PMW: Fake news in real time: Palestinian reporter demonizes Israeli soldier seconds after soldier protected him and other journalists
Question: How long does it take a Palestinian Authority TV reporter to rewrite history and deceive Palestinians into hating Israelis?
Answer: 10 seconds.
This is a classic example of how the Palestinian Authority lies to its own people to demonize Israelis and create hatred of them among Palestinians.
At a Palestinian protest against US President Trump’s Middle East peace plan, an Israeli officer instructed Palestinian journalists to move to the other side of the road to be safe from oncoming cars.
But in the PA TV reporter’s instantaneous rewriting of history – during his live broadcast – this was distorted into a lie, turning the Israeli officer’s attempt at protecting the Palestinians into a racist statement. The PA TV reporter told viewers that the Israeli soldiers ordered them to move because “this is an Israeli road and Palestinians are not allowed on it.” In truth, the Israeli officer stressed that the soldiers were trying to “look out for” the lives of the Palestinians, because they were in danger of being “run over.” It is worth noting that the Israeli officer and the PA TV reporter spoke Hebrew together.
Israeli officer (in Hebrew): “Stand over there.”
PA TV reporter (in Hebrew): “We are journalists.”
Israeli officer (in Hebrew): “Journalists over there.”
PA TV reporter (in Hebrew): “Where?
Israeli officer (in Hebrew): “Across the street. They’ll run you over. It’s your life. Go over here.”
PA TV reporter (in Arabic): “As you can hear –”
Israeli officer (in Hebrew): “You’ll get killed. We’re looking out for you.”
PA TV reporter (in Arabic): “One of the occupation soldiers is making us move away on a false claim that this is an Israeli road and Palestinians are not allowed on it.” [Official PA TV, Jan. 29, 2020]
Iranian authorities are threatening to destroy the historic tomb of Esther and Mordechai in the city of Hamedan, 200 miles west of Tehran, in favor of constructing “a consular office for Palestine,” ARAM, the Alliance for Rights of All Minorities in Iran, said in a Twitter post on Sunday.
The organization claims that members of Iran’s formidable Basij paramilitary force attempted to raid the historic site in what it called “an act of revenge against the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan by President Trump.”
“Ester and Mordechai were biblical Jewish heroes who saved their people from a massacre in a story known as #Purim. Their burial site has been a significant Jewish landmark for Jews and history buffs around the world,” ARAM said.
In December 2010, Iranian protesters tried to breach the compound citing fears that Israel might damage the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the “new approach for Israel” in its relations throughout the Middle East when meeting with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem on Sunday. Calling the U.S. peace plan a “breakthrough,” Netanyahu noted that the U.S. is set to “recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, the northern Dead Sea and all the communities, the Jewish communities, large and small, in Judea and Samaria” upon the completion of a “mapping process” and regardless of Palestinian acceptance of the plan. “We’re working together to finish this as fast as possible,” said Netanyahu.
“In order to enter the negotiations, [Palestinians] have to fulfill certain conditions. This is a historic change. In all the previous plans submitted by previous American administrations, it was Israel that had to make concrete concessions in order to enter the negotiations and the Palestinians were required to do nothing.” Now, as a prerequisite, Palestinians will need to “stop paying terrorists and to withdraw all their claims against Israel and at the ICC in The Hague.”
“This is a plan that says to the Palestinians and to the world, this is it, Israel is here to stay. We recognize Israel’s sovereignty over its ancestral homeland….The change that we’re witnessing today is part of the reemergence of Israel as a power among the nations.”
The U.S. peace plan is arguably the most important statement pertaining to Israel’s political position since the UN partition plan of 1947 and the Declaration of Independence in 1948, provided that its major elements are implemented.
Its primary significance is that the principle of secure borders, noted in UN Security Council Resolution 242, has become a concrete political precept initiated and supported by the world’s major power, the U.S. (and apparently not objected to by major parts of the Arab world).
The security-based essence of the plan – Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley and security control in the West Bank – has been one of the fundamentals of Israel’s security doctrine since repelling aggression in the Six-Day War. As Henry Kissinger told me in 1991, “Peace is secondary; security is vital.” The U.S. plan is the first time Israel has been accorded the right to set its own security borders.
One important implication of the plan is the creation of a new paradigm, an up-to-date reference point for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the future, the general outline for any arrangement will have to take account of the template of the Trump plan, which even a future Democratic administration would find hard to reverse completely.
The underlying guideline of the plan is the eventual two-state principle. The plan projects a minimum four-year transition period plus a string of clear conditions to the Palestinians on terrorism, incitement, renunciation of the “right of return,” and an end to anti-Israel activities at international forums. While a Palestinian state is the final goal, in practice the present chaotic situation makes it clear that Palestinian statehood any time soon won’t be an option.
The plan has been castigated as one-sided. It is not. It is a pragmatic approach, taking into account realities as they are and not as some want them to be. It looks after Israel’s security concerns and provides extensive economic and political advantages, including future self-governance, to the Palestinians, while setting a mutually beneficial framework for Jewish-Arab coexistence in the land shared by both.
The Housing Ministry has begun advancing a plan to build a massive Jewish neighborhood in an East Jerusalem area that appears to be earmarked in the Trump administration’s peace plan for a Palestinian tourism center.
On February 9, the ministry submitted a building plan that would see some 9,000 housing units constructed at the site of the Atarot Airport, which has been inoperative since the breakout of the Second Intifada in 2000.
While the Trump plan does not specify where exactly in Atarot the Palestinian tourism center would be located, the airport is the only open area in the East Jerusalem neighborhood where such a