Monday, March 06, 2023

From Ian:

The Biden Administration is Costing Israeli Lives
Which leads us back to the question, “Why now?”

In March 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law the Taylor Force Act (TFA). Taylor Force, a US citizen and a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was murdered in Jaffa by a terrorist in 2016. He was visiting Israel as a tourist on a school-sponsored trip with Vanderbilt University. The law that bears Force’s name stipulates that the US must withhold all economic aid to the Palestinian Authority so long as the policy of financially rewarding terrorist murderers and their families persists.

In August 2018, in the first round of enforcement, the US cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid. Eventually, in February 2019, the US government announced that, as per the TFA, it was ceasing all aid to the PA. In the wake of this decision, something amazing happened. Terrorism declined. Less Israelis were being murdered.

In the 5-year period, 2014-2018, 100 Israelis (and visitors to Israel) were murdered in Israel by terrorists; an average of 20 per year, with a low of 14 in 2018, the year of the passing the TFA. In 2019, the first year of TFA enforcement, the number of murder victims fell to 11. In 2020 it fell further to 3.

But it’s not only about the money. Even before the passage of the TFA in 2018, terrorist murders in Israel were on the decline ever since Donald Trump took office. Of the 5-year period 2014-2018 cited above, the 2 lowest annual numbers of victims were 2017 and 2018. Simply put, Donald Trump’s policies and statements sent a clear message to the enemies of Israel that under his administration, terrorism would not be rewarded.

Shortly after taking office, on March 26, 2021, the Biden administration announced that it would be sending $75 million to the Palestinian Authority to be used in part to regain the “trust and goodwill” of the Palestinians in the wake of the Trump cuts in aid. The State Department made it known at that time that this payment was only the beginning of a renewed pledge to support the PA.

What happened next should not surprise anyone. 2021 saw 17 Israelis murdered by Arab terrorists, the highest number since 2015. It is worth noting that all of these murders took place after the renewal of American financial aid at the end of March, a full quarter into the year. Not surprisingly, 2022 saw yet another rise in terror victims with 31 people losing their lives to terrorist murderers. And in the first two months of 2023, 14 people have already been murdered, as of this writing.

All this leads one to wonder how this is all happening. After all, the Taylor Force Act is not merely some Trump-era policy or presidential executive order that can be reversed by the next administration. The TFA is law, passed by both houses and signed by the president. What this means, quite plainly, is that the US government under Joe Biden is in violation of the law. And yet, as of this writing, the Biden administration has given over $1 billion to the Palestinian Authority.

I will say this plainly. The current US administration, through its criminal violation of US law is empowering and incentivizing the murder of Israeli citizens. The Biden administration is indirectly, yet knowingly, funding the families of terrorist murderers.
The West Keeps Subsidizing the Palestinian Authority's Death Culture
Thousands of people attended Elan Ganeles' funeral last week in Israel. They came from every sphere of Israeli society, representing an incredible level of social cohesion around the denunciation of Palestinian terrorism. Ganeles, 27, was a proud American Jew who fell in love with Israel and served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). He was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist for the crime of being Jewish, shot and killed as he was driving to a friend's wedding. Two days earlier, brothers Hallel Yaniv, 21, and Yagel Yaniv, 19, were murdered as they drove through the Palestinian town of Huwara, because they were Jewish.

In the last year, 29 Israelis were murdered in terror attacks, while the IDF prevented an additional 2,200. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas boasted that Palestinians perpetrated 7,200 attacks against Israeli targets in 2022.

The PA invests a substantial share of its budget, and of its foreign aid, on inciting terrorism, on glorifying terrorism, and on financially rewarding terrorism. Apparently, it's perfectly okay to compensate terrorism despite this being a blatant violation of PA commitments to foreign donors, and in clear violation of U.S. and EU conditions on such foreign aid.

