Saturday, May 27, 2023

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Jew-hatred struts the stage in Berlin
In his book The End of the Holocaust, Alvin Rosenfeld observed that the Anne Frank story has been re-framed to articulate the need to overcome racism and homophobia, prevent mass murder and promote tolerance and kindness.

Jews like Anne Frank, however, were wiped out not because of a lack of tolerance or kindness or through prejudice but because of a derangement beyond comprehension directed at the Jewish people.

In Mosaic in 2016, Edward Rothstein wrote that Holocaust museums flinched from emphasising the uniqueness of Jewish suffering. No such museum, he observed, could seemingly be complete without invoking other 20th-century genocides in Rwanda, Darfur or Cambodia.

If we are all guilty, though, then no-one is guilty. More balefully still, if everyone can be a Nazi, so too can the Jews. Holocaust universalism has thus led directly to the demonisation of Israel by people claiming to be anti-racist.

In Britain, this is one reason why there have been strenuous objections to the Holocaust memorial and education centre that the government wants to construct in a small park next to the Houses of Parliament.

The project has been derailed by the late discovery of a planning law that forbids any such construction in this park, a law that the government is determined to overturn.

Aside from environmental objections, significant concerns have long been expressed that the message to be delivered by this centre will relativise and thus devalue the Holocaust.

These objections have been brushed aside by the government and the project’s backers in the Jewish community leadership.

However, the government itself has now given the game away by acknowledging that the main purpose of this centre is not to commemorate the genocide of the Jews. As Housing Minister Baroness Scott disclosed earlier this month, its aim is to ensure that the story of what happened in the Holocaust “resonates with the public”.

And how will it do that? By denying the unique nature of the Jewish genocide. “The content will also address genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur,” she said.

This drew a furious response from one of the leading opponents of the project, Baroness Deech, who said it would “demote the Shoah”.

Deech, who is Jewish and whose late father, historian Josef Fraenkel, fled the Nazis, said: “It would prompt generalities about hate and intolerance and would drain the presentation of the Shoah from its antisemitic origins dating back thousands of years.”

She went on: “They are going to put forward the message that if you see something bad going on, you must not be a bystander. If it’s just ‘don’t be a bystander’, I don’t see how that helps people understand antisemitism and the plight of the Jews.”

Deech was backed by Gary Mond, chairman of the National Jewish Assembly, who said: “The main concern is that there must be no dilution to the principle that the Holocaust was totally unique and incomparable.”

But that message will be utterly diluted by this proposed memorial.

The government is being egged on by Jewish community leaders who refuse to get the point. Instead, they have bullied objectors to the project and vilified them as antisemites — despite the fact that a number of them are Jews.

These leaders are thus weaponising antisemitism to drive through a project that will instrumentalise antisemitism, in order to deliver a message that will betray the memory of Jews murdered in the Shoah by diminishing their unique fate.

Universalising the Holocaust has happened for two reasons. The non-Jewish world wants to share the protected moral status of being victims of the greatest crime in history by claiming other evils are just as bad. Diaspora Jews, desperate not to be viewed as different, are terrified of asserting Jewish uniqueness, even over this.

Meanwhile, a depraved antisemite struts the stage in Berlin.

Biden’s Antisemitism Strategy Fails to Condemn BDS, Includes CAIR
While Biden’s U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism doesn’t condemn BDS and waffles on pro and anti-Israel positions, it does take the time to bring CAIR into it.

The press release boasts that “the Council on American-Islamic Relations will launch a tour to educate religious communities about steps they can take to protect their houses of worship from hate incidents.”

That’s the same CAIR that has defended Islamic terrorism against Jews, defended Muslim terrorists like Ahmed Ferhani who plotted attacks on synagogues, and which was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial involving the funding of Hamas.

The ZOA notes that, “the Biden Strategy uses the soft phrase U.S. “has embraced” [past tense] the positive consensus IHRA definition of antisemitism – while much more strongly states Biden “welcomes and appreciates” the dangerous “Nexus” definition of antisemitism. The Biden Strategy then also “notes” other definitions, which can mean even more harmful definitions such as the JDA definition.”

It also points out that, “Third, the Biden Strategy fails to explicitly identify or deal with any source of antisemitism by name other than white supremacy. The Biden Strategy never identifies Black supremacist antisemitism such as that of Louis Farrakhan; BlackLivesMatter (BLM) antisemitism and anti-Jewish pogroms; radical Islamist antisemitism; or the hatred of Jews and the sole Jewish state promoted in Congress by Squad members such as Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Betty McCollum, Cori Bush, Bernie Sanders and Jamaal Bowman.”

The Coalition for Jewish Values also blasted the strategy, “the President’s statement also highlights the neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville in 2017 and seems to tie antisemitism exclusively to white supremacy. This distracts attention from other sources of antisemitism; the vast majority of attacks upon Jews in New York are perpetrated by People of Color.”

