Sunday, December 05, 2021

12/05 Links: Publishers against the People of the Book; PM: Iran can’t both negotiate and enrich uranium, must pay price for violating deal

From Ian:

11 Days in May
For 11 days, beginning May 10, "Hamas fired nearly 400 projectiles a day" for a total of "approximately 4,350" (680 of those rockets landed in Gaza, killing an estimated 91 Palestinians). The airstrikes marked the largest—in terms of number—ever lobbed toward the Jewish state in its young history. The tactic was by design.

Because while Hamas has grown in strength, so has Israel. It has the Iron Dome missile defense system that can, at this moment, effectively counter Hamas's rockets. It has more technologically advanced drones (air and sea) to counter Hamas's and a tunnel detection system in place to minimize the threat Israel faces in its own territories.

But by firing as many missiles as it could—including a five-minute salvo that included a "remarkable 137 rockets"—Hamas was testing to see whether it could overpower and confuse Israel's Iron Dome. It didn't work. At no point in the 11-day battle did Israel incur significant destruction. Hamas, however, came close with a "lucky strike" near the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline that could have crippled the oil supply and attempted strikes at the secretive Dimona nuclear facility that could have ended even worse.

"The Gaza war of 2021 truly provided a glimpse of future warfare," says Schanzer. "But even the best technology and intelligence are no guarantee against the unforeseen events of war."

Fortunately, the fighting earlier this year did not get worse. And that's, surprisingly, thanks to the Egyptians, who brokered peace between Israel and Hamas to get back into the good graces of the newly sworn-in Biden administration. "On the one hand, it was a thankless job with little prospect of success," Schanzer says. "On the other hand, Egypt was now viewed as a friend of the White House again."

The most recent conflict between Hamas and Israel is just the latest in a decades-long war—and sadly won't be the last. So where should things go from here? Schanzer has some productive thoughts.

"Under the current circumstances, a three-state solution (Israel, the West Bank under the PA, and Hamas-controlled Gaza) appears to be the only path forward." Yes, that would mean the only prospect for peace is between the Israelis and the Palestinians in the West Bank—but the Gaza solution is not so simple.

To do that, the Iran problem must be solved. "Gaza is now ground zero in a proxy conflict. It is part of a bigger battle between Israel and Iran," says Schanzer. But that's a larger problem for perhaps his next book.

Gaza Conflict 2021: Hamas, Israel and Eleven Days of War
by Jonathan Schanzer
Foundation for Defense of Democracies, 284 pp., $29.95

Publishers against the People of the Book
Kestin was already a journalist and the published author of well-received fiction when his 2019 novel, The Siege of Tel Aviv , blurbed by Stephen King, was canceled. Even though it “was seen as a first best-seller for the publisher,” it was pulled after 13 Twitter accounts protested alleged Islamophobia. Kestin notes that none of the 13 had advance reader copies, and he doubts any of them read it after Kestin later self-published it.

Kestin describes these critics as “in the main neither Muslims nor Palestinians but American left-wing enemies of Israel.” The Islamophobia charge stemmed from the cover using the word “Moslem,” which Kestin says was his publisher’s doing; he wrote “Muslim” in the text. Critics also objected “to the story, which describes the conquest of Israel by a pan-Islamist alliance led by Iran.”

Pointing to the history of Arab-Israeli wars and the Iranian government’s perpetual saber-rattling, Kestin observed that the plot “is hardly something the author made up out of whole cloth.” He also added, “There are at least four heroic Arab/Muslim characters in Siege, while the Israeli establishment is painted as naively complicit in its own destruction.” None of this mattered, though.

Kestin emailed: “Once Siege was accused of racism and Islamophobia, the dozens of critics who had praised my earlier work ... simply disappeared. (American journalism found nothing of interest in a publisher pulping its own popular book because of a handful of anonymous complaints.) As a result, Siege received only six reviews, all glowing, including one from a Palestinian-American novelist and one from a prominent British Muslim media personality. ... Sadly, my most prominent fan, Stephen King, who for over a decade had provided ecstatic blurbs for all my novels ... in the process becoming one of my closest friends, simply turned his back, explaining that he, America’s most popular writer, the writer to whom Siege was dedicated, did not wish to risk standing up to the raging mob.”

Reflecting on his experience, Kestin observed, “Certainly what is judged to be pro-Israel material is no longer in fashion. A generation of Jews has grown up with little to no affection for the Jewish state, not least because it sees in Israel not David but Goliath.”

