Wednesday, September 13, 2023

From Ian:

Fear of ICC in the Hague after judicial reform is baseless
The fear of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague is a baseless marketing gimmick used by opponents of judicial reform. It is essential to clarify that this warning isn't just directed at the Israeli Air Force pilots; it extends to every soldier in the IDF.

According to their argument, under their doctrine, military service in the IDF constitutes a war crime in itself, and any reduction in the likelihood of prosecution would harm our ability to protect our servicemen. The underlying premise of this fear campaign is that reducing the likelihood of prosecution would make it harder for the country to invoke the "reasonableness clause" as a defense for IDF soldiers against the ICC's jurisdiction.

The principle of complementarity, enshrined in the Rome Statute which governs the activities of the ICC, establishes that national legal systems have primary jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute individuals suspected of committing war crimes. The ICC's authority only comes into play when national legal systems are unwilling or unable to enforce the law.

However, there are several challenges to this claim. First, the Rome Statute defines the crimes falling under the ICC's jurisdiction, including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. These offenses do not pertain to isolated actions by individual soldiers but rather to systematic policies aimed at deliberately harming civilians. Unless proponents of this argument accept the false narrative of our adversaries, neither the State of Israel nor the IDF has a policy of committing genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. Therefore, reducing the likelihood of prosecution will not alter this fundamental fact.

The danger to IDF soldiers certainly exists
Furthermore, Article 17(1)(a) of the Rome Statute establishes the principle of complementarity as a criterion in assessing the willingness and ability of investigative and prosecutorial authorities to investigate and prosecute alleged perpetrators. It does not specifically mention the structure and jurisdiction of the national legal system. If the absence of the authority to annul decisions made by a competent authority arises solely because two judges deemed the decision "unreasonable," then the issue at hand is not unique to Israel but rather applies to the majority of countries worldwide, where Professor Aharon Barak (former president of the Supreme Court of Israel from 1995 to 2006) did not ascend to the position of ultimate authority.

Since reducing the likelihood of prosecution will not affect the readiness, willingness or ability of Israeli investigative authorities to pursue wrongdoers, the fear expressed by former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, that soldiers of the IDF will continue to fear the ICC "more than the Sinai Peninsula," lacks any foundation.

However, within the rhetoric of fearmongers, there is a grain of truth. Two and a half years ago, the ICC initiated an investigation against the State of Israel for alleged war crimes. To start this investigation, the ICC had to conjure the existence of a "State of Palestine" and delineate, without jurisdiction, the borders of a non-existent nation. It is a web of falsehoods spun to serve our adversaries and legitimize their pursuit of the Jewish state, its soldiers and its leaders.
Bassam Tawil: How the Biden Administration Is Trying to Bribe the Palestinians
Palestinian officials... have assured the US that they will not oppose Saudi-Israeli efforts at normalization, in the hope of receiving security, financial and political incentives from the Biden administration.

The Palestinian list of demands for not opposing a Saudi-Israeli deal includes, among other things: Resuming Saudi financial support to the Palestinian Authority, which slowed from 2016 and stopped completely three years ago, to the tune of around $200 million per year, and transferring parts of the West Bank currently under full Israeli control to the governance of the Palestinian Authority. The talk is about land in the West Bank's Area C, which, according to the Oslo Accords, is exclusively controlled by Israel.

It appears, then, that Saudi Arabia and the Biden Administration are offering a bribe to the Palestinians in return for their silence over a Saudi-Israeli deal. The Biden administration seems desperate to achieve some kind of deal ahead of the 2024 US presidential election, presumably in the hope that it would boost President Joe Biden's chances of being re-elected.

The Palestinian list of demands for refraining from condemning a Saudi-Israeli peace accord can be seen as tantamount to blackmail. The Palestinian leadership is telling the Saudis and Americans that if they want to avoid Palestinian condemnation, they must pay the price -- with money and territory.

