Monday, November 15, 2021

From Ian:

JPost Editorial: UNRWA doesn't need more funding, it needs to be shut down
UNRWA was founded in 1949 to provide what was meant to be a temporary solution until the “Palestinian refugee problem” was sorted out. Most other refugees are cared for by the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees and, unlike the Palestinians, their status is not passed on to future generations.

The Palestinians, on the other hand, have their own agency and have been granted perpetual refugee status. According to UNRWA, Palestinian refugees are not just people who fled from the nascent Jewish state during the 1948 War of Independence and have yet to be resettled, but they include descendants of those refugees. Someone born this week, during the UNRWA donor meeting, can be considered a refugee of a war that occurred more than seven decades ago.

There is some irony in Jordan being the sponsor of the meeting given that the majority of the Jordanian population is Palestinian and many meet the UNRWA definition of being “refugees,” despite having Jordanian citizenship.

UNRWA has not solved the “refugee problem.” On the contrary, it has created a bigger one than ever before. While some 726,000 Arabs originally fell under the agency’s auspices in 1949, the number more than 70 years later now stands at 5.7 million – almost eight times as many. In other words, it has added to the refugee problem and, at the same time, perpetuated the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Instead of getting on with their lives, the Palestinians in places like Gaza, with UNRWA’s encouragement, continue to grasp a false dream of one day “returning” to Jaffa, Haifa, Safed or Jerusalem. Far from transforming refugees into self-sufficient individuals, the agency has fostered dependency and a culture of entitlement. It is this that the donor countries are now being asked to fund with even greater sums of money than before.

If, after 70-plus years, the Palestinian refugees still need more help than any other group of refugees, such as those struggling to enter Europe in the humanitarian crisis along the Polish-Belarus border, then UNRWA has clearly failed.

UNRWA doesn’t need more funds – it needs to be closed down.
Israel is taken for a ride on Erdogan's 'Midnight Express'
The Israeli couple, who found themselves arrested in Turkey last week after taking a picture of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's residence during a tour of Istanbul, are merely unfortunate pawns in the decrepit sultan's twisted game of political survival.

The pair could have easily been Dutch or American, but Israelis are far "sexier." The term "connections to the Mossad" always makes great headlines.

This is all part of Erdogan's plan: Get as many headlines as you can to divert the Turkish people's criticism away from himself, his party and his ebbing popularity.

Concocting diplomatic crises — preferably with non-Muslim nations — has been a reoccurring strategy to boost his standing in the polls. Over the past few years, Erdogan has already played this trick with Germany, Russian, the Netherlands, the U.S. and even China.

He is willing to be subjected to both European and American sanctions, all for the goal of uniting the nation around him and keeping himself in power.

Now, when the Turkish opposition is poised to become a real threat in the 2023 general elections, as had previously happened with the municipal elections in Istanbul in 2019, tall tales of Mossad agents make a comeback.
Israel Must Not Let Erdogan Exploit His Israeli ‘Hostages’
Against expectations, a court in Istanbul has extended the detention of Israeli tourists Natali and Mordy Oknin on the grounds they allegedly spied on the country for Jerusalem by 20 days. It appears the Turkish attorney's demand their detention be extended is sending signals that the innocent incident, which took place at the new tourist observation point in Istanbul, is turning into a diplomatic crisis between Jerusalem and Ankara.

In retrospect, the timing of the couple's arrest is no coincidence. Just one month ago, the two states experienced another crisis of faith when 15 Palestinians were arrested by the Turkish intelligence agency for allegedly spying for the Mossad intelligence agency. Despite widespread coverage of the incident in Turkey, given the fact the suspects were not Israeli citizens, Jerusalem chose not to make the arrests an issue with Ankara. Nevertheless, if the Israeli couple is not released the next time the court convenes on the matter, their arrest could lead Israel straight into a new "hostage" crisis with Turkey.

Those who follow Turkish foreign policy know all too well that such "hostage" cases can be solved in one of two ways: the soft power displayed by Berlin or the tough diplomatic stance adopted by former US President Donald Trump.
Israeli reporter detained on air in Turkey while covering couple held in custody
Israeli officials believe the coming 48 hours will be critical in seeking to secure the release of an Israeli couple detained in Turkey after photographing a presidential palace, according to television reports.

Channel 13 news says officials believe that if not the saga is not resolved in the next two days, the couple could remain in Turkish custody for years.

The network also reports that other Israelis have been snapping photos of the palace in Istanbul without incident. And a Turkish journalist tells Channel 12 that thousands of people would be facing espionage charges if taking pictures of the palace is considered to be an act of spying.

