Monday, November 29, 2021

From Ian:

The Most Legitimate State on Earth
For a brief moment in the late 1980s, with communism passing away in Europe and Central Asia and its serf states breathing free, you may have been forgiven for assuming “The End of History” was correct, that the debate about which worldview best guarantees peace and prosperity had been decided, and that proponents of global empire would henceforth speak more softly, if at all. But then came the European Union, the cheerleaders of a hegemonic Pax Americana, an increasingly confident and expansive China, and the captains of the global oligopoly, all braying praises to their new world orders and warning us that attempts to resist them meant returning to carnage and chaos.

If such resistance could be embodied in a state, it would be the Jewish one. Israel may be an enthusiastic participant in international diplomacy and the high-tech global economy, but it is not in any danger of being assimilated into the borg. Its upper crust still sees itself as committed primarily to national interests, not cosmopolitan pieties. And it is not afraid to defy an empire or two for the sake of its survival—as it did, for example, when it bombed the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq and was rewarded only with condemnation from the United States, the United Nations, and everyone in between.

But even more than Israel’s actions, it is the country’s essence that is so troubling to advocates of a global moral and political order that preaches sameness, not difference. Israel’s existence, and its continuing success, are an intimation that the light unto the nations may shine not from the embrace of universalist dogma, whether proclaimed from on high in Brussels or Beijing or Cupertino, but rather from a small nation that insists on living by its own traditions and happy to simply lead by example.

The idea that particularism is not an atavistic survival technique from a benighted past, but in fact the wellspring of human culture and social process, is as wicked to the Davos set as the Peace of Westphalia was to the Roman Catholic Church. To those who despise the idea of national sovereignty and national character, to those who want us all to watch the same shows, buy the same goods, and obey the same regulations and standards of virtue promulgated by a single authority, there can be no greater threat than the continuing existence of a strong, prosperous, and free Jewish state with its capital in Jerusalem. And what case can be made for a particularistic national existence in countries like Japan and France—to say nothing of more brittle constructions like Nigeria, Brazil, or the United States of America—if Israel is judged to be illegitimate?

Israel’s continuing success in the face of universal condemnation and scorn is a reminder that Herder’s celebration of difference was a solution to the universalist dreams of Pope Innocent X and his ideological successors, who nearly drowned the world in blood. Today, the universalist set foolishly insists that there is no greater crime than the belief that people and nations are and should continue to be different rather than the same. Feel free to ignore them.

The Caroline Glick Show: Ep28 : As China Rises and the US Falters, Where Does Israel Stand? | Guest: David Goldman
In Episode 28 of the Caroline Glick Mideast News Hour, Caroline spoke with David Goldman, Deputy Editor of the Asia Times about what makes China work, what its weaknesses are, where it stands vis-v-vis Taiwan and America and what it wants from the Jews.

Israel and the new ‘Old Europe’
While Israel should maintain special ties with East European governments to counter the FAC unanimity it needs to pass resolutions on the Middle East, Israel’s “divide and rule” tactics may have reached their limit. Too many bridges have been burned with Poland, and the Orban era might end in Hungary. There has been a change of guard in Austria, and there may be one soon in the Czech Republic.

By contrast, political changes are taking place, or are about to take place, in “Old Europe” (mainly France and Germany) that can be turned to Israel’s advantage. If Macron is re-elected in France, he might significantly modify his country’s Middle East policies and participate in a military operation against Iran. Israel will need an able ambassador with the required language skills and political knowledge to build a new partnership with France.

As for Germany, its upcoming coalition will not fundamentally alter its policy toward Israel, though it might raise some difficulties on military exports. With Germany, Israel’s current government can and must leverage Israeli technological excellence to contribute to Germany’s energy transition and infrastructure upgrade.

