Monday, October 24, 2022

From Ian:

Ben-Dror Yemini: UN report on human rights in West Bank and Gaza serves only terror supporters
How can Pillay, Kothari and Sidoti be appointed to a committee scrutinizing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Well, everything is possible when it comes to Israel.

The report’s findings correspond well with the views of the three. Gaza, the report reads, is under occupation. The reason? The closure in the border crossings between Gaza and Israel.

Since the committee is working under the UN, the report could have mentioned the offer the UN itself presented to Gaza leaders - open borders in return for adherence to international rules of conduct.

Other offers could’ve also been mentioned, like that of the EU, which offered Hamas a reconstruction of Gaza in exchange for demilitarization. Hamas rejected every one of them. This is the reason the so-called blockade has still not been lifted. The report has no mention of this, it doesn’t need to because it wants to draw a target on Israel.

Hamas, which is undoubtedly happy with the report, is not even mentioned in it. Other words not mentioned in the report include: “Jihad,” “terror” and “rockets”. The committee’s information sources include many radical Israeli far-left organization and outlets, such “B'Tselem” - mentioned 17 times, “Peace Now” - 12 times, and “Haaretz” - 10 times.

Occupation is the report’s focal point, and it is becoming permanent, the authors claim. Maybe they have a point. But as usual, they ignore every peace offer tabled in front of the Palestinians in recent decades, and no mention of the Palestinians refusing all of these offers.

But not everything in the report is an anti-Israeli propaganda. The criticism against Jewish settlements in the West Bank is justified, but the subject is under great scrutiny inside the Israeli society already. There’s no need for them to take part in it.

Sometimes you need and have to wonder about the ease with which international bodies, among them the UN, cultivate hostile views of Israel, using the excuse of human rights. This new report sets a new bar.

The report is written in a legal manner, featuring notes and footnotes. Some of its claims are true, but even so they don’t undo the fact that the report sets a new record for incitement against Israel, written by a committee made up of three antisemites.

This is what demonization looks like. This is not the way to achieve peace, this is how a UN committee becomes a propaganda machine for supporters of terrorism.
Jonathan Tobin: Israel should stay out of the war in Ukraine
The international community has always opposed allowing Israel to achieve the kind of complete military victory over its enemies that would force them to give up their struggle against its existence. World opinion also dismisses terrorist attacks on the lives of Israelis as being part of a “cycle of violence” that ought to be stopped, regardless of who is in the right.

In contrast, many otherwise sensible people think Ukrainian ambitions for a military victory over Russia should be indulged, including if that means, as even President Joe Biden recently acknowledged, a risk of a nuclear confrontation.

Anger and disgust with Russia are justified, as are economic sanctions, even if they are clearly hurting the West more than the Putin regime. Yet, now that Ukraine’s extinction is no longer possible, a rational rather than an emotional response to the situation shouldn’t involve an open-ended commitment to an endless war that—Zelenskyy’s boasts and Biden’s promises notwithstanding—isn’t going to end in a total Ukrainian victory or anything like it.

Instead of ganging up on Israel in an effort to force it to join a war that has nothing to do with its security, perhaps the virtue-signalers should start considering whether it wouldn’t be more sensible for the United States to begin exploring a way to end the war. Instead, they are supporting policies geared to ensure it goes on indefinitely, and speak as if advocacy for a negotiated settlement is Russian propaganda. They have no coherent exit strategy or achievable goal and accuse those who point out this inconvenient fact of being insufficiently supportive of the cause of freedom.

This fuels the paranoia that helps sustain Putin in Russia and the patriotic fervor that is bolstering Zelenskyy’s maximalist position. It ignores the cost in Ukrainian and Russian lives, as well as the price for American taxpayers who thought they were done financing unwinnable foreign wars.

The idea that Israel should be dragged into this morass simply for the sake of a dubious romanticizing of the conflict, to assert its status as a world power or any other reason is as irresponsible as it is reckless.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Biden Embraces America's Fiercest Enemies: Whose Side Is He On?
[T]he Biden administration was damaging America's relations with its historical friends and allies while sending "positive messages" to America's fiercest enemies and haters. — Dr. Ibrahim Al-Nahhas, Saudi political analyst, Al-Riyadh, October 19, 2022.

