Friday, June 30, 2023

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: It’s time to dismantle the United Nations
In May the U.N. commemorated “Nakba Day,” the propaganda term the Palestinian Arabs have given to the date on which the State of Israel was founded. It invited the head of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas to address it.

He used that platform to repeat the P.A.’s murderous lie that Britain and the U.S. had decided “for their own colonialist purposes” to establish “another entity in our historical homeland” because they “wanted to get rid of the Jews and enjoy having them in Palestine—two birds with one stone.”

As for the WHO, Neuer observed that every year its annual assembly deviates from surveying global public health to hold a special debate singling out Israel. There is no such focus on Syria, where hospitals are repeatedly bombed by Syrian and Russian forces; nor on North Korea, which has one of the worst health systems in the world. On the contrary, the WHO recently elected North Korea to its executive board.

As ever, the deranged onslaught upon Israel stands proxy for the endangerment of the world itself.

A WHO mission to study the Covid pandemic’s origins in China announced in February that the possibility that the virus had escaped from a laboratory needed no further investigation. The mission had been put under pressure to reach that conclusion by Chinese scientists who made up half the team.

The United Nations has been impotent over China’s systemic abuses of its population and over Russia’s war against Ukraine. Who can be surprised? Both China and Russia have places on the U.N. Security Council with veto power. The United Nations places foxes in charge of its hen house.

In a similar vein, Iran, which is racing towards developing nuclear weapons to further its war on the U.S. and its intention to wipe Israel off the map, has been made vice president of the General Assembly.

Even more grotesquely, Iran has been made rapporteur of the General Assembly’s Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Committee. This is despite its persistent violations of the Security Council resolution banning its ballistic-missile program and its refusal to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The United Nations isn’t just anti-Israel. It is morally corrupt at its very core. As a result, it doesn’t just victimize Israel and empower its attackers. It doesn’t just betray its charter commitments by endangering the wider world.

By supposedly promoting global peace and justice but actually promoting those dedicated to war, terror and tyranny while demonizing their victims, the world body has also knocked the free world off its moral compass.

That world will only stand a chance of regaining its balance if it walks away from the United Nations and creates an alliance of democracies instead.
UN pares down list of firms doing business with Israeli settlements
The United Nations rights office has updated a list of companies doing business with Israeli settlements, removing 15 companies from the database that were no longer involved, a spokesperson said on Friday.

The long-awaited update was limited in scope due to budget restrictions and was only able to review the original list of 112 companies, UN human rights spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani told a press briefing.

There was no immediate comment from Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the previous version, as did Washington which has long protested the "disproportionate attention" given to Israel by the Geneva-based council.

The database was mandated by the UN Human Rights Council in 2016 but was not released until 2020. Most of the firms it named were domiciled in Israel but it also included international firms listed in the United States, Britain and France, among others.

Most of the firms named in the database when it was set up were domiciled in Israel but it also included international firms listed in the United States, Britain, and France, among others.

Packaged food maker General Mills was one of only two international firms removed from the list. Among those that remained were online travel sites BKNG.O and Expedia EXPE.O and home-rental company Airbnb ABNB.O.

Exclusive: US Iran Envoy Malley On Leave, Facing Investigation
Iran International has learned that US special envoy for Iran Robert Malley is under investigation and his deputy has assumed his duties at the State Department.

After multiple inquiries, State Department Spokesperson Matt Miller said Thursday afternoon in a statement that "Rob Malley is on leave and Abram Paley is serving as acting Special Envoy for Iran and leading the Department’s work in this area."

Multiple sources told us that Malley is under investigation for yet unknown reasons and one source said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is also involved.

According to our sources, Malley has been absent for a considerable period prompting speculation about potential conduct-related issues, which could affect his security clearance.

Speaking to Iran International on the condition of anonymity, a source familiar with the case confirmed Mr. Malley's absence, saying, "He has completely vanished. No calls, no meetings."

Considering Mr. Malley's essential role in formulating US policy towards Iran, his abrupt and prolonged absence raised considerable questions. Iran International sought clarification earlier on Friday from the State Department regarding the nature of his leave and security clearance status.

In response, the State Department replied by email, "The Department of State, the Special Envoy for Iran, and his team remain deeply engaged on the formulation and implementation of US Iran Policy."

The Department's spokesperson reiterated the same during his daily briefing on Friday before spokesperson Miller confirmed that Malley is on leave.

