Wednesday, May 18, 2022

05/18 Links Pt1: Gazan Journalist: Palestine Was Lost Because Palestinians Heeded Advice Of Arab Regimes To Leave Their Homes; US economic ‘aid’ to Israel no longer exists

From Ian:

MEMRI: Hamas-Affiliated Gazan Journalist In Article On Occasion Of Nakba Day: Palestine Was Lost Because Palestinians Heeded Advice Of Arab Regimes To Leave Their Homes
On Nakba Day this year (May 15, 2022), Ibrahim Al-Madhoun, a Gazan journalist affiliated with Hamas, published an article on the Hamas website discussing the reasons for the Nakba and for the situation of the Palestinians today. Titled "The Nakba from a Different Perspective," the article claims that the Palestinians left their homes and villages in 1948 in compliance with the advice of the Arab armies, who promised to fight on their behalf but failed to deliver on this promise. This, he says, is what caused the Palestinians to lose their homeland. He adds that, today, the Arab regimes are pressuring the Palestinians to surrender to Israel, but they have learned their lesson and are ignoring this advice and defending themselves by manufacturing rockets and building tunnels. Al-Madhoun concludes that, 74 years after the Nakba, the Palestinians are on the verge of regaining all of Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

The following are translated excerpts from his article:[1]
"We are now marking 74 years since the loss of Palestine and the dispersal of its people across the world in what is known as the Nakba [literally, the catastrophe]. This [is how we refer to it] because of the torments and the [harsh] consequences that have been suffered by every Palestinian for decades, which we could not have imagined would ensue. The Palestinian people is a living people that adheres to its identity and its land, is rebellious by nature, makes sacrifices and is capable of defending its land. However, the loss of Palestine for all this time raises many questions and queries.

"When our parents left their lands, their cities and their homes [in 1948] they left their money, belongings, clothing and jewelry behind, and took with them only the deeds to their homes and their keys, because [they thought] they were leaving only temporarily. Had they realized it would last [longer, even] for a single year, they would have preferred to die in their homes, their orchards and their fields.

"Sadly, the armies of several Arab regimes had a hand in persuading the people and the villages to leave and to abandon their homes, on the pretext of protecting [the villages] and fighting the Zionist gangs. The Palestinians believed and trusted them and the families left, hoping that the Zionist gangs would be defeated and their strength would be broken…

"Palestinians sold their wives' jewelry to buy a single rifle to defend their village, but the Arab armies collected their weapons and promised them they would fight on their behalf. They took the weapons and sent the [Palestinian] fighters away, and then they withdrew without putting up a fight.

"Had the Arab leaders only supported the Palestinian fighters with weapons and funds, or refrained from interfering and let them to do as they chose, Palestine would not have been lost. But they did not do that. [Instead] they interfered, planned, came together -- and then simply handed over the country [to the Jews].

"Today the ball and idea are back in the same court and the Arab regimes are playing the same role of colluding with the occupation. These regimes are besieging our people, fighting it and treating to it with hostility, and pressuring it to surrender its weapons and surrender to "Israel." The Arab regimes condemn our Palestinian people in Gaza for possessing weapons and insisting on manufacturing rockets and building tunnels. They [are trying to] convince it to hand over all of this, but today our people are [more] aware and experienced, and thus the Nakba will not recur as long as our people is armed and as long as the jihad fighters build their tunnels.
Phyllis Chesler: One Day in May—in Jerusalem and in New York City
I was a professor at the City University of New York (CUNY) for nearly 30 years and retired before it was taken down by the same plague of politically correct anti-Zionism that has infected higher learning all over the Western world.

On May 13th of this year, the same day that members of Fatah stole the coffin of journalist Shereen Abu Aqleh in Jerusalem, the CUNY Law School graduates elected one of their own—this was not an administrative decision—to deliver a commencement address. It was the student body, our future lawyers, who proudly support the most vulgar brand of Jew hatred and Israel-hatred.

Please understand: These are our future lawyers who presumably, are committed to social justice law.

The speaker, Nerdeen Mohsen Kiswani, the founder and director of “Within Our Lifetime”(WOL) and a known hater of Israel, was wildly applauded and cheered, many times, by the student body that had chosen her. In doing so, they were also applauding themselves for having chosen a woman who identifies as Palestinian, wears hijab, and speaks clearly and eloquently in American English.

Mohsen Kiswani has called for “Intifada, Revolution, Now,” and supports violent protests which target recognizable Jews on New York City streets. Mohsen Kiswani leads such protests with chants such as “”5-6-7-8 smash the settler state;” “There is only one solution, Intifada revolution;” and “Globalize the Intifada.”

She has “liked” a post which celebrated the murder of three Israeli civilians and shared a video by Muna El-Kurd which referred to Israelis as “Zionist dogs.” She has also celebrated terrorists, such as Rasmea Odeh.

We make a mistake if we think that hijab-wearing Muslim women are only passive, helpless, victims. Indeed, while some may be victims of Islamism, (honor killing, forced veiling, FGM, child marriage, etc.), something they do not usually address, some have chosen the only path of glory open to them namely, that of being very aggressive, even vulgar in public, in order to condemn Israel, Jews, and America.

Think Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib who has just introduced a House Resolution Recognizing the Nakba and Palestinian Refugee Rights as a holiday to be commemorated in the United States. Tlaib is not alone. Think Ilhan Omar who joins her.

