Sunday, June 18, 2023

From Ian:

David Collier: The Spectator falls down an antisemitic conspiracy rabbit hole
The Jews were persecuted, dispossessed, and forced out of Iraq. Most turned up as penniless refugees in Israel. This is fact, not opinion – and there is overwhelming evidence to prove that this is true. Yet Spectator Magazine has just published an article that gives legitimacy to a disgraceful antisemitic conspiracy theory – one which claims that it was the result of a Zionist plot.

The article by Justin Marozzi
The title of the article by Justin Marozzi is ‘the shocking truth behind the Baghdad bombings of 1950 and 1951‘. It is a review of a book by the anti-Zionist writer Avi Shlaim called ‘Three Worlds: Memoir of an Arab-Jew‘.

The review is gushing in clear admiration. Marozzi calls the book ‘beautifully written‘ and says it ‘carefully blends the personal with the political‘. To reinforce the narrative the journalist calls Shlaim a ‘powerful and humane voice‘. Marozzi also focuses on a key claim that Shlaim has long pushed – that a series of bombings against Jewish targets which took place in Baghdad in 1950 and 1951, were set by ‘Zionist agents‘ in order to ‘force them to flee Iraq‘.

The article also pushes Shlaim’s other anti-Zionist lies, such as the idea that the Jews in Arab lands were ‘compatriots’ of their Muslim overlords – and it was Zionism (rather than rising Arab antisemitism and religious nationalisms) which dealt their position a ‘mortal blow‘.

(editor’s note: One wonders what dealt all the other suffering minorities in the Middle East – the Christians, the Kurds, the Yazidis, Assyrians, Armenians, Bahrani, Baloch, Coptic Christians, Druze, etc., their own mortal blow, if these cannot be blamed on ‘Zionist agents’?)

Marozzi even writes that it is difficult to mount a credible argument against some of Shlaim’s ‘conclusions’. Convincing stuff!

Ending inside the rabbit hole
The Iraqi Jews were persecuted, were offered a window to leave- and despite the fact they had to leave everything behind – they almost all left. This is what really happened.

The explosions were (as Shlaim admits) set by different actors. Even if (and it is unlikely given the evidence) there was a Jewish Zionist involved in any of them – it still doesn’t mean Israel was involved. The idea that every single Zionist Jew is a puppet of the Israeli state – is a classic antisemitic trope. But most importantly – whoever set them – these explosions did not cause the exodus.

Avi Shlaim writes in his book that:
‘the question of who was behind the bombs is of crucial importance for understanding the real origins of the exodus’.

Except it isn’t important at all. He is deflecting away from everything else that was taking place. Shlaim is just spinning fairy tales – creating a straw man – and leading everyone down a rabbit hole.

To draw an analogy – Shlaim wants to spin stories about why WTC7 collapsed, rather than focus on the Islamist hijacked planes that flew into the Twin Towers.

And the Spectator has just given that unforgivable strategy a huge platform. Remember that this was not news. This was a book review – this was something the Editors at the Spectator thought would be a good idea to promote. They chose to write it – and to give antisemites the ammunition. If like me this makes you angry and you wish to complain to them, feel free to do so.
Why They Hate Israel
They grew up in an environment controlled by the PA (or, in Gaza, by Hamas). That environment was supposed to be shaped by the Oslo II agreement, signed by Israel and the PA in 1995, which states (Chapter 4, Article XXII, clause 1) that the PA is required to “abstain from incitement, including hostile propaganda” against Israel and Jews.

Yet for the past 28 years, the PA has done exactly the opposite of what it pledged to do. For 28 years, an entire generation of Arab children was raised in an environment that should have been free of incitement and antisemitism. According to the Oslo agreement, the PA was supposed to foster peace and nonviolence through its schools, news media, and popular culture.

Instead, the PA has done the opposite. It names streets and parks after terrorists. It pays salaries to imprisoned terrorists and dead terrorists’ families. PA schools teach that Arab terrorists are heroes and Jews are hook-nosed racist monsters. The PA’s official maps, in government offices and schoolrooms alike, show all of Israel as “Occupied Palestine.”

Just take a look at the invaluable website of Palestinian Media Watch for a glimpse of what Palestinian Arabs are reading, seeing and hearing on any given day.

On May 30, for example, the PA gave a full military funeral to a member of the PA Intelligence division who was also a Fatah terrorist and was recently killed after he tried to murder Israelis. Instead of denouncing Ashraf Ibrahim as an enemy of peace, the PA lionized him. The official PA newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, hailed him as a “martyr” and senior PA officials attended his funeral. One who spoke at the funeral urged the public to “confront Israel with every weapon.”

A week before that, on May 23, official PA Television broadcast an announcement by the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate that “the top priority of the Palestinian journalist is loyalty to all the Martyrs, loyalty to our people’s just cause.” So much for journalistic standards!

Go back a little further and you read that PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh boasted on his Facebook page on May 4 that the Palestinian Arab terrorists who murdered Rebbetzin Lucy Dee and her two daughters were “righteous martyrs” who “ascended to heaven” because they were fighting “the criminal occupation.”

