Tuesday, August 30, 2022

From Ian:

Bassem Eid: 'Fifty Holocausts' Remark Proves Palestinian Authority Head Must Go
Abbas, let us remember, was supposed to be the pragmatist, the moderate, compared to his predecessor. Yasser Arafat's essentially violent nature and strategy were well known to the world, as he had committed innumerable acts of terrorism and cruelty as the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) since 1969. The astonishing fact is that the world suspended disbelief—even handing him the most undeserved Nobel Peace Prize in history—until he shredded their illusions in the orgy of blood and thunder that was the Second Intifada, responsible for the violent deaths of more than 5,000 Palestinians and about 1,400 Israelis.

When Arafat died, and Abbas succeeded him as ruler of both the PLO and PA in 2004, it was hoped by many in the West that he would seriously govern as a moderate and pursue peace, yet already in his initial 2004-2005 campaign for PA president, Abbas said he would shield Palestinian terrorists from Israel and that he had no plans to crack down on them. Abbas won a four-year term in that election; 17 years later, no new election has ever been held. Unsurprisingly, the democracy monitor Freedom House rates Abbas's PA-run West Bank to be Not Free, noting that: "[t]he PA lacks an executive or legislature with an electoral mandate. Because the legislature has not functioned since 2007, new laws are introduced via presidential decree... The news media are generally not free in the West Bank; journalists are surveilled and repressed... Human rights groups regularly document allegations of arbitrary detention by PA security forces." In contrast, Freedom House designates Israel as Free, finding that "Israel is a parliamentary democracy with a multiparty system and independent institutions that guarantee political rights and civil liberties for most of the population."

In hindsight, perhaps the Holocaust denial of the dictator Abbas should not have been so shocking. In 1982, Abbas wrote a doctoral thesis at Patrice Lumumba University in Soviet Moscow, titled "The Secret Connection between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement," in which he asserted that under a million Jews had died in the Holocaust; a later 1984 introduction challenged the existence of the Nazi gas chambers. Horrifically, he alleges that Jewish Zionists joined forces with the Nazis to inflict the Holocaust on European Jewry. Perhaps when a famous Holocaust denier denies the Holocaust, he isn't telling us anything about himself we don't already know. Nevertheless, it is an important light in which to consider the consistent antisemitic incitement in Palestinian educational materials and public media.

For those who don't know—for instance, for those raised in regimes like the PA, which distort and deny the Holocaust—the Nazi Third Reich carried out an industrialized genocide of most of Europe's Jews, slaughtering 6 million Jews out of about 16 million then living in the world. Even according to the most optimistic interpretations, the Jewish population has never returned to that prewar peak. Meanwhile, by some estimates, the Palestinian population has increased by nine times since the Partition of the British Mandate. Somehow, this is supposed to be happening while Israel (according to Abbas) perpetrates 50 equivalents of the slaughter of the 6 million—which would mean killing approximately 300 million Palestinians, about the current population of the United States. The mind boggles.

Yet, in the Middle East of today, the mathematically, historically, and ethically challenged Abbas is allowed to masquerade as a statesman, a moderate, and a peacemaker. It surely helps him that his domestic opposition, Hamas, is dedicated by charter to Israel's destruction, while the violent Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is a pawn of revolutionary Iran, and the forces of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) attempt to "anti-normalize" the Israeli state. Yet these forces are as often allies as rivals in the poisonous stew that passes for Palestinian politics, as each supported Abbas's "50 Holocausts" comment—not only in spirit but in content. That should tell the world as much as one could hope to know about the prospects Israel has for peace with a Palestinian culture that has been brainwashed by decades of official Holocaust denial and antisemitic incitement. Israel has about as much of a chance of a peace agreement with this group of "leaders" as it does of a joint space program with moon landing deniers. For peace to materialize in the Holy Land, a whole new generation of Palestinian leadership must step forward.
Mahmoud Abbas’ “50 Holocausts” Remarks Are Part of the Palestinian Narrative
Mahmoud Abbas’ remarks about the “50 holocausts” carried out by Israel and the subsequent international criticism catalyzed Palestinians to support the Palestinian leader, echoing and intensifying his antisemitic messages.

Abbas’ claims are part of the distorted and antisemitic Palestinian narrative according to which there was no history of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel compared to the ancient indigenous Palestinian people with historical roots in Palestine, so the solution to the Jewish problem should not be in this land.

This narrative also states that the Palestinians are the only victims of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, suffering the expulsion, the refugees, and the various Israeli measures against them. As long as Palestinians have not achieved their goals and eliminated the injustice done to them, they must engrave in the world consciousness their suffering and perpetuate it, as Abbas did at the press conference in Germany.

Despite Abbas’ relentless promotion of this narrative that encourages the struggle against Israel, Israel’s defense establishment and government are fully committed to the arguments that justify the dialogue with the PA and its strengthening. Their primary consideration is to prevent an outbreak of violence in the near future, and they believe, based on questionable arguments, that strengthening the PA contributes to this while ignoring the medium and long-term repercussions.