Kestin added, “Jews have been replaced by other minorities, possibly because Jews have convinced themselves they are not a minority at all, and so are hardly in need of speaking out as a group.” And yet, anyone who’s been paying attention is aware that Jews are not only a minority group, but an increasingly vulnerable one in the West, as the postwar taboo against open antisemitism has receded.

Yossi Klein Halevi observed, “There's an irony that is increasingly haunting me, that even as large parts of the Arab world begin to dismantle the 70-year boycott of Israel, that boycott is now being taken up by parts of the progressive West, and it’s infiltrating the publishing world as well. It’s unfair to say you can’t publish an Israel book in a mainstream [publishing] house today ... but I worry we’re heading in that direction.”
US Taxpayers to Fund Revisionist, Anti-Zionist History
No one is questioning that Jews lived and could prosper in the Middle East and North Africa. Indeed they did so for a lot longer than Arabs, who conquered the region 1,000 years after Jews had settled there. No serious scholar would argue that life for Jews was one, continuous chronicle of misfortune. Jews interacted with the society around them, especially in trade and business. Arabic was the most widely spoken Jewish language for centuries.

But Jews were always a vulnerable minority, suffering from institutionalized discrimination as dhimmis under Islam. As one pundit has observed: “The NEH would never fund revisionist history that denied that black people were discriminated against during segregation. Why is it funding the same sort of revisionism against Israel?”

Sternfeld elides the pre-colonial condition of dhimmi status—where unquestionably, Jews suffered restrictions and a precarious existence—and their situation during the colonial era, when Jews benefited from education and greater security. The good life many enjoyed under the British and French protectorates and mandates was fatally threatened by the rise of Arab nationalism and Islamism, resulting in their forced exodus.

There is a deeper problem here. The prominence given by post-modern academics to cultural and socioeconomic factors over people, historical events and politics has served to falsify the history of Jews from Arab countries. Take for example the work of Bashkin, whose “New Babylonians” was reviewed by professor Norman A. Stillman.

Stillman says Bashkin is at “her insightful best” in describing the intellectual and cultural ferment in the Iraq of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. However, her chronicling of the watershed events of the 1940s leading up to the mass exodus of 1951 “lacks the same degree of analytical insight,” he writes.

“This is due, I suggest, to her basic approach as a cultural studies scholar who interprets texts, but does not fully take into account the actual events, people, and politics. It is also due to a priori ideological assumptions. Bashkin from the very outset acknowledges her intellectual debt to contrarians such Sami Zubaida, Ella Shohat, and Gilbert Achcar, and the ghost of Edward Said often lurks in the background un-named. Previous historical work on the Jews of the Islamic world is reduced to an oversimplified caricature: ‘a model of harmonious coexistence’ or ‘a tale of perpetual persecution,’ and ‘alongside these ideas, an orientalist interpretation.’

“More seriously, there is an element of naïve wishful thinking which constantly views positive examples of Jewish acculturation and patriotism, on the one hand, and the openness of some Arab liberal intellectuals and politicians, on the other, as proving that the dark forces of radical Arab nationalism were not really as powerful as they appeared in retrospect.”

A shared culture and language with Arabs did not save the Jews of Iraq, any more than the Jewish contribution to German culture, or their love of Mendelssohn and Goethe, saved German Jews from Nazism. All MENA Jews, including anti-Zionists, Communists and the most Arabized, were forced to take the road to exile. And thus a study of how groups interacted before the great exodus becomes irrelevant, because it does not take into account actual events, political factors and actors such as Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Arab League, Nasser and Saddam, leading to the exclusion and persecution of Jews and other minorities.

Herzog, in first call with UAE leader, talks free trade and Mideast stability
President Isaac Herzog spoke with the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates for the first time over the weekend, his office said Saturday.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, spoke with Herzog on Friday about “several bilateral and regional issues,” the president’s office said.

The two leaders discussed deepening collaboration between the countries to bolster regional stability and the need for a free trade agreement between the UAE and Israel.

The conversation “was conducted in a warm and friendly spirit,” the statement said.

Herzog congratulated the crown prince on the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the UAE, marked this week.

The crown prince said he was looking forward to an official visit by Herzog to the UAE.

The two countries forged ties in the United States-brokered Abraham Accords last year, bringing over a decade of covert ties into the open, and have seen their relationship flourish since then.
UNsurprising: The world body keeps up its assault on Israel
Credit UN Watch in Geneva for keeping a careful eye on the goings-on here on the East River, as the United Nations continues its incessant campaign to isolate, condemn, vilify, ostracize and denounce the most democratic nation in the Middle East. That’s Israel, the only Jewish country in the roster of 193, which is probably just a coincidence, as no one would ever think of singling out and targeting Jews. What a crazy idea.

