Thursday, September 14, 2023

From Ian:

Clifford D. May: Why Mahmoud Abbas Can't Make Peace with Israelis
Addressing the Revolutionary Council of Fatah last month, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas asserted: "They say that Hitler killed the Jews for being Jews, and that Europe hated the Jews because they were Jews. Not true." Rather, Europeans "fought against these people because of their role in society, which had to do with usury, money dealings, and so on."

Abbas further claimed that David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, "forced" Jews to flee Arab countries where they had lived for centuries to Israel "by means of pressure, coercion, and murder." As for European Jews, they "are not Semites," he said, citing the discredited theory that Ashkenazi Jews are descended not from ancient Israelites but from Khazars, a medieval Turkic kingdom.

In 1982, after a period of study in Moscow, Abbas was awarded a doctorate for a dissertation titled "The Relationship between Zionists and Nazis, 1933-1945." In it, he accused Zionists of aiding and abetting "the annihilation of the Jewish population in European countries occupied by Nazi Germany to implement the Zionist ideal of mass colonization of Palestine and create a Jewish state on its territory." He later published a paper casting doubt on whether gas chambers were used to exterminate Jews and claiming that the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust might be "even less than a million."

If Abbas holds such views, no end to the conflict is possible so long as he is in office, no matter what concessions Israelis and others offer.
Neutralizing Iran Comes before Normalization with Saudi Arabia
In a rather unusual speech, whose content was also disseminated by the Public Diplomacy Directorate in the Prime Minister's Office, the Head of the Mossad threatened that Israel would exact a price from the Iranians "deep in Iran, in the very heart of Tehran", for any damage to an Israeli citizen or Jewish individual or for the infiltration into Israel of Iranian weapon systems. Barnea explained that this price would be exacted from all the relevant echelons involved in such activity, whether carried out by Iran's own units or the various proxies operating on its behalf.

When referring to the threat posed by Iran's military nuclear capability, Barnea reiterated his former declaration: "We simply cannot allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon ever," and he added: "We are not just sitting idly by."

Despite the fact that the value of silence has been somewhat undermined in Israel recently, we need not suspect that the Head of the Mossad was speaking off the top of his head. His words were read from a written text and his speech was then widely disseminated.

Fewer words and more actions
Although in his speech he did evoke emotions of national honor and pride, which are in need of an urgent boost at this juncture, we should not necessarily assume that Barnea's words were aimed specifically at the ears of the Israeli public. Israeli sentiment tends to prefer actions, as they speak louder than words, and has reservations about the use of bombastic threats that is more characteristic of the style of rhetoric used by our enemies in Tehran, Beirut, or Gaza.

Even if this speech entails an implicit response to the criticism of the policy of containment in relation to Hezbollah's actions and those of additional adversaries – the public would still prefer that we speak the language of actions rather than words.

Neither are Barnea's threats necessary for Iran itself. Tehran is well and truly aware of its 'misdeeds', and their inherent risks and will clearly be able to make the connection between them and any Israeli response when such action is taken. Should there be any doubt about that, there are numerous ways of issuing hints after such action is taken, that will clearly underscore the connection between the subsequent Israeli operation and Iran's nefarious activity. As far as Israel is concerned, Washington should be the prime audience for the Mossad chief's words.

The US administration under President Biden, which has sought to lower the profile of the Iranian problem and to remove the danger of a military confrontation with it as far as possible, is now seeing the tangible results of its policy: a growing sense of confidence in Iran, leading to defiant activity on its nuclear program, providing aid to Russia in the form of supplying Moscow with drones for its combat effort in Ukraine, compounded by a significant increase in its efforts to promote acts of terrorism around the globe, owing to a feeling that it will not be required to pay any real price for all of this.

