Tuesday, January 17, 2023

From Ian:

If the US wants a two-state solution, it must help the Palestinians help themselves
Specifically, Washington should focus energies and resources on assisting the Palestinians overcome five fundamental obstacles currently preventing peace with Israel and their own independence.

First, it must make its funding for the Palestinian Authority, currently about $235 million per year, contingent on a) the P.A. reforming its notorious educational materials to promote peace and co-existence to children, rather than terrorism and Jew hatred; and b) reforming government media so TV news broadcasts no longer deliver daily diatribes about “filthy Jews” and the Zionist enemy who “stole their land.”

Aid must also be conditioned on the Palestinian leadership ending its unconscionable “pay-for-slay” program—paying lifetime salaries to terrorists who kill innocent Jews. Currently the Palestinians spend some $300 million annually on this program. Ironically, rather than supporting peace initiatives, U.S. taxpayer dollars currently fund most of the pay-for slay program costs.

In short, the United States should reward good behavior and penalize bad behavior. It should stipulate that our financial support depends on the Palestinians ending terrorism and promoting peace. Without such incentives, there is surely no hope for the two-state solution that Biden and other Americans swear they are committed to.

Second, Washington must step up its support for the Abraham Accords, to promote Arab-Israeli cooperation and commerce. Simultaneously, it should invite the Palestinians to take part in the economic and cultural cooperation thriving around them, while making it clear that progress towards normalization and peace will continue with or without them.

Third, it must harshly condemn Hamas’s efforts in the Gaza Strip to lure Israel into wars by periodically launching unprovoked attacks against the Jewish state. Likewise, it should emphatically lend its support to the international community when Israel fights back.

Fourth, it needs to help the Palestinians develop economic self-sufficiency. Currently corruption abounds in the Palestinian economy, and about one in four Palestinians has no job. Without Western aid, the economy would collapse. No two-state solution can happen without a self-sustaining Palestinian economy.

The United States and European Union pour hundreds of millions of dollars into “support” for the Palestinians, but where does this money go? Where are the U.S.- and E.U.-sponsored training, incubator and economic development programs? The most lucrative opportunity in the self-ruled Palestinian territories should be meaningful employment, not terrorist pay-for-slay.

Fifth and finally, the United States should make a concerted effort to strengthen the P.A. and help it regain control of all autonomous Palestinian territories, including Gaza. Two states and Palestinian independence will remain a fantasy until the Palestinians achieve some level of political unity and stability—the structure and institutions of a state.
Caroline Glick: Saudi Arabia's Challenge to Biden: Let's Abandon FDR's Deal With Ibn Saud
Arabs, Ibn Saud said, "would choose to die rather than yield their land to the Jews."

Roosevelt, for his part, assured Ibn Saud "that he would do nothing to assist the Jews against the Arabs and would make no move hostile to the Arab people."

Generations of U.S. presidents kept Roosevelt's word. They accepted that Arab rejection of the Jews was legitimate, and that Jewish rights were, at best, contingent on Arab acceptance. The Trump administration was the first to depart from that position—and it did so only after the Arabs themselves abandoned it. Had the Emiratis not made clear they were unwilling to subordinate their national interest of peace with Israel to the Palestinians' intransigence, even President Trump likely would have continued to push Netanyahu to accept Palestinian demands.

Now, Ibn Saud's grandchildren are themselves willing to openly accept Israel, without preconditions. And the question is whether Joe Biden will act as Donald Trump did, and follow their lead.

Depressingly, it appears the Biden administration is not willing to walk away from the FDR-Ibn Saud deal, even though maintaining it alienates Ibn Saud's very heirs. Last week, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken participated in a summit of the Abraham Accords member states in Abu Dhabi. Blinken and other senior officials continued their efforts to stand the Abraham Accords on their head by peddling the outmoded "Palestinians first" paradigm, which dominated the Arab world's fraught relations with Israel until 2020. Blinken, State Department Counselor Derek Chollet, and State Department Spokesman Ned Price all made clear that the U.S. used its presence in Abu Dhabi to divert the discussions away from collective action against Iran and economic cooperation with Israel, and toward Palestinian grievances. Chollet said the U.S. is "fully supportive of the Palestinians joining" the Abraham Accords and that the summit "focused on strengthening the Palestinian economy and improving the quality of life of Palestinians."

While Israel, the Saudis, and the Arab members of the Abraham Accords are focused on blocking Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and becoming a regional hegemon, the Biden administration remains committed—despite its tepid denials—to achieving a nuclear deal, and broader rapprochement, with Iran. Such a deal will provide Iran with the financial means and international legitimacy to become a nuclear-armed regional hegemon that threatens the very existence of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Abraham Accords partners.

