Monday, October 03, 2022

10/03 Links Pt1: Kontorovich: 'Gas deal with Lebanon is a total capitulation to Hezbollah'; Abbas demands that UN turn back the hands of time

From Ian:

'Gas deal with Lebanon is a total capitulation to Hezbollah'
The emerging maritime boundary deal between Israel and Lebanon, brokered by the Biden administration, constitutes a “total capitulation” to the terrorist organization Hezbollah, a senior jurist argued Sunday, adding that the Lapid government is violating Israeli constitutional rules by pursuing an agreement.

Eugene Kontorovich, Director of International Law at the Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum and director of the Center for the Middle East & International Law at George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, blasted Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s cabinet address Sunday, in which he confirmed that Israel has made concessions in US-brokered maritime border talks with Lebanon.

"Over the weekend, Israel and Lebanon received the American mediator's proposal for an agreement on a maritime line between the two countries. We are discussing the final details, so it is not yet possible to praise a done deal; however, as we have demanded from the start, the proposal safeguards Israel's full security-diplomatic interests, as well as our economic interests," Lapid said.

Lapid argued that ceding natural gas reserves to Lebanon would help the country become independent of Tehran, and ultimately curb the strength of groups like Hezbollah.

Kontorovich pushed back on Lapid’s claims, calling the concessions “capitulation” to Hezbollah, and arguing that pursuing such an agreement during an interim government violates Israeli constitutional norms.

“The proposed natural gas agreement between Israel and Lebanon represents a total capitulation to Hezbollah, and a transfer of sovereign Israeli territory to an Iranian puppet state.”

“As the people of Iran fight for their freedom, Israel is surrendering to Tehran via Beirut without even getting an acknowledgement of its existence in return, let alone peace.”

“After being proposed and rejected a decade ago, the deal is being rammed through, just weeks before the Israeli elections - in violation of Israeli constitutional rules - because the Biden Administration and Hezbollah understand the desperation and weakness of the Lapid-Bennett government.”
Maritime Agreement: A Tactical Concession for the Sake of Strategic Gain
The emerging maritime agreement with Lebanon has benefits. These include negotiations between Israel and Lebanon, albeit indirect and mediated by the U.S. We should not underestimate the importance of an agreement, even if partial, with an enemy state. The ability to generate and implement common interests is a calming and restraining element.

Lebanon is a broken, insolvent country on the verge of anarchy, and the money it would gain from gas drilling would help it stabilize. In addition, Israel could start producing gas from the Karish field immediately, and at a time when the world is hungry for natural gas and prices are increasing. It will do so without a physical threat to its rigs.

The main disadvantage of the deal is the possible loss of maritime assets. Had Israel wanted to, it could have drilled in more extensive areas and extracted gas, but that would involve a considerable risk of an escalation. In other words, Israel has made a tactical concession for a strategic gain of stability on the northern border.

However, Israel must make sure to let Hizbullah know that it wasn't its threats that brought about the results. Hizbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah will not hesitate to challenge Israel if he senses weakness on its part.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman: Gas Deal Gives 100 Percent to Lebanon and 0% to Israel
Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said Monday that the decision to all but endorse a U.S. plan to redraw the maritime border between Lebanon and Israel was a squandered opportunity that put to waste years of hard work. "We spent years trying to broker a deal between Israel and Lebanon on the disputed maritime gas fields. Got very close with proposed splits of 55-60% for Lebanon and 45-40% for Israel. No one then imagined 100% to Lebanon and 0% to Israel. Would love to understand how we got here," Friedman tweeted.
Lebanon denies it will pay royalties to Israel as part of maritime deal
Lebanon on Monday denied a US-brokered maritime deal with Israel would see Beirut pay royalties to the Jewish state in exchange for access to disputed gas fields.

Deputy Parliament Speaker Elias Bou Saab, who has been involved in the maritime talks, told the interview the Al-Mayadeen TV station on Monday that Israel has made more significant concessions than its northern neighbor, which he claimed the Israeli government has also acknowledged.

