Monday, December 20, 2021

From Ian:

JPost Editorial: The world must stand behind Israel in fight against terrorism
Every successful attack encourages more, both as copy-cat attacks by so-called lone wolves and by organized terrorist cells. Every attack is an attempted murder. The terrorists do not set out to injure their victims but to kill them.

There is an unfortunate tendency to dismiss terrorist attacks that take place over the Green Line as being about “settlements.” Relating to the victims in terms of being settlers delegitimizes and even dehumanizes them. The victims in the recent upsurge of attacks were not targeted for being “settlers” but for being identifiably Jewish. For the terrorist organizations, all of Israel is considered a legitimate target and all Jewish Israelis are perceived as “settlers.”

What starts in Judea and Samaria does not end there. Terrorists attack where it is easiest for them. If it is easier for terrorists to throw rocks and Molotov cocktails at cars or open fire in a drive-by attack or ambush in Judea and Samaria, then that’s where they will do it most often. However, it doesn’t mean the rest of the country is not at risk. Indeed, jihadist attacks around the world have shown that nowhere is safe.

There is no justification for terrorism, period. Not the economy, not the settlements, and not a peace process or the lack of one.

It is morally repugnant to blame the victims for where they live, work or travel. When an attack is dismissed because it is on a “settler,” it is but one tiny step on the proverbial slippery slope. Further downhill are attacks on all Israelis and Jews anywhere, and ultimately nobody of any religion will be safe. The world needs to take this seriously and support Israel in the battle against terrorism.
UN funding Palestinian groups with terror ties - Erdan
The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is partnering with organizations that have ties to the terrorist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan warned in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

OCHA’s Humanitarian Response Plan for 2022 includes a partnership with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), one of six Palestinian NGOs Israel designated as terror organizations, because of their work as a money-laundering front for the PFLP.

“It is outrageous that an organization with a mission to ensure international peace and security would partner with organizations that directly and materially support terrorists and provide the PFLP – a designated terrorist organization worldwide, including in Israel, the US, the EU, Australia, Canada and Japan – with its financial lifeline,” Erdan wrote.

The partnerships “fly in the face of the relevant UN counterterrorism resolutions,” the ambassador added, quoting UN Security Council Resolution 2462 of 2019, which warned against the “abuse of nonprofit organizations [and] donations” by terrorists and calls on member states to prevent the financing of terrorism, as well as the 2021 UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which did the same.

Erdan called on Guterres to ensure that OCHA does not work with NGOs that are part of the PFLP’s financial network.

“While, as you know, Israel strongly supports humanitarian efforts and is a leader in this field, we must not allow well-intentioned humanitarian work to be tainted and poisoned by the very terrorist groups that destabilize our region and make such humanitarian efforts necessary in the first place,” Erdan wrote.
NGO Monitor: UN’s “Humanitarian” Plan: Lawfare and Support for Terror-Linked NGOs
On December 16, 2021, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA-oPt) released its Humanitarian Response Plan, ostensibly to address humanitarian needs “in Area C, Hebron H2 and East Jerusalem in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip” in 2022.

As in previous years, UN-OCHA is exploiting the humanitarian label to advance legal attacks against Israel (“lawfare”) and to channel funds to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group.

- The plan’s first “strategic objective” is not the provision of humanitarian aid. Rather it is for Palestinian and international advocacy groups to “monitor[] and document[]” alleged violations by Israel and to lobby institutions such as the UN and International Criminal Court:
“The rights of Palestinians living under occupation, including those living under the blockade and other restrictions, are protected, respected and promoted in accordance with IHL and IHRL, while duty-bearers are increasingly held to account” (emphasis added).
- UN-OCHA’s implementing partners include two NGOs that were designated as terrorist organizations by the Israeli government due to their links to the PFLP: Health Work Committees (HWC) and Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC). Over the past two years, employees from these two NGOs have been arrested, indicted, and put on trial for the August 2019 murder of 17-year-old Rina Shnerb and for implementing an elaborate scheme to defraud donors for the benefit of the PFLP.
- As opposed to conducting independent investigations into whether it has been partnering for years with terror-linked NGOs, UN-OCHA repeats the claim that, “absent evidence substantiating the allegations, the designation of six Palestinian human rights and humanitarian NGOs as ‘terror organizations’ by the Israeli authorities in late 2021 risks further undermining the humanitarian community’s ability to provide assistance and protection to Palestinians throughout the oPt.”
- UN-OCHA is also attempting to raise millions of dollars for numerous NGOs involved in various forms of political warfare against Israel (see pages 69-70 of the Humanitarian Response Plan Working Document).

