Thursday, June 15, 2023

From Ian:

JPost Editorial: Israel's record exports can benefit the world in a time marked by instability
Israel now plays a pivotal role in aiding the defense of European countries. In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many nations have become acutely aware of their vulnerability. Finland has already procured Israel’s David’s Sling system, and Germany is moving forward with acquiring the Arrow-3 system – both developed in collaboration with the United States.

This demonstrates the substantial returns on investment gained from the partnership with Washington. Both countries now benefit immensely from the foreign aid provided by the US to Israel: Israeli companies actively collaborate with the US, working together on research and development and expediting the procurement of key systems that save lives in both nations.

Simultaneously, Israel is making significant progress in the Abraham Accords countries. The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco have emerged as vital partners, accounting for a quarter of Israel’s defense exports. Furthermore, there is a growing recognition in Washington regarding the importance of the accords. Congressional members Ritchie Torres and Mike Lawler have supported legislation to establish a Special Envoy in the State Department, tasked with strengthening and expanding the Abraham Accords.

Israel’s defense ties and exports serve as a critical component of its strategic relationships, not only with Gulf states but also with countries like India and Azerbaijan. Our growing relationship with Germany is also bolstered by unique trade opportunities. Israel has recently acquired new Sa’ar 6-class corvette warships from Germany, essential for protecting its Exclusive Economic Zone and the German air force bought electronic warfare systems from Elbit this week, enhancing the partnership.

The Defense Ministry notes that geopolitical changes occurring in Europe and Asia, alongside the Abraham Accords, have generated significant demand for the Jewish state’s cutting-edge systems. We now understand that the years Israel endured an acute necessity for the systems it developed will now benefit the world during a period marked by instability and global transformation.
Israel plans first-ever sale of flagship Merkava tank to European country
Israel is in talks to sell its Merkava tank to two countries, one of them in Europe, in what would be the first export of the flagship fighting vehicle, a Defense Ministry official said on Thursday.

Introduced after Israel's armored corps suffered heavy losses against Egypt and Syria in a 1973 war, and with a view to reducing reliance on foreign arms supplies, the Merkava - biblical Hebrew for "chariot" - is now in its fourth generation.

Israel exporting surplus systems it had not previously sold abroad
Yair Kulas, head of the Defense Ministry export coordination department SIBAT, said record demand for Israeli products was due in part to countries wanting to replenish their arsenals after providing Ukraine with weapons for its war with Russia.

As a result, he told Calcalist newspaper, Israel was exporting surplus systems it had not previously sold abroad, including earlier-generation Merkavas.

"There are two prospective countries with which we are in advanced negotiations (on a tank sale)," Kulas said. "I am barred from naming them, but one is on the European continent."

Israel has provided Ukraine with humanitarian and diplomatic assistance but not arms, mindful of the need to keep open channels with Moscow given Russia's clout in next-door Syria.
Seth Frantzman: US deploys its F-22 Raptors to Middle East amid Russia tensions
US Central Command deployed its advanced F-22 Raptors to the Middle East, according to a statement released on Wednesday. The F-22 is among the most advanced air superiority fighter jets in the world, but the US has generally not had advanced adversaries to use it against over the last decades.

Recently, F-22s were used to shoot down several flying objects and a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of the US in February. This was the aircraft's first “kill” against a foreign object.

“US Air Force F-22 Raptors deployed to US Central Command's area of responsibility as part of a multifaceted show of US support and capability in the wake of increasingly unsafe and unprofessional behavior by Russian aircraft in the region,” US Central Command said. The statement referenced tensions with Russia.

CENTCOM commander says Russian forces' behavior 'unsafe, unprofessional'
"Russian forces' unsafe and unprofessional behavior is not what we expect from a professional air force. Their regular violation of agreed-upon airspace deconfliction measures increases the risk of escalation or miscalculation," said Gen. Michael Kurilla, commander of US Central Command.

"Alongside our partners and allies, we are committed to improving the security and stability in the region." The F-22s flew from Langley and America says they are here to demonstrate “the US' ability to re-posture forces and deliver overwhelming power at a moment's notice.”