Saab pledged that “Lebanon would not pay royalties to the Israeli enemy.”

Lebanon’s president Michel Aoun made similar claims to Saab, telling Lebanese citizens that “there will be no partnership with the Israeli side.”

Speaking earlier Monday, Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Lebanon would pay royalties to the Jewish state.

“Israel gets 100 percent of its security needs, 100% of Karish and even some of the profits from the Lebanese reserve,” the premier said.
Israel’s lead negotiator in Lebanon border talks quit over emerging deal
Israel’s lead negotiator in the U.S.-mediated maritime border talks with Lebanon quit last week due to disagreements with the Prime Minister’s Office over how the process was being handled, Israeli media reported on Monday.

Ehud Adiri reportedly resigned just days before U.S. senior energy adviser Amos Hochstein on Saturday submitted to Jerusalem and Beirut what is widely being portrayed as a final proposal to end the two countries’ longstanding dispute over gas-rich waters in the Eastern Mediterranean.

According to the reports, Adiri opposed the terms of the emerging agreement and how National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata conducted the negotiations after their purview was transferred to the PMO.

Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday accused Prime Minister Yair Lapid of caving in to Hezbollah with regard to the emerging agreement.

“Yair Lapid shamefully surrendered to [Hezbollah chief Hassan] Nasrallah’s threats,” Netanyahu reportedly stated, adding: “He is giving Hezbollah sovereign territory of the State of Israel with a huge gas reservoir that belongs to you, the citizens of Israel.”

Sketchy BBC explanation of maritime borders dispute
Also notable is Knell’s framing of the meddling of the Hizballah terrorist organisation in the negotiations between two sovereign nations.

“But a misstep could result in war, with the Lebanese militant group and party Hezbollah making new threats to Israel.” […]

“In July, after an Energean production and storage vessel was sent to float above Karish, Hezbollah flew three unarmed reconnaissance drones towards it. They were shot down by the Israeli military.

Preliminary work for gas extraction is now due to start – an Israeli move that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has called a “red line”.” […]

“She stresses how a deal could defuse a potential source of conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, which is heavily armed and backed by Iran, but says there is great caution in the military establishment.

“The IDF has been on a high alert for months and is ready for every scenario of deterioration,” Ms Mizrahi says. “Maybe Nasrallah could do something not against the rig but along the border.”

“Maybe he would like a contained military conflict that would serve him because he needs to be seen as the defender of Lebanon, to justify why Lebanon needs this very strong independent militia.””

Failing to mention the terrorism which preceded the First Lebanon War, Knell tells readers that:
“Israel and Lebanon have a history of bloody wars. Israel invaded Lebanon during the latter’s civil war in 1982. In 2006, a cross-border raid by Hezbollah triggered a month of fighting.”

Two days after the appearance of Knell’s report, the US presented its proposal to the Lebanese president. Whatever the eventual outcome of this latest stage of the negotiations, it is clear that BBC audiences have still not been told the whole story.

PMW: Abbas demands that UN turn back the hands of time
Abbas on Israel's creation:
"A disgrace to humanity"

Abbas on terrorists who were imprisoned:
“Our brave prisoners, the living conscience of our people… these people cannot be described in words.”

Abbas on terrorists who were killed:
The righteous martyrs … will remain symbols that the Palestinian generations will remember with gratitude and reverence, generation after generation.”

Abbas on the murderer of seven Israelis:
“Heroic prisoner Nasser Abu Hmaid”

In his speech before the United Nations General Assembly, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas again demonstrated why he and the Palestinians have rejected every Israeli offer of peace.

Denying and simultaneously rewriting history and the present reality, Abbas touched on most of the true impediments to peace. From his description of the creation of the State of Israel as a “disgrace to humanity” and a “heinous crime” through his pledge of unwavering support to the “righteous martyrs” – i.e. dead terrorists – and the terrorist prisoners, and his homage to the mother of six terrorist murderers, to his demand that the UN now implement the 1947 UN Partition plan that was rejected by all the Arab countries, Abbas presented to the world the real explanation for the absence of Israeli-Palestinian peace.

