Thursday, December 08, 2022

From Ian:

Lies, libels and the justification of terror
Nov. 29 marked the 75th anniversary of United Nations Resolution 181, which called for the creation of two states, a Jewish state of Israel and an Arab state of Palestine. The Jewish community accepted those terms, and declared the State of Israel, while the Arab community refused, and launched a war that they then lost. Over time, however, Palestinians developed their own version of the “big lie” in the form of the “nakba” myth, a retelling of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war in which the would-be genocidal Arab armies that failed in their mission to eliminate the Jewish state are reimagined as the helpless victims of a horrible catastrophe (or “nakba,” in Arabic) of destruction and displacement. The legend of the nakba is at the heart of much of modern anti-Zionism.

Right on cue, on Nov. 30 the United Nations General Assembly voted to officially commemorate the founding of the State of Israel as a nakba. U.N. resolutions are not legally or morally binding, and they obviously cannot create truths. But they do lend a sheen of credibility to an otherwise ridiculous claim. Such a resolution makes it easier for the big lie to spread, because people can rely on and appeal to the GA’s “authority” on the matter without having to defend or even care about the details of such a heinous accusation. And once a lie has become officially acceptable to speak in the halls of power, it is only a matter of time before it gets picked up and amplified by popular culture. This one certainly did not take long.

On Thursday, Netflix began streaming the Jordanian film “Farha,” which purports to focus on the experiences of a young girl during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The hero watches as Israeli soldiers, portrayed as inhumanly cruel, brutally and graphically murder innocent Palestinian families, including children. While the film claims to be “based on” true events, the director has admitted that it is not factual, and that these scenes did not actually occur. But that does not mean they will not have a very real-world effect on anti-Jewish hate and violence, because many will watch the movie, and few will read the disclaimer.

There are two reasons to publicly correct the record on the nakba. First, it is simply not true. There are primary sources, from the Jordanian side, attesting to the fact that the vast majority of Arabs who left their homes did so voluntarily, or under orders from the invading Arab armies, not the invaded Israelis. Many left confident that the combined armies of Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt would quickly overwhelm the tiny Jewish state. As the Jordanian newspaper Filastin reported, “The Arab States encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies.” But as another refugee quoted in another Jordanian newspaper, Ad Difaa, explained that “The Arab government told us: Get out so that we can get in. So we got out, but they did not get in.”

Second, it is incredibly dangerous. In 1976, Mahmoud Abbas said that “The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland, and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live” (emphasis added).
Israeli Ambassador to Ireland Lironne Bar Sadeh (Irish Times): Israel Is Not an "Apartheid" State
The letter in the Irish Times, "Israel and the Palestinian people" (Nov. 30), signed by various Irish luminaries, repeats the usual canard that Israel is an "apartheid" state.

This is an outrageous falsehood. Israel is in fact the only long-lasting liberal democracy in the entire Middle East. It is the only country in the region with freedom of speech, party, press, and association and judicial transparency.

It has equality under the law for all its citizens, a fifth of whom by the way are Israeli Arabs, both Muslim and Christian. It is also the only country in the region with rights and equality for the LGBTQ+ community. In terms of its legal and political systems, its vibrant press and rich civil society, Israel is remarkably similar to Ireland.

Those who signed the letter think they are helping in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, but in fact they are not. By constantly demonizing Israel and ignoring the deep flaws on the Palestinian side, such as the Islamic fundamentalism of Hamas, and the squalid corruption of the Palestinian Authority, they make themselves morally and intellectually bankrupt.

People who genuinely want to help the Palestinians should encourage democratic, moderate forces within Palestinian society and those who will eventually realize that peace with Israel can only come about through dialogue and mutual compromise, not by demonization and intransigence. It is tragic that some people in Ireland, instead of supporting Israel and the moderate Arab forces in the region, prefer to demonize Israel as much as possible and fail to condemn Iran and the forces of extremism which blight the region.
12% of Gazans Have Fled Gaza Since Hamas Took Over
In the 15 years since Hamas seized control of Gaza, 12 percent of the Strip’s population has fled, according to a study released by an organization associated with the terror group. The report appears to mark the first time Hamas is acknowledging — indirectly — widespread Gazan emigration since it violently seized control of the Strip in 2007.

The report, written by the Hamas-affiliated Council on International Relations, was published in September and recently seen by the Tazpit Press Service. It claims that over 60,000 Gazan residents have migrated from the Gaza Strip in recent years to escape poverty and war.