What’s not crazy, or funny, is that the UN’s General Assembly, dominated by various shades of dictatorships and tyrannies, is obsessed with the Jews and is annually lining up Israel in the dock for vote after vote to deliver the formal opprobrium from the Parliament of Man.

The pile-on against Israel also ignores the great many countries that engage in objectively horrendous human rights abuses, from North Korea to Iran to a little place you may have heard of called China.

UN Watch has a new database to track the world body’s disproportionate focus on Israel. Over the last six years, the General Assembly has approved 115 resolutions against Israel and only 45 against the other 192 member countries combined. That’s 72% of the resolutions for 0.5% of the countries. It’s even more warped considering that there are 9 million people in Israel out of 7.9 billion on Earth. So Israelis are 0.1% of the world, but they still get almost three-fourth of the UN’s brickbats.

This session’s votes of 14 anti-Israel tallies include such winners as denying the Jewish nature of the Temple Mount, where this guy named Solomon built some kind of prayer area a while ago, and there’s this Wall thing there. There was also the annual vote to continue the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Human Rights Practices, a 1968 Cold War relic that the anti-Israel cabal keeps alive.
PMW: PA: Israeli president’s lighting Hanukah candle at Cave of the Patriarchs is “declaration of war”
The Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron is known to Muslims as the "Ibrahimi Mosque." It is the site where the Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs other than Rachel are buried as related by the Bible. Its structure housing the cave was built by King Herod roughly 2,000 years ago during the Second Temple period. After Hebron was occupied by Muslim Caliph Umar in 637 CE, the site was converted into a mosque. Islam co-opted the Jewish tradition regarding the site being the burial place of the patriarchs and matriarchs, and called it the "Ibrahimi Mosque" after Abraham.

Today, the PA claims the Cave is a holy place for Muslims alone and considers any Jewish presence there a “defilement.”

Thus, when Israeli President Isaac Herzog visited the Cave a few days ago and lit a candelabra to celebrate Hanukkah - the Jewish Festival of Lights - in PA terms the president “broke into the Ibrahimi Mosque and defiled it,” an act tantamount to a “declaration of war.”

A PA governor stated Herzog’s “invasion” of the Cave was “a declaration of war”:
PA TV’s caption on screen throughout broadcast: “President of the occupation state Isaac Herzog invaded the Ibrahimi Mosque”

Hebron District Governor Jabrin Al-Bakri: “This day is a declaration of war by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people and the Muslims through the invasion of the noble Ibrahimi Mosque (i.e., the Cave of the Patriarchs).”

[Official PA TV, Nov. 28, 2021]

Official PA TV called Herzog an “extremist,” who “defiled” the Cave:
Official PA TV reporter: “The Hebrew media published the video from the noble Ibrahimi Mosque (i.e., the Cave of the Patriarchs), and we saw the most prominent extremist settler leaders in Hebron as they accompanied this extremist [Israeli President Isaac Herzog] and defiled the noble Ibrahimi Mosque.”

[Official PA TV, Nov. 28, 2021]
“Extremist” Israeli president “defiled” Cave of the Patriarchs, says PA TV

Israeli president’s invasion of the Cave of the Patriarchs is a declaration of war, says PA governor

PA broadcasts terrorist fugitive's denial of Israel's right to exist

Kuwait bans entry of ships carrying goods to and from Israel
Kuwaiti Public Works Minister Dr. Rana Abdullah Al-Fares issued an order banning the entry of commercial vessels loaded with goods to and from Israel into Kuwaiti territorial waters on Saturday, according to Kuwaiti newspaper Al Anba.

The order prohibits entry permits being requested for ships carrying goods to or from Israel, even if goods being carried from Israel are being brought to another country outside of Kuwait.

Under Kuwaiti law, individuals and companies cannot conclude agreements with organizations or persons living in Israel and cannot deal financially or commercially with persons who have an interest in Israel, even if they live outside Israel. It is also illegal to import, exchange or possess any Israeli goods, commodities or products, whether received directly or indirectly. Products also cannot include any material from Israeli products.

Hamas issued a statement welcoming the decision on Saturday, calling on other countries to "follow the same approach" and restrict Israeli trade and maritime traffic.

Kuwait is a staunch opponent of Israel.

