Wednesday, February 01, 2023

From Ian:

So Long as Palestinians Celebrate Bloodshed, Peace Will Remain Out of Sight
When, in 1998, a Palestinian was fatally stabbed in Jerusalem—apparently by an Israeli terrorist—the country’s president visited the victim’s widow and the Defense Ministry gave his family a six-figure compensatory payment, akin to the support given to Israeli victims of Palestinian terror. Last Friday, the victim’s grandson murdered seven people leaving a Jerusalem synagogue. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, according to his spokesman Ned Price, hoped during his trip to Israel and Egypt this week that he could “put an end to the cycle of violence.” Stephen Daisley observes:
On Friday night, in Jenin, Ramallah, Nablus, and east Jerusalem, Palestinians gathered to celebrate the synagogue murders. Crowds set off fireworks, started bonfires, fired their weapons into the air, honked car horns, and chanted. In Hebron they handed out sweets to children while in Gaza cries of “Allahu akbar” boomed from mosque loudspeakers. . . . Hand out enough candies and pastries every time an Israeli is murdered and you will teach your children that killing is sweet. The lesson will not go unlearned.

Hello “cycle of violence,” my old friend; I’ve come to talk with you again. Except, it’s not true. It’s not a cycle of violence. It’s a choice of violence, a choice Palestinians keep making.

When Jerusalem assures foreign audiences there is “no partner for peace,” it is a well-worn talking point but it is not easily rebutted. Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, will not visit any grieving widows after Friday night’s attack. The Palestinians will pay no compensation to bereaved Israelis—they couldn’t afford to. The Palestinian Authority operates a Martyrs’ Fund that pays stipends to the families of Palestinians captured or killed while carrying out terrorist attacks against Israelis. In 2020, the fund disbursed 597 million shekels (£139 million) in such payments. Sweets for the children, shekels for their widowed mothers.

Where does this get the Palestinians? Nowhere near a state, nowhere even close to the conditions necessary to achieving one.
Gil Troy: After Jerusalem terror attacks, some in the West lack empathy for Israel - opinion
SO FAR, these Jewish Blame-Israel-Firsters remain a minority. Most American Jews I know, meet and read about in surveys remain proud and protective of Israel. Therefore, although I resent the disproportionate attention the hypercritics command within the community and beyond, I resent even more their supersized self-righteousness and the feeble pushback they increasingly receive.

I share Prof. Ruth Wisse’s consternation – and fury – that, as she wrote in Sapir in 2021, “No other minority in America is ‘in sympathy’ with the war against its members – not African-Americans, Latinos, or Asians, not Native Americans or gays. Only the Jewish Left and their liberal fellow travelers capitulate in the old ways.”

his betrayal by these un-Jews – intellectuals and leaders, often on the Jewish dole, undoing the core Jewish consensus around Israel and Zionism – is even more outrageous because the forces gunning for Israel are not just anti-Jewish, not just anti-Zionist, but illiberal, anti-American, undemocratic and totalitarian.

Let me be clear. I seek vigorous debate regarding Israel, Israeli democracy, Israeli policies, Israel’s leaders and Israel’s attitudes and actions toward the Palestinians and others. Healthy identity Zionism requires a big tent like Abraham’s, open on all four sides – or we suffocate. But just as no tent can stand without its poles, no community can survive without some boundaries.

I attack those delegitimizers who repudiate what Israel is, not what Israel does. I condemn those demonizers who inject irrelevant race-based analogies and critiques of Western actions into Zionism’s unique story. And I challenge communal leaders, living off sacred Jewish dollars, to stop building relationships with Israel only through breast-beating without cheerleading, especially because there’s a bigger, more honest and far more inspiring story to tell.

It’s a story of how our youngest, newest martyr, Asher Natan, lived – not just how he died – loving Torah, loving life, perpetually smiling. It’s a story of our latest heroes, from the anonymous officer who shot the Ir David terrorist while absorbing life-threatening wounds, to this paramedic Fadi Dekidek who explains: “Jews save Arabs; Arabs save Jews,” while calling Magen David Adom “an example for the whole world.”

I hope this violence moves our government to slow down its bulldozing ways and keep us united. I hope it challenges the sky-is-falling gloom-and-doomers to protest without shouting loudly, hysterically, democratically, that Israeli democracy is over.

But I also hope this bloodstained moment, outside a synagogue, on Shabbat, 78 years after Auschwitz’s liberation, reminds those American Jews flirting with anti-Zionism to sift right from wrong. Israel is more humane and democratic than ever. We are all stronger, safer, better, with a robust, safe Israel. And we still all are one – Am Yisrael Chai.

UNRWA is Part of the Problem – Not the Solution
The United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has once again requested international financial aid. This is the same organization whose workers have been promoting violence and antisemitism on social media.

UNRWA has since done absolutely nothing to help the "refugees" move on with their lives and seek a better future for themselves or their families.