The Saudis are being asked to pay $200 million per year and the Americans, it appears, are expected to pressure -- or blackmail -- Israel into ceding control of more territory in the West Bank to Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority, in exchange for promises. [T]he Americans, it appears, are expected to pressure -- or blackmail -- Israel into ceding control of more territory in the West Bank to Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority, in exchange for promises.

The Palestinian leaders will happily accept any additional land in the West Bank, but, as experience has shown, they will do nothing to prevent these areas from becoming terror hubs.

Given the ongoing state of financial and administrative corruption in the PA, there is every reason to doubt that the Saudi funds would be used to boost the Palestinian economy or improve the living conditions of the Palestinians.

PMW: The Oslo Deception – New Evidence
As the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords on September 13 is nearing, Palestinian Media Watch has uncovered yet another statement by a Palestinian leader who admitted, or more correctly, bragged, that PLO leader Yasser Arafat successfully deceived the Israeli leadership into signing a peace agreement that he had no intention of fulfilling. According to PA Parliament Member Munib Al-Masri Arafat’s intention from the first day, was that the Accords would be another step in his stages plan to destroy all of the State of Israel.

In a recent interview, Al-Masri explained that Arafat told him to relax when he was upset over the Accords. Arafat confided in him that his intention was only to sign the agreement as “a temporary solution.” He only intended “the two-state solution as a first stage”:

PA Parliament Member Munib Al-Masri: “When [former PA President] Yasser Arafat presented the two-state solution at Oslo, I was very angry at him, because it said 22% for the Palestinians and the rest for the Israelis. I came to him in Tunis, and he told me: ‘[Calm] down.’ Our thought in all this was the two-state solution as a first stage, until the Arabs learn-”

Falestinona host: “A temporary solution.”
Munib Al-Masri: “A temporary solution, until [the Palestinians] will live comfortably and are satisfied, and there will be the right of return and the like, and we will live in one democratic state (i.e., in place of Israel).”

[Falestinona, Fatah’s Information and Culture Commission in Lebanon, YouTube channel, May 24, 2023]

PMW has exposed many testimonies of people close to Arafat confirming that Arafat was deceitful and that he was never a sincere peace partner for Israel. Already in 1994, right after signing Oslo, Arafat compared the agreement to Islam’s prophet Muhammad’s Hudaybiyyah peace treaty – a 10-year truce between Muhammad and the Quraish Tribe of Mecca, which Muhammad broke two years later when he attacked them and conquered Mecca:

Yasser Arafat: “This agreement, I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our Prophet Muhammad and Quraish, and you remember the Caliph Omar had refused this agreement and considered it “Sulha Dania” [a despicable truce]. But Muhammad had accepted it and we are accepting now this [Oslo] peace accord.”

[Speech in Johannesburg, private recording, May 10, 1994]

Palestinian journalist and editor Abd Al-Bari Atwan who met with Arafat when he was in exile in Tunis also confirmed that Arafat told him that he merely wanted to use the Oslo Accords as a way to bring back “the PLO and the resistance” to “Palestine” – in other words: a way to return terror to Israel:
“I remember that he [former PLO and PA President Yasser Arafat] took me aside when we left his office in the Jugurtha neighborhood of Tunis – on the pretext of going out for a walk and in order to get away from the listening devices – and he told me: ‘I want to tell you something that I ask you not to note or attribute to me, except after my death.’ He let out a sigh and said: ‘I am entering Palestine through the door of Oslo, despite all my reservations, in order to return the PLO and the resistance to it, and I promise you that you will see the Jews fleeing from Palestine like mice fleeing from a sinking ship. This will not happen in my lifetime, but it will happen in your lifetime.’”

[Rai Al-Youm, independent Arab news website, Sept. 13, 2018]

One of the clearest enunciations that Oslo’s purpose was to facilitate terror was reported by PMW just months before Arafat launched the terror Intifada in 2000, and it was 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 (i.e. Tunisia) ... the Palestinian people will continue the revolution until they achieve the goals of the ‘65 revolution... (i.e., destruction of Israel).” [Abd Al-Aziz Shahin, PA Minister of Supplies, Al-Ayyam, May 30, 2000].

