Friday, June 09, 2023

06/09 Links Pt1: Bombshell UN report attacks Israel’s 'supporters' worldwide; Hamas-Affiliated Network in Europe Fails to Gaslight Swedes; Kosovo adopts IHRA antisemitism definition

From Ian:

Anne Bayefsky: Bombshell UN report attacks Israel’s 'supporters' worldwide
The report specifically names Palestinian (and Israeli) victims of alleged Israeli crimes, but doesn’t name a single Israeli victim of a Palestinian crime. The report couldn’t locate a single Palestinian terrorist or terrorist organization. There are only Israelis guilty of wrongly “labeling them as ‘terrorists.’” The only children who count in the report are Palestinian children allegedly harmed by Israelis targeting and arresting their parents – not the acts of their parents in the first place. Not Palestinian children used as human shields and child soldiers. Not Palestinian victims of rocketattacks that miss their Jewish targets. Not Palestinian minors actively engaged in terrorism themselves.

The report says nothing at all about Israeli children
The report finds no Palestinian antisemitism, only alleged Jewish stooges of the Israeli government who have wrongly “reframed antisemitism.” Here were three inquisitors, none of whom is Jewish or a victim of antisemitism, announcing from their UN perch that they know better about what counts as antisemitism than Jewish victims of antisemitism.The report describes boycotts of Israel (BDS) – deeply discriminatory campaigns aimed at the political and economic ruin of the Jewish state – as “legitimate protest.” The inquisitors complain that Israel is engaged in “lawfare,” in a report that culminates with a call to the International Criminal Court to commence an anti-Israel blitzkrieg. The report accuses Israel of a “strategy of delegitimizing and silencing civil society.” Official delegitimizing strategies like promoting antisemitism, Palestinian Authority payments to terrorists and their families, and the Hamas Charter exhorting genocide, were never raised. Nor was the ultimate Palestinian silencing strategy pursued for the last 75 years – murdering Jews.

The inquisitors claim that Palestinians face “a clear attempt to erase their identity, culture and history” after recounting that “history” as the catastrophic creation of a Jewish state by way of the criminal act of “ethnic cleansing.”Actual history – namely, three thousand years of attempted erasure of the Jewish people’s connection to their ancestral homeland, the erasure of Jewish populations from Arab lands, and the ongoing erasure of Jews for attempting to fulfill Jewish self-determination in the land of Israel – is never mentioned.

The inquisitors attack critics as engaging in a “well-organized smear campaign,” while engaging in a well-organized smear campaign to slander individuals and organizations who don’t dutifully “criticize Israeli policy” or “support Palestinian rights.” By which they mean anyone who challenges the “Palestinian narrative” – laced with falsehoods and lethal incitement. The report accuses Israel of seeking “permanent occupation.” Except that Israeldemonstrably left Sinai and Gaza, and permanent non-negotiation is a Palestinian trademark. Deceitfully, this inquisition styles itself a purveyor of “legitimate criticism of Israelipolicies and actions.”

In reality, “Pillay’s pogrom” is one of the most antisemitic and dangerous assaults on the homeland of the Jewish people in UN history.
The UN inquisition to vilify Israel
The third installment of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) appointed Inquisition to vilify Israel and the Jews is out, and it is safe to say that even Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels himself would be proud of the product. Using selective evidence, selected witnesses, manipulative techniques, sleight of hand, invented methodology, and standards, all mixed with a huge dollop of bias and classic antisemitism, Navi Pillay and her co-conspirators have produced another travesty of fact, justice, and morality. Considering the nature, scope, modus operandi, inherent bias, and the identity of its members, the “Commission of Inquiry” is more akin to a Middle Ages Inquisition to persecute Jews, than a legitimate UN human rights endeavor.

In May 2021, the UNHRC, well known for its pathological hatred of Israel, appointed yet another “Commission of Inquiry” to investigate Israel. While UN commissions of this nature are not new, this one was unique in the breadth of its scope, the enormity of its budget, and the absence of any end date.

While cloaking their report in the halo of “human rights”, Pillay’s Inquisition has already decided that the Jews and Israel are guilty, and having already fired the proverbial arrow, are now simply engaged in drawing the target around the guilt of the Jews.

In its newest “report”, which pays special attention to the alleged “shrinking space for civil society in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem and in Israel,” Pillay’s Inquisition weaves a not-so-careful web of deception.

