Friday, September 23, 2022

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: The real reason for the war against Israel and the west
The core reason, however, why the West has gone through the looking-glass over all this is its total incomprehension of anti-Semitism.

No other prejudice shares the characteristics of anti-Semitism: its driving belief that the Jews control the world; that they are leaders of a conspiracy to harm others to serve their own interests; that they are a supernaturally demonic power.

Ultimately, anti-Semitism is a form of lunacy that defies explanation. But the West cannot grasp this, because it believes everything has a rational cause.

So, it seeks to explain anti-Semitism as just another form of racism, the result of jealousy towards the Jews’ astonishing achievements or something the Jews bring upon themselves by being clannish, keeping themselves separate, looking down on everyone else and other supposed offenses.

Similarly, the West tries to explain the Nazi Holocaust not as the result of psychotic anti-Semitism, but rather of Germany’s humiliation and bankruptcy after World War I. It holds that the Palestinians are driven to behave as they do by dispossession and despair. The fact that the Islamist war against the West is fundamentally driven by a religious war against the Jews is simply unknown.

Israel has never accurately presented the war against itself as an Islamic jihad. When asked, some Israelis have said this is because holy war is a supremely fearsome thing. With Israel’s nine million citizens potentially pitched against the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims, the Jewish state prefers to cast the conflict as a nationalistic struggle it can deal with by fighting the fires that break out day-by-day, week-by-week.

The result is that Israel has done a disservice to itself and to the world. It has failed to explain the murderous reach of anti-Semitism. It has allowed the West to undermine its own defenses against a holy war it doesn’t understand. It has enabled a false narrative about the Palestinians to spread without fundamental and essential challenge.

And now an Israeli prime minister has compounded the error.
Caroline Glick: Israel’s choice: independence or appeasement
Caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid and his supporters in the media went berserk Tuesday after Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out against the gas deal the Biden administration is mediating between Israel and Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon.

Since Hezbollah launched two drones against Israel’s Karish gas platform in July, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has repeatedly threatened to blow up Karish if Israel brings Karish online without first surrendering to Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon large swathes of sovereign Israeli land underneath Israel’s recognized maritime economic zone, including the Qana gas field.

Rather than stand with Israel against Hezbollah, the Biden administration is siding with Hezbollah—Iran’s Lebanese foreign legion against Israel. U.S. mediator Amos Hochstein has pressed Israel to surrender to most of Hezbollah’s outrageous demands. And Israel has folded to the combined U.S.-Hezbollah extortion. Lapid has agreed to give “Lebanon” the Qana field. Together with his partner in strategic collapse Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Lapid insists that with the Qana field, “Lebanon” will be economically saved and once that happens, the Hezbollah-controlled country will magically free itself from Hezbollah’s grip and sign a peace deal with Israel.

Netanyahu’s statement popped their balloon. Summarizing the negotiations to date, Netanyahu warned, “Lapid has entirely collapsed to Nasrallah’s threats. Nasrallah threatened him that if we operate the Karish platform before we sign a gas deal with Lebanon, he’ll attack Israel. Lapid got scared and didn’t bring Karish online.

“Now he plans to turn over to Lebanon, with no Israel control or oversight, a gas field valued at billions of dollars that Hezbollah will use to purchase thousands of missiles and rockets that will target Israel’s cities.”

Netanyahu was right, of course, and that is the problem for Lapid and Gantz. For months the media have hidden the dangers implicit in the deal, and sufficed with parroting government talking points. Lapid intended to avoid public scrutiny, ram the deal through before the Nov. 1 elections and declare himself a genius statesman. When Netanyahu exposed the bluff, Lapid threw a tantrum, accusing Netanyahu of harming Israel’s national interests by interfering with the talks.
Mariam Memarsadeghi: The Gender Apartheid State of Iran
When President Barack Obama promoted the original Iran deal, his pitch was that the normalization of ties with the Islamic Republic would improve the welfare and freedoms of ordinary Iranians. The exact opposite happened. Even with injections of billions in cash into the regime’s coffers, the people grew poorer and the state more repressive. The so-called “moderate” former President Hassan Rouhani presided over the killing of over 1,500 protesters. That President Joe Biden wants to obtain a watered-down version of that deal with Raisi in Rouhani’s office, and with the supreme leader still in power, shows the moral vacuity of a foreign policy that aligns itself with the most repressive tyrants on the planet, even as they murder women, gay people, political liberals, journalists, and anyone else who dares to assert the most basic claims to their own humanity.

