Tuesday, June 21, 2022

From Ian:

UN Human Rights Council report aims to put Israelis behind bars
Notably, the report itself admits that it is one-sided. The authors explain that the findings regarding the “underlying root causes” were overwhelmingly directed toward Israel because of “the reality of one State occupying the other.” Yet the conflict predates 1967, and Israel’s presence in the West Bank persists primarily as the result of Palestinian aggression against the Jewish state.

The report consistently ignores Israel’s security needs. In framing the outbreak of the May 2021 war, the authors overlook the Hamas-Fatah rivalry and Hamas’s saber-rattling that helped initiate the war, focusing instead on Israeli evictions that never occurred. The report also criticizes Israel’s construction of a West Bank “wall” without mentioning the Palestinian terrorism of the Second Intifada that led to its construction.

Similarly, the authors present the blockade of Gaza as an example of Israel pursuing “political objectives” rather than advancing legitimate security concerns. In this context, the COI report calls Israel’s efforts to prevent Hamas from amassing weapons for further attacks on Israeli civilians a “15-year economic and social blockade.”

The authors also argue that Israel’s supposedly perpetual occupation has created inequalities (that a future report might determine amount to apartheid). But the different legal systems in place in the West Bank — a product of the Oslo agreements between Israel and the Palestinians — center around citizenship, not race, as permitted in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The COI report does recognize that the Oslo Accords would have gradually transferred much of the West Bank and Gaza to Palestinian control, but it states that “these agreements have never been fully implemented.” The report does not mention that the Palestinians rejected or ignored multiple Israeli peace offers. “Israel has no intention of ending the occupation,” the report states, yet it overlooks Israel’s spurned offers to withdraw from most of the West Bank as part of a peace agreement.

This report is not just about putting Israel under scrutiny. It’s about putting Israelis behind bars. The COI seeks to end what it perceives as a “culture of impunity” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by submitting individual Israelis to prosecution, presumably at the International Criminal Court, for perceived crimes.

Budgetary restraints have hampered the COI’s operation and may have temporarily prevented some of the more incendiary allegations that Israel feared the UNHRC would make. The United States should seize the momentum, withhold further funds from the UNHRC, and prioritize defunding the COI in the end-of-year budget debates.
Daniel Pipes: Israel Is the Least-Stolen Land
In "'Native Land Acknowledgments' Are the Latest Woke Ritual" (op-ed, June 11), Eugene Kontorovich elegantly ridicules the budding leftist requirement that public statements be prefaced by a ceremonial nod to the peoples who once inhabited roughly our territories, thereby honoring their supposed moral superiority.

He notes in passing that "conquest and migration have shaped the entire world." So far as I know, only one country was purchased rather than conquered. Ironically, that country is also the one most accused of having "stolen" the land it now controls. That country is Israel.

The making of the Jewish state represents perhaps history's most peaceable in-migration and state creation. Zionist efforts long had a near-exclusively mercantile, not military, quality. Jews lacked the power to fight the Ottoman or British empires, so they purchased land, acre by acre, in voluntary transactions.

An Israeli flag attached to Andromeda's Rock in the Mediterranean Sea, against the Tel Aviv skyline.

Only when the British withdrew from Palestine in 1948, followed immediately by an all-out attempt by Arab states to crush the nascent Israel, did Israelis take up the sword in self-defense and go on to win land through military conquest. By then, however, this exceptional polity had already existed through purchase.
Caroline Glick: Biden's Anti-Israel Gambit in Jerusalem Undermines American Sovereignty
The Palestinian Authority is waging lawfare against the United States. And rather than defend America, the Biden administration has joined the Palestinian lawfare campaign against it. That is how the Biden administration's recent decision to initiate steps to form a separate diplomatic mission to the Palestinians in Israel's capital ought to be understood.

Earlier this month, The Washington Free Beacon revealed that the administration has decided to separate the Palestinian Affairs Unit from its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. The head of the "unit" will be an ambassador in all but name—directly appointed by the secretary of state and subordinate to him in the chain of command. Today, in accordance with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, the head of the Palestinian section of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem is subordinate to the U.S. ambassador to Israel.

