Wednesday, June 28, 2023

From Ian:

White House Hires Anti-Israel Professor From University Engulfed in Anti-Semitism Controversy
The White House's newest hire is a City University of New York (CUNY) professor who has accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing" and "systematic genocide," a move that is raising alarms among the many people who are already concerned about the Biden administration's failure to combat anti-Semitism on America's college campuses.

Ramzi Kassem, a professor at CUNY's law school, was tapped to serve as a senior policy adviser for immigration in the White House's Domestic Policy Council. Kassem is a vocal Israel critic who spent a portion of his time as an undergrad at Columbia University writing scathing criticisms of the Jewish state, a Washington Free Beacon review found. Kassem, who helped defend terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay, charged the Jewish state with genocide and decried "unconditional" support for Israel.

Kassem's hiring comes as the Biden administration fights the perception it is feeding Israel's opponents. A closely watched White House plan on combating anti-Semitism, for instance, was recently watered down by anti-Israel activists. The State Department admitted on Monday that it is boycotting research partnerships with certain Israeli organizations.

CUNY announced that Kassem "will work to support the Biden-Harris agenda across a range of immigration issues" using his expertise as "a national leader on progressive immigration reform." Kassem enters the White House after working for more than a decade at CUNY, which has repeatedly found itself in hot water for promoting anti-Semitic hate speech and, in some cases, subjecting Jewish students to "severe and persistent anti-Semitic harassment." CUNY's law school, in particular, promotes anti-Semitic boycotts against Israel and recently featured a graduation speaker who accused Israel of sending "lynch mobs" after Palestinians.

Kassem's past writings strike a similar note. In an April 1998 article, the White House adviser claimed there is "sufficient evidence" implicating Israel in a "systematic genocide" against the Palestinians. The Jewish state's behavior, Kassem wrote in the Columbia Spectator, is "a clear-cut case of ethnic cleansing." In another April 1998 article, titled "Zionism Impedes Middle Eastern Peace," Kassem claimed European Jews came to the Middle East "with the intention of conquering the land." A two-state solution between the parties "is not viable, nor is it desirable," he insisted.
Friedman: Biden administration is ‘embracing BDS movement’
U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller confirmed on Monday that the United States would be freezing scientific and technological cooperation with Israeli entities in areas over the 1949 armistice line, i.e., in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and parts of Jerusalem. U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller confirmed on Monday that the United States would be freezing scientific and technological cooperation with Israeli entities in areas over the 1949 armistice line, i.e. in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and parts of Jerusalem.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman took to Twitter following the news of the freeze, saying: “Make no mistake. The United States, by this action, is embracing the BDS movement, violating a binding bilateral agreement with Israel, and creating a lose/lose dynamic whereby the people of the region—Israelis and Palestinians—will lose the most.”

In October 2020, Friedman, under the direction of former President Donald Trump, participated in a signing ceremony at Ariel University in Samaria with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, extending bilateral agreements between Israel and the United States to include Israeli institutions over the so-called Green Line, immediately expanding scientific and academic cooperation.

When asked by a reporter at Monday’s press briefing in Washington about the decision to reverse the Trump administration directive that had permitted such cooperation in all parts of the country, Miller stated:
“The United States strongly values scientific and technological cooperation with Israel, and robust scientific and technological cooperation with Israel continues. The State Department recently circulated foreign policy guidance to relevant agencies in the United States government, advising that engaging in bilateral scientific and technological cooperation with Israel in geographic areas which came under the administration of Israel after 1967 and which remain subject to final-status negotiations is inconsistent with U.S. foreign policy.”
Longtime ADL leader Foxman slams Biden for ‘boycotting’ Netanyahu, meeting with tyrants - exclusive
“I believe that President [Joe] Biden isolating Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu is a misguided policy and borders on what I would even call hypocrisy,” Abe Foxman, the former Anti Defamation League (ADL) head and one of the most senior leaders of the American Jewish community told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, while visiting Israel.

Foxman explained that Biden not meeting with Netanyahu “also sends the wrong message [not only] to Israel’s enemies, but also to its friends and allies.” He stressed that “when friends disagree, they need to, and should meet, speak to each other. This lack of invitation has become a politicized issue.”

For this phenomenon, he gave examples from both the Left and Right: “Republicans in the US charge the president with animus Israel, that that’s why he’s not inviting the prime minister. On the other side, some of the progressives in the Democratic party would like to isolate the prime minister, even before he was elected; before the judicial reform.“Yet in terms of liberal Democrats, they have also made it a political issue, which I believe the White House sees as part of making them happy, while the president isn’t seeing the price.”

Foxman continued, saying that having spent a week in Israel “democracy may still be under assault, but I see a robust democracy and even though some are trying to undermine it. Many in this country are exercising dynamic democratic debate, hundreds-of-thousands on the streets, in the press and on social media.

“Democracy is under assault all over the world, including in America,” Foxman added. “We almost lost democracy in the last several years.” But this American Jewish leader, who holds plenty of criticism towards the current coalition, thinks that Biden needs to stop with the animosity and create dialogue with Netanyahu. “What about the special relationship between these two democratic countries?” He asked. “This sends a bad message for Israel and for America, because that special relationship is important, both for the countries but also for the region.
In rollout of antisemitism strategy, White House steers clear of the Jewish state
The White House language led to a wide-ranging constellation of praise that served as something of a Rorschach test rather than any clear statement of policy: Mainstream Jewish organizations viewed the language as an endorsement of IHRA, while groups on the left who oppose the IHRA definition applauded the Biden administration for not fully backing IHRA.

“They can say whatever they want,” Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, the U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism, said of those who celebrated that the Biden administration did not formally adopt IHRA. “But the strategy says the United States government embraces the IHRA definition,” she told JI earlier this month.

On Friday, the White House official declined to offer any further explanation of the White House position.

“It addresses this exactly the way that we want to do so,” said the administration official. “The report continues the approach of the United States government on the definition of antisemitism.”

Further, they added, “we are sticking with the approach that we’ve had on this matter, and we’re moving forward with all the agency actions to try to make a real difference in people’s lives.”

The White House’s hesitation to explain its approach to defining antisemitism stands in stark contrast to the way the matter has been discussed by the State Department’s Lipstadt. In several recent interviews, Lipstadt — a prominent historian of the Holocaust and a supporter of the IHRA definition — has continued to publicly embrace IHRA. But as a Senate-confirmed ambassador, Lipstadt has no involvement in matters of domestic policy, such as the recent CUNY commencement case.