"Almost all of [the incorrectly labeled Palestinians in Gaza] have been born in Gaza, their parents have been born in Gaza, their grandparents have been born in Gaza... they were never displaced an inch. Yet, every day they hear, they learn, and they get an official stamp from the UN agency that says: 'That's not your home. You might have lived here all your life, but your home is there, just across the fence. That's your real home [Israel], and it was taken from you." — Einat Wilf, former Israeli Member of Knesset, December 1, 2015.

The Geneva-based independent human rights group UN Watch has uncovered evidence of UNRWA staff incitement which clearly violate the agency's own rules as well as its proclaimed values of intolerance for racism, discrimination or antisemitism.

Meanwhile, in 2021, the US government confirmed its "failure to ensure that taxpayer aid dollars sent to the Palestinian government did not ultimately make their way to terrorists."

Terrorist groups in Gaza, such as Hamas, have continued to build terror tunnels under UNRWA schools, to use the children as human shields if Israel retaliates after it is attacked -- as Hamas member Abu Khaled, openly admitted in December 2021.

"UNRWA's procurement contracts suggest that funds are already flowing to PFLP affiliates," wrote foreign policy expert Julia Shulman.

"[T]he Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act (PATA).... prohibits assistance to the PA unless the administration certifies that 'no ministry, agency, or instrumentality of the Palestinian Authority is effectively controlled by Hamas'" — Matthew Zweig, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, June 2021.

Commenting on the Biden administration decision to restore the financial aid, UN Watch said that now is the time for the US to demand that "neutrality, accountability and transparency" Secretary Antony Blinken paraded.

It does not seem, however, that UNRWA has taken far-reaching and drastic measures to end the incitement to violence and antisemitism. In fact, it has not taken any at all.

It is clear that UNRWA, like many other UN agencies, has become part of the problem, not part of the solution. Instead of seeking ways to solve the problem of the so-called refugees, UNRWA has perpetuated and inflated it.... Instead of promoting peace and non-violence, UNRWA employees have been doing the reverse.... UNRWA donors might consider these evasions before they sign the next check to one of the UN's most incompetent and corrupt organizations.
What Muhammad Aliwat learned in school
Muhammad Aliwat, the 13-year-old Palestinian attacker who ambushed and seriously wounded a father and his son at the entrance to the City of David Friday night, used his school notebook to leave a message for his mother that reads: “God, or victory, or martyrdom. Forgive me, mother, you’re going to be proud of me.”

The 8th-grader, reportedly a student at the Al-Furqan Islamic School for Boys in the Shuafat refugee camp, which uses the Palestinian Authority’s curriculum, has had quite an education in martyrdom, jihad, and antisemitism this school year and last. For example, he studied comprehension through a story promoting suicide bombings, in which Palestinians “cut the necks of enemy soldiers.” In Islamic education, a textbook devotes an entire chapter to teaching that martyrdom is “obligatory,” that it brings honor, glory, and promises entrance to paradise. Those who do not sacrifice themselves are weak.

Jews are depicted as conspiratorial, powerful, evil, and impure, posing a threat to the sanctity of Islam. A teacher guide for the 7th grade teaches that Jews crushed children’s heads, set them on fire, and threw them into wells. Even the science classes Aliwat attended take advantage of the opportunity to teach hate. He learned Newton’s Second Law through the action of a slingshot aimed at soldiers, and biology through a violent clash with the IDF that asks about its effects on one’s bodily organs.

This is a small sample of some of the violent and inciteful material Aliwat was presumably exposed to in the Palestinian Authority (PA) curriculum this year and last; material taught by teachers whose salaries are supported by the European Union, Germany, and other nations. It is the curriculum taught by UNRWA, whose biggest financial supporter is the United States.

UNRWA has been caught twice in the last two years by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Education (IMPACT-se) teaching its self-produced hate material. Its response was a half-apology followed by outright denial.

Education is the imparting of a society’s common knowledge and traditions to the next generation – it is the most important task adults have, it is a core task of government, and it is strategic.
Was a 13-year-old Palestinian incited to terrorism by UN schoolbooks?
After a young Palestinians shot two Israelis in Jerusalem, proclaiming he wanted to die 'a martyr', our Calev Ben-David reflects on the issue of incitement to terror that is often found in Palestinian school curriculums — including at UN-run schools.

Bill calling to end UN probe into Israel reintroduced to US Congress
A bill calling to end a United Nations probe against Israel has been reintroduced to the US Congress after similar legislation failed to advance last year.

The US has repeatedly opposed the contentious Commission of Inquiry against Israel, but continues to fund the investigation as part of its budget to the UN, despite opposition from Israel and some US Congress members.

The “COI Elimination Act” aims to make it official US policy to “seek the elimination” of the Commission of Inquiry and to “combat systemic anti-Israel bias at the United Nations Human Rights Council and other international fora,” and to cut US funding for the commission.

