Thursday, August 25, 2022

From Ian:

International Crisis Group: Realigning European Policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
European policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict appears increasingly out of tune with the reality on the ground. A better approach would entail Europe abandoning its permissive approach vis-a-vis the PA leadership and taking steps to check the Palestinian Authority's authoritarian drift, while pushing for conditions that would allow for Palestinian democratic political renewal.

In April 2021, PA President Mahmoud Abbas cancelled what would have been the first Palestinian general elections in 15 years, thus ending any immediate hope of rejuvenating Palestinian leadership.

Europe could hold the PA accountable for its repression, conditioning budget support for the justice and interior ministries, for example, on benchmarks. It could redirect some funds earmarked for the interior ministry to Palestinian civil society, especially human rights watchdogs. It could more decisively put its weight behind Palestinian legislative elections.

Behind closed doors, many European officials admit that the hope for Palestinian statehood is an illusion. While continuing humanitarian and development aid to Palestinians at a level that has declined steadily since 2015, Europe has moved from efforts to build a Palestinian state to attempts at managing an ever-worsening "status quo."

Some European diplomats on the ground want a change of approach involving greater pressure on Israel. However, European leaders balk at the price of revising their bilateral relationship with Israel, especially at a time when the U.S. itself is barely engaged and influential Arab capitals are normalizing ties with Israel.

For powerful EU states like France and Germany, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict's importance pales in comparison to the war in Ukraine and the larger standoff with Russia, which they and others view as existential questions for the continent's security. They see the situation with the Palestinians as contained and not a priority.
How the Truth about the Palestinians Is Silenced
In all areas of Palestinian control, whether under Hamas or the Palestinian Authority, free speech does not exist. Journalists, officials, teachers, doctors, academics, and farmers are all forced to give the same narrative. A Palestinian who dared to speak against their leadership would be threatened, jailed, or tortured. This is the sad reality for millions of Palestinians.

This greatly affects the quality of news that British readers and viewers get from their media regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For many British journalists, a misfire by a terror organization which killed Palestinian children is not a story for them. A few explained to me that their fixers in Gaza would face dangerous consequences if they reported these facts. I can understand their fear of putting a colleague in danger of losing his livelihood or even his life.

British readers who are not exposed to Israeli media know nothing about how their news is being made, or about the terror of the Islamic Jihad and Hamas, or the system of intimidation and violent silencing of journalists. This blindspot over coverage of Palestinian violence is not only denying people from knowing the truth, but it also contributes to blocking any path forward to improving the lives of Israelis and Palestinians and bringing this conflict to an end.
Palestinian Textbooks Rife with Holocaust Denial
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas claimed in his doctorate that the Holocaust was nothing more than a "fantastic lie." The textbooks distributed to over a million students in the West Bank are rife with antisemitism, including Holocaust denial. Under Abbas' directive, the Palestinian Education Ministry implemented a comprehensive curriculum reform, with the content in school textbooks becoming significantly more radical compared to previous years.

The reworked educational material now includes calls to Jihad, violence, and incitement against Israel and Jews. Additionally, previous attempts to reach peace with Israel, such as the Oslo Accords, have been deliberately omitted from the new textbooks. The Holocaust was completely omitted from the history books that teach about World War II.

The 1972 Munich Olympics massacre of Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists is presented as an example of a legitimate Palestinian struggle. Dalal Mughrabi, who led the attack on an Israeli bus in 1978 that ended with the murder of 38 Israelis - including 13 children - is idolized as a role model in a 5th grade textbook.

Palestinian students also learn that Jews are racists who control the world's money, media and politics. The Jews are characterized as liars and corrupt, and as "enemies of Islam." Some textbooks speak openly of the genocide that is waiting for Jews at the end of days.
Bret Stephens: Will Anyone Punish Iran for Its Murderous Campaign?
The Islamic Republic of Iran did not take responsibility for the August 12 murder attempt on author Salman Rushdie in New York. But Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's 1989 fatwa against him remains in effect. In 2007, Rushdie reported that every Feb. 14 he receives a "sort of Valentine's card" from Iran recalling its promise to kill him.

