Wednesday, June 08, 2022

From Ian:

Prof. Anne Bayefsky: The UN Commission of Inquiry: An Exercise in Historical Revisionism
The Commission of Inquiry created in 2021 by the UN Human Rights Council issued its first report on Tuesday. The three commissioners appointed to conduct the inquiry were on record accusing Israel of apartheid, and urging boycotts and criminal prosecution – in advance of investigating anything. At least two reports annually may be expected to pound a steady drumbeat of modern anti-Semitism, namely, delegitimizing Israel.

The UN handed the Commission a search warrant unrestricted to any period of time, to seek “all underlying root causes” of the conflict and hunt for “systematic discrimination and repression.” So we submitted the names of 600,000 Jewish refugees and victims of Arab persecution in Middle East and North African nations in the past 75 years.

We submitted the names of 4,220 civilians – Israelis and foreign visitors – killed by unremitting Arab violence from the beginning of modern Zionism until today. We submitted the names of 24,092 Israeli military and security forces who have fallen in defense of their country against the Arab goal to eradicate the modern Jewish state.

We gave the Commission documentation that the Palestinian Authority pays bounties for killing Jews – an amount that increases the more deadly the attack. We presented irrefutable evidence that the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Gaza maintain a system of racist indoctrination demonizing Jews and inciting violence against Jews – in schools, official television programming, summer camps, public displays and public honors.

Our submissions contained evidence of the ceaseless, unrelenting, violent attacks on Jews prior to Israel’s independence and until today. War after war, terror attack after terror attack, suicide bombing, kidnapping, torture, arson; with rockets, mortars, grenades, pipe bombs, drones, firebombs, stones, bullets, vehicles, and knives, decade after decade; with one goal: the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea – the ultimate violation of human rights. Yet the report finds no Palestinian terrorism.

This UN exercise in historical revisionism seeks to invent a narrative of powerless Arab victims and criminal Jewish perpetrators, invert who violated the rights of whom, and challenge the moral imperative of the modern Jewish state. It is far more than an outrage. Unless stopped, it has and will continue to breathe oxygen into a highly flammable cauldron of modern anti-Semitism.
Col Kemp: UN Will Justify a Mirror Image of Putin's War
Putin went to war to turn into reality his much repeated insistence that Ukraine is an illegitimate state that has no right to exist and is inseparable from the rest of Russia. Similarly, the UN mandate allows it to question the very existence of the State of Israel. Unlike all other UN inquiries, this one has no historic time limit and enables the commission to range right back to the foundation of the state. The commissioners won't be bold enough to explicitly declare that Israel has no right to exist, but you can be certain that will be the subtext running throughout its report.

[E]ven before the notorious 2009 Goldstone Report, the UNHRC justified and encouraged Hamas violence, and that has played a crucial role in efforts to vilify and isolate Israel as well as incite greater bloodshed in the Middle East and attacks against Jews around the world.

[L]ike Putin in Ukraine, Hamas's war against Israel aims to conquer the territory of a sovereign democratic state that it believes should not exist.

Both Hamas and Putin's Russia, like most dictatorships, habitually plead self-defence as their justification for aggression. Putin pretends that NATO is a threat to Russia, yet he understands it is a defensive alliance that has no hostile intent; Hamas claims Israeli aggression while knowing that Israel would not and has never used force except in defence of its sovereign land and people.

Hamas and Russia share totalitarian values; both are kleptocracies, both ruthlessly repress internal opposition and both readily resort to violence — be it political assassination, terrorism or all-out war.

The chair of the UN commission, Navi Pillay, has indirectly played into the Israel-Nazi theme, supporting and justifying the viciously anti-Israel UN Durban Conference at which fliers were handed out with a picture of Hitler captioned with an assertion that if he had won there would be no Israel. Durban is just one of Pillay's numerous credentials against Israel, set out in detail by the NGO UN Watch in a submission to the UN. Her indisputable anti-Israel bias is shared by her two fellow commissioners, Miloon Kothari and Chris Sidoti, as outlined in an article by David Litman earlier this month in JNS.
UN Watch: U.N.’s Pillay Report Pillories Israel, Ignores Iran
Today’s one-sided report on Israel by the UN inquiry led by Navi Pillay marks another propaganda win for Iran and its terrorist proxies, said the independent non-governmental organization UN Watch today.

