Tuesday, August 23, 2022

From Ian:

Arabism, Islamism, and Iranian Hegemony
The so-called Arab Spring was supposed to topple the Arab post-colonial regimes and replace them with regimes adapted to the reality of the 21st century, regimes with a social appeal, with an Arab and Islamic identity, and definitely anti-Western.

This transformation did not occur. Instead, Arab regimes were confronted with two main threats: radical Islam and Iranian hegemony. In the struggle against Islamic radicalism, some Arab regimes did not hesitate to call for assistance from foreign powers (Russia, China, or the United States) which had no colonial past in the area. Some even turned to former colonial powers such as France and the UK in order to survive the surging wave of radical Islam.

Some went as far as calling for neighboring Arab powers (Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Bahrain) and peripheral powers in the Middle East (Turkey and Iran) to assist them in blocking the assault on their defenses by Islamic radicals associated with al- Qaeda, the Islamic State (Daesh) and the Muslim Brotherhood.

A decade later, Libya is the only Arab country whose regime did not survive. It transformed into a failed state, divided between rival factions, and whose south is controlled mainly by radical Islamists.

Libya is not the only failed state. Lebanon also descended into that status for different reasons and joined the dubious club. It is struggling to survive as a nation.

The main reasons for Libya’s disintegration are the struggle between its two main geographical divisions – Tripolitania and Cyrenaica – over the control of the state, and a struggle between competing tribes in which foreign powers try to impose their influence. Lebanon, on the other hand, is the victim of its ill-born confessional and sectarian body politic mixed with corruption, mismanagement, and the inability to confront external state subversion.

The Islamic State (Daesh) as a state was defeated by a multinational coalition which included archenemies and sworn rivals such as Iran, the United States, and Turkey. However, Daesh is still present in the region, fed and nurtured by the historical schism between Sunnis and Shiites. This applies in particular to Syria and Iraq, where Daesh still enjoys a safe haven among the Sunni population and the previous political elite who refuse to surrender to being ruled by Shiite/Iranian-oriented regimes.

In deep correlation with the Sunni reaction to the change of regime in Iraq that was the catalyst to creating Daesh, the Arab world sought the dismantling of the Muslim Brotherhood, the champions of political Islam. The Brotherhood was considered a dominant force, even regarded by the Obama administration as worthy of inheriting vacillating and corrupt Arab regimes, together with fringe radical Sunni movements linked to al-Qaeda or to Daesh. The Arab regimes rose to overcome the radical Islamic wave and maintain their traditional rule except for the U.S.-imposed regime in Iraq and the disintegration of Libya under the strike forces led by the West and mainly by France.
MEMRI: Stalingrad Of The Arabs
These factions were able to flourish to a certain extent, as parasites on a host, for years in Lebanon. Not only did the PLO (Arafat's Fatah) have its own "state within a state" in Lebanon, but so did the other principal Palestinian factions such as the PFLP and DFLP, funded by regimes like Qaddafi's Libya, have their own mini-entities with armies, propaganda outlets, and diplomatic offices. Israel failed to achieve its ambitious goals to remake Lebanon, but the PLO would mostly move on as part of a process that would in the end allow it to return to Palestinian territory as part of the Oslo Accords with Israel in 1993. The great return was not in spite of Israel; it was because of Israel.

There are still Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and, of course, Palestinian fighters in them, but summer 1982 would be the end of one phase and the beginning of another. After having been defeated by King Hussein in Jordan in Black September 1970, the PLO had recovered in Beirut and increasingly made it their own. Initially hesitant to get involved in internal Lebanese issues, such is the Palestinian narrative, that would change in time. In 1978 Arafat had reviewed his forces during a four-hour military parade held in Beirut's municipal sports stadium to celebrate the PLO's 13th anniversary. Beirut became the "Palestinian Hanoi" because Lebanon was weak and could not prevent it, according to PLO leader Shafiq Al-Hout. It should have been Damascus but the Assad regime was not going to give the Palestinians "the decision-making power of war and peace."[4]

Arafat's departure from Beirut in August 1982 is a convenient segue from the Palestinian phase of Lebanon's conflicts to what would eventually become its Syrian/Iranian/Hezbollah phase. The date is more symbolic than anything else, Arafat attempted to re-establish himself in the Northern Lebanese city of Tripoli in 1983[5] and in 1984 pro-Syrian Shia militiamen fought against pro-Arafat PLO fighters in the brutal, so-called "War of the Camps."[6] Unlike the 1982 siege of Beirut, these sordid sieges would not be romanticized.