On Aug. 10, the Justice Department unveiled criminal charges against Shahram Poursafi, a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, for trying to orchestrate an assassination attempt against former national security adviser John Bolton. It was reported the same day that Iran had put out a $1 million bounty for the murder of former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The Islamic Republic has been carrying out a campaign of assassination, kidnapping and intimidation of its critics from its earliest days. Those who argue that Iran was merely responding for wrongs done to it - the 2020 assassination of Maj.-Gen. Qassim Suleimani of the Revolutionary Guards, for instance - have cause and effect backward. Suleimani was targeted after a career spent killing hundreds of Americans, according to the Pentagon.

What signal does it send to Tehran that we will do nothing to punish it, and will continue to negotiate with it, even as it seeks to murder Americans on our own soil, including former senior officials?

Moreover, what do Iran's murderous tentacles reveal about the character of the regime? Advocates of a deal can tell themselves that it will have safeguards to verify compliance. But Iran has found ways to cheat, and the lifting of sanctions will provide it with a financial bonanza that it will immediately put to destructive use.

Jonathan Tobin: J Street backs terror-linked NGOs that also take Soros’s cash
That brings us back to J Street. It continues to claim that its slogan of “pro-Israel and pro-peace” allows it to better reflect the opinions of the majority of American Jews who are liberal than centrist groups like AIPAC. But the guerilla campaign that it continued to wage against the Jewish state’s policies, even during the last year when it was ruled by a multi-party coalition that included factions that share many of the lobby’s positions, showed that it has continued to move closer to the stands of the anti-Zionist groups with which it competes for the support of left-wingers who are alienated from Israel.

Taking a step back from the battles being waged by political insiders that seek to influence congress, it’s possible to see that J Street is just one element in a global alliance of left-wing groups with very different images and priorities but united by two elements: Soros’s money and hostility to Israel.

To point out this connection is not to portray the hedge-fund billionaire as a puppeteer pulling the strings of all these groups as part of a grand plan. There is no reason or evidence to think that there is any direct cooperation or coordination between all of those who take his money.

Still, it’s worth recalling that there was a time when the connection between the left-wing lobby and Soros wasn’t fully understood. In its first years of existence, the group denied that it was taking the leftist billionaire’s money. It’s never been clear exactly why they did so, but for years, that was its position. Indeed, though it came into existence at the end of 2007, when I debated Steve Masters, the chair of the national advisory board of J Street in April 2010 at a Philadelphia-area event, he outright denied that Soros’s money was involved. At the time, I said something to the effect that while I didn’t think it mattered who was giving them their money, they had better be telling the truth about it.

Within months, the fact that it had been the Hungarian-born hedge-fund operator turned philanthropist and political activist whose enormous wealth had bankrolled J Street’s startup became public knowledge when reporter Eli Lake broke the story in The Washington Times. But, as the liberal magazine The Atlantic reported, J Street then began to pretend that they had always been transparent about the funding. This was, as The Atlantic put it, at best, a matter of “half-truths and non-truths.” To state it more bluntly (and as Masters’s statement to me proved), it was a flat-out lie.

Since then, J Street moved on from that dismal episode. With the help of friends in the liberal mainstream media, it has prospered, though never coming close to achieving its goal of supplanting AIPAC as the leading voice of American Jewry. Even after Soros’s massive donation to its PAC, J Street is still way behind AIPAC in the fight for the hearts and minds of Americans.

Yet the fact that it continues to take large sums from the same source that is pouring cash into the coffers of those terror-tainted Palestinian NGOs is not only relevant but raises the question as to its true purpose. It also casts further doubt on both ends of its slogan since fellow recipients of Soros’s generosity are neither pro-Israel nor a force for peace. To the contrary, it’s increasingly obvious that J Street is merely one arm of a vast network of left-wing groups that, while not always conspiring together, are all working on behalf of the same vile anti-Israel cause.

Patriots owner Kraft pours $1m into AIPAC’s super PAC; Soros gives $1m to J Street’s
Pro-Israel PACs reported millions of dollars in donations in August, including from billionaire donors with long track records of giving to Israel-related causes.

Kraft Group LLC, the company owned by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, gave $1 million to the United Democracy Project, the new super PAC affiliated with AIPAC, the powerhouse Israel lobby. George Soros’s Democracy PAC donated the same amount to the J Street Action Fund, the PAC affiliated with the liberal pro-Israel lobby.

Kraft, a prolific donor to Jewish causes who gave $1 million to Donald Trump in 2017, is the sixth person to break seven figures in giving to AIPAC’s super PAC, joining WhatsApp founder Jan Koum and five others to donate at that level.