Florida House Representative Greg Steube submitted the bill earlier this month. It has been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and has enlisted 17 co-sponsors, all Republicans.

The UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry against Israel is overwhelmingly critical of the Jewish state and its reports almost entirely ignore Palestinian terrorism and violence and blame Israel for the conflict. One of its three members made antisemitic comments last year but remains in his position and has not faced any UN repercussions.

Steube introduced an identical bill to the House last year, garnering 119 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle. The Florida Congressman was badly injured in a fall last week and unavailable to comment on the new legislation.

Another COI Elimination Act put forth in the Senate last year had bipartisan support from 13 senators.

The two bills died amid some Democratic party opposition.
UNHRC discriminates against Israel, should send rapporteur home - opinion
The UNHRC has appointed about 10 rapporteurs to countries where the rule of law does not protect its citizens or minorities from being discriminated against or oppressed. They also found it necessary to include Israel in that group.

The reason for their decision is an outrageous and totally fictitious antisemitic assessment of the relationship between our Arab citizens and residents, and the Jewish Israeli public. This is how Michael Lynk, the previous rapporteur for Israel, describes his view:

“The situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, and the repressive practices over the course of its 55-year-old regime, changed from an endless occupation into something darker, harsher and more ominous. The political system of entrenched rule in the occupied Palestinian territory satisfied the prevailing evidentiary standard for the existence of apartheid. Firstly, an institutionalized regime of systematic racial oppression and discrimination has been established.

“Secondly, this system of alien rule is intended to maintain the domination of one racial-national-ethnic group over another.

“And thirdly, the imposition of this system of institutionalized discrimination with the intent of permanent domination had been built upon the regular practice of inhuman acts.

“With the eyes of the international community wide open, Israel has imposed upon Palestinians an apartheid reality in a post-apartheid world, a regime of systematic racial oppression and discrimination,” he wrote.

And those statements are sanctioned by the UN.

Michael Lynk was replaced as rapporteur a year ago by Francesca Albanese, an equally rabid antisemite, who claims to observe the strictest standards of impartiality and objectivity. Probably referring to Israel she wrote: “If a government repeatedly violates its obligation, in a serious way, then I must mobilize the public; anything else would make me a traitor to my mandate.”

Those appointed are expected to be independent human rights experts. Albanese’s declared “expertise” for the job is reflected in the previous positions she held, like senior adviser on migration and forced displacement for the think tank Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD), where she co-founded the Global Network on the Question of Palestine (GNQP).

That, in my view, contradicts her claim of being impartial and objective. Albanese also worked for UNWRA and her LLB was earned at SOAS, the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, renowned for its student body’s open antisemitic activities.

Indeed, to use their term, “with the eyes of the international community wide open,” there is a mountain of evidence that the erroneously named “Human Rights Council” is openly discriminating against Israel, contradicting its raison d’etre and should therefore be disbanded forthwith and its rapporteur send home.
The ‘two-state solution’: Partition or politicide?
Over time, intransigent pronouncements and terrorist attacks harmed the Palestinian Arab cause. Thus, the PLO needed to repair its image in order to achieve its political goals.

In Feb. 1970, Salah Khalaf (aka, Abu Iyad) led a PLO delegation to Hanoi and met the legendary Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap. North Vietnamese political experts advised the PLO members on how to manipulate the Western media and transform their public image from terrorists to “moderates.” Abu Iyad described this important encounter in the book My Home, My Land, a series of interviews with Eric Rouleau published in 1978.

The North Vietnamese recommended devoting attention to the intermediate stages of their war with Israel and to accept “provisional sacrifices.” By seemingly accepting “the division of the land between two independent states, without stressing that this was only an interim phase,” the PLO’s opponents in the West would be placated. This is the true origin of the “two-state solution.”

One Vietnamese adviser “explained that they would prefer to use moderate, even vague terms, so as not to offend American Jews, many of whom were active in the antiwar movement.”

Yossef Bodansky, director of the U.S. Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, wrote in his book The High Cost of Peace that, years later, the North Vietnamese recommendations became the basis of the “‘Phases Program/Phased Plan,’ which was formulated in the resolution of the Twelfth Palestinian National Council in Cairo on June 9, 1974.”

Bodansky described how this strategy was meant to work: “The Phases Program/Phased Plan calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state on any part of the disputed territory that becomes available, whether through war or through a negotiated process. … In adopting this policy, the PLO leadership stressed that accepting any part of Palestine was legitimate as long as the entity established there would serve as the basis for the liberation of the rest of the country—that is the ultimate destruction of Israel.”

The “Phased Plan” eventually led to the Oslo Accords in the 1990s, which several Palestinian leaders acknowledged had been signed in bad faith. For example, Faysal Al-Husseini, whom the media designated a “Palestinian moderate,” declared in an interview published on June 24, 2001 in the Egyptian newspaper Al Arabi that the Oslo arrangements constituted a “Trojan horse.”

