Tuesday, June 20, 2023

06/20 Links Pt1: An Inquisition, Not an Inquiry; 27 states call out bias of UN's Inquiry; Four dead, four wounded in West Bank gas station shooting attack

From Ian:

An Inquisition, Not an Inquiry
The first interim report, published in May 2022, concludes that “prima facie evidence… convincingly indicates that Israel has no intention of ending the occupation.” It’s an odd assertion to make in light of historical evidence. In all three rounds of final status talks since the Oslo process began (2000-1, 2007-8, 2013-4), Israel made its willingness to withdraw from nearly all occupied territory in exchange for peace public and known, but all three rounds ended with Palestinian rejections of mediated offers for Palestinian statehood, without any real pushback from Arab public opinion or from the various international bodies aligned with the Palestinian cause.

But nowhere is rejection of Israel mentioned in either the reports, the terms of reference, or in any of the hearings. And for a commission so keen to find evidence of “systematic discrimination and repression based on national, ethnic, racial or religious identity,” they are surprisingly silent on antisemitism in the Arab World as a cause, or even an effect, of the conflict. Nothing about the pogroms of Arab masses against Jewish minorities in the first half of the twentieth century, nothing about the Arab attempt to wipe out the Jewish state in 1948 and 1967, nothing about the mass expulsions and ethnic cleansing of Jewish minorities that had lived in the Middle East for millennia in the middle of the twentieth century, and nothing about the decades of violent attacks on Jews and Jewish targets throughout the world in the name of the Palestinian “struggle.” Do any of these things have any bearing on Israel’s actions or on the reasons why Jews in the Middle East feel so strongly that they need a state? The COI won’t ask, the witnesses it calls won’t say, and its reports won’t even mention.

The second mandate isn’t actually a call to investigate the roots of the conflict and the ways to solve it. It is, rather, a denial that there ever was a conflict. Not just a denial of armed action by Arabs against Jews, but a denial of the cause they fought for.

In the intellectual ecosystem of obsessive Israel-hatred, this is why the “apartheid” charge is so crucial — and why the groundwork is already being laid for the next buzzword that will inevitably be thrown at Israel within the coming decade, “genocide.”

The shift from Arab-Israeli conflict­ to Israeli-Palestinian conflict was needed to deny that a tiny minority in the middle east was being attacked by the overwhelming majority, which had mostly succeeded in wiping out that minority’s presence wherever it was unable to defend itself. The shift from Israeli-Palestinian conflict to occupation was needed to deny a conflict at all and thus any kind of reckoning with the actions of both sides rather than just the one that had won most of the wars. If the problem is just the occupation, then the whole issue is just the sin of the Israelis. The shift from occupation to apartheid means that the sin cannot be expiated. It is rather, essential to the existence of Israel. An occupation can end, but if the whole concept of a Jewish state is itself evil, then pathological hatred of it can be maintained and nurtured regardless of what it does.

In this ecosystem, the pathology that animates the Arab war against Jews in the Middle East is both unspoken and implicitly adopted. Obsessive hatred of Israel, the cause for so many pointless wars, is not only given no explanatory power for the Palestinian predicament, it is actually internalized as a normative position of human rights. Israel isn’t conceived of as a state that may do bad things, but rather as an entity whose very existence is an affront to all that is good and righteous in the world.

Sometimes this becomes almost self-parodying. The COI’s report promises that a “gender analysis is being mainstreamed throughout the Commission’s work.” To this end, every few pages there will be a random reference to Israel’s supposed crimes against women.

The non sequiturs about gender are far more revealing and informative than intended. At first glance, they are disjointed, out of context, and sometimes make improbably inferences about the actual parties in the conflict (is Palestinian society really such a feminist paradise in comparison to Israeli society?). But if you are theologically committed to the idea that one people bear the sins of humanity with them, then it is not a great leap attaching whatever the social ill of the day is to that people. Next year’s report on Israeli abuses might include a few random mentions of how the occupation contributes to climate change or racist policing in the West or whatever new issue arises without materially affecting its quality.

This is not nearly as new as it seems.

US leads 27 nations in castigating an anti-Israel UN commission
The United States issued a joint statement Tuesday on behalf of 27 countries, saying they are “deeply concerned” about a United Nations commission accused of bias against Israel and populated with members with histories of antisemitism.

The U.N. Commission of Inquiry investigating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is delivering its latest report to the U.N. Human Rights Council today in Geneva.