The declared goal of the administration is to fulfill President Joe Biden's campaign pledge to open a consulate for the Palestinians in Israel's capital city. The move has been stymied to date by strong congressional disapproval and by the fact that such a move is unlawful—under both U.S. and international law—unless Israel approves it. But Israel vigorously opposes Biden's position, which it views as hostile to Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.

Israel, obviously, is correct. Biden's efforts to open a consulate to the Palestinians, whose leadership rejects Israel's very right to exist in Israel's capital, is most certainly hostile to Israel. The international law requirement is that a foreign government wishing to open a diplomatic legation in one nation's capital to a different nation first must receive the permission of the sovereign. That is commonsensical. And Biden's efforts to do just that in Jerusalem—but without Israel's permission—is an assault on Israeli sovereignty.

But to understand why Biden's efforts are not simply anti-Israel but also anti-American, and involve complicity in Palestinian lawfare against the United States itself, requires a longer explanation.


Caroline Glick: The generals’ marvelous Doha adventure
This brings us to the Israeli part of the story.

Allen’s name is familiar to Israelis because in 2013-2014, Allen served as then secretary of state John Kerry’s military adviser in the peace process Kerry tried to initiate between the Palestinian Arabs and Israel. Allen devised a security plan that was supposed to convince Israel to relinquish its sovereign rights to the Jordan Valley and to eventually relinquish its military presence on its eastern frontier. To convince the Israeli public to support his radical proposal, Allen recruited retired senior IDF commanders, led by Maj. Gen. (ret.) Gadi Shamni, to sell his plan to the public (in a “white” information operation).

Despite the best efforts of Shamni and his fellow U.S.-funded colleagues, Allen’s plan was angrily rejected by the government. Then defense minister Moshe Ya’alon said of it, “The American security plan that was presented to us isn’t worth the paper it was written on. There’s no security in it and no peace in it.”

But while his efforts failed to convince either the Israeli government or public of the wisdom of rendering Israel vulnerable to foreign invasion from the east, Allen apparently succeeded in making lasting friendships, or business relationships, with the security establishment’s left-wing alumni.

Allen did not receive payment for his trip to Qatar with Zuberi (although Zuberi promised to pay him $20,000 for his efforts). But the FBI warrant shows that the Qataris intended to also pay Allen indirectly for his services, by purchasing the product of an Israeli technology firm he was representing.

According to the FBI search warrant, in 2016, the Fifth Dimension security software firm, led by its then-chairman Benny Gantz, signed a retainer agreement with Allen. Allen was to receive $10,000 a month, and 1.5% of the value of any contract he concluded for Fifth Dimension. During the time Allen was putting together his plan for Kerry, Gantz was IDF chief of general staff.

Gantz raised a lot of eyebrows in the government and beyond at the time for refusing to join Ya’alon in condemning the Allen plan.
Biden USAID Nominee Lavished Praise on Saudi Arabia—Until It Stopped Funding Her Think Tank
President Joe Biden’s pick for a top spot at the U.S. Agency for International Development praised Saudi Arabia’s "exciting, productive, inspiring" social progress after her employer received a large grant from the kingdom—and did an about-face months later when the financial agreement was cut off after Riyadh’s assassination of activist Jamal Khashoggi.

Tamara Cofman Wittes, a longtime fellow at the Brookings Institution, is seeking Senate confirmation for her nomination as assistant administrator at USAID. During her time at the think tank in 2018, Wittes received as much as $499,999 from Saudi Arabia, according to its annual report. Brookings told the Washington Post the Saudi grant was intended to fund an analysis of the "Saudi think tank sector," which is relatively small compared with other countries in the region. Saudi Arabia has 13 think tanks, according to an unrelated 2020 global study by the University of Pennsylvania, compared with 87 in Iran, 47 in Egypt, and 29 in Yemen. At the time of the grant, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud was trying to rebrand the country as modernizing and progressive.

Wittes visited Saudi Arabia in February of that year, posting a slideshow on the Brookings website that highlighted an alleged increase in women’s freedom and a growing tourism industry.

