Thursday, December 23, 2021

From Ian:

JPost Editorial: Mansour Abbas recognizes the reality of Israel
The inclusion of Ra’am in the current coalition was already a turning point in Israel’s history. Its participation signified a pragmatic approach for Arab-Israeli leaders, one that focused on improving the lives of their constituency.

Abbas and his party campaigned on solving issues in Arab communities and improving the quality of life. Since then, as part of the coalition, he has secured budgets for an ambitious five-year plan for the Arab population – called Takadum (Progress) in Arabic – that tackles vital issues such as the uncontrolled gun violence in the Arab sector and a severe housing shortage.

That refreshing hands-on approach to leadership, which recognizes the reality and attempts to work within the system to improve constituents’ plights, unfortunately, hasn’t been adopted by Mansour’s fellow Arab lawmakers from other parties.

Joint List MK and Balad Party leader Sami Abou Shahadeh responded to Abbas’s statement on Jewish statehood by accusing him of “having a split personality.”

“The question of the status of the Palestinian minority in Israel is fundamentally tied to the definition of the state as a Jewish state. Only a state of all its citizens can bring about justice and full equality among all citizens,” Abou Shahadeh said.

Likewise, Joint List leader Ayman Odeh dismissed Abbas for giving in to the Jewish majority. “The question of the state’s identity should interest every citizen – Arab or Jew – who cares about peace and democracy,” he said.

Odeh, it seems, is living under the illusions that Abbas mentioned. Israel was indeed founded as a Jewish state, and that it shall remain, affording full rights and equal status to all its citizens. If that issue could be taken off the table, it would create so much more opportunity to address the real issues that affect all citizens of the country.

Mansour Abbas’s statement on Tuesday was long overdue from an Arab-Israeli leader, but it’s certainly most welcome. Let’s hope that other courageous leaders also come forward with similar declarations.

Sometimes small, incremental changes lead to seismic shifts in society. If this is indeed a turning point in the way the Arab citizens of Israel view their country. We can look back on Abbas’s statement as a game changer.
Ra’am Secretary-General: Kotel, Temple Mount, Are Only for Muslims, Terror Prisoners Must be Released
In a televised interview on the Kul al-Arab Israeli-Arab news station, Ra’am Secretary-General Ibrahim Hijazi this week praised the “security prisoners” who are fighting the “occupation,” and asserted that the Temple Mount and the Western Wall belong only to the Muslims, and called for erasing the Jewish communities in Judea & Samaria.

Hijazi’s interview, which was translated and brought to the public eye by the Arab Desk of Im Tirtzu, took place a day before the highly-praised declaration by Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas that Israel was and will remain a Jewish state.

Critics of Ra’am’s inclusion in the government have long accused Ra’am of speaking one way in Arabic and another in Hebrew to mask its true agenda.

Hijazi’s interview did nothing to soothe the critics’ concerns, as he made clear that “the one who makes decisions on the big issues, national and ideological, is not Ibrahim [Hijazi] or Mansour [Abbas] – it’s the Ra’am platform.”

“Our position is firm,” continued Hijazi. “The blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and every grain of dirt in it, its plazas, its domes, its walls, and the Buraq Wall (Western Wall) all belong to Islam and no one is allowed to set foot there.”

Regarding Israel’s jailed terrorists, he said: “Why are the security prisoners in Israeli prisons? They defended their land. The security prisoner has a problem with the state, or with a police officer, a prison guard, or the army. He has a problem with the state that is occupying its land. In every matter regarding the prisoners – by the way, there are old prisoners, sick prisoners, child prisoners, sick prisoners [sic], and women. What’s about them? What are they still doing in prison? I know how to do my job, to make a serious contribution regarding this matter. This is a serious matter in which a security prisoner fought and sacrificed.”
Erdogan to Rabbis from Islamic States: Antisemitism Is a Crime Against Humanity
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday told a visiting delegation led by Chief Rabbi of Turkey, Isaak Haleva, and the Chief Rabbi of Russia, Berel Lazar, with representatives of the Alliance of Rabbis in the Islamic States (ARIS) that Turkey views antisemitism as a crime against humanity, just like Islamophobia, Anadolu reported.