A separate report by Channel 12 news quotes unnamed diplomatic officials saying they have been unable to get a response from Turkey on the matter.

Earlier, a Channel 13 news reporter was detained while broadcasting live from Turkey. The reporter, Ali Mograbi, was later released.

Why ‘shrinking the conflict’ is doomed to failure
The only way this conflict ends is with the reversal of vicious, violent Palestinian rejectionism, which has to be dealt with as the foundational pillar that ensures the endurance of the conflict.

Only when this rejectionism is defeated will an end be put to the conflict. Then, and only then, will the Palestinians be able to build up their polity and spend their energy and resources on social welfare, education, health and construction, rather than on the funding of terrorists, the supporting of bloodthirsty hate-preachers and on an education system built to negate the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in its indigenous and ancestral homeland.

This is an important point because while it is certainly not the easiest way to end the conflict, an Israeli victory over Palestinian rejectionism is the only way. Anything less simply convinces the Palestinians that their ultimate future will be free of an entity that keeps on conceding ground and leverage without demanding anything in return.

So, while “shrinking the conflict” sounds nice in intellectual and foreign-policy circles, it is doomed to failure, because history has already proven the fallacy of the idea, and a repackaged product with glossy verbiage still has the same contents.

It is possible to spend another 30 years trying slightly different variations of the same failed policy, which brings a lot of attention and opportunities for its authors, but does not save a single drop of blood; or Israel can face the fact that every other such option has been exhausted.

This conflict only ends when the Palestinians give up, not a moment before.
United Nations resolution jeopardizes Israel’s security
The Rabbinical Alliance of America—Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American Rabbis—opposes the one-sided, illegitimate and dangerous United Nations General Assembly resolution affirming the “right of return” (“repatriations”) for Palestinian refugees to sovereign Israel as part of a broad text in support of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

The resolution demands "compensation" for descendants of Palestinian refugees who left their homes at the behest of an Arab League bent on genocide, and an unlimited "right of return" that would demographically put an end to Israel as the world's sole Jewish state. The State of Israel was founded on the heels of the Holocaust that horrifically witnessed the brutal murder of over 6 million Jews, a third of the then-world wide Jewish population. By enacting the resolution, UNRWA is attempting to undermine the main purpose of establishing Israel as a safe haven for Jews world-over.

Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, stated, “While the Rabbinical Alliance of America appreciates the Biden Administration’s reaffirmation of its support for Israel as an American ally and its commitment to the defense and security of Israel, we are deeply troubled by the Administration’s decision to abstain and not to vocally and vigorously oppose this dangerous, one-sided United Nations resolution which jeopardizes Israel’s security and right to exist.

“As rabbis, we urge President Biden to reexamine this position and to recognize the dangerous implications this resolution poses to Israel and to peace in the Middle East.”

If implemented, this so-called “right of return” could, Heaven forbid, destroy Israel as a Jewish state. The resolution is aimed at overrunning Israel with millions of alleged descendants of the 360,000 alleged “Palestinian Arab refugees” who left Israel in 1948, when six Arab nations invaded Israel with the intent of destroying the newly-reconstituted State of Israel and killing Israel’s Jewish population.
The campaign against the Consulate is moving to Washington
In light of encouraging developments in Israel and disturbing developments in the United States, we will not resume the protest vigils in Jerusalem. We will focus our activity opposite the White House and again raise the demand for Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.

For three weeks we, representatives of over twenty different organizations with love for the Land of Israel and Jerusalem in common, gathered and held a joint protest rally against the American demand to open a consulate for the Palestinians in the heart of Jerusalem.

A long line of public figures from Israel and the United States made clear, profound, and sharp statements regarding the political implications of the American demand; recognition of Jerusalem as destined for partition, G-d forbid, in order to establish in it the capital of a Palestinian state, which the Biden government seeks to establish.

We would like to express our great appreciation to all those who partnered with us in this important demonstration.

The demand asserted by the protest vigil was divided into two parts. The first part is directed to the Israeli government in Jerusalem and the second part to the American administration in Washington.

The response to the first part of the protest, which received significant public support from the Jewish people in Israel and abroad, was welcome and positive. The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister unequivocally declared that the Israeli government opposes establishment of the consulate and that Jerusalem is the sole, united capital of the State of Israel, and its capital alone.
US Jewish group visits Saudi Arabia to push Israel ties

Could Qatar’s role in Afghanistan foreshadow Hamas takeover in West Bank?
The question is whether Qatar might be able to pull this off with a bait and switch in the West Bank, having worked with Hamas for years. In general, the West Bank’s Palestinian Authority apparatus looks a bit like the former Afghan government. Accused of corruption and abuses, aging leadership and with ruling men who could be described as “war lords” in charge of various areas where it runs a collection of polities that don’t function well.