The West is subsidizing the Palestinian Authority to destabilize Israel by inculcating generations of Palestinian children to be venerated as "martyrs" for mass murders. The very reason the current Israeli government was elected was because of increasing Palestinian terrorism.
Bassam Tawil: The Palestinian Authority for the Rights of Terrorists!
The bill basically states that an Israeli citizen or resident who commits a terrorist act and agrees to receive payment for it from the Palestinian Authority is thereby stating a preference to receive benefits from the Palestinian Authority over those of the State of Israel. When the terrorist completes his prison sentence, he will then move to the place of his chosen alliance, the West Bank or Gaza Strip. Needless to say, this also means that re-entry into Israel is prohibited.

[Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh] is... saying that Israel has no right to defend itself or take any measures against Palestinians involved in terrorism, who are then financially rewarded by his own Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

Paying for murder in lieu of negotiating is not what the Palestinians committed to in the Oslo Accords or any other agreement.

Would-be terrorists can now contemplate that choice [whether to commit murder or stay in Israel], unlike the victims of terror who will never get to "visit family" again.

In the view of the Palestinian leadership, if Palestinians murder innocent civilians simply because they are Jews, that is not racist or unlawful, but if Israelis hold those murderers responsible and imprison them, that is racist and unlawful.

[Shtayyeh] apparently wants to make sure that while he continues to fund the families of the terrorists in the West Bank, the Arab terrorists in Israel will be able to maintain their citizenship, live a pleasant life inside Israel and be able to continue murdering Jews.

In Lebanon, Palestinians, with rare exceptions, are not permitted citizenship, period.

The intriguing thing is that Palestinian officials who are upset by this bill seem extremely worried about "Palestinian rights to citizenship," but only in Israel -- not in Lebanon or Jordan.

Remembering a CIA Coup in Iran That Never Was
When anti-regime protests spread like wildfire throughout Iran in mid-October of 2022, the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei was quick to lay the blame on the usual foreign suspects. “I say explicitly that these riots and this insecurity were a design by the U.S. and the occupying, fake Zionist regime and those who are paid by them,” he told a class of cadets at a police college in Tehran. He suggested that the ultimate goal of the U.S. and Israel was regime change in Iran.

This elicited a response on Twitter from Iranian rapper Hichkas, who defended foreign support for the uprising, saying that it represented solidarity, not collaboration. He ended his riposte with a taunt that was retweeted or liked more than 50,000 times:

“And you can shove that Mossadegh tale you’ve lived off of for a lifetime.”

The rebellious young hip-hop star was connecting dots that Khamenei had only implied: that in 2022, the United States and its allies were once again seeking to overthrow an Iranian leader, just as in the summer of 1953 the United States had cooperated with players inside and outside Iran to help end the political career of the doomed nationalist prime minister, Mohammed Mossadegh.

For anyone who needs a reminder of the significance of that episode, whose 70th anniversary falls this year, let Columbia University’s professor Hamid Dabashi provide one, from his book Iran: A People Interrupted:
As Iranians never get tired of repeating (for this is the defining trauma of their modern history), the CIA, aided by British intelligence, mounted, paid for, and executed a military coup, overthrew the democratically elected government of Mosaddeq, and brought the corrupt Mohammed Reza Shah back to power.

This Ivy League encapsulation of the events of August 1953 in Iran contains at least four remarkable untruths, though “As Iranians never get tired of repeating” is not one of them.

First, the CIA did not mount or execute a coup. Second, Mossadegh was not democratically elected. Third, the shah was not yet corrupt. Fourth, he was not brought back to power, because he had never left it: Assassinations were a fact of life in 1950s Tehran, and having survived an attempt on his life in 1949, Mohammed Reza chose to wait out Mossadegh’s fall in Baghdad and Rome but never abdicated.