"The pace of change is really notable compared to my previous visits to the kingdom where there was a sense that the leadership of the country moved very slowly and cautiously. … It is clear that’s not the case now," she told Washington Jewish Week in a glowing article headlined "Saudi expert eyes changing kingdom."

While the nation said it would loosen restrictions on women's attire and driving in 2018, Saudi Arabia faced allegations of far-reaching war crimes in Yemen and crackdowns on dissidents and women's rights. Wittes published a mild criticism of the arrest of a Saudi female driving activist in May 2018, calling it "deeply sad and ironic" and a contrast with the "swift pace of change" she witnessed in the country.

Her comments could add to concerns from Republicans that Wittes helped bolster the reputations of Gulf state countries that donated to Brookings. Senate Republicans already raised questions during a confirmation hearing last week about Wittes’s praise for Qatar, which donated at least $22 million to Brookings during her employment. The think tank is facing scrutiny after its president, Gen. John Allen, stepped down last week amid a federal investigation into allegations that he worked as an unregistered lobbyist for Doha.
MEMRI: Saudi Analyst In Article On Al-Arabiya Website: Solution To Palestine Problem Is Naturalizing Palestinians In Jordanian Kingdom That Includes Gaza, West Bank; It's Time For The Palestinians To Accept Reality, Focus On Living Their Lives
In an article titled “The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine,” posted June 7, 2022 on the website of Al-Arabiya TV, Saudi political analyst ‘Ali Al-Shihabi writes that the Palestinian problem can only be resolved today by rethinking it and redefining it. The Palestinians, he argues, must reconcile themselves to reality and accept the fact of Israel's existence. Moreover, they must realize that what they crucially need is not to regain their ancestral land but rather to have a globally-respected citizenship that will allow them to operate and thrive in the modern world. The most feasible way to achieve this, he says, is to make them citizens of an expanded Jordanian-Palestinian kingdom that will incorporate the West Bank and Gaza, while withdrawing recognition of the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people. He also suggests granting Jordanian citizenship to the Palestinians living in other countries, who can continue to live in those countries as legal foreign residents with full civil rights.

This solution, he adds, requires that the Palestinians give up the right of return, which he says is an unfeasible dream encouraged by various Arab regimes in order to avoid naturalizing the Palestinian refugees living in their countries. He also recommends that the Palestinians relinquish any claim to Jerusalem, which will help the Israelis to accept the proposed solution.

Al-Shihabi acknowledges that some Palestinians are likely to violently oppose this idea, but believes that most will accept it once they realize its benefits for them and their children. He anticipates that some Jordanian elites will see it as a threat to their dominance and oppose it as well, but the U.S., Israel, and the GCC, which have considerable influence over these elites, can pressure them to acquiesce. “Lack of imagination, so common among leaders throughout history—with imagination being so necessary to solve this problem—combined with a Palestinian people drowning in a sea of illusions and an Israel drunk on its own power, can only end in a disaster for a region that is already at the precipice,” he concludes.
MEMRI: Angry Responses On Social Media And In Arab Press To Article By Saudi Journalist 'Ali Al-Shihabi Calling To Resolve Palestinian Problem By Naturalizing Palestinians In Expanded Jordanian Kingdom That Incorporates West Bank And Gaza
In an article titled "The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine," published June 7, 2022 on the website of the Saudi Al-Arabiya channel, 'Ali Al-Shihabi, a Saudi journalist and commentator on Middle East affairs, called to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by naturalizing millions of Palestinians in an expanded Jordanian Kingdom that will incorporate the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, while revoking the recognition of the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. He also suggested granting Jordanian citizenship to the Palestinians living in other countries, who can continue to live in those countries as legal foreign residents with full civil rights. The Palestinians and Arabs, he argues, must reconcile themselves to reality and accept the fact of Israel's existence, while relinquishing the "illusion" of the right of return. [1] (To read Al-Shihabi's article, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10028, Saudi Analyst In Article On Al-Arabiya Website: Solution To Palestine Problem Is Naturalizing Palestinians In Jordanian Kingdom That Includes Gaza, West Bank; It's Time For The Palestinians To Accept Reality, Focus On Living Their Lives, June 21, 2022.)

