Friday, August 26, 2022

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Apoplexy greets Israel’s move against terror NGOs
So “human rights” NGOs are a key weapon in the diplomatic and political war of attrition aimed at Israel’s destruction. That’s why Human Rights Watch is intimately involved in the Pillay commission set up by the United Nations as a kangaroo court to declare Israel a supreme violator of human rights.

And that’s why a letter disseminated by Human Rights Watch and signed by ten like-minded groups called the Israeli action “an assault on the basic human rights of Palestinians to assemble and organize freely and an example of the Israeli government’s weaponization of ‘counterterrorism laws’ in its relentless attacks against civil society activists.”

Thus much was entirely predictable. But the reaction of the Biden administration raises additional questions.

For unlike the European Union, the United States hasn’t funded any of the NGOs in question. So although it hasn’t actually repudiated Israel’s claims, why has it called into question Israeli intelligence?

The president of NGO Monitor, Professor Gerald Steinberg, offers two reasons. The groups in question, he says, are heroes to progressive Democrats for championing “human rights” against Israel. To acknowledge the reality would create a major backlash from those for whom the Palestinians can do no wrong and Israel can do no right.

Moreover, in the diplomatic realm, the Biden administration needs European cooperation on a number of global issues. Ukraine, China and Iran are obvious examples. “There is nothing to be gained by being caught between Israel and Europe on the ostensibly minor issue of partnerships with Palestinian NGOs,” Steinberg told me.

This last point accords with Blinken’s own response to the row over the NGOs. The Guardian reported: “According to a federal government source, Blinken has shied away from the issue of the designations since Israel announced them. ‘The secretary himself said basically: this isn’t something we want to touch too much.’ ”

This sheds an intriguing light on the Biden administration’s attitude towards Israel—for it shows that America cannot act alone. It needs European support.

To grasp the significance of this, try turning it around. Suppose the E.U. countries were passionate supporters of Israel and determined to call a halt to Palestinian violence and blackmail. Suppose they reacted to Israel’s blacklist by cutting off all European aid to these NGOs and denouncing their abuse of human-rights culture.

In those circumstances, the Biden administration would feel unable to cast doubt on Israeli intelligence. It would also find it far less easy to side with and empower Israel’s enemies in Ramallah—or in Tehran, as it is now doing.

In reality, the E.U. funds many groups that operate against Israel in the diplomatic sphere, as well as helping fund illegal Arab settlements in the disputed territories and in the Negev.

Just as those trying to resist evil are disempowered if they find themselves acting alone, so too those perpetrating evil can only succeed if others support them.

In their animus against Israel, the Biden administration and the countries of Western Europe draw sustenance from each other. That’s the poisonous nest that was revealed when Israeli forces in Ramallah last week lifted the stone.
EU's reverence for the PA: Old habits die hard
THE ISRAELI government and real human rights organizations like NGO Monitor clearly have demonstrated that the outlawed groups “constitute a network of organizations active undercover on the international front on behalf of the PFLP to support its activity and to further its goals.”

The foreign government funding received by these groups has been utilized to pay “martyr” wages for activists, for PFLP activity in Jerusalem, and for distribution of the organization’s messages and ideology. And there are at least 70 Palestinian staff and board members who hold positions in both the NGOs and the PFLP.

Just one example: The 50-person strong PFLP terror cell responsible for the murder of 17-year-old Rina Shnerb, among others, included numerous members of these same government-funded NGOs. For instance, UAWC’s “accountant,” Samir Irbid, was responsible for commanding the PFLP terror cell that carried out the bombing.

It is therefore both laughable and intolerable that European governments are decrying the Israeli decision to designate the groups as terrorist supporters. European politicians and government bureaucrats have known for years that the six organizations have links to the PFLP terror group.

The even worse dirty European secret is that these groups, whether you might consider them “terrorist-supporting” or not, are the worst anti-Israel actors, who have vehemently attacked Israel, every minute of the day, as an “apartheid state,” “war criminal enterprise,” and “illegal entity” going back to 1948. It’s clear that they seek the complete dissolution of Israel. That, of course, hasn’t stopped the EU from investing heavily in them.