Jeff Jacoby: One Can Only Make Peace with an Enemy Who Truly Wants Peace
An iconic photo shows Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and a grinning PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat shaking hands on the South Lawn of the White House on Sept. 13, 1993. Arafat had good reason to grin. Oslo was his ticket out of exile and oblivion. Twelve years earlier he and the PLO, having been expelled from Lebanon, had decamped to Tunisia, which inhibited his ability to wreak havoc in Israel. But with the Oslo Accords, he was back in the spotlight. The agreement allowed him to pose on the international stage as a peacemaker despite his lifelong career as a terrorist; soon it would enrich him with land, money, weapons, and political power.

Four days earlier, Arafat and Rabin had signed letters of "mutual recognition." "The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security," Arafat wrote. "The PLO commits itself to the Middle East peace process, and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations. The PLO... renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations, and discipline violators."

Arafat's pledge was a sham from the outset. He said so explicitly in a message to the Palestinian people, broadcast in Arabic by Jordanian television on the very day of the White House ceremony. "This is the moment of return, the moment of gaining a foothold on the first liberated Palestinian land."

Arafat declared that the "Phased Plan" adopted by the PLO in 1974 remained in force. That plan was a strategy to establish political control over any territory it could acquire from Israel, then use that territory as a base of operations to continue the "armed struggle" until all of Israel was conquered. 1,675 Israeli women, men, children, and babies would lose their lives to Palestinian terror in the years following Arafat's renunciation of violence.

As the late great Charles Krauthammer wrote in the Washington Post, "Underlying Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is the cliche that one can only make peace with one's enemy. It is equally true, however, that one can only make peace with an enemy who truly wants peace. If the enemy is intent on remaining an enemy, if his objective is not peace but victory, if he believes your very existence is a stain on his honor and his God, peace is not possible. With such an enemy, negotiations are futile."

Despite Its Failure, the Oslo Process Contributed to Israel's National Security
Three decades after the signing of the Oslo Accords, it can be stated that the Oslo process had its shortcomings, but also advantages that contributed to Israel's national security. First, the accords were an instrument for creating a political separation between Israel and the Palestinians, in which 95% of the Palestinian population is controlled mainly by the Palestinian Authority.

Second, the Oslo process made it clear to the Jewish public in Israel that there is no chance of solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinian national movement in the near future. This realization would not have been possible without the Oslo process, which was a learning experience for Jewish society in Israel, causing it to rid itself of the optimistic illusions that peace is at hand.

Third, Israeli Jewish society learned again from the Oslo process that Israel cannot rely on others regarding its security. The Rabin government's expectation that Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority would fight the Palestinian terrorist organizations and prevent terrorist attacks against Israel turned out to be disconnected from reality.

The Oslo Accords equipped the PA with weapons in order to fight the Palestinian terrorist organizations. However, in the end, the weapons were turned against IDF soldiers and Israeli citizens. The clear lesson is that Israel should stick to its security doctrine: to protect itself by itself, and not rely on others.

Economist: The Oslo Accords Were Always Doomed to Fail
The Oslo Accords of 1993 were meant to fade away after five years. Their lasting achievements after 30 years have been to create a limited Palestinian government loathed by most Palestinians, and to bring about a measure of mutual recognition between the two sides, though the promise of peace is unfulfilled.

The accords emerged from a series of meetings in the Norwegian capital where Yossi Beilin, Israel's deputy foreign minister, pursued secret meetings with Ahmed Qurei (Abu Alaa), who was close to Arafat. A new entity called the Palestinian Authority (PA) would assume limited control in the West Bank and Gaza. Talks about a final deal were to conclude by May 1999.

After a half-century of conflict, the thinking went, Israelis and Palestinians first needed to build trust. Yet more Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinians in the seven years after Oslo than the seven before it - and that was before the Second Intifada.

Just 28% of Palestinians support the two-state solution today, down from 53% a decade ago. Only 1/3 of Israeli Jews favor the idea. Half of Palestinians want to dissolve the PA.