In the Inquisition’s alternate reality, Palestinians are paragons of virtue who bear no ill feeling or ill intent towards Israel, Israelis, or Jews. No Palestinian terrorist organizations exist, no Palestinian terrorists exist, and no Palestinians have ever raised their hands against innocent victims. The Palestinian leadership does not incite terror on a daily basis, and even the Palestinian Authority’s nefarious ‘Pay-for-Slay’ terror reward policy does not exist.
US Left aims to sabotage Saudi-Israeli peace for Palestinian statehood
The New York Times columnist Tom Friedman and others on the hard Left are seeking to scuttle normalization between Riyadh and Jerusalem. They will not tolerate any breakthrough in ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel during the tenure of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and certainly not until they get their long-groused-about Palestinian state.

In a nasty 6,000-word essay this week, Friedman compared the forward-looking bent of Saudi Arabia under its young leader Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, with the backwardness of Israel under the nationalist-haredi coalition headed by Netanyahu.

Friedman called upon the Biden administration to play hardball with Israel and “only invite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the Oval Office if he will answer two questions: One, are you occupying the West Bank and committed to resolving its permanent status through negotiations with the Palestinians, or do you see Israel’s current control of the Palestinians as the permanent status, never to be changed? We need to know once and for all.”

“And two, are you committed to ensuring that any major changes to Israel’s court system will be implemented with broad public support to ensure political stability, because the US has a huge interest in its most important military ally in the region not descending into civil war over judicial reform?”

Friedman barked that “For the last 75 years Israel has been a trusted and vital strategic partner of the United States, but that was always based on shared interests and shared values. If those values aren’t shared any longer, we need to know that. We need to get behind those Israelis who want to preserve Israel as a democracy – and keep locking the White House gates to anyone who doesn’t.”

Picking up on the radical rhetoric of parts of the Israeli opposition, Friedman is thrilled to insinuate that Israel is no longer a democracy that shares America’s values. In fact, reading between the lines of his previous columns you can feel Friedman’s elation at Israel’s supposed moral fall. You can sense the relief he feels from the need to support Israel any longer.
Hamas-Affiliated Network in Europe Fails to Gaslight Swedes - Opinion
On May 27th, the annual European Palestinians Conference (EPC) took place in Malmo, Sweden, the sole aim of which was to unjustly demonize the State of Israel. Attendance, however, was less than the EPC anticipated, after news spread about the conference’s links to the EU-designated Hamas terrorist organization, causing several Swedish parliamentarians to quickly withdraw their attendance, rightfully hesitant to tarnish their reputations by sharing a stage with terror-linked individuals.

After years of casually spreading Hamas-laden propaganda throughout Europe, perhaps finally, the danger that EPC poses will be taken seriously. But in order for that to happen, the truth about the EPC must be exposed.

The most troubling aspect of the EPC is that its President, Amin Abou Rashed, is a former member of the Al-Aqsa Foundation Netherlands, a Hamas network led by the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader Yusuf Qardawi before his death. The foundation was designated by the US Department of Treasury as part of a coalition of organizations fundraising on behalf of Hamas. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that Abou Rashed has been repeatedly photographed embracing Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh at Hamas events.

For this and other reasons, Israel’s Defense Ministry designated Abou Rashed as a terrorist in 2013. The Ministry also designated EPC Secretary General, Dr. Mazen Kahel, as a terrorist due to his Hamas affiliation.

The EPC’s issues also extend to the groups that comprise it. Since its first annual conference in 2003, the EPC has repeatedly been organized by the UK-based Palestine Return Centre (PRC), a staunch advocate of the so-called Palestinian “right of return,” which would effectively lead to the dissolution of Israel as a Jewish state. Zaher Birawi, the former head of the Centre, was designated by Israel as a terrorist for his involvement with Hamas, as was its former general director, Majed Khalil Musa Al Zeer. In 2010, PRC was outlawed by Israel for acting as an organizational and coordinating arm of Hamas in Europe.

Congressional bill to renew US-Israel development program, expand Abraham Accords
Reps. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) introduced legislation on June 7 to extend and increase U.S.-Israeli international development cooperation.

H.R.3907, the United States-Israel International Development Cooperation Act of 2023, reauthorizes and expands a program that has enabled the United States and Israel—through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Israeli Agency for International Development and Cooperation (MASHAV), respectively—to engage in sustainability projects in developing countries.