What actually happened in the land which once harvested prime ministers more promiscuously than Henry VIII harvested queens was this: After Shah Mohammed Reza’s Prime Ministers Mohammed-Ali Foroughi, Ali Soheili, Ahmad Qavam, Mohammed-Reza Hekmat, Ebrahim Hakimi, Abdolhossein Hazhir, Mohammed Saed, and Ali Mansur, came Ali Razmara, who was assassinated in March 1951. Following the brief caretaker premiership of Hossein Ala, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi wanted Seyyed Zia Tabataba’i, but in deference to the aged Qajar aristocrat Mohammed Mossadegh, had him offered the job, feeling confident he would decline. To everyone’s surprise, Mossadegh accepted, and the Majlis concluded a brief poll to endorse him. Then the shah gave Mossadegh the job. Again, the sequence of events is significant: The shah chose a prime minister, the parliament consented, and the shah appointed him.

Between 1953 and 1979, the shah would appoint and dismiss 10 more prime ministers, including Mossadegh twice. Not even the most overheated Iran historian describes these changes as coups.

Between 1953 and 1979, the shah would appoint and dismiss 10 more prime ministers, including Mossadegh twice. Not even the most overheated Iran historian, in Islamic Iran or American academia, describes these changes as coups. The difference is that when Mossadegh’s second government went down in flames in August 1953, there were some American would-be arsonists in the wings who may or may not have shared responsibility, but who insisted on claiming the lion’s share of the credit, however implausibly or unwisely.

Constitutionally, appointing prime ministers in imperial Iran was the sole prerogative of the shah. As Gholam Reza Afkhami wrote, “The Constitution … gave the Crown and only the Crown the power to appoint or dismiss the ministers (Article 46, Supplementary basic Law) …” In George Lenczowski’s Iran Under the Pahlavis we read that “The Shah’s authority embraced the right to appoint and dismiss the prime minister and ministers.” However, according to Afkhami, “over the postwar years it had become the accepted practice for the shah to ask the Majlis to express its preference before he appointed a prime minister.”
The racism of the apartheid lie
I grew up in the 1970’s amongst increasing calls to boycott South Africa for their apartheid policy. Then we all knew what apartheid stood for. Now though, more than 30 years after it came to an end it is clear that those with their claims about Israel, are to put bluntly, clueless.

Apartheid was a policy of separate development, where the minority whites subjugated the majority black population in a variety of ways including restriction of movement, poorer quality education and healthcare. Where the real horror of apartheid was seen most vividly was in the operation of criminal justice. There really was one law for the whites and a different law for the blacks.

In 1978 the United States Department of Justice produced a paper entitled ‘South Africa – Racism and the Death Penalty’. It examined the application of the death penalty against blacks and whites. Part of the summary for chilling reading –

‘….between 1947 and 1969, 288 whites were convicted of rape of non-whites, and 844 blacks were convicted of rape of whites. Not a single white person was executed, but of the convicted blacks, 121 were sentenced to death, and 108 executed.’

Pause for a moment to consider this. Two people convicted of the same offense would be sentenced on the basis of the color of their skin! Not only were the majority black population denied the same rights and freedoms as their white counterparts, when it came to criminal justice their punishment was completely and horrifically different.

The position for Israeli Arabs is beyond any comparison with that of the majority black population of South Africa. Not only the claim that Israel is an apartheid state is a blatant lie, it wholly diminishes the reality of pre 1989 South Africa and plays down the discrimination against the black majority. In other words, telling lies about Israel trumps any casual racism against black South Africans, they are just collateral damage in the latest round of Jew-hate.

Tony Blair: "The Mood within the Arab World towards Israel Has Changed Fundamentally"
Britain's former prime minister Tony Blair said on Sunday, "The mood within the Arab world towards Israel has changed fundamentally." As countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Saudi Arabia "are engaged in [a] process of modernization," both in terms of economic liberalization and growing religious tolerance, there has been a growing appreciation for Israel's openness and technological prowess, as well as its consistent opposition to Iran.

