Friday, September 15, 2023

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Abbas voices his monstrous antisemitism, again
Abbas made his Khazar claim in order to delegitimize Israel by pretending not just that the Jews were never previously in the land but that they aren’t even Jews at all. Not content with erasing the Jews from their own history, he is trying to erase their identity altogether.

This time, however, he shot his mouth off at a sensitive moment. With much of the Arab world washing its hands of the Palestinian Arabs, the West’s support for their cause is the Palestinian Arabs’ last remaining hope of defeating Israel. Suddenly, therefore, Abbas’s profound Jew-hatred has become a hazard that must be neutralized.

Hence the open letter signed by Palestinian Arab intellectuals that said they “unequivocally condemn the morally and politically reprehensible comments” made by Abbas, and that they “adamantly reject any attempt to diminish, misrepresent or justify antisemitism, Nazi crimes against humanity or historical revisionism vis-a-vis the Holocaust.”

However, they went on to say, “The Palestinian people are sufficiently burdened by Israeli settler-colonialism, dispossession, occupation and oppression without having to bear the negative effect of such ignorant and profoundly antisemitic narratives perpetuated by those who claim to speak in our name.”

In fact, “settler-colonialism, dispossession, occupation and oppression” are lies put out by people who think Israel shouldn’t exist.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, the signatories included a large number of antisemites and terror supporters. For example, Refaat Alareer tweeted in 2012: “Are the Jews evil? Of course, they are.” Huwaida Arraf has equated Israel with Nazi Germany, defended Hamas and said, “Israel does not have the right to a Jewish state.”

Noura Erakat, according to a 2019 complaint against Columbia University, “equated Zionism with racism, demonized Jews as having a congenital tendency toward domination, advocated for the annihilation of the Jewish state and denied the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel.”

The Elder of Ziyyon website has revealed that another signatory, Khalil al-Shakaki, who heads the Palestinian Centre for Political and Survey Research, admitted to a Palestinian newspaper that the real purpose of the letter was to repair the damage done to the Palestinian Arab cause by the revelation of Palestinian Arab Jew-hatred.

Shakaki said, “There is respect and support for us in the world, and if the world feels and sees that the Palestinian people support what [Abbas] said, this will mean to them that the Palestinian people are racist, and this means to them that there is racist settler-colonialism, and also racist Palestinians, and therefore they will put us and Israelis in the same dark trench.”

This concern is also what lies behind much Western reaction to Abbas’s comments. The E.U. said the comments “play into the hands of those who do not want a two-state solution, which President Abbas has repeatedly advocated for.” As an afterthought, it added, “Moreover, they trivialize Holocaust [sic] and thereby fuel antisemitism and are an insult to the millions of victims of the Holocaust and their families.”

Even now, such people fail to acknowledge the true enormity of antisemitism. Even now, they cannot grasp that Palestinian Arab Jew-hatred doesn’t just get in the way of a “two-state solution.” It’s the reason that solution has never happened.

Abbas’s bigotry really does get in the way of the West’s fantasy that a Palestine Arab state will somehow end the conflict between Palestinian Arab Jew-eradicators and their Israeli victims. It gets in the way of the West’s ironclad belief that hating Israel is not the same thing as hating the Jews.

The result is that the West’s Palestinian Arab cause of causes promotes, incentivizes and funds dyed-in-the-wool Jew-haters whose agenda is to erase Jewish history and identity.

So the professed horror of people in the West at Mahmoud Abbas’s antisemitism is their usual humbug that ensures the Palestinian Arab war against Israel never ends.
Mark Regev: Recalling black September: The forgotten Palestinian defeat
Black September will forever be associated with the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

But the name of the terrorist group responsible for that atrocity stems from a Palestinian defeat two years earlier, one that impacted Israel and the Middle East, and even elevated Cold War tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States.

The Munich Olympics were planned to showcase the new postwar democratic West Germany (the previous games on German soil – the 1936 Berlin Olympics – had been hosted by Adolf Hitler). But the Bonn government’s hopes to present to the world a very different Germany were to be stymied.