The CIR report blamed Israel’s blockade of Gaza for the Strip’s poverty driving Gazans to flee. Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade on Gaza in 2007 to prevent weapons smuggling.

The Strip has seen several waves of immigration due to dire unemployment rates, growing poverty, sanctions imposed by the Palestinian Authority, and rounds of conflict with Israel. The CIR did not acknowledge Hamas’s authoritarian rule as a contributing factor.

“Gaza is being emptied of its residents,” the authors of the report said.

The Palestinian Authority has no data on the scope of migration from the Gaza under Hamas rule. Till now, Hamas hid the data, making accurate numbers difficult for human rights organizations to gather. The CIR’s chairman of the board is Basem Naim, who is also a senior figure in Hamas.

Various estimates in the past year shed some light on the Gaza exodus.

Between 2007-2021, approximately 236,000 Gazans left the Strip, the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency, WAFA, reported during the summer. That number is also about 12 percent of the total residents of the Strip.

Based on those numbers, it appears that an average of around 17,000 Palestinians have left Gaza every year since 2007.

Benjamin Netanyahu: Why Does the Left Deny This Simple Fact? (Pt. 2)
Dave Rubin of “The Rubin Report” talks to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the importance of democratic compromise; why he stood up to Barack Obama about the Iran nuclear deal; what naive leftists don’t understand about the importance of military power; and why becoming one of the richest countries in the world is key to Israel’s strategy to be able to defend itself from its neighbors.

What is the current state of the international political economy? Is US foreign policy damaging international politics? We are more aware than ever of international news stories and the effect of our foreign affairs, but do we truly understand the perspectives of our global neighbors?

Why a One-State Solution Is Impractical
Some argue that the only moral choice to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a single state where all the inhabitants of former British Palestine (modern Israel, Gaza and the West Bank) enjoy equal rights. Superficially appealing, the one-state solution is both wildly impractical and grossly unjust. More than a century of conflict hasn't prepared two different peoples to live harmoniously in a single state.

In addition, Israel, a regional superpower enjoying unprecedented friendly relations with the most powerful Arab states, won't voluntarily surrender its sovereignty no matter how many American colleges pass boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) resolutions.

To argue that the Jewish state must continually earn the right to exist by satisfying its moral critics and political opponents is absurd. People criticize Chinese actions in Xinjiang and Tibet without saying that those misdeeds deprive the Chinese people of the right to a state of their own.
Unpacked: Have Palestinians & Israelis Ever Tried to Make Peace?
After years at war, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) sought out a change of pace. In January 1993, the Israelis and the Palestinians opened secret negotiations on neutral ground in Oslo, Norway.

In September of 1993, a series of peace agreements called the Oslo Accords were signed by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat. However, within eight months, terror reigned down on Israel once again.

A new agreement called Oslo Two was signed in an attempt to re-establish peace. Many Israelis and Palestinians were hopeful about the new agreement, yet the haunting events that followed still impact the Israeli-Palestinian peace process today.

UN says Israel must give up nuclear weapons in lopsided vote
The United Nations General Assembly affirmed that Israel must give up its nuclear weapons in a 149-6 vote taken on Wednesday.

An earlier version of the text was approved in the UNGA's Fifth Committee in October with a 152-5 vote.

Ukraine had voted against Israel in the Fifth Committee, but this time around was absent from the proceedings after it had been criticized for standing against Israel.

Those who opposed the resolution were: Canada, Israel, Micronesia, Palau and the United States. Liberia, which had been absent from the vote in October, changed its position and opposed the text.

Another 26 countries, including India and many European states, abstained from the resolution which is part of an annual package of over 15 anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian texts the UNGA approves.

Israel is the only country subject to that many resolutions.

Does Israel actually have nuclear weapons?
The Jewish state is believed to be the only one of nine countries to possess nuclear weapons and the only one in the region, even though it has never admitted to having such an arsenal.

The resolution presumes that Israel has such weapons. It calls on Israel to "not to develop, produce, test or others acquire nuclear weapons" and to "renounce possession of nuclear weapons."
U.S. presses UN not to update list of companies operating in Israeli settlements
The Biden administration is pressing UN human rights chief Volker Türk not to expand the list of companies that operate in the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, according to Israeli officials and an Israeli Foreign Ministry cable.