When the Abraham Accords were signed last year, Kuwait insisted that it would "be the last" to normalize relations with Israel.
Bennett Backs Soldiers Who Shot Palestinian Terrorist in Jlem
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Saturday fully backed the Border Police troops who shot dead a Palestinian terrorist in Jerusalem earlier in the day.

The police shot a Palestinian attacker who stabbed and wounded an Israeli man near the Damascus Gate just outside Jerusalem’s Old City.

A video taken by a bystander and widely shared on social media showed the assailant lying prone on a sidewalk as police continued to fire shots, yet not the attack that triggered the killing.

Security camera footage of the entire incident show the gun-wielding assailant accosting the armed soldiers after he repeatedly stabbed an ultra-Orthodox Israeli.

Bennett praised police for acting “quickly and decisively… against a terrorist who tried to murder an Israeli citizen.”

Border Police Commander Amir Cohen said he “fully backed” the forces who “responded as needed to the incident” to prevent additional harm.
Stabbing attack backlash: Border Police officers probed, defended by Bennett
One day after the stabbing attack at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, the two Border Police officers who killed the terrorist, 25-year-old Mohammed Shawkat Salima, were given their weapons back after an interrogation by the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigation Department (PID).

Border Police Commander Amir Cohen met on Sunday with the officers, L.-Cpl. 'S' and St.-Sgt.-Maj. 'L,' praising their quick-thinking at the scene of the stabbing attack and ordered their reinstatement to operational activities.

"You acted with determination, quick-thinking and professionalism to prevent the terrorist from harming you and other civilians in the area," Cohen told the officers. "You prevented a completely different ending to the incident, thanks to your actions," he added.

In Sunday's cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett reaffirmed his support for the two Border Police officers, after they were criticized for shooting the assailant dead on the scene.

"I recommend to everyone - never hurry to pass judgment on a combatant's behavior in complex operational terror situations on the ground," Bennett said.

"In any case, the video leaves no room for doubt, the fighters responded exceptionally well, exactly as they are expected to do in such situations.

"They deserve full appreciation and support from all of us, to those who prevented murder and acted with operational resourcefulness within seconds," the prime minister added.

Honest Reporting: Palestinian Terrorist Stabs Israeli in Jerusalem: Washington Post Jumps Gun, Propaganda Churned Out on Twitter
When Images Lie: Mysterious Video Goes Viral
The Washington Post piece, written by Shira Rubin, proposes, based on a fragment of footage of the incident that, “…Israeli border police shoot the Palestinian man several times, although he was on the ground and apparently incapacitated.” The article only then makes clear that a much longer and contextual video released by the Israel Police showed the “Palestinian man crossing the street, turning to stab the ultra-Orthodox man as he passes, then lunging at Israeli police officers before being shot and ultimately killed by them.”

The media’s jump to conclusion prompted Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to weigh in almost 24 hours later during the weekly cabinet meeting:
I suggest that nobody rush to pass judgment on the conduct of fighters in complicated situations on the ground in the face of terrorism. It is always better to wait a moment.

“In any case, the full video leaves no room for doubt, the officers acted in an exemplary manner, exactly as is required of fighters in such an operational situation.”

By even mentioning an incomplete video, The Washington Post casually lent credence to the assertions of such antisemites as The Nation’s “Palestine Correspondent,” Mohammed El-Kurd.

Related Reading: From Terror Supporter to ‘Palestine Correspondent’ – Meet Mohammed El-Kurd, The Nation’s Latest Hire

Not surprisingly, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas denounced the shooting as an “assassination” and urged the international community “to immediately act to stop Israel’s crimes.”

Others, too, prematurely jumped onto the anti-Israel bandwagon:

Omar Baddar is a ‘political analyst’ with more than 33,000 Twitter followers.

And this was retweeted by Ahmed Eldin, an ‘Emmy-nominated journalist’ with almost 82,000 followers on Twitter:

NGO Monitor: Gaza Child Indoctrination Camp Funded by French PFLP-linked Group
On July 4, 2021, the French group Collectif Palestine Vaincra (CPV) reported that it had raised €6,000 for a Palestinian PFLP-linked organization, “The Child of the Martyr Ghassan Kanafani.”1 According to CPV, the purpose of the funds was to “fund several vacation camps for tens of children from the Gaza strip.”

CPV is itself linked to the PFLP terror group through its membership in the terror-designated Samidoun Prisoner Network, which is closely associated with the PFLP. Its website, Twitter handle, and Facebook accounts appear on the Israel National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (NBCTF)’s lists of “Terrorists Organizations and Unauthorized Associations.”