Al-Shihabi, who has held senior official positions in Saudi Arabia, mostly in telecommunications and finance,[2] is reportedly a close associate of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. Since 2020 he has served on the advisory board of Neom, bin Salman's flagship project for building a new city in northwestern Saudi Arabia.

In light of this, and since the article was published on Al-Arabiya, a prominent Saudi website, many considered it a trial balloon sent up by the Saudi decision-makers to gauge the public reaction to the solution it proposes for the Palestinian problem.

While Al-Shihabi's article prompted no response from Arab officials, it evoked intense reactions on social media, most of them attacking him and accusing him of promoting the position of the Israeli political right, of endorsing the idea of Jordan as an alternative Palestinian homeland, and of attempting to eliminate the Palestinian cause and the right of return at Jordan's expense. Among the critics were no few journalists, analysts and academics from the Arab world and beyond. Al-Shihabi replied to his critics, prompting a heated debate on Twitter.

Responses to Al-Shihabi's suggestion also appeared in the Jordanian press, both state-run and independent. The responses called it a conspiracy and a betrayal of the Palestinians and Jordan. Some of the writers regarded his article as a message from the Saudi regime to Jordan.

Surprisingly, the press in other Arab countries largely ignored Al-Shihabi's article, including the Palestinian press. Although the article includes a far-reaching solution to the Palestinian problem, the Palestinian papers published only a handful of responses to it. Two Palestinian journalists attacked Al-Shihabi and described his article as another indication that the Gulf states have abandoned the Palestinians to their fate and are willing to eliminate the Palestinian cause.

On June 17, 2022, the online daily Raialyoum.com reported that, in response to a torrent of furious responses received at the Al-Arabiya office in Amman, the channel had announced that it would publish on its website any article by a Jordanian writer responding to Al-Shihabi's proposal. Also according to the report, Al-Arabiya unofficially conveyed to the Jordanians that the article did not represent the position of the channel or its management, but only the opinion of its author.
Lebanese Maronite patriarch calls for 'final solution' for Palestinian refugees
Lebanon's Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi called on Saturday for the deportation and resettlement of Palestinian refugees with the help of the international community, stressing that Lebanon must consider its own national interests.

"We are with you, dear brothers, and we call on the international community to relieve Lebanon, which is exhausted economically and living difficultly, by finding a final solution to the presence of Palestinian refugees and displaced Syrians on Lebanese soil," said al-Rahi after a meeting of the Patriarchal Synod.

"The human and brotherly feelings that we have for these two brotherly peoples do not negate the nationalist thinking in the interest of Lebanon," added the patriarch. "It cannot be accepted that many parties, especially at the international level, consider refugees and displaced persons as a reality that must be adapted to the point of integration, settlement and naturalization."

"Final solution"
"How can these countries claim their concern for Lebanon's independence and stability, and work to undermine its unity?" questioned al-Rahi, stressing that accepting the presence of refugees as a fait accompli undermines Lebanon's unity and must be confronted.

The patriarch called for the Lebanese government to hold talks on the matter with the Palestinian Authority, Arab League, United Nations and other major countries on resettling the refugees to countries that are "capable of accommodating them demographically and ensuring a dignified human and social life for them."
Colombia’s elected president once compared Israel to Nazis
Colombia’s warming ties with Israel seem set to take a significant hit with the presidential election victory of leftist former rebel Gustavo Petro, an outspoken critic of Israel who has compared treatment of the Palestinians to the “discrimination” suffered by Jews at the hands of the Nazis.

“The State of Israel is one thing and the Jewish religion is another, just as the Colombian State is one thing and the Catholic religion another,” Petro tweeted in 2019. “Confusing state and religion is typical of the archaic mentality. The State of Israel discriminates against Palestinians like the Nazis discriminated against Jews.”

Petro had also been a vocal opponent of the 2017 United States decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and accused the Israel Defense Forces of carrying out a “massacre” against Gazans during violent border protests against the US embassy transfer in May 2018.

