July 11, 2020

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01/10 Links Pt1: Send the Hebron observer force home; Why the UN Is Awful: Part Eleventy Billion; Is the key to Middle East peace Ted Cruz’s beard?


From Ian:

Prof. Eugene Kontorovich: Send the Hebron observer force home
The Temporary International Presence in Hebron is Israel’s perpetual own-goal. The special task force oversees Jewish areas of Hebron and – beyond its members’ diplomatic passports – is similar in its activities to left-wing rights groups such as the B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence. At the end of the month, Israel will have an opportunity to send TIPH home.

Israel has more observers than any other country, from the U.N. presence in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood to the U.N. Disengagement Observer Force on the Golan Heights. But the TIPH is an entirely different animal. It isn’t operated by the U.N. yet it is still an international force in Hebron. And unlike other such forces, which only the U.N. can abolish, it maintains an ongoing presence in Hebron because Israel says it can.

Israel was pressured to accept TIPH’s presence after Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinians at the Cave of the Patriarchs in 1994. The organization received its current mandate as part of a 1997 agreement stipulating that its validity must be renewed every three months – hence its “temporary” status. For 20 years now Israel has renewed the hostile organization’s mandate to operate in Hebron. Otherwise, its presence would have ended long ago. It is now one of the oldest observer forces in the world, and it contributes to Israel’s image as an outlaw state that demands special observation.

The anti-Israel bias of TIPH is built into its mandate, which tasked organization members with the one-sided mission of “promoting by their presence a feeling of security” for Palestinians in Hebron. Protecting Jews from constant terrorist attacks is not part of their job description. Members of the organization even “succeeded” in veering from this narrow definition by attacking Jews in Hebron in the last year. The attackers were later pulled out of the country by the TIPH leadership without ever having to stand trial. TIPH has cooperated with radical groups like Breaking the Silence and leaked confidential reports to the press. The organization’s reports are full of anti-Israel claims that have no connection to its stated task. According to media reports, TIPH asserts that Jews have no right to any presence anywhere in Hebron.

Jonah Goldberg: Why the UN Is Awful: Part Eleventy Billion

Via the inestimable Hillel Neuer, I learned that the UN elected Yemen to the vice-presidency of the organization that promotes gender equity.

You should read his whole tweet-storm. Yemen is not a woman-friendly place.

But this is yet another example of how the worst actors flock to the organizations charged with “fixing” various problems. Human-rights abusers race like moths to a flame to sit on human-rights bodies, precisely because that is the best way to protect themselves from international condemnation and, all too often, focus international fury on Israel. Also via Hillel:

NGO Monitor: Palestinian NGO Inadvertently Exonerates IDF

A Palestinian non-governmental organization (NGO), Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P), has, in two documents, compiled information demonstrating Palestinian violence along the Gaza border during the “Great March of Return.” Despite DCI-P’s claims that the march is a series of “protests” led by “civilians,” the actual evidence provided in their documentation proves otherwise.

For example, in its December 31, 2018 “Year in Review” report, DCI-P states that “protestors’ activities have involved…burning tires, efforts to pass through the perimeter fence on foot or the Israeli-enforced ‘no go zones’ at sea on fishing boats, launching incendiary balloons across the perimeter fence, and throwing stones, molotov cocktails, firebombs or other objects toward the perimeter fence” (emphasis added). Individuals committing these acts of violence are combatants, or civilians directly participating in hostilities.

DCI-P labels other undoubtedly military acts as civilian, claiming that “some civilians have developed other protest strategies such as the ‘night confusion unit’ whose goal is to create distractions for Israeli forces late at night with loud sounds and fireworks. Another group has self-organized to construct large kites with flaming tales to be flown across the perimeter fence in order to start fires in Israeli agricultural fields and forests” (emphasis added).