Palestinian Authority Threatening Bankruptcy But Won’t Stop Payments to Terrorists in Israeli Prisons
The Palestinian Authority is debating the possibility of declaring bankruptcy because of the difficult financial situation it has found itself in, Reshet Bet Radio reported Wednesday morning. The meaning of such a decision could be the complete closure of government in Ramallah, resulting in the loss of stability in Judea and Samaria, or as the report put it, chaos.

The idea behind the establishment of the Palestinian Authority with the Oslo agreements was that it would undertake the fight against terrorism instead of the IDF, absolving the Rabin government of having to deal with B’Tselem and the High Court of Justice. In reality, the results have been uneven, to put it kindly. There were times when the PA security service was a great asset in helping the IDF locate and arrest terrorists, but the PA was also responsible for starting the second intifada in 2000 and supporting, even initiating waves of terror.

Part of the reason for the PA’s financial difficulties, in addition to its rampant corruption and the drop in support from the West and rich Arab countries, is Ramallah’s policy of transferring monthly payments to security prisoners behind bars in Israel and to their families and the families of deceased terrorists.

Those payments are anchored in the PA’s constitution. A PA Arab who was arrested or injured as a result of terrorist activity is entitled to a salary payment and an allowance to his family. Likewise, a family whose son was killed as a result of his terrorist activity is entitled to monthly support. The guiding rule in salary payments is that the more severe the punishment, the higher the salary. In other words, the more heinous the crime, the higher the pay. The terrorists behind bars receive a much higher salary than the average wage for a working man in the Palestinian Authority.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday told the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee: “We need the Palestinian Authority. We can’t let ןא collapse. We don’t want it to collapse either. We are ready to help ןא financially. We have an interest in the authority continuing to work. Wherever it manages to operate, it does the job for us. And we have no interest in its falling.”

Oren Solomon noted this week in Makor Rishon that the PA is engaged in a six-pronged war against Israel, questioning Netanyahu’s desire to see it survive bankruptcy. On the security level, the PA permits the current wave of terror in Judea and Samaria and even operates against Israel through proxies, while flooding the PA media with despicable and antisemitic propaganda; on the political level, the PA is advocating against Israel at the UN and a plethora of international organizations; on the judicial level, the PA is engaged in lawsuits against Israel at the International Criminal Court at the Hague, in violation of the Oslo accords; on the infrastructure level, the PA is creating facts on the ground by establishing villages and even cities in Area C which is under Israeli jurisdiction according to Oslo; on the awareness level, the PA is collaborating with the BDS organizations to undermine Israel’s economy; and on the internal level, the PA has been investing in turning Israeli Arabs into collaborators with the enemies of their country through numerous publications, events, rallies, and even violent incidents pitting Israeli citizens against their government.

With all this in mind, is Netanyahu going to order his finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, whose entire agenda stands on eliminating the PA, to write support checks for Mahmoud Abbas et al?
PA faces pressure from Israel, US to rein in West Bank terror groups
The PA is facing increased pressure from Israel, the US, and other parties to take tough measures against armed groups and gunmen in the northern West Bank, a Palestinian official in Ramallah said on Tuesday.

The Palestinian Authority, on the other hand, is also facing pressure and threats from many Palestinians to end the security coordination between the Palestinian security forces and the Israeli authorities in the West Bank, the official told The Jerusalem Post.

The PA, in addition, has come under attack for failing to order its security forces to engage IDF soldiers and settlers.

PA believes Islamic Jihad behind shooting attacks targeting security officers
In the past few days, two senior Palestinian security officers, Muhanad Marzouk and Faleh Arar, were the targets of shooting attacks. No one was hurt.

The PA believes gunmen belonging to the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) were behind the attempted assassinations.

The official denied claims that the PA has lost control of the northern West Bank, specifically Nablus and Jenin, where several armed groups have popped up over the past 18 months.

“Our security forces are in control of the situation,” the official argued. “If anyone has lost control of the situation it’s Israel. We’ve seen how the Israeli army and police are incapable of reining in the extremist settlers in the West Bank.”

According to the official, contrary to what is being reported in the Israeli media, the PA security forces have been putting heavy pressure on some of the armed groups and gunmen to lay down their weapons.

“We worked very hard to convince scores of gunmen to hand themselves over to the Palestinian security forces,” he said. “In Nablus, more than 36 gunmen have turned themselves into the security forces. Others agreed to hand over their rifles.”
European Parliament committee calls for war crimes charges against Israel
The European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee called for the EU to help the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israel for war crimes, in a resolution on EU-Palestinian relations on Tuesday.

The resolution said that the committee “regret[s] the limited progress on the ICC infestations in war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the occupied Palestinian territories and commit to help the ICC and its prosecutor move forward with the investigation and the prosecution.”

MEP Evin Incir of the Swedish Social Democrats, the rapporteur for recommendations on the EU’s relations with the Palestinian Authority, spearheaded the measure, which passed with 41 in favor, 24 opposed and nine abstentions. It is scheduled to go to a plenary vote in July.

The members of the European Parliament also expressed concern against what it claimed were Israeli “punitive measures,” such as withholding funds from the Palestinian Authority and limiting construction in Area C, in response to the PA petitioning international legal forums. The funds were, in fact, frozen in response to the PA’s policy of paying terrorists, and the limitations on Area C construction were in response to Palestinians' construction without the required permits, some of which were funded by the EU.

The committee also called to “consider targeted EU measures specifically addressing settlement expansion in the West Bank.”

The legislators repeatedly wrote that the EU should ensure the enforcement of Brussels’ policies of excluding Israeli products from Judea and Samaria from the EU-Israel Free Trade Agreement and of labeling settlement products as not from Israel.

More broadly, they said that “the principle of legal differentiation between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967 is applied consistently to the full scope of EU bilateral relations with Israel.”

They called for the release of “all political prisoners,” which would include members of EU-designated terrorist organizations, such as Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
UN's bias against Israel is also incompetent - opinion
The UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry into Israel and the Palestinian Territory has demonstrated its incapacity to function as an independent tribunal based on the rule of law. Its incompetence was made clear during the recent presentation of the Commission’s third report.