So, it’s no wonder the vast majority of Palestinian Arabs support terrorism and want to see Israel destroyed—because that is what they have been taught, incessantly, throughout their lives.
How antisemitism in Arab media infiltrates the West
Tamar Sternthal, the director and founder of CAMERA (the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America)’s Israel office, said at the Begin Center, “Nearly a quarter of a century ago, CAMERA focused on ensuring that English language coverage of Israel in American media outlets put forward a professional coverage of journalistic content. Since then, the media environment in which we work shifted dramatically in the face of globalization.”

CAMERA shifted away from focusing solely on reporting in America. This led to CAMERA establishing an Arabic department to focus on “Arabic language reports on Western media outlets, like CNN, Reuters, Agence France-Press, Sky News, France 24, Deutsche Welle and more. We decided to focus specifically on Western media outlets because they are focused on journalistic codes of ethics that require accuracy, accountability and transparency.”

Sternthal said there was a huge need for this project. While she stressed how Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute) have done excellent work translating the content of both extremists and moderates from the Palestinian and Islamic world into English, no one was doing the same for the Arabic language websites of Western media outlets.

“There was little or no oversight, including internally. Often, English language editors were completely unaware of this information published on their own platform in Arabic. Problematic language and unfounded claims that English language editors considered unacceptable appeared unchecked in Arabic under their own brand names.”

An analyst who works for CAMERA Arabic, speaking on condition of anonymity, noted that much of the antisemitism promoted in Palestinian Authority media outlets has found its way onto Arabic language websites of Western news outlets.

“For example, the Arabic branch of the British Independent published a theater critic about a Beirut play where Anne Frank was portrayed as a vicious Zionist who came to take a Palestinian home from its original home. The play is called ‘A Letter to Anne Frank.’ It is still there. It has the Independent logo on it. If you did not know that the Independent in Arabic is a Saudi-owned subsidiary, you would think that this is content that the British Independent promotes. Obviously, they are irresponsible about their own content,” the analyst said.

According to him, many antisemites have been given positions in the Arabic language websites of Western news channels. One of them was Joelle Maroun, the Beirut correspondent of France 24, a publicly funded corporation.

“Their correspondent is a huge fan of Adolf Hitler. She publicly praised Hitler for over 10 years and nothing was done. There was no background check. Nothing of the sort. Only when CAMERA Arabic called her out, she got fired. Unfortunately, other correspondents who did likewise only got suspended for a month and they went back to work. You can still see them on the screen.”

Pillay’s Latest Propaganda Crusade against Israel: The June 2023 UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry Report
In May 2021, the UN Human Rights Council, whose membership includes some of the world’s worst human rights violators, voted to create a malevolent “Commission of Inquiry” aimed at Israel.

The scheme is run by a judge, a lawyer, and a former UN operative, who were all chosen because of their anti-Israel antipathy, and who have retained their jobs despite outbursts of overt antisemitism. They have now released their third report. While adorning their methodology and findings with a cloak of legitimacy, in reality, the “inquiry” mimics a medieval Commission.

The report was produced for the UN “Human Rights” Council’s June 2023 session and will be presented on June 20, 2023. The United States is expected to deliver a joint statement on behalf of numerous other countries objecting to the process and the merits of this human rights travesty.

The third report, released on June 8, 2023, takes the stream of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish invective from the United Nations to new heights. It encompasses a direct assault on Israel’s “supporters” worldwide and launches an extraordinary campaign to undermine the fight against antisemitism by the world’s leading representatives of Jewish victims of antisemitism. In summary, the members of the commission:
appropriated a license to “reframe antisemitism” – to avoid their obvious culpability of just that.
staged “hearings” in which they added a few Jewish “witnesses” – provided they were prepared to condemn the Jewish state.
authored a report on the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict that specifically names Palestinian (and Israeli) victims of alleged Israeli crimes but doesn’t name a single Israeli victim of a Palestinian crime.
responded to the influx of voluminous submissions with the names of Israeli victims of Palestinian crimes and the crimes of related perpetrators, along with the dates, places, and circumstances of the crimes, by inventing a cut-off date to exclude past submissions – after first dismissing their relevance as “pro-Israel.”
moved the vast majority of “witnesses” and global consultations behind closed doors to avoid accountability – in the name of pursuing accountability.
squirmed when public “witnesses” targeted Palestinian authorities and omitted their testimony from the report.
gathered “evidence” by ravaging the basics of due process; they tried to duck the basics by claiming they were not a court – and then made “findings” of Israeli criminality anyway.
found that Israelis violate the rights of Palestinians but never the other way around.
made “recommendations” to Israel about the treatment of Palestinians and zero recommendations to Palestinians about the treatment of Israelis.

Australia's Labor Party calls on government to recognize 'Palestine' - analysis
The Australian Labor Party (ALP) passed a resolution calling for the federal Australian government to recognize Palestine during a state event on Sunday.

The Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) expressed its deep disappointment in the Victorian Labor state conference’s resolution on Palestine.

ZFA president Jeremy Leibler said in response in an official statement, “It is a truism that if you reward bad behavior, you’ll get more of it. From its support for terrorism, its rejection of negotiations and its promotion of vicious antisemitism, the Palestinian leadership actively undermines peace. By calling on the federal government to reward this behavior with diplomatic recognition, the Victorian Labor resolution implicitly celebrates this.”

Leibler continued, “The resolution is entirely inconsistent with the stated position of the Foreign Minister Penny Wong who has repeatedly rejected any unilateral actions on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.”

Are Labor conference resolutions in Australia meaningless?
Australia has six states and two territories. The federal government has constitutional control over foreign policy. The ALP has state conferences and a federal conference, where resolutions and party platforms are passed. The Victorian state conference took place this weekend. The resolutions are usually meaningless, such as the current resolution calling on the federal government to recognize Palestine.

Sources within the Jewish community said on Sunday that the focus now is on August when the national conference will be held. The pro-Palestine crowd in ALP has the numbers, but the foreign minister and prime minister don’t want to recognize Palestine yet. For example, the last national conference called on a Labor government to make considering recognizing Palestine a priority, but didn’t mandate the government to do so.

Israel and Morocco sign new agreements on tourism, healthcare, and hiring of workers
In recent months, Israel has strengthened its relations with Morocco through high-level visits and military collaborations

Israel's Minister of the Interior and Health, Moshe Arbel, visited Morocco over the weekend to meet his counterpart and strengthen cooperation between the two countries on a range of issues.

During his meeting with the Moroccan Minister of the Interior, Abdelouafi Laftit, they agreed to form teams to facilitate the hiring of Moroccan workers in Israel, particularly in the fields of nursing and construction. They also discussed easing visa requirements to promote tourism, with the aim of welcoming 200,000 Israeli visitors to Morocco this year.

In the healthcare field, Arbel signed an agreement with Moroccan Health Minister Khalid Ait Taleb to strengthen medical cooperation between the two countries. The agreement aims to promote collaboration in the fields of medical technology, genetics, the fight against non-communicable diseases, epidemic preparedness and strategic planning of healthcare systems.
Netanyahu announces advance in long-stalled plans to develop gas field off Gaza
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that Israel would work to develop a natural gas field off the coast of the Gaza Strip, a proposal that has been repeatedly floated for decades.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office declared that as part of a “framework of existing efforts” between Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority, the government is moving forward with developing the “Gaza Marine gas field off the coast of Gaza.”

The move is seen as an olive branch to the Palestinians and, if carried out, is expected to bring in billions of shekels to the PA. The PMO said it was pursuing the plan with an emphasis “on Palestinian economic development and maintaining security stability in the region.”

The statement said that the project is “subject to coordination between the security services and direct dialogue with Egypt, in coordination with the PA.”

The announcement came after Israel and the PA held a series of security summits in recent months, first in Aqaba, Jordan, and then in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

Last month, just days before a five-day flareup of violence with Gaza, local news outlets reported the existence of talks led by National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi and Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian — the military’s liaison to the Palestinians — aimed at developing the gas field.

Following the meeting at Sharm el-Sheikh in March, which focused largely on de-escalating tensions, Israeli and PA officials said they had agreed to work toward improving the economic conditions of the Palestinian people as well as the financial situation of the cash-strapped PA, which would benefit from the development of the Marine 1 and 2 fields located some 30 kilometers (19 miles) off Gaza.

The sides have held sporadic negotiations on the matter over the years but failed to reach an agreement due to numerous hurdles. Along with Israeli objections and other disputes, the PA has exercised no control over Gaza since being ousted from there in 2007 by the Hamas terror organization, which now controls the coastal enclave.
Israel, Egypt and Palestinian Authority to develop Gaza gas field
Israel will begin talks with Egypt and the Palestinian Authority to begin the planning stages to develop the Gaza Marine gas field, the Prime Minister’s Office announced. The gas field currently sits across from the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas, an Iranian backed terror group

Israel fast-tracks approval process for Judea and Samaria construction
Supporters of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria had double cause for celebration this week.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced during the Cabinet meeting a decision to make it easier to obtain permits to build inside Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

At the same, it was announced that the Civil Administration’s Higher Planning Committee is set to meet on June 26, in order to approve 4,560 new housing units in communities throughout the region.

The Cabinet also transferred most of the authority to approve such construction to Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who also serves as a minister in the Defense Ministry and thus plays an important role in overseeing civilian life in Judea and Samaria via the latter ministry’s Civil Administration.

Construction boom
“The construction boom in Judea and Samaria and in all parts of our country continues. As we promised, today we are advancing the construction of thousands more new units in Judea and Samaria,” Smotrich said Sunday.

