PMW: “We shall not retreat” – the PA’s daily battle cry for violence
Nearly every day since Dec. 12, excluding the days around Christmas and New Years, the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida has published a full-page of pictures of protests including rioters throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks at Israelis. The only text on the pages is a giant headline repeated each day: “We shall not retreat.” The locations of each event also appears on each picture, nearly are of which are from different Palestinian cities.
One page, from Dec. 18, shows pictures of peaceful demonstrations against US Pres. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital from different countries around the world (Libya, Turkey, India, Pakistan, and Montenegro).
Palestinian Media Watch has documented that the Palestinian leadership and Fatah have been attempting to incite more violence against Israel ever since US Pres. Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The following pictures are further evidence:
Caroline Glick: The Iranian explosion of truth
The $100 billion in sanctions relief Iran received in the wake of the nuclear deal enabled the regime to give hundreds of millions of additional dollars each year to its proxy militias and armies in Iraq, Yemen and Syria.
It is self-evident that if the protesters get their way and the ayatollahs are overthrown, that money would stop flowing to Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthis and the Shi’ite militias in Iraq. Instead, that money, and billions more, would be spent developing Iran.
There are many ways that the nations of the world can help the protesters in Iran. The US and Iran’s other targets can expose the financial corruption in the Islamic Republic, including the bank account information of everyone from Supreme Dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei down to local Basij commanders. They can broadcast anti-regime information into Iran through multiple platforms outside the regime’s control. They can bypass the regime and unblock Twitter, Facebook, Telegraph and other social media platforms.
Aside from that, the Trump administration can take immediate steps to constrain even further the regime’s access to the international monetary system and force European and US firms to cancel their multi-billion dollar deals with the regime.
There are many reasons to fear that the protests will fail to achieve their goal of overthrowing the regime. The regime is already sending its forces out to repress the protesters through killing and mass arrests.
But even if the protesters’ prospects of success are small, there is no excuse for not supporting them, as constructively, enthusiastically and unconditionally as possible. There is certainly no excuse for working to preserve Obama’s foreign policy legacy at the expense of a popular uprising that has the potential to avert a world war.
Peter Kohanloo, Sohrab Ahmari: An Iranian Revolution of National Dignity
Iran is convulsing with the largest mass uprising since the 2009 Green Movement. Demonstrations that began last week in the city of Mashhad, home to the shrine of the eighth Shiite imam, have now spread to dozens of cities. And while the slogans initially addressed inflation, joblessness, and graft, they soon morphed into outright opposition to the mullahs. As we write, the authorities have blocked access to popular social-media sites and closed off subway stations in the capital, Tehran, to prevent crowd sizes from growing. At least 12 people have been killed in clashes with security forces.
What is happening in the Islamic Republic?
After nearly four decades of plunderous and fanatical Islamist rule, Iranians are desperate to become a normal nation-state once more, and they refuse to be exploited for an ideological cause that long ago lost its luster. It is a watershed moment in Iran’s history: The illusion of reform within the current theocratic system has finally been shattered. Iranians, you might say, are determined to make Iran great again.
Their movement is attuned to the worldwide spirit of nationalist renewal. From the U.S. to India, and from South Africa to Britain, political leaders and the voters who elect them are reaffirming the enduring value of the nation-state. Iran hasn’t been immured from these developments, as the slogans of the current protests indicate. No longer using the rights-based lexicon of votes and recounts, Iranians are instead demanding national dignity from a regime that for too long has subjugated Iranian-ness to its Shiite, revolutionary mission.
It’s notable, for example, that protestors chant “We Will Die to Get Iran Back,” “Not Gaza, Not Lebanon, My Life Only for Iran,” and “Let Syria Be, Do Something for Me.” Put another way: The people are tired of paying the price for the regime’s efforts to remake the region in its own image and challenge U.S. “hegemony.” Some have even taken to chanting “Reza Shah, Bless Your Soul,” expressing gratitude and nostalgia for the Pahlavi era, which saw the modern, pro-Western nation-state of Iran emerge from the shambles of the Persian Empire.
