Tuesday, January 24, 2023

From Ian:

Palestinians are playing the long game on world stage – Israel could lose
The United Nations General Assembly recently approved a resolution calling on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to render an opinion on whether the continuing Israeli occupation of the territories has become permanent, and in fact an annexation of the territories. In principle, the Court’s opinions are not binding, and its decisions cannot be directly translated into steps against Israel. However, in practice, the petition of the case to the ICJ is part of a broader Palestinian strategy, and in the present international climate is liable to have significant implications.

In recent years, the Palestinians have adopted the practice of involving international institutions in their conflict with Israel. These efforts include their appeal to the ICJ on the legality of the separation fence, a push for the establishment of international commissions of inquiry after every military operation in Gaza, complaints to the International Criminal Court that led to a pending investigation of Israeli actions related to the conflict, and a drive to have Palestine admitted as a member state of various international organizations.

The Palestinian activity in international organizations is coordinated and aggregate. For example, the General Assembly’s recognition of the State of Palestine in 2012 provided the basis for the determination that the International Criminal Court has the authority to investigate Israeli actions related to the conflict. An ICJ decision that the Israeli occupation is illegal would serve as the basis for additional proceedings against Israel.

Developments in Israeli law are also liable to affect the legal ramifications of the ICJ proceeding. In 2004, it published an opinion that the construction of the separation fence in the territories was a violation of international law. In practice, no steps were taken against Israel as a result of that ruling. A significant factor in Israel’s ability to fend off the opinion was the fact that the Supreme Court had looked into the issue and concluded that the fence was legal under international law. In several places, the Supreme Court even intervened and ordered that its location be modified in order to comply with international law.

However, it seems that the Supreme Court’s willingness to impose international law on Israel’s activities in the territories is no longer as resolute as in the past. In recent years, the court has refrained from intervening in issues related to international law. If the Override Clause is enacted, the Court’s authority to review Israeli actions in the territories will be weakened even more, and the Knesset will be able to pass legislation such as the Settlement Regulation Law, which the Court struck down in 2020. In this situation, it is quite likely that international tribunals will pay no attention to proceedings in the Israeli Supreme Court and not view them as a reason to refrain from investigating the issues.
PMW: The continuing lie of the “Gaza blockade”
In 2022, United Nations officials and reports, many countries and their representatives, and the Palestinian Authority continued to perpetuate the lie alleging that Israel has applied a “blockade” on the “besieged Gaza Strip.”

While the lie was commonplace and even often embellished by claiming that “Gaza is the biggest prison in the world,” statistics released by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the so-called “occupied Palestinian territory” (OCHA) reveal the truth.

According to the OCHA statistics, in 2022 there were 424,417 exits via the Erez crossing from Gaza into Israel. 14,909 exits were for Gazan patients, who were accompanied by 10,930 people, entering Israel to receive medical treatment. There were also 573 entries into Israel to visit imprisoned terrorists.

Alongside the entry of the Gazans into Israel, OCHA also reported that 74,096 truckloads of commodities entered Gaza from Israel via the Kerem Shalom crossing in 2022. According to the statistics, only 5% of the truckloads were carrying humanitarian products.

In addition to the 74,096 truckloads of commodities, thousands of trucks entered Gaza from Israel carrying fuel:

While statistics released by the Israeli Defense Ministry showed that from 2017-2021 Israel - incredibly - allowed 11,499 new vehicles into Gaza, the number of new cars that entered Gaza from Israel in 2022 has not yet been released.

The OCHA website further revealed that in 2022, in addition to the 424,417 exits from Gaza into Israel, there were an additional 245,145 exits from Gaza, via the Rafah crossing, into Egypt.

In addition to the movement of people, 32,353 truckloads of commodities also entered Gaza from Egypt through the Rafah crossing. All the commodities that entered Gaza from Egypt were for commercial use. No humanitarian goods entered Gaza from Egypt.
A child of Oslo watches the Tel Aviv protests
Yet as a child of Oslo, born and raised in the dark years of rampant terror in which parents lost friends and friends lost parents, in which the obituary sections drove home realities that were decades premature, I have to ask myself: Does the Supreme Court really fulfill these functions in the name of protecting democracy and civil liberties? If so, shouldn't its decisions to rein in government policies be devoid of political bias?

In Oct. 1995, then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's government pushed the Oslo B agreement through the Knesset by a 61-59 majority. It did so by promising members of Knesset, from a right-wing party, positions in the government in exchange for their votes. Where were the calls for reining in majority rule back then?

At the time, the left was perfectly happy to win by the slimmest of majorities, however it was achieved. This was the case even though the ramifications of the vote were severe. They did not only threaten civil rights but the physical lives and safety of hundreds of thousands if not millions of Israelis.

Ten years later, I spent the summer of 2005 in Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip. I witnessed firsthand what it was like for the people there when Ariel Sharon turned his back on everyone who voted for him and rammed the disengagement plan through, firing anyone in his government who dissented.