In other words, the Biden administration is committed to FDR's hostile posture on Israel, and opposes the Saudis' desire to abandon Ibn Saud's anti-Israel hostility.

The stakes for the U.S. couldn't be higher. If the Biden administration joins the Abraham Accords signees in their full acceptance of Israel as their brother and partner in the lands of Abraham's children, it will secure its legacy and America's posture as the lead superpower in the Middle East for years to come. If it refuses to do so, it will strike a mortal blow to America's alliance system in the Middle East, reducing U.S. power and influence in the region for years to come.
Netanyahu's strategy to strengthen Israel in its 75th year - opinion
Netanyahu has earned the stature to speak without ambiguity
LIKE HIM or not, having served Israel’s government for most of its life and his own, Netanyahu has earned the stature to speak without ambiguity. He ascended to the leadership of an Israel that was still a fledgling, quasi-socialist-agrarian nation in a hostile neighborhood, lacking the confidence to consolidate biblical lands at the core of Jewish identity, surprisingly recovered in the defensive Six Day War of 1967. Instead, he passively accepts his opponents’ descriptions of the territories as “disputed” and eventually “occupied.”

Under his leadership, Israel has been transformed into a vibrant market economy and a technological, intelligence and diplomatic powerhouse. Defying even his own expectations, Netanyahu secured peace agreements with a large portion of the Arab world; the Abraham Accords circle of peace is still expanding, and Israel is establishing diplomatic and economic relations globally at a spectacular pace.

This is Netanyahu-the-Diplomat’s moment to end the confusing dual-action tactic of sipping West Bank development while blowing two states bubbles from the same rhetorical straw.

Likud, religious Zionists, PA and Hamas are apparently unanimous on this: No one is interested in two states west of the Jordan River. Yet, 4 of their people of all cultures seem to coexist peaceably for mutual benefit without a political theater in the Old City of Jerusalem and these newer West Bank cities. More narrative clarity from Israel might help well-intentioned international allies move on, too.

A visible integration framework could include ending the occupation by suspending military law in the West Bank and applying Israeli civil law across the territories. As the functional integration described here advances, Israel could initiate a process for easing travel restrictions and work quotas for Palestinians between the territories and the rest of Israel.

Palestinian community leaders would have incentives to monitor and preempt security risks, which would be a paramount regulator of the pace and flow of integration for law-abiding Palestinians who would enjoy social mobility in Israel’s labor market. In other words, Palestinians’ individual and leaders’ choices would determine the pace of their access.

Continuing progress on these vectors of integration could deliver fair access to opportunity for all law-abiding inhabitants of the territories, consistent with Jewish religious and cultural principles. It would help to create a virtuous circle of development both within Judea and Samaria and the rest of Israel, consolidating support for the governing coalition within Israel and providing a realistic vision for diplomatic progress for all of Israel’s international allies, including supporting a core diplomatic priority of encouraging Saudi Arabia’s accession to the Abraham Accords circle of peace.

A new vision could be revealed in action, upgrading tentative words of defense. A new transparent narrative for a new process: freer movement and freer access to opportunity for all of Israel’s inhabitants. Ground-level practical integration could also involve community self-governance - always security-dependent - and in due course a constitutional path toward national participation on terms consistent with Israel’s unique status as a Jewish nation.

On the eve of Israel’s 75th anniversary, Netanyahu’s Likud and its partners have finally won the chance to reveal and deliver Israel’s destiny as the Prophet Isaiah’s light unto the nations, a beacon of spiritual and moral virtue for all humanity.

Bassam Tawil: Why Israelis Voted for Right-Wing Parties
The main reason behind the rise to power of the far-right parties in the recent general election in Israel is that many Israelis believe that Israel has no partner for peace on the Palestinian side. This, in addition to the growing sense of dismay among Israelis as a result of Palestinian violence and terrorism, which saw a significant upsurge in 2022.

The widespread belief in Israel that the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, are not partners for peace is not baseless. Moreover, the dismay is justified.

Instead of welcoming the Israeli move [complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, while asking nothing in return] the Palestinians responded with more terrorism against Israel. "The Israelis totally withdrew because they were being shot at?" went Palestinian thinking; "Great! Let's keep shooting at them!"

The Oslo Accords (Article XV) state that the Palestinians are supposed to "take all measures necessary in order to prevent acts of terrorism, crime and hostilities." Instead, Palestinian cities such as Nablus and Jenin, which are fully controlled by Abbas's security forces, have in the past year against become hubs for terrorism.