This is the Biden administration’s betrayal of Jews in a nutshell.
Antisemitism ‘Working Definition’ Not a ‘Work in Progress,’ Say New IHRA Co-Presidents
JNS asked if the IHRA co-presidents worry that some might misunderstand the term “working definition” and think it suggests tentativeness or some other form of hedging.

“It’s called the ‘working definition’ for it to be what it is—and that is an action-based tool, a practical tool,” Lustig told JNS. “The fact that it’s called a ‘working definition’ does not mean that it’s a work in progress, so much as it’s very clear what it is and clear what it does.”

Lustig also reflected on another part of the working definition that she said people misconstrue—that it muzzles legitimate criticism of Israel. Acknowledging that an individual can criticize Israel without being antisemitic is one of the “contemporary examples” that IHRA appends to the working definition, she said.

“One of the examples is denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination by saying that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavor,” she explained. “That’s what the definition says. I personally would say that does not stifle the criticism of Israel. All it says is that Israel is allowed to exist and have the right to self-determination. Those are two very different things.”

Gras told JNS that the working definition, like all the items in IHRA’s toolkit, “is the product of international and interdisciplinary consensus, and it provides practical, real-world guidance for educators and others who hope to understand and monitor antisemitism.”

Antisemitism is a problem “present in all of our societies and states, so we all have a responsibility to act, to really speak out when we see such forms of discrimination,” Gras added. “Much has been done, but I think there is still much more to do.”

Jewish groups ‘extremely disturbed’ and say Biden ‘blew it’ on policy to counter anti-Semitism
Rather than solely using the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which is favored by numerous mainstream Jewish organizations, the White House strategy calls several definitions of anti-Semitism “valuable.”

The Biden administration cites an alarming rise in hate crimes that disproportionately impact American Jews as part of the reason for creating the national plan to combat anti-Semitism.

“The most prominent is the non-legally binding ‘working definition’ of antisemitism adopted in 2016 by the 31-member states of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which the United States has embraced,” the White House strategy acknowledges.

The document continues, “In addition, the Administration welcomes and appreciates the Nexus Document and notes other such efforts.”

The Zionist Organization of America argued in a statement Thursday that “the Nexus Document states that opposition to Zionism – i.e., the right of the Jewish people to self-determination and to live as a nation-state in their religious and ancestral homeland – is not necessarily antisemitic.

“The Nexus Document fails to appreciate that for many if not most Jews, their connection to their religious and ancestral homeland is an essential part of their Jewish identity.”

The White House documents don’t have a clear definition of anti-Semitism, according to some Jewish groups.

Liora Rez, executive director of watchdog group StopAntisemitism, argues that the Biden administration’s acceptance of numerous definitions “flies in the face of the plan’s assertion that ‘If we cannot name, identify, and admit a problem, we cannot begin to solve it.’”

In a statement, Rez adds that she is “extremely disturbed by several key aspects of the White House’s antisemitism strategy” and says the Biden plan “falls short.”

“Against the advice of major antisemitism advocacy organizations, the plan does not use the IHRA definition to delineate what counts as antisemitism, instead relegating it to a brief paragraph that also includes the inferior, competing Nexus definition,” Rez writes.

The White House calls the strategy a “whole-of-society plan that both meets this moment of escalating hatred and lays the foundation for reducing antisemitism over time.”

“Not using IHRA as a foundational guide creates a gaping hole; while the plan acknowledges that Jews have been targeted because of their connection to Israel, it fails to name anti-Zionism as a primary form of antisemitism,” she argues.

Similarly, Republican Jewish Coalition CEO Matt Brooks said in a statement that “Joe Biden had a chance to take a strong stand against antisemitism and he blew it.”

“The IHRA definition of antisemitism is the definition endorsed by every mainstream Jewish organization. Biden’s own Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism has urged other countries to ‘embrace’ it as an ‘integral’ tool against the rising tide of Jew-hatred. The IHRA definition is indispensable because it recognizes that criticism of Israel is antisemitic when it delegitimizes, demonizes, or applies double standards to Israel,” Brooks adds.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean and director of global social action at the Simon Wiesenthal Center – a Jewish global human rights organization – applauded the White House’s efforts on Thursday, but in his praises he emphasized the importance of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism.

The Biden administration wants to improve safety and security for Jewish communities, reverse the normalization of antisemitism, counter antisemitic discrimination and build “cross-community” solidarity and collective action to counter hate.

“Central to this fight is the adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism by all agencies, internet companies, universities and cultural institutions across our country. For without a single definition, accountability for anti-Semitic acts and hate crimes would be made that much more difficult,” Rabbi Cooper said in a statement.

He adds that “we must also remember that a significant portion of the anti-Semitic hate generated against the Jewish people specifically targets genocidal and murderous rhetoric and acts against the democratic Jewish state of Israel which today is home to the largest Jewish community in the world.”

Rabbi Cooper notes in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon that “the fight against anti-Semitism cannot be a multiple-choice question.”