Significant political changes are occurring in Europe. Therefore, Israel’s foreign policy would be well advised to take advantage of these changes by updating its reading of Europe’s political map.
In coalition agreement, German parties vow to defend Jewish life and Israel’s security
The new German coalition government agreement, presented Wednesday by the Christian Democratic Union, the Social Democratic Party, and the Greens, states:

"We will protect Jews and their institutions together with the federal states. It is a shameful and painful state of affairs in Germany that they must be permanently guarded."

The government "will strengthen initiatives that promote Jewish life and promote its diversity, and combat all forms of anti-Semitism."

"Israel's security is a national interest" of Germany, and the new government vows to block "anti-Semitic attempts to condemn Israel, also at the UN."

It also welcomes normalization of ties between Israel and Arab countries.

However, in the past, the Greens and the Social Democrats have criticized Israel frequently.

UAE Rabbi Kicks Off First Night of Hanukkah at Israeli Pavilion in Dubai
United Arab Emirates Rabbi Levi Duchman lit the first candle of the Hanukkah menorah on Sunday evening at the Israeli pavilion at EXPO 2020 in Dubai.

Duchman performed the ritual in the presence of local leaders, businesspeople, Jewish residents of the UAE and tourists from around the world. The event included a performance by the members of the Jewish community’s children’s choir and was attended by students of the community’s Hebrew school.

The Bahraini pavilion also had a candle lighting ceremony, attended by former Bahraini Ambassador to the United States Houda Nonoo and members of the Gulf state’s Jewish community. Thousands of Jews, none of them native-born, now live in the UAE and other Gulf states.

The Dubai candle lighting event, which would not have been possible prior to the signing of the Abraham Accords, took place as a result of the efforts of the Jewish National Fund in the UAE. Israeli Consul General in Dubai Ilan Sztulman and Commissioner-General of Israel’s EXPO 2020 pavilion Elazar Cohen were among those in attendance.

Dubai has an Ashkenazi synagogue known as “the Villa,” which was opened around a decade ago in the private home of a South African attorney. Jews interested in praying there learned of its location by word of mouth. Another synagogue, Sephardi, is situated in the private residence of Duchman, from Chabad, who arrived in Dubai from Morocco seven years ago.
Erdogan says Turkey seeking to mend troubled ties with Israel
Turkey will take steps to improve relations with Israel similar to those taken with the UAE, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in comments published by Turkish media on Monday.

Ties between Turkey and the UAE were strained over regional issues, but Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed’s visit to Ankara last week thawed relations as the countries sealed multi-billion-dollar investments.

“Just as a step was taken between us and the United Arab Emirates, we will take similar steps with the others,” Erdogan told Turkish reporters on board his plane returning from a trip to Turkmenistan over the weekend, NTV broadcaster reported.

He suggested Turkish ambassadors could be sent back to both Egypt and Israel, and that ambassadors could be returned to both nations after years of chilly relations. “Now when we have made our decision, we will of course be in a position to appoint ambassadors within a defined schedule,” Erdogan said, without offering a timeline.

In 2018, Turkey ordered out Israel’s ambassador over the killing of protesters along the border with the Gaza Strip. Relations between Jerusalem and Ankara have been perennially strained, and Erdogan regularly makes disparaging comments about Israel.

Earlier this month, an Israeli couple was detained for a week in Turkey after being arrested for photographing Erdogan’s palace. The couple were accused of being Israeli spies, though Israel dismissed the charges as ludicrous, noting that they were merely vacationing bus drivers.

Frimet Roth: It's my murdered child's birthday
Today, November 27, my precious daughter Malki would have turned 36.

If only she hadn't stopped with a friend at Jerusalem's Sbarro pizzeria on her way to a summer camp counselors' meeting.

If only the evil Ahlam Tamimi had been arrested on her way to that target to satisfy her bloodlust.

If only Tamimi hadn't succeeded by bombing to death 15 innocent Jews.

If only our worst nightmare hadn't eventuated.

If only, if only...

But the reality is my angelic, generous, musical and loving daughter is gone while Tamimi is alive and free, enabled by the world's silence to boast publicly about her "accomplishment" and to urge others to emulate her.