The PLO had provided safe haven for Iranian revolutionaries in Lebanon and trained some of the first Lebanese Shia fighters. One year after Arafat's departure, it would be a joint operation by Iranian and Syrian intelligence under the guise of "Islamic Jihad" that would strike at American and French peacekeepers in Beirut. The key figure in this organization – a cutout for what would become Hezbollah – and in the bombing of the U.S. Marines and French paratroopers was young Imad Mughniyeh, the Lebanese Shia who joined Arafat's Fatah as a teenager and served in Force 17, Arafat's own elite security force.[7] Mughniyeh had also fought in the defense of West Beirut against the Israelis in 1982 and was behind the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983, among other notorious attacks.[8]

The "Stalingrad of the Arabs" concept, the idea that anything is worth sacrificing for the sake of the Palestinian Revolution is a hardy perennial in Arab and Islamic politics. Not only was King Hussein's Jordan supposed to be sacrificed to the cause, so was Lebanon. The Paris of the East was to become the Arab Hanoi, the pulsing heart of a revolution. In the eyes of Gamal Abdel Nasser, Assad, Qaddafi, and the Palestinians, Beirut was eminently "expendable" for the great Arab Nationalist cause.

By 2016, with Syria experiencing its own Civil War, Omran Al-Zoubi, Information Minister in the Assad regime, would describe Syria itself as the "Stalingrad of the Arabs," supposedly fighting in the rubble against "Nazism, fascism and against the new Wahhabism of this age."[9] Today, despite several Arab peace deals with Israel, there are several candidates for the next Arab Stalingrad against the Israelis, the next sacrificial victim to be offered up as legendary urban battlefields for the great Revolution.[10] They are to be found in the so-called "Axis of Resistance": in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and, of course, in Gaza, all in conjunction with the Islamic Republic of Iran working through its proxies.[11] The list of expendable places and people has grown.
PMW: Why is Germany still funding the PA and PLO?
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was quick to condemn the statement of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who accused Israel of “committing 50 holocausts.” But if Scholz is truly disgusted by Holocaust distortion, he should immediately announce that Germany will cease all its aid to the Palestinians until they publicly commit to eradicating all forms of Holocaust distortion and misappropriation.

As Palestinian Media Watch has conclusively shown, Abbas and other PA, PLO, and Fatah leaders regularly distort the Holocaust, accuse Jews and Israel of acting like the Nazis, and invoke Nazi terminology to describe the alleged actions of Israelis towards the Palestinians.

Abbas’ Fatah Movement even made an antisemitic educational documentary depicting the Holocaust, in which they claim that the Jews placed themselves in ghettos “out of arrogance and disgust for non-Jews,” and that in these ghettos they “schemed to exploit the others' material and human resources.” The Jews, according to Abbas’ Fatah, were hated “because of their racism and their filthy behavior.” Fatah added that during the Holocaust the rich Jews “led the project to enslave humanity and exploit it, while trading in the blood of their own people, enjoying their weakness, and creating ties with those [Nazis] who burned them, in order to turn them into a tool of production and to accumulate wealth.”