Al Jazeera: Palestinian Authoritarianism Has Its Roots in the Oslo Accords
What the Palestinians got out of the Oslo Accords was a rather pernicious form of Palestinian authoritarianism. One of the terms of the agreement was that the exiled leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) would be allowed to return to the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian Authority, made up of members of Arafat's party, Fatah, assumed responsibility for the affairs of the Palestinian people. With the backing of the international community, Arafat pursued governance based on patronage and corruption that had little tolerance for internal dissent. Arafat's successor, President Mahmoud Abbas, continued down the same path.

Abbas has also been working hard to erode any democratic spaces in the West Bank. He rules by decree. He has merged all three branches of government - the legislative, executive and judiciary - so that there are no checks on his power. Last year he dissolved the Doctors' Syndicate after medical personnel went on strike. He created the Supreme Council of Judicial Bodies and Authorities and appointed himself the head of it, thus consolidating his power over the courts and the Ministry of Justice.

The internationally funded and trained PA security sector employs 50% percent of civil servants and takes 30% of the total PA budget - more than education, health and agriculture combined. It is responsible for a monumental amount of human rights abuses, including the arrest of activists, the harassment of journalists, and the torture of political detainees.

The Caroline Glick Show : The End of the Rule of Law in Israel | Caroline Glick Show In-Focus
The Israeli Supreme Court ends the rule of the law, the Israeli - Arab conflict ends, and we mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Oslo and the age of fraud.

Caroline Glick discusses
- the Supreme Court's efforts to override basic laws
- the (sometimes deliberate) misidentifying of the real enemy that we have been fighting since Oslo and the attacks on 9/11
- While leftists blame Israel for the lack of peace in the Middle East, a new train stretching from India to Israel is being built, representing the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Don’t miss this In Focus, in our new studio, where Caroline brings clarity, context and wisdom to the biggest issues of our time.

Saudis co-hosting UN event aimed at revamping Israeli-Palestinian peace process
Saudi Arabia will be co-hosting an event on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly next week focused on revamping the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, three UN diplomats told The Times of Israel on Thursday.

The event, titled “Peace Day Effort for Middle East Peace,” will take place on Monday and is being put on by Saudi Arabia along with the Arab League and the European Union in cooperation with Egypt and Jordan, one of the diplomats said. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will be the keynote speaker.

Neither the Israeli nor the Palestinian missions were invited to the event, the UN diplomat said, explaining that it is focused on congregating important global stakeholders on the issue in order to “reinvigorate” the peace process.

The current hardline Israeli government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to entertain the notion of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, instead moving to radically expand Israel’s footprint in the West Bank. The PA supports a two-state solution, but its leadership is marred by charges of corruption and President Mahmoud Abbas was roundly criticized last week for a speech employing a range of antisemitic tropes. Both Netanyahu and Abbas will be at the UN next week.

The event is the latest effort by Saudi Arabia to engage in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as it negotiates with US President Joe Biden’s administration about a potential normalization agreement with Israel.

Last week, Riyadh hosted a Palestinian Authority delegation to discuss how to leverage a normalization deal to advance the Palestinian cause.

Saudi Arabia did host a ministerial meeting at the UN General Assembly sidelines last year on the issue, but that event was to mark the 20th anniversary of the proposal of the Arab Peace Initiative.
Blinken: Israel-Saudi deal ‘cannot be a substitute’ for two-state solution
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia could not come at the expense of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Speaking on the “Pod Save the World” podcast, Blinken said, “Normalization—any of the efforts that are going on to improve relations between Israel and its neighbors—are not, cannot be a substitute for Israel and the Palestinians resolving their differences and having a much better future for Palestinians. And in our judgment, of course, that must… needs to involve a two-state solution.”

He went on to say that progress with regard to the Palestinians was important to the Saudis, too.

“It’s also clear from what we hear from the Saudis that if this process is to move forward, the Palestinian piece is going to be very important,” he said.

In response to a question from the show’s hosts as to the advisability of “rewarding” the current leadership of Israel and Saudi Arabia, the top U.S. diplomat emphasized the issue transcended individual leaders and governments.

“If you have the leading Muslim country in the world, Islamic country in the world, making peace with Israel, that’s going to have benefits that travel well beyond the region,” he said.