Yet for some reason, the Supreme Court, sans Justice Edmond Levy, decided that it was not its place to interfere. It stood by as the government sent soldiers to expel citizens from their homes, crushing any semblance of their civil liberties.

Sadly, we are still paying for this decision to this day, with Hamas now ruling the dunes where once our hothouses bloomed.

This two-faced approach proves that we should not blindly accept the rhetoric employed by the protestors. This controversy is not really about civil rights or the strength of Israel's democracy. It's about power. Political power and judicial power. It is about people who want influence over the future of the State of Israel even when the majority of the people chose not to elect them.

It's hard to contain the feelings that bubble up when I hear friends on the left who supported Oslo and then the disengagement talk about how the Supreme Court is the defender of civil rights in this country. The Supreme Court proved otherwise when it abandoned the people of Gush Katif. They proved that their own politics supersede their supposed commitment to upholding the civil rights of all Israelis, making this argument against the reform null and void.

‘We Have Been Betrayed’: As Billions Flow to Jordan, US Remains Mum on Extradition of Palestinian Terrorist Ahlam Tamimi
Since Jordan refused to hand Tamimi over, US aid to the Kingdom continues to flow despite a provision in recent spending bills that no assistance be provided to countries refusing to honor extradition treaties for crimes that carry the death penalty or a life sentence, as Tamimi’s does.

Ben Fishman, a Senior Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, described to The Algemeiner why Congress continues to provide massive amounts of aid to Jordan.

“I would characterize [the US-Jordan strategic relationship] as strongly bipartisan,” Fishman said. “There’s a lot of sympathy for Jordan’s position and a willingness to support Jordan with both aid and strategic elements of our diplomacy to make sure that Jordan is as stable as possible. In part, because an unstable Jordan reflects an unstable region and ultimately is bad for Israel.”

Roth, however, believes that successive US administrations have lacked the willpower to force Jordan’s hand in demanding Tamimi’s extradition.

“The United States holds all of the cards in this relationship and never wants to own up to it,” he said.

While the US might be able to force a deal by withholding aid, the Washington Institute’s Fishman says the nature of the US-Jordan relationship would make that move a mistake.

“We don’t threaten aid to our friends,” he said. “It would shoot ourselves in the foot to withhold this aid, because that’s a critical part of what Jordan needs to survive for the time being and we want Jordan to survive. And dealing with one difficult case in a professional way and a legal way is far better than threatening something that ultimately isn’t in our interest anyway.”

“It’s obviously a very difficult domestic issue within Jordan,” he said. “It shouldn’t be. But it is.”

The Algemeiner reached out to the Jordanian Embassy in Washington for comment about whether the Jordanian government believes it has a valid extradition treaty with the United States and for its views on the Ahlam Tamimi case, but they did not provide a response.

Despite his uphill battle, Roth remains committed to seeing Tamimi brought to justice.

“There’s never been a political dimension in the way we see it,” he said. “It’s not about the Arab/Israel conflict, nor about Dems vs. GOP. It’s not about anything but the doing of justice. On the doing of justice, the fair and honest way to describe what we are experiencing is that we are being betrayed. We’re pushing ahead and have no intention of surrendering — but it pains Frimet and me that we are forced to do this essentially alone.”
Netanyahu meets King Abdullah in Jordan
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an unannounced trip to Jordan on Tuesday to meet with King Abdullah II.

The two leaders discussed regional issues, in particular strategic, security and economic cooperation between Israel and Jordan.

They praised the long-standing friendship and partnership between the countries, which contributes to stability in the Middle East.

Ties between Israel and Jordan have been strained over the years.

Most recently, Amman reacted furiously when earlier this month Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Jordan denounced Ben-Gvir “in the severest of terms [for] the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and violation of its sanctity,” despite the Israeli minister not having approached the mosque.

Abdullah said in December that he was ready for a conflict should Israel’s new government violate “red lines” by changing the dynamics governing relations at Jerusalem’s holy sites.
Police arrest two Jewish activists for waving Israeli flags atop Temple Mount
Police arrested two Jewish activists on Tuesday for waving Israeli flags and singing the Israeli national anthem atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Those detained were members of “Israel is Forever,” an organization of Jews of French origin.

“We’ve been detained already for five hours on the grounds of singing ‘Hatikvah’ and waving the Israeli flag. I just got my phone back but am still waiting to have my fingerprints and picture taken,” said Nili Naouri, one of the two arrested.

“It needs to be made very clear: We are allowed to wave the flag and sing the Israeli national anthem on the Temple Mount, and we will continue acting like the homeowners on the holiest place to the Jewish people!” he added.

Blinken to visit Israel next week for meetings on Palestinians, Iran
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories next week, where he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas and other high-ranking officials.

The meetings are expected to focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Iranian nuclear threat.