At the meeting at the presidential complex in the capital, Ankara, Erdogan told the visiting rabbis: “Just as we see Islamophobia as a crime against humanity, we also see anti-Semitism as a crime against humanity,” and added: “I do not accept any approach that marginalizes people because of their faith or ethnic origin.”

The Turkish President praised the contributions of his country’s Jewish citizens over the centuries, and said: “We did not allow inhuman ideas such as racism, antisemitism, intolerance to other religions to find ground in these lands.” He also said, “We need to be in solidarity in the fight against Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia, especially in Western countries.”

And then Erdogan addressed the blue and white elephant in the room, saying, “Turkey’s greatest desire is a Middle East where societies from different religions, languages, and ethnicities live together in peace.” He suggested that the past decade and a half of terrible relations between Turkey and Israel were rooted in Turkey’s warnings to the Israeli government to “ensure that matters are approached via the perspective of long-term peace and stability in the Middle East.”

He’s only been educating his less bright younger brother, see…

Erdogan then continued his patronizing message to Israel, saying that “relations with Israel in the fields of economy, trade, and tourism are progressing in their own way,” but, naturally, “Israel’s sincere and constructive attitude in the context of peace efforts will undoubtedly contribute to the normalization process. Turkey-Israel relations are vital for the stability and security of our region.”


Washington committed to two-state solution, US envoy tells Abbas
The Biden administration has affirmed its commitment to the two-state solution and the importance of joint action by all parties to move forward to achieve peace and stability in the region.

The commitment was relayed to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan during a meeting in Ramallah on Wednesday, according to the PA’s official news agency WAFA.

The meeting was the third of its kind between Abbas and senior Biden administration officials in the past 10 days.

A PA official described Wednesday’s meeting as “positive and constructive,” but did not provide further details. The official said that the PA was continuing to work towards strengthening its ties with the US administration.

Abbas briefed the US official on “the latest developments in the Palestinian territories and the need to end the Israeli occupation of the land of the State of Palestine,” the agency said.

Abbas also stressed the need for Israel to stop settlement activities and “assaults and terrorism of settlers,” according to the agency. Abbas emphasized the importance of respecting the status quo at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound (Temple Mount) and halting the “expulsion of Palestinian residents from the neighborhoods of Jerusalem, as well as the deduction of tax revenues Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinians,” the PA agency said.
Biden Admin Ignores Law To Sanction Hamas and Hezbollah for Civilian Shield Use, Lawmakers Say
The Biden administration is ignoring a congressional mandate to impose sanctions on the Iranian-backed terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah for their use of human shields in combat, according to a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers.

Congress passed legislation in 2018 that requires the U.S. government to sanction every individual involved in the use of human shields, in which women and children are placed in harm's way during combat to maximize casualties. Hamas and Hezbollah routinely employ this tactic during skirmishes with Israel to make it appear as if the Jewish state is killing innocent civilians.

"Despite overwhelming evidence, the Biden administration has yet to impose sanctions—as required by law—on the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah for their barbaric use of human shields," Rep. Mike Gallagher (R., Wis.) told the Washington Free Beacon. "These sanctions are long overdue and will send a strong signal that the United States will not tolerate the use of human shields."

Gallagher and a coalition of 22 lawmakers from both parties wrote to the Biden administration earlier this week to demand that it enforce the Shields Act, which mandated sanctions be applied on Hamas and Hezbollah for their use of civilians in combat, according to a copy of the letter obtained exclusively by the Free Beacon. While former president Donald Trump laid the groundwork for the law to be implemented in 2019, the Biden administration has yet to issue any sanctions on the terror groups or their leaders.