Why it matters: While the U.S. had a long-standing position of giving Israeli diplomatic backing in UN institutions and has opposed the blacklist in the past, it is unusual that the Biden administration is helping Israel on the issue given U.S. opposition to settlements in the West Bank.

Flashback: In February 2020, the UN human rights commission published a list of 112 companies that operate in the settlements, which are considered illegal under international law. Ninety-four were Israeli companies and the rest were from six other countries.

Five companies on the list were from the U.S., including Booking, Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Expedia and General Mills. Since then, Booking published a travel warning about the settlements. Airbnb announced it will stop allowing listings in settlements on its platform but then backtracked under Israeli pressure.

Driving the news: Türk must decide by the end of the year whether to update the list, according to Israeli officials.

Israeli officials told Axios they are concerned that if the list is updated, it will lead more international companies to stop doing business in the settlements and more broadly in Israel.

Behind the scenes: In early November, the Israeli ambassador to the UN institutions in Geneva met with Michele Sison, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs, and Michèle Taylor, the U.S. ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council.

According to an Israeli Foreign Ministry cable about the meeting, the U.S. officials briefed the Israeli diplomat that Taylor met with the UN human rights chief and told him the Biden administration opposes any update of the blacklist.

Türk told the U.S. ambassador he hasn't decided what to do yet but might do a "low-key" update without formally announcing it, according to the sources.
The UN envoy to Hamas - Opinion
The United Nations was built on the great and noble idea of maintaining international peace and security. However, it has unfortunately failed to deliver its promise, especially when it comes to Israel. Its treatment of the world’s only Jewish state shows that the UN has failed in pursuing these ideas, with its deep-rooted and inherent bias against Israel at the UN General Assembly, the Human Rights Council, and essentially every UN institution. This bias extends beyond anti-Israel resolutions to the appointment of rapporteurs and envoys that fail to recognize Israel’s right, as a member state of the UN, to live in peace and security as a Jewish democratic state.

Recently, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese, spoke via Zoom to a Hamas-organized conference in Gaza, during which she openly supported and incited violence, stating, “you have a right to resist this occupation.” Despite having said this on camera, she later turned to Twitter and denied saying it. It’s as though she forgot that the event was recorded.

One minute she’s an international attorney, supposedly acting as an impartial representative of the UN, and the next minute she’s promoting violence amongst Hamas terrorists and advising them that their path of terror is a righteous one.

This wasn’t the first time Albanese made such an outrageous comment. In a June 9th interview, she claimed that “Israel says ‘resistance equals terrorism,’ but an occupation requires violence and generates violence.” She then added that “Palestinians have no other room for dissent than violence.”

A month earlier, in May 2022, she went on Italian national television and said, “Palestinian violence is inevitable because the right to exist of the Palestinian people has been denied for 55 years.”

With her recent actions and statements, she can no longer hide behind the veneer of supposed UN impartiality. This begs the question: under which code of conduct, if any, is she operating? Is it the United Nations Human Rights Council that condones the incitement of terrorism? Is it now the official UN message that if a party feels aggrieved, then the right path forward is to kill, maim and spread hatred and terror?

Biden’s DOJ Is Investigating an Accidental Death in Israel. A Watchdog Wants To Know Why.
A watchdog group is asking the Justice Department to turn over all internal documents related to its decision last month to launch an FBI probe into Israel's accidental killing of a Palestinian-American reporter.

The probe from the America First Legal Foundation, a conservative watchdog group, comes after the DOJ sent shockwaves through the American pro-Israel community and the Israeli government when it announced last month that it is conducting its own investigation into the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, an Al Jazeera journalist who was shot by Israeli forces during a standoff with Palestinian terrorists. Israel conducted its own investigation in the matter with cooperation from the U.S. State Department and determined that Abu Akleh was accidentally killed by a stray bullet fired by Israeli soldiers. While the State Department said it was satisfied with Israel's probe, the DOJ decided to involve the FBI after a cadre of far-left lawmakers in Congress pressured it on the matter.

Pro-Israel organizations and lawmakers in Congress accused the DOJ of caving to anti-Israel political forces within the department, with Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) telling the Washington Free Beacon last month that he intends to launch his own probe into how the DOJ became involved in the case. Cruz said at the time that Attorney General Merrick Garland and "everyone involved in this disgraceful stunt" should be "investigated and then either fired or impeached." Congressional sources tracking the situation also said they are working to pinpoint exactly who in the Justice Department signed off on the investigation and whether it was motivated by a cadre of Biden-appointed political officials they believe are pushing anti-Israel priorities.