Netanyahu met on Thursday in Jerusalem with U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, the highest-level Biden administration official to visit Israel since the Nov. 1 Knesset election.

The two men discussed Iran’s nuclear program and ways to broaden the Trump administration-brokered Abraham Accords, which normalized relations between the Jewish state and four Arab countries. An emphasis was placed on expanding relations with Saudi Arabia.

Netanyahu expressed gratitude for U.S. President Joe Biden’s commitment to stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and stressed that the latest Palestinian moves in the international arena constituted an attack on Israel that demanded a response.

Forty Percent of Saudis and Emiratis Still Accept Israeli Contacts, Even Under Netanyahu
According to recent high-quality polls taken in both the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, 90 percent of respondents believe that the return of Benjamin Netanyahu to the premiership will be harmful to the region. Yet, observes David Pollock, support for contacts with the Jewish state in both countries has remained at 40 percent since 2020. Pollock comments on these findings, and others from other elsewhere in the Middle East:

It now appears that Netanyahu’s return to power, highly unpopular as that is among these Gulf Arab publics, does not alter [the general] pattern. In addition, findings from a parallel survey conducted in Bahrain in July 2022 are remarkably similar, with 37 percent of Bahrainis also voicing acceptance of allowing Israeli contacts. Even in Qatar, which has not joined the Abraham Accords, the most recent available data (November 2021) reveal an almost identical level of popular acceptance of Israeli contacts among its citizens.

The logical conclusion is that this aspect of normalization with Israel has itself become relatively “normalized” among most Gulf Arab publics—even as a slim majority in each country remains privately at least “somewhat” opposed to it. The figures are similar and steady over the past three years, regardless of formal inclusion or exclusion from the Abraham Accords, political changes in Israel, or tensions on the ground in the Palestinian arena.

Also noteworthy in this connection is that among the Palestinians themselves, the most recent available hard survey data (June 2022) show an even higher proportion—at least 60 percent of each subgroup—approving certain contacts with Israelis. In this case, a West Bank/Gaza/east Jerusalem poll conducted by a local independent Palestinian pollster asked about encouraging “direct personal contacts and dialogue with Israelis, in order to help the Israeli peace camp advocate a just solution.” At the time, a surprising 48 percent of east Jerusalem Palestinians also expressed a positive view of the Abraham Accords themselves, though only around half as many Gazans or West Bankers agreed with that assessment.
Seth Frantzman: UAE showcases Middle East leadership role
The UAE hosted an important meeting last week with regional leaders which was one of several important initiatives of Abu Dhabi in the region in the last month.

The UAE also recently hosted a meeting of the Negev Forum steering committee. The forum includes the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Israel and the US. Abu Dhabi has also done outreach to Damascus this month, amid moves by Damascus to reconcile with Turkey.

The most recent important meeting in the UAE was the Abu Dhabi Consultative Meeting which local reports said brought together the leaders of the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain. A photo handout from the meeting showed the Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II during a “fraternal consultative meeting at the St Regis Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 18 January 2023.” They arrived at the invitation of President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

According to various reports, including by Al-Ain media, the officials discussed fraternal relations between their countries and different aspects of coordination and cooperation between them in all fields. The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that the fraternal meeting - held in the capital, Abu Dhabi, under the title ‘Prosperity and Stability in the Region’ - aims to consolidate and deepen cooperation between the brotherly countries across various sectors that serve development, prosperity and stability in the region through cooperation and regional integration.”

There are many ways that the UAE can play a leading role in this group, and it was important to see these leaders together. Many of these leaders have met in other formats as part of similar regional groupings over the years.

What are some of the issues at hand?
First of all, is the issue of “promoting Arab integration” based on common interests and economic cooperation. The region desperately needs economic support for some of the countries. For instance, Jordan has had economic challenges and rising costs. This is not just an issue in Amman, but a global issue of inflation and supply chain chaos that has broken out in the wake of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Stability and prosperity are two of the key terms that these leaders highlighted. Stability means not having the breakdown of the state again and not letting extremists gain a foothold anywhere. This is as important in Sinai as it is on the northern border of Jordan. In Syria, for instance, drug smuggling has become a problem while Egypt continues to face terror threats. The UAE says it is a key partner and supporter of the developments in this region in relation to a variety of issues such as food security, climate change and addressing epidemics and poverty.

The meeting underscores the overlapping interests of the Gulf states with the broader region, especially Egypt and Jordan. Beyond those two states are other important countries, such as Iraq and Syria. In addition, recent news has indicated that the extremist Al-Shabab group is suffering defeats in Somalia, a potentially good sign for the region, and there are major questions about what comes next in Libya and Tunisia.

It isn't bad for Israel if the Palestinian Authority collapses - opinion
Chaos is indeed not a pleasant thought. Chaos in the territories poses a security problem for Israel, but is less acute if the Palestinian militias vying for influence compete with each other.