“When we are asking all the Palestinian forces and factions to look at the Oslo Agreement and at other agreements as ‘temporary’ procedures, or phased goals, this means that we are ambushing the Israelis and cheating them,” he said.

He added, “If we agree to declare our state over what is now only 22% of Palestine, meaning the West Bank and Gaza—our ultimate goal is [still] the liberation of all historical Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea, even if this means that the conflict will last for another thousand years or for many generations.”

It is clear that Al-Husseini was expressing what Palestinians in general really mean when they speak of the “two-state solution.” The term conceals their ultimate strategy of bringing about the politicide of Israel via an open-ended religious war involving military and non-military tactics.

If our leaders sincerely want to advance the cause of peace, they should not delude themselves about the Palestinians’ true intentions. Advocating the “two-state solution” in any form gambles with the future of the Jewish state that the Palestinians remain determined to destroy. We must listen to them carefully and take their words at face value.

Jonathan Tobin: US Mideast diplomacy isn’t advancing peace or democracy
Biden’s and Blinken’s rhetoric about standing stressed by Netanyahu was undermined by the moral equivalence inherent in their call for de-escalation from both sides. The assumption of the foreign-policy establishment and international media that recent events are another example of a “cycle of violence” is false.

The lack of peace and upsurge in terror are solely the fault of a Palestinian leadership incapable of envisioning an identity for its people that isn’t linked to its century-old war on Zionism and the Jews. This is why P.A. rhetoric, media reportage and school curricula are filled with incitement to violence and glorification of “martyrs” killed in the process of murdering Jews.

Nor did Blinken use his meeting with Abbas to criticize Ramallah’s “pay for slay” policy. The administration has sought every means to evade enforcing the Taylor Force Act, which bans U.S. aid to the P.A. until it ceases funding terrorists.

Just as bad, Blinken said the U.S. would give an additional $50 million to UNRWA, the U.N.’s Palestinian refugee agency that continues to help perpetuate the conflict. By touting a future with a Palestinian state—without making clear that the primary obstacle has always been the refusal of the Palestinians to give up their fantasy of Israel’s extinction—the secretary is merely ensuring another generation of bloodshed.
Seth Frantzman: What are the key takeaways from Blinken’s Al-Arabiya interview?
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave an interview to Al-Arabiya’s Nadia Bilbassy during his visit in Cairo this week that was published on the US State Department’s website, marking it as important and consequential.

Blinken visited to Cairo before coming to Israel and meeting key US partners in the region. Israel and the US recently conducted an important military drill with US Central Command.

The Iran deal and Iran
In the interview, Blinken discusses the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iran deal, saying that Iran had a chance to return to it last summer, during the Russian war in Ukraine after it was already known that Iran was sending drones to Russia to help Moscow kill Ukrainians.

So what is new in Blinken’s statement? “Unfortunately, they rejected what was on the table and had been agreed to by everybody,” he said. “Now, our focus is on the many things that have happened since, including the horrific repression of the Iranian people on the streets of Iran as young people, women in particular, have been standing up for their basic rights, and very important communities across Iranian society are doing the same thing and are being repressed violently by the regime.”

In essence, the Iranian regime is now seen in a worse light than before. “At the same time, we’re also seeing Iran support Russia in its war of aggression against Ukraine, providing it with drones and potentially other weapons systems. So that’s where the focus is and that’s the concern of many countries around the world.”
Netanyahu meets Chadian president ahead of embassy opening
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Wednesday in Jerusalem with Chadian President Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, who is in the Jewish state to dedicate the African country’s embassy.

In January 2019, Netanyahu and previous Chadian President Idriss Deby agreed on the resumption of diplomatic relations at a ceremony in N’djamena. Chad had severed ties with Israel in 1972 due to pressure from Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

“Israel and Chad established relations between our two countries with your late father. It is in our view a tremendously important relationship with a major country in the heart of Africa,” Netanyahu told the visiting leader on Wednesday. “It is something that we want to carry to new levels, new heights, and your visit here in Israel and the opening of the embassy is a reflection of that.

“We believe that our cooperation can help not only advance our relations, but it is also part of Israel’s coming back to Africa and Africa coming back to Israel. We have common goals of security, prosperity and stability,” he added.

IDF: One rocket fired from Gaza into Israel intercepted by Iron Dome
Palestinian terrorists fired one rocket from the Gaza Strip at Israel on Wednesday evening, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed.

The projectile was intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.

Sirens sounded in the city of Sderot and in Kibbutz Nir Am and the village of Ibim nearby.

The Magen David Adom emergency service treated a woman in her 50s who fell while running to a bomb shelter in Sderot.

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said that he had requested an urgent Cabinet meeting in order to examine new ways of responding to rocket fire from Gaza.