The best way for Israel to deal with the dilemma is to recognize that the status quo is the least of the evils and must be lived with. A gradual improvement in the situation may be achieved by directly encouraging the many Palestinians who do not promote the problematic narrative and are not involved in terrorism through measures that will improve their quality of life and do not harm Israel’s ability to prevent security risks to the extent possible.
JPost Editorial: Iran is a real threat and should not be underestimated
Israeli officials are concerned that the agreement will pave the way for the lifting of international sanctions against Tehran. This in turn would enable Tehran to receive and spend billions of dollars on developing its nuclear program and supporting its terrorist proxies, including Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, posing even more of a security threat to Israel’s national security.

During his term as prime minister, Netanyahu’s policy was to speak out forcefully against the Iran deal wherever and whenever possible. Lapid, on the other hand, has preferred – until recently – to voice his views mostly behind closed doors via diplomatic channels, while only occasionally vocally opposing the deal in public.

While their styles are different, their opposition to the Iran deal has been steadfast and there is no doubting the sincerity of both their stances in the national interest.

It is precisely for this reason, for the sake of the country, that Lapid and Netanyahu – and other politicians across the political spectrum – should not be trying to score political points on the Iran issue.

Lapid recently dispatched both Gantz and National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata to Washington to hammer home Israel’s opposition to the deal, and is said to be trying to organize another meeting with Biden on the matter. KAN News quoted a senior Israeli official as saying the idea is to schedule a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s annual session next month.

Last week, Mossad chief David Barnea made public comments calling the new nuclear deal “a strategic disaster” for Israel and saying the US “is rushing into an accord that is ultimately based on lies,” citing Iran’s claim that its nuclear activities are peaceful in nature.

Because it is rare for a Mossad leader to take such a public position and Barnea has no political agenda, his warning should be taken seriously. But from now until Election Day, we urge all politicians: Speak out against the Iranian deal by all means – but not against each other.

Emily Schrader: Palestinian rejectionism, glorification of terrorism is stopping peace
What is so telling about these actions by the PA isn’t simply that it’s embracing terrorism, but that it’s actively celebrating terrorism and ethnic cleansing that occurred long before the establishment of the State of Israel. Palestinian leaders have been quick to claim to the West that the problem today is the occupation of the West Bank in 1967 by Israel – and yet here they are referring to mass murderers of Jews in 1929 as “heroes” and an expression of Palestinian “national identity.”

Such actions prove that the core issue isn’t occupation, but Palestinian rejectionism and terrorism against the indigenous people of the land – the Jews. The Palestinian government’s embrace of the Hebron massacre flies in the face of the presumption by many, disproportionately on the political Left, who claim that occupation is the primary motivator for terrorism today.

However problematic occupation is, or however unhelpful settlements are, Palestinian rejectionism is the problem that prevents a long-term solution. It is for this reason the Palestinian celebration of pre-’48 terror attacks garners almost no media coverage. After all, it doesn’t fit the narrative.

Similarly, Abbas’s comments in Germany in which he inverted the Holocaust and refused to condemn the Munich massacre once again demonstrate the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to recognize the indigenous history of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.

Social conditioning plays a huge role
From the start, the Palestinians have adhered to an ahistorical narrative that portrays the Jews as “foreign” and the Palestinians as “native.” This is a theme that runs in every part of society; TV, social media, schools and beyond. However, the truth is the opposite. The Jews are indigenous to the Land of Israel and the Arab Palestinians who exist today are in fact descendants of a colonial conquest of the land – the Islamic conquests. When the ancient Kingdom of Israel existed in the land where Palestinians and Israelis live today, Islam did not yet exist.

Of course that doesn’t mean that Palestinians as a people have no right to self-determination today – it isn’t their fault they are descendants of colonialists.

However, the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians will not be resolved until the Palestinians recognize reality and accept that Jews have every right to self-determination in their indigenous homeland. Only through mutual recognition of each other’s rights, with necessary land compromises on both sides, will we see peace.
Disband this biased UN commission on Israel
The UN could play a productive role in fostering peace in the Middle East. Instead, it is bent on producing biased reports against the state of Israel and serving as a hotbed for the new antisemitism, in which hatred of Jews is presented as human rights activism. From the notorious 1975 General Assembly resolution equating Zionism to racism, to the Goldstone report in the wake of Operation Cast Lead, the UN has a miserable record on these matters. It could start down the long road to improving its reputation by sacking Kothari and disbanding this kangaroo-court panel.

