Saturday, September 09, 2023

From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: The cruel lessons of the Oslo debacle remain unlearned
The consequences of Oslo and the Gaza withdrawal, which allowed the strip to be transformed into a terror fortress as well as an independent Palestinian state in all but name, have been calamitous for Israelis. Time and again, they are forced to grab children and herd the elderly, and run full-speed to bomb shelters during rocket and missile barrages launched from the Strip. That’s a steep price to pay for a debating point.

But both Oslo and the Gaza withdrawal are held up by some as necessary, despite the horror they produced, because anything must be tried in the pursuit of peace, even if lives are lost in the process.

As much as supporters of Israel should have learned that the willingness of the Palestinians to end the conflict was misjudged, they should also have absorbed that the international community, mainstream press and foreign-policy leaders aren’t any more sympathetic to Israel as a result of the risks it ran and sacrifices it made than they were before 1993.

Indeed, it is entirely possible that they are less sympathetic to an Israel that was willing to gamble with the likes of a veteran terrorist like Arafat. Instead of saluting their courage for opening themselves up to the perils of empowering terrorists for the sake of peace, the world interpreted Oslo very differently. Rather than a generous gesture in which tangible assets and territory to which Israel had at least as good a claim as the Arabs were given up in exchange for the hope of some quietude, the international community viewed it as an Israeli admission of guilt for holding onto stolen goods.

To a large extent, most Israelis have absorbed these lessons as the election results that repeatedly put Oslo opponent Benjamin Netanyahu in the prime minister’s office have proved. But the success of the movement against judicial reform to some extent illustrates that the Israeli left is far from dead or understands how wrong they were 30 years ago when they were in charge of the country’s fate.

And as long as the United Nations still pushes the lying Palestinian narrative about Israel’s illegitimacy and its being an “apartheid state,” the international community still acts as if Oslo hadn’t demonstrated the Palestinians’ unwillingness to make peace no matter what they were offered.

That’s also true with respect to the United States where the Biden foreign-policy team remains undeterred by Abbas’s expressions of hate. They are still financially supporting a Palestinian government led by a Holocaust denier and antisemite, and trying to undermine Netanyahu in the vain hope that Abbas or a successor will finally vindicate their policy of pressuring Israel to weaken its security and give up its rights to parts of the ancient Jewish homeland.

Three decades of proof of Palestinian rejectionism hasn’t lessened the clamor for more land for peace trades that will lead to even more harm for Israel.

Thinking back 30 years ago, one can’t blame those who celebrated what they were told was a deal that would end the conflict. But we can fault those who refuse to draw conclusions from what followed. The pursuit of peace is an honorable calling, but when such efforts lead to more violence rather than conflict resolution and empower antisemites—as was the case with Oslo—then honoring the good intentions of those involved isn’t justified. In a world in which antisemitism is on the rise specifically because of the hatred for Israel that Abbas helps incite, actions that strengthen antisemites who are responsible for the murder of Jews shouldn’t be seen as noble or worthwhile. Much as we might want to still honor those who were prepared to gamble on peace, Sept. 13, 1993 should be remembered as a day of infamy for Israel and the Jewish people.
Oslo is dead: A Palestinian state will never exist
BY ANY measure, the Oslo experiment was the diplomatic equivalent of the Titanic, a grandiose exercise in hubris that crashed and sank, sending countless innocents to an early grave.

Nevertheless, until today Israel continues to suffer from Oslo, as various American and international leaders persist in their prattle about the necessity of a “two-state solution” and the need to create an independent Palestinian state.

With cult-like certainty, these fantasists continue to preach that conferring statehood on the Palestinians would put an end to the conflict with Israel.

Needless to say, they ignore the Palestinian track record of scuttling negotiations, effectively torpedoing attempts by premiers such as Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert to give them virtually everything they wanted on a silver platter.

Those who continue to mouth the mantra of a “two-state solution” are simply overlooking the obvious lesson that Oslo embodies: Israel must never again give up territory under any circumstances, and most certainly not in exchange for false promises of peace.

We cannot place our security in the hands of others and, no matter what, we must never allow a hostile Palestinian terrorist state to be established in Judea and Samaria, as it would pose a direct threat to the future of the country.

Oslo and its underlying principle of “land for peace” was an illusion founded upon the delusion that appeasing terror, rather than opposing it, was the answer.

But this is not a battle over borders, and it never has been. It is a clash of civilizations, a struggle between the Jewish people, who are reclaiming their ancestral homeland, and our numerous foes.

The fact is that there has never been a Palestinian state in all of history, and there isn’t one now.

And Israel should make clear, once and for all, that there never will be.

Thirty years on, we can say with confidence that Oslo and everything that it stood for is dead. Rather than trying to revive it, we would do well to offer it a fitting eulogy.
House Democrat Rashida Tlaib to speak at major anti-Israel conference: 'Treasonous'
"Squad" Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is slated to be a speaker at a conference headed by an anti-Israel coalition that has come under fire for being linked to Palestinian terror groups, a flyer shows.

Tlaib will appear between Oct. 27-29 in Houston, Texas, at the national conference for the United States Campaign for Palestinian Rights, which has reportedly fiscally sponsored the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions National Committee and accused Israel of "apartheid," "ethnic cleansing," and "genocide," according to the campaign's website.

"It is anti-American and even treasonous for Tlaib to speak at a USCPR conference that falsely condemns America as an 'imperialist,' and aims to 'mobilize action' against America, Israel, Jews, and Jews on American college campuses," President Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America, the oldest pro-Israel American nonprofit group, told the Washington Examiner. "The leadership of the Democratic Party should publicly condemn Rashida Tlaib and demand she not speak at this anti-American, anti-semitic conference."