In the second publication, “Two children died from Palestinian armed group activities,” DCI-P simultaneously claims that children participating in the violence along the Gaza border were both “recruited and used” as child soldiers and killed as civilians. For instance, DCI-P states that “a 15-year-old boy killed by Israeli forces on May 14, was a member of Islamic Jihad’s youth ‘Scouts’ program, known as Al-Faris” adding that “According to eyewitness testimony, Ahmad was throwing two tires toward the remnants of burning tires…he was unarmed and dressed in civilian clothing” (emphasis added).

DCI-P also explains that a 16-year old was “shot him while he was attempting to set fire to a tire near the perimeter fence…while wearing civilian clothing and unarmed”.

Pompeo repudiates Obama Mideast policies, ‘willful blindness to danger of Iran’

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a scathing rebuke of the Obama administration’s Mideast policies on Thursday as he denounced the former president for “misguided” and “wishful” thinking that diminished America’s role in the region, harmed its longtime friends and emboldened its main foe: Iran.

In a speech to the American University in Cairo, Pompeo unloaded on US President Donald Trump’s predecessor for being naive and timid when confronted with challenges posed by the revolts that convulsed the Middle East, including Egypt, beginning in 2011. Pompeo laid the blame notably on a vision outlined by President Barack Obama in a speech he gave in Cairo in 2009 in which he spoke of “a new beginning” for US relations with countries in the Arab and Muslim world.

“Remember: It was here, here in this very city, another American stood before you,” Pompeo told an invited audience of Egyptian officials, foreign diplomats and students. “He told you that radical Islamist terrorism does not stem from ideology. He told you 9/11 led my country to abandon its ideals, particularly in the Middle East. He told you that the United States and the Muslim world needed ‘a new beginning.’ The results of these misjudgments have been dire.”

“In falsely seeing ourselves as a force for what ails the Middle East, we were timid about asserting ourselves when the times — and our partners — demanded it,” Pompeo said, without mentioning the former president by name.

Pompeo blamed the previous administration’s approach to the Mideast for the ills that consume it now, particularly the rise of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and Iran’s increasing assertiveness, which he said was a direct result of sanctions relief, since rescinded by the Trump administration, granted to it under the 2015 nuclear deal.

He criticized Obama for ignoring the growth of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon to the detriment of Israel’s security and not doing enough to push back on Iran-supported rebels in Yemen.

“America’s penchant for wishful thinking led us to look the other way as Hezbollah, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Iranian regime, accumulated a massive arsenal of approximately 130,000 rockets and missiles,” he says during a speech in Cairo.

Is the key to Middle East peace Ted Cruz’s beard?

The secret to peace in the Middle East might have been more obvious than previously conceived, and the world might have had the wrong approach to solving the crisis until now.

The key to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict might be a well-groomed Texan.

So says a “good friend” of Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a long-standing supporter of Israel, who is currently supporting US legislation to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. He wrote an op-ed for The Jerusalem Post last May praising the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.

“Pretty cool: A good friend is studying in yeshiva in Israel. His rabbi told him he liked my beard, elaborating, ‘It gives Cruz a Talmudic & Rabbinic look & presence that will put the fear of the Lord into Israel’s enemies & promote Middle East peace,'” he wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

Even Cruz thought the compliment was a bit too much acclaim, ending the Tweet, “Wow. Perhaps a bit much.”

Settlements growth decreases, but not in the eyes of Peace Now, AP

So, if housing starts are down in 2018, what is the basis for Federman’s alarmist claims that Israel is “laying the groundwork for what could be the largest construction binge in years”? He relies heavily on Peace Now, which resorts to exaggerating the significance of other indicators that have increased since Trump was elected – things like the “advancement” and “planning” or “approvals” of construction projects in the settlements.

In fact, discussion of these indicators, and explaining why they are somehow more significant than the number of actual housing starts, accounts for a large portion of Federman’s nearly 700-word article.

Yes, “advancement” and “planning” or “approval” of settlement construction is a prerequisite for construction and “could” eventually lead to development, as Federman says. Historically, however, there has been no absolute correlation between such planning activity and actual construction, and many such plans never make it out of the planning stage.