Ben Shapiro: Trump Reverses the Obama Doctrine on Iran
That was the seduction to which the Obama administration fell prey. Obama and his acolytes are moral relativists to the core, but they preached moral universalism in foreign policy. How, then, did they define those universals? With reference to the European consensus. We were to be tools of a European-defined morality. To buck that morality would be to buck the new international consensus.
The result was entirely predictable: Corpses piled up on the streets of Tehran, Mosul, Raqqa, Beirut, and Jerusalem, even as the Obama administration preached its own moral excellence.
George Washington warned of just this phenomenon. He predicted a time when America would lead the world in might. The danger, he said, would be getting sucked into the game of “international leadership” and into the notion that European-defined “universal principles” ought to govern our foreign policy rather than our own interests. Our own interests, Washington thought, would often serve those universal principles abroad, but not always. And allowing other nations to redefine liberty itself before making it a central pillar of our foreign policy pillar would be disastrous. That’s why Washington warned in his farewell address that the United States ought not “entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice.”
American leadership doesn’t mean alliance-building or going it alone, per se. It means pursuing our own interests, which will be more moral than those of other nations because we are a nation founded on a moral creed.
The Trump administration seems to have come to this correct conclusion from the wrong direction. Trump campaigned along isolationist lines, imitating the worst excesses of the Ron Paul crowd. But because he perceives himself to be a moral actor in the world, his foreign policy has followed the basic belief system Washington laid forth: Make alliances where possible, but pursue America’s interests above all. That’s why Iranian protesters now have an ally rather than an enemy in the White House. And that’s why America’s foreign policy is more moral under Trump than it was under Obama.
Melanie Phillips: The Iranian uprising
What’s happening in Iran is of the greatest significance. Thousands of anti-regime demonstrators have taken to the streets now for four days in protest. Reports suggest that at least twelve people have been killed by government troops. It is hard to over-estimate the courage of those demonstrators.
The scale and scope of these demonstrations across Iran is unprecedented: estimates suggest they have been occurring in at least 30 cities, including some places long deemed to be the regime’s power base.
With President Hassan Rouhani acknowledging economic “grievances”, a “lack of transparency” and “corruption”, the regime has responded with patent alarm. As well it might. If these protests continue to accelerate, they can produce an upset that was unimaginable until now. For this is an uprising against the regime itself.
Demonstrators have been chanting “Death to Khamenei” (|Iran’s supreme Leader), “Reformists, hardliners, it is game over now,” “Death to the Islamic Republic” and “Shame on you, mullahs.”
They are also chanting: “Forget about Palestine, forget about Gaza, think about us”, ‘Death to Hezbollah” and “Leave Syria alone, think about us instead”.
As Dr Majid Rafizadeh observes here, this uprising is more significant even than the “Green Revolution” demonstrations in 2009. People then were protesting against rigged elections and the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Today they are demanding regime change: an end to the Islamist regime that took power in 1979.
This of course shows up as utterly risible the gloss initially put on these protests by the western media – those outlets, that is, that even bothered to report the demonstrations when they first erupted – that the issue which has brought Iranians onto the streets is merely economic privation.
Take note, those of you who want to see real women freedom-fighters. Look into the streets of Iran or listen to the chess champion Anna Muzychuk.
Iranian women, by risking their lives, have unmasked the faces of those trying to promote burqas and hijabs as supposed “symbols of liberation”.
The desperate attempt of Iranian people pouring out onto the streets against the Islamist regime exposes the bitter life that Iran’s citizens, especially women, have been forced to live for nearly forty years in the name of Islamic law, (sharia).
These demonstrations have also shown the ugly face of Islamists who take their own people hostage to quench their thirst for power — by repression, jail, torture, executions — any way they can.
Iranian women, like many others, are sick and tired of living in layers upon layers of imprisonment.
The regime in Iran clearly feels shaken by the resolve of these protestors: Iran’s leaders have promised to soften their misogynistic laws by not imprisoning women in Tehran who appear in public without their veils on.
The protesters, however, do not seem to be buying this offer: they are seeking the full elimination of extremism in the country. There is clearly no more trust in the promises of this regime.
At an INSS seminar on the negotiations with Iran, investigative journalist Jay Solomon asked how Iran went from a weak negotiating position to attainment of such a good deal from its perspective. In 2012 Iran faced an economic crisis that threatened the regime, feared a possible Israeli attack, and was concerned about the collapse of the Assad regime. By July 2015 Iran had secured a deal that alleviated all of these concerns.