Overall, the European behavior described above – insolence toward Israel alongside reverence for Palestinians – explains why Palestinian leaders do not understand that they will have to compromise to reach an agreement with Israel. On the contrary. The Palestinians can safely assume that their demand for a state on the 1967 lines (or thereabouts) is absolute “revealed truth,” and in the meantime, they can rely on the EU to isolate, vilify, boycott and criminalize Israel.

Meanwhile, dictating impatiently to Israel is in vogue. Therefore, for example, the EU is single-mindedly determined to put a stop to the real fronts of radicalism – like EU scholarships for Hebrew University students who live in Efrat or Ma’aleh Adumim. After all, these students, and their professors (who might also, God forbid, live in the Old City of “oPt” Jerusalem), are the more salient threats to peace in the region.

The EU is perfectly happy to continue lavishing funds on the most anti-Israel “human rights” groups like the seven listed above, but EU commissars are determined not to indirectly fund any more scientific research or to abet productive commercial activity by Israelis who live or work over the Green Line. They won’t allow wine or plastic chairs produced in Judea and Samaria to be sold in Paris or Brussels without a yellow star of Jewish “occupation” opprobrium.

In the warped weltanschauung of the European Union, it is logical to diss Israel – in 20-person-strong ambassadorial mobs up in Jerusalem – while coddling the Palestinians. Old habits, it seems, die hard. European countries have a historic knack for judging Jews, restricting Jews to specific pales of settlement, and labeling them – while lauding their enemies.
Palestinian brutality funded by Britain
Palestinian thugs who beat a leading critic of Mahmoud Abbas’s regime to death were members of a security force trained by the British Army at taxpayer’s expense, a JC investigation has revealed.

Fourteen members of the Palestinian Authority’s Preventive Security Organisation (PSO) were caught on CCTV kidnapping human rights campaigner Nizar Banat in June 2021, in footage obtained in full by the JC.

3.17am: Thugs from the Palestinian Authority’s Preventive Security Organisation arrive at the flat where political activist Nizar Banat has been staying. They break in using a hammer and a crowbar

The aspiring politician was targeted after he highlighted the corruption of the Palestinian leadership on Facebook and other platforms. The footage shows them bundling him into a car and later carrying his partly-clothed body into their security headquarters.

Britain has been training and supporting Abbas’s security services since 2011 at a cost of more than £65 million to the taxpayer, raising serious questions about Whitehall’s judgment.

3.22am: Banat is badly injured from hammer blows and pepper spray. Security men bundle him into the back of a stolen VW Polo with his hands cuffed behind his back. Later an official will claim he ‘deserved to die’

Palestinian activists have accused the UK of turning a blind eye to the systematic use of torture and widespread human rights abuse on the West Bank.

Diala Ayesh, a human rights lawyer and friend of the victim — who has herself been beaten and sexually abused by PA thugs — said:

“You [British] say you support human rights, but when I see the atrocities the PA is creating, I say you must stop paying your money. This isn’t just on my country. It’s on yours.”


The Time Is Now to Reform the UN Human Rights Apparatus
Bashing Israel
The UNHRC has, since its founding in 2006, issued 99 resolutions condemning Israel.25 The number of resolutions condemning Israel, a robust democracy rated “Free” by the respected Freedom House,26 is roughly the same as the total number of resolutions condemning all other countries.27 Currently, the United Nations has seven formal bodies (listed below) investigating Israel. In addition to the aforementioned COI, the United Nations has:
a Division for Palestinian Rights,28
a Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,29
a United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine,30
a “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967,”31
a Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories,32
and a United Nations Register of Damage Caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.33

The United Nations’ disproportionate focus on Israel serves to distract attention from the systemic abuses committed by some of the UNHRC’s own members,34 which currently include the following countries rated “Not Free” by Freedom House: Cameroon, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Gabon, Kazakhstan, Libya, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela.35

The double standard is literally contrary to the UN General Assembly resolution that created the UNHRC, which stressed the importance of eliminating the “double standards and politicization” that had plagued its predecessor, the UN Commission on Human Rights.36 It is also clearly at odds with the General Assembly resolution that created the post of high commissioner for human rights, which emphasizes “the need for the promotion and protection of all human rights to be guided by the principles of impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity.”37 Secretary-General Guterres should select as the next high commissioner someone dedicated to immediately refocusing the UN human rights apparatus on these founding principles.