Narrator: "In Europe, the [Jewish] tribe established camps and residential areas, crowded ghettos in order to separate from other people out of arrogance and disgust for non-Jews, who do not reach their status, and who according to their [Jews’] worldview are snakes and sons of snakes. There [in the ghettos] they schemed to exploit the others' material and human resources... The people of the world began to hate the [Jewish] tribe’s ghettos and the warehouses for export of hate and exploitation. [The Jews] were hated because of their racism and their filthy behavior ... Zionism was born from the womb of exploitation, while taking advantage of this hatred [towards the Jews] and turning it once again into a colonialist tool. The rich people of the [Jewish] tribe led the project to enslave humanity and exploit it, while trading in the blood of their own people, enjoying their weakness, and creating ties with those [Nazis] who burned them, in order to turn them into a tool of production and to accumulate wealth... Seventy years have passed since the artificial state’s [Israel’s] establishment, and all the theories of modernization and development have not removed the idea of superiority, the idea of [racial] purity, and the idea of enslaving the peoples from the [Jewish] tribe’s mind. They [the Jews] have not removed from their consciousness the view of the other as inferior and the right to spill the blood of the nations… They again swear to themselves: 'There is no law and no order. There is no equality and no justice. We [Jews] are a nation that is above the [other] nations. We are the people that was chosen by God - we use holy violence. Only we are people, and all the others are our animals.'”

[Official Fatah Facebook page, July 15, 2019]


A small sample of the scores of instances documented by PMW in which the PA/PLO/Fatah or their leaders misappropriated, distorted, and invoked the Holocaust to attack Israel can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Despite the multiple similar “outrageous remarks” made by the PA/PLO/Fatah organizations and their leaders in the past, Germany is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, donors of aid to the PA/PLO.

According to the EU aid tracker, from 2011 through 2020 Germany was the biggest EU donor country to the Palestinians, donating over 1.3 billion euros.

In fact, according to the EU, annual German aid to the Palestinians via the EU mechanisms grew from 83.44 million euros in 2015 to 197.6 million euros in 2020.

And the German aid to the PA/PLO/Fatah and the Palestinians keeps flowing.


Israel is going back to the 1947 Partition Plan
Israel is gradually being reduced to what was originally planned under the 1947 Partition Plan, but this time it the government's own making. It is also because the Israel Land Authority, which decides on zoning matters, is blinded by its pursuit of profit rather than national interests.

It has made it all but impossible to expand Jewish communities in the Galilee, but at the same time greenlighted an unprecedented plan to bolster Arab villages and cities in the same area. The Arab city of Sakhnin will double in size by 2040, as will several other Arab communities nearby. Meanwhile, the applications by Jewish communities to develop their by expanding their urban footprint have been rejected time and again. In southern Israel, polygamous marriages between local Arab residents and Palestinian women have sucked the state's resources for funding of social services, with fake divorces that follow.

Most of the Israeli public is not fully aware of the extent of the land grab of the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria, nor are Israelis aware of the massive funding the EU provides for elements that promote this effort, with the goal of establishing a Palestinian state on the majority of the land there.

If Israel doesn't wake up, its eastern border will be Route 6. The so-called "security-oriented political center" have been warning of a binational state but in practice has been championing of a policy that would keep Jewish presence largely along the coast rather than have a contiguous Jewish presence on the real eastern border, the Jordan Valley, and the Judea Desert.
"Tel Aviv Mayor Slammed for Cutting Judea and Samaria Off Israel’s Map"
Several leaders from Judea and Samaria expressed rage following reports that Tel Aviv’s Mayor Ron Huldai has given school in his municipality maps of Israel that did not include Judea and Samaria and that showed the Green Line as Israel’s border, in defiance of the Ministry of Education’s position on the matter.

Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Ne’eman stated Tuesday that Huldai “refers to a line that is not relevant either to the reality on the ground or to the Israeli public consciousness.”

“Let’s recall that Huldai, who tried in the previous elections to appeal to the national arena, failed and resigned because he did not receive the trust of the general public in the Knesset elections, now, he is trying from his seat in Tel Aviv to establish the consciousness regarding the inheritance of our ancestors,” Ne’eman charged.

Huldai planned to run for the Knesset in the 2021 election as part of a new left-wing party named The Israelis but later announced that the party would run having failed to reach an electoral agreement with other parties.

