Thursday, September 07, 2023

From Ian:

US antisemitism envoy and EU denounce Mahmoud Abbas’s speech: Distorts the Holocaust
The US and EU on Thursday condemned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for a recent speech about the origins of Ashkenazi Jews and Adolf Hitler’s motivations, with the latter saying it fuels antisemitism and insults Holocaust victims.

US Special Envoy to Combat Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt slammed the “hateful, antisemitic remarks” made by Abbas in a speech last month to his Fatah party’s Revolutionary Council.

“The speech maligned the Jewish people, distorted the Holocaust, and misrepresented the tragic exodus of Jews from Arab countries,” Lipstadt wrote on X.

“I condemn these statements and urge an immediate apology,” she added.

Lipstadt’s condemnation came as the EU also denounced Abbas’s comments, saying they contained “false and grossly misleading remarks about Jews and antisemitism.”

Abbas repeated a number of antisemitic canards he has uttered over the years, including that Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler had Jews slaughtered because of their “social role” as moneylenders, not because of enmity toward Judaism.

“Such historical distortions are inflammatory, deeply offensive, can only serve to exacerbate tensions in the region and serve no one’s interests,” read the EU statement. “They play into the hands of those who do not want a two-state solution, which President Abbas has repeatedly advocated for.

“Moreover, they trivialize Holocaust [sic] and thereby fuel anti-Semitism and are an insult to the millions of victims of the Holocaust and their families,” continued the European condemnation.

France’s embassy called the speech “clearly unacceptable” and stated that it “unequivocally strongly condemns antisemitism and the denial of the Holocaust in all its forms, as well as its determination to fight tirelessly against these scourges.”

UNESCO lies: Jericho is not in 'Palestine' because no such state exists - opinion
UNESCO is at it again, and this time they’re targeting one of the most ancient and historically significant cities in the world: Jericho. The World Heritage Committee is set to vote on whether to list ancient Jericho as a Palestinian World Heritage site. This is not just a distortion of history. It’s an outright theft of Jewish heritage.

Let’s get one thing straight: Jericho is not in “Palestine.” There is no such state. The land is disputed, and many Israelis, including myself, see it as an integral part of Israel. By attempting to attribute Jericho to a “State of Palestine,” UNESCO is not just overstepping its mandate; it’s taking a blatant side in a geopolitical conflict. This is not education, science, or culture; this is political warfare.

UNESCO engages in political warfare
UNESCO has a track record of anti-Israel decisions. Remember when they denied the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and Hebron?

Those weren’t just slaps in the face to Israel; they were affronts to Jews and Christians worldwide.

Now, they’re about to add another insult by undermining the biblical significance of Jericho. The Palestinian Authority’s application does mention the city’s biblical importance but then has the audacity to claim it’s archaeologically false. This is a direct insult to every Jew and Christian who respects the Bible.

And let’s not forget the PA’s ongoing efforts to erase Jewish history. They’ve destroyed archaeological evidence on the Temple Mount and vandalized Jewish sites in Judea and Samaria. Instead of being held accountable, they’re being rewarded by UNESCO. This is not just wrong; it’s obscene.

UNESCO’s actions are not just damaging to Israel; they’re damaging to UNESCO itself. The organization was founded to promote peace and cultural understanding. By taking a side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they’re undermining their own mission. They’re not preserving world heritage; they’re politicizing it.

This isn’t just about one city or one heritage listing. This is about the integrity of an international organization that is supposed to be impartial. If they can unilaterally decide the status of Jericho, what’s next? Will they start rewriting the history of other disputed territories too?

It’s time for UNESCO to get out of the business of politics and back into the business of culture, science, and education. They need to drop this outrageous proposal and focus on what they were actually created to do. If they don’t, they’re not just failing Israel; they’re failing the world.

In a time when the Abraham Accords have shown that peace and mutual recognition are possible, UNESCO’s actions are a step backward. They’re not just undermining Israel’s sovereignty; they’re undermining the very possibility of peace and mutual respect.

The Palestinian peace process was meant to increase terrorism
Since the signing, 30 years ago, of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO, heralded by Israeli and world leaders as a breakthrough and the start of a peace process, over 2,000 Israelis have been murdered in Palestinian terror attacks.

The Oslo Accords led to 30 years of continuous, horrific, Palestinian terror under the leadership of the newly formed Palestinian Authority. Suicide bombings, shootings, knifings, car rammings, and other terror attacks were enabled by the Accords. Many mourn the lost peace that they thought was merely a breath away, wondering what caused the Oslo peace process to fail.

The answer is that, in international agreements, the very same things that cause one side to see failure can make the other side see success. Whereas the terror that Oslo enabled made it a tragic failure for Israel, for the PLO the terror is what made it a success, because that was one of the goals set by the Palestinian leadership when they signed. This is not merely conjecture after the fact.