The COI has repeatedly and opportunistically applied its open-ended mandate and disproportionate budget to dishonestly undermine Israel’s defensive military action. The commission places unfair blame on Israel for supposedly perpetuating conflict in the region while willfully ignoring the countless instances in which the Palestinian Authority (PA) has operated in bad faith at the negotiating table, including frequent incitement of violence against Israel and its civilian population. President Mahmoud Abbas and other PA officials have directly encouraged violence, murder, and hatred directed against Jews, particularly through “pay-for-slay” schemes that promote the killing of Jews and Israelis for profit.

It is irresponsible and dangerous to minimize the existential threats facing Israel. Violence by terrorist organizations, including Hamas, which the commission refuses to label as a terror group, and particularly of Islamic Jihad, which fired more than 1,100 rockets at civilian targets in Israel at the beginning of the month, threaten to tear apart the very fabric of Israeli society.

Israel has a fundamental right to defend herself in accordance with international law. The nations of the world must condemn the UN commission for the anti-Israel farce that it is and unite against anti-Semitism, whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head.

In September, leaders from around the globe will convene in New York for the 77th session of the UN General Assembly. Let this be the year that we join together in solidarity against Jew-hatred and against the isolation and demonization of Israel. A good start would be to disband the biased and hateful Commission of Inquiry.
Israel: UN human rights office is a mouthpiece for Palestinian Authority
Israel issued a blistering attack against the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in her last days in office, accusing her of office of being a"mouthpiece for Palestinian Authority."

The Israeli mission to the UN in Geneva, where Bachelet's primary office is located, stated that "a cursory look at the UN Human Rights Office in Ramallah’s website or Facebook page reflects this uncomfortable truth."

Israel cut its ties with Bachelet's office in 2020, after she published a "blacklist" of companies that engaged with Israelis and Jewish entities located in West Bank settlements, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

Bachelet is due to end her four-year term on Wednesday and no replacement has been announced.

On Tuesday she attacked Israel for not issuing visas to her staff, who either need to visit or be located in Israel and Palestinian territories.

Bachelet explained that in 2020, the 15 international staff "of my office in Palestine – which has been operating in the country for 26 years – had no choice but to leave...subsequent requests for visas and visa renewals have gone unanswered for two years.”

"I have tried to find a solution to this situation, but Israel continues to refuse to engage," Bachelet said, issuing a statement on the matter just two days before ending her four-year term.
Amb. Dore Gold: India and Israel in the New World Order
There is something groundbreaking about appearing at a conference like this. As a former Israeli senior diplomat, I think today we are fully engaged in the world system much more than we ever were before and that’s a very positive development. It is also a positive development that our normalization agreements have emerged with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, with Sudan, and with Morocco, and this is just the beginning and I hope it goes much further.

Several months ago, we had a visit to Jerusalem of the foreign minister of India, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. In the diplomatic protocol it’s a nice thing to provide some kind of gift which a senior politician can bring home with him. We have a section of my research institute which deals in old photographs and we found a photograph of Indian infantry coming into the gates of Jerusalem in 1917 with General Allenby, the commander of British forces, reviewing the entrance of these troops. They were unmistakably Indian; all of them wore turbans for their headgear.

The photographs shown here remind you of the pivotal Indian role in what you might call regional stability back at the time of the end of the First World War. So, I, of course, gave the foreign minister the photograph of the Indians entering Jerusalem. It made my point and it turns out, of course, that India’s role across the Middle East region was huge. For that reason, I inserted photographs of Indian forces coming into Jerusalem, Baghdad, and Damascus. We often call it the British Empire, but the role of India in stabilizing Mesopotamia and in the agreements that the British viceroy in India had with the sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf, was critical.

And the question that arises is, is India going to return to having a role? Is it going to be the same role? I doubt it, but it’s something one should be aware of because a role is a reflection of interests. Today in the Gulf region there’s a very large Indian community in the millions. In 2019, there were roughly a million and a half Indian workers who had migrated to the Gulf, in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates alone. I’m sure Indian governments feel a sense of responsibility in protecting their citizens that will influence Indian policy in the years ahead.
Benny Gantz signs Israel-Japan defense cooperation deal in Tokyo
Defense Minister Benny Gantz has signed a memorandum for defense cooperation with his Japanese counterpart Yasukazu Hamada which will enable the two countries to widen defense, strategic and military exchanges.

“Our countries share a common goal – defending our homes, and seeking peace and stability. Cooperation between Israel and Japan in developing technology and sharing knowledge will enable us to achieve our common vision,” Gantz said.

In 2019, Japan and Israel signed a defense memorandum of understanding to strengthen defense relations between the two and the agreement signed on Tuesday had a number of additions that allows for the expansion of cooperation in a variety of fields including air defense.

According to Gantz, with the agreement “we open the doors to technological cooperation, information-sharing, military-to-military activities, and industrial ventures. These activities will strengthen the defense capabilities of each country, as well as our joint contribution to peace and stability in our regions and the world.”
Italy's Salvini tells Israel Hayom he would deliver on promise to move embassy
fter four years of political turbulence, Italy is once again heading for a general election this September. If polls are correct, the Right is expected to regain power for the first time in more than a decade due to the revival of the Right-Center alliance that includes the Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d'Italia) Party led by Giorgia Meloni , the right-wing populist party Lega led by Matteo Salvini, and Forza Italia led by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his Christian-Democratic backers.