Blair, a former envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East who heads the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, said young people in the region "look at Iran, and all the repression that's happening there, [and] they look at Israel. And they think, not just on security grounds, but on the grounds of the type of society they want to see: 'Why should they be hostile to Israel?'"

Blair explained that "in recent years, myself, my institute, my office in Israel, have focused on how we bring about better relationships between Israel and the Arab nations. Because I think if the region as a whole moves in that direction of modernization and rapprochement, then you've got a much better opportunity at resolving the Palestinian issue as well."
US Defense Secretary Aiming to Reassure Regional Allies on Middle East Visit
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, in Jordan to begin a three-country Mideast visit, is aiming to reassure key allies of American commitment to the region despite Washington’s recent focus on Russia and China, officials said, but plans frank messages for leaders of Israel and Egypt.

The Pentagon chief, who arrived in Amman on Sunday, is expected to press Israeli leaders to reduce tensions in the West Bank and work to strengthen ties in talks with Egyptian leaders while touching on human rights concerns.

“We’ve demonstrated over and over again that we can rapidly surge capability to any part of the globe that we need to, but especially here in the Middle East, because we’ve operated here for 20-plus years,” Austin told reporters while visiting a joint training center near Amman.

The United States has about 30,000 troops in the region and is seen as pivotal in helping counter Iranian influence.

Retired US Marine Corp General Frank McKenzie, who headed American forces in the Middle East until last year, said the region is significant to the United States in part because of China’s growing role.

“I think this trip is an excellent example of an opportunity to continue to tell people in the theater (region) that they remain important to us,” added McKenzie, now leading the University of South Florida’s Global and National Security Institute.

Shin Bet busts Hamas terror ring run out of Turkey
The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said on Monday it busted a Hamas terrorist ring in Turkey planning attacks against the Jewish state.

Four Palestinian students from the other side of Israel’s Green Line were arrested. Ahmed Mahmoud Abu Salah, 24, was detained and questioned after returning from studying abroad. His interrogation led to the arrests of three others, according to the agency: Iyas Mahmoud Abu Salah, 20, Salah Mahmoud Abu Salah, 23, and Hassin Fauz Aqra, 25.

Ahmed Mahmoud Abu Salah allegedly met with senior Hamas officials in Turkey and was recruited for “military” training in Turkey and Syria and told to find others to form a cell in Judea and Samaria to carry out terrorist attacks.

The Shin Bet said that the instruction included “weapons training and studying the manufacturing of explosives, in order to advance terror attacks against the State of Israel.”

A son of a senior Hamas official in Turkey maintained regular contact with the four students.

Despite Ankara’s recent warming relations with Jerusalem, including the restoration of full diplomatic ties with the exchange of ambassadors, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continues to allow Hamas terrorists to operate in the country. Last year saw the 10th anniversary of the Gaza-based terrorist group opening an office in Istanbul.

Turkey refuses to classify Hamas as a terrorist organization, deciding not to join the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Israel and Japan in doing so.
IDF prepares to demolish home of suspect in Elan Ganeles slaying
The Israeli military overnight Sunday mapped for demolition the home of a suspect in the Feb. 27 murder of an Israeli American near Jericho.

During the operation in the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, located some two miles from Jericho in the Jordan Valley, Israeli forces were shot at and had firebombs and stones hurled at them, according to the Israel Defense Forces. The soldiers returned fire, and also deployed crowd dispersal measures, said the IDF.

Elan Ganeles, a native of West Hartford, Connecticut, had traveled to the Jewish state to celebrate a friend’s wedding. Ganeles, who served in the IDF from July 2016 to August 2018, was shot while driving near the Beit Ha’arava Junction.

The IDF on Wednesday arrested two Palestinians in Aqabat Jabr in connection with the shooting. A third Palestinian, who was with the suspects at the time of their arrest, was shot as he attempted to flee, and was also detained, according to the Israeli military.