The Palestinians said the goal of Oslo was terror
Since its inception, the PA leaders have been declaring their terror goals for the Oslo process, but Israeli leaders made the astonishing decision to believe what the PA leaders told them in private, over what they told their own people in public.

One of the clearest enunciations that Oslo’s purpose was to facilitate terror was reported by Palestinian Media Watch just months before Arafat launched the terror Intifada in 2000, articulated by a PA government minister.

“The Palestinian people accepted the Oslo Accords as a first step and not as a permanent settlement, based on the premise that the war and struggle in the land is more efficient than a struggle from a distant land [Tunisia]... The Palestinian people will continue the revolution until they achieve the goals of the ‘65 revolution... [destruction of Israel].” (Abd Al-Aziz Shahin, PA minister of supplies, Al-Ayyam, May 30, 2000)

PA minister Shahin could not have been more explicit about Oslo’s goal being increased terror. The PLO had trouble directing terror from Tunisia and signed the Olso Accords to direct terror against Israelis “in the land.” Everything that has happened in the last 30 years is encapsulated in those words – and yet Israel chose to ignore him.

The promise of terror came repeatedly, even earlier in the process, from the top PA leadership. Already in 1996, Nabil Sha’ath, chief PLO negotiator for the Oslo Accords, promised Palestinians that the automatic rifles that Israel gave the PA police would be turned on Israelis unless they gave in to every single Palestinian demand.

A private recording of Sha’ath discussing strategy at a meeting was exposed by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) on January 15, 1996.

“This is the strategy... If and when Israel says ‘enough,’ namely ‘We won’t discuss Jerusalem, we won’t return refugees, we won’t dismantle settlements, we won’t withdraw to the [1967] borders,’ in that case we will return to violence.

“But this time, it will be with 30,000 armed Palestinian soldiers and in a land with elements of freedom.

“I’m the first to call for it. If we get to a deadlock, we shall return to the fighting and struggle, as we have fought for 40 years or more.”
Oslo at 30 - a Personal Perspective
My entire career has been spent in the no man's land between Israelis and Palestinians. As a junior assistant at Defense Minister Gen. Moshe Dayan's office in the aftermath of the Six-Day War, I was a witness to a still unpublicized and short-lived initiative by Mossad operatives to explore the prospects of promoting the establishment of a Palestinian state sponsored by Israel.

Numerous conversations with local leaders, along with some businessmen and academics in the West Bank and Gaza, yielded an impression that Israel could prudently try to press forward in this direction. Yet by April 1968, Dayan decided to drop the experiment. He did not have confidence in the local leadership's ability to face both the radical Palestinian factions and President Nasser of Egypt's opposition.

In 1993, news of the Oslo agreement broke and I began calling my PLO contacts in Tunis. Mahmoud Abbas told me that the seven brigades of Fatah and the Palestinian Liberation Army would be deployed in the West Bank and Gaza during the first phase. Arafat was invited right from the start to impose full and exclusive control over the local Palestinian population. He was granted the armed forces, generous funding by international donors, and a free ticket to bring with him the PLO's culture of terror campaigns, corruption, and devotion to "liberate Palestine."

On Sep. 13, I was broadcasting on the only TV channel in Israel at the time, covering the White House signing ceremony. After an Oval Office interview, President Clinton asked me why I was so skeptical. My answer was that I had not heard from Arafat what I had heard years before from Sadat: "No more war, no more bloodshed!" It was clear to me then that Arafat signed the Oslo accords to gain a foothold in the land. He had never considered a long-term compromise, giving up the "right of return" or the "armed struggle." For him, it was no more than an armistice for a limited period.

The PA has become extremely unpopular among Palestinians and mainly operates as a patronage system to employ an ever-expanding public sector. The preservation of the PA as a potential partner for peace with Israel requires an ambitious reform, replacing the PLO old guard with true representatives of the local population. Only with new figures in leadership positions can the West Bank be prepared for whatever type of statehood with limited sovereignty may hopefully emerge from a potential fresh dialogue with Israel. As Prime Minister Rabin came to realize that the PLO was not the best counterpart, so should we now: the PLO has degenerated since Oslo and lost its strength. There are strong - though mostly silent - forces within Palestinian society who are disenchanted with "armed struggle" and who believe that cooperation with Israel is their preferred course.
Conference: Lessons Learned from the Oslo Accords
On Sep. 4, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and the Israel Defense and Security Forum (IDSF) held a conference in Jerusalem to explore the success of the Oslo Accords on their 30th anniversary. The agreement aimed to establish a path to peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but that goal remains elusive. Israeli MK Yuli Edelstein said that "the expectations were very high, but the reality turned out to be very different."

