Monday, November 14, 2022

From Ian:

Gleefully abandoning Israel
Kasher's post was so incendiary that Facebook removed it for violating rules of decent conduct. But Kasher didn't let up. He continued to expectorate that "a Jewish people with this face is not my Jewish people, and not the Jewish people among which I wish to be counted as a son." As a result, he announced that he now prefers not to be called a Jew but rather only "a person of Jewish origin."

He then went on to reject "invalid" calls for unity with the two camps he views as mutations. "The differences between me and the people of the mutations are not marginal and should not be ignored for the sake of a higher goal," he wrote. "There is no true unity and there never will be."

What makes Asa Kasher's diatribe so disturbing is its source. Until now, Kasher had been considered one of this country's respected and reasonable thinkers, someone who authored the IDF's code of ethics in warfare and who defended its targeted assassination policies in academic and legal forums worldwide. He is an Israel Prize laureate. Now it seems that Kasher has lost his bearings in a haze of hatred and self-hatred.

Religious Zionist Party Chairman Bezalel Smotrich responded to Kasher's remarks, saying they saddened him. "People like Asa Kasher, whose wisdom, integrity, and morality I wanted to appreciate, are now unmasked as lacking national responsibility, personal integrity, and minimal morality."

Addressing his "brothers on the Left," Smotrich said his camp was "given a mandate to promote what we believe is right and good for the State of Israel. We are positively going to fulfill this mandate. But you should know that your attempts at intimidation are baseless and unnecessary. No one is going to destroy democracy, turn Israel into Iran, harm someone's individual rights, or force Israelis to change their personal lifestyle."

My conclusion is that "Ben-Gvir-Phobia" (as opposed to reasonable concern about his rise) is a purposefully blown-out-of-proportion fear of the Right that serves as cover for people who apparently weren't comfortable with staunch Zionist and real Jewish identity to begin with. It leads to off-the-rocker reactions like those of Friedman and Kasher, who seem only-too-happy to jettison their associations with Israel and Judaism.

We shouldn't go there. Israel's democratic and Jewish discourse is sound even as it tends towards the conservative side of the map, and Israel's religious, defense, and diplomatic policies will not easily be hijacked by Ben-Gvir-ism. The radicals that truly worry me are those that seek to crash Israel's diplomatic relations and Israel-Diaspora relations with false, apocalyptic prognostications of Israel's descent into barbarism.

Perhaps the best advice is to ignore angry self-declared prophets like Friedman and Kasher. Perhaps I shouldn't have written about them at all. I am certain that they do not represent mainstream opinion in either the American-Jewish or Israeli communities. The Israel they fabricate and scorn ain't the real, responsible and realistic Israel I know.
Ruthie Blum: Let’s replace the term ‘national unity’ with ‘majority rule’
It’s no wonder, then, that the “anybody but Bibi” bloc disintegrated as soon as the latest election campaign kicked off. Grasping that the best he could hope for—even with the virulent anti-Zionist parties’ support—would be to prevent Netanyahu from being able to form a coalition, Lapid’s goal was to remain interim prime minister for as long as possible until a sixth round of elections.

He thus discouraged voters from opting for smaller left-wing parties. The upshot was that Meretz didn’t pass the threshold and Labor garnered only four mandates. He also colluded with the far-left Jewish-Arab Hadash-Ta’al Party not to join forces with its radical Islamist counterpart, Balad, which then didn’t make it into the Knesset.

Then there was Gantz, who ran against, rather than with, him. To do this, he established a party whose name in English, hilariously, is “National Unity.” Neither this nor his enlisting of former Israel Defense Forces Chief-of-Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot as a draw helped him come close to surpassing Lapid, let alone Netanyahu.

The icing on the “unity” cake was on display during the coalition consultations with Herzog. The only parties to recommend Lapid were his own, Yesh Atid, and Labor, headed by Merav Michaeli, who publicly blamed Lapid for the electoral defeat.

Angry at her for having dared to cross him in this manner, he stormed out of the Knesset last Sunday when she took to the podium to deliver a speech at the ceremony marking the 27th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The “unity” was heartwarming.

To be fair to Lapid, who is about to assume the role of opposition leader, “unity” is a meaningless concept in general, unless applied to a specific tenet or circumstance at a given time. The same goes for Netanyahu’s newfound coalition, which undoubtedly is and will continue to be fraught with frequent squabbles.

Still, the contrast in this respect between the outgoing and incoming governments is stark. Whereas the sole glue for Lapid’s coalition was anti-Bibi animosity, Netanyahu’s espouses a set of values and objectives shared by a higher percentage of the population.

Whether this constitutes “unity” is questionable. But it’s what democracies call “majority rule.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: People Who Think Actual Terrorist Arafat Changed Ways Refuse To Accept Former Kahanist Has Moderated (satire)
The evolution of a far-right figure who, among other beyond-the-pale rhetoric, once expressed admiration for a man who massacred dozens of Palestinians at prayer, into an influential kingmaker who professes a shift to more tolerant views, has prompted skepticism among his political opponents, many of whom had little problem believing that the mass-murderer Yasser Arafat sincerely disavowed violence, despite the latter’s flagrant use of such means to achieve his political ends after signing peace agreements.