After the 2018 elections, Salvini's party became the largest in the Right-Center bloc and decided to join the short-lived government with the Five Star Movement, a left-wing populist party. Due to this partnership, he was hurt among right-win voters, who flocked to Meloni. She has been accused by the Left of cozying up to neo-fascistic forces. Salvini, who is considered very pro-Israel, is expected to have a senior role in a right-wing government.

Speaking with Israel Hayom he promised to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and warned against the Italian Left's antisemitism masked as anti-Israeli policies. He further states that Italy is not facing the threat of fascism today.

Q: If the right-wing coalition will win the coming election, will you honor your promise to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move Italy's embassy to Jerusalem and see this promise is delivered?

"Absolutely yes, even if I reinstate that the coalition is center-Right. I gave my word, I am fully committed with the people of Israel and I intend to keep my word."
Olympic President to Visit Israel for Ceremony Marking Munich Massacre Anniversary
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach will visit Israel for the first time in September to attend a state ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the massacre at the 1972 Olympic Summer Games in Munich, Germany, in which Palestinian gunmen killed 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team.

Yael Arad, head of the Olympic Committee of Israel and Israel’s first-ever Olympic medalist, invited Bach to be the guest of honor at the event, which is scheduled to take place Sept. 21 in Tel Aviv, it was announced on Saturday. The last time that a president of the IOC visited Israel was 12 years ago.

Bach instituted at the opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics a minute of silence commemorating those killed on Sept. 5, 1972, at the Munich Olympics by members of the Black September terrorist group. At the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016, the IOC created a “Place of Mourning” in the Olympic village to commemorate those who died during the Games.

“In his decision to come to Israel, President Bach expresses the significance to the International Olympic Committee of the memorializing of the 11 members of the Israeli delegation at the Munich Olympics,” Arad said. “In this way he also continues his distinguished activities in their commemoration which he started at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and continued at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony with the one-minute-silence commemoration.”

Also attending the state ceremony will be President of Israel Isaac Herzog; families of the victims; survivors; Israel’s Minister of Culture and Sport Hili Tropper; and other dignitaries.
Germany Expected to Increase Compensation Offer to Relatives of Israeli Athletes Massacred in Munich: Report
Germany is planning to increase its compensation offer to relatives of Israeli athletes and coaches massacred on its soil by Palestinian terrorists in 1972, amid a protracted row that threatens to cast a pall over the 50th commemoration of the tragedy next week, according to reports in Israeli media.

Berlin is preparing to make the overture, Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported on Monday, in order to settle a long-running dispute with the families of the 11 members of Israel’s Olympic delegation who were killed by Palestinian terrorists in Munich on September 5, 1972. The attackers infiltrated the Olympic Village and shot dead two members of the Israeli team early in the assault, while another nine were killed during a failed German rescue attempt, along with one German police officer.

Lawyers representing the government and the families are set to meet in Berlin and Munich on Thursday. While details for the new expected offer were not shared, the existing compensation offer is for 5.5 million Euros ($5.5 million), to be divided between more than 20 parties.

A senior German official quoted by Kan nonetheless expressed doubt as to whether a resolution could be reached.

Ankie Spitzer — a spokesperson for the bereaved families and the widow of Israeli fencing coach Andre Spitzer — last month dismissed that German offer as “insulting.” The families have promised to boycott a memorial ceremony that will be held at the Olympic Park in Munich on September 5 if a resolution is not reached beforehand.
Russian Jewish politician jailed for comparing Stalin to Hitler
A Moscow court on Tuesday handed a 15-day prison sentence to a liberal Jewish politician who drew parallels between Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s regime and Nazi Germany.

Leonid Gozman, 72, was sentenced for a 2020 Facebook post, in which he mocked the Russian legislation that banned likening the Soviet Union to Nazi Germany, saying that “it’s wrong to put an equal mark between them — Hitler was an absolute evil and Stalin even worse.”

On Tuesday, Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court ruled that Gozman’s remark violated the law.

Gozman, a vocal critic of the Kremlin’s campaign in Ukraine, left Russia when it started but returned in June in what he has described as a “moral” choice.

The Russian Justice Ministry has listed Gozman, who also holds Israeli citizenship, as a “foreign agent,” a description that carries a strong pejorative meaning and implies additional government scrutiny.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry declined to respond to a request for comment on Gozman’s sentencing.

IDF: These civilians helped terrorists launch rockets that fell in Gaza
The IDF revealed Monday the identities of two civilians who allowed the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement to launch rockets from their private property which fell within the Gaza Strip during Operation Breaking Dawn.