From bubbling chaos in Jenin to Hebron, the PA is always on the verge of crisis. Like the former Afghan government it sponges up massive amounts of foreign aid and never seems to invest that aid in infrastructure; instead the money seems to go to the sons and daughters of the elites and then is likely moved abroad to foreign bank accounts.

According to CBS in 2003, the former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat “diverted nearly $1 billion in public funds.” Massive sums of money disappeared from coffers in Ramallah over the years. Palestinians may be poor, but their leaders are rich and a lot of the foreign money plowed into Ramallah from Europe over the years likely ended up back in Europe in the form of villas.

The appeal of Hamas was always its claims to not be corrupt. For locals, who might be asked one day to choose a Qatari-backed Hamas to the aging leadership in Ramallah, it’s entirely plausible they might cave in the way Afghanistan collapsed. Western-backed political structures have tended to be rotten and incapable of fighting off such appeals.

Consider the total failure of the Iraqi government in 2014 against ISIS, despite all the money the US had invested in the “Iraqi army.” It was largely Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias that saved Baghdad from ISIS, not the American-supplied hardware that laid rotting on Iraqi bases in 2014.

It remains to be seen whether an Afghan scenario could play out in the West Bank. There are, of course, many other issues at work because the PA is not a paper tiger backed up by NATO forces, its security forces have been trained by the US but largely operate on their own for the last decade. However, the Qatari role in suddenly emerging as the power broker in Kabul, after years of planning and hosting meetings, is one that could try to emerge in Ramallah in one form or another after years of playing a larger role in Gaza.

The US is backing Palestinian unity again, every time that concept emerges it is Qatar that sees possible gains for itself. Other countries with a role, such as Egypt, Turkey, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan must contend with this issue. Turkey, of course, would like a Qatar scenario in Ramallah. Egypt, the UAE, Jordan and others likely would not want that. Israel and the US may have other calculations as well. Qatar has certainly learned from its success in Kabul: Make yourself indispensable to war-weary Western countries by hosting the extremists that they want to mollify, then swoop in at the end to play peacemaker.
Israel needs peace in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is not an artificial country whose borders were drawn up by clerks in London or Paris irrespective of the realities on the ground. Therefore, one cannot blame the West, as is often customary these days, for their current predicament. Their calamity is the doing of the country's leaders, who failed to create a national identity unifying the various ethnic groups. Ethiopia is fractured between the Oromo people, who represent about one-quarter of the population and live in the country's center and south; the Amharas, who comprise some 20% of the population; and finally the Tigrayans. These groups are mired in constant strife that occasionally turns violent. At least one war has already been decided – after Ethiopia recognized Eritrea's independence and withdrew its forces from its territory. Abiy received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for that initiative. Other tensions and conflicts, however, have remained unresolved.

It's possible the government in Addis Ababa will survive, but it's clear that the country once seen as the "economic miracle" of Africa is descending into chaos, the price for which its people are now being forced to pay. After all, even in good times, there was an inexplicable gap between the country's rich center and other regions, where people were dying of starvation without water to feed their herds and cultivate their crops.

Despite the geographical distance, Israel is finding itself involved in the war in Ethiopia. First, due to the Falash Mura community, who have ties to Judaism and want to immigrate to Israel. The realities of civil war, as we have seen play out in other parts of the world, motivate many people to suddenly rediscover the Jewish roots – putting Israel in a complicated position. Second, because of Ethiopia's strategic location along the Red Sea: on one side of the sea Iran is establishing a menacing military presence in Yemen; on the other, meanwhile, Israel has managed to forge alliances with Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, and recently Sudan as well. All of this is now in jeopardy due to civil wars and internal conflicts afflicting these countries. Finally, it's worth bearing in mind that although the rising flames between Cairo and Addis Ababa threatened to consume Israel, both countries asked the Jewish state for help and support.

Restoring peace and stability to Ethiopia is a supreme interest for the country's own people, its neighbors in Africa, and for far-flung Israel.
Dore Gold: Algeria Confronts Europe and the West over Gas and the Western Sahara
There has been a notable radicalization of Algerian foreign and security policy. On Oct. 31, Algeria decided to halt all gas exports to Spain and Portugal through the Maghreb-Europe pipeline that crosses Morocco. Two months earlier, Algeria cut diplomatic relations with Morocco. In essence, the Algerian government was singling out Morocco and escalating tensions in North Africa.