In reality, a single project can, and historically has often, been advanced or approved many times over as a political ploy to appease pro-settler coalition parties without having to actually build anything. There can also be a variety of other factors – technical, logistical and otherwise – that can cause West Bank construction projects to fail to be acted upon (which can see approvals re-issued at a later date, and then counted again).

(To give one example, we can point to the memorable case of hundreds of housing units in the settlement of Beit El that were repeatedly announced and approved without follow-up action for at least five years.)

Peace Now chooses to focus on the issue of approvals because they need something to create anti-settlement headlines and anti-settlement pressure with, but to treat approvals with the same significance as actual construction is a distortion. Serious journalists should know better than to accept the group’s spin without looking at the wider context and reality.

The UK and EU Build an Illegal Road on an IDF Training Ground

The Arab takeover of Israel Defense Forces’ training grounds in the southern Hebron Hills continues: The British government and the European Union are paving an illegal road through the very same training ground that was the subject of Regavim’s recent Supreme Court petition.

The United Kingdom and the European Union recently began paving a road on land in IDF Firing Zone 917 in the southern Hebron Hills despite the Israeli government’s recent claims that it is enforcing the law there.
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In recent weeks, illegal roadworks have been conducted in the heart of an IDF training area. The road is scheduled for completion in mid-February of this year, only weeks from today, and the signs along the route of this illegal roadway leave no room for doubt: “This project is funded by the U.K. through the European Union and the Municipal Development and Lending Fund.”

The illegal construction on IDF Training Ground 917 covers thousands of dunams; it includes hundreds of residential structures, schools, clinics and mosques. Illegal infrastructure corridors for access roads, internal roads, power lines, etc.—covering dozens of kilometers more—is funded by a combination of foreign bodies, among them the European Union, the United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi.

The bottom line: A new Arab city is being built in a strategically critical area, creating a swath of territory under Arab control stretching from the Arad Valley to the Hebron Hills and eastern Gush Etzion.

Month after shooting which killed her baby, mother leaves hospital

Rising from her wheelchair with the aid of a walker, an Israeli woman who was seriously injured in a West Bank shooting left a Jerusalem hospital Wednesday, a month after the attack which caused the death of the baby she was pregnant with at the time.

“I arrived at the hospital lying down, and I am leaving it on foot,” declared Shira Ish-Ran as she exited the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in the capital.

She was accompanied by her husband, Amichai, who was shot in the leg in the same attack, and who walked beside her with the aid of crutches.

“We are a walking miracle,” Shira told reporters as she prepared to leave the hospital, also thanking the paramedic who she said had saved her life. “This is a tremendous thing. Every day we are thankful for the miracles.”

“I don’t know how our rehabilitation progressed so fast and so well,” she added. “The doctors are satisfied with the progress. I also want to thank the dedicated staff of the hospital. They did so much for us and with such sensitivity. It is incredible.”

Shira was seven months pregnant when she was wounded in the December 9, 2018 attack outside the Ofra settlement in the West Bank. Her baby boy — delivered in emergency surgery by doctors hours later — died after four days as a result of the attack.

The day after her son, who was named Amiad, was buried, Shira, speaking from the hospital where she was undergoing treatment, vowed to have “many more babies.”

Arab Israeli jailed for 11 years for plot to assassinate Netanyahu, J’lem mayor

An East Jerusalem man suspected of planning to assassinate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat last year on orders from a Syria-based terrorist group was sentenced Thursday to 11 years in prison.

Muhammad Jamal Rashdeh, a 31-year-old Arab Israeli, was arrested on April 24 and charged on May 27 with terror offenses. In a plea deal, he was convicted of conspiracy to aid the enemy in wartime, preparing to carry out deadly terror attacks, spying, and conspiracy to commit murder.

Two other suspects have also been arrested and charged in connection with the case, the Shin Bet said at the time. The security service has refused to identify the two suspected accomplices.

“Working on orders from terrorist operatives abroad, Muhammad planned to carry out a number of significant terror attacks against a variety of targets,” the security service said.