- Solomon identified five main reasons: Obama’s own fear of an Israeli attack that pushed him to engage diplomatically; the shift in the “DNA” of key personnel from the first Obama administration to the second, with Kerry significantly less hawkish on Iran than Clinton; Kerry’s domination of the negotiations, which was not planned in advance; Obama’s sense that the negotiation was a key to his legacy, which meant that Iran could hear the ticking clock; and the fact that Iran and Russia were working together behind the scenes of the negotiation.
- At the negotiating table, the international negotiators began making concessions to Iran in order to secure a deal, and in the hope that a more cooperative approach on their part would elicit a similar response from Iran. That did not happen.
- The concessions sent only one message: that the bargaining partner had “blinked” first, exposing the extent to which it desired, and indeed was dependent on, a deal. The concessions that were offered also signaled to Iran that more concessions could be extracted.
- Secretary Kerry’s assumption had been that by the time that sunset clauses come into effect beginning in 7-8 years, they will not present a serious threat because the nature of the Iranian regime will have fundamentally changed, but what we have seen since the deal was signed is a more aggressive Iran.
Dismissing the notion of any Israeli connection to the ongoing protests in Iran, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the “heroic” demonstrators protesting against the “cruel regime” in a YouTube video published Monday.
“I heard today Iran’s President [Hassan] Rouhani’s claim that Israel is behind the protests in Iran. It’s not only false. It’s laughable. And unlike Rouhani, I will not insult the Iranian people. They deserve better,” the prime minister began.
Rouhani had said earlier Monday that the protests were being pushed by Saudi Arabia, which was trying to destabilize the country along with the US and Israel.
Netanyahu noted that the demonstrations were led by Iranians. “Brave Iranians are pouring into the streets,” he said. “They seek freedom. They seek justice. They seek the basic liberties that have been denied to them for decades.”
Iran President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, December 31, 2017. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)
“Iran’s cruel regime wastes tens of billions of dollars spreading hate. This money could have built schools and hospitals,” Netanyahu said. “No wonder mothers and fathers are marching in the streets. The regime is terrified of them, of their own people. That’s why they jail students. That’s why they ban social media.”
“But I’m sure that fear will not triumph,” insisted the prime minister, calling the Iranian people “smart,” “sophisticated” and “proud.”
For five days, since the Iranian protesters first took to the streets on Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said nothing about the demonstrations.
For five days he held his tongue and asked his cabinet ministers to do the same, believing that anything anybody with authority in Israel would say about the protests would and could be used against the Iranians who took to the streets.
Foremost in the minds of some who advocated this policy was the results of Israel’s very public support in September of independence for Iraqi Kurds. Rather than lead other countries to express similar support, or do much more than giving some moral support to the Kurds themselves, these statements were used by Iraq, by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and by Iran against the Kurds.
Seeking to avoid a replay, Netanyahu’s policy up until Monday afternoon was just to keep quiet.
But then two things happened. The first was that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani publicly blamed Israel and the US for fomenting the unrest. The second was the deafening silence of the Europeans.
As a result, Netanyahu uploaded a 90-second video in English onto his Facebook page, which was also subtitled in Farsi and placed on his Farsi Facebook page as well, in which he directly addressed both those issues.
Former US president Barack Obama chose not to support the 2009 Iranian Green Protest Movement because he hoped to reach a deal with Iran on its nuclear weapons that he signed six years later, Deputy Minister Michael Oren (Kulanu) said on Monday.
Obama’s failure to help Iranian protesters has been criticized since then by Israeli officials, led by Jewish Agency chairman and former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky, who has called it the biggest failure to help human rights in modern history.
Oren, who was the ambassador to the US at the time, said Obama initially claimed he would not support the protesters because the CIA helped overthrow nationalist Iranian prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953 and that he wanted to show the Iranian people that he respected their sovereignty. Oren said the Obama administration had told Israelis behind the scenes that the protesters themselves did not want an American endorsement because it could discredit them in the eyes of the Iranian people.