“This and most things that we do are not about individual leaders or individual governments; they’re about the substance of the issue and whether we can, in whatever we’re doing, advance a world that’s a little bit more peaceful, a little bit more prosperous, a little bit more full of opportunity,” he said. “And there’s no question in my mind that if we could help achieve normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, it would move the world in that direction,” he added.

“We’ve had extraordinary turmoil in that part of the world going back to at least 1979—decades of turmoil. Moving away from that, having more moderating and integrating dynamics carry things forward, I think would be a profound change and a profound change for the good—and a change that would, again, not be tied to any specific government but to the fundamental interests of the countries involved,” he said.

Last month, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told the Arabic-language Elaph online newspaper that the Palestinian issue would not be an obstacle to normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia.
Blinken: Palestinian cause is important for the Saudi-Israel deal
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said, in a podcast interview broadcast on Wednesday, that Saudi Arabia made clear to the United States that the Palestinian issue occupies a central role that it will play in any future agreement with Israel

Armed guards deployed at all Jerusalem synagogues amid rising terror
For the first time ever, an armed guard will be stationed outside each synagogue in Jerusalem, as part of preparations for the upcoming High Holy Days and amid concerns over the recent rise in terrorist attacks.

Israeli media reports tally 19 attacks in Jerusalem since the beginning of the year, with 31 other incidents successfully thwarted. Just before the holidays, police announced on Wednesday that they have completed preparations in the capital for the upcoming major events.

Thousands of police officers will be deployed at crowded locations and holy sites. According to Jerusalem District Police Commander Doron Turgeman, for the first time, armed personnel will be stationed at predetermined locations in every synagogue in the city, following thorough briefings.

Israeli synagogues lack armed security guards
Unlike Jewish houses of prayer in Europe or in the United States, Israeli synagogues don’t usually have armed security guards on a day-to-day basis, making the decision significant.

Checkpoints and crowd control measures will be put in place as well, to manage the expected crowds at the Western Wall plaza, taking into account the crowd size and maximum capacity. Additionally, security will be provided for pilgrims visiting holy sites during slihot, or penitential prayers, as well as on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Israel Says It Found 16 Tons of Rocket-Making Substance Headed From Turkey to Gaza
Israel‘s customs authority said on Thursday it found 16 tons of material used for rocket production during an inspection of a shipment from Turkey headed to Gaza, which the ruling Hamas group dismissed as a fabrication.

The customs authority said it had stopped for inspection in July two containers carrying 54 tons of what were supposed to be bags of plaster.

A lab test confirmed some of the bags contained ammonium chloride, the authority added, which it said was used by groups in Gaza “to produce rockets that are eventually launched towards Israel.”

In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem described the report as “lies.”

“The occupation is forging lies as a pretext to tighten the blockade on Gaza,” Qassem told Reuters.
Terrorist who stabbed Border Police officer in neck gets 20 years in prison
The Jeruslaem District Court on Thursday sentenced a Palestinian terrorist to 20 years in prison for a May 2022 attack outside the Old City of Jerusalem during which he stabbed a Border Police officer in the neck.

Nadheer Dar Ahmad was convicted of a terrorist act, attempted murder, possession of a knife, aggravated assault and entering Israel without a permit. He was also ordered to pay compensation to the officer he stabbed.

Dar Ahmad is from the West Bank town of Abwein, north of Ramallah.

According to court papers, Dar Ahmad entered Israeli territory without a permit, and went to the Damascus Gate of the Old City where he sat on some steps for 30 minutes. Israel Police officers on duty at the site became suspicious of him but when they approached he began to move away, climbing the steps that lead away from the gate in the direction of Sultan Suleiman Street.

Officers halted Dar Ahmad and asked to see his identification papers.

Ahmad was evasive, telling the officers he did not have papers with him. The cops told him to enter a Border Police security booth in the area so they could carry out a more thorough examination. As the group entered the booth Dar Ahmad pulled out a knife and tried to stab one of the officers, who pushed him away. Another officer approached Dar Ahmad and the two began to wrestle, with Dar Ahmad repeatedly trying to stab the officer, until he eventually wounded him in the neck. Other officers then managed to shoot Dar Aham, disabling him, though he continued to try to harm the stabbed officer until he was eventually subdued.