Numerous commentators, politicians, and other public figures in Israel have spent months, some even years, denouncing Itamar Ben-Gvir as a fascist Islamophobe who must be kept as far from governmental power as possible – warnings that have taken on greater urgency since the alliance of his Otzma Yehudit Party and the Religious Zionism Party garnered fourteen seats in elections two weeks ago, putting Ben-Gvir in position to extract policy and personnel concessions from Binyamin Netanyahu, the prospective prime minister of an emerging right-wing coalition. Ben-Gvir has in recent years renounced some of the extreme positions that characterized his activism in prior decades, such as calling Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin a traitor and threatening harm to him; Rabin was assassinated in 1995 by another extremist with views that overlapped Ben-Gvir’s. That political evolution, however, has failed to sway Ben-Gvir’s critics, who find unconvincing his protestations of moderation, even as many of them make excuses for the arch-terrorist who ran the Palestine Liberation Organization and commitment to pursue his political aims through negotiation rather than terrorism, but disregarded that commitment repeatedly.

“A leopard can’t change his spots,” insisted Zehava Gal-On, whose far-left Meretz Party failed to meet the electoral threshold of 3.25% of the vote, and will be absent from the Knesset for the first time in more than thirty years, but for some reason journalists keep seeking out her opinion despite its questionable relevance. “Arafat was totally different. He renounced violence and I believed him. Anything that happened afterwards was just technicalities, necessary sacrifices for peace. Doesn’t count.”


UN votes to ask ICJ to review Israeli 'occupation' - debate
Samer Sinijlawi, Hillel Neuer and Amir Oren join Ellie to discuss the recent moves in the UN General Assembly.


The State Department’s systemic failure in the Middle East
All of the U.S. State Department’s Israeli-Arab peace proposals were Palestinian-centered, and therefore frustrated by Middle Eastern reality, which has never perceived the Palestinian issue of primary concern, considering Palestinians as a role model of intra-Arab subversion, terrorism and ingratitude.

In 1948, the State Department led the opposition to the establishment of Israel, contending that it would be pro-Soviet and overrun by the expected Arab military invasion. It believed Israel would destabilize the Middle East and threaten the supply of Arab oil.

Today, exposing the State Department’s detachment from Middle East reality, Israel constitutes the largest U.S. aircraft carrier with no need for U.S. servicemen, sparing the U.S. the need to deploy real aircraft carriers and additional ground divisions to the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean.

Vital U.S. interests require the State Department to base its policy on Middle East reality, as complex and frustrating as it may be, and learn from its own track record by avoiding—rather than repeating—critical past mistakes.
U.S. Mission to the UN: U.S. Opposes PA Push for International Court of Justice Ruling Against Israel
Deputy U.S. Representative to the UN Richard Mills told the UN General Assembly's Fourth Committee on Thursday: "There are no shortcuts to [Palestinian] statehood, which will only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties."

"The United States continues to oppose the annual submission of the biased resolutions against Israel which we are here to discuss. We reject measures that are not constructive and that seek to delegitimize Israel. The failure to acknowledge the shared history of the Haram al-Sharif, Temple Mount, in these resolutions demonstrates they are intended only to denigrate and not to help achieve peace."

"A request for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice...is highly problematic. We believe such an effort is counterproductive and will only take the parties further away from the objective we all share of a negotiated two-state solution."

"The decades-old, one-sided approach of the General Assembly towards the Middle East has failed - failed to build trust and create a positive international environment conducive to achieving peace. This approach consumes limited time and diverts resources from other challenges we face around the world without bringing us any closer to a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

"We encourage the General Assembly to look for a new way forward and abandon resolutions that are biased against Israel and distract from efforts to achieve peace."


Zelensky aide says Ukraine’s vote against Israel at UN ‘a grave mistake’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's personal aide, Alexey Arestovych, said Sunday that Ukraine's recent support of a UN resolution against Israel was "a grave mistake... illogical and unacceptable."

"We're teaming up with Russia and Iran who are attacking us, and distancing ourselves from Israel - which we want as an ally. Ukraine must at least abstain from such votes."

Israel's Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky tweeted Friday that Ukraine's "support of the UN resolution... denying Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and calling for an ICJ advisory opinion is extremely disappointing. Supporting anti-Israeli initiatives in the UN doesn't help to build trust" between the countries.
U.S. lawmakers urge world leaders to terminate anti-Israel UN bodies
In a renewed push of faith-based diplomacy, three heads of the U.S. Congressional Israel Allies Caucus have written to the leaders of more than two dozen countries urging them to vote to shutter two anti-Israel U.N. institutions in a vote that will come before the General Assembly later this year.

The appeal comes as the Palestinians pushed through a draft resolution at a U.N. committee Friday over the objections of the U.S. and Israel calling on the International Court of Justice to issue a legal opinion on Israel’s “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of Palestinian territory.” The unilateral move is expected to be approved by the General Assembly by the end of the year.