U.S. Leverage for Reform
New leaders have shown they can quickly reorient international organizations. For example, Karim Khan has sensibly rebalanced the International Criminal Court’s priorities since he became its prosecutor in June 2021.38 Likewise, as director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi has been demonstrably more rigorous than his predecessor in addressing Iran’s nuclear program.39 Thus, it is imperative for Washington to make its concerns clear to the secretary-general before he chooses Bachelet’s successor.

To that end, the Biden administration should leverage its role as the top funder of UN human rights work. The United States contributes 22 percent of the OHCHR’s regular budget, far more than any other UN member.40 The U.S. contribution accounts for approximately $29 million of the office’s $134 million regular budget for 2022.41 By contrast, China contributes 15.25 percent of the regular budget.42 Furthermore, the United States voluntarily contributed another $26.7 million to the high commissioner’s office in 2021, accounting for about 12 percent of the $227.5 million total in voluntary contributions, while China’s voluntary contributions last year totaled only $800,000.43 Washington should insist that Secretary-General Guterres nominate a high commissioner who will be a responsible steward of U.S. taxpayer funds, ensuring they do not facilitate the whitewashing of dictatorships or the bashing of Israel.


UNRWA says it faces existential threat as UN prepares to renew mandate
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees is facing an "existential" funding crisis due to a financing drop by donor nations, its Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini warned of the renewal of his organization's mandate in the fall.

"I appeal today to member states who have reduced their funding to reconsider the impact of their decision on the region’s stability," Lazzarini told the UN Security Council in New York on Thursday when the 15-member body held its monthly debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The organization which was created by the UN in 1949 has a mandate that is approved by the UN General Assembly every three years, with the last such vote taking place in 2019.

UNRWA has overwhelming support at the UNGA, which is not matched in funding by member states.

Lazzarini told the UNSC that support for UNRWA had to be expressed in funding the mandate, not just voting for it.

UNRWA services 5.6 million refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, east Jerusalem, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. It has a 1.6 billion million budget for 2022 of which $817 million is for core programming. To date the organization has received $838m. In donations, just over half of that needed sum, of which $573m. is allocated for core programming.

Money outside of the core programming is used for emergency relief including food and cash assistance in the Palestinian territories and Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

UNRWA fears a lack of funding will force it to close programs and or shut down all together.

Out of the 193 UN member states, only 16 have made pledges of $10 million or more and out of those only four are UNSC members.

Kuwait, which pledged $12m., is the only Arab country on the list of top 16 donors.

UNRWA typically relies on a small number of donor countries who provide a large amount of financing, buttressed by smaller contributions from a larger number of countries.
Palestinians renew push for United Nations membership
The Palestinian Authority has renewed its push for full membership in the United Nations and has turned to the Security Council on the matter.

"We are negotiating in good faith with all [UNSC] members," PA Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour told reporters in New York on Thursday.

"There is cautious optimism in the atmosphere," he added.

UNSC approval is necessary for full UN membership. The United States has in the past opposed such a drive, making such a move impossible. The US is one of five permanent UNSC members, all of whom have veto power.

PA officials have spoken with their American counterparts about the matter, Mansour said, adding that this includes US President Joe Biden and US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

The US believes that UN membership, which is the equivalence of full International recognition of Palestinian statehood, should only occur after the resolution of an agreement for a two-state solution.

Mansour said that given that the peace process has been frozen for eight years and that there is no initiative on the table, the issue of full UN membership should move forward.
US rebuffs Palestinian Authority push for full UN membership
The Palestinian Authority is intent on pursuing full membership at the United Nations, even as the White House urges Ramallah to step back.

According to an Axios report, the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has stressed to the Palestinian Authority that Washington will likely veto any attempt to pursue a vote on full membership at the U.N. Security Council. The P.A. announced weeks ago that it would make another push on the issue at next month’s U.N. General Assembly.

Palestinian Authority Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour says he began consultations with Security Council members in an effort to place a renewed focus on Palestinian statehood. The Axios report claims the Biden administration raised “strong reservations” about Mansour’s plan and said the move won’t go anywhere.

The Palestinians have enjoyed non-member observer state status since 2012, garnered through a vote at the General Assembly, where no country holds veto power. Ramallah has attempted several times since then to secure full membership but has failed to get the Security Council to even hold a vote, which requires the support of nine of the 15 members.