News of Tlaib's forthcoming appearance at the USCPR event comes as she continues to face heightened criticism from Republicans and her Democratic colleagues over her anti-Israel positions. In May, Permanent Israel Representative to the United Nations Gilad Erdan said the congresswoman's "ignorance and hatred toward the Jewish people and the state of Israel know no bounds," following Tlaib posting on social media that "the apartheid state of Israel was born out of violence and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians."

Many House Democrats, including Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Elaine Luria (D-VA), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), and Ritchie Torres (D-NY), notably condemned Tlaib last September upon her alleging that “Israel’s apartheid government” does not align with “progressive values.” Tlaib joined other left-leaning Democrats in July to boycott Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s joint address to Congress, releasing a joint statement with Rep. Cori Bush (R-MO) that dubbed Israel "an apartheid state."

USCPR, which fundraises through its U.S. charity called Education for Just Peace in the Middle East, has routinely slammed efforts by Israel's government to thwart terrorism. This includes its signing of a statement in August 2022 that took issue with its move to designate six Palestinian groups as proxies for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — a U.S.-designated terror organization.

The BDS National Committee, which Tablet revealed in 2018 was sponsored by USCPR, includes the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, according to its website. The council's members have, in turn, included U.S.-designated terror groups, such as the Popular Front, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Palestinian Liberation Front, and others, according to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the BDS coalition website, and the U.S. State Department.

Jeffrey Berk, head of the pro-Israel advocacy group TruthTells, said it's "incomprehensible" Tlaib would choose to be affiliated with USCPR — calling for her to be censured.

Biden Unveils ‘Historic’ Transport Corridor Running Through Saudi, Israel
A broad alliance of states on Saturday unveiled ambitious plans to create a modern-day Spice Route linking Europe, the Middle East and India, boosting trade ties with potentially paradigm-changing geopolitical implications.

The United States, Saudi Arabia, the European Union, the United Arab Emirates and others launched the initiative to link railways, ports, electricity and data networks and hydrogen pipelines on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in New Delhi.

Although heavily trade-focused, the scheme could have wide-ranging implications — including developing contacts between long-time foes Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Signatories hope it can help integrate India’s vast market of 1.4 billion people with countries to the west, offer a counterbalance to lavish Chinese infrastructure spending, boost Middle Eastern economies and help normalize relations between Israel and further Gulf Arab states.

“This is a real big deal,” said US President Joe Biden at the launch event, calling the plan “historic.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the so-called India–Middle East–Europe economic corridor was “much more than ‘just’ a railway or a cable.”

“It is a green and digital bridge across continents and civilizations,” she said.

One proposed project would link railway and port facilities across the Middle East — including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel — potentially speeding trade between India and Europe by up to 40 percent.
‘Greatest cooperation project in our history’: PM lauds new US-led transport corridor
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday hailed as a “major development” a newly announced US-backed plan to build a rail and shipping corridor linking India with the Middle East, Israel and Europe.

The corridor is an ambitious project aimed at fostering economic growth and political cooperation and would help to boost trade, transport energy resources and improve digital connectivity.

Netanyahu called the initiative “a cooperation project that is the greatest in our history” and one that “takes us to a new era of regional and global integration and cooperation, unprecedented and unique in its scope.”

In a video message, Netanyahu said the new corridor “will bring to fruition a years-long vision that will change the face of the Middle East and of Israel.

“Our country Israel will be a central junction in this economic corridor, our railways and our ports will open a new gateway from India through the Middle East to Europe, and back.”

He thanked Biden and his administration “for the great effort that brought us to this historic announcement.”

And he promised that Israel “will muster all its capabilities, all its experience, with full forward momentum and commitment… to make this dream a reality.”

Netanyahu had previously discussed the possibility of a train linking Israel to Saudi Arabia.
Over 3,500 academics, writers, artists urge Biden and UN chief to snub Netanyahu
A group of over 3,500 Israeli academics, writers, artists, former diplomats and other public figures on Friday called on US President Joe Biden and UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres not to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the upcoming General Assembly summit in New York, over his government’s controversial policies.

Signatories wrote “from the heart of the struggle for democracy,” warning that Netanyahu was promoting a “deceptive facade” in international media interviews on the benefits of his judicial overhaul proposals.

“Inviting Mr. Netanyahu to speak at the United Nations General Assembly will grant symbolic power and political leverage to a cynical populist who strives to establish an autocratic regime when institutions of democracy are under attack worldwide,” the letter asserted.

Netanyahu has already apparently lost out on a much sought-after meeting with Biden at the White House. A senior Israeli official told The Times of Israel on Friday that Netanyahu will only meet Biden on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York later this month.

Netanyahu has yet to meet face-to-face with Biden since he took office more than eight months ago. The White House has repeatedly expressed disapproval of many statements and policies emanating from members of Netanyahu’s hardline government, as well as with the judicial overhaul plan that has roiled the country.

Netanyahu is currently slated to address the General Assembly on September 21, but his speech may be moved to September 22, a Friday. File: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2018 in New York City. (John Moore/Getty Images/AFP)

“Giving this supreme artist of doublespeak and fakery a respectable venue will allow Mr. Netanyahu to rehabilitate his damaged international status. This is precisely what he so desperately seeks, using the honorable institution of the UN as the stage of his verbal trickery,” signatories wrote.

The writers accused Netanyahu of “legitimizing racist, ultranationalist, religious fundamentalist and homophobic political parties that until now operated at the margins of Israel’s political discourse — and this solely for the purpose of his political survival.”