The letter, which was signed by Reps. Doug Lamborn (R.-Colo.), Chris Smith (R.-N.J.) and Steve Chabot (R.-Ohio), urges 27 world leaders to join the U.S. in opposing the annual resolutions that approve the continued function and activities of two anti-Israel UN bodies, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) and the Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR). The signatories said the two bodies exist solely to delegitimize and defame the State of Israel.

“As you may be aware, the United Nations, which should be devoted to promoting peace and development through the world, expends an inordinate amount of time and resources on condemnation of Israel,” the Nov. 3 letter reads. “No other country at the U.N. is subjected to the intense scrutiny and opprobrium of similar U.N. Institutions. This one-sided and biased treatment of Israel does not contribute anything to peace or even to the Palestinians themselves.”

The letter was sent to the leaders of the Bahamas, Barbados, Colombia, Croatia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, Kenya, Jamaica, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Nauru, Palau, Panama, Philippines, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Surinam, Togo, Uganda, Vanuatu and Zambia.

According to the congressmen, the two groups, which have repeatedly been reauthorized and funded since their establishment in the 1970s, serve as key propagators of anti-Israel activity at the U.N.
The Abraham Accords at Year Two: A Work Plan for Strengthening and Expansion
What Is To Be Done: Six Steps for Israel, the US, and Regional Allies

First, do not take the Abraham Accords for granted or assume they are irreversible. The acts of signing the Accords did generate a true sense of celebration, gave rise to a new spirit, mobilized fresh energies, restored optimism, and offered new hopes. But as in matrimony, real life begins after the party, including the challenges of consolidating the relationship, enhancing and expanding it, preserving its vitality, its spirit, and its passion. It is therefore of critical importance to prepare a detailed work plan for bolstering, deepening, and widening the Abraham Accords—and to create a mechanism, led by the signatory heads of state, to monitor implementation.

Second, change course on Iran. The US administration should take the next steps from its current, growing expression of frustration and displeasure with Iran, given its involvement in the war against Ukraine. A firm approach toward Iran is the right stance and not only because of its role in the Ukraine war or activities to undermine the Abraham Accords. Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and its terrorist activities threaten stability and peace, both regionally and globally. This would serve the broader interests of the American administration and respond to the main challenges the West faces: weakening Russia’s ability to pursue the war, taking actions to resolve the global energy crisis, reversing the Gulf states drift toward Russia and China, blocking Iran’s destructive ambitions, and enhancing the process of normalization.

Rather than quarrel with Saudi Arabia, be pushed around by Iran, and tread water on three major foreign policy issues (the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis, and Iran’s nuclear project), the Biden administration should decide to confront Iran, which is both morally and practically right, which, in addition to specific gains in the region, would enhance the place of the US in the emerging world order.

Third, advance joint projects aimed at solving urgent global problems, in the fields of energy, food, and water. Bureaucratic barriers should be removed and the comparative advantages of Israel and the Gulf states should be fully utilized. Thus, for example, regarding the global food crisis, African countries, including Sudan, can raise alternatives to wheat, using Israeli, Moroccan, and Emirati agricultural knowledge. It is also possible to harness the experience Israel has garnered as a leader in the field of alternative protein sources and meat replacements.

As for water, Israel, as a world leader in recycling and desalination technologies and in the extraction of water from the air, can provide solutions to problems of water shortage and management.

Fourth, open a land bridge of trade between Europe and the Gulf via Israel. Potentially cheaper and more efficient than some of the alternatives, a land bridge of trade could reap benefits both for the regional players and for European countries, which could use it also for their global import and export. It would also promote trade among the Abraham Accords signatories and would contribute to global growth.

Fifth, promote joint regional projects, for example, in the field of energy. Gas-related interests have already created new dynamics of cooperation in the region, embodied by the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), which includes Israel and Egypt alongside other regional and European partners. Steps in that direction already have generated the prospect of linking the power grids of the Gulf countries and Africa with those of Europe via Egypt and Israel. Such projects would not only produce economic benefits but would also enhance the sense of partnership between the countries while also contributing to general security. In this context, it may also be possible to find solutions to some of the basic problems of the Gaza Strip, without incurring further security threats to Israel.

Sixth, enhance initiatives in the field of education and culture, to bolster basic attitudes in support of peace and weaken hostile positions and the hold of radical Islamist ideas. This is a critical component for grounding peace at the popular level, among citizens and peoples, and not only among governments.
Call Me Back [PodCast]: Prime Minister Netanyahu
Looking back with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his new book, “BiBi: My Story”. Also looking forward to his next government’s approach to Saudi Arabia (could we see an expansion of the Abraham Accords?); Israel’s position in the Russia-Ukraine war (will Israel’s posture change under his leadership?); and what he sees as the implications of events on the streets of Iran.
Trump: Israel is a ‘miracle’ but some American Jews ‘not doing the right thing’ by it
Israel is a modern-day “miracle” and its relationship with the United States is deep-seated and multi-dimensional, former U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday.

Speaking at the Zionist Organization of America’s 2022 Gala in New York City, Trump said, “The United States and Israel are not just allies on a military basis, but economically and politically; we’re allies morally, culturally and spiritually and we always will be—at least if I have anything to do about it.”