America First's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, a copy of which was obtained by the Free Beacon, is asking the DOJ to produce "all records" and internal communications related to the Abu Akleh issue and produced from Aug. 1, 2022, a month after the journalist was killed, to Nov. 15, the date the FOIA request was submitted. This includes communications between "all political appointees" in the attorney general's office, the legislative affairs office, and the deputy attorney general's office, according to the FOIA.

Reed D. Rubinstein, a former deputy associate attorney general who now serves as the America First Legal Foundation's senior counselor and director of oversight, told the Free Beacon that he expects the DOJ documents to shed light on extensive politicization under Garland.
US opposes Al Jazeera taking Abu Akleh killing to ICC

JPost Editorial: ICC cannot cooperate with Al Jazeera's calls for Abu Akleh probe
Ever heard of Fahd Buhandi?
Probably not. Buhandi, according to the International Press Institute, was a journalist incarcerated in Qatar’s Abu Humor Prison for three years on charges of speaking against the government. In 2020, he was reportedly tortured and killed in jail after raising the issue of the coronavirus pandemic spreading there.

Do a Google search of Buhandi’s name along with the words Al Jazeera, and you will come up empty, at least in English. Nothing about his arrest; nothing about his death. That’s no surprise. Al Jazeera is a Qatari-owned media empire, and this type of story will not fit into the kinds of stories it will air or print. One of Al Jazeera’s competitors, Saudi-backed Al Arabiya, did run a story about Buhandi’s death.

Judging by the lack of coverage, Buhandi’s death didn’t seem to matter all that much to Al Jazeera. Why should it? Reporting on it would only blacken the name of its state sponsor. But the death of Shireen Abu Akleh does matter to the network, and it matters a great deal.

It is clear why. First of all, Abu Akleh worked for Al Jazeera. She was its star reporter from Israel and the West Bank, and she was killed covering clashes between the IDF and armed Palestinians in Jenin in May. She was killed covering a gunfight – her tragic death not unlike many of the more than 2,000 journalists who have been killed over the last 25 years in war zones around the world.

But unlike those other deaths, Al Jazeera wants this one to be seen as a war crime. For that purpose, the global network on Wednesday filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court against members of the IDF whom it blames for intentionally killing her.

Senate panel approves resolution honoring victims of Argentina bombings
In a show of solidarity with Argentina’s Jewish community, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday approved a bipartisan resolution honoring the victims of the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Argentina and the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish Community Center.

“With rising levels of antisemitism worldwide, it is more important than ever that the United States stand in unequivocal solidarity with Jewish communities, condemning antisemitism no matter where it rears its ugly head and demanding justice for the victims of any hate crimes,” committee chairman Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said in a statement.

“Today’s passage of this resolution does just that. It sends a clear message that we will never forget the victims of the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy and the 1994 AMIA Jewish Community Center in Argentina, and that we will continue to demand accountability for these attacks, regardless of how long it takes,” he continued.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group claimed responsibility for the 1992 bombing, while Iran and Hezbollah are suspected to be involved in the 1994 bombing.

The Senate panel’s resolution sends a clear message the victims will not be forgotten and the U.S. will continue to demand accountability for the terror attacks, Menendez added.

Co-sponsors of the resolution included Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).
Argentina's Vice President Cristina Fernandez sentenced in fraud case
According to The Guardian, Fernández de Kirchner is unlikely to serve time in prison due to immunities afforded to her by her position in office. She is allowed to remain free while she appeals her conviction, which is expected to be a lengthy process.

"It is clear that the idea was always to convict me," she said after the verdict was announced. "This is a parallel state and mafia."

Prosecutors originally sought a 12-year prison sentence.

While she may not serve her sentence, she said she will not run for office. She was suspected to be a likely candidate in the next presidential election in 2023.

Fernández de Kirchner served two terms as president from 2007 and 2015. In 2019, she became vice president with running mate Alberto Fernández winning the presidency. Prior to her time as president, her husband the late Néstor Kirchner served one term from 2003 to 2007. He died of a heart attack in 2011.

During her term as president and after she left office she was embroiled in scandal and controversy. Her harsh tax policies were met with strikes and Argentina was pushed into technical default by a failing economy.