The statement noted that “the F-22's combination of stealth, aerodynamic performance, and mission systems make it the best fifth-generation fighter in the world.”

How Israel Lost the Syrian Civil War
Apart from the Syrian people themselves, Israel comes out of the 12 years of civil war in Syria as the biggest loser. The survival of the Assad regime, closely allied with Iran, amounts to nothing short of an Israeli strategic failure.

Assad’s survival turns Iran into Israel’s next-door neighbor, exercising growing influence on the rebuilding of Syria’s armed forces. It allows for land corridors through Iraq and (via direct flights from Iran) an air bridge that equip Lebanese Hizbullah’s heavy missiles with precision guidance kits, making them far more accurate. It enables Shi’ite militias sponsored by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to mount large-scale campaigns to smuggle weapons (and drugs) into Jordan intended to supply Palestinian groups in the West Bank.

In brief, the threat to Israel is increasing and the military challenges faced by the Israel Defense Forces are becoming more complex.

Syria is rarely part of the political debate in Israel nor did it receive much attention during the five parliamentary elections over the past four years. Israel’s security and intelligence establishments believe that the hundreds of air raids against the IRGC in Syria since 2016 have succeeded in foiling the Iranian plan to establish offensive capabilities on Syrian territory. A former Israeli prime minister went so far as to express in private his “hope” that Teheran would send more military into Syria where the IDF enjoys both air and intelligence superiority, thus enabling the IDF to inflict more pain on them.

Israel’s short-term tactical calculations ignore the longer-term risks. Iran is determined to accept substantial losses in order to persist in its primary objective: deploying long and medium-range missiles in Syria, complete with air defense systems. So far, Iran has shied away from sending significant numbers of its own troops to Syria, preferring instead to send teams of IRGC ”advisors” to command mostly Shiite militiamen and local recruits. In the future, under a new Supreme Leader and following modernization of its air force, Teheran may be prepared to raise the stakes.
Israel Worries U.S. Weapons for Ukraine Are Ending Up in Iran's Hands
Israel is concerned that weapons provided by the U.S. and other Western nations to Ukraine will end up in the hands of Israel's foes in the Middle East, including Iran.

A high-ranking IDF commander told Newsweek that the diversion of weapons, such as the Javelin shoulder-fired anti-tank missile system, was being monitored.

Israel was concerned that Iran "can research capabilities, and then learn how to manufacture them."

"The other problem is that we are very worried that some of these capabilities are going to fall into Hizbullah and Hamas' hands....We see the signs [of diversion], and this is very, very troubling."

The Israeli commander noted that some of the U.S. small arms seized in Afghanistan have already been observed in the hands of Palestinian groups operating in Gaza.
Israeli rights group urges public broadcaster to stop referring to ‘West Bank’
Shai Glick, CEO of the B’Tslamo rights group, wrote a letter on Wednesday to the Kan Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation urging it to have its journalists stop using the term “West Bank” for Judea and Samaria.

In the letter to Kan CEO Golan Yochpaz, Glick noted that the official term in Israel for the territories captured in the Six-Day War is Judea and Samaria.

“It is incorrect that the state corporation uses the foreign term ‘West Bank,’ which is left over from the Jordanian occupation before 1967,” wrote Glick.

“West Bank” originated as a shortened version of “The West Bank of the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan”

He previously raised the issue with the company, which contended that journalists employ the term “West Bank” when Palestinian issues are being discussed, whereas Judea and Samaria are used when addressing Israeli matters.

“But, in fact, even in regard to Israeli topics, such as terror attacks on Israelis, they [Kan] use the term ‘West Bank,'” Glick wrote in his letter.

“The term ‘West Bank’ damages public diplomacy since it connects the region to the Jordanian kingdom and does not reflect the ancient connection of the Jewish people with Judea and Samaria,” he added.