According to a 2014 article in Colombia’s El Tiempo (in Spanish), Israel’s embassy in Bogota publicly rebuked Petro, then mayor of the capital, for publishing false pictures that he claimed were of Gazans killed by Israel during the month-and-a-half-long war between the IDF and the Hamas terror group that year in the Gaza Strip.

“False and manipulated images of what is supposedly happening in the Gaza Strip,” the embassy said, according to the report, adding that “most of these images are old and come from the internal conflict in Syria.”

Separately, Petro tweeted a photo of an anti-Israel protest in Great Britain in July 2014, captioning it “London against the barbarism.”


The government was not the example of unity Bennett liked to say it was
In June 2021, there was the compromise involving legalizing the Evyatar outpost, which enraged Meretz MKs. In June 2022, segments of the Left and Ra’am would not vote in favor of the Judea and Samaria regulations, which allowed the government to have jurisdiction over Israeli citizens in areas not under Israeli sovereignty.

The coalition can point fingers at opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu and his right-wing bloc all they want – and there certainly is something deeply hypocritical about the supposedly staunchest supporters of Judea and Samaria refusing to lend a vote to keep them under control – but it is Bennett’s own coalition’s inability to “set aside disputes for the country” that nearly caused “security dangers and constitutional chaos,” as he put it in the same speech.

There is also something to be said for the fact that Bennett’s coalition represented just half of Israel’s population, and when you factor in the polls that showed Yamina and New Hope voters abandoning ship consistently from the start of this government’s year in office, then it’s probably less than half.

However you do the math, Likud and the other parties in the Netanyahu bloc still represent a sizable chunk of Israeli voters, and for all of Bennett’s talk about solving polarization, his government did nothing to reduce the fury on the Right.

Nor did Netanyahu, of course. He fed the flames at every turn, but Netanyahu wasn’t out there claiming he was uniting the people of Israel.

The real political polarization in Israel of late is not just Right and Left ideological issues, it’s yes-Bibi or no-Bibi. That debate is often the ugliest, whether it’s between opposite sides of the political spectrum or intra-Right arguing.

If the last four elections in the past three and a half years were ugly and divisive, it’s hard to see how this government will have made the fifth one any less so.


Oh no, not more elections. Does Israel have too much democracy?
Israel’s government collapsed last night, marking the end of the most diverse ruling coalition in Israel’s history, and just a few days after it marked its first anniversary in office.

Naftali Bennett becomes Israel’s shortest-serving prime minister. Personally I think he has done relatively well, as I said in this short TV interview last week. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8s9h2tkHHI

But others would say his government was doomed to fail from the start and fail it did.

New elections will be held, likely on October 25, the country’s fifth election in just over three years.

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who heads Likud, Israel’s most popular political party, is favorite to win and return to office according to polls, but it’s not a forgone conclusion.

Under the outgoing coalition agreement, Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, a former news anchor turned centrist politician, becomes interim prime minister for the next few months, and will host U.S. President Joe Biden when he visits Israel in three weeks from now before Biden travels on to Saudi Arabia.

Lapid is set to become Israel’s 14th (and perhaps shortest-serving) prime minister, and the third not to come from a party which is neither Labor nor Likud.

Lapid as interim prime minister now has about four months to convince Israeli voters he should stay in the job for longer.




Police: Would-be Palestinian stabber turns himself in after having second thoughts
In June 2021, there was the compromise involving legalizing the Evyatar outpost, which enraged Meretz MKs. In June 2022, segments of the Left and Ra’am would not vote in favor of the Judea and Samaria regulations, which allowed the government to have jurisdiction over Israeli citizens in areas not under Israeli sovereignty.

The coalition can point fingers at opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu and his right-wing bloc all they want – and there certainly is something deeply hypocritical about the supposedly staunchest supporters of Judea and Samaria refusing to lend a vote to keep them under control – but it is Bennett’s own coalition’s inability to “set aside disputes for the country” that nearly caused “security dangers and constitutional chaos,” as he put it in the same speech.