Then in 2015, she was accused of trying to subvert an investigation into a 1994 car bombing outside of a Jewish community building. Fernández de Kirchner was accused of coordinating a cover up with Iran, which was alleged to be responsible for the bombing. Prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead of a gunshot wound the day before he was meant to testify before Congress.
Far-Left Groups Accused of Campaign to Delegitimize IDF Soldiers
Far-left organizations are harassing Israel Defense Forces soldiers, in a campaign designed to elicit responses that can be used on social media, analysts tell JNS.

Tzipi Schlissel, the author of “Hebron Breaks the Silence: Personal, Historic and Political Documentation” and a resident of the city, said that the goal of some left-wing Israeli organizations is to do away with the Jewish character of the state.

“This can be seen in their funding sources and the Durban Conference [the U.N.’s World Conference against Racism, known as Durban I], which assembled in 2001 and prepared the framework for war on Israel by generating delegitimization through NGOs,” she explained.

For example, the NGO Breaking the Silence, which presents mostly anonymous testimonies, allegedly from soldiers, “portrays IDF soldiers as war criminals to the rest of the world,” Schlissel said.

A Givati Brigade infantryman who was accosted by left-wing activists in Hebron and disciplined for taunting them had his sentence reduced from 10 days in military prison to six last week.

Meanwhile, two Israelis who were part of the group harassing the IDF troops in Hebron were placed under five days’ house arrest and instructed not to return to the city for two weeks after being questioned on suspicion of assault and disturbing the peace.

Yishai Fleisher, the local spokesperson for the Hebron Jewish community, told JNS, “The radical left is telling the jihadists that now is the time to attack Israel.”
The Israel Guys: Why Does the Biden Administration Hate Israel So Much?
Al Jazeera is bringing a criminal complaint to the International Criminal Court against the State of Israel for the killing of their journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh. There was one shooting attack in Gush Etzion and another one on Highway 6. And the Biden administration has once again proved how much they really hate Israel.

Shin Bet arrests Gazan on suspicion of spying for Hamas
The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) announced on Thursday the arrest of a Gaza resident on suspicion of gathering intelligence for Hamas.

The suspect, who has an Israeli work permit, used his status as a trader to enter the Jewish state and conduct reconnaissance, according to the intelligence agency.

He was identified by the Shin Bet as Tzabar Abu Ta’abat, 28, of Dir al-Balah in central Gaza, and was apprehended in November of this year. He has since yielded a wealth of information about Hamas’s terrorist activities, according to the Shin Bet.

According to the investigation, he was activated by Hamas elements in order to, among other things, expose the identities of Shin Bet agents and acquire information on specific sites in Israel. The intelligence agency said his interrogation had revealed the identities of Hamas operatives as well as the locations of tunnels, weapons storage facilities and other military sites used by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Abu Ta’abat also passed on information to his handlers in Gaza while fully aware of the significance of his actions, according to the Shin Bet.
Palestinian teen shot dead by Israeli troops during alleged stone-throwing attack
A Palestinian teenager who allegedly hurled stones at passing Israeli motorists in the central West Bank was shot dead by Israeli troops on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

The fatality marked the fifth Palestinian killed by Israeli forces in raids or attacks in the previous 24 hours, adding to a death toll that has risen significantly during a months-long anti-terror offensive in the West Bank.

The Israel Defense Forces said several suspects had been hurling rocks and containers of paint at Israeli cars driving on Route 465 near the village of Aboud, northwest of Ramallah.

“IDF soldiers conducting routine activity in the area… shot at the suspects,” the military said, adding that “targets were hit.”

The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said 17-year-old Diaa Muhammad Shafiq al-Rimawi was killed. His body was taken by the Israeli army, it said.

Three Palestinians killed in fierce battles with Israeli forces in Jenin
Three Palestinian gunmen were killed in a battle with Israeli security forces in Jenin on Thursday, according to Palestinian and Israeli media reports.

Israeli forces came under fire after entering the city to arrest suspected terrorist Khaled a-Hija, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

In parallel, troops operating in the Jenin area detained two terror suspects, identified as Ahmad Jaradat and Daajef Bages.

Israeli forces apprehended additional suspects in widespread operations across Judea and Samaria, including in Abu Dis, Bitut, Silwad, Anata, Ein, Nabi Saleh, Bayt Rima, Mahafiaa, Jabal Shamali, Bayt Furik and the cities of Hebron, Bethlehem and Ramallah, according to the IDF.

In Ramallah, individuals were questioned over Wednesday’s attempted drive-by shooting on an IDF position near the Jewish community of Ofra.

