Tuesday, November 30, 2021

From Ian:

Herzog's Hebron visit underlines Jewish connection to Israel
On Sunday, President Isaac Herzog lit the first Hanukkah candle in the most ancient Jewish site, Ma’arat Hamachpela, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The Jewish connection to the city reaches back to biblical times. In the Torah portion which we read last week, we are told that “Jacob lives in the city of forefathers,” that after a long sojourn in Haran he returned to his homeland and lived in Hebron. It was where the oldest land sale contract in human history was drawn up, when Abraham negotiated with the local residents to purchase the Cave of the Patriarchs as a burial site for his wife Sarah, paying above market price.

For Herzog, it’s a deeply personal moment. He is carrying on the legacy of his father, the late president Chaim Herzog, who also served as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations. In 1976, the elder Herzog distributed a copy of the biblical verses outlining the details of the sale of the tomb to members of the UN. As the JTA reported: “For the first time in history, an agreement made almost 4,000 years ago and recorded in the Bible has been issued as a United Nations document today.”

In a speech at the time, he declared the historic Jewish connection to the holy site, second in importance to the actual Temple Mount in Jewish history and tradition. Chaim Herzog also spoke about his unique connection to Hebron as it was one of the cities controlled by the tribe of Levi in ancient times, and Herzog was a Levite himself. He had been encouraged by the Lubavitcher Rebbe to speak out about this connection to Hebron in the UN.

The menorah lit on Sunday by President Herzog carries on this tradition of standing up for the deep Jewish bond to the Land of Israel. Three reasons are commonly argued to substantiate the Jewish people’s connection to Eretz Yisrael: Firstly, history – Jews have always lived in Eretz Yisrael, and we modern Jews only continue that legacy. Secondly, Jews need a place of haven and refuge – we have learned so tragically that without a place where we can chart our own destiny, our people remain at mortal risk. Finally, that international law endorsed the quest of Jews to establish a state, as supported by the Balfour Declaration and the UN.

Each of these arguments carries weight but also has weaknesses. Would history justify giving the Dutch the state of New York because they ruled there hundreds of years ago? One could argue that maybe being spread out around the world lessens the risk of danger to the Jewish people, as opposed to being concentrated in one place. And those decisions by the international bodies establishing Israel was imperialism at its worst.
Erdan blasts UN ‘Palestine Day,’ reminds of Jews expelled from Muslim countries
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan, along with the World Jewish Congress, blasted the United Nations for its annual “Palestine Day” while ignoring the expulsion of Jews from Muslim countries.

“On Nov. 29, exactly 74 years ago, the U.N. recognized the Jewish people’s right to a state. The Jews and Israel accepted this partition plan, and the Palestinians and the Arab countries rejected it and tried to destroy us,” said Erdan. “The Palestinians and the Arab countries not only attacked Israel, the Jewish state, they also persecuted, massacred and ultimately expelled the Jewish communities in their own countries. Shockingly, this atrocity is completely, completely ignored by the U.N.”

As part of the campaign led by Erdan and the WJC, trucks carrying signs arrived at the U.N. headquarters and showed those entering the building pictures of Jewish refugees being expelled from Arab countries and Iran, along with a demand to stop erasing Jewish history.

A pro-Palestinian conference called “Solidarity with the Palestinian People” was held in the U.N. General Assembly on Monday. The conference, intended to strengthen support for the Palestinians “right of return,” was attended by the president of the General Assembly, the president of the Security Council, the Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations and representatives of Palestinian civil society.

The inside story of 'Expulsion Day'
Today, we speak of a largely forgotten ethnic cleansing largely unparalleled in the history of humanitarian abuses. Recall the coordinated international expulsion of some 850,000 Jews from Arab and Muslim lands, where they had lived peaceably for as long as 27 centuries. As some know, in 2014, the Israeli government set aside Nov. 30 as a commemoration of this mass atrocity.

It has had no real identity or name like "Kristallnacht." But today, from this day forward, the day will be known as Yom HaGirush: "Expulsion Day."

It has been a years-long road to identify and solidify this identity. It began the moment that Hitler came to power in 1933.

The international Pan-Arab community, coordinated out of Palestine and spanning four continents, formed a vibrant political and later military alliance with the Nazis. This partnership functioned in the rarefied corridors of governments, the riot-torn streets of many cities on all sides of the oceans and eventually the gun-powdered trenches and frontlines of war-strangled Europe.