There is also something to be said for the fact that Bennett’s coalition represented just half of Israel’s population, and when you factor in the polls that showed Yamina and New Hope voters abandoning ship consistently from the start of this government’s year in office, then it’s probably less than half.

However you do the math, Likud and the other parties in the Netanyahu bloc still represent a sizable chunk of Israeli voters, and for all of Bennett’s talk about solving polarization, his government did nothing to reduce the fury on the Right.

Nor did Netanyahu, of course. He fed the flames at every turn, but Netanyahu wasn’t out there claiming he was uniting the people of Israel.

The real political polarization in Israel of late is not just Right and Left ideological issues, it’s yes-Bibi or no-Bibi. That debate is often the ugliest, whether it’s between opposite sides of the political spectrum or intra-Right arguing.

If the last four elections in the past three and a half years were ugly and divisive, it’s hard to see how this government will have made the fifth one any less so.
Emily Schrader: Palestinians: LGBTQ+ not welcome here
The lead activist, the son of a Hamas commander, stated in a now viral video, “don’t test our patience” and warned that the LGBTQ+ community isn’t welcome in Palestine. Over the weekend, cars of participants in an LGBTQ+ event were also vandalized by anti-gay Palestinians.

It’s also important to note that this was not occurring in a village in the remote West Bank, but in Ramallah, which is considered to be the most developed and progressive Palestinian city.

Across the ocean, anti-Israel extremist Mohammed El Kurd, one of the activists from Sheikh Jarrah, has also begun taking heat from his own community for giving a speech at a Palestinian LGBTQ+ organization alQaws in New York and coming out in support of them.

After the organization posted his photo, Palestinian telegram channels were outraged claiming he came out as gay and called for God to “return his sanity.” Apparently in Palestine, it’s not enough to hate Israel and support terrorism if you are also gay.

While the war is being waged against Palestinians in the LGBTQ+ community in the West Bank and Gaza, intersectional activists in the West care more about attacking Israel than they do about Palestinian LGBTQ+. In fact, even Palestinian NGOs like alQaws have been criticized by gay Palestinians for focusing more on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than on supporting the community.

Activist groups like the ironically named Queers for Palestine have repeatedly used their platform and that of their activists to obsessively condemn Israel, rather than educating for tolerance and support for the LGBTQ+ community in the Palestinian territories. And while it’s possible to advocate for more than one cause at once, there is no proportionality when it comes to the criticism of Israel versus advocating for the Palestinian LGBTQ+ community.

Such obsession is the height of irony, given that many Palestinians flee to Israel due to the fact they are gay and that Tel Aviv is home to the largest Pride parade in the Middle East, with attendance above 170,000 people this last month. The anti-Israel LGBTQ+ activists may stand with Palestine but Palestine certainly doesn’t stand with them. Sadly, it’s the Palestinian LGBTQ+ community which pays the price.


PMW: Poem in PA daily to Israelis: “You will become dust”
The PA also publishes poetry in its official daily. Recently, several poems by a writer named Muhammad Al-Haifawi demonize Jews/Israelis and call to destroy Israel.

One poem predicts that “a revolution will set out against the lowly and the impure”:
“Congratulations, most holy [Jerusalem]…
From within you the revolution will set out against the lowly and the impure.
Every oppressor will be trampled, regardless of how tyrannically and recklessly he behaves
Your brave-hearted young people lived and died with heads held high
The day of victory is already near,
herald this to everyone.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 19, 2022]

Another poem referred to Israelis as “you evil ones” and foresees Israel's end:
“The day will come – you evil ones –
When you will leave the land of the rebels
And you will become dust”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 29, 2022]

A third poem, written after Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed in what the PA has termed a deliberate “assassination,” called to kill Israelis, vowing revenge for her death – “tooth for a tooth, eye for an eye”:
“Long live, long live Palestine!
O army of murderers and Nazis
We have waved the flag and sworn
Tooth for a tooth, eye for an eye
Shireen’s blood will be avenged
Because blood is a duty that must be paid”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 22, 2022]
Cops by day, terrorists by night – the PA Security Forces’ double role
Muhammad Al-Tubasi - Palestinian terrorist and member of the PA Security Forces and Islamic Jihad terror organization suspected of shooting at Israeli soldiers near Jenin on May 13, 2022, in an attack in which Israeli Police officer Noam Raz was murdered. Al-Tubasi was arrested on May 24, 2022.