Biden has been willing to stick Americans with extortionate gas prices in order to fight for Ukraine and trash our alliance with India by sticking up for “human rights” in the subcontinent. But when it comes to Iran, the president of the United States and leading officials in his administration have been eager to abandon young Iranians, women especially, who have been fighting courageously for freedom since 2009. The greatest asset America has for a peaceful Middle East is the Iranian people, and yet the Obama-Biden playbook is predicated on their permanent oppression under the heel of a brutal regime of America-hating, Holocaust-denying, theocratic misogynists who beat women to death for exposing their hair.

There is no telling whether this time the Iranian people will finally win. What is certain is that the Handmaid’s Tale regime that hates women and hates America is still being courted by the Biden administration, which is a failure not just of our morality but of our national interest. When you look at the photographs of beautiful young Mahsa Amini tortured to death, and when you watch videos of the same thugs who killed her attempting to beat her young compatriots for protesting for her life, remember that these are the thugs the United States is attempting to equip with more power, more cash, and more prestige, at the expense of people who desperately want to be free of their tyranny.


JPost Editorial: Why is everyone opposing Lapid's two-state solution speech?
The reactions to Lapid’s UN speech have less to do with the content than with the contenders on the Right side of the political spectrum fighting for their constituents’ votes and trying to look tough.

Lapid as well, with an eye on the coming election, is trying to present himself as the level-headed purveyor of Israeli policy with whom the Jewish state’s friends at the UN can live. And knowing that UNGA speeches are primarily designed for a domestic audience, he’s also exploiting the high-profile gift he’s been given to stake his own turf for the elections.

The faux outrage against Lapid for stating something that has been Israeli policy for decades is politics as usual. It also shows the continued absence of substance from the parties and candidates running for office. You reject a two-state solution? What is your plan?

The changes in the Arab world to which Netanyahu alluded in 2016 have indeed come to fruition in the intervening years. The Abraham Accords have opened previously closed doors and made normalization with the Arab world a work in progress that was previously unthinkable.

However, mostly due the continued failure of leadership on the Palestinian side, there has not been progress on the Israeli-Palestinian track that was hoped for at the time the Abraham Accords were signed.

A two-state solution, which continues to be the preferred resolution to our struggles here, is very far off and impossible to implement today. But just as Israel is here and not going anywhere, so are our neighbors.

Lapid is simply stating the obvious. But because no Israeli leader has made that declaration in the last few years, and because the desperate politicians fighting for votes from the same constituency have their knives out, it’s politically expedient to attack what has long been Israeli policy.

Instead of their fake outrage, Lapid’s detractors should be busy presenting their own vision of getting out of our long, ongoing morass.
Lapid Lied, Telling UN Assembly ‘Large Majority of Israelis’ Want 2-State Solution. They Don’t
In a News 13 survey conducted ahead of Lapid’s trip to New York, 39% of respondents said they support the implementation of the two-state solution, while 43% said they oppose it. 18% don’t know.

The segmentation of the data shows a clearer trend since among the Jewish respondents, 32% support 2- states while 48% oppose it; and among the non-Jewish respondents, 77% support 2-state, and only 11% oppose it. So a hefty portion of the “positive on 2-states” comes from Arab Israelis.

Amit Segal reported on a News 12 survey shows an even clearer trend: half the respondents – 49% – said they don’t support the two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state. Only 28% supported it. 23% don’t know.

Lapid then explained that in exchange for peace and a hefty chunk of Israeli land, “we have only one condition: that a future Palestinian state will be a peaceful one. That it will not become another terror base from which to threaten the well-being and the very existence of Israel.”

In the 1955 film “Mr. Arkadin,” the villain, played by Orson Welles, recites what he says is a Russian fable, titled, “The Scorpion and the Frog.”

A scorpion wants to cross a river but cannot swim, so it asks a frog to carry it across. The frog hesitates, afraid that the scorpion might sting it, but the scorpion promises not to, pointing out that it would drown if it killed the frog in the middle of the river. The frog considers this argument sensible and agrees to transport the scorpion. Midway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog anyway, dooming them both. The dying frog asks the scorpion why it stung despite knowing the consequence, to which the scorpion replies: “I am sorry, but I couldn’t resist the urge. It’s in my nature.