NGO Monitor: Canadian Funding for Terror-linked Palestinian NGO: Absence of Consistency
Click Here for Full Report

Canada is a major supporter of aid projects, with large budgets allocated annually for international development assistance. As has been previously documented, in some cases, examination of the details suggests a lack of due diligence in the decision making and evaluation processes, including funding through the United Nations and other international frameworks. Global Affairs Canada (GAC) funding policies are also marked by a notable lack of transparency.

For example, Canada has provided millions to NGOs linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)- a Canadian designated terrorist organization. NGO Monitor has identified the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) as a primary or secondary partner on several Canadian-government funded projects.

On October 22, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Defense declared UAWC to be a terrorist organization due to its links to the PFLP.

In an October 2020 statement GAC stated that, “While Canadian-funded projects with experienced international and Canadian partner organizations have included UAWC as a sub-implementer in the past, we do not currently fund the organization, directly or indirectly.”

However, according to information provided by GAC in October 2021 in response to an ATIP request, UAWC is listed as an implementing partner on an ongoing GAC-funded Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) project that ends in March 2022.

Prof. Anne Bayefsky: The Newest Anti-Israel UN Action Must Be Challenged – Now
The UN Human Rights Council has launched the most hostile anti-Israel “Inquiry” in UN history, headed by the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, South African Navi Pillay, known for her direct involvement and support of the infamous Goldstone Report. Her two deputies have years of experience pillorying Israel.

The Human Rights Council’s resolution in May 2021 created an “ongoing independent, international commission of inquiry” with a sweeping mandate to investigate “All alleged violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since April 13 2021, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity.”

The Human Rights Council resolution failed to refer to Hamas at all. It did not mention – let alone condemn – the launch of thousands of rockets by Hamas into Israel. Indeed, the Israeli civilian population was omitted from the resolution. The only civilians mentioned are the “Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Nor did the resolution condemn the use by Palestinian terror groups of Palestinian civilians as human shields, a war crime.

The “Inquiry” will have the mandate to ferret out “discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity” and to find discrimination and repression at the hands of Jews. This is full-frontal antisemitism, an inversion of the truth, such that the Jewish victims of racism and religious hatred become its perpetrators.

This attack on Israel is unprecedented in the history of the United Nations human rights system in terms of the “Inquiry’s” funding, staffing, and permanence.

The Commission has invited “individuals, groups, and organizations to submit information and documentation relevant to its mandate. In particular, the Commission has asked to receive information concerning the “underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability, and protraction of conflict in and between the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel, including systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial, or religious identity.”

The UN’s Very Secret Data on Palestinians Killed in “Settler-Related Incidents” And Media Disinformation
In other words, omitted in the alarmist press release about alleged rising settler violence is the fact that the supposed victims who paid the ultimate price of settler attacks — “four Palestinians were killed by settlers this year” — were possibly assailants, and not the victims depicted by the United Nations.

Indeed, the data that is revealed allows users to select “Settler-related incidents” under “context,” revealing four Palestinians killed. Thus, while OCHA concedes that four Palestinians were killed in incidents involving settlers, including incidents in which Palestinians attacked settlers and were subsequently killed, the UN press release counts these assailants as casualties of allegedly rising settler violence.