The Pillay Report, to be presented on Monday before the 47-nation Human Rights Council, offers a blueprint of what is to come from the Pillay Commission, which was granted a perpetual mandate to report on alleged war crimes and discrimination in wake of last year’s Hamas-Israel war.

“The report turns a blind eye to Palestinian terrorism and embraces the Hamas narrative that Israel is the root cause of all conflict. This is exactly what we expected from Navi Pillay, who actively lobbies governments to ‘sanction apartheid Israel‘ and to condemn Israel for the very conflict that she is meant to investigate,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.

The Pillay Commission concedes their report is “overwhelmingly directed towards Israel.” (par. 28)

“Cynically, the Pillay Commission claims to have ‘ensured the inclusion of a diverse range of perspectives’ by meeting with Palestinian organizations dedicated to condemning Israel, as well as Israeli organizations dedicated to condemning Israel,” said Neuer.

“This cynicism was taken to new heights by the Pillay Report concluding that Israel’s ‘perpetual occupation’ is the ‘underlying root cause’ of the conflict on the basis of their consultations with both ‘Palestinian and Israeli stakeholders.'”

“Claiming that Israel alone is to blame for the conflict, while saying nothing about Palestinian terrorism and their stated goal of destroying Israel, is bad enough; suggesting that this is a representative view of ‘Israeli stakeholders’ is another thing altogether,” said Neuer.




CAMERA Press Backgrounder on the United Nations Commission of Inquiry
Today (June 7), the United Nations “Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel” (“COI”) published its first report to the Human Rights Council.

Provided below are four important facts about the COI for journalists and their audiences to understand in evaluating the credibility and content of the report, including some brief commentary on the contents of the report itself.

1) The Commissioners Lack Impartiality, Objectivity, and Personal Integrity
Although UN criteria requires impartiality, objectivity, and personal integrity, all three of the commissioners fall far short.

Navi Pillay, the chairwoman, had previously signed petitions to “sanction apartheid Israel” and endorsed the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. Despite a letter from the watchdog organization, UN Watch, detailing her lack of impartiality and objectivity and calling for her resignation, Pillay has remained in her position. It is worth recalling that Pillay was the UN official who hired Grietje Baars, a known anti-Israel activist who had publicly supported BDS and compared Israelis to Nazis, as the lead researcher and writer for the infamous UN Goldstone Commission that “investigated” Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009.

In 2002, Miloon Kothari broke UN rules and lied to both Israeli and UN officials while preparing an anti-Israel report in a previous position he held at the UN. Kothari has also called for ending “military cooperation with Israel” and has falsely claimed that a “basic theocratic character of the Israeli legal system establishes ethnic criteria as the grounds for the enjoyment of full rights.”

Chris Sidoti, the third commissioner, serves on the advisory council of an organization that openly called for an arms embargo against Israel and accused Israel of “apartheid.”
Judge and Jury: Why Are Media Peddling 'One-Sided' UN Probe?
"A one-sided, biased approach that does nothing to advance the prospects for peace." That is how the US State Department characterized the June 7 United Nations Commission of Inquiry report on alleged Israeli misdeeds.

In December, the UN General Assembly approved an unprecedented open-ended probe into Israel's treatment of Palestinians that was proposed in the aftermath of the 11-day war initiated by the Gaza-based Hamas terror group. The commission's first 18-page report, which was welcomed by the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Iran, accuses Israel of everything from "gender-based violence" to hindering "Palestinian democratic processes."

Despite the documented bias of the three-member panel, much of the media failed to critically scrutinize its initial "findings," which were largely recycled versions of previous, debunked, allegations.


‘Waste of Money’: Israel Bashes UN Probe Blaming ‘Occupation’ of Palestinian Areas for Continued Conflict
Israel has dismissed the findings of a United Nations commission report which blamed the country’s “perpetual occupation” of Palestinian territory as the “key root” of recurring tensions and cycles of violence in the conflict.

