Sunday, February 27, 2022

02/27 Links: International law was supposed to protect Ukraine — it failed; What Israel Must Learn From Ukraine’s War; Israel helped Lebanese, Syrian citizens reach Ukraine border

From Ian:

Seth Frantzman: International law was supposed to protect Ukraine — it failed
The lessons of appeasement led to democracies being more forthright in their demands that countries adhere to these norms. The Cold War, however, brought with a litany of new abuses and because the world was divided it was hard for countries to agree on international norms and enforcement. The concepts laid down by US President George H.W Bush during the Gulf war were designed to resurrect the rules-based international order.

Although this international order has not been ideal, there have been attempts to make it work. That means the US intervened in the Balkans in the 1990s to stop ethnic cleansing. The US stumbled during the global war on terror, but the pretense of international law remained. In fact it is Russia that has often voices support for these norms in places like Syria, demanding the US leave Syria and claiming that it is Russia that stands by international norms, like soviergnn states and such concepts.

Now Russia has torn up that rule book in an unprovoked attack on Ukraine. Russia didn’t set any kind of ultimatum or red line before the attack. The excuse that Russia was concerned about NATO expansion holds no water, because Russia didn’t even try diplomacy with Ukraine. Russia simply started bombing without any warning or pretense of why it was launch an attack.

This shows that Russia didn’t feel a need to justify this attack. It didn’t distribute talking points before the war to its media and embassies. It didn’t even bother to try to explain the conflict. It doesn’t have regular press updates. This is because Russia knows it was violated international norms.

The problem for Ukraine was that these norms were supposed to protect Ukrainians. The western countries that talk tough on sanctions and US vows about “unprecedented” sanctions still continue to ring hollow. This is because the unprecedented actions are not yet being fully taken. The US especially seems keen to continue to work with Russia on energy issues and the Iran deal. That means this war casts shadows over enforcement of any issues relating to Iran. The story of “snap back” sanctions on Iran was largely a myth. Iran can keep on enriching uranium and nothing will be done.

Unfortunately for Ukraine the same letdown of relying on western democracies had led to war today, much as it did in the 1930s. Whether or not the west can step up and give Russia some real repercussions will be a key to seeing if this attack on Ukraine has a result that sends a message to others not to try the same thing.
Gerald Steinberg: What Israel Must Learn From Ukraine’s War
The first lesson to be learned (or relearned) from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is that the absence of deterrence can be fatal for any nation. The bravery and determination displayed by the leaders and citizens of Ukraine are impressive, but have not prevented Putin’s onslaught. In the West — mainly the United States and NATO — good intentions and strong words of support notwithstanding, the lack of a credible deterrent to dissuade Putin was clearly evident, including to the Kremlin.

Deterrence of a powerful and determined opponent is inherently complex and uncertain. During the Cold War, strategists agonized over the best means of preventing Moscow from challenging and weakening American power and the NATO alliance, including MAD — mutual assured destruction. But when the Soviet state collapsed, and the end of history was declared, deterrence was largely forgotten, allowing Putin to build up his forces without interference. By the time the United States and NATO woke up to the threat, Russia had full control.

For Israel, the events in Ukraine are an important reality check. Israelis recognize that no outside power, not even the United States, can be relied on to guarantee survival in the face of a powerful threat. In 1948, after defeating the combined Arab attack at great cost, David Ben-Gurion understood the need for the tiny Jewish state to be capable of defending itself against future threats, as was demonstrated in 1967. Later, having America as an ally added to Israel’s security, but did not replace the centrality of self-reliance.

As a result, for 74 years, Ben-Gurion, his successors and Israel’s security establishment have continued to prioritize strategic deterrence. The best means of preventing an attack is by convincing enemies that the response will be swift and intolerable, and that in threatening Israel’s survival, their own existence would be at stake.

However, in recent years, lapses in deterrence have been cause for concern and require strengthening and reinforcement. Specifically, in the face of ongoing threats from the Iranian regime and its proxies, and against Hamas in Gaza, Israeli responses fall short. Against threats to wipe “the Zionist entity” off the map, a series of pinpoint and anonymous attacks attributed to the Mossad have not stopped Tehran’s efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. And in Lebanon, under the eyes of the United Nations and the so-called international community, Hezbollah acquired and deployed tens of thousands of rockets and missiles stored in civilian areas, and aimed at the Israeli population. This force is the forward arm of the Iranian threat.
Michael Oren: Israel navigating perilous diplomatic terrain in Ukraine
Finally, perhaps it's also fitting to ask: Why is Israel so afraid of the Russian military presence in Syria? After all, this force consists of some 4,000 troops and a few dozen planes. Does our seemingly constant projection of trepidation damage our image and deterrence capabilities in the region?