She did just that some six weeks ago in a video address to Turkish children that has gone unreported in the news.

Among her words to them:
"I participated in two jihad attacks which produced thank the lord, the deaths of 15 Zionists... These 2 jihad attacks are a crown on my head. Thank god, I entered history doing the best deeds."
Indian Ambassador to Israel, Indian-Israeli Jews Mark Anniversary of 2008 Mumbai Attacks
Indians in Israel, including officials, overseas students, and Jewish citizens of Indian descent, commemorated in various events the 13th anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks that killed 166 people, including six Jews at the city’s Chabad House.

The coordinated attacks, perpetrated across Mumbai on Nov. 26, 2008 by the Islamist Lashkar-e-Taiba organization, also wounded over 300 people.

The Chabad House massacre left two-year-old Moshe Holtzberg orphaned. He returned to Israel with his nanny Sandra Samuel, who received honorary Israeli citizenship.

“The terrible attack on the Chabad House reflected the deep-seated antisemitism of the perpetrators and their state handlers,” India’s Ambassador to Israel Sanjeev Singla stated on Friday, Indian news agency PTI reported. “The various events by the community to remember the victims are an expression of its yearning for justice to be meted out.”

The attack was planned on Pakistani territory and caused considerable tension between that country and India.

Isaac Solomon, a leader of the Indian-Israeli community in Eilat, said at a commemorative event that both Israel and India have been the target of terrorism, despite their overtures for peace.

“The terrorists do not really have a real objective,” he said. “They have only one goal — to harm people. India and Israel are democracies that seek peace and will continue to raise their voice against the menace of terrorism anywhere in the world.”
Israel Approves Evacuation of Thousands of Ethiopian Jews Amid Escalating Civil War
The Israeli government on Sunday approved a plan for the entry of thousands of Ethiopian Jews who have been waiting in refugee camps amid an ongoing civil war in the African nation, Israel’s public broadcaster Kan reported.

Formulated by Ethiopian-Israeli Minister of Immigration Pnina Tamano-Shata, the scheme would see some 3,000 refugees, including those with immediate family in Israel, airlifted out of Ethiopia as soon as possible, subject to Ministry of Health guidelines on the coronavirus pandemic.

The process of approving the plan began three weeks ago and gained momentum after demonstrations by Ethiopian-Israelis — many of whom have family members in the camps — advocating the emergency aliyah operation.

There is widespread concern for the safety of Ethiopian refugees, as the civil war reaches its apex and the central government becomes increasingly endangered, threatening to engulf the country in chaos. All sides in the conflict have been accused of perpetrating atrocities and possible war crimes.
US Army Finds Three-Week Test of Iron Dome at Guam Airbase to Be Successful
The US military completed a three week test of Iron Dome air defense batteries at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam and found the trial to be a success, Starts and Stripes reported on Wednesday.

In 2019, the United States and Israel signed an agreement for the procurement of two Iron Dome batteries, made by Israel’s Rafael defense company. The batteries were delivered the following year and have since undergone a process of testing and operator training. A first live test was conducted in August in New Mexico.

According to Stars and Stripes, 60 soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion of the 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment were deployed to Guam in late September from Fort Bliss, Texas, along with the Iron Dome’s radar system, control center and launchers.

“For the past few weeks, the Texas-based troops and 110 members of Task Force Talon, part of the 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, based at Sagamihara, Japan, have trained 24-hours-a-day to defend the island from simulated air attacks, task force commander Maj. Kyle Hermanson told Stars and Stripes by phone Wednesday,” the report stated.

“Iron Dome deployed to Guam with a full complement of training missiles, but it hasn’t been doing live fire,” it added.