A succession struggle following the death of Abbas could divert attention from fighting hated Israel and prevent coordination in the low-intensity conflict against Israel. In addition, anarchy in the territories may legitimize a freer hand for Israel in dealing with the terrorists.

Furthermore, chaos might ultimately yield positive results. The collapse of the PA will weaken the Palestinian national movement, which heretofore has been a source of endemic violence and is a recipe for regional instability in the future. The PA has supported the policies of radical regimes such as Iran. It is also thoroughly anti-American. Moreover, it threatens at least two “status quo” states, Israel and Jordan.

The collapse of the PA and the failure of the Palestinian national movement to establish a decent state might reduce the appetite of the Palestinians for an independent entity. The disintegration of the PA would be a public relations debacle for the Palestinians and reduce their appeal among naive Europeans and Israel-bashers worldwide.

The dysfunctional character of the Palestinian political entity would become apparent to all and elicit a more robust understanding of Israeli fears over the destructive implications of Palestinian nationalism.

Disorder in the territories could be the incentive for fresh thinking on the Palestinian issue on the part of the Palestinians and elsewhere. More chaos in the Palestinian-ruled territories might open up new opportunities to stabilize the situation. The disappointment of the PA falling apart could bring a more realistic and conciliatory leadership to the forefront.

The internecine violence of the previous Intifada led to the acceptance of the 1991 Madrid Conference formula – an indication of growing political realism among the Palestinians. The failed PA experiment could be an additional factor to a more politically mature body politic.

For example, the Palestinians in Gaza may ask the Egyptians to return, while in the West Bank, the rule of the Hashemites may look increasingly favorable compared with the PA’s.

Despite its growing popularity, it is misleading to portray Hamas as the only alternative to the PA leadership. Indeed, the Hamas rule in Gaza is not a successful experiment; and the allure of Islamic radicalism is fading.

Chaos, as a temporary situation, is not necessarily the worst-case scenario. Israel should not shudder at the prospect of the PA taking a fall.
Both the Left, Right are wrong about Israel settlement policy - opinion
The current dust-up over settlement policy within the new Israeli government opens a path to a clearer understanding of the critical distinctions between the catchphrases “expanded settlement,” “new settlement building,” “new settlements,” etc. In fact, no new settlements have been established over recent years while a few thousand new homes have been added to existing towns in Judea and Samaria in the West Bank.

Foreign government deriders must know this but may wish to ignore it so as not to weaken their claim that even a moderate Israeli settlement policy damages the prospect for a two-state solution. As a retired American foreign service officer, I have spent 30 years in the arduous tasks involved in state-building around the world.

Despite what the Israeli Left would fear and some on the Right would welcome, the policy of expanding existing settlements in Judea and Samaria but not the number of towns does not meaningfully deter the eventual achievement of a two-state solution. Some on the Right wish for new settlements to eventually destroy, not just damage, such a solution.

In parallel form, many on the Left want to keep distinctions vague so as to garner additional support and pressure for a Palestinian state. However, neither fringe appears ready to deal with political realities.

“Two states for two peoples” has become a cliché
The catchphrase “two states for two peoples” has become so cliché that it limits creative thinking about solutions. It would be better to analyze the situation on the ground in wider terms and also with certain other paradigms: two governments in one land; the place of Jordan in such an equation in terms of federation or confederation; the fact that a Palestinian Arab state already exists under the executive, legislative and judicial control of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The issue here, therefore, is the level of sovereignty such a state should have but not whether it already exists or not. Yet, the PA continues to obfuscate the issue in order to hide the reality that it is so far in the development category of a failed state hiding behind the smoke screen of “end the occupation.”
Illegal Arab construction in Israel - A ticking Time Bomb
The new Netanyahu government could not have been elected too soon to thwart the illegal land grab by the Arabs in Judea and Samaria. The new coalition has made this thankfully a priority. It’s about time.

The government is to be commended for demolishing illegal Arab outposts in Wadi Rahhal and Irtas in the Gush Etzion Area recently. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Illegal Arab construction has been going on for years in Jerusalem and Area C of Judea and Samaria. Area C was designated in the 1993 Oslo Accords as solely the land of Israel. The Arabs have plenty of land to build legal structures in Area A and B. They decided on their own that they wanted to build illegally on Area C. Unfortunately, the previous government which had the RA’AM/Arab party as part of their coalition turned a blind eye to the illegal construction. In 2009 the PM of the PA, Salam Fayyad laid out a plan to create a de facto PA state not through negotiations but through illegal building in area C to create a contiguous terrorist entity.

According to “Regavim” illegal Arab construction increased by 80% in 2022. 5,535 illegal structures were built in 2022 compared to 3,076 structures in 2021. Overall the Arabs have built 81,317 illegal structures covering 38,000 acres. This is twice the land mass now lived in by Israeli Jews. This is a ticking time bomb which is about to explode. Using meticulous field work, aerial photography and GS mapping these illegal structures are not some makeshift shacks. They are palatial residences, resorts, amusement parks and high rise buildings. Some are entire villages. Unless they are demolished many of the Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria will be strangled.