“In retrospect, those explanations are less credible,” Oren told The Jerusalem Post. “The Obama administration’s lack of support for the Green Revolution was part of a pattern in which it did not hold Iran accountable for any provocation. It would seem it was part of a general approach that began in Obama’s first week in office in 2009 of wanting to reach a deal with Iran at pretty much any cost.”
Among the Iranian provocations ignored by the Obama administration, Oren listed the crackdown on the protesters, the kidnapping of Americans, having their missile boats provocatively approach American destroyers, trying to assassinate him and his Saudi counterpart in downtown Washington, the failure to follow through on a red line Obama imposed on Syrian dictator Bashar Assad using chemical weapons and Iranian-backed Hezbollah smuggling massive amounts of cocaine into the US.
US President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday lashing out at the Iranian regime and Former US President Barack Obama.
The president has so far held off from taking any public action apart from putting the regime on notice and tweeting out his take on the deteriorating situation in the Islamic Republic, which has seen nearly a week of daily and increasingly bloody anti-regime protests.
On Monday he wrote: “The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!”
Alan Dershowitz believes former President Obama’s strategy with Iran emboldened the Islamic republic, which he said is now poised to become a nuclear threat like North Korea in the next decade.
On “Fox & Friends,” the Harvard Law professor emeritus explained that Obama was willing to give too much in the Iran nuclear deal, and he got very little in return.
The controversial 2015 agreement unfroze more than $100 billion in Iranian assets and gave cash payments of more than $1 billion in exchange for Iran’s pledge not to pursue nuclear weapons for at least ten years.
“President Obama made it clear that he was going to stand behind the Iranian regime,” Dershowitz said. “He was going to send them lots and lots of money. Of course some of it was their own money, but still they used it to foment terrorism, to export terrorism around the world.”
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton commended President Donald Trump for siding with the anti-government protesters in Iran.
Trump has tweeted several times in recent days in support of peaceful demonstrators speaking out against the government in Tehran.
On “Fox & Friends,” Bolton explained that these protests are different than the post-election protests in Iran in 2009, which questioned the legitimacy of the election of then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and who should lead the regime.
“These protests are about whether the regime survives or not, and that makes them much more threatening to the ayatollahs, much more dangerous, and raises the stakes considerably,” Bolton said.
He said that Trump’s support of the protesters signals a huge – and positive – change from the Obama administration, but more must still be done.
He called for Trump to pull out of the Iranian nuclear deal, resume all previous sanctions to put increased economic pressure on the regime, provide material and financial support to the opposition and work with intelligence services from other countries.
“There’s a lot we can do to, and we should do it,” Bolton said. “Our goal should be regime change in Iran.”
On Monday, The New York Times ran the latest in a series of despicable pieces dedicated to making excuses for the tyrannical Islamist Iranian despotism. Here’s their tweet on the regime’s killing of dissidents:
Yes, it’s the fault of the demonstrators, who have somehow merely refused to heed the decent calls for calm from the Iranian mullahs. Oddly, The New York Times never has such words for Palestinian rioters who throw rocks at Israeli troops at the behest of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. When that happens, it’s Trump’s fault or the Jews’ fault. Somebody else’s fault, anyway.
But when it’s democracy-seeking Iranians, then they’re the problem.
The piece itself, by Thomas Erdbrink, is a disaster area. It contains lines like this one:
Despite Mr. Rouhani’s diplomatic language, it was clear the demonstrators would be given no leeway…Mr. Rouhani has urged demonstrators to avoid violence but defended their right to protest. He did so again on Monday on Twitter.
Rouhani is a tool of the regime, of course, and a radical Islamist to boot, as well as a Holocaust denier. But according to the Times, he’s a moderate:
This time, it is the failure of President Rouhani, a moderate, to deliver greater political changes and economic opportunity, despite the lifting of some of the sanctions against Iran as part of the nuclear deal. Young people are especially angry. The average age of those arrested is under 25, one official said.
And the protests are about economics, not about the repressive regime. Of course, the regime has spent billions of dollars on terrorism abroad, including the maximization of its bloodshed in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. But it’s just that the Iranian government hasn’t redistributed the oil wealth enough. The Iranians probably just need Bernie Sanders or something.