Happy new year, Mr. Prime Minister. You gave a good speech, even stellar. But because of the scorpion and the frog thing, I won’t vote for you.
The Israel Guys: Israel’s Prime Minister Calls for a Palestinian State at the UN
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid dropped a bombshell announcement at the United Nations General Assembly yesterday when he announced his support for the two-state solution. In other words, he stated his support of the establishment of a Palestinian state, and he also made the false claim that the majority of Israeli citizens feel the same way.

Did Prime Minister Yair Lapid just ruin his political career? Since Israel is holding elections in November, their citizens will decide if they agree with the interim prime minister or not.

In the meantime, much of the world’s attention seems to be on Judea and Samaria. The EU is discriminating against Israel’s heartland while trying to push a trade deal through. Russia is threatening Israel by offering military support to the Palestinians. And the Iranian president is bashing Israel at the UN. Meanwhile, the IDF is still in process of rooting out terrorism in the Samaria region.


Abbas during UNGA speech: 'We no longer have a partner for peace'
In addition, Abu Mazen mentioned the death of an Al-Jazeera journalist, saying that "Israel killed the journalist Shireen Abu Aqla on purpose with sniper fire. I call for Israel to be prosecuted for this crime."

Later, he called on the member states of the United Nations to implement Resolution 181 of the General Assembly - the declaration of the partition plan of November 29, 1947.

Abbas moved to accusations against Israel, claiming that it is responsible for the massacre and deportation of Palestinians: "Since Israel was established, it has committed terrible crimes against our people. When they destroyed 529 Palestinian villages and expelled the inhabitants. Since the 1948 war and after that, they expelled 950 thousand Palestinians, contrary to - 250 thousand that Israel claims, since then they have become millions."

According to Abbas, he "listened to US President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Lapid and others who said they support the two-state solution. We are thankful for that. This is a positive development. But the real test of the seriousness and sincerity of this position is that the Israeli government will immediately return to the negotiating table. Already tomorrow. To implement the two-state solution."

Abbas attacked former President Trump, who canceled resolutions regarding the Palestinians that were passed at the United Nations and by the American government.

"If we do not receive the right of equal members, as we requested, if the occupation is not stopped, we will return and ask the General Assembly to guarantee our independence and freedom. We will start submitting applications related to joining international organizations, tomorrow we will complete our steps to join the World Health Organization, intellectual property and international civil aviation," he said.


PA blasts potential British embassy move to Jerusalem as 'blatant violation'
Palestinian officials on Thursday said any move by Britain to transfer its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be "a blatant violation of International law."

"It is extremely unfortunate that Prime Minister Liz Truss uses her first appearance at the UN to commit to potentially breaking international law by promising a 'review' of the location of the British embassy to Israel," the Palestinian Authority's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Husam Zomlot, tweeted.

"Any embassy move would be a blatant violation of international law and the UK's historic responsibilities. It undermines the two-state solution & enflames an already volatile situation in Jerusalem, the rest of the occupied territories, and among communities in the UK and worldwide. Such promise is immoral, illegal, and irresponsible!" he claimed.

Truss met with Lapid while in New York for the UN General Assembly and said she was reviewing "the current location of the British embassy in Israel," Downing Street said.

Such a move would follow former US President Donald Trump's decision to transfer the American embassy to Jerusalem in 2018.

After their meeting, Lapid tweeted his thanks to Truss for considering such a move.
Why does the EU support terror-linked NGOs? - opinion
In response to the recent closure of seven anti-Israel Palestinian NGOs for supporting terrorist organizations, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell condemned Israel, claiming that there was no evidence of wrong-doing. But their work is not secret, nor is their message: Israel is a racist, Nazi, Apartheid state. Resistance (violence and terrorism) against Israeli Jews, therefore, is not only legitimate, it’s a sacred duty.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas described the work of the NGOs: “to expose the occupation and its crimes against our people.” They are part of a strategy to promote a global intifada against Israel led by Iran, Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood, the most influential organization for Muslims. The Brotherhood backs Hamas and operates throughout the world and in North America via many front groups, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and student groups, such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). It is the basis for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and other organizations that seek to isolate, demonize and destroy Israel.

Abbas acknowledged that the seven NGOs are Palestinian institutions, which operate according to Palestinian law, and he offered them offices in the PLO headquarters in Ramallah.

Either the European Union knows that the NGOs are engaged in anti-Israel propaganda and incitement and approves or it has no idea what is going on. Charging a lack of evidence is only an excuse to continue funding them and bash Israel. What the EU is really saying to Israel is: you have no right to protect yourself; moreover, we will continue to support those who seek your destruction.