While almost every sentence of Abbas’ speech lacked a factual basis, the following are just a few excerpts of the speech that encapsulate the PA ideology, put into context with a brief PMW commentary.

“I speak to you on behalf of more than fourteen million Palestinian people, whose parents and grandparents lived through the tragedy of the “Nakba” seventy-four years ago, and they are still living the effects of this “Nakba”, which is a disgrace to humanity, especially those who conspired, planned and carried out this heinous crime.

Moreover, more than five million Palestinians have been suffering under the Israeli military occupation for fifty-four years.”

While at times pretending that he and the Palestinian leadership support a “two-state solution”, in this speech Abbas expressed the PA wordview that rejects Israel’s right to exist as a national homeland for the Jewish people. From his perspective, the creation of Israel - in any borders - was a “disgrace to humanity” and a “heinous crime.” In Abbas’ eyes, the decision of the international community in San Remo in 1920 and the decision of the League of Nations in 1922, to recognize the historic connection of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and endorse the reconstitution of the Jewish homeland was nothing more than a conspiracy against the “Palestinians”. All this, while simultaneously claiming that it is Israel “which disavows the resolutions of international legitimacy.”
EU’s top diplomat presses Lapid on Palestinians at opening of Brussels meeting
Prime Minister Yair Lapid and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell adopted contrasting tones in their remarks at the start of the long-frozen EU-Israel Association Council meeting in Brussels on Monday.

Lapid, speaking by videolink from Jerusalem, stressed what the two sides have in common, including “liberal and democratic values.”

“We are all united in our desire to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” he said.

Lapid highlighted both Israeli and EU support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and the need to “defend freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press around the world.”

Borrell, on the other hand, touched on areas of disagreement, particularly Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

“We will discuss frankly and openly about some specific issues which are of our mutual concern,” he said in regards to the council meeting, the first since July 2012. “I am talking about the situation in the Palestinian territories and the Middle East peace process which is stalled.”

The Spanish diplomat and economist added that the Europeans are concerned about “continued violence and tensions on the ground, and the continuation of unilateral measures such as the expansion of settlements.”

Israel’s draft statement on the meeting, which it circulated to the EU side, appeared set to elicit resistance. The document emphasizes Israel’s status as a Jewish democratic state with Jerusalem as its indivisible and eternal capital, according to Lapid’s office.

In his remarks, Lapid emphasized Israeli support for the Palestinian Authority and his backing of a two-state solution.

“We are working with them and helping their economy develop,” he said, before adding that “the Palestinians need to put an end to terrorism and incitement.”

“Israel wants peace that will lead to security, not peace that will destabilize the Middle East,” he continued.
Ben-Dror Yemini: U.S. hypocritical in criticism of Israeli military
We know well, the bias and anti-Israel rhetoric used when referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After all, it was the New York Times that published on its front page, the photos of 70 mostly Palestinian children killed in May 2021, in the fighting against the Palestinian factions in Gaza.

Abraham Foxman, then CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, called the Times headline, no less than "blood libel".

Was he exaggerating? Robert Satloff, who is a senior researcher at the Washington Institute, published a detailed article justifying Foxman's view.

This progressive newspaper did not see fit to publish, on its front page, pictures of thousands of children from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan - who were killed in American bombings.

By conservative accounts: 155,000 thousand civilians were killed in the U.S. bombings in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. How many of them were children? Although there are no exact figures, we can refer to another statistic. In bombings carried out by the American forces between 2016 - 2022, 40% of the non-combatants hurt, were children.

The death of 70 children is in fact tragic. but is used in the venomous anti-Israeli campaign. But tens and thousands of dead, are not a tragedy, they are a statistic.