The former president spoke after being honored with the organization’s Theodor Herzl Gold Medallion.

Founded in 1897, the Zionist Organization of America played a key role in the Jewish state’s re-establishment, and today is a leading American Jewish organization dedicated to defending Israel and the Jewish people; fighting against all forms of antisemitism, including anti-Jewish boycotts; and promoting the Jewish people’s lawful right to live in and settle historic Jewish lands.

Notable attendees among the 700 guests on Sunday night included the Trump administration’s chief Middle East peace negotiator Jason Greeblatt, Israeli parliamentarians Amir Ohana (Likud) and Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionism), and law expert Alan Dershowitz.

Both appearing by video, Dr. Miriam Adelson presented to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) the ZOA’s Defender of Israel Award, named after her and her late husband Sheldon Adelson, who was a staunch supporter of the Jewish state.


Shtayyeh urges US to scrap Jerusalem embassy plan
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on Monday demanded that the US administration cancel plans for building a new US Embassy complex in Jerusalem.

Last week, the Jerusalem Municipality published the zoning description for the embassy, which will be located on Derech Hebron between Hanock Albek Street and Daniel Yanovsky Street, an area known by its British Mandate-era name as “Camp Allenby.”

Shtayyeh, who was speaking at the start of the weekly Palestinian cabinet meeting in Ramallah, claimed that the land where the embassy is planned to be built had been “illegally confiscated” by Israeli authorities in 1950.

US embassy in Jerusalem to be built on Palestinian-owned land?
Palestinians have said in the past that the land was owned by Palestinian families and leased temporarily to British Mandate authorities before 1948.

They added that the lease documents revealed the names of the Palestinian landowners, including members of the families of Habib, Khaldi, Khalili, Razzaq and Qleibo.

In July, The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (Adalah) argued that if built, the US Embassy compound will be located on land that was seized from Palestinians in violation of international law.
Why the Palestinians Snubbed the Israeli Left
Remember, for years, the Jewish left has been telling us that the Palestinian Arabs have become moderate and are finally ready to live in peace with Israel. Normalization of cultural relations, including athletic competitions, are the very essence of peaceful coexistence. If Labor and Meretz and J Street and Americans for Peace Now really want to have genuine peace with the Palestinian Arabs, they should be shouting from the rooftops in protest over the fencing incident.

Why have they remained silent? Because, sad to say, the Jewish left’s old dream of peace has been replaced by a new strategy of surrender. They know that normalization is a sham. They know that the P.A. constantly violates every article of the Oslo agreements. But they don’t care. They simply want Israel to surrender to the Arabs’ demand for every inch of Judea, Samaria and much of Jerusalem. Surrender has almost become a kind of religion for them.

It’s also worth asking: What does the fencing incident tell us about the P.A.’s intentions? The answer is that it demonstrates, once again, that any agreement signed by the Palestinian Arab leadership is not worth the paper it’s printed on.

The P.A. promises peace; then it wages war. The P.A. promises to combat terrorists; then it shelters and funds terrorists. The P.A. promises normalization; then it incites boycotts of Israel. It doesn’t matter if the Israeli government is left-of-center or right-of-center, because the P.A. remains true to its unwavering goal of eliminating Israel altogether. And even something as seemingly trivial as the fencing incident illustrates that cold, hard truth once again.
Netanyahu is ‘not a man who believes in peace,’ says Mahmoud Abbas in rare interview
In his first public interview in five years, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Israel’s incoming prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was “not a man who believes in peace” with the Palestinians but that he’d be forced “to deal with him” even if the prospects for peace talks are minimal.

Abbas also criticized the United States’ brokering of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, saying in the interview, conducted on Friday and broadcast on Sunday by Egyptian news network al-Qahira, “since the United States stuck its hand in the Palestine dossier, not a single step forward has been taken.”

Going further back in history, Abbas claimed that the United States was largely behind the Balfour Declaration — the 1917 statement by the British government in favor of a “national home for the Jewish people”– and that the United States asked Great Britain to end its mandate in Palestine in order to implement its own de facto control over the area.

Despite what Abbas characterized as the American government’s slant toward Israel, the PA president said that increasingly many Americans, particularly American Jews, opposed Israeli policies. “Many Americans do not accept America’s position and American Jews for the last year or two have been saying that Israel is tilting towards racism. Ninety percent of the synagogues in America do not believe in Israel’s policy.”

In his interview, Abbas also criticized the United Nations — though he said the Palestinians would seek full membership in the world body — and affirmed his commitment to soon hold Palestinian Authority legislative elections, which would be the first since 2006.

“I know Netanyahu, we’ve worked together a lot, since the 1990s… and he is not a man who believes in peace,” Abbas said in the interview. “But I have no other choice but to deal with him.” The right-wing Likud party leader was tapped on Sunday by President Isaac Herzog to form a governing coalition with his far-right and religious partners.