"While the U.S. government has taken other strong measures to combat Hamas and Hezbollah in recent years, it has yet to sanction Hamas and Hezbollah leaders for their use of human shields," the lawmakers wrote in a Dec. 20 letter to the Treasury and State Departments, which are tasked with implementing the law. "Imposing such sanctions would make clear the U.S. government does not tolerate the use of human shields and would encourage like-minded countries to take similar measures against this war crime. It would also augment the Biden administration's efforts to undermine Hamas and weaken Hezbollah."
Jewish Insider Podcast: Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon
On this week's episode, Rich and Jarrod are joined by former Israeli Defense Minister and IDF Chief of General Staff Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon for a detailed conversation on how to best address the threat from Iran. Ya’alon also shares his thoughts on the Abraham Accords.


Israeli Embassy in Rome Outraged by Italian MP’s Invite to Palestinian NGOs Accused of Terror Ties
A row has broken out between the Israeli Embassy in Rome and a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies over her invitation to two Palestinian NGOs, accused by Israel of ties with a terrorist organization, to address a parliamentary commission on human rights.

In a statement, the embassy said it was “shocked” by left-wing MP Laura Boldrini’s invitation to representatives of two Palestinian organizations — Al Haq and Addameer — that Israel maintains are front organizations for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). A Marxist and Arab nationalist organization pledged to Israel’s destruction as a sovereign state, the PFLP gained notoriety in the late 1960s and 1970s for hijacking commercial airliners, including a plane belonging to El Al, Israel’s national airline, in July 1968. The group is designated a terrorist organization by the US, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Japan.

In October, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz included Al Haq and Addameer on a list of six Palestinian organizations proscribed as a result of their links to the PFLP.

Both Shawan Jabarin, Al Haq’s director, and Sarah Francis, Addameer’s representative, spoke via videoconference at Wednesday’s session of the Italian parliament’s Standing Committee on Human Rights in the World. Jabarin, who holds a past conviction for recruiting on behalf of the PFLP, was described as a “Jekyll and Hyde” character in a 2007 decision of the Israeli Supreme Court. “In part of his activities, he is the director of a human rights organization, and in another part he is an activist in a terrorist organization which does not shy away from acts of murder and attempted murder which have nothing to do with rights, and on the contrary deny the most basic of all human rights … the right to life,” the court stated.
Blinken said to discuss Israel-Indonesia normalization during visit to Jakarta
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last week discussed with senior Indonesian officials the possibility of the world’s largest Muslim country establishing diplomatic ties with Israel, although no immediate breakthrough is expected, according to a report Thursday.

Visiting the Indonesian capital Jakarta, Blinken raised the idea of the country joining the Abraham Accords brokered under the previous US administration of former president Donald Trump, which have seen Israel normalize relations with four Arab countries.

The report, by the Walla and Axios news websites, cited Israeli officials familiar with the discussions, who assessed that no imminent breakthrough was likely.

It also quoted a senior US official saying Joe Biden’s administration was working “quietly but quite assiduously” to expand the Abraham Accords, adding that it could take time.

The report cited State Department spokesperson Ned Price commenting, “We are always exploring additional opportunities for normalization, but we’ll leave those discussions behind closed doors until the right moment.”

It added that Israel’s Foreign Ministry and the Indonesian Embassy in Washington declined to comment.
European diplomats visit Jerusalem's controversial Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood

Israeli journalist Barak Ravid discusses Donald Trump interview

Jason Greenblatt to publish memoirs from Trump administration

The Israeli government owes it to South African Jews to get them out
In my last column, I wrote about the noble effort to bring the remaining Jews (and descendants of Jews) from Ethiopia to Israel. This week, I would like to talk about another African community – albeit a far different one – that I also believe we must do all in our power to bring home: the Jews of South Africa.

