Tuesday, January 10, 2023

From Ian:

Bassem Eid: The perpetual dictator and the missing peace: The story of Mahmoud Abbas
During these long 18-plus years, peace has eluded the region primarily through Abbas’s personal obstinance. In 2008, Abbas walked away from a third Israeli peace offer that would have relinquished Israeli control over the Old City, location of the holiest site in the Jewish faith, the Temple Mount. Under his rule, Palestinian public education and news media fully normalized and are even saturated in antisemitism, often featuring explicit calls for violence against Jews. Abbas’s public statements and speeches place all of the onus for peace on Israel, as the Anti-Defamation League’s Jonathan Greenblatt succinctly wrote: “The Abbas approach should be rejected by the international community, not merely because of its bias against Israel, but also because it recycled the same-old ideas that have pushed Palestinians down the pointless loop of delegitimizing Israel rather than the hard climb of reaching compromise.”

Over 2 million Palestinians live under the tyrannical power of Abbas’s PA in the West Bank, including me and many of the people I care most about. Abbas is the real occupier of our cities and our homeland, not our future partner Israel, which has consistently had a majority in favor of peace and not Benjamin Netanyahu, a leader who has explicitly supported the idea of a Palestinian state so long as Israel maintains the necessary security controls.

Abbas has offered us neither democracy nor independence, but we remain a free people. It is time for the Palestinian nation to reach a new agreement with Israel and the international community, abolishing the dictatorial rule of Abbas and the PLO and instead granting our people what we truly deserve: peace with dignity alongside our neighbor, the Jewish State of Israel.
Netanyahu government breaks sharply with predecessor in dealings with PA
On Jan. 5, Israel’s Security Cabinet approved a series of retaliatory measures against the Palestinian Authority. These included sanctions against senior Palestinian officials, the withholding of Palestinian funds collected by Israel and a halt to illegal Palestinian construction in Area C of Judea and Samaria.

The measures were swiftly implemented: Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, on returning from a trip to Europe, found himself waiting in line at the Allenby Bridge crossing after Israel stripped him of his VIP pass. On Sunday, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich announced the transfer of $40 million in confiscated Palestinian funds to Israeli victims of terrorism, money that would have gone to support terrorists had it reached P.A. hands.

“The difference that we’re seeing, the actions of the government on all fronts, is really quite substantial,” IDF Lt. Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch, director of legal strategies for Palestinian Media Watch, told JNS.

The measures, coming less than two weeks into the tenure of the country’s new government, are partly a response to the P.A.’s orchestration of a vote at the United Nations on Dec. 30 calling on the International Court of Justice to render an opinion on the legal status of Judea and Samaria. (Al-Maliki’s VIP pass was reportedly confiscated because of a meeting he had at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.)

“What the government did is focus on punishing the P.A. leadership. The government is saying that there’s a cost and a consequence for these actions,” said Hirsch. “P.A. subversion at the United Nations is a complete and utter breach of the Oslo Accords. The VIP permits are a function of the Accords. There’s no reason why we should have to continue as if nothing happened. They have to pay the price,” he added.

Israel’s move to freeze taxes and tariffs it collects on behalf of the P.A.—and which the P.A. uses to award terrorists and their families as part of its “pay-for-slay” program—is also a welcome decision, according to Hirsch. An Israeli law to withhold the funds has been on the books since 2017, but only half-heartedly enforced, he noted. “This will be particularly effective and forceful with the P.A.,” he said, as it will cost them 100 million shekels ($28 million) a month.

US: Israel’s Withholding of Funds over Palestinian Terrorism ‘Exacerbates Tensions’
US State Department spokesman Ned Price on Monday described a series of Israeli measures meant to curb and punish Palestinian terrorism as a “unilateral move” that “exacerbates tensions.”

Israel’s Security Cabinet last week approved the measures in response to what it described as the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing “political and legal war” against the Jewish state. The previous week, the U.N. General Assembly, at the urging of the P.A., passed a resolution calling on the International Court of Justice to “render urgently an advisory opinion” on Israel’s “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of Palestinian territory.”

“We have continued to make the point that unilateral actions that threaten the viability of a two-state solution, unilateral actions that only exacerbate tensions—those are not in the interests of a negotiated two-state solution,” said Price.

He added that Washington has “been consistent in our own strong opposition to the request for an ICJ advisory opinion concerning Israel…. We believe this action was counterproductive.”

As part of the measures, Israel on Sunday transferred $39.5 million of taxes and tariffs collected for the P.A. to the victims of terrorism and their families.