The Human Rights Council created the three-person commission in 2021 following an 11-day conflict (“Operation Guardian of the Walls”) between Israel and terrorist groups in Gaza. The commission was given a unique open-ended mandate: It is charged with investigating any Israeli human rights violations both inside and outside the country’s sovereign territory.

Michèle Taylor, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, said in the joint statement that the commission’s mandate, “with no sunset clause, end date, or clear limitations connected to the escalation in May 2021,” led to many of the council’s members expressing “fundamental concerns” when the resolution creating the commission came up for adoption.

“To be clear, no one is above scrutiny and it is this council’s responsibility to promote and protect human rights the world over. We must work to counter impunity and promote accountability on a basis of consistent and universally applied standards,” the statement reads. “We believe the nature of this COI [commission of inquiry] is further demonstration of long-standing, disproportionate attention given to Israel in the council, and must stop.”

The signatories to the joint statement include a diverse geographical group. Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Croatia, Czechia, Eswatini, Fiji, Guatemala, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, North Macedonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Togo and the United Kingdom joined Washington in signing on.

That is five more countries than signed on to a previous statement critical of the commission of inquiry and its members.

Disproportionate scrutiny
“We continue to believe that this long-standing disproportionate scrutiny should end, and that the council should address all human rights concerns, regardless of country, in an even-handed manner. Regrettably, we are concerned that the Commission of Inquiry will further contribute to the polarization of a situation about which so many of us are concerned,” Tuesday’s statement concluded.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen issued a statement on Tuesday calling the commission’s latest report “one-sided and false.”

UN Watch: 27 states call out bias of UN's Pillay Commission of Inquiry
“We believe the nature of this Commission of Inquiry is further demonstration of long-standing, disproportionate attention given to Israel in the Council, and must stop.

The Council should address all human rights concerns, regardless of country, in an even-handed manner.

Regrettably, we are concerned that the Commission of Inquiry will further contribute to the polarization of a situation about which so many of us are concerned.”

The Israel Guys: The US is “Deeply Disturbed” By JEWS WHO BUILD HOUSES in the West Bank
The US State Department is “deeply troubled” by Jews who build houses in the Biblical Heartland of Israel, which, BTW, happens to be their OWN country.

There is really good news from Israel today, in regards to new building in Judea and Samaria and how that process is approved by Israel’s government. Stay tuned for that.

Also, Josiah discusses the question: Is it illegal for a Jew to live in the West Bank?

Look at Jenin for a preview of what awaits the day after Abbas
Some Palestinians were celebrating a “victory” on Monday as clips of the bomb detonated alongside the IDF vehicles went viral. But it will likely be a hollow victory. The military is adept at learning lessons and will undoubtedly study what happened on Monday and adjust its tactics accordingly.

One thing the events on Monday will not do is deter the IDF from nightly raids to arrest terror suspects, since that has become a central component in keeping the terror at a relatively low level.

Beyond an enhanced military capability, Monday’s roadside bombing revealed something else everyone knows at a theoretical level but only truly appreciates when it becomes manifest: the Palestinian Authority asserts no control in Jenin nor in the northern West Bank.

That the terror organizations can build and detonate these types of sophisticated roadside bombs shows that a substantial terrorist infrastructure has arisen unimpeded by the PA. Jenin and the northern West Bank have been the focal point of terror against Israel over the last several months because there is no Palestinian governance or monopoly over the use of force there. A vacuum has been created, and in that vacuum, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations simply thrive.

Jenin today, where the PA has lost its grip, is a chilling preview of what is likely to emerge throughout the West Bank the day after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas dies or can no longer continue in his current role.

If PA impotence is now centered in Jenin and the northern West Bank, this impotence will spread through the territories when Abbas leaves the scene. Currently, the IDF is struggling to figure out how to deal with the vacuum left by the PA in Jenin. Lessons learned there will likely be used elsewhere once Abbas departs and the PA vacuum inevitably spreads.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Jenin looking more and more like Gaza, Lebanon
Monday’s fighting between IDF soldiers and Palestinian gunmen in Jenin is seen by Palestinians as a sign of the Israeli military’s “weakness” in confronting the armed groups that have emerged in the northern West Bank over the past 18 months.

The clashes, which lasted for more than eight hours and resulted in seven soldiers wounded and five Palestinians dead, are also seen to be an indication of the Palestinian armed groups’ success in upgrading and developing their military capabilities and warfare tactics.