Jews began to arrive to South Africa in significant numbers in the early 19th century, shortly after the British invaded and occupied what was a Dutch colony. The first synagogue, the “Gardens Shul,” was founded in 1841 in Cape Town. The community began to grow exponentially after the South African Gold Rush of 1886, reaching 40,000 by the time of the First World War. Many of the Jewish immigrants came from Lithuania – though others arrived from Germany and Rhodes – and made their home primarily in Johannesburg. Although a quota was put on Jewish immigration in 1930, following World War II a steady stream of Jews began to arrive, and the Jewish population eventually reached a high of 120,000 by 1970, with numerous vibrant communities outside of Johannesburg and Cape Town, such as Durban, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria. Approximately 50,000 Jews remain in South Africa today.

There is something truly unique about South African Jewry. I have had the privilege of visiting South Africa numerous times, serving as scholar-in-residence in Joburg’s Glenhazel, Sandton and Killarney communities as well as in Cape Town, and rarely have I encountered a people anywhere in the world with such warmth, grace and civility. The country itself is one of boundless beauty and stunning scenery, matched only by the manners of its genteel population.

I am also fortunate to live in Ra’anana – often referred to as “Ra’anana Fontein” – and have many wonderful South African friends and neighbors who have contributed mightily to Israel in virtually every field. Abba Eban is arguably South Africa’s most famous ex-pat, but other stellar South Africans include Morris Kahn, founder of Amdocs and Eilat’s underwater observatory; Ian Froman, who organized Israel Tennis & Education Centers; the creators of the Bat-Dor Dance Company and Beit Issie Shapiro for special-needs children and adults; the 800 Machal volunteer soldiers and pilots who helped us in the War of Independence; and even the Burger Ranch chain.


Thousands of Israeli activists stake claim to West Bank's Homesh hilltop
Israeli activists rallied Thursday afternoon at the site of the former Homesh settlement to demand that the government rebuild the small northern Samaria community destroyed in 2005 and to authorize the small yeshiva located at the site.

The family of terror victim Yehuda Dimentman, 25, spearheaded the event together with the Samaria Regional Council and the Homesh Yeshiva, where he was a student.

Dimentman was killed by Palestinian gunmen last Thursday as he left Homesh for his home in Shavei Shomron where he lived with his wife Ethia and his toddler son, David. His family as well and his siblings sat the shiva week-long mourning period in his parents' home in Mevaseret Zion, which ended right before the rally.

Her husband, Ethia said, "left us a will: to authorize the Homesh Yeshiva.

Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan said, "the nation wants Homesh rebuilt."

The Dimentman family fears that the IDF plans to demolish the yeshiva in the coming weeks.
Palestinian Land Grab in Area C of West Bank
At a Knesset hearing last week, the Regavim movement reported that from 2019 to 2021, Palestinians built 5,907 illegal structures in Area C, the portion of the West Bank under full Israeli military and civilian control.

The overall tally of unlawful Palestinian buildings erected in Area C has reached 72,274. In addition, Palestinian agricultural and infrastructure projects have been built on 23,000 acres of Israeli state-owned land.

Regavim noted that "By planting hundreds of thousands of trees in the undeveloped open spaces of Area C, creating agricultural roads spanning dozens of kilometers each year, digging wells, cisterns and water delivery and irrigation systems," the Palestinians are "wresting land rights from the State of Israel and establishing de facto Palestinian control," aided by funding from the European Union.

Much of the Palestinian construction is strategically aimed at choking off and encircling Jewish communities.
PMW: PA hypocrisy: PA increases trade with Israel, yet calls on others to boycott
The Palestinian Authority is a strong supporter and proponent of the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement against Israel. As such, when Ben and Jerry’s decided to adopt the BDS platform and halt ice cream sales in Judea and Samaria, PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh was quick to praise the “moral values” of the company.

While the PA and its leadership wholeheartedly support the BDS movement, a recent report published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) shows that trade between Israel and the Palestinians in constantly increasing.

Referring to October 2021, the PCBS reported:
“Exports to Israel increased in October, 2021 by 10% compared to September, 2021 and it represented 85% of total exports in October, 2021… Imports from Israel increased by 10% in October, 2021 compared to September, 2021 and it represented 54% of total imports in October, 2021.”