It gets worse. Journalists, apparently relying on the press release — (after all, press releases are for the benefit of journalists) — parroted the deceptive figure without undertaking any independent fact-checking.

The Guardian‘s Bethan McKernan and Quique Kierszenbaum, in particular, got carried away, charging: “The UN recorded 410 attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property in the West Bank in the first 10 months of 2021, including four murders, up from 358 in 2020, and 335 in 2019.”

David Singer: Trump-Netanyahu legacy eclipses rancour over phone call to Biden
Former US President Trump’s unforgiving anger with former Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu over Netanyahu’s congratulatory call to President Biden following Biden’s election win in November 2020 - must not be allowed to detract from or bury Trump’s self-styled Deal of The Century (“Vision”) released on 28 January 2020.

Trump stated at that time - with Netanyahu standing next to him in the White House:
“This vision for peace is fundamentally different from past proposals. In the past, even the most well-intentioned plans were light on factual details and heavy on conceptual frameworks. By contrast, our plan is 80 pages and is the most detailed proposal ever put forward by far. As I have seen throughout my long career as a deal-maker, complex problems require nuanced, fact-based remedies. That is why our proposal provides precise technical solutions to make Israelis, Palestinians, and the region safer and much more prosperous. My vision presents a win-win opportunity for both sides, a realistic two-state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security.”

Trump continued:
“Today Israel has taken a giant step toward peace. Yesterday Prime Minister Netanyahu informed me that he is willing to endorse the vision as the basis for direct negotiations...

... This is the first time Israel has authorized the release of a conceptual map illustrating the territorial compromises it’s willing to make for the cause of peace and they’ve gone a long way. This is an unprecedented and highly significant development. Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for having the courage to take this bold step forward...

... Under this vision, Jerusalem will remain Israel’s undivided, very important, undivided capital”

Netanyahu’s concession was indeed historic and was opposed by much of the Right, although they too admitted that he must have believed the PA would never agree anyway.

Chile's president-elect backs BDS, accuses Israel of 'genocide'
Chilean President-elect Gabriel Boric, who won his country's election on Sunday with close to 56% of the vote, on Monday called for the people to join him in "building bridges."

However, the progressive Boric's anti-Israel positions are causing worry in the Chilean Jewish community.

Like many politicians on the Latin American Left, Boric, 36 – who on March 22 will be sworn in as Chile's youngest-ever president – holds clear positions about the foreign policy he intends to lead.

Two years ago, the local Jewish community presented him with a traditional Rosh Hashana gift of honey, and Boric responded by tweeting: "The Jewish community gave me honey to emphasize its commitment to a more accepting, supportive and respectful society."

"I thank you for the step, but you can start by demanding that Israel return the Palestinian territory it occupies illegally," his tweet continued.

Boric has a long history of left-wing activity, going back to his student days, when he was a leader of the country's stormy "social justice" protests that erupted in 2011 and again in October 2019, demanding that the country's economy be strengthened and restored to a welfare state model.

When asked during a TV interview about his previous remarks against Israel (Boric has accused Israel of committing genocide), Boric said he still believed that to be true.

"All the countries that violate international law, such as Israel, China, or Turkey, should respect international norms. It doesn't matter how much power that country has, we need our foreign policy to defend human rights with all its might, regardless of the government," Boric told the interviewer.

Chile is home to some half a million Palestinian immigrants, most of whom are Christian. The country's Jewish population, in comparison, numbers only tens of thousands.

Madrid Assembly officially adopts IHRA definition of antisemitism
The Madrid Assembly, the local parliament of Spain's main region, adopted on Friday the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IRA) working definition of antisemitism.

In addition, the Assembly demanded that the country's national parliament adopt legislation precluding any possible grant or public aid to entities that promote antisemitism as defined by the IHRA, according to pro-Israel advocacy organization Action and Communication on the Middle East (ACOM).

This proposal would effectively exclude public financing of any BDS group or activity in Spain, a nation where BDS has gained popularity in recent years.