United Democracy Project spent over $26 million in Democratic primaries this cycle, making it the largest spender and one of the most active super PACs in the entire country. Its preferred candidates prevailed in seven of the nine congressional races where it spent money.

Meanwhile, Soros’s donation was the single largest to J Street Action Fund, which has spent $1.7 million this cycle, including $100,000 to Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a progressive who staved off a challenger in his New York district on Tuesday. (Pro-Israel donors had lined up behind one of his challengers, but AIPAC’s PAC did not get involved).
AIPAC attacks J Street for financial backing from billionaire George Soros
Continuing the social-media war between AIPAC and J Street this election cycle, AIPAC on Wednesday retweeted campaign finance disclosures from the J Street Action Fund PAC linked to the controversial left-wing, Jewish billionaire George Soros.

According to a tweet by political research director Rob Pyers and retweeted by AIPAC, the J Street Action Fund has so far received $1 million from Soros’s Democracy PAC.

The contributions were spent opposing pro-Israel candidates in congressional races where J Street and AIPAC have gone head-to-head, including TV advertisements opposing incumbent Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Mich.) in this month’s race against J Street-endorsed incumbent Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.).

The largest portion of Democracy PAC’s donations to J Street was spent to support former Maryland Rep. Donna Edwards in her race against AIPAC-endorsed candidate Glen Ivey in the Democratic primary for the open seat in Maryland’s 4th Congressional District.

“George Soros has a long history of backing anti-Israel groups. Now he’s giving $1 million to help [J Street] support anti-Israel candidates and attack pro-Israel Democrats,” tweeted AIPAC. “AIPAC works to strengthen pro-Israel mainstream Democrats. J Street [and] Soros work to undermine them.”

In both races, the AIPAC endorsed candidate won, despite J Street Action Fund spending $1.3 million. That amount was still dwarfed by the combined contributions from AIPAC-affiliated organizations.

Algerian Islamists Slam Macron Over Presence of French Chief Rabbi in Official Delegation
Islamists in Algeria have bitterly protested the presence of France’s chief rabbi in the delegation accompanying French President Emmanuel Macron as he embarks on a three-day visit to the North African nation on Thursday.

Several posts on the internet voiced anger at the arrival of Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia alongside Macron. Korsia’s parents were Algerian Jews; his father was born in Oran while his mother hails from Tlemcen.

The chorus against Korsia was led by Abderrazak Makri, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Social Movement for Peace (MSP), who also took aim at the Algerian soccer players of French side OGC Nice, who competed recently in a UEFA Europa League contest against Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel.

“After the scandal of the soccer players visiting the entity [a euphemism for the State of Israel], official France is bringing back the chief rabbi of France who supports the entity and who denies the rights of the Palestinians,” Makri tweeted.

Other posts voiced similar sentiments. “Haïm Korsia is not welcome in Algeria. The Zionists of Israel sent this rabbi (lackey of Israel) with Macron to smear our image and make people believe that Algeria supports Israeli apartheid,” said one user.

“Haim Korsia does not come as a Rabbi or a Frenchman from Algeria but as a supporter of the expansionist policy of the Zionist apartheid regime!” read another post.

Algeria is one of the leading rejectionist states in the Arab world regarding relations with Israel, having severed diplomatic ties with Morocco last year after Rabat announced a peace deal with Isra
When Rockets Hit Israel from Gaza, Egypt Is Partly to Blame
Israel conquered Gaza from Egypt in 1967 and controlled it until 2005, after which Israel withdrew unilaterally and left Gaza to the Palestinian Authority. However, Hamas seized Gaza in 2007, making it one of the first territories in the world to be governed by an internationally recognized terror organization. True to its jihadi creed, since 2007 Hamas and the Islamic Jihad have fired at least 15,000 rockets at Israel from Gaza, killing dozens of Israelis and wounding hundreds, while simultaneously bringing ruin and destruction on the area under its control.

The 7.5 mile Egypt-Gaza border is the main enabler of Gazan terror against Israel. Through a sprawling array of active commercial tunnels, the Gazan terrorists import all their Iranian-funded weapons. Egypt has made efforts to block, flood, or collapse some of the tunnels over the years. Recently, however, Egypt has made no effort to stop the flow of arms.