However, “in one thing Huldai is right,” Ne’eman said, “in that he raises the need to apply sovereignty to Judea and Samaria, in which tens of thousands of Jews live as second-class citizens, when any mindless person can decide to remove them from the map at any time.”

Oded Revivi, the head of the Efrat Council, said that the students of the schools in Efrat will visit Tel Aviv during the coming school year “even though the mayor of Tel Aviv doesn’t like us that much, as it turns out, or sees us as non-legitimate residents of Israel. We will come, (without a passport) to get to know the first Hebrew city… we will learn where It all started… sorry, mistake, it started a little before… in places like Efrat, for example, with Rachel the Matriarch. Whenever we come to Tel Aviv to visit, we will remember where it all really started. Thanks to Huldai for reminding us.”
Let the Palestinian Authority wither
The defense and security establishment has to restrict the "Authority's" ability to bite, and not dismiss its danger because of its current weakness. Even now, it is more dangerous to Israel than Hamas is – it can be more effective than Hamas politically and could be the nexus of an attempt to force us back to the Oslo trap.

Israel was tempted to accept help from the "Authority" in preventing terrorism. In exchange, Israel defended it against its rivals and lobbied to have superpowers keep funding it. And what will we do tomorrow when the Fatah, the terrorist organization that lies at the heart of the "Authority," crumbles into gangs that fight each other and other gangs? Which gang will we defend then?

This is a dubious path of perpetuating the conflict, and the security apparatus has clung to it through pointless conservatism. There are even Israelis who think, in pathological detachment from reality, that we need to go back to trying to turn the collapsing "Authority" into a state – just like gamblers will double down.

How will this prevent the process of the PA breaking apart into gangs? It's already begun – the PA is weak in Judea and Samaria, and maybe even in Ramallah. How will it keep buses from blowing up? We must extract ourselves from the Oslo conservatism that still influences the establishment that Benny Gantz represents.

It would be better to allow the pathetic, corrupt, and evil "Authority" to die, and let the Arabs in the territories, if they way, rule themselves without solutions from a terrorist organization.

We can and should use force to stop Hamas, Fatah, and groups like them in Judea and Samaria, just like we hit them hard during Operation Guardian of the Walls, without traitorous agents who do more damage than they help us.

As of now, the separation between the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria is convenient for us. We won't start with Gaza, we just won't interfere as the "Authority" falls apart, which it's doing voluntarily. Obviously, anti-terror activity will have to be stepped up in Judea and Samaria both before and after that happens.

This is feasible and will entail fewer casualties than the passivity we exhibited 20 years ago, until we were forced to launch Operation Defensive Shield. After the "Authority" disappears, we can attack Hamas in Gaza through a determined, patient campaign, with a clear if distant strategic goal – a sub-state that is incapable of attacking us.
MEMRI: Saudi Journalist: U.S. Uses Terror Organizations To Promote Its Policies
On August 3, 2022, following the August 1 killing of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, journalist Hamoud Al-Taleb wrote in his column in the Saudi daily 'Okaz that the U.S. uses terror organizations, especially Al-Qaeda, to its own political ends. Throughout the Americans' stay in Afghanistan, he said, they had the technological means the and intelligence information to eliminate Al-Qaeda's leaders and fighters there and to thwart their terror attacks, yet they did not do so. Instead, they let Al-Qaeda carry out operations they knew about in advance, and eliminated the terrorists only after they had fulfilled their function.

The following are translated excerpts from his column:[1]
"The world media had nothing [to report] on Monday [August 1, 2022] except for the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri in Kabul. The world waited for [U.S.] President [Joe] Biden to confirm it, as the only figure officially authorized to confirm this sort of report. Biden indeed came forward… and confirmed it in a speech which expressed America's [sense of] triumph and vengeance for the September 11 attacks and for the other Al-Qaeda operations that preceded and followed it. Al-Zawahiri thus joined [Al-Qaeda's] previous leader, Osama bin Laden, and other terror leaders whom the U.S. eliminated all of a sudden at a time of its own choosing.