A report by the Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry (COI) published on Tuesday was denounced by the Israeli Foreign Ministry as a “biased and one-sided report tainted with hatred for the State of Israel and based on a long series of previous one-sided and biased reports, [which] disregards years of murderous terrorism by Palestinian terrorist organizations against Israeli citizens, as well as the Palestinians’ long-standing obstinacy and the vicious and antisemitic incitement carried out by the Palestinian Authority and its networks.”

The 18-page report “is nothing more than a waste of money and effort of the United Nations’ systems, part and parcel of the witch hunt being carried out by the Human Rights Council against Israel,” the ministry stated.

Helmed by Navi Pillay, a former South African judge and former United Nations human rights chief, the COI was created last year by the UN Human Rights Council following the 11-day war in May between Israel and the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip. The COI, led by a team of three human rights experts, was formed as a permanent and open-ended entity dedicated solely to investigate alleged Israeli abuse of Palestinians.

The report accuses Israel of maintaining a repressive environment for Palestinians and favoring Israeli settlers as well as destroying Palestinian water infrastructure, including pipelines, wells and reservoirs, and the denial of construction permits.
US State Department accuses UN of singling Israel out in its COI
The US State Department responded on Tuesday to an initial report by the United Nations’ highly contentious Commission of Inquiry, which charged that Israel is largely to blame for the conflict with the Palestinians, saying, “The COI in its current form is a continuation of a longstanding pattern of unfairly singling out Israel.”

State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said, “As we have stated repeatedly, we firmly oppose the open-ended and vaguely defined nature of the UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry on the situation in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, which represents a one-sided, biased approach that does nothing to advance the prospects for peace.

“The report of the commission, released today, does nothing to alleviate our concerns,” he added. “While the United States believes the HRC plays a crucial role in promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms globally, this COI and report do not advance this goal.”

Price went on to say that Israel is the only country subject to a standing agenda item at the council, “and has received disproportionate focus at the HRC compared to human rights situations elsewhere in the world.”

“While no country is above scrutiny, the existence of this COI in its current form is a continuation of a longstanding pattern of unfairly singling out Israel,” Price said in a statement. “We reengaged with and later rejoined the HRC in part to be in a better position to address its flaws, including this one, and we will continue to seek reforms.”


Israel's ambassador to UN elected vice president of UN General Assembly
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, was elected as a vice president of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. Erdan will assume the position for a year beginning with the convening of the GA in September. He will chair General Assembly meetings, and take part in setting the agenda for GA deliberations.

“I am proud of the right to represent Israel in a position that is at the heart of what is happening at the UN, and I will also act through it to combat the existing discrimination in the UN against Israel,” said Erdan. “This is an important victory, which will give us another platform to present the truth about Israel and its contribution to the world, despite the ongoing attempts of the Palestinians and hostile countries at the UN to act against us.

“This achievement joins a series of important achievements that Israel has made at the UN in recent years, along with a clear message to our enemies that they will not prevent us from integrating into key positions at the UN and in the international arena and increasing our influence.”

The appointment of Erdan comes after Israel was elected for the first time to serve as a member of the UN Economic and Social Council, and Israeli Odelia Fitoussi was elected to serve in the UN Committee of Experts on Disability.

In 2017, then Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon was elected as a vice president of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly.


Thaw in relations between Israel-Tunisia in the works, Algeria reporetedly trying to derail effort
Tunisia and Israel have been exploring the possibility of establishing closer ties despite efforts to derail this thaw in relations by Tunisian and Algerian entities.

According to a diplomatic official who spoke with Israel Hayom, "expanding the sphere of countries that have ties with Israel has been a consistent Israeli goal, but it is also true that Algeria is still showing a hostile attitude [toward this effort]."

A report in the Arab-language international paper Rai Al-Youm, Tunisian President Kais Saied seeks to move close to Israel but "Algeria is blocking the country from falling into the normalization process." The report further said that Tunisia fears that embracing Israel would adversely affect its various commercial and financial interests in Algeria.