Where does this support come from?
EU support for anti-Israel NGOs is not about defending human rights, or Palestinian self-determination. It’s about supporting the Palestinian narrative, the Nakba, and ending the occupation, and the two state solution, a state run by terrorists. It’s about killing Jews and destroying Israel.

As the Abraham Accords show, some Arab countries are willing to accept Israel and make peace. The EU-backed NGOs, the PLO, Hamas, and Islamist and Jihadi groups oppose it.


Sudanese military ruler Burhan says he will visit Israel if invited
Sudan’s ruling military general said Thursday he would visit Israel if invited, seeking to push ahead with stalled normalization efforts two years after the former foes agreed to establish ties.

Speaking to The Associated Press on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan was asked if he, as Sudan’s leader, would visit Israel, ratcheting up a relationship that has only seen low-level or unofficial contacts so far.

“The basis of relations is reconciliation, therefore if an invitation was presented and there is the means for this, I will go,” Burhan said.

Sudan and Israel agreed to normalize relations in October 2020 as part of the US-backed Abraham Accords, a series of deals that saw the Jewish state establish ties with three other Arab nations. Months earlier, Burhan spoke with then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Uganda in an initially unannounced meeting, marking a major diplomatic breakthrough that paved the way for the normalization pact.

However, the process to launch diplomatic ties stalled after the normalization agreement was reached, amid divisions over power-sharing between Sudan’s military and civilian government that culminated in a coup last October.

The coup, which upended Sudan’s short-lived transition to democracy after three decades of repressive rule by strongman Omar al-Bashir, led the Biden administration to suspend $700 million in financial assistance intended to support Sudan’s transition to a fully civilian government, including aid related to the normalization deal with Israel.
Speaking at Munich Massacre memorial, Herzog draws parallel to present-day terror
President Isaac Herzog addressed an event in Tel Aviv on Wednesday marking 50 years since the Munich Olympics massacre, holding the “same dark hatred” responsible for both the killing of Israeli athletes and the recent alleged murder of an elderly woman in the Tel Aviv suburb of Holon.

In his speech, Herzog paid tribute to the 11 Israelis slain in 1972 as well as to Shulamit Rachel Ovadia, 84, who was killed on Tuesday in a suspected terror attack, and vowed Israel would continue to defend its citizens.

“Yesterday’s awful terror attack in Holon, in which Shulamit Rachel Ovadia, an elderly woman, a family woman, was shockingly murdered by a Palestinian terrorist, comes from the same dark hatred of the depraved murderers at Munich. The same blind, awful hatred that we will not allow to win,” Herzog said.

The head of state recalled the “so-called ‘Cheerful Games'” — noting the motto for the 1972 games — as “the darkest nadir in the history of world sports.”

“This was the moment the Olympic torch was snuffed and the five-ringed flag was smeared with blood.”
IOC chief sorry for not honoring Israeli 1972 Olympic attack victims
The head of the International Olympic Committee apologizes for the organization’s longtime failure to commemorate 11 Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian militants at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Thomas Bach speaks at a ceremony in Tel Aviv marking the 50th anniversary of the deadly attack on the Munich Olympics, two weeks after Germany’s president apologized at a memorial ceremony in Germany for his country’s failures before, during, and after the attack.

On Sept. 5, 1972, the Palestinian group Black September attacked the Israeli Olympic delegation at the Munich Olympic Games, killing 11 Israelis and a police officer.

President Isaac Herzog says the athletes were “brutally murdered in cold blood by a Palestinian terrorist organization just for being Jews, just because they were Israelis.”

“This was the moment that the Olympic torch was snuffed out, and the five-ringed flag was stained with blood,” he says.

Bach said the attack in Munich was one of “the darkest days in Olympic history” and an assault on the Olympic Games and its values.

“Everything that the Olympic Games stand for was shattered 50 years ago with the horrific attack on the Israeli Olympic team.” He apologizes for the many years it took the International Olympic Committee to commemorate the Israeli victims “in a dignified way.”

A moment of silence was held at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games last year — the first time the Olympic Games’ organizers marked the killing of the Israeli athletes in nearly half a century.