The stabbed officer was rushed to the hospital where he was given life-saving medical treatment.
Organs of IDF Officer Killed in Car Crash Save Three Lives including Arab Israeli
On Aug. 28, Maj. Efrat Zarihan, 34, head of the IDF Intelligence Corps' Computing and Information Systems' Cyber Division, was fatally hurt in a traffic accident.

Her parents respected her wishes to donate her organs, which saved three different lives.

Yousef Jabarah from Tayibe, who was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and hospitalized with critical respiratory failure, received her lungs - which saved his life. "When they told me who the lung donor was, I was shocked," Jabarah said.

"The donor was next to my bed [in the same room] for two days. Who would've thought I'd be able to breathe again because of the lungs she gave me," he said with tears in his eyes.

Maj. Zarihan's kidney was implanted in a 71-year-old woman, and her heart saved the life of Irina Karchemsky, 51. "When I learned who I received the heart donation from, I felt pride and respect for Efrat, who had so much more to give to the world," Karchemsky said.
The Israel Guys: MIRACLE in Huwarrah After Terrorist Open Fire On Israeli Car
Yet again, there was a terror attack in Huwarrah. Two men were on their way to a concert when their car was shot at by a Palestinian terrorist along the way.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas made a disgusting speech recently where he ​​claimed that Jews are not Semites and that Adolf Hitler only killed Jews "because they dealt in usury and money"

The US just transferred a bunch of arms and armored vehicles to the Palestinian Authority to help them “keep down violence and terrorism” and many government ministers are furious.

Six Palestinians Killed while Planting Bomb at Gaza Border
At least six Palestinians were killed Wednesday afternoon after an explosive device they attempted to detonate on the Israeli border during a riot blew up prematurely, the military and health officials in the Gaza Strip said.

The rally was organized in the Malka area, east of Gaza City to commemorate the 18th anniversary of Israel’s pullout from the Strip.

The Israeli military said hundreds of rioters participated in the violent protest, including some who hurled explosive devices and grenades at the security barrier. Troops responded with riot dispersal means.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, at one stage during the riot, Palestinians attempted to plant and detonate a makeshift bomb against troops operating near the border fence, but the device exploded prematurely in the Gaza Strip, leading to casualties.

In a statement, the Hamas terror group said it mourned the six “heroic martyrs” who were killed in the blast.

The IDF published footage showing the detonation of the explosive device on the Palestinian side of the Gaza security barrier.

In addition to the six dead, 25 other Palestinians were wounded in Wednesday’s riots, some seriously, according to the Hamas-run ministry. Some were wounded as a result of the explosion, while others by riot dispersal means employed by IDF troops.

Two arrested after snacks looted from truck involved in deadly crash
Two people were arrested overnight Wednesday on suspicion of participating in the mass looting of a truck involved in a deadly collision, after footage of the incident sparked widespread outrage.

The two men, both 20, were arrested in the southern Bedouin town of Hura. They were not immediately charged and police said they were mulling requesting a court order to hold them in custody.

It was not clear if they were connected.

The two are suspected of being among dozens of people filmed removing boxes from a tractor-trailer early Wednesday following a crash between four trucks on Route 6 near the southern city of Kiryat Gat. One person was killed and another injured in the collision, police and medics said.

The driver of the looted truck, who was lightly injured, said he was being taken to the hospital when the goods he was moving were carried off.

“I can’t believe they took my load. This isn’t the Israeli people that I know,” the driver told the Ynet news site. “What right did they have to take my freight? They should be ashamed.”

“This is no way to behave. I hope the police catch them,” he said.