White House Caves to Anti-Israel Pressure on Anti-Semitism Rollout
The Biden administration in its long-awaited report on combating Jew hatred is making a concession to anti-Israel activists by embracing a watered-down definition of anti-Semitism that says it's OK to hold the Jewish state to higher standards than other countries.

The Thursday announcement is a significant blow to mainstream Jewish groups, which had lobbied the White House to exclusively endorse the stronger International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism. While the White House says the United States "has embraced" the IHRA definition, it also praises the conflicting "Nexus" definition, which states that it is not anti-Semitic to denounce Israel's creation or treat the Jewish state more harshly than other countries.

Anti-Israel groups such as J Street and Americans for Peace Now had pushed the White House to mention multiple definitions of anti-Semitism in the report to avoid giving legitimacy to the IHRA standard, which prominent Biden administration officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, have endorsed. The Biden administration's report states there are "several definitions of anti-Semitism, which serve as valuable tools to raise awareness and increase understanding of anti-Semitism."

"The most prominent is the non-legally binding 'working definition' of anti-Semitism adopted in 2016 by the 31-member states of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which the United States has embraced," says the report. "In addition, the administration welcomes and appreciates the Nexus Document and notes other such efforts."

Advocates for the IHRA have argued that supporting the "Nexus" statement would undermine efforts to fight anti-Semitism and coalesce global leaders around a strong definition. Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), said earlier this month that the IHRA definition "is THE indispensable tool for defining anti-Semitism. … No other definitions work."

But the Democratic-leaning ADL and Greenblatt appeared to fall in line with the White House's Thursday decision to include Nexus, writing on Twitter that they "applaud the [Biden] administration, and we are excited to continue to collaborate in the execution of this plan."

Likud bill targeting NGOs’ foreign funding set to be shelved amid uproar — report
A contentious bill that would significantly limit Israeli civil society groups’ ability to accept donations from foreign governments will reportedly be shelved, at least temporarily, following sharp criticism from key Israeli allies including the US, Germany and France.

Citing a “diplomatic source,” several Hebrew-language media outlets reported Saturday that the proposed law would not be brought up Sunday before the Knesset’s high-level Ministerial Committee for Legislation, as first reported on Wednesday.

The bill, drafted by Likud MK Ariel Kallner, will be “reexamined in light of the concerns expressed by a few countries,” said the source cited by Walla.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is personally involved in Israel’s response to the objections lodged with the Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry, a senior diplomatic official told Channel 13 on Thursday.

The bill states that any nonprofit group that engages in public advocacy two years before or after receiving a donation from a foreign government will lose its status as a public institution and will no longer be eligible for tax exemptions. In addition, those non-profits will be hit with a 65 percent income tax.

The bill would likely cripple the ability of human rights organizations to operate in Israel and the West Bank, as many of them rely on funding from foreign governments.

It is viewed as targeting left-wing groups that are considered adversaries by Netanyahu’s right-wing government.

Human rights organizations — such as B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence and the New Israel Fund — have long been targeted by the Israeli right wing for their exposure of alleged Israeli human rights abuses against Palestinians.

Right-wing lawmakers have often cited foreign funds for such groups to delegitimize them as the ostensible face of foreign meddling in Israel’s internal affairs.
Amnesty Board Member Shares Support for War Crimes, Terrorism, and Erasing Israel
An Amnesty International USA board member shared content on social media indicating support for deadly terrorist attacks, war crimes, and the elimination of Israel.

Rasha Abdel Latif, a director at Partners Global, joined the Amnesty USA board last year.

Amnesty International purports to be a human rights organization, and Partners Global, an NGO supported by the US government, claims to pursue “peacebuilding.” But in recent years, Latif has written or shared posts on Twitter dignifying the murder of Jewish-Israeli civilians, praising Palestinian rocket attacks that violate international law, misrepresenting those laws of war, celebrating the escape convicted terrorists and murders, insisting Israel doesn’t exist, and arguing Israel will be expelled from the Middle East because the land “doesn’t fit two identities.”

Both Latif and Parterns Global announced her appointment to the Amnesty International USA board on April 11, 2022. Only four days earlier, on the day a Palestinian terrorist opened fire on civilians in Tel Aviv, Latif retweeted a post honoring that attack.

Alongside the hashtag #Tel_Aviv_Operation, the post described the terror attack, which killed three Israeli civilians, as a declaration that the land belongs to Palestinians and Israel has no choice but to leave.

That the attack was in Tel Aviv suggests the view that all of Israel is regarded as Palestinian land. Other posts written and shared by Latif are more explicit. In February 2022, Latif retweeted a cartoon showing the land encompassing all of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip flicking away a Star of David. The accompanying Arabic text reads: “This land does not fit two identities. It’s either us — or us.”

Terrorist with a Knife Neutralized Near Synagogue in West Bank Settlement
A terrorist with a knife was neutralized by Israeli forces on Friday near a synagogue as he infiltrated the West Bank settlement of Teneh Omarim, near Mount Hebron.