In August 2021, the month following Shtayyeh’s tweet, the PCBS reported “Exports to Israel increased in August, 2021 by 28% compared to July, 2021 and it represented 93% of total exports in August, 2021.” Imports from Israel also increased by 13% in August, 2021 compared to July, 2021 and comprised 55% of total imports for that month.

While the BDS movement seeks to single out Israel and inflict financial damage on Israeli companies and on foreign companies that trade with or operate in Israel, the PA and the Palestinians are proving every month that the commercial links with Israel are, first and foremost, in the interest of the Palestinian economy and the Palestinians.


Palestinian Gunman Killed by Israeli Forces in West Bank Drive-By Shooting
Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian in a car they were pursuing in the West Bank on Wednesday, Palestinian paramedics said. The Israeli military said the man had fired at them from a vehicle.

The incident followed several Palestinian attacks on Israelis in recent weeks.

In a statement, the IDF said the soldiers had come under fire from a passing vehicle while searching for Palestinians spotted approaching the Jewish settlement of Psagot.

“The troops responded with fire and hit the assailant,” the military said, adding that none of the soldiers were hurt in the incident.

Palestinian medics said the troops had chased a car up to the entrance of a refugee camp and then opened fire, wounding the Palestinian man in the back. They said he was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The medics said they did not know whether he had taken part in the alleged attack on the Israeli troops.

The violence came a day after Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian motorist who attempted to ram his vehicle into a military checkpoint near the settlement of Mevo Dotan in the West Bank.


Attempted terror attack in Tel Aviv Central Station thwarted
An attempted terror attack by a 14-year-old Palestinian teen was thwarted by security guards at the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station on Thursday morning, N12 reported.

A man reported the Palestinian teen to security guards at the station after he acted in a suspicious manner.

Security guards who arrived at the scene detained the boy after detecting a kitchen knife under his jacket.

The Palestinian was eventually arrested by Israel Police and will be interrogated by officers.
Military-Terrorist Parades at West Bank Birzeit University Campus Features Mock Suicide Bombers
Student organizations affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Hamas held military-terrorist parades on the campus of Birzeit University, near Ramallah, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) said in a report published in recent days.

This rally occurred despite a ban on such events passed by the university in 2019. According to MEMRI, during the rallies, student activists wore mock suicide bomb belts and carried mock rockets.

During the PFLP’s march, held to mark the movement’s founding, “dozens of masked and uniformed activists marched on campus wearing mock explosive belts and carrying PFLP flags and emblems, mock rockets, and signs bearing the portraits of terrorists and terror leaders, including former PFLP leaders George Habash and Abu ‘Ali Mustafa, Hamas founder Ahmad Yasin and Palestinian Islamic Jihad founder Fathi Shaqaqi,” MEMRI reported.

On the following day, Hamas’ student organization followed suit on campus to mark the 34th anniversary of the Islamist terror movement’s founding. “At the event, attended by dozens of masked activists, Hamas student leaders declared that they will remain loyal to the path of resistance. Activists also saluted the ‘body parts scattered’ in suicide bombings in Israeli cities, and praised Yahya ‘Ayyash, a Birzeit graduate who was a co-founder of Hamas’ military wing and one of the initiators of the policy of suicide bombings,” said MEMRI.
Gazans hold PA, Hamas responsible for crises, poll finds
Most Palestinians in the Gaza Strip hold the Palestinian Authority and Hamas responsible for the continued crises in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave, according to a public opinion poll published on Thursday by the Palestinian Atlas Center for Studies and Research. The results showed that 45% of respondents believe that the PA is responsible for the various crises in the Gaza Strip, with 25% saying they hold Hamas responsible, and only 15% blaming Israel.

Additionally, only 7% of respondents blamed Egypt for the crises in the Gaza Strip, home to approximately two million Palestinians. The PA, Hamas and many international parties often hold Israel solely responsible for the “economic and humanitarian crisis” in the Gaza Strip because of the blockade imposed there.