Tlaib refers to the “violence and horror…the scars borne by the close to 800,000 Palestinians who were forced from their family homes and their communities, and those killed are burned into the souls of the people who lived through the Nakba.”

Tlaib also brings in what she calls “the assassination of Shireen Abu Aqleh…(and) the war crimes.”

Surely, the global Intifada which Mohsen Kiswani calls for has now made landfall in the American Congress.
'Nakba recognition' resolution submitted by Rashida Tlaib, 'squad'
A resolution proposing to officially commemorate the “Nakba” in the United States was submitted on Tuesday to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan, 13th District).

“Today, I introduced a resolution recognizing the Nakba (catastrophe), where 400 Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed, [and] over 700,000 Palestinians [were] uprooted from their homes and made refugees,” Tlaib wrote on Twitter.

She thanked the co-sponsors of the resolution, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Cori Bush, Rep. Jamaal Bowman, Rep. Betty McCollum and Rep. Marie Newman. Along with Tlaib, the first four co-sponsors are members of what is known as “The Squad” – six relatively young Democratic US House representatives. The sixth Squad member, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, was not a co-signer. The Nakba resolution

The bill calls to establish an official means for the US to recognize and remember the Nakba – the establishment of the State of Israel and the exodus of Palestinian refugees caused by the 1948 War of Independence when the nascent state was attacked by several of its Arab neighbors.

The “Nakba resolution” proposes that the US government cease to engage in denial of the Nakba and encourage education and public awareness of it.

“The Nakba is well-documented and continues to play out today,” tweeted Tlaib. “We must acknowledge that the humanity of Palestinians is being denied when folks refuse to acknowledge the war crimes and human rights violations in apartheid Israel.”

Further policy would see the US continue support for Palestinian refugees through UNRWA, and “support the implementation of Palestinian refugees’ rights as enshrined in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. UNGA 194 [...] says that Palestinian war refugees should be permitted to return to their homes or be compensated for damages.”

“We cannot understand the current conflict without acknowledging the tragedy of the Nakba,” wrote Newman. “I’m proud to stand with Palestinians in IL-03 and everywhere as we call for your history to be recognized and respected.”

In Asia, Israel Must Choose Wisely
For ages, Jews looked east in search of Zion. Now that they have Zion, they are looking east ever still. Israeli leadership now views Asia, with its expanding markets and increasing global influence, as a crucial foreign-policy interest. While Israel has long prioritized ties with the Western world, for the past few years, the Jewish state has sought out a range of partners in the Pacific. As Israel’s then–Minister of Economy Naftali Bennet simply stated in 2015, “we’re moving to the East.”

The move is eminently defensible on its face. To treat Asia, which will account for more than 50 percent of global GDP by 2040, as anything other than a land of potential geopolitical and economic opportunity would be foolish. The more Israel trades with Asian countries, the more it will prosper.

What Bennett, now Israel’s prime minister, did not foresee was the full spectrum of challenges and hiccups that might slow Israel’s Asian pivot. The greatest and most lamentable of these is the justifiable American concern over Sino-Israeli ties. As Arthur Herman wrote in Mosaic, the problem is “whether and how [Israel’s] relationship with China could become a dependency.” Such a circumstance “would impose on Israeli national security a new kind of vulnerability, one very different from the challenges it has faced successfully in the past.” When it comes to Israel’s dalliance with China, suffice it to say that Thomas Sowell’s quip that there are no solutions—only trade-offs—is as true as ever.

Getting a better trade-off will depend on how successfully Israel woos Asian countries other than China, whose depredations abroad and human-rights violations at home ultimately make it a wanting partner. In the summer of 2021, Jerusalem took a commendable step forward on the moral front in supporting a measure at the United Nations Human Rights Council calling on China to let outside observers into Xinjiang, where it is reported that more than 1 million Uyghurs have been detained, abused, and worse. But a few months later, allegedly under pressure from the Chinese, it did not sign on to a joint statement that said much the same. A country that embodies the sentiment “never again” should not stay silent as Beijing carries out a genocide against untold numbers of Uyghurs. Surely there are other folks in the neighborhood with whom Israel can do business without compromising its morals.

The main contenders here are India, Japan, and South Korea. Despite their many differences, these three countries are democracies with dynamic economies, and they, too, would benefit from deeper ties with the Jewish state. What’s more, they are three of the most important players in the world’s most important region. Casting its lot with these nations, as opposed to China, is a far better bet for Israel, and one that Israelis can make and still sleep soundly.
US economic ‘aid’ to Israel no longer exists
Sometime in the last decade, perhaps after the joint development of the Stuxnet cyber-weapon by the U.S. and Israel in 2010, the relationship between the two countries switched from a “patron-client” to a “partnership” relationship. Intelligence sharing became more extensive and energetic; the development of new weaponry to be deployed on, under, and above the battlefield expanded; and joint exercises between air forces, navies and special forces went far beyond anything imagined before.

Israeli defense industries have invented and developed state-of-the-art cyber programs, anti-missile weapons, drones, pilotless armed UAVs, tank protection systems, avionics and so on. The U.S. invested and assisted in—and sometimes co-produced—systems like the Arrow missile defense system and Iron Dome interceptors. While Israel could not afford or lacked the industrial base to build major platforms like fighter planes and ships, it developed add-ons and systems to improve them.