It's important to note here that despite our repeated requests, Moscow has chosen to continue selling some of the most advanced weapons systems in the world to our enemies. Hezbollah in Lebanon and even Hamas in Gaza are equipped with Russian weapons, and Russia built the nuclear plant in Bushehr, Iran, and has promised to build another eight in the Islamic republic.

As stated, navigating this environment is exceedingly perilous and requires Israel to tread very lightly. On one hand, it must keep as many channels with Russian President Vladimir Putin open and must continue caring for the welfare of Ukrainian and Russian Jewry, including the possibility of a mass absorption of immigrants.

On the other hand, Israel mustn't remain silent – not in the face of the Ukrainian people's courageous fight, which could be reminiscent of the dogged resistance to Soviet occupation after World War Two; and not in the face of public opinion in the US, our most important ally. Israel should continue offering its services as a mediator and continue providing humanitarian and medical support to the Ukrainian people. We should also uphold our purpose as a strong and ethical Jewish state.

Ukraine crisis shows Israel the international community won't rescue you - opinion
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has only just begun, yet the lessons for Israel are already obvious and they’re not very encouraging.

Lesson #1: The international community will not rescue you.
If ever there was a situation in which the international community would be totally justified to come to the armed defense of a beleaguered ally, this is it.

Ukraine is the innocent victim of Russian aggression. Ukraine is a democracy; Russia is de-facto totalitarian. Ukraine’s location makes it strategically vital to the West. Yet, none of that matters.

Not a single country is willing to take up arms to defend Ukraine against the Russian assault. Every one of the reasons cited above and many more would apply if Israel was again invaded by its Arab neighbors. And not a single country, including Israel’s closest allies, would pick up a gun if Israel faced annihilation.

For years, the Jewish Left and the United States (US) State Department crowd have been proposing that US peacekeeping troops should be stationed in Judea-Samaria and the Golan Heights. The idea is to lure Israel into surrendering those territories, based on the assumption that a Palestinian state or its allies would never attack American troops.

However, the American peacekeepers would flee the moment war seemed imminent, exactly as the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping troops fled from the Sinai on the eve of the 1967 war and exactly as the UN troops in southern Lebanon have proven to be completely helpless in the face of Hezbollah’s de facto control of that region.

Israelis watching the unfolding of the Ukraine crisis undoubtedly recall Israel’s own bitter experiences with international indifference in the face of Arab aggression.
Ukraine petitions International Court of Justice against Russia over invasion
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday his country has filed a complaint against Russia at the International Court of Justice, and accused Moscow of carrying out state terrorism in its invasion of his country.

Zelensky said that civilian areas were being targeted indiscriminately as Ukrainian forces try to repel the Russian attack in a number of cities, including the capital Kyiv.

“Ukraine has submitted its application against Russia to the ICJ,” Zelensky said on his official Twitter account. “Russia must be held accountable for manipulating the notion of genocide to justify aggression. We request an urgent decision ordering Russia to cease military activity now and expect trials to start next week.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his forces into Ukraine last week, claiming “genocide” was being committed against Russian-speaking residents of the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. With no evidence to back his assertations, the claim was seen by countries supporting Ukraine as a baseless excuse to carry out the expected invasion.

In a video message posted to social media, Zelensky described the situation in his country.

“We are fighting, fighting for our country, fighting for our freedom because we have the right to do that,” he said. “The past night was tough — more shelling, more bombing of residential areas and civilian infrastructure. There is not a single facility in the country that the occupiers wouldn’t consider as admissible targets.”
If West had followed Israel's example we would not be where we are with Russia
Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of the British military forces in Afghanistan, spoke to Israel National News on Sunday about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stated that the West should have followed Israel's example by projecting strength in defending Ukraine.

"If the West had followed Israel’s example of strength in defending itself and its interests we would not be where we are today," Col. Kemp stated. "The clear lesson from Ukraine is that appeasement never works, it only provokes autocratic rulers. Only military strength and political will to use it can deter autocratic entities such as Russia, China, Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah. Israel doesn’t really need to learn this lesson, and I am skeptical about the ability of western European countries, who are now intrinsically unwilling to defend their way of life and freedoms, to properly absorb it before it’s too late.

"Putin wants to be the man who restores Russian glory and superpower status by re-creating a new form of the Soviet Union, with an unchallenged Russian sphere of influence in the neighboring countries," he explained.