I find it inconceivable that Egyptian security forces fail to stop the steady flow of weapons through Sinai to Gaza. There is essentially one road to and from the Egyptian border town of Rafah, and if blocking tunnels is too advanced for the Egyptians, maybe they should try intercepting the shipments of weapons before they enter the tunnels. Egyptian inaction against the flow of weapons to Gaza warrants U.S. attention and clear demands to take effective and immediate action.
Gal Gadot visits residents of southern Israel after Gaza missile strikes
Gal Gadot paid a visit on Wednesday morning to the southern Israeli moshav of Netiv Ha’asara – the closest community in Israel to the Gaza Strip – against the backdrop of the most recent clashes between Israel and Gaza-based terrorist groups in early August.

The internationally-recognized actress and Wonder Woman star was captured on video greeting children in the town, who appeared elated by her visit and gathered to hear her speak. Netiv Ha’asara became the closest residential area to the Gaza Strip after Israel’s disengagement from Gaza in 2005 and has since become a target of rockets, guerilla fighters and other dangerous military attacks. The moshav became one of the many towns in southern Israel that were threatened by the latest attacks by terrorists in Gaza.

Even Gadot, who has been in London working on two new film projects for much of the year, could not escape Palestinian Islamic Jihad's missile strikes earlier this month, as she was photographed at a public missile shelter on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Street with her children on August 7 during rocket sirens.
Terror charges filed against Islamic Jihad leader whose arrest sparked Gaza conflict
Military prosecutors on Thursday filed an indictment against a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad member whose arrest at the beginning of the month sparked a round of fighting between Israel and the terror group in the Gaza Strip.

Bassem Saadi’s indictment included charges of membership in a terror group (the PIJ), conducting operations on behalf of the terror group, incitement to terrorism, assisting others to contact an enemy, and assuming a false identity.

A military court further extended Saadi’s remand on Thursday, ordering him held until Sunday, when a hearing will be held to have him remain under arrest until the end of legal proceedings. There was no immediate date scheduled for his trial.

Saadi, the leader of the terror group in the West Bank, was arrested on August 1 by Israeli troops in the Palestinian city of Jenin. His arrest followed intelligence information indicating that Saadi had continued to be active in the PIJ, a military source said.

According to the indictment, Saadi worked to assist two other Palestinians to “advance activities” of the PIJ’s student council, which is considered by Israel to be a part of the outlawed group. The pair received $5,000 from a terror operative in the Gaza Strip for the activities, according to the indictment.
East Jerusalem resident planned shooting attack in capital, police say
Police on Thursday announced the arrest of an East Jerusalem man who was allegedly planning on carrying out a shooting attack in the capital’s center.

According to a police statement, the Jerusalem District Police and the Shin Bet had recently launched an investigation into violent riots and alleged terror activity carried out in East Jerusalem by members of the Hamas-affiliated Kutla Islamiya student cell.

Following an undercover investigation into the group, police arrested four residents of the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood in East Jerusalem ages 18-20.

The investigation found that one of the arrested suspects had planned a terror attack in downtown Jerusalem and looked into purchasing an M16 assault rifle for tens of thousands of shekels.

The man is to be indicted on Friday.

The statement said that the four suspects arrested had all participated in East Jerusalem riots in recent months that included confronting security forces by throwing rocks, Molotov cocktails and fireworks toward them.

A Jerusalem court has extended the other suspects’ detention and the investigation is ongoing.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Ramon Airport sparks crisis between Jordan, Palestinians
Israel’s decision to allow Palestinian passengers to use Ramon Airport near Eilat has triggered a crisis between the Palestinians and Jordan, which is worried that the move would cause damage to the kingdom’s economy.

Some Jordanians said they were convinced that the Palestinian Authority – which has publicly expressed opposition to the opening of the airport to Palestinian travelers – had struck a secret deal with Israel.

Others have accused the Jordanian government of failure to take serious measures to prevent Palestinians from flying from Ramon Airport.

Earlier this week, the first group of Palestinians flew from Ramon Airport to Cyprus aboard a plan belonging to the Arkia Israeli Airlines. At this stage it’s not clear whether more Palestinians will travel from the airport in the near future.

Palestinians from the West Bank who wish to travel abroad have until now used Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport after entering the kingdom through the Allenby Bridge border crossing.