On August 7, a rocket was fired from a plot of land that belongs to the Gaza City municipality, headed by Yahya Saraj, and fell next to a clinic in Jabalia, killing two Palestinians.

"He chose to care more for the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization than the residents of the city that he heads, and took advantage of the civil arena that belongs to the residents of the city in order to carry out terrorism - thus harming his citizens directly," said the IDF.

Another rocket which fell within the Gaza Strip was fired from property belonging to Bakr Hamadan Imran Shamalh, whose brother is a trainer in Islamic Jihad's naval force. The rocket fired from the property hit a civilian building in Gaza City and was seen on a live broadcast from the Al-Mayadeen channel.
"The terrorist organizations in Gaza cynically exploit the citizens of the Gaza Strip and launch rockets from the civilian space, this is further proof of this."
IDF Spokespersons Unit
"The family of Hamadan Imran Shamalh took an active part in the operation of terrorism while allowing the shooting from their home and thus harming Gaza's civilian space as well," added the IDF. "The terrorist organizations in Gaza cynically exploit the citizens of the Gaza Strip and launch rockets from the civilian space, this is further proof of this."
No Jews, No News: The Deadly Gaza Explosion Media Didn’t Report On
Why did the world’s leading news organizations choose not to report on the death of an innocent Palestinian and those injured as the result of an explosion in Gaza?

On the afternoon of Tuesday, August 23, a powerful explosion rocked the Khan Yunis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip, home to about 87,000 people. Photos taken by eyewitnesses showed thick black smoke filling the streets of the crowded city; a residential building was destroyed in the blast.

According to Palestinian accounts (for instance, here, here, and here), the explosion occurred in an apartment right behind the UNRWA-run Mustafa Hafez elementary school, which is located just a stone’s throw away from the Nasser Medical Center, Gaza’s second-largest hospital.

Palestinian sources initially reported the death of 9-year-old Mira al-Attal and her relative who owned the flat, Nidal al-Attal. The latter appeared to be a member of a Palestinian terrorist group. At least six others sustained injuries as a result of the blast.
Israeli forces capture terrorists in Nablus following hours-long standoff
During an Israeli army operation in Nablus on Tuesday, the IDF captured Palestinian terrorists who are believed to be responsible for a shooting attack earlier in August.

IDF forces surrounded the home of the two wanted men, Nabil Tzuelhi and Nahad Avis, who are suspected of being responsible for the shooting attack in the settlement Shavei Shomron on Friday, and following a long standoff they surrendered.

Overnight Monday, Israelis came under fire in Nablus on their way to Josephs's Tomb, a flashpoint shrine in the city, where visits are usually coordinated with the military under tight security precautions. Several of the worshippers were injured. Some Jews believe the biblical Joseph is buried in the Nablus tomb, while Muslims say a sheikh is buried there. The army escorts Jewish worshippers to the site several times a year, in coordination with Palestinian security forces.

Israel has been conducting a counterterrorism operation in the area since the spate of attacks that killed 19 people in Israel in March .

As Israeli-Palestinian violence has flared this year, the site has again become a flashpoint. In April, some 100 Palestinians marched toward Joseph's Tomb and set it ablaze before they were dispersed by Palestinian security forces. Images on social media showed parts of the tomb inside the shrine smashed and charred.
Palestinians open fire at Israelis visiting Joseph's Tomb, two injured
Gunmen shot at five Israelis traveling in a private car early Tuesday to pray at Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus, wounding two of them. It was the third such attack in two months.

The worshipers had not coordinated their entry into Nablus with the IDF, which rescued them from the scene and evacuated the wounded to a hospital.

One of the victims was from Jerusalem, and the other was from Modi’in Illit.

The three uninjured Israelis were questioned by police for breaking the law by entering Nablus, which is under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority. Unauthorized entry is forbidden to Israelis.

Palestinians torched the vehicle after its occupants abandoned it. Photos of the flaming car were widely shared on social media.

The group had been stopped on the way to the tomb, a security source told KAN News. The men lied and told the police officers they were going to an observation post nearby and were allowed to continue on their way.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid condemned the attack but called on Israelis who want to pray at the tomb not to enter Nablus without a military escort. The army coordinates visits to the holy site once a month.
2 Israelis injured in Nablus while making unauthorized visit to Joseph's Tomb

PMW: 136 terrorist prisoners prove terror is a sure path to university education – 136 graduated from Al-Quds Open University this summer
Terrorists imprisoned in Israeli prisons continue to earn academic degrees from Al-Quds Open University, despite the Israeli Prison Service’s assurances that no such studies are taking place, and that it is still enforcing the 2011 Israeli decision to cancel imprisoned terrorists’ entitlement to higher education.