"[But] ever since America invaded Afghanistan after the September 11, [2001] attacks, this entire country had been under America's microscope, [and under the eye of] its intelligence apparatuses, its army, its agents, its spies, its satellites and its advanced surveillance mechanisms. Therefore, all the Al-Qaeda activists – including its leaders, from the first generation of leaders until the contemporary ones – were under surveillance. Their homes, hideouts and movements were all under surveillance. Their [planned] terror operations were probably monitored as well, yet the U.S. allowed them to occur, so as to enable a response and use these terror operations, or the people who led them, for political ends inside and outside the U.S.

"America could have caught them all, but it did not want to. [The terrorists] are created in order to carry out specific plans. Only once their role is done are they eliminated, along with all the information and secrets they possess, at a particular time that suits a specific situation. Thus, instead of giving rise to important and significant questions, the elimination of terror leaders arouses [only] amazement and wonder at the technological accuracy of the drones and Hellfire missiles. The world's fear of the ongoing terror is thus transformed into a long American Hollywood series with an unlimited number of episodes."


White collar terrorism: Security analyst explains Israel's move to blacklist Palestinian NGOs
While European leaders say Israel has not provided sufficient evidence to prove that a number of Palestinian NGOs support terrorism, security analyst Raphael Jerusalmy explains Israel's standards for what qualifies as terror activity is stricter than Europe's.


PLO offers its Ramallah offices to NGOs shut by Israel
Ahmad Tamimi, head of the PLO’s Human Rights Department, said the department’s offices were open as temporary headquarters for the institutions closed by the Israeli authorities.

He said his department was fully prepared to provide support and assistance to the NGOs.

Shawan Jabarin, director-general of Al-Haq, condemned the Israeli decision to close the NGOs as “a political step targeting everything that is Palestinian, including the narrative, identity and existence, because civil society is part of Palestinian society.”

He said he had received a phone call from an Israel intelligence officer who summoned him for a meeting. The officer warned him not to violate the order to close the NGOs, Jabarin said.

Murad al-Sudani, secretary-general of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, said the closure of the NGOs was an assault on all Palestinians, which “requires unity in confronting it through the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”

On Saturday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with representatives of the NGOs in his office and told them the Palestinians rejected the Israeli decision.

“These human-rights institutions will continue their work to expose the occupation and its crimes against our people, because these institutions operate according to Palestinian law,” he was quoted as saying by Wafa, the PA’s official news agency. “We must all stand together and confront this Israeli policy that insists on moving forward with the policy of unilateral actions, ignoring all agreements signed between the two sides and violating international law.”

The PA was holding intensive contacts with various parties to stop the Israeli “provocations” against Palestinian institutions, Abbas said.

PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh also defended the NGOS, describing them as a “major component of the Palestinian national fabric.” The NGOs were legal institutions registered with the PA government and operate within the framework of the law, he said.


BBC News 'ostrich mode' reporting on PFLP linked NGOs
The Israeli authorities do not describe the PFLP as a “militant faction” but rather as a terrorist organisation that is also proscribed by the EU, the US and Canada. The BBC’s all too predictable avoidance of accurate language clearly detracts from audience understanding of the story.

The BBC’s report promotes links to both a statement from Al Haq and a Tweet from its director. Although the the names of the NGOs involved are listed, no information is provided concerning the activities of Al Haq, Addameer, the Bisan Center for Research & Development, Defence for Children International-Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Workers Committees (UAWC) and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC) and their links to the PFLP, including active participation in a terror attack.

Readers are told that:
“In October, Israel designated six Palestinian rights organisations as terrorist groups, saying they were diverting funds to an outlawed militant faction, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which has carried out deadly attacks. […]

Israel offered no documentary evidence for the claim – telling the BBC at the time its evidence was classified.

The groups see the raids as an attempt to silence them as some back international attempts to prosecute Israel for possible war crimes.”


In other words, in the ten months which have passed since last October, the BBC appears to have made no effort to study the open-source information concerning the six NGOs it blandly portrays as “human rights and aid organisations” and whose talking points it uncritically promotes. Readers are not informed, for example, that over four years ago, some of those NGOs had credit card donations facilities withdrawn or that even Fatah describes two of them as PFLP affiliates.