Daoud Zubeidi – Palestinian terrorist and member of the PA Security Forces who shot at Israeli soldiers in Jenin on May 13, 2022. Israeli Police officer Noam Raz was murdered in the attack. Zubeidi was wounded in the exchange of fire and died of his wounds two days later.

Fathi Hazem - father of terrorist Ra’ad Hazem who murdered 3 Israeli civilians in Tel Aviv on April 7, 2022. Fathi Hazem, a member of the PA Security Forces, is suspected of providing his son Ra'ad with the weapon used in the attack and is currently a wanted fugitive.

Ra'ad Hazem - 28-year-old Palestinian terrorist who shot and murdered 3 Israeli civilians - 27-year-olds Tomer Morad and Eytam Magini and 35-year-old Barak Lufan - and wounded 14 others when he opened fire on a crowded bar on Dizengoff Street in central Tel Aviv on April 7, 2022. Hazem escaped the scene of the attack and was found hiding near a mosque in Jaffa by Israeli security forces several hours later. He opened fire on them and was killed in the ensuing shootout.

Jamil Al-Amouri, Wisam Abu Zaid, Adham Yasser Aliwi, and Tayseer Mahmoud Ayaseh – Israeli undercover forces attempted to arrest wanted Islamic Jihad terrorists Jamil Al-Amouri and Wisam Abu Zaid while they were hiding in Jenin next to a PA military intelligence building on June 10, 2021, in order to prevent the two from committing imminent shooting attacks after they had committed attacks in the previous months. The two attempted to flee, at which point the Israeli forces opened fire, killing Al-Amouri and wounding and arresting Abu Zaid. Because the Israeli forces were operating undercover, the PA Security Forces had not been notified in advance in order not to blow their cover, and as the Israeli forces were preparing to leave the area, PA military intelligence officers Adham Yasser Aliwi and Tayseer Mahmoud Ayaseh opened fire on them, apparently unaware they were Israeli security forces. The forces returned fire, killing Aliwi and Ayaseh. According to reports, video from the event shows someone at the scene shouting out to identify the Israeli undercover forces, but Aliwi and Ayaseh apparently continued to fire despite the shouts.


Hamas to restore Syria ties after 10 years of dispute, sources say
The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has decided to restore ties with Syria, 10 years after its leadership shunned Damascus over opposition to President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on a revolt against his rule, two sources within the group told Reuters.

One official who asked not to be named said the two sides have held several "high-profile meetings to achieve that goal."

A Syrian official did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Hamas leaders had publicly endorsed the revolt aimed at overthrowing Assad's dynastic rule, and left their Damascus headquarters. That angered their common ally, Iran.

Hamas's ties with Iran were later restored and officials of the Palestinian Islamist faction praised the Islamic Republic for help with building their Gaza arsenal of long-range rockets, which they used in fighting Israel.
Seth Frantzman: Iraq’s miracle: A country that no longer needs a leader or government
Iraq’s non-leader Muqtada al-Sadr, who usually makes headlines for being unwilling to actually take charge of anything despite having the support of millions of Iraqis, withdraw his party’s 73 parliamentarians from the parliament, making it harder for Iraq to form a government.

Iraq has basically been in political chaos for years. Yet the miracle of Iraq is that it continues to function, despite not really having any leaders.

In some political science classes or ideologies of anarchism, Iraq might be considered one of the first post-states, a place that exists beyond borders, showing that people can live without the need for governments. However, this breaks down when one realizes that the country has been taken over, at least in part, by Iran in the center and south, and by Turkey in parts of the north.

Between these two powerful neighbors, there are other governments, including the wealthy, stable and relatively powerful Kurdistan autonomous region. There is also the Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi, the system of militias that run parts of Iraq. There is also a competent counter-terrorism force.