At that presentation, one of the members of the Commission – Miloon Kothari – claimed that Ukraine and “Palestine” should be “dealt with” in the same way, namely, “international law uphold[s] correctly the rights of Ukrainians to resist and we would like to see the same standards being applied to the case in Israel and Palestine.”

This absurd claim is not only false, it is grossly misleading, by suggesting that Israel has somehow illegally attacked territory belonging to a State of Palestine.

According to Prof. Geoffrey Corn, a leading international expert on international humanitarian law (the law of war), “equating Ukraine’s international legal status in response to Russian aggression with that of the Palestinian Territory is a fundamental distortion of international law.”

Corn explains: “Since the adoption of the Charter of the United Nations, there have been few examples of a member State’s right – pursuant to Article 51 of the Charter – to act in self-defense, and the right of other member states to come to that victim state’s aid, than the situation Ukraine. Russia’s initial and most recent invasion of Ukrainian territory was a blatant violation of Article 2(4) of the Charter prohibiting the use of force against another member State.”
Israel’s envoy to UN: Building in Judea and Samaria will continue
Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., countered that Israeli building permits in Judea and Samaria “are not an impediment to peace, and the building will not stop. Constructing homes in existing communities across Judea and Samaria is not an inflammatory step.”

Erdan added that “Judea and Samaria is the heartland of the Jewish people. We are called ‘Jews’ because we are from Judea.”

He also sought to counter the narrative of a cycle of violence in the region, noting that terrorists murdering Israelis are “as a result of poisonous Palestinian incitement and Israel is taking action to defend itself. There is no ‘cycle!’”

Erdan sought to counter council criticism that the makeup of the current Israeli government is fueling tensions.

“Palestinian terror attacks have been relentless, regardless of Israel’s various governments. Right-wing, left-wing, centrist—it makes no difference to the Palestinians,” said Erdan. “No matter who the prime minister is or who sits in the Cabinet, Palestinian incitement persists and as a result, Palestinian terror persists.”

Robert Wood, the U.S. representative at Tuesday’s session, said he understood the reasons for pessimism surrounding the possibilities for peace after witnessing the events of the last two weeks.

“The violence of the past week must serve as a call for action for all of us in this council to redouble our efforts toward peace,” said Wood. “The United States will continue to work with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to promote steps aimed at lowering tensions and restoring trust, which can create the conditions to bring the parties back to the table.”

At the same time, the U.S. State Department announced on Monday that the Biden administration had increased its support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) by $16 million over 2022 levels, bringing total assistance for the year to a record $223 million.

“Regional actors and the broader international community must urgently consider providing UNRWA with greater financial support,” said Wood.

MEMRI: Syrian Opposition Websites: UN Delegation Met With Iranian, Hizbullah Military Officials In Deir Al-Zour About Advancing Local Development Projects
In June 2023, Syrian opposition websites reported that a delegation from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recently held meetings with military officials from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and from Hizbullah to discuss the promotion of development and reconstruction projects in Deir Al-Zour and Al-Mayadin in eastern Syria, areas that are known to be strongholds of the Iranian and Iran-backed militias. According to the reports, the meetings took place in neighborhoods where the militias are strongly present. Although representatives of the Syrian regime, chief of them the Deir Al-Zour governor, also reportedly attended the meetings, it seems that their presence was mostly a formality, since the objective of the UN in holding the meetings was apparently to secure the cooperation of the Iranian side in order to begin implementing the projects. If these reports are correct, the meetings reflect de facto recognition by the UN of Iran's control of these areas, in contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 76/228 on the situation of human rights in Syria, which strongly condemned "the intervention in the Syrian Arab Republic of all foreign terrorist fighters and those foreign organizations and foreign forces fighting on behalf of the Syrian regime" and demanded their immediate withdrawal from Syria.[1]

This document reviews the reports on Syrian opposition websites about the meetings between the UN delegation and the IRGC and Hizbullah officials.

Report: UN Delegation Sought Cooperation Of Senior Iranian Officials For Development Projects In The Region
The France-based Arabic news portal Jesr Press, which opposes the Assad regime, reported that on June 7, 2023 a UN delegation visited the city of Deir Al-Zour and met with “several officials of the Iranian militias and the Assad regime.” According to the report, the meeting took place at the Havana café in the city center and went on for a few hours. Among those reportedly present were "Al-Hajj Rasoul," head of the Iranian Cultural Center in eastern Syria, "Al-Hajj Sajjad, a senior IRGC military official,” and Al-Hajj Soumar, a Lebanese military commander “who recently arrived in Deir Al-Zour.” The Syrian regime was represented by Deir Al-Zour Governor Fadel Al-Najjar; district council head As'ad Al-Toukan; Deir Al-Zour Mayor Jarir Kakakhan, and the Ministry of Agriculture representative in the region, Fuad 'Abdoun. Also present were representatives of the Suleiman Al-Mustafa Company for Technical Works, the contractor that carries out maintenance and repair work for the Deir Al-Zour city council.

According to the sources cited in the report, the UN delegation “asked the Iranians to appoint representatives from the Iranian Cultural Center to help launch several projects,” and the purpose of the meeting with the Iranians was to secure their cooperation in order to start implementing the projects. The website noted that the projects include the paving of roads and the installation of solar panels and streetlights. It added that, in early June 2023, UNDP had reported the commencement of several projects in Deir Al-Zour, including "Shabab 2023," an educational program for young people aged 18 to 35; a project to rebuild the marketplace in the city center, and a project for the the installation of a solar power system.

“Sources in the Deir Al-Zour city council” told the portal that the contacts between the UN and the Iranian officials angered representatives of the regime in the region, who believe that the UN should be in direct contact with them, since they are “the officials making decisions about the implementation of projects in the area.”[2]

On June 18, 2023 the opposition website Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that, on the previous day, a UN delegation had visited the city of Deir Al-Zour and met with Al-Hajj Rasoul, Al-Hajj Sadeq and Al-Hajj Soumar at the Karamish restaurant in the Friends Park in the Hawija Saqr area. Also present at the meeting was the Deir Al-Zour governor, the Ministry of Agriculture representative and the head of the city council. Several projects were discussed, including putting up streetlights and solar power systems, restoring parks and installing lights along the promenade.[3]

On June 19, another opposition website reported that a UN delegation had visited the Al-Watani Hospital in the city of Al-Mayadin, “which was rebuilt by the Iranian militias,” and the Iranian Cultural Center in Deir Al-Zour.[4]

World Zionist Organization, MKs push Jordan Valley annexation with new Knesset group
The head of the World Zionist Organization called for Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley on Wednesday, as right-wing lawmakers launched a new Knesset group with that goal.