JPost Live Coverage: Morocco earthquake: 1,300 dead, 56 Israelis unaccounted for
A powerful earthquake in Morocco has killed more than 1,000 people and injured hundreds more, the country's deadliest tremor in more than six decades, toppling houses in remote mountain villages where rescuers dug through rubble for survivors.

The magnitude 6.8 quake struck in Morocco's High Atlas mountains late on Friday night. The Interior Ministry said over 1,000 people had been killed and at least another 672 injured. Most of the fatalities are in mountainous areas outside Marrakech, the nearest city to the epicenter, its updated toll showed.

In the village of Amizmiz, some 60 km (40 miles) south of Marrakech, rescue workers picked through the rubble.

"When I felt the earth shaking beneath my feet and the house leaning, I rushed to get my kids out. But my neighbors couldn’t," said Mohamed Azaw. "Unfortunately no one was found alive in that family. The father and son were found dead and they are still looking for the mother and the daughter."

About 20 men including firefighters and soldiers in fatigues stood atop the ruin of a house in Amizmiz as they tried to remove rubble, bits of carpet and furniture protruding from gaps between pancaked concrete floors.

In Marrakech, where 13 people were confirmed dead, residents spent the night in the open, afraid to go home.

Buildings in its old city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, suffered damage. A mosque minaret had fallen in Jemaa al-Fna Square, the heart of the old city.
Israel preparing to send search and rescue mission, assistance to quake-hit Morocco
Israel is preparing to send a search and rescue mission and humanitarian aid to Morocco after a powerful earthquake shook the North African country and killed hundreds of people, officials said Saturday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered “all ministries and forces to provide assistance as necessary to the Moroccan people, including planning to send an aid delegation to the area,” a statement from his office said.

Netanyahu said “The people of Israel extend their hands to our friends, the people of Morocco, at this difficult time and pray for their well-being. We will help in any way we can.”

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant ordered the IDF and Defense Ministry “to prepare to provide immediate emergency assistance via the rescue bodies in the Home Front Command,” a statement from his office said.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen also told his ministry and the embassy in Rabat to contact Moroccan authorities to see how Israel can be of assistance.

Israel is a world leader in search and rescue operations and has sent delegations to assist in major quakes, including in Turkey, Mexico, and Haiti. Illustrative: IDF search and rescue teams work to find survivors after an earthquake in Turkey on February 10, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

Over 1,000 people died, mostly in the tourist hot spot of Marrakesh and five provinces near the quake’s epicenter, and another 672 people were injured, Morocco’s Interior Ministry reported Saturday afternoon. Of the injured, the ministry said, more than 200 were seriously hurt.

The Israeli Foreign Ministery also said in a statement that currently there were no reports of Israeli casualties in the quake, but that “we continue to try and contact all the Israelis who are in Morocco to ensure that they are safe.”

According to Channel 12, most Israelis currently in Morocco were confirmed to be safe. While 17 had not yet made contact with their families by Saturday afternoon, they were believed to keep Shabbat, possibly explaining the lack of communication.
Seth Frantzman: Morocco earthquake, Israel’s rapid response, and the Abraham Accords
Morocco and Israel now have warm relations, which have grown in leaps and bounds in the last few years. These include memorandums and high-level visits.

Israel has unique capabilities regarding earthquake assistance. This involves search and rescue and experience setting up field hospitals and helping to find people who may be trapped in the rubble.

Israel excels at the use of technology for this kind of emergency. This means using the latest gadgets, as well as things like radar and other means. This kind of technological advantage is harnessed through Israel’s investment in hi-tech and also defense technology.

In some cases, dual-use technology, which is made possible by supporting small and medium-sized companies in the defense sector, helps to create an ecosystem that can aid in these emergencies.

Another thing Israel has learned is how important it is to work quickly. The first days after a disaster are the most important.

People need to be found quickly because they may be injured or they may not have access to water or food. In many cases, Israel is able to be prepared quickly to send a team. What is important is the contacts and cooperation that are set up before these disasters occur.

The fact that Israel was going to host a high-level parliamentary visit from Morocco last week, although it was delayed at the last minute, illustrates these kinds of connections. Israelis know who to speak to and they know to make the efforts quickly.

In an uncertain world that is changing rapidly, the Israeli connection to neighbors in the Middle East through the Abraham Accords, Negev Forum, and other groups and bilateral ties is essential.

This is reflected in the response on the first day after the earthquake in Morocco. It also is important as it comes three years after the Abraham Accords, as the region prepares for another anniversary of the important agreement. It shows all the added value of these peace deals in the region.
15 US senators call to delay Israel entry into visa waiver program
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken must not move forward with accepting Israel into the visa waiver program, a group of 15 Democratic senators wrote.

This is because Israel is not expected to fully meet all the conditions by the deadline, according to a copy of the senators’ letter received by Walla on Thursday.

Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, who also received a copy of the letter, must announce by September 30 that Israel meets the conditions for joining the program.

Senior American and Israeli officials claim that at this stage the plan is for Blinken and Mayorkas to make an affirmative announcement and move forward with the process.

In mid-July, Israel and the United States signed a memorandum of understanding that defined the conditions for Israel’s entry into the program – which was a significant step forward in accepting Israel.

In the two months since then, Israel has implemented a pilot program, during which the US State Department and the Department of Homeland Defense monitored how Israeli authorities apply the new procedures toward Americans of Palestinian or Arab origin.

Senior Israeli officials say that in the last two months, 12,000 Americans of Palestinian origin who live in the West Bank have entered Israel under the new procedures. In addition, several thousand Palestinian-Americans who live in the US and who landed at Ben-Gurion Airport entered Israel and also benefited from the new procedures.