In the past year, Abbas has demonstrated to the Israeli public that the Palestinians are determined to pursue the war against Israel on two fronts: on the ground, through terrorism, and in the international arena, through the United Nations and the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice and other international forums.

Both the Palestinian terrorism and the diplomatic warfare constitute a violation of the commitments made by the Palestinians in the "peace process."

Over 90 countries urge Israel to lift sanctions put on Palestinians after UN vote
More than 90 countries on Monday called on Israel to reverse steps taken against the Palestinian Authority over its push for an investigation into Israel at the United Nations.

Late last month, the UN General Assembly approved a resolution promoted by the Palestinians requesting that the International Court of Justice weigh in on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Israeli “annexation” and the “legal status of the occupation.”

After the resolution passed, Israel decided to deduct funds from the Palestinian Authority for the benefit of Israeli terror victims, revoked the PA foreign minister’s special travel permit, and denied benefits to certain Palestinian officials, among other measures.

The statement released Monday was signed by representatives of Arab nations and the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation and 37 other countries — 27 of them from Europe, including Germany, France and Italy, as well as Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.

“Regardless of each country’s position on the resolution, we reject punitive measures in response to a request for an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice, and more broadly in response to a General Assembly resolution, and call for their immediate reversal,” the letter said.

Germany’s UN mission said countries hold diverging views on last month’s resolution but “agrees on the rejection of punitive measures in response to the resolution.”

Israel blasts UN demand to lift PA sanctions, restore terror funds
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan blasted Tuesday a letter signed by over 90 United Nations member states, demanding the "immediate" reversal of Israel's punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority.

The UN General Assembly late last month approved a resolution initiated by Ramallah calling on the ICJ to "render urgently an advisory opinion" on what it called was Israel's "prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of Palestinian territory."

The Israeli Diplomatic-Security Cabinet called the move ongoing "political and legal war" and decided, among other measures, to withhold taxes and tariffs collected on behalf of and transferred to the PA, in an amount equal to that which Ramallah paid to terrorists and their families in 2022 under its infamous "pay-for-slay" policy.

The letter was signed by representatives of the Arab and Islamic countries, including Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, along with Western and other nations such as Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Cyprus, Japan, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.

"Regardless of each country's position on the resolution, we reject punitive measures in response to a request for an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice, and more broadly in response to a General Assembly resolution, and call for their immediate reversal," the letter states.

In parallel, a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres said he "notes with deep concern the recent Israeli measures against the Palestinian Authority," adding that there should "be no retaliation… in relation to the International Court of Justice."

In line with the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet decision, Jerusalem last week transferred 138.8 million shekels ($39.5 million) of revenues collected for the PA to Israeli 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."

For his part, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the punitive measures would "promptly lead to [the PA's] collapse." In an interview with Haaretz, Shtayyeh described the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet decision as "another nail in the Palestinian Authority's coffin, unless there is immediate intervention by the international community, namely the [Biden] administration in Washington and Arab countries."

Jordanian King Abdullah’s Red Lines
Jordan is preparing in effect for a political confrontation with the Netanyahu government. The King’s “red lines” are as follows:
Strict maintenance of Jordan’s position as the “Guardian of the Holy Places” in Jerusalem, especially the Temple Mount, in accordance with the 1994 peace agreement.
Jordanian opposition to any Israeli attempt to give Saudi Arabia a foothold in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Rejection of any attempt by the Biden administration to adopt clauses from President Trump’s “Deal of the Century” peace plan.
Jordanian opposition to the expansion of Jewish settlements and any move by the new government to annex territories in Area C.
Insisting on the “two-state solution” paradigm and rejecting any Israeli attempt to imply that “Jordan is Palestine.”

King Abdullah’s immediate strategy is to isolate the new government in Israel and present it to the world as a racist, apartheid government. He coordinates this matter with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and supports all Palestinian moves against Israel in the UN arena and at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The King has complete support in the Jordanian Parliament for this strategy, He is furthermore influenced by the opposition Islamic Action Front, a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate, which also exerts pressure on him because of the difficult economic situation in Jordan and the increase in fuel and food prices.