So Iraq is a kind of miracle because the country has gone from once being a stable and wealthy state governed by a genocidal maniac known as Saddam Hussein, in the 1980s, to living under sanctions in the 1990s, to the US invasion of 2003, to the chaos of insurgency and then ISIS genocide in 2014, and then the current non-leadership that Iraq is living under.
Arab News: US should return to maximum pressure campaign on Iran
Regardless of who caused the nuclear deal to fall apart, the best option now is to launch a smarter and more flexible version of the maximum pressure campaign. One may argue that the Trump administration’s policy failed to pressure Iran to return to the negotiating table, but this would only be a half-truth because of the other unspoken and more important part that lies in understanding why this policy actually failed.

To begin with, it is important to note that the decision to impose the maximum pressure campaign, including reimposing all of the sanctions lifted against Iran in 2015, only occurred at the end of 2018 — and it took several months for the US administration to implement them. This is a critical point to remember when discussing the impact, as it cannot be seen immediately.

Second, less than two years after implementing this policy against Iran, Trump left the White House after losing the 2020 presidential election. This means that the policy’s time frame for implementation was limited and the promises made to Iran by the architects of the original nuclear deal, which prompted it to pursue a strategy of' “strategic patience,” made it difficult for this policy to be successful.

The third and perhaps most important point lies in the huge differences and unprecedented tensions between the US and Europe under the Trump administration, particularly the troika that participated in the nuclear deal (the UK, France and Germany). This resulted in their noncompliance with the US decision — along with the noncompliance of some of Iran’s neighbors, which conducted trade deals with Tehran — leading to the policy failing to achieve its desired results.
IAEA: Iran plans enrichment escalation

Iranian warships buzz past US ships in ‘near-miss’
American and Iranian warships had a near-miss encounter on Monday after three IRGC vessels zipped past US Army counterparts at high speed and nearly caused a crash, the US Naval Forces Central Command announced on Tuesday.

The patrol ship “USS Sirocco” and the fast transport vessel “USNS Choctaw County” in the Persian Gulf on routine transit when three Iranian boats approached the Sirocco head-on – coming within 50 yards of the Choctaw County and diverting only when the Sirocco issued an audible warning signal and deployed a warning flare.

“(The Iranian Navy) did not meet the international standards of professional or safe maritime behavior, increasing the risk of miscalculation and collision,” said US Naval Forces Central Command.

Persian Gulf tensions
Monday’s encounter was the latest in a string of incidents between the US and Iranian navy in international waters on the Persian Gulf. A group of three Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGCN) vessels harassed two US Coast Guard ships in the Persian Gulf at the beginning of April, forcing US vessels to fire warning shots at the Iranian ships.

In late March, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Hossein Salami warned Middle Eastern governments – including Israel – against any role in the Persian Gulf.

“We explicitly declare and warn that the continuation of such relations is not acceptable at all,” he was quoted as saying, referring to the Israeli naval presence in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman. “They should know that the existence of the evil Zionist regime everywhere is a cause of insecurity.”


Iranian TV Fabricates Soccer Legend Cristiano Ronaldo Declaring His Hatred of Israeli ‘Assassins’
Iran’s state television has falsely quoted Portuguese soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo as saying that he dislikes Israeli soccer fans and calls them “assassins.”

During a report that aired on June 15, Iranian state television showed a video clip of the Manchester United striker speaking, falsely translating him as saying: “Israeli football fans, for me, are the most hated. I cannot tolerate them. I won’t exchange my shirts with assassins.”

However, Ronaldo never made those remarks, news outlet Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported on Monday. Iran’s official broadcaster used footage from a 2016 video that Ronaldo recorded for Save The Children, the London-based humanitarian organization, Radio Free Europe reported. In the original English-language video, Ronaldo drew attention to the struggle Syrian children faced during that country’s brutal civil war.

“This is for the children of Syria,” Ronaldo said in the video. “We know that you have been suffering a lot. I am a very famous player. But you are the true heroes. Don’t lose your hope. The world is with you. We care about you. I am with you.”

Ronaldo was also dubbed as saying in the Iranian report: “If I say that I like the Quds occupying regime just one time, FIFA will select me as the player of the year.”






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