“Fifty-six years since we liberated Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley, and there’s still no sovereignty,” Yaakov Hagoel said, using the biblical terms for the West Bank. “We’re patient, but we’re running out of patience, and need action.”

“We need to implement sovereignty. Both the right and the left want sovereignty in the Jordan Valley, and the sooner the better,” Hagoel said. The WZO is a non-governmental umbrella group based in Jerusalem and focused on promoting Zionism.

The Jordan Valley is a swath of land on Israel’s eastern border between the West Bank and Jordan that Israel sees as a vital security asset. It is home to Israeli settlements and Palestinian communities.

Hagoel made the push for annexation as coalition lawmakers launched the new Knesset group, called Sovereignty over the Jordan Valley First.

The group, launched “with the aim of bringing a major achievement in applying sovereignty in the Jordan Valley,” is led by Likud MK Dan Illouz and Shas MK Yosef Taieb, WZO said in a statement.

“We’re at a historic moment. If there isn’t significant progress on this issue, there will be tears shed for generations,” Illouz said.

“The historical roots of the people of Israel are in the areas of Judea and Samaria, and the way to secure our place is to stand firm for our historical right to the Land of Israel,” Illouz said. “The road begins with applying sovereignty in the Jordan Valley.”
Netanyahu hosts Iowa governor in Jerusalem
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Jerusalem on Wednesday with Republican Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, who signed a proclamation of support for the Jewish state on the occasion of 75 years of independence.

Netanyahu thanked Reynolds for her “unreserved support” of Israel. They discussed economic cooperation, particularly with respect to agricultural technology.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu met in the Israeli capital with a bipartisan congressional delegation led by Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) and Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.).

The meeting focused on the Iranian nuclear threat and artificial intelligence technology.

Earlier this year, every U.S. Republican governor—26 of them—signed a statement marking Jewish American Heritage Month.

“As public servants and governors, we support and recognize May as Jewish American Heritage Month—and call for observance to celebrate the historical, economic and cultural impact of the Jewish-American people who have strengthened our communities and emboldened our nation throughout history,” they wrote.

They added that they are proud the United States was the first to recognize Israel and noted the “unbreakable bond” between the two nations, “based upon shared values, ultimately leading to prosperous economic, educational and cultural partnerships.”
How Cairo’s Embassy in Tel Aviv Can Contribute to a Warmer Peace with Israel
While el-Sisi’s gestures are better than nothing, they do not represent any kind of sustained investment in making the Egyptian public understand that Israel and the Jews are no longer enemies. Rather, these overtures give Egypt’s president something to brag about when he meets with influential Jewish-American groups and other worldwide pro-Israel organizations. El-Sisi can risk making positive gestures toward Israel because his control of local media is so tight — local news simply did not cover his positive gestures toward Israel over the past year, ensuring there would be no backlash.

The most pragmatic way for el-Sisi to start changing the conversation about Israel inside Egypt may be to begin in Tel Aviv, where Cairo maintains a lethargic Embassy whose staff is not curious about Israel and does little to promote a warmer peace. For example, the Embassy does not facilitate visits for Egyptian businessmen and academics interested in cooperating with their neighbor to the north. Egyptian diplomats barely participate in public events organized by the Israeli foreign ministry, academic institutions, or commercial entities. Many of them do not speak either English or Hebrew and they live in Arab Israeli towns. The few who have command of English and Hebrew spend most of their time between Ramallah and Bethlehem. Unlike every other Egyptian Embassy, the mission in Tel Aviv has no official Twitter account or Facebook page.

To encourage a change, American and Israeli officials must communicate to their Egyptian counterparts behind closed doors that keeping their relationship with Israel secret is the wrong approach. Especially after last week’s terror attacks, Egyptian military leaders should capitalize on el-Sisi’s brief mention of cooperation with Israel in Sinai to challenge flawed views of the Jewish state within Egyptian ranks. Terror incidents like the one last week draw on a well of antipathy toward Israel. The positive reaction on social media and in the streets toward Salah’s actions illustrate the need for change.

U.S. congressional delegations visiting Israel should make a special point of knocking on the door of the Egyptian embassy. Cairo’s envoy, Ambassador Khaled Azami, did not even attend the funeral services of the soldiers killed last week, nor did he visit the wounded. Those who visit Azami should point out how he can revive his diminished status in town by becoming more of a public figure, since Abraham Accords ambassadors are celebrated everywhere in Israel.

It will not be easy to address the deep anti-Israel and anti-Jewish prejudice in Egyptian society. Yet by starting in Tel Aviv, the government may be able to begin laying the foundation for real normalization.
Lost Between Recognition and Rejection: Tunisia’s Relations with Israel
In the parliamentary elections of 2014, Ennahda came in second and joined a unity government led by the secular Nidaa Tounes party. As Tunisian society liberalized, the nation also saw a rise in terrorism. The Bardo Museum in Tunis and a beach resort in Sousse suffered attacks in 2015 by gunmen affiliated with the Islamic State (IS). The Tunisian Jewish community was the target of several attacks, with the el-Ghriba synagogue in Djerba targeted several times. In 2002, an Al-Qaeda operative drove a natural gas truck fitted with explosives into the synagogue, killing 19, including 16 German and French tourists. It was al-Qaeda’s first successful international attack after the September 11, 2001, attacks. The most recent attack was earlier this year when a national guard member opened fire at the synagogue, killing three of his fellow guards and two civilians.

Algerian opposition
The normalizing of relations between Maghreb states and Israel is perceived by Algiers as a threat to Algerian national security. Algeria was aligned with the Soviet Union in the Cold War while Morocco was and remains friendly with Washington. This rivalry has manifested itself in the question of the sovereignty of Western Sahara. Since 1973, Algeria has backed the Moscow-supported Polisario Front, a Western Sahara independence movement, while Rabat has claimed the territory as part of Morocco. In November of last year, Washington recognized Morocco’s claim over Western Sahara as part of a quid pro quo for Rabat’s normalization of relations with Jerusalem. If Tunisia were to normalize relations with Israel as well, Algeria would be encircled by antagonistic states that have gained access to some of the world’s best military training and hardware, an outcome greatly alarming to Algiers. As a result of these events, Algeria severed diplomatic ties with Morocco in 2021.