“For this pain, and for this anguish, that we caused, I am truly sorry,” Bach says.
Shin Bet nabs Gaza-directed Hamas cell allegedly behind West Bank shooting attacks
Israeli security forces arrested an alleged Hamas terrorist cell responsible for a shooting attack on Israeli cars in the northern West Bank earlier this month, the Shin Bet security service revealed Friday.

In the attack during the pre-dawn hours of September 9, an Israeli man was lightly injured after shots were fired at his vehicle as he drove near the Palestinian village of Huwara.

The Shin Bet said the Hamas cell, directed by members of the terror group in the Gaza Strip, opened fire with at least 11 bullets at two Israeli cars during the attack.

Several suspects arrested in recent weeks allegedly told Shin Bet interrogators they were involved in the attack, the internal security agency said. Firearms allegedly used in the attack were also seized.

“The investigation of the suspects is still underway, but from all the information we have, a Hamas military squad, directed by Hamas operatives from the Gaza Strip, is responsible for carrying out the attack,” the Shin Bet said.

Also Friday, the Shin Bet revealed that security forces had arrested a 16-year-old Palestinian allegedly responsible for shooting at a southern West Bank settlement last week.
Bedouin 'warlords,' 'gangs' rule over Jews in Israel's South - opinion
On a Kohelet Forum study tour of southern Israel this week, I learned that Jewish Israelis rapidly are becoming “dhimmis” in the Negev – conquered, cowed, and powerless people under the “protection” of Bedouin warlords and gangs.

The government of Israel, from its municipal authorities and social service agencies to the Israel Police, have become weak and subservient – if not irrelevant – actors in the face of wealthy and violent Bedouin clans and well-entrenched mafia-style gangs. The problem in Israel's South and the Bedouin of the Negev

It is hard to overstate the dimensions and urgency of the challenge that Israel faces in the Negev. The Bedouin of the Negev are the fastest growing population in the world, doubling in size every 15 years through mass (and illegal) polygamy, today numbering close to 300,000 people. Bedouin land claims have grown from a few thousands to 40,000 claims in recent years over 750,000 dunams of Negev land.

One-third to one-half of the Bedouin live in “dispersed” areas – 2,000 tiny encampments sprawled uncontrollably and illegally across ever-greater tracts of land in the northern Negev – impinging on plans for proper development of the area. In these Bedouin shanty towns, there are no municipal services including basic water and sewage infrastructure, electricity, or educational facilities. There also is no taxation or policing, of course.

Some Bedouin squatters sit on land allocated for public use, such as the national toxic waste depository at Ramat Hovav, meaning that they are a nuisance to Israel and a danger to their own families.
MEMRI: Palestinian Scholar: Nurture in Your Children the Hatred of Britain Like Mothers Breastfeed Babies
Palestinian Islamic scholar Issam Amira said in a speech posted to the Al-Aqsa Call YouTube channel on September 18, 2022 that Britain is the “mother of all crimes and disasters.” He blamed Britain for the Palestinian nakba, for the “humiliation” the Palestinians are suffering, and for the world’s crises throughout history. He criticized the leaders of Muslim countries for offering their condolences over the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II, and recalled a visit to the British Museum in which he realized that everything in the museum had been stolen from nations. He added: “May Allah curse Britain.” It is noteworthy that Amira recently gave a recorded speech at the Hizb-ut Tahrir conference in Britain (see MEMRI TV Clip No. 9749).




BBC News and two Hamas arrests stories - part one )
That story has yet to receive any coverage from the BBC despite its wider implications, as outlined by the Long War Journal:

“The arrest of the militants signals Hamas’ continued efforts to direct attacks against IDF troops and Israeli civilians during a major uptick in violence inside the West Bank. Since last year, militant organizations led by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades have strengthened their presence in several northern West Bank cities. Furthermore, they have established units loyal to the organizations in Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarm, and Tubas that regularly clash with IDF troops.

While PIJ and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades have taken credit for much of the strikes in the West Bank, Hamas stands to benefit the most during this period of significant violence. The weakening of Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority coupled with instability created by the almost daily reports of assaults creates a narrative for Palestinians that a West Bank governed by Hamas is a viable alternative over the current authority whose influence erodes further each passing day.”