“Judea and Samaria residents cease to be second-class citizens and the natural development in settlements is reflected in construction and expansion,” he added.
Palestinians to boycott economic summit with Israel following settlement move
Palestinian Authority Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh said Sunday that the PA will boycott a planned economic meeting with Israel on Monday in protest over the government’s approval of a measure easing West Bank settlement construction.

Al-Sheikh, a top aide to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, added in a tweet that Palestinian leaders “will study a number of other measures and decisions for implementation related to the relationship with Israel.”

The meeting of the Joint Economic Committee, which hadn’t been previously announced, would have been the first time it had convened since 2009.

The announcement from Al-Sheikh came after the government passed a resolution that gives far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich practically full authority to approve planning in West Bank settlements.

The decision also dramatically expedites and eases the process for expanding existing West Bank settlements and retroactively legalizing some illegal outposts.

Jordan’s foreign ministry also condemned the measure, calling the move a “flagrant violation of international law.”

A spokesman for the ministry called on the international community to “take immediate action to stop unilateral Israeli measures” seen as impeding a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

The left-wing Peace Now group lamented handing Smotrich expanded powers to “suppress any opposition to construction” in the West Bank. The Yesh Din nonprofit said the move places the ability to “expand and establish settlements into the hands of Smotrich’s people without any oversight.”
3 arrested in capital for terrorizing Jews with Molotov cocktails, fireworks
The Israel Police arrested two people in east Jerusalem on Sunday for allegedly throwing Molotov cocktails and shooting fireworks at the homes of Jewish residents in the capital over the last few months. A third suspect – a 14-year-old resident of east Jerusalem – was arrested several days ago on the same charges. He was remanded for two days.

The terrorist incidents have disturbed the peace in the eastern part of the capital over the past several months, although there have not been any casualties reported. This prompted an investigation by the police's Jerusalem District.

The arrests on Sunday were carried out jointly by the Border Police fighters and police detectives, who took the two suspects – both aged 15 – into custody while they were at home in the early hours of the morning. They were then taken in for questioning ahead of their arraignment at the Jerusalem District Court.

PMW: “Jews are arrogant by nature” – Palestinian Antisemitism continues to thrive
Palestinian researcher on official PA TV:
“Jews are arrogant by nature, don't accept the other”
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion teach Jews they are “masters” over mankind

Palestinian journalist on official PA TV:
The Zionists cooperated with Hitler to advance their state
The Holocaust was “truly fabricated”

At least 3 times this year, official PA TV has chosen to broadcast an interview with a “researcher” to spread the PA’s antisemitic ideology about the “racism” of Jews:
“The Jews are arrogant by nature”
“They don’t accept the other”
“They always stick to themselves”
“Their [Jewish] thinking is based on racism”
"The Zionist thinking is based on them being ‘God’s chosen people"
Jews live according to ”outlook” that they will be “masters” over man

According to PA ideology and fundamental world view, it was because Europe suffered so much from the Jews that they decided to get rid of them and established the state of Israel. As the researcher explained:
“The Europeans hated them and wanted to get rid of them… so the idea started of establishing a Jewish state for the Jews.”

During an edited interview, PA TV broadcast this hate speech of Muhammad Al-Yahya, who stressed that these views are part of Judaism. As proof he cited the antisemitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as if it were a true document by which Jews live and are guided to be “masters” over all mankind:
Bir Zeit University students protest crackdown by PA security forces
Palestinian students from the Hamas-affiliated Islamic Bloc list at Bir Zeit University on Saturday began an open-ended sit-in strike on campus to protest the arrest of three of their colleagues by Palestinian Authority security forces.

In a statement, the Islamic Bloc named the three students as Yahya Farah, Abdel Ghani Fares and Abdullah Abu Qayyas. It said that the PA security forces also attempted to arrest Osama Abu Eid, coordinator of the Islamic Bloc, but were unsuccessful.

Ahmed Farah, the brother of one of the arrested students, was detained on Saturday by PA security officers while he was on his way to take part in a press conference organized by the Islamic Bloc at Bir Zeit University.

“We strongly condemn the arrest and brutal torture of our colleagues,” the Islamic Bloc said, holding the Palestinian security forces and the PA leadership responsible for their safety.

The Islamic Bloc also denounced the Bir Zeit University administration for its “silence” towards the arrests and urged it to take a clear stance on the issue.

Islamic Bloc representatives held a press conference on Saturday during which they announced the sit-in strike and demanded the release of their colleagues.

Protestors called for the release of Lions' Den leader
The students chanted slogans in which they accused the PA of carrying out politically-motivated arrests. They also chanted slogans calling for the release of Mosab Shtayyeh, a senior Hamas operative and one of the founders of the Lions' Den armed group in Nablus.

Shtayyeh was arrested by PA security forces in Nablus in September 2022. His arrest sparked armed clashes between gunmen and PA security forces in the city. One Palestinian was killed and several others injured during the clashes.

Austria claims to foil attack by alleged IS sympathizers on Vienna Pride Parade
Austrian authorities said Sunday they had foiled a possible attack on Vienna’s Pride Parade by three young men who had allegedly sympathized with the extremist Islamic State group.