“An alert has been activated regarding a terrorist infiltration into Teneh Omarim. The terrorist attempted to stab a civilian and was neutralized,” an IDF spokesperson said in a statement, adding that Israeli soldiers are scanning the area.

The terrorist was reportedly in critical condition. He was apprehended at the entrance of the settlement’s synagogue, where Shavuot holiday prayers were underway.

Footage posted on social media showed the gate to the Jewish house of worship, which used to be guarded by soldiers up until six months ago. However, they were removed despite protests from local residents and the gate is now being watched only by cameras. The synagogue is located quite far from the gate, which means the terrorist walked a few minutes around the settlement, including a playground full of kids, without being noticed. It is clear that he knew where he was heading as he didn’t attempt any attacks before reaching the synagogue.

Mahmoud Abbas scores symbolic victories at UN, Arab League
Why was the Arab League summit a success for Mahmoud Abbas?
For Abbas, the Arab summit was a success for three reasons.

First, the Arab leaders reaffirmed “the centrality of the Palestinian issue as one of the key factors of stability in the region.”

Second, they endorsed Abbas’s fierce criticism of Israel by stating that the Arab countries condemn in the strongest terms the practices and violations targeting Palestinians in their lives, property and existence.”

Third, the Arab heads of state, including the host, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, reiterated their commitment to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which states that the Arabs will establish normal relations with Israel only after a “full withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967” and the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state.

These statements from the Arab leaders are of significant importance to Abbas and the Palestinian leadership, mainly because they demonstrate – at least in their opinion – that the Arab countries have not turned their back on the Palestinians. True, most Arab countries do not provide financial aid to the Palestinians, but even paying lip service is something that the Ramallah-based leadership has come to appreciate.

What is more significant for Abbas is the pledge by the Arab leaders to adhere to the Arab Peace Initiative. For Abbas and the Palestinians, this is an indication that Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries do not intend to join the Abraham Accords and normalize their ties with Israel. The pledge came amid increased talk in Jerusalem and Washington about efforts to persuade bin Salman to make peace with Israel.

The Palestinians have not hidden their fear that Saudi Arabia will sign a peace treaty with Israel, a move that could put them on a collision course with the influential kingdom. In meetings with bin Salman and other Saudi officials, Abbas and some Palestinian representatives are reported to have voiced concern that a peace deal between the Saudis and Israel would be seen as a “reward” to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and a big achievement for the US administration.

Nonetheless, some officials in Ramallah say they are still worried that the Saudis will surprise everyone by striking a deal with Israel, just as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain did three years ago.

“We have no assurances it won’t happen,” said one official. “It seems there are many things happening behind the scenes. It would be a disaster for the Palestinians if we lose Saudi Arabia.”

To some, the events at the UN and the Arab summit in Jeddah may seem of little consequence. But to Abbas and other Palestinians, symbolic victories are vital. They impart a degree of relevance to Abbas at a time when many Palestinians view him and his leadership as rather less than relevant. Moreover, such high-profile events focusing on the Palestinian issue offer some solace to decision-makers in Ramallah, who fear that they will be left alone to confront the far-right coalition in Israel.

Nasrallah warns IDF intel chief: We are the ones threatening war
Amid recent security tensions in the north, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah spoke on Thursday night for the "Day of Resistance," where he marked 23 years since the IDF left Lebanon, and responded to statements made by the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate Aharon Haliva.

"You are not the ones threatening war, it is us who do so," Nasrallah emphasized. "And any such war will include all of Israel's borders." He further said that "any wrong action in Palestine, Syria or Iran could lead to a major war."

He further said that "after the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 and the withdrawal from Gaza, the concept of 'Greater Israel' no longer exists. Today, it hides behind walls of fire and is unable to impose its terms in any negotiations with the Palestinians. American hegemony no longer exists in the world, and the mentality in the Arab world has shifted, and this is what worries Israel."

The Hezbollah official stated that any war including all of Israel's borders will have "hundreds of thousands of fighters participating in the campaign" and claimed that "the Israeli front is facing an ideological retreat, it is weak.

"We have hope to liberate Palestine, to pray in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to get rid of the occupying entity," he added.

He later referred to the normalization processes between Israel and Arab and Muslim countries in the region. "The Israeli enemy succeeded in normalizing its relations with some Arab states, but it failed to normalize relations with its own people. The occupying Israel realized that the Arab regimes are unable to do this, so they impose normalization on their people.

"Although Iran supports the Palestinians, they are the decision-makers and they are the ones who operate within the resistance. One of the most important transformations that have taken place is the deterrent power of the resistance forces. The Israelis failed to strengthen their own deterrent power, and realized that they will pay the price for every crime they commit," he added.
Lebanese Hezbollah Making Preparations to Target US Troops in Syria
Lebanese Hezbollah’s “Golan Unit” is conducting military exercises in preparation to attack American troops operating in Syria, two U.S. intelligence officials confirmed to FDD’s Long War Journal. The training involved tanks and unspecified weapons at a base in Dumeir City, 45 kilometers northeast of Damascus.