Relatedly, the King also focuses on the Palestinian issue to divert the attention of the Jordanian street from Jordan’s difficult economic problems

What should be of considerable concern to Israel is the King’s intention to put a wedge between Israel and the Arab countries with which it has peace and normalization agreements and to try and isolate it. Jordan did not participate in the second gathering of the Negev Forum that took place on January 9, 2023, in Abu Dhabi, despite requests from the United States and the other countries that are members of the forum.
Why is Jordan fanning the flames on the Temple Mount?
On Jan. 5, an emergency session of the United Nations was held to castigate Israel for National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s visit to the Temple Mount. The session was requested by China and the United Arab Emirates on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, the latter of which has always regarded itself as the “special custodian” of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

The session was preceded by hostile rhetoric from the international community. P.A. Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh accused Israel of “turning the Al-Aqsa Mosque into a Jewish Temple” and called upon Palestinians to “confront the raids on the Harim al-Sharif”—the Muslim name for the Mount.

Jordan’s King Abdullah immediately travelled to the UAE to consult with President Mohamad Bin Zayed al-Nyan and warned Israel “not to cross red lines.”

In the Jordanian parliament, MP Khalil Attiyah stated, “Let us remind you, you coward, you pig, that Jordan’s border with Palestine is more than 300 kilometers long. It is a time bomb that will explode in your face and in the faces of people like you, you cowards.”

MP Muhammad al-Shatnawi declared, “This is a red line. We will sacrifice our souls for Jerusalem and the holy places. We will give it all we have. We are prepared to be martyrs, and the first ones to use sticks, bombs and guns against this plundering entity.”
Reports Jordanian envoy was barred from Temple Mount are ‘fake news’—police
The Israel Police on Tuesday described as “fake news” reports that the Jordanian ambassador to Israel was prevented from ascending the Temple Mount.

According to police, Ghassan Majali had attempted to visit the site without prior coordination and was not immediately recognized by officers, causing a “very small” delay while authorities looked into the matter.

Majali subsequently walked off angrily, before returning to visit the holy site later in the day.

Jordan nevertheless summoned Israeli Ambassador to Amman Eitan Surkis over the incident.

The development comes after Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir earlier this month caused an international uproar by defying threats of violence by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas and visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. Subscribe to The JNS Daily Syndicate by email and never miss our top stories

“The Temple Mount is the most important place for the people of Israel,” Ben-Gvir noted during his visit, adding: “We maintain the freedom of movement for Muslims and Christians, but Jews also go up to the site, and those who make threats must be dealt with with an iron fist.”
Jordanian envoy cuts short visit to Temple Mount after hold up

PreOccupiedTerritory: Abraham Accords Skeptics Ask Why Antisemitism Hasn’t Disappeared From Region As It Did From Germany On May 8, 1945 (satire)
Critics of the Trump administration’s most enduring international achievement, a peace agreement between Israel and several once-hostile Arab states on the Persian Gulf, continued to challenge it this week with the observation that in contrast to the Jew-hate of the Third Reich, which vanished from the popular consciousness as soon as the Wehrmacht announced its surrender to the Allies, ending the Second World War in Europe: plenty of Arabs in the Middle East still hate Jews.

Think tanks and commentators on the progressive end of the political spectrum maintained their dismissal of the 2020 Abraham Accords over the last several days, calling it a “cosmetic” step does little to address the underlying animosities of the region, mainly the Israeli conflict with the Palestinians, and that besides, the only difference between before and after in the regional culture involves official sanction for the crude, blatant antisemitism that characterized much of its rhetoric for the last several hundred years, but it remains very much an undercurrent in popular thinking that takes decades to change, unlike when Germany surrendered, at which point all the existential antisemitism in German culture magically disappeared the very moment the German armed forces signed the surrender documents on May 8, 1945, never to be mentioned again.

“Forgive my cynicism,” wrote Ira Nianschill of the Brookings Institute, “but it seems to be the Abraham Accords merely encourages sweeping Arab antisemitism under the rug, rather than addressing it in any substantial way. It’s very much unlike the end of the war in Europe, when Nazism, Jew-hate, and fascist leanings faded away as if by magic as soon as the Third Reich ended. No one in Germany hated Jews anymore, obviously. It’s not like that in this case, because of the Palestinian issue, which is the main source of Arab antisemitism going back to the seventh century. Forgive me if I’m not expressing myself as cogently as I normally do; concern for antisemitism isn’t something we’re used to displaying here at Brookings.”
Kontorovich: Time to Reverse ‘Power Grab’ by Israeli Judiciary
Legal expert Professor Eugene Kontorovich, who has championed many of Israel’s controversial judicial reform proposals, told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Sunday that it is time to reverse the “power grab” through which judges seized sweeping authority in the 1990s.

Kontorovich, who is director of International Law at the Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum, which has advocated judicial reform in Israel for a decade, pointed to the judicial revolution led by then-Supreme Court president Aharon Barak in the mid-1990s.