At a press conference, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said, “We promised to fix this, and today we are correcting an injustice. This is an important day for morality, for justice and for the fight against terrorism. There is no greater justice than offsetting the funds of the Authority, which acts to support terrorism, and transferring them to the families of the victims of terrorism.”
Palestinian Prime Minister calls new Israeli sanctions 'final nail in the coffin'

Ambassador Nides’ delusions about Palestinian terrorism
So far, I have been referring to the perpetrators of terror, the ones who not only “want to kill someone who happens to be Jewish” but try to do it.

Add to them the many Palestinian Arabs who “want” to kill Jews but do not actually try to do so, for whatever reason. I mean the ones who write letters of solidarity to terrorists, engage in pro-terrorist propaganda or tell pollsters that they support violence.

And there’s another category to consider: Palestinian Arabs who support terrorism but tell pollsters that they don’t because they’re afraid of getting in trouble.

I can’t put a precise number on the number of Palestinian Arabs who fit into one or more of the above categories. But to say that the “vast, vast majority” of Palestinian Arabs do not fall into any of them is obviously ridiculous.

I am not accusing Ambassador Nides of deliberately lying. I give him the benefit of the doubt. I acknowledge that he represents the Biden administration, which has adopted a series of pro-Palestinian policies that are built on the premise that the “vast, vast majority” of Palestinians are against terrorism.

The administration can’t give the Palestinians hundreds of millions of dollars every year if it believes they support terrorism. It can’t advocate giving them a sovereign state along Israel’s old nine-mile-wide borders if it believes that they support terrorism.

So, the Biden administration has its party line, and Ambassador Nides’s job is to stick to it and articulate it as best as he can. Maybe he even believes it. Maybe he really thinks, despite all evidence to the contrary, that the “vast, vast majority” of Palestinians oppose terrorism.

But the rest of us must form our opinions based on facts, not wishful thinking. And every available fact points to the tragic reality that the vast majority of Palestinian Arabs support using bombs, bullets, knives and rocks to kill Jews.
Biden’s Man in the Embassy – Interview With Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides
In the conflict zone of the Middle East, diplomacy is often an uphill battle and a diplomat’s job is a formidable one. But it is a role that Ambassador Thomas Nides, America’s diplomat to the Jewish State, seems to relish.

Ambassador Nides, who describes himself as a liberal, Reform Jew, was confirmed as the U.S. Ambassador to Israel in November of 2021. He combined a financial background with a civil one, having most recently served as managing director and vice chairman of Morgan Stanley. Under President Obama, from 2010-2013, Ambassador Nides acted as the U.S. State Department’s Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources, a position which earned him the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award.

Ambassador Nides is a proud native of Minnesota, the youngest of eight children, and he received his B.A. degree from the University of Minnesota. He came to the job with a firm commitment to the two-state solution and a promise not to cross over Israel’s green line.

Filling a position in which every word is scrutinized, last March, Ambassador Nides memorably told the Americans for Peace Now, an organization opposing anti-BDS legislation, “Your agenda is where my heart is,” and doubled down on his opposition to “settlement growth,” which, he said, “infuriates me.”

Before you became ambassador, you made some very public statements about Israel, including opposing 'settlements' and stating you would not go across the green line. Do you think you checked your ideology at the door before you came in?

Yes. I mean, listen, my positions on the 'settlements' are quite clear. But I’ve seen leaders of the 'settlement' movement in my office. I’ve told anyone who wants to see me they can come see me. As you’ve probably seen or read, I didn’t back off [from paying a shivah visit across the green line because of the most recent terrorist attack. I wasn’t making a political statement. That was a decency statement. That was about passion.

I’ve been to 25-26 shivah calls since I’ve been here. I’ve been to almost every single terrorist victim’s family — Druze, hareidi, Reform Jews, across the political ideology. One happened to be in the 'settlements'. I made the decision to go, after thinking about it very hard. It wasn’t a political decision. It was the right thing to do. Again, my position on 'settlement' growth has been quite articulate. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be compassionate. It doesn’t mean I don’t spend time with people who obviously live across the green line and I’ve done that a lot. People come see me. I don’t need to go to their house if they can come to see me. It’s totally appropriate.
Maurice Hirsch: The UN is cancerous and should not be allowed in Israel
IN PRACTICE, the UNCT and its member organizations implement a major part of their mandate by writing biased and hate-invoking reports about Israel.

These reports include, inter alia, of course, the reports of the UN children’s organization, UNICEF, which claims that Israel’s prosecution of Palestinian minors, including murderers, is a war crime, thereby equating the prosecution of these PA-recruited child terrorists to the Holocaust.

If one were to read the two or three weekly distorted context-lacking updates of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), whose director heads the UNCT, even staunch Zionists would begin to question Israel’s legitimacy.