[T]he Biden administration has preferred to attack Saudi Arabia than deal with the use of Iranian drones by the Russians in Ukraine... Were it not for American and European leniency, especially since the era of Barack Obama, who tried with all naivety to rehabilitate the Iranian regime, Iran would not have interfered in the internal affairs of Europe and four Arab countries (Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen) — Tarik Al-Hamid, former editor-in-chief of the Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat, October 19, 2022.

Since Barack Obama admitted erring in his failure to support Iran's protestors in 2009, however, has US policy changed? Apart from painfully feeble lip-service to the protestors in Iran, Biden and his administration, through their inaction, appear still to be totally committed to their initial alliance with Russia and Iran.

Biden and his administration , it appears, would rather align themselves with the mullahs in Iran and the new "Russian-Iranian Axis of Evil," than strengthen their ties with America's longstanding partners, the Arabs in the Gulf.

The winners: Russia and Iran.

Seth Frantzman: Iran thinks it beat 'Zionists,' US hegemony in Lebanon maritime deal - analysis
Iran believes the US wants to dominate energy resources and that this is why the US built bases in the region. Now Iran is focusing on the energy crisis in Europe that was created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Nord Stream pipelines have been damaged and Turkey might become a gas hub linking Russia to Europe. Iran wants to be involved as well. Iran is also closely monitoring OPEC production cuts as well as Saudi-US relations, with the goal of sabotaging Riyadh-Washington ties.

“The United States is changing its strategic focus from the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific region, in such a background, the countries of the Middle East can no longer rely on geopolitical protection as before,” reads the report.

Iran is thus empowered and may escalate its threats judging the US to be leaving the region and judging US-backed countries to be weak.

According to the report, the maritime deal between Israel and Lebanon is a major development and Iran sees this as the “strength of the resistance front in restoring Lebanon’s maritime rights.”

Thus, Iran believes threats have secured what it wants off the coast of Lebanon “by taking back its oil and gas wealth from the occupying Zionist regime in the Mediterranean Sea, due to the decisive positions of Hezbollah and [Hezbollah leader] Hassan Nasrallah, Lebanon made the American-Zionist axis no longer able to continue looting Lebanon’s energy resources for export to America and Europe.”

Iran believes there has been a “fundamental change in the strategy of the United States in looting the region’s wealth,” and Iran’s regime appears to believe that this has led to confrontation of the US in the region and that it is a preview of how the US tried to extend its “hegemony” to the area. However, Tehran seems to think the US has failed in this endeavor.
US envoy: Israel, Lebanon ‘hopefully’ to sign maritime border deal on Thursday
U.S. energy envoy Amos Hochstein said on Sunday that Israel and Lebanon would likely sign their maritime border agreement later this week.

“We’re going to have a deal. We’re going to sign it hopefully this Thursday,” Hochstein said in an interview on CNN‘s “Face The Nation.”

According to Israeli media reports, the ceremony will take place in the Lebanese town of Naqoura, close to the shared border, with delegations from Jerusalem and Beirut finalizing the agreement in separate rooms.

Israel and Lebanon have no diplomatic relations and remain technically at war.

The Israeli and Lebanese governments earlier this month gave preliminary approval to the U.S.-mediated maritime border deal to end a long standing dispute over gas-rich waters in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The False Promise of a Gas Paradise: The Israel-Lebanon Maritime Deal
Nevertheless, there is a big asymmetry between the benefits the two sides stand to enjoy. The Israelis have already found – and extracted – significant amounts of gas, with Leviathan (623 billion cubic meters), Tamar (283 billion), and smaller fields, and they know what to expect from the Qarish field, which is now secured by the recent deal. International companies are already operating in Israel’s fields, their petroleum sector’s governance is in place, and they have deals with neighbors such as Egypt, Cyprus, and Jordan, whether for gas sales or optimizing gas transportation.

In Lebanon, however, the gas business is mostly about speculation. Apart from one trial by the Total–led consortium in 2020, which did not succeed in hitting a reservoir, no exploration work has been done. There are many contradicting estimates of Lebanon’s total reserves, anywhere between 340 and 708 billion cubic meters, with some estimates reaching 1,220 billion cubic meters. But the real challenge lies more in the inability of the Lebanese power structure to do the preparatory work upstream and downstream, including putting in place a proper governance of the revenues that can be outside the reach of the deeply-rooted system of corruption in Beirut; providing effective infrastructure at reasonable cost; optimizing the impact of any positive development on the labor market; establishing alliances and finalizing deals regarding sales and transportation; maximizing Lebanon’s share from the operations; succeeding in managing the potential revenue while avoiding further widening economic inequalities among Lebanese; and wisely using the hydrocarbon assets in the best interest of the Lebanese and of their future generations at the same time. These are all things that look highly unlikely in the present context in Beirut.