The initial email did not clarify who is holding the position of ‘Special Envoy for Iran’. In further correspondence, we asked: "Can you please confirm whether Abram Paley is currently Acting Interim Special Envoy for Iran?" The state department's answer was short: "Hello, we decline to comment."

Journalist Barak Ravid tweeted after Iran International's exclusive report first appeared that Malley told him: "I have been informed that my security clearance is under review. I have not been provided any further information, but I expect the investigation to be resolved favorably and soon. In the meantime, I am on leave."

Israel's terrorists are outcasts; in the PA they are celebrated
Even Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, two of the most hardline, far-right members of Israel's government, discouraged attacks on Palestinians and called on Israeli residents in Judea and Samaria not to take the law into their own hands. A similar message was conveyed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In contrast, whenever Palestinians commit acts of terrorism against Israelis, they are praised by Palestinian leaders and the general public. Whenever an innocent Israeli is killed by Palestinian terrorists, Palestinians pass out candy in the streets to celebrate. To the best of my knowledge, no one among Israelis was passing out candy to celebrate the death of Omar Qattin, a Palestinian who was killed during the attack on his village of Turmus Ayya by Israeli rioters. In fact, I know of no instance when the killing of Palestinian civilians was celebrated in the streets by Israelis.

Another major difference between Jewish terrorism and Palestinian terrorism is how often each occurs. Each year, there are an average of 300 attacks on Palestinians' property and 100 attacks on Palestinian individuals. By comparison, Palestinian terrorists commit an average of 5,000 attacks on Israelis each year. The number of fatalities as a result of Jewish terrorism also pales in comparison to the number of Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorists. The United Nations claims that at least 22 Palestinians were killed by Israeli acts of terrorism in the period between 2010 and 2019. But the number of Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorists during that same period was more than 300. And as regrettable and horrible as the death of Omar Qattin was, 28 Israelis have been killed by Palestinian terrorists so far this year, some of them children.

Moreover, no one pays Israelis to kill Palestinian civilians in cold blood, but Palestinians are paid very generous monthly salaries by the Palestinian Authority (PA), whenever they kill innocent Israelis – a policy known as pay-for-slay, which the PA has refused to end. In fact, the PA spent a total of $270 million on pay-for-slay in 2021 alone.

Palestinian children are also taught from a very young age to hate Jews and Israel. They are even encouraged to commit acts of terrorism against innocent Israelis, and follow the examples of Palestinian terrorists who have already done so. Palestinian schools are frequently named after terrorists. Palestinian textbooks are filled with examples of Jew-hatred and the encouragement and glorification of terrorism and martyrdom.

Although I'm no expert on the Israeli education system and the materials it uses, I'm willing to bet that no Israeli textbook encourages Israelis to kill innocent Palestinians in cold blood, and I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.

Terrorism is terrorism, no matter who is responsible for it. But there's no comparing Jewish terrorism to that committed by Palestinians, because whereas acts of terrorism committed by Jews against Palestinians are rare, and are not endorsed, encouraged, or subsidized by Israel, acts of terrorism against Jews by Palestinians are all-to-frequent, and are supported, promoted, and even paid for by Palestinian leaders.
Seth Frantzman: What will it take for Israel, Saudi Arabia to normalize ties?
Riyadh has consistently said its position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict hasn’t officially changed. It backed the Arab Peace Initiative in 2002, a plan that called for peace in return for a just and comprehensive peace with the Palestinians based on a two-state solution.

It is clear that there is a lot of focus on potential ties, which is helped by constant spotlight on the issue by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who discussed normalization in May. In April, US Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) told reporters in Jerusalem an opportunity for normalization could end in 2024.

Sometimes, the hurdles of normalization work like a feedback loop of diminishing returns, such as placing a stumbling block where none existed before. It goes something like this: “Normalization could happen, however, the election of a right-wing government is a setback. Normalization could happen, but first there must be comprehensive peace, and the right-wing government makes that harder.”

Additionally, while normalization could happen, West Bank clashes make it more difficult. Also making it difficult are China’s inroads in the region and Iran’s moves. Furthermore, we would need an American commitment to “civilian nuclear power” to make it happen... and so on and so forth.

The last six months saw near-daily discussions about normalization, which gives the sense of a very close, known quantity of time. Yet at the same time, it seems like a Gordian knot, in large part because increased focus leads to increased controversies.