In 2019, USAID and MASHAV signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on global development cooperation. This bill fulfills that MoU and enables the two nations to continue that work, but the program must be reauthorized.

The new bill seeks to expand the program so that additional countries, specifically those tied to the Abraham Accords, can join the projects.

The bill also seeks to strengthen Israel’s relationship with the existing Abraham Accords signers, Frankle told JNS.

“It’s a very common-sense principle. The more people work together and get to know each other, the better the opportunity to like each other and to help each other, especially economically,” she said. “This kind of legislation, and these efforts, not only help developing countries with some issues, but it fosters goodwill.”

Through the program, Israel can highlight its export of life-saving technologies—in health care, agriculture and energy and water storage—as the Jewish state faces a barrage of criticism, Frankel told JNS.

Rubin Report: Why Israel's Relationship to the US Is So Vital with David M. Friedman
Dave Rubin of “The Rubin Report” talks to former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman about the significance of various holy sites such as the Dome of the Rock, the Temple Mount, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; the real story behind Donald Trump’s plan to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem; how the Abraham Accords were achieved; and much more.

0:00 Intro
1:31 Israel and Jewish History
6:09 Behind Being Israel's U.S. Ambassador
13:51 What Can We Learn from Israel?

What is the current state of the international political economy? Is US foreign policy damaging international politics? We are more aware than ever of international news stories and the effect of our foreign affairs, but do we truly understand the perspectives of our global neighbors?

Kosovo adopts IHRA antisemitism definition
Kosovo's parliament has endorsed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, making it one of the few Muslim-majority countries to adopt the definition.

The decision was announced on Twitter by the country's Charge d'Affairs to Israel, Ines Demiri.

Israel's ambassador to Kosovo Tammy Ziv thanked the parliament for the decision. "I want to thank the 79 MPs of all ruling and opposition parties in the Assembly of the Republic of Kosova [sic] who today unanimously voted and adopted the IHRA's working definition of antisemitism. We remain committed to bringing our two countries and people closer," Ziv responded to Demiri's Twitter statement.

Israel's relations with Kosovo have been growing for some years now. Israel and Kosovo cemented their relations with a series of bilateral agreements in May 2022. when then Foreign Minister Yair Lapid met with his Kosovar counterpart, Donica Gervalla-Schwarz, who visited Jerusalem for the first time.

Israel-Kosovo relations are prospering
They discussed bilateral ties, aid, and the war in Ukraine and signed agreements in the areas of culture, education, science, and film co-production. The Kosovar foreign minister also signed a Holocaust education agreement with Yad Vashem chairman Dani Dayan.

JPost Editorial: Ukraine needs Israel's help after dam disaster - editorial
In light of the dam collapse, it is crucial that we continue to demonstrate solidarity with the civilians in Ukraine. However, Israel must also remain cautious in navigating this conflict to ensure its own interests are not compromised. Antagonizing Russia, for instance, could have ramifications due to Russia’s presence in Syria and other geopolitical considerations.

Nevertheless, Israel shares historical ties with Ukraine, as many of the founding members of modern Israel hailed from Ukrainian regions like Odesa. The ongoing conflict poses a threat to Jewish communities in Ukraine, resulting in significant displacement since the initial crisis in the Donbas region in 2014.

The recent flooding serves as a stark reminder of the importance of resolving this conflict and placing civilians at the forefront. While the question of whether Israel will export defense-related items to Ukraine remains a sensitive matter that must be deliberated at the highest levels, we can always extend our support through humanitarian aid and assistance with defensive efforts such as the early warning system. Israel’s advanced radar and other potential technologies can prove invaluable in this regard.

Numerous small start-ups in Israel have been instrumental in the development of applications and other life-saving tools on the domestic front. Leveraging our expertise in search and rescue operations and satellite technology, we can provide meaningful support to Ukraine in the aftermath of the flooding.

Demonstrating how Israel can contribute at this critical juncture will test our resolve and enhance our experience in providing various forms of assistance, including humanitarian aid. While our country has historically focused primarily on allocating resources locally due to the threats we face, the recent diplomatic trips by our foreign minister to the Philippines and South Korea underscore our expanding global ties. As an economic and trade powerhouse, we possess the capacity to address a wide range of issues, including green technologies, climate change and environmental disasters. We should leverage that capacity to help our friends in their times of need.
Jonathan Tobin: Why can’t we talk about Ukrainian antisemitism?
While Zelenskyy’s election as Ukraine’s president is not unreasonably considered proof that the country’s attitude towards Jews is changing, his willingness to lie about the Holocaust was also evidence that rejection of its history of antisemitism is not considered good politics there. So, if Ukrainian soldiers often wear symbols associated with the Nazis and antisemitism, then it can hardly be considered a surprise.