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Amir Avivi, founder and chairman of the IDSF, noted that since the Oslo Accords, the number of civilians killed or injured has been tenfold compared to the entire period from 1948 to the signing of the Accords. "The biggest failure was really choosing to do business with a murderous terror organization like the PLO," he said. "We had local leadership in the Palestinian towns in Judea and Samaria, but we chose to go to an organization that was founded in 1964, before the Six-Day War, in order to liberate Palestine, meaning basically annihilate Israel."

"We are talking about a peace agreement, and Arafat arrives while smuggling weapons and terrorists inside his car. And then he gave a speech full of hate saying that with blood, they're going to fight Israel, and I felt very uncomfortable. I felt that something was really wrong."
Caroline Glick: The Oslo deceit is still the DNA of Israel's strategy
Caroline Glick, a senior contributing editor of JNS, tells Israel National News that Oslo is far from thirty years in the past, but rather an overarching facet of Israeli life today.

"Oslo is the DNA of Israel's strategic thinking," she says. "It's behind everything from the Palestinians to the place of Judaism in our public life to Iran. The assumptions and paradigms continue to dictate our lives, because - despite over one thousand murder victims, they've never been revisited. They failed, but they continue to dictate our lives."

"Oslo was predicated on two basic assumptions. The first was that the conflict with the Palestinians was because Israel controlled Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem, and at the time Gaza. That meant that the larger conflict was because of Israeli actions. The second was that the PLO had turned its back on terrorism, that Arafat could become our subcontractor against terrorism. These continue to guide our policy today."

Glick also rejects the idea that there is no alternative to Oslo. "The current situation is not an alternative. One of the first rules in economics is, 'If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.' Oslo was based on deceit - Arafat lied to Rabin, he hadn't accepted Israel or rejected terrorism. It was also a lie to blame Israel for the pan-Arab conflict - at the Camp David Accords, they received everything they wanted, and still blew up the table and initiated a terrorist campaign against Israel."
The Palestinian Authority Thirty Years after Oslo
For many years now, the PA has been a foundering institution. The PA's weakness derives from manifold internal failures, including political stagnation, flawed governance, widespread corruption, an aversion to self-criticism, inadequate provision of public services, and a narrowing of Abbas' circle of advisors.

However pronounced the public's dissatisfaction may be with Abbas and the PA's performance, it has not resulted in widespread protests or a significant increase in support for Hamas. According to a March 2023 poll, 51% of West Bank respondents believe that neither the PA nor Hamas deserves to represent the Palestinians.
WSJ Editorial: Mahmoud Abbas Quotes Hitler
On Aug. 24, Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, told the Fatah Revolutionary Council: "The truth that we should clarify to the world is that European Jews are not Semites. They have nothing to do with Semitism." He cited the Khazar hypothesis, which speculates that Ashkenazi Jews aren't descended from the Holy Land, hailing instead from the medieval Tatar kingdom. This has been discredited by a century of scholarship. But its usefulness in denying the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel has made it a mainstream claim among Palestinians.

Abbas kept going. "They say that Hitler killed the Jews for being Jews, and that Europe hated the Jews because they were Jews. Not true." Europeans "fought against these people because of their role in society, which had to do with usury, money and so on. Even Hitler said he fought the Jews because they were dealing with usury and money. This was not about Semitism and anti-Semitism."

If you wonder why the Oslo peace process hit a dead end and stayed there, consider that Abbas and Fatah have been described for decades as "moderates." Abbas' predecessor, Yasser Arafat, once stunned President Clinton's negotiators by denying even that Jerusalem had been the site of the Jewish Temple. There's a reason Arab-Israeli negotiations have moved past the Palestinian veto.

Israel on track to join U.S. Visa Waiver program as deadline looms
Israel is on track to become the next country to join the U.S.’ coveted Visa Waiver Program, with an official announcement expected from the Department of Homeland Security before the end of this month, officials with knowledge of the process told Jewish Insider.

While some of the fine details of the arrangement still need to be resolved before Israel formally qualifies for the program, those appear to be minor matters and should be settled within the next week, according to the sources. A signing ceremony could even take place ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline set by the U.S.

If accepted, Israel will become the 41st country to join the program, which will enable most Israelis to travel visa-free to the U.S. for cultural exchanges, tourism and business purposes for visits up to three months, and the first country from the Middle East.

Sources said it would likely take a further six weeks for the U.S. to update its Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) in order to allow Israeli nationals to register. If all goes according to plan, Israeli passport holders could be eligible to travel visa-free to the U.S. sometime in mid-November.

“Israel has met all of its commitments, and all that is left is for the U.S. to say the word,” a source in Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told JI.

