Warning Iran, PM says lesson of Auschwitz is to confront evil when it’s small
On the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again drew a parallel between the Nazi genocide of Jews and Iran’s nuclear program.
“So we now have the capacity to defend ourselves, and I think the lesson of Auschwitz is: One, stop bad things when they’re small, and Iran is a very bad thing. It’s not that small but it could get a lot bigger with nuclear weapons, and I think the first thing is stop that,” he said in a television interview with TBN.
“And second, understand that the Jews will never ever again be defenseless in the face of those who want to destroy them. These are the two things that I think are important.”
The full interview with the Christian network will be broadcast on Tuesday evening. In a short clip released earlier during the day, the prime minister lamented the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust and stressed that attempts to wipe out the Jewish people have not ceased.
“A third of the Jewish people went up in flames. There was nothing we could do,” he said.
“Now, after the Holocaust and the State of Israel was established, the attempts to destroy the Jewish people have not disappeared,” Netanyahu said. “Iran openly declares every day that it wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. And by the way, Israel has today a population of more than six million Jews.”
In an interview with TBN that airs in full Tuesday night, a preview of which has been released exclusively to The Daily Wire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed President Trump’s decision to target Iran’s top military leader, Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force. The removal of Soleimani, said the Israeli leader, is a “tremendous achievement” that accomplished two key priorities at once.
Asked how Soleimani’s death will “change the Middle East,” Netanyahu told TBN Television Networks President Matthew Crouch that he believes that, first of all, “it sends a message of American determination and American strength — it’s a deterrence, a very powerful one.”
“Secondly, Soleimani himself was the architect and the generator of Iran’s empirical [goals], the Iranian empire,” Netanyahu continued. “Iran is predominantly Shiite. [Soleimani] would go into a neighboring country, say Iraq, and he would find Shiites and would create Shiite militias … manned by Iraqi Shiites but commanded by his own officers, Iranian officers. The same he would do in Syria, same he would do in Yemen.”
“He was beginning to choke the Middle East,” the prime minister stressed. “He wanted to conquer the entire Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula and ultimately destroy Israel. He was beginning to push his forces right next to Israel in Syria — and we responded to them very forcefully, we hit back.”
“But it is important to understand that Iran’s expansion into this horrible empire that brings misery and death to untold numbers of people in the Middle East—by the way, Jews and Arabs alike, Christians Muslims Jews, everyone,” said Netanyahu. “This man was an engine of destruction and conquest and subjugation. And his removal, I think, helps roll back these forces of tyranny.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the International Criminal Court, warned about Iran’s actions against both the Jewish people and the State of Israel and emphasized the Jewish people’s ability to defend themselves in a Tuesday interview with the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Netanyahu told TBN that, “everyone should rise up against” the ICC’s decision against Israel, even going so far as to call on the world “to ask for concrete actions: sanctions against the international court, its officials, its prosecutors, everyone.”
ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda plans on launching an investigation into whether Israel and the Palestinians have committed war crimes, which she believes they have. Netanyahu has previously called on other countries to say the ICC has no jurisdiction in Israel. The US, Australia and Hungary have all opposed the ICC’s involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The prime minister praised the US government, saying under President Donald Trump’s leadership, it has “spoken forcefully against the ICC.”
Netanyahu also accused the court of launching “a full-frontal attack on democracies,” saying that it is blocking democracies’ rights to defend themselves and “Israel’s right – the Jewish people’s right – to live in its ancestral homeland, the Land of Israel.”
The International Criminal Court Pretrial Chamber on Tuesday rejected the ICC Prosecution’s request to delve deeper into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because it was too long.
However, the same ICC Judges told ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda that she could re-file and that they would approve her request to file a longer brief than usual.
Bensouda’s December 20 decision ran around 120 pages and the ICC Judges have instructed Bensouda that even with their granting her request to file a longer than usual brief, she must stay within 110 pages when she re-files.
Although practically this is all a procedural sideshow and the case against Israel and the Palestinians for war crimes may very well go on, one relevant outcome is that the rejection, which itself took a month, may delay the ICC Pretrial Chamber’s decision by months.
In addition, the procedural decision seems to signal that the judges will not rush the process and that Bensouda’s hope of getting the court’s approval to fully investigate Israelis and Hamas for war crimes no later than March 20 may have been overly optimistic.
US President Donald Trump’s special adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner will travel to Israel Wednesday to attend the World Holocaust Forum and likely meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz.