New play exposes tragedy of gay Palestinians

PreOccupiedTerritory: Arab Countries: Criticism Of Our Antisemitism Is Islamophobic
Fans and officials from around the region reacted to the surprise over their expressions of animus toward Jews at the World Cup by bashing Westerners for the “racist” characterization of that hatred as wrong, and accused Westerners of hating Muslims by harboring such opinions.

Scenes of passers-by accosting or assaulting Jews for daring to wave the flag of their home country – as attendees from every country often do at the World Cup – as well as recordings and accounts of cab drivers refusing to take people to their destinations upon discovering the passengers’ Jewish identity, and an official ban on selling kosher food or engaging in Jewish prayer – have prompted criticism from American, European, and other countries, even from quarters that normally dismiss antisemitic phenomena as mere opposition to Israeli policies. Qatari and other Arab voices responded with outrage to the criticism, calling it a gross display of Islamophobia, as antisemitism remains an integral element of local culture.

“It’s like their criticism of our treatment of homosexuals,” railed Azam Ghasseb, a fan from Saudi Arabia who participated in two separate mass-harassments of Israeli journalists. “We have different moral systems. They want to corrupt ours with their moral standards, which are obviously filthy and too permissive for any truly enlightened society. Same thing with the Jews. Our culture teaches us, rightly, to suspect and hate Jews, while Westerners’ degenerate culture doesn’t care whether someone’s Jewish or gay or whatever. Even both! Probably both, come to think of it. Well, not here. Those permissive sensibilities, and the criticism of anyone who doesn’t share those immoral sensibilities, are the height of Islamophobia. Respect our culture! Tolerant Westerners, my butthole.”

PMW: Fatah brags it murdered 20 Israelis in 2022 and 90% of terrorist “Martyrs” were Fatah members
When a terrorist is killed during his/her attack against Israelis it is PA policy to claim Israel summarily executed an innocent victim. This is in order to maintain the demonic image of Israel as a “barbarian” and “evil entity” that randomly kills Palestinians, and to convince the international community of Palestinian victimhood.

But at the same time, the PA and Fatah need to keep the so-called “resistance” alive – in other words, terror against Israel. So in order to convince more Palestinians to choose terror and “Martyrdom-death,” the PA and Fatah promote terrorists as heroes and role models for society. The PA and Fatah do this to secure their internal image as bodies that “fight the occupation” so as not to seem weak in comparison to the terror organization Hamas, which is steadily gaining popularity over PA Chairman Abbas’ Fatah.

The following statement by Fatah Revolutionary Council member Muhammad Al-Lahham is an expression of such image polishing. Talking about violent confrontations in Jenin during which Israel killed 4 terrorists, Al-Lahham stressed Fatah’s great participation in terror. He bragged that “90%” of the terrorist “Martyrs” of 2022 “were Fatah members” and also credited Fatah with murdering “20 Israelis,” commenting that “this is a source of honor” for Abbas’ Movement:

Girl proud of all imprisoned terrorists... “Daddy gave me a present, a machine gun and a rifle”

Hamas vows to ‘liberate’ Jerusalem on 35th birthday
Hamas announced on Wednesday the launch of a series of events in the Gaza Strip to mark the 35th anniversary of its founding. The events will include military parades and rallies in several areas of the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave and are expected to reach their peak on December 14 with a major rally in Gaza City.

This year’s anniversary comes at a time when Hamas appears to be as strong, popular and defiant as ever, especially in the Gaza Strip.

In 2006, the Islamist movement won the elections for the Palestinian parliament, the Palestinian Legislative Council. A year later, Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip through a violent coup that led to the collapse of the Palestinian Authority.

Since then, various attempts to undermine Hamas or remove it from power have been unsuccessful. Most of the attempts were carried out by Israel and the PA.

Hamas has also faced a boycott by many Arab and Western countries. This, too, appears to have had little effect on Hamas, which continues to rule the Gaza Strip without facing any substantial challenges from home or abroad.
Gaza Cancels Girls' Soccer Match
Religious conservatives have forced the cancelation of a football match for young girls in the Gaza Strip, describing it as an attempt to “replace the hijab with shorts.”

The pressure led to the cancelation of the match for girls aged nine to 12 from the Rafah Services Club and the Rafah Youth Club, which was scheduled for Thursday. Scholars and clerics criticized the match, calling it a “moral disgrace.”

Hani Abu Kush, a board member of the Rafah Services Club, said it wanted to hold the match as part of a sporting project.