As a matter of fact, the survival of the deal may be threatened by Israeli internal politics, and could lead to complete disillusionment on the Lebanese side, where the elites are fueling very unrealistic expectations in terms of revenues—such as fantastical claims that there will be trillions of dollars forthcoming. Even in the very best case scenario explained in a study released a few months ago by the Lebanese Citizen Foundation, Lebanon can expect an annual peak of extraction of 15 billion cubic meters and an exploitation that could last 50 years, and self-sufficiency for about 35 years. This would of course be significant, but by no means a recipe to avoid the need for long-awaited reforms. Those who are being promised that bank deposits will be given back to their owners thanks to the gas extraction that will follow the deal, and those who believe they can have a better country without going through the hassle of reforms, may lose their illusions not too far from now. Of course, they will not be able to blame it on the maritime boundary deal, but they will realize that one perverse effect of the agreement was to allow insufferable elites to buy themselves a few more decades by dangling a gas paradise.
Jordanian Parliament Speaker Abdul Karim Deghmi: Most Jordanians Reject Normalization with Israel

When will the UN Human Rights Council care about gay and women's rights?

Report: Israel behind Damascus blasts
Syrian state media on Monday attributed several explosions in Damascus to the Israeli Air Force, though according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) the cause of the blasts was still being investigated.

It was the second alleged Israeli strike on the Syrian capital in the past few days, after Syria’s Defense Ministry reported on Friday that air defenses had intercepted Israeli missiles over the city and its suburbs.

In September, an airstrike in the Damascus region attributed to the IAF reportedly killed five Syrian soldiers, while in June, reports said that IAF strikes took Damascus International Airport out of commission for almost two weeks.

Syria’s northern Aleppo airport was also targeted, in both August and September.
Israeli public has become accustomed to daily terror attacks - opinion
THE REGAVIM Movement has been documenting illegal Arab construction in Area C for years, warning of the impending Palestinian Authority annexation of Judea and Samaria. In recent months, when our complaints to the Civil Administration about new illegal construction began to pile up at an unprecedented rate, we began to suspect that something new was in the air. When we conducted a full mapping survey of the territory, our fears were confirmed: The rate of illegal Palestinian construction in Area C nearly doubled in the past year.

The data are clear and unequivocal: On average, 15 new illegal structures are built every day, most of them substantial, multistory brick and mortar structures – many of them palatial residences with swimming pools and whirlpools in the yard. As of this writing, the total number of illegal Arab structures in Area C exceeds 80,000; lest we forget, this is in Area C, under full Israeli jurisdiction, not Areas A and B, which are under PA control.

Before our eyes, the battle for Area C of Judea and Samaria, which is a microcosm of the battle for the State of Israel as a whole, has shifted from cement mixers and olive saplings to live fire. Only days ago, Regavim’s field coordinator came under fire while inspecting an illegal construction project on the outskirts of Kiryat Arba. Thankfully, he and the municipality employee accompanying him were unhurt; their quick response saved their lives and helped the IDF eventually apprehend the terrorist.

This shocking incident is just one in a long list of recent terrorist attacks, many of which were launched from illegal structures, which are much more than warning bells. They are a blaring emergency siren that should pierce every Israeli’s apathy and self-delusion. The Palestinian state is taking shape under our noses and is already posing an existential threat to the State of Israel.
Herzi Halevi approved as next IDF chief of staff
The Israeli government on Sunday approved the appointment of Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi as the twenty-third Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces. Halevi will replace Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, whose term ends in January 2023.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced on Sept. 4 that he had selected Halevi to be the next military commander, and on October 18, the Senior Nominations Advisory Committee approved the selection, after ruling that a transition government can appoint an IDF chief of staff.