The overseer of this alliance was Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, but he led an eager coalition of Arab leaders organized into the Arab Higher Committee, along with popular supporters from the Arab street. They had fused with Nazi ideology and goals, which included the destruction of the Jews and the defeat of British influence.

After the Mufti fled criminal prosecution in Jewish Palestine in Oct. 1937, he relocated to Baghdad. Iraq became the new center of gravity for the Arab-Nazi collaboration. By the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Iraqi Arabs under the guidance of the Mufti had imported all sorts of Nazi ideology and confederation into Iraq. On June 1-2, 1941, as Germany was poised to attack Russia and needed Arab oil, Nazi Arabs in Iraq launched a bloody two-day pogrom against its Jewish community, which had dwelled there for 2,700 years – a 1,000 years before Muhammad.

74 years since UN vote on Palestinian mandate partition
Analysis with Dr. Emmanuel Navon, Senior Fellow, Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

As Jewish Groups Organize Counter-Protest, Iran Blasts ‘Zionist Regime’ in Statement to UN Event in Solidarity With Palestinians
Iran, Turkey, South Africa and Venezuela were among several countries that issued stridently anti-Israel statements on Monday to mark the United Nations-sponsored “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”

Initiated in 1978 under the auspices of the UN’s Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People — itself part of a dedicated, multi-million dollar “Division for Palestinian Rights” that operates within the UN Secretariat — the annual solidarity day on Nov. 29 is billed as an opportunity for member states to express support for the Palestinians. On Nov. 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly voted in favor of the partition of the territory of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state, a proposal roundly rejected by the Arab League.

In a message sent to Monday’s ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York, Iran’s hardline Islamist President Ebrahim Raisi blasted what he termed “more than seven decades of occupation of the Palestinian territory by the Zionist regime.”

Using the anti-Zionist terminology favored by opponents of Israel’s sovereign existence, the Iranian statement called for a “referendum” on the dissolution of the Jewish state — a member state of the UN since 1949.

“We attach great importance to the international community’s responsibility, especially the United Nations, in ending the occupation of Palestine and assisting the Palestinian people in realizing their inalienable rights through a referendum based on democratic principles and international law as the most democratic and principled solution to the Palestinian crisis,” the Iranian statement said.
Why Britain Declared the Hamas Movement as a Terrorist Organization
Hamas is concerned that Britain intends to damage the movement’s financial system in London. Much of the funds flow into the pockets of senior Hamas figures.

The British declaration helps Israel’s political and public relations struggle around the world to expose the true face of Hamas and justify the war against its terrorist attacks.

The Hamas movement controls the lives of more than two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, who have been told their governing body is a terrorist organization.

According to the new law, Hamas supporters in Britain can expect punishments of up to 14 years in prison.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Ministry Of Culture Puzzled By Grant Request For Non-Anti-Zionist HaBima Play (satire)
Officials and clerks at Israel’s chief government body for support of the arts voiced confusion today upon receipt of an application to fund a production of a show at the country’s most venerable and prestigious theatrical venue – but one that, unlike every other production in that establishment, does not question, challenge, undermine, or ridicule Judaism or the legitimacy of Jewish sovereignty in the Jewish homeland.

Functionaries at multiple levels of the Ministry of Culture and Sport acknowledged Thursday they continue not to grasp the bizarre application for a grant to help the Habima Theater Company produce Idit Avrahami’s play Sultan’s Breakfast, a drama the takes place primarily in a kindergarten, and that explores gender roles, child-adult dynamics, the border between a child’s perception and reality, and other themes, with a thick layer of warm humor pervading the script. A spokesman for the ministry told reporters they still did not know what to make of the prospect of funding an artistic event without anti-Zionist or antireligious connotations, explicit or implicit.

“We’re still trying to figure this thing out,” admitted Theater Division chief Meza Nin. “When the application first came in, we thought something was missing. One of our mid-level officials recognized the play – I think her cousin helped edit it or something – and she stood there for what must have been a full minute, dumfounded. Something just didn’t add up. When she finally recovered the ability to speak, she said, ‘I don’t think we’ve ever done this before.'”
Israeli Officials Light Hanukkah Menorahs at Western Wall as Victim of Palestinian Gunman Honored
In a ceremony at the Western Wall, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz lit menorahs to mark the first night of Hanukkah on Sunday.