"Diplomacy, including the threat of sanctions, was never going to work with Putin, as we saw. I think the only action that would have deterred him would have been deployment of NATO forces into Ukraine before he invaded, but of course there was no political will for that among NATO member states. A politically stronger and more united West, with a known will to defend itself, might also have deterred him but that would have had to be over a much longer term. Instead, increasing European dependence on Russian energy and a systemic attitude of appeasement emboldened him. The weakness of President Biden and NATO was most recently illustrated by their self-inflicted humiliation in Afghanistan last year, which undoubtedly played a part in encouraging Putin to invade now.
Seth Frantzman: Rapidly expanding Russia-Ukraine war leaves questions to be answered
He’s not surrounded by generals, but rather in the streets. This is a new kind of conflict without comparison to conflicts like the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 or the US-led war on Yugoslavia in 1999.

The complex nature of this war is such that we are seeing something unfold that is very different from other conflicts. Russia’s war on Georgia in 2008 or its intervention in Ukraine in 2014 and in Syria in 2015 were very different. Russia is fighting a unique kind of war on Ukraine.

There is a sense that every day Ukraine holds out, its chances get better. This is because the EU, NATO and others are seeking to find ways to stand by Ukraine. Dozens of countries want to send defensive weapons or other aid. Reports say that the Netherlands will send 200 Stinger missiles, for instance. More is on the way from other states apparently. Ukraine is not alone. But it needs to hold out. Some are making comparisons of the Ukrainian leadership to the Afghan leadership and noting how brave they are to hold out in Kyiv, unlike the Afghan leadership that fled.

But this is setting a low bar. Ukraine’s leadership should stay in the capital and they had ample time to prepare to resist. They have had seven years to rebuild the army from the chaos of 2014 when Ukraine last clashes with Russia and Russia-backed separatists.

Furthermore, Ukraine has fought a war in the Donbas for years. Ukraine needed to be better prepared, but it has also been starved of modern air defense and other needs because western countries were slow to let Ukraine procure the right weapons. This put Ukraine in a difficult position. Russia pretended that Ukraine might one day be a threat to Moscow, but Moscow’s plan for the war reveals that Russia believed Ukraine would be a pushover.
Seth Frantzman: Ukraine war’s rapid developments outpace modern media
Meanwhile, for many civilians, it seems curfews and other measures are keeping them from doing too much filming of the fighting. There have been remarkable videos of Russian helicopter air assaults, armored vehicles driving through towns and in one instance a Ukrainian team with anti-tank missiles.

But overall, for a war involving several hundred thousand fighters over 2,000 kilometers and four major front lines, there is a paucity of video and images of the war effort. In fact, there is such a paucity that old photos from 2016 and other years have become popular during the war, despite being years old.

This then is a war that seems to betray the concept of war today being fought online and on smartphones. That doesn’t mean the social-media appearance of Ukraine resisting isn’t important. But the media war of getting the first images of various battles out to the public generally is not a major thing.

We have not seen much coverage from the Russian side, even propaganda coverage. On the Ukraine side, although we get reports of Russian planes being shot down and armored columns stopped, there isn’t always as much video evidence as one would expect.

Ukrainians appear very adept at doing good “opsec,” or operational security, and Russia doesn’t seem to want anyone to see what they are up to. With most media stuck in Kyiv, Lviv or abroad, this means there is a tremendous lack of information about this war despite the international focus on the fighting.
Seth Frantzman: Did Putin miscalculate repercussions of invading Ukraine?
Russian President Vladimir Putin has generally prided himself on making calculated decisions that increase Russia’s power and standing over the last decades.

Whether it was convincing the US in 2009 that bad US-Russia relations were the fault of the Bush administration and getting the White House to agree to a “reset,” or picking fighting with Georgia and sending support to the Assad regime; Putin always seemed to come away looking like a master strategist. He seemed to outplay the West at every opportunity; getting NATO-member Turkey to buy S-400s, and getting increasing support among the far-right and far-left in Europe, selling weapons across the Middle East and working with countries that had been partners of the US, such as Pakistan.

Now Putin may have miscalculated the repercussions of the attack on Ukraine. If he believed that this would be like the attack on Georgia in 2008 and that the West would quickly come groveling back, he may now find that even countries that appeared sympathetic to Moscow are having second thoughts.

The attack on Ukraine has caused concern in Sweden and Finland and the belief that it might be time for them to become closer to NATO. In addition, reports say Cyprus and Hungary could be on board to not block a ban on Russia from the SWIFT global payments network. That means that many key countries Russia likely counted on are moving to take tough measures against Moscow, or at least not stand in the way of other European countries being tough.