The Caroline Glick Show: David Friedman: Not meeting with Netanyahu is 'despicable'
This week, Caroline Glick had on Former U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman to weigh in on crucial questions regarding current US Middle East policies and the relationship between US Jews and Israel.
Is the American Jewish community enabling Biden's anti-Israel policies?
Will the new national strategy to combat antisemitism be effective?
Is the indictment of Trump a "true" application of justice and law?
What is the future of the US/Israel relationship?
As American Jews become more progressive, will they continue to support the Jewish State?

ZOA to Biden: rescind ‘horrific, frightening’ Holocaust Museum council appointments
The Zionist Organization of America and Mort Klein, its national president, are calling on the Biden administration to rescind its appointment of two individuals to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Council, which governs the museum.

The decision to name Kimberly Marteau Emerson and Alan Solomont to the council is “horrific and frightening,” given that the two lead “hostile-to-Israel non-governmental organizations,” Klein and the ZOA stated.

“Support for a Jewish homeland” is cited as one of the museum’s focuses in the 1979 report of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust, which Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel chaired. “Thus, the Holocaust Memorial Museum—which by law is mandated to carry out ‘support for the Jewish homeland’—should never have board members of anti-Israel organizations on the museum’s governing board,” Klein and ZOA stated.

Emerson is a board member of Human Rights Watch, which is “Israel-bashing and America-bashing” and is “infamous for falsely accusing Israel of ‘apartheid,’ ‘crimes against humanity,’ ‘persecuting’ and ‘systematic oppression’ and ‘inhumane acts’ against Palestinians,” Klein and the ZOA wrote.

Meanwhile, Solomont sits on the board of the “vicious, hostile-to-Israel groups” New Israel Fund and Israel Policy Forum, the latter of which “is so radical that it was the only group to testify against moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem,” per Klein and ZOA.

Coalition in chaos as opposition wins seat on judge-picking panel while Likud left out
In a chaotic and extraordinary day at the Knesset, an opposition lawmaker was elected to Israel’s judicial appointments panel Wednesday and a coalition lawmaker was not, after an unsuccessful effort by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to torpedo the parliamentary vote and delay it to a later date. Several coalition members broke ranks to back the opposition candidate in the secret ballot.

The results were an embarrassment for the prime minister, demonstrating his lack of control over his own lawmakers, though with an opposition MK now confirmed, the coalition was expected to rally behind and approve a candidate of its own in the coming days.

Despite the result, opposition leaders said Wednesday evening that the day’s events showed Netanyahu could not be trusted, and announced they would not continue ongoing negotiations over judicial reforms at the President’s Residence until the complete Judicial Selection Committee is convened.

Yesh Atid MK Karine Elharrar was elected with 58 votes in favor and 56 against, meaning at least four coalition members broke ranks to vote for her. Likud’s Tally Gotliv — who threw politics into a tailspin on Wednesday by refusing to stand down from the vote — was overwhelmingly rejected, with only 15 votes in favor and 59 against.

The opposition ran an organized campaign to recruit Likud MKs to push Elharrar’s candidacy over the line. Although the ballots were secret, MKs David Bitan and Yuli Edelstein, as well as ministers Yoav Gallant and Gila Gamliel, are among the top names thought to have tipped the scales in Elharrar’s favor.

A second, separate election will be conducted within 30 days to choose the second lawmaker, likely Otzma Yehudit MK Yitzhak Kroizer.
Israel Should Recognize Morocco's Territorial Integrity
As Israel seeks to expand the normalization process with additional countries on the African continent, it also must work to solidify and expand its existing Abraham Accords agreement with Morocco. This overriding interest brings into focus the need for Israel to act with clarity and determination in recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.

Morocco's claims to Western Sahara have deep historical roots, dating back to the 11th century, and world powers had recognized it as an integral part of the country throughout the centuries. The U.S. recognized the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco over the former Spanish colony in December 2020. The UAE, another key Abraham Accords partner, has led efforts to recognize Morocco's territorial integrity internationally, and dozens of countries have followed suit.