Seth Frantzman: Will Turkey exploit Istanbul attack to bash US, Kurdish groups?
While the official narrative from Ankara on Sunday evening was that the explosion in central Istanbul “could” be terrorism, by Monday morning, it had not only determined that indeed it was, but the perpetrator had been found, and every puzzle piece of the story now fit. Turkey weaves a blame game together, targets The New York Times with anger

Turkey’s interior minister blamed the PKK, YPG and also slammed the US in the wake of the attack.

According to the authorities and pro-government media, the perpetrator entered Turkey from Afrin, an area that was Kurdish until a Turkish invasion in 2018 forced many to flee or otherwise face ethnic cleansing by the Turks.

Afrin is currently under the control of Turkish-backed Syrian rebels and also HTS, a group that was affiliated with al-Qaeda. HTS recently made territorial gains in Afrin, while ISIS members have been spotted in the area.

It’s unclear how a woman would be able to travel from Afrin to Turkey, considering Ankara built a border wall and fence and has a large security presence in the area to keep fleeing Syrians out of Turkey. This did not stop Turkey’s claims. It could be an excuse for Ankara to back HTS or other groups, increasing their hold over the area or persecuting Kurds as a scapegoat.

Turkish authorities also claimed that the attack was linked to “Ayn al-Arab,” the Arabic name of the Kurdish city of Kobani, a city known for resisting ISIS in 2014. Turkish media often uses the term “Ayn al-Arab” to erase the town’s Kurdish history.

Kobani is currently controlled by the YPG and the Syrian regime. From Ankara’s perspective, the YPG is actually the Syrian branch of the “PKK” and therefore a terrorist group. However, YPG is also part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the anti-ISIS group backed by the US.

This complex militaristic and national reality means that when Ankara wants to blame “terrorists” for an incident, it will not just blame the PKK, but also the YPG and SDF, as well as the US.

This isn’t a new type of narrative from Ankara; Turkey’s leadership has accused the US of backing “terrorists” in Syria for years.
‘Saved by a miracle’: Israelis describe moment of deadly Istanbul bomb attack
An Israeli woman who survived a terror attack in Istanbul on Sunday that killed six people and injured dozens, said she only survived the deadly explosion because she was protected by others who took the force of the blast instead.

Sharing the experience in an interview with Kan public broadcaster on Monday, Ofra Adi said she was only two meters (6.5 feet) away.

“I was sitting outside and suddenly heard an explosion and people screaming… I didn’t realize what was happening as there was dust and smoke everywhere. I then saw three people laying on the sidewalk… I only realized it was a terror attack afterwards,” she said.

Turkish officials said two girls aged nine and 15 were among those killed.

“I was two meters away from the terrorist,” said Adi. “The people who died protected me because they took the hit — I only felt the shock wave.”

It is unclear whether Adi was in close proximity to the alleged terrorist or the explosive device at the time of the bombing.
One killed, one wounded after soldiers fire on Palestinian vehicle IDF says accelerated toward them
IDF troops shot and killed a Palestinian woman on Monday in Beitunia, near Ramallah, after the vehicle she was in accelerated towards them after being signaled to stop, according to the Israeli military.

The incident occurred during a counter-terrorism operation in Judea and Samaria and is under review, the IDF said in a statement.

The Palestinian Authority-run WAFA news agency, citing the P.A. Health Ministry, identified the victim as a 19-year-old Palestinian woman from the town of al-Dahriyeh, in southern Judea and Samaria. A second person in the vehicle was also wounded in the incident, and was detained by the IDF, according to WAFA.
Unstable man shot dead by IDF soldier after attempting to stab others
An Israeli soldier shot and killed a man at a bus station in Ra'anana early Monday morning after he approached him, claiming that a terrorist attack is occurring and that someone was stabbed.

Before being shot by the soldier, the man had tried to stab two people with a knife, including a girl who got scared and ran away, a bus driver who noticed that she was in distress, opened the door to his bus and let her get on.

The man then attacked another person, ran to the soldier and shouted "terrorist attack" - and the soldier ran toward the scene, identified the suspect, and shot him dead after attempting to have him lower the knife, according to local eyewitnesses.

Other civilians shouted to the soldier "take him down," according to Ynet. The second person who was attacked received light-moderate injuries after being hit by ricochets from gunfire.

An Israel Police investigation is underway to try to understand why the soldier shot a burst of gunfire at the man, and if the shooting was carried out according to procedures.
Turkey refuses Israel's request to deport Hamas terrorists
Turkey’s foreign minister said Turkey declined a request by Israel to deport Hamas members, according to reports, amid fears that Ankara’s rapprochement with Israel will suffer after the electoral victory of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. For more stories from The Media Line go to themedialine.org

Mevlut Cavusoglu reportedly said last week that Turkey did not accede to a request that it deport members of Hamas, made last month by Israel’s outgoing Defense Minister Benny Gantz during a visit to Ankara.

“We did not meet a demand regarding Hamas. We do not see Hamas as a terrorist organization,” said Cavusoglu, according to the Turkish news outlet Sozcu.

Turkey, Erdogan want to be Middle East peacemakers
Omer Özkizilcik, a foreign policy and security analyst based in Ankara, told The Media Line that Turkey is hoping to become a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians, and believes deporting Hamas members could jeopardize that.