Algeria’s significant aid to Tunisia is often seen as an attempt to keep Tunis away from the influence of Morocco and the American-led partnership. Although Russia sympathizes with Algeria’s position and sells it weapons, it is unlikely to jeopardize its good relationship with Morocco for Algeria’s sake. Similarly, despite its recent drone sale to Algeria, China’s burgeoning partnership with Morocco may limit its support for Algerian interests. Tunisia’s joining with Morocco on normalization would only exacerbate Algiers’ isolation.

Despite Algeria’s concerns, economic desperation might force Tunisia to consider joining the Abraham Accords. Plagued as it is by severe economic problems, Tunisia needs foreign aid, and joining the Accords might attract loans from the US, the Gulf States, or others. However, such a move could have serious internal and regional implications. For now, the potential political costs and risks seem to outweigh the perceived benefits of normalization, leading Tunisian officials to deny claims that Tunisia is on the verge of joining the Abraham Accords.

President Kais Saied
Kais Saied, a political outsider, was elected president of Tunisia in a landslide in 2019. He proceeded to suspend parliament and dismiss the prime minister on the claim that he was saving the country from a corrupt and incompetent political elite. However, his detractors have denounced his actions as a coup that violated the democratically adopted constitution. Since then, Saied has consolidated his one-man rule. In early 2022, he dissolved the Supreme Judicial Council, ending judicial independence, and imposed a new constitution that gave him absolute authority. Saied has succeeded in strangling the Arab world’s only democracy.

As president, Saied has regularly made inflammatory statements about Jews and Israel, such as blaming them for the country’s economic and social problems, calling for a boycott of Israeli products, and praising Palestinian resistance. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that in response to a question about the deadly Djerba synagogue attack, Saied replied that Palestinians “are killed every day” and “no one talks about it.”

Upon initial review, Tunisia appears to have the prerequisites for quick normalization with Israel. It is a Sunni moderate Western-allied state with a long and storied Jewish community, and it could benefit from the trade and tourism normalization would provide. However, deeper scrutiny reveals that an adverse public, a dependence on the Algerian relationship, and a president hostile to Israel makes any near-term normalization doubtful.
Hamas in Sweden
The European Palestinians Conference, held in Malmö, Sweden on May 27, had clear and strong connections with Hamas....

When the Swedish media wrote about the connection between the European Palestinians Conference and Hamas, however, MPs, one by one, began withdrawing from the conference -- although, notably, without distancing themselves from Hamas.

As Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization within the European Union and therefore also within Sweden, it would of course be embarrassing for these gentlemen to admit that they were prepared to participate in a conference with connections to Hamas, and that they only refrained because of negative media attention.

The MP who did not withdraw... was Social Democratic Party MP Jamal El-Haj, who represents Malmö in parliament. El-Haj, who has Palestinian roots, has sat in parliament since 2016, and has a history of repulsive statements and activism concerning the Israel-Palestine issue.

El-Haj, who has Palestinian roots, has sat in Sweden's parliament since 2016, and has a history of repulsive statements and activism concerning the Israel-Palestine issue. In 2018, El-Haj said in an interview, totally incorrectly, that Israel is an apartheid state that engages in ethnic cleansing. Despite this statement, the Social Democrats placed him on the parliament's foreign affairs committee....

El-Haj has not made the situation easier for his party after this scandal. He actually defended his participation. In a social media post, he wrote: "This conference is about my mother's right to return to her home in Palestine. There is nothing in the world that can make me give up such a dream".

What was left out, of course, is that the Arabs who stayed in Israel in 1948, and now number nearly two million, are still in their homes, with Israeli citizenship and equal rights. What took place was that five Arab armies attacked Israel on the day of its birth — and lost. The Arabs who fled during the conflict were perceived by the people in Israel who had not fled as disloyal fifth columnists, who had declined to stay and protect the country alongside them. Therefore, after the war, those Arabs were not allowed back. These are now known as Palestinians.
Protesters burn Quran at Stockholm mosque on Eid al-Adha
A man tore up and burned a Quran outside Stockholm's central mosque on Wednesday, an event that risks angering Turkey as Sweden bids to join NATO, after Swedish police granted permission for the protest to take place.

A series of demonstrations in Sweden against Islam and for Kurdish rights have offended Ankara, whose backing Sweden needs to gain entry to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Sweden sought NATO membership in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year. But alliance member Turkey has held up the process, accusing Sweden of harboring people it considers terrorists and demanding their extradition.

Some 200 onlookers witnessed one of the two organizers tearing up pages of a copy of the Quran and wiping his shoes with it before putting bacon in it and setting the book on fire, whilst the other protestor spoke into a megaphone.

Protest against the burning
Some of those present shouted 'God is great' in Arabic to protest against the burning, and one man was detained by police after he attempted to throw a rock.

A supporter of the demonstration shouted "let it burn" as the holy book caught on fire.

Turkish foreign minister Hakan Fidan condemned the act in a tweet on Wednesday.
Russia summons Israeli envoy for rebuke over comments by ambassador to Ukraine
Russia’s foreign ministry summoned Israel’s top envoy to Moscow for a meeting on Tuesday as part of an ongoing spat over comments by Israel’s envoy in Ukraine.

In a statement, the Russian foreign ministry said that it summoned Israeli chargé d’Affaires Ronen Kraus to issue a complaint about remarks made last week by Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky, who said that he could understand why many Ukrainians revere former Nazi accomplices as heroes for fighting against the Soviet Union.

The statement emphasized that “whitewashing” of such figures is unacceptable and that Russia and Israel have worked together in the past to “rebuff attempts to rewrite history,” slamming those who praise Nazi collaborators in an attempt to “encourage Russophobic sentiments.”

Last week, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova accused Brodsky of “glorifying Nazism.”

“If in Brodsky’s opinion Kyiv has the right to heroes like that, then it is a problem for the Israeli Foreign Ministry,” Zakharova added.