Halevi, who until now served as IDF deputy chief of staff, has served in many positions in the IDF, including as head of the military’s Southern Command, and chief of the Military Intelligence Directorate. He also commanded the General Staff Reconnaissance Unit (Sayeret Matkal) during the Second Intifada.

Addressing the decision, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said, “Maj. Gen. Halevi joins a long and elite series of thoughtful and bold commanders who knew how to march the IDF forward.”
AP On Threats to Israeli Democracy Herzi Halevi & His Big Bad Settlement
As predictable as a Grimm Fairytale, AP’s Tia Goldenberg recounts today that the newly appointed Israeli Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi is the big bad wolf licking his drooling chops at the sight of Israel’s vulnerable law enforcement, diplomacy, peacemaking and even democracy (“Judges, ministers, now army chief: Settlers rise in Israel)

The villain’s threat, you see, is that he is a settler, hailing from Kfar HaOranim, a community just across the armistice line that separated the illegally occupied Jordanian occupied West Bank from Israel between 1948 and 1967. (Because this community is between the Green Line and the large ultra-Orthodox settlement of Kiryat Sefer, it was always, under every peace agreement including the Geneva Accords, slated to be included in Israeli territory. But in face of the dire situation, pay no attention to the meddling geographic details.)

The AP’s tweet about the story gives a neat summary of the imminent collapse of all law and order due to the appointment of one Herzi Halevi: “A West Bank settler will for the first time become chief of Israel’s military, the enforcer of a 55-year military occupation. Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi’s rise caps the settlers’ transformation from a fringe group to Israeli mainstream.”

Egypt’s work in Gaza ‘promotes regional stability’
Reports have surfaced in recent weeks about Egypt’s role in leading negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel over the possible development of natural gas reserves off the Gaza coast.

While the reports have yet to be confirmed, what is beyond doubt is that Egyptian bulldozers are paving new roads in Gaza and Egyptian construction teams are building new residential neighborhoods in the north of the Strip, relying on international and Gulf funding as part of a bid to help the Strip recover from past military conflicts.

And it is Cairo that mediated ceasefires to those conflicts.

These actions are all guided by core Egyptian security and political interests, but they also benefit Israel, according to Col. (res.) Shaul Shay, a senior research fellow at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya and a former deputy head of Israel’s National Security Council.

“The Egyptian intervention in Gaza is a one-of-a-kind situation in which all parties benefit,” said Shay. While Israel cannot directly negotiate with the Hamas terror regime in Gaza, Jerusalem is interested in improving conditions for Gaza’s estimated two million residents, and this would, according to Israel’s view, decrease the chances of escalations and give Gazans a stake in a continued ceasefire—an influence that Hamas’s leadership would feel.
Hamas Warns Against Israel-Egypt-PA Deal on Natural Gas near Gaza
Hamas warned the Palestinian Authority against handling the issue of natural gas fields located off the coast of Gaza on Thursday, just days after the announcement that Israel, Egypt and the PA were holding discussions to begin pumping gas from the gas fields.

"The [Palestinian] Authority is not qualified to receive the gas file, as it is involved in cases of corruption, waste of money and misconduct," Hamas told Al-Watan news.
Mahmoud Abbas Praises Russia and Bashes the U.S.—against His Own Interests
On October 12 and 13, the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas attended a Kremlin-sponsored international summit in Kazakhstan, where he met with Vladimir Putin and publicly thanked him for his support, while declaring his own lack of trust in the U.S. Michael Koplow observes that such rhetoric follows a “years long pattern . . . where Abbas expects a long list of things from the U.S. without being willing to accede to U.S. requests in return.” Koplow adds:

[Abbas’s] hopes when President Joe Biden was elected were that the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem and the PLO mission in Washington would be immediately reopened, that the Taylor Force Act would be swept away and past U.S. direct support to the Palestinian Authority (PA) would be resumed, and he may have even believed that there was a slight chance that the U.S. would move its embassy back to Tel Aviv. None of these things have occurred, and thus Abbas now speaks about Biden and the current administration as if they have done nothing for the Palestinians and are barely an improvement over the Trump era.

Despite Abbas’s grave disappointment, he blithely glosses over the hundreds of millions of dollars in economic assistance that Biden has restored to the West Bank, the hundreds of millions of dollars once again flowing to UNRWA, [the UN agency that supports Palestinian refugees from the Israeli War of Independence and their descendants], and the tens of millions of dollars to civil-society groups working with Palestinians. . . . More importantly, Abbas blithely glosses over the fact that this is about the upper limit of what Biden is able to do under U.S. law and in combination with what current politics in Congress will support.