Israel does not know the way out of Oslo
This makes it impossible not to conclude that out of a misguided hope that it could end its conflict with the Palestinians through dangerous concessions, Israel seriously compromised its security and condemned itself to 30 years of wars large and small. Some measure of peace has come, but only with various Arab and Muslim states on Israel’s periphery that have normalized relations not because of messianic visions of a “new Middle East” but due to pragmatic economic, political and security considerations. The idealists fell at Oslo, and the realists triumphed with the Abraham Accords.

Nonetheless, we must deal fairly with the architects of Oslo. They were not criminals, traitors or self-hating Jews. They loathed the occupation of Judea and Samaria, and the moral compromises it inherently involved. The First Intifada convinced them that they were ruling despotically over another people who had the same right to independence and self-determination as the Jews. They believed quite sincerely that Israel’s future and the stability of the entire region depended on peace with the Palestinians, which would be impossible without the PLO. They thought, in other words, that they were doing the right thing.

In a moral sense, perhaps they were. In a practical and strategic sense, however, they were doing not just the wrong thing but the disastrous thing. They did not or chose not to know that the PLO’s ideology did not allow for the existence of a Jewish state in any form on any borders, that Arafat was a mass murderer who had always used the most barbaric violence to get his way, and that handing over governance of regions essential to Israel’s security to a terrorist group was, to say the least, unlikely to end well.

But the architects of Oslo paid for their mistake. Arafat never became a shahid (“martyr”) himself, but he proved to be a diplomatic suicide bomber, and he took the architects of Oslo with him. Their careers and reputations in tatters, every one of them retreated from public life and their primary vehicle—the Labor Party—is now moribund.

Nonetheless, the rationale behind Oslo remains at least somewhat potent because, put simply, no one has any better ideas. It is possible to see everything that was wrong with Oslo but impossible to see an alternative. Nor have the critiques I have recently read presented one.

The only thing I have heard that even vaguely resembles an alternative is “manage the problem.” This raises the question, however, of what we are supposed to do when the problem becomes unmanageable. At that point, the intimations become vague and perhaps best left unsaid, but they are not particularly realistic.

The critics of Oslo were and are right. History has proven at least that much. But it is also clear that merely damning Oslo is not enough, because that leaves us nowhere. We do not know our way out of Oslo. This is the dilemma we now face.
Why did the Oslo Accords fail to achieve it's main goal?
Wednesday marks 30 years since the Oslo Accords was signed in a bid to advance lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Dr. Yossi Beilin, who was heavily involved in the negotiations leading up to it's adoption tells our David Matlin where the Oslo accords failed

INSS ISRAEL: 30 Years Since the Oslo Accords: What's Left, What's Dissolving, What's Next?
The Oslo Accords, signed 30 years ago, were a seminal development in Israel-Palestinian relations. To mark this juncture, INSS holds a conference - in participation of member of the political-security cabinet MK Avi Dichter and former Foreign Minister of Israel Tzipi Livni - that looks back to examine the success of the agreements, what remains of them today, and what future attempts toward an agreement might look like.

The Caroline Glick Show: SPECIAL EPISODE: The Real & Ongoing Tragedy of 9/11 & the Oslo Accords
This week marked the thirtieth anniversary of the Oslo peace process between Israel and the PLO.
At the same time, it also marked the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Caroline’s guest in this week’s show is Yigal Carmon, the founder and President of Middle East Media Research Institute, (MEMRI). Carmon is a former senior intelligence officer and advisor to Prime Ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Rabin and was one of the first to bring Yassir Arafat’s speeches calling for jihad to the attention of leading Israeli media figures, and politicians in real-time.