Longstanding U.S. policy maintains that full Palestinian membership in U.N. agencies is counterproductive and an end-around to political settlement negotiations with Jerusalem.

“The only realistic path to a comprehensive and lasting peace is through direct negotiations between the parties. There are no shortcuts to Palestinian statehood outside direct negotiations with Israel,” a U.S. State Department spokesperson said in response to Mansour’s entreaty.

American law would cut direct funding for the Palestinian Authority should it join the United Nations as a full member, though no such funding exists. However, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 1990 bars U.S. funding “for the United Nations or any specialized agencies thereof which accords the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states.”
Sen. Cruz Sends Letter to Secretary Blinken Calling for Imposition of Mandatory Sanctions on the Vice President of Argentina
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today sent a letter to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken calling for the State Department to expeditiously impose sanctions mandated by Congress on Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her immediate family members.

In the letter, Sen. Cruz highlighted corruption charges recently brought by an Argentine Federal Prosecutor said that corrupt acts by Kircher had “for decades undermined the rule of law in Argentina, convulsed its political institutions, and undermined American interests” and in particular highlighted that “she is deeply implicated in the 2015 death of Argentine Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman”:

“I write to bring your attention to increasingly brazen and now-public corrupt acts by Argentina’s former President and current Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, which have for decades undermined the rule of law in Argentina, convulsed its political institutions, and undermined American interests in the country and indeed the region. Perhaps most notoriously, but certainly not exclusively, she is deeply implicated in the 2015 death of Argentine Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was found shot in his apartment the day before he was set to present evidence to the Argentine Congress that would have proved Fernández de Kirchner colluded with Iran to cover up Iran’s role in the 1994 bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) in Buenos Aires, the worst terrorist attack in Argentina's history.

“Last week, an Argentine Federal Prosecutor formally implicated Fernández de Kirchner in what he described as “the biggest corruption scheme ever known in the country,”


German official urged to resign after calling British officer ‘war criminal’
A German official has been pressed to resign or be fired immediately for making accusations about a decorated World War II British Army hero and icon in Israel, reported Fox News.

Michael Blume, commissioner against anti-Semitism for the German state of Baden-Württemberg, has called the late British Gen. Orde Wingate a “war criminal” and “British murderer.”

Wingate advocated starting in 1937 about the need to create a Jewish state and stop Nazi leader Adolf Hitler from exterminating Europe’s Jewish populations. Streets and squares in Israel are named after him, as well as the Orde Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sports. He was killed fighting in World War II and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht told Fox News, “Wingate’s spirit and disruptive thinking were an inspiration to the founding fathers of the IDF, and he is deeply admired until today.”

Last year, the Simon Wiesenthal Center included Blume in its list of “Global Top Ten Anti-Semites.”
MEMRI: Turkish Education Ministry High School Textbooks Praise Jihad: 'Allah Has Given The Good News Of Paradise To Those Who Make Jihad'; 'All Actions, Including War, Done To Exalt The Name Of Allah Are Included In This Concept'
In 2019, Turkey's Ministry of Education published an edition of a two-volume textbook called "Fundamentals Of Religious Knowledge – Islam II." The book, which is reportedly used in 12th-grade classrooms across Turkey,[1] includes a chapter about jihad that, among other things, says that: "All actions, including war, done to exalt the name of Allah (may his glory be exalted) are included in this concept [of jihad]... It can be performed by any means of the heart, tongue, hand, or weapon that human action makes possible... Our ancestors, who saw martyrdom as one of the supreme stages, when they set out for jihad in the path of Allah, would say 'If I die, I will be a martyr; if I live, I will be a gazi [a fighter in a holy war],' and in saying so they never held back from sacrificing their lives." In 2019, over 891,000 students graduated from high school in Turkey, while in 2020, 894,100 students did the same.[2]

"All Actions, Including War, Done To Exalt The Name Of Allah Are Included In This Concept"
The chapter on jihad introduces the concept as follows: "One of the most important forms of worship in our religion is jihad. Based on its root, the word 'jihad' means working, growing tired, and expending effort by word and action using all one's strength. All actions, including war, done to exalt the name of Allah (may his glory be exalted) are included in this concept. When the Islamic scholars emphasized the general meaning of jihad, they said that it was a required form of worship for Muslims. Whereas, when they use the meaning of war, they are in consensus on the idea under normal circumstances it is farz-i kifaye (incumbent upon the community), and in times of general mobilization, it is a form of worship that is farz-i ayn (incumbent upon the individual) and that all Muslims must carry out.