The reason for that, of course, is that the PA continues to make prisoner and martyr payments in contravention of U.S. law, and despite its own repeated pledges to do so, has not yet taken any significant steps toward reforming this system. The lion’s share of Abbas’s disappointment lies in his own failure to live up to his commitments to the U.S. rather than the other way around.

The idea that Russia is the Palestinians’ great patron while the U.S. sits on its hands flies in the face of all evidence. Nevertheless, Abbas decided to sit down with Putin and thank him for scraps while treating tangible American help as if it does not exist.
PMW: PA instructs preachers to praise murderer as hero and glorify Martyrdom-death in Friday's sermons
Palestinian preachers in mosques are not free to talk about whatever they want, but are dictated specific talking points for their Friday sermons by the PA Ministry of Religious Affairs, as documented by Palestinian Media Watch. This is one of the ways the PA makes sure its policies, ideologies, and calls to action are spread to the Palestinians.

A fresh example is the PA communicating to the people its endorsement of a murderer, its glorification of him as a “hero,” and its adherence to PA ideology that dying as a “Martyr” for Allah is an ideal.

The PA’s new role model is 22-year-old Palestinian terrorist “Martyr” Uday Al-Tamimi, who shot and murdered 18-year-old female Israeli soldier Sgt. Noa Lazar and wounded an Israeli security guard at the Shuafat checkpoint in northern Jerusalem earlier this month. Al-Tamimi managed to escape and 10 days later shot and wounded another Israeli security guard before other guards at the scene shot and killed him in self-defense.

Now the PA Ministry of Religious Affairs has instructed Palestinian preachers to praise murderer Uday Al-Tamimi as a “hero” while glorifying Martyrdom-death for “Palestine” as something to strive for and a reward from Allah, in an obvious attempt to encourage others to follow in the footsteps of this murderer and other similar terrorists:

The image shows the instructions issued by the PA Ministry of Religious Affairs, listing points to be made by mosque preachers in their Friday sermons on Oct. 21, 2022.

Preachers were to tell worshippers in the mosques the following about the terrorist murderer:
Terrorist murderer Uday Al-Tamimi “chose the loftiest status and gave that which is most precious to him – his life”
His life was “something insignificant [he gave] for the sake of Palestine and its holy sites”
“This hero died as a Martyr while charging forward and not fleeing”

Preachers were to present terrorist murderer Uday Al-Tamimi and other terrorist “Martyrs” in the following way:
They “wanted to meet Almighty Allah, and Allah wanted to meet them”
They are “happy over what they sacrificed”
“Their souls are in lamps hanging from [Allah’s] throne and traversing Paradise freely”
“Allah chose them to receive Martyrdom”

The terror attacks and the killing and wounding of Israelis should be portrayed in the mosques as “acts of heroism” and “an awe-inspiring history”:
“The Martyrs’ acts of heroism, the sacrifices that they have made, and their pure blood have written for us an awe-inspiring history, and they are a source of determination and strength for us all”
[Facebook page of the PA Ministry of Religious Affairs, Oct. 20, 2022]
Palestinian PM Shtayyeh: The Occupation Uses Palestinian Blood to Fund Its Election Campaign

How the U.S. Can Help the Iranian People While Preventing a Nuclear Crisis
Five weeks after the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the Islamic Republic’s police, anti-regime demonstrations within the country have only grown more intense. Amos Yadlin and Joel Zamel call on Western governments, along with private and civic institutions, to do what they can to help the protesters, and explain what might be done:

Despite the $750 billion U.S. defense budget, there has been limited investment in information campaigns, civil resistance training, strengthening of alternative leadership, and a wide range of other tools to empower the Iranian people.

Two parallel issues, the Iranian regime’s survival and its nuclear program, are beginning to intersect. The latter has occupied the world’s attention for the past twenty years while the former has occupied the international community since the 1979 revolution that saw the rise of Iran’s radical Islamic regime.