“We remember that, before Turkish-Israeli relations broke down, Turkey was an honest broker between the Palestinian side and the Israeli side, and I think Turkey is looking forward to re-establishing that,” he said.

Özkizilcik added that since Turkey does not classify Hamas as a terrorist organization, there would not be a legal framework to deport its members.
Israel green lights gas field off Gaza, but concerned Hamas will use revenue for terror
It was 22 years ago that PLO chairman and arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat appeared on Palestinian television to announce the discovery of natural gas off the coast of Gaza.

Arafat described the discovery as “a gift from God” to the Palestinian people, smiling from the bridge of a fishing boat. “This will provide a solid foundation for our economy, for establishing an independent state with holy Jerusalem as its capital,” he said. But instead of working to create a Palestinian state, Arafat launched the Second Intifada, and the gas field was closed.

Now, the Gaza Marine gas field, 20 nautical miles (23 statute miles) offshore, might once again be ready for exploitation, after the interim Israeli government led by Prime Minister Yair Lapid, a day before Israel’s Nov. 1 election, approved a deal between Egyptian, Israeli and Palestinian officials.

With nearly 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to be extracted from the field, Egypt, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and Israel all want either the gas or a share of the revenue. In October, Egypt’s petroleum minister, Tarek el-Molla, announced that “a framework agreement has been reached” for the development of the offshore gas field. The deal involves the Palestinian engineering firm Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF), the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) and Israel, with assistance and mediation from the United States and the European Union.


Head of Arafat death probe says people trying to 'silence' him
Over the past week, hundreds of testimonies and documents from the investigation into the circumstances of the death of Yasser Arafat, led by Tirawi, have been leaked to social media and Palestinian media outlets.

The Palestinians have dubbed the affair "Palestinian WikiLeaks." Information from the probe over a decade ago continues to leak and every day new testimonies of persons who appeared before the investigative committee have been made public. Senior Palestinian officials testified that Arafat saw Mahmoud Abbas – now the head of the Palestinian Authority – as a collaborator with Israel and the United States and feared a conspiracy was being weaved against him at the time of the siege of the Muqata'a – the Palestinian presidential compound in Ramallah – during the Second Intifada before he died in mysterious circumstances in a French hospital in November 2004.

The leaks and the Arafat file which was never closed are just part of the story. Another element pertains to infighting within the Palestinian leadership and the battle to inherit President Mahmoud Abbas

It isn't clear who is responsible for the leak. While Abbas' camp blames Tirawi, other elements in the PLO claim that interested parties from Abbas' camp, or even elements associated with a third party could be attempting to cause a divide between the Palestinian Authority president and to Tirawi. Ties between the two men were already tense before the leaks.

Tirawi denies these allegations and has implored the Palestinian security services to investigate how the hack occurred and how the documents were stolen. "They have the ability to get to whoever did this. First of all, who leaked it and then to investigate who published it," says Tirawi. "How is it possible that something so important and sensitive has been hacked? It is the security services' responsibility to find out the truth."
PMW: PA: Marrying 72 Virgins in Paradise is better than marrying in life and having a real family
There is “nothing more precious” than when your son dies “a Martyr for the homeland.”

This is what the PA expects parents to feel when their children are killed during their terror attacks, and this is the message the PA expects parents to publicly declare and pass on to others.

“The mother of Martyr Salameh, like all the mothers of the Palestinian Martyrs, looks at her son for the last time. She holds on and considers her son a Martyr for the homeland, which there is nothing more precious than it.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 6, 2022]


The PA presents Palestinian parents, and especially mothers, as possessing a unique power based on an Islamic religious belief that enables them to smile when their terrorist children die, and rejoice over their “wedding” to the 72 Virgins in Paradise rather than marrying their betrothed in real life. The official PA daily said this is “an ability that is inherited by the Martyrs’ mothers,” who are different than other mothers:
“The Martyr’s mother pushed her way between his friends in the hospital halls, and with a smile that did not leave her face called out: ‘Our groom is handsome, do not say he’s dark-skinned, where is the groom?’ This is an ability that is inherited by the Martyrs’ mothers. They deviate from the rules of farewell and demonstrate such endurance while bidding farewell to their sons.”

This particular character trait in Palestinian women has been highlighted by Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki as Palestinian Media Watch has exposed. Zaki praised Palestinian women for not grieving when losing their loved ones as do other women.


PA says Jews who visit the Temple Mount “defile the Al-Aqsa Mosque”
Official PA TV Narrator: Jerusalem is very important, because it has many important religious sites and locations like the Al-Aqsa Mosque… This mosque is being subjected to a variety of actions of systematic Judaization, including almost daily invasions by the settler herds with the support of the occupation authorities…These invasions intensify during the Jewish holidays and festivals. They defile our Al-Aqsa [Mosque.]
[Official PA TV, Sept. 9, 2022]

The PA and its leaders misrepresent all of the Temple Mount as an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Therefore, they vilify any presence of Jews on the mount as an "invasion." It should be noted that Jews who visit the Temple Mount only enter some sections of the open areas, and do not enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock. Israeli police ban Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount because of threats of violence by Palestinians.