It is estimated that about 50,000-70,000 Americans of Palestinian origin live in the West Bank.

The letter was initiated by Sen. Chris Van Hollen, and was also signed by senators Brian Schatz, Tom Carper, Tammy Duckworth, Dick Durbin, Martin Heinrich, Ed Markley, Jack Reed, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Peter Walsh, Jeanne Shaheen, and Tina Smith.
Abbas Spokesman Doubles Down on Palestinian Leader’s Antisemitic Speech Despite Global Condemnation
The spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas doubled down on the legitimacy of his boss’s recent speech, which has drawn international outrage for its litany of antisemitic conspiracy theories and claims that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler did not hate the Jews as a people.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh claimed on Thursday that Abbas’ “position on this issue is clear and documented” and that the Palestinian president condemns the Holocaust. He added that Abbas’ remarks “on the Jewish issue” were based on quotes “from the writings of Jewish and American historians and writers and others” and “not considered a denial in any way of the Holocaust.”

However, neither Abbas nor his spokesman issued an apology, instead reserving blame for those who criticized the speech.

“We express our strong disapproval and condemnation of this frenzied campaign just for quoting academic and historical writings,” Rudeineh said, according to Palestinian media reports.

Abbas has received global condemnation for a recent antisemitic speech that he delivered late last month to the Revolutionary Council of Fatah, the political party he leads. The address — which the Middle East Media Research Institute flagged and posted video of last weekend — was riddled with antisemitic conspiracies and claims that antisemitism was not a cause of the Holocaust. Among the controversial comments, Abbas claimed that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler did not hate Jews as a people but rather because of their dealings with money as usurers.

“They say that Hitler killed the Jews for being Jews, and that Europe hated the Jews because they were Jews,” Abbas said. “Not true. It was clearly explained that [the Europeans] fought [the Jews] because of their social role, and not their religion. Several authors wrote about this. Even Karl Marx said this was not true. He said that the enmity was not directed at Judaism as a religion, but to Judaism for its social role.”

Abbas went on to claim that Hitler said he “fought” the Jews because “they were dealing with usury and money,” adding that the dictator of Nazi Germany “hated” Jews because they were engaged in sabotage.” He also said that the Holocaust “was not about Semitism and antisemitism.”

Rudeineh wasn’t the only Palestinian official to lambast critics of Abbas rather than Abbas himself over the speech.

Miss Iraq hits out at POTUS for funding PA after Abbas' Holocaust comments
Miss Iraq Sarah Idan called out POTUS and “every leader that gave money” to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on September 6, after Abbas made some antisemitic revisionist comments on the Holocaust and Jewish history.

Idan, after listing the claims of Abbas, referred to the PA leader as an “antisemite.”

Abbas’ comments on Hitler and the Holocaust
In a meeting with Fatah’s Revolutionary Council, that was recently translated and made available to non-Arabic speakers, Abbas claimed that Adolph Hitler “fought the Jews because they were dealing with users and money.”

Abbas went on to deny that Ashkenazi Jews had any historic ties to Israel and were actually descended from Khazars.

Abbas’ speech was also condemned by the state of Israel’s official X account, who wrote “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas: Hitler Fought the European Jews Because of Their Usury, Money Dealings, It Was Not about Antisemitism.”

“This is the same Mahmoud Abbas whose doctoral dissertation is known for its Holocaust denial.”

Israel Warns Hamas Against Attacks During Jewish Holidays
Senior Israeli security officials warned the Hamas terrorist organization on Friday against launching rockets from the Gaza Strip during the upcoming Jewish holidays that start next week Friday.

The message from the Israeli officials was conveyed to Hamas, the de facto rulers of the Gaza Strip, through intermediaries, according to a report published by the PBC.

Due to security concerns, Israel issued the warnings to Hamas urging it not to make any attempt to carry out terror attacks or launch rockets. The message was reportedly conveyed through countries that have diplomatic relations with both sides.

The message also included a clear warning that Israel would respond with strong force if rocket launches were carried out, and did not rule out launching a military operation in response.

The Israeli security services were already reportedly preparing to confront and thwart terror attacks, with an estimated 200 warnings per day, according to PBC.
Israeli security reserve officers denounce former Mossad director’s ‘pitiful, baseless claim’
The Israel Defense and Security Forum, which represents 20,000 Israeli reserve officers and soldiers, issued a sharp condemnation of recent statements by Tamir Pardo, a former Mossad director, which it called “pitiful and baseless.”

On Wednesday, Pardo told the Associated Press that Israel is enforcing an apartheid system in Judea and Samaria. “There is an apartheid state here,” Pardo told the AP. “In a territory where two people are judged under two legal systems, that is an apartheid state.”

The IDSF stated that given its constituency’s extensive service in Judea and Samaria, it can “confidently state that Pardo’s allegations are detached from reality.”

“All Israeli security forces stand on solid moral and legal grounds while operating in Judea and Samaria, in light of the clear military necessity to defend Israeli civilians,” the group stated. “Any other claim is nothing but a distortion of reality, a vial defamation of the state of Israel and its security forces and is based solely on personal political views.”

IDF Gen. (res.) Gerry Gershon, former Judea and Samaria division commander, and Israeli Police Maj. Gen. (res.) Shalom Kaatabi, former Judea and Samaria district commander, signed the letter. A senior member of the Shin Bet and a major general (reserves) of the Mossad were also listed but not named.