In effect, Israel became an overseas version of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for the U.S. Defense Department or even something like Lockheed Martin’s fabled Skunkworks. As a result, the U.S. provides funding for partnership ventures, not economic or military “aid.” All funds provided by the U.S. are spent in the U.S., which provides employment for many Americans. The “off-shore procurement” program that permitted Israel to spend American funds on weaponry from Israeli industries has been ended.

It made sense for both sides of the U.S.-Israel relationship to find a new venue for their partnership. In 2020, Israel moved its liaison with the U.S. military from the United States European Command (EUCOM) to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). The naval liaison and resulting exercises moved from the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean to the Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain, where Israel has stationed a naval attaché.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Cole sits pier-side in Eilat, Israel on March 27, 2022 at the start of Intrinsic Defender, a bilateral exercise between U.S. and Israeli naval forces. Source: U.S. Navy

Israel provided the U.S. Department of Defense with real-time weapons-testing of U.S. systems in very hostile skies, particularly the fifth-generation F-35 stealth fighter plane. There could be no better advertisement for potential F-35 customers.
Caroline Glick: An Expert Perspective from Israel on Global Affairs
Since President Biden took office in January 2021, the world has seen dramatic shifts in international affairs and alliances. From the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, our allies and foes alike are reassessing geopolitical security strategies that have a far greater impact than anyone could have imagined just 18 months ago. As the Biden administration continues its desperate attempt to re-enter the dangerous Iranian nuclear deal while also re-engaging with Palestinian terrorists who incite internal chaos and threaten violence in Israel, our most important ally on the frontlines of these international conflicts finds itself, once again, on its own to navigate very treacherous waters.

What role do U.S. political divides play in Israel’s quest for survival? How do Israelis and the Bennet/Lapid governing coalition view and handle the new state of affairs in the U.S. since the Biden/Harris administration entered office? What new alliances might Israel develop in order to survive if U.S. policymakers fail to recognize Israel’s strategic importance to U.S. national security? These and other questions will be answered by the always brilliant and prolific Caroline Glick.

Longwar Journal PodCast: Generation Jihad Ep. 70 — An Israel Update
Host Bill Roggio is joined by FDD Senior Vice President for Research Jonathan Schanzer and Long War Journal’s Joe Truzman to discuss some of the latest and most pressing news from Israel — including the death of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh.

Take a look around the globe today and you’ll see jihadists fighting everywhere from West Africa to Southeast Asia. They aren’t the dominant force in all of those areas, or even most of them. But jihadism has mushroomed into a worldwide movement, with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS and other groups waging guerrilla warfare and launching terrorist attacks on a regular basis.

Each week Generation Jihad brings you a new story focusing on jihadism around the globe. These stories will focus not only on Sunni jihadism, but also Shiite extremist groups. We will also host guests who can provide their own unique perspectives on current events.
A Legal Inquisition: The UN’s Latest Attempt to Demonize the Jewish State Is Exposed
Firstly, the resolution establishing the Commission makes no mention of Hamas. How can you investigate a conflict without even mentioning one of the sides? And why wouldn’t the UN mention terrorist group Hamas? In fact, the UNHRC itself has not once condemned Hamas, despite the terror group’s trail of suicide terrorism, kidnapping, and missiles targeting the Jewish state.

This obviously stems from the UNHRC’s pathological and institutionalized hatred of Israel, which has manifested itself into serially condemning Israel more times than the other real human rights abusers staining our planet.

Furthermore, this Commission, the 9th to target Israel exclusively, is empowered to function in perpetuity, with the mandate to go back to the founding of the Jewish state in 1948 — 74 years ago.

But perhaps the most egregious element of the UNHRC’s commission is that the individual appointed to lead it — former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, South African, Navi Pillay — harbors a deep animosity towards Israel.

As uncovered by the new “Fixed Inquiry” Report, Pillay supports the antisemitic, anti-peace BDS movement, refers to Israel as an “apartheid regime,” and calls for a military embargo against the only Jewish state. She even hired staff from an Israeli-designated terror organization.

Most importantly, she remains an ardent supporter of the infamous 2001 Durban Conference which degenerated into one of the most notorious antisemitic events of the second half of the 20th century. I know it well, because I was there during this hate-fest as the spokesman for Jewish groups, and I was personally targeted by Jew-haters.

Israel will defend itself from this kangaroo court, and from those who are sure to build on this new mountain of lies. However, the UNHRC’s obsession with Israel is preventing other communities from being heard in the halls of this UN body. Victims of the fundamentalist regime in Iran, dissidents in Russia, Uyghurs in China’s concentration camps, and others are being tragically overlooked.

Democratic UN member states led by the United States and the United Kingdom must put an end to this travesty, and call this upcoming report out for what it is — a fixed inquiry against Israel. Until the UNHRC stops protecting tyrants and designated terror groups, the world should see it as a “diplomatic” tool for those who want to dismantle democracies, pervert international law, and distort the idea of protecting human rights.
Anti-Normalization Is a Threat to Peace and Understanding
As Palestinian analyst Yara Hawari explains, “Anti-normalization signifies Palestinians’ refusal to participate in projects, events, or activities that promote the notion that Israel is a legitimate entity which would, in turn, normalize the relationship between the oppressor and the oppressed.” Thus, Joel Braunold and Huda Abuarquob write in Haaretz, “The only joint programs anti-normalization advocates condone are those that support resistance or protest. All others, they believe, undercut the Palestinian national struggle.”