These groups seem to have gained a lot of experience as a result of almost daily clashes with Israeli security forces.

A Palestinian security source on Monday put the number of gunmen in Jenin and other parts of the northern West Bank, including Nablus, at more than 1,500.

Scenes of Palestinians celebrating with parts of IDF armored vehicles damaged by explosive devices and Apache helicopters hovering over Jenin are likely to boost the popularity of the armed groups, most of which are affiliated with Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

These images create the impression that the Israeli counterterrorism operation, which began several months ago, has failed to eradicate the armed groups. They also create the impression that certain parts of the West Bank, particularly Jenin, are beginning to resemble the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, where the IDF faced similar tactics by Palestinian terror groups and Hezbollah.

Defiant Hamas and PIJ officials expressed satisfaction with the way the gunmen in Jenin engaged the soldiers. They claimed that dozens of gunmen belonging to various groups took part in the fighting.

Seth Frantzman: Jenin clashes prove Iran is trying to set the West Bank on fire
According to Israeli security forces, the operation in Jenin to apprehend two terror suspects escalated into a major clash, with only time telling how much worse it will get. But it is clear that this represents a serious problem.

A military vehicle was hit by explosive devices, causing it damage. IDF helicopters opened fire toward Palestinian gunmen, which illustrates the seriousness of the incident as well.

Iran's watchful eye on Israel's clashes in Jenin
Iran will be paying close attention to the aftermath of this clash. It has sought in the past to destabilize Jenin and create a power vacuum, to then exploit and funnel weapons into the city. Reports over the last several months have indicated how Iran seeks to not only move weapons to the West Bank but also create conditions to threaten Israel from multiple areas.

Iran recently hosted Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, while Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi traveled to Latin America. Tehran believes it is on a winning streak in the region and views Israel as the main adversary and obstacle to that winning streak. For this reason, it will seek to benefit and profit from any instability or fallout from Jenin, using proxies such as PIJ to achieve this.

Four dead, four wounded in West Bank gas station shooting attack
Four Israelis were killed and another four were wounded in a shooting attack by two terrorists at a gas station outside of the West Bank settlement of Eli on Tuesday afternoon.

One of the victims was identified as Elisha Antman, a resident of the town of Eli. Another was identified as Harel Masoud, a resident of Yad Binyamin.

The terrorists first entered a restaurant next to the gas station and shot multiple people there before going to the gas station and shooting another person. At that point, an armed civilian shot and killed one of them and the other fled.

Shin Bet, IDF and Border Police forces shot and killed the second terrorist after locating him and attempting to arrest him a short time later. They followed him upon his escape, according to a joint statement, and eventually found his car abandoned. The security forces continued to track the terrorist and attempted to arrest him once he was found. He was killed when he resisted arrest, according to their statement.

IDF Chief Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Daniel Hagari stated that initial intelligence reports pointed to a strong likelihood that the terrorists were associated with Hamas. A Hamas official told Al-Jazeera a short time later that the two men were part of their military wing. The attack, according to the official, was a direct response to the IDF's activity on Monday in Jenin.

Hagari also said that the IDF and Israel Police have increased their presence in the area to provide security to Israeli civilians and to ensure that civilians do not take independent revenge action.

The terrorist who was killed on site was identified as Muhannad Shahada, a resident of the village of Ourif near Nablus in the West Bank, according to Palestinian reports cited by Army Radio.

IDF: 2 soldiers wounded in car-ramming attack in northern West Bank
Two Israeli soldiers were wounded during an alleged car-ramming attack in the northern West Bank on Monday evening, the military and medics said.

The Israel Defense Forces said that a suspicious Palestinian-owned car accelerated toward troops carrying out a patrol at a checkpoint near the Palestinian village of Nazlet Zeid.

“The soldiers responded with live fire,” the IDF said, adding that the suspects were hit.

The Rescuers Without Border emergency service said one of the soldiers was treated for a sprained leg at the scene.

The second, aged 38, was taken by the Magen David Adom ambulance service to the Hillel Yaffe hospital in Hadera, after suffering a shrapnel wound as a result of the gunfire toward the Palestinian suspects. He was listed in good condition, MDA said.

The Palestinian Authority health ministry said two men in the car that was shot at by Israeli troops were taken to a hospital in Jenin, and that one of them was listed in critical condition.
Jenin raid leaves dozens wounded, 5 dead
Yosef Kuperwasser, Samer Siniflawi and John Lyndon discuss the deadly Jenin raid and who is to blame for the rise in tensions.