The head of Austria’s domestic intelligence service told reporters that the suspects, aged 14, 17, and 20, were arrested before the start of Saturday’s Pride Parade, which was attended by around 300,000 people, public broadcaster ORF reported.

Omar Haijawi-Pirchner from the State Protection and Intelligence Directorate said there was “no danger for the participants of the parade at any time.”

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer expressed his gratitude to the investigators for preventing “a possible Islamist attack in Vienna.”

“This shows once again that we must never give in in the fight against radicals and extremists,” Nehammer tweeted. “They are a threat to our democracy and security and must be dealt with severely.”

Vienna’s mayor expressed shock.
Col. Kemp: Biden's appeasement of Iran is a disaster in the making
A new interim nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran may be imminent. U.S. denials that such a deal is on the table are likely motivated by an intention to frame it as an informal understanding rather than an international treaty in order to avoid the need for Congressional endorsement, thus reflecting semantics instead of reality.

Leaked details of the “non-deal” suggest Iran would agree to cease enrichment activity and give other undertakings, including freeing U.S.-Iranian dual citizens currently held in custody, in return for sanctions relief that would immediately release around $20 billion of frozen Iranian funds with hundreds of billions more to follow.

The White House knows that no diplomatic understanding with Tehran is worth the paper it’s printed on and no such undertakings will stop Iran from becoming a nuclear-armed state. So why are they heading down this path? There are two reasons. The first is to give Biden a win on the international stage that he so badly needs after the debacles over withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and China supplanting the U.S. as power broker in the Middle East.

The second is to pile pressure on Israel and this again has two parts. Part one is to deter Jerusalem from executing a major military strike against Iran’s nuclear programme which has become more plausible since Benjamin Netanyahu resumed the premiership.

Despite the catalogue of foreign policy failures that arose directly from craven weakness in Washington, the White House does not seem to have learned that deterrence is the most effective means of averting war and remains fearful not only of wielding a credible military threat against Iran but also of Israel doing so. Biden and those around him know that an extant nuclear agreement with Tehran, supported by the Europeans, complicates any military action by Israel.

Part two is the pursuit of the elusive two-state solution which remains a fixation in the minds of policy-makers in Washington despite continued iron-clad Palestinian intransigence that has spanned many decades, demonstrating that any prospect of that — at least in the foreseeable future — is unachievable.

Biden thinks he can seduce Jerusalem with the honey trap of an Abraham Accords-style normalisation with Saudi Arabia in exchange for acquiescence — or at least keeping shtum — over an Iran nuclear deal. Riyadh has made clear that one of its conditions for normalisation is the creation of a Palestinian state and of course the Administration not only supports but actively encourages that thinking.
New Iran deal meant to stop Israeli attack – Western official
The key objective of the impending nuclear deal between the US and Iran is to stop Israel from attacking Iran, a Western official told Reuters.

"If [the] Iranians miscalculate, the potential for a strong Israeli response is something that we want to avoid," the official said.

The Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said that any deal between Washington and Tehran will not stop Jerusalem from taking steps against the threat of a nuclear Iran.

“Our stance is clear: No agreement with Iran will oblige Israel,” Netanyahu said in the Knesset last week. “Israel will continue to do everything to defend itself.”

Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Yuli Edelstein said on Saturday night that "Israel can live with the 'mini-agreement' because there is oversight."

"Iran is a nuclear threshold state and is becoming soundly established as such," Edelstein said.

He warned that "Iran is gaining abilities [and] Ukraine became an excellent platform for testing them...We need to keep an eye on this."
Biden admin. won't acknowledge Iran deal explicitly to skirt Congress - analysis Why is the Biden administration not saying "Iran Deal?"
The reason for this is the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA), which requires the US president to bring any agreement relating to Tehran’s nuclear program to Congress for a 30-day review period.

Legally, the president may enter into an executive agreement without approval from Congress, so in that sense, INARA-based congressional review can’t stop President Joe Biden from doing what he wants.

A lesser-known element of INARA is what former State Department adviser on Iran, Gabriel Noronha, has called “legislative snapback.” The law states that “if the President does not submit such 90-day compliance certification” – that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) – “or has determined that Iran has materially breached an agreement and not cured it, legislation reinstating statutory sanctions against Iran introduced within 60 calendar days of such event shall be entitled to expedited consideration.”

In other words, if Iran is violating the JCPOA – which it has been, for years – then Congress can fast-track a bill to reinstate sanctions.

There is a question of whether that is relevant after the US left the JCPOA in 2018, but there’s a fair chance someone in Congress will test it.

At a recent J Street event, former Obama administration lawyer Tess Bridgeman, who worked on JCPOA, essentially called to keep the details of the new Iran agreement secret.

“With elections coming up, we are not going to see the administration do anything that requires voting in Congress, so I think it’s really important to keep in mind... that [agreements] be in that realm of discretionary, unilateral gestures,” she said. “Something that’s written down on a piece of paper for all sides to try to implement is a recipe for Congress making it impossible.”