In Jerusalem the situation is just as bad. Nature reserves have been taken over and illegal buildings have been built. Over 6000 illegal homes have been built by the Arabs in Jerusalem over a 4 year period. Only 200 were demolished. Hundreds of millions of dollars have poured in from the PA and Arab countries to build illegally in Jerusalem and in Area C. Unless, Israel wakes up in time, much of Israel will have been snatched from right under their eyes. This is a crying shame that has to be rectified.
Gallant pledges to safeguard archaeological site at Mount Ebal from Palestinian damage
Israel will not allow Palestinians to damage a major archaeological site located deep in the biblical heartland of Samaria, one that is revered by millions of Jews and Christians as the location where Joshua built an altar, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said.

The minister spoke following Palestinian media reports regarding a planned Palestinian construction project in the area of Mount Ebal, an early Israelite cultic site near the ancient city of Shechem. The city, referred to today as Nablus, appears in the Bible as the first capital of the Kingdom of Israel.

The site, located in Area B of Judea and Samaria, commonly called the West Bank, has been under joint control with the Palestinians, as stipulated by the Oslo Accords, for the last quarter century.

The Mount Ebal issue also highlights the need for the preservation, upkeep and safeguarding of Israeli archaeological sites in Palestinian-controlled areas after decades of neglect, damage and disrepair.

“In the wake of reports over the last days in the Palestinian media over planned construction in the area of the Mount Ebal altar, it has been clarified…to the Palestinian Authority that we will not allow any damage to the altar, which has been defined as an archaeological site of historic cultural and religious significance,” Gallant wrote in an official letter.
Danny Danon: We must act now to evacuate Khan al-Ahmar
There is no disputing the illegality of the Bedouin outpost of Khan al-Ahmar on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem.

Its residents unlawfully built a housing complex on Israeli state-owned land without a permit and in full knowledge of their violation. They engaged in this prohibited activity with the illegal funding and backing of the European Union, various European countries and international organizations.

This subversive involvement of international entities in Israel’s domestic affairs is outrageous and demands immediate explanation. These international actors are engaging in the violation of Israeli state law, Israeli sovereignty and international law.

This was made explicit in an E.U. document leaked at the end of 2022 titled, “European Joint Development Programme for Area C.” This paper illustrated how far the E.U. was willing to go to aid and abet illegal construction in a foreign country. The paper affirmed that, despite the illegality of such construction, the E.U. would “protect the rights” of Palestinians living in Israeli-controlled Area C, provide legal aid and ultimately assist in the creation of a Palestinian Authority-ruled territory.

Aside from the illegal construction and violations of both Israeli and international law, the building of illegal outposts like Khan al-Ahmar damages local heritage sites, ravages the natural landscape and devastates nature. In addition, it is part of an ulterior agenda that seeks to delegitimize Israel’s historical claim to its own land.
Why is Israel suddenly calling to demolish Khan al-Akhmar?

The Israel Guys: Why is Netanyahu Destroying New Jewish Settlements in Samaria?
The Prime Minister of Israel has just fired one of the senior ministers in his government, following a ruling by Israel’s left-wing Supreme Court that this politician could not serve as a Minister. The question is: “Is this ruling influenced by the new government's proposed judicial reforms that would release Israel’s court system from the Iron Grip of the left?”

A brand new settlement established in Samaria was destroyed twice over the weekend creating some tension in Netanyahu’s all-right-wing government. Is it justice to only destroy illegal Jewish building and not illegal Palestinian construction?

MEMRI: Article In Egyptian Daily: Hitler Killed The Jews Because They Instigated Wars And Spread Corruption
The Egyptian daily Al-Ghad, identified with the eponymous opposition movement, published an article titled "I Hate Israel's Guts" by Hussein Al-Samanoudi, an official in Egypt's Ministry of Religious Endowment. In the article, Al-Samanoudi claimed that the Jews are blood-thirsty plotters and that Hitler killed them everywhere because they tried to instigate wars and spread corruption. The Jews who fled from Hitler, he added, showed no gratitude to the Arab countries that took them in, but plotted to transform Palestine into their eternal homeland and eventually occupy all the Arab lands between the Nile and the Euphrates. They also forced the Western countries to help them settle in Palestine by concocting the "lies" about Hitler burning Jews in crematoria.

In a follow-up article one week later, Al-Samanoudi wrote that there is no room for Jews and Zionists in Palestine and that the Arab Palestinian jihad fighters will continue to raise the banner of sacrifice and martyrdom until they purge their homeland of the Zionist filth.