CPV published several pictures of a summer camp closing ceremony (that was held June 30, 2021) that it had supported. One photo features children holding a CPV banner and signs reading, “the children of the families of the martyrs thank the Collectif Palestine Vaincra and all those people in solidarity with us”.

According to Palestinian media accounts, the camp was facilitated with the cooperation of the PFLP. In a video published by the terror group’s media office, children can be seen alongside PFLP paraphernalia and parading with fake guns and rockets. Notably, diplomas distributed to the participants bore the PFLP logo. Additionally, several PFLP leaders attended the ceremony, including two senior members of the newly terror-designated NGO the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC):
Iktimal Hamad, head2 of the UPWC and a PFLP Central Committee member.
Suhair Khader, UPWC Vice President4 (as of October 2020) and a PFLP Central Committee member.

Khaled Abu Toameh: Sorry, Everyone, Hamas is Still a Terrorist Group
First, the document reportedly depicting Hamas as a moderate group that accepts the "two-state solution" is a bluff intended to dupe the international community.

As Mashaal himself explained, even if Hamas accepts a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, that does not mean that it would ever recognize Israel's right to exist.

Second, Hamas has not renounced violence and terrorism. In fact, it intends to continue the "resistance" and jihad (holy war) against Israel after the establishment of the Palestinian state with the purpose of "liberating all of Palestine."

Third, the new document did not cancel or change the content of the Hamas charter, which, according to Hamas leaders, remains valid and relevant to this day.

Hamas's representative in Iran, Khaled Qaddoumi, confirmed.... that the talk about Hamas accepting a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem was in the context of a plan to destroy Israel in phases.

"There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by jihad." — Hamas charter, Article 13.

Hamas, of course, never misses an opportunity to remind its followers and the rest of the world that it remains faithful to the words of the prophet Mohammed, who said: "The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!" — Hamas charter, Article 7.

Days after the decision was announced, the Hamas leadership leader said...: "Palestine - all of Palestine - from its [Mediterranean] sea to its [Jordan] river, is for the Palestinian people, and there is no place or legitimacy for strangers over any inch of it." —, November 29, 2021.

The statements of Hamas leaders show that they dissemble less than many of their own apologists in the West, who claim that they understand Hamas better than Hamas understands itself.

Is third sabotage the charm at Iran's Natanz nuclear facility?
If this event was an attack, it would have taken place at the end of a new first week of nuclear negotiations.

Both in July 2020 and this past April, Iran initially tried to deny there was an attack or deny its success until The Jerusalem Post reported that the attacks were successful and had caused severe damage.

Following the Post’s and other media reports, Tehran was forced to acknowledge that its nuclear sites had been hit, and badly.

It later accused the Mossad of both hits, so Tehran’s initial denials should be taken with a grain of salt.

Another nuclear site, Karaj, was hit this past June, days after Ebrahim Raisi was elected Iran’s new president.

This could be a second message to Raisi that his attempt to push the envelope with increasing nuclear violations as well as taking maximalist positions in Vienna could leave him vulnerable, even if much of the West is intimidated by him.

Or maybe this time Iran’s air defenses improved and thwarted an attack.

Then again, for the first time in four such similar events, maybe it was just a pre-planned air-defense drill.

Satellite footage made it impossible for Tehran to cover up the damage in both Natanz attacks, but strangely, satellite footage was slower in coming with Karaj, when Raisi had taken power and the Biden administration was seeking a return to talks.

It will be interesting to see what satellite footage shows this time.
Israeli official on Iran nuke site blast: ‘We don’t ask a man what he did at night’
Deputy Defense Minister Alon Schuster on Sunday refrained from directly answering questions about a blast in the vicinity of an Iranian nuclear site a day earlier, only saying he “can’t say” what hit Natanz.

When asked what Israel had to say about the explosion on Saturday near the Natanz site, Schuster said: “We don’t ask a man what he did at night, but we are currently trying to bring about a change in the motivations of the whole world through diplomatic means.”

“Iran is a problem for the whole world, and not just the State of Israel alone,” the Blue and White lawmaker told Radio 103FM when asked about potential Israeli involvement in the explosion.

“We have a duty to be brave and responsible for the fate of our children and grandchildren,” he said. “We have used force against our enemies in the past and we are convinced that in extreme situations, there is a need to act using military means.”