In their quarterly reports, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process consistently whitewashes Palestinian terror, while never missing an opportunity to vilify Israel and even condone Palestinian terror.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has one central purpose: To support, legitimize and promote the lie that ever-growing millions (currently over 5.7 million) of so-called Palestinian refugees will one day flood Israel and destroy the Jewish national homeland from within.

Other outrageous UN organizations include the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), established in 1949 to supervise the implementation of the Israel-Arab Armistice Agreements. Despite having failed miserably in its mission and while those Armistice agreements have been defunct for decades, the UNTSO still occupies the ever-growing – without permission of course – historic Government House in Jerusalem.

Individually and more so when combined together, the work of these UN organizations provides the basis for much of Israel’s bashing in the UN. Israel, similar to a battered wife who cannot break free of her abuser, is victimized into hosting these venomous organizations.

Considering the open hostility of the UN and specifically the local UN organizations, the question begs, why do we allow these cancerous growths to remain in Israel?

Responding to the UNGA referral to the ICJ, Israel’s security cabinet rightly adopted a number of decisions to penalize the Palestinian Authority for its sedition. While the PA must be sanctioned, it would be a mistake for Israel not to also take action against the plethora of UN organizations it hosts that constantly feed the virulent Jew and Israel hatred. It’s time Israel stood up for itself instead of just kvetching. It’s time to throw the malignant UN organizations out.
‘Al-Aqsa is in danger’ The history of a 100-year-old lie.
Despite the claim that Sharon started the intifada, the truth was revealed years later and confirmed by Arafat’s wife and Nabil Shaath, a Fatah Central Committee member.

In July of 2000, Arafat returned from peace talks at Camp David with then-President Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Barak had offered Arafat 97% of Judea and Samaria, which Arafat refused.

One of the sticking points was sharing the Temple Mount with the Jews. While Clinton considered this reasonable, it was a condition Arafat was unwilling to accept. Clinton was furious and blamed Arafat for the breakdown of the talks. Needing a diversion to deflect Clinton’s anger, Arafat ordered his underlings to plan the new intifada. Sharon’s trip to the Temple Mount took place two months later, providing a convenient excuse to launch the wave of terror.

While at Camp David, Arafat told Clinton that Jews have no connection to “Palestine” because they had never lived in the Land of Israel and there was never a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. According to a report in Newsweek, an incredulous Clinton looked at Arafat and said, “I know there was a Temple there.”

Arafat’s lie has not died. In fact, it has become a new talking point, with Muslim “scholars” and “archeologists” maintaining that there was no Jewish Temple. Arab governments increasingly deny the Temple as well. Due to their lobbying, UNESCO recently voted to erase any Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and declared the Western Wall a Muslim heritage site.

The Palestinians know that their lie is endangered whenever Israel asserts Jewish rights on the Temple Mount. This is why they regularly fly into hysterics at the slightest hint of a Jewish presence at the site. They understand what the Talmud teaches: When one acquires property, one takes action to show ownership, such as putting up a fence or plowing a field. The Arabs are doing everything they can to prevent Israel from showing any ownership over the Temple Mount. They do so because they know that if Israel demonstrates ownership, their attempt to erase the Jews from the Land of Israel will collapse.

Israelis have come to understand that this is part and parcel of the Palestinians’ ultimate ambition, which is to reconquer all the land “from the river to the sea”—all of Israel. Such attempts to destroy the Jews always begin with lies, and these lies must be confronted. Then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan was wrong to surrender control of the Temple Mount to the Waqf in 1967.

That is why Jewish visits to the Temple Mount, including by Ben-Gvir, must continue.
The Temple Mount could be Israel’s symbol of victory
Once again, we heard from numerous Israeli talking heads that such actions would inflame the Middle East. Ben-Gvir’s visit was condemned by hypocrites in the international community who call for the continuation of the status quo and then attack Israel and Jews for adhering to it.

However, Ben-Gvir’s ascension was a powerful moment that might allow Israel to regain momentum in its century-long war against Palestinian violence and rejectionism.

To the Arabs, the Temple Mount is where this war began. For a senior Israeli minister to defy their threats is an important symbolic victory.

For too long, Israeli politicians have followed Dayan’s lead. They have compromised and conceded in the face of threats real or imaginary.

We will never know if the conflict could have ended with the symbolic and permanent raising of the Israeli flag on the Temple Mount in 1967. We do know that, despite the overwhelming military victory, the conflict was not conceded by Israel’s enemies.

Perhaps Israel can start pushing back against what the Palestinian rejectionists see as growing Jewish humiliation and Israeli capitulation. It can do so by reasserting its sovereignty over the Temple Mount, a site won but not fully liberated.