Some 255,000 Palestinians enter Jordan every year, according to Jordan’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. Each passenger spends at least 350 Jordanian dinars during his or her visit to the kingdom. Jordanian travel and tourism agents say that 45% of their clients are Palestinians.

Accusing the Palestinians of “stabbing Jordan in the back,” several Jordanian activists launched a hashtag on Twitter titled “Palestinian normalization [with Israel] is treason.” In response, many Palestinians reminded the Jordanians that their country had signed a peace treaty with Israel.

Terrorists in Gaza hold parade after latest flare-up with Israel
Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist held a parade in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, displaying life-sized replicas of their rockets, following three days of fighting with Israel earlier this month.

The cause for the celebration is unclear as the PIJ lost two commanders and a dozen fighters as part of Operation Breaking Dawn, an extensive Israeli counterterrorism campaign against the terror group in Gaza. During the escalation, over 1,100 rockets were fired into Israel, forcing about a million Israelis to rush to shelters.

The terrorists drove pick-up trucks with different sizes of rocket replicas and posters of their slain commanders. People lined the streets, throwing flowers.

It was the biggest flare-up since last year's 11-da conflict with Hamas, which has ruled Gaza for the last 15 years, but has stayed on the sidelines in the current round of fighting.

Hamas and the PIJ are considered terror groups by Israel and Western countries and have carried out scores of deadly attacks over the years targeting Israeli civilians.

PreOccupiedTerritory: NGOs Working On Strategy To Call Israeli Gaza Attack Tunnel Barrier ‘Apartheid Wall’ Also (satire)
Reports of Israel’s military neutralizing yet another underground passage from this coastal territory into the Jewish State has challenged human rights groups to find ways that they can spin such a development to portray Israel as evil, with the approach that shows the most promise the characterization of such Israeli efforts as further evidence that Israel practices race-based disenfranchisement of Palestinians.

Activists from Btselem, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and several other organizations conducted meetings this week to settle on a rhetorical strategy to address Israel’s measures to protect its citizens from infiltration by terrorists from Gaza, an important element of which involves an underground wall running the length of the territory’s border with Israel and extending at least as deep as the available technology will allow the militant groups in Gaza to excavate. Several participants in the meetings floated the idea of deeming that wall an instrument of Apartheid, terminology that saw some propaganda success when applied to Israel’s security barrier that runs roughly along the 1967 armistice line with Jordan and that has all abut eliminated suicide bombings originating from beyond that line.

“‘Apartheid’ is the hot term right now,” argued a representative from Btselem. “It will lose its valence soon, with the way all of us have been deploying it against Israel, but while it’s still useful, we should maximize what we get out of it.”

“It’s a challenge,” acknowledged a Btselem activist. “Other tunnels, like the ones separating Egypt from Gaza, some of those are mostly military and some of them are used only for smuggling. But none of the tunnels into Israel are for smuggling. We can pretend otherwise, and that’s a defensible approach, playing up the ‘illegal siege’ angle that’s been a staple of our Gaza activism for some time now. But it’ll be a harder sell.”
MEMRI: Condemning Moroccan Scholar Ahmad Al-Raysuni's Call For 'Jihad' Against Algeria, Muslim Scholars Say He Should Instead Have Called For Jihad Against Israel Or Liberating Ceuta and Melilla From Spain
In an interview that aired July 29, 2022,[1] the president of the Qatar-funded International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), Ahmad Al-Raysuni, called for "jihad" and a military march to the Algerian city of Tindouf and referred to the existence of Mauritania as a mistake.

In response to his statement, other Muslim scholars widely condemned Al-Raysuni for calling for jihad against a Muslim nation, saying that he should have instead called for jihad against Israel or for liberating Ceuta and Melilla from Spain.

Reacting to Al-Raysuni's statement, Algerian cleric Abd Al-Fatah Hamdash posted a video on his YouTube channel on August 16, 2022 in which he called Al-Raysuni an "idiot" and "coward."[2] "If he were brave," he said, "he would have called for a military march to the state of the Zionist entity, and if he were sincere, he would have called for a march to the cities of Ceuta and Melilla."

Hamdash also noted that had Al-Raysuni called for war against Israel, he would have been right to do so, and suggested that the war should have been declared against the "Spanish occupiers" and that Al-Raysuni should be at the front lines in the war against Israel. He added that Al-Raysuni should have asked the government in Morocco to cancel all agreement with Israel and "expelled all the Zionists from your country. This is what you should have done .. instead of calling for discord between brothers and neighbors."