“This is a project that started several months ago and included training for girls aged nine to 12. The match was like a graduation ceremony at the end, but the media uproar made it a big event,” he told Arab News.

He said that the club currently did not have any girls’ teams and all that was being done for girls was with external funding.
Qatar Punctures FIFA’s Political Fantasy
If the Qatar World Cup proved anything, it’s that sports and politics are inseparable Siamese twins joined at the hip.

Politics popped up at every twist of the World Cup’s road, whether related to the right of freedom of expression of players, sports commentators and fans; anti-government protests in Iran; anti-Israeli sentiment among Qataris and Arabs; a backlash against Western, particularly German, critics of Qatar; or ultra-conservative religious rejection of soccer as a sport.

Qatari efforts to stage manage the intrusion of regional politics ranged from picking and choosing which protests fit its foreign policy agenda, to seeking to ensure, where possible, that events elsewhere in the region would not overshadow or inflame passions during the World Cup.

Palestine is a case in point.

Amid escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians, Mohammad al-Emadi, the Qatari official handling Hamas, traveled to the region to ensure that it and Islamic Jihad, another Gaza-based organization, would not respond with rockets to Israeli use of lethal force against Palestinian militants on the West Bank.

Qatar feared that a response to last week’s killing of an Islamic Jihad commander on the West Bank and near-nightly Israeli raids could spark a renewed Israeli intervention in Gaza, already crippled by a 15-year-long Israeli-Egyptian blockade. The Qatari pressure puts in a different perspective the Gulf state’s endorsement of expressions of support for the Palestinians during the World Cup in the form of pro-Palestinian flags and T-shirts, and a refusal by Qatari and Arab fans to engage with Israeli reporters covering the tournament.

MEMRI: Australian Hizb ut-Tahrir Scholar: Qatar Is Going to Hell for Spending Muslims’ Money on World Cup
Australian Hizb ut-Tahrir-affiliated Islamic scholar Mohammad Alwahwah said in a December 2, 2022 lecture in Sydney, Australia that on Judgement Day, Qatar will go to Hell because it has spent Muslim wealth on the World Cup instead of helping needy Muslims, financing Islamic armies, and liberating Palestine. He said that the da’wa at the World Cup does not justify the forbidden things that it entailed, such as alcohol sponsorships, bribery, and mistreatment of migrant workers. He also said that the Jews and Christians will never be happy with the Muslims until they abandon Islam, and he claimed that the greatest number of people converted to Islam as a result of Islamic “conquests and victories”. He explained that by waging these kinds of conquests, Muslims are “implementing the message of Islam” and bringing non-Muslim directly under Islamic rule. In addition, he told his audience to imagine how large the Muslims’ celebrations will be when Jerusalem is liberated and the caliphate is established. The video of the lecture was posted to the Hizb Media YouTube channel.

New IRGC flights to Beirut may be carrying weapons to Hezbollah - report
The IRGC-affiliated Meraj Airlines has begun flights to Beirut in recent days, raising concerns that Iran could use the flights to transfer weapons directly to Hezbollah in Lebanon instead of using Damascus.

Al-Arabiya reported on Thursday that sources had informed them that Meraj had begun flights from Tehran to Beirut and could transport sensitive weapons and equipment to Hezbollah on the flights.

The first flight run by the airline to Beirut took place on November 14 and has continued on a weekly basis, according to the report.

The Israeli Intelli Times blog identified the Meraj aircraft flying between Tehran and Beirut as EP-AJI. Flight tracking from Flightradar24 shows that the aircraft has made a number of flights to Beirut recently, turning its transponder on over Baghdad and over Syria, but keeping it off in much of Iraq and Iran.

Intelli Times noted that Mahan Air, also affiliated with the IRGC, has been operating flights to Beirut for years on an aircraft identified as IRM1152.
Call Iran's Revolutionary Guards What They Are: Terrorists
We are at day 83 of the Islamic Republic's brutal crackdown of the protests. Iranian drones continue to kill Ukrainian civilians and destroy critical infrastructure. Assassins dispatched by Tehran try to kidnap and kill American citizens on U.S. soil, as well as Jewish leaders in Germany and France while the regime cranks up its nuclear escalation to near weapons grade level.

Every single bloody trail of Iran's internal oppression and external aggression leads to one organization: the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). This is why lawmakers from both sides of the Atlantic have urged the EU and fellow Western democracies to follow the U.S. lead and list the IRGC and their proxies, such as Hezbollah, as the terrorists they are.