What do Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz have to do with the deaths of 10 Iranian protesters demonstrating against their regime? That’s what Twitter users were wondering after Reuters TV used a photograph of the pair conspiratorially huddling to accompany a video about the Iranian deaths.
As part of our ongoing mission to keep Israel secure by clandestine means, we have long pursued strategies that might involve wreaking instability in enemy regimes, depending on the situation. But in recent decades our expertise in that realm has grown rusty, since we seldom need to lift a finger to undermine you Muslim countries in our region. You seem to do it so well on their own.
Once upon a time when the Jewish State’s existence was less secure, and its enemies more confident, we had to develop missions and approaches that called for much more drastic measures against neighbors who threatened to drive us into the Mediterranean. Sometimes that meant arming and training opposition; sometimes that meant selling weapons to enemy states of the enemy; sometimes it meant selling to two warring enemies to keep them distracted with each other instead of us. But all that hasn’t been necessary since the 1990’s. We haven’t had to undermine a Muslim regime since we installed Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan in 1999.
We would like to take credit for fostering the long-term developments in the Muslims world that led to all the instability, but let’s be honest: we’re good, but we’re not THAT good. We could never have engineered all the systemic failure, dysfunction, mistrust, ruthlessness, cynicism, fatalism, and despair out of nothing. You gave us more than enough to work with, and we’ve barely had to lift a finger. You did this all by yourselves. Congratulations!
When the streets filled with Iranian demonstrators in the so called Green Revolution of 2009 Jeremy Corbyn took to the regime mouthpiece Press TV to defend the reactionary, Islamic State regime. He didn’t stop there though, he’s been defending the Islamic Regime for years;
No one could be surprised at the fact that he has nothing to say now when once again Iranians take to the streets. In fact it’s rather refreshing.
He has said rather a lot in the past however, here he is heaping praise on the regime (H/T to our own Habibi):
Though good old Jeremy has been quiet some of his supporters have a lot to say. Take the comments in the Facebook group Jeremy Corbyn will be Prime Minister, a small group with ‘only’ 11,560 members;
Israeli aircraft on Monday night attacked a military compound belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization in southern Gaza, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said.
According to the statement, the airstrike was carried out in response to earlier rocket fire directed at Israel.
“The IDF considers the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for what is happening in the Gaza Strip,” it said.
Earlier on Monday evening, terrorists fired a rocket from Gaza that exploded in an open area in the Gaza Belt region.
There were no physical injuries. The “Red Alert” incoming rocket siren was not activated before the rocket exploded.
Last Friday, Gaza terrorists fired three rockets towards southern Israel in the middle of an event marking the 24th birthday of kidnapped and murdered IDF soldier Oron Shaul, whose body has been held by Hamas since the 2014 Operation Protective Edge.
On Saturday night, IAF planes attacked a Hamas observation post in southern Gaza in retaliation for Friday’s attack.
Israel’s General Security Agency, or as it is commonly known, the Shin Bet—which is responsible for preventing terrorist attacks inside Israel and in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula—has compiled a report of 2017, where it also outlined the principal challenge anticipated for the coming months. The main points were presented by its chief, Nadav Argaman, last week at a closed session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
Following are some of the report’s important sections, the ones with the greatest potential for affecting Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the Middle East in the near future. They are based on conversations with sources in the Shin Bet and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) over the past week.
On the escalation of violence after US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Israeli intelligence assessment is that the violence is clearly declining from week to week. The repeated postponement of US Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Jerusalem (due to the Senate vote on the tax cuts bill) thwarted the intentions of some parties to produce more protests, and from one postponement to the next, reduced the level of motivation.
A joint operation by Shin Bet, the IDF and the police led to the arrest of five members of a Hamas terror cell who planned to carry out attacks under the direction of a Hamas operative from the Gaza Strip.
In its investigation, the Shin Bet learned the group’s handler was Abdullah Arar, a Hamas operative who was involved in the kidnapping and murder of Israeli Sasson Nuriel 12 years ago. Arar was deported to Gaza following the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap deal and has since returned to terrorist activity.
Arar allegedly instructed Alaa Salim, a resident of Jaba’ in the Binyamin region of the West Bank, to form the cell and purchase an M16 rifle for the purpose of carrying out an attack. Arar also wired Salim funds to that end.