Algerian cleric Shams Al-Din Al-Jazai'ri also condemned Al-Raysuni's statements, in a video posted on YouTube on August 21, 2022.[3] In it, he said: "The president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars in the world called for jihad, but this jihad is not in Palestine, Burma, or Ceuta and Melilla, and is not in any occupied Muslim land and not to free a Muslim nation. Rather, he called for jihad in a Muslim country .." Further stressing the danger of Al-Raysouni's statement, he added: "I would like people to understand the danger of this fatwa. I don't care if he is Moroccan, Italian, Spanish, or Algerian. What I care about is that he is a man who issued a fatwa in the name of the religion. In the name of Islam. He legitimized terrorism... When this man calls for the restoration of Mauritania and the liberation of Tindouf, which is inhabited by Muslim people... he is calling for [the spilling of] blood and for killing. This where the danger is. He calls for the killing of Muslims... Scholars do not call for infighting among Muslims..."

Al-Jazai'ri also stressed Al-Raysuni's prominent role, saying: "How is it that he is the president of an organization that calls for the unification of Muslims, and then calls for the infighting among Muslims?"

In his August 19, 2022 Friday sermon, Algerian cleric Youssouf Boughaba condemned Al-Raysuni's statements, saying that the fatwa would be "exploited by the Zionists and the enemy of Islam who seek to cause discord .."[4]
UNIFIL will be Hezbollah's 'shield' in the next Lebanon/Israel conflict
The last few months have witnessed an alarming development in southern Lebanon. For instance, the veiled yet blatant rise in the number of Hezbollah military collection sites on the boundary between Israel and Lebanon, known as the Blue Line. This recreates a tactical reality mirroring the Hezbollah disposition prior to July 2006 (the Second Lebanon War) and is a clear and present danger to northern Israel.

The upcoming UN annual discussions on UNIFIL mandate renewal in late August is an opportune moment to reflect on this large organization’s actual impact in fulfilling its purpose, as prescribed by the UN Security Council following the war in August 2006 (UN National Security Council Resolution 1701): supporting “security arrangements to prevent the resumption of hostilities, including the establishment… of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL”.

In 2006 UNIFIL’s Blue Line freedom of movement was limited due to Hezbollah intimidation and limited Lebanese support. It resulted, much like today, in enabling Hezbollah freedom of action and the creation of a tactical over-watch and land strike capability on Israel’s North. This included the establishment of overt military collection sites adjacent to Israel and the forward deployment of land attack strike teams (then known as “Nature Reserves”). It was a fragile situation that enabled the “Hezbollah attack on Israel on 12 July 2006…” (UNSCR 1701) leading to the outbreak of the 2006 war.

Regarding the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), UNIFIL’s strategic partner, the 2006 post-conflict hopes that its deployment to the South would strengthen Lebanese sovereignty, has only led to steady disillusionment. LAF presence has only served, unfortunately, to further impair UNIFIL Blue Line land monitoring.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid: Israel: Looming Deal Will Not Stop Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid told the foreign media in Jerusalem on Wednesday: "On the table right now is a bad deal. It would give Iran a hundred billion dollars a year...that will be used to undermine stability in the Middle East and spread terror around the globe."

"This money will fund the Revolutionary Guards. It will fund the Basij who oppress the Iranian people. It will fund more attacks on American bases in the Middle East. It will be used to strengthen Hizbullah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. This money will go to the people who are trying to kill authors and thinkers in New York. And of course, it will be used to strengthen Iran's nuclear program."

"We have made it clear to everyone: if a deal is signed, it does not obligate Israel. We will act to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear state. We are not prepared to live with a nuclear threat above our heads from an extremist, violent Islamist regime. This will not happen - because we will not let it happen."
Progress on the Nuclear Deal: How Should Israel Act?
Both the Iranians and the Americans are taking steps to prepare public opinion for the renewal of the Iran nuclear deal. So far, no official details have been provided about the content of the agreement, and most of whatever information there is comes from leaks by Iranian sources.

The essence of the agreement is that the U.S. will remove the sanctions reimposed on Iran after the Trump administration withdrew from the agreement. As a result, Iran will resume oil exports, will be able to receive the large sums of money frozen in the countries that purchased oil and could not transfer the payments through the banking system, and will be able to enjoy free trade and economic cooperation.