The targets included Netanyahu and Barkat, as well as buildings belonging to the US consulate in Jerusalem (which has since been converted into an embassy) and a delegation of Canadian security officials who were in Jerusalem to train Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank, the Shin Bet said.

Barkat thanks security services for arresting would-be assassin

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat thanked Israeli security services for thwarting an assassination plot aimed against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and himself.

“I wish to personally thank the Shin Bet for bringing to justice the heinous terrorist who wished to harm Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and me,” he said.

Mahmud Rashad Jamale from the Shuafat neighborhood of Jerusalem was sentenced to 11 years in prison for plotting to murder a number of government officials, including Netanyahu and Barkat, Channel 2 news reported on Thursday.

Terrorist gets 18 years for murder of British student on light rail

57-year-old Jameel Tamimi was sentenced to 18 years in prison by the Jerusalem District Court on Thursday in a plea deal for the murder of Hannah Bladon, a 20-year-old British exchange student stabbed to death on April 14, 2017 on the Jerusalem Light Rail.

Bladon’s family and their lawyer, Maurice Hirsch, wanted a life sentence and were pained by the reduced sentence, but they had been prepared by the state prosecution that there were risks going to trial because of the issue of Tamimi’s reduced mental state.

Also, Tamimi will be in his mid-70s when he is released.

The court did give heartfelt and emotional recognition to the Bladon family’s pain and the complexity of the sentence.

On December 31, the prosecution and the defense made arguments regarding the sentence and in light of their plea bargain for a conviction, but with a reduced mental state.

The court surprised the sides by delaying its decision until Thursday, stoking some speculation that it might go for a more severe sentence, but it ultimately endorsed the hard-negotiated deal.

IDF officer, 4 soldiers arrested for allegedly beating Palestinians

Military police on Wednesday arrested a platoon commander and four of his soldiers on suspicion of beating two Palestinian prisoners arrested for allegedly assisting in a terrorist shooting at the Givat Asaf outpost in Samaria in December.

The soldiers, who serve in the ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda Battalion in the IDF’s Nahal Brigade, are the comrades of the late Staff Sgt. Yovel Mor Yosef and Sgt. Yosef Cohen, who were killed in the attack. They also took part in the operation to track down and arrest anyone suspected of helping the shooter behind the attack, Assam Barghouti.

According to the allegations, the five suspects beat the detainees until they were no longer fit for questioning.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement that the “arrested officer and soldiers are expected to be brought before a military court on Thursday, which will discuss extending their remand.”

Family denounces Muslim Likud candidate, will shun her until she recants

The family of a Muslim Israeli woman who is running as a candidate in the primaries of the ruling Likud party denounced her on Wednesday as disloyal to her people and said it would shun her until she recants.

Dima Tayeh, from the village of Kafr Manda in the Galilee, made headlines on Tuesday when she gave an interview on Hadashot TV news announcing she was running in the right-wing party’s primaries, praising Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defending the controversial Nation-State Law, which critics see as discriminating against Israel’s Arab minority.

If elected, she would be the first Arab Muslim lawmaker in the Likud party.

On Wednesday, her relatives released a statement saying they “denounce her” and her opinions do not represent them.

“Due to her statements, we will not make contact with her or give her any assistance until she retracts her words and declares loyalty to her people and her faith,” the statement said.

Tayeh, who was among a group of Arab Israelis who toured the US to campaign against the BDS movement that seeks to boycott Israel, said she has been a proud Likud member for six years.

“I believe that the Likud can provide security to the nation, a flourishing economy and can really include varied opinions and cultures,” she told Hadashot.

“I’m proud to run in the Likud primaries, as an Arab, as a woman, as a Muslim who is extending a hand to her community and trying to help them and the State of Israel, and to improve its image.”

Haifa: Hezbollah sympathizer appointed to security committee

A Haifa city council member who was forced to forgo an appointment to deputy mayor following public outcry over his comments calling Hezbollah operatives “freedom fighters” and comparing Zionism to the Islamic State, has been appointed to a position that will give him access to sensitive strategic information, Israel Hayom has learned.