“We hope the whole world will be mobilized for the mission. For that, we’ve allocated a significant sum to increase our readiness. What hit Natanz? I can’t say,” Schuster added.
PM: Iran can’t both negotiate and enrich uranium, must pay price for violating deal
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Sunday that Iran must be penalized for violating the nuclear deal, and that Tehran must be told it cannot hold negotiations for a potential new agreement while it continues to enrich uranium.

“Iran must start paying the price for its violations,” Bennett said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting, as he called on those engaged in talks with Tehran to “stick to a firm line and make it clear to Iran that it is impossible to simultaneously enrich uranium and negotiate.”

Bennett also said that the Iranians were negotiating “skillfully.”

“The goal of the Iranian regime is the removal of sanctions, and so they came to [the nuclear talks in] Vienna with dozens of advisers and experts in the field of sanctions, because that is their goal,” he said. “They want the ability to do what they are doing now — in the fields of terrorism and nukes — but with the backing of tens of billions of dollars.”

Bennett added, “During the talks in Vienna we got an example of the nuclear blackmail I was talking about when it was reported that [Iran] had started enriching uranium by 20 percent in advanced centrifuges in the underground facility in Fordo. This is a very serious step.”

He was referring to his conversation last week with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during which, the Prime Minister’s Office said, the premier told Blinken that Iran was utilizing “nuclear blackmail” as a tactic and that the United States should therefore immediately stop negotiations.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said last week that Iran had begun the process of enriching uranium with advanced centrifuges at its Fordo plant in what would be a further violation of the multilateral nuclear accord that world powers are rushing to salvage.
Iran says US refusal to remove sanctions is main obstacle to nuclear deal
Iran repeated its claim Sunday that the United States’ refusal to lift all sanctions on Tehran was the main obstacle to a potential nuclear deal.

“It is now clear that Washington’s reluctance to give up sanctions altogether is the main challenge to the progress of the talks,” the unnamed Iranian official was quoted as saying by Iran’s Tasnim news agency, according to Reuters.

“We believe that a deal is within reach if the US government gives up its campaign of maximum pressure and the European parties show serious flexibility and political will in the talks,” the official said.

Nuclear negotiations in Vienna came to a halt on Friday with Western countries saying Iran had come to the talks with unrealistic proposals.

Israel has vowed that it will not allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Sunday that the Iranians were negotiating “skillfully” on the matter of sanctions.

“The goal of the Iranian regime is the removal of sanctions, and so they came to [the nuclear talks in] Vienna with dozens of advisers and experts in the field of sanctions, because that is their goal,” he said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “They want the ability to do what they are doing now — in the fields of terrorism and nukes — but with the backing of tens of billions of dollars.”

Woke New Jersey Dem fooled by fake rabbi’s parody Twitter account
Oakley markets herself as a “Squad”-style progressive in her primary challenge to Rep. Donald Payne Jr., who has held the seat for a decade. In addition to posts about the Green New Deal, systemic racism and other progressive totems, Oakley’s social media accounts are full of anti-Israel talking points describing Israel as committing “apartheid” and “genocide.”

The parody account is the creation of a pro-Israel attorney named Michael, who declined to reveal his last name because he fears retribution. Michael told The Post he created the account to mock far-left, anti-Zionists Jews.

“I am making fun of the five percent of Jews that hate Israel,” he said. “I created this personality that shows how reductive and absurd these people are.”

Lockhart again followed up with the “rabbi” after the holiday.

“We are so pleased that you would like to host a virtual fundraiser,” she said. “I would be grateful if you could provide dates/times for us to speak further this week or next so that we can solidify next steps.”

Oakley is far from the only far-left progressive who has unwittingly embraced the Hamas-loving rabbi.

Thelma Walker, a former Labour member of the British parliament, has also offered Rabbi Linda her “respect and solidarity” in private messages that were shared by Michael with The Post. Walker did not respond to request for comment from The Post.

Head of Palestinian American lobby group joins conference with terror-group members
The executive director of the new lobby group Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action) was a guest speaker at a recent conference in Jordan that also hosted members of Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), both of which are designated as terror groups by the theUnited States and the European Union.

Osama Abuirshaid, who is also the executive director of American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), spoke on Nov. 21 at a conference titled “Towards the Features of a New Arab Strategy to Deal with the Arab-Israel Conflict.” It was hosted by the Middle East Studies Center–Jordan.

In his remarks, he talked about alleged “apartheid which exists in America until today” and called the United Arab Emirates “criminal” for signing the Abraham Accords with Israel. He also suggested that America “may collapse under the pressure of its own weight.”