The following are excerpts from his articles:

The Jews Had A Hand In Every War Ever Waged In The World
In the first article, from December 26, 2022, Hussein Al-Samanoudi wrote: "My daughter asked me this morning, 'Why do you hate Israel?' I answered her at length, saying that the Arabs in general and the people of Egypt in particular dislike Israel. This is because every disaster that has ever afflicted us bears the filthy fingerprints of these people, who are always planning and plotting to harm this homeland in which we live [Egypt]… There has never been a single war anywhere in the world in which these people did not have a hand. They are agents of conspiracy, fraud, corruption and destruction. They are bloodthirsty instigators of wars, ruin and devastation.

"In the modern era, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler besieged them and killed them wherever they were found, because they tried to instigate wars and [spread] corruption everywhere… Due to Hitler's intense pressure on them, the Jews fled from his violence, but most countries would not host them in their territory. Even the U.S. closed all its gates to them, and did not let them set foot on its soil. So they were left with no choice but to turn eastwards, to the Arab countries, which took them in, sheltered them, and let them live within their boundaries, and they settled in Palestine, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen.

"They chose Palestine as their target – and their poisoned plots, their hollow minds and their black hearts, full of depravity and treachery… began to form an irreversible plan to gain a foothold in Palestine and turn it into their eternal homeland, over the dead bodies of their victims, the people of that land, who had welcomed them and let them share their homeland. These Zionists feel no gratitude and do not consider this [aspect]. Instigating bloody wars and using deadly weapons they received from the British, they butchered all [the locals] in their villages, burned fields, destroyed homes over the heads of their inhabitants, and declared openly: The state of Israel will be established here, on the land of the Arabs of Palestine…
As Cairo book fair opens, Israel expresses concern over persistent antisemitism
Israel expressed concern on Monday over antisemitic books being sold at Egypt’s state-run book fair.

“We are worried about the persistence of antisemitic features in Egyptian society,” read a statement from the Foreign Ministry, “that are expressed in books published and presented in the Cairo International Book Fair.”

A particularly egregious example is a new book on the history of Zionism, its cover featuring caricatures of hook-nosed Jewish men rubbing their hands together as they appear to plot against Egypt.

The work, first reported by Kan public broadcaster, also has menorahs, Jewish stars, and a map of the world behind the figures on the cover.

Ostensible Jewish plans to dominate the world is a classic antisemitic trope.

The book was written by Muhamed Medhat Mustafa, an Alexandria-based academic.

Israel also included positive sentiment in its statement.

“We are determined to continue our efforts to strengthen the cooperation with our Egyptian partners in a way that will strengthen the peace, stability, and security,” the Foreign Ministry said, “and in parallel also the fight against antisemitism.”

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion teach Jews they are masters over mankind -Palestinian researcher

Terrorists are soldiers who did what they did on orders from the officials says released terrorist

Islamic Jihad official: This land can’t be divided – not between two peoples, not between two states

UN Palestinian refugee agency seeks $1.6 billion amid budget shortfalls
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, appealed Tuesday for $1.6 billion for its work in 2023, as it struggles to overcome chronic budget shortfalls.

UNRWA — which provides services to nearly six million Palestinians registered in the Palestinian territories, as well as in East Jerusalem, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria — warned that “compounding challenges” had placed it under “immense strain.”

The agency, which counts nearly 30,000 staff — most of them registered Palestinian refugees — runs more than 700 schools that offer education to half a million children, and provides health, sanitation, and social services, including food and cash assistance.

Out of the $1.6 billion requested, UNRWA said $848 million was needed for such core services. It said another $781.6 million was needed for emergency operations.

UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said the agency played “an indispensable role” for millions of Palestinians.

“We work to maintain the delivery of basic services in an incredibly difficult financial and political context,” he said in a statement.

The agency warned that most Palestinians registered as refugees now live below the poverty line and a growing number are dependent on UNRWA for assistance, sometimes for their “sheer survival.”
Whispered in Gaza - I Used to Be a Dreamer
“I was a young dreamer, dreaming about change,” “Waleed” recalls. For daring to protest Hamas policies, he was arrested seven times, tortured and beaten on each occasion. “No one doubts that if we take to the streets” again, he says, “Hamas will shoot to kill.”

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 - The Crime of Wanting to Live
“Our crime was wanting to live,” says “Rana”, one of approximately 1,000 Gazans who waged street demonstrations in 2019 calling for economic improvements. “Hamas responded with the opposite of what we’d hoped… with every kind of brutality.”

Whispered in Gaza - Their Leaders Are Rich
Part of what stokes Gazans’ bitterness, according to “Hisham,” is the ostentatious behavior of Hamas leaders. “Nowadays, it’s not an occupier who is killing me,” he says, but rather Hamas, which imposes crushing taxes, leaving Gazans in abject poverty, while its officials have “land, businesses, and vast sums of money.”