Kushner’s trip, first reported by Axios, comes as Trump’s Senate impeachment trial is about to ramp up, with the Democratic House managers and White House lawyers making oral arguments before senators throughout the week.
It also comes as Israel heads into its third election in less than a year.
Axios reported that Trump’s peace team is currently weighing whether it will release its long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan before the March elections, according to both US and Israeli sources who said Washington was in the midst of “intense deliberations.”
Over the course of the last two elections in 2019, Trump officials repeatedly said they would wait until Israel’s democratic process resolved itself before unveiling the proposal. With a third election on the way, the White House could end up shelving the plan indefinitely, not wanting to release it in the middle of America’s 2020 presidential election cycle.
Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz vowed on Tuesday to annex the Jordan Valley “in coordination with the international community” if he wins the upcoming election.
In what appeared to be the top centrist lawmaker’s latest effort to cater to right-leaning voters, Gantz, during a visit to what he referred to as “Israel’s eastern protective wall,” said the area making up roughly 20 percent of the West Bank would remain part of the Jewish state in any future peace agreement and that previous governments that had been willing to negotiate over the strategic region had been mistaken.
But right-wing officials and settler leaders largely scoffed at Gantz’s pledge. Suggesting that it was nothing more than a bluff, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the Blue and White leader not to wait until after the election, but rather support the measure if it is brought before the Knesset for a vote in the coming weeks.
“Benny Gantz, I expect an answer by the end of the day,” Netanyahu said in a statement challenging the Blue and White leader.
Gantz subsequently issued a similar challenge to Netanyahu, tweeting: “Try for once not to lie and here’s a tip — you can apply Israeli law in the Jordan Valley in a cabinet decision within two hours, without any Knesset discussion. Let’s see you.”
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz was slammed by Jordan Valley and West Bank settler leaders on Tuesday for suggesting Israel should annex the Jordan Valley in cooperation with the international community.
In response, Yesha Council head and Jordan Valley Regional Council head David Elhayani said that Gantz had shown “lack of leadership” and argued that, by speaking about the international community, “this is the same international community that is prosecuting us at the Hague.”
Elhayani was referring to a recent decision by the International Criminal Court that Israel’s actions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip can be discussed with the purpose to decide if they might fall under the category of war crimes.
Elhayani further called the international community ‘a bunch of hypocrites” and urged Gantz not to wait until after the upcoming March elections but to annex the Jordan Valley “tomorrow.”
Honest Reporting: Israel and the Dysfunctional UN Human Rights Council
To understand the toxic relationship between the UN Human Rights Council and Israel, one must look to the council’s predecessor, the UN Human Rights Commission.
A moment of candor by Secretary General Kofi Annan sums up the problem then and now.
The (Human Rights) Commission’s capacity to perform its tasks has been increasingly undermined by its declining credibility and professionalism. In particular, States have sought membership of the Commission not to strengthen human rights but to protect themselves against criticism or to criticize others. As a result, a credibility deficit has developed, which casts a shadow on the reputation of the United Nations system as a whole.
It says a lot about a department inside an organization when the CEO not only criticizes a part of his own empire, but publicly discredits its work and the people who run it.
That’s exactly what happened when Annan dropped a bombshell back in 2005 when he declared that countries had sought membership in the UN Commission on Human Rights “not to strengthen human rights but to protect themselves against criticism or to criticize others.”
An embarrassed UN saw that the commission had too many countries with miserable human rights records. Annan called for its replacement with a new special body, the UN Human Rights Council. The UNHRC was formed a year later, but it was no surprise at all that it was quickly plagued by the very same problems as its predecessor.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday praised three south American countries for declaring Lebanon’s Hezbollah a terror group, while criticizing Venezuela for continuing to support the organization.
“We applaud the announcements of Colombia, Honduras, and Guatemala to designate Iran-backed Hezbollah a terrorist organization,” Pompeo tweeted. “It and other transnational terrorist groups remain active in the region. The US continues to rally international support to counter these threats.”
Attending an international conference to discuss regional cooperation against terrorism, held in Colombia, Pompeo slammed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for embracing the Shiite terror group.
Hezbollah “has found a home in Venezuela under Maduro. This is unacceptable,” Pompeo said as he met with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido for strategy talks. Guaido is recognized by the US and nearly 60 other nations as Venezuela’s rightful leader.