In 2007, Hamas seized control of Gaza after removing the PA from power. Since then, Hamas and the ruling Fatah faction dominating the PA have been at war with each other.

In 2017 and 2018, PA President Mahmoud Abbas imposed a series of sanctions on the Gaza Strip as part of an effort to undermine Hamas and bring about its downfall. The sanctions included, among other things, cutting salaries to thousands of civil servants, and financial aid to needy families.


'Hamas does not see itself as a guest in Lebanon'
The deadly explosion that tore through a Hamas arms depot on Dec. 10 in a mosque in the Burj Al Shimali refugee camp, in the southern Lebanese city of Tyre, is a vivid reminder of Hamas's growing organized armed presence on Lebanese territory – and Iran's role in helping it grow.

The blast killed a Hamas engineer named Hamza Ibrahim Shahine, whose funeral turned into a gun battle between gunmen from Fatah and Hamas, leaving three people reportedly dead.

Two months before the blast, the mosque at Burj Al-Shimali was flagged as a central weapons manufacturing workshop in a detailed report by the Alma Research and Education Center, a security watchdog based in northern Israel.

Hamas' growing armed presence is not only a serious challenge for Hezbollah, due to Hamas's independent decision-making on when to fire rockets at Israel – it is also creating a challenge for Fatah in Lebanon, Maj. (res.) Tal Beeri, director of the research department at the Alma Center, said.

"Hamas does not just see itself as a guest in Lebanon," said Beeri, who served for 20 years in the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate.

"It is a serious challenge for Hezbollah on Lebanon, because of its independent activities and force build-up, and it is also in a state of significant tension with Fatah, the central Palestinian movement in Lebanon," he stated.
The Times ($): Rift Reported within the Hamas Leadership
Few in Lebanon had any doubt that the Dec. 10 explosion at the Burj al-Shemali Palestinian refugee camp was an Israeli sabotage operation targeting Hamas rockets, which are manufactured locally with Iranian guidance.

The explosion and its aftermath shed light on a secret rift within the Hamas leadership. On one side are the radicals, convinced that their future is as a military proxy of the Shia regime in Iran. On the other are those who reject that vision and are striving to win back the patronage of more moderate Sunni Arab powers such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt.

Hamas had earned a brief period of popularity among Palestinians in May by firing thousands of rockets into Israel, but is now teetering on the brink of bankruptcy after being rejected by most of its former patrons in the Arab world. Its fundraising operations among Muslim communities across the world have been squeezed owing to clandestine operations by Western intelligence agencies and pressure put on banks to deny facilities to any organization seen as a front to the militants.

Khaled Mashal, who heads Hamas operations outside the Palestinian territories, has been trying to rebuild relations with the Sunni-Arab regimes. However, his rival, Ismail Haniyeh, chairman of Hamas' political bureau, has pursued a policy of rapprochement with the Iranians.
UN chief: 'Ponzi scheme' crashed Lebanon's finances
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Lebanon's financial collapse was caused by "something similar to a Ponzi scheme", according to a video of comments he made while visiting Beirut this week and confirmed by someone who attended the meeting.

Lebanon is in the third year of an economic meltdown that began in 2019 when the financial system collapsed under the weight of huge state debt - the result of decades of corruption and mismanagement - and the unsustainable way it was financed. Critics of the Lebanese authorities have compared the financial system to a Ponzi scheme, depending on fresh borrowing to pay back existing debt.

The central bank has denied this.

"As far as I understand what has happened in Lebanon is that Lebanon was using something similar to a Ponzi scheme..., which means that together with of course corruption and other, probably, forms of stealing, the financial system has collapsed," Guterres said in the video circulated on social media.