Tunisia and Israel had partial diplomatic relations in the 1990s as a result of the Oslo Accords, but the Tunisian diplomatic mission in Israel was shut down after the collapse of the peace process at the turn of the century. However, the current president has allowed Israelis to visit the country.


Israeli Troops Arrest 21 Terror Suspects Amid Clashes With Palestinian Rioters
Israeli security forces arrested a total of 21 terror suspects overnight in the West Bank amid clashes with Palestinian rioters.

The Israeli military, border police, and Shin Bet internal security service jointly conducted counterterrorism operations in a number of areas, including the towns of Ni’lin, Bayt Rima, Beit Fajr, Beit Dagan, Rujeib, Mughayir, Al-Ram, Bidu, al Fawar, and in the city of Bethlehem.

Palestinians hurled explosive devices at Israeli forces as two terror suspects were arrested in the northern West Bank, near Nablus. During operations in the city of Beitunia, west of Ramallah, a number of Palestinians threw stones and paint bottles at troops, the IDF said.

In the Aqabat Jabr refugee camp near Jericho, about 20 Palestinians fueled a violent riot against security forces who sought to apprehend a terror suspect.

“The Palestinian rioters hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at the forces, who responded with riot dispersal means,” the IDF stated, adding that no Israeli soldiers were injured.

Another four Palestinians suspected of involvement in terror activities were arrested in the cities of Jenin and Tulkarm, as well as the town of Yabad in the northern West Bank. Diaa Hamarsheh, a 27-year-old who shot dead five people in Bnei Brak in late March and was reportedly linked to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, had come from Yabad.
Israeli occupation is 'biggest terror' in Middle East - Joint List MK
Israel’s “occupation” of the Palestinians is the “biggest terror” in the region, MK Ofer Cassif said on Wednesday at a Knesset conference hosted by the caucus to end the occupation.

“There is a very simple reason” why this is so, Cassif said. He was speaking to left-wing parliamentarians and NGO representatives who gathered in a Knesset conference room to focus on the harm done to the Palestinians since the 1967 Six Day War, when it captured the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem from Jordan.

“The accepted definition of terror is not a political one” such as occurs within the Israeli discourse and in its parliament, he said. The globally recognized understanding is that “terror is a form of violence, including the threat of violence, against innocent civilians in order to achieve political aims.”

“The occupation is exactly this. It acts against civilians who are innocent [using] violence and oppression and the threat of it against millions of innocents when the objective is political” Cassif said.

He provided this definition to back up his initial words that “the occupation is the biggest terror [that exists] in the entire region, certainly when it comes to Palestine/Israel.”

Those who want to ignore the fact that the “occupation is ‘the terror’ is either an ignoramus who doesn’t know what terror is or is a liar who knows what terror is and is trying to hide it,” Cassif said.


Daughter of Arab City Deputy Mayor Killed by Car Bomb
Johara Hanifas, 28, the daughter of the deputy mayor of the Arab city of Shefar’am in northern Israel, was killed Tuesday night in an explosion in her car near the entrance to the city. MDA paramedics who arrived at the scene of the blast determined her death.

Police have set up roadblocks in the area and launched searches but have yet to arrest any suspects. Police are looking into the possibility that Johara was murdered over her lifestyle, and not because of her father’s politics.

Faraj Hanifas has served as deputy mayor for four terms, is in charge of the development portfolio, and chairs the city’s tenders committee. Hanifas’ mother also works for the Shefar’am municipality, in the Department for the Advancement of Women and Gender Equality.

Deputy Mayor Hanifas told Reshet Bet radio Tuesday morning about his slain daughter: “She was a flower of a human being and didn’t hurt anyone. Maybe they looking for me, it would have been better if they had caught me instead.”