Hamas TV Airs Events Honoring Mothers of Palestinian Terrorists

Hamas Official: ‘Periodic Wars’ with Israel Should Be Conducted in the West Bank Rather Than in Gaza



MEMRI: Lebanese Official: The Lebanese Must Divorce Hizbullah, Stop Sharing The Homeland With It
Charles Jabbour, head of the media and communications department of Samir Geagea's Lebanese Forces party, known for its opposition to Hizbullah, comes out against this organization in an article published recently in the daily Al-Jumhouriyya, which is affiliated with his party. In the article he calls on the Lebanese to "divorce" Hizbullah, namely to divide Lebanon into two states. Jabbour explains that Hizbullah does not believe in coexistence, and is trying to force all Lebanese to adopt its ideology and mentality, whose essence is death. Hence, just as a husband and wife are sometimes compelled to divorce when life together becomes intolerable, groups within a state also have to separate if reality proves that they have no common ground and cannot coexist. Condemning the Lebanese culture that sanctifies coexistence, he states that it would be a mistake and even a "sin" to continue sharing the homeland.

Jabbour adds that Hizbullah is not likely to agree to a "divorce" and will probably try to prevent this by force, out of a desire to take over all of Lebanon. He therefore calls on the anti-Hizbullah camp in the country to formulate a new plan for dealing with this organization and to present it with two options: either agree to a divorce, or surrender its arms and accept the agreed-upon sources of authority: the Taif Agreement, the Arab League and the UN resolutions.

The following are translated excerpts from his article:[1]
"All monotheistic religions recognize divorce. Some make it easy and some make it hard, in order to keep couples from divorcing over every hurdle or disagreement, but all of them welcome divorce when it is absolutely necessary. Nobody can force their partner to stay with them, since partnership for life has its own roots and requirements, and if life becomes an intolerable hell, divorce is the [right] solution and option, and [in fact] a very urgent necessity. After all, marriage is not an end in itself. It is meant to enable a happy life together, so it is not an [irreversible] fate. Every person can and should determine his own fate, since life is short, and we are born to live and enjoy life, not to repress ourselves, for any reason.

"What is true of marriage between individuals also applies to a nation, which must organize its life in the framework of a state with a constitution and laws that protect [people's] rights, provide stability and ensure prosperity. It is not in any way true that nations were created to quarrel and struggle [just] because there are [groups] that have adopted ideologies whose essence is death. [These groups] have the right to adopt beliefs that conform to their perceptions, but they do not have the right to impose their way of life and their mentality on others.
Lebanon grapples with first cholera outbreak in 30 years
[Beirut] Lebanon is facing yet another crisis. The Mediterranean country – already suffering from economic and political crises - has been dealing with its first cholera outbreak in the past 30 years. A month after its first case was reported, there are now around 2,709 confirmed and suspected cholera cases in Lebanon. In the past four weeks, 18 deaths have been caused by this disease. For more stories from The Media Line go to themedialine.org

The outbreak started on October 5 when cholera cases were confirmed in a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon’s Akkar region, in the north of the country. Other countries in the region already were suffering from the spread of the disease that originated in Afghanistan in summer. Iraq and Syria were heavily affected since, like Lebanon, they are areas struggling with devastated infrastructure, turmoil and with large populations of people displaced by war.

After Syria surpassed 20,000 suspected cholera cases and 75 deaths, the disease crossed the border and spread through the Lebanese population.

“Electricity cuts, low socioeconomic levels, the absence of sewer systems in rural areas and the refugee crisis are all essential factors regarding the spread of cholera, which is transmitted by water sources contaminated by the bacteria coming from stagnant waters and infecting peoples’ stools,” said Hasan Ismail, the Amel Association’s medical coordinator.

Ismail told The Media Line: “With all preventive measures absent in most Lebanese cadasters, the infection continues to spread, especially with vegetables and agricultural products irrigated with infected waters.”
Seth Frantzman: From Bahrain to Azerbaijan, Iran is obsessed with ‘Zionist’ threats
It is likely not a coincidence that Iran has been talking up new weapons, such as “hypersonic” missiles, in an attempt to strike fear into the region. Tehran has said that its new missiles will soon be able to evade air defense systems, knowing that Israel possesses some of the most advanced ones in the region.

The Islamic Republic has tried to threaten Israel in the past with precision-guided munitions (PGMs). Therefore, the context here is that Iran is seeking to broadcast a message to Azerbaijan and Bahrain, whom it sees now as frontline states, bordering Iran at sea and land on two flanks. The message is that Iran can threaten the region.

For decades, Iran sought to move its proxies closer to Israel. Viewing the region like a chessboard, it is now lashing out in rhetoric because it believes Israel has been successful in its counter-moves.

From Tehran’s perspective, the high-level visits of Israeli officials to Bahrain and Azerbaijan represent a major regional shift. Iran knew that these two countries had warm ties with Israel, but recent months have brought more rhetoric from Iran against Baku, Manama and Riyadh.
'400 seconds' to Israel: Iran media publishes Hebrew hypersonic missile threat
The IRGC-affiliated Sobh-e-Sadegh newspaper published a threat in Hebrew on its front page on Monday, warning that a new hypersonic missile reportedly developed by Iran could reach Israel in 400 seconds.