[One way to respond to Tehran’s attempt to attain nuclear weapons], which the West has been reluctant to support, has been to push for regime change by helping the Iranian people overthrow their oppressors, through any non-violent means necessary. . . . This option has been discarded by leadership circles around the world, leaving Iranian dissidents and human-rights activists stranded on the sidelines of history for the past 40 years. It is not only morally abhorrent to abandon freedom fighters from what was once a great civilization, but also strategically unwise.

Regime change does not have to mean military force; rather an intentional effort to utilize [non-military] means to strengthen and support the opposition to liberate their country. . . . That a free and democratic Iran would be optimal for U.S. foreign policy is something that can be agreed on across America’s political spectrum, yet this objective remains absent from ongoing debates.
Iran Has Declared War on Britain and the West
Putin claims that Russia is in a war against the NATO alliance. But the Kremlin's increased reliance on Iran in waging its campaign of terror against Ukraine's civilian population now raises the prospect of a new "axis of evil" being formed between Moscow and Tehran.

Following Putin's visit to Tehran in July, Iran offered to assist Russia with avoiding sanctions by using its "dark" fleet of oil tankers. In return, Moscow agreed to an arms deal with Iran, including the purchase of 2,400 Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones. These Iranian kamikaze drones are now at the forefront of Putin's attempts to wreak havoc against Ukraine.

Under a deal agreed in Moscow earlier this month with senior officials from Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Tehran has promised to provide Russia with surface-to-surface missiles as well. In addition, Iran sent a 50-strong team of Revolutionary Guard technicians to Crimea to assist the Russian war offensive.

From the perspective of European security, the significance of Tehran's growing involvement in the Ukraine conflict cannot be ignored. This is the first time that Iranian weaponry has been used on European soil.

The British and American governments, together with other Western signatories to the nuclear deal with Tehran, must acknowledge that there is now little prospect of reaching a new agreement with Iran to limit its nuclear ambitions. Western politicians need to understand that there is absolutely no chance of reaching any accord with the ayatollahs so long as Iranian drones are being employed to terrorize innocent civilians in European cities.

By siding so openly with Moscow, Iran has shown its true objective, which is to challenge the West and its allies by any and all means possible, including military force.
Lapid to ‘Post’: Israel will need to react to dangerously tight Russia, Iran
Israel is growingly concerned by the “dangerous closeness” between Russia and Iran over the supply of drones manufactured in the Islamic Republic to attack Ukraine and is, as a result, holding daily assessments to review its position on the conflict, Prime Minister Yair Lapid told The Jerusalem Post.

“Part of the work we’re doing has to do with the very dangerous closeness that is being created between Russia and Iran,” he told the Post in an interview on Sunday. “It’s not something we are going to ignore or do nothing about… so what we need to do is reassess on a daily basis and react.”

A full interview with Lapid will be published in Friday’s print edition.

Lapid said Israel was holding close consultations with the Americans about the developing situation. Last Thursday, he spoke by phone with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kubela, and the issue came up. Iran has supplied Russia with scores of drones – including suicide ones – that have been used to attack Ukrainian civilian centers.

Asked what is holding Israel back from providing Ukraine with missile-defense systems, Lapid said he was balancing two considerations.

“One is we are on Ukraine’s side,” he said. “We are supporting them. We just voted at the UN [General Assembly], telling the world that we will never accept the annexation of the four regions [of Ukraine by Russia]. We are still the only country in the world that built a field hospital in Ukraine.”

The other consideration “is making sure Israel’s national security interests are being protected at all times,” he said.

Though Lapid did not specify, Israel’s policy of not providing Ukraine with weapons is due in part to a deconfliction mechanism between Jerusalem and Moscow that allows Israel to strike Iranian targets in Syria without clashing with Russian forces stationed there. On Monday, Israel allegedly struck a target near Damascus.
Zelensky: Israeli aid to Ukraine could've stopped Russia-Iran drone axis
The Russian-Iranian drone axis in Ukraine would not have reared its head if the Israeli government had agreed to supply air defense systems to the Ukrainian military, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a pre-recorded message to Haaretz's Democracy Conference held on Monday.

If Ukraine had "immediately secured our skies, Russian would not have a motive to go to Iran and offer something in exchange for assistance in terror," the Ukrainian president told the conference. "We have been asking Israel for help since 2014," Zelensky lamented. "The decision of your state, your governments...[was to] 'not to annoy' the Kremlin, not to help Ukraine for real." Russia paying Iran for drones with nuclear knowledge says Zelensky

Zelensky warned the Israelis that Iran is not "just interested in money," with Russia paying for the Islamic Republic's drones through assistance to its nuclear program, as he said.