Before dawn on September 5, eight Palestinians from the Black September organization, established in 1971 as the elite strike force of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement, scaled the fence surrounding the Olympic Village. Disguised as athletes and using stolen keys, they forced their way into the quarters of Israel’s Olympic team, initiating a 20-hour hostage saga that ended with a botched German attempt to free the hostages and 11 Israeli athletes dead – nine of them murdered while bound and gagged.

The “Munich Massacre” played out in full view of the assembled international media. Even though the coverage depicted the terrorists’ bloodthirsty behavior, it nonetheless helped propel the Palestinian issue to the forefront of the global agenda.

Ironically, the name “Black September” did not originate from an event associated with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but rather from the intra-Arab confrontation that erupted in Jordan in September 1970.

In the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War, Jordan – now smaller in size with the loss of Jerusalem’s Old City and the West Bank – became the primary base from which Palestinian fedayeen struck against “the Zionist entity.” Israeli communities along the border lived in constant fear of a terrorist infiltration or Katyusha rocket fire.

My wife grew up in one such frontier community – Kibbutz Tel Katzir in the Jordan Valley. As a baby, she was continually rushed by her mother to the children’s bomb shelter whenever the security situation demanded.

These fedayeen attacks generated IDF reprisal raids, which in turn heightened the risk of a larger Israel-Jordan confrontation.

BUT IT wasn’t just Israelis whom the armed Palestinian groups were threatening. The fedayeen acted in Jordan as a state within a state, independent from the Hashemite government and challenging its authority.

Radical Palestinians called for the overthrow of the “reactionary” Jordanian monarchy, declaring the kingdom an illegitimate creation of British imperialism in what was part of historic Palestine. Amid the soaring violence, there were two separate assassination attempts against Jordan’s King Hussein.

Matters were to spiral out of control when, on September 6, 1970, the Marxist “Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine” (PFLP) hijacked Western airliners to the Dawson’s Field airstrip near the city of Zarqa. Ultimately, a TWA Boeing 707, a BOAC VC10, and a Swissair DC-8 were all forced to land at the PFLP’s self-proclaimed “Revolutionary Airport.”
JPost Editorial: Israel will be torn apart without a judicial reform compromise
Levin’s partner in the judicial overhaul, Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee chairman Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionist Party), argued that every time the court interfered in the legislation and decisions of the Knesset, it crossed into the auspices of governance and expanded its own power. He said the court doesn’t have the authority to strike down Basic Laws because it overrides the will of the people

Ilan Bombach, the attorney representing the government, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the justice minister, went even further, saying that the signatories of the Declaration of Independence were not representative of the populace, so they had no authority to establish something that would be a constitution. The court’s own authority came from the constituent authority’s Basic Laws, which it shouldn’t be able to review, he said.

The justices challenged Rothman and Bombach, asking what prevented the parliament from passing undemocratic laws, such as those limiting the voting power of the people. “Democracy dies in small steps”

Warning that an undemocratic movement may not be immediately recognized, Justice Yitzhak Amit said democracy doesn’t usually die all at once, but rather, “democracy dies in small steps.”

That is the crux of the matter. At one time in Israel’s history, perhaps it would have been unthinkable that the Knesset would pass draconian legislation that would take away, for example, the rights of certain citizens to vote.

However, we’ve witnessed Israel’s government being invaded by parties and ministers who, without the checks and balances safeguarded by the court, could very well enact such odious legislation. That’s the reason why hundreds of thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets every Saturday night for 36 weeks.

It could take weeks or months for the justices to arrive at a ruling. And when that eventually arrives, one thing is sure – half of Israel will not be satisfied.

Members of the coalition have already said they will not honor a court ruling that strikes down the judicial reform’s reasonableness standard law, which would launch Israel into an unprecedented constitutional crisis. Likewise, if the court upholds the law, the protests could intensify, and events on the ground could spin out of control.

Now is the time, before either of those scenarios rears its ugly head, for the political parties to reach a compromise on the judicial reform debate and enable the country to start healing. We urge them to do so without delay.

3 years in, Abraham Accords yield warm peace through robust trade
On Sept. 15, 2020, Israel signed the first and second of four normalization agreements with Arab countries that came to be known as the Abraham Accords. At the time, I believed that while the accords might generate a peace dividend, I didn't see any immediate economic benefit to Israel.