More than three-quarters of Western Sahara, an area larger than Great Britain, is controlled by Morocco, with the remainder under the domination of the Polisario Front. Approximately 650,000 people live in the area, two-thirds being Moroccan citizens. The remaining third are Sahrawis who identify with the Polisario.

Morocco shares a long border with Algeria, an ally of Iran, which directly threatens it militarily and through its support for Polisario separatism. Polisario headquarters are located in Algeria. Were the Polisario to achieve its goal, it would be an Algerian puppet state, contributing to strengthening an Iranian proxy.

The Iranian regime supplies the Polisario with antiaircraft missiles and drones through the services of Algeria and Hizbullah. Together with the IRGC, Hizbullah is also training Polisario fighters. The Polisario itself has provided cover for al-Qaeda and the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a terrorist group that is active in the Sahel region.

The Russia-Ukraine war has led to major disruptions in global food production. A key input, fertilizer, requires phosphorus. A full 72% of the known phosphorous deposits are found in Morocco, and 7% are in Western Sahara. Allowing moderate Morocco to be surrounded by hostile and destabilizing Iranian proxies could potentially have great impact on food security worldwide.

Rehovot man dies month after wife killed by Gaza rocket: ‘He was very sad’
Sergei Avramyan, whose wife was killed when a rocket fired from Gaza hit their home in Rehovot last month, died on Thursday at age 86.

Family members said that while Sergei was only lightly hurt in the rocket attack, his physical and mental condition deteriorated quickly in the weeks following his wife’s death.

“I think psychologically it affected him, what happened with grandma,” the couple’s grandson, Adam Torossian, told the Walla news site. “It’s difficult right now [for the family] with everything that happened, one after the other. After what happened with grandma, grandpa’s situation deteriorated. He was very sad when she was killed.”

Inga, 82, was killed in mid-May by a rocket fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad during a flareup in violence between Israel and Gaza known as Operation Shield and Arrow.

She served as a caregiver to Sergei, who had limited mobility since a car accident left him partially paralyzed and with a leg amputated. Inga was killed as she was trying to help Sergei reach shelter after the air raid siren went off.

The IDF later blamed a malfunction in its Iron Dome missile defense system for failing to intercept the rocket.

The couple immigrated to Israel from Armenia 30 years ago, and are survived by two children and five grandchildren. They had been married for more than 50 years.

Shortly after Inga was killed, her grandson Arthur said that the couple were very devoted to each other.
IDF demolishes house of terrorist who killed soldier Ido Baruch
The IDF on Thursday in the West Bank demolished the house of Osama Tawil, the terrorist who killed Staff Sgt. Ido Baruch last October, the military's spokesperson unit said.

Tawil carried out a shooting attack together with another terrorist on October 11, 2022, during which 21-year-old Baruch was killed.

Both were arrested in February.

In late March, the IDF announced that Tawil's house would be demolished.

During Thursday's operation clashes with Palestinians erupted, according to the IDF.

"During the activity, shooting was heard in the area and suspects shot at the forces, damage was caused to military vehicles.

The fighters reacted by dispersing demonstrations and shooting at armed men, injuries were detected. In addition, suspects threw explosives, shot fireworks and threw Molotov cocktails at the fighters," the military statement said, adding that there were no casualties to Israeli forces.
US seeks information from Israel after IDF ends probe into death of Palestinian-American
The United States is seeking more information from the Israeli government about the decision that soldiers will not be criminally prosecuted over the death of a Palestinian-American man, the State Department said on Wednesday.

Israel's military advocate general said on Tuesday that soldiers who left Omar As'ad outside overnight after detaining him, and who was later found dead, will not be criminally prosecuted, but will face disciplinary measures.

"Since Mr. As'ad's tragic death, we have continued to discuss this troubling incident with the Israeli government," State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters on Wednesday. "We're aware of the conclusion of the investigation, and we are at this time seeking more information from the Israeli government about it."

Israeli forces detained 78-year-old As'ad in the West Bank town of Jiljilya last January. The soldiers left him supine and unresponsive at a construction site, saying they assumed he had fallen asleep. As'ad was later found dead in the early morning with a plastic zip-tie still around one wrist.