In addition reports that Germany will allow RPGs to be sent to Ukraine and Netherlands will send Stinger missiles to Ukraine, as Poland backs Ukraine joining the EU. One by one a number of states are falling into line to actually do something for Ukraine that might help the country resist the invasion.
Musk says Starlink active in Ukraine as Russian invasion disrupts internet
SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk said on Saturday that the company's Starlink satellite broadband service is available in Ukraine and SpaceX is sending more terminals to the country, whose internet has been disrupted due to the Russian invasion.

"Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route," Musk tweeted.

He was responding to a tweet by a Ukraine government official who asked Musk to provide the embattled country with Starlink stations.

“@elonmusk, while you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people!" Ukraine’s vice prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, tweeted.

Internet connectivity in Ukraine has been affected by the Russian invasion, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the country where fighting has been heaviest, internet monitors said on Saturday.
Israeli medical delegation prepares to assist Ukrainian refugees at Moldovan border
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its fourth day, a team of Israeli medical personnel is set to land in Moldova, ready to assist Ukrainian refugees as they cross the border to escape the war.

The medical mission, organized by United Hatzalah, consists 15 medical professionals: doctors, medics and paramedics. In the coming days, an additional team of 30 will join the delegation in order to widen the operation.

More than 15,800 Ukrainians had already crossed into the neighboring country of Moldova as of Friday morning, and many more were expected to join them. The country passed emergency legislation allowing for Ukrainians to enter with only internal identity documents, and without the need to present a corona vaccination certificate or negative test.

Israel’s United Hatzalah delegation was formed at the request of Moldova’s chief rabbi, Pinchas Salzman, and will work in coordination with the Foreign Ministry to assist at the Ukrainian-Moldovan border.

“We are leaving for Romania, and from there we will arrive by car to Chișinău,” the Moldovan capital, explained delegation commander David Crispil ahead of his departure. “There we will connect with Israel Ambassador Joel Leon and representatives of the Jewish community, and along with them we will refine our mission.”

Joel Pollak: Ukraine Invasion Means Israel Likelier to Launch Preemptive Strike on Iran
The Russian invasion of Ukraine will have far-reaching effects beyond Europe, and could push Israel to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran, rather than wait for the regime to develop nuclear weapons that it could use to wipe out the Jewish state.

Israel, like Ukraine, is a Western ally, but is not a member of NATO. Though it has historically enjoyed far more direct and extensive military support from the U.S. than Ukraine has, it knows that it could be essentially alone in a defensive war.

With the Biden administration doing all it can to resurrect an Iran nuclear deal that already allowed Iran to resume nuclear research by the mid-2020s, Israel will likely realize the only way to stop a nuclear Iran is to take matters into its own hands. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has already let it be known that it is training for a possible future attack on Iran, and might enjoy the benefit of airspace over Saudi Arabia, which has already begun allowing safe passage to Israeli commercial flights.

Israel helped Lebanese, Syrian citizens reach Ukraine border
Israel helped citizens of Arab states with which it does not have relations reach Ukraine’s borders to leave the country in recent days, the Foreign Ministry confirmed on Sunday.

About 100 Israelis - mostly Israeli Arabs - studying in Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine reached the border with Moldova on the west on Sunday after a 24-hour drive, where Ambassador Joel Lion met with them.

Some of the students asked to bring their friends, including citizens of countries with which Israel does not have relations such as Lebanon and Syria, as well as Egyptians and Palestinians from east Jerusalem, who are legally residents of Israel, with them.

Israel allowed the students to be on the Israeli bus to the border, but was unable to help those who do not reside in Israel to cross the border.

Ra’am, the Arab party in Israel’s governing coalition, has worked with the Islamic Movement to help dozens of Israeli students leave Ukraine over the border with Romania. They are expected to fly to Israel on Monday.

Ukraine conflict: EU blocks airspace to Russian planes, ban Russian state media
The European Union closed all its airspace to Russian aircraft, seek to ban Russian state-owned media in the bloc and target Russian ally Belarus with sanctions, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Sunday.

The banning of Russian state-owned media would include outlets Sputnik and Russia Today (RT).

Von der Leyen also said that the EU would for the first time finance the purchase and delivery of weapons and other equipment to Ukraine.

"This is a watershed moment for our Union," she said in a short delivered statement.

Air raid sirens sounded in Kyiv later Sunday as fighting for Ukraine's capital continues, according to the Kyiv Independent.

Earlier Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his military command to put Russia's deterrence forces - a reference to units which include nuclear arms - on high alert, citing aggressive statements by NATO leaders and economic sanctions against Moscow.