Earlier Monday Colombia and Honduras officially declared Lebanon’s Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
“We declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization and will include it in the registry of persons and institutions linked to acts of terrorism and its financing,” Honduran Deputy Security Minister Luis Suazo said, according to the Reuters news agency.
Argentines paid tribute Saturday to a prosecutor on the fifth anniversary of his unsolved death while probing the bombing of a Jewish community center — an attack in which he alleged a presidential cover-up to shield Iran in exchange for trade.
Prosecutor Alberto Nisman led the probe of the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association headquarters, which left 85 dead and 300 wounded.
In 2015, his body was found in his Buenos Aires apartment with a gunshot wound to the head, delivered at close range from a handgun found at his side.
His death came days after he directly accused then-president Cristina Kirchner, now the vice president, and some of her top aides of covering up Iran’s alleged involvement in the bombing.
Kirchner, who was in office from 2007 to 2015, is accused of having attempted to conceal Iranian involvement in the bombing in return for lucrative trade deals with her government.
Nisman’s body was found on January 18, 2015, hours before he was to present evidence to back up his claim. His death was initially ruled a likely suicide but an Argentine federal appeals court later found that he was murdered.
On Saturday night, some 3,000 demonstrators at a commemorative rally in Buenos Aires shouted “murderer” every time Kirchner’s name was mentioned as their way of blaming her for Nisman’s death. They denied suggestions that he had committed suicide.
Khaled Abu Toameh: The ‘Crime’ of Arabs Singing to Arabs in Israel
The Arab citizens [of Israel]… are seeking integration into Israel, and not separation.
The committee, like other anti-Israel groups around the world, particularly the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, are opposed to visits to Israel because they want to keep the world in the dark. The whole idea of boycotting Israel is designed to prevent the world from learning about the good things that Israel stands for and actually provides.
These groups are afraid that Maraka will go back to Jordan and report that he was welcomed in Israel by both Arabs and Jews, and that he was harassed by no one.
That is not a pretty picture for Israel-haters. These groups want the world to think that Arab citizens are being oppressed by Israel and have no rights. That, of course, is completely false. As a minority, Arabs in Israel enjoy more rights than in many of their own Arab and Muslim countries.
After eight months of debates and delays, a few weeks ago, the Democratic majority in the United States House of Representatives finally managed to pass Resolution 326 affirming the “unconditional” continuation of security aid to Israel totaling $38 billion over 10 years, based on the agreement first passed in 1998 and subsequently renewed with a few changes under the Obama administration. The word “unconditional” was added in order to thwart the efforts of the anti-Israel, BDS-supporting (boycott, divestment and sanctions) and inherently antisemitic squad in the House to make security aid conditional upon Israeli political concessions to the Palestinians.
Great! But unfortunately, in order to placate the anti-Israel faction, the Democratic House leadership also agreed to call the resolution “House support for United States efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a negotiated two-state solution,” adding the “clarification”: “Whereas the United States has long sought a just and stable future for the Palestinians, and an end to the occupation, including opposing settlement activity and moves toward unilateral annexation in Palestinian territory.” (The constant Palestinian refusal to compromise is not mentioned, nor is Palestinian terror.)
Despite the inclusion of this clause, anti-Israel and antisemitic House members Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley voted against the resolution anyway, the reason being that they are not only opposed to security aid to Israel, but to the very existence of the State of Israel itself as set forth by the two-state formula. As a result, the capitulation of most of the Democratic leadership watered down the primary goal of the resolution’s sponsors, namely to support security aid to Israel.
The importance and timeliness of the resolution was underscored by the fact that some of the Democratic presidential candidates, including senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, announced that if elected they would make security aid to Israel conditional upon ending settlements and an Israeli agreement to the establishment of a Palestinian state. Given the incendiary situation in the Middle East whose dangerous complexities and threats IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi described last week without mincing words, only an out-of-touch or biased person, even if in principle favoring political separation from the Palestinians, could support the creation of a Palestinian state right now.
Honest Reporting: March For All Women…Except the Jewish Women
Last week, the Women’s March celebrated its three-year anniversary. From around the time of its inception, the movement has been mired in antisemitic controversy.
Additionally, participants who marched in Chicago held up a banner with the face of Leila Khaled, a notorious Palestinian terrorist who hijacked airliners. The Women’s March continues to turn a blind eye to extremism while excluding supporters of Israel.
Newly elected Labour MP Zarah Sultana told a Jewish student it was “privilege” that allowed them to argue for a peaceful solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, the JC has learned.
