation of electromagnetic systems, including radar, electronic sensors, navigation and data communications.

Scorpius has unprecedented receiver sensitivity and transmission power, allowing it to detect and address multiple threats of different kinds simultaneously from much farther distances than it was able to do in the past.

The Scorpius family includes five systems: the Scorpius G (ground), N (naval), SP (air - self-protection), SJ (air - standoff jammer) and the Scorpius T (training).

The Scorpius G is a mobile, ground-based EW system used to detect and disrupt ground and airborne threats. The system can be quickly deployed by vehicle and is a "soft-kill" air defense system that creates an electronic dome of protection above a wide area.

Lebanon’s State Ponzi Scheme Seeks Jewish Investors
The Lebanese ambassador to France made news last week when he invited a number of Jews of Lebanese heritage, who had long since fled that country, for a “family reunion” at the embassy in Paris. A bewildered and wisely suspicious 70-year-old woman, who left Lebanon decades ago, asked the ambassador, “Why now?”

Lebanon is “in danger,” the ambassador replied. “All its citizens who belong to different religious sects must come together to save it.”

Allow me to translate: What we have here is known as the Lebanese swindle.

You might have heard about the country’s two-year-long economic and financial crisis, the result of a Ponzi scheme that went bust in late 2019, exposing the bankrupt, dysfunctional country that always lay beneath the glitzy façade of the Travel + Leisure version of Beirut. This nationally managed scam can be traced back to the end of the country’s civil war in 1990, when the warlords and oligarchs launched a campaign to attract the capital of Lebanese expats. These expats were enticed with a glorified tourism ad campaign promising that they could take ownership of their country and rebuild it, a fallacy perfectly calibrated to tug at their heart strings, appeal to their vanity, and suspend their disbelief. Oh yes, yes: This country run by the Assad crime family, whose “statesmen” are the very same warlords from the civil war, and where a terrorist organization continues to wage war against its southern neighbor—this country is now, at last, a real, normal state. Bring your money, children of Lebanon, park it in our banks, move your families home, and start businesses here.

The expats bought the dream, and once they’d invested their entire lives in it, they became accomplices in the perpetuation of the lie. Even non-Lebanese foreigners followed suit and moved their dollars and euros, even their families, to Beirut. They all became instrumental in expanding the national Ponzi scheme from mere false advertising into policy advocacy in Washington, D.C., and capitals across Europe. And boy did U.S. and European officials buy into the scam, too. In fact, much of what passes for policymaking on Lebanon in the United States and Europe is premised on the same emotional and sociological impulses leveraged by the tourism ad.
Qatar to Act as US Diplomatic Representative in Afghanistan: Official
The United States and Qatar have agreed that Qatar will represent the diplomatic interests of the United States in Afghanistan, a senior US official told Reuters, an important signal of potential direct engagement between Washington and Kabul in the future after two decades of war.

Qatar will sign an arrangement with the United States on Friday to assume the role of “protecting power” for US interests to help facilitate any formal communication between Washington and the Taliban government in Afghanistan, which the United States does not recognize.

The move comes at a time when the United States and other Western countries are grappling with how to engage with the Taliban after the hardline group took over Afghanistan in a lightning advance in August as US-led forces were withdrawing after two decades of war.

Many countries including the United States and European states are reluctant to formally recognize the Taliban as critics say they are backtracking on pledges of political and ethnic inclusivity and not to sideline women and minorities.

But with winter approaching, many countries realize they need to engage more to prevent the deeply impoverished country from plunging into a humanitarian catastrophe.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will announce the deal with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani at a news conference after their meeting on Friday.
Britain Presses Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Over Detained Dual Nationals
Britain on Thursday said that officials had pressed Iranian deputy foreign minister Ali Bagheri Kani to release detained dual nationals including British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

British foreign office officials also told Bagheri Kani at a meeting in London that Iran should conclude the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) nuclear deal under the terms on the table now, the foreign ministry said.

“The Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister was also pressed on the need for Iran to urgently release all British nationals unfairly detained in Iran, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Anoosheh Ashoori and Morad Tahbaz,” the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said in a statement.

Iran’s foreign ministry was not immediately available to comment.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested at a Tehran airport in April 2016 and later convicted of plotting to overthrow the clerical establishment.

In April, an Iranian court sentenced Zaghari-Ratcliffe to a new term in jail on charges of propaganda against Iran’s ruling system, just a month after she finished a prior five-year sentence. That sentence has not yet started, though it has been upheld by an appeals court.


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