Yet Jewish organizations aren’t interested in speaking out about this even though they are quick to allege that over-the-top criticism of Zelenskyy by Tucker Carlson employed antisemitic memes. Whether or not that is true, Zelenskyy is hardly the paragon of democracy he is made out to be. Ukraine remains a deeply corrupt country, and dissent against its government is punished—something that was made clear by Zelenskyy’s ban on the Ukrainian Orthodox church because of its historic ties to Moscow.

As the Times article acknowledged, those Western journalists who have been allowed to visit the front have asked soldiers to take the Nazi symbols off before they took their pictures, thus ensuring that Western audiences would be kept clueless about it.

This is a familiar pattern with respect to coverage of a war in which everything bad that happens—including, for example, the destruction of a Russian oil pipeline—is immediately declared to be the fault of the Russians, even though that turned out to be the work of Ukrainians. If the identity of those responsible for recently breaking a dam that helped supply water to Russian-held areas and led to much suffering comes to light, it may turn out to be a similar story.

Mindless isolationism and/or antisemitism, if not support for Putin, is freely imputed to those who are skeptical about the need for Americans to commit to indefinite backing of the Ukrainians rather than to work to end the war as soon as possible. But the proof that Jew-hatred has remained a factor in Ukrainian culture is considered something that may not be mentioned, let alone protested.

Speaking about this doesn’t justify Putin’s actions. Nor does it erase Russian antisemitism. It’s possible to be honest about the Ukrainians and their Nazi problem without validating Putin’s bogus claim that the goal of his invasion was to “de-Nazify” Ukraine. Still, denying the truth about Ukrainian antisemitism doesn’t help defend the cause of freedom. On the contrary, the willingness of so many to cover up for Zelenskyy and his forces undermines the fight against Jew-hatred. It’s time for those who claim to defend Jewish interests to say so.
Knesset speaker backs Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara
Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana on Thursday expressed support for Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.

Ohana spoke on a day he became the first-ever leader of Israel’s parliament to pay an official visit to the legislature of a Muslim country.

There, he presented the head of the parliament in Rabat with the smallest Koran in the world, printed with Israeli nanotechnology.

“Israel should move toward that goal of recognizing the Moroccan Sahara just as our closest ally the United States did. … I supported and pushed toward that goal,” Ohana said during a news conference in Rabat.

“Serious discussions” between the countries over the issue are underway and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “will be announcing his decisions in the near future,” he added.

The groundbreaking trip comes weeks before the foreign ministers of Israel and the four Arab countries that made peace with the Jewish state under the 2020 U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords are due to convene in Morocco.

The son of Moroccan Jewish immigrants to Israel, Ohana is a member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party.

Israeli Minister Accosted in Boston, Anarchist Ends Up in the ER
Israel’s Minister of Economy and former Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Thursday was accosted by a protester who broke through the line of the minister’s security personnel. Barkat was on his way to a meeting with the leaders of the Jewish community in Boston.

Barkat’s security eventually restrained the man who consequently require hospital treatment.

Barkat said in response: “Political murder is a matter of time in the State of Israel. Under the auspices of the protest, some shed the blood of elected officials. We are on a slippery and dangerous slope. I thank the security guards of the Personal Security Unit who repelled the attacker and prevented me from being harmed. Violence is an erosion of the foundation of democracy.”

Ami Dror, a hi-tech entrepreneur and an Aspen Institute moderator, posted a video of the event, boasting: “Barkat, we will chase you everywhere! Even in Boston.” Obviously, this includes Boston’s emergency rooms, where the attacking anarchist ended up.

Barkat’s office issued a statement Thursday, saying an Israeli citizen tried to physically attack the minister in a demonstration that was held during his official visit to Boston. The announcement stated: “Several protesters tried to physically reach Minister Barkat and tried to repel the security guards of the Personal Security Unit. Thanks to the minister’s security guards, physical harm to an Israeli government minister was avoided. The Israeli consulate’s security officer filed a police complaint against the attacker – who was arrested.”