They discuss
- The failure of the intelligence, political and media figures during Oslo
- Why they didn't listen both before 9/11 and the Signing of the Oslo Accords
- The continued blindness of the political leadership in the US and Israel

Honest Reporting Canada PodCast: The Oslo Accords, 30 Years Later: What Caused Their Failure, & Does It Still Matter? A Fireside Chat With Maurice Hirsch, Former Director Of The Military Prosecution For Judea & Samaria
Thirty years ago, on September 13, 1993, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed a Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, which were more commonly known as part of the Oslo Accords, called because they were secretly negotiated in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. What are the significance of these accords three decades later, and do they help provide any hope for any future peace between Israel and the Palestinians? And what exactly caused the Oslo Accords, once seen as a promising roadmap towards negotiations, to fail?

To help share the in-depth details behind Oslo, we are joined by Maurice Hirsch. He previously served as Director of the Military Prosecution for Judea and Samaria. He is currently the Director of PA Accountability and Reform Initiative at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

2 Israelis wounded in Hawara shooting
Two Israelis were moderately wounded on Tuesday night in a shooting attack on Route 60 near Hawara, located just outside Nablus in Samaria.

The victims came under fire while driving near the town and were wounded by glass shards when bullets shattered the windows of their vehicle. Magen David Adom emergency medical personnel treated the victims in their 30s who were then evacuated to Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikvah.

"Both victims are classified as moderately wounded," Dr. Yoni Mendel, a doctor in the hospital's emergency department, told journalists, adding that the two are "currently undergoing evaluation and imaging."

One of the wounded is the son of Rabbi Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane, who together with his wife Taliah were killed in a terror attack in Ofra in 2000, and grandson of Rabbi Meir Kahane, who too was killed by a Muslim in New York in November 1990.

Israeli forces launched a manhunt for the perpetrator.

Last month, a Palestinian terrorist killed Shay Silas Nigrekar, 60, and his 28-year-old son Aviad Nir in Huwara. That attack took place after the two men had stopped at a car wash in the Palestinian Authority-controlled village. The terrorist walked up to the car wash on foot, opened fire at close range with a handgun and fled in a vehicle.

Hawara has emerged as a center of Palestinian terrorism, prompting Israeli authorities to heighten security there. The IDF recently upgraded the road infrastructure in Hawara to increase security for drivers on Route 60, the main north-south highway in Samaria that passes through the village. The changes followed a series of terrorist attacks there, including the murder of brothers Hallel Yaniv, 21, and Yagel Yaniv, 19, as they sat in traffic on Feb. 26.
Syrian engineer with Hezbollah ties reportedly killed in Israeli-linked strike
A Syrian army engineer involved in a secret project with Hezbollah's air unit was killed in an attack attributed to Israel in Syria at the beginning of August, Iran International, a channel linked to the Iranian opposition, reported on Tuesday.

On the evening of August 7, a facility storing equipment for both the Syrian army and Hezbollah's air unit in northern Damascus was targeted. Lieutenant Colonel Isa Taha Hamoud, a Syrian army engineer slated to eventually spearhead a Syrian military operation against Israel, was killed in the attack.

This project highlights the tightening cooperation between the Syrian army and Iran and its proxies, specifically Hezbollah, which has been growing since the appointment of Syria's new chief of general staff in 2022 and amid his visit to Iran in May 2023.

The existence of such force-building projects within the Syrian army, carried out in full partnership with Iranian-aligned elements, endangers Syrians themselves. This was evident in the recent attack in which Isa Taha Hamoud, a Syrian army engineer who was directly involved in the project, was killed.

He had been handling the munitions of the air unit that were present at the site that was targeted. Security sources indicate that Hamoud was deeply involved in the joint project between the Syrian army and Hezbollah's air unit.

The Israel Guys: BREAKING: Iran Builds Military Base 12 Miles from Israel’s Border
Not only has Iran potentially enriched uranium to nearly 90% (which is weapons-grade), but they have now built a terrorist base in Lebanon, complete with an airfield, Iranian flags flying, and to top it all off, they are only 12 miles from Israel’s border.