The attack comes after a barrage of rockets were launched from the Palestinian enclave at Israeli communities last week, prompting retaliatory strikes by the IDF against Hamas military assets.
Condition of IDF officer wounded in Jerusalem attack said to worsen
An Israel Defense Forces officer injured in a shooting attack on Saturday near Jerusalem’s Old City has seen a deterioration in his medical condition, his parents said Tuesday evening.

The officer, whose full name is not being published, was said to be in serious but stable condition and is sedated and on a ventilator, according to Hebrew media reports.

“Today it turned out that Nadav’s situation is more complex than we thought,” his parents said. They added that in-depth examinations were being carried out, “and this means that Nadav’s rehabilitation period will be longer than we expected and that we need to pray a lot.”

The parents called for a public prayer event to be held at the Western Wall later in the evening, which they also attended. They also asked that well-wishers pay him fewer hospital visits.

The prayer service was streamed live on the internet by the OneFamily organization, which supports the families of terror victims. Dozens of people braved the inclement winter weather to attend the Tuesday evening service.

The Paratroopers Brigade officer, who was off-duty at the time of the terror attack, returned fire and managed to strike the shooter — a 13-year-old Palestinian from East Jerusalem — despite his wounds.

MEMRI: Al-Jazeera Presenters, Journalists In Qatari Press, Qatar-Backed Muslim Clerics: Terrorist Attack Near Jerusalem Synagogue Was 'Brave Act' Of 'Legitimate Resistance,' Its Perpetrator Is A 'Hero'
The January 27, 2023 shooting near a synagogue in Jerusalem's Neve Ya'akov neighborhood, in which a Palestinian terrorist, Khairi 'Alqam, shot and killed six Israelis and one Ukrainian national, was praised by presenters on Qatar's Al-Jazeera channel, by journalists in the Qatari press and by members of the Doha-based International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), which has been supported by the Qatari establishment for many years. The journalists and scholars called the shooter a "martyr" and a "hero" and described the attack as a "heroic act" of "legitimate resistance" and an appropriate response to the killing of Palestinians during an operation to eliminate a terrorist cell carried out by the Israeli security forces in the Jenin refugee camp on January 26, 2023. Some of the tweets played on the terrorist's name, Khairi ('good') 'Alqam ('bitter'), writing that he had embittered the Israelis' lives in a way that revealed his goodness. Several said that the attack was a message to the Arab countries that have normalized relations with Israel and criticized their condemnation of the attack. One Islamic scholar went so far as to assert that whoever condemns the attack is "a traitor against Allah and His Prophet."

This report reviews these responses in praise of the attack.

Al-Jazeera Presenters Glorify The Attack And The Shooter
Ahmed Mansour: 'Alqam Prepared Himself For His Goal And Hit 100% Of His Targets
Al-Jazeera presenter Ahmed Mansour shared an image of the terrorist, Khairi 'Alqam, riding a white horse in Jerusalem, with the text "The hero Khairi 'Alqam embittered their [i.e. the Israelis'] lives and earned the good of this world and the next." In the accompanying message he wrote, "Some people are born with a secret or cause [known only to] Allah. They live among us and no one knows about them. They don't belong to any political party or organization, but only to this nation and to this mighty religion. They prepare themselves quietly for the day and the hour, the objective and the target, just like the martyr Khairi 'Alqam, who hit 15 settlers with a handgun containing only 15 bullets. He hit his targets with 100% accuracy and he fought until he was martyred."[1]

Al-Jazeera Presenter: The Attack Was Not Terrorism But Legitimate Resistance; The Emirates Yearn To Please Israel
Al-Jazeera presenter Haitham Abu Saleh shared the condemnations issued by the UAE following Israel's operation in Jenin and following the terrorist attack in Jerusalem, and claimed that their wording clearly indicates that the UAE "yearns to please Israel," since it described the Jerusalem attack as an "act of terror" and a "criminal" act. He wrote: "[Here is] a comparison between the two statements issued by the Emirati foreign ministry regarding what happened in Jenin and in Jerusalem, which clearly shows that the UAE has normalized its relations with Israel and yearns to please it. The Jerusalem action is neither a 'terrorist attack' nor a 'criminal act,' as the statement says. It is legitimate resistance to the occupation that steals the land of Palestine."[2]

Israel Advocacy Movement: Popular Youtuber justifies synagogue attack | Smile2Jannah
Popular Muslim Youtuber and Speakers Corner regular, Smile2Jannah, just justified the Jerusalem synagogue shooting.

The Israel Guys: The Media Got THIS STORY All Wrong. . .
In the wake of the worst terrorist attack that Israel has experienced in many years, the media had a hay day - not with reporting what really happened, but instead, distorting the facts, blaming Israel for the Jews who were murdered, and as usual, blasting them for daring to live in their own land.

On today’s show, we take a look at the biased headlines from the mainstream media regarding the terrorist attack in which seven Jews were murdered. Unsurprisingly, the media got it all wrong….again.