In a series of social media posts she has since deleted, the Coventry South MP also said students who “go to Zionist conferences and trips should be ashamed of themselves” because they were advocating “racist ideology”.
Ms Sultana – who spoke at the launch of Rebecca Long-Bailey’s Labour leadership campaign at an event last Friday – also wrote that “those who lobby for Israel” would “in the near future feel the same shame and regret as South African Apartheid supporters.”
The revelations prompted Labour Friends of Israel to call for Ms Sultana to be suspended by the party and face an investigation.
The 26-year-old made headlines last week with a maiden speech in the House of Commons in which she thanked “Jewish comrades” before decrying what she called “40 years of Thatcherism”.
She became an MP at last month’s General Election, although her seat’s Labour majority fell from 8,000 to just 405 votes.
Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to include his controversial chief of staff, Karie Murphy, in his list of nominations for peerages is another insult to the Jewish community by the leader of the Labour Party.
Ms Murphy has been a central figure in the Labour leader’s office, which has presided over the descent of the Party into institutional antisemitism and undermined the Party’s disciplinary processes and investigations into antisemitism. Ms Murphy was instrumental in advocating for a Corbyn-led government, which would pose an existential threat to British Jewry.
Even Labour figures are sceptical of the propriety of appointing such a senior Party figure to the House of Lords while Labour is being investigated by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) over antisemitism. On 28th May 2019, the EHRC launched a full statutory investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
Rewarding Ms Murphy and elevating her to a life peerage, thereby guaranteeing her presence on the front line of British politics for years to come, is a malicious act.
The documentary-maker behind the BBC’s Panorama on Labour antisemitism is suing the Party for libel.
John Ware is taking legal action after the party strongly rejected the allegations made in the film, submitting a 28-page complaint to the broadcaster. On Monday, Ofcom said the show had been “duly impartial”, dismissing objections.
During the documentary Ware spoke to seven former Labour officials from the Party’s Complaints and Disputes department, plus another former staffer.
It alleged top party figures interfered with investigations into antisemitism, singling out the Labour leader’s chief communications adviser Seumas Milne and current general secretary Jennie Formby.
It was confirmed to Jewish News, that libel claims against the Labour Party and various of its outriders have been made by Ware and several whistle-blowers.
Fatah spokesman: “We will defend our Al-Aqsa Mosque and our holy sites, and we will not allow them to violate them … whatever the cost may be.’”
A filler between programs on official PA TV taught Palestinian viewers that the most holy site for Jews – the Western Wall – belongs only to Muslims. Referring to the wall with its Muslim name, the Al-Buraq Wall, PA TV explained that it is an Islamic waqf – an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law, and therefore Jews have no rights to it.
Official PA TV narrator: The historical documents in the possession of the Palestinians of Jerusalem testify that Jerusalem is a city of Arab origin for thousands of years, and its history and culture are Islamic. Since Islam’s conquest [in the 7th century], the Al-Buraq Wall (i.e., the Western Wall) has remained an Islamic waqf. The Muslims have the absolute right to it and there is not even one rock there that dates back to the period of King Solomon, as the Jews claim.”
[Official PA TV, Nov. 29, 2019]
The director of the Palestinian NGO the Land Research Center repeated this PA libel, stating that the Jewish Temple never existed and that all Jewish history is “a false narrative”:
Director of Land Research Center Jamal Al-Amleh: “It is known that [the Jews] have nothing in Jerusalem and Hebron. All archaeological excavations- even the Jewish archaeologists themselves have proven that there is no existence of their state in this country, no existence of the Temple on the mountain where the Al-Aqsa Mosque is built. All of their history and narrative is a false narrative.”
[Official PA TV, Reporters in the Field, Dec. 30, 2019]
There is “no existence of the Temple,” all their history is “a false narrative,” says director of Palestinian NGO
— Pal Media Watch (@palwatch) January 21, 2020
I’m willing to bet most of you have come across at least one of these before https://t.co/mtB6y8ndj7
— (((David Lange))) (@Israellycool) January 21, 2020
Venezuela’s strongman Nicolas Maduro sent Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza to Tehran on Tuesday for a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Iran, Turkey and Russia are allies of Venezuela’s regime, which has been responsible for human rights abuses and plunged the country into economic disaster. In Iran, the foreign minister listened as Rouhani bashed Israel and the “Zionist regime’s policies in the world.”