Media Can’t Resist ‘Killer Copter’ Narrative in Exaggerated Jenin Raid Reports
The Israeli arrest raid in Jenin this week was different from previous raids in one respect: the terrorists who fired on IDF soldiers were so heavily armed and well-fortified that Israel was forced to deploy a helicopter to aid the extraction of its military personnel.

Indeed, so infested with terrorists is the West Bank city that eight soldiers were injured in the operation after coming under sustained gunfire and as a result of a huge roadside bomb being detonated.

The chopper, according to the IDF fired a missile into an open area to provide much-needed cover for soldiers from Palestinian gunmen in the vicinity during the extraction. In the course of its operations, it also deployed flares, apparently due to concern that Palestinian terrorists on the ground may have deployed surface-to-air rockets in an attempt to bring the helicopter down.

In total, six Palestinians — at least four of whom were claimed by terrorist organizations — were killed.

While initial news reports about the raid focused on the death toll, pieces published later centered on the use of the Apache gunship in the West Bank for the first time since the Second Intifada two decades ago.

The ‘Attacker Apache’
Several media outlets erroneously reported that the helicopter had been deployed as an offensive measure, rather than a purely defensive countermeasure.

The New York Times, for example, embedded video footage that clearly shows the chopper dropping flares, but incorrectly described it as “opening fire during clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen.”

This is despite the fact that the main body of the NYT piece correctly states that the chopper had targeted open areas as Israeli soldiers worked under fire.

Israeli Arab MP calls to disrupt normalcy in Israel
Official PA TV newsreader: “Hundreds of residents within the Green Line participated in a procession of cars, in protest of the Israeli police’s inaction against the spread of the plague of violence and crime [in Arab society], which has led to the deaths of 70 victims since the start of the year [2023].” …

Israeli Arab Parliament Member and Joint Arab List Chairman Ayman Odeh: “As long as our sons’ lives are not normal, then the State of Israel’s life must not be normal. If we reach this equation, we will defeat the violence and crime. The state’s life must not be normal as long as our children’s lives are not normal.” [Official PA TV News, May 21, 2023]

Green Line - 1949-1967 ceasefire line between Israel and the neighboring Arab countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) following Israel's War of Independence (1948-1949). Land within the Green Line is all part of the State of Israel since 1949. Land outside the Green Line includes East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights.

UNRWA chief reissues ‘broken record’ warning of service cuts without more funding
The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said Tuesday that without a new injection of funding, it is “likely or highly likely” that the agency will not be able to deliver some services or pay salaries by the fall.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said at a press conference in Beirut that the agency responsible for services to Palestinian refugees has been facing a shortfall of $150 million to $200 million annually in recent years.

Donors at a pledging conference earlier this month provided only $107 million in new funds, significantly less than the $300 million the agency had called for to keep its programs running through the end of the year.

Those programs include health and education services and, in some cases, cash assistance to families in Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and Jordan.

While he acknowledged that the agency’s funding woes have become “almost a broken record,” Lazzarini warned donors not to “take for granted the ability of UNRWA to muddle through.”

In Lebanon, which has been reeling from an unprecedented economic crisis since 2019, some 93% of Palestinian refugees in the country now live in poverty. Palestinians in Lebanon are banned from owning property and from working in most white collar professions. The worsening economic situation in the country has driven many to take to the sea in often-deadly attempts to reach Europe.

Lazzarini said that when the agency recently advertised for 14 sanitation workers in Lebanon’s refugee camps, it got 37,000 applicants, including many holding university degrees.

“This shows how little avenues Palestinian refugees have here when it comes to job opportunities,” he said.
”Five-star refugees” also want “to return,” not just “poor people who have nowhere to go”
Israeli Arab film director Marwah Jabara Tibi: “In general the talk about refugeehood and the right of return has been limited to how the camera is placed in the refugee camps. Here we show you the Abu Ghada family, in 17 countries, what you could call ‘five-star refugees,’ and despite this they are not relinquishing the right of return. The right of return is a right of strong people who want to return to their home and are demanding this right with all [their] might. There are people who attempt to market the story of refugeehood as poor people who have nowhere to go. No! We want to return to our homeland because that is our goal. Not because our living conditions are difficult – not at all.” [Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, June 5, 2023]

Marwah Jabara Tibi is an Israeli Arab film director, who directed the 2019 film “Abbas 36” about two Arab families who lived in the same house in Haifa. One family lived there before 1948 and had to leave in the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. Some of the members of that family are currently living in the US. The other family bought the house after 1948 and lives in it today.