The Caroline Glick Show: What everyone is missing about the Israel/Yad Vashem Controversy
Why is the State Department Interfering with Yad Vashem?
Over the weekend, Ellen Germain, the State Department’s Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, published a bizarre post on her official Twitter account, expressing the U.S. government’s opposition to any talk of ousting Yad Vashem Director Dani Dayan.
Why was he being ousted? Why did the State Department feel the need to intervene?

All this and more as Caroline breaks down the news of the day

The Caroline Glick Show: The Eritrean Riots and Why Israel Should Care About Africa
Violent riots by Eritrean asylum seekers; Israel foreign minister Eli Cohen publicizes meeting with Libya and chaos ensues; turmoil and coups in Niger and Gabon. What's going on in Africa and why does it matter to Israel?

To discuss these issues, Caroline’s guest this week is Ambassador J Peter Pham. Pham, who currently serves as a Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council and a Senior Advisor at the Kach Institute for Tech Diplomacy, is the former U.S. Special Envoy for the Sahle and Great Lakes Regions of Africa.

They delve into
- the stakes and the pathologies of U.S. – and Israeli – ties with Africa.
- how to build and prioritize Israel’s ties with the least considered, yet strategically critical region of the world.
- the potential future for Israel and Africa.

"The ones able to make peace in Israel are the right wing," says Palestinian advisor
Nicole Mischel interviewed Dr. Mohammed Odeh, Fatah party advisor for Latin America.

Moroccan senate president delays historic trip to Israel due to illness
Morocco's senate president has postponed a historic visit to Israel due to a medical emergency, the Israeli parliament announced Wednesday.

The announcement came just a day before Enaam Mayara was scheduled to visit Israel's Knesset on a trip aimed at cementing the fledgling ties between the two countries.

Mayara was to be the first Moroccan official and one of the few Muslim leaders ever to set foot in the Knesset. The parliament had planned to greet him with a red carpet and a ceremonial guard of honor.

Israel and Morocco fully normalized relations as part of the 2020 Abraham Accords, a series of diplomatic agreements between Israel and four Arab countries brokered by then-President Donald Trump.

The Knesset issued a statement late Wednesday saying that Mayara had been hospitalized during a stop in neighboring Jordan. He was forced to reschedule his Israel trip and call off a visit earlier in the day to the Palestinian government in the West Bank, the statement said.
Will the Rocket Threat to Israel from Jenin Match the Threat from Gaza?
Recent Palestinian attacks against Israelis have included the attempted launching of rockets from the Jenin area toward Israeli communities. At present, the Jenin rockets are simple and can be quickly produced in any moderately equipped machine shop. The rocket fuselage is made of commercial-grade steel pipes that are widely available. The propellant can be produced from foodstuffs and fertilizers. The plans for simple launchers and instructions on "how to cook" simple propellants are available online.

The evolution of rocket fire from Gaza may be seen in three periods. From 2001 to mid-2005 there were about 50 rockets per year. During this period, parts of Gaza were ruled by the Palestinian Authority, and the IDF had freedom of action in the Israeli-controlled regions. In the second stage between mid-2005 and mid-2007, the rate of fire doubled to about 200 rockets per year. This occurred between Israel's unilateral pullback from Gaza and the seizure of power there by the Hamas. The third period, commencing in mid-2007 and lasting to this day, overlaps with the absolute Hamas control of Gaza (in conjunction with Islamic Jihad). As soon as Hamas evicted the PA from Gaza, the rate of rocket fire made quantum leaps to hundreds and then thousands of rockets per year.

Presently, the terrorist organizations' capabilities in the Jenin district are equivalent to Gaza's capabilities in the early 2000s. It stands to reason that the terrorist groups in Jenin will continue to manufacture and launch their local version of rockets in growing numbers, quality, and range - which eventually will cause damage and casualties in nearby Israeli communities. It also stands to reason that there will be attempts to smuggle completed Grad-equivalent rockets and launchers - shipped from Lebanon or Iran through Jordan to Jenin.

Regarding concealed launching pits, storage sites, and tunnels now used in Gaza, the geological differences between Samaria and Gaza should be noted. Gaza sits on sandy soil, which facilitates underground digging. In contrast, Jenin and the other Samaria cities are on hard limestone rock. That makes underground digging more difficult but not impossible.

In Gaza, the transition from home-produced rockets to imported military-grade rockets happened when the IDF had vacated the area. In contrast, the IDF maintains a significant presence in Samaria. It stands to reason that once smuggled military-grade rockets become known, the IDF will act energetically to block the smuggling routes and shut down depots and launching pits inside the Palestinian cities. In Gaza, the IDF had no boots on the ground to block the establishment of the Gaza Military Industries.

Palestinians crash press event spotlighting rise of illegal Arab city
A press event for Hebrew-speaking journalists the Gush Etzion and Yesha councils sponsored on Thursday to bring attention to the illegal construction of an Arab city was disrupted by a large group of Palestinians who appeared on the scene.