“To claim that what Aharon Barak did by himself with no authorization in 1995 cannot now be undone without undermining Israeli democracy is absurd,” Kontorovich said.

The “Barak Court” assumed the power to overturn legislation and to review administrative decisions. Moreover, an “independent” committee handpicks justices, with elected leaders playing only a minor role.

Kontorovich has called for the Israeli judiciary to reflect the U.S. system, in which candidates for the Supreme Court are nominated by the president and voted for by the Senate.

Barak also introduced the term “reasonableness” to Israeli jurisprudence. The term, critics say, has become a legal pretzel with pliable definitions that change according to the whims of High Court justices. For example, the court ruled it “unreasonable” to allow religious Jews to pray on the Temple Mount – Judaism’s holiest site – because doing so would anger the Arab world. Kontorovich argues that Israel is the only country where the Supreme Court has control over every aspect of life. New reforms proposed by Minister of Justice Yariv Levin, who serves in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, aim to rebalance that judicial power with legislative power, he says.
80,000 Protesters Gather in Tel Aviv to Protest Democracy
Tens of thousands of Protestors gather in Tel Aviv to protest the “End of Democracy”. The question is: “Are they actually protesting Democracy being played out in Israel’s government?

There have been several terror attacks in Judea and Samaria in the last week against Jews for existing in their homeland.

Good news of the day: the new Finance Minister is confiscating PA tax money to give to families of terror victims. Why is that good news? Find out on today’s show!

Netanyahu: Israel knows Avera Mengistu is alive in Gaza
Israel has known that Avera Mengistu, held captive in Gaza by Hamas since 2014, was alive, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday.

Netanyahu uttered the first public confirmation of the matter one day after Hamas released a video that depicted Mengistu, an Israeli civilian, speaking a few short sentences. There were no visuals in the video by which to date the clip.

“Yesterday we received another confirmation of what we knew all along - Avera is alive,” Netanyahu said.

“This is a young man, who is not in good health. Responsibility for his fate rests entirely on Hamas,” Netanyahu said.

He did not reference Hisham al-Sayed, the other Israeli held captive by Hamas since 2015. Hamas released a video of al-Sayad in April of last year, which could be dated that time. Hamas is also believed to be holding the bodies of two Israeli soldiers.

“Israel has not stopped its efforts to return Avera Mengistu and the rest of our captives and missing persons,” he added.

Netanyahu spoke after a visit to the Samaria region of the West Bank with Shin Bet head Ronen Bar, to get a security assessment from officers stationed there. He returned to office late last month, after a year-and-a-half as opposition leader. The release of the two Israeli citizens and the bodies of the two soldiers has been under his care for most the time they have been held captive.
Palestinian terrorist killed while shooting at IDF troops near Hebron
IDF reservists on Tuesday shot and killed Palestinian terrorist Hamed Abu Diah, a released prisoner, during a vehicle check near Hebron in the West Bank, Israeli media reported.

The terrorist reportedly shot at a bus in Gush Etzion on another, unspecified day. He had also been trying to shoot Israeli soldiers near the checkpoint before they fired back and killed him, Ynet reported.

According to Haaretz, Abu Diah had previously served as a prisoner in Israel, but after his release, he worked as a Palestinian Authority police officer in the Bethlehem area.

A letter supposedly written by the 40-year-old terrorist was later shared on Palestinian news outlets, where he claimed that he had made the decision to "take revenge and hurt the Zionists" as well as sacrificing his life to protect Muslim holy sites.

Armed terrorist attempted to infiltrate Israeli West Bank settlement
Also Tuesday, a terrorist armed with a knife attempted to enter the Israeli settlement of Elon Moreh in the West Bank but was stopped by security authorities.

Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan praised the settlement's leadership for their response.

"You showed bravery and you saved lives in Israel today," he said. "All settlements in Samaria are proud of you and the people of Israel are proud of you."

Khaled Abu Toameh: Israeli measures may start Palestinian prisoner insurrection - official
National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s plan to impose further restrictions on Palestinian security prisoners could lead to a “general insurrection” in Israeli prisons, Qadri Abu Bakr, chairman of the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission, warned on Monday.

Abu Bakr, a member of the ruling Fatah faction’s Revolutionary Council, told the Palestinian daily Al-Quds newspaper that dozens of prisoners are already being held in solitary confinement in various prisons. They include 11 inmates linked to the escape of six prisoners from Gilboa Prison on September 6, 2021.

He said that the solitary confinement and the decision to redistribute prisoners among several prisons aim to cause “distress” among the inmates.

According to Abu Bakr, prisoners who refuse to be relocated to other facilities face punitive measures, including solitary confinement.