The two strongest economies among the countries involved, the UAE and Israel, were quite different and didn't trade in appropriate directions (export for one and import for the other).

Yet on the accords' third anniversary, I stand corrected and am pleased to admit it. Since the signing of the agreements, a series of economic activities have yielded mixed but mostly encouraging results, especially from Israel's perspective.

For example, over the last three years there have been 470,000 visits to the UAE by Israelis, but few from the other direction. The same pattern has played out between Morocco and Israel. It had been expected that the accords would generate "religious" tourism from the Arab states to Israel, particularly to Jerusalem. To date, that hasn't materialized.

Similarly, in regard to the direct flights established between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco, most of this development has benefited Israeli tourists and not those traveling to Israel.

However, the stronger measure of the success or failure of the accords lies in evaluating the economic trade they have generated in comparison with Israel's two prior peace agreements with Arab states – Egypt (1978) and Jordan (1994). Both agreements generated high expectations that trade between Israel and its two former adversaries would strengthen ties. What has emerged, rather, has come to be known as a "cold peace" – especially from an economic perspective.

Despite the 45-year-old peace agreement, trade between Israel and Egypt in 2022 came to $306.9 million ($179.5 million in imports and $127.4 million in exports), and trade with Jordan came to $535 million ($469 million in imports and $66.5 million in exports). Compare this with $2.56 billion in Israeli trade with the UAE in 2022 ($1.89 billion imports and $670m in exports), which was 47.6% higher than the nations' bilateral trade in 2021.

Total trade between Israel and the four accords countries in 2022 was $3.43 billion, four times the trade with the Jewish state's veteran Arab peace partners.
Israeli Ambassador to UAE Amir Hayek on 3 years since the signing of the Abraham Accords
3 years since the signing of the Abraham Accords, Israel and the UAE deepen economic ties. i24NEWS Correspondent speaks to Israeli Ambassador to UAE Amir Hayek on the cooperation between these two nations.

Will Oslo, Abraham Accords pave way for Saudi peace?
Samer Sinijlawi, Yehudah Glick, and Dr. Jacques Neriah debate what precedent the Oslo and Abraham Accords have on a possible peace plan between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

‘Absurd’: State spox rejects suggestion US liable if visa program endangers Israel
During a contentious discussion about the Visa Waiver Program at the U.S. State Department press briefing on Sept. 14, Matthew Miller, the department spokesman, fielded questions about whether Israel is treating Palestinian Americans fairly.

Then a reporter asked: “What responsibility for an attack or attacks will the State Department take if someone headed into or out of Gaza exploits this new access and attacks Israeli citizens and tourists?”

“I appreciate you coming and asking questions. I do think that’s a bit of an absurd framing of the question,” Miller said. “We are talking about American citizens and their ability to be treated without discrimination, which is something that we expect.”

“That said, we do work with Israel to ensure their security,” Miller said. “We are 100% committed to the security of the Israeli people, and we work with them on a daily basis to ensure that.”
Danon: Thomas Friedman damaging U.S.-Israel ties
Member of the Knesset Danny Danon wrote an open letter in response to the criticism of New York times Columnist Thomas Friedman on the current Israeli government. Danon explains why he beleives Friedman is damaging Israel-U.S. ties.

New York Times columnist defends criticism of Israeli government
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman discusses his latest controversial column in the NYT in which he calls on fellow American Jews, Biden and Saudi Arabia to stand up to the 'not normal' Israeli government.

‘I have your back,’ Biden tells US Jews in pre-High Holidays call
In a High Holidays call with rabbis and other clergy, U.S. President Joe Biden discussed his commitment to the security of American Jews and his relationship with Israel, as well as made the highly unlikely claim that he grew up in Delaware’s Jewish community.

“I know you’re concerned about security. As your president, I want to make clear to you and to all your congregations, I have your back,” Biden said during the 10-minute call, held on Sept. 14 in the evening, the evening before Rosh Hashanah begins.

Biden detailed his administration’s actions in support of American Jews, including securing an increase in congressional funding for the National Security Grant Program, which helps fund protective measures for religious institutions.

“Nobody should ever have to fear walking down the street wearing a symbol of their faith,” Biden said.