"When it is used as a term, jihad has a wide and interconnected framework of meaning. Just as it means to exert effort in using all material and spiritual possibilities for good to prevail and for evil to be dislodged, it also means defending the homeland against enemies in armed struggle. On the other hand, all struggle that humans give against any kind of evil and shaytan, and the effort to defeat the ugly passions inside oneself are also evaluated in the framework of jihad. When all of these meanings are considered, it can be seen that jihad has a wealth of meanings and that is not only war, that it is at the same time a struggle against the nafs [i.e., ego] and the shaytan; seeking to convey the beauties of Islam to all people through outreach and invitation; by struggling in enjoining good and forbidding evil, and spreading goodness and blocking evil. One who performs jihad is a mujahid."
Israeli beaten in confrontation with Palestinians at shrine near Jerusalem
An Israeli man was beaten by Palestinians in a confrontation Friday afternoon at a historical site and shrine on the outskirts of Jerusalem, footage showed.

According to the Ynet news site, the brawl erupted at Nebi Samuel after a number of right-wing activists held a counter-protest against Palestinians and left-wing activists who were protesting against the closure of the entrance to the nearby town of Nabi Samwil.

Nebi Samuel is a site cherished by Jews as the tomb of the Biblical prophet Samuel. In the 18th century, a mosque was built at the site over the remains of a Crusader church.

Currently, a small synagogue exists in an underground tomb area beneath the mosque, which is inside an Israeli national park, just over the Green Line in the West Bank, north of the capital.

At some point, several people carrying Palestinian flags ran at two men carrying an Israeli flag, pushing one to the ground, repeatedly kicking him and hitting him with the flags, footage showed.

He was slightly wounded, but refused medical attention and did not want to file a complaint, according to Ynet.


Haredi Combatants Become Pariahs over 14 Seconds of Arab-Edited Video
On Wednesday, Israel’s social networks were bombarded by a 14-second video in which combatants of the Haredi battalion Netzah Yehuda are seen beating and kicking two Arabs during operational activities west of Ramallah.

A preliminary investigation showed that a suspicious vehicle was identified during the operational activity, and a passenger in the car and another Arab were detained by the fighters who behaved violently and used unnecessary force against them.

The initial investigation was presented to the commander of the Central Command, General Yehuda Fuchs, who suspended the fighters from the battalion and all combat roles. A military police investigation was launched, and its findings will be forwarded to the military prosecutor’s office.

Meanwhile, Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi spoke without the benefit of having all the facts in this matter and declared: “This is a very serious incident that arouses disgust and is completely contrary to the values ​​of the IDF. The fighters in the event do not deserve to be fighters. The incident will be thoroughly investigated by the commanders and the military police. We will bring justice to those involved. There is no and will be no place in the IDF for this type of behavior.”

Did Kochavi speak out of turn? Of course, he did. But was it only to cover his own behind in face of the news media who are already both against the “occupation” of Judea and Samaria and against the right-wing public?
Why is the LEFT-WING Media Trying to SHUT US DOWN?
Haaretz is one of the largest left-wing media publications in Israel. One could call them the Israeli version of the New York Times.

Haaretz decided that one of the worst crimes happening in Israel is when a Christian organization plants trees in Samaria. They graced the front page of their newspaper this week with a story about how HaYovel and the Greening Israel project is stealing Palestinian land to plant trees.

On today’s program, we debunk the lies that were told in this article, and reveal the truth of what is really happening.


Biden Brings a Butter Knife to an Iranian Gunfight
It’s tempting to view the U.S. airstrikes this week in Syria against an Iranian-aligned target with optimism—a signal that President Joe Biden is finally done negotiating with a regime that inspired the near murder of Salman Rushdie and is still trying to murder Donald Trump, John Bolton, and Mike Pompeo.