“The upcoming phase could witness a dangerous escalation inside the prisons if the prisoners are targeted with more punitive measures,” he cautioned. “The prisoners are determined to confront the measures. They could resort to a comprehensive insurrection, which means some could be martyred or injured.”

“The prisoners are determined to confront the measures. They could resort to a comprehensive insurrection, which means some could be martyred or injured.” Qadri Abu Bakr

Last week, the Israel Prison Service transferred 70 security prisoners to other prisons. The Palestinians fear the move is the first in a series of measures aimed at imposing severe restrictions on the prisoners.

Whispered in Gaza - "Where's the Victory?"
“Back in the days of the first and second Intifadas, we used to believe in something called resistance,” says “Othman.” “But today, the ‘resistance’ has become a business.” Every tobacco stand and coffee shop is forced to pay Hamas protection money, he says, and when war breaks out, “[Hamas] sit in their bunkers while we have to bear the brunt. And at the end they tell us it’s a victory.”

Whispered in Gaza™ is an animated series by the Center for Peace Communications featuring actual voices of Palestinians residing in the Gaza Strip who have stories and ideas they want the world to hear. For more information, browse peacecomms.org/gaza and follow @peacecomcenter on Twitter.
Whispered in Gaza - "Bring Back the Dabke"
“Mariam,” a professional dabke dancer, believes in the power of art to improve the world. But after Hamas gained control of Gaza in 2007, they told her to stop dancing and study Qur’an instead. When she refused, they began to threaten her family.

Whispered in Gaza - "Don't Tell Me How to Resist"
Everywhere “Iyad” turns in Gaza, he finds Hamas’s leaders looking back at him. Their portraits and slogans cover the walls and alleys. “Is this a city, or a military barracks?” he asks. When his fellow Gazans declare themselves “ready for martyrdom,” he hears only despair. “Ok, Palestine is our cause, and a just one,” he says, “but that doesn’t mean you should keep getting Palestinians killed, again and again, without any result.”

Whispered in Gaza - "A Policy of Muzzling"
“Maha” once aspired to be a journalist in her native Gaza, but no longer tries. First her Facebook page was taken down. Then Hamas told her, “If you don’t stop, something bad might happen to your family.”

Whispered in Gaza - "There's No Making Peace with Them"
“Basma,” a licensed pharmacist in Gaza, was repeatedly harassed by Hamas over her affiliation with Fatah. After she opened her own pharmacy, Hamas priced her out of the market, forcing her to shut it down.

MEMRI: Saudi News Website: Hamas Leader Isma'il Haniya's Sons Are Corrupt, Have Extravagant And Hedonistic Lifestyles
On December 30, 2022, the Saudi news website Elaph.com reported, citing a "knowledgeable Palestinian source," that Ma'az Haniya, the son of Hamas leader Isma'il Haniya, recently obtained a Turkish passport, which allows him to easily exit Gaza and travel abroad, where he lives in luxury and manages the family's real estate. The website claims that, since Haniya became head of Hamas' political bureau, his family has been living extravagantly and purchasing extensive real estate in Gaza and abroad. It claims further that Haniya's sons drink alcohol abroad and spend time in luxury nightclubs with women other than their wives.

This is not the first time the Arab media has reported about the extravagant lifestyle and the corruption of Hamas leaders and their families, reports that have sparked anger among Gazan Palestinians. The criticism increased as the situation in Gaza deteriorated and as more and more of the leaders' family members left the Gaza Strip to settle abroad. In late July 2022, for example, it was reported that several of Haniya's family members had been allowed to leave the Strip through the Rafah crossing and join other members of the family who had settled in Turkey. In response, Gazan activists launched a social media campaign accusing the Hamas leadership of corruption.[1] Isma'il Haniya himself has been living abroad since 2019, dividing his time between Turkey and Qatar.[2]

In November 2021, it was circulated on social media that the son of another Hamas leader, Ghazi Hamad, had given his brother a honeymoon in Sinai as a wedding present. Many Gazans saw this a reflection of the leadership's insensitivity to the harsh reality in the Gaza Strip. In December 2021, a Gazan journalist published an article slamming Hamas leaders for making frequent trips abroad and investing their money there, while simple Gazans are struggling to make a living and are suffering under the yoke of Hamas' failing administration. [3]
Official PA daily: Nature punishes homosexuality - hit US with storm after White House displayed LGBTQ+ flag
Without commenting and without any opposing arguments, the official PA daily chose to print an op-ed by an Iraqi writer claiming Nature is currently punishing the world for allowing homosexuality and considering it “normal.”