MEMRI: Saleh Al-'Arouri, Deputy-Head Of Hamas' Political Bureau: Developing The Resistance In The West Bank, Including Rocket Capabilities, Is A Supreme Goal; We Must Take Advantage Of The Global Developments To Escalate The Confrontation With Israel
In a September 6, 2023 interview with the Al-Jazeera website, Saleh Al-'Arouri, deputy-head of Hamas' political bureau, spoke at length about the recent escalation in the terror attacks and armed struggle waged against Israel in the West Bank by Hamas and the other terror organizations. Noting that the armed resistance in the West Bank has "reached a new level," he stated that the supreme goal of the resistance is to continue developing, drawing inspiration from the model of the Gazan resistance, until it achieves effective rocket capabilities in the West Bank. He added that Hamas and the other armed factions "are highly coordinated" and fight together on the ground.[1]

Emphasizing that all the Palestinian arenas are united against Israel, Al-'Arouri said that the West Bank is now the spearhead of the resistance. He added that the Islamic countries, too, should take an active part in a multi-front confrontation with the enemy, and warned that the policies of the Israeli government are likely to cause the outbreak of a broad and dangerous war "within two or three years."

Al-'Arouri also and called on the Palestinians to take advantage of the international developments, including America's preoccupation with the war in Ukraine and its desire to maintain calm in other arenas, in order to escalate the confrontation with Israel. "It behooves us to take this opportunity to tangibly and significantly escalate our resistance, so that it threatens the calm and stability [the U.S.] wants," he said, and added: "This is an opportunity we definitely must not miss."

The following are excerpts from the interview:[2]
The Rocket Launches From The West Bank Are A Milestone For The Resistance There

Q: "A notable recent [development] is that Hamas' military wing has claimed responsibility for several self-sacrifice operations in the West Bank, deviating from its years-long policy of welcoming operations [there] without claiming responsibility for them. What has changed in your policy of resistance in the West Bank?"

A: "Hamas is present in the resistance [arena], but claims of responsibility for self-sacrifice operations are [issued] based on the considerations of its military wing. This is not a new policy, but it depends on the interests of the resistance… From the operational perspective, [Hamas] has claimed responsibility for resistance operations that were carried out by operatives who were martyred or were wanted by the occupation. Some operatives left statements or photos indicating their membership in [Hamas'] military wing, [so there was no point in hiding this fact]. But the movement refrains from claiming responsibility for operations that have not been exposed or when the operatives have not been martyred, in order to protect the resistance fighters."

Q: "How do you explain the fact that the armed resistance is [now] concentrated in the northern West Bank? Is it expected to spread to the rest of the areas?"

A: "We believe and act [on the assumption] that all parts of the West Bank, from the north to the south, are strongholds of support for the resistance. But there is a reason for the situation [you described]. The resistance in the northern [West Bank] developed rapidly and significantly due to the withdrawal of the occupation from several parts of it in 2005.[3] The resistance also has long-standing strongholds in the Jenin refugee camp and in the Nablus Old City, and this enables all its factions [in that area] to regroup more quickly… The fact is that the resistance activity is spreading, and, Allah willing, it will continue to develop…"

Israel, Greece hold joint air force exercise, drill long-range flights
Dozens of Greek and Israeli fighter pilots took part in a joint drill on Wednesday, flying thousands of kilometers from Israel to Greece and back, according to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.

The drill included fighter jets, fuelers, and reconnaissance aircraft. During the drill, the fighter pilots fired at targets under challenging weather conditions and succeeded in hitting all the targets.

The IDF stated that the exercise was intended to "improve operational and mental competence for long-range flights, refueling, deep attacks, and to achieve air superiority."

Additional exercises of a similar type are planned for later this year.

Greece-Israel relations continue to strengthen
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the leaders of Cyprus and Greece to discuss trilateral relations.

In May, Israel delivered two M-346 advanced training aircraft to Greece. Israel's Elbit Systems has been contracted by Greece both to provide virtual avionics for the M-346 aircraft as well as to undertake the creation of an International Flight Training Center at 120 ΑΤW Kalamata in Greece.