The Biden administration, many of whom are Obama alumni, clearly understands that INARA is a political landmine, because of the weaknesses of the “not-a-deal” that they are concluding.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken started to talk about the need to put Iran “back in the box” of the 2015 JCPOA, soon after Biden was elected president. This unnamed agreement seems to be their way of doing that, except that if the JCPOA put Iran in a box, the new understandings are a shipping container.
Netanyahu: New nuclear agreement won’t stop Iranian bomb
A new agreement with Iran will not prevent it from attaining a nuclear weapon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday.

“Our first mission is to stop Iran from going nuclear,” Netanyahu said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting. “We made clear to our American friends time after time, and I am doing it again today, that we oppose agreements, first of all to the original agreement called the JCPOA, which will just pave Iran’s way to the bomb and will pad it with hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Netanyahu said that his “principled opposition” to the JCPOA played a part in ensuring the US does not return to that deal.

“We also tell [the Americans] that more limited understandings, what’s called a ‘mini-deal,’ does not serve our purpose, in our opinion, and we oppose that, as well,” he said.

The prime minister added that “Israel will do whatever it needs on its own to defend itself from Iranian aggression, whether on the nuclear file or its terrorist proxies.”

Western official: The US-Iran nuclear deal is meant to stop Israel from attacking Iran
A Western official told Reuters over the weekend that the objective of the impending nuclear deal between the US and Iran is to stop Israel from attacking Iran.

“If [the] Iranians miscalculate, the potential for a strong Israeli response is something that we want to avoid,” the official said.

The US and Iran are close to concluding a series of unwritten understandings by which the US would provide sanctions relief in exchange for Iran limiting its nuclear program, according to numerous diplomatic sources in recent weeks.
Michael Gove to introduce anti-BDS Bill to parliament
Michael Gove has said that “disruptive” campaigns to boycott Israel lead to “appalling” antisemitic rhetoric and abuse.

The levelling up, housing and communities secretary is set to unveil legislation on Monday that will block local councils from divesting from the Jewish state.

The bill will prevent public bodies from boycotting any foreign government or territory.

Any offenders would face “significant” fines, while ministers will be given powers to launch investigations into suspected breaches of the ban.

The boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is an international campaign that calls for organisations and individuals to pressure Israel by cutting off its economic and cultural ties to the rest of the world.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Gove - who will introduce the legislation to parliament - said: “It is simply wrong that public bodies have been wasting taxpayers’ time and money pursuing their own foreign policy agenda.

“The UK must have a consistent approach to foreign policy, set by [the] UK Government. These campaigns not only undermine the UK’s foreign policy but lead to appalling antisemitic rhetoric and abuse.

“That is why we have taken this decisive action to stop these disruptive policies once and for all. My message to these organisations is to get on with your job and focus on delivering for the public.”

At an event held this week by the Israeli embassy to celebrate the Jewish state’s 75th anniversary, trade secretary Kemi Badenoch also emphasised the government’s commitment to the Bill.

“This government will ban public bodies from pursuing boycott, divestment and sanctions activities,” she said.

“We will ban those activities, including at universities and local authorities.”
Tom Gross: UK government has had enough & moves to tackle British antisemitism disguised as anti-Zionism
Tom Gross: “These activists care next to nothing about Palestinian rights. If they did, they would sometimes criticize Fatah or Hamas for their appalling human rights abuses of Palestinians, or the discrimination Palestinians face in Lebanon and Syria. If they cared about ‘occupation’ they might boycott fruit from Morocco that occupies the western Sahara, or Turkey that occupies Northern Cyprus and Kurdistan. Or the hundred other countries with minority problems or human rights issues or human rights issues throughout the world.”

(Tom Gross, i24news, June 18, 2023)

Major UK Jewish group to require approval for trips over Israel's Green Line
The United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA) of Great Britain has issued a new policy requiring UJIA-funded Jewish groups that wish to visit sites over the Green Line – including the Kotel – to request special approval.

The change apparently came in response to an incident that occurred when two participants from the UJIA-supported Birthright Israel group pulled out of the tour due to accommodation issues within Israel proper.

These issues resulted in an unplanned sojourn in Kibbutz Almog, located near the Dead Sea and bordering Jordan – and situated beyond the Green Line. Green Line's challenges and UJIA's official statement

The Green Line poses challenges for some tour providers concerning visits to significant sites like Jerusalem’s Old City, the Western Wall, and other historically and culturally important areas for Jewish tours. The actual Green Line marked the 1948 armistice line, which ceased to exist when Jordan violated the armistice by attacking Israel in June 1967.