He said that his administration has “already started aggressively implementing” the nation’s first-ever national strategy on combating antisemitism, released in June. And he discussed his visit to Israel last year and hosting Israeli President Isaac Herzog in the Oval Office recently.

The U.S. president said he told Herzog “how proud I was of our support of Israel’s Iron Dome, which has intercepted thousands of rockets and saved countless lives in Israel.”

He also mentioned his nomination of Jack Lew as U.S. ambassador to Israel, which some see as a controversial choice given Lew’s extensive time spent in former President Barack Obama’s administration, and his public backing for the Iran nuclear deal and other controversial Obama-era policies on Israel.

The Israel Guys: America Placed a 15-Year-Long Arms Embargo On Israel
The Population of the State of Israel nears 10 million! On today's show Joshua talks about this incredible miracle and how it happened with very little international support. Even despite America implementing a 15-year-long arms embargo against Israel!

Israeli Security Agencies Link Explosion in Tel Aviv Park With Arrested Suspects
sraeli security forces arrested suspects on a central highway on Friday, after there was an explosion earlier in the day near Tel Aviv’s HaYarkon Park.

In a joint statement, Israel Police and the Shin Bet internal security agency said the events were linked through an arrested suspect.

“A few hours after the explosion, following rapid investigative actions by the Shin Bet and the police, two suspects, originally from Azaria (and living intermittently in Jaffa), were arrested,” the statement read, adding that one of the arrested suspects admitted responsibility for the bomb explosion in Tel Aviv.

The statement concluded that the investigation is ongoing, and “the rest of the details are prohibited from publication at this stage.”

The arrest occurred on highway Road 431. Shin Bet says no explosives were found during the arrest.

No casualties were reported in either incident. However, Israeli media were reporting that a serious security incident was thwarted.

“The suspicion is of a more serious incident than currently thought; we may have succeeded in thwarting a terrorist squad that planned to sabotage the [Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah] in a number of unusual terrorist incidents that we have not seen yet,” a senior Israeli security official told News 14.

Earlier reports said the arrested suspects belonged to a Palestinian terrorist group.

FDD: West Bank Rocket Fire Seeks to Open New Front Against Israel
Palestinian terrorists operating near Jenin in the northern West Bank launched a rocket at Israel on September 10, the seventh attempted rocket attack from the area since June. Given that Palestinians had not fired rockets at Israel for over a dozen years since the Second Intifada, these launches may be part of an effort to open up a new front in the rocket war against the Jewish state.

Although the launches so far have largely been failures, causing no damage or injuries inside Israel, Israel Security Agency Director Ronen Bar warned that Palestinian terror organizations have renewed their efforts to achieve rocket capabilities in the West Bank. If sufficiently advanced, such capabilities would pose a significant threat to Israeli civilians and infrastructure.

A new group that calls itself the Al-Ayash Battalion has claimed responsibility for the rocket launches, which the group has widely broadcast on social media.

The battalion is named in honor of Hamas leader Yahya Ayash, known as “The Engineer,” who was the terror group’s chief bombmaker and whose inventions were used to murder dozens of Israeli civilians in the early 1990s. Ayash was killed in an explosion in 1996, presumably by Israel though it never took responsibility for the assassination.

The battalion’s logo also suggests a connection to Hamas: It is nearly identical to the logo of the Izz-ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the name Hamas gives to its military organization. Nevertheless, it remains unclear whether the battalion is a separate organization, an extension of Hamas, or just a name for the rocket campaign.

Islamic Jihad has also attempted to establish rocket capabilities in the West Bank. In Israel’s last round of conflict with Islamic Jihad in Gaza in May, an airstrike killed Gaza-based Islamic Jihad leader Tarek Izz a-Din, who was central to the West Bank rocket initiative.

In the past, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA’s) Palestinian Security Forces, which receive U.S. support, frequently foiled rocket operations in the West Bank; however, the PA has lost control of pockets of the West Bank including the Jenin region, where the Al-Ayash Battalion has been most active. The lack of security in Jenin has created a fertile environment for Iran-backed terror groups to recruit young men and boys into their ranks.
Jewish groups urge extradition of Ahlam Tamimi; Jordan unlikely to turn over terrorist
The American Jewish Committee mentions Ahlam Tamimi twice on its website—in 2020 and in 2018. Neither the AJC’s nor its chief executive officer’s account on X (formerly Twitter) seems to have ever posted about the Jordanian national, who helped carry out the deadly terrorist attack in August 2001 at a popular Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem.