The eight-day Jewish holiday, also known as the Festival of Lights, celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the second century BCE, following a successful revolt by the Jewish Maccabees in Judea against the Seleucid Empire.

“It is very emotional to light the first candle in the Western Wall tunnels,” Bennett shared on his Facebook page.

“Hanukkah is a holiday of miracles, and we, the citizens of the State of Israel who live in the State of Israel, are the miracle workers.”

The Western Wall Heritage Foundation, an administrative body tasked with managing the religious site, said that candle-lighting events taking place there were dedicated to Eli Kay.

Kay, a 26-year-old Israeli, was killed by a Hamas-linked gunman during a shooting in Jerusalem’s Old City last week.

The assailant, a Palestinian man identified as Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, was shot dead by Israel’s security forces.

Four other people were wounded during the incident, including two Israeli police officers.

The Israel Guys: Israel’s Separation Wall: Security or Apartheid? (REVEALING FOOTAGE)
If you google today’s topic, you’ll find dozens of articles and videos in your search results. There’s actually a famous spot next to Israel’s security barrier that you’ve probably seen on Al Jazeera, CNN or another major news network. On today’s episode, we go to the same spot, and tell a very different story.

Does the security barrier, or the so-called “wall” demonstrate that Israel is committing apartheid against the Palestinians? Have Palestinian homes and livelihoods been abused because of the “wall”? Find answers on today’s show that will definitely surprise you.

What percentage of the security barrier is a concrete wall versus a separation fence? I bet you won’t be able to guess.

PMW: “The blood of the Martyrs draws the borders of the homeland” - Martyrdom veneration for adults and children alike
Opening the Good Morning Jerusalem program on official PA TV, the TV host recited a poem glorifying and romanticizing death for Allah. Exemplifying the PA’s cult-like veneration of dead terrorists – who it calls “Martyrs” – by referring to their “fragrance” that “engulfs the city,” the poem expressed esteem for the “souls of the homeland’s heroes.” The host continued reading the poem, saying that it is “the blood of Martyrs that draws the borders of the homeland”, and then dedicated the entire program to dead and imprisoned terrorists – “our pure Martyrs and our heroic prisoners”:
Official PA TV host: “The homeland bows in honor before the souls of its heroes… The Martyr is the night star that guides those who stray on the path, the words attempt to describe him, but it is impossible – this is the Martyr. I am from a homeland, half of which is Martyrs, half of which is refugees, and the rest are awaiting [Martyrdom]. Fragrance engulfs the city until it is suffocating – the Martyr sits on the shoulders of Heaven and smiles. My homeland taught me that it is the blood of the Martyrs that draws the borders of the homeland. We have lost and the Martyrs have gained… This morning is dedicated to our pure Martyrs and our heroic prisoners. We say to them: Good Morning Jerusalem!”

[Official PA TV, Good Morning Jerusalem, Nov. 19, 2021]

Palestinian Media Watch has documented the PA’s intense effort to promote death for “Palestine” as “Martyrs” while “confronting” Israel in terror attacks – to children and adults alike. The poem itself and the PA TV host’s dedication of the program to terrorists is yet another example of the fact that the PA consciously and adamantly wants to keep terror on the back burner and make sure it always has a Palestinian population that is ready to “die for Allah” for Palestine. This way, when the leadership wills it, another terror wave is just a matter of intensifying the encouragement and the libels that are used as justification for the use of violence and terror against Israelis.

Recently, PMW exposed that Yasser Arafat’s turning a 14-year-old “Martyr” into a role-model for children during the second Intifada - Arafat’s 5-year terror campaign - remains central to Palestinian ideology today.

A fresh example of educational efforts to cement the ideal of “Martyrdom-death” in the minds of the population is this young girl reciting a poem with the pledge: “the path of Martyrdom is our choice”:

Just don’t call him a terrorist
When is a terrorist not a terrorist? When he’s a Palestinian Arab, of course.

In any other part of the world, under any other circumstances, somebody who, for nationalistic reasons, fires a submachine gun into a crowd of civilians is recognized as a terrorist.