Most of Israel's attention should be directed to the portions of the nuclear program in which Iran has advanced in recent years. This applies to the removal of fissile material outside the borders of Iran, and the operation of new centrifuges that will remain on its territory.

The main efforts for Israel at this stage should be focused on formulating a common position for the two countries the day after the two possible scenarios: the realization of an agreement or, alternatively, its collapse.
Ted Cruz decries possible Iran deal revival: 'Ayatollah wants death to Israel'
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Tuesday decried the possible revival of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and vowed to fight its implementation.

“I intend to systematically fight the implementation of this catastrophic deal, and will work with my colleagues to ensure that it is blocked and eventually reversed in January 2025,” he said in a statement.

“A year ago, [US President] Joe Biden gave Afghanistan to the Taliban,” Cruz said. “Now he intends to give a nuclear arsenal to Iran. The details of this deal are only now emerging, but we already know they will be catastrophic to the national security of America and our allies, and to the safety of Americans.”

“Thousands of people will die because of the Iranian terrorism enabled by this deal,” he said, adding that “tens of millions may die because of the nuclear arsenal it will provide to the Ayatollah.”

The Iran deal will hurt the US
Cruz cited the Iranian plot to murder former American officials and dissidents on American soil.

“This deal will quickly flood the regime with hundreds of billions of dollars, and soon afterwards, the deal will be worth trillions,” he wrote. “It will dismantle sanctions on the Iranian economy, which is controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and provides the IRGC with the resources it needs to export its terrorism globally.”

“Meanwhile, the Iranian regime violated the last nuclear deal, violated their most fundamental nuclear obligations beyond the deal and violated international norms against nuclear proliferation,” he added. “This deal will excuse Iran from that previous cheating, while enabling it to continue into the future. It repeats the inexplicable folly of the previous nuclear deal by legalizing the regime’s nuclear program, which had previously been prohibited by multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions.”

Douglas Murray: Salman Rushdie and a question of power
Mohajerani uses not just the Ayatollah’s fatwa but also Islamic tradition, such as the founder of Islam’s request for the poet Kaab Bin Ashraf to be killed. Mohajerani writes: ‘When Kaab bin Ashraf, whose poetry when compared with the Satanic Verses is far more tolerable to Muslims, deserves to be killed, there can be no doubt about Salman Rushdie’s fate.’

He says that Rushdie is a ‘mortad’ and ‘kaffir’ (apostate and unbeliever) and therefore he is a legitimate target. ‘There is no dissent among the Islamic jurists on this matter… Such a person must be killed.’ He goes on to describe Rushdie’s book – which he sees as a western plot – as a rotten tooth needing to be smashed before it rots everything else. And he sees the efforts of authors such as Günter Grass to defend Rushdie as further evidence of a coordinated plot against Islam.

In the years after publication Mohajerani stuck by his book, even publishing a further short story in which he mocked the sufferings of Rushdie as a result of the fatwa.

Then in 2004 an unfortunate thing happened in the life of Mr Mohajerani. He fell out with the regime, apparently because of an affair that the Mullahs may not have looked on with favour. So where did he go? Why, he came to Britain, of course.

Today he resides in leafy Harrow. His wife works at a university in the capital. He came during the time when Jack Straw and others pushed the idea that there was a reformist wing within the Islamic revolution – a claim that was hardly vindicated when the Iranian authorities brutally snuffed out the 2009 Green revolution. Certainly Mohajerani has found Harrow an enormously conducive place to continue his work from.

He still defends his book, which officially justified the fatwa against Rushdie. Mohajerani has even continued to defend his book since this month’s attack. All he did was write a book, he said in one recent tweet in Farsi. Which may be true. But then that is all Rushdie did too – one difference being that Rushdie’s novel did not add up to a justification for killing people who do such a thing. Rushdie did not try to get people killed.

After the attack on Rushdie, Mohajerani boasted about the number of editions his own book had come through. Perhaps aware that there are lawyers now looking at him, he said that the assault on Rushdie was a ‘tragic incident’ but that if he survives to write another novel Rushdie must make sure that it does ‘not insult Mohammed’.

So here is a question for the new Home Secretary, the new government, the new officials who will claim that they are ‘tough on terror’. What is Mohajerani doing in our country? And why is he a free man?

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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