According to a document obtained by the newspaper, city council member Raja Zaatra has been appointed to the Haifa Municipality’s Security Committee. The Security Committee discusses sensitive matters such as municipal preparations for an emergency; the location of strategic civilian infrastructure in the city, and other security-related matters.

A senior official in the Haifa Municipality said national defense officials who work with the city of Haifa on security matters were “astonished” that Zaatra had been named.

“Although security clearance is not a requirement to serve on the municipal security committee, the decision to appoint someone with opinions like Zaatra’s to a committee that deals with sensitive issues is bewildering,” one official said.

A month ago, Haifa Mayor Einat Kalish-Roten rolled back her decision to appoint Zaatra as her deputy. Zaatra is head of the far-left Arab-Jewish communist party Hadash in Haifa, and a former spokesman for the Joint Arab List.

So in Israel’s election, who are the Russians for?

On Monday, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) Director Nadav Argaman made front-page headlines at a Tel Aviv University press conference by saying that a foreign country is trying to influence Israel’s upcoming elections through its cyber capabilities.

The military censor forbade publicizing the name of the country, which Argaman said out loud in his speech. Nevertheless, most assumed that the country in question was Russia, even though the Kremlin issued a denial on Wednesday.

Why Russia? What interest does Moscow have in interfering with these elections? And on behalf of whom?

Why, for instance, couldn’t the prime suspect be Iran, or even a European country – say France or Germany – which would love to see a Center-Left government in power to advance what they believe is the proper pathway to peace?

First of all, according to Eran Lerman, vice president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies and former deputy head at the National Security Council, nobody should fall off their chair at the thought of a foreign country trying to influence another country’s elections. It happens all the time. For instance, in the 1996 elections between Shimon Peres and Benjamin Netanyahu, both Iran and the United States tried to impact the outcome.

PreOccupiedTerritory: I Love How You Think My Interference In Your Elections Could Make Anything Worse by Vladimir Putin, President, Russian Federation (satire)

You Israelis never cease to amuse me. You’re so self-absorbed, so politically-minded, that you think I would direct my intelligence operatives to sow discord and dysfunction ahead of your parliamentary elections this April. I couldn’t possibly improve on what you’ve got already.

Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate the image you have of me and my regime as meddlesome, underhanded schemers. That perception enhances my image as a leader not to be trifled with. But let’s be honest: there’s nothing I could do to make your politics any more toxic, dishonest, or bitter.

Not even my vaunted experts could come up with what you’ve accomplished on your own. For crying out loud, you’ve got four parties with more or less explicit platforms calling for the dismantlement of Israel as a Jewish state, plus one or two more who are only a hop, skip, and jump away from there, ideologically. You allow opposition to the entire raison d’être of your country to be legitimized and given political power. I can’t do better than that. I would know – we’ve been trying for decades, even since before I was a KGB agent.

Then you’ve got your various flavors of former-general-who-will-be-savior-of-the-moment, every last one of whom can’t accomplish a meaningful thing, and somehow manages to make an awful situation worse. It’s a rarity that any of them leaves office with their areas of responsibility in better shape than they way they inherited them. I’d love to believe we’ve infiltrated the IDF and control all those senior officers, causing them to run the country into the ground, but even I’m not that powerful. Besides, I don’t need to lift a finger to get the same result.

In first, Israel opens road with wall dividing Israeli and Palestinian traffic

Israel opened a road in the West Bank on Thursday morning with a physical barrier separating Israeli and Palestinian traffic, the first of its kind, drawing accusations of racism from Palestinian officials.

Israel’s Transportation Ministry said the road, including its security provisions, provided “a solution for all populations, Israeli and Palestinian.”