Asked for a comment on Tuesday’s meeting, Israel’s Foreign Ministry pointed to its statement from last week following Zakharova’s comments: “There is no change in Israel’s policy, which is absolutely opposed to and rejects the glorification of criminals who collaborated with the Nazis in murdering Jews,” ministry spokesman Lior Haiat said at the time. “No party should lecture the State of Israel, Israel’s Foreign Ministry, or its diplomats about the importance of preserving the memory of the Holocaust or about the war on historical distortion.”

The meeting comes as Israel faces sharp criticism from both Moscow and Kyiv as it attempts to maintain ties with both allies while they remain engaged in a bitter conflict.
Ex-police chief says expected Netanyahu to resign after indictment
Former Israel Police chief Roni Alsheikh said on Wednesday that he expected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign after being indicted on corruption charges in 2019.

“No one could have guessed that the prime minister would not resign and instead choose to fight from within the system,” Alsheikh, who oversaw the criminal investigations into Netanyahu during his tenure as police commissioner, told Army Radio.

“I am directing this at the party that fought and did not understand that it should say that for the good of the country, ‘We put another person at our head,'” he continued, in reference to Netanyahu’s Likud Party.

Likud released a statement slamming the remarks and calling for an investigation into the former police chief.

“The only thing that thwarted his plan for a government coup was the firm stand of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his insistence on fighting for the revelation of the truth,” Likud said.

Alsheikh’s comments also drew strong criticism from members of Netanyahu’s ruling coalition, with National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir saying that the former police chief “admitted today in his own words that he tried to carry out a coup through investigations and indictments.”
Jenin must not become Gaza: Rocket launches will force Israel to make a choice
The rockets fired from the Jenin area toward northern Israel (which failed to reach any meaningful distance) may be what it takes to convince the skeptics that a large operation is needed against terrorists in northern Samaria. Israel cannot allow Judea and Samaria to become another Gaza.

The key dilemma facing the Israeli leadership is what kind of operation should be launched and how should the PA be treated. Should it be considered part of the problem or as a part of the solution? Or perhaps both, as Israel has unofficially done for quite some time. Making a decision on this matter is crucial if we want to define the mission for such an operation and the scope for the IDF and the Shin Bet security agency.

As for the security agencies, the main challenge they face is how to implement the so-called Maximum-Minimum policy: inflicting the maximal damage but minimizing the threat to our forces without having to confront other actors and theaters. Apart from arrests, such an operation would also include confiscating arms, destroying explosive labs, and taking out of the various support networks that prop up the terrorists.

If Israel chooses to launch an operation it would have to take into consideration that it could spill over to another theater. There could also be revenge attacks, and the terrorists in Gaza might choose to enter the fray. Israeli Arabs may also decide to join the fighting.

Apart from that, we should assume that Israel will have its hands full explaining the operation on the world stage and engage the Arab world, including the Abraham Accords signatories.

The security apparatuses have had many achievements in the ongoing terrorist wave. But they have yet to create the desired strategic impact: The motivation for attacks has not subsided; the number of the attacks and attempted attacks have not dropped, and neither has their lethality. Against this backdrop, there are those who believe that the surgical approach has become obsolete, and this is all the more evident in the recent rocket attacks from Jenin.

The rise of the rocket threat in Gaza has been seared into the collective memory of the security establishment and the decision-makers. Initially, the rocket development efforts were mocked at, only to soon become sophisticated to the point that they gave Gazan terrorists the ability to put large swaths of the population under threat. The Palestinian Authority's contribution to this reality, in its inaction and action, is beyond doubt. And we should keep that in mind as we go forward.

But Israel cannot enter such a dangerous adventure without having a clear diplomatic goal that complements the security objectives.
12 arrested in connection with riots in Arab villages
Twelve Israelis have been arrested in connection with riots in Arab villages in Samaria last week, according to the Israel Police.

Several dozen Jewish Israelis set fire to homes and cars in the villages of Turmus Ayya on June 21 and Umm Safa on June 24. In Turmus Ayya, one Arab, Omar Abu Katan, 27, was reported to have been killed, but Palestinian sources claim he was shot by IDF soldiers.

On Wednesday, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant signed administrative detention orders for four of the detainees on the recommendation of the Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet.

Administrative detention allows Israeli authorities to hold individuals without charge and without the ability to meet lawyers, a practice generally reserved for Palestinian terrorism suspects.

“The four detainees have been involved in violent events, overt and covert, for years. In the past they were arrested and restraining orders were issued against them, and despite this they continued their actions,” an anonymous security official told Ynet.

In the Knesset plenum on Wednesday, Gallant expressed concern over the phenomenon of Jewish lawbreakers, “many of whom do not come from Judea and Samaria, or even from the region. This group is growing and I am worried about it, as are the prime minister and the IDF chief of staff.”
The Israel Guys: Why Are They Lying?
There’s a famous saying that goes something like this: a lie can make it all the way around the world while the truth is still putting its shoes on. This is certainly true when it comes to lies that are told about Israel and the Jewish people, possibly…..even more so. Don’t believe us? Watch this crazy video.

15 arrested for waving Hamas flags on Temple Mount
The Israeli Police arrested 15 Palestinians on the Temple Mount Wednesday who waved Hamas flags and hung a banner featuring images of terrorists.

The sign and flags were unfurled at the end of morning prayers marking the holiday of Eid al-Adha.

The prayers proceeded without incident. As the crowd of tens of thousands was dispersing, a number of masked men began waving the green flags of Hamas and unfurled the banner in the Temple Mount plaza.

Police arrested 15 people and removed the banner. Authorities seized the flags, Hamas flyers and a bullet.

“The police officers of the Jerusalem District are obliged to allow every person of any religion to celebrate their holidays according to the law, including during the days of Eid al-Adha that began today. This morning there were again those who took advantage of the holiday and the holy places for a demonstration of incitement and support for terrorism,” said Jerusalem Police commander Doron Turgeman.

“Whoever thinks that committing such illegal acts under the cover of the holiday will give him immunity or protection from the law is very wrong. So far we have arrested 15 suspects who were involved in waving flags, chanting in favor of terrorism and hanging the banner of a terrorist organization. Acts of incitement, encouragement and support for terrorism will be dealt with decisively by us everywhere in Jerusalem, including on the Temple Mount,” Turgeman added.