The law was supported by the Partido Popular, the ruling party in the Madrid region, led by President of Madrid Isabel Díaz Ayuso, "a strong and committed defender of Israel," according to ACOM, with the support of the the Socialist Party (center-left), and the VOX Party (conservative).

The Working Definition of Antisemitism is a non-legally binding statement on what antisemitism is, which was adopted by the 31 member-states of the IHRA Plenary in Bucharest, in 2016.

The statement reads: "Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities."
Israel threatens to resume targeted assassinations - report
Israel has threatened to resume targeted assassinations in the Gaza Strip and abroad in response to the recent spate of terrorist attacks in the West Bank, Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Akhbar reported Monday.

The alleged threat was relayed to Hamas by Egyptian security officials who are currently visiting the Gaza Strip, the newspaper said. Hamas officials did not immediately comment on the report.

Two delegations of intelligence officers and civil engineers arrived in the Gaza Strip for talks with Hamas officials on ways of preserving the ceasefire with Israel and advancing plans to rebuild the coastal enclave in the aftermath of the Israel-Hamas war seven months ago.

The intelligence delegation, which consists of four senior officers from Egypt’s General Intelligence Service, entered the Gaza Strip through the Erez border crossing with Israel.

The civilian delegation, which includes engineers and journalists, crossed into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing.

Hamas expressed to the Egyptians its displeasure at Cairo’s failure to fulfill its promises to ease travel restrictions imposed on the Palestinians living there, Al-Akhbar quoted unnamed sources as saying.
Lapid-Bennett Government Razed Homesh Structures, Rewarding Yehuda Dimentman’s Murderers
IDF and police forces on Sunday morning demolished three structures that had been built during the night in the Homesh settlement, home to the Hesder yeshiva that was attended by Yehuda Dimentman H’yd who was murdered in a terrorist ambush last Thursday.

Homesh activists built those three structures overnight in the settlement that had been demolished by the IDF as part of the 2005 disengagement plan, along with the deportation of Gush Katif Jews from the Gaza Strip. In recent days, the settlers had bypassed the army forces that were stationed there after the murder and transferred construction material and equipment. Saturday night, the Border Police set up a checkpoint at the entrance to Homesh.

According to the IDF, soldiers confronted the settlers and tried to prevent the movement of people and construction materials to the site.

Then, Sunday morning, barely two days after Dimentman’s funeral, Border police and Special Police forces arrived at the scene, demolished the structures, and prevented yeshiva students from approaching the destroyed structures. Meanwhile, police and IDF units have encircled the Homesh settlement and new troops are being sent to the site, a sign that some believe foretells the security apparatus’s decision to get rid of the yeshiva and its students once and for all.

Homesh was not secured by an IDF force at the time of the terrorist attack. It is more than possible that the IDF is not inclined to assign permanent protection for the settlement which some on the left were reminding the media had been populated in violation of the 2005 Disengagement Act.

Religious Zionism Chairman MK Bezalel Smotrich issued a statement saying: “The lax left-wing government decided to reward terrorism and ordered the IDF and police to eliminate the yeshiva in Homesh in response to a terrorist attack in which Yehuda Dimentman H’yd was murdered. They don’t demolish the terrorists’ homes, but they are demolishing the yeshiva.”

“They will be met by thousands and tens of thousands of lovers of the land who are determined to fight this unfortunate decision and defeat them. We will all be there,” Smotrich said.
IDF and Shin Bet Use New Technologies to Catch Terrorists as Quickly as Possible
The Shin Bet and the IDF caught the terrorists who killed yeshiva student Yehuda Dimentman in a shooting attack this week with remarkable speed, due in part to new technology that Israel’s security forces have deployed to fight terrorism in the West Bank.

Over the last several years, the time necessary to detect, arrest, or assassinate terrorists has significantly shortened, Israeli news site Walla reported Sunday.

In part, this is because of the use of traditional methods such as interrogation of witnesses and human intelligence, but a major factor is the deployment of a network of various technological devices that can gather large amounts of real-time visual information.