Yet 22 years after the attack one year into the Second Intifada that lasted until 2005, Ted Deutch, who became CEO of the nonprofit last October, sent a letter in mid-July to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland urging the U.S. Department of Justice to “intensify its pursuit” of Tamimi’s extradition from Jordan, per Jewish Insider.

The AJC finds that “quiet diplomacy is often more effective in sensitive matters, but when time passes and it fails to produce results, other avenues must be taken,” Jason Isaacson, the nonprofit’s chief policy and political affairs officer, told JNS.

The sensitivity appears to relate less to Tamimi—for whom the U.S. State Department offers a reward of up to $5 million and whom the FBI names on its most wanted terrorist list—than to diplomatic relations with her home country.

“Israel is legitimately fearful of damaging its 1994 peace treaty with Jordan, even to the point of avoiding the subject of its ‘ally’ allowing her asylum, allowing her to celebrate the murder of innocent Jews and allowing her to propagandize for Hamas,” according to Charles Jacobs, co-founder and president of the Jewish Leadership Project.

Washington appears to share Jerusalem’s concerns about destabilizing Amman in any way—resulting in a frozen status quo—after Tamimi, who was sentenced to 16 life sentences in Israel, was freed in a 2011 prisoner exchange. She has since lived a celebrity’s life in Jordan.

Hundreds of Palestinians again riot on Gaza border; 9 said wounded
Hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip rioted on the Israeli border on Friday afternoon, as the Hamas terror group, which rules the territory, appears to have resumed regular provocations along the frontier.

Footage showed tires set on fire along the Israeli security barrier, and troops responding with tear gas.

The Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip said nine Palestinians were wounded by Israeli fire and crowd dispersal means.

According to Palestinian media, among the injured was a photojournalist who was hit in the hand by a tear gas canister.

The Israel Defense Forces did not immediately comment on the riots, which came after six Palestinian rioters were killed on Wednesday, during an attempt to detonate a makeshift bomb on the border.

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

BBC: What’s next for Palestinian leadership?
The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is ageing and his ruling Fatah party is deeply unpopular. There have been protests against him and the Palestinian Authority. Many Palestinians feel the PA has lost legitimacy.

There’s no plan for how to choose a successor to Mahmoud Abbas and any candidate is likely to be controversial. There’s a risk that an unpopular replacement may throw the occupied territories into chaos, even violence, and have major implications for the future goals of Palestinian people.

Dalia Hatuqa, independent Palestinian journalist.
Khalil Shikaki, Professor of Political Science and director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.
Ahmad Khalidi, political analyst and writer on Palestinian and Middle East political and strategic affairs.
Ines Abdel Razak, executive director of the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy.
(h/t Yerushalimey)

Syria on the Verge of Collapse?
The country's southern province of al-Suwayda', whose population primarily comes from the Druze minority, is currently witnessing protests on an unprecedented scale.

There has also been a definite paradigm shift in these protests: ... Calls for the government to resign, for the departure of President Bashar al-Assad and a political transition are now stronger and more prevalent.

However much one might sympathise with the protests, they are probably unlikely to shift the situation in a significant way. The protestors, although immensely courageous, are too few, and have little leverage.

The current status quo means that Syria is effectively divided into three major zones: the majority of the country that is held by the Damascus-based government backed by Russia and Iran; the northeast held by the American-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (the second largest zone of control); and parts of the northwest and north of the country on and near the border with Turkey, controlled by an assortment of insurgent factions that are backed by Turkey to varying degrees.

There is much debate about the causes of Syria's economic downturn, but it seems clear that the decline can be attributed in significant part to the Syrian government's economic isolation and its shortage of hard currency.

In the meantime, the Syrian government has no real solutions to its economic woes. It has been offering up measures such as increasing the salaries of state employees and military personnel while also raising the price for fuel.