Salim later contacted Rian Touam, also a Jaba’ resident, and asked him to assist him in procuring the M16, providing him with thousands of shekels to do so.
Salim also contacted Shehadeh Touam and asked for his help in recruiting more members. Touam, in turn, contacted Mahmoud Abu Arkov, a young Hamas operative from A-Ram, and recruited him to the cell.
Terrorist freed in ‘Shalit deal’ planned terror A Shabak
(Israel Security Agency) investigation recently revealed that the force behind a 17-member terror cell caught in November was Abdallah Arar, a Hamas activist who had been involved in the kidnap-murder of Sasson Nuriel in 2005.
Arar was deported to the Gaza Strip as part of the “Shalit deal” and returned to terror-related activity. The other members of his cell were arrested for promoting terrorist attacks.
Their arrests were a joint operation of the Shabak, the Israel Defense Forces and the police.
Investigators suspect Arar told Alaah Salim, a resident of the Jenin-area Arab town of Jaba’, to create a terror cell and acquire an M16 rifle in order to carry out a terror attack as soon as possible. To further these goals, Arar gave Salim the necessary funds.
Salim then turned to Rian Tuam, another Jaba’ resident, asking his help in acquiring the M16 and giving him thousands of shekels. Salim also approached Shahada Tuam and asked his aid in enlisting additional terrorists.
Yaffa Glick, the wife of Likud MK Yehuda Glick, passed away on Monday morning.
Yaffa was hospitalized at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center in June after she suffered a massive stroke.
“A few minutes ago, the love of my life returned her soul to her Creator,” Yehuda Glick wrote Monday morning on Facebook. “Blessed be the true Judge.”
Asking for prayers when Yaffa battled for her life, her husband wrote, “Dear friends – two years ago, she requested you pray for me. Now, due to a severe stroke, she needs your prayers. Tear open the heavens for Yaffa, the daughter of Leah.”
In July, Yaffa was transferred from the Shaare Zedek Hospital to the complex nursing department at the Misgav Ladach Hospital in Jerusalem.. However, her health quickly deteriorated and on Monday morning she passed away. (h/t Zvi)
This video is presented by “My Israel” Chairwoman Sara Haetzni-Cohen. My Israel is a pro-Zionist Israel movement which aims to encourage pro-Israel activity, discourse, and opinions in Israel and around the world, both on social media and on the ground. It numbers hundreds of thousands of online members.
Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs Yousef Id claimed on Monday that Israel prevented Muslims’ call to prayer at the Ibrahimi Mosque, also known as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, 645 times in 2017.
Id demanded that international organizations, especially the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), pressure Israel to relinquish restrictions on the Islamic holy site.
This is not the first time the Palestinian Authority has turned to UNESCO for help. In June the PA urged the international organization to inscribe the holy site into the “list of world heritage danger” because of Israel’s violations of Muslim sovereignty of the holy site.
A letter was presented the World Heritage Center with a lengthy list of alleged Israeli violations from the last three years in Hebron’s Old City and at the Tomb. The list included refusal to allow Muslim worshipers access to the site and failure to make necessary repairs.
In June, 12 of 21 members of the World Heritage Center ruled in favor of recognizing the Old City of Hebron and the Tomb of the Patriarchs as part of a Palestinian state, a controversial ruling that Israeli politicians called a violation of Jewish rights.
By day, Shawn Eni is a mild-mannered Canadian living in Modi’in and working in business software. By night, and also a little bit by day, he runs a Mossad parody account on Twitter that seems to regularly fool a whole lot of people.
Eni started the account as a joke, of course, in September 2016. He never really thought anybody would take it seriously – after all, he was poking fun not at the Mossad itself, but at those on Twitter who blamed Israel’s intelligence agency for all sorts of bizarre things.
“People who are anti-Israel usually blame the Mossad for whatever,” said Eni in a phone interview on Monday. “Among them stealing shoes, and sharks and vultures.”
So Eni started cracking jokes about the silly conspiracies and began to gain a loyal following. But he never imagined he’d reach where he is today – more than 46,000 followers, and a slew of interactions with prominent accounts who seem to think he really represents the Mossad.
“I thought it would be an inside joke among the Israeli social media circle,” he said, “and then it really took off when I answered Linda Sarsour.”
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