Thursday, August 04, 2022

From Ian:

Dennis Ross and David Makovsky: Sunni Arab Leaders Are No Longer Willing to Wait for the Palestinians
In speaking to Arab leaders of nine states in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, President Biden said that "we will operate in the context of the Middle East as it is today: a region more united than it has been in years....Increasingly, the world is seeing the Mideast through the lens of opening and opportunity."

As he told an Israeli television interviewer, "the more Israel is integrated into the region as an equal and is accepted, the more likely there is going to be a means by which they can eventually come to accommodation with the Palestinians down the road." Biden is saying that ties with the Arabs give Israel a gateway to an Israeli-Palestinian deal.

For Sunni Arab leaders, what began as under-the-radar cooperation against terror and traditional security threats is now expanding to include domestic economic needs. With Israeli business people now doing business in Saudi Arabia, albeit on second passports, the phenomena is clearly not limited to the countries that have made formal peace with Israel.

What the Palestinian leadership has failed to realize is that the needs of Arab states now mean they are no longer willing to wait for the Palestinians, particularly because they doubt the Palestinian leadership is capable of doing anything to help resolve the conflict. The continuing Palestinian public incitement against Israel, which necessarily legitimizes violence, gives the Israeli public little reason to think that the Palestinians will ever make real peace.
Israel working on 5-way summit with Abraham Accords' leaders
Some two years after the signing of the Abraham Accords that saw Israel and four Arab states announce the normalization of relations, a summit of all signatories is in the works, Israel Hayom has exclusively learned.

According to the plan that Israel is currently drafting, the heads of state of each country would participate in the high-profile gathering that would take place in one of the five countries. Several months ago Israel hosted the inaugural meeting of the Negev Forum, which saw the foreign ministers meet in Israel's southern desert. But the new summit, if it takes place, will be a-political as much as possible.

Although Israel has yet to receive a confirmation on the participation from any of the other signatories, officials in Jerusalem are proactively trying to secure a final date for the summit before the Knesset election on Nov. 1.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who has visited three of the four Arab countries as foreign minister in recent months, hopes to hold an official visit in Rabat in the coming weeks or months.
MEMRI: Senior Bahraini Journalist: The American-Israeli-Arab Negev Forum Promotes The Best Solutions For The Palestinian Issue; I Hope More Countries Will Join It
On June 27, 2022, the steering committee of the Negev Forum, comprising senior diplomats from the U.S., Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt, held its first meeting in Bahrain's capital Manama. This forum was established at the Negev Summit, which was held in southern Israel in March 2022, with the participation of the foreign ministers of Israel, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, the UAE and the U.S.

The meeting's closing statement notes the member states agreed to increase the cooperation between them, to hold annual meetings at the level of foreign ministers, and to form working groups in the spheres of clean energy, education and coexistence, food and water security, health, regional security and tourism. The participants stressed their commitment to a negotiated resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "as part of efforts to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace." They also noted that the working committees were meant to promote the wellbeing of the peoples of the region, including through initiatives to strengthen the Palestinian economy and improve the Palestinians' quality of life.[1]

At a press conference following the steering committee's meeting, 'Abdallah bin Ahmad Aal Khalifa, an undersecretary at Bahrain's ministry of foreign affairs, said that the goal of the Negev Forum is to build a regional framework for expanding the cooperation and coordination among the member states.[2] Adding that the forum is open to the participation of additional regional countries, he stressed that it is not a military forum but is intended to promote cooperation between Bahrain, Israel, Morocco, the UAE and the U.S. in order to develop the region. "The six [member] states are jointly committed to taking advantage of the numerous opportunities for cooperation between Israel and its neighbors," he said, "so as to actualize common interests and promote a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will [enable] attaining a comprehensive peace" and enhancing the quality of life and the wellbeing of the Palestinians.[3]