Improving the Potential for a Diplomatic Resolution to the Iran Nuclear Challenge
Howard Berman, Michele Flournoy, Jane Harman, Leon Panetta, David Petraeus, Dennis Ross, and Robert Satloff (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

The Vienna negotiations are in danger of becoming a cover for Iran to move toward achieving a threshold nuclear weapons capability. Iran's behavior continues to indicate that it not only wants to preserve a nuclear weapons option but is actively moving toward developing that capability.

Without convincing Iran it will suffer severe consequences if it stays on its current path, there is little reason to hope for the success of diplomacy. And given the speed with which Iran is moving forward with its nuclear program, such consequences cannot be limited to political isolation, condemnatory resolutions in international fora and additional economic sanctions.

Therefore, for the sake of our diplomatic effort to resolve this crisis, we believe it is vital to restore Iran's fear that its current nuclear path will trigger the use of force against it by the U.S. We believe it is important for the Biden administration to take steps that lead Iran to believe that persisting in its current behavior and rejecting a reasonable diplomatic resolution will put to risk its entire nuclear infrastructure.

Such steps may include orchestrating high-profile military exercises by the U.S. Central Command, potentially in concert with allies and partners, that simulate air-to-ground attacks on hardened targets and the suppression of Iranian missile batteries.

Fulfilling past U.S. promises to act forcefully against other Iranian outrages, such as the drone attack by Iran-backed militias against the U.S. base at al-Tanf in Syria and Iran's illegal capture of merchant ships, might have the salutary impact of underscoring the seriousness of U.S. commitments to act on the nuclear issue.
If the U.S. Rolls Back Iran Sanctions, Business Beware
When confronted with that reality by the media, the Biden administration stopped calling terrorism sanctions illegitimate and pivoted to a new message: Terrorism sanctions could be inconsistent with the economic benefits promised to Iran under JCPOA. In other words, if terrorism sanctions are lifted, it will not be because of any change in behavior but simply to deliver economic relief to the regime.

The 300-plus sanctioned entities and individuals that nonpolitical career experts at the Treasury Department have determined to be bad actors will still be terror-aiders and money launderers. The administration’s implicit and contradictory message to corporate risk managers, executives, and directors is this: If the U.S. suspends any terrorism sanctions on Iran, the private sector should be on notice that all firms receiving sanctions relief remain tied to terrorism and money laundering.

No responsible fiduciary would knowingly expose his company to such illicit activity. To do so could put legitimate businesses at odds with regulations governing anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism. Negative publicity, controversy levels, and risk scores would increase. The legal, financial, and reputational risk of doing business with known supporters of terrorism would be extraordinary—particularly if Republicans were to reverse Biden’s policy after taking control of Congress in 2022 or the White House in 2024.

Removal of terrorism sanctions on Iran would be a big mistake. But it would be an even bigger mistake for any firm to knowingly do business with terrorists and money launderers just because it became convenient for the Biden administration to temporarily remove these formal labels. Calling a grizzly bear a “teddy” does not make it any less of a killer.


Fighter Aircraft Could Give Iran a Nuclear Delivery Option
It is frequently argued that even if the Iranian regime achieves the ability to carry out a nuclear test, designing a deliverable missile warhead would still require two years of additional work.

Yet this argument does not consider the possibility that Iran could use an aircraft as the delivery system instead of a missile. After all, this was the method used for the first atomic bombs dropped on Japan.

Even a fighter jet can carry a comparatively small but powerful tactical nuclear weapon. In 1985, the Financial Times quoted intelligence officials stating that "Pakistan is working on the manufacture of an atomic bomb suitable for carrying by an F-16."