Make no mistake, Israel will not tolerate the threat of Iran on their border, or the threat of a ballistic missile.

Seth Frantzman: Israel, Palestinians launch new phase in West Bank arms race
As the PA attempts to slow the erosion of its power in the West Bank, Iran’s octopus-like threats remain pertinent all across the region. Iran backs Hezbollah, which was recently revealed to be constructing an airstrip in Lebanon that could be used for drones. Hamas has been increasing tensions along the Gaza border as the anniversary of the Oslo Accords and the Disengagement have given it reasons to embellish its rhetoric. In the lead-up to the holidays in Israel, it is natural that tensions will grow and be exploited by extremists.

This is why the arms race in the West Bank upped a notch in its importance. Voices on the political Right don’t want the PA to receive more weapons at all, citing the concern that they could be stolen, or used against Israel.

Those who support the Oslo Accords want the PA to be strengthened – will it actually be able to train its personnel to use new M-4s and M-16 type rifles, if it indeed did receive them? Will they be willing to crack down on PIJ and other groups, or will they use the vehicles and weapons like swords around the throne, to protect what remains of the PA’s strongholds in places like Ramallah and Hebron?

The PA already appears to be losing Jenin, Nablus, and Tulkarm, so focus on its activities remains a sensitive issue. It doesn’t want to be perceived as helping Israel, but it also cannot fall from power either. At the same time, the Western backers of the PA don’t want to highlight security support. Even those that support the Palestinian police – like the EU – are relatively quiet these days. Gone are the old days of US General Keith Dayton and his more frequent discussions about the PA’s security goals. In a situation like this, with Iran’s threats and Israel’s complex political environment, the storm over the weapons is about much more than a few dozen or a thousand rifles.
Government in crisis as Netanyahu blames Bennett, Lapid for PA vehicles
The government was in uproar on Wednesday after Army Radio reported that the Palestinian Authority had been given armored vehicles and 1,500 weapons with Israeli approval.

The reports were soon denied by the Defense Ministry and the Unit for Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

The Defense Ministry said that Defense Minister Yoav Gallant hadn't approved such a delivery since he assumed the role, and COGAT added that no weapons had been given to the PA in the last year.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the move on the Bennett-Lapid government last year.

"What we did do was implement a decision made by defense minister Benny Gantz (in the Bennet-Lapid government) on January 22, to transfer a number of armored vehicles to replace other armored vehicles that have become obsolete," said Netanyahu. "This is what we did. No tanks, no Kalashnikovs, nothing. So sometimes even the fake news is not 'armored,' and it's good that we punctured this lie."

Still, MKs from both the coalition and the opposition rushed to condemn the report.

A spokesperson from the Palestinian Authority security mechanisms, Talal Duikat, stated "There's no truth in what is reported by some of the media and the press that the Palestinian Authority received weapons and equipment through Israel. The Authority has the right to receive all the equipment necessary to carry out its work."

Palestinian terrorists better armed than PA security forces - UN envoy
Terror groups in the West Bank are better armed than the Palestinian Authority security forces, as the communication between the PA erodes and communities under its control fall apart, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland said on Tuesday.

There is a “very significant uptick in the availability of very sophisticated weapons that are around all over the West Bank,” Wennesland told the World Summit of Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya.

These weapons are “not in the hands of the Palestinian security forces, but of organized groups either connected to Hamas or Islamic Jihad or others or more rag-tag” entities, he explained.

The sophistication of these weapons is such, he said, that they are scarcely available to the Palestinian security forces who must combat such groups.

The systematic flow of these sophisticated weapons along with funding to West Bank terror groups create massive disturbances, Wennesland explained.

It “further undermines the PA and its security system on the ground,” Wennesland said. It also promotes “a blatant and proactive attack on Israel, either as terrorist attacks in the streets of Israel as we have seen in terribly growing numbers,” he said. These attacks have also occurred against Israeli civilians in the West Bank, he said.