I hope that more Israeli leaders, religious and secular, left and right, will understand the symbolism of the Temple Mount and ascend. They can adhere to the status quo, but not to threats of violence.

These simple yet important acts could send a strong and determined message to those who seek a future without Jewish sovereignty that we will not be removed.

It’s about time to ‘shackle’ Israel’s Supreme Court
Under Barak’s leadership, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected all self-imposed “shackles.” Calling Barak an “enlightened despot,” respected American federal appellate judge Richard Posner said in a 2007 review of a volume in which Barak laid out his judicial philosophy that Barak had “created out of whole cloth a degree of judicial power undreamed of even by our most aggressive Supreme Court justices.”

Israel’s justices—once appointed by a self-perpetuating body controlled totally by sitting Supreme Court members (although today’s selection committee has only three Supreme Court members of a nine-member body, the Bar Association representative rarely opposes their choice)—have perpetuated Barak’s extraordinary authority. On 22 occasions the court has declared a law passed by the Knesset to be invalid because it violates a freedom protected by Israel’s Basic Law.

Contrary to the opinions expressed by Levin’s critics, democracy is not threatened if a democratically elected legislature sets the rules under which a law passed by a majority of the legislature is voided whenever a majority of judges believe that it offends a Basic Law. Whether 61 votes in the Knesset should override the decision of a judicial majority so as to restore a law to full effect or whether it should take 70 or 80 Knesset members is a detail that the Knesset can debate and decide. Whether a simple majority of a Supreme Court panel should qualify to void a law or whether invalidation of a Knesset law should require the concurrence of 8 or 11 justices is a choice the democratically elected Knesset should make. These are legislative judgments, not judicial prerogatives.

Levin’s proposed law would make several other reasonable-if-debatable changes affecting the membership and power of Israel’s judiciary. It would retain much of the same Israeli judicial structure, including the number of Supreme Court justices and the duration of their service. (One wonders whether, in light of today’s life expectancies and the ages of American presidents and potential candidates for the 2024 U.S. elections, an Israeli Supreme Court might determine that the current mandatory-at-70 retirement for Supreme Court justices violates a liberty protected by the Basic Law.)

Its terms—including the limitations it prescribes on the effect of decisions rendered by a majority of the Supreme Court—deserve respectful and deliberate consideration.
Bill re-extending Israeli laws to citizens in Judea and Samaria passes first reading
A bill seeking to apply Israeli criminal and various civil laws to communities located in Area C of Judea and Samaria passed its first reading in the Knesset on Tuesday.

The proposed legislation seeks to renew a set of “emergency” regulations enacted in the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War, meant to be reapproved every five years but which were last approved in 2017.

Israel’s previous government did not renew the regulations due to opposition from members of the coalition, specifically the left-wing Meretz and Islamist Ra’am parties.

However, they were automatically extended when the government fell in June, and remain in effect for three months after the date of the swearing-in of the new government.

The “Law to Extend the Emergency Regulations (Judea and Samaria—Jurisdiction and Legal Aid 5727-1967)” effectively applies Israeli jurisdiction to citizens living in Judea and Samaria, including as it relates to obligations such as paying taxes and fulfilling mandatory military service, as well as the extension of rights such as national and state health insurance.

The law also delineates the legal powers of state authorities in Palestinian Authority-controlled territories.
Israeli leader invites critics to visit West Bank
Critics of the right wing Israeli government should come and see for themselves how minority groups were treated, the leader of Israeli settlements in the West Bank says.

Strong Jewish State KEY to Middle East Peace According to global expert on Jerusalem Daniel Luria, the key to peace in the Middle East lies in a strong Jewish state, which he says is the most democratic and free nation in the region thanks to its commitment to Jewish values.

Jordan won't join Negev Forum until Palestinian Authority does

China Cements its Position in the Middle East
Saudi Arabia is now not only one of China's most important suppliers of energy, but the kingdom is also an important link in China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) -- a gigantic global development project to enhance China's global influence from East Asia to Europe by making countries worldwide increasingly dependent on China. Under the BRI, China has signed cooperation agreements with 20 Arab countries.

China is also Saudi Arabia's largest trading partner -- an arrangement that extends to military cooperation....

Biden took a longstanding ally, Saudi Arabia, and, by repeating that he would make the kingdom a "pariah nation," created an adversary. "For an American president to be silent on the issue of human rights is inconsistent with who we are and who I am," Biden said. The same concern for human rights has not seemed to bother him, however, when it comes to China or Iran, whose record on human rights is at least as bad as Saudi Arabia's, if not worse.

China jumped in to fill the vacuum.