“If there were no guns there, it could have erupted into serious violence. I think that was a deterrent,” said JNS reporter Josh Hasten, who was on the scene. He noted that about 10 of those in attendance were armed, including a security detail for Minister of Settlements and National Missions Orit Strock of the Religious Zionism Party.

The press event was meant to be a low-key affair with journalists driven in jeeps about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from Kfar Eldad, a small Jewish community on the edge of the Judean Desert, to a spot overlooking the illegal Arab city currently under construction.

The sponsors set up chairs, a tent for shade and snacks, Hasten said. “Then all of a sudden some Arab guy comes up screaming like a madman in Arabic and in broken Hebrew: ‘This is my land. This is my plot. Get out of here. This was my grandfather’s.’

“More and more Arab cars kept coming up. In the day, you had about 50 cars there. There’s a road up to the top of the hill where we were. They blocked the road. And they were filming and screaming at us in Hebrew, Arabic and English, ‘Get off our land. Get out of here. We don’t want you here.’ They were going ballistic,” he said.

What finally defused the situation was the arrival of the IDF toward the end of the event. The soldiers dispersed the Arabs, who gradually returned to their cars and left the area.

“I don’t know who made the call. Three soldiers came to back them off. By that time, we were basically wrapping up,” said Hasten.
The Israel Guys: Did THIS Israeli Policeman REALLY BEAT A Palestinian Woman?!
A video of an Israeli policeman supposedly beating up a Palestinian woman in Jerusalem’s old city went viral on Twitter. The question is, is it true or is it just another piece of anti-Israel propaganda?

JCPA: Hussein al-Sheikh Aims for Deputy Role under Mahmoud Abbas
In recent months, Hussein al-Sheikh has successfully persuaded Mahmoud Abbas to heed the demands of the Biden administration, initiating comprehensive reforms within PA institutions and the Fatah movement.

These reforms aim to infuse fresh perspectives into the movement, rejuvenate its image, and bolster the PA’s standing among Palestinians. This is especially crucial in regaining control over areas in northern Samaria.

On August 27, 2023, Hussein al-Sheikh held discussions in Jordan with Barbara Leaf, the US Assistant Secretary of State, assuring her of Mahmoud Abbas’s commitment to implement necessary changes in PA institutions by year-end. This move would also contribute to counterterrorism efforts.

On August 10, 2023, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas dismissed most governors in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip and undertook a comprehensive overhaul of the PA’s diplomatic representatives abroad.

Hussein al-Sheikh is actively seeking support from top officials in Israel, the Biden administration, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia to establish his candidacy as the rightful successor to Mahmoud Abbas.

Notably, Hussein al-Sheikh is considered to be Mahmoud Abbas’s closest and most loyal associate.

Senior Fatah officials affirm that he has pledged to safeguard Mahmoud Abbas and his family post-retirement. Given that Abbas’ two sons have substantial economic interests, including holdings within PA territories, al-Sheikh has committed to preserving these assets.

While the Israeli security establishment is observing from a distance without direct involvement in the succession battle, Fatah claims it is endorsing Hussein al-Sheikh’s strategic moves.
Irish Deputy Prime Minister Tells Abbas: Elections Must Be Held Soon
Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin "made it clear" to PA President Mahmoud Abbas that elections should be held soon in the Palestinian territories, during a meeting in Ramallah on Wednesday.

"The last democratic elections within Palestinian territory was 2006. That means people in their early 30s have not voted for their representatives for the Palestinian Authority. That is not good and not acceptable," Martin said.

Regarding Hamas, the de facto government in Gaza, Martin said it must completely give up violence before Ireland and the EU will engage with it.

It is Irish and EU policy not to deal directly with Hamas, which has been designated a terrorist organization.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Shooting Jewish Teachers Will Convince The World To Support A Free Palestine by Nimr Kawukji, Hamas operative (satire)
The weak and pathetic Abu Mazen thinks that pretending to uphold agreements with the Zionist Entity will allow Palestinians to “incrementally” retake our land from the usurping pig-ape-dog Jews. We at Hamas and our more realistic allies know better: that the the only way to ensure full expulsion of the thieving, murderous Zionists is to kill day care workers and school teachers, using firearms and explosives.

Cowards argue that there is some difference between Occupation “soldiers” and “noncombatants,” a notion that anyone with a brain in his head and loyalty to Palestine knows to be a fruitless lie. All Jews are legitimate targets, because killing any of them, and many of them, will drive the lot of them out of our land once and for all. Victory remains imminent, as it has for seventy-five years! In 1948 there were six hundred thousand Jews here; now, their population is down to a mere six-and-a-half million! Just one more push!