Seth Frantzman: Israel reaches out to Palestinian Authority ahead of Eid
President Isaac Herzog called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to convey his greetings for Eid al-Adha. Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant also spoke with Minister of Civil Affairs in the Palestinian Authority, Hussein Al-Sheik. Gallant also wished Al-Sheik a happy Eid al-Adha, and “conveyed his wishes that the holiday will serve as an opportunity to strengthen security and stability in the region,” Gallant’s office said.

The two calls represent important attempts by Israel to reach out to Israel prior to the Muslim holiday. It comes as millions of Muslims are in Saudi Arabia or heading to the country for the Hajj. Israel has found itself facing increasing threats from the northern West Bank, particularly Jenin, and clashes between Israel and local gunmen have become frequent. In addition there have been increasing terror attacks.

Both the calls by Israel’s officials stressed the need to defeat terrorism. Herzog spoke about “a forceful, persistent war against terror, incitement and hatred and he underscored the horrendous price and pain which terror inflicts upon bereaved families and Israeli society as a whole,” according to a statement. He spoke about the importance of living side-by-side in peace in the Middle East. “The President further underlined his unequivocal denouncement of the recent assault on innocent Palestinians by extremists,” the statement said.

Gallant also stressed that Israel’s security forces will operate against terrorism wherever this may be required, and conveyed a message to the Palestinian Authority regarding the need for immediate and decisive action against terrorism, his office noted. He also noted the recent attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank.

The statements are symbolic and the question is whether these high level calls will percolate down to the local level. There is a larger regional picture as well. While there has been increasing violence in the West Bank, as well as increasing gun violence among criminal groups in many parts of Israel; the trend in the rest of the region has been toward more peace and diplomacy.

This is an interesting development because the rest of the region was generally threatened by instability, civil war and chaos during the era after the 2011 Arab Spring. The larger arc of history is clear; the region suffered a huge flood of wars and extremism since the 1980s. Israel, by contrast had appeared to defeat the worst waves of terrorism after the Second Intifada, 2 decades ago; and it had defeated conventional enemies as well.
What Does the Palestinians' Pivot to China Mean for the U.S. and Israel?
The cold reception of U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in China this month contrasted sharply with the warm embrace received by Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas only a few days earlier. Indeed, both Abbas, whose government is gradually losing control over swaths of the West Bank to terrorist groups, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is looking to bolster China's global standing and influence, had good reason to emphasize the deepening cooperation between China and the PA.

Yet while the growing closeness between China and the Palestinians may serve Xi and Abbas' interests, it creates new challenges for both Israel and the Biden administration, which in June became once again the largest funder of the Palestinian cause, via UNRWA.

On the eve of Abbas' arrival, the Chinese Foreign Ministry highlighted the fact that Abbas was the first Arab leader invited to Beijing this year. On arrival, he was welcomed with full military honors. Xi and Abbas then announced a new China-PA "Strategic Partnership." Abbas declared his desire to play an active role in China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and receive investment insurance and soft loans from China. A twinning agreement was signed between Wuhan and Ramallah, as was an agreement on teaching Chinese in Palestinian schools. The Palestinian Investment Fund announced plans for Chinese investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, and energy projects.

Abbas went further, expressing his full support for China's stance on Taiwan, and parroted Chinese propaganda on the mass detention of Muslims in Xinjiang, declaring, according to reports, that the detentions, "have nothing to do with human rights, and are aimed at excising extremism and opposing terrorism and separatism."

China's embrace of the Palestinians is related primarily to the Chinese Communist Party's desire to "further increase China's international standing and influence [and] enable China to play a greater role in global governance." Few arenas attract as much attention on the world stage as Middle East peace-making. Fresh off of China's success in brokering a Saudi-Iran détente in March, China now desires to show itself a central player in the holy grail of international deal-making—the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In addition, as China deepens its strategic and economic ties across the Arab world, it sees expanding support for the Palestinians as beneficial from a public opinion standpoint.

Abbas is presiding over an Authority that is gradually losing control over significant parts of its territory to terrorist groups. This has resulted in an increase in terror attacks launched from these areas, leading to a downward spiral in the PA from both a security and economic perspective. The small Palestinian elite that has benefited financially from its connections to the PA is concerned for its economic future. At the same time, the Palestinian leadership has expressed frustration over what it sees as insufficient pressure being placed by the Biden administration on Israel.
MEMRI: Amid Escalating Terror In West Bank Coming Out Of Jenin Refugee Camp, Qatar Grants The Camp $1 Million; Jenin Governor: The Grant Will Help Us To Steadfastly Face The Occupation
On June 24, 2023 WAFA, the news agency of the Palestinian Authority (PA), reported that Qatar had granted 1 million dollars to "institutions and organizations in Jenin and its refugee camp." According to the report, PLO secretary-general Hussein Al-Sheikh met in his office in Ramallah with Jenin district governor Akram Al-Rajoub and with the chair of the Popular Services Committee in the Jenin refugee camp, Muhammad Al-Sabbar, to deliver the grant. Al-Sheikh thanked the Qatari Emir, Tamim bin Hamad Aal Thani, and Qatari Prime Minister Muhammad bin 'Abd Al-Rahman Aal Thani on behalf of Palestinian President Mahmoud 'Abbas and wished Qatar prosperity and success.[1]

Hussein Al-Sheikh tweeted about the grant and the meeting on his personal account.[2]

Jenin District Governor: The Grant Will Strengthen Us In Steadfastly Facing The Occupation
Jenin district governor Akram Al-Rajoub, who received the grant from Al-Sheikh, stressed that it would "help strengthen the steadfastness" of the Palestinian people "amid the occupation's ongoing aggression against the city of Jenin, its refugee camp and all the towns and villages of the district," and thanked the Qatari Emir and Prime Minister for the donation.[3]

It should be noted that the grant was given against the backdrop of the escalating terror against Israelis in the West Bank, and only one week after an IED attack on Israeli forces that entered the Jenin area to arrest terror operatives. The PA's weakening control of Jenin, and especially of its refugee camp, which has recently become a hotspot of terror in the West Bank,[4] raises serious questions regarding the use that will be made of the money.