Israel's cybersecurity authority foiled over 1,000 major attacks in 2022
Over the past year, Israel's cyber defense authority foiled over a thousand major attacks that had the potential of seriously crippling the country's economy, its cybersecurity czar said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters at the Cybertech 2023 conference, Director General of Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) Gaby Portnoy elaborated on Israel’s cyber activities and explained how they have become an integral part of securing the Jewish state from outside threats, especially those stemming from Iran.

Israel is "subject to cyber attacks like other part of the world, only in addition to the regular share, we also have Iran to contend with, with its organized, coordinated and aggressive attack on the Israeli cyber space," Portnoy told the conference. He added that "our defense is as strong as ever. We see how they work, many times without success in causing real damage."

"As in the worlds of counterterrorism and spy games, the general public is most of the time unaware of the attacks that have been stopped. Our job is to prevent those attacks that, if successful, would result in millions of damage to the economy and the country. Our efforts often happen behind the scenes," he further added.

Palestinian leadership to hold emergency meeting to discuss Israeli ‘escalation’
The Palestinian leadership is scheduled to hold another emergency meeting on Friday to discuss ways to respond to the continuation of the Israeli “escalation,” PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General Hussein al-Sheikh announced on Wednesday.

The Ramallah-based leadership has held a series of meetings in the past week to discuss the latest rise of tensions and violence.

The announcement came a day after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s meeting in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who again held Israel fully responsible for the “escalation.”

A Palestinian official expressed disappointment with the outcome of Blinken’s visit to the region, saying he did not carry any new ideas “to force Israel to halt its punitive measures against the Palestinians.

Palestinian Authority's demands
The official said the security coordination with Israel won’t be fully resumed unless Israel halts “all forms of escalation.” Last week, the Palestinian leadership announced its decision to end the security coordination in response to the killing of nine Palestinians, mostly gunmen, during an Israeli military operation in Jenin Refugee Camp.

Hassan Asfour, a former Palestinian negotiator with Israel, said the Blinken visit achieved “zero results.” In an article published in the Palestinian Amad news website, Asfour wrote that the US administration wants the Palestinian leadership to continue trusting the US.
PMW: Terrorists confirm they are soldiers of the PA
The Palestinian Authority and its leaders openly admit that all the imprisoned Palestinian terrorists are their soldiers who they sent to fight and even kill Israelis. The terrorists are defined in PA law as the “fighting sector … of the Palestinian society.” Since the terrorists are “soldiers,” the PA also demands - without any legal basis– that the terrorists be treated as “prisoners of war.” Palestinian Media Watch has shown that the PA justifies its Pay-for-Slay terror reward policy by explaining that, “it is impossible to send a soldier to war and then not take care of his family” [Deputy Prime Minister Nabil Abu Rudeina -see below]. The question is, do the terrorists themselves, even members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, agree that they are all soldiers of the PA?

The terrorists and their families see themselves as “soldiers” of the PA

Released terrorist Hussein Suleiman Al-Zre’I, member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) - an internationally designated terror organization - spoke with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in a televised phone conversation. Three times during the conversation Al-Zre’i stressed to Abbas that the imprisoned terrorists see themselves as “your loyal soldiers.” Al-Zre’i, who served 19 years in prison for carrying out shooting and mortar attacks further emphasized that as Abbas’ and Fatah’s “soldiers” they “will continue on this path – meaning the path of terror. Mahmoud Abbas’ response was to praise the terrorist for doing his part: “It is a great and important part”:
Released prisoner Hussein Suleiman Al-Zre’i: “May Allah bless you, Your Honor the President. You are the symbol of the existing leadership, and we’ll remain your loyal soldiers. We are aware of the positions you have held on the prisoners’ cause, and on the cause of the salaries of the Martyrs and prisoners… Allah willing, our aspirations of establishing the Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem will be realized under your leadership, and we will remain soldiers loyal to you, your leadership, and all the members of the [Fatah] Central Committee. Our struggle is part of the Palestinian people’s struggle and part of the struggle of our [prisoners’] movement, which is fighting and attempting to reach a state through its struggle, and we will continue on this path. This is what Fatah has accustomed us to… [My] struggle, 19 years [in prison], is a tiny part of the deep and great struggle that you have led…”

Mahmoud Abbas: “May Allah bless you. It is not a tiny part, it is a great and important part, and it is a brick in building the great palace that will come about without a doubt: the independent Palestinian state. There is no doubt we’ll get rid of them and their occupation, and no doubt our flag [will fly above] Jerusalem…”

Hussein Suleiman Al-Zre’i: “We will triumph and Fatah will triumph… We support you and will remain your loyal soldiers until the end.”