It would seem the op-ed was written explicitly for the official PA daily, as it did not appear elsewhere in world Arab press.

Iraqi writer Hadi Jalo Mar’i speculated in the article as to what the underlying “secret” is that makes leading world governments “defend homosexuality, and even sexual perversion.” The same “secret” apparently made US President Biden “illuminate the White House in the colors of the homosexuals’ flag”:
“Despite the moderation and our understanding of people’s behavior, desires, and whims, it is our right to reject and condemn any idea and behavior that contradicts human nature, and to wonder what is the secret that causes governments of states that control the world and lead it to defend homosexuality, and even sexual perversion, and to legislate laws defending abominable behavior that contradicts the way of nature and appropriate behavior. [It is our right to wonder] what is the secret that causes an old and elderly state president like [US President Joe] Biden to march at the front and illuminate the White House in the colors of the homosexuals’ flag… and even to appoint male and female homosexual clerks to positions inside the presidential building.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 28, 2022]

The writer has found proof, though, that Nature itself – or possibly Allah - is against such “abomination” because:
“Hours after the White House was illuminated with the flag of homosexuality, ‘the North Pole bomb’ as it was termed exploded, and struck all of America’s territory.”

This refers to the “bomb cyclone” that struck North America in late December 2022, causing nearly 100 deaths.
Abbas’ deputy in Fatah implicitly calls for more terror

Chairman of the PA-funded Prisoners’ Club implicitly calls for kidnapping of Israelis

Released murderer Karim Younes implicitly calls for kidnappings to release terrorists

PA TV: Released terrorist murderer is “man of bravery, one of the mountains of Palestine, a hero”

How Israel Can Help the Iranian People, Protect Itself, and Work to Keep Gaza Calm
While much of the media’s attention is focused on the domestic and constitutional questions currently before the 25th Knesset, there are no shortage of strategic and security-related questions for Israeli leaders to pursue. Jacob Nagel explains how Benjamin Netanyahu and the other members of his coalition ought to approach them:
Israel must prepare for a broad and comprehensive campaign against Iran in the next few years. . . . The new government must do all it can to ensure that Israel will not stand alone in such a confrontation, but it must also prepare for this eventuality.

In parallel, Israel can and should persist with its effort to weaken the Iranian regime. This should include active support for the protests, which may be the first serious opportunity since the fall of the shah to bring down the regime. . . . Economically, Israel can fan the distrust of citizens in the economic and banking system by pointing to official corruption, encouraging withdrawals from the banks, and hastening the ongoing collapse of the [value] of the Iranian rial. In intelligence terms, Israel can release personal information about the senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders and the Basij (IRGC’s domestic militia) operatives who are fighting and killing the protesters, and about anticipated movements of regime forces. Operationally, Israel can disrupt some of the state-sponsored capacities of key Iranian industries, encouraging walkouts, as well as cyberattacks affecting daily activities.

In Gaza, the question is not whether, but when the next major clash will occur. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad . . . have no interest in bringing quiet to the area, which is bound to undermine their rule in Gaza. The main goal of both the [Israeli] government and the military is to do all that is possible to preserve peace and quiet for the communities living next to the Gaza Strip and to prepare for the next round of battle.
In Spite of Growing Frustration with Iran, the West Creates a Problematic, De Facto Arrangement with Tehran
The West has avoided significant changes in its attitude toward Iran and its nuclear program, creating a problematic, de facto arrangement with Tehran.

The military aid Iran provides to Russia for its war against Ukraine, such as the supply of hundreds of Shahed-136 unmanned aerial vehicles, effectively places Iran as a party to the war. As a result, the U.S. administration has declared that “Iran may be complicit in war crimes.”

Iranian assistance to Russia significantly reinforces Israel’s claim that the West must take a more resolute stance against the Islamic regime in Iran because it is committed to the struggle against the existing world order.

Western frustration with Iran is also fueled by its policy on the nuclear issue. The Iranians continue to prevent the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from monitoring their nuclear activities. They continue accumulating highly-enriched uranium, including to 60%, which allows them to enrich enough uranium to the level required to produce several nuclear explosive devices within a few weeks.

Moreover, the Iranians continue to condition the return to the nuclear agreement on the IAEA’s waiver of its demand for information about the nuclear facilities exposed in the archives of the nuclear program that Israel seized in Tehran.

Additional causes of Western frustration include Iran’s violent suppression of demonstrators, its continued support for terrorist elements and its proxies in the Middle East, its advocacy of global anti-Semitism, and its commitment to the annihilation of Israel.