Thus, day care workers and schoolteachers, while valuable targets, are not the only ones. I encourage our mighty warriors to place in their crosshairs Jewish shopkeepers, students, sanitation workers, nurses, physicians, bus drivers, housewives, social workers, plumbers, attorneys, electricity technicians, accountants, actors, janitors, auto mechanics, babysitters, delivery drivers, veterinarians, parking enforcement officers, cyclists, postal carriers, waiters, roofers, secretaries, insurance analysts, salespeople, entertainers, copy editors, caterers, short-order cooks, librarians, hospital orderlies, customer service helpline agents, human resources personnel, teachers’ aides, window cleaners, taxi drivers, crane operators, personal trainers, and zoo keepers, just to name a few. Also exterminators, reception clerks, radio announcers, writers, camera operators, and air conditioning repairmen. Also children. Did I mention children?

MEMRI: Prominent Islamist Figures, Jihadi Clerics Commemorate Anniversary Of Execution Of Muslim Brotherhood Ideologue Sayyid Qutb, Glorify His Legacy
Commemorating the 57th anniversary of the execution of the Muslim Brotherhood ideologue and revolutionary Sayyid Qutb, prominent Islamist figures and jihadi clerics took to social media to exalt his political and religious thought and enduring legacy. Through hashtags like #Sayyid_Qutb and #The_Anniversary_of_the_Martyrdom_of_Sayyid_Qutb, these individuals celebrated him as an enduring symbol of resistance against tyranny whose words have transcended his oppressors and continue to inspire Muslims worldwide. The regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt executed Qutb on August 29, 1966, for plotting against the state and conspiring to assassinate the Egyptian dictator. He remains a key figure in the ideology of Salafi-Jihadism.

This report will highlight the commentaries that glorified Qutb on social media and explore how critics of Qutb responded to these assertions.

In his tribute to Qutb, the Gaza-based jihadi cleric Nail Bin Gazi argued that Qutb's ideas have been revived since his execution and prayed to Allah to accept him and elevate his status. On August 29, 2023, he published a post on the platform X, previously called Twitter, stating: "57 years have passed since the passing of Sayyid Qutb – may God have mercy on him – and we still live within the nobility of his ideas [and] in his shadow.[1] This is the nature of ideas; whenever they are challenged, they rise, soar, and exert influence. Truth prevails, and illusions fade away. Oh God, accept him and elevate his rank. 1966/8/29."[2]

Describing the influence of Qutb's writings on him, Fadel Soliman, an Egypt-born American Islamic preacher and the Director of the Bridges Foundation, referred to Qutb as "the first person whom I credit the most – after Allah – with inspiring me to contemplate the Quran." On August 29, 2023, he wrote on the X platform to his 499,000 followers: "57 years have passed since the martyrdom of the person whom I credit the most, after Allah, for inspiring me to contemplate the Quran. The book Artistic Depiction In The Qur'an remains the best for those who would like to taste the sweetness of the words of Allah. The execution of Sayyid Qutb will remain a testament to how terrified his oppressors were of his words."[3]

In an interview dedicated to commemorating the 57th anniversary of Qutb's execution on Turkey-based Islamist "Watan TV," the host asked Dr. Tal'at Fahmy, spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood, about the reasons Qutb's thoughts and legacies are neglected in Egypt while celebrated elsewhere. In his response, Fahmy stated: "They want to execute the man once more. This man was executed on August 29, 1966, but remained alive as his ideas spread. His books were translated into all the living languages worldwide, and his words continue to torment them. They have resorted to a new execution of Sayyid Qutb in order to extinguish the man's ideology."[4]
MEMRI: Lebanese Official: UNIFIL's Presence In Lebanon Is Pointless If It Does Not Perform Its Duty But Rather Serves Hizbullah
On August 31, 2023, as it does every year in late August, the UN Security Council (UNSC) passed Resolution 2695 extending the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). In the weeks leading up to the vote, hectic discussions took place, involving the UNSC members, Lebanon and Israel, in attempt to agree on the language of the clause that defines the scope of UNIFIL's authority and freedom of movement. The Lebanese side sought to curtail the freedom of this force, which is tasked with overseeing the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1701 (2006), namely with ensuring that the area south of the Litani river is free of personnel and weapons of Hizbullah and other militias.