The two M-346s were the first batch of what will eventually be 10 such aircraft.
Iran’s New Friends Make It More Dangerous Than Ever
After its founding in 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran aspired to independence from foreign influence—adhering to its rulers’ firm belief that America is the Great Satan while avoiding entering the Soviet bloc. Yet, write Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh, the ayatollahs soon found such a policy difficult to maintain, and eventually sought support from Russia and China. Those two countries have, in the past ten years, put aside their initial reluctance about such an alliance. Gerecht and Takeyh examine the consequences:

U.S. and European leaders long comforted themselves with the notion that whatever their differences with China and Russia, neither country wanted Iran to have the bomb. But that may no longer be true. Unlike the United States, Russia has lived for decades with nuclear-armed states on its periphery. Vladimir Putin might be perfectly comfortable with another country in the mix. In fact, it is not hard to envision Russia sharing nuclear technologies and expertise with Iran. Iran’s crossing of the nuclear threshold would make a mockery of numerous pledges, made by both Democrats and Republicans, that Washington will never allow it to get the bomb. Putin would therefore gain from helping his Persian ally humiliate the United States and degrade Washington’s position in the Middle East.

Xi Jinping could prove equally welcoming to an atomic Iran. China’s president also cares little about international conventions, so he may not be perturbed by more nuclear proliferation. He did not object to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, after all, and he has not respected India’s territorial sovereignty in the Himalayas or the Pacific Island states’ historical claims in the South China Sea. Xi might also reasonably conclude that an Iranian bomb would expedite the United States’ exit from the Middle East. Indeed, with the American political class united in bemoaning “forever wars,” the specter of a nuclear Iran could offer a good reason to further lessen its footprint in the region. For Beijing, always aiming at Taiwan, the global consequences of a nuclear Iran are mostly beneficial.

Once Iran assembles the bomb, of course, its relations with its great-power allies are likely to change. No longer a junior partner, it may become bolder. A nuclear Iran might return to striking Gulf oil infrastructure, for example. It might share new and better missile technology with its allied militias, which could decide to act more independently and more aggressively. These hypotheticals, of course, have not yet encouraged China and Russia to reconsider their approach to the mullahs.
Richard Goldberg: Biden has a secret, illegal deal with Iran that gives mullahs everything they want
In the latest phase of an unacknowledged and unlawful nuclear deal between the United States and Iran, President Joe Biden this week formally approved giving the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism another $6 billion — ostensibly for the release of five Americans held hostage in Tehran.

But in bypassing Congress to avoid a political fight he knows he’d lose, Biden is not only guaranteeing more hostage-taking of American citizens, he’s also subsidizing Iran’s terrorism, military support for Russia, nuclear-weapons capabilities and repression of Iranian women.

In May, a top White House official visited Oman to pass a message to Tehran: Washington wants to broker a nuclear deal in secret.

Biden would lift sanctions restrictions on Iranian funds held outside its borders, and in exchange Iran would slow its steady march toward a nuclear-weapons threshold.

Iran would be free to continue hunting former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, former Special Envoy for Iran Brian Hook and other Americans.

Tehran could keep directing attacks against Israel through its Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror proxies. see also

The mullahs could keep providing armed drones to Vladimir Putin for use against the Ukrainian people.

The regime could even keep producing high-enriched uranium just a stone’s throw from weapons-grade, manufacturing advanced centrifuges, developing longer-range missiles, denying access to international nuclear inspectors and constructing a new underground facility that could prove invulnerable to military action.

Biden’s only demands: Don’t move across the nuclear threshold by producing weapons-grade uranium and release five American citizens held hostage in Iran.

For Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the deal was a dream come true.

'Not a Ransom': White House Defends Controversial Prisoner Swap With Iran
The White House on Wednesday defended a U.S.-Iran prisoner swap deal that has drawn criticism from Republicans, saying Iran gets no U.S. sanctions relief from the deal.

The United States on Monday waived sanctions to allow the transfer of $6 billion in Iranian funds from South Korea to Qatar, a step needed to carry out a previously announced U.S.-Iran prisoner swap, according to a U.S. document seen by Reuters.