As noted here previously, BBC audiences have to date not seen any serious reporting aimed at broadening their understanding of the current situation in Palestinian Authority controlled areas, including on the topic of Hamas’ efforts to undermine the PA. Those chronic omissions – which clearly flout the BBC’s obligation to provide “range and depth of analysis and content” – became all the more significant when the BBC did cover the arrests of additional Hamas operatives by the Palestinian Authority the following day, as we shall see in part two of this post.
BBC News and two Hamas arrests stories - part two )
In part one of this post we saw how the BBC ignored a September 19th announcement by the Israel Security Agency concerning the arrests of seven members of a Hamas cell in Judea & Samaria. We also noted the BBC’s long-running failure to inform its audiences on the topic of Hamas’ efforts to undermine the Palestinian Authority in the areas that the Oslo Accords put under its control.

Interestingly, when two members of Hamas were arrested by PA security forces in Nablus (Schem) on September 20th, BBC journalists in the region swiftly took to Twitter to comment on that story. The BBC Jerusalem bureau’s Tom Bateman used footage from the Hamas affiliated Shehab News Agency and amplified Hamas talking points.

Later in the day the BBC News website published a report by Bateman headlined “Rare fighting between Palestinians and own police” which subsequently was wisely retitled “Palestinian raid sparks gunfights and protests”.

As is so often the case in BBC reports, the article’s opening paragraphs reflect its overall framing and take-away messaging.

Bateman begins by describing the men who were arrested by the PA security forces as “militants” despite both being members of the terrorist organisation Hamas, with one described by Palestinian sources as “close to a senior member of Hamas’s armed wing, Izaddin al-Qassam”:
“There have been fierce gun battles in the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, after Palestinian security forces arrested militants wanted by Israel.”

Only in paragraph nine does Bateman get round to informing readers that one of those arrested “was described by Hamas as one its senior members”.

That framing clearly excludes from audience view the issue of the threat posed to the Palestinian Authority by Hamas as well as the fact that, as recently noted at the INSS, the PA has on occasion taken action “against Hamas efforts that the PA leadership sees as threatening its stability and its very survival”.

In paragraph three, Bateman frames Palestinian dissatisfaction with the ruling Palestinian Authority solely as a product of Israeli counter-terrorism operations:


The Russian Navy’s Plans for the Middle East
On July 31, Vladimir Putin officially adopted a new maritime strategy in the form of a 55-page document made available to the public. The new doctrine is more aggressive than its 2015 predecessor, writes Daniel Rakov, and also gives considerably more attention to the Middle East:

Moscow wants to enhance its ties with Syria, where it has a naval base that ensures a permanent Russian military presence in the Mediterranean. Russia is planning to establish more techno-logistical outposts in the region. Russia has a political role in ensuring Middle Eastern regional stability.

Moreover, Moscow is eager to increase its collaboration with Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. Russia intends to keep a naval presence in the Persian Gulf “based on techno-logistical outposts in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, and to use the infrastructure of the countries of the region for Russian naval military activity.” Russian warships rarely visit the Gulf these days, and Russia lacks permanent bases in the area. It has been unable to persuade the Sudanese government to agree to the long-term lease of a portion of Port Sudan.

In developing its long-term strategy, Israel must consider Russia’s objectives to expand its military footprint and political activities in the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.

The extensive references to the Middle East in the doctrine are unparalleled in Russian national-security documents, [closing] the gap between the region’s fundamental importance to Moscow and its absence from policy texts over the previous ten years. [The document] regards the eastern Mediterranean (and thus the Middle East) as an “important area” and is willing to use force to safeguard its interests there.
MEMRI: So Qatar Is Free Of The Muslim Brotherhood? Really?
One of the main drivers for the founding of MEMRI 25 years ago was to present voices and narratives in their original languages, translated into English for a broader audience. That is still a key part of the mission and a valuable function. There is indeed much that is said in the original language, be it Arabic or Farsi or Chinese, that is watered down or edited for outside audiences.

But sometimes the shocking content is not hard to find and is readily available in Western languages. So it was with a September 14 interview done by the important French weekly Le Point with the current Emir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.[1] Here the striking content was the Qatari Emir's statement that Qatar has no relations whatsoever with the Muslim Brotherhood, the international Islamist organization which has become anathema to other governments in the region, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. He is quoted as saying: "This relation does not exist, and there are no active members of the Muslim Brotherhood or any groups related to it on Qatari land... We are an open country, and a large number of people with different opinions and ideas pass through it, but we are a country, not a party, and we deal with countries and their legitimate governments, not with political organizations."[2]

One thing I learned from decades of government service is that there are many ways for government officials, all of them, including Western ones, to lie that skirt outright falsehood in some technical fashion while covering up an inconvenient reality. Such sophistry can range from the political to the venal, such as Bill Clinton's notorious tergiversations about what constitutes sex and what exactly the word "is" means in a sentence. Politicians and governments lie all the time, for good and bad reasons.