"This is exactly the meaning of their alliance," Zelensky said. "And this alliance of theirs simply would not have happened if your politicians had made only one decision at the time, the decision we asked for."

The Ukrainian president further criticized Israel's policy regarding the Ukraine-Russia War, stating that it is time for Israel to choose if it sides with democratic worlds to with "those who turn a blind eye to Russian terror.

"In eight months of war, Russia has used almost 4,500 missiles against us...and their stock is dwindling," Zelensky said. "This is why Russia went looking for affordable weapons in other found them in Iran."
Seth Frantzman: Is Israel helping Ukraine with drone intel?
PROVIDING KYIV with ways to intercept the drones is a scenario that could be a way to back Ukraine without sending arms. The beleaguered country needs air defenses and radars, and may need a way to jam the drones, or even a way to help local troops use other means to neutralize them.

Ukraine received four new radars, according to the website Defense Blog: “German sensor specialist Hensoldt announced that it is supplying four of its high-performance radars in record time for Diehl Defence’s IRIS-T SLM air defense system, which is designed to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capability.” This will improve Kyiv’s ability to detect threats. A plethora of options when it comes to stopping drones

Those charged with intercepting the drones need good command, control and communications; they may need multi-layered integrated air defenses, but they also need to be able to track through sensors, issue warnings and identify and classify the drone threats. Then, they would need to be able to relay information quickly, warning people to go to shelters and identifying the right systems on the route of the drone to neutralize it.

This can mean missiles, guns, or other systems. Today there are systems that use lasers, microwaves, or even drones to take out drones. There are fire control systems that can go on rifles as well.

Ukraine desperately needs more assistance, although it is already downing about 50%-70% of the drones and missiles Russia is using, according to Ukrainian reports. But Kyiv can’t stop all the threats. Some of the drones get through and wreak havoc on civilians and the country’s energy grid.

Russia is using drones indiscriminately to harm Ukraine’s morale and plunge the country into darkness. But they are slow moving and they may not be as effective as precision weapons against military targets.
Germany to Deploy Israeli UAVs to Thwart Russian Strikes
German media report that the government wants to use the Heron UAVs it leases from Israel Aerospace Industries to defend against potential Russian attacks on critical energy infrastructure and monitor movements of the Russian naval fleet.

The German parliament has asked the German Air Force to immediately deploy the UAVs to provide protection against potential Russian sabotage, in the wake of last month's mysterious explosion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline.

In recent weeks, Russia has been attacking Ukrainian infrastructure installations including water and electricity, demonstrating for the Germans the danger of hitting infrastructure.

Since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war, the German parliament has decided to let the UAVs be armed with Israeli-made missiles.

Over the past two years, dozens of German Air Force pilots have been trained in Israel to operate the UAVs.
Iranian Instructors Train Russian Military in Belarus: Report
Iranian instructors from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were seen in Belarus training Russian troops and coordinating launches of Iranian-made drones, a report said on Sunday.

According to the Ukrainian National Resistance Center, “a group of Iranian instructors, officers of the IRGC, who are under the highest protection of the Russian National Guard and FSB (Federal Security Service) officers” was spotted in the village of Mykulichi, in the Gomel region, which borders Ukraine in the east.

“According to information from Belarusian partisans, it was these instructors who coordinated the launches of the “Shahed-136” UAVs at infrastructure facilities in the Kyiv region and the northern and western regions of Ukraine,” the report said, adding that Russian forces have taken control of major air bases in western Belarus and use them to carry out attacks on Ukrainian territory.

The center has previously reported that Iranian instructors were seen in the occupied region of Kherson which is currently being evacuated by the Russian authorities amid the Ukrainian counter-offensive. Last week, the US officials also confirmed the center’s reports on Iranian personnel being deployed to the annexed Crimea peninsula.

Iran claims to arrest 10 Mossad agents for burning security officials’ cars, homes
Iranian authorities have arrested 10 agents working for Israel in the province of West Azerbaijan, Iranian media reported on Monday.

The semi-official Fars news agency reported that the individuals carried out operations against Iranian security officials and were in contact with the Mossad intelligence agency.