"This is not a payment of any kind. It's not a ransom. These aren't U.S. taxpayer dollars. We haven't lifted a single one of our sanctions on Iran," John Kirby, the White House national security spokesperson, told reporters.

Republican lawmakers criticized the White House for making the deal, saying it incentivizes Iran to take American hostages.

"I am always glad when Americans are released from captivity," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), said Monday. "However, this agreement will entice rogue regimes, like Iran, to take even more Americans hostage. The ayatollah and his henchmen are terrorists and truly represent a terrorist state."

Iranian President to Host Private, Invite-Only Powwow for Influencers in NYC
Iran’s president is slated to host a private, invitation-only event with political influencers in New York City next week on the sidelines of the United Nations’ annual gathering, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi is scheduled to hold "an off the record meeting" with high-profile political insiders and analysts on Monday afternoon at the Millennium Hilton Hotel, near the U.N. headquarters in downtown New York City. An invitation to the event, obtained by the Free Beacon, was sent out last week by Iran’s permanent representative to the U.N., ahead of Raisi’s arrival in the United States.

It is one of at least three private events Raisi is scheduled to host while he is in the United States to attend the U.N General Assembly, the weeklong annual gathering of world leaders. In addition to Monday afternoon’s private powwow, Raisi will host an "interfaith dialogue" on Monday morning. On Tuesday, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) think tank is scheduled to host a separate meeting with Raisi.

Details about the event, and who will attend, are not made clear in the invitation. Iran’s mission to the U.N., which is listed as a contact on the invite, did not respond to a Free Beacon email requesting further details.

Raisi’s efforts to meet with American influencers and policymakers during his stay in the United States has prompted anger among Iranian dissidents and some former U.S. officials who say that any meeting with Iran’s leader provides his hardline regime with legitimacy.
James Cleverly doubles down on refusal to ban Iran terror Guards now but will 'keep options open'
The foreign Secretary has refused to bow to mounting political pressure ahead of Rosh Hashanah to proscribe Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation, saying he does not consider such a move to be in Britain’s interests.

Speaking to the JC at the end of a three-day visit to Israel on Wednesday, James Cleverly also condemned Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas for spreading of “disgusting, antisemitic tropes” by claiming Hitler persecuted Jews because of their “social role” rather than their religion.

Pressed on whether, in light of the UK Government’s decision to declare Russia’s mercenary Wagner Group a terrorist organisation last week, he would also support outlawing the IRGC, Cleverly insisted that “many of the things that people want” from proscription were “actually being achieved by our sanctions regime” that is already in place.

“We will always keep our options open and we will always act in our country’s best interests,” Cleverly said.

“Any decision we make on proscription or sanctions is always done with the protection of British nationals and British interests at heart.”

Asked about the JC’s recent disclosure that at least eight IRGC commanders have been able to pump extremism into British university student groups via online talks, Cleverly failed to respond.
Dissidents call to ban Iran from Olympics for discriminating against women
A group that includes former Franco-Iranian boxing world champion Mahyar Monshipour and Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi has asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban Iran from the Paris Olympics.

The letter, sent to the IOC at the end of July, said that Iran violates the principle of non-discrimination in sport by failing to comply with the Olympic Charter, which states that “the practice of sport is a human right,” lawyer Frederic Thiriez told a press conference.

Thiriez said the charter also specifies that there must be “no discrimination of any kind, in particular on the grounds of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

Thiriez said he was “working on a referral to the Court of Arbitration for Sport” and a petition.

The letter draws a parallel with the exclusion of South Africa in 1970.

Thiriez said that the IOC had replied: “Rest assured, we are closely monitoring the situation in Iran.”

The group would, at the very least, like Iranian athletes banned from next year’s Olympics in disciplines that are forbidden for women: wrestling, boxing, swimming, sailing and others.

“We dream of practicing our sport normally,” former wrestler Shirin Shirzad, a refugee in the Netherlands, said by video conference.

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