This includes cameras and other scanning devices that have been set up throughout the West Bank, along with state-of-the-art facial recognition software and artificial intelligence that under the right circumstances can identify terrorists within minutes of an incident.

This information can be processed by computer systems, providing an analysis of the terrain, possible escape routes, and other information to aid swift pursuit and arrest.

It was this that allowed security services to locate and arrest the terrorists who killed Dimentman so quickly, even though one of the suspects had succeeded in fleeing a substantial distance from the scene of the shooting.

Photos Of 2019 Palestinian Funeral Illustrate Coverage on Israeli Terror Victim
Multiple media outlets on Friday published a 2019 photograph of a Palestinian funeral to illustrate coverage of the burial of Israeli terror victim Yehuda Dimentman, murdered by Palestinian gunmen in a fatal shooting attack Thursday night.

The mismatch between the image and the story likely originated with Reuters, which provided both the article covering Dimentman’s funeral and the irrelevant three-year-old photos of a Palestinian funeral killed in entirely unrelated circumstances.

CAMERA yesterday prompted U.S. News and World Report and Metro to commendably and promptly replace the irrelevant image with a photograph of a mourner at Dimentman’s funeral. (The new image, at bottom, of the religious male mourner, appears now in both U.S. News and Metro.)

As of this writing, Yahoo! News and Euronews have so far failed to act on CAMERA’s requests to replace the unrelated photograph of a Palestinian funeral with an image from Dimentman’s burial.
Why Aren’t Media Covering the Palestinian Authority’s Crackdown on Critics?
Ghanem Zreikat. Alaa al-Rabi. Amer Hamdan. Jihad Abdo. To the readership of prominent publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and others, the names of these detained Palestinian activists and journalists likely mean little. None of the leading global news outlets and wire services have reported on the plight of fellow journalists. The fact that Zreikat, al-Rabi, Abu Lafh, Hamdan and Abdo were detained by the Palestinian Authority — the Western-backed interim government in the West Bank widely seen as the official representative of the Palestinian people – is seemingly being treated as a banality.

In addition to the arrests, a PA court in the city of Ramallah on December 19 heard cases against 35 Palestinians charged with protesting the death of anti-corruption activist Nizar Banat, who was severely beaten during a raid on his home by troops loyal to PA President Mahmoud Abbas. These Palestinians also stand accused of insulting the PA leadership, a crime punishable by up to three years in prison under the territory’s penal statute.

The indictments were the culmination of a months-long campaign of intimidation and violence by Abbas’ forces, many of which had initially received training and weapons from the United States as part of a security assistance program (see here and here). Yet media are categorically failing to hold Ramallah accountable for the suffering being inflicted upon the Palestinian people.

The PA’s crackdown on peaceful protesters went into overdrive following the death of Banat at the hand of PA forces in June, described by some Palestinians as an “assassination.”

Take, for example, the case of Ghanem Zreikat. The Hebron dentist, a friend of Nizar Banat, was arrested on December 13 following a raid that some called “brutal.” In July, Zreikat had shared video footage that purportedly showed Palestinian Authority-linked gunmen opening fire on his clinic. The attack, according to Zreikat, came after a “smear campaign and incitement” over his support for the anti-corruption movement.

PMW: Girl on PA TV: “We’ll trample the necks of the Zionists”
As Palestinian Media Watch has exposed and is clear by the way Palestinian children speak on PA TV, the PA educates its youth to admire terrorist murderers. In addition, they see violence and terror as valid and see the murder of Israelis/Jews as a right because Jews, they claim, don't have any history in the land and their presence “defiles” it.

All these messages are exemplified in this poem recited by a young girl and dedicated to all the imprisoned terrorists. The girl “swears by the Jihad fighters” and specifies that “we will trample the necks of the Zionists and make a path out of them”:
Rama: “I send greetings to all the male and female prisoners and especially to my uncle Ayman [Al-Dik]... and I dedicate a poem to them with sounds of joy:
Do not think that the prison has humiliated us,
Our rifles are on our shoulders, and our spoons [to dig out of prison] are in our hands
I swear by your head, Ayman, and by the Jihad fighters and prisoners
We have seen trouble many times in Palestine and we were saved from it…
We will trample the necks of the Zionists and make a path out of them.”