Xi Jinping has made no secret of his wishes to "replace America as the global superpower" economically, militarily, diplomatically and technologically by 2049. The United States might be "well poised to lead," but is it leading?
Anger Over Algerian Paper’s ‘Unbearable Antisemitic Diatribe’ Targeting French Jewish Historian
A group of influential French intellectuals have risen to the defense of a prominent Jewish historian of North Africa after he was the subject of an antisemitic screed in an Algerian government-backed newspaper.

Benjamin Stora — one of the world’s leading experts on Algeria and the author of several award-winning books on the country — was commissioned by French President Emmanuel Macron in 2020 to prepare a report on French commemoration of the bloody 1962 Algerian War that resulted in the North African nation’s independence.

At the end of December, the Algerian government-backed outlet Algérie Patriotique published a scathing assault on Stora, whose report was submitted one year ago.

“Poor France is entitled to be led as it sees fit in the writing of its history, but the Algerian people refuse to take the same path traced by Benjamin Stora, his fellows and his ancestors,” the paper declared in an editorial.

The editorial continued with an attack on “the very people who were at the origin of the capture of Algiers, the Bakri and the Busnach — crooked merchants coveting the immense treasure of the Regency for their masters the Rothschilds, the Seillières and the Schneiders.”

The Bakri and Busnach families were Jewish traders who operated a company that supplied France with large amounts of wheat and other foods from the end of the eighteenth century, going on to become an important source of provisions for Napoleon’s armies in the early part of the nineteenth century. It financed its activities by borrowing heavily from Algerian ruler Hussein Dey’s treasury. In parallel, the French state built up an enormous debt to the company which it refused to pay, resulting in a standoff that many historians argue was a key factor behind the French decision to invade Algeria in 1830.
ISIS terrorist smiled after NYC bike path attack, gave ‘proud confession’: feds
The terrorist who allegedly killed eight people by ramming into them with a truck on a Lower Manhattan bike path smiled at the thought of his murderous rampage while giving a proud confession to an FBI agent soon after the 2017 attack, a federal prosecutor said at the start of his trial Monday.

Sayfullo Saipov, 34, repeatedly proclaimed his support for ISIS after the attack, including to an FBI agent who is set to testify at his terrorism trial in Manhattan federal court, Assistant US Attorney Alexander Li told jurors in his opening statement.

“He smiled at the memory of his attack and asked for an ISIS flag to hang in his hospital room,” Li said, adding Saipov was eager to speak with the FBI and provide a “proud confession.”

The prosecutor described the horror that unfolded that Halloween afternoon when Saipov, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, indiscriminately mowed down pedestrians and cyclists after mounting the bike path from the West Side Highway in a rented truck.

“It was a scene of destruction and horror. Mangled bicycles covered the path. The riders — human beings — lay unconscious or dead. Survivors staggered around, wounded and dazed, searching for family and friends,” Li said.

MEMRI: Amid Current Wave Of Violence, Palestinian Press Debates Which Is Preferable, Armed Struggle Or Popular Resistance
Amid the increase in Palestinian terror attacks launched from the West Bank, the emergence of new terror militias like the Lions' Den in Nablus and the Jenin Battalion in Jenin, and the lack of any hope for a renewal of the peace process, a debate has emerged in the Palestinian press regarding the desirable character of the struggle against Israel. There were articles that praised the attacks against Israelis and extolled their "heroic" perpetrators, both individuals who operated independently and the organized armed militias, thus echoing the discourse that has been promoted by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah in the recent months.[1] Some of these articles called to continue the armed struggle, since it is "the most effective way" to achieve the goals of national independence and to liberate all of Palestine "from the river to the sea." One of the writers called on the resistance axis, led by Iran, to help the Palestinians militarily, and also to cultivate a "culture of resistance" that will form a solid basis for all continued Palestinian action.

Conversely, there were articles that criticized the militarization of the struggle against Israel, arguing that this exacts a very high price from the Palestinian people but achieves very little.[2] These articles stated that popular unarmed resistance will yield far more achievements for the Palestinians, since it will exhaust Israel while increasing the international and media criticism against it and the solidarity with the Palestinians. Some even suggested that the new militias should lead the people in this type of struggle, namely a widespread popular uprising like the 1987 intifada. Several writers, such as former Palestinian minister Ashraf Al-Ajrami, assessed that resistance will only produce results if it follows comprehensive political reforms in the PA and the holding of elections to appoint a new leadership that will formulate a fresh political vision instead of the Oslo Accords.

This report presents translated excerpts from the Palestinian press articles reflecting this debate.