The Jewish News reported as well that in a statement distributed to the relevant Jewish organizations in the UK on Wednesday, UJIA said: “The development of policy in this area is legally complex and has required careful thought. In recent months[,] UJIA has been responding responsibly to legal advice received and has worked hard to develop a workable and consistent policy regarding the expenditure of charitable funds over the Green Line. [The policy] has been formulated to protect UJIA’s work in Israel, which includes its support for the Israel Experience program, run in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel and to comply with UJIA’s charitable obligations through our regulator, the Charity Commission, all while remaining neutral on the politics of the situation. As a charity, UJIA cannot promote any political position beyond its charitable purposes.”
SWU Condemns New Hayward Unified School District Contract With “Liberated” Ethnic Studies Group
StandWithUs strongly condemns the latest contract signed by Hayward Unified School District (USD) with the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Consortium (LESMCC). LESMCC and its leadership have a record of promoting antisemitism, anti-Israel narratives, and other forms of bias. The contract was unanimously approved at a Hayward USD Board of Education meeting on June 14, 2023. This follows a similar contract signed in 2022 and widespread criticism from Jews and non-Jews about how the district handled a major case of classroom antisemitism in 2023. "The district is continuing to ignore concerns raised by the Jewish community and many others," said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs. "Ethnic studies can help educate about marginalized communities, fight racism, and empower students to build a better future. Unfortunately, LESMCC has done the opposite with statements and content that fuel hatred and division across California and beyond."

LESMCC was created by writers and supporters of the deeply problematic and widely criticized first draft of California's Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC). It claims that including Jewish American voices in ethnic studies is "arguably racist," but that covering Palestinian American narratives in such courses is vital. Its leadership has smeared the ADL as a “white supremacist” group and attacked California's Legislative Jewish Caucus. Its website has targeted other mainstream Jewish organizations as well, and promoted the false narrative that Zionism is a “colonial ideology,” erasing 3,000 years of the Jewish people’s history in their ancestral home. The group secured a similar contract with Castro Valley Unified School District in January, 2022 but also had one rescinded by Napa Valley Unified School District in May, 2022. LESMCC is a founding member of the national Coalition for Liberated Ethnic Studies (CLES). One of the other founders is on record saying that “bringing down Israel really will benefit everyone in the world.” The coalition has made it a “point of unity” to oppose the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, the definition that has been most widely adopted by Jewish communities and others around the world. CLES has also pressured Santa Ana Unified School District to ignore concerns raised by the Jewish community, and avoid revising biased content in a number of recently approved ethnic studies courses.

StandWithUs calls on Hayward Unified School District to engage with the Jewish community transparently, in order to ensure that its courses are free of any form of bias and include accurate materials about Jews and antisemitism. We will continue to collaborate with concerned citizens and partners across California and beyond to push back against hate and promote education about the Jewish people in K-12 public schools.

Instagram does not end Jew-hatred, it encourages it
I am going to get lots of backlash from the statement that Instagram doesn’t help stop antisemitism, while it does enable Jew haters to unite and join the fight to spread lies about Israel and the Jewish people.

Antisemitism existed way before Instagram, and it continues to grow despite many activists taking advantage of Instagram’s popularity with an international following.

Antisemitism will be around after the social media trend and Jews will adapt to the communication trend of that time.

Why is Instagram different and so dangerous?

It has been proven that Instagram, as part of Facebook, has in the past censored people and facts they don’t like.

Second, no participant can actually control followers who see their posts and/or follow them. Many are fake accounts or bought followers. Jew haters follow accounts of Jewish “influencers” to follow events, rallies and news. Some react with their own protests and events. Many of those against the Jews receive more attention and support.

Third, and the most important, Instagram has encouraged anyone to be a “leading Jewish activist.” What happened to professionalism? Where is your resume to prove your capability of representing millions of people? It seems as if it’s no longer important to educate oneself before going live on Instagram or reposting someone else’s opinions that may be inaccurate.

The new Jewish "activistsf", who are the influential voice based on Instagram, are attempting to control the narrative based on how they look, how many followers they have and who they hire to promote them, dress them and get them in group pictures with the right people.

Many of these activists have little knowledge of people in power, the history of antisemitism and how to actually make a difference in stopping hate crimes and vicious words. Worse, many claim victimization without specific information.
BBC’s Gritten promotes the falsehoods of a political NGO and a terror group
While Gritten uncritically amplifies AI’s claim that it “found no evidence that the building had been used to store weapons or any other military equipment, or that rockets had been launched nearby”, he does not bother to inform readers in his own words that the building had been used as a PIJ command and control centre or that his BBC colleague had earlier reported that “[l]ocal sources believe a militant lived in the building”. Hence, he leaves BBC audiences with the misleading impression created by AI’s manipulations whereby Israeli forces supposedly targeted a building for no apparent reason.

Moreover, throughout his report Gritten makes no effort whatsoever to relieve readers of the distorted impressions of the Laws of Armed Combat promoted in Amnesty International’s assorted quoted statements. His insertion of various statements from the IDF may have ostensibly ticked the ‘impartiality’ box as far as he is concerned but in practice, all they do is create a ‘he said-she said’ account which fails to provide BBC audiences with the information needed to properly assess Amnesty International’s allegations.

Readers would have been better placed to put the quoted statements from Heba Morayef into perspective had they been told, for example, that just a year ago she and her organisation championed a terrorist who went on a stabbing rampage in 2015.