Anti-Israel remarks by left-wing candidates roil Italy’s election campaign
Accusations of antisemitic and anti-Israel attitudes among several members of the left-wing Democratic Party in Italy have surfaced in recent weeks, shaking up elements of the race ahead of the country’s parliamentary election next month.

A series of old posts by younger members of the Democratic Party (PD) have resurfaced recently and been latched onto by electoral rivals, including one post accusing Israelis of behaving like Hitler and another denying the existence of the Jewish state.

The ANSA news agency reported on Monday that Youness Et Tahiri, a councillor for PD in Lavis, in northern Italy, wrote in a 2014 Twitter post that the Israelis “should be the first to understand what it means to be massacred seeing that there was a certain Hitler who exterminated them, and yet they are doing the same thing” to the Palestinians.

Alessandro Bertoldi, chair of Alliance for Israel, said in a statement to the news agency that news of Tahiri’s post marked the third day in a row of reports of “raving statements, mystification of reality, hatred for Israel and its citizens on the part of an institutional political representative.”

Last week, Raffaele La Regina, another PD candidate and head of the party’s Basilicata division in southern Italy, resigned after it emerged that he once said Israel does not exist.

In a social media post nine years ago, he compared Israel to UFOs, writing that “neither of them exist.”


Shin Bet issues ‘severe’ warning to Palestinian Authority not to interfere in Israeli elections
The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) has issued a “severe” warning to the Palestinian Authority to not interfere in Israel’s upcoming general elections, Israeli media reported on Monday.

The warning came after P.A. intelligence chief Majed Faraj met in Ramallah with leaders of the Arab-majority Joint List and encouraged them to merge with the Islamist Ra’am Party with a view to forming a large enough bloc to prevent Benjamin Netanyahu from becoming prime minister, according to Channel 12.

Ra’am broke off from the Joint List ahead of Israel’s last election and ended up crossing the electoral threshold. The party, led by Mansour Abbas, garnered four mandates and entered the governing coalition initially led by Yamina’s Naftali Bennett and currently by Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who heads the Yesh Atid Party.

The Joint List, composed of three factions, won only six seats in the 120-member Knesset in the March 2021 elections, down from 15 in the national vote the previous year when Ra’am was still part of the alliance.
IDF, police arrest 18 Palestinians, seize weapons in overnight West Bank raids
Israeli troops operated extensively throughout the West Bank overnight Monday, arresting 18 wanted Palestinians and seizing several firearms, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The IDF said that troops spotted two suspects hurling Molotov cocktails at the West Bank settlement of Migdal Oz. Soldiers dispatched to the scene detained one of the Palestinians and found a makeshift gun in the area. Another two Palestinians were detained in nearby villages overnight.

In the Palestinian town of Yatta, near Hebron, soldiers and police officers seized a makeshift “Carlo” submachine gun, arresting one person in the process.

Border Police officers detained four Palestinians in the town of Qatanna, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, for allegedly being in possession of ammunition and dozens of weapon parts.

In the northern West Bank town of Tubas, where five suspects were arrested, the IDF said troops came under fire by Palestinian gunmen, which caused damage to a military vehicle, but no soldiers were hurt. The IDF said that rocks and Molotov cocktails were also hurled at troops in the area.

The 18 suspects were taken to be questioned by the Shin Bet security agency.
Antisemitic Fatah documentary, Jews arrogant, disgust non Jews, exlpoited them, Zionism colonialist

PA security forces raid Bir Zeit University dorms, threaten students
Palestinian Authority security forces on Tuesday raided student dormitories at Bir Zeit University, north of Ramallah, as part of an ongoing crackdown on Hamas supporters in the West Bank.