In last year's resolution extending UNIFIL's mandate (Resolution 2650), the U.S. managed to introduce a new clause stating that UNIFIL "does not require prior authorization or permission to undertake its mandated tasks and that UNIFIL is authorized to conduct its operation independently."[1] The introduction of this clause enraged Lebanese elements, chief of them Hizbullah. They called it a "dangerous" change and a form of "aggression" or "playing with fire" that transforms UNIFIL into an "occupying force" and legitimizes action against it.[2]

This year, the Lebanese demanded to omit this clause, whereas Israel demanded to keep it. The U.S., the UAE and several other UNSC members sided with Israel and firmly rejected the Lebanese demand to remove the clause.[3] Eventually, the language quoted above was left in place, but with an additional sentence, stating that UNIFIL is authorized to conduct its operation independently " while continuing to coordinate with the Government of Lebanon, as per the SOFA."[4]

After the resolution was passed, Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bouhabib said that, although Lebanon "did not get everything it wanted," it is nevertheless committed to international resolutions, including this one. He added that, in the last 12 months, nothing in UNIFIL's conduct indicated that there had been any change in the scope of its authority, which is "a point in its favor."[5]

These remarks echo statements made by Lebanon's foreign ministry after the passing of last years' resolution extending UNIFIL's mandate. Back then, the ministry announced that it had agreed with UNIFIL's commander that there would be no change in UNIFIL's activity, and that the force would continue to operate "in coordination and cooperation" with the Lebanese security forces.[6] The upshot is that, despite the new clause that the U.S. and its allies in the UNSC managed to add to the resolution in an attempt to strengthen UNIFIL's authority, in practice the force continues to operate as though no change has been made, and coordinates its activity with the Lebanese army and with other Lebanese authorities. The reason is presumably UNIFIL's concern that, if it acts with complete independence, its troops will be exposed to deadly attacks by Hizbullah and its local supporters, as has occurred several times in the past. The most recent incident was less than a year ago and resulted in the death of an Irish UNIFIL soldier. [7]

Indeed, elements in Hizbullah and in the pro-Hizbullah media warned UNIFIL after the passing of the resolution that, if it did not continue to coordinate with the army and maintain good relations with the locals in South Lebanon, it could face anger from the locals.[8]
Erdoğan: Willing Hostage to Putin's Anti-West Doctrine
Since Turkey's economy is undergoing an unprecedented dive, Erdoğan needs European loans and investors.

Erdoğan seems to have a lot of wants.... [And] he wants the US Congress to endorse the sale of F-16 Block 70 aircraft to Turkey.

What to do? Erdoğan has resorted to his old trick of launching a hoax charm offensive hoping to deceive, once again, a few naïve Western minds. Too little, too late. He has been dancing within the Russian orbit to Putin's tunes for several years so that, like a junior mafioso, he is being reminded by the capo that "once you're in, you cannot get out."

"We take Russian missile attacks as a Russian warning that reflects Russia's discontent over a few Turkish initiatives... A Putin way to say 'Hey, behave or else...'" — Senior Turkish diplomat to Gatestone, on condition of anonymity.

Once again, Western optimists are misreading Erdoğan, that he is "rekindling fraught relations with the West." He just needs Western money, a few pats on the shoulder and legitimacy for his sultanship.

The Turkish company Beks Ship Management... help[s] Russia ship out its oil despite the Western sanctions, according to The Wall Street Journal.

An elephant painted in stripes does not make it a zebra. Erdoğan has never hidden his anti-Western ideology, or its depths.

Erdoğan comes from the ranks of Turkey's militant political Islamism that emerged in late 1960s under the leadership of the ideologue, Necmettin Erbakan, Turkey's first Islamist prime minister and Erdoğan's mentor. In Erbakan's rhetoric universal politics is simply about a struggle between the righteous (Islam) and a coalition of Zionists and racist imperialists -- all else is just details. In his thinking, the Zionists support Turkey's membership in the EU in order to "get Turkish Muslims to melt in a pot of Christianity."

In a 2016 speech, Erdoğan talked of European countries: "These are not just our enemies... Behind them are plans and plots and other powers." Also in 2016, he said that jihad is never terrorism. "It is resurrection.... It is to give life, to build... It is to fight the enemies of Islam."
Syria Is Rebuilding Its Army. Israel Must Be Prepared
In 2010, Syria was the only Arab state that posed a serious military threat to Israel. Egypt was friendly, Saddam Hussein was out of the picture, and other Arab countries had neither the desire nor the ability to wage war. After the uprising that began in 2011, the regime of Bashar al-Assad grew far weaker, while its army concentrated its efforts on killing its own people. The IDF, meanwhile, has carried out hundreds of airstrikes to stop Iran from establishing certain military capabilities in the country. Eden Kaduri, Yehoshua Kalisky, and Tal Avraham consider the possibility that, as the war winds down, Damascus might once again pose a conventional threat:

As the civil war began to ebb, and particularly in 2015–2018, the Syrian military underwent many structural changes, with the cooperation of Russia and Iran. Since 2018, the Syrian military renewed its fortification and the annual training to prepare for war against Israel, while at the same time trying to increase its independence. The regime in Damascus invested major sums in rebuilding the Syrian military, and there are force-buildup and reorganization measures, including new personnel appointments. This comes against the background of recent years of positive developments for the Bashar al-Assad regime.