In other words, all interactions between Israelis and Palestinians must be premised on an acknowledgment that the Palestinian position is correct. This includes the claim that five million Palestinian refugees have the right to eliminate the Jewish state by “returning” to land inside the Green Line. Thus, Jewish Israelis must agree that their state is illegitimate before any dialogue starts. This is one of the core tenets of the anti-normalization movement.

Anti-normalization advocates have been known to use violence to make their point. For example, Al-Quds University Professor Mohammed Dajani Daoudi had his car torched after he took a group of Palestinian students to visit the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp. In an article about the episode, he writes: “Nine political student organizations on campus issued a public statement against me titled ‘Normalization = Treason.’ Students demonstrated against me on campus and delivered a letter to my secretary threatening to kill me if I returned to teach at the university.” He left shortly thereafter.

Anti-normalization advocates are not a splinter faction. They are in league with established leaders like Omar Barghouti, who helped organize the BDS movement. And the two movements share the same basic tenets. That includes rejection of joint projects that might lead Israelis and Palestinians to see each other as worthy human beings. For example, Barghouti has written: “Seemingly innocent activities with noble aims are increasingly used, sometimes with good intentions and often without, to give the impression that if Palestinians and Israelis jointly work on scientific, environmental, cultural, or health projects, they somehow make peace more possible or more attainable. Nothing could be further from the truth.” That’s because such projects “deliberately disregard the context of colonial oppression and deceivingly imply the possibility of achieving peace without addressing the root causes of the conflict.”

And again, as Barghouti sees it, the biggest root cause is the Jewish state’s refusal to recognize itself as illegitimate.

In the end, anti-normalization advocates are so intent on delegitimizing Israel, that they’re willing to deprive their own people of a decent life if that’s what it takes. It’s one more case of ordinary Palestinians getting betrayed by the “thinkers” and “leaders” who purport to speak on their behalf.
Muslim-American delegation visits Israel, UAE in support of Abraham Accords
A 14-member delegation of mainly Muslim-Americans of Pakistani background was in Israel from May 8-14 to show support for the 2018 Abraham Accords between Israel and several Muslim states. The 10-day trip to both Israel and the United Arab Emirates generated both positive and negative publicity. Graciously received by top Israeli officials, including President Isaac Herzog, the delegation was attacked by Pakistani government ministers and senators on social media.

The trip was hosted by Sharaka, a group seeking to strengthen the Abraham Accords by bringing together young Israeli and Gulf leaders. It was organized in partnership with the American Muslim & Multifaith Women's Empowerment Council (AMMWEC), a US group that describes itself as "empowering Muslim women" and confronting "bigotry in all its forms."

"The main message of this delegation is to combat the misconceptions that exist about Israel," Anila Ali, founder of AMMWEC and a board member of Sharaka, told Jewish News Syndicate during a tour of Israel's north, including the Druze village of Daliyat al-Carmel, Haifa, and Nazareth.

"Since the beginning of the Abraham Accords, my organization has always supported the idea of Arabs and Israelis coming together, people to people, for economic collaboration and for the benefit of future generations," she said.

The trip's profile was raised when the group was welcomed to the President's Residence in Jerusalem by Herzog and sharply criticized in Pakistan. Ali herself was attacked on Twitter by Shireen Mazari, a Pakistani politician and former federal minister for human rights, who bizarrely accused Ali of being part of a US plot to change Pakistan's regime.

Former Pakistani senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, a member of an Islamist political party, focused his criticism on Islamabad-based journalist Ahmed Quraishi, who was accompanying the delegation. In a May 11 tweet, Khan posted a picture of the Sharaka delegation in Jerusalem with Quraishi circled in red, accusing him of being a Pakistani state employee in an attempt to smear the current government.

Quraishi denied any connection to Pakistan's government and told JNS that populist, conspiracy-laden attacks were unfortunately all too typical of Pakistani politics.
UAE Postpones Execution of Israeli Citizen
The execution of the Israeli citizen Fida Kiwan was suspended by a United Arab Emirates court on Tuesday, Israel’s Ynetnews reported.

The court decided to postpone the verdict until the next hearing in two weeks, where her lawyer Ahmad Sa’id al-Mazrawi will present a new defense against the charges, according to the Israeli daily.

In April, the 43-year-old Fida Kiwan was sentenced to death, accused of smuggling half a kilogram of cocaine into the Gulf state.

She reportedly went to Dubai for work at the invitation of a Palestinian acquaintance last year, and a search of her apartment shortly after turned up the drugs.

From the beginning, Fida Kiwan and her lawyer argued that the purpose of her visit was not to deal drugs in the strictly Sharia-governed state.

In April, the Israeli Foreign Minister said that the incident was being dealt with through diplomatic channels.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aware of the case and handling it through the Department of Israelis Abroad in the Consular Division and Israeli representatives in the United Arab Emirates,” a spokesman from the ministry said.
Invading Russian Troops Destroy Historic Synagogue Building in Ukrainian City of Mariupol
Russian troops have destroyed a building in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol commemorating the synagogue that was once housed there, the city council reported on Wednesday.