Pakistani Gen. Mirza Aslam Beg notes in a new book that Dr. A.Q. Khan, director of Islamabad's nuclear program, "successfully developed the delivery system...through which atomic weapons could be carried and delivered to the desired targets by F-16 aircraft." Beg claimed that "the experiment of delivery system succeeded in August 1987."
MEMRI: Iranian Politician: Khamenei’s “Sensitivity” Prevents Iran from Alleviating Tensions with the World
Iranian politician Mostafa Tajzadeh, who was formerly acting Interior Minister, criticized the foreign policy of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his regime in an interview that aired on Didar News (Iran) on November 14, 2021. He said that the removal of sanctions against Iran is imperative, and if they are not removed Iran will head towards disaster. However, Khamenei has a “sensitivity” towards this issue, which everyone knows is “crucial” to solving Iran’s problems. Tajzadeh said that “everyone knows” that Iran will face “serious problems” if it does not make peace with the world. He further said that the involvement of the military and particularly the IRGC in all aspects of running the country is detrimental and detracts from people’s identification with it.

Tajzadeh added that all the countries that have had “economic development in the past 40 years” have based their relations on “productive interactions” with the world, even if they had “bigger conflicts” with the U.S. than Iran in the past. He continued to say that investors only choose countries in which there is a consistent and transparent rule of law, even if these are undemocratic countries. Tajzadeh then said that the majority of Iranians support freedom of choice regarding wearing the hijab. He added that the regime is trying to block access to satellite channels, so Iranians will not see what is happening in the world and compare it to their reality.


German university ends program with Iran uni. calling to destroy Israel
The University of Freiburg in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg suspended its academic program with the Iranian regime-controlled University of Isfahan because of political conflicts in Iran, The Jerusalem Post can reveal on Wednesday.

The Post located a webpage in Persian on the University of Isfahan’s website that showcases and celebrates the annual al-Quds rally that urges the elimination of the Jewish state. The webpage shows an al-Quds demonstration against Israel from 2021.

Bastian Strauch, a spokesman for the University of Freiburg, told the Post that the academic exchange program was suspended in 2019 because of “growing political conflicts in Iran” as well as conflicts in “bilateral educational cooperation between Iran and Germany.” Strauch added that “Only a few students are currently still attending the University of Freiburg. Students from Freiburg have not attended Isfahan University.” The Iranian regime-controlled Metropolises News Agency (formerly called the Isfahan Municipality News Agency) reported in May on Isfahan celebrating al-Quds Day 2021. Mashregh News, a website close to the security and intelligence organizations in Iran, stressed when discussing the al-Quds Day rally in Isfahan in May “the necessity of liberating occupied Jerusalem.”
Historian Says Princeton Left Him To ‘Rot’ in Iranian Prison
A former Princeton historian is suing the Ivy League school, accusing officials of urging him to study in Iran in the wake of the nuclear deal and then leaving him to "rot" in a notorious torture prison after he was arrested on bogus espionage charges.

Xiyue Wang alleges Princeton sent him to Iran to study for his doctorate in early 2016 but did little to help free him after his arrest months later on charges of spying for the United States. Wang was arrested in Iran on Aug. 7, 2016, and sentenced to 10 years in the regime’s Evin Prison, where Iran holds its political prisoners. He was freed in December 2019 in a prisoner exchange with the United States.

In a lawsuit filed last month, Wang accuses Princeton of trying to keep his wife from publicizing his case following his arrest in order to protect its reputation and to maintain political ties in Iran. Wang blasted Princeton and its Iran Center for heeding the advice of "pro-regime activists and academics" before and after his arrest. Wang alleges that Princeton lawyers and administrators urged him not to seek refuge in the Swiss embassy in Tehran after he began to fear for his safety.

"Everything Princeton did and abstained from doing was centered around absolving its institutional responsibility, protecting its institutional reputation, and maintaining its political relations with Iran," Wang says in the lawsuit, which has not been previously reported.

Wang’s lawsuit threatens to reveal Princeton’s efforts to forge ties with Iran and the school’s internal deliberations after his arrest. The historian identifies researchers and scholars at Princeton he says are sympathetic to the Iranian regime who he claims stymied efforts to free him from prison. Wang notes that Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a former Iranian diplomat, serves as a scholar at Princeton. Mousavian was ambassador to Germany when four Iranian dissidents were assassinated on German soil. He attended the funeral of Qassem Soleimani, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps leader killed by American forces last year.











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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 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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