The problem is that the administration is not immune to the bias. Hence we see its hypocritical double standard in full view. One incident that was reported more extensively, was a Drone attack on a suspicious vehicle in Kabul in August 2021, where seven children died. In a statement released in December, the Pentagon announced that after it has completed its investigation, no steps would be taken against any U.S. servicemen.

Perhaps the American forces try to reduce civilian casualties, but no matter how hard they try, they cannot avoid most incidents. But because America is a superpower, it can berate Israel for its "immoral" conduct, as it mourns the death of Abu Akleh or that of a small child, who probably did die from fear. But Israel's greatest friend and alley should also present facts and the truth.
Shooting Attacks in West Bank Rise 47 Percent
There were 34 shooting attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem in September, more than once per day.

There were 23 shooting attacks in August and 15 in July.

14 Israelis were injured and two were killed in Palestinian attacks in September. 15 Israelis were injured in attacks in August.

The IDF continues to carry out regular operations in the West Bank to put an end to terror attacks against Israelis.
Anti-Terrorist Commander Describes Shootout in Jenin
Chief Superintendent D., 48, commander of the IDF's Mista'arvim special forces counter-terrorist squad, described Wednesday's shootout in Jenin in the West Bank.

"The militants rained thousands of rounds of bullets at us, and for the first time used improvised explosive devices (IEDs)."

"They prepared a death trap for us. They rigged the entrance to the house, and as soon as they spotted us, they activated four explosive charges of dozens of kilograms one after the other."

"It was of a magnitude I had never encountered before. There was a huge blast, the earth shook under our feet."

"The whole operation to take out the wanted terrorists took ten minutes, but the exchanges of fire with camp militants lasted much longer."

Under heavy fire, the force summoned armored vehicles to pick them up.

"The troops crawled like in boot camp to take cover and after three hours of fighting we managed to get to safety."
IDF troops thwart attempted vehicular assault near Ramallah, killing two
Israeli forces killed two Palestinians near Ramallah on Monday morning after the terrorists attempted to run the soldiers over.

The Israeli troops were engaged in counter-terror operations in the Jalazone refugee camp north of Ramallah, as part of a series of raids conducted jointly by Israeli security forces across Judea and Samaria overnight during which 16 security suspects were arrested.

On Sunday, a Palestinian woman stabbed an Israeli corrections officer during a visit to Nafha Prison in southern Israel, lightly wounding her. According to the commander of Dimona police station, initial investigation of the incident “raises suspicions” that the motive was nationalistic.

On the same day, an Israeli civilian was wounded in a terrorist attack near Itamar in Samaria, according to the Israeli military.

The assailant or assailants opened fire at vehicles traveling in the area, hitting a bus and a car, lightly wounding the driver of the latter, the IDF said in a statement.
According to the Palestinian Information Center’s English website, some Palestinian Resistance Fighters opened fire on an Israeli taxi and school bus yesterday morning lightly injuring the taxi driver. The miracle, is that if the attack had been just half an hour later, the bus would have been full of young Jewish children.

A Palestinian family from a village south of Bethlehem claimed that their 7-year-old son died from fear of the IDF. Also, The new British Prime Minister is receiving pressure NOT to move the UK embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Spotlight on Jenin: Part Two: The Palestinian Terror Groups That Control the Streets of Jenin
What Threat Do These Terror Groups Pose?

With their radical hatred for Israel and its citizens, these terror groups are dead set on destroying the only Jewish state and replacing it with a monolithic Palestinian state.

By using violence and terror against civilians to achieve these aims, these groups pose a direct threat to millions of innocent Israelis, including Jews, Muslims, and Christians.

This use of violence by the Jenin-based terror groups also threatens the welfare of local Palestinians, who are faced with the possibility of economic losses during times of heightened tensions as well as the danger of being caught in the crossfire between the Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian terror groups during counter-terror operations.
Fatah official announces ”comprehensive confrontation” with Israel
Fatah official announces ”comprehensive confrontation” with Israel, deadly terror attack was “heroic operation”

The video shows an interview with Fatah Jenin Branch Secretary Ata Abu Rmeileh on Fatah-run Awdah TV.