Since 2018, Algeria has given new support for the Polisario Front insurgents in the Western Sahara that threatened the Moroccan armed forces. Algeria has allowed the Islamic Republic of Iran to use its embassy in Algiers as a conduit for arms, funding, and training for the Polisario forces. Iran employed Hizbullah for this training mission because its operatives spoke Arabic. In response, Morocco cut off diplomatic relations with the Iranian government.

Algeria has closed its airspace to French fighter jets heading to the civil war in Mali, where jihadist forces were aligned with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in the north and with the Islamic State in the south. Keeping allied airpower out of Algerian airspace effectively strengthened jihadist groups in the Sahel (the region south of the Sahara Desert), undermining Western interests.

In October 2021, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2602, which called for the resumption of consultations between Algeria, Morocco, and the Polisario to advance "a mutually acceptable political solution" in the Western Sahara based on compromise. Algeria utterly rejected the resolution.
UK raises terror threat to ‘severe’ following deadly Liverpool taxi explosion
The UK government on Monday increased the terror level to severe, meaning an attack is highly likely. The decision followed a taxi explosion outside a hospital in England that killed a man.

Russ Jackson, the head of Counterterrorism Policing in northwest England, said Sunday’s explosion at Liverpool Women’s Hospital was caused by “the ignition of an explosive device” that was brought into the vehicle by a passenger. The male passenger died in the explosion and fire that followed, and the taxi driver was injured.

Police were investigating the motivation of the incident and if anyone else was involved.

Home Secretary Priti Patel told reporters that the threat level increase came in the context of this being the second alleged terrorist incident in the space of a month. She did not elaborate.

“Our security and intelligence services prevent all sorts of acts, day in, day out,’’ Patel said. “And of course, they understand the landscape, they see context, they see all sorts of things that keep our country safe and secure every single day and that work will continue.”

Three men in their 20s were arrested elsewhere in the city under the Terrorism Act on Sunday, and a fourth was detained on Monday. All are believed to be “associates” of the dead passenger, police said.

Israel to ask donor countries to restore payments to Palestinians
Israel is set to ask donor countries to restore their financial contributions to the Palestinian Authority, according to a source in the Ministry for Regional Cooperation.

Those donations have dropped by 85% over the last 13 years, according to a World Bank report published last week in advance of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee donor meeting in Oslo on Wednesday.

In 2008, the global community contributed $1.2 billion to the PA, which was an all-time high. This year, donor funds are only expected to amount to $184 million, according to the World Bank.

Regional Cooperation Minister Issawi Frej (Meretz), who is expected to represent Israel at the meeting, will ask donor countries to restore payments and to invest in particular in projects involving water and health, a source told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

The meeting, held twice a year, is chaired by Norway. It involves representatives from 15 countries and entities including the Palestinian Authority. The AHLC is one of the few international forums where Palestinians and Israeli officials interact cooperatively.

In Oslo, Frej will meet with PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh. if will be the first such face-to-face conversation between the two.

The meeting comes as the PA faces an acute financial crisis, with both the World Bank and the UN warning that it has a looming $1.36 billion deficit and may not be able to pay its civil servants at the end of the year.
Is Israel’s Funding of the Palestinians’ ‘Pay for Slay’ Program In Violation of the Law?
According to Ramallah, then, Israel had not actually provided an advance on future tax funds as claimed, but rather transferred money that it owed the P.A. In other words, Ramallah made clear in the official report that it had no intention of repaying 80 percent of the funds that it received from Jerusalem.

The analysis is even more troubling when taking into account that, following Gantz’s meeting with Abbas, the P.A. claimed that the defense minister had agreed to return “some of our funds held by Israel.”

If the P.A.’s budget report is correct, the Israeli government has in effect transferred one-third of tax funds that it was legally required to withhold, despite Abbas’s continued payments to terrorists.

In a statement, Gantz said: “As previously stated, the loan was provided from future repayment funds that the Palestinian Authority was supposed to have received from Israeli tax collection.”

PMW founder and director Itamar Marcus said, “The dispute between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as to the nature of the 400 million shekels is unreasonable. Could it be that Israel transferred nearly half a billion shekels to the P.A. without a written agreement indicating it was a loan? Israel must demand that the P.A. correct the budgetary report to reflect that this is a loan.”

The P.A. routinely spends hundreds of millions of dollars on payments to terrorists imprisoned in Israel and to the families of terrorists killed while carrying out attacks against Israel. The PA’s “pay for slay” policy is a widely condemned practice that takes a growing cut of Ramallah’s budget—funded by donor countries in the West and the Arab world—every year.