“They set fire to cars and homes of people affiliated with the security apparatus and received cash for taking photos which they sent to Mossad agents,” the report said.

Iran occasionally announces the detention of people it says are spying for foreign countries, including the United States and Israel, without providing evidence to back up such claims.

Iranian leaders have also recently claimed that popular unrest across the country against the regime’s opression of women is being orchestrated by Israel and the US.

Two weeks ago, Iran claimed to have apprehended a “Zionist spy” disguised as a businessman in the southern Kerman Province.
Ukraine’s biggest soccer club urges FIFA to ban Iran from World Cup
Ukraine’s top soccer club on Monday urged FIFA to remove Iran from the World Cup because of the country’s alleged military support to the Russian invasion.

Shakhtar Donetsk chief executive Sergei Palkin accused Iran of “direct participation in terrorist attacks on Ukrainians,” suggesting his own country’s team should play in Qatar instead as a replacement.

“This will be a fair decision that should draw the attention of the whole world to a regime that kills its best people and helps kill Ukrainians,” Palkin said in a statement one day before his team plays at Celtic in the Champions League.

The White House said Thursday that the US has evidence that Iranian troops are “directly engaged on the ground” in Crimea supporting Russian drone attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure and civilian population. And the head of Ukraine’s intelligence service, Kyrylo Budanov, said in a published interview on Monday that Russian forces had used about 330 Iranian-built “Shahed” drones as of Saturday — and that more had been ordered.

Russia and Iran have both denied that the drones used were Iranian-built.

Iran plays in the second game of the World Cup, on November 21 against England, and then faces Wales and the United States in Group B. Wales qualified by beating Ukraine in the playoffs in June in a game that was delayed from March by the war.

Iranian TV Public Service Announcement Warning of “Fake News”: Don’t Fall for Unsubstantiated Rumors
On October 22, 2022, Noor TV (Iran) aired an animated public service announcement warning against “fake news” and against “psy-op techniques” being used against the Iranian people. In the video, viewers are warned against rumors spread by people with “ulterior motives” that can become blown out of proportion if the facts of the matter are not known to the audience. Cartoon versions of BBC, Al-Arabiya Network, and the London-based Persian-language Manoto TV are depicted spreading unsubstantiated news reports. In addition, the video shows a man watching a BBC report in which what appears to be a nuclear facility is destroyed in an explosion, while the voice over states: “They know full well that rumors disrupt society’s psychological security.” According to the end credits, the video was produced by the Propaganda and Art Department of the religious seminaries.

Iranian State TV targets HonestReporting Staff
Iranian Press TV targets HonestReporting and falsely alleges conspiracies with the Israeli government. Video accuses HonestReporting staffers of working for the IDF and includes pictures of children in an attempt to intimidate. Defends journalists who praised Hitler and terror attacks that murdered dozens.

PreOccupiedTerritory: There Better Be Some Murderous Thugs Left To Empower When The Iran Regime Falls by Ben Rhodes, former White House adviser (satire)
Ben RhodesWashington, October 24 – The scenes from around the Islamic Republic over the last few weeks have generated the gamut of reactions: fear for the courageous women of the country; concern for regional stability; uncertainty over the future of the regime’s nuclear program; worry regarding the integrity and continuity of government there; but perhaps most of all, anxiety whether, if the Ayatollahs’ rule does end, any corrupt, autocratic brutes will remain whom we can shore up and provide with an economic political lifeline, rather than permit a free, representative system to emerge, for the sake of our nuclear-deal-dependent egos.

No one can fail to feel moved at the sight of hundreds, even thousands, of defiant protesters confronting armed regime enforcers. These images and reports evoke such inspiring precedents as the French Revolution, Martin Luther King’s marches, and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Sheer moral courage may well prove the key to the overthrow of the mullahs – I just hope that, if or when it comes to that, some murderous thugs can still benefit from President Biden’s accommodating arrangements to keep those thugs in power. The Obama administration, in which I served, perceived the necessity of not supporting or encouraging earlier popular protest movements in Iran, lest those movements derail negotiations over what became the JCPOA – an agreement to smooth a repressive, undemocratic regime’s path to atomic weapons and grant that beleaguered regime an economic lifeline, for the sake of an achievement we could spin as a diplomatic accomplishment worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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