The report, originally published by Al-Hadath, highlighted the increasing danger Iran-backed proxies pose to American forces operating in Syria.

The “Golan Unit” is headed by Musa Ali Daqduq, a US-sanctioned Hezbollah military commander who was a significant figure in forming Iran-backed Shia terror organizations responsible for the murder of American soldiers in Iraq.

According to Treasury: “In approximately 2005, Iran asked Hezbollah to form a group to train Iraqis to fight Coalition Forces in Iraq. In response, Hassan Nasrallah established a covert Hezbollah unit to train and advise Iraqi militants in Jaish al Mahdi (JAM) [or Mahdi Army] and JAM Special Groups, now known as Asaib Ahl al Haq [League of the Righteous],” a Mahdi Army faction which is a U.S. listed Foreign Terrorist Organization. The group has emerged as one of the most powerful Shia terror organizations in Iraq today.

Daqduq also helped establish other Iraqi Shia terror groups such as the Hezbollah Brigades, also a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, and the Sheibani Network, which was listed by the U.S. government as a threat to Iraqi security in 2008.

In 2007, Daqduq was captured by the U.S. military. After 11 months, he was transferred to Iraqi custody and released in Nov. 2012 after being acquitted of terrorism charges. Following his release in 2012, the U.S. added Daqduq to its list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists. Daqduq soon returned to Lebanon and was placed in charge of training Hezbollah’s special forces.
Iran's Nuclear Program: Does the Biden Administration Have a Policy?
Since 2021, the Biden Administration has been cozying up to Iran in a way that has often seemed agonizingly embarrassing to entice it back to the disastrous 2015 "JCPOA" nuclear deal of the Obama Administration. Mercifully those efforts did not succeed: the new deal would still most likely have enabled Iran, after a few years, legitimately to have all the nuclear weapons it liked.

Meanwhile, in Israel, on May 22, US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides was asked, "Can Israel attack Iran without the US? What about the lack of meetings between President Biden and PM Netanyahu?" Nides answered: "The coordination between Israel and US vis-à-vis our mutual enemies, our common threats in the region, is rock solid. One of the things President Biden assured both PM Bennett and Lapid, and Netanyahu, was that there would be complete transparency regarding coordination on Iran.... And it's not just Iran, it's its proxies. We stand here to support Israel and work with it to make sure Iran never attains a nuclear weapon."

The trouble is, can we believe him?

So far, the Biden Administration's lack of strategy towards the Iranian regime also became evident during the recent briefing about Iran that disappointed U.S. Senators.

"Strategic ambiguity on Iran policy only serves to embolden the regime and push our partners closer to China." — Senator Jim Risch, May 17, 2023.

The Biden administration is also not putting any pressure on the European Union to stop trading with Iran. In fact, bragged the Tehran Times, "The value of Iran's export to the European Union (EU)'s member states rose 28 percent in the first nine months of 2022."

Iran's increasing trade with and exports to the EU are also increasing the regime's revenues and assisting it to supply more weapons to Russia.

"The source claimed that two Russian-flagged cargo ships, departed an Iranian port in January bound for Russia via the Caspian Sea, carrying approximately 100 million bullets and around 300,000 shells. Ammunition for rocket launchers, mortars and machine guns was allegedly included in the shipments. The source said Moscow paid for the ammunition in cash." – Sky News, March 8, 2023.

Finally, Iran is now producing more oil and selling it at levels close to the pre-sanctions era to countries such as China, which desperately needs more oil, while the Biden Administration suspended new oil and gas leases on public lands and waters.

The Biden Administration's policies of appeasement are directly energizing the Iranian regime. We need to remember what Winston Churchill warned against about appeasing aggressors: "Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last."
Seth Frantzman: Why are Iran’s missiles a growing threat?
Iran’s missiles are often in the spotlight and there is a lot of knowledge about them. The Center for Strategic and International Studies based in Washington has a report on Iran’s program that lists most of Iran’s major missiles. Their list includes the medium-range ballistic missiles Emad, Ghadr-1 (Shabab 3 variants), Khorramshahr, Sejjil and Shahab 3 as well as short-range ballistic missiles Zolfaghar, TOndar-69, Shahab-2, Shahab-1, Qiam-1, Fateh-110 and Fateh-313. Satellite launch vehicles include the Safir and Simorgh. A Ghadr 1 class Shahab 3 long range missile is prepared for launch during a test from an unknown location in central Iran (credit: REUTERS)A Ghadr 1 class Shahab 3 long range missile is prepared for launch during a test from an unknown location in central Iran (credit: REUTERS)

To understand the ranges here, the Khorramshahr, which is the class of missile Iran recently tested, may have a range beyond 2,000 k.m. while the Shahab-3 variants Emad and Ghadr both have ranges between 1,700 and 1,950 k.m.. Shahab 3 itself has a range of around 1,300 k.m.. Similarly to Khorramshahr, the Sejjil may have a range of 2,000 k.m.. Iran also makes the Soumar cruise missile which it claims can reach up to 3,000 k.m.. In addition, the SLVs are measured in how high they can place a satellite and most have a range up to 500 k.m.. Many of the missiles that have the longest range are still considered in development, such as the Simorgh, Emad, Ghadr and Khorramshahr.