[Facebook page of the Fatah Movement – Northern Gaza Strip Branch, Dec. 20, 2021]

Russia Today TV Visits Gaza Underground Attack Tunnels Of Al-Mujahideen Brigades And Reports
On January 14, 2023, Russia Today aired a report on the Palestinian Al-Mujahideen Brigades' operations in Gaza. The report showcases the group's rocket manufacturing and tunnel operations. "Aba Anas," the group's spokesman, warned that the issues of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons are a "time bomb," and that if the "Zionist enemy continues with its transgressions in these issues, the situation in occupied Palestine will explode."

How Egyptian police hunt LGBT people on dating apps
In Egypt, homosexuality is highly stigmatised, and there have long been allegations that police are hunting LGBT people online. Now BBC News has seen evidence of how the authorities are using dating and social apps to do this.

All victims' names have been changed

Having grown up in Egypt, I am aware of the pervasive homophobia that permeates every part of its society. But friends there tell me that the atmosphere has recently become far more brutal, and the tactics for tracking down LGBT people more sophisticated.

There is no explicit law against homosexuality in Egypt, but our investigation has found that the crime of "debauchery" - a sex work law - is being used to criminalise the LGBT community.

Transcripts submitted in police arrest reports show how officers are posing online to seek out - and in some cases allegedly fabricate evidence against - LGBT people looking for dates online.

They reveal how the police initiate text conversations with their targets.

Egypt is one of the most strategically important Western allies in the Middle East and receives billions of dollars in US and EU support every year. Around half a million British tourists visit the country annually and the UK trains Egyptian police forces, via the UN.

In one text conversation between an undercover police officer and someone using the social networking and dating app WhosHere, the officer appears to be pressuring the app user to meet up in person - that person was later arrested. (h/t Yerushalimey)
Koch, Soros Operatives Host Secret Meeting To Plot Iran Nuke Deal Revival
A coalition of progressive activists bankrolled by George Soros, Charles Koch, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund are mounting a secret lobbying campaign to revive the Iran nuclear deal by tying it to the Iranian human rights movement, according to internal correspondence obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Activists from groups including J Street, NIAC Action, the Open Society Foundations, Human Rights Watch, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund are coming together behind a plan to lobby lawmakers to use human rights bills as cover to revive negotiations for a nuclear deal with Iran. That's according to a January email sent from a J Street lobbyist to other activists and obtained by the Free Beacon.

"I'm writing to suggest that this group convene virtually next week to brainstorm and hopefully find consensus on the elements of legislation to support the Iranian people that we could propose to diplomacy-oriented lawmakers," J Street's Dylan Williams wrote. "Given the usual need to be discrete [sic], the charged nature of the topic, and the outrageous threats against several members of this group, please do keep this initiative close-hold," he added.

The activist groups "plan to pursue a dual-track legislative agenda, where they would find a way through legislation to give pro-deal Democrats cover by supporting Iranian women and Iranian human rights, without in any way challenging the revival of a nuclear deal, while at the same time building a coalition of members of the House and Senate willing to write a very public letter to the president urging him to keep the door to diplomacy over on the nuclear file," a source familiar with the discussions told the Free Beacon.
DOJ Reveals New Iran-backed Assassination Attempt on Iranian American Journalist
Suspects Surveilled Alinejad’s House for Days
According to DOJ, Mehdiyev, a New York resident, staked out Alinejad’s home. From July 24 to 28, he made multiple unsuccessful efforts to assassinate Alinejad and plotted with the other two suspects how to lure her out of the house. Alinejad noticed suspicious activity around her residence on July 28 and left the area. While Mehdiyev drove away, police stopped him for a traffic violation and arrested him after finding weaponry, ammunition, a black ski mask, and $1,100 in cash inside his vehicle.

Law enforcement arrested Omarov in the Czech Republic on January 4, and the United States is seeking extradition. Amirov was arrested outside the United States and arrived in the Southern District of New York on January 26.

Iran Targeted Americans in the United States
Besides targeting Alinejad, Iran has repeatedly backed plots to assassinate its opponents on U.S. soil. Operatives from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have threatened former government officials, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former National Security Advisor John Bolton, and former Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook.

In August, an attacker inspired by a fatwa — religious edict — by Iran’s former supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and a bounty from an organization closely linked to the clerical regime attempted to assassinate novelist Salman Rushdie while he was giving a lecture in upstate New York. European and Middle Eastern intelligence officials believe the attacker had contacts with IRGC members prior to the attack. Plots Subverted Throughout the World

According to the State Department, Iran committed as many as 360 targeted assassinations throughout the world between 1979 and 2020. The Israeli prime minister’s office revealed in April that the Mossad thwarted an attempt to assassinate French-Jewish journalist Bernard-Henri Lévy in Paris, a U.S. general in Germany, and an Israeli diplomat in Turkey.

IRGC Runs Iran’s Money Laundering Network In Iraq
Iran International has obtained information that unravels some details about the inner workings of a Revolutionary Guard’s Quds force unit tasked with smuggling money from Iraq to Iran.