Following an initial probe, the military dismissed two officers and reprimanded a battalion commander over As'ad's death, which it said resulted from "a moral failure and poor decision-making."

On Tuesday, the army's chief legal body said in a statement that its decision was made "following the hearings and after a thorough examination of the investigation materials, which indicated no causal link was found between the errors in the conduct of the soldiers and (As'ad's) death."

A Palestinian autopsy found that As'ad, a former Milwaukee, Wisconsin, resident who had a history of heart problems, had suffered cardiac arrest caused by stress.
PMW: PA: UN confirms PA ideology that Israel's creation was “a crime”
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel and for Palestinians the commemoration of the Nakba -the “catastrophe.” This year was special for the PA, because for the first time the UN decided to officially mark the Palestinian Nakba Day, May 15, inviting PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to speak at the UN. The PA understood the UN event as the UN’s confirmation that Israel's creation was indeed a catastrophe and “a crime.”

In response to the UN event, the PA amplified it's anti-Israel hate speech, adding this year that the UN has confirmed the PA narrative. The following are some of these fundamental components of PA hate speech:

Colonial Europe’s hatred of the Jews was justified because of their evil nature, which caused the Europeans to create Israel as a place to send the Jews

The PA disseminates the lie that Israel was created at the initiative of the European colonial powers to “get rid of the Jews” and to serve the colonialist powers as a “pawn” that would divide and help control the Arab world. As Abbas said in his May 15th UN speech: “They decided to establish and plant another entity in our historical homeland … to get rid of the Jews and enjoy having them in Palestine – two birds with one stone”:
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “Britain and the United States, specifically, bear direct political and moral responsibility for the Nakba of the Palestinian people. They are the ones who participated in making our nation a victim, when they decided to establish and plant another entity in our historical homeland, and this for their own colonialist purposes. It was called a land without a people so that it would be given to Israel. The truth is that these countries, the Western [countries], wanted to get rid of the Jews and enjoy having them in Palestine – two birds with one stone.”

[Archive News, YouTube channel, May 15, 2023]

Referring to the “Nakba”, PA Prime Minister Shtayyeh denied Israel's right to exist, also calling it a “colonialist entity”:
“The anniversary of the establishment of Israel is the anniversary of Palestine’s Nakba. This is a colonialist entity that was established by the Western states to serve their interests… Israel was built on our land belonging to us, the owners of the land, the native residents. We are the ones who gave this land its name.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 16, 2023]
Survey: PA Arabs Blame Everybody for the Nakba Except PA Arabs
The latest poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip between June 7 and 11 (Public Opinion Poll No 88), examine the 75th anniversary of the “Nakba,” and its findings indicate that the overwhelming majority of PA Arabs blame Arab or international parties, or the Zionist movement, for their “national catastrophe,” while “internal Palestinian weakness comes at the bottom of the list.”

The PSR concluded that “although this outcome was expected, the small percentage that saw Palestinian weakness as responsible for the Nakba indicates the persistence of a huge Palestinian sense of victimhood.”

That being said, “when asked about the most damaging developments since the Nakba, the largest percentage referred to internal division, the split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, while the Israeli 1967 occupation came in the second place.”

Another illuminating point: “When asked about the best thing that happened to the Palestinians since the Nakba, about two-thirds listed two: the establishment of the PLO in the 1960s and the establishment of the PA in the 1990s, while a quarter believed that the formation of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and their entry into an armed struggle in the 1980s was the best development followed by those who selected the formation of Fatah in the 1960s and its launch of armed struggle.”

Oslo accords? We don’t need no stinking Oslo accords.

Also: “About two-thirds of the respondents do not fear a repeat of the Nakba. On the contrary, two-thirds of the respondents don’t believe that Israel will celebrate its 100th anniversary, and a majority, albeit a small one, “believes that the Palestinian people will, in the future, be able to recover Palestine and return its refugees to their homes.”