“Pay for slay” has earned the P.A. scathing international criticism but Abbas has vowed to keep up terrorists’ payments, even it if bankrupts the P.A.
IDF changes live-fire regulations, allowing troops to shoot at thieves, smugglers
The Israeli military has updated its open-fire regulations, allowing troops to use live fire against smugglers and suspected thieves on military bases.

The move was made in an effort to crack down on drug and arms smugglers along Israel’s borders with Egypt and Jordan, as well as to stifle crime that has been rampant in Arab and Bedouin communities.

Until now, troops could only open fire if their lives were in immediate danger. The new regulations will allow soldiers to use deadly force against thieves on military bases, at firing ranges, and along the southern borders.

The recommendation to change regulations was adopted by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi.

“Rules of engagement are coordinated with an up-to-date assessment of the situation and operational challenges,” the military said. “In recent weeks, the IDF has been working to implement changes and include them into relevant training programs, so that soldiers will be briefed at their bases from now on with up-to-date orders in accordance with their operational region.”
A New Military Strategy for Israel in Gaza
While Israel is perfectly capable of launching a major air campaign and a ground offensive to topple Hamas in response to the next rocket barrage, it is the last thing Israel should do. Every round of combat since 2008-9 has left Hamas emerging stronger than before. As a result, a new military strategy for Israel is critical. Signs of this new approach could be seen during the escalation in May with Israel's missile precision and ability to conduct pinpoint strikes on Hamas targets in order to reduce noncombatant casualties.

On the diplomatic-political front, Israel must enable the gradual - albeit unofficial - integration of Gaza into Egypt, which is leading the reconstruction of Gaza today. This is a process that is already underway and would force Hamas to focus its energies on maneuvering in the Arab arena.

War with Israel is what keeps Hamas relevant. Hamas needs casualties and headlines to dominate the Palestinian and Arab arenas. Israel's central objective should therefore be to force Hamas to deal with its economic needs and to encourage it to abandon war - because armed conflict is Hamas' bridge to increasing its power base in the West Bank.

Should Hamas once again flood Israeli cities with rockets, Israel should take a deep breath, rely on Iron Dome to deal with the initial attacks, and then launch an open-ended campaign of strategic attrition and targeted strikes without any deadline.
Egyptian Troops to Permanently Deploy on Israel Border
"The joint (Egyptian-Israeli) military committee has succeeded through a co-ordination meeting with the Israeli side to amend the security agreement to increase the number of border guards and their capabilities on the border area at Rafah" near Gaza, Egypt's chief military spokesman wrote on his Facebook page on Nov. 8.

"It is the first time in nearly five decades that we have troops permanently deployed along the border with Israel," said Egyptian military analyst Sameer Farag, a retired army general. According to the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, only policemen with light arms were allowed in the section of Sinai bordering Israel and Gaza.

Egypt's deal with Israel to permanently station troops along a troubled stretch of the border in Sinai represents a qualitative leap in relations that caps years of growing security co-operation, analysts say. The deal was concluded in a meeting between Egyptian President El Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Bennett in September.
PMW: Arafat’s role-modeling of 14-year-old “Martyr” remains central to PA ideology
At the beginning of the PA’s 5-year terror campaign, the second Intifada (2000-2005), 14-year-old Faris Ouda died as a “Martyr” when he participated in violent confrontations with the Israeli army. After his death, the family and the PA publicized that Faris had deliberately sought Martyrdom and even created his own memorial in advance:
“The morning [he died], Faris went out early from his home carrying a slingshot in his hand after preparing for himself a wreath of flowers, decorating it with his picture, and writing by hand: ‘Heroic Martyr Faris Ouda.’”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 30, 2000]

Yasser Arafat, then PA leader and orchestrator of the terror, saw Faris Ouda’s deliberate Martyrdom-death as a fantastic opportunity that could serve him a dual purpose:
He could turn child Martyr Faris Ouda into a role model and promote Martyrdom-death as an ideal for all Palestinian children.

The more children that would follow their “peer” Faris to Martyrdom, the stronger the political messages Arafat was able to send not only to Palestinians but also to the international community: To his own people the child Martyrs would brand Palestinians as “the people of giants”; to the world he could brand Israelis as murderers of innocent children.