Biden Administration Bypassing Americans, Violating US Law, to Appease Regime of Iran
The Biden administration has been accused of secretly bypassing US laws to reach a deal with Iran's Islamist regime.

On August 10, the Biden administration apparently cut a "deal" excluding Congress and keeping the American people and U.S. regional allies in the dark -- even though they are the ones who would be the most directly affected by a "deal."

The United States agreed to pay $6 billion dollars and release a handful of Iranian nationals who are serving prison sentences in the US, in exchange for the release of five Iranian-Americans imprisoned in Iran. The sum comes to more than a billion dollars per head -- possibly largest hostage ransom payment in America's history -- and that makes every American on foreign soil a juicy mark.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul accused President Joe Biden on August 21 of breaking a 2015 law, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA) by secretly negotiating and reaching a nuclear "understanding" with the Iranian regime alongside a hostage release deal.

"I urge the Administration to remember that U.S. law requires that any agreement, arrangement, or understanding with Iran needs to be submitted to Congress pursuant to INARA." — US Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in a letter to President Joe Biden, August 15, 2023.

"At least $16 billion has now been made available to Iran without any congressional input—and more might be on the way. Another $6.7 billion is reportedly moving to Iran via the International Monetary Fund Special Drawing Rights... and reportedly ... another $3 billion of regime assets frozen in Tokyo. India and China...." — Richard Goldberg, former White House Security official,, August 15, 2023.

How could the Biden administration keep the American people and allies such as Israel in the dark when the Iran's ruling mullahs have made it clear that a top priority is to attack the US, eradicate the Jewish state and "wipe Israel off the map"?

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi... has openly called for the destruction of Israel: "This great movement that we are witnessing today in the form of protests is a symbol of the solidarity of the Muslim people that will lead to the destruction of the Zionist regime."

The Biden administration's endless preference for the openly-expansionist, terrorist-supporting, citizen-murdering regime of Iran directly puts US national security, the lives of our allies worldwide, and the lives of American people at risk.

Sept 8, 1978: The shadow of PLO terrorism in Iran's Revolution
The Islamic Revolution of 1979 remains a pivotal event in modern history, marking the overthrow of the Shah's regime and the establishment of an Islamic terrorist Republic. Delving into he complex dynamics of the revolution sheds light on the role of terrorism, brutality, and foreign influence in shaping its trajectory and also underscores the consequences of these factors for Iran's subsequent history.

The tragic events comprising the Cinema Rex incident, the Jaleh Square Massacre, and the Lavizan Terrorist Attack collectively unveiled a distinct facet of the pre-1979 Islamic Republic utopia. These terrorist occurrences serve as illuminating examples that shed light on the true character and ethos of the Islamic terrorist factions aligned with Khomeini.

1. Introduction
The so-called Iranian Revolution of 1979, often hailed as a popular uprising against the rule of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, a nationalist king of Iran, has a more nuanced reality. This paper explores the underreported aspects of the revolution, specifically focusing on the use of brutality, terrorism, and external influences by the emerging clerical leadership. The political parties and Islamic-Marxist militia that participated in the 1979 Iranian revolution exhibited a distinct inclination away from pursuing the developmental trajectories and sociopolitical paradigms typical of Western nations such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Western Europe. Instead, they demonstrated a marked affinity for countries like Libya, Iraq, Albania, Cuba, Syria, and Iraq, representing a departure from Western-centric ideals. This ideological divergence, coupled with the events of 1979, engendered a set of profound consequences that significantly impacted Iran and the broader region, ultimately leading to a transformational shift in the geopolitical landscape.

2. The Cinema Rex Fire
On 19 August 1978, a tragic incident occurred when Cinema Rex in Abadan, Iran, was set ablaze, resulting in the deaths of between 377 and 470 individuals. While officially attributed to an act of arson by Khomeini's supporters, the fire's true origins remain shrouded in controversy. This event marked a turning point in the revolutionary narrative, as it was used as a propaganda tool against the late Shah.

The tragic incident in question was allegedly orchestrated by certain clerical figures to condemn the Shah's patriotic regime and incite public sentiment against the monarchy in Iran. The involvement of these individuals, often referred to as 'mullahs,' was subject to efforts to conceal their fingerprints after the events of 1979. However, recent scholarly research and accounts provided by notable political figures have shed new light on this historical occurrence, offering a more comprehensive understanding of the incident's origins and the potential involvement of specific religious leaders.

3. The PLO and Libyan Connection
The relationship between Khomeini, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and the Libyan government became apparent during the revolution. Yasser Arafat, a terrorist figure in the PLO, was present in Iran during critical moments of unrest. Furthermore, it is documented that Islamic Marxist terrorists received training in Arafat's terrorist camps, raising questions about external influences on the revolution.

Yasser Arafat himself, during his time in Iran, publicly acknowledged the existence of a robust relationship between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Islamic Marxist groups before 1979. Furthermore, a representative from Libya was present in Iran in 1979 and played a role in publishing a magazine.

Arsen Ostrovsky: Elon Musk’s dangerous tweets are empowering antisemites
For the record, the ADL is not beyond reproach; a number of its policies are certainly worthy of question. However, the ADL has long been used by the far-right as some kind of Jewish bogeyman. Ultimately, the ADL is just a figurehead for the neo-Nazis in their ultimate goal to eliminate and cancel Jews altogether.

Had Musk not elevated the “Ban the ADL” campaign, it is questionable whether anyone would have really noticed it. However, in putting himself at the center of the campaign, he sent it into antisemitic orbit, bringing out of the woodwork many far-right, neo-Nazi, conspiracy theorist crackpots.