Fatah Jenin Branch Secretary Ata Abu Rmeileh: “Our Palestinian people has decided on a comprehensive confrontation with this occupation. The confrontations will not stop and the resistance will not stop… This (i.e., murder of Israeli soldier) is a heroic operation of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, Fatah’s military wing. This is not a strike but general mourning over the Martyrs [Ahmed Abed and Abd Al-Rahman Abed], but on the other hand there is general joy in all the streets and all the alleys.”
[Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Culture and Information, Sept. 14, 2022]

Ahmed Abed and Abd Al-Rahman Abed - Palestinian terrorists and members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades (Fatah's military wing) who shot and killed Israeli army officer Maj. Bar Falah, deputy commander of the Nahal brigade, at Jalame checkpoint near Jenin on Sept. 14, 2022. Other soldiers returned fire, killing the two terrorists. Ahmed Abed was an officer in the PA Security Forces. Fatah officially took responsibility for the attack in a Facebook post that was subsequently removed.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Political Bureau Member: Operating Sleeper Cells in Israel Is Part of Plan
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) political bureau member Dr. Walid Al-Qutati said in a September 26, 2022 show on Mayadeen TV (Lebanon) that PIJ’s plan is to wage armed resistance throughout the West Bank, in Jerusalem, and inside Israel’s 1948 borders. He said that PIJ does not recognize any Israeli cities or settlements, emphasizing that the entire territory is “one Palestinian land”. When asked if there are PIJ sleeper cells inside Israel, he did not answer.

Al Jazeera honors al-Qaradawi with interviews defending suicide bombings
The Qatar-based Al Jazeera network aired a program honoring Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi on Sept. 29, three days after his death at age 96. The program included excerpts from interviews in which al-Qaradawi defended his support for “martyrdom operations,” i.e. suicide bombings against “occupiers” including civilians.

In the interviews translated by MEMRI, al-Qaradawi lauded Qatar for its role in spreading his teachings.

He explained that in “lawful” “martyrdom operations,” people use their bodies to defend their country from occupiers, which was not the case in the 9/11 attacks, in which the attackers killed innocent airplane passengers in order to “invade” and assault the United States.

Born in Egypt in 1926, Qaradawi left his homeland in the 1960s for the Gulf state of Qatar, where he enjoyed the protection of the royal family and preached militant Islamist ideology to the Sunni world.

Hamas and the Islamic Movement in Israel are both offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Jonathan Tobin: Can Nuclear Talks Continue Amid the Hijab Protest?
As we have been witnessing, in the form of mass protests that are reportedly taking place in cities across Iran, the women of that country, as well as many men, have had enough of this treatment. They are rallying around the memory of a new martyr, Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died after being brutalized by the morality police for unspecified violations of the country's hijab rules. These protesters are apparently so desperate as to be willing to risk death at the hands of the authorities in order to make known their desire for change.

That Biden wishes to side with these brave people to the point that he's even willing to say so publicly is better than Obama's 2009 stance. But it comes after the Biden foreign-policy team spent the previous 20 months seeking to unravel the "maximum pressure" that former President Donald Trump sought to exert on Iran as part of his 2018 decision to withdraw from Obama's disastrous nuclear deal.

The Iranians led Biden and his negotiators in a merry dance, demanding more and more concessions without yet agreeing to re-enter the nuclear pact. So, it's a little late for the Democratic administration to pretend its goal has been to weaken or pressure the murderers of Amini into behaving better.

So long as Biden is still committed to signing an even weaker nuclear agreement with Iran that will send it even more cash and indicate that America is once again anointing it as the region's "strong horse," no one can really believe that it is on the side of the Iranian people against their oppressors. With the very real prospect that Biden will make even more concessions in the hope of getting another deal with Iran after the midterm elections when he will be less accountable to public displeasure with his policies, Iran has every reason to ignore his statements about the protesters.