Some impugn government corruption but consider criticism of Assad himself to be a red line: they seem to think that he is doing all he can to try to help the country -- while being surrounded by corrupt officials.
Richard Goldberg: By Renewing the Arms Embargo on Iran, Europe Is Helping Ukraine
Yesterday, France, Germany, and Britain moved to renew a UN embargo on Tehran’s import and export of missiles and missile technology, which was set to expire in October. Richard Goldberg, writing before the decision was made, explains the importance of this step:

Over the last year, Iran has transferred hundreds of armed drones to Russia for use inside Ukraine with thousands more planned. These drones have inflicted enormous damage and terrorized civilian populations. Russia is reportedly now domestically producing Iranian drones as well. When the missile embargo expires, Iran may consider transferring short-range ballistic missiles, too.

Ukrainian leaders may not believe these UN restrictions matter much, but they do. Believe it or not, Russian and Iranian propaganda rely heavily on international law to claim legitimacy in their illicit conduct.

Russia and Iran seek to chisel away at longstanding international norms of conduct and replace them with new ones that legitimize otherwise illicit conduct. They aim to establish a new accepted reality in which the independence of smaller states takes a back seat to their imperial ambitions. In this respect, they are not only waging a war against Ukraine on the ground and in the skies; they are waging political warfare, too. Allowing the UN missile embargo to expire is a victory for Moscow and Tehran, plain and simple. Keeping it and restoring the conventional arms embargo, too, would be a big win for Ukraine.

The European powers, however, decided not to reinstate sanctions on the Iranian nuclear program—which, Goldberg goes on to argue, is a mistake.

Iran Revolutionary Guards chief targeted in French criminal complaint
The commander-in-chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Hossein Salami, is one of three senior officials targeted in a rare criminal complaint filed with Paris prosecutors Thursday.

Along with Intelligence Minister Esmail Khatib and Al-Quds force chief Esmail Qaani, Salami is accused of "death threats and justifying terrorism," a lawyer for the six Iranian and Franco-Iranian plaintiffs said.

Their case refers to public threats issued by the three men between December 2022 and January 2023 against people backing the nationwide protests in Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, arrested for violating Iran's female dress code.

Khatib said on December 13 last year that "anyone playing a role in the riots will be punished, wherever they are in the world".

The declaration was spread widely in the press and on social media, according to the text of the criminal complaint seen by AFP.

Meanwhile, Salami himself said on January 10 that "the French people and the managers of (satirical anti-clerical magazine) Charlie Hebo" should not "concern themselves with the fate of Salman Rushdie".

The British author has long been subject to a fatwa calling for his killing issued by Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and was gravely wounded in an August 2022 knife attack. Charlie Hebdo staff were massacred by jihadist gunmen in 2015 after publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

"These threats are in fact just so many disguised fatwas" -- an Islamic legal decree -- against Iranian opposition activists around the world, said Chirinne Ardakani, a French-Iranian lawyer from the Iran Justice Collective.

"The regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its agents are keeping up a long tradition of threatening Iranian opposition figures in exile with death, hunting and murdering them on French and European soil," the 22-page legal complaint read.
Iranian-American Dissident Says White House Advised Her to Enter Witness Protection Over Threats
Iranian-American dissident and women’s rights advocate Masih Alinejad on Thursday said that the Biden administration had advised her to enter the US Witness Protection program over threats to her life emanating from Iran.

“I am here to share a secret with you,” Alinejad said at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on US policy towards Iran. “The White House warned me earlier this year that there have been more than 31 threats against my life on US soil, and, in an email, the administration strongly advised me to go into Witness Protection. If none of you knows what Witness Protection is, it means that I have to change my identity…I have to change my name and disappear. This is exactly what the Islamic Republic of Iran wants.”

In January, the Justice Department announced the arrest of three men in a murder-for-hire conspiracy orchestrated by Iran to kill Alinejad at her home in Brooklyn, NY. According to the indictment, one of the men was “about to execute the attack on the victim” when he was arrested with a loaded AK-47-style rifle outside the home in August 2022.

Alinejad’s testimony Thursday is the first time she has revealed that the administration asked her to enter the Witness Protection program.

The White House did not immediately respond to The Algemeiner’s request for comment.

Alinejad also slammed President Joe Biden and the administration for their response to the Iranian threats against her, which also included a 2021 kidnapping plot.

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