A total of 14 people were arrested in Judea and Samaria overnight Sunday as part of the IDF’s “Operation Break the Wave,” launched in March following a wave of deadly terrorist attacks in Israeli cities.
Israeli Lightly Wounded in Drive-By Shooting Attack in Judea
An Israeli civilian was lightly wounded late on Friday night in a drive-by shooting in Judea, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

A preliminary investigation found that a terrorist opened fire at the victims’ vehicle from another vehicle on Highway 60, near the Jewish community of Beit Hagai, located south of Hebron.

Israeli forces found shell casings and launched a search for the perpetrators, according to the IDF.

The Magen David Adom emergency medical service said the Israeli man in his 60s sustained a wound to his leg and was evacuated to hospital in stable condition.

The attack came after a Palestinian terrorist on Feb. 26 killed Israeli brothers Hallel and Yagel Yaniv while they were stuck in a traffic jam along Highway 60 near the village of Huwara.

Fmr. PA Security Chief: We Have Spent 30 Years on the Two-State Solution, But Now It Is Dead
Former Palestinian Authority security Chief Mohammed Dahlan said in a March 1, 2023 interview on Sky News Arabia (UAE) that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has succeeded in destroying the two-state solution and a “one-state solution” would be better for the Palestinians. He explained that if the Palestinian territories are annexed, as some Israeli government members have called for, it would be “easy” for the Palestinians to persuade the international community and parts of Israeli society to transform the Israeli apartheid state into one state “with equal rights”.

Palestinian Author: Jewish Fighters Were Able to Carry Out Brutal Massacres During the Nakba
Palestinian author and researcher Aziz Al-Assa said in a February 4, 2023 show on Palestine TV that the Jews who carried out “brutal massacres” during the Nakba were able to do so cold-heartedly and without any humanity because they had received training in Nazi Germany. He elaborated that the Zionists had agreed with the Nazi government that young male Jews be released from concentration camps to undergo military training, while the older Jews be left to die in the camps.

The MEMRI Lantos Project exposes anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in the Middle East region and Middle Eastern communities in the West with the aim of supporting legislation and educating media and the general public.

Palestinian Authority trying to stop new armed group in West Bank
Palestinian Authority security forces are working to prevent a new armed group from operating in the West Bank city of Tulkarm, a senior Palestinian official said on Monday.

Armed groups consisting of a few hundred gunmen have been operating over the past year in Nablus and Jenin. At this stage, however, only a handful of gunmen have joined the Tulkarm Battalion.

Unlike the situation in Nablus and Jenin, Palestinian security forces have moved quickly to stop the Tulkarm gang from establishing a foothold in the city.

PA security officers raided the home of a suspected leader of the group, who managed to escape. Three other men who appeared in one of the group's videos were arrested by the PA in the past week.

"We don't want to become like Jenin and Nablus," said Ala' al-Sharif, a Tulkarm shopkeeper. "The armed groups in the two cities have caused great damage to the economy. Thousands of Arab Israelis who used to do their shopping in Nablus and Jenin are now coming to Tulkarm because the situation here has been calm. The merchants in Nablus and Jenin are crying."

However, in the past few days, dozens of residents of Tulkarm and the two nearby refugee camps took to the streets to protest the crackdown, accusing the PA of "betraying" the Palestinians.

Dennis Ross: Iran Needs to Believe America's Threat
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) discovered uranium residue enriched to 84% in Iranian centrifuge cascades. Weapons-grade fissile material is typically characterized as enriched to 90%, but it is worth recalling that the U.S. atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 was a weapon enriched to 80%.

The discovery should set off alarm bells. Iran has achieved the capacity to produce weapons-grade material very quickly. Creating weapons-grade fissile material is the most important element needed for bomb-making.

At its current pace, Iran could easily accumulate 10 bombs' worth of fissile material enriched to 60% by the end of this year. A senior defense official suggested it would take the Iranians less than two weeks to make such material weapons-grade.