The corporate liberal media that is still acting as an "echo chamber" on Iran for the Democrats likes to treat the issue of the regime's abuse of human rights as separate from that of the nuclear issue. But the two are actually inextricably tied together.

As long as the West is willing to enrich and empower Tehran in the form of a new nuclear deal, Iran will be able to go on oppressing and killing women on the streets of its cities. If Biden and the Democrats who defended and fought for Obama's destructive Middle East vision really want to help the women of Iran, they must do more than pay lip service to their plight at the UN They must renounce their nuclear delusions.

And, as bitter a pill as it will be for them to swallow, they must accept that Trump's efforts to weaken the Islamist regime with tougher sanctions is the only rational policy to pursue.
Russia Will Use Its Ally, a Nuclear-Armed Iran, to Better Threaten the West
As one of the signatories of the original Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the flawed nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration, Russia, as well as China, will ultimately have a say in any new agreement that emerges from the Vienna talks.

Rather than seeking to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions, Beijing and Moscow are more interested in forming an alliance with Iran to counter what they denounce as America's unilateralism, and thwarting "draconian" US sanctions.

Given Moscow's open hostility towards the West, it is abundantly clear that the Kremlin wants to exploit the weakness of the Biden administration to ensure the negotiations provide an even more unsatisfactory deal than the one signed off by Barack Obama in 2015, one that completely fails to address the very real threat Iran's nuclear weapons will pose to the wider world.

From Moscow's perspective, having a nuclear-armed Iran, one that is Russia's ally, will greatly enhance its ability to challenge the West.

In return, Iran has formed a new "axis of evil" with Moscow, providing it with weaponry, such as sophisticated drones, to support its war effort in Ukraine, while at the time providing assistance to Tehran to evade the effects of Western sanctions.

While these two despotic regimes seem determined to forge an ever closer alliance, however, their objectives are completely at odds with the demands of their respective citizens, whose primary concern is securing their freedom, not supporting the military aspirations of the ruling elites.

There is growing concern in Washington that US President Joe Biden is preparing to sign a new deal with Tehran once the midterm elections have been concluded, and that his officials are prepared to sign a far weaker version of the deal than that originally agreed to in 2015.

That would be a grave miscalculation on the part of the Biden administration.

This should be the moment when the US and its allies are intensifying the pressure on both Iran and Moscow, not capitulating to their interests with a weak nuclear deal which will only encourage them to indulge in further acts of aggression against the West and its allies.
WSJ: A Chance to Restore American Dignity in Iran
The Islamic Republic's foreign minister, Hussein Amir-Abdollahian, revealed that Tehran had received word from the Biden administration, after the recent wave of protests in Iran had started, that it remains committed to reviving the nuclear deal.

It isn't hard to imagine Western functionaries believing that the clerical oligarchs would now be prone to come to terms to refurbish their domestic appeal.

All this misses the fundamental fact that Iran's theocrats, who claim to know the mind of God, pay little attention to public opinion.

The Western approach to Iran is predicated on the assumption that the other side is pragmatic and can shelve ideological impulses for the sake of an agreement, and that the Iranian government is a responsible stakeholder and can be trusted with residual nuclear assets. Such assumptions have always been wrong.

If the president were wise, he would throw his lot in with Iranian women. Aligning American policy behind the rebels at least gives the administration a chance at regime change.

It also gives the White House a chance to restore American dignity.
Emily Schrader: 'Iran will seek economic, cultural ties with Israel' - Iranian prince
The Iranian Revolution in 1979 saw the ousting of the Shah of Iran and the implementation of an oppressive, theocratic regime which imposed draconian, barbaric laws on the people of Iran that have only intensified in their cruelty over the last 40 years.

Today, the people of Iran are fighting back with a massive wave of ongoing popular protests against the Islamic regime following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini by Iran’s notorious morality police. Unlike previous uprisings in Iran, the protesters have been very clear about their message and demands: they want regime change.

I interviewed Prince Reza Pahlavi, the son of the last Iranian shah, to understand more about what Iran may look like should there be a successful revolution. Our discussion took place online.