Unless security coordination between Israel and the PA is improved, “this problem will continue,” Wennesland said.“It is affecting the life of civilians,” Wennesland stated. “I know that people are scared in Israel, I can assure you, people are very scared in the West Bank as well because of the whole trajectory of this dynamic.

“Even in places that we consider to be safe and sound and quiet like Jericho” have become conflict zones, he added.Among the factors that are contributing to unrest in the West Bank, he said, are tensions and a lack of trust between Palestinian communities and the PA.

“I have not seen the fabric of society at the West Bank falling apart the way it is doing at the moment,” Wennesland stated. The fragility of this relationship “is a massive security problem,” he said.
Former Israeli Arab MP blames Israel for violence in Arab society, calls for “civil disobedience”
Former Israeli Arab Parliament Member Wasil Taha: “I personally accuse the Israeli establishment that is leading the organized crime in the Arab sector (i.e., the surge in Israeli Arab crime)… The issue of civil disobedience and raising [the subject] in these circumstances is appropriate, and it must be strengthened. We need to take action. We need to start with civil disobedience in some of the villages and cities until it spreads and becomes a phenomenon, an extensive phenomenon of struggle from the Negev in the south to Fassouta in the north (i.e., region in Israel)” [Official PA TV, Talk of the Hour, Sept. 1, 2023]

Fatah official: Israel is more Nazi than the Nazis
Head of Fatah Commission of Martyrs and Prisoners Jihad Ghaben: “There are approximately 70 or 80 Martyrs frozen in the [morgue] freezer. When a person becomes a block of ice, you feel frustration and confusion over how the occupation (i.e., Israel) has reached such a level. In spite of the Nazism of the Nazis, they didn’t do these kinds of things to the Jews.”
[Official PA TV, Talk of the Hour, Aug. 31, 2023]

Aunt of dead bomb-maker: He “asked for Martyrdom” and “brought us pride”
Aunt of terrorist “Martyr” Ayed Al-Qinni: “I’m Hamda Asmar, the aunt of Ayed Al-Qinni (i.e., bomb maker)… I say to [his prisoner brother]: Take care of yourself, your brother has brought us pride. Praise Allah Master of the Universe, after he asked for Martyrdom he achieved it. The Martyr is beloved by our Lord and beloved by Palestine.” [Official PA TV, Giants of Endurance, Sept. 7, 2023]

The PA TV program visited the family of 30-year-old terrorist Ayed Al-Qinni, a member of the independent terror cell “the Lion’s Den,” who died on Aug. 31, 2023, when an explosive he was preparing detonated accidentally.

Republicans Move to Ban Iranian President from Entering US
Republican lawmakers are spearheading an effort to ban Iran’s president from entering the United States to attend the United Nations annual gathering next week.

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R., N.Y.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) introduced legislation on Tuesday that will make it illegal for Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi and his delegation to attend the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The U.N.’s annual conference brings leaders from across the globe together for a week of meetings, and is often used by dictators and anti-U.S. figures as a platform to disseminate propaganda. Last year, Raisi delivered a speech that assailed the United States for withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear accord and claimed his country is a beacon of justice, comments that came as Tehran’s hardline police forces murdered pro-democracy protesters in the streets.

Republicans like Tenney and Cruz maintain that Raisi has no right to be hosted in New York City as his government fosters terrorism across the globe and launches attacks against U.S. forces and allies in the Middle East. While the legislation stands little chance of passing prior to Raisi’s arrival next week, the lawmakers say it is important to show that "terrorists are not welcome in the U.S."

"It is imperative we stop Raisi and his associates from setting foot on American soil," Tenney told the Free Beacon. "Raisi, whose nickname is ‘the Butcher of Tehran,’ has a record of grave human rights abuses and orchestrating terrorist activities worldwide." Raisi helped organize the execution of around 5,000 dissidents in the 1980s, and has defended the regime’s murders.