“When one comes and says, ‘apartheid and racial separation’ —‘I am the one living it,’ I, the Latino in America, am living it … there are many opportunities ahead of us if we excel at the process of exploiting this discourse, developing this discourse,” he said. Subscribe to The JNS Daily Syndicate by email and never miss our top stories

While speaking on a panel with PFLP convicted airplane hijacker Leila Khaled, he said: “From a Palestinian point of view, we are generations of resistance.” He mentioned exploiting the pain of others.

Abuirshaid has been involved in pushing pro-Palestinian lobbying efforts for more than a decade.
Guardian peddles lie that Israel 'targeted' Gaza bookshop
A Guardian report by their new Jerusalem correspondent Bethan McKernan revives a discredited claim that, during the May war, the IDF ‘targeted’ a Gaza bookshop. The article (“Bookseller Samir Mansour: ‘It was shocking to realise I was a target’”, Dec. 4), tagged under their “The Observer’s faces of 2021” page, focused on Gaza bookseller Samir Mansour, and the fact that, because of a crowdfunding campaign after the war, his shop is being rebuilt to be three times its original size.

The piece repeats the claim twice that, during the war against Hamas, the Israeli military ‘targeted’ the bookshop.

First, in the headline:

And then, unchallenged, in this passage:
“It was very shocking to realise I was a target,” he says. “I’ve worked with books my whole life, starting with my father when I was 12. I don’t have any political affiliations. In Gaza we have grown up under war, but I still never expected this.”

However, the fact that Mansour doesn’t “have any political affiliations” is irrelevant, as the purported reason why the IDF attacked the area had nothing to do with him, or the fact that there was a bookshop in the building. As multiple media outlets (including the The Times and NBC News and the LA Times) reported at the time, the multi-storey building in which his shop was located was also used by Hamas to produce weapons and gather intelligence. Additionally, the IDF phoned him – and others in the area – in advance of the strike to give him time to evacuate.

In addition to the absurdity of suggesting that Israel would have any interest in attacking a bookshop, McKernan, by omitting the IDF explanation for the strike, obfuscates the real story: Hamas’s consistent use of human shields – their placing of military assets within civilian areas. As we’ve noted previously, this omission represents a pattern within Guardian (and BBC) coverage of wars between Israel and the antisemitic extremist group that controls Gaza.
BBC’s false equivalence tactic migrates to London reporting
Whether or not such a slur was uttered, the fact remains that the incident began before the Jewish teenagers celebrating Hanukkah were instructed by the adults accompanying them to get back on the bus. So why did the BBC find it necessary to mention alleged “racial slurs” in its report published three days after the incident took place?

In a December 2nd filmed report on the same story from BBC London, viewers were told that “we at BBC London did watch this footage and you can hear some racial slurs [sic] about Muslim people which does come from the bus”. The reporter – apparently Guy Lynn of BBC London news – went on to claim that “it’s not clear at the moment…what role that may have played in this incident” despite the fact that the incident began when the Jewish teens handing out donuts and dancing on Oxford Street were abused by others, before they got back on the bus where the footage was filmed.

What we see here is the old BBC practice of promoting false equivalence. Usually that tactic is employed in reports concerning violence perpetrated by Palestinians against Israelis.

Now that problematic practice – which invariably clouds audience understanding of a story – has been adopted in BBC reports about an antisemitic incident in central London. That, of course, should be cause for concern for BBC management.
Boise, Idaho Anne Frank Memorial Again Targeted With Antisemitic Vandalism
Police in Boise, Idaho are investigating after a memorial dedicated to Anne Frank — the Dutch Jewish girl who kept a diary while hiding from the Nazis during World War II — was found defaced with antisemitic vandalism Saturday, nearly a year after a similar incident.

The Boise Police Department said Saturday that the graffiti was found in tunnels along the Greenbelt near the memorial.

“We recognize the significance of this being the last Saturday of Hanukkah and we are reaching out to Jewish leaders in our community to let them know we will not stand for such hateful and abhorrent behavior in our city,” Chief Ryan Lee said on Twitter.

“The graffiti is in the process of being cleaned and covered up,” he added, thanking the Boise Parks Department for their quick response.

Images of the graffiti shared on social media showed the phrases “f**k Jews” and “I [heart] Nazis,” along with several swastikas and a homophobic message.

Dedicated in 2002 by the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, the memorial contains a life-size bronze statue of Frank, and is the only one in the US dedicated to her specifically. The statue was previously defaced nearly one year ago days before the Hanukkah holiday, with Nazi and and racist symbols and the written warning, “We are everywhere.”