In a message posted to the Telegram platform, the council in Mariupol — scene of some of the worst atrocities of the ten-week-old war — asserted that the invading Russian forces had “confirmed their shameful status as racists.”

The message stated that “Russia’s ‘liberators’ are destroying everything in their path and have already surpassed the Nazis in the number of war crimes. Like the Germans during World War II, they are destroying Jewish community buildings. In Mariupol, the Russian army destroyed the building of the ‘old synagogue’ and the community center. Real barbarians of today!”

The post was accompanied by photographs showing the building in ruins. Originally constructed in 1882, the synagogue building had more recently become a site for the remembrance of the local Jewish community; last October, it hosted an exhibition commemorating the 1941 massacre of Jews in the village of Agrobaza in the Donetsk region.

During the 1930s, the synagogue was seized by the Soviet authorities. The subsequent period of Nazi occupation resulted in the synagogue being used as a hospital and as an assembly point for forced laborers who were being deported.
Israeli envoy presents credentials in Chad after 50-year hiatus
An Israeli diplomat presented his credentials to the president of Chad for the first time in 50 years Tuesday.

Ben Bourgel, the non-resident ambassador to a host of African nations including Senegal, Gambia and Guinea, presented his credentials to Chad President Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno.

“This marks an important benchmark in the deepening of the relations between Chad and Israel since their resumption in 2019,” tweeted the Israeli Embassy in Senegal. “Ambassador Bourgel and his team will work to strengthen the cooperation between the two countries in areas of common interest such as climate change, agriculture, water management and health.”

Before his appointment as Ambassador to Senegal in 2021, Bourgel served as minister-counselor, political coordinator of the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations in New York, where he was responsible for strategic affairs, the Middle East and the Security Council. He was also in charge of the Disarmament and Special Political Affairs Committees, according to the Embassy of Israel in Senegal.

Israel and Chad announced the reestablishment of diplomatic relations in January 2019, after Chad severed ties with Israel in 1972 due to pressure from Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi. Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with former Chad president Idriss Deby Itno to agree on increasing bilateral cooperation as well.

The following year, there were mixed reports on whether Chad would establish a diplomatic mission in Jerusalem. Israel said that a senior official from Chad had indicated his country was willing to open an official diplomatic mission in Jerusalem. However, the Al Jazeera Arabic news network quoted the Chad Foreign Ministry as denying the move.

Israel must stop apologizing for a killing it did not commit
Israel should also demand from the Washington Post, which published articles claiming the IDF was responsible for the killing in Jenin, to produce evidence supporting their accusations - beyond the baseless assertions of the Palestinians. We should also demand an apology. As for Israeli police's conduct at Abu Akleh's funeral, they were just trying to avoid rioting from getting out of hand. They requested from the reporter's brother to refrain from nationalistic chants and slogans during the procession, which they feared could cause violent outbursts, but the family ignored the request.

When the crowd in the procession began throwing stones and waving Palestinians flags – officers were forced to act in order to prevent mass rioting.

What the world saw, however, were images of Palestinians carrying the coffin of a local hero, which was covered by the Palestinian flag, while fighting off black clad baton-waving police forces.

Such images only served to increase angry social media posts around an already volatile event. That was advantageous to the Palestinian narrative and in hindsight - should have perhaps been avoided.

But the officers on the ground were preoccupied with protecting the public order and preventing a snowball effect of violence.

So, it is time to end self-recrimination and apologetic justifications as well as attempts to clarify and promises to investigate.

Abu Akleh's death was the fault of no-one, and if blame must be directed anywhere, it should be put on those who use this tragedy to promote their propaganda.
Reality Check, Washington Post, AP: Jenin is the Epicenter of Palestinian Terrorism
First, Jenin is not simply one big Palestinian refugee camp that Israeli authorities flagrantly invaded. Rather, the area around the city, including the UNRWA-run camp, has long been a hub for terrorist activities and is known as a stronghold for the Gaza-based terror group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

Indeed, the perpetrators of multiple terror attacks in the last two months in Israel have been residents of Jenin or surrounding villages, including the Palestinian terrorist who murdered three people in a Tel Aviv bar on April 7 and the ISIS-inspired gunman who slaughtered five in Bnei Brak.

Second, the absence of any reference in the article to the terror wave that prompted the raid in Jenin is a troubling omission: it makes it possible for the IDF’s incursion into Jenin to be interpreted as entirely unwarranted and suggests that it was done in order to victimize the camp’s residents.

The unfortunate fact is that such military expeditions into Palestinian towns and villages in the West Bank are a necessity — they are operations conducted to capture those who have committed terrorist acts or to apprehend individuals suspected of planning future attacks.

Finally, the segue into the description of Abu Akleh’s work as dedicated to revealing the “hardship” Palestinians endure “under Israeli rule” hints at the debunked Israel as a colonialist entity myth. In fact, Jenin is administered by the Palestinian Authority as agreed under the Oslo Accords and the entry of Israeli soldiers into the area is, as stated, only for security purposes and is generally coordinated with Palestinian forces.

The above points may seem minor, a mere matter of semantics.

However, they are of vital importance when we consider how many people around the world rely on The Washington Post, AP and other prominent publications to gain a better understanding of the events surrounding Abu Akleh’s death and wider Israeli-Palestinian issues.