Articles Advocating Armed Struggle: It's The Only Way To Deal With Israel And Liberate Palestine
As stated, some of the articles published in the Palestinian press expressed clear support for the armed militias in the West Bank and for the terrorists who carried out attacks against Israelis. These articles held Israel exclusively responsible for the violence, while demonizing it and its policies, and claiming that only multiple Israeli fatalities will lead to the liberation of Palestine "from the river to the sea."

Palestinian Former Official: Only Armed Resistance, Inflicting As Many Casualties As Possible Upon The Enemy, Will Bring Us Independence

In an article in the Al-Quds daily titled "Has The Peace Farce Ended?", As'ad 'Abd Al-Rahman, a former member of the PLO Executive Committee, wrote that independence and liberation can only be achieved through armed resistance: "The [Israeli] occupation is fully and directly responsible for its crimes, which reach the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is the occupation's conduct that has led young Palestinians to conclude that the most effective option is to take up the gun again – because it is no longer possible to accept the [occupation's] excuses for its ongoing attacks – and that true independence involves and even requires resistance, armed or otherwise…

"For many years, many Palestinians and Arabs believed in a political settlement, even though the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations kept failing throughout those years and did not liberate even an inch of the occupied land. After all, Israel employs only force and fails to honor contracts, international conventions and international resolutions. It sought to turn the 'peace process' into a farce that would perpetuate the occupation. In this context, the new generation has arrived, and it reiterates that military resistance is the way to achieve liberation, that what does not start today will not end tomorrow, and that the resistance must continue – for the Palestinians will not gain anything except through resistance, armed or otherwise, and by causing as many casualties as possible to the Zionist enemy…

"History teaches us that all the peoples who were attacked by foreigners sought their identity and independence, out of a belief that [national] rights are taken by force, not granted [for free]. Resistance, in all its forms, must not be a temporary state of emergency but must continue as long as there are elements that seek to expunge the political and cultural identity of the Palestinian people…"[3]
Neturei Karta delegation meets with PIJ terrorist in Jenin–report
A delegation of the radical anti-Zionist Haredi Neturei Karta faction visited the city of Jenin in Samaria on Monday, where they met with a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group, according to Israel News Network.

The delegates waved Palestinian flags as they walked through the city.

A local Palestinian labeled them “settlers” and called on local gunmen to kidnap them, according to a report on Monday by Mako. A number of gunmen indeed attempted to harm the Jewish visitors, but the attempts were thwarted, according to the report.

In 2020, members of Neturei Karta attended the funeral ceremony of the late Iranian Quds Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, in Iran, following his assassination by the United States in Iraq.
Israeli-Arab band pays tribute to freed terrorist murderer
In an article published in the Jerusalem Center for Public and State Affairs, it was noted that at one of the events, the Al-Khail dance troupe from the city of Haifa performed a number of dances to nationalist songs in front of Younes. The band members appeared wearing green military pants, and one of the dancers stood in front of Karim Younes, saluted him and bowed to him.

One of the dances the troupe performed to is was 'Ra-itiyo, Hagibur, which translates to 'I saw him, the hero,' a relatively new song which was dedicated to Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, a terrorist from the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade who was responsible for a number of deadly attacks on Israelis and one of the founders of the Lions Den terrorist organization.

The lyrics, as translated into English:
saw the hero, I saw him, I saw the one who has no fear
I recognized him by his appearance, and blind is the person who does not see this
A curfew has been imposed, it is forbidden to walk around
[This is] the message of the villains [Israel], the times have changed
A resounding thunderclap, facing the worst of all
Oh [the] sniper [shooting at] soldiers, blowing up the head of the Yamam [National Counter-Terrorism Unit]
I saw him walking calmly, marching with a rifle in his hand
His mother's voice calls to him, O mother, I will protect Palestine
I saw the hero at ease, guarding his country even though he could not be found
Walking calmly and confidently, masculine and radiating awe
I saw the lion marching proudly, and facing war
He will explode in the face of the enemy, bright as lightning
I saw the hero, I saw him, I saw the one who has no fear
I recognized him by his appearance, and blind is the person who does not see this

US and Israel must 'stand together' on Iran, Netanyahu tells AIPAC conference
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the AIPAC Political Leadership Forum through a video call from his office in the Knesset on Monday, speaking about the importance of US-Israel cooperation on Iran in the pro-Israel lobbying group's first major conference since the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The time has come for Israel and the United States, along with other countries, to stand together, and I look forward to discussing this with President Biden and his team," said Netanyahu. "Today, more people agree on the issue than ever before."

Netanyahu was met with a standing ovation from conference attendees, including 1,000 pro-Israel activists and senior AIPAC management.