But when Fadi Abu Shkhaydam opened fire with a submachine gun into a group of Jewish civilians in Jerusalem earlier this month, murdering tour guide Eliyahu (“Eli”) Kay and wounding four others, the word “terrorist” was nowhere to be found.

The opening sentence of The New York Times article about the attack read: “A Palestinian teacher shot dead an Israeli tour guide … .” As if his profession is relevant; as if, hey, that’s what teachers normally do.

But other characterizations of the murderer by the news media and various advocacy groups were not much better.

J Street’s press release called Shkhaydam “a Palestinian gunman.”

The Guardian called him “a Hamas militant.”

On National Public Radio, he was “a Palestinian assailant.”

In The Washington Post, he was just “a Palestinian man.”

We all get aggravated by the relentlessly pro-Palestinian bias of much of the international news media. We’ve all become accustomed to gritting our teeth as we open our morning newspaper or click on the day’s headlines. My point about the way Shkhaydam was described is not to complain about media bias per se. That’s like complaining about death and taxes. That’s how inevitable it has become.

Instead, I’m raising the issue because we can learn something by taking a closer look at this episode. Realizing why the pro-Arab side chooses such terminology is important to understanding how to effectively combat it.
MEMRI: Last Will Of Jerusalem Shooter: I Chose This Path To Attain Paradise; Prepare Yourselves For Jihad And Martyrdom
Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, the Hamas-affiliated terrorist who perpetrated the November 21, 2021 deadly shooting near the Western Wall in Jerusalem, left a will explaining that it has long been his wish to become a martyr and be rewarded with Paradise. He called on his friends and family, and on all the people of Jerusalem, to follow in his footsteps and shed the shackles of this world by engaging in jihad and seeking martyrdom.

The following is a translation of his will: [1]

"In the name of Allah, the Compassionate and the Merciful

"My Will:

"I, Fadi Mahmoud Abu Shkhaydam, write these words in supreme joy, ready for my meeting with Allah the Almighty, the culmination of my years-long painstaking labor. Since my feet first stood in a mosque and I [began] imbibing the Quran and the Sunna, I have been dreaming of soon meeting Allah as a martyr [after] attacking the enemy and not fleeing, with Allah's help. The past years have been nothing but preparation, spiritual and military, for this honorable and blessed moment.

"My mother, brothers, sister, wife, sons and daughters:

"By Allah, it has been a supreme honor to live in your company, but life in the company of Allah will be even more honorable, exalted and noble. You have given me so much help and support that it is my duty to give you an even greater reward. For our Prophet [Muhammad], Allah's peace and prayer be upon him, told us that a martyr can intercede [with Allah] on behalf of his family,[2] and I ask Allah [to let me be martyred and] intercede on your behalf and on behalf of my late father. So be patient, seek to be rewarded by Allah, and be steadfast. Know that I chose this path in order to please Allah and to enter into His paradise. Life is short, and whoever lays down his life and manages to sacrifice himself for the sake of Allah has attained success. I urge you to adhere to Allah's religion until you meet Him. Your religion is the essence of everything, and your Al-Aqsa [mosque] is [the source of] your greatness and pride.

"My brothers, my partners in da'wa [Islamic preaching] and Islamic action,

"The blessed words and da'wa we have been dispensing since our youth require us to sacrifice our souls, so that our words do not remain dead and lifeless. Words require someone to bear witness to their justness and truth. The best change is brought about through sacrifice and through matching one's deeds to one's words.
Jews are “impure” and “the world’s dogs” in girls’ songs to their terrorist relatives

Little boy praises murderer of 7 as “masked lion,” “day and night the ax shines in your hand”

‘In Syria, Hezbollah Learned How to Go on the Offensive,’ Says IDF Intelligence Officer
The Israel Defense Forces are developing upgraded intelligence and firepower strike capabilities and is drilling these new abilities on a regular basis.

At the same time, Israeli intelligence sources acknowledge that Hezbollah has morphed from a guerilla-terror organization into an organized terror army. These developments were clearly on display this month, during an extensive war drill conducted by the IDF’s 36th Armored Division, a multi-arena division capable of maneuvering into enemy territory and attacking targets in a range of ways.

“We are preparing ourselves in better ways. We hope we don’t have to get there,” said Deputy Intelligence Officer for the 36th Armored Division Maj. A (full name withheld) during the drill.