The legislation, dubbed the SEVER Act, will "show the international community that terrorists are not welcome in the U.S.," Tenney said.

The bill builds upon sanctions issued by former president Donald Trump and could serve as a model for future Republican administrations to ban Iranian officials and other terror-designated regimes from attending the U.N.

There has long been an appetite among Republicans in the House and Senate to stop Iranian officials and other anti-American leaders—such as Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas—from using the U.N. as a vehicle to attack Western values and foment hatred, particularly against Israel.
‘Disgrace’ for US to unfreeze $6b in Tehran’s assets, presidential candidates, others say
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says it is in the country’s national security interest “to waive the imposition of sanctions” on Iran and transfer $6 billion to the Iranian Republic in exchange for five detained Americans.

Candidates vying to be the next U.S. president, as well as other politicians and activists, disagree vehemently and say they didn’t appreciate the Biden administration’s announcement of the decision on Sept. 11 of all days.

“While Americans mourn 9/11, [President Joe] Biden lines the pockets of the Iranian ayatollahs who provide safe harbor to the current head of al-Qaeda,” wrote Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican candidate in 2024.

“This deal bankrolls nuclear ambitions, hostage-takers and extremists who hate America. When I’m president, we will not sell out American interests to enrich our adversaries,” said DeSantis.

“The only thing that makes this worse is announcing it on 9/11,” wrote Nikki Haley, a former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who is also a Republican candidate for president.

“President Biden can’t seem to cut his habit of sending money to terrorists. First, it was $400 million to Iran in 2016 when he was vice president. Now, it’s $6 billion to Iran on the 22nd anniversary of 9/11,” wrote Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), also a presidential contender. “This president is putting a price on American lives. Enough is enough.”

“The Biden administration’s decision to pay a $6b ransom to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism endangers Americans abroad,” added Mike Pence, a Republican presidential candidate⁦ and former U.S. vice president. “President Biden announcing the deal on the anniversary of 9/11 is a disgrace.”

“Joe Biden is laundering money for Terror Inc. through a secret nuclear deal with Iran,” wrote North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum, a presidential candidate. “Americans should know that this is not just a $6 billion hostage-ransom payment. This is part of a much larger, unlawful, Biden-backed, backroom multibillion dollar sanctions relief deal provided to the world’s largest state-sponsor of terrorism.”

Council on Foreign Relations Under Fire for Decision To Host Closed-Door Confab With Iranian President
A prominent Washington, D.C., think tank is under fire for its decision to host Iran’s president while he is in New York City for the United Nations’ annual gathering.

The Council on Foreign Relations, one of Washington’s most influential foreign policy hubs, is scheduled to host an invitation-only event with Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi next Tuesday, a source confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon, when the Iranian leader is in New York City to attend the U.N.’s General Assembly, the annual weeklong gathering of world leaders.

Former senior U.S. officials and Iranian dissidents blasted the think tank for hosting a regime mouthpiece who is engaged in plots to assassinate American leaders. News of the event was first outed by a CFR fellow on Twitter. CFR has not posted details about the event on its website or publicly acknowledged it is taking place. The think tank also would not respond to Free Beacon requests for comment.

Former secretary of state Mike Pompeo—whom Raisi’s government is plotting to assassinate along with other American officials, such as former White House national security adviser John Bolton—called the CFR event "immoral and indecent."

"Hosting Iranian president Raisi, the Butcher of Tehran—who was responsible for the murder of 1,000s of Iranian innocents—is immoral and indecent," Pompeo told the Free Beacon. "Not only has he, personally, terrorized his own citizens, he will, from New York City, espouse his continuing efforts to destroy Israel and kill Americans including former government officials."

"Wide open debate on American foreign policy is necessary," Pompeo said, but "providing a platform for an unrepentant, anti-Semitic terrorist murderer does not further that goal."

The CFR event only became public during the weekend, when senior fellow and Iranian dissident Roya Hakakian declined the invitation via a message on X, formerly Twitter.

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