Hanifas added that he had received no threats, saying: “This is a difficult and cruel reality, not only here in this country but everywhere. I was not threatened, my daughter never hurt anyone.”
Muslim Rioter Arrested for Urinating on Roof of Al Aqsa Mosque
Israeli police arrested on Wednesday a Muslim on suspicion of rioting, violating the public order, throwing rocks at police forces, and releaving himself on the roof of the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

On Jerusalem Day, May 29, in the morning leading up to the start of Jewish visits to the Temple Mount, masked Muslims began a riot from the mosque, throwing rocks and objects and firing fireworks at the police. The police forces acted to maintain order and repelled the rioters into the mosque and locked the doors. Already that day, the police arrested suspects, and indictments were filed against some of them.

During those violent riots, a suspect was identified as urinating on the roof of the Al Aqsa mosque and desecrating the sanctity of the place. The police launched an investigation and arrested the suspect, 22, at his home in Ein Rafa, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

He will face charges of throwing stones at police on the Temple Mount and desecrating the sanctity of the mosque.

In recent days, the police completed the investigation of two other rioters, after detectives from the Jerusalem Police arrested them in the Old City on Jerusalem Day. The detention of the suspects, aged 17 and 19 from eastern Jerusalem, was extended and indictments were filed against them by the State Attorney’s Office.
PMW: Proud sisters: In the PA, siblings are taught to admire their murderer brothers
On a regular basis, the PA glorifies terrorists who have attacked, wounded, and/or succeeded murdering Israelis. As Palestinians express joy over their relatives’ martyrdom-death in a terror attack, so too they express their pride in their terrorist relatives who are imprisoned for murdering Israelis.

Recently two sisters declared their pride in their two imprisoned terrorist brothers.

Amjad Ubeidi, an Islamic Jihad terrorist who is serving 23 life sentences, is a source of pride for his family because he sent female suicide bomber Hanadi Jaradat to carry out a suicide attack at a restaurant in Haifa on Oct. 4, 2003. There she murdered 21 people and wounded over 50:
Sister of terrorist Amjad Ubeidi: “We send [Amjad Zubeidi] our love. Our heart is with him. We are all with him. We have not forgotten him and will not forget him. We are proud of him and all that he did. Allah willing [his] imprisonment will not last long.”

[Official PA TV, Giants of Endurance, May 19, 2022]


Another proud sister is the sister of As’ad Al-Rifai, one of the terrorists who last month attacked Israelis with axes and knives in the town of Elad near Tel Aviv and murdered 3 Israelis. His family is not upset over his crime but was worried about him when he was on the run from Israeli forces after the murders. But once he was arrested his mother was able to relax. And the murderer’s young sister is even “proud of what he did”:
Mother of terrorist murderer As’ad Al-Rifai: “When the [Israeli] army came to us, of course they came quickly. In other words, we didn’t know anything… They spent a long time with us, perhaps two hours… They told me: We will demolish this home… To me, it’s fine. I don’t care about homes or anything. To me, the most important thing is that my son As’ad is healthy and whole, but also that he will continue to hold onto life… Four days that we don’t eat or drink, because we don’t know what his fate is, if he is alive or dead. But Allah be praised, when I learned that my son is alive (i.e., captured by Israel), I held onto life more.”

Sister of terrorist As’ad Al-Rifai: “I’m the sister of As’ad, Hanin Yusuf Al-Rifai. I’m proud of you As’ad for what you did. You [said with your actions:] For your sake, O land.”

[Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, May 10, 2022]




Israel ‘prepared to defend’ Karish gas rig after Lebanon threats
The Karish reservoir is south of a triangular area of the Mediterranean Sea that has been subject to a dispute between Israel and Lebanon, starting at the countries’ land border, which would make up about 2% of Israel’s economic waters. Israel and Lebanon submitted maps with their claims to the UN in 2011. In late 2020, the countries entered negotiations on the disputed area, indirectly because the Lebanese government refused to hold direct talks with Israel.

Lebanon sharply increased its demands after four rounds of US-mediated talks, almost tripling the disputed area from 869 sq.-km. to 2,300 sq.-km., to include the northern end of the Karish natural gas field, but never submitted its proposal to the UN, making Lebanon’s demand unofficial in Israel’s view.

The Israeli ministers called on Lebanon “to accelerate negotiations on the maritime border.