The Tragic Case of the Syrian Refugees in Lebanon
The Lebanese authorities differ from the international bodies tasked with dealing with the settling of refugees worldwide. While the international bodies (UNHCR) claim that more than 800,000 are registered with the UN — the highest number of refugees per capita in the world, the Lebanese minister for the displaced, Issam Sharaf El-Din, told Aljazeera TV in an interview12 that the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon was 2.3 million. Such a number is probably inflated for obvious reasons. Even if we accept the number of 1.5 million refugees that appears in almost every publication and on social media, still, it is an enormous burden in a country that officially claims to be populated by 3.5 million Lebanese, while almost 15 million Lebanese live in the Lebanese diaspora scattered over five continents.

The number of Syrian refugees does not include the half a million Palestinians claimed by the Lebanese authorities to have entered Lebanon following the Arab war with Israel in 1948, nor Armenians, Kurds, Melkites, Assyrians, or Yazidis, who established themselves in Lebanon together with scores of Arab political opponents seeking asylum after fleeing persecution in their countries of origin. This number also does not include almost 350,000 foreign workers from India, Sri Lanka, and other Asian countries who mostly live and work illegally in Lebanon, unprotected by the Lebanese judicial system.

According to Sharaf El-Din, since 2011 Lebanon has received $11 billion from the international community to assist the refugees while the Lebanese treasury has spent $30 billion for the same purpose, putting an unbearable strain on the Lebanese economy and being one of the reasons for its economic collapse.

Moreover, the blame on preventing the return of the Syrian refugees to Syria is to be put on the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, a body which, according to the minister, is not facilitating the return because of political reasons originating from the donor countries which still consider Assad’s regime as a pariah not to be trusted. The minister chose purposely to ignore the commitments signed by Lebanon and the fact that the conditions in Syria are not ripe for the return of those refugees who could face a death penalty, torture, and extortion.

Realizing that the Syrian refugees in Lebanon “are here to stay,” the Lebanese authorities know very well that even at a non-stop pace of 15,000 Syrians per month returning to Syria, which once was considered feasible in Lebanon, it will take years to restore the status quo ante. The experience of Lebanon in that specific field has shown that Lebanon will continue to treat the Syrian refugees as it has treated the other refugees who have arrived in Lebanon since 1948 and earlier and were never assimilated or integrated into Lebanese society.

Having said that, it is obvious that the Lebanese are trying to convince the donor countries that they must receive constant financial assistance, bearing in mind the economic disaster in Lebanon.

In fact, it is all about money. Abbas Ibrahim, the former head of Lebanon’s General Security, said the deportations are effectively an appeal for Western countries’ assistance: “Come and pay, come and do something for us, so that we slow down” these deportations.

Seth Frantzman: Iran's game plan: From Saudi ties to conspiring against Israel
Iran seeks to strategize with Palestinian terror groups ahead of key meeting
At the same time, Iran’s media is not overly hyping the clashes in Jenin. Iran does not also appear to be taking credit for the clashes. But that does not mean that Iran is not seeking to benefit or to strategize with Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

In fact, Iran is meeting with PIJ and Hamas this week and is likely seeking to exploit the situation. Al-Mayadeen, for instance, highlighted the fact an explosive was used against an IDF vehicle in Jenin. This media is close to Iran and Syria and therefore is seeking to reflect the overall view that Iran has of the recent clashes.

At the same time, Iranian media is also discussing how protests began last year after the Islamic Republic's morality police killed Mahsa Amini. According to the report Iran now believes foreign intelligence and foreign countries promoted these protests. This is the usual conspiracy theory that Iran promotes. However, it shows that now, more than half a year after the protests, Iran feels confident they are now fully over. Now Iran can analyze and learn and the regime can consolidate power.

If one connects the dots between these various themes, a pattern emerges.

Iran believes that Israel is losing out on the Iran-Saudi deal. It also is happy to see the Syrian regime reintegrated into the Arab League. It also believes that it has defeated the protests and can now strike at PJAK as it works with Turkey and Russia.