"As you can see, not only do Western countries take unfriendly measures against our country in the economic dimension - I mean the illegal sanctions that everyone knows about very well - but also the top officials of leading NATO countries allow themselves to make aggressive statements with regards to our country," Putin said on state television.
Can Israel become Europe’s gas supplier?
Israel could make moves to position itself as a central gas exporter in the Middle East, as tensions surrounding the war in Ukraine have led to discussion about alternatives to Russia’s gas exports. While it is already supplying gas to Jordan and Egypt, if the right steps are taken, Israel has the potential to become a natural gas source for Europe, as well. “Europe is completely hysterical that it sits in the hands of Putin,” said Dr. Alexander Coman, from the Faculty of Management at Tel Aviv University. “The idea that Putin is sitting with his hand on the faucet and can, at will, open or close gas supply to Europe – this is a terrible scenario for them.”

It is, however, a brilliant opportunity for Israel: in its current position, Europe would do much to find alternative sources to its fuel supply needs. “One of the ways is an alternative pipeline that will bring gas – or perhaps electricity – from Egypt, Israel and [perhaps] Saudi Arabia to Europe, through Cyprus,” explained Coman.

He refers to the EastMed pipeline, a planned project that will directly connect the natural energy resources in the East Mediterranean sea to greater Europe. Drawn up in 2013, the pipeline was to be operational by 2025 following Israel’s approval of the plan in 2020, though that progress was halted when the Biden administration withdrew the United States’ support of the project last month.

This change in policy was staunchly criticized by US representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-Florida) and Nicole Malliotakis (R-New York), who said that it deepened Europe’s energy dependence on Russia’s gas exports. “Biden’s announcement last May to suspend sanctions on the Russian pipeline and his continued fight against sanctions shows clear preference toward Russia over our allies,” they wrote in a letter to the US Secretary of State.
At War With Ukraine, Putin Puts Nuclear ‘Deterrence’ Forces on Alert
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his military command to put nuclear-armed forces on high alert on Sunday as Ukrainian fighters defending the city of Kharkiv said they had repelled an attack by invading Russian troops.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that “President Putin is continuing to escalate this war in a manner that is totally unacceptable and we have to continue to stem his actions in the strongest possible way.”

On the fourth day of the biggest assault on a European state since World War II, the Ukrainian president’s office said negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow would be held at the Belarusian-Ukrainian border. They would meet without preconditions, it said.

Thousands of Ukrainian civilians, mainly women and children, were fleeing from the Russian assault into neighboring countries.

The capital Kyiv was still in Ukrainian government hands, with President Volodymyr Zelensky rallying his people despite Russian shelling of civilian infrastructure.

But Putin, who has described the invasion as a “special military operation,” thrust an alarming new element into play on Sunday when he ordered Russia’s deterrence forces — a reference to units which include nuclear arms — onto high alert.
Putin suspended as honorary president of International Judo Federation
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been suspended as honorary president of the International Judo Federation (IJF), the sport's governing body announced on Sunday, because of his invasion of Ukraine.

Russia's invasion by land, air, and sea on Thursday followed a declaration of war by Putin.

A judo blackbelt, the 69-year-old is a keen practitioner of the discipline and has co-authored a book titled "Judo: History, Theory, Practice."

"In light of the ongoing war conflict in Ukraine, the International Judo Federation announces the suspension of Mr. Vladimir Putin's status as Honorary President and Ambassador of the International Judo Federation," the IJF said in a statement.

"The International Judo Federation announces with regret the cancellation of the 2022 Grand Slam in Kazan, Russia," IJF President Marius Vizer said.

What`s the connection between the new PLO Head of Prisoners' Commission and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing?
The new Head of the PLO Commission of Prisoners, Qadri Abu Bakr, is in all likelihood the uncle of Mohammed Salameh, one of the terrorists convicted for the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing. Abu Bakr spent 18 years in an Israeli prison for an attempted terror attack before being released in 1986 and expelled to Iraq, where he was a senior PLO representative.

During the year prior to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, Qadri Abu Bakr spoke on the phone with Mohammed Salameh over 40 times. The first to publicize the connection between Salameh and Abu Bakr was the Washington Post in a report published two years after the first WTC bombing documenting a possible Iraqi connection to the bombing:
"Another bit of intriguing evidence leading back to Baghdad are the more than 40 calls Salameh made to the Iraqi capital in June and July 1992 -- most of them to his uncle, Qadri Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr, who had spent 18 years in an Israeli prison, has been identified as a top official of a now largely inactive Iraqi-sponsored Palestinian group."