The newly inaugurated, five-kilometer Route 4370 is divided down its length by a concrete wall topped with fencing. Two lanes of the road connect the Geva Binyamin settlement, also known as Adam, north of Jerusalem, to the city’s French Hill neighborhood — and are open to Israeli vehicles and to Palestinians who have entry permits for Jerusalem. The other two lanes branch off and lead around the east and south of the city, without access to Jerusalem itself, and are for vehicles of Palestinians who do not have access permits for Jerusalem, according to a statement from the Binyamin Regional Council.

There are other divided roads in the West Bank, but none with a wall separating the two categories.

The opening of the road drew swift condemnation from rights groups, the Palestinian Authority and the PLO.

“This is an Israeli example of apartheid and racist separation that once existed in South Africa. Any Israeli who believes in democracy should feel ashamed about this new road,” PLO Executive Committee member Ahmad Majdalani told The Times of Israel.

Report: Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh cancels trip to Moscow

A trip to Moscow next week by the leader of Palestinian terrorist group Hamas has been canceled, Interfax news agency quoted the ambassador for the Palestinian Authority to Russia as saying on Thursday.

The Hamas leader had been expected to hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Jan. 15.

The Palestinian Authority notified the Kremlin in December of its opposition to Haniyeh’s visit, which Russian officials said was part of an effort to end the rift between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah.

“We have told the Russians that we’re not happy with the invitation of Haniyeh,” a PA official told The Jerusalem Post at the time. “Haniyeh is the leader of a Palestinian group that staged a coup against the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip in 2007. He does not hold any official position in the Palestinian leadership.”

The official said that while the PA “fully appreciates Russia’s sincere effort to end divisions among the Palestinians, we believe that the only way to achieve national unity is for Hamas to implement previous reconciliation agreements with Fatah, especially the last one signed in Cairo late last year.”

Israel said urging Egypt to reopen Gaza crossing over fears of fresh violence

Israel has reportedly urged Egypt to fully reopen the Rafah crossing with the Gaza Strip out of fears the shuttered border will lead to a fresh round of violence in and around the Palestinian territory.

Senior Egyptian officials were quoted in a report Thursday in the Qatari al-Araby al-Jadid newspaper as saying that the Israeli defense establishment “is concerned that squeezing the Gaza Strip will turn the attention of the Palestinian factions toward” Israel.

According to the report, Hamas has opened “extensive” lines of communication with Cairo in recent days as senior members of the Gaza-ruling terror group seek to have the key crossing reopened in both directions. It is the only point of entry and exit from the Gaza Strip that does not go through Israel.

On Wednesday, senior Hamas member Bassem Naim told the Chinese news agency Xinhua that Egypt has promised to reopen Rafah in both directions as soon as possible.

IsraellyCool: Latest Palestinian Libel: Aerial Herbicides of Death.ᵀᴹ

Adalah, the anti-Israel “human rights” organization and masters of really bad BDS flash mobs (not that there is any other kind) report on the latest “Zionist crime”: Aerial Herbicides of Death.TM

In the letter submitted on Monday, the organizations emphasize that the spraying is a highly destructive measure, infringing on fundamental human rights and violating both Israeli and international law. Contrary to Israel’s official position, whereby the military only sprays herbicides over Israeli territory, farmers in Gaza report that the planes spray over the Strip’s aerial space. The letter further notes that even if the spraying were to in fact take place only on the Israeli side, the chemical agents used are carried by wind over to the Gaza Strip, causing severe damage to crops and disproportionate financial losses to local farmers, meaning that there is no justification or legal basis for the continued use of this destructive practice.

A response submitted by the Ministry of Defense (Hebrew) to a Freedom of Information petition filed by Gisha in 2016 revealed that the chemical agents used in the spraying include glyphosate (“Roundup”), which had been declared a carcinogen by the World Health Organization and has been banned in many countries around the world.

This is yet another libel, plain and simple. Regarding glyphosate:

EFSA and the EU Member States have finalised the re-assessment of glyphosate, a chemical that is used widely in pesticides. The report concludes that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans and proposes a new safety measure that will tighten the control of glyphosate residues in food.

And WHO never declared it a carcinogen:

But facts do not matter when your goal is to demonize Israel. You will just put an accusation out there, hoping your audience is not knowledgeable enough to call you out on your BS.