Two of this summer’s 136 prisoner graduates are from the infamous Abu Hmeid family, of which 5 brothers are imprisoned for terror offences, having murdered at least 10 between them. As Palestinian Media Watch has exposed many times, the terrorists’ mother, Latifa Abu Hmeid, is the PA’s top parental role model, having earned that status solely for being the mother of terrorists. Now she can take pride in her sons’ academic achievements too, as both Nasser and Nasr Abu Hmeid have earned degrees while in prison.

At the graduation ceremony, Ramallah District Governor Laila Ghannam – who is herself an avid terror supporter – stressed her “pride”, singling out Nasser Abu Hmeid who was responsible for the murder of 7:
Official PA TV newsreader: “The graduation ceremony of Al-Quds Open University’s 25th class also included graduates who are prisoners, the most prominent name among them being sick prisoner Nasser Abu Hmeid (i.e., terrorist, responsible for murder of 7).”

Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam: “Today there is cause for pride. We have a graduation of prisoners, including those who were released. Today we are celebrating with them, and including those who insisted on being firm and jailing the prison guard, and who received a university degree. We congratulate them and we hope that soon we will celebrate with them while they are healthy and whole, and especially the sick. We have a graduation of the Abu Hmeid family, for our brother commander Nasser Abu Hmeid.”

[Official PA TV News, Aug. 16, 2022]

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr singled out the other brother, Nasr Abu Hmeid, who was involved in the murder of 4, as one of the “heroic prisoner” graduates. Abu Bakr noted that 136 prisoners graduated this year, while 663 graduated in recent years, and 400 prisoners are currently studying for a BA at Al-Quds open University:
Head of Palestinian Teachers’ Union, Nazism and Zionism are two sides of the same coin, 200822
“Massacres have happened to the Palestinian people that were worse than the Holocaust” says Head of Palestinian Teachers’ Union

Secretary-General of the General Union of Palestinian Teachers Saed Erziqat: “A blessing to His Honor [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, He is the one who wrote about Nazism and Zionism, that they are two sides of the same coin…
When His Honor the President spoke [in Germany] about the Holocaust he did not deny what happened to the entity- and the Jews in Germany, rather he attempted to show that the Palestinian people has also been subjected to massacres, more than what the Jews in Germany underwent…

We in the Palestinian Teachers’ Union sent a letter to the German teachers’ union on this matter [stressing] that there are massacres that have happened to the Palestinian people that were worse than the Holocaust itself.”
Host: “And [it] is happening now, not in 1945.
Erziqat: Yes. Also, the Palestinian holocaust has not ended. The occupation’s daily measures are a holocaust that renews every day... It attempts to do to our Palestinian people what they did to [the Jews] in Germany…
He [Abbas] is the most knowledgeable person on the thinking of the occupation and the thinking of Zionism, because he wrote [a thesis] about the clear comparison between Zionism and Nazism. Therefore, he is the person who most understands the importance of [conveying this] narrative to the world.
[Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, Aug. 20, 2022]

Secretary-General of the General Union of Palestinian Teachers Saed Erziqat’s words are in response to an outcry in Germany and Israel PA Chairman Abbas’ remarks at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Aug. 16, 2022, in which Abbas claimed Israel “has committed 50 holocausts” instead of apologizing for the murder of 11 Israeli athletes by the Palestinian Black September terror group at the Munich Olympics in 1972, which a journalist asked him to do.

40 years on: The Palestinian view of the Palestinian Liberation Organization expulsion from Lebanon

MEMRI: Shi'ite Lebanese Journalist: The U.S. Is Ignoring Iran's Responsibility For The Attack On Salman Rushdie
In an August 16, 2022 column in the Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Shi'ite Lebanese journalist Nadim Koteich, known for his opposition to Hizbullah and Iran, accuses Iran of being behind the murder attempt against the novelist Salman Rushdie, and states that the U.S. is deliberately ignoring this. He argues that, even if there is no direct evidence of Iran's involvement in the attack, there is enough circumstantial evidence that it is responsible for it. The primary piece of evidence, he says, is Imam Khomeini's 1989 fatwa that proclaimed it permissible to kill Rushdie, which is "a border-spanning permit to commit murder" and an act of "aggression against freedom and against the entire international system." He also notes that the Iranian media celebrated the attack and that Hizbullah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah has incited to murder him in the past. Disregarding Iran's responsibility for the stabbing, he adds, is nothing less than "falling into the trap" of this country, which perpetrates terror throughout the world in ways that obscure its involvement. Saying that Iran enjoys immunity because it presents itself as a state, even though it behaves like an international terror organization, he warns that the attack on Rushdie should serve as a wake-up call for the international community.