The prime minister said that people around the globe are now seeing the Iranian regime's internal repression of its citizens. Demonstrations are taking place across the country following the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini in the custody of the regime's morality police. Amini was arrested for not wearing her hijab in accordance with government standards.

"So now, because of the brave men and women of Iran, the entire world sees what we've been talking about, that this is a terrible, repressive, terrorist regime," said Netanyahu.

He also said that he is working to expand the "circle of peace," describing diplomatic efforts between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
Iran Executions are ‘State Sanctioned Killing’: UN Rights Chief
The U.N. human rights chief said that the death penalty was being weaponised by Iran’s government to strike fear into the population and stamp out dissent, saying the executions amounted to “state sanctioned killing“.

“The weaponization of criminal procedures to punish people for exercising their basic rights – such as those participating in or organizing demonstrations – amounts to state sanctioned killing,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said, adding the executions violated international human rights law.

Iran hanged two men on Saturday for allegedly killing a member of the security forces during nationwide protests and more have since been sentenced to death.

The U.N. Human Rights office has received information that two further executions are imminent, the statement said, while up to 100 face charges for capital crimes.

Turk said in a statement that there were numerous violations of due process and fair trial in the cases, including the application of vaguely worded criminal provisions, denial of access to a lawyer of choice, forced confession under torture and denial of a meaningful right of appeal.

The Islamic Republic, which has blamed the unrest on its foreign foes including the United States, sees its crackdown on protests as aimed at preserving national sovereignty.
‘You’re the Lackey of a Murderous Regime,’ Swedish MP Tells Iranian Ambassador
A Swedish parliamentarian on Monday slammed the Iranian Ambassador in Stockholm as the “lackey of a murderous regime” after he wrote her a lengthy letter dismissing the concerns she raised about the abuse of human rights by Iran’s rulers.

“As a Member of Swedish Parliament for nine years, I have never, ever, received a response letter from an Ambassador or representative of any another country comparable to this,” Lawen Redar — A Swedish-Iranian politician who represents the left-wing Social Democrats in parliament — declared on Instagram.

In the letter dated Dec. 29, Ahmad Masoumifar — Iran’s envoy in Sweden — accused Redar of writing “colonial-minded statements” in her original letter, in which she formally protested the Iranian regime’s repression of the historic protests that erupted last September following the death of Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish woman, while in the hands of its “morality police.”

Masoumifar in his letter urged Redar to “familiarize yourself with the rudimentary principles of international conduct, the unethical implications of orientalist, imperialistic and chauvinist attitudes, and to generally gain a basic appreciation of the political dynamics of the current century, a century where neo-colonial attitudes are no longer tenable.”

In her response to the ambassador, Redar noted that this was “the answer I get from demanding rule of law and stop of executions in Iran: a lesson in the misinterpretations of the West.”

She continued: “You are nothing more than a lackey for a murderous regime, Mr. Ambassador.”
US Navy intercepts over 2,000 assault rifles headed from Iran to Yemen
The US Navy intercepted over 2,000 assault rifles being carried on a fishing vessel from Iran to Yemen on January 6, the US 5th Fleet announced on Tuesday.

A US Navy team from the USS Chinook patrol coastal ship discovered and seized the weapons with support from the USS Monsoon and guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans.

The vessel was sailing on a route historically used to traffic illicit cargo to the Houthi terrorist group in Yemen and was crewed by six Yemeni nationals.

The direct or indirect supply of weapons to the Houthis violates UN Security Council Resolution 2216 and international law.

"This shipment is part of a continued pattern of destabilizing activity from Iran,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of US Naval Forces Central Command, US 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. “These threats have our attention. We remain vigilant in detecting any maritime activity that impedes freedom of navigation or compromises regional security.”

Killing Terrorists? Hmmm. Biden State Dept Tongue-Tied About Support for Soleimani Assassination
Three years after the elimination of one of the world's most notorious terrorists, President Joe Biden's State Department is tongue-tied when it comes to articulating its support for President Donald Trump's decision to take out Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

Amid protests across Iran that have seen anti-regime demonstrators tear apart pictures of Soleimani, the State Department declined to comment on those acts of rebellion or say whether it stands by the U.S. military operation that killed Soleimani.

"We’re not going to rehash history," a State Department spokesman told the Washington Free Beacon in response to questions about whether it believes the January 2020 drone strike on Soleimani made America safer. When asked if it has comment on videos showing Iranian protesters burning pictures of Soleimani, the spokesman said, "We cannot comment on every act of protest taking place inside Iran."