“Locating gas-based energy sources can greatly assist Lebanon’s economy and its citizens, and it is in the interest of the Republic of Lebanon to advance the dialogue on this matter. We hope that this will occur,” they stated.

US Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein is set to visit Beirut next week to discuss the maritime border dispute, Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said on Tuesday, according to local media, though the State Department declined to confirm the report.

Energean said on Monday that it plans to “immediately commence hook-up and commissioning operations” at Karish, and start to deliver gas from the reservoir in the third quarter of this year.

The progress on Karish comes as Israel has been negotiating with the European Union to export gas to Europe via Egypt, following sanctions on Russia over its war against Ukraine. Israel has been preparing to double its export capacity in the coming years.
Israel is ready for an unrepentant Iran after IAEA rebuke - analysis
This week’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors meeting in Vienna this week has been a dramatic one.

For the first time in two years, a resolution rebuking Iran for its nuclear subterfuge is on the table, proposed by the E3 – France, Germany and the UK – and the US. An unprecedented 70 countries signed up to speak ahead of the vote, indicating broad international concern and a likely censure of Tehran.

This comes on the heels of an IAEA report in which Director-General Rafael Grossi wrote that “Iran has not provided explanations that are technically credible in relation to the Agency’s findings” of evidence of nuclear activity at undeclared sites.

It also comes months after world powers and Iran seemed to come incredibly close to reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement – which includes IAEA monitoring arrangements – before the Islamic Republic brought up a new demand: that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) be removed from the US list of foreign terrorist entities.

As of Wednesday, Iran made clear it is done playing the game of letting the IAEA monitor its declared nuclear sites while lying about undeclared sites, and simply shut off two of the nuclear agency’s cameras.

There may be more to come, such as further advances in the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, since Iranian Nour News Agency said that Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization “put measures on the agenda” – measures, plural – “in response to the IAEA’s illegal behavior and political reports.”
Report: Iran turns off 2 IAEA cameras installed at unnamed nuclear site
Iran turned off two surveillance cameras of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog that monitored one of its atomic sites, state television reported Wednesday.

The report did not identify the site, but it appeared to be a new pressure technique by Tehran as Western nations seek to censure Iran at a meeting this week of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The Iranian state television report described the two cameras as monitoring "OLEM enrichment levels and flowmeters." That appeared to refer to the IAEA's Online Enrichment Monitors, which watch the enrichment of uranium gas through piping at enrichment facilities.

Iran currently is enriching at both its Fordo and Natanz underground nuclear sites.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has so far had extensive cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency," state TV said in its report. "Unfortunately, the agency, without considering this cooperation ... not only did not appreciate this cooperation, but also considered it as a duty of Iran."

Tehran said its civilian nuclear arm, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, monitored the shutdown of the cameras. It said 80% of the existing cameras are IAEA "safeguard" cameras and they will continue to operate as before. Safeguards refer to the IAEA's inspections and monitoring of a country's nuclear program.

However, an Iranian official warned Tehran now was considering taking "other measures" as well.

"We hope that they come to their senses and respond to Iran's cooperation with cooperation," said Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. "It is not acceptable that they show inappropriate behavior while Iran continues to cooperate."


Israel makes dramatic upgrades to military plans to attack Iran
In face of Iran’s continued development of a nuclear capability, the Israeli Air Force has developed a new capability to be able to fly its F-35 stealth fighter jets from Israel to the Islamic Republic without requiring mid-air refueling.

The development is a boost to IAF capabilities and comes as the Israeli military has upped its preparations for a future strike against Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

In addition, the IAF recently integrated a new one-ton bomb into the arsenal of weapons used by the F-35s (known in the IAF as the “Adir”) that can be carried inside the plane’s internal weapons compartment without jeopardizing its stealth radar signature. Israeli Air Force gets a new bomb

The bomb – made by Rafael Advanced Weapons Systems - is said to be autonomous and protected against jamming and electronic warfare systems. The bomb was recently used in a series of IAF tests, the results of which were presented to Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

The IAF has held four large-scale drills simulating attacks against Iran over the last month. The first drill included confronting Iranian radar and detection systems, like those which protect its nuclear installations. The second included simulating long-range combat flights – in this case to destinations in Europe. The other drills included defensive measures against cyber weapons and electronic warfare systems, means that could be used by Iran to undermine an Israeli military operation.