Against the backdrop of the steering committee's meeting, Bahraini media figure 'Ahdia Ahmed Al-Sayed, formerly the chair of the Bahraini Journalists Association, wrote an article in the Emirati daily Al-Ittihad in which she welcomed the holding of the steering committee's meeting in Bahrain. Al-Sayed, known for supporting peace with Israel, stated that, unlike those who exploit the Palestinian issue, the Negev Forum establishes ties between the Arab countries, Israel and the U.S., aspires to improve the life of the Palestinians and promotes peace between the Palestinians and Israel. Al-Sayed called on more countries to join the forum, so it can constitute the kernel of a strong regional alliance on all levels.
David Singer: UN will rue burying debate on Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine
The United Nations Security Council has lost any authority to broker an end to the Jewish-Arab conflict - after its 26th July Quarterly Open Debate: “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” proceeded for 5 hours without any speaker making reference to a new solution emanating from Saudi Arabia to resolve the 100 years-old conflict.

That Saudi solution – the merger of Jordan, Gaza and part of the 'West Bank' into one separate territorial entity to be called “The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine”- had been published on 8 June in Al Arabiya News.

The article was written by Ali Shihabi – a confidante of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman – Saudi Arabia’s next King and driving force behind NEOM – a $500 billion megacity of the future to be erected in Saudi Arabia on an expanse of land the size of Israel.

The Security Council’s silence in commenting on this Saudi solution ever since its publication has been arrogant and breathtaking. This solution offers an alternative to the solution unsuccessfully pressed by the UN for the last 29 years: The creation of a new Arab State between Israel and Jordan.

The Security Council had an obligation to notify UN member States of the emergence of this new solution since its last Quarterly Debate and encourage the members to consider its pros and cons as a replacement for the UN plan that was clearly dead in the water.

The Security Council and its vast bureaucracy could certainly not claim ignorance of this Saudi proposal.

Seth Frantzman: The Gulf is getting the air defense it needs
The US State Department has approved the potential sale of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system missiles, THAAD fire control and communication stations, and related equipment to the United Arab Emirates, Reuters reported this week. In addition, the “State Department has approved the potential sale of Patriot missiles and related equipment to Saudi Arabia in a deal valued at up to $3.05 billion,” the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

These are big deals, both in financial and strategic terms. The deal with the UAE is worth $2.25 billion, the Pentagon said. The news comes the same day as reports saying the US Army had recently tested Iron Dome at White Sands, and this just a month after the Marine Corps also tested the missile interceptor at the military testing area in New Mexico.

While these appear to be two different stories – American air defense sales to the Gulf and Israeli air defense technology being tested by the US – they are, in fact, related air defense stories.

The creation of multi-layered air defense, which Israel has pioneered, matters now more than ever. The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) in the Directorate of Defense Research and Development leads the development of Israel’s multi-tiered air defense array, based on four operational layers: Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow 2 and Arrow 3.

The US Missile Defense Agency and Israel both work on development of Arrow, and the US backs Iron Dome and David’s Sling. This is part of an even wider program of US congressional support for Israel regarding air defense and other technological partnerships. In November, the Defense Department established the US-Israel Operations Technology Working Group (OTWG) to strengthen partnerships.
Will the War in Ukraine Give a Boost to Israeli Defense Exports?
These trends reveal three things regarding Israel’s defense industry. The first is the growing need for standoff weapons, enabling warfighters to avoid getting too close to the ranges of enemy firepower.

Additionally, there is a growing need for advanced soft and hard kill active defense suites for various platforms, such as tanks and helicopters.

Thirdly, air defense requirements are diverse. The Ukrainians have a multitude of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, and not all warfighters are covered under a medium-long-range air defense umbrella.

Thus, it is unsurprising that Germany and others are showing interest in Israeli missile defense systems like the Arrow program and airborne balloon-carrying radar systems, which can detect cruise missiles and UAVs better than ground-based radars.

Meanwhile, the role of precision surface-to-surface rockets is increasing in the war, as the United States and the United Kingdom supply the Ukrainians with such systems, for example, the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS). Even though their numbers are small so far, their influence is highly significant.

Russia failed to achieve its objectives in the cyber sphere, causing limited damage to Ukraine. Ukraine’s communications networks, water, electricity, and transportation are working—which underlines the central importance of cyber defense systems.

Electronic warfare is undoubtedly growing more influential as the war progresses.

These are the essential lessons that Israel’s defense industry can take away from the war raging in Europe.
Israeli-Italian F-35 drill signifies key milestone in IAF global cooperation
The “Lightning Shield” international exercise involving F-35s from the Israeli and Italian air forces, held in late July in Israel, marked a significant moment in Israel’s military cooperation with partners, an IAF source has said.

The exercise began on July 24, when four Italian F-35 fighter aircraft entered Israeli air space and two Israeli F-35s accompanied them to Nevatim airbase in southern Israel.

It involved F-35 jets from the IAF’s 116th (“Lions of the South”) and 140th (“Golden Eagle”) squadrons, the Italian 13th Squadron, and the IAF’s Nachson 122nd squadron, which flies special mission aircraft with advanced intelligence-gathering and mission-planning capabilities onboard.

The drill helped boost the operational readiness of the IAF’s F-35 squadrons, as well as broaden its capabilities for what the IAF describes as “potential operational scenarios.”

The IAF, like the U.S. Air Force, is currently testing all F-35s in its inventory for a potential seat-ejection issue, though that is expected to be complete within days.
Jewish Agency in Russia soldiers on despite tensions, immigration surge
The Jewish Agency, which helps Jews immigrate to Israel, stands on shaky ground in Russia, as a Moscow court is set to hold a trial on its dissolution August 19. Even though it’s operating under a cloud of uncertainty, and immigration to Israel has skyrocketed, the Agency continues to operate business as usual, JNS has learned from a government source familiar with the matter.

Since the outbreak of the war on Ukraine in February, 19,100 Russians have immigrated to Israel, a leap from the 7,733 immigrants that came in 2021, according to Jewish Agency numbers. It’s not a stretch to see immigration numbers triple over those of last year by year’s end, assuming the Agency isn’t shut down.

There is no consensus as to Russia’s motives for shuttering the Agency. Some analysts have pointed to the Ukraine war, arguing that Russia is either punishing Israel for speaking out against Russia’s invasion or attempting to warn Israel about taking more concrete action in Ukraine’s favor.

Israel’s government pinned its hopes on a legal team sent to Moscow last week. The delegation held its one and only meeting so far with Russia’s Justice Ministry on Monday. Israel hoped for some insights into Russia’s concerns, but Russia made no demands—the best-case scenario as it would have signaled Russia was ready to negotiate.

“They’re not open to negotiations,” the government source, who preferred to remain anonymous, told JNS.

“The truth is Israel’s government doesn’t know what will happen. The trial opens on the nineteenth. Russia could push for the Agency’s shutdown immediately, or wait a while and then shut [it] down. Or maybe they’ll be open to the Agency’s arguments and satisfy themselves with imposing a fine. For that to happen there will need to be a political intervention,” the source said. He personally doesn’t believe the Russian Justice Ministry will take any initiative unless told to do so by the political echelon, he added.
Netanyahu Contests Kushner’s Claim on Surprising Trump With Annexation
Israel’s Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday denied claims in Jared Kushner’s upcoming memoir that his plans to annex West Bank settlements were not coordinated with former US president Donald Trump’s administration.

Trump’s son-in-law Kushner, who served as a senior advisor in the White House during Trump’s tenure, wrote in “Breaking History: A White House Memoir” that the former US president was surprised by Netanyahu’s statements on annexation that followed Trump’s “Vision for Peace” presentation in January 2020.

Kushner claims in his book that Netanyahu’s speech embarrassed Trump, recalling the former president telling him: “Bibi gave a campaign speech. I feel dirty,” referring to Netanyahu by his nickname.

However, Netanyahu claims that he let Trump know of his plans before the unveiling of the peace plan.

“The allegation that (then) prime minister Netanyahu surprised Jared Kushner and president Trump by announcing Israel’s intention to apply Israeli law to the 30 percent of Judea and Samaria envisioned in the Trump plan as sovereign Israeli territory is completely false,” a spokesperson for Netanyahu said, using the biblical term for the West Bank used by many Israeli politicians.
Pressure Kuwait to end its boycott of Israel
For the last 20 years, Israel and the pro-Israel community have been obsessively focused on the ineffectual but vocal anti-Semitic boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, known as BDS. Meanwhile, the equally unsuccessful boycott imposed by the Arab League in 1945 has remained in force and was reaffirmed this week. Most notable was that while other Gulf states are prospering thanks to trade with Israel following the Abraham Accords, Kuwait declared its commitment to maintaining its boycott of Israel.

For those unfamiliar, in December 1945, just a few months after the establishment of the Arab League, the organization declared that “Jewish products and manufactured goods shall be considered undesirable to the Arab countries.” All Arab “institutions, organizations, merchants, commission agents and individuals” were called upon “to refuse to deal in, distribute or consume Zionist products or manufactured goods.”

Note that the boycott was imposed two years before the partition resolution to establish a Jewish state. We often talk about the “new anti-Semitism” that uses the word “Zionist” as a euphemism for Jews. The Arab League made no effort to disguise its target as Jews. It explicitly used the word “Jewish” and clearly used “Zionist” as a synonym.

On Aug. 1, the Liaison Officers of the Arab Boycott Offices held their 95th meeting—yes, you read that correctly—in the 77 years the boycott has been in force, they have held more than one meeting a year. According to the Palestinian news agency, the final communiqué “affirmed the importance of reinforcing the Arab efforts and activities intended to implement the boycott of Israel” and stipulated “that boycotting the Israeli occupation and its settler-colonialism is one of the effective and legitimate means to end the occupation and salvage the two-state solution and peace process.”
UN investigator apologizes for Jewish Lobby remark
United Nations investigator Miloon Kothari apologized on Thursday for his comment that social media was largely controlled by the Jewish Lobby and emphasized that he had not meant to question Israel's status as one of the organization's 193 member states.

"It was completely wrong for me to describe the social media as being controlled largely by the Jewish lobby," Kothari said.

"This choice of words was incorrect, inappropriate, and insensitive," he added in a letter he wrote to the United Nations Human Rights Council President Federico Villegas.

'Media controlled by Jewish Lobby'
His apology came 10 days after it was reported by The Jerusalem Post that had spoken of the Jewish Lobby to the internet site Mondoweiss in a podcast that accompanied a web article on July 25. Mondoweiss had not included the Jewish Lobby quote in its article based on the podcast.

Kothai is one of three members of the UNHRC's permanent Commission of Inquiry into alleged Israeli human rights abuses.

He told Mondoweiss that “We [the COI on Israel] are very disheartened by the social media that is controlled largely by – whether it is the Jewish lobby or specific NGOs." He added that "a lot of money has been thrown into trying to discredit us."

On Friday, Villegas asked Kothari to clarify his remarks, noting that they "could reasonably be interpreted as the stigmatization of the Jewish people, which, as all are aware, is at the heart of any expressions of antisemitism."

At least 18 countries, including the United States, have disavowed Kothari's remarks as antisemitic, as has the European Union and the office of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

UN Watch rejects Kothari’s whitewash letter, demands Pillay inquiry be disbanded
The independent non-governmental organization UN Watch rejected the attempt by UN investigator Miloon Kothari, via a letter that he sent today to the head of the 47-nation Human Rights Council, to keep his post on a commission of inquiry on Israel, despite remarks he made last week that were condemned worldwide as antisemitic.

“UN Watch rejects Mr. Kothari’s attempt to whitewash his use of a notorious antisemitic trope that throughout history has sparked deadly pogroms and worse, and his literal questioning of Israel’s membership in the UN. His request for the president of the Human Rights Council to ‘enable and protect’ the inquiry should be turned down,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

“Mr. Kothari is the first UN investigator in the history of the United Nations to be called out for antisemitism by the head of the Human Rights Council, the Secretary General, together with Britain, France, Germany, the US and 14 other countries. He has disgraced the council, and cast a shadow upon the United Nations as a whole. That Mr. Kothari is clinging to his post after he obliterated any semblance of the impartiality legally required for a UN investigator, shows that is also without self-awareness or shame.”

“Mr. Kothari has disgraced and disqualified himself, and must leave immediately. The other commissioners, Navi Pillay and Chris Sidoti, who have expressed similarly toxic public statements, are no better. The entire commission, created last year at the behest of Pakistan and the PLO, must be disbanded,” said Neuer.
Hillel Neuer on Israeli TV: Democracies Denounce Antisemitic U.N. Commissioner
Interviewed by Lital Shemesh, UN Watch's Hillel Neuer called for the mandate of the UN’s antisemitic commission of inquiry on Israel to be terminated. Last week, commissioner Miloon Kothari ranted about “the Jewish lobby,” for which he has been condemned by virtually every major democracy. The others on the commission, including chairwoman Navi Pillay, doubled down and fully backed Kothari. Neuer called for the bigoted commission to be completely disbanded.

Anti-Israel Dems Can’t Stop Blaming Their Primary Losses on the Jews
For the second time in a year, anti-Israel Democrats found themselves on the losing end of a bitter primary battle and rushed to blame the Jews.

On Tuesday night, pro-Israel Rep. Haley Stevens cruised to a 20-point win over fellow Michigan Democratic representative Andy Levin, who has championed legislation to restrict military aid to the Jewish state, argued that anti-Semitism is not an issue on the left, and aligned himself with his party's most radical, anti-Semitic members. As a result, pro-Israel group AIPAC spent to boost Stevens and oppose Levin through one of its newly formed political action committees, the United Democracy Project—prompting Levin's far-left allies to blame the so-called Israel lobby following the congressman's defeat.

"Squad" acolyte and twice-failed congressional candidate Nina Turner, for example, quickly said, "AIPAC bought another seat." Turner herself blamed her 2021 congressional loss on "evil money" after pro-Israel Democrats backed her primary opponent. Liberal anti-Israel group J Street also denounced AIPAC's "aggressive outside spending," which it called "harmful and unwelcome." J Street's statement did not mention its own outside spending in the race—the group dropped more than $700,000 to oppose Stevens.

AIPAC, of course, was not the only outside group that backed Stevens in the race. Pro-abortion giant EMILY's List endorsed Stevens over Levin and spent more than $3 million to support the congresswoman through its own PAC, Women Vote!

While Levin did not mention AIPAC by name in his concession statement, the Democrat did attack what he called a "largely Republican-funded campaign set on defeating the movement I represent no matter where I ran." In response, AIPAC said it was "proud" to have "helped pro-Israel Democrats prevail over detractors of the Jewish state" and accused its critics of hypocrisy.

"A double standard is applied to us when it comes to money in politics," the group's spokesman, Marshall Wittmann, told the Washington Free Beacon. "Those who criticize our involvement often hypocritically support the use of the same tools against pro-Israel candidates."

US District Court in DC awards judgment to families of terrorism victims
Three families of American citizens whose loved ones were murdered by Hamas in Israel have been awarded a judgment against the Iranian and Syrian governments by the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

The plaintiffs include the family of Taylor Force, a West Point graduate and business student who was stabbed to death by a Hamas terrorist in Tel Aviv in March 2016.

What were the families awarded?
The awards were for $171,403,803 in compensatory damages and an additional $342,807,606 in punitive damages.

In addition to the family of Force, the plaintiffs included the families of former school principal Richard Lakin, who was murdered by two Hamas terrorists on a Jerusalem bus in October 2015, and the family of Avraham Moses, a 15-year-old high-school student who was shot to death in Jerusalem in 2008.

The families were represented by attorneys Robert J. Tolchin of New York and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Israel.

The court found that Iran and Syria had provided material support to Hamas, making the two countries indirectly liable to the plaintiffs for the pain, suffering and emotional distress caused by the murder of their family members in Israel.

The court said that financial support, weapons and training provided by Iran and Syria were crucial factors in aiding and abetting Hamas’s abilities to target innocent civilians, and that this long pattern of egregious conduct by the defendants merited the imposition of punitive damages.

Ha'aretz: Life in Gaza Improving as More Palestinians Work in Israel
Today, about 14,000 Palestinians from Gaza have permission to work in Israel. Barring any new military escalation with Hamas, that number is expected to grow to 20,000 or even 30,000. To date, no Gaza worker has taken part in attacks on Israelis. Should this occur, everyone knows that the program will be rolled back. The average pay for a worker in Gaza is $1.77 a day. In Israel, the lowest salary for a Palestinian is $89 a day, and many earn a lot more than that. A Gazan with a work permit can rise to the top of Gaza's middle class in a flash.

Recently, the distress of day-to-day life in Gaza has eased with the electricity supply doubling to 12 hours a day. Israel has upgraded its ability to inspect goods crossing into Gaza using advanced technology, which has allowed larger quantities to enter. Many obstacles have been overcome that previously prevented critical projects, such as developing desalination facilities and upgrading the fishing and farming industries.

The Egyptians are more closely searching goods entering through the Rafah crossing and investing more resources in deterring the smuggling tunnels running into Gaza from Sinai. The Israeli Navy's blocking of Palestinian efforts to smuggle anti-tank missiles into Gaza on fishing boats last month reflects Hamas' difficulties in using the tunnels.
PMW: Father of 17-year-old thanked Allah 6 times for his son's Martyrdom
Video and text posted on the Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture

Posted text on Facebook page: “Watch: The father of Martyr Dirar Al-Kafrini (i.e., terrorist, shot at Israeli forces): My son always wished for Martyrdom”

The video is from Fatah-run Awdah TV.
Text on screen: “The father of Martyr Dirar Al-Kafrini: ‘My son always wished for Martyrdom’”
Father of terrorist Dirar Al-Kafrini: “By Allah, praise Allah Master of the Universe. I expected this [my son’s death]. Praise Allah Master of the Universe, [my son] he asked for Martyrdom and got it. Praise Allah Master of the Universe. Dirar was beloved in a way that cannot be imagined, all the young people loved him. He would tell me: ‘Dad, I want to die as a Martyr, I want to die as a Martyr, I want to die as a Martyr.’ And I told him: ‘My son, Allah willing, may Allah designate you [for Martyrdom].’ Everyone wants to die as Martyrs, praise Allah Master of the Universe…
It's something natural, I want to say that the news [about his death] is a bit difficult, but praise Allah Master of the Universe. Our Lord will help, and praise Allah Master of the Universe.”
[Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, Aug. 2, 2022]

Dirar Al-Kafrini – 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist and member of the Islamic Jihad terror organization who shot at Israeli forces arresting senior Islamic Jihad terrorists in Jenin on Aug. 1, 2022. The soldiers returned fire, killing Al-Kafrini.

Senior Islamic Jihad official: We will bomb the center of Israel
Israel’s military is bracing for an attack near the border with Gaza, but other areas might be at risk as well.

Khaled al-Batsh, head of the politburo of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, told The Media Line that central Israel is under threat by his organization.

“We have every right to bomb Israel with our most advanced weapons, and make the occupier pay a heavy price. We will not settle for attacking around Gaza, but we will bomb the center of the so-called State of Israel,” Batsh said.

In an interview with The Media Line on Wednesday, Batsh made it clear that Islamic Jihad intends to retaliate for the arrest of its West Bank commander, Bassam al-Saadi, late on Monday night. “The Palestinian Islamic Jihad can’t sit silent and watch the Israeli crimes, and the spilling of Palestinian blood in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip,” he said.

Batsh also denied that Hamas is trying to prevent the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) from attacking Israel, stating that contact between the organizations is ongoing. “No one attempts to stop us from using our right to stop the Israeli crimes,” he said.

“Our goal is to make the occupation pay for its crimes, and to prove that the Islamic Jihad will keep to its commitment to protect the Palestinian people and the resistance anywhere,” he added.

MEMRI: Editorials In Pakistani Dailies On Killing Of Al-Qaeda Leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri: 'Can We Then Expect A More Persistent Policy Of U.S. Attacks On Afghanistan?'; 'Until... The Core Issues [Of Kashmir And Palestine] Are Addressed, Many More Zawahiris Will Continue To Emerge'
Following the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri in a U.S. drone strike on July 31, 2022, in Kabul city, Pakistani dailies wrote editorials, giving mixed reactions to the elimination of the jihadi terror mastermind.[1] Editorials titled "End Of Zawahiri" and "Zawahiri's End" in the English-language dailies The News and Dawn, respectively, noted that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Afghan Taliban jihadi organization now in power) has continued to host Al-Qaeda, which threatens the region.

"Terrorism Is A Global Threat But The Presence Of Al-Qaeda Leadership In Afghanistan Is Also A Threat To The Region; Pakistan Will Need To Be Ever More Vigilant"

Following are excerpts from the editorial in The News:
"There is now the question of the impact this drone strike will have on the region. The Taliban have condemned the drone attack and called it a 'clear violation' of the Doha Agreement by the U.S. authorities. On the other hand, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has accused the Taliban of 'hosting and sheltering' Al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan and 'grossly' violating the Doha Agreement.

"The Taliban have also invoked international principles and said that such actions are 'against the interests of the U.S., Afghanistan and the region.' For a very long time American drone attacks have also led to greater militancy arriving in the region. The U.S. says no other casualties occurred in the attack which killed Zawahiri...

"The other issue that comes up is whether it means that Taliban in Afghanistan are once again protecting Al-Qaeda leaders as they had done during their previous tenure in power before 2001. If this is the case, can we then expect a more persistent policy of U.S. attacks on Afghanistan? And does the U.S. intend to engage in the 'War on terror' in Afghanistan post-withdrawal from the skies. For the moment, we do not know if other Al-Qaeda targets have been located in Afghanistan and how the U.S. will respond if they are found, or if the policy of drone attacks will be expanded in some way.

"It is unfortunate that a country that is battling poverty, drought, famine, and many other issues, is under a regime that may have been 'hosting' a wanted terrorist on its soil when it needs the international community on its side so that some relief can be given to its beleaguered people. Terrorism is a global threat but the presence of Al-Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan is also a threat to the region. Pakistan will need to be ever more vigilant."

"Zawahiri's Killing Should Not Be Seen As A Great Victory Against Terrorism, Mainly Because Of The Largely Dormant Nature Of Al-Qaeda"

EU: Last-Ditch Effort to Salvage Iran Nuclear Deal
The European Union has presented Iran with a new draft text that aims to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. The document, which has not been made public, presumably offers additional concessions to coax Tehran into rejoining the agreement.

In May 2022, for instance, Iran reached a new dangerous and destabilizing threshold: its stockpile of uranium enriched to 60% reached 42 kilograms, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In June, Iran removed 27 surveillance cameras from its nuclear facilities. The move came after the IAEA censured Iran for not answering questions about uranium traces found at three undeclared sites.

The EU's continued appeasement of Iran also comes amid a violent crackdown against civil society in the country. Human rights groups have blasted the EU for its unwillingness to hold the Iranian government to account.

The EU appears to be sacrificing human rights on the altar of financial gain.

"If we simply cling to the idea that continued negotiations will somehow lead to resolution, we'll be sleepwalking as we did with Russia, allowing a hostile power to take advantage of diplomacy while pursuing increasingly aggressive actions against us and our allies.... " — Nicola Beer and Peter Neumann, "Iran: Time for a Plan B," Politico, July 21, 2022.

Iranian journalist speaks out after gunmen arrested outsider her house
Iranian journalist and dissident Masih Alinejad speaks to host Laura Cellier after a gunman was arrested with an AkK-47 outside her house last week

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