The Americans, like Israel, estimate that if Iran tries to break through to nuclear weapons, it will need about two years to turn the enriched material into a bomb. Therefore, the U.S. (and Israel) will have enough time to act and ensure that the Iranian nuclear project is thwarted.
IRGC members involved in foiled assassination attempt of Israeli in Georgia revealed
The IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force) members responsible for the failed assassination attempt of Israeli businessman Itzik Moshe in Georgia back in November were revealed by Iran International on Monday.

Hossein Rehban, Mohammad Reza Arablo, Mohsen Rafiei Miandashti, Farhad Fashai and Ali Faizipour were revealed as the main members of the assassination team of the Quds Force Unit 400 of the IRGC – the unit responsible for the failed terrorist plot against the head of the Israel-Georgia Joint Chamber of Commerce.

Georgia’s State Security Service announced in November that the assassination, which they stopped earlier that same month, involved a team of assassins from Pakistan who have ties to al-Qaeda and arrived in Georgia’s capital of Tbilisi to gather intelligence on the target.

The IRGC’s Quds Force Unit 400 works with international terror groups to fund and plot terror attacks across the world. The hiring of foreign nationals for the assassination attempt is evidence of the Iranian regime’s pattern of using international terrorist fighters to try to cover its tracks.

The IRGC’s overseas assassination attempts
Iran’s IRGC has implemented overseas assassinations into their military strategy for years – particularly against Israeli nationals. There were two foiled assassination plots in Turkey in 2022 against Israeli citizens, while Israeli billionaire Teddy Saggi was tipped off by the Israeli authorities – likely the Mossad – that Iranian assassins were after him in Cyprus in 2021.

Iran has planned terrorist attacks in Georgia in the past, including in 2021-2022, and this is not the first time Moshe was targeted, Georgia’s security service added.

“The connection between Iran and al-Qaeda is not new,” Georgia’s security service said at the time of the incident. “This attempted terrorist attack once again shows the close and years-long connection between [them] – specifically the use Tehran makes of the terrorist organization, including hosting its members on Iranian soil – to advance attacks on innocent civilians while trying to hide its direct involvement.”
Khamenei's new police commander is a lunatic thug
As it happens, the return of Radan paints a grim picture of life in Iran. since September 2022, the mullah’s regime has slaughtered more than 600 innocent protesters who were chanting for freedom and the ruin of theocracy.

Ali Khamenei is not satisfied with this massacre, and he redoubles his efforts for more persecution. But this is a long road to democracy and will go on until the regime change in Iran. It’s early days yet. With this decision, Khamenei made an exhibition of himself.

Historically, most of the terrorists of Isfahan’s circle were trained in Palestinian Arab terrorist camps. These days, most of this circle are working in Iran’s intelligence and military organizations. Under the aegis of Khamenei, some of these terrorists are playing the role of 'reformism' inside Iran.

The US sanctions Iran morality police for violence against protesters, but the notorious Law Enforcement Forces of Iran have an independent intelligence center from May 2022. A serial killer will now be in the driving seat and will use this agency to prosecute the opponents. This issue has had a high profile in recent months. Regime change in Iran is no picnic! But the Iranians will wreak a terrible vengeance on the mullahs.

These days, quixotically, MOIS and IRGC are pointing fingers at the US and Israel as those mainly responsible for the protests. The Iranian regime has reinvented the wheel with the same policy of intimidation, bullying and brutality and threatening. For the criminal mullahs, a warning bell sounds because of the deteriorating internal security situation in Iran and the immediate effects of the nationwide antiregime protests. it is also important that, they get out of there before the balloon goes up!

These days, the kangaroo Islamic court of mullahs are ruling to execute the young protesters amid a crack down on the anti-regime’s nationwide protests. including two young men hanged over killing a terrorist Basiji who was an oppressor. There is no difference between hardliners and 'moderates' (Islamic reformists) , both of them are the two sides of the same coin. The nature of this savage regime is execution and terrorism, which are parts of Khomeinist ideology.

Surely, the mullahs will execute more people in connection with protests that have been ongoing in the country for months. The regime’s lawlessness combined with Khomeinism should prompt an urgent rethink by the modern west and the USA. Regrettably, the modern world sends contradictory messages to the Iranian protesters. The protests against the mullah’s regime in Iran began after the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini. Local protests speak out against the theocracy of the Islamic republic of Iran.

Now, Khamenei has chosen a notorious figure as police chief. This act means that the regime wants to start massacring, to attack the unarmed protesters in Iran. Will the world remain silent? Why do the regional powers in Middle East hesitate to lend the protesters a hand?

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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 19 years and 40,000 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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