Actors that may seek to spoil normalization can also have more leverage, such as Iranian-backed terrorist groups, including Islamic Jihad’s operatives in Jenin. With one operation, they think they can derail a deal that could be worth billions of dollars in trade and help knit together a corridor of stability stretching from Greece to India.

This is unreasonable, and as such, it is worth keeping an eye on the larger picture. Integration of the region is growing, and momentum is building. Riyadh has its timetable for potential normalization.

Paris Holocaust memorial vandalised as city rocked by riots
A Holocaust memorial has been vandalised by protesters angered by the killing of a teenager by French police.

Jewish groups were left outraged after the Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation was defaced in the Nanterre suburb of Paris, France on Thursday.

The memorial commemorates 200,000 Jews who were deported from France to Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

Video footage circulating on Twitter shows protesters vandalising the monument and sitting atop the memorial as they protest against French police for the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old North African teen.

According to a video from Twitter account ‘Observatory of Decolonialism’, protesters said they were going to start another Holocaust. They wrote on the memorial: “We are going to make a Shoah”.

Stores and restaurants run by Jews were also set on fire in Sarcelles, Radio Shalom reported.

Ariel Goldmann, president of the United Jewish Social Fund, said of the vandalism: “It is an absolute outrage and a disgrace. Nothing is respected.”

The European Jewish Congress added: “It is truly horrifying to witness the Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation in Nanterre being vandalised.

Gadi Taub: Gatekeeper #182 With Lee Smith
Lee Smith, one of the most important journalists in the United States, is the author of two books about the Democratic establishment's attempt to politically eliminate Trump. Now that the Durham Report has been published confirming everything Lee has written, he's not happy. Why? Durham didn't need to compile a report, he should have conducted criminal investigations that would end in indictments. We also talked about how Israel doesn't understand democratic governance, and about the connection between different wings of the radical policies that we call "progressive" for short. (autotrans)

The Caroline Glick Show: Law Professor: Netanyahu's case - an embarrassment to Israel's judicial system
Caroline's guest this week was Prof. of Law Avi Bell. to discuss the recent news that the judges in Netanyahu's case told the prosecution that they don't have enough to convict.
Prof. Bell and Glick delve into
- the basis and implosion of the charges against Netanyahu
- the major effect that a conviction would have on the legal definition of bribery
- the most crucial parts of judicial reform that need to be implemented.

Police find letter threatening PM Netanyahu on brother's grave
A letter containing threats against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was placed on the grave of his brother Yoni Netanyahu on Mount Herzl, Jerusalem. Israel Police confirmed the incident.

The police stated it will open a joint investigation with the Shin Bet internal security agency, saying it will find the author of the letter. Earlier this week, the prime minister and his brother Ido Netanyahu took part in a commemoration in memory of Yoni.

"What's going on Yoni - you hero? How's it going for you up above?" Ah, I forgot, you're probably standing in place and there's not much room to advance," was written in the opening of the letter.

"It's my request to tell your brother, Bibi [Benjamin] Netanyahu, that he has a few rights or a lot of rights, but they have ended. And now, Mount Herzl, this sanctified place, has the clock ticking down, until October 13, 2023, when your brother, the son of ..., thinks he will turn 74," the author threatened the prime minister's life using his Hebrew calendar birthday.

"Be clear, this is a threat of the first level," the letter ended with another smiley and in English, "red alert level."

This wasn't the first such threat on his life. In 2022, Netanyahu's chief of staff filed a complaint after a murder threat was posted on Twitter. "This man must be killed quickly before it's too late," the message read.
The Israel Guys: BREAKING: The International SHOWDOWN on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Joshua brings you shocking insights into the US State department's view on Israel and the 800,000 Israelis living in the so called West Bank! On one hand they swear full support for the one and only Jewish state but on the other hand bash it by unilateral support for Israel's enemies! In my personal opinion America is harming Israel much more than she’s helping!

Heroic security guard who shot terrorist in Eli recounts the traumatizing moments
Morel Moyiz Nikar, West Bank settlement Eli's security guard who killed one of the terrorists in the shooting attack near the settlement over a week ago that took the lives of four victims, is currently recovering at the home of his parents-in-law.

In an exclusive interview with Ynet, he recounted the dramatic moments at the gas station, and the fire exchange with the terrorist, and opened up about how he and his wife are coping after the murderous attack.