The idea that Israel will sit back and not act against what its leaders view as an existential threat is an illusion. Israeli leaders from across the political spectrum share the prime minister's concerns about the quantity of bomb-making fissile material that Iran is accumulating and the hardening of its nuclear infrastructure, which will make it more and more difficult for Israel to destroy.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already told U.S. officials that if nothing is done soon to stop the advance of the Iranian nuclear program, Israel will have no choice but to attack. Israel is not prepared to live with Iran getting a bomb.

To avoid a war with a threatening adversary, that adversary has to believe you will use force. A clear signal of a new American approach may now be essential not only to persuade the Iranians to stop their advance toward a nuclear weapon, but also to show China and Russia that the U.S. is capable of dealing with multiple threats at once and that it has the will to do so.
As Mideast Tensions Rise, U.S. and Israel Practice Fighting Side-by-Side
From Feb. 19 through March 1, U.S. Marines trained alongside the Israel Defense Forces in simulated urban combat, in an exercise known as Intrepid Maven. IDF Lt.-Col. Gilad Pasternak, commander of the Israeli Training Battalion, said, "We were able to advance, to charge shoulder-by-shoulder with our allies, the Americans." He noted that the IDF "had the opportunity to train the Marines on the infrastructure of the IDF, including live-fire instructions on Israeli weapons," and that both sides were "able to learn operational lessons, also on the tactical level."

The exercise addressed facing hidden explosives along with rocket and mortar fire, as well as efforts to detect the sources of such enemy operations. U.S. military personnel in both Iraq and Syria have faced rocket attacks attributed to militias aligned with Iran.

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Sean Styerwalt said, "It was great with us being able to work hand-in-hand with the IDF because the IDF has different tactics, techniques, and procedures....We were able to learn...from them and also, at the same time, be able to teach them some of our" methods. One final exercise involved a combined IDF-U.S. "red cell" unit playing the role of enemy combatants.
IAEA chief doubles down against potential preemtive Israeli strikes on Iran
IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi on Monday doubled down on his objection to any potential Israeli preemptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Grossi had called any such an attack a violation of international law this past weekend, leading Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to criticize him on Sunday as well as to affirm that Jerusalem would act against the Islamic Republic as it viewed necessary, including preemptive self-defense to avoid a nuclear threat.

The IAEA chief responded to a press question about the exchange saying, "I wouldn't comment of course on what the prime minister of Israel would say about me. There is nothing new really in what I said. I reiterated international law."

"International law from the Geneva Protocols in 1949 and thereafter and several resolutions of the general conference of the IAEA: attacks on nuclear facilities are illegal, are a violation of the UN Charter. I did not say anything which should be considered departing from what is in the public domain. Maybe that got their attention," he said.

He added he is always committed to trying to find diplomatic solutions over the military.

Grossi also dismissed public statements of Iranian officials that they would not give him access to key Iranian nuclear scientists, implying that behind-the-scenes they are sending him different messages.

MEMRI: UN Secretary-General Meets In Iraq With Heads Of Iran-Backed Militias Who Are Sanctioned By U.S.
On March 2-3, 2023, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited Iraq, six years after his previous visit to the country. During his visit Guterres met with Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia' Al-Sudani and attended a dinner with Iraqi political figures. Among the dinner guests were the heads of two Iran-backed militias in Iraq: Qais Al-Khaz'ali, head of the 'Asaeb Ahl Al-Haqq militia, and Rayan Al-Kildani, head of the Christian Babylon movement and of its military wing, the Babylon Battalions. After the dinner Guterres posed for a photo with Al-Khaz'ali and Al-Kildani. Both these figures are sanctioned by the U.S. for human rights violations, [1] and Khaz'ali is on the U.S. Treasury list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists.[2] Both also openly call for targeting the U.S. forces in Iraq.[3]

The photo attracted attention and drew criticism in Iraq and beyond. This report reviews the criticism sparked by Guterres' meeting with the two figures and the responses of UN spokespersons to the affair.