"400 seconds: General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) Aerospace Force, said that Iran has obtained technology for hypersonic missiles," wrote the newspaper.

An article written by Hamza Pariyab, described as a "defense expert," called the new missile a "game changer," as it can avoid most modern-day missile defense systems.

Pariyab added that the missile could be used to take out a country's defense systems and open the way for a mass launch of drones and missiles.

The defense expert also referenced a letter sent by Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, the "father" of Iran's missile program, to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei where he referenced the acquisition of a "quick response super-fast missile."

The letter also referenced efforts to develop satellite launch vehicles which eventually led to the recent development of the Qaem 100 satellite launcher, according to Sobh-e-Sadegh.

In November 2011, Moghaddam was killed in an explosion that hit a missile base in Bidganeh, killing at least 17 members of the IRGC. While the explosion was initially reported as an accident, Western media, including the Guardian and Time magazine, reported that the incident was being blamed on the Mossad.
Europe Piles Pressure on Iran’s Leaders As Protests Rage
Iran‘s clerical rulers faced mounting international pressure on Monday over their crackdown on protests, with France’s president characterizing the unrest as a revolution and European governments planning sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards.

The nationwide protests, ignited by Mahsa Amini’s death in morality police custody on Sept. 16 after her arrest for “inappropriate attire”, have turned into a legitimacy crisis for the four-decade-old Islamic Republic.

“Something unprecedented is happening,” France’s Emmanuel Macron told France Inter radio. “The grandchildren of the revolution are carrying out a revolution and are devouring it.”

Macron said the crackdown by Iranian leaders would make it harder to reach agreement on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, which would give Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

“This revolution changes many things,” Macron said. “I don’t think there will be new proposals which can be made right now to save the nuclear deal.”

Speaking after he met four Iranian women activists in Paris over the weekend, Macron said that more European Union sanctions would be adopted in reaction to Tehran’s actions.
Iran Uses Private Detectives to Spy on Dissidents in America
An international client asked New York-based private investigator Michael McKeever to help track down a debtor who had fled from Dubai and was believed to be in Brooklyn. McKeever was to surveil a house and photograph the people coming and going. Another team was watching the same address - FBI agents - who told him, "Your client is not who you think" he is.

McKeever would later learn that he had been used by Iranian intelligence agents in a suspected plot to kidnap Masih Alinejad, a prominent Iranian-American journalist and critic of Iran's human rights abuses. "We were afraid they were going to look to snatch and grab her, bring her home and probably kill her," said FBI official James E. Dennehy.

Across America, investigators are increasingly being hired by authoritarian governments like Iran and China, attempting to surveil, harass, threaten and even repatriate dissidents living in the U.S., law enforcement officials said.
Iranian Dissidents Terrorized by Iranian Spies in Britain
London-based journalist Aliasghar Ramezanpoor, 61, along with a number of other UK journalists working for the Farsi-language television station Iran International, has recently received details of a credible and "imminent" threat on his life after a hit squad was allegedly sent from Iran to assassinate dissidents on British soil. He is now receiving round-the-clock police protection.

"The only thing that they are looking for is stopping journalists covering the story," he said. But with "the crackdown on internet and social media [in Iran], the only outlet that people have is media like us." This has highlighted how the tentacles of the Iranian regime are infiltrating Britain, disguised, according to prominent British-Iranians, within Islamic centers in London and elsewhere. Hundreds of journalists, political activists and those speaking out against Iran's hardline regime from Britain have received letters from counterterrorism police in recent months warning them of being lured back to Iran and sentenced to death.
Britain Summons Iran's Senior Diplomat over Threats to Journalists in UK
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said Friday, "The UK will always stand up to threats from foreign nations. I summoned the Iranian representative today to make clear that we do not tolerate threats to life and intimidation of any kind towards journalists, or any individual, living in the UK."


Fmr. Khamenei Advisor Larijani: Germany, Canada Are in No Position to Lecture Us about HR Violations
Mohammad-Javad Larijani, an Iranian official who has formerly served as an advisor to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and as Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, said in a November 8, 2022 interview on Channel 1 (Iran) that Germany and Canada are in no position to preach to Iran about human rights violations surrounding the recent anti-regime protests. He elaborated that racism and antisemitism are in the “blood” of the Germans, and he said that in contrast, Muslims only oppose Zionism, since the Zionists are secular and control brothels, casinos, and other “means of corruption” in the world. He also explained that Canada has ethnically cleansed its indigenous population, and he spoke about Canada’s residential school scandal. In addition, Larijani said that Western leaders are megalomaniacal, self-centered, and extremely narcissistic.” Larijani also spoke about claims that Iran has supplied Russia with drones used in the war in Ukraine, and he said that Iranian-made drones cost no more than $15,000 per unit. In contrast, he claimed that the U.S.-made Stinger missiles used to intercept them cost $1.3 million per unit.






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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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