Maduro tweeted that Arreaza met with Iran’s foreign minister, “brother Javad Zarif.” They discussed bilateral relations and mutual defense, as well as talking about “international law” and paying lip service to the UN charter.
The Venezuelan strongman also slammed US Secretary Mike Pompeo for recent statements, calling the US a “failure” in its foreign policy. Arreaza posted a similar tweet, apparently part of Venezuela’s latest fussilade against the US. The US has supported Juan Guaido, a Venezualan political leader who recently met Pompeo and who has declared himself president as part of a dispute between the National Assembly and Maduro’s regime.
Iran is chuffed to have the Venezuelan delegation in Tehran. President Rouhani’s office released a statement about how the countries will cooperate in power plant construction and technological knowhow.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is best known for his passionate outbursts, yet he had very little to say in the days after the January 3 killing of Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani.
Underscoring the absence of any clear position, Erdogan’s spokesperson called on all sides to act with “common sense,” and the Turkish Foreign Ministry invited “restraint and discretion.” Ankara’s taciturn response, which some analysts argued was a calculated policy designed to restore Turkey’s strategic value as a regional broker, is better understood as an expression of genuine confusion within the ruling elite, which could not decide whether to denounce Soleimani as a murderer of fellow Sunni Muslims, or to celebrate Soleimani’s resistance to alleged US and Israeli malevolence.
The Iranian Embassy in Turkey stirred things up when it tweeted on January 4 about a phone call between Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, quoting the Turkish president as saying, “Martyr Soleimani’s absence troubles us deeply. I am aware of your and the supreme leader’s rage.”
A Turkish official denied the claims shortly after, shielding Erdogan from potential criticism at home and abroad.
An Iranian lawmaker announced a $3 million award to “whoever kills Trump.” the Islamic republic’s semi-official ISNA news agency reported Tuesday.
“On behalf of people of Kerman province, we will pay $3 million award in cash to whoever kills Trump,” Ahmad Hamzeh reportedly told parliamentarians in Kerman.
He did not elaborate on whether issuing such a major threat against US President Donald Trump was a decision made by Iran’s clerical rulers to
Kerman is the hometown of Quds Force Commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a US drone strike in Iraq on Jan. 3.
The Quds Force is the elite division of the Revolutionary Guard Corps specializing in unconventional warfare and military intelligence operations. It serves as the Islamic republic’s black-ops arm overseas.
Soleimani was a key figure in spreading and maintaining Iran’s aspirations of regional hegemony through acts of terrorism. He wielded immense power and influence in his position and was widely considered second only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
New Qods Force Commander Esmail Ghaani: We will avenge Soleimani’s Blood with the Efforts of All Free Men Around the World pic.twitter.com/EQW9GxRmAN
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) January 21, 2020
Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin to Hizbullah TV: Soleimani’s Killing was Illegal; He was a “Fighter for Justice and for the Rights of the Peoples” pic.twitter.com/Neo2q8H4S7
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) January 21, 2020
PreOccupiedTerritory: Insurance Won’t Accept ‘Israel Opened Dams’ As Valid Cause For Flooded House (satire)
A resident of this town in the Gaza Envelop district voiced anger today upon discovering that his homeowner’s policy will not cover damage caused to the residence following significant rainfall without proof of how it occurred, despite widespread media reports in the wider region of the government unleashing torrents of accumulated water to deluge the adjacent Gaza Strip, reports that emerge almost every winter.
Avi Benayoun, 40, expressed his sense of betrayal after receiving a letter from his insurance company informing him that if he cannot demonstrate that the flooding damage to his home resulted from force majeur or happenstance and not from his negligence or sabotage, he qualifies for no indemnity. The company responded with the provisional rejection of his claim even though the father of five included in his claim links to numerous reports on Al Jazeera, Al Aqsa TV, Middle East Monitor, Al Arabiya, Al Manar, and other media outlets in the Middle East that flooding in the area occurred because Israel opened dams to make Palestinians in the Gaza Strip miserable.
“This is ridiculous!” Mr. Benayoun shouted, brandishing the contents of an envelope at his wife Odelia. “They rejected our claim!”
Mrs. Benayoun agreed the insurance company had unjustly refused to pay. “It was all over the internet, just like it is every year,” she insisted. “Do these people live under a rock? Israel opens dams, the area floods, homes get destroyed, the whole drill. It would be discriminatory to claim that happens only in Gaza. Maybe we should sue.”
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