The devil is in the details, as the saying goes.

Why did The Washington Post and The Associated Press choose to bury such crucial information?
BBC WS radio promotion of the ‘Israel targets journalists’ libel
In addition to tributes to Abu Akleh, listeners heard Abukhater and Abed promote the libel that journalists are targeted by Israel, without any questioning from Sharp on either that topic or the interesting definitions of a Palestinian journalist’s role presented by her two interviewees.

Abed: “Well this is not the first time that a Palestinian journalist has followed the news of the death or the killing of fellow journalists.”

Abukhater: “Here in Palestine we always feel as targets. […] When we are covering what goes on in Jerusalem we cannot distinguish between being a journalist or being Palestinian because we feel that the violence, the brutality, does not distinguish between both. The risks associated with being a journalist in Palestine have always been grave. Since 2000, 55 journalists were killed during the line of duty in Palestine and in Gaza itself, Gaza is an example where Israel had targeted, often claiming that they haven’t intended to, but I think in 2014 during the invasion on Gaza, over a dozen Palestinian journalists were killed during various forms of bombing. Just last year the offices of Al Jazeera and Associated Press were bombed, targeted intentionally in Gaza. So we know that journalists who expose the realities on the ground in Palestine often feel like they are a target either through travel bans or through injuries from bullets or else. And it’s not an easy job to give a voice to the voiceless. It’s not easy to tell the world the story of Palestine but Shireen was the biggest and the most inspiring figure who had done so for the past three decades. […] And journalists do believe that they are doing a duty for their home by delivering the messages of the people…”

Abed: “As I mentioned there has been several other cases where Palestinian journalists were also targeted and killed by Israeli forces and I remember clearly the case of Yasser Murtaja, the photojournalist from Gaza who was shot during his coverage of protests in Gaza. The fact that journalist in a war zone at large are not immune to gunfire is a well-known fact. It’s the general situation that we deal with. But the fact that they are often deliberately targeted by Israeli forces is what makes it much worse for Palestinian journalists…”

Readers may recall that the Jala Tower in Gaza City was not only used by Al Jazeera and AP but also housed Hamas military assets. Then as now, Al Jazeera’s accusation that Israel was “trying to silence journalists” was uncritically amplified by the BBC.

As for Abukhater’s claim that “since 2000, 55 journalists were killed”, as recently noted by our colleague Adam Levick, the Committee to Protect Journalists has a thorough list which reports that 19 journalists have been killed in Israel and the Palestinian territories in a database going back to 1992. Most were killed by “crossfire”, with one intentionally murdered – by Palestinians.

The cases of “over a dozen Palestinian journalists” who Abukhater claimed were killed in 2014 were analysed by the ITIC which found that almost half of them were Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives.

Abed’s reference to Yasser Murtaja of course omitted the fact that in addition to being a photojournalist, he was also a Hamas operative.
Libel: Killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was a deliberate assassination operation

Libel: “There is a decision by the occupation government to liquidate the Palestinian journalists”

Cable Car Conundrum: The Palestinian Authority’s Attempt to Turn a Planning Dispute Into an International Incident
The proposed air train would shuttle worshippers and tourists from the First Station entertainment hub to the Old City’s Dung Gate, and vice versa, in a mere four-minute ride. By comparison: the 1.4 kilometer (0.9 miles) journey can currently take more than half an hour by car or public transport.

Accordingly, Arabs in the eastern part of Israel’s capital could benefit greatly from the cable car initiative. On this note, parallels can be drawn with the Jerusalem light rail, a project once heavily opposed by PA officials. After the city railway was completed in 2011, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz published an article titled, “A Surprising Process of ‘Israelization’ Is Taking Place Among Palestinians in East Jerusalem.” The piece noted that:
…there is the pronounced presence of [eastern Jerusalem] Palestinians in the center of West Jerusalem, in malls, on the light-rail train and in the open shopping area in Mamilla, adjacent to the Old City’s Jaffa Gate… The huge light-rail project, which cuts across the city and greatly facilitates access from the eastern neighborhoods to the city center, is also contributing to the transformation.”

As was the case in 2011, the Palestinian Authority now argues that Israel’s plans to build a cable car are “illegal.” By claiming that eastern Jerusalem is occupied under international law, Ramallah reportedly already bullied a French company into withdrawing from the project.

However, even if one considers Jerusalem “occupied territory,” the Jewish state is permitted to advance infrastructure projects in its entire capital. A French court, responding to claims filed by the Palestine Liberation Organization and a pro-Palestinian group, expressed this position in a 2013 ruling:
…it has been considered that the occupying power could and even should restore ordinary public life in the occupied territory and it has been recognized that such measures could relate to all activities generally undertaken by state authorities… [and] that, in this respect, a lighthouse [or] a hospital could be built. It has even been recognized that the establishment of a public transport system formed part of the acts which an occupying power may take to administer the territory… such that the construction of a tramway by the State of Israel would not be prohibited.”

While beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder, the facts regarding Israel’s dedication to advancing the lives of all Jerusalem residents are beyond dispute.