Hence this post (hat tip: Tommy)

Update: The libel has been disseminated by, among others, Jew hater Jenny Tonge.

As U.S. sanctions bite, unemployment in Iran rises dramatically

Unemployment rates rose dramatically in Iran as US sanctions continue to take effect, according to a report on Radio Farda.

Omid Ali Parsai, chairman of the Iranian Statistical Center (ISC), announced that the official unemployment rate among Iranian youth has reached 27 percent, and has surpassed 40 percent for university graduates.

Parsai added that since March, 550,000 jobs have been created. However, 900,000 new jobs is the target figure needed annually to create the needed amount of employment opportunities, a number unlikely to be reached before the end of the Iranian year.

The official figures report the rate of unemployment among Iranian youth has surpassed the general unemployment rate more than two-fold.

However, it is likely that these figures, high as they are, do not represent the true state of the Iranian employment sector.

Official Iranian figures differ greatly from independent statistical centers. For example, Iranian officials count those who work one hour a week as employed, while independent statistical centers classify them as unemployed.

“Even if the unemployment figures have not been manipulated, they are questionable from a methodological point of view” and therefore figures on the year could be much higher than what was originally reported, according to the Farda report.

It has been predicted that least eight percent economic growth is needed in order to reduce unemployment woes, and “such growth has not materialized,” according to Radio Farda. The World Bank predicts that in the next year alone Iran will suffer a 3.7% drop in economic growth, with inflation and unemployment rates continuing to rise.

EU Sanctions against Iran

This week, the EU enacted the first sanctions against the Iranian regime since the nuclear deal, responding to multiple #terror acts across the continent. Iran’s terrorism across Europe is a wake-up call for the international community.

MEMRI: Saudi Journalist: If Muslims Despise The “Infidel” West, Why Are They So Eager To Live There?

In his July 8, 2018 column in the Saudi daily Al-Jazirah, Muhammad Aal Al-Sheikh slams Arab and African Muslim immigrants who choose to live in the West and even risk their lives to reach it, yet express hatred and contempt towards the West and regard it as infidel. He criticizes in particular the ingratitude of mosque imams in Europe, some of whom are immigrants themselves, who abuse the democracy and free speech in their host countries by incit against the West. In light of this, says Aal Al-Sheikh, the European right’s opposition to immigration is justifiable, for it is only natural to oppose the influx of immigrants who are “steeped to the bone in a culture of hostility and hatred.”

The following are excerpts from his article:[1]
“Immigrants cast themselves into the waters of the Mediterranean knowing full well that the chance of reaching their destination, the northern shore, is slim. They nevertheless risk [the journey], taking advantage of the instability in Libya, which has become the [immigrants’] point of departure on their way to the European paradise. But what is strange, and perhaps even embarrassing, is that, if you ask them about the infidel West, they will spew curses and invective, call it ignorant, and [express] contempt for it. So why do they cast themselves into its bosom and risk their lives to reach it? I truly fail to understand this reasoning, which is so warped, rotten and paradoxical that it seems sickening and ridiculous at the same time.

“The embarrassment becomes even more acute when one hears certain mosque imams in Europe, some of whom are foreigners and immigrants themselves, abusing the democracy and free speech that are granted to everyone [in those countries] by becoming expert at directing curses and invective at the infidels using [various] skillfully-phrased expressions.

“When the populist right in Europe demands to stop and fight immigration, even by means of military force, this evokes cries of outrage from the Arabs and Muslims there. They accuse those who make this demand of racism and hatred for the other, and – most ludicrously – [claim] that the West is undemocratic. Let me say this loud and clear: I do not blame [the Europeans]. In fact, if I were European, I would not hesitate for a moment to oppose this immigration and reject these people, whose culture is based on the duty to hate the non-Muslim, and examples [of this] in their heritage are numerous and varied… The Arabs, and especially the extremist Muslims among them, are steeped to the bone in a culture of hostility and hatred.

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