Now, Musk has threatened to sue the ADL for defamation — quite ironic for someone who professes to be a “free speech absolutist.” In announcing his intent to take legal action, Musk has claimed that since his acquisition of Twitter, the ADL “has been trying to kill this platform by falsely accusing it & me of being anti-Semitic” and that as a result, “US advertising revenue is still down 60%, primarily due to pressure on advertisers by ADL.” Musk has valued the alleged loss at roughly $22 billion.

However, one can’t help but wonder, is Musk using ADL as a scapegoat to cover for his own business woes? According to some reports, X was already heavily laden in debt, and with the U.S. experiencing an economic slowdown advertisers tend to pull back. Musk has also gone on a firing spree after taking over, with a lower expenditure meaning the platform requires less revenue to meet costs.

But by opening up X as a megaphone for extremists pushing hateful material, it is plausible that advertisers have decided they just no longer wish to be associated with the platform. Only last month, two leading brands suspended advertising on X after their ads appeared next to pro-Nazi content.

Perhaps instead of blaming ADL for all his company’s ills and using an identifiably Jewish organization as a scapegoat, Musk should focus on getting back to business basics.

In the wake of the ADL fall-out, Musk reiterated “To be super clear, I’m pro free speech, but against anti-Semitism of any kind.” Musk might not be an antisemite. But he is elevating and empowering antisemites by repeatedly engaging with white extremists with antisemitism already at record highs in the U.S. If history has taught us anything, it is that unchecked hatred and incitement against Jews has real-life implications and leads directly to violence.

If Musk truly wants to maintain X as a free speech platform and demonstrate he is against antisemitism, he needs to stop engaging with antisemites.

UK Parliament Considering Anti-BDS Bill as Jewish Groups Voice Support
The British Parliament is considering legislation that would ban public institutions — including universities and local government bodies — from participating in or endorsing the so-called Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to isolate Israel from the international community as a step toward the Jewish state’s eventual elimination.

Proposed in June by Michael Gove — the British secretary of State for leveling up, housing, and communities — the “Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill” would levy fines on public entities that make “economic decisions” such as a boycott or disinvestment based on support for the BDS movement.

“The BDS campaign opposes efforts to bring Israelis and Palestinians together to broker peace through a two-state solution, opposes cultural exchanges between Israelis and Palestinians, and fights against co-operation between Israeli and Palestinian universities,” Gove, a member of the Conservative Party, said in July when explaining the rationale for the bill.

“Where the BDS campaign has been adopted and endorsed there have, unfortunately, been real community-cohesion problems,” Gove added. “We have seen an increase in antisemitic events following on from the activities of the BDS movement, including supermarkets removing kosher products from their shelves following specific protests. The Community Security Trust has recently recorded the highest ever number of antisemitic incidents.”

Hearings on the legislation were held this week by a committee of the House of Commons, with representatives of Jewish civil rights groups arguing in testimony for the measure’s necessity and importance in a time of rising antisemitism and hostility toward Israel — especially on UK college campuses.

BBC sidelining of a crucial aspect of stories it regularly reports
The surge in Palestinian terrorism emanating from PA controlled areas in Judea & Samaria – and of course the consequent Israeli counter-terror operations – has been one of the main topics covered on the BBC News website so far this year.

Another topic which has been repeatedly reported – albeit to a lesser extent – is that of crime in Israel’s Arab sector.

Those two topics have one common factor: weapons smuggling from surrounding countries. However, as has been documented here on several occasions, that issue has received very little attention from BBC journalists in either context.

Last month we noted that a report by Tom Bateman and David Gritten titled ‘Israeli Arabs demand action over spike in murders linked to organised crime’ failed to address the issue of the sources of the illegal weapons used to commit those murders.
“A further component to the story – which the BBC has serially under-reported over the past two years – relates to illegal weapons. As noted by the INSS in 2021:
“The number of illegal weapons possessed by gangs and criminal organizations, as well as ordinary civilians for the purpose of self-defense, has increased. Tens of thousands of weapons in Arab communities are estimated stolen from IDF bases or smuggled from Palestinian Authority areas.”
In addition, weapons are smuggled into Israel from surrounding countries but that topic has received very little BBC coverage to date. For example, a recent case in which four Israeli Arab citizens were arrested for smuggling weapons supplied by Hizballah into Israel for criminal purposes was not reported at all by the BBC.”

Beatification of righteous Poles helping leaders downplay Holocaust role — experts
The beatification of a Polish family who sheltered Jews during the Holocaust has given the government in Warsaw a chance to promote a one-sided narrative about the attitudes of Poles in the war, experts have said.

Ahead of a ceremony on Sunday bestowing the Catholic honor on the Ulma family, who were killed by the Nazis, their story is being widely shared in Poland, with exhibitions, concerts, and new books, including for children.

Polish presidential adviser Marcin Przydacz told Polish radio PR1 that the event has “a dimension of building up the image of Poland, and of historical truth.”

Six million Polish citizens, including three million Jews, were killed by the Nazis.

The Yad Vashem memorial, which is dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust, honors 7,232 Poles as “Righteous among the Nations” for helping Jews during the Nazi occupation at a time when doing so was punishable by death.

Heroic and tragic
But historians say the sacrifice of those who helped Jews cannot be used to whitewash the past.

For years, the authorities have denied the collaboration of some Poles with the Nazis and the indifference of a large part of the population to Jewish suffering.

“History is not a buffet where you can pick and choose what you want but that is how politicians are treating it,” said sociologist Agnieszka Haska of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research.

“The story of the Ulma is heroic and tragic but cases of Jews being saved were not as numerous as politicized history now would have you believe… The Righteous were an extreme, just like those who collaborated,” she said.