It may well be that Sheikh Tamim is absolutely right that at the precise moment of his remarks there were no card-carrying Muslim Brotherhood members being hosted in Doha, no one who was waiting on a check or a bag of money from Qatar or whose work was being facilitated in some way by the Qatari state. The remarks have, of course, a huge loophole because the two Muslim Brotherhood type or analogue governments in the world, the ones in power in Ankara and Gaza very much do receive billions in Qatari support. So that covers for the AKP and Hamas. It also would also have covered another Qatari favorite, the Islamist Nahda party of Tunisia, which held power until recently in that country.[3]

Tamim's remarks also have a carve out for his mentor Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, longtime Egyptian MB leader but for many years now a Qatari citizen and connected to Islamist organizations created for him and funded by Qatar, such as the very much MB-flavored International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS). And while the Al-Jazeera Arabic television network funded by Qatar and based in Doha is chock-full of Islamists, who is to say whether or not they are "active" MB members, perhaps just inactive ones who think exactly like them? To watch Al-Jazeera Arabic is to go through the looking glass where most topics are seen through an Islamist lens (sometimes also a non-Islamist but still anti-imperialist or anti-colonial one when it comes, for example, to countries like Venezuela). And it must be said that Al-Jazeera is often catholic in its tastes, always pro-MB certainly, but also providing space to Salafis and even Salafi-Jihadists. My old acquaintance, Jordanian Yaser Abu Hilaleh, who was managing director of Al-Jazeera Arabic from 2014 to 2018 is certainly an Islamist but Tamim wanted to talk about the future rather than the, very recent, past.[4]
Ted Cruz: Ebrahim Raisi Is A Monster. His Entry Into The U.S. Was Inexcusable
For instance, 60 Minutes recently aired an interview with Raisi. The CBS interviewer meekly donned a head scarf at Tehran's request. Meanwhile in Iran, brave dissidents marched in the streets in outrage, in response to the regime murdering 22-year-old Mahsa Amini for not wearing a head scarf. The host simply sat there as Raisi piled on shameful comments, including questioning whether the Holocaust happened. It was utterly disgraceful.

No amount of whitewashing can conceal the fact that Raisi is a uniquely despicable individual. A mass murderer and a terrorist. The "butcher of Tehran."

In 1988, Raisi was a member of the Islamic Republic's "death commission," a kangaroo court that sought to identify and eliminate political opposition in the earlier days of the Islamic Republic. The trials were a sham and executions were often carried out in a matter of days or weeks.

Raisi went on to be a prosecutor and eventually was picked to be head of the Islamic Republic's judiciary. Under his direction, Iran executed juveniles, routinely employed torture, targeted human rights lawyers, and brutally silenced peaceful protesters. Raisi oversaw violent crackdowns on protests in 2009 and more recently in 2019, when the regime savagely murdered 1,500 people. Then Ayatollah Khamenei picked him to be president.

There should be consequences when rogue regimes target American citizens. Raisi is a monster whose entry into the United States was completely unwarranted. As the Islamic Republic of Iran actively plots to kill American citizens on our own soil, it is obvious that its president should never have been allowed to freely walk the streets of New York.

That is why we introduced the SEVER Act, a bill that would make sure that no future advocate of terrorism does again.


Iran state TV indicates at least 26 killed in unrest over death of detained woman
Iranian state television suggested that the death toll from protests over the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody has risen to over two dozen, without providing more information as the unrest continues.

An anchor on Iran’s state television suggested the death toll from the mass protests could be as high as 26 on Thursday, but did not elaborate or say how he reached that figure.

“Unfortunately, 26 people and police officers present at the scene of these events lost their lives,” the anchor said, adding official statistics would be released later.

Iran Human Rights (IHR), an Oslo-based NGO, said it had counted at least 31 civilian deaths.

Iranians have rallied “to achieve their fundamental rights and human dignity… and the government is responding to their peaceful protest with bullets,” said its director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam.

Security forces have fired at crowds with birdshot and metal pellets, and deployed tear gas and water cannons, said Amnesty International and other human rights groups. Demonstrators have hurled stones at them, set fire to police cars and chanted anti-government slogans, the official IRNA news agency said.






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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 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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