PMW: We love Martyrdom-death as we love life” – Fatah official
Speaking at the funeral of a Palestinian who was killed while participating in violent riots against Israeli security forces, Fatah Revolutionary Council member Bayan Al-Tabib stated – claiming to speak on behalf of all Palestinians – that they “love” dying as “Martyrs” just as much as they love life:
Fatah Revolutionary Council member Bayan Al-Tabib: “We love life, and we love Martyrdom-death as we love life, because we are truth seekers [and] freedom seekers. We seek our rights and the establishment of our independent Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem.”

[Official PA TV, April 30, 2022]

This encouragement of seeking a violent death as a “Martyr” in confrontations with Israel is consistent PA ideology. Palestinian Media Watch has exposed the PA Martyrdom cult for decades. PA and Fatah urge Palestinians to seek “Martyrdom-death,” praise whoever dies a “Martyr” during a terror attack against Israel, and rewards the remaining relatives with a lifetime monthly financial payment.

A significant part of the PA’s encouragement of continued violence and terror during the recent month of Ramadan was expressed in praise for the “Martyrs” and emphasizing the alleged joy by parents and other relatives when a child or family member becomes a “Martyr with Allah.” The PA’s many years of repeating these messages have become rooted among Palestinians and Palestinian teens actively seek death, as PMW has exposed.

At the same funeral in which Fatah official Al-Tabib spoke, the participants chanted “Mother of the Martyr, what joy you have merited, if only my mother was in your place”:
Crowd chanting: “Mother of the Martyr, what joy you have merited, if only my mother was in your place. Accompany the Martyr with his blood. A thousand blessings to his mother. The domes of the Al-Aqsa Mosque are iron domes, only the Martyr can open them.”

[Official PA TV, Reporters in the Field, April 30, 2022]

Fatah openly supports “the pure and heroic Martyr” terrorists who murdered 8

Qatari envoy to visit Gaza as Hamas seeks increase in aid
Qatari envoy Mohammed al-Emadi was expected to arrive in Gaza on Wednesday as Hamas seeks an increase in the monthly aid Qatar allocates the strip, Palestinian media reported.

Ramallah-based Al-Ayyam said that Doha has until now transferred $24 million in aid, not $30 million as was previously reported. Of the funds received, $10 million is said to have been used for Gaza's main power plant, another $10 million for families in need, and $4 million as salaries to Gazan officials who are not paid by the Palestinian Authority.

A source told Al-Ayyam that talks will revolve around increasing the monthly aid to $30 million. The demands were also discussed in high-level talks, including between Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

Al-Emadi is also the head of Qatar's Gaza Reconstruction Committee.
Hamas official encourages ‘uprooting Zionists’ with ‘cleavers, axes, guns’
Hamas Parliament member Mushir Al-Masri praised the perpetrators of recent deadly terrorist attacks in Israeli cities.

According to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), at a May 7 rally in support of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar aired on Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas-Gaza), Masri said the Palestinians’ sword will not be sheathed until Israel’s leaders are beheaded.

“We salute the mujahideen rebels of our Palestinian people, who taught the Zionist enemy harsh and painful lessons, and sent a clear message of blood and fire: Jerusalem is a red line. [We salute] those who struck down the Zionists in Tel Aviv, Hadera and Elad. [We salute] those who picked up the cleavers, the axes and guns.”

He added that “the heroes shattered their heads with axes as if they were thorns that have to be uprooted.”

Sinwar recently encouraged Palestinians to carry out attacks against Israelis using weapons at their disposal.

Murder on the Beach
Marcelo was murdered by an assassin who likely wanted to derail his efforts, grant impunity to those who hired him, and ensure no one would pick up the pieces he left behind. His death made front page news across the globe, in ways he might not have expected when he was still alive. He did not see himself as a larger-than-life hero—just a civil servant, performing his duty. The outcry is well-deserved, because every one of the cases he investigated and prosecuted has global repercussions. The dramatic spike in cocaine flows transiting Paraguay is heading to Europe. The money laundered for Hezbollah fuels conflict in the Middle East. The weapons smuggled into Paraguay arm regional gangs and cartels inside and beyond its borders. The spiral of violence fed by the increasing presence of criminal syndicates in the country spills over to neighbors, in a downward spiral that is corroding the rule of law, governance, and public safety across the entire Latin American continent.

Marcelo disrupted operations of transnational criminal organizations operating inside his country, which include Latin American, European, Asian, and Middle Eastern crime syndicates. And he poked terror finance networks linked to Hezbollah, whose agents have used Paraguay for decades to self-fund through criminal joint ventures with the cartels. All bad actors in Paraguay have bought influence and impunity from the local political cupola, with lavish bribes. Any one of them, or a joint venture between them, could very well be the culprit.

Where there is organized crime there is money laundering, and for decades, Hezbollah has been a key financial service provider to crime syndicates across Latin America. It operates in multiple locations, with Colombia being a historic hub of cooperation with organized crime. But its facilitators also operate along all of Paraguay’s frontiers, mostly in the Tri-Border Area, or TBA, a riverine junction of the Parana and Iguazu Rivers, which naturally separates the countries of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Hezbollah’s regional headquarters are in the large metropolitan area that sits astride the frontier. The TBA is a magnet for all criminals: More than a pirate island offering a haven to fugitives, it is a global hub for money laundering. Money has no political connotation—criminals need to launder it and shop for the best service providers. Hezbollah financiers are the best in the trade, and have an ecumenical approach to working with infidels. Money, after all, has no odor, as the old Latin proverb says.