Professor Laurie Mylroie, in her book Study of Revenge: The First World Trade Center Attack and Saddam Hussein's War against America, documented the Iraqi connection to the World Trade Center bombing, and Abu Bakr's position. Abu Bakr, she explained, was arrested by Israel after he infiltrated from Jordan to carry out a terror attack and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. After serving eighteen years of his sentence he was released and made his way to Iraq. While in Iraq, Mylroie asserts that Abu Bakr was "number two in the PLO's "'Western Sector'... a terrorist unit within the PLO... under Iraq's strong influence."
PMW: PA: Zionism raped Judaism, Israel is carrying out “Hitleresque holocaust” against the Palestinians and Arabs
The “Zionist establishment raped Judaism” to provide its ideology “with a religious nature” to make up for the alleged lack of a Jewish historical connection to “Palestine,” according to Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, a regular columnist of the official PA daily.

Al-Ghoul wrote that Israel is “a rogue, fabricated, illegal, and illegitimate state” based on “myths,” “fables,” and a “false narrative,” and repeated the PA narrative that it was initiated by colonial powers to fulfill “a colonialist role.” He also referred to Israelis as “Khazar Jews” - another aspect of PA ideology, disseminating the false theory that all Ashkenazi Jews are descendants of a Khazar tribe.

Claiming that its leaders and the Zionist establishment believe Israel's continued existence depends on it “carrying out the plans that were defined for it,” Al-Ghoul alleged that Israel is realizing the “western colonial conspiracy” – led by the US – and implementing a “Hitleresque holocaust” against Palestinians and Arabs of the world:
“All the colonialists who acceded to the Zionist movement’s intimidation are stateless and a mix of ethnic groups from the various states of the world. The supporting pillar that unites them is carrying out the western colonialist conspiracy that the US is leading, and carrying out the Hitleresque holocaust anew against the Palestinian Arab people and the peoples of the Arab world.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 16, 2022]

Palestinian Media Watch previously exposed an antisemitic column by the same writer in which he claimed that Israel was created to “establish a swamp for the savages who were massacred.”

As a fundamental component of its political ideology, the PA denies any Jewish historical ties to the land, claiming Israel is the fruit of a Western colonialist plot created to divide the Arab world and steal its resources.

PIJ official Khader Adnan targeted by shooting in Nablus - report
Palestinian Islamic Jihad official Khader Adnan was targeted by shooting in the West Bank city of Nablus on Saturday, according to Palestinian reports.

Adnan was unharmed, but Nasr al-Mublasat, the brother of one of the Palestinian terrorists assassinated by Israeli forces earlier this month, was lightly injured by shrapnel from the bullets.

Adnan claimed that "mercenaries" fired on him and a group of PIJ members who were visiting the families of three Palestinian terrorists assassinated by Israeli forces earlier this month, according to the Palestinian SAFA news agency.

Adnan added that the attack came amid allegations that members of the PIJ helped in the assassination of the three terrorists. The PIJ official denied the allegations, saying the movement would not defend anyone involved in the assassination.

PIJ Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhala expressed outrage at the incident, saying it was a "clear crime" and that the "Zionist intelligence" was behind it. Al-Nakhla warned that the movement would "act accordingly."

PreOccupiedTerritory: Notable Lack Of Bus-, Nightclub-Bombings Mystifies Palestinian Supporters of Ukraine Resistance (satire)
Activists, militants, and residents of this beleaguered coastal territory voiced puzzlement this week at the noticeable absence of the defenders against Russia’s invasion of its western neighbor resorting to attempts to inflict mass casualties against civilian targets in Russia, or against Russian civilians anywhere, a strategy that they had assumed not only effective, but proper, in fighting occupation.

Palestinians who side with Ukraine in its attempt to prevent a Russian military takeover of the republic – which achieved independence from the Russia-dominated Soviet Union in 1991 – expressed their surprise, then confusion, that while several brave Ukrainian fighters have sacrificed their lives to impede the Russian advance, none have bombed Russian discos, bars, public transportation, or other locations brimming with noncombatants. The lack of such operations by Ukrainian resistance fighters has baffled Palestinians accustomed to associating the violent, painful deaths of Israeli children and other civilians with legitimate resistance – all the more so since the Ukrainian insistence on focusing only on bona fide military targets – bridges, military vehicles, positions, and personnel – has so far proved effective in thwarting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Blitzkrieg strategy for a quick, decisive capture of Ukraine’s capital and major industrial centers. Such effectiveness has eluded Palestinian resistance fighters; Israel has only grown stronger and more secure since violent Arab opposition to Jewish sovereignty in the ancestral Jewish homeland began more than a century ago.