Haska said that “as victims of the Second World War, we are incapable of accepting that we were not as noble as we think.”
The chilling stories of female Shoah survivors being turned into music
After a difficult day exploring the memories of Holocaust survivors at a Jewish care home, social worker Paula David tried a new way to cope with the horrors of what she’d been told, and to help the residents process their trauma. She sat down with her notes and recordings and began to put the survivors’ words together thematically. Little did she know that the collective poetry that emerged a year later would become a music album, Silent Tears, heard by people all over the world.

When David read the lines she’d compiled to the residents of Baycrest Centre in Toronto, they were astonished by how much they resonated — not realising that they were their own stories. “They said, ‘Oh, this is amazing,’” recalls the pioneer in treating elderly victims of sexual violence. “‘Somebody understands how we feel.’ And then they started opening up more.”

For most of the survivors, English was not just their second language, it was their third, fourth or fifth.

“They were struggling to express such deep-seated feelings in a language new to them,” says David, who worked alongside them over several months until a book of poetry was published. They were thrilled to unexpectedly become bona fide authors, she says. “It gave them this incredible confidence and pride.”

The group had allowed the survivors to open up about traumatic things they hadn’t shared before: the sexual violence, torture and forced sterilisation they had experienced at the hands of the Nazis.

For decades, they had carefully edited their stories to what they could manage, could bear. Their new-found openness was a result of being among a group that understood.

“Often, something important would be prefaced with, ‘I’m taking this story to the grave with me.’ And then they’d proceed to tell either me or the group,” says David of the stories that emerged. “And the group was able to comment and react because they also had first-hand knowledge.”

Finally invited to multi-sport Invictus Games, Israel sends team of 20 to Dusseldorf
Disabled Israel Defense Forces veterans are participating for the first time in the Invictus Games, which begin Saturday evening in Dusseldorf, Germany.

The athletic competition, held every year or two since 2014, is for wounded warriors from countries around the world and promotes sport as an essential means of physical and mental rehabilitation. Military veterans with “invisible injuries,” such as PTSD, also compete, whether or not they also have a physical injury.

Israel is sending 20 competitors ages 24-68 accompanied by four coaches and staff from the Zahal Disabled Veterans Organization (ZDVO). The team members, including three women, will compete in swimming, cycling, archery, table tennis and indoor rowing.

The games, founded a decade ago by UK military veteran Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, are run by the Invictus Games Foundation. The first games were in London in 2014, with others following in Orlando, Toronto, Sydney and The Hague. After Dusseldorf, the next will be in Whistler, Canada in 2025.

Representatives from 21 countries will compete in 10 sports in this year’s games. The others are field athletics, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair rugby.

“Initially, the games were only for countries that had fought alongside the UK in Iraq and Afghanistan, but later other countries were invited to join. We have long sought to be part of the games because Israel has been a world leader in sport-as-rehabilitation for more than 50 years and we have so much to offer,” said Ora Seidner, who does project development for the ZDVO’s Zahal Disabled Veterans Fund and is the administrator for the Israeli Invictus Games delegation.

According to Invictus Games Foundation communications director Sam Newell, admission into the Invictus Community of Nations is at the sole discretion of the foundation, and applications to join are considered on a case-by-case basis. Nations are selected for participation in the Invictus Games by the foundation in conjunction with the host city.
‘All the Light We Cannot See’ Reveals Glimpse of ‘Timeless and Timely’ New World War II Series
The cast and crew behind Netflix’s upcoming four-part limited series All the Light We Cannot See, which is set in Nazi-occupied France during World War II, gave a special behind the scenes look into the show’s filmmaking process in a video released on Thursday.

The series, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Anthony Doerr, follows the intertwining stories of Marie-Laure — a blind French girl who with her father flees German-occupied Paris with a legendary diamond to keep it safe from the Nazis — and a German orphan named Warner, who works for the Nazis. Adapted to screen by Steven Knight, Shawn Levy serves as director and executive producer, while actress Aria Mia Loberti, who is visually impaired, plays Marie.

Loberti had no plans to become an actress, and the Netflix series was her first time auditioning for a role.

“Aria is someone who understands this character in her soul,” said Levy, adding that it was important for him “to have Marie played by someone who understands what it is like to walk that road” and be visually impaired.

“Maria’s experience of blindness is not a catalyst for the story necessarily,” explained Loberti, explaining that the storyline is “about her experience as a blind girl navigating love and loss in a time of war.”

Seven-year-old Nell Sutton, who is legally blind, was cast first as young Marie before Loberti was brought on board. Sutton said during filming she was “gonna keep Marie in my heart” and, like Loberti, was not a professional actor before All The Light We Cannot See. The audition for the project was her first ever.

In All the Light We Cannot See, Marie-Laure and her father are pursued by a ruthless Gestapo officer who wants the diamond for himself. The father and daughter find refuge in the seaside city of St. Malo, where they move in with a reclusive uncle (played by Hugh Laurie) who transmits secret radio broadcasts as part of the Nazi resistance. While there, Marie-Laure meets Werner (played by Louis Hofmann), a teenager recruited by Hitler’s regime to track down illegal broadcasts. Marie-Laure and Werner form a bond and share a secret as well as a sense of hope while World War II takes place around them. Levy described Werner as “this pure soul, being indoctrinated into evil to which he doesn’t subscribe.”
Movie About Jewish Composer Leonard Bernstein Gets Huge Standing Ovation at World Premiere
Maestro, the Bradley Cooper-directed film about the marriage and family life of renowned Jewish composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, received a seven-minute standing ovation when it made its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival last weekend.