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean on Saturday condemned the latest incident, saying, “The antisemitic messages contained in the graffiti found along the Greenbelt put a literal and figurative stain on our community. This will not be tolerated.”
Lord Sugar hails police after man convicted for sending Apprentice star antisemitic hate mail
Apprentice star Lord Sugar has expressed his gratitude to police after they snared the man who sent the billionaire tycoon abusive and threatening antisemitic letters.

The Jewish business magnate thanked officers for "helping to shine a light" on the fact that such offensive behaviour was not acceptable.

The reality TV host also revealed his initial reluctance in contacting police about the hate mail because they "have enough on their plates dealing with serious crimes".

He was speaking after 70-year-old Patrick Gomes was found guilty in his absence at Chelmsford Crown Court, of religiously-aggravated harassment, putting those targeted in fear of violence.

After failing to appear at court on Wednesday, a warrant was issued for his arrest and he was detained the following day and remanded in custody to await sentencing later this month.

Lord Sugar said: "I would like to pass on my sincere gratitude to the police for their assistance in this case.

"I have to be honest, I was reluctant to pass this matter on to the police as they are already stretched and have enough on their plates dealing with serious crimes.

"I would like to thank them sincerely for helping to shine a light on the fact that this type of behaviour is simply not acceptable and that racism or any form of discrimination is simply not acceptable."
Beauties on the beach! Miss Universe hopefuls frolic in the Dead Sea
Miss Universe hopefuls enjoyed a day out at the Dead Sea after arriving in Israel ahead of the pageant, which will be held amid tightening Covid-19 restrictions.

Beauty queens from some 80 countries will take part in preliminary rounds this week ahead of the live final in Eilat on December 12.

On Saturday Israel announced it would ban foreigners from entering the country, lengthen quarantines for citizens and residents returning from abroad and reinstate controversial cellphone surveillance designed to track infections.

However the Miss Universe contestants were granted waivers to be able to enter the country without any need to quarantine.

Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov suggested the beauty queens might be subject to PCR tests every 48 hours, although it is not clear if the scheme went ahead.

Miss France, Clémence Botino, has been forced to quarantine for 10 days in a government hotel after testing positive for Covid-19 on arrival. It is thought she will be released in time to compete in the live show.

Today the beauty queens donned their swimsuits and bikinis for a photo shoot at the Dead Sea, before enjoying lunch at a high-end restaurant. Earlier they took part in a promotional visit to the headquarters of Israeli national airline El Al.

The women arrived with face masks in their hands but did not wear them as they frolicked on the beach and enjoyed DIY mud baths. Social media footage shows they also did not wear masks when travelling to the coast.

Ancient Hasmonean artifacts found in east Jerusalem at end of Hanukkah
Ancient archaeological artifacts thousands of years old, including a coin from the Hasmonean era, were discovered by police in east Jerusalem on Sunday, the last day of Hanukkah.

The artifacts were discovered in a search of the home of an east Jerusalem resident in his 30s. The items were examined by officials of the Antiquities Authority (IAA), and the suspect was arrested and taken in for questioning.

Among the artifacts were a coin dated back to the time of Antigonus II Mattathias, the last Hasmonean king, as well as a Hasmonean-era oil candle and a biblical-era seal ring with ancient Hebrew inscriptions.

The discovery of the Hasmonean-era artifacts came just before the last night of Hanukkah, a holiday celebrating the Hasmoneans’ victory over the Seleucid Empire and the subsequent establishment of independent Jewish rulership of the land.
Edward Shames, last surviving officer of the WWII Band of Brothers, dies at age 99: Jewish soldier raided Hitler's 'Eagle's Nest' and was one of the first Americans to help liberate Dachau concentration camp
Retired Colonel Edward Shames, the last surviving officer from the legendary Easy Company of World War II paratroopers whose exploits were featured in the award-winning miniseries Band of Brothers, died at age 99 on Friday.

Shames died 'peacefully at home,' according to an obituary posted by the Holloman-Brown Funeral Home & Crematory.

Born to Jewish parents, Shames forged his mother's signature to enlist in the Army in 1942 at just 19, and was one of the officers in charge of the famed Easy Company, part of the US Army's 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

The book Band of Brothers - chronicling the bravery of Easy Company, or the Screaming Eagles - was written by Stephen Ambrose in 1992.

Shames's death leaves 97-year-old Bradford Freeman as the last surviving member of Easy Company. Freeman, who enlisted and was a mortarman, was a consultant for the Band of Brothers HBO miniseries created by Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielberg in 2001.