Whispered in Gaza - A Life That Gives Us Meaning
At a certain coffeehouse in Gaza, “Lubna” and her boyfriend used to be allowed to hold hands – until Hamas police noticed their behavior, reported it, and shut the cafe down. Today Lubna is married, and at every family gathering, relatives ask when they will be having children. “It would be wrong to bring a child into the conditions we endure,” she explains. “A child is innocent. She doesn’t deserve to be forced to go to government schools teaching lessons that are worthless and deceitful."

PreOccupiedTerritory: Palestinians Shocked To Learn: Elsewhere, Stabbers/Shooters Get Punished, Not Rewarded (satire)
Subjects of the Palestinian Authority expressed surprise today upon discovering that outside their self-rule areas, the standard treatment for people convicted of violent crimes involves imprisonment and other penalties, and not, as those subjects have become accustomed to under Fatah-Hamas rule, generous lifetime pensions proportionate to the number of Israelis killed.

Interviews with Palestinians over the last several weeks indicated a culture gap regarding the fate of people who have committed murder or attempted murder, between Palestinians and almost every other country in the world. In the latter, authorities arrest, imprison, try, and, if they can convict, incarcerate the offender for a duration determined either by statute or judiciary discretion, often the rest of the offender’s life. In some cases and locales, the punishment for such actions can include execution. In Palestinian autonomous areas, however, Palestinian authorities reward the offenders when the targets are Israeli, in particular Israeli Jews, with monthly payments lasting the rest of the recipient’s life. If the offender met his or her own end in the attempt to end an Israeli life, payments go to the perpetrator’s family. Whether or not the perpetrator survives, a higher body count generates a higher set of payments.

“You mean that’s not encouraged?” wondered one respondent. “I don’t get it. How do those people show their resistance to Zionism?”

“Obviously their priorities are screwed up,” remarked another. “We knew the West was corrupt, but this is just another example of how far gone they are.”

Lebanese Blast Investigator Charges Former PM, Top Public Prosecutor
The judge probing the 2020 Beirut blast has charged Lebanon‘s top public prosecutor, the then-premier and other senior current and former officials in connection with the devastating explosion, judicial sources said and court summons show.

Judge Tarek Bitar unexpectedly resumed an inquiry on Monday after it was paralysed for more than a year by political resistance and legal complaints filed by top officials he was seeking to question.

The explosion on Aug. 4, 2020 was caused by hundreds of tonnes of ammonium nitrate that had been stored at the port in poor conditions since it was unloaded in 2013. So far, no senior official has been held to account.

Bitar has charged former prime minister Hassan Diab, former interior minister Nouhad Machnouk and former public works minister Ghazi Zeaiter with homicide with probable intent, according to court summons seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

He also charged Prosecutor General Ghassan Oweidat, the head of Lebanon‘s domestic intelligence agency Major General Abbas Ibrahim, former army commander Jean Kahwaji and other current and former security and judicial officials, court sources said.

It was not immediately clear what they had been charged with, but one judicial source said Bitar had found Oweidat had not acted responsibly with regards to the ammonium nitrate.
"US Treasury Department Sanctions Hezbollah Money Exchanger"
The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced on Tuesday the designation of several individuals and associated entities for facilitating financial activities for Hezbollah.

At the center of this network is Lebanese money exchanger and so-called financial expert Hassan Moukalled, who plays a key role in enabling Hezbollah to continue to exploit and exacerbate Lebanon’s economic crisis.

Treasury also designated CTEX Exchange, a money service business owned by Hassan Moukalled, in addition to Hassan Moukalled’s sons, Rayyan Moukalled and Rani Moukalled, who facilitate Hassan Moukalled and his company’s financial activities in support of Hezbollah.

“As corruption undermines economic growth and the ability of individuals to provide for their families, the United States is committed to holding accountable those who exploit their privileged positions for personal gain,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said.
Former Lebanese minister: “Unfortunately there are Arabs who intend to approve Holocaust studies”

Tehran's Shiification of Syria Iran's Hegemonic Drive
Since the 1970s, Syria’s ruling Alawite minority—adherents of a syncretistic faith considered by many Islamic scholars not to be Muslim at all—have sought with some success to have their religion considered a branch of Shiism. Receiving recognition as such from Shiite religious authorities has helped pave the way for closer relations with Iran. Tehran, under the circumstances of the Syrian civil war, has gone a step further, trying to establish a significant Shiite presence in the war-torn country. Rauf Baker writes:

To achieve their ambitious goals, the Iranians adopted a two-pronged strategy: converting Sunni Muslims to Shiism and settling Shiites from neighboring countries throughout Syria. The campaign focused on middle-class and poor Sunnis in different regions across the country, particularly in areas deemed of strategic and demographic importance to Tehran. Contrary to popular belief, it is easier to convert a Sunni to [mainstream, Iranian] Shiism than an Alawite.