“We’ve been running multiple simulations between both units and the command-and-control element, forward-deployed from Japan,” Hermanson was quoted as saying. “The main thing we were trying to get after was to test the deployment of the system and the ability to operate with a low and upper-tier asset.”
JPost Editorial: Against COVID Omicron variant, we need Hanukkah spirit
There is no doubt that as Jews around the world lit the first candle of Hanukkah last night, everyone needed some festive cheer, light, and the reminder of miracles. The corona pandemic is yet again casting a pall this year over the festivities and general feeling of well-being, as news of the new Omicron variant takes its toll. There is even talk of a fifth wave and new restrictions coming into force.

The Hanukkah holiday celebrates the Hasmonean victory over the Syrian-Greek Seleucids in the second century BCE; how the one cruse of untainted oil lasted eight days to keep the menorah in the Temple alight; and the rededication of the Temple itself.

It is miraculous in its own way that Jews today not only still celebrate the festival, but are free to do so in their own state. Despite all the difficulties and dangers, the State of Israel continues to not only survive but thrive.

At the same time, we must not forget the modern-day threats, as talks on a renewed Iran nuclear deal are set to restart today; and as Hamas threatens to ignite a new wave of attacks after President Isaac Herzog lit candles in the Cave of the Patriarchs. But we should not give in to the threats and fears.

Like the other jihadist terrorist organizations, Hamas would like to erase all trace of Jewish ties to the Land of Israel, from the Temple Mount where the Hanukkah miracle took place more than two millennia ago, to holy sites such as the site in Hebron that Abraham purchased as a burial ground for the forefathers and foremothers of the Jewish people.
Tom Gross: Is Israel overreacting over Omicron? Tom Gross on Turkish TV
Israel reimposes Covid restrictions after two cases of the omicron covid mutation are found in the country, Tom Gross on Turkish TV Anews (Nov 28, 2021)... The Turkish TV caption means "Israel shuts down entry to most foreigners for the next two weeks". The country remains open domestically.

Khaled Abu Toameh: For Palestinians, Terrorism or Peace? Abbas Wants It Both Ways
If Abbas is really interested in returning to the negotiating table with Israel, he needs to decide whether he is on the side of his peace partners in Israel or his political enemies in Hamas.

Abbas needs to decide whether he belongs to the pro-peace camp in Israel and the Arab world, or the enemies of peace, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and their patrons in Iran.

For now, it seems that Abbas wants it both ways.

Abbas, in other words, is telling Westerners that he supports peace with Israel while reaching out to the Iranian-backed terrorist group that openly states its intention to eliminate Israel and wage jihad (holy war) on Jews.

Instead of welcoming the UK's decision to ban Hamas, Abbas was one of the first Palestinians to condemn the move. By condemning the decision, Abbas is sending a message to the international community that he actually does support terror and Hamas.

Yet, in the world of the Palestinian Authority, it seems that combating a radical terrorist group is a bad thing.
PMW: Despite unprecedented income, PA still begs for charity
Financial reports released by the Palestinian Authority show that the the PA's income during the first 10 months of 2021, was the highest ever. Curiously, this fact was entirely absent from the report released by the World Bank in preparation for the meeting of the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee for Palestine – an international meeting during which the PA cries about its financial woes and begs the international community to donate more and more funds.

According to the PA’s financial report, the PA net income for the first 10 months of 2021 totaled 11,391,800,000 shekels. This reflected a rise of 1.798 billion shekels in comparison to 2019 and over 3 billion shekels in comparison with 2020. Over the last decade, the PA net income has gradually doubled.

Following the meeting, which took place on November 17th in Oslo, Norway, PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Shtayyeh updated his cabinet expressing hope in what was termed as the PA’s “financial crisis.” “We received serious promises during the meeting of donor countries, which was held in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, to resume providing aid to the [PA] treasury...”