[Official PA TV, Giants of Endurance, Dec. 9, 2021]

PMW has exposed a song and music video broadcast by Hamas using the same phrase: “We will trample the necks of the enemies.” Video footage of a Hamas missile hitting an Israeli army bus and a staged stabbing of a religious Jew was included in the Hamas music video.

MEMRI: Hamas’s Al-Qassam Brigades Stage Military Drill Invading IDF Gaza Division Base, Capturing Soldiers
Hamas’s Al-Qassam Brigades posted a video of a military drill carried out by the group on its Telegram account on December 19, 2021. The video includes scenes of Hamas militants staging a mock invasion of the IDF Gaza Division base, attacking IDF armored vehicles, and capturing an IDF soldier.

There Must Be No Containment of Iran
The Biden administration and the British government are formally committed to ensuring that Iran will not become a nuclear power. Any notion of containing the impact of Iran obtaining the bomb or even settling for the status of a threshold state is delusional.

The revolutionary Islamic Republic of Iran is not like isolated nuclear-armed North Korea, for whom the bomb is little more than an insurance policy for its survival. Tehran harbors regional and even global ambitions and is openly and ardently committed to the destruction of Israel. Possession of the bomb, or even threshold status, would signal regional dominance and the American failure to uphold its commitments to its allies. The inevitable outcome would be a boundless nuclear arms race, undoing all efforts to curb proliferation and sustain global stability. At the regional level, Iran's aggressive provocations would hereafter be made worse by the implicit threat of nuclear escalation.

The Iranian regime is not a status quo power, for whom the bomb is essentially the means for remaining in power. On the contrary, it is a revolutionary power seeking to upend the established order in its image, which includes eliminating Israel and undoing any U.S. regional influence.

Keeping Israel's options open, or even enhancing them, will ultimately prove to be of value to the U.S. American diplomat and historian George F. Kennan said: "You have no idea how much it contributes to the general politeness and pleasantness of diplomacy when you have a little quiet armed force in the background."
Israeli Defense Minister: Iran Weak Domestically, ‘Without Real Bargaining Chips’
Iran’s precarious domestic situation offers an opportunity for the international community to pressure the regime in negotiations over its nuclear program, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Monday.

Speaking at a meeting of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Gantz said, “Iran is not a leading power—its citizens are suffering as a result of the poor economic situation, investments and development have been slashed by 50 percent in the last decade, and the country faces a variety of internal and external challenges.”

The Iranian regime is well aware of its precarious situation, said Gantz, “and as such, Iran is coming into negotiations without real bargaining chips.”

It is both possible and necessary to put an end to Iran’s “foot-dragging strategy,” said Gantz, referring to the seventh round of negotiations in Vienna between Iran and the other signatories of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Progress in the talks has reportedly stalled after Iran made demands for more concessions.

“We are deepening international cooperation and I am certain that soon both overt and covert actions will be expanded by a variety of means,” said Gantz.

“At the same time, for the past year and a half, we have been engaged in force buildup, procuring new means that will ensure Israel’s security superiority in the region in the face of all threats,” he added.
Iran Threatens to Light Israel on Fire
Iran threatened on Sunday to light Israel on fire, marking the Islamic Republic’s latest threat to destroy the Jewish state amid an escalating proxy war between the countries.

An Iranian government-controlled Twitter account posted an image of Israel constructed of matches and included the warning, "Just try and you will see." The message, also written in Hebrew, is a warning to Israel that if it attempts any attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, the hardline regime will start a war. The pack of matches included in the image states, "ballistic matchbook," an indication that Iran will use its enormous stockpile of advanced long-range missiles to target sites across Israel.