The missiles can also be divided into different types of fuels used in their propulsion. For instance, the Shahab missiles, Emad, Ghadr, KhorramShahr and Qiam are all liquid fueled. The Sejjil, Fateh, Dezful, Raad, Zulfiqar, and Tondar are solid fueled. There is no range distinction on these fuels, both solid and liquid are used for short- and medium-range missiles. Solid fueled missiles may have advantages in terms of speed of deployment, so that Iran could use its missiles quickly even if under some kind of attack.

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies put out an extensive look at Iran’s missiles in February 2023. It notes that since 2015, when Iran agreed to the Iran Deal, it has launched some 228 ballistic missiles.

“Iran, despite limitations on their missile testing laid down in the Iranian nuclear deal, has continued to test ballistic missile technology. The deal prohibits Iran from testing any missile designed to carry a nuclear warhead for a period of eight years but not from testing other missiles. Iran has pushed this framework on multiple occasions, most recently on June 18th, 2017, when Iran tested the Khorramshahr missile. The specifications of the missile are unknown, and therefore it is as yet unclear if the test violated this agreement,” the article notes.

An article at the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance further argues that “Iran’s missile strikes against targets in Syria and Iraq (June 18, 2017, and September 08, 2018, respectively) suggest a pattern to Iran’s missile attacks. In both strikes, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was sent over the target area to conduct a battle damage assessment, one liquid-fueled ballistic missile and around six solid-propellant ballistic missiles. Current conflicts in the Middle East have served as proving grounds for new missiles and practice for Iranian missile forces.”

Iran’s missile are thus a multi-layered threat. First of all, Iran continues to develop its missile program through a variety of efforts, including via the IRGC and the Iranian space program. Second, Iran continues to export the missiles to countries in the region, usually to allied proxies and militias, such as the Houthis, Hezbollah, militias in Iraq and Syria and also via transferring information to Palestinian terror groups.

Iran also seeks to build more complex missiles, either using different types of fuel or investing in cruise missiles, maneuvering munitions and also greater precision. Iran also seeks to use missiles and drones in concert in its attacks. Clearly Iran’s attempt to develop a missile that has a long range and which could include a nuclear warhead is the height of the missile threat. If Iran has a missile capable of carrying that kind of warhead, then Iran’s attempt at weaponizing its nuclear program would be even more dangerous for the world.
Seth Frantzman: Iran to expand anti-submarine warfare with torpedo-launching drones
Iranian media highlighted its use of drones in anti-submarine warfare over the weekend.

The article at Fars News didn’t elaborate a lot on Iran’s new capabilities but did say that Iran’s navy commander Shahram Irani has discussed the use of anti-submarine drones for operations. Iran claims it can use these drones out to a distance of 1,000 kilometers.

Iran says it uses a weapon known as the Mark 46 torpedo which can be mounted on a drone. The drone can carry several types of torpedo, the article claims. It is not clear if it can carry more than one at a time. “In addition to the anti-submarine torpedo, the anti-submarine drone can also carry an anti-ship torpedo,” the report said.

The Iranian Karrar drone has been seen with what looks like a Mark 46 torpedo in previous imagery seen back in April. The HESA Karrar drone has been manufactured by the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company since 2010. HESA is itself based on a factory that existed prior to the Iranian revolution that was built by the US company Textron to build Bell helicopters in Iran before the revolution.

Iran apparently based its Karrar drone on the US Beechcraft Streaker target drone. Iran’s claims to use the Mark 46 torpedo is also an attempt to develop an anti-submarine torpedo based on the US Mark 46.

Exclusive - US And Iran Can Reach A Deal 'Soon' On Release Of Frozen Funds
Talks between Iran and the US on the release of Tehran's frozen assets could result in a deal soon, a source with direct knowledge of the talks told Iran International.

Apparently, the talks that have made progress focused on Iranian funds held in Iraq and South Korea. The money in Iraqi banks could be as much as $10 billion or more by most recent estimates mentioned by Iranian officials. Iraq imports natural gas and electricity from Iran but is barred by US sanctions to make dollar transfers to Tehran.

South Korea holds $7 billion, which it owes for importing Iranian oil prior to full US sanctions imposed in May 2019.

The implementation of the deal, however, will take time, the source told Iran International.

Iran is expected to show more flexibility on issues related to its nuclear program in exchange for the release of its funds in Iraq, and free hostages with dual nationality in exchange for its assets in South Korea. Currently there are three dual nationals with American citizenship and two individuals with US permanent residency held by Iran on trumped-up charges of espionage.

The three citizens are Siamak Namazi, Emad Sharghi and Morad Tahbaz, while Jamshid Sharmahd and Shahab Dalili are US permanent residents.