Morel was injured by two bullets fired at him by the terrorist, one in the leg and the other in the shoulder.

"I feel good, in general, all the support from the very beginning and all the people who came - it really warms the heart. It's a great feeling," he told Ynet. "It's a miracle that I'm alive. The two bullets that hit me didn't hit any vital organs or main arteries, they only hit muscle. I have a large hole in my leg, but it will heal with time. I believe that within a few months, I will return to function fully. I'm undergoing rehabilitation and physiotherapy and I can already see progress."

When asked if, after more than a week and after watching the footage of the incident, he understands what happened and what he did, he replied: "Yes. Maybe I could have done even more. I remember I was at the entrance gate to Eli, and then I heard gunfire very close. I went outside and saw that the traffic at the gas station was at a standstill, and immediately I understood it was a terrorist attack. I ran to my car, grabbed a long weapon, and tried to get to the intersection as quickly as possible. As I turned towards the gas station, I saw the terrorist running towards me, and then I saw someone entering the gas station who didn't know there was an attack. The terrorist reached his window and shot at him point-blank. I saw that and immediately jumped, I was exposed near the door and I fired at him while he was shooting at me for about five seconds. It felt like much longer to me.

Cash Cabal: How Hezbollah Profits from Lebanon's Financial Crisis
The Lebanese economy requires an urgent overhaul, and the international community must press for deep reforms.

In March 2020, Lebanon opted for a “hard default” on $32 billion in sovereign debt, allowing the government to avoid negotiating with its Eurobond holders and investors. Beirut thereafter showed little interest in addressing the consequences of default, and the country’s economic meltdown worsened. As usual, the Lebanese people were the casualties, suffering amid what the World Bank has called a “deliberate depression.” This official negligence has cleared the way for a proliferating cash economy—which in turn has spawned a currency exchange scheme involving the central bank, foreign exchange agents, and Lebanese politicians. Hezbollah specifically has profited in areas ranging from real estate to solar energy, pharmaceuticals, and the illicit Captagon trade.

In this Policy Note, authors Samara Azzi and Hanin Ghaddar—a venture capitalist and a former Lebanese journalist—skillfully diagram the corrupt status quo and explain why entrenched actors want to avoid systemic change. But as the study makes clear, the future health of the Lebanese economy requires an overhaul, and the international community must now press for deep reforms and personal accountability.

Iraqis storm Swedish embassy as Muslim world denounces Quran burning
Iraqi protesters breached Sweden’s embassy in Baghdad on Thursday, angered by a Quran burning outside a Stockholm mosque that sparked condemnation across the Muslim world.

A crowd of supporters of firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr stayed inside the compound for about 15 minutes, then left as security forces deployed, an AFP photographer said.

“Our constitution is the Quran,” read a message on leaflets carried by the protesters, and a message sprayed on the compound’s gate read “Yes, yes to the Quran.”

The protest came a day after an Iraqi citizen living in Sweden, Salwan Momika, 37, stomped on the Islamic holy book and set several pages alight in front of the capital’s largest mosque.

Swedish police had granted him a permit in line with free-speech protections, but authorities later said they had opened an investigation over “agitation.”

Despite the outcry, Momika told a Swedish newspaper late Thursday that he would repeat the demonstration soon.

“Within 10 days I will burn the Iraqi flag and the Quran in front of Iraq’s embassy in Stockholm,” Momika said.

The Quran burning, coinciding with the start of the Muslim Eid al-Adha and the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, sparked anger in the Middle East and beyond.
The Potemkin Life of Persian Jewry
Iran is home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in the Diaspora, documented in the biblical books of Esther, Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. Despite severe persecution since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, it is also the largest Jewish community in the Middle East. The regime claims that its Jews flourish, are loyal citizens, and share in official hostility to Israel. Reality, writes Tammy Reznik, is somewhat different:

In a stranger-than-fiction moment, earlier this month, a small group of Jews gathered in a synagogue in the heart of Tehran to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Iran’s first supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. . . . A similarly curious moment occurred in April when the Jewish community “chose” to cancel its traditional end-of-Passover celebrations (Mimouna) in favor of “celebrating” al-Quds Day, [during which the regime publicly fantasizes about the cleansing of Jerusalem of Jews]—which happened to fall on the same day this year. In fact, the single Jewish representative in the Iranian parliament, Homayoun Sameyah, very publicly joined in the annual al-Quds Day march demanding Israel’s destruction.