The threat comes as Iran continues to increase its nuclear work, including the enrichment of uranium—the key component in an atomic weapon—to the highest levels in its history. Iran is just a stone’s throw away from creating highly enriched uranium, which could power a bomb carried by the rogue country’s advanced ballistic missiles.

While the Biden administration has been working for months to ink a revamped version of the 2015 nuclear accord, Israel continues to sound the alarm on Tehran’s nuclear work. Israeli government leaders oppose the negotiations and worry the Biden administration is allowing Tehran to boost its atomic weapons program as negotiations drag on as the year comes to a close. The United States has already signaled that it is willing to unwind sanctions on Iran—providing the country access to billions of dollars in cash assets—if the hardline regime agrees to some restrictions on its nuclear program.

Amid negotiations, Iran and Israel have been locked in an escalating proxy war. Tehran is using its terrorist proxies, such as Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon, to attack Israeli positions with armed drones and other weapons. Israel has responded by striking back at these terror groups and also conducting clandestine operations within Iran aimed at sabotaging its nuclear program.

Israel was involved in Soleimani assassination - ex-IDF intel chief
Israel played a role in the operation in 2020 to assassinate Iran’s top commander Qasem Soleimani, the former head of Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Tamir Hayman has revealed. It was the first time a top Israeli official confirmed a role in the operation. Hayman spoke in an interview with the Malam magazine which is published by the Israeli Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center.

Soleimani was the former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force chief. In the interview, Hayman confirmed that Israel “played a role” in the US-led targeted killing two years ago.

In May, Yahoo News reported that Israel gave the US access to multiple cellphone numbers that belonged to Qasem Soleimani to help track him. “The assassination of Soleimani was significant since our main enemy is Iran,” Hayman said. “It is rare to locate someone so senior who is also the operator on the ground, the strategist and the fighter.”

Hayman said that Israel has largely succeeded in denying Iranian attempts to entrench itself in Syria.
Blasts heard near Iran’s Bushehr nuclear site; officials cite air defense test
Anti-aircraft fire was reported Monday in the vicinity of a nuclear site in Bushehr, Iran, according to preliminary reports.

An Iranian official told the country’s semi-official Fars news agency that the anti-aircraft fire was to test air defenses at the site.

“This exercise took place at 5 a.m. local time (130 GMT) with full preparation and coordination with the armed forces,” Mohammadtaqi Irani told the agency, according to Reuters.

Numerous explosions have been reported over the past few years in complexes vital to Iran’s nuclear program and its energy and military sectors.

Some of the incidents have been said to stem from technical malfunctions as well as air defense tests, while others have been blamed by the Islamic Republic on its enemies, including the US and Israel.

Earlier this month, Iran said it carried out similar air defense tests near the Natanz site after explosions were heard in the vicinity.
MEMRI: Iranian Religious Scholar Naser Naghavian: Khamenei Must Be Held Responsible for All His Actions
Iranian religious scholar Naser Naghavian shared his criticism of the Iranian regime in an interview that was posted on AkhbareFori on YouTube on November 18, 2021. He said that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei must be held responsible for all his actions and the statements made on his behalf. He continued to say that he considers himself part of the regime, and does not oppose the Rule of the Jurisprudent, yet he opposes the rule of an oppressive individual and he opposes injustice and dictatorship. Naghavian also said that he is embarrassed by President Raisi and that the position of president is way over his head. He added that the Guardian Council, which was responsible for “imposing” him on Iran should be prosecuted for this.

Naghavian said that it is childish to say that the fact that ISIS has not attacked Iran is an indication that Iran has security, “after all, there are several ISIS-like phenomena attacking us from within.” He said that people like himself are growing in number, and such ideas are “creating commotion and if some day this commotion finds power, the things that we and the esteemed gentlemen do not want to happen might happen. This is what the history of rebellions, reforms and revolutions shows us.” Naghavian served in the past as the secretary of Iran’s Supreme Committee for Government Appointments.

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