The predawn raid, which drew sharp criticism from students and other Palestinians, is seen by Palestinians in the context of the dispute between the PA and Hamas, which seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

“The [Palestinian] General Intelligence officers raided the dormitories after midnight and searched some of the rooms,” one of the students told the Ultra Palestine website. “They searched my room and asked me about posters of [slain anti-corruption activist] Nizar Banat and other banners. One of the officers told me, ‘Take care of yourself; don’t cause trouble.’”

Banat, a resident of Hebron, was beaten to death by PA security forces during a raid on his home in June 2021. He was famous for posting videos on social media in which he accused PA officials of corruption.

The student, who was not identified by name, said he heard the screams of other students who were apparently beaten by the PA officers.

A representative of the Hamas-affiliated Islamic Bloc at Bir Zeit University said two of his colleagues were severely beaten by the officers during the raid. The officers also confiscated the laptops of the two students and handed them summonses for interrogation.

Bir Zeit University Student Council chairman Yahya Qarout strongly condemned the raid by the PA security forces, saying it was totally unjustified.


It’s better that I be slaughtered with knives than that the enemy will rule me”

Kid at summer camp leads chant We will die, and it will live, children respond Palestine!



Iran: No nuclear deal until IAEA closes investigations
A nuclear deal with Iran will not be implemented as long as the International Atomic Energy Agency continues to investigate undeclared nuclear sites, a spokesman for the Islamic Republic’s negotiating team said Tuesday.

“No deal will be implemented before the IAEA Board of Governors PERMANENTLY closes the false accusations file,” Seyed Mohammad Marandi tweeted.

“Iran’s nuclear program will not be dismantled,” he also wrote, even though that was not reported to be part of the deal.

The Iranian representative made the statement in response to a Reuters report that Iran had dropped its demand to close the probe. Iran did not comment on the IAEA investigation in its response to the latest draft of the nuclear deal, which it sent to the EU last week.

“Of course, this doesn’t mean Iran won’t cooperate to help close the case,” Marandi said in a subsequent tweet.

A day earlier, IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi said his agency would not end the investigation into traces of enriched uranium found in undeclared locations until Iran cooperates.

“So far, Iran has not given us the technically credible explanations that we need to explain the origin of many traces of uranium; the presence of equipment at places,” he told CNN.

“Let us have an explanation,” Grossi said. “If there was nuclear material there, where is it now? If there was equipment there, where is it now?”

Iran’s Nour News, which is tied to the Supreme National Security Council, tweeted: “The continued adoption of political approaches by the [director-general] of IAEA in a situation [in which] Western officials are optimistic about reaching an agreement shows that Raphael Grossi is still the main obstacle to the finalization of Vienna Talks, along with the Zionist regime.”

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said, “Iran needs to answer the IAEA’s questions... our position is not going to change.”


Iran deal: Israel urges France not to cave to Tehran on terms
Israel on Monday urged France and the United States not to cave to Iranian terms for the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, as the European Union waited for Washington’s response to Tehran’s demands to clinch the agreement.

“Iran cannot be allowed to endlessly buy time and receive more concessions while it advances its nuclear program and spreads terror worldwide,” Prime Minster Yair Lapid said in phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Israel would not be obligated by such an agreement, he said, adding, “Israel will continue to do everything to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear capability.”

Lapid urged Macron to clarify to the Iranians that further concessions would not be possible.
Seth Frantzman: Iran says it is major defense industry power - is it true?
Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi, in a speech at the Defense Industries Day ceremony in Iran, said that the country has become a global military power. He bragged, according to pro-Iran media reports, that "his country's achievements in the field of defense industries are achievements for all the Islamic world and lovers of the Islamic Revolution, not just for Iran."

Iran’s defense industry is a point of pride because the country is under US sanctions. The Islamic Republic has had trouble making large platforms for its defense over the years, such as planes and tanks. This means that the big items, which cost billions, are out of reach for Iranian industry. In their place, Tehran has focused on missiles and drones. Some of this technology is under the control of the IRGC for its own use and also to be moved to proxies such as Hezbollah.