The following are translated excerpts from his column.[1]
"The attack on British-Indian novelist Salman Rushdie once again reveals [America's] dual [perception] of Sunni versus Shi'ite terrorism and the double standard in its liberal political attitude towards them. It is immaterial whether or not Hadi Matar, the Shi'ite who attacked Rushdie, was in touch with Iran's Revolutionary Guards [Corps] [IRGC] before the attack, as leaked by several U.S. security sources to prominent media outlets. We may never know if the decision to carry out the attack was taken by Matar following an explicit or implicit [order], or if the young man [simply] acted out of a religious conviction that he had to implement Khomeini's 1989 fatwa that sanctioned Rushdie's killing following the publication of his novel The Satanic Verses. Investigating [this question] must be left to the courts, in order to avoid politicizing the presumption of innocence. A whiff of [such politization] rises from the initial responses of the American political system, which rushed to deny any IRGC involvement in the attack!

"The issue here transcends, and should transcend, the question of whether any apparatus of the Iranian regime was technically involved in the attack. [We] should address the crux of the matter, namely Khomeini's fatwa against Rushdie, which embodies the problem that the entire Iranian regime constitutes in the world. This fatwa is tantamount to a border-spanning permit to commit murder. It therefore represents aggression not only against freedom, but against the entire international system – for it is [virtually] a command to commit murder, as part of the idea of exporting the [Iranian] revolution, which is the most prominent hallmark of the Iranian regime.

"We are thus confronted with the truth regarding the Iranian regime, which is rooted in a 'criminal international doctrine,' [which it employs] as a tool of propaganda against its ideological enemies and as a means to fight them. [This regime] is characterized by the wide range of means it uses to achieve its goals. One of these means is the professional utilizing of a new generation of potential terrorists who live in the West and suffer from a crisis of identity. This is true of Hadi Matar, whose mother says he was furious with her for failing to give him a religious upbringing and to familiarize him with Shi'ite Islam before he set out on his own journey of discovery.
French Islamic Scholar Facing Deportation Hassan Iquioussen: Jihad Is the Pinnacle of Islam
French Islamic scholar Hassan Iquioussen said in a lesson that was posted on January 14, 2013 to an account named “foundiba” on Daily Motion that “armed Jihad against the external enemy” is the pinnacle of Islam, and he called on his audience to fully “commit” to Islam. He told his audience that they must not place this world above Allah, the Prophet Muhammad, and Jihad, and he said that Muslims who do not “commit” are “discarded” by Allah. In addition, he warned: “Don’t think that Islam will stop because you do not want to commit.” The Morocco-born imam is facing expulsion from France.

Calm returns to Baghdad as supporters of Iraqi cleric heed call to stand down
Armed supporters of a powerful Iraqi cleric who clashed with security forces in the capital began to withdraw from the streets Tuesday, restoring a measure of calm after a serious escalation of the nation’s political crisis.

Following two days of deadly unrest that sparked fears instability might spread throughout the country and even the region, cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, 48, told his supporters to leave the government quarter where they had rallied. Within minutes, some could be seen heeding the call, dismantling their tents and walking out of the area known as the Green Zone.

The cleric’s supporters packed up their belongings and trucks ferried away bundled up mattresses. Mounds of trash littered thoroughfares and the steps leading up to Iraq’s parliament building. A portrait of al-Sadr waving was placed against a tree as his followers rolled up carpets, tea glasses and the remnants of their four-week sit-in.

Iraq’s military also announced the lifting of a nationwide curfew, further raising hopes that the immediate crisis was ebbing, though the larger political crisis remained unresolved. Al-Sadr’s move to deescalate tensions raised questions of how issues such as the dissolution of parliament and the holding of early elections will be handled between rival groups.

Protesters supporting al-Sadr’s rivals also withdrew from their demonstration outside the government zone.

Iraq’s government has been deadlocked since al-Sadr’s party won the largest share of seats in October parliamentary elections but not enough to secure a majority government. That led to months of political infighting between al-Sadr’s Shiite followers and his Iran-backed Shiite rivals before it became violent Monday.

Biden’s Weakness Casus Belli in Iran’s Proxy War Against Israel
The recent war between Israel and the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) organization in the Gaza Strip should be seen, according to several Arab political analysts and authors, in the context of Tehran’s mullahs’ attempts to force the Biden administration to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. By unleashing Islamic Jihad against Israel, the mullahs are apparently trying to tell the Biden Administration, “You see what we are capable of doing? We have a number of militias and armed groups that could attack Israel and Arab countries. Hurry up and give us (Iran) everything we want before it is too late. Remove the Revolutionary Guard from the list of foreign terrorists. Give us billions of dollars or else we will continue to attack America’s Arab and Israeli friends. Hurry up and sign a new nuclear deal with us or else we will be angry at the US and we will continue to attack Israel and kill Jews.”

They see the three-day fighting between Israel and PIJ as part of the mullahs’ ongoing efforts to increase their influence in the Middle East by arming and funding Islamist terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

These efforts, of course, also aim to advance the Iranian regime’s plans to eliminate Israel. It is no coincidence that Islamic Jihad leader Ziyad al-Nakhala was in Tehran while his men were firing hundreds of rockets at Israel.