“I thought it was just a mistake in the reporting, at first,” admitted Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that governs Gaza. “Suicide operations means killing the enemy’s most vulnerable: toddlers, the elderly, teens in a dance club, pizzeria patrons. Otherwise how do we know our cause is just? Also rescue and first aid workers. Can’t forget those. But none of the coverage of Ukrainian resistance seems to include casualty figures for Russian civilians, and certainly no Ukrainian celebration or handing out of sweets to celebrate such civilian deaths. And they’re inflicting more damage on the occupiers than we ever have, certainly in so short a time! Something doesn’t add up.”
US, Russia share table for Iran talks despite Ukraine war
The US and European states continued partnering with Russia in negotiations to revive the Iran nuclear deal in Vienna, even as they sanctioned Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

The head of the Russian delegation to the talks, Mikhail Ulyanov, tweeted a photo of the JCPOA participants – US, France, Germany, UK, Russia and China – without Iran, which refuses to negotiate directly with the Americans.

Iran talks continued on Sunday, despite the fact that a day earlier the Western parties to the talks had Russia removed from the SWIFT banking system, and imposed sanctions on the Russian Central Bank as well as people and entities facilitating the war in Ukraine.

The US and European states plan to launch a transatlantic task force to ensure the implementation of financial sanctions and identify assets of sanctioned individuals and companies.

US State Department Spokesman Ned Price said on Friday that though the invasion of Ukraine has made Russia a “pariah on the world stage,” the US would continue to engage with Moscow on issues “fundamental to our national security interest,” such as the Iran nuclear deal.

“The fact that Russia has now invaded Ukraine should not give Iran the green light to develop a nuclear weapon,” Price added.

University of Maryland’s Anti-Semitism Task Force Chief Has History of Anti-Semitic Statements
The diversity officer at the helm of the University of Maryland's anti-Semitism task force claimed in a Facebook post that Israel was engaged in an "ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestine."

Jazmin Pichardo, the assistant director for diversity training and education for the university's Office of Diversity and Inclusion, shared a series of anti-Israel posts in May 2021. Two Jewish alumni who are part of the school's Jewish Identity Programming Advisory Committee confronted Pichardo over the posts after she was put at the helm of the committee, which is tasked with fighting anti-Jewish bias on campus.

Pichardo is the latest example of a university diversity program that ignores the tribulations of Jewish students. A 2021 Heritage Foundation study found that diversity officers, hired to foster a safe and fair environment for all students, often hold hostile attitudes toward Zionist Jews. The Department of Education this month launched an investigation into the City University of New York, where professors slammed American Jews as "oppressors."

Pichardo posted the graphics in response to Israeli counterattacks following a days-long Hamas bombing campaign. The graphics claimed that Israel's existence constitutes "settler colonialism," and that it's wrong to refer to the Israeli-Palestinian "conflict," since Israel is the aggressor. Pichardo also claimed in her post that the media have "continuously worked to conceal Israel's ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestine."

BBC News website amends report almost two months after complaint
In early January we noted the appearance of a BBC News website report titled ‘Covid: Israel Omicron spike could bring herd immunity but with risks – health boss’ in which two issues arose that had already been corrected in previous BBC content.

CAMERA UK submitted a complaint to the BBC the day after that report’s appearance in which we pointed out that the use of the term “UN experts” is inaccurate and misleading because the people concerned are actually special rapporteurs who are not UN employees. We also pointed out that the sentence “The Israelis said the Palestinians were responsible for managing health matters in the Palestinian Territories” failed to inform readers of the relevant section of the Oslo Accords and hence of the fact that it is not just Israel that “said” that the PA is responsible for healthcare in the territories under its control.

On January 11th we were informed by BBC Complaints that it would take more time to address our complaint and on February 1st the BBC wrote to inform us that the time frame had expired.
Honest Reporting: Daniel Pomerantz on CBS News: Research Study Shows US Media Underreports Hate Crimes Against Jews
On Friday, CEO Daniel Pomerantz appeared live on CBS News, where he discussed HonestReporting's research on media coverage of hate crimes in the United States. The segment was part of CBS' noontime national broadcast.

This research was previously featured on Fox News, Newsweek, The Jerusalem Post and The Times of Israel.

Our work -- ensuring truth, integrity and fairness, and combatting ideological prejudice in journalism where it impacts Israel and the world Jewish community -- continues to gain global recognition, with news organizations increasingly citing HonestReporting's expertise.