Following Dinner With Iraqi Political Figures Guterres Poses For Picture With Heads Of Iran-Backed Militias

While Qais Al-Khaz'ali did not post any photos with Guterres on his social media accounts, Al-Kildani did so on March 2. He tweeted a photo of Guterres and himself, and another of Guterres with the other dinner guests, including himself and Al-Khaz'ali, and commented: "After six years UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has come here and has declared his support for Iraq's democratic institutions. Welcome. We see your arrival as a hopeful sign. Iraq is the cradle of civilization and humanity cannot survive without Iraq."[4]

Opponents Of The Militias: This Is A Violation Of The UN Charter And International Law

The photos sparked intense criticism from the opponents of the Iran-backed militias in Iraq and elsewhere. The Iraqi National Charter, a union of several Iraqi bodies opposed to the militias, issued a statement condemning Guterres' meeting with "the heads of militias who have perpetrated crimes against the Iraqis," and calling this a flagrant violation of the UN Charter and of international law. Guterres, the statement added, was expected to discuss "important issues" related to political and humanitarian rights and to laws currently being passed in Iraq. The statement was accompanied by the photo of Guterres flanked by the two militia heads, with Al-Khaz'ali's face blotted out.[5]

A member of the Iraqi National Charter's supreme council, Maki Al-Nazzal, stated that "instead of the UN calling to disband the militias, its Secretary-General poses for friendly pictures with militia heads, as though they are his pals…"[6]

Iraqi news anchor Muhammad Al-Kubaisi tweeted: "Guterres' visit to Iraq turned into a bad farce when he posed with faction [heads] who are on the terror list. More than that, he granted them international legitimacy, without thinking of the victims who did not receive any protection from the UN…"[7]

Countering Iran in Azerbaijan
Iran poses an existential threat to Azerbaijan. This is seen in the recent unprovoked terrorist attack against the Azerbaijani embassy in Tehran, subversion by Iranian-backed extremists and special services, military intervention in the 2020 Second Karabakh War, military threats, and a burgeoning military alliance with Armenia.

Iran does not recognize the existence of an Azerbaijani people, believing the region was unfairly taken from it by the USSR. The southern part of Azerbaijan, inhabited by 20-30 million Azerbaijanis, remained part of Iran.

Iran's denial of Azerbaijani identity closely resembles Russia's denial of a Ukrainian state and a Ukrainian people.
MEMRI: Russian Affairs Expert: Israel Supports Ukraine Because the Latter Is Corrupt, Controlled by Jews
Dr. Samir Ayoub, a Moscow-based expert on Russian affairs, said in a February 24, 2023 show on Al-Manar TV (Hizbullah-Lebanon) that Israel supports Ukraine because it has strong ties with it and with the wealthy Ukrainians who “plundered” the Soviet Union. He said that since Ukraine is the “most corrupt country in the world”, it is “fertile ground” for exploitation by wealthy Jews, and he asserted that all of Ukraine’s leaders are Jews or have strong relations with the Jewish lobby. In addition, he said that there are rich Jews in Russia who had stolen from the Soviet people, but that Russia keeps an eye on them.

The MEMRI Lantos Project exposes anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in the Middle East region and Middle Eastern communities in the West with the aim of supporting legislation and educating media and the general public.

Egyptian-American Political Analyst: If Iran Obtains Nuclear Weapons, So Will Saudi Arabia
Egyptian-American political analyst Magdi Khalil, Executive Director of the Middle East Freedom ForumThink Tank, said in a March 2, 2023 interview on Russia Today that the impact on the region would not be significant if Iran obtains nuclear weapons because the Saudis would quickly obtain them as well, thereby restoring “balance”. In addition, he said that Iran’s nuclear weapons program cannot be compared to Israel’s because Israel’s nuclear weapons deter those who want to annihilate it, while Iran seeks to force its hegemony upon the region.

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