The attacker also issued a statement, saying: “I, Yaniv Bejerano, am speaking here from the hospital in Boston after Nir Barkat’s security guards pushed me with great force and broke my femur and I will have to undergo surgery soon. All we tried to do was shout ‘shame’ at Barkat and his security guards reacted with crazy violence. Our protest in Boston – we have always maintained a non-violent line and we are shocked by the violence used by his security guards. We will continue this protest in a non-violent manner, this is our way, this is the way of the protest and we will continue it.”

WATCH: Students sing, wave PLO flags on Hebrew University campus
The Hebrew University came under fire this week due to a pro-Palestinian event held on campus that featured singing and waving flags of the PLO terror organization.

The event was organized by the university's Arab students in honor of the end of the academic year. Some even took pictures with the flag, also associated with incitement against Israel, on stage.

Right-wing organizations Im Tirzu and Lach Yerushalayim criticized the establishment, saying in a joint statement, "It's shameful and disgraceful that the Hebrew University allows for such an event to be held on university premises, where the flags of the PLO terror organization are featured. How can coexistence be promoted when such an event is allowed to be held? Instead of promoting coexistence, the Hebrew University promotes a separatist and nationalist narrative through such events. Shame."

The Hebrew University explained in a statement that the event was organized by an independent student cell.

There are "30 student cells that are active at the university and represent the entire political and social spectrum. They maintain independent activity throughout the year and do not receive a budget or any support from the university, and their activity is protected by freedom of speech."
Activists Push ‘No Pride In Apartheid’ Boycott Against Israel, Ignoring Gaza Anti-Gay Laws
The U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) announced a “No Pride In Apartheid” campaign that targets Israel, accusing the Jewish state of “presenting a false image as a queer safe haven” and seemingly ignoring Gaza’s anti-LGBTQ laws.

The campaign’s website included a media toolkit with resources that participants can share online, and it encourages companies and organizations to boycott, divest and sanction (BDS) from Israel to protest the country’s alleged human rights abuses against Palestinians. Cat Knarr, USCPR communications director, accused Israel of “pinkwashing,” which is when a company or country identifies as a supporter of the LGBTQ community but doesn’t truly help the community unless it is beneficial for the brand, and condemned the Jewish state for it’s LGBTQ policies — despite the Gaza Strip having laws on the books prohibiting homosexuality. (RELATED: Biden Admin Probes University After Students Were Allegedly Kicked Out Of Sexual Assault Victims’ Support Group For Their Pro-Israel Views)

“As a queer Palestinian and Colombian person, I’ve watched in rage as right-wing politicians have attacked our rights as LGBTQIA+ people, banning trans-affirming medical care, fomenting queerphobic rhetoric, and actively endangering my queer and trans loved ones,” Knarr wrote. “Meanwhile, I’ve seen Zionists spew racist hate against us, wishing violent harm on queer Palestinians. The Israeli apartheid state surveils, blackmails, and harasses our queer Palestinian people. All while presenting a false image as a queer safe haven to cover up its violent colonialism—a practice known as pinkwashing.”

Knarr announced the campaign for Pride month as a way for Palestinian activists to engage in “bold resistance” against “Israeli apartheid and the U.S. police” that put trangender people and minorities at risk, according to the website.

PM vows to 'stop chain of murders' after 5 gunned down in apparent gang feud
Five people were killed in a shooting Thursday in an Arab town in northern Israel, police said, the latest in a wave of criminal violence tearing through the country's Palestinian communities.

A gunman arrived at a car wash in the town of Yafia, near the city of Nazareth, and opened fire. Police said they believed the shooting was connected to a dispute between organized crime families.

Shortly afterward, a shooting in a nearby Arab town left a 30-year-old man and 3-year-old girl seriously wounded, police said. The circumstances of that shooting and the identities of the two wounded were not immediately known.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir promised to crack down on crime in Israel's Arab sector when he took office late last year. But the violence has only worsened, with nearly 100 people killed this year.

In a statement at the crime scene, Ben-Gvir said years of neglect had turned Israel's Arab sector into the "wild west." He also blamed a manpower shortage in the national police force and vowing to halt the crime wave, called for the establishment of a controversial "national guard" that he has proposed.
The Israel Guys: Five Palestinians Murdered in Northern Israel - Something the Media Never Talks About
In a terrible shooting in Northern Israel 5 Arabs were murdered by an Arab gang. Today Ben disccusses something that is largely ignored by the media and pro-Palestinian activists.