Gritten’s report does not only uncritically promote quotations and misleading allegations from the inadequately presented NGO Amnesty International and its Middle East director; it also promotes quotes from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organisation.
Canadian Mennonite Magazine Column Accuses Israel Of Being A “Settler-Colonial” State
According to its website, the taxpayer-funded Canadian Mennonite magazine’s “Guiding Values” include accuracy, fairness, as well as balance. And while those are noble values to adhere to, based on a recent column in the magazine, doing so is another story entirely.

A recent first-person commentary penned by columnist Randy Haluza-DeLay entitled: “Not talking politics in the Holy Land,” which appeared in its June 15 edition, was rife with gross oversimplifications and factual errors.

Discussing his recent visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, Haluza-DeLay argued that the tourism industry there seeks to censor some topics, stating that “The story of the Indigenous people of the Holy Land before the return of Jews in the past century is concealed.”

With a single sentence, Haluza-DeLay has turned three thousand years of history entirely on its head. Referring to the unnamed “Indigenous people” who were living in the land of Israel before the “return of the Jews in the past century,” Haluza-DeLay clearly demarcates two groups: those who were in the holy land, and the Jews, who apparently just showed up sometime in the last century.

In what is more than a hint of irony, Haluza-DeLay is doing exactly what he accused his tour operators of doing: erasing the history of a group of people.

The Jewish People did not simply arrive in Israel in the last century, supplanting the “indigenous people.” They have a three-thousand-year history of uninterrupted presence in their land. The Jews were living in their land during the time of the Babylonians, Syrian-Greeks, and many other civilizations, and were only not still sovereign because two thousand years ago, the Roman Empire exiled a large percentage – but not all – of the Jews from the Roman province of Judea, the land from which Jews were given their name.

Intel to invest $25B in Israel factory in record deal, Netanyahu says
US chipmaker Intel Corp will spend $25 billion on a new factory in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday, calling it the largest-ever international investment in the country. The factory in Kiryat Gat is due to open in 2027, to operate through 2035 at least, and to employ thousands of people, Israel's Finance Ministry said. Under the deal Intel will pay a 7.5% tax rate, up from the current 5%, the ministry added.

During its almost five decades of operations in Israel, Intel has grown to become the country's largest privately held employer and exporter and a leader of the local electronics and information industry, according to the company's website. In 2017, Intel bought Israel-based Mobileye Global Inc, which develops and deploys advanced driver-assistance systems, for $15 billion. Intel took Mobileye public last year.

Announcing the deal in televised remarks to his cabinet, Netanyahu called it "a tremendous achievement for the Israeli economy - 90 billion shekels ($25 billion) - the largest investment ever by an international company in Israel". In a statement, Intel said its Israel operations had "played a crucial role" in the company's global success.

"Our intention to expand manufacturing capacity in Israel is driven by our commitment to meeting future manufacturing needs ... and we appreciate the continued support of the Israeli government," it said.
Play dramatises incarceration of 300 Egyptian Jews
A play has recently opened in Israel which dramatises the experiences of hundreds of Egyptian Jews arrested and jailed after the Six-Day War. (With thanks: Rami)

The play, entitled ‘Five long minutes’ is based on the real-life experiences of hundreds of Jewish males between the ages of 17 – 65 (one was even 80). They were sent to the detention camps of Abu Za;bal and Tura.

Their ordeal began when President Gamal Abdul Nasser sought to show he had captured Israeli PoWs in the war. He had not managed to capture any. Egyptian Jews would serve his purposes instead. They were paraded through the streets and along train routes, while mobs threw stones and shouted ‘Yahud!’ (Jews).

Meanwhile, their womenfolk and children, lacking the protection of the men, were subject to abuse. In many cases Muslim and Christian friends stood by, but were powerless to help much.

The title of the play echoes what the prisoners were told when the police came to their homes to arrest them.” We only need to question you for five minutes,” they said. The Jews were held for up to three years. Some were tortured. At the end of their imprisonment they were shipped directly from prison to airport or seaport, and transported to a strange country.
Gal Gadot Unveils New Netflix Action Film ‘Heart of Stone’
World-renowned Israeli actress Gal Gadot unveiled the trailer for her upcoming spy thriller, “Heart of Stone,” at a live event organized by Netflix on Sunday.

The presentation took place in São Paulo, Brazil, where she was present alongside Jamie Dornan and Alia Bhatt.

In “Heart of Stone,” Gal Gadot plays Rachel Stone, an elite intelligence officer who is part of a secret international organization called The Charter. This organization, which has no political or national allegiances, works to maintain world peace.

However, when The Charter’s “heart,” the source of its technological power, is stolen by the villainous Keya Dhawan (played by Bollywood star Bhatt), Rachel Stone embarks on a thrilling adventure that will take her all over the world to get it back.

The film, to be released on Netflix on August 11, was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gal Gadot and her husband, Jaron Varsano. According to Variety, Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to the film in 2021.

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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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