Before and during the visit, Iran’s leaders continued to publicly voice their intention and desire to destroy Israel and kill Jews. That is because the Iranians see the US under the Biden administration as incapable of confronting their dangerous schemes. As Major General Hossein Salami, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said on August 4: “The US has started packing its bags to leave the Middle East. It is no longer able to impose maximum pressure on us.”

PIJ, the second-largest terror group in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, is not different than Iran’s other proxies in the Middle East, especially Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthi militia, when it comes to threatening Israel and America’s Arab friends.

Like their patrons in Tehran, these proxies are all staunchly committed to the destruction of Israel and the killing of as many Jews as possible. PIJ continues to threaten and attack Israel, while Hezbollah and the Houthis are doing their utmost to destabilize security and stability in Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, Syria and the Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia.
In latest provocation, Iran activates IR-6 centrifuges at Natanz's underground enrichment facility
Iran is pressing ahead with its rollout of an upgrade to its advanced uranium enrichment program, a report by the UN nuclear watchdog seen by Reuters on Monday showed, even as the West awaits Iran's response on salvaging its 2015 nuclear deal.

The first of three cascades, or clusters, of advanced IR-6 centrifuges recently installed at the underground Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) at Natanz is now enriching, the report said, the latest underground site at which the advanced machines have come onstream.

Diplomats say the IR-6 is its most advanced model, far more efficient than the first-generation IR-1, which is the only one the deal lets it enrich with.

For more than a year Iran has been using IR-6 centrifuges to enrich uranium to up to 60% purity, close to weapons-grade, at an above-ground plant at Natanz.

Recently it has expanded its enrichment with IR-6 machines at other sites. Last month a second IR-6 cascade at Fordow, a site buried inside a mountain, started enriching to up to 20%.

In the confidential report to UN member states, the watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, wrote: "On 28 August 2022, the Agency verified at FEP that Iran was feeding UF6 enriched up to 2% U-235 into the IR-6 cascade ... for the production of UF6 enriched up to 5% U-235."
The momentum in Vienna is already empowering Hezbollah
The negotiations over the nuclear deal with Iran are now entering their final stretch. The Iranians have asked for a few more days for "consultations" and may engage in more footdragging before they give their final answer to the latest proposals.

Over the past 24 hours, the Qataris have once again entered the fray in order to help tie loose ends and help both sides take the final few steps to the finish line. Assistant Foreign Minister for Regional Affairs Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulaziz bin Saleh Al Khulaifi has left on an urgent mission to Tehran to meet with Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani, who is the head of the Iranian delegation to the Vienna talks. The Qatari official also wasted no time in calling the European Union coordinator for the talks so that he could brief the Americans.

What is truly fascinating in this story is that there is already a draft that is ready for all sides to declare a new deal. It includes gradual sanction relief in return for a pause in uranium enrichment and mothballing the advanced centrifuges. After Iran made the "concession" of dropping the demand of removing the Revolutionary Guards from the State Department's list of terrorist organizations, there is still one issue that has not been resolved: the ongoing International Atomic Energy Agency probes on suspicious nuclear activity in Iran. There appears to be deadlock there.

While this issue could seem trivial, Iran has refused to provide answers that would help close those cases, including on the reasons why uranium traces were found in three sites. Tehran has so far remained hunkered down in its refusal to cooperate and has even gone beyond that by insisting the investigations are shut before any deal takes effect.
US stops Iran's IRGC from capturing Navy unmanned vessel
The US Navy prevented a support ship from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) from capturing an unmanned surface vessel belonging to the US 5th Fleet in the Arabian Gulf on Monday night, the navy announced on Tuesday.

On Monday night, the US 5th Fleet spotted an IRGCN support ship called Shahid Baziar towing a Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vessel. The US Navy patrol coastal ship USS Thunderbolt was operating nearby and responded immediately.

An MH-60S Sea Hawk was also launched from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26, based in Bahrain.

The IRGCN vessel disconnected the towing line and departed the area about four hours later. The US Navy resumed operations without further incident.

“IRGCN’s actions were flagrant, unwarranted and inconsistent with the behavior of a professional maritime force,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of US Naval Forces Central Command, US 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. “US naval forces remain vigilant and will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows while promoting rules-based international order throughout the region.”
Russia experiencing ‘many malfunctions’ with Iranian-made drones in Ukraine
Russia has experienced “many malfunctions” with drones purchased from Iran for combat functions in Ukraine, Reuters reported on Monday, citing a U.S. administration source.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, reportedly shared U.S. assessments according to which Russia acquired Iranian-made Mohajer-6 and Shahed-series unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) earlier in August.

According to the official, Russia likely plans to purchase hundreds more such UAVs.

“We assess that Russia intends to use these Iranian UAVs, which can conduct air-to-surface attacks, electronic warfare, and targeting, on the battlefield in Ukraine,” the official was quoted as saying.

In July, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan informed reporters that the United States had intelligence indicating that Iran is ready to supply Russia with hundreds of drones.

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