Khamenei: 'Zionist capitalists' plague for world even before Israel
Zionism is a plague for the world of Islam and "Zionist capitalists" were a plague for the whole world, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said during a speech on Wednesday.

"Zionist capitalists"

"Today, Zionism is an obvious plague for the world of Islam," said Khamenei, according to a transcript on his English-language website. "The Zionists have always been a plague, even before establishing the fraudulent Zionist regime. Even then, Zionist capitalists were a plague for the whole world. Now they’re a plague especially for the world of Islam."

The Iranian supreme leader called for "the plague of Zionism" to be "exposed" in any way possible.

Normalization is exploitation
"​Muslim nations oppose the normalization of relations with the Zionists, clench their fists and shout slogans against states seeking normalization," added Khamenei. "The Zionist regime exploits these states. They don’t realize it, but we hope they realize it before it’s too late."

Khamenei's statements were also posted on his English-language Twitter account.


Congress Wants To Know Why Meta Is Censoring Iranian Dissidents
Congress is investigating the Meta social media network for censoring Iranian dissidents and pro-democracy advocates amid a wave of protests against Tehran’s hardline government, according to a copy of the probe exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Three Republican lawmakers on the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees want information about what steps Meta has "taken to confront infiltration by proponents of the Islamic Republic of Iran" following reports the social media giant is deleting and censoring accounts tied to anti-regime activists. The lawmakers—Reps. Jim Banks (Ind.), Claudia Tenney (N.Y.), and Joe Wilson (S.C.)—also want to know if Meta is investigating claims that Instagram, the video sharing app owned by the company, has "been infiltrated by those sympathetic to the Islamic Republic in Iran."

The probe comes on the heels of reports alleging that Instagram content moderators are deleting and censoring accounts that have documented the regime’s human rights abuses during the latest wave of protests. Those affected claim that Instagram is removing content showing Iranian security forces beating protesters and firing tear gas into crowds.

Social media is a vehicle for anti-regime activists to document the government’s crimes and galvanize international support for their movement. The Iranian government severely restricts internet access to prevent this information from becoming public. Banks and his colleagues say the notion that Meta is helping the Iranian government censor this content represents "an unacceptable threat to their privacy, liberty, and our national security."

Cameron Khansarinia, policy director at the National Union for Democracy in Iran, an Iranian-American organization that supports democracy, said social media is critical to the Iranian protest movement.

"Iranian protesters are fighting a multifront war: first and foremost against regime thugs on the street firing live ammunition, but also against the silence of the international community and mainstream media," Khansarinia said. "In this war, social media has been one of their few available tools. Now, not only is it filtered, banned, or entirely blocked by the Islamic Republic, but the companies that tell us they ‘build technologies that help people connect’ are apparently infiltrated by agents of brutal dictatorships looking to make those technologies disconnect and silence freedom movements."


Israeli-owned chain halts UK screenings of film about Prophet Muhammad’s daughter
Cineworld, a British movie theater chain headed by an Israeli, has pulled a controversial film about the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad from all of its locations after protests took place outside of theaters, a Wednesday report said.

The chain said the decision was “to ensure the safety of our staff and customers,” according to the BBC.

More than 120,000 people have signed a petition for the film, “The Lady of Heaven,” to be pulled from UK cinemas. Protests of up to 200 people were reported at the Bolton and Birmingham theater locations of Cineworld on Sunday.

The chain is headed by Israeli CEO Mooky Greidinger, who, along with his brother, Israel, owns 29 percent of the company.

The Bolton Council of Mosques in particular spoke out against the film, calling it “blasphemous” and saying it “misrepresents orthodox historical narratives and disrespects the most esteemed individuals of Islamic history,” according to the report.

The film’s executive producer, Malik Shlibak, said he welcomed people expressing their views but said cinemas should “stand up and defend their right to show films that people want to see.”






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