At the time, Palestinian Media Watch exposed that Arafat presented Faris Ouda to children as a “hero” to be “saluted.” He made sure other children would see themselves as potential Martyrs like Faris, calling him their “comrade,” telling them they were his “peers, friends, brothers and sisters.” The children in the audience responded enthusiastically, chanting one of Arafat’s slogans: “Millions of Martyrs are marching to Jerusalem!”:

Palestinian Authority Rewards Antisemitic Rioters with US-Funded $25K Arafat Prize
The Palestinian Authority (PA)-controlled Yasser Arafat Foundation — during a ceremony at the Ramallah Cultural Palace — presented its annual prize to the West Bank village of Beita. Explaining the decision, Endowment Committee Chair Ola Awad praised the residents of Beita for their “popular resistance” against Israel, echoing earlier calls by the PA’s ruling Fatah faction to export the “Beita model” to “all Palestinian towns.”

As HonestReporting has repeatedly highlighted (see here, here, here, here, here, and here), this “model” involves violent riots, eco-terrorism, setting off powerful explosive devices, and burning swastikas.

According to its website, the Yasser Arafat Achievement Award aims to encourage “serious and exceptional work and to recognize real achievements in national, cultural, social, economic, scientific, or academic areas of work.”

Other 2021 nominees included NGOs, youth groups, and a charity serving disabled Palestinians.

But the Beita residents were deemed most worthy.

By signing the US-brokered Oslo Accords in the 1990s, the Palestinian Authority formally vowed to “apprehend, investigate and prosecute” those involved in “acts of terrorism, violence and incitement.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: If You Don’t Let Us Keep Our Land Free Of Jews, You’re Racist By Mahmoud Abbas, President, Palestinian National Authority (State of Palestine)(satire)
My predecessor Yasser Arafat and I, along with numerous prominent Palestinians, have long proclaimed we will compromise on none of the rights that other peoples enjoy, and that any attempt to curtail those rights smacks of anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab bias. Those rights include full territorial sovereignty in all of historic Palestine, and if we see fit to expel or exterminate any Jews who insist on remaining behind, that is our prerogative – efforts to prevent such an assertion of sovereignty will constitute anti-Palestinian racism, as well.

For too long, malicious outside partisans have denied the very tenet of Palestinian nationhood, thereby violating the fundamental principle underlying self-determination. We Palestinians however, have forged our nationhood nonetheless. Further, just as nations self-determine, regardless of whether external parties agree with that determination, and using whatever criteria they deem suitable for citizenship in that nation, and as increasing numbers of academic scholars insist, race determination carries the same self-determined character, along with gender and other essential elements of identity. I therefore assert the existence of, and membership therein, of the Palestinian race, and that therefore any opposition to the behavior of Palestinians must perforce be rooted in racism.

Jews, on the other hand, may not self-determine as a nation, because they are merely a religion, and Jewish attempts to claim their own nationhood – let alone the absurd contention that Palestine was previously the Jewish “homeland” – must be defeated by whatever means necessary. The reasoning follows a simple path: because Palestinians are a race, and Jews are merely a loose aggregation of different people who happen to share some elements of a belief system, no reciprocal or analogous “racism” can exist toward Jews. Go ahead and deny Jewish peoplehood; we Palestinians and our supporters do it all the time. It’s not racist, and if you call it racist, you’re a racist for denying my race’s self-determination, which can only happen by virtue of denying Jewish racehood. QED, racist.
FDD: Al-Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades Praises IRGC and Hezbollah for Arming Group
In a recent interview, al-Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades’ spokesperson, Abu Atayya, thanked the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Quds Force and Hezbollah for supplying the militant group and the ‘Palestinian Resistance’ in its war against Israel.

‘Every missile, shell, or any tool of the Resistance, the hands of the Revolutionary Guards and the Quds Force have been credited with delivering, developing and supplying them to us and to all military arms facing the Zionist enemy,’ Atayya stated.

Furthermore, Atayya acknowledged the support it received from Hezbollah in conjunction with IRGC in arming and developing the military capabilities of the group.

‘Hezbollah has played a very important role in developing the capabilities of the Palestinian Resistance and supporting al-Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades from the beginning, and until this day, with the participation of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has spared no effort in developing our capabilities and arming us,’ Atayya stated.

The acknowledgement by the group’s spokesperson isn’t unprecedented. After the May 2021 Gaza-Israel conflict, Abu Atayya praised Hezbollah for the support it received in previous battles against Israel.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Why Palestinians Are Fleeing the Gaza Strip
Referring to the lavish lifestyle led by most Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip and abroad, many Palestinians complained that while the fish are eating the poor emigrants, Hamas leaders continue to enjoy the best fish and seafood on offer in Qatar and the Gaza Strip.

Apparently, the two million Palestinians living under the rule of Hamas have reached the conclusion that it is Hamas, and not Israel, that is responsible for their misery.