Iran International had received unconfirmed information earlier this year that a deal had been worked out by the State Department to secure the release of the American prisoners in exchange for the $7 billion held by Seoul, but that the White House had not given its green light.

It is not clear if release of hostages pertains only to US nationals or also to other Western prisoners held by Iran. On Friday, however, Iran and Belgium exchanged two prisoners - an Iranian diplomat and intelligence agent Asadollah Assadi held in Belgium on a terrorism conviction and a Belgian aid worker Olivier Vandecasteele.
Belgian Aid Worker, Iranian Diplomat Freed in Prisoner Swap
A Belgian aid worker jailed in Iran accused of spying and an Iranian diplomat imprisoned in Belgium in connection with a failed bomb plot were freed on Friday in a swap mediated by Oman.

Aid worker Olivier Vandecasteele, 42, was arrested on a visit to Iran in February 2022 and sentenced in January to 40 years in prison and 74 lashes on charges including spying. The Belgian government said on Friday they had reason to believe that Iran had been planning to increase his sentence.

Iranian diplomat Asadollah Assadi was convicted in Belgium in 2021 in connection with a foiled bomb plot in France and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Both countries rejected the charges against their citizens as fabricated.

“As I speak, Belgium’s Olivier Vandecasteele is on his way to Belgium. If all goes to plan, he’ll be with us this evening. Free at last,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Friday.

An official with the Belgian government said that Vandecasteele’s condition was “relatively okay for someone who has been isolated for that long”.

Iranian state TV reported that Assadi had arrived back in Tehran and showed him sitting with officials including government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian described Assadi in a Twitter post as “our country’s innocent diplomat who was illegally arrested against international law”.

Press TV, Iran’s Hateful State-Funded Propaganda Mouthpiece, Attacks HonestReporting Canada
As the propaganda arm of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Press TV has a long history of promoting Holocaust denial, giving platforms to neo-Nazis, and perpetuating a radical anti-Israel and anti-western agenda.

In mid-May, Nakba (Arabic for ‘catastrophe’) Day was held in a number of cities across Canada and around the world. The day, coinciding with Israel’s independence, is meant to delegitimize Israel and deny its right to exist.

Unsurprisingly, Press TV, made sure to give fawning coverage of the anti-Israel rally, but what was indeed surprising was that on May 16, Press TV’s Latin America correspondent, Camila Escalante, was in Ontario where she broadcast a report on the Nakba Day rally held in downtown Toronto. Surprising because the Canadian government recently sanctioned Press TV due to its complicity with Iran’s gross and systematic human rights violations and its grave and ongoing breaches of international peace and security, an effort which rendered individuals tied to the Iranian regime inadmissible to Canada.

In response to this revelation, HonestReporting Canada’s (HRC) official Twitter account with nearly 18,000 followers, exposed how a Press TV “reporter” was operating on Canadian soil, much to the chagrin of the Iranian regime.

HonestReporting Canada has previously exposed the noxious impact of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s state-funded media apparatus, namely Press TV. The outlet is a key resource / weapon used by Tehran to spread its propaganda and disinformation around the world, including anti-Israel messaging and incitement.

Soon after we raised the alarm bell about Press TV’s reporting from Toronto, Press TV published an online article claiming the “Israel lobby intensifies smear campaign against Press TV for Palestine coverage.”

In the post, Press TV accused HonestReporting Canada of carrying out an unfounded smear campaign against the Islamic Republic’s “news” outlet claiming we are fearful of the Tehran-based outlet’s allegedly cutting-edge news reporting.
At Least Three Killed in Clash on Iran-Afghan Border
Two Iranian border guards and one Taliban fighter were killed after shooting broke out near a border post between Iran and Afghanistan, a Taliban spokesman and Iran‘s state media said on Saturday.

It was not immediately clear what had provoked the incident, in which several people were also injured, but it came amid tensions between the two countries over water rights.

Iran has accused Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers of violating a 1973 treaty by restricting the flow of water from the Helmand river to Iran‘s parched eastern regions, an accusation denied by the Taliban.

“Today, in Nimroz province, Iranian border forces fired toward Afghanistan, which was met with a counter-reaction,” spokesman for the Taliban-run interior ministry, Abdul Nafi Takor, said in a statement.

“The situation is under control now. The Islamic Emirate does not want to fight with its neighbors,” the spokesman said, without identifying the victims.

He said one person had been killed on each side and several injured, though Iran‘s official IRNA news agency later said two Iranian border guards had been killed and two Iranian civilians injured.

Following the clash, Iranian authorities closed the Milak – Zaranj border post, a major commercial crossing – and not the site of the clash – until further notice, IRNA said.

Iran‘s deputy police chief, Qasem Rezaei, said earlier: “Without observing international laws and good neighborliness, Taliban forces started shooting at the Sasoli checkpoint … drawing a decisive response,” IRNA reported.