Rare incident on Lebanese border as soldier points RPG at IDF tank
An unusual incident took place Friday between the IDF and the Lebanese army near the Sheba Farms on the Israel-Lebanon border, during which a Lebanese soldier was instructed to aim a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) at an IDF tank and jeep.

According to the IDF, the incident began when Lebanese civilians deliberately interfered with the army's work on the Israeli side of the border fence and were dispersed with anti-riot tactics, including teargas.

The area has long been contested. When Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000, Hezbollah falsly claimed that this area was Lebanese, although it was captured by Israel from Syria in the Six-Day War, and therefore its future will ultimately be determined as part of the negotiations over the Golan Heights.

"A disturbance developed a short time ago in the Mount Dov (Sheba Farms) area on the Lebanese border, during which rioters tried to destroy the barrier and threw stones at the IDF force that was operating there. The forces responded with measures to disperse the protests," the IDF spokesperson said in a statement.

The civilians crossed barbed wire fencing placed by Israeli forces and tried to remove it, according to Lebanese reports. The Lebanese army were deployed to intervene.

The Lebanese media reported on Thursday that a local farmer threw stones at the IDF forces doing routine work at the border fence.
IDF soldier lightly injured in attempted car theft near Ramallah
An IDF soldier was lightly injured after a Palestinian who had stolen a car attempted to steal his weapon at the Rantis checkpoint near Ramallah in the West Bank, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit reported early on Friday morning.

The terrorist was shot after he attempted to steal the soldier's weapon. The incident is being investigated.

Retired Egyptian General: Egyptian Gunman Who Killed 3 Israeli Soldiers in Border Incident Is a Hero
Egyptian strategic expert Major-General (Ret.) Samir Farag said in a June 5, 2023 show on Sada Al-Balad TV (Egypt) that the recent shooting on the border between Israel and Egypt in which an Egyptian policeman shot and killed three Israeli soldiers was as tragic for Israel as the day that Prime Minister Golda Meir “announced Israel’s defeat” during the Yom Kippur War. He said that Egypt’s soldiers are the best soldiers in the world and that one Egyptian man has proven that Israel’s military is “worthless.”

BBC Jerusalem bureau politicisation of a tragic incident
Interestingly, Knell’s background on the history of the area does not include any mention of previous terror attacks in or near Halamish.

Knell uses the BBC’s now standard unhelpful presentation of Palestinian fatalities which fails to adequately clarify that the overwhelming majority of those killed were members of terrorist organisations or males engaged in acts of terror or violence at the time.

“Since the start of the year, some 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. The figures include militants as well as civilians.”

She goes on to promote redundant linkage between Palestinians killed during counter-terrorism operations and Israelis murdered in terror attacks:
“In addition, 23 people on the Israeli side have been killed – including two foreigners and a Palestinian worker – in violence related to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. One of those killed was a member of the Israeli security forces.

On both sides, there are children among the dead. Mohammed Tamimi was the youngest Palestinian to have been killed in the West Bank.”

Notably, the youngest Israeli children murdered in Palestinian terror attacks this year were not even named in BBC coverage, let alone pictured.

Knell ends her report with another well-worn BBC mantra:
“Some 700,000 settlers currently live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Settlements are considered illegal under international law although Israel disputes that.”

The politicised background promoted in Knell’s report distracts readers from the actual topic of a tragic incident in which a child and his father were caught up in crossfire following a Palestinian shooting attack.

Palestinians renew call to boycott Jerusalem elections
The controversy surrounding the participation of Arab residents of Jerusalem in the municipal elections, scheduled to take place later this year, has resurfaced, with Palestinian activists renewing the call to boycott the vote.

The majority of the Arab residents have boycotted the municipal elections since 1968, claiming that participation would be interpreted as recognition of Israel’s annexation of east Jerusalem. Only a few thousand voters, mostly municipal employees and Arab Israelis living in the city, have cast their ballots in previous elections.

In recent years, however, a number of Arabs from east Jerusalem defied the boycott by presenting their candidacy for the elections, citing the need to improve services and infrastructure in the Arab neighborhoods and villages of the city.

Citizenship status and rights granted
The vast majority of the Arabs in east Jerusalem hold Israeli-issued blue ID cards due to their status as permanent residents of the entire city that Israel deems to be Israeli territory. This status grants them the same rights as Israeli citizens, but with one exception: voting in the Knesset elections. As such, the Arab residents of the city are entitled to vote and run in the municipal elections, but most have preferred to heed calls from Palestinian factions and political activists to boycott the electoral process.