Cooper, who also plays Bernstein in the Netflix film, and his co-star Carey Mulligan did not attend the screening on Saturday night because of the ongoing strike by writers and actors that’s all but shuttering Hollywood. However, Bernstein’s three children — Jamie Bernstein, Alexander Bernstein, and Nina Maria Felicia Bernstein — were in the audience and welcomed the applause from the crowd as the film’s credits rolled to their father’s music. They also conducted the end credits, as seen in a video shared on X/Twitter by Deadline.

Bernstein, who famously composed the musical West Side Story and was conductor of the New York Philharmonic for 40 years, died in 1990. Instead of focusing primarily on his career achievements, Maestro spotlights his lifelong relationship with his wife and the mother of his three children, Costa Rican-American actress Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein, who is played in the movie by Mulligan. The couple married in 1951 and stayed together for 25 years, even though Montealegre knew of the extramarital gay relationships Bernstein had. The film’s cast also includes Matt Bomer as Bernstein’s lover; Maya Hawke as Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie; and Sarah Silverman as Bernstein’s sister, Shirley.

Maestro, which Cooper co-wrote with Josh Singer, is among 23 films competing for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. The movie faced some backlash regarding Cooper’s use of a prosthetic nose in his portrayal of the Jewish icon, which the film’s make-up artist apologized for at a Venice Film Festival press conference.
Porto’s Jewish community unveils memorial to 842 victims of Portuguese Inquisition
In this city on Portugal’s northwestern coast, a small Jewish community has dedicated years to identifying its predecessors who were killed or expelled in the Portuguese Inquisition of 1536 to 1821.

Drawing on newly digitized records, the community was able to identify 842 people, ranging from 10 to 110 years old, who were victims of the Inquisition locally. On Sunday, it inaugurated a memorial engraved with their names.

The memorial, dedicated during a special event called the European Day of Jewish Culture, measures 13 feet wide by 6.5 feet high and is installed on an exterior wall of Porto’s Jewish Museum.

The museum is one of several institutions that have flourished in recent years as Porto, which is home to roughly 1,000 Jews today, has benefited from a swell of interest among tourists and descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled from the region who for the last eight years have been allowed to apply for citizenship.

But while the citizenship law has given rise to new investments in contemporary Jewish communities, Portugal still has a dearth of education about the Inquisition, according to Hugo Vaz, the curator of Porto’s Jewish Museum and Holocaust Museum. Although references have begun to make appearances in the curricular manuals for Portuguese schools, many students are asked to learn little about the Jewish population that was all but stamped out of their country over three centuries.

“I am 35 years old, and when I learned about the Inquisition in school, I learned that the Inquisition was the hunting of witches,” Vaz told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “I learned that in less than five minutes.”

Comparatively, Holocaust education has improved. Portugal was officially neutral in World War II and became a passageway for many Jewish refugees, making that episode of its history more favorable than the “black page” of the Inquisition, said Vaz.
Israeli teen finds 1,700-year-old bronze ring in ruins of Greek city
A teenager made an incredible discovery when he found a 1,700-year-old artifact at a park on the border Israel and Syria.

Itamar Grossman, 13, was visiting the Sussita National Park, on the ruins of the ancient Hellenistic city of Hippos, when something on the ground caught his attention after he went to a vantage point with a cousin to take photos, according to a press release from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

That something turned out to be an ancient bronze ring.

“It was a strange and ancient-looking ring,” Itamar said, according to All Israel News. “My brothers and cousins who were with me didn’t think it was anything old, just a ring someone had dropped.”

Although his siblings and cousins didn’t think the ring was anything special, Itamar insisted on bringing it to his parents and park officials.

“When Itamar and his mother, Liat, approached us and showed us the ring they found, we immediately realized it was something significant,” said Sarit Pilachi Miara, an Israel Nature and Parks Authority official.

According to the press release, archaeologists identified the bronze ring as an ancient Roman artifact. It was determined that the ring was at least 1,700 years old but that it could in fact be much older and perhaps even date back as far as 100 BCE to 300 BCE.

The ring still showed visible decorative engravings, which archaeologists said would have been made when the ring was first cast.
Steps where Jesus healed a blind man unearthed in Jerusalem
Steps were uncovered at the Ancient Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem, which haven't been seen in over 2,000 years, reports said on Thursday.

The significance of this discovery is that it's the location where Jesus healed a blind man in the New Testament, Fox News reported. The location itself was first mentioned in the Old Testament, a recent Washington Times report said.

The discovery was made by archaeologists after making significant progress in excavating the site. Approximately eight steps were unearthed, the Fox News report said.

This was as the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Israel National Parks Authority and the City of David Foundation announced earlier this year that the Ancient Pool of Siloam would be open to the public for the first time in 2,000 years. Until recently, only a small section of the location has been completely excavated and this is accessible to the public. The site was at one point 1.25 acres, according to the Times report. It is expected that more of the site will become accessible over time as more areas will be unearthed, as the site holds importance to both Christians and Jews, according to Fox News.

"History preserved for us"
Rev. Johnnie Moore, president of the Congress of Christian Leaders, told Fox News Digital that “in the Pool of Siloam, we find evidence of history preserved for us, revealed at just the right time.

“Theologically, it affirms scripture; geographically, it affirms scripture; and politically, it affirms Israel’s unquestionable and unrivaled link to Jerusalem. Some discoveries are theoretical. This one is undeniable. It is proof of the story of the Bible and its people, Israel,” he continued.

The Pool of Siloam was built approximately 2,700 years ago, Fox News reported. It was used as part of Jerusalem's water system.

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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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