The Iranian people and the Israeli people have a long and rich history and enjoyed mutually beneficial relations for years before the Islamic revolution. In the future, what are your hopes for the Israel-Iran relationship?

You are right. The history of the Iranian and Jewish people is an ancient one, from the times of Queen Esther and Cyrus the Great facilitating the rebuilding of the temple. Even more recently, our countries had excellent and productive relations in the 1960s and 1970s. Once this regime falls, its antisemitism and hatred for the state of Israel will also fall. Iran will seek economic, cultural and other ties with Israel as we will with all nations who seek relations with us based on goodwill and mutual interest.”

You are widely considered to be the favorite to rule Iran should the Islamic regime fall. What would Iran look up under your leadership? What would you do with the Iranian nuclear program? Do you support normalization with Israel? Do you support normalization with other Arab states?

I have never sought to free Iran for myself, I have sought to free Iran for my compatriots. For the youth who deserve the right to live like youth anywhere! I am not doing this for a title or a position. I am doing it for my country. My vision, however, is one far different from what one sees today. A free Iran would never seek nuclear weapons, as we would not need them. Of course we support normalization with Israel and Arab nations in the Persian Gulf region and broader Middle East. The future, free Iran will look to normalize relations with all based on mutual interest and mutual respect. Our region can, if we work together, be a global powerhouse.”

What is your message to the Jewish people and the people of Israel that you wish the public would understand more of when it comes to Israel and Iran?

Today protesters chant: “Women, life, freedom!” I believe our Jewish friends will empathize with this slogan and as we are in the middle of the Jewish holidays I say to them, “L’chaim!” To life! The Iranian people seek freedom for themselves and coexistence with others. We hope the people of Israel and the people of all nations will stand with us in that process.”
Iranian-Born Israeli Singer Rita Voices Support for Iranian Women
Iranian-born Israeli singer Rita is voicing support for Iranian demonstrators who took to the streets to protest the cruelties of the Mullah regime and its morality police.

Rita told i24News on Sunday that she received thousands of messages on Instagram after recording a video in support of protesters last week. "They told me, 'Please be our voice.'"

"The time will come when we can be in friendship. We have no reason to be enemies."
Iranian Political Activist on Iran TV: We Live in a Totalitarian Regime Like North Korea
Iranian political activist Saeed Shariati said in a September 20, 2022 show on Channel 4 (Iran) that Iran is a totalitarian regime and that its officials and security forces must reconsider their actions in the crackdown against the protesters following the death of Mahsa Amini (see MEMRI TV Clips No. 9837 and No. 9833). He compared Iran to North Korea and said that it is not a democracy because the people do not have the ability to vote the rulers out of power. In addition, he said that none of the 290 members of Iran’s Majles represent him or the protesters who are being beaten in the streets. It is noteworthy that Jalil Mohebbi, who is a religious scholar and a member of the Scientific Board of the Majles Research Center, appeared on the show alongside Shariati.

Iranian supreme leader: Israel, US orchestrating protests
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday accused Israel and the United States of orchestrating the disturbances taking place throughout the country in recent weeks.

The Iranian leader strongly backed the regime’s security forces, which are repressing the protests, and claimed that the unrest, sparked by the death on Sept. 16 of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, was not being caused by “ordinary Iranians,” Reuters reported.

Amini died in custody after being arrested by Iranian morality police in Tehran for failing to wear her veil correctly.

Khamenei said her death “deeply broke my heart,” calling it a “bitter incident,” according to the report.

Yet, he added, “some people had caused insecurity in the streets,” accusing Washington and Jerusalem of planning the unrest.

“The duty of our security forces, including police, is to ensure the safety of the Iranian nation … the ones who attack the police are leaving Iranian citizens defenseless against thugs, robbers and extortionists,” said Khamenei.

Iranian police together with the Basij security forces have cracked down on protesters, arresting thousands, injuring hundreds and killing over 130, the report said, citing rights groups.

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