Somebody, tell Peace Now, J Street, and Bernie Sanders.
PA TV: “Only Muslims have a right” to the Western Wall

Key and map of “Palestine” is ”message” to Zionists

PA TV: “Haifa, Jaffa, Safed… are our land. The Jews have no part in it,” says refugee

Palestinians Enjoy China-Funded Projects
Palestinian officials and locals in Ramallah say China-funded projects have positively facilitated daily life in the city. In 2018, the Ramallah municipality established a massive China-funded ring road to ease traffic woes. "The project, funded with over $8 million, is going to pave nine roads over 7.5 km. in length," said Odai al-Hindi, director of the projects department in Ramallah, adding, "the construction took about 14 months." "In the past, we had to spend more than 45 minutes to go to hospital if there is no traffic jam, but now we can reach there in five minutes," said Ahmed Ghabatra, a local resident.

China also funded a school for male students in Ein Mesbah in 2021. "The school was modern, as it is equipped with smart classrooms and laboratories, integrated sound systems, smart lighting systems, and energy-saving solar energy units," al-Hindi said, adding that all facilities are accessible for people with disabilities. He expressed sincere gratitude to the Chinese government and people for funding the ring road and the school.
Most Palestinians support ‘armed struggle’ against Israel - poll
The establishment of radical Islamic groups such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and their participation in the armed struggle against Israel, was the best thing that happened to the Palestinian people since 1948, a majority of Palestinians think according to a poll published on Thursday.

The poll, conducted by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), also showed that Palestinian support for the two-state solution remains as low as it was three months ago. Support for the concept of the two-state solution stands at 28% only and opposition stands at 70%. Three months ago, support for the two-state solution stood at 27%.

In addition, 52% of the Palestinians believe that the armed struggle against Israel is the most effective means to end the Israeli “occupation” and build a Palestinian state. Only 21% said they supported achieving these goals through negotiations, while 22% preferred the “popular resistance.”

The poll covered 1,270 Palestinians who were interviewed face to face and has a three percent margin of error.

When asked what has been the most positive or the best thing that has happened to the Palestinian people since the Nakba (catastrophe, the term used by Palestinians to describe the establishment of Israel in 1948), the largest percentage (24%) said that it was the establishment of Islamic movements, such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad and their participation in the “armed struggle” against Israel. The two Iranian-backed groups were founded in the 1980s.

Terrorist responsible for murder of 5 is “great,” his mother “a role model”

“By Allah, I want to die as a Martyr” – mother of dead terrorist admits: “Every day he told me that”

Hamas still holds sway in Gaza, 16 years after 'bloody coup'
Attempts by a number of Arab and Islamic countries to end the Fatah-Hamas dispute have all failed. The rival parties signed at least seven reconciliation agreements, but none of them ended the split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

There are also no signs that Hamas’s control of the Gaza Strip is nearing its end. On the contrary, Hamas appears to be in full control of the coastal enclave and does not seem to be facing any real challenge from other groups there.

PA and Fatah officials continue to refer to the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip as a “bloody coup” or “black coup.”

The officials say Hamas’s actions pose a serious threat to the Palestinians’ national aspirations and obstruct the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines. Others argue that Hamas, with the help of Iran and Qatar, has actually turned the Gaza Strip into a separate Palestinian state.

In a statement marking the anniversary of the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip, the Fatah leadership in the West Bank said the Palestinians were “determined to foil attempts to transform the coup into a political and geographical separation [between the West Bank and Gaza Strip].”

Since 2007, Hamas has been working to establish a separate Palestinian entity in the Gaza Strip to serve foreign agendas, a reference to Iran and Qatar, the statement said. Under Hamas rule, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are suffering from unemployment and poverty, it said, adding that many PA and Fatah members were killed by Hamas.

“Our people won’t forget this historical crime,” the statement said.

Wasel Abu Yousef, a member of the PLO Executive Committee and head of the minor Palestine Liberation Front group, said the Fatah-Hamas dispute plays into the hands of Israel, which does not want a Palestinian state. The divisions among the Palestinians undermine the status of the Palestinian cause, he said.