For Iran, many things are now coming together. It also likely believes China has got the upper hand in relations with the US. This may affect how Iran looks at the prospect of any kind of new deal with Washington. With exports on the rise and a new hypersonic missile, Tehran likely believes it doesn’t need a new deal with DC.
Zelensky chief of staff: Only Israel can provide what we need against Iranian drones
A senior official close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed frustration on Tuesday over Israel’s continued refusal to provide his country with military assistance, saying he hoped to receive Israeli technology to combat Iranian drones deployed by Russia as part of Moscow’s 16-month-long invasion.

Speaking in translation from Kyiv, Andriy Yermak — Zelensky’s chief of staff — said that “nobody but Israel can provide equipment to combat attacks by Iranian drones,” but declined The Times of Israel’s request to elaborate on the specific technology requested from Israel.

Yermak expressed frustration that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not openly supported Ukraine, and argued that weapons deals between Russia and Israeli enemy Iran should motivate Israel to join the fight.

“We can see the Kremlin dictator [Russian President Vladimir Putin] taking family photos with Iranian leaders and then this Iranian weaponry is being used against us and against you,” Yermak said to Israeli reporters from the Office of the Ukrainian President. “I don’t know what else is needed.”

Israel has walked a fine line since Russia first invaded Ukraine in February 2022, expressing moral and humanitarian solidarity for the embattled country but refusing to provide weapons. Israel has struggled to maintain good relations with both Kyiv and Moscow, balancing its affinity for Ukraine’s position with its security concerns vis-à-vis Russia in Syria and with Iran.

“Our position is 100 percent principled. We never forget about the fact that our Israeli friends and brethren have the same enemy as we do — I do not know why Israeli politicians do not agree,” Yermak said, focusing on Iran and glossing over Israel’s complicated web of security considerations relating to Russia.

Turkey's New Intel Chief Hides Ties with Iran's Mullahs and Quds Force
In a resumé posted on the official web page of Turkish intelligence agency MIT, Ibrahim Kalin, the newly appointed spymaster, did not mention his work for an Iranian-funded, radical Islamist publication that was shut down over its links to terrorism.

Kalin's connection to the Yeryüzü magazine, which promoted an Iranian-style religious revolution in Turkey, and his past work that praised Iran's Khomeini was deliberately omitted from the long resumé published by the agency last week about the new chief of the notorious intelligence service.

Yeryüzü is no ordinary magazine. It was named a focal point for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force in the Turkish capital in an indictment drafted by the chief prosecutor's office at the State Security Courthouse in 2000. The cell was run by Ferhan Özmen, who was trained in arms and explosives in Iran and was convicted of a series of murders including that of journalist Ugur Mumcu in the 1990s.

In every issue the magazine ran viciously anti-Semitic and anti-Western content, endorsed violent and armed jihad and often featured prominent Iranian mullah figures as revered personalities.

Kalin appeared in Yeryüzü's December 15, 1990 edition, which featured an article under the title "Muslims can fight only for Allah." The article was written to promote a view against Turkey's involvement in the First Gulf War to help a US-led, multi-nation coalition to respond to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990. Then-Turkish President Turgut Özal was advocating Turkey's participation in the coalition, while the military was reluctant to do so.
Iranian Table Tennis Coach Refuses to Compete Against Israel in Berlin Special Olympics
Israeli table tennis player David Carsanti was supposed to compete on Monday morning against an Iranian player as part of the Special Olympics in Berlin. But when the Israeli athlete showed up to play, he was told that the coach of the opposing team refused to let his player participate. Carsanti earned a technical win.

Both table tennis players were called to their positions and stood together in the waiting area, ready to start the match, when the coach of the Iranian team approached the refereeing table and asked to disqualify his athlete, claiming he had a fever.

Gon Tzuri, head of the Israeli delegation to the Berlin Special Olympics, responded: “Today was the first day of the table tennis heat in the contest. When the Israeli athlete, David Carsanti and the Iranian athlete were at the waiting point, the Iranian coach realized his team was to compete with Israel and said his athlete was ill. At that moment, I turned to the organizers of the competition and asked to disqualify the entire Iranian delegation for interjecting politics into the Special Olympics. I hope we won’t encounter similar situations in the future.”

The International Special Olympics games are held once every four years, allowing athletes with intellectual disabilities to compete in a wide variety of sports, to show the world their tremendous abilities.

The International Special Olympics is among the largest sports events in the world. The games began on Sunday, with a spectacular opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. Some 7,000 athletes with cognitive disabilities from 180 different countries will compete in 26 different sports. The games also involve 20,000 volunteers, 3,000 coaches, and an estimated audience of 300,000.

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