What these events illustrate is the precarious position that the 9,000 or so remaining Jews of Iran find themselves in on a daily basis.

Another consistent trend has been the promotion of Holocaust denial. Beni Sabti, [an Israeli Iran specialist who emigrated from the country as a teenager], says the promotion of Nazi ideology was endemic to the education he received in Iran. “They would hand out copies of Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion for free in mosques, and translated copies in Farsi online.”

Sabti says that, with everything else, Iran’s remaining Jews are forced to use code words when discussing Israel. They often even find ways to visit by circumventing the borders and exiting Iran via a third country. The community is tight, and information on how to travel to Israel secretly is shared.
Israel's air superiority will send Iran back 'thousands of kilometers' - Gallant
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Thursday said that Israel and its air force power will force Iran to withdraw from its close fighting with Jerusalem back thousands of kilometers to its borders.

Speaking from the Air Force Officers Graduation Ceremony, Gallant said, “We will not come to terms with attempts by Iran to go wild in our area. We will act against them and strike them and send them back to their land of origin thousands of kilometers east from the State of Israel.”

The defense minister repeated past statements that “all options are on the table” to prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Iran's 'capital of terror' meeting
Gallant also emphasized Tehran’s global role in terror, noting a recent meeting in Iran with top Hamas terror leaders and terror leaders from various other organizations.

“This was a meeting of terror in the capital of terror” to bring terror against Israel and the entire world.

At the same ceremony, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would prevent Iran from smuggling precision weapons close to its borders.

Likewise, Netanyahu said that the IDF would not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon and that it would defend Israel even if the West signed a new potential nuclear deal with Tehran.
Iran’s proxy war against Azerbaijan
Whereas Iran’s destabilizing activities in the Middle East are well known, “peripheral” Tehran activities are coming under the radar. One such direction of Iranian subversion is the Caucasus, Iran’s conflict with the Republic of Azerbaijan. Numerous Iranian media outlets have recently evoked the possibility of a military escalation between Baku and Tehran. The Iranian regime accuses Azerbaijan of all possible manipulations and evil doings, including dispatching ISIS and al-Qaeda Sunni terrorists to fight Iran. The main accusation, however, is of Baku’s collision with Israel (“the Zionist regime,” to quote Iranian officialdom). This article reviews the anti-Azeri actions taken by Iran.

Relations between Azerbaijan and Iran have always been tense. The main driver of conflict is the Azeri population of Iranian Azerbaijan. Though the Azeris make up nearly 40% of Iran’s population, they are deprived of their national rights, such as the right to use their language in the press and education. The Azeris in Iran aspire to more cultural autonomy and home rule, which the Tehran regime denies.

There are also other contentions, such as Iran’s struggle with Azerbaijan over controlling Caspian oil. Azerbaijan hinders Iran from achieving its ambitions in the Caucasus. Nevertheless, Iran cannot fight Azerbaijan directly and has relied on the Moscow-Yerevan-Tehran axis for that purpose since the 1990s. Russia and Armenia want to weaken Azerbaijan. Nevertheless, the primary reason for the tension between Iran and Azerbaijan resides in the discrimination of the Azeris in Iran and the secular pro-Western stance of independent Azerbaijan.

Since the Ukraine war outbreak, Iran has stepped up its cooperation with Russia. Iran has always supported Armenia against Azerbaijan. Russia’s position in the Caucasus has recently weakened, and it cannot help Armenia. Armenia, in turn, is becoming Iran’s pawn in the Iranian game against Azerbaijan. Iranian diversions cannot unfold without using Armenia as a transit hub. The actions undertaken by Armenia help Iranian efforts to weaken Azerbaijan. Iran has always preferred indirect actions.

The former IRGC Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani founded an Azeri pro-Iranian militia called “Hosseyniyun” in Iran. Iranian agents have always been active in Azerbaijan. Yet Iranian subversion is not confined to covert actions and rabble-rousing rhetoric alone.

Iranian state media started questioning Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, claiming the Nakhchivan region belongs to Iran. Iranian actions could never be so effective if Iran did not have regional allies. One of these Iranian bedfellows is Armenia. The Tehran regime is transforming the Caucasian country into its military bases and a stronghold to increase tensions with Azerbaijan and help Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. In other words, Armenia is becoming Iran’s client in the Caucasus.

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