Mahmoud al-Zaq, secretary-general of the Gaza-based National Work Commission, a group formed by the PLO to tackle problems faced by the residents in the aftermath of the 2007 “coup,” told the Awdah television channel that Hamas was seeking to “liquidate” the Palestinian issue by establishing a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip.

Raef Diab, a member of the Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA), another small political party, was quoted as describing the Hamas “coup” as one of the most “abhorrent things the Palestinians were subjected to after the Nakba [Arabic for catastrophe, the word used by Palestinians to describe the establishment of Israel in 1948].”

Commenting on the 16th anniversary of the Hamas “coup,” former PA negotiator and political analyst Hassan Asfour said: “Hamas won; Palestine lost.”

PreOccupiedTerritory: Israeli Threat To ‘Bomb Lebanon Back To Stone Age’ If Attacked More Appealing To Lebanese Than Hezbollah Rule (satire)
Israel’s Minister of Defense last week that if the Iranian proxy that exerts effective control over this country of 5.6 million dares to drag its neighbor to the south into all-out armed conflict, Lebanon will face bombardment so destructive that only a semblance of modern technology and life will remain – a prospect that residents of Lebanon admitted seems better than continuing to live in a country where Iran’s imperialist policies have transformed the “Paris on the Mediterranean” of last century into a failed state, media sources reported today.

Yoav Galant made the threat last Tuesday amid rising tensions on Israel’s northern border. Egged on by Tehran, Shiite Hezbollah has made repeated attempts to provoke Israel into a larger-scale fight than the occasional drone infiltration, or similar, that has characterized the frontier since a bloody war in 2006. Israel has made extensive, but little-discussed, preparations for renewed conflict with Hezbollah, a force that poses a much more formidable foe than in the IDF’s more-or-less biannual showdowns with the militant Sunni Islamist groups that govern the Gaza Strip. Lebanese citizens voiced their hope that Hezbollah would spark just such an overwhelming IDF response as soon as possible, not because of specific antipathy for Israel – though antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment still run high in the region – but because nothing Israel does could make things in Lebanon any worse than the hell it already is.

“That’s actually a good idea,” remarked Ali Khouri of the Bekaa Valley. “Wreck it all and start all over. Maybe this time we’ll be lucky enough not to have the ayatollahs’ fists up our backsides, vetoing every possible exercise of our own sovereignty. I can’t think of a scenario in which getting bombed back to the stone age wouldn’t be an improvement over what Lebanon has already become.”
U.S. nears unofficial deal with Iran, report
The U.S. is working to reach an unwritten agreement with Iran that would ease the tensions between the two nations and reduce the risk of military conflict, the New York Times reported late on Wednesday. According to the report, Washington is seeking an unofficial and unwritten deal that Iranian officials have named a political ceasefire, by way of avoiding the need for congressional approval, which is considered unlikely with an anti-Iran sentiment prevalent there.

The signing of the agreement is imminent since both sides desire to avoid further escalation of tensions at a time when Iran has made considerable progress in its military nuclear program since former president Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018, and as Iran was supplying Russia with arms and drones, to use in their war against Ukraine. The Times report, to which Ronen Bergman, a reporter for Ynet and its sister publication Yedioth Ahronoth - contributed, included confirmation from three senior Israeli sources, an American and an Iranian official.

Talks, including in Oman, have been taking place and have resulted in an agreement of the Tehran regime to suspend uranium enrichment to above 60%. Iran also agreed to stop using its Mideast proxies to attack U.S. forces and contractors in Syria and Iraq and to increase its cooperation with the UN's nuclear watchdog IAEA. According to the Iranian official, Tehran also agreed to avoid the sale of ballistic missiles to Russia.

In exchange, Iran expects the U.S. not to increase its sanctions on the Islamic Republic, which have crippled its economy and to allow Iranian oil tankers undisturbed passage. Washington would also refrain from demanding resolutions unfavorable to Tehran, in the UN or the IAEA.