Who are we kidding? Joe Biden is a Democrat, and there are few legacies more precious to his party than reviving former president Barack Obama’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

That is why Tuesday’s airstrikes are not worth a warm bucket of spit. Consider the statement from Colonel Joe Buccino confirming the U.S. operation. The U.S. "targeted infrastructure facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps," he said, adding that the strikes were a "proportionate, deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize the risk of casualties."

That’s the geopolitical equivalent of arresting street dealers and letting the kingpins skate. In the 1990s, this tactic was called "cruise-missile diplomacy": Make a point, but don’t risk tit-for-tat escalation. That’s why no senior Iranian officers were targeted and why the only casualties, according to a group monitoring developments on the ground, were 10 militia fighters, whom Iran treats like cannon fodder.

It looks even worse when one considers the escalations from Iran on nearly all fronts. The Syria strike was a response to a series of drone attacks on the U.S. base in Tanf, a critical facility that monitors Iranian weapons shipments to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria and is crucial to assisting local fighters in their battle against the remnants of the Islamic State.
Mossad chief says looming Iran deal ‘based on lies,’ is ‘very bad for Israel’
Mossad chief David Barnea has called an emerging Iran nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and world powers “a strategic disaster” for Israel, in recent meetings about the agreement.

In comments carried by Hebrew-language media Thursday evening, the spymaster said the deal is “very bad for Israel” and the US “is rushing into an accord that is ultimately based on lies,” citing Iran’s ongoing claim that its nuclear activities are peaceful in nature.

Barnea added that an accord appeared to be inevitable “in light of the needs of the US and Iran.” Washington is seeking to prevent Tehran from acquiring the capability to build a nuclear bomb, while the Islamic Republic is seeking relief from crippling financial and economic sanctions.

According to Barnea, the deal, due to its sunset clauses, “gives Iran license to amass the required nuclear material for a bomb” in a few years, and will also provide Tehran billions of dollars in currently frozen money, increasing the danger Iran poses throughout the region via its proxies.

He stressed that a deal will not obligate Israel, and that the Jewish state will act however it sees fit to neutralize the threat against it. Israel has already begun preparations for a military strike against Iran if such action is deemed necessary.

“The Mossad is preparing and knows how to remove that threat,” Barnea said. “If we don’t take action, Israel will be in danger.”
Iranian Dissidents File Lawsuit Against Raisi in US
An exile group announced a New York lawsuit against Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Thursday, challenging US authorities to take action against him as he is expected to arrive next month for the UN General Assembly.

The National Council of Resistance (NCRI) of Iran said the suit accused Raisi of torture and murder in a 1988 crackdown on Iranian dissidents.

Echoing similar complaints filed in England and Scotland, the civil lawsuit says that in 1988 Raisi was a member of the so-called “death commission,” four judges who directly ordered thousands of executions as well as torture of members of the opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, known as the MEK.

It is “beyond doubt that as deputy state prosecutor for Tehran province, Ebrahim Raisi, was a member of that death commission,” Steven Schneebaum, the lead attorney in the lawsuit, said in a Washington press conference organized by the NCRI.

The suit was filed in federal court in New York last week in the names of two people tortured at the time and a third person whose brother was executed. It cites Amnesty International and US sanctions declarations that accuse Raisi of complicity in the 1988 events.
Gantz to Sullivan: US needs Iran strike option on the table even if there is a deal
The United States needs to ensure that it retains a viable military option against Iran’s nuclear facilities even if a new deal is reached with the Islamic Republic, Defense Minister Benny Gantz told US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Friday.

During the meeting, Gantz stressed that Israel will also retain its operational freedom even if a deal is reached. A senior defense official said that the Americans responded positively to Gantz’s comments.

The official said that even if a deal is signed, Gantz spoke with Sullivan about the need to continue joint American-Israeli activities against Iran as part of global efforts to undermine Tehran’s nuclear progress.

“A nuclear deal is not a peace treaty,” the official said. “A military threat has a lot of weight that can help create a deterrence even in a reality in which there is a deal.”

Officials in Gantz’s circle of advisers are of the opinion that the decision by the Trump administration to exit the JCPOA – the previous nuclear deal signed in 2015 – was a mistake.

According to the official, Gantz expressed his strong opposition to the deal and added that while there is a disagreement with the Americans on the proposed deal, the US and Israel have a strong alliance and “it is legitimate to have disagreements.”






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