After all, one of the best ways to influence news coverage, is to be a part of the news coverage ourselves.

"Republican Jews Condemn Marjorie Taylor Greene"
The Republican Jewish Coalition on Sunday condemned “in the strongest possible terms” Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s appearance at the white nationalist America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC) with Nazi-sympathizer Nick Fuentes.

Nicholas Fuentes is a white nationalist political commentator. The Anti-Defamation League has described him as a white supremacist. His YouTube channel was suspended permanently in February 2020 for violating the social network’s hate speech policy. Fuentes has described himself as an American nationalist, Christian conservative, and paleoconservative (it means an upholder of Christian values.) He has expressed antisemitic views and is a Holocaust denier. He is also opposed to women’s right to vote.

In January 2019, Fuentes aired a monologue in which he compared the Holocaust to a cookie-baking operation. He later disputed ever denying the Holocaust, calling his monologue a “lampoon.”

“It is appalling and outrageous that a Member of Congress would share a platform with an individual who has actively spread antisemitic bile, mocked the Holocaust, and promoted dangerous anti-Israel conspiracy theories,” the RJC wrote in an email. “We also condemn Congressman Paul Gosar’s participation in the same event via video address after appearing in person last year.”

“This has absolutely no place in the Republican Party, and RJC will actively oppose anyone who associates with Nick Fuentes, AFPAC, and their ilk,” the RJC wrote.
Gov. Charlie Baker vows to combat antisemitism with updated definition from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
Gov. Charlie Baker, redoubling the state’s efforts to combat rising antisemitism, said Friday his administration has endorsed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism.

State officials and institutions play a “powerful role” in protecting citizens from bigotry and discrimination, including antisemitism, according to a proclamation signed Friday by Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin. Identifying hate enables people to promote change, the proclamation states, and “turn darkness into light.”

“The IHRA has defined antisemitism as a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews, and rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities,” the proclamation states.

“Antisemitism threatens public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere,” the proclamation continues. “Antisemitism is multifaceted and multiform, manifesting in many ways, making it easier to spread and harder to combat.”

There were 51 incidents of anti-Jewish bias reported to Massachusetts police in 2020, according to a new hate crimes report released Friday by the state’s Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

Pre-19th century Sephardi forerunners of Zionism
It is a myth to suggest that Zionism was a movement which originated in Europe at the end of the 19th century and was alien to Jews in Arab countries : in fact there were plenty of Sephardi pioneers who advocated the return of the Jewish nation to its land, well before the first Eastern European aliya of 1882, according to Yosef Charvit of Bar Ilan University speaking at the Dialogia colloquium: Juifs heureux en terres d’Islam? (1:28 into the video).

‘I am in the West, but my heart is in the East, ‘ lamented the great medieval poet Yehuda Halevi (1100 – 1148). Writing at a time when Jews were caught up in a great power struggle between Islam and Chrstianity, Halevi dreamt of the resurrection of the Jewish nation. During the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries, prominent rabbis Maimonides, Nahmanides and Ishtori Haparhi attempted to return to Eretz Israel. They were followed by Rabbi Yosef Caro, who developed the Shulhan Arukh in Safed, Rabbis Reuveni and Molho in the 16th century and the Rishonim between the 17th and 19th centuries. In the 18th century the Moroccan rabbi Haim Benattar set up an important yeshiva.

Theodore Herzl’s father was said to have been influenced by the sermons of Yehuda Bibas (1789 – 1852) in the Balkans. Marco Yosef Baruch (1872 – 99) of Istanbul was known as the Sephardi Herzl.

Sephardi figures bought and developed land in Eretz Israel well before modern Zionism. Fugitives from the Spanish Inquisition Doña Gracia and her nephew Yosef Hanasi re-established the Jewish community of Tiberias in the 16th century. Rav Yehuda Halevi Meragusa from Sarajevo (1840 – 79) owned orchards in Jaffa. Sir Moses Montefiore established the first neighbourhood outside the city walls of Jerusalem. Rav David Bensimon built Mahane Israel, the second. Adolphe Cremieux, president of the Alliance Israelite Universelle, set up the agricultural school of Mikve Israel., while the bankers Jacob and Haim Valero helped develop modern cities in the Old Yishuv. The British consul Haim Amzallag bought land in Petah Tikva and Rishon Letzion. Yosef Bey Navon created the Jaffa- Jerusalem railway.

Abraham Moyal, merchant, Alliance delegate, and supervisor of the Rothschild project, was an important figure in Hovevei Zion together with Pinsker and Wissotsky.