The New York Times quoted Ali Vaez, Iran project director at the International Crisis Group (ICG) an independent, non-profit, non-governmental conflict resolution group, who said the purpose of the agreement was to prevent crossing red lines by one or both nations and thereby facilitate a broader diplomatic resolution at a later date.

Iran also expects the Biden administration to unfreeze billions of dollars in Iranian assets, whose use would be limited to humanitarian purposes. In exchange, three Iranian-American prisoners, who Washington has said were wrongly detained, would be freed.

The Commentary Magazine Podcast: Why Is Biden Bribing Iran?
Hosted by Abe Greenwald, Christine Rosen, John Podhoretz & Matthew Continetti
Today’s podcast tries to make sense of the reports that the Biden administration is about to relax sanctions and provide money to Iran in exchange for which Iran will…have highly enriched uranium? What’s the point of this, and how is it even thinkable given the explicit letter of U.S. law on the subject?

Britain's 'swarming drone' research shared with Iran
Scientists at British universities are helping Iran develop “game-changing” swarming drone technology that could allow hundreds of Unmanned Arial Vehicles to be operated simultaneously using lasers, the JC can reveal.

Military experts believe the command-and-control system could enable Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) — which runs its military drone programme — to launch overwhelming suicide swarm attacks on Israel or Western allies, linking drones, aircraft, ships, missiles and underwater buoys.

Details of the work on the futuristic airborne communications networks is the latest research unearthed by a JC investigation into how Iran is exploiting links with British scientists to circumvent sanctions on technology with potential military uses.

Last week, it was revealed that at least 11 British universities were collaborating with Iranian engineers on research that has potential military applications, including developing faster, high-altitude drone engines, upgraded fighter jets and battlefield armour plating.

Senior MPs and peers expressed deep concern over the findings, with a government spokesperson saying that Britain would “not accept collaborations which compromise our national security”.

Now three newly identified advanced research projects show more UK specialists — this time based at universities in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and at King’s College, London — working with Iranian scientists on similar “dual use” technology.

Military experts described the work, which could allow the control of huge fleets of UAVs, as “highly dangerous”.

The academic papers under the spotlight — which do not overtly mention military or battlefield uses — each looked at linking numerous drones using lasers to create a sophisticated airborne mobile communications platform.

The network could allow hundreds of drones to “talk” to each other and ground controllers at lightning speeds.
Jewish community leaders meet Foreign secretary to discuss UK-Iran drone project after JC revelations
A high level Jewish community delegation has raised the JC’s investigation into British scientists who have helped Iran to develop military technology in a meeting with Foreign Secretary James Cleverly – who said the Government is looking into the matter and treating it “very seriously”.

The delegation, led by the Jewish Leadership Council’s chair Keith Black and its co-chief executive Claudia Mendoza, met Cleverly at the Foreign Office on Wednesday evening.

Also in attendance were Marie van der Zyl, the President of the Board of Deputies and hersenior Vice President David Mendoza-Wolfson, and Jonny Wilson, the Director of External Relations at the Community Security Trust.

Besides the UK- Iranian research projects revealed by the JC, they discussed the impact of international events on Britain’s Jewish community; the importance of Britain’s relationship with Israel; the Government’s determination to root out antisemitism; and the threat posed by Iran’s quest to acquire nuclear weapons and its sponsorship of terrorist proxies such as Hamas and Hizbollah.

A source who was at the meeting described it as “entirely positive, exactly what you’d hope for and expect”. Cleverly is said to have been “deeply aware” that international events such as Israel’s May 2021 conflict with terror groups in Gaza can trigger upsurges in antisemitic attacks in Britain.

However, it is understood that Cleverly made clear that recent demands by both Jewish organisations and dozens of MPs to proscribe Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation are not likely to be met soon. Cleverly is said to have pointed out that the Government is already taking action against the IRGC – whose activities in Britain the JC has exposed repeatedly – in several ways, such as sanctions against key individuals.

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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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