Earlier this week, a group named The National Popular Conference of Jerusalem, issued a new call for boycotting elections in the city. The group, dominated by members of the Palestinian ruling faction headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, warned that a vote by Arab residents in the upcoming elections would be considered a “clear breach of the national consensus.”

Similar calls were issued by a number of Palestinian factions and officials in the past few weeks.

The group described the Jerusalem Municipality as “the primary arm of the occupation to carry out settler and Judaization projects in the city” and imposing severe restrictions on the Arab residents to force them to leave.”

Israel, Jordan, Saudi join US bombers in show of force to Iran
Combat aircraft from Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia flew alongside US B1 bombers over the Middle East on Thursday in the Pentagon’s latest display of force directed at Iran.

Aircraft from five Middle Eastern militaries linked up with a pair of US Air Force B1-B Lancers as they transited the Persian Gulf region after having been launched from the UK, US military officials said.

The demonstration culminated with the American bombers dropping live munitions at training ranges in Saudi Arabia and Jordan before flying back to base in Spain. The B-1Bs dropped "multiple" air-launched AGM-158A JASSM cruise missiles and 550-pound GBU-38 bombs on “multiple simulated targets” during the mission, a defense official told Al-Monitor.

The Pentagon is withholding the identity of two Middle Eastern countries that took part in the exercise at their request, officials said.

Why it matters: The bomber task force mission came a day after Washington's top diplomat Antony Blinken met with foreign ministers from Gulf Cooperation Council countries in Saudi Arabia amid a broader push by the Biden administration to convince Arab militaries to take a more stand-up role to deterring Iran.

The US has periodically sent strategic bombers over the Middle East in recent years in a bid to dissuade attacks by Iran and networks of militias it supports, which US officials say continue to seek to expel American forces from the region.

Arab and Israeli pilots have flown alongside the US bomber task forces since additional Arab governments – so far the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco – began establishing formal ties with Israel in 2021.

Dropping various live munitions on simulated targets in multiple countries marked a new step in those efforts, the deputy commander of US Air Force units in the Middle East, Maj. Gen. Mark Slocum, told Al-Monitor.

"These missions demonstrate the credibility of our forces to address a global security environment that is more diverse and uncertain than at any other time in our history," Slocum said.

"The timing of this is meant to demonstrate we as a team can deliver overwhelming combat power at a moment’s notice," the general added.

The dramatic display came as Blinken visited Saudi Arabia amid Washington's push to convince Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to normalize ties with Israel.
PodCast: Haykel: Saudi enrichment demands ‘secondary’ to ‘regime security and survival’
Secretary of State Tony Blinken visited Saudi Arabia this week, where he stressed the Biden administration’s commitment to facilitating positive relations between the Gulf nation and Israel. On this week’s episode of Jewish Insider’s podcast, co-hosts Rich Goldberg and Jarrod Bernstein are joined by Bernard Haykel, professor of Near East studies and director of the Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia at Princeton University, and venture capitalist and JI wine columnist Yitz Applbaum, co-founder and partner at MizMaa Ventures, who has 30 years of experience in entrepreneurship, venture capital and philanthropy across the Middle East and the United States, for a discussion of the arc of U.S.-Saudi relations and the prospects of normalization between Riyadh and Jerusalem.

Rich Goldberg: Do we start with the premise that many people have in Washington that the U.S.-Saudi relationship today is in trouble? And what does it mean if that’s true?

Bernard Haykel: So the relationship has had ups and downs but, yes, I mean, if you’d asked me this question in October of last year, I would say it’s in dire trouble, because the Saudis didn’t want to have any official communication between their administration and the Biden administration…I think it’s gotten a little bit better now, largely, because it seems to me that the Biden administration has sort of matured a bit about the nature of certainly global politics when it comes to energy, the importance of Saudi Arabia for the stability and the core interests of the United States in the region, so I think…clearly now the U.S. is trying to backtrack and to make good. Whether enough will happen, I’m not sure, because, as you know, in the U.S., the Congress also has a say over arms sales, for example, and other matters, so it’s not entirely in [President Joe] Biden’s hands. And the Saudis would prefer to have a superb relationship with the United States, and we’re kind of pushing them away towards China and other countries, including the Europeans, by the way, and this will have effects where, if we really make it difficult, they will start buying more weapons from the British and the French, and not just the Chinese.
Iran arrangement would not obligate Israel, Netanyahu tells Blinken
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke about Iran "at length" on Thursday.