Marcelo’s targets in recent years were increasingly located in the TBA, Paraguay’s criminal hotspot. Historically, the TBA has been the regional hub of contraband and money laundering on a large scale for organized crime as well as for terror groups, especially Hezbollah. That is what makes it a key suspect.
Hezbollah’s Election Loss Brings Hope of Stability in Lebanon
The tragedy of Lebanon is that a small group like Hezbollah was able first to co-opt fellow Shi’ites and then Christians, Druze and others. Hezbollah has some 100,000 missiles. It has brought poverty and destruction to Lebanon and threatens Israel for no reason. Were it not for Hezbollah, and before them the Palestinian terror groups that took root in Lebanon in the 1960s, Lebanon and Israel and other successful countries in the region could all be friends. But Hezbollah hijacked Lebanon, pretending to “resist” Israel and becoming a tool of Iran. In fact, after Syria was forced to leave Lebanon after Hezbollah murdered former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the group launched a war against Israel in 2006. Then it fought with anti-Hezbollah factions and launched a wave of assassinations. It kills authors and intellectuals and anyone who stands in its way.

There are reformers in Lebanon – politicians and activists who seek a different path. The new parliament may have more of them then it does members of Hezbollah. But Hezbollah will do whatever it can to weaken them, and it may even target them for assassination.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on Lebanon to form an “inclusive government” and to tackle the country’s economic crisis. Considering how the UN often pays only lip service to these issues, it is unclear who will actually support Lebanon now that reformers have a chance to change the country’s trajectory.

There could be clouds on the horizon. The drone incident shows that Hezbollah continues to do whatever it wants in southern Lebanon and it may use the election to heat things up with Israel so that it can pretend to be “defending” Lebanon.

The weakening of the Christian allies of Hezbollah, especially Gebran Bassil’s Free Patriotic Movement Party, means that Hezbollah can’t use the Christians as a shield for its nefarious business. This will anger the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, which also counts on its friends in Lebanon. The Assad regime needs a compliant Beirut. It traffics drugs through Lebanon and then onward to pro-Iran militias that move the drugs throughout the region. It also traffics money and other goods through Beirut to avoid sanctions.

In southern Lebanon there are stirrings of opposition to Hezbollah. Opposition candidate Firas Hamdan is likely to take a seat in parliament.

There is now hope in Beirut, if the reformers can win the peace.

Iran's outrageous demands are the reason the deal has been stalled - Cruz
US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Tuesday said that what appears to have “temporarily paused” the nuclear deal with Iran is that “the ayatollahs’ demands are so extreme and so radical.”

“[I am] hopeful, which may not be the same as optimistic,” Cruz told The Jerusalem Post when asked about the stalled agreement.

“I think the Biden administration desperately wants a deal, and unfortunately they’ve demonstrated they’re willing to concede virtually anything, even if it jeopardizes the safety and security of Israel, and even if it jeopardizes the safety and security of the United States,” he said.

“I was encouraged that just a week ago, I forced to vote on the Senate floor, demanding that terrorism sanctions remain in place on the IRGC,” Cruz continued, referring to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. “And we won an overwhelming bipartisan victory. The vast majority of senators, both Republicans and Democrats, voted for my amendment, insisting sanctions remain. I hope that stalls this deal. That being said, I think the Biden White House desperately wants a deal at almost any price.”

The Texas senator went on to say, “The Biden administration had Russia negotiate the deal, Russia as our enemy, Iran as our enemy, and our enemies are sitting at a table together negotiating a deal that hurts America and hurts Israel.”
Canada’s World Cup friendly match against Iran is an insult to the victims of PS752
When the Canadian men’s national soccer team earned a place in the World Cup for the first time in more than 30 years, I was among the many who celebrated the milestone. But I also have to admit that my excitement quickly dissipated when I looked at the team’s coming schedule. Canada Soccer has invited the Iranian team to play an exhibition game in Vancouver on June 5 – a slap in the face to everyone who has been affected by the January, 2020, downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752.

I recognize that Canada Soccer is striving to increase the sport’s popularity in Canada, where it lags behind other activities such as hockey. Indeed, it has been wonderful to see the successes of Canada’s national women’s team growing that popularity and attracting a large youth following over the years. My daughter Reera was among the young Canadians inspired by the women’s team, and she joined the Richmond Hill youth club, playing left defence every week in her club’s practice sessions.

But that was before Reera and her mother – my wife Parisa – were killed when the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a ruthless and destructive military organization, shot down their passenger plane. The incident left them and 174 other passengers dead, many of whom were Canadian.

In Iran, the game is extremely popular – and inherently political. Many Iranians obsessively follow the international and domestic leagues, and posters of famous soccer players, such as Ronaldo and Messi, are often plastered on the bedroom walls of many Iranian youths. But like many activities in Iran, soccer there is controlled by the IRGC, which is expected to send members to accompany the Iranian team to Canada for the exhibition game.

The IRGC’s influence extends to the Iranian Football Federation, which is subject to the powers that be despite its appearance of being independent from the state. Many sports clubs and teams in Iran are managed by individuals with ties to the IRGC, either through past or current involvement. These private sports clubs and leagues thus become yet another avenue for the Iranian government to enact its political and social injustices.

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