Over the past decade, . . . the main focus of Israeli attention has been Iranian entrenchment on Syrian soil, the Shiite militias that operate freely in Syria, and Damascus’s role in arming Hizballah. Against this backdrop, there is a tendency to overlook the threat posed by a stronger Syrian military. The firing of an anti-aircraft missile from Syria into Israel in early July 2023, in response to an alleged Israeli airstrike on Syria, was a reminder of the current and potential threat.

According to estimates, before the civil war, [Syria’s] Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), better known by its French acronym CERS—which is under the auspices of the Syrian Ministry of Defense and is responsible for manufacture and development of weapons for the military—was one of the most advanced research and development centers in the Middle East. . . . . CERS also provides arms and ammunition to Hizballah. . . . Over the past decade, CERS is estimated to have made a quantum leap in its capabilities, especially in the fields of precision munitions and the manufacture of UAVs and cruise missiles.

The Syrian military is still a long way from posing an immediate strategic threat to Israel. Many challenges remain before it recovers its full strength, led by insufficient funding and manpower to allow it to build up its forces. But Syria’s capability to produce arms and ammunition and the efforts underway to rebuild the military, partly through air-defense systems, as well as the regime’s chemical-weapons capabilities and the possibility that it could resume its nuclear program, signal that this is already [reemerging as a] threat.
Iran and its allies are calling the shots at the UN
Iran’s appointment as the next chair of the UN Human Rights Council social forum is the latest example of a trend I describe in my book Authoritarian Century, where our enemies get a vote in our success as democratic societies. Increasingly, the balance of power is tilting away from the West to developing countries that harbour antisemitism.

These countries have much to gain by working together and are building a grand anti-democratic coalition including Iran, China, Russia and North Korea, and using their resources to autocratise smaller states multilaterally. When China broke the Hong Kong Declaration for the umpteenth time in 2019 by violently suppressing the Hong Kong protests, it did so knowing full well that 43 of its Belt and Road Initiative partners would be supporting it. Beijing has effectively picked up the baton from the USSR, assembling a cabal of the most human rights- abusive nations to protect each other from criticism. Israel is condemned at every opportunity, while violations in countries such as Pakistan often pass without even a discussion. This is the soft power of authoritarianism.

The most well-known example of this is via the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), a body ostensibly designed to uphold the principles of human rights worldwide, but which has devolved into a platform that not only disproportionately condemns Israel but also legitimises antisemitism on a global scale. One need not look far to find evidence of the UNHRC’s obsession with Israel. A nation the size of New Jersey has faced more condemnations from the council than the rest of the world combined. It reflects that the council’s motivations and integrity are beholden to countries with some of the worst human rights records on the planet.

The US and its European allies were able to block Syria from being given a UNHRC seat after having authorised the slaughter of tens of thousands, but could not prevent the admission of Venezuela, another serial human rights abuser. Preventing entryism by antisemitic and authoritarian regimes is a game we may end up losing. We need to strengthen an “alliance of democracies” where these institutions are now failing.

In 2018 the US, under Trump, withdrew from the UNHRC over its bias against Israel. The council’s disproportionate focus was a stark reminder of the challenges faced in addressing the global rise of antisemitism. In 2021, the Biden administration rejoined with the hope of influencing change from within. This was another in a long procession of blundered appeasements from international bodies and NGOs. The latest, just last week, saw Russia and Iran re-admitted to the Nobel Foundation, despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Iran’s involvement.

Government faces fresh calls to outlaw IRGC after proscription of Wagner Group
The Home Office’s decision to proscribe Russian paramilitary group Wagner as a terrorist organisation has led to fresh calls to outlaw Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC).

From next Wednesday, it will be a criminal offence in the UK to belong to or support the brutal Russian organisation.

The IRGC, by contrast, has still not been proscribed, despite calls from terror experts and Jewish leaders.

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Monroe Palmer said: "I welcome the proscription order making it illegal to support Wagner group and punishable by up to 14 years in jail.

“So I ask the Government – are you now at long last going to ban support for the Revolutionary Guard? What is stopping you?"

Crossbench peer Lord Alex Carlile told the JC it made sense to ban state affiliated groups that could harm the UK.

“The Wagner group has definitely engaged in terrorism,” he said. “They and the IRGC have intervened in states where they have no business being.”

Kasra Aarabi, an expert on Iran and the IRGC, said: “The UK government’s excuse for not proscribing the IRGC has in part been that the IRGC is an arm of the regime in Iran.

“The proscription of the Wagner Group, which is an arm of the Russian state, today, means the government can no longer refuse proscribing the IRGC on those grounds.

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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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