When assessing Hezbollah, Maj. A stated that the Iranian-backed Shi’ite group has learned from its experience in Syria’s battlefield how to go on the offensive.

As opposed to only trying to target IDF patrols with IEDs, anti-tank missiles and other guerilla tactics, Hezbollah of 2021 is focused on mobilizing forces into Israeli territory and employing tactical lessons it has learned from its partners in Syria since 2011.

“They will look to achieve a very big success early on in a conflict or a serious ‘success’ against the [Israeli] civilian front,” he cautioned. This could mean attacking an Israeli village near the Lebanese border and holding families hostage, exploiting Israel’s heightened sensitivity to the welfare of its civilians.
Hezbollah still trying to deliver fuel to Lebanon
Iranian media said the “second phase” of distribution of Iranian diesel fuel to Lebanon would occur as winter begins. The claims portray Lebanese Hezbollah and its leader Hassan Nasrallah as helping Lebanon during a fuel crisis. In fact, this is a ploy to let Hezbollah control Lebanon’s energy needs and help it in its mafia-like stranglehold over Lebanon. Iran wants to gain influence and fame for “helping” Lebanon.

“Speaking to Al-Ahd News website about the Hezbollah plan to distribute diesel fuel to hundreds of thousands of families, Hajj Ali al-Zain, the mayor of a district in southern Lebanon, said that the plan was being pursued by 77 municipalities to provide heating services to the people, especially residents,” Tasnim reported.

In September, the BBC reported that Hezbollah also brought fuel to Lebanon.

“The process of distributing diesel is also carried out away from any regional, sectarian or political considerations, and the officials of each region, if they contact Hezbollah for fuel, will receive the services after conducting the necessary checks,” the report says.

In a sense what is revealed here is that Hezbollah, which has only 12 of 128 of seats in Lebanon’s parliament, now not only controls a parallel communication network, runs its own terrorist army in Lebanon, conducts Lebanon’s foreign policy, and now controls banking, housing, supermarkets and fuel in the country.
Lebanese Protesters Block Roads Over Economic Meltdown
Demonstrators, some of them burning tires, blocked roads across parts of Lebanon on Monday in protest at the country’s economic meltdown, days after the Lebanese pound sank to new lows.

Lebanon’s economic crisis, which erupted in 2019, has propelled more than three quarters of the population into poverty and the local currency has plummeted by over 90 percent.

The Lebanese pound sank to more than 25,000 against the dollar last week, from a peg in 2019 of 1,500.

Roads were blocked by burning tires in central Beirut, Tripoli in northern Lebanon, and the southern city of Sidon.

There has been little progress since Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government was appointed in September after more than a year of political deadlock that compounded the crisis.

Mikati’s government has been in paralysis since a row over the lead investigator into a fatal explosion at Beirut port last year flared during a cabinet meeting on Oct. 12. The cabinet has not met since then.

Subsidies have been cut back on almost all goods including fuel and medicine, pushing up prices as basic services such as healthcare crumble.
Four things to watch as Biden administration returns to Iran nuclear negotiating table
Iran nuclear deal negotiations resume Monday after five months, but experts warn the United States is on even weaker footing than before after the deadly withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and unanswered proxy attacks on military assets.

Here are four developments to be mindful of as officials gather in Austria for the seventh round of negotiations since President Joe Biden's inauguration.

Iran buying itself more time for its nuclear program

As negotiations resume, Iran has bolstered its nuclear program in terms of the amount of enriched uranium in its stockpile and the number of operable centrifuges at its disposal, according to Misztal. That has gifted Iran with negotiating leverage over the Biden administration, he said.

Biden and his team have toughened their own message, reiterating that "time is running out" and floating the idea of a Plan B with Israel, according to Misztal. But the problem is the administration has not imposed a negotiation deadline or detailed his contingency plan, he explained.

"Even if [Iran] doesn't believe that the United States might attack it, it does think that diplomacy buys it some time and makes it harder, for example, for Israel to attack Iran," Misztal said. "It also buys goodwill."