Years-Long Qatari Support Of Hamas, Incitement To Terror Against Israel
It should be mentioned that Qatar has for years been sheltering Hamas leaders on its soil, extending economic aid to Hamas and backing its armed struggle against Israel. Moreover, during the 2021 round of fighting between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, while Qatar was involved, along with the U.S., Egypt and other countries, in attempts to mediate a ceasefire between the sides, a mass rally in support of Hamas was held in Doha with the participation of Hamas officials.[5] In addition, Qatar also supports, sponsors and funds the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), founded in 2004 by the extremist Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, in which Hamas Political Bureau head Isma'il Haniya is a member. The union provides Hamas with religious legitimacy and consistently promotes an extremist discourse of hate, incitement, antisemitism, calls for jihad and encouragement of armed struggle against Israel.[6]

It should be noted that, over the years, MEMRI has published many reports demonstrating that the Qatari press regularly features articles praising jihad and armed struggle against Israel. A recent article in the Qatari daily Al-Watan, for example, called on the Palestinians of all factions to carry out terror attacks throughout Israel, from the north to the south, in order to inflict blows on the Israelis and terrify them.[7] Despite this, the U.S. and Israel grant Qatar the status of mediator, and this country has also provided financial aid to Gaza for some five years with the blessing of the Israeli government.
“My weapon is in my hand, awake day and night“ - PA TV song
Lyrics: “Keep the weapon awake, awake, awake
Even if the entire world slumbers
I wake up with my weapon
My weapon is in my hand, awake day and night,
And it calls out: Revolutionaries, our enemy is treacherous”
[Official PA TV, Moons of Palestine, June 6, 2023]

Biden is forcing Israel to attack Iran alone
When asked about the Biden administration's reported new "arrangement" with Iran regarding its nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded, "More than 90% of our security issues stem from Iran and its [proxies]. … Our position is clear: Israel will not be bound by any deal with Iran and will continue to defend itself."

Clearly, the White House will do nothing to stop Iran's march to a nuclear weapon. To the contrary, Biden's new "arrangement" – just like his predecessor Barack Obama's 2015 nuclear deal – would give Iran a legal path to a nuclear weapon and a ballistic missile system to deliver it.

At the same time, it would hand the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism billions of dollars in sanctions relief to fund its military and global terrorist network.

Now all eyes turn to Jerusalem. Will Israel unilaterally attack Iran? Clearly, the US has decided to acquiesce to Iran's nuclear ambitions rather than sanction its nuclear program out of existence. The Biden administration, like the Obama administration before it, has reoriented its Middle East policy from an Israel-centered to an Iran-centered one.

This means that the US has left Israel with no choice but to attack Iran's nuclear facilities alone.

Israel faces a Hobbesian choice. If it attacks, the attack will almost certainly trigger a regional war – unless the US jumps in to prevent it from escalating – that will see tens of thousands of rockets launched by Iran's terrorist proxies Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza at the heart of Israeli cities.
How Congress Should Respond to an Interim Iran Deal
Policy Recommendations for Congress
Congress should consider a range of steps that would signal its disapproval of the new deal and blunt its deleterious effects. Lawmakers should make clear that the new agreement would undermine U.S. interests, harm America’s national security, and ultimately help advance the very outcome — a nuclear-armed Iran — that it seeks to prevent.

1. Whether or not Biden submits the deal to Congress, the House and Senate should consider passing resolutions of disapproval for any such arrangement between the United States and Iran.

2. The release of funds to Iran in violation of INARA would constitute a harm for which Congress could seek injunctive relief. Congress should use every legal tool available to stop the release of funds to Iran, potentially including a request for a temporary restraining order against the Treasury Department.

3. Congress should immediately launch an investigation into the Biden administration’s possible violation of the International Financial Institutions Act and demand immediate testimony from Treasury Department officials to determine what steps they have taken to facilitate an IMF bailout for Iran.

4. Congress should hold a hearing to provide the American public with details of the negotiations and to clarify (a) if the administration paid any ransom; (b) the relationship between the unfrozen assets in Iraq or South Korea and the repatriation of American hostages; and (c) the impact that the hostage arrangement could have on other American adversaries, like Russia, which are currently also holding U.S. citizens as hostages.

5. Using floor speeches, hearing opportunities, press releases, tweets, and other media opportunities, Congress should highlight the upcoming expiration of the UN missile embargo under UNSCR 2231 and dissuade the Biden administration, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany from allowing it to happen. Congress should also press the UK and European Union (EU) not to delist Iranian missile, military, and nuclear entities found in Annex II – Attachment 2 of the JCPOA. The UK and the EU are slated to delist these entities in October, per Annex V of the accord.37

6. Congress should consider legislation prohibiting the administration from using any waivers or licenses to allow the release of funds from accounts tied to entities designated for terrorism. Congress should also consider devising a mechanism to use frozen regime assets to compensate American victims of Iran-backed terrorism who have outstanding judgments against the Islamic Republic.

7. Congress should consider legislation tying any sanctions relief for Iran to certifications by both the U.S. intelligence community and the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran’s nuclear program is purely peaceful and does not have any military dimensions.

8. Congress should pass a resolution supporting the restoration of an international standard of zero enrichment for Iran.

9. Congress should pass a resolution demanding the immediate snapback of UN sanctions on Iran.

10. Congress should pass legislation to tighten sanctions on those supporting the procurement, production, or proliferation of Iranian missiles.

11. Congress should seek clarity from the Biden administration regarding its intentions toward future sanctions relief mandated by the JCPOA. Specifically, under Annex V of the JCPOA, the United States is slated to remove from its sanctions lists a series of nuclear-related persons and entities found in Annex II – Attachment 4 of the deal.38 Lawmakers should ask the administration whether it still intends to lift these sanctions.

12. Congress should pass a resolution declaring that providing access to any funds for the Islamic Republic would constitute an abandonment of Iranian protestors, including but not limited to women, minorities, and dissidents. Lawmakers should also swiftly pass a law requiring the administration to apply human rights sanctions on Iran’s supreme leader and president.

13. Congress should review U.S. force posture in the Middle East and expedite military sales and transfers to Israel in order to deter further Iranian escalation and ensure a credible military threat of force exists should such deterrence fail.

14. Congress should pass a resolution supporting a new U.S. policy direction for Iran that combines maximum support to the Iranian people, strict enforcement of economic and financial sanctions, isolation within international fora, accountability at the International Atomic Energy Agency, the immediate snapback of UN sanctions, a credible military threat against Iran, and other policies that address the growing China-Russia-Iran axis.

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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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