According to the information, the Islamic Republic’s embassy in Iraq is also involved in the money laundering operations that aim to funnel the regime’s revenues from oil and gas exports to Iran. As per a repeatedly extended sanctions’ waiver by Washington, Tehran is only allowed to import medicine and some essential goods in exchange for its export to its neighboring country.

Iran International television revealed that Mohammad Tajan-Jari, the financial manager of the 400th unit of IRGC’s Quds Force, was in charge of transferring the funds to the unit’s account in a branch of Ansar Bank in the capital Tehran. The bank had been founded by the IRGC in 2010 and was officially merged into the IRGC’s official Bank Sepah. The IRGC had established several banks and credit institutions to help it in its money laundering operations and circumvent US sanctions but after they served their purpose and their affiliations were disclosed, all of them, including Ansar Bank, Mehr Eghtesad Bank, Hekmat Iranian Bank, Ghavamin Bank and Kowsar Credit Institution, were merged into Bank Sepah from 2018 to 2020.

In Iraq, the network is apparently managed by an old Quds Force operative identified as Mahmoud Hasanizadeh, who oversees the job with the help of two Iraqi citizens. Tajan-Jari's executive officer in Iraq is Mostafa Pakbatan, an employee of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic and a member of the Quds Force, who receives the dollars from exchange offices in Iraq. He is not the only employee of the embassy involved in the money laundering network. The current ambassador, Mohammad-Kazem Al-e Sadegh, who was appointed to the post less than a year ago was also a commander of the Quds force and one of the close aides to former chief Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a US drone strike in January 2020 in Baghdad.
Seth Frantzman: Iran is showing off its ‘Saqr’ missile
Iranian pro-government media reported extensively on Wednesday about the Saqr missile, noting that it had been used in Yemen by the Iran-backed Houthi group, as well as in Iraq, to target US forces and also in Syria. This links Iran to all these attacks, without explicitly taking credit for them.

The missile
The Tasnim report noted that this “mysterious” missile has been used in many places, all of them linked to pro-Iran forces around the Middle East. It explains how the missile behaves like a cruise missile and a “loitering” munition, that it can detect targets with optical and thermal systems.

Additionally, according to the report, it “patrols” the sky as it looks for the target to destroy and is packed with explosives and a proximity fuse which are activated when the target is close enough for the 10kg warhead to be detonated.

“Such a missile, which is actually an innovation in air defense systems, is a suitable weapon for targeting drones and helicopters at low altitude; a large number of targets are used by the Americans and Saudis in the skies of Iraq and Yemen, and the Saqr missile has so far succeeded in destroying at least three Saudi drones in the sky of Yemen,” the Tasnim report reads.

Iran’s media says the missile has a special design and “includes three parts: propulsion, guidance and control, and the missile warhead.” It has a “microjet engine” the article says, noting that most air defense missiles are propelled by “solid fuel.” A missile is launched during an annual drill in the coastal area of the Gulf of Oman and near the Strait of Hormuz, Iran (credit: REUTERS) A missile is launched during an annual drill in the coastal area of the Gulf of Oman and near the Strait of Hormuz, Iran (credit: REUTERS)

The report moves on to the weapon’s automatic pilot, data link and GPS. IRGC Aerospace Forces commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh recently said that “the power of drones is a new power that has been born and has various branches, some parts of which are Iranian inventions. Defense surface-to-air missiles based on drones are an Iranian invention, and there are many of these examples.”

This isn’t the first time the missile has been mentioned. The Iran Watch website noted in November 2022 that “Two less surprising missiles in the parade were the Quds-3 land attack cruise missile and the Saqr-1 surface-to-air missile. Both the Quds (designated ‘351’ by the United States) and the Saqr (designated the ‘358’ by the United States) have been captured by Western navies during interdictions of arms shipments bound for Yemen.”
Caroline Glick Show: The Revolution in Iran will Succeed
“This is the first feminist revolution in human history,” but the media doesn’t care In this week’s episode, Caroline Glick meets with special guest Mehrdad Youssefiani, an Iranian freedom activist and a longtime counselor to Prince Reza Pahlevi, the son of the late Shah of Iran. Youssefiani, who is visiting Israel this week, came to the JNS studio in Jerusalem to discuss the weekend explosions in Iran and their impact on the now five-month-old revolution in the streets of Iran. Caroline also discusses the recent terror attacks in Israel, International Holocaust Memorial Day and what is causing Palestinian violence on the street.

WARNING – GRAPHIC: Iranian Regime Violently Cracks Down On Protesters In Baluchestan
This clip is a compilation of footage, including graphic images, obtained by MEMRI and a clip from Kolbarnews on Twitter from protests in Zahedan, in Iran's Baluchestan province, on January 13, 2023. Casualties from the regime's violent crackdown on the protests can be seen, and crowds of protesters chant slogans such as "Death to Khamenei!", "We will proceed to revolution!", "Death to the IRGC!", "Death to the Islamic Republic!", and "I will kill whoever killed my brother!"

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


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