Netanyahu "reiterated his consistent position that returning to the nuclear agreement with Iran would not stop the Iranian nuclear program and that no arrangement with Iran will obligate Israel, which will do everything to defend itself," according to a readout from the prime minister's office.

The leader also expressed appreciation for the US-Israeli military and intelligence cooperation, "which is at an all-time peak," and for recent "sincere talks" between the two countries.

Netanyahu "suggested advancing Israeli-American cooperation on artificial intelligence," and the two discussed "the challenges and opportunities in the region," per the readout.

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller later stated that the two leaders "discussed areas of mutual interest, including expanding and deepening Israel's integration into the Middle East through normalization with countries in the region."

Blinken "discussed the need to uphold the commitments made at regional meetings in Aqaba and Sharm el-Sheikh to avoid measures that undermine the prospects for a two-state solution," Miller added. "He also discussed broader regional challenges, such as the threat posed by Iran, and underscored the United States' ironclad commitment to Israel's security and our 75-year-old partnership."
Universities, do explain how your drone research with Iran is morally acceptable
Leading this week’s JC is an investigation by myself and my colleague Felix Pope into projects that involve UK-based and Iranian academics working together on technology that has obvious military uses, such as next-generation engines for drones, military jet control systems, alloys used for armour and highly sophisticated, eavesdropper-proof communications systems.

The British universities we name include Cambridge, Glasgow, Cranfield and Liverpool, and some of the partnerships we reveal have been with Iranian universities that have been on the UK sanctions list for more than a decade because of their role in Iran’s nuclear weapons programme.

I’m married to an academic, so I know from close quarters just how closely research proposals are scrutinised by university authorities, from both legal and ethical perspective. Perhaps further official investigation will conclude that there’s nothing wrong in collaborating with Iranians on technology that could, for example, make the Iranian attack drones now being used to deadly effect against Ukraine by Putin’s Russia even more dangerous.

Yet in this case – where the UK partner was Imperial College – the research was actually supported by the Iranian science ministry and Iran’s Islamic Bank, and I struggle to understand quite how such a project could have been granted approval.

But we live in morally ambiguous times, as the ongoing saga of the tour by the former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters illustrates.

Raymond Ibrahim: Taqiyya: Iran Actually Boasts About Deceiving the West in Nuclear Talks
Iran's Supreme Guide, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei "used the Islamic concept of 'Taqiyya' to describe the regime's decision to accept the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal with the West. Taqiyya means the permissibility to deny or conceal one's real beliefs to secure a worthy goal." —, May 20, 2023.

"Khamenei's emphasis on "expediency" as the third principle in foreign policy was particularly notable, as he urged flexibility "in necessary instances" and circumventing "tough barriers" to continue a set course." —, May 20, 2023

If it was not clear what "heroic flexibility" meant then, it probably should be clear by now. Reports consistently document that Iran has been cheating since day one.

"[Khamenei] said that when a revolution hits a tough rock on its path, it need not break its head against it; the wisest course would be to try and go around it." — Amir Taheri, "Iran: Heroic Flexibility Returns," June 4, 2023.

"[A]l- Taqiyya is with the tongue only, (not the heart)." — Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti in his book, "al-Durr al-Manthoor Fi al-Tafsir al- Ma'athoor," quoting Ibn Abbas.

Taqiyya is actually all around us. Iran pretends that its nuclear program is just for peaceful purposes. Some Muslims pretend to convert to Christianity (past and present), or a Muslim gunman gains entrance into a church by feigning interest in Christian prayers.

It should not be surprising, therefore, that Khamenei is relying on taqiyya once again. What is surprising is that the Biden Administration is falling for it – after being told it would be used – and allowing itself to be sucker-punched, or pretending to allow it.

In 1994, PLO leader Yasser Arafat, after he signed the Oslo Accord with Israel, justified his actions by saying, "I see this agreement as being no more than the agreement signed between our Prophet Muhammad and the Quraysh in Mecca"— referring to a truce, the Treaty of Hudaibiyah, which Muhammad broke as soon as he had regained power and was able to attack.

Similarly, Khamenei, by referring to taqiyya in Iran's agreement to a nuclear deal with the West, is signaling that Iran is only going along for "expediency" — until it finds itself in a position to realize its nuclear aspirations and renege.

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