"One of Iran's overarching strategies is always to divide Western powers by creating uncertainty and doubt as to Iran's true intentions," he added. "What it doesn't want is the U.S. and European countries, and Russia and China, agreeing that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon, or that Iran is unwilling to compromise, and ganging up on it and passing more sanctions at the U.N."
Biden Admin Ignores Congressional Inquiries Into Iran Sanctions Relief
The Biden administration has ignored more than two dozen congressional inquiries into plans to grant Iran significant relief from economic sanctions, which could provide the hardline regime with upwards of $90 billion in hard cash, according to a coalition of Republican foreign policy leaders.

Frustrated with the Biden administration's refusal to provide Congress with information about its closed-door dealings with Iran, 25 Republican lawmakers on Monday wrote to the White House to inform the president that Republicans are poised to block any efforts to help Iran repatriate billions of dollars in funds that were frozen under the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign on Tehran. The letter comes on the same day the United States and Iran are scheduled to resume talks about reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.

"Despite over a dozen letters by members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) asking for information on Iran sanctions enforcement, your administration has continued to leave Congress in the dark regarding its plans to weaken sanctions enforcement and provide sanctions relief to Iran," the lawmakers write.

The letter, which was obtained exclusively by the Washington Free Beacon, is the latest salvo in a standoff between the Biden administration and Republican hawks in Congress who oppose any effort to reenter the nuclear deal and unwind sanctions on Iran. While most of the Trump administration's sanctions remain in place, Republican lawmakers accuse Biden's State and Treasury Departments of turning a blind eye to enforcement. Since taking office and reentering negotiations with Iran, the Biden administration has rolled back sanctions on Iran's terror proxy groups and permitted the country to ship millions of barrels of illicit oil to China, Syria, and other countries. The lax enforcement of sanctions allowed Tehran's hardline regime to increase its cash reserves from around $4 billion in 2020 to $31 billion by the end of this year.
MEMRI: In Advance Of Vienna Nuclear Talks With Iran, Saudi Press Criticized U.S. For Showing Weakness Towards Iran And Ignoring Its Aspirations Of Hegemony
Ahead of today's renewal of the nuclear talks between Iran and the superpowers in Vienna, articles in the Saudi press had expressed concern over the policy of appeasement taken by the West, and especially the U.S., towards Iran. This concern in Saudi Arabia has been evident since President Joe Biden won the presidential election in November 2020, with the fear that he would seek to revive the Obama administration's policy and rejoin the JCPOA nuclear agreement from which President Trump withdrew in 2018.

Articles in the Saudi press stated that the talks with Iran will not be addressing any Iranian threats besides the nuclear threat – neither its ballistic missiles nor its proxy militias in the region, such as Ansar Allah (the Houthis) in Yemen, which frequently fires missiles and launches drones into Saudi territory, especially since Biden took office. Articles also condemned the U.S. policy of appeasement vis-à-vis Iran as damaging to Saudi and Gulf security; under Biden, the U.S. has revoked its designation of Ansar Allah as a terrorist organization, suspended sales of offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia,[1] and removed U.S. Patriot missile batteries and other air defense systems from the kingdom.[2]

Alarm in the Saudi press about U.S. policy further escalated following the August 2021 U.S. withdrawal and Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Saudi analysts and journalists wrote at that time that the U.S. plans to abandon the region and that Iran will see this as a green light to continue its aggression. Some even proposed taking action to confront Iran without consideration of the U.S., because Iran understands only the language of force and negotiating with it is futile.[3]

Apparently, Saudi apprehensions that the U.S. will abandon it to face the Iranian threat on its own have indeed led it to cultivate other avenues alongside its strategic ties with the U.S. For example, it was recently reported that the Saudis have held four rounds of talks with Iran itself, apparently in a bid to end the war in Yemen and revive Saudi-Iran diplomatic relations. So far, however, no agreements have been reached.[4] Furthermore, in August 2021, the kingdom signed a military cooperation agreement with Russia.[5] Moreover, as members of OPEC+, Saudi Arabia and Russia often act together to raise oil prices, against U.S. wishes.

At the same time, Saudi Arabia has grown significantly closer to Qatar, and there also are signs of Saudi-Turkey rapprochement – both Qatar and Turkey are supports of the Muslim Brotherhood which Saudi Arabia has designated a terrorist organization. However, it is not clear whether Saudi Arabia seeks to form an anti-Iran front or merely to have Qatar mediate between it and Iran. There are also signs of a possible Saudi rapprochement with Syria, where Iran has been increasing its presence.[6]

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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