Spearheaded by the Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI), 220 legislators from across Europe, the United States, and Canada call for more consistency to curb the "growing threat to regional and global peace posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran." Monday's meeting of EU foreign ministers, where Iran will again be on the agenda, is a good opportunity to do so.

The U.S. has recognized since 1984 that Iran is a "state sponsor of terrorism." And the regime's primary terror organ is the IRGC, whose mission is not that of a regular army to defend the country's borders. Instead, it is tasked with protecting the regime and exporting the Islamic revolution abroad. For the past four decades, it has spread terror in the region and beyond.

In Europe alone, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change identified some 20 IRGC "activities" over the past 10 years. Either directly or through its wholly owned subsidiary Hezbollah, the IRGC has been linked to terror attacks, bomb plots and assassinations.

In January 2018, for example, German authorities raided the homes of 10 Iranian agents, reportedly tied to the IRGC, who were collecting information on possible Israeli and Jewish terror targets in Germany—including a Jewish kindergarten. Just last week, German media quoted state prosecutor sources as saying that the IRGC was behind a series of terror attacks against synagogues in Germany.
How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign
In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

Sister of Iranian Supreme Leader Condemns Regime’s Crackdown on Protesters
A sister of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has condemned his crackdown on nationwide protests and called on the widely-feared Revolutionary Guards to lay down their weapons, according to a letter published by her France-based son.

Iran has been gripped by unrest since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini in police custody on Sept 16., and is facing a three-day general strike movement which started on Monday.

Badri Hosseini Khamenei, who lives in Iran and is the sister of Ayatollah Khamenei, criticized the clerical establishment starting from the time of the Islamic Republic's late founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to her brother's rule, the letter, dated "December 2022", said.

"I think it is appropriate now to declare that I oppose my brother's actions and I express my sympathy with all mothers mourning the crimes of the Islamic Republic, from the time of Khomeini to the current era of the despotic caliphate of Ali Khamenei," she wrote in the letter which was shared on Wednesday on the Twitter account of her son, Mahmoud Moradkhani.

"Ali Khamenei's Revolutionary Guards and mercenaries should lay down their weapons as soon as possible and join the people before it is too late," the letter said.

The Revolutionary Guards are Iran's elite force which has helped the country's establish proxies across the Middle East, and runs a vast business empire.

On Tuesday, the elite force shared a statement calling on the judiciary to "not show mercy to rioters, thugs, and terrorists", in a sign that the authorities have no intention of easing their fierce crackdown on dissent.
MEMRI: In Iran Sermon, Sunni Leader Demands Accountability for Victims Killed in Crackdown on Protesters
Molavi Abdolhamid Ismaeelzahi, the spiritual leader of Iran’s Sunnis, said in a Friday, December 2, 2022 sermon in Zahedan, the capital of the Sunni-majority Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan, that the Iranian regime should be held accountable for killing Sunni anti-regime protestors. He urged the regime to “sit down” with the protesters and reach “middle ground,” adding: “Where criticism is prevented, tyranny is created.” He said that prisoners and detainees should be treated in an “Islamic way” and not like people who fight Allah or sow corruption. He also said that truth must be followed even if it is uttered by enemies such as the Americans or Israelis. He elaborated that the Sunnis and other religious minorities have been discriminated against since the establishment of the Islamic Republic, even though they are all Iranians. The sermon was posted to Molavi Abdolhamid’s YouTube account.

Why Iran Is Involved in the Ukraine War
As Russia's weapons systems run low in its war in Ukraine, evidence is mounting from attack wreckage of rebadged Iranian-manufactured combat, kamikaze, and reconnaissance drones, as well as surface-to-surface ballistic missiles. Trainers from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have been sent to Crimea to train Russians to use the munitions, according to U.S. officials. Russia has consistently shielded Iran from the full force of U.S., EU, and UN ire over Tehran's reprobate geopolitical actions. Now Iran gets to return the favor.

Iran is testing its latest military technology through Russia in Ukraine. Russia's use of Iranian weapons serves to vividly display Iran's deadly technology for prospective buyers. While at least half of Iran-supplied drones and missiles are shot down by Ukrainian defenses, Iranian manufacturers and operators are becoming more skilled with each deployment, and what better endorsement for Iranian munitions than their adoption by the armed forces of a global power.

'Israel loves Iran': Viral campaign marks 10 years of creating dialogue

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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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