[Official PA news agency, WAFA, (In English), Nov. 21, 2021]

The rise in PA revenue was not the only detail missing from the World Bank report. Other clearly missing details included the fact that the PA spends hundreds of millions of shekels every year paying financial rewards to terrorists and the fact that in the last decade the PA has transferred over 8 billion shekels to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Part of the money transferred has been used to fund internationally designated terror organizations, such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), that are still members of the PLO. Another part of the funds transferred, appears to have facilitated the purchase of a considerable PLO owned international real estate portfolio.
Hamas Political Bureau Member: Jerusalem Gunman Was Hamas Member, Wanted to Be a Role Model in Jihad

Sr. Hamas Official: Europeans Banished Jews Because of Their Corruption, Planted Them in Palestine

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Leader Criticizes Hamas for Facilitating Work of Gaza Laborers in Israel

Ha'aretz: The Israeli Plan to Counter Iran
The Iranians have no intention of retreating from their military nuclear program, said Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Alon Ushpiz in an interview.

"They have not stopped their technological advances....The Iranians won't be coming to Vienna to return to the agreement. I think the Iranians will be coming to obtain whatever they can and wish for in the economic [sphere], in other words, an easing of sanctions at the lowest possible cost."

"I don't think there are big differences in the understanding of where the technological situation is. But [Iran's] intentions are more difficult to analyze. Not a single partner is saying to us, 'We've come to terms with the Iranians getting a bomb.' Quite the contrary."

Ushpiz believes the international community needs to adopt a different plan of action, one that is much firmer and more forceful. He describes a pincer action in which the U.S. would impose harsh sanctions and demand that Iran retreat from its nuclear ambitions, while at the same time threatening a significant military operation if it fails to cooperate.

"Multidimensional pressure needs to be applied on the Iranians all the time....The Iranian military nuclear program cannot be given legitimacy. Absolutely not. As soon as that happens, this whole story unravels."

The present agreement "gives legitimacy to an Iranian nuclear program the moment you tell [the Iranian regime] that from a certain point, you can conduct whatever research and development that you wish."

Moreover, "an interim agreement is a very bad idea...because it's not certain that anything will come after it, and because it rewards the Iranians and gives them legitimacy."
Israel ‘very concerned’ as US, Iran return to nuclear talks – Bennett
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned against an interim agreement with Iran that the US is considering, a day before nuclear negotiations with Iran resume in Vienna.

“Israel is very concerned about the willingness to lift sanctions and allow the flow of billions to Iran in exchange for insufficient restrictions on the nuclear program,” Bennett said at the start of Sunday’s cabinet meeting. “This is a message that we are conveying in every way, both to the Americans and to the other countries that are negotiating with Iran.”

Bennett added that Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will deliver the same message to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London and French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris this week.

Bennett’s comments reflect increasing alarm in Jerusalem over the American position going into the indirect talks with Iran in Vienna on Monday.

“The Americans are saying one thing to us and then the opposite within a few hours,” a senior Israeli diplomatic source lamented. The source cited an article published in Politico over the weekend quoting a senior Biden administration official who said the US was “open to alternatives,” such as an interim deal that may be pushed by one of the other parties to the JCPOA.
Iran Rep. Urges Israel’s ‘Annihilation’ Before Nuclear Talks
Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, a top-level spokesperson for Iran’s armed forces, called for the destruction of Israel on Saturday during an interview with a state-run media outlet.

“We will not back off from the annihilation of Israel, even one millimeter,” Shekarchi told the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA).

“We want to destroy Zionism in the world,” he added.

Shekarchi also denounced the diplomatic ties established with Israel by Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, dubbing the moves “intolerable,” according to the Jerusalem Post.

Bahrain and the UAE agreed to normalized relations with Israel in 2020 under the Abraham Accords, which led to several subsequent peace agreements with other regional powers.

The representative’s sharp comments arrive as Iran is expected to resume negotiations with world powers Monday for a potential revival of the country’s 2015 nuclear deal.

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressed concern on Sunday that the upcoming negotiations with Iran would result in “unsatisfactory restrictions in the nuclear realm,” according to Reuters.

Iran: people protest over water shortages


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