"During the past 15 years, Hamas has taken Gaza from bad to worse. Gazans are a people under a brutal Islamist regime who are held hostage to stagnant policies that only serve the interests of Hamas and their global Islamist allies. If the international community could help liberate Gaza from such forces, they could help Gazans create a Dubai on the Med or a new Singapore." — Ghanem Nusseibeh, a Palestinian Muslim belonging to the oldest Arab family in Jerusalem, Al-Arab News, May 29, 2021.

Blaming Israel for everything wrong in the Gaza Strip may fool many in the US, Canada and the UK. But the Palestinians fleeing Gaza and their families who remain behind know the truth -- that it is Hamas that has brought them to the abyss, including the sea in which they are now drowning.
MEMRI: Economic, Social Protests Against Hamas Flare Up Again In Gaza: 'We Want To Live'; The Economic Hardship Has Become Intolerable; Hamas Officials Are Out Of Touch With The People
In the last few days, economic and social protests against the Hamas authorities in Gaza have erupted again, led by the "We Want to Live" movement and online campaign. The campaign was first launched in March 2019 to protest the high cost of living and the unemployment in Gaza, and included mass demonstrations that were brutally suppressed by Hamas' security apparatuses.[1] So far, the renewed campaign is largely confined to social media, but some activists warn it may soon escalate into street protests against Hamas, like the ones in 2019.[2]

Two events in the recent weeks led to the resurgence of the protest. One was the drowning of three Gazan migrants when their boat capsized between Turkey and Greece. The three were trying to flee Gaza due to the dire economic situation.[3] The second was a wave of outrage on social media about the extravagant lifestyles of Hamas officials and their families. The outrage was sparked by reports about the son of Hamas official Ghazi Hamad who had given his elder brother a luxurious honeymoon in Sinai as a wedding gift. Many Gazans saw this as insensitivity on the part of the Hamas leadership and as a reflection of its obliviousness to the reality of the Gazan people.[4]

In response to these events, the "We Want to Live" official Facebook page posted condolences to the families of the drowning victims, and voiced harsh criticism against Hamas. The page blamed Hamas for the dire situation in the Gaza Strip, and accused it of subjecting Gazans to oppression, deprivation and political pressure of such magnitude that they prefer to risk their lives trying to migrate. It also condemned Hamas officials for driving fancy vehicles and living in mansions while the people of Gaza suffer. These messages were echoed by Gazans on social media, many of them posting under the hashtag #WeWantToLive and related hashtags.

Fearing the spread of the protest, Hamas tried to contain it and appease the protesters, while also questioning the authenticity of the campaign and claiming that external elements, such as Israel or the Palestinian Authority (PA), are behind it in an attempt to destabilize Gaza. So far Hamas has alluded to the renewed protest only indirectly. While paying his respects to the families of the Gazan migrants who drowned, Hamas political bureau head Isma'il Haniya stressed that "the Zionist occupation is the main reason for the suffering of the Palestinians and the siege [on Gaza]," and that Hamas is doing everything it can to allow the Gazans to live in dignity and provide the young people with a better future. He stated that Hamas is well aware of the plans to harm Gaza, and that "it will not allow anyone to use the [Gazans'] hardship to sow division among the Palestinians."[5] A November 10 article in Hamas' mouthpiece Filastin claimed that the "We Want to Live" Facebook page was created by the Shin Bet (Israel's internal security service) in order "to incite the people of the Gaza Strip against the resistance [i.e., Hamas]."[6]
Senior Hamas Official: Israel Released 1,024 Prisoners for Gilad Shalit; We Welcome Iran’s Support
Senior Hamas official Khalil Al-Hayya said in a November 8, 2021 interview on Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar) that Hamas holds four Israelis, and that Hamas would be willing to trade each of them for the release of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. He explained that this is the “natural threshold” for prisoner swaps that was established with the 2011 release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. He said: “If the occupation pays the price, we are ready to sign [a deal] tomorrow morning. Otherwise, they will not see the light of day.” Al-Hayya confirmed that at least two of the Israeli captives are soldiers, and declined to state whether the four Israelis are alive or not. Later in the interview, Al-Hayya said that Hamas is proud and open about its relationship with Iran, which he said supports Hamas militarily, politically, materially, and otherwise. Referring to the Iranians as “brothers,” he said that Hamas does not concern itself with Iran’s affairs in Iraq or elsewhere.

Report: Hezbollah Targeted Israeli Ex-Intel Official in Colombia
Members of the terrorist group Hezbollah monitored and targeted several notable officials in Colombia, including a former Israeli intelligence officer, the country’s media reported on Sunday.

Colombian newspaper El Tiempo explained on Sunday that an ex-intelligence operative, who was previously on a team of Israeli diplomats in Colombia, recognized he was being spied on by Hezbollah members in the country.