The State Department’s unwillingness to comment on the Soleimani operation drew criticism from Iranian-American activist groups and congressional foreign policy leaders who have worked to isolate the hardline regime. As the protests stretch into their fourth month, the Biden administration has negotiations over a revamped version of the 2015 nuclear accord on life support. U.S. Iran envoy Robert Malley—who is under pressure to resign his post—said late last year that he is "keeping the door open for a return to diplomacy," even as the Iranian regime murders and imprisons protesters.

Bryan Leib, executive director of Iranian Americans for Liberty, an advocacy group working to support democracy in Iran, said the Biden administration should embrace the Soleimani assassination—just as Iranian dissidents are risking their lives to do so across the Islamic Republic.

"The Biden State Department continues to project weaknesses on the world stage regarding the Islamic Republic while the entire department echoes the same talking points from the feckless Robert Malley," Leib told the Free Beacon. "When asked a simple question about Soleimani, they can't muster up the courage to applaud the former administration for their actions to eliminate Soleimani and to weaken Tehran through their maximum pressure [and] maximum sanctions campaign."

German exports to Iran rise despite diplomatic tensions
German exports to Iran rose last year, according to data seen by Reuters, despite Western condemnation of Tehran's months-long crackdown against protests.

German exports to Iran climbed 12.7% year-on-year from January to November 2022 to around 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion), data from the federal statistics office showed.

That exceeded the full-year volume for 2021 of around 1.4 billion euros, but remains a fraction of total exports from Europe's largest economy, which reached 1.38 trillion euros in 2021.

Germany, like its allies, has expressed outrage over a government crackdown on protests in Iran sparked by the death in morality police custody of Mahsa Amini in September.
Iran claims it arrested six Mossad teams amid protests
Iran's Intelligence Ministry claimed Tuesday that Iranian authorities have arrested six teams working for the Mossad in the country.

In total, 23 alleged operatives were identified by Iranian authorities in the Tehran, Isfahan, Yazd, West Azarbaijan and Golestan provinces and 13 individuals who were in the country have been arrested.

According to the ministry, the network of teams is headed by a person using the pseudonym "Cyrus," who resides in a European country and contacts Iranians through Instagram and WhatsApp.

The ministry claimed that the Mossad was trying to "take advantage" of the protests sweeping Iran to assassinate a military official and carry out several "sabotage operations" in major cities. The network also allegedly tried to transport large-scale explosives from Iran's southern coast.

Series of claims made by Iranian officials concerning alleged Mossad agents in Iran
The alleged arrests were first reported by Iran's Intelligence Ministry in late December, when the ministry claimed that four teams had been discovered. Just days before that announcement, the ministry claimed that it thwarted a Mossad network attempting to sabotage its defense industries.

According to the ministry, the Mossad contacted companies that work with the Islamic Republic’s defense industries in order to collect information. The Mossad allegedly began working with a person named “Frank” who works as a sales manager for a company that supplies parts and is in contact with Iranian companies, according to the report.
Report: Iran Sentences Belgian to 40 Years in Prison on ‘Fabricated’ Charges
Iran has sentenced a Belgian national to 40 years in jail and 74 lashes for charges including spying, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, a significant increase on the 28-year sentence Belgium had reported in December.

Aid worker Olivier Vandecasteele was sentenced on four charges, including spying on Iran, cooperating with the United States against Iran, currency smuggling, and money laundering, Tasnim reported, adding that he could appeal the verdict.

Vandecasteele has denied all the charges.

Belgium's Justice Minister in December said Vandecasteele was in prison "for a fabricated series of crimes" and had been sentenced as retribution for a 20-year jail sentence Belgian courts imposed on an Iranian diplomat in 2021.

Assadolah Assadi was found guilty of attempted terrorism after a foiled plot to bomb a rally of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), opposed to the Islamic Republic, near Paris in June 2018.
Iranian police reportedly ordered to ‘firmly punish’ hijab violations
Iran’s judiciary has ordered police to “firmly punish” women who violate the country’s hijab law, a news agency reported Tuesday, after nearly four months of deadly protests against the measures.

Demonstrations have swept Iran since the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old ethnic Kurd, after her arrest in Tehran for allegedly failing to adhere to the law.

Since the outbreak of the protests, the morality police unit charged with enforcing the hijab rules has been less visible and women have taken to the streets without mandatory headscarves.

But authorities signaled less tolerance since the start of the year, with police warning that women must wear headscarves even in cars.

On Tuesday, Mehr news agency reported that the prosecutor general had issued a directive in which “police were ordered to firmly punish any hijab violations.”

“Courts must sentence the violators, as well as fine them, to additional penalties such as exile, bans on practicing certain professions and closing workplaces,” it quoted the judiciary as saying.

Mural in Jerusalem shows Israeli solidarity with Iran protestors

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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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