Tehran’s military entrenchment in Syria during the civil-war years has been highly conducive to its dogged hegemonic quest and the revenge it seeks against Sunnis on historical grounds. It enabled the Islamic Republic to tighten its grip over Iraq, to transform Hizballah into Lebanon’s effective master, to establish a land corridor between the Iranian border and the Mediterranean Sea, and to intensify the military threat to Israel and Jordan both by deploying [its] forces and associated Shiite militias in southern Syria and by giving Hizballah the ability to wreak havoc on Israel’s population centers and national infrastructure.

What makes these achievements all the more significant, and potentially far more enduring, is the attendant transformation of Syria’s sociocultural character through a mixture of Shiification activities (e.g., establishment of shrines and institutions, initiation of Shiite practices, conversion to Shiism), humanitarian aid, and settlement of foreign Shiites in deserted localities across Syria. And while this strategy coincides with the Assad regime’s short-term desire to ensure its survival (hence the string of laws and decrees aimed at barring Syrian refugees’ return), it gives Tehran ever-growing grassroots support that may enable it to keep the regime subservient to its wishes.

A bleak prognosis indeed, for just as the mayhem and devastation occasioned by the war enabled the Iranian entrenchment in Syria, so Tehran may cynically deem the continuation of the conflict as the most desirable scenario in the foreseeable future.

CIA helped Israeli Mossad agents escape complicated mission abroad - Pompeo
If the CIA was involved, despite Israeli denials, this would be the first public acknowledgment that the US was more deeply connected and at an earlier date to the nuclear archive heist.

To date, The Jerusalem Post has reported that Israel and Cohen updated Pompeo and the CIA much earlier than other allies and the general public, but there has been no previous report about direct CIA involvement in the operation, even if only for assisting with extraction.

There were other major reported Israeli operations during Pompeo's tenure with Trump.

But the other major publicly known operations: sabotaging nuclear facilities at Natanz in July 2020 and assassinating Iran nuclear chief Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November 2020, were both when Pompeo was no longer CIA director (he switched to the State Department in April 2018.)

Also, Pompeo does not discuss these operations in detail in his book and does discuss the heist of the nuclear archives.

Likewise, Israel's involvement in providing intelligence in relation to the US's assassination of IRGC Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani, was in January 2020, when Pompeo was no longer CIA director, and this might have been described as an "assassination operation" as opposed to a "clandestine operation."

Once again, it is possible that Pompeo is referring to an operation that still is not public. It would simply be surprising, given that Cohen's Mossad aggressively disclosed or hinted to many major operations, that such a significant secret would still be under wraps.
Bundestag deputy says legal requirements met to proscribe IRGC
Norbert Röttgen, a Christian Democratic Union lawmaker in the German parliament, directly contradicted European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s assertion on Monday that the E.U. cannot classify Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist entity because of a lack of a court decision to that effect.

“All the legal requirements are fulfilled,” the German parliamentarian told JNS. “Currently the German attorney general is prosecuting terrorist attacks linked to the IRGC on several synagogues in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and in the U.S. there is a federal court decision against the IRGC for acts of terrorism.”

Röttgen, who was chairman of the Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee from 2014 to 2021, added that “the German Foreign Ministry is pretending that there are legal obstacles to proscribing the IRGC. The foreign minister says that investigations or convictions in the E.U. are needed to list the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group, but the European Court of Justice has clarified that investigations or convictions can also be from outside the E.U. for a group to be put on the terror list.”

The Trump administration designated the IRGC as a terrorist organization in 2019.

There have been other court cases in Germany that prove the IRGC was involved in terrorism.

The IRGC contracted a Pakistani man living in Germany, Syed Mustafa H., to collect information on pro-Israel advocates in Germany, France and elsewhere in Western Europe. German prosecutors said the espionage was part of an assassination plot.
Who will celebrate World Hijab Day this year?
In 2013, an activist holiday called World Hijab Day was foisted upon us. Its organizers proclaimed, “The idea behind WHD is to invite non-Muslim women and Muslim women who don’t normally wear the hijab to ‘step in to the shoes of a hijabi for one day.’”

Over the past 10 years, World Hijab Day has steadily grown from a minor social media event into the World Hijab Day Organization, a well-connected 501(c)(3) non-profit “committed to dismantling bigotry, discrimination and prejudice against Muslim women,” as its mission statement announces.

But in the wake of Mahsa Amini’s brutal murder by Iranian morality police for the crime of improperly wearing her hijab and the return of mandatory head coverings for the women of Afghanistan, who in their right mind will dare celebrate World Hijab Day 2023?

As I pointed out in 2020, World Hijab Day founder Nazma Khan chose Feb. 1 for her event, and this was not a coincidence. It is the same day that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Iran in 1979 from his French exile to inaugurate the Islamic revolution.

Like it or not, the hijab has become a symbol of oppression in the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially the oppression of women. It would be particularly tone-deaf to celebrate that symbol in 2023 while the Iranian government is arresting and killing women who are protesting the mandatory hijab and the men who impose it on them.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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