He received notice from the Mossad and other foreign operatives that the terrorist group was monitoring his daily activities.

Colombia’s authorities asserted certain indicators signaled to investigators that the former officer was being targeted by Hezbollah for assassination, according to the Jerusalem Post.

While the report does not specify when the incident occurred, it details Colombia’s Defense Minister Diego Molano revealed on Sunday that two members of the militant Islamist faction were arrested in the country two months ago, according to Haaretz.

The pair were taken into police custody and were later deported from the country for conspiracy to commit a “criminal act,” Molano told El Tiempo.
Colombia: Two Hezbollah operatives expelled
The former intelligence officer was reportedly being targeted by Hezbollah for assassination

Members of the militant group Hezbollah monitored and targeted several notable officials in Colombia, including a former Israeli intelligence officer, the country’s media reported on Sunday.

Colombian newspaper El Tiempo explained on Sunday that an ex-intelligence operative, who was previously on a team of Israeli diplomats in Colombia, recognized he was being spied on by Hezbollah members in the country.

Growing Opposition to Iran's Involvement in Syria
Several intelligence analysts have assessed recently that with Assad's regime stabilized, the Iranian presence in Syria might no longer be an asset for the Syrian leader. As long as the Iranians remain entrenched in his back yard, the attacks on them attributed to Israel are likely to continue. "If it were up to him, the Iranians would no longer be there," said a senior Israeli military source. "A war between Israel and Iran in his territory is the last thing he wants." Yet Assad "is far from being able shake off this burden."

Since the Oct. 22 Sochi summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, several massive attacks on Iranian targets in Syria have been attributed by foreign outlets to Israel. None of the strikes prompted any condemnation from Moscow. According to diplomatic and political sources, the Russian silence attests to Putin's growing impatience with Iran's involvement in Syria.

Increased Israeli activity in Syria is likely prompted by Iranian escalation. Israel has no intention of allowing Iran to turn Lebanon and Syria into launching pads for thousands of precision missiles aimed at strategic Israeli targets.

Bennett quietly expresses discontent with US overtures to Iran
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett isn’t trying to snub the US Envoy for Iran Rob Malley, who was in Israel on Monday. He just doesn’t want to send a positive message about what Malley is doing by meeting him.

If that sounds contradictory to you, well, you’re not the only one.

But sources close to Bennett insisted on pointing to protocol in response to reports of a snub. After all, the US special representative for Iran is not at the same diplomatic level as Israel’s leader; Bennett did not meet with Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo either, though he was in Israel this week.

However, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz flouted protocol and met with Malley. Plus, former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not pull rank when he made sure to meet with Malley’s predecessors Elliott Abrams and Brian Hook.

But the fact that the previous Iran envoys were Hook and Abrams, staunch opponents of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and the current one is Malley, the nuclear deal’s biggest booster in the Biden administration makes all the difference. Malley’s advocacy for engagement is especially relevant at this point because indirect talks between the US and Iran are supposed to restart in two weeks.
Israel on edge: Will US suffice with only partial Iran nuclear deal?
Israeli officials are growing increasingly concerned that the United States and the West will try reaching a partial agreement with Iran that would be even more limited than the original nuclear deal signed in 2015.

One of the scenarios presented in briefings on the matter in recent days is that the Biden administration will suffice with a deal that includes just two components: removal of international sanctions currently imposed on Iran, in exchange solely for the cessation of uranium enrichment.

'The most urgent matter'
Such an outline would mean, among other things, that Iran's advanced infrastructure for enriching uranium would not be dismantled, the 25 kilograms of uranium that Iran has already enriched to 60% in violation of the original deal would remain untouched, and that Iran's nuclear program in general or its regional belligerence would not be addressed. A narrow agreement of this sort would also contravene the assurances previously issued by the US administration to reach a "stronger and longer-term" deal than the original.

The belief that the West will attempt to secure a limited deal with Iran is predicated on messages that have recently been delivered to Jerusalem, whereby "Before anything else, Iran's enrichment dash must be stopped. This is the most urgent matter." PM Naftali Bennet will not meet with US Special Envoy to Iran Robert Malley on his two-day visit to Israel (Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency)

Israel is deeply divided with the Americans over their insistence on reaching a deal with Iran at any cost. In a symbolic act of this Israeli opposition, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will not meet with US Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley, who was expected to arrive in Israel on Sunday. Malley is spearheading the Biden administration's conciliatory approach toward the ayatollah regime, and recently stated that "the diplomatic window with Iran will never be closed."

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