NYC’s public law school releases video of ‘antisemitic’ commencement speech
New York City’s public law school on Thursday released a video of a commencement ceremony held earlier this month, including a speech the city college system’s Jewish allies decried as discriminatory.

The speaker accused Israel of “indiscriminate” murder, encouraging “lynch mobs” and lauded resistance to “Zionism around the world.”

The City University of New York (CUNY) Law School had hidden the video after coming under criticism for the ceremony.

The speech marked the second consecutive year that the law school’s commencement speaker dedicated much of their address to anti-Israel rhetoric, and comes amid a years-long running battle over alleged widespread antisemitism in the city college system.

Much of the dispute centers around when anti-Zionism crosses into antisemitism, and is part of a larger debate on US college campuses and in progressive circles.

The CUNY system has 25 colleges around New York’s five boroughs, with around 260,000 students and close to 20,000 faculty. It has long been part of the city’s social fabric.

The CUNY Law School is one of the system’s better-known institutions, and is a bastion of progressive and activist politics. The student body and faculty have both come out in support of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

The law school’s commencement ceremony on May 12 featured anti-Israel activist Fatima Mohammed as its keynote speaker. The school’s commencement speaker is elected by the student body.

In her speech, Mohammad repeatedly lashed Israel, linking the Jewish state to white supremacy, oppression, colonialism and violence.

“This is the law school that passed and endorsed BDS on a student and faculty level, recognizing that absent a critical imperialism settler colonialism lens, our work and the school’s mission statement is void of value as Israel continues to indiscriminately rain bullets and bombs on worshipers, murdering the old, the young, attacking the funerals and graveyards as it encourages lynch mobs,” she said.

“We are the student body and faculty that fought back when the investor-focused administration attempted to cross the BDS picket line, saying loud and clear that Palestine can no longer be the exception to our pursuit of justice, that our morality will not be purchased by investors,” she said.

Emily Schrader: Australian schools facing pandemic of institutionalized antisemitism
Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), spoke to Ynetnews about the case, since the families involved are not permitted to comment. “I was obviously horrified and appalled by what was happening,” Abramovich says.

He explains that children have experienced numerous incidents of horrific antisemitism that the larger Jewish community worldwide simply isn’t hearing about. For example, at Hawthorn West Primary School in Victoria, a 5-year-old Jewish student was called “Jewish vermin” because he was circumcised. When the bullying was brought to the attention of administrators, “the suggestion from the school was that he use the staff bathroom (which he did) only to have the staff tell him he isn’t permitted, and so he went back to the regular bathroom.” Abramovich says.

The culture of indifference at the administrative level is one of the most alarming concerns for Australian Jewish students and their families. “There are principals and teachers who are in complete denial about the scale of the problem. When told of the ordeals Jewish pupils are experiencing, they are either deliberately indifferent to their plight, or they accept, excuse or choose not to act on complaints,” explains Abramovich.

In some cases, victims of antisemitic bullying in Melbourne primary schools – who requested not to be named for their own security – were told flat out by administrators they were lying.

The inability of administrators to see the problem of antisemitism is a byproduct of institutionalized antisemitism, according to experts. “School leadership is not sympathetic to the Jewish parents … and intolerance is spreading like wildfire,” says Abramovich.

Under Abramovich, the ADC is working overtime to push back against institutionalized antisemitism, but it’s an uphill battle. The historic lawsuit against Brighton Secondary College is a major step toward exposing and rooting out antisemitism, but the Australian educational system needs to acknowledge that the problem exists before it can deal with it.

“I think they need to accept the truth that antisemitism in primary schools in Brighton [and throughout Australia] is a crisis. There are weekly reports of Jewish students being bullied and I am deeply concerned we are running out of time,” says Abramovich, who added that “antisemitism is at its most dangerous when it is not spoken about, soft-pedaled, whitewashed and justified.”

‘I will endeavor to be more thoughtful in the future,’ Musk says post-Soros tweet
Business magnate and now Twitter CEO Elon Musk, whom many left-leaning Jewish organizations have accused of antisemitism for his criticism of the Hungarian-born Jewish Holocaust survivor George Soros, responded last week to an interview with Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

In the CNBC interview, Greenblatt said Musk is not an antisemite. “There’s no question about that,” he said. “But it’s unmistakable that he is arguably the most influential man on the planet, controlling what’s essentially our public square.”

Still, said Greenblatt, it has an impact “when he repeats conspiracy theories, when he amplifies ideas like George Soros, who’s a polarizing figure, who supports policies that I don’t agree with … when you say he’s a supervillain trying to destroy humanity that feeds the extremists who want to kill supervillains and who think that George Soros embodies this idea of the Jewish conspiracy.”

Musk wrote in reply: “In fairness, I must concede that Jonathan has a good point, and I will endeavor to be more thoughtful in the future.”

Shavuot in Israel - India International
This may be the cheesiest holiday you’ve ever heard of! Shavuot is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. It is often associated with dairy products, like cheese.

Why? Let us explain.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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