What does Iran have in store?
Iran also has space and long-range rocket programs. In the past, it has relied on Russia, China and North Korea to build some of its weapons. Tehran has an impressive program in this respect, but much of the industry is not capable of being on a global footing with other similar military powers.

Iran often can’t standardize equipment or make the economy of scale necessary to really have an arms industry that is on par with Turkey, China, Israel, Russia, Germany or other countries. Nevertheless, the Iranian president praised the ability of Iranians to create an indigenous industry. Iran recently inaugurated a drone factory in Tajikistan. There are reports that Russia might want Iranian drones.

Raisi also praised the “spillover” of Iranian technological advances in the defense realm into the civilian one. Iran’s regime believes that its achievements have made it a regional and global power. This is evidenced from Iran’s movement of rocket and drone technology to Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon. Tehran also has increased its naval power. He praised the ability of the industry to make “progress in the field of defense industries, despite the pressures and sanctions of enemies."

The Iranian president stressed that "Iran's defense industries are a pride for Iran, and we are continuing the march of progress and industrial development in this field," stressing that the country "today is stronger than ever, and our enemies are weaker than ever,” according to Al-Mayadeen and Tasnim News.


Biden’s Sanction Relief Will Fund Iranian Terror Plots, Former US Official Says
The Biden administration's nuclear deal with Iran will lift sanctions on the hardline regime's government organization that funds assassination plots and puts bounties on the country's political enemies, according to a former U.S. official and Iranian government documents.

As part of the administration's efforts to secure a revamped version of the 2015 nuclear deal, the United States will unwind sanctions on an Iranian government organization called the 15 Khordad Foundation, which offers bounties for the assassination of Iran's political enemies. The foundation, for example, is behind the $3.3 million bounty on author Salman Rushdie's head, which is believed to have in part motivated the attacker who earlier this month stabbed Rushdie 10 times during a public appearance, nearly killing him.

"Biden's new Iran deal would lift sanctions on the very organizations raising bounties to kill Americans," said Gabriel Noronha, a former senior Iran adviser at the State Department during the Trump administration and now a distinguished fellow at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. "That will help Iran raise the funds to kill American dissidents and officials."

Noronha confirmed earlier this year with State Department officials that these sanctions will be lifted. Critics of the nuclear deal, including Republicans in Congress, say the Biden administration is incentivizing Iran's global terror campaign and endangering American assassination targets, including former secretary of state Mike Pompeo and former White House national security adviser John Bolton, who was recently the target of a murder-for-hire plot orchestrated by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

The 15 Khordad Foundation is best known for its decades-long bounty on Rushdie, which increased from its initial $2 million reward to $2.5 million in 1997. It rose again in 1999 to $2.8 million and then in 2012 to its present-day $3.3 million, as the organization received increased funding. The foundation receives its budget and direction from Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei's office. Nearly 6 percent of the funds included in Iran's 2021-2022 national budget went to groups like the 15 Khordad Foundation, which are exempt from taxes, financial reporting rules, and anti-corruption regulations.
Mossad 'likely' behind Salman Rushdie stabbing, claims Denver professor
The stabbing of novelist Salman Rushdie last week may have been orchestrated by the Mossad, suggested Nader Hashemi, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver, in a Saturday interview with Negar Mortazavi, host of the Iran Podcast.

Questioning the timing of the attack, Hashemi highlighted what he believed to be two possible explanations.

Did Iran try to assassinate Salman Rushdie?
Hashemi said that one possibility is that Iran wanted to take vengeance on the United States for the 2020 assassination of IRGC general Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad Airport.

"So one possible explanation," he said, "could be that after the assassination of Iran's top general in January 2020, Qassem Soleimani, Iran was looking to retaliate. And the Department of Justice, a few days before the attack on Salman Rushdie, announced that the Iranian [Islamic] Revolutionary Guard Corps were seeking to assassinate Mike Pompeo and John Bolton. So this could be one possible explanation. They couldn't go after Pompeo and Bolton, in other words, the IRGC couldn't go after those high-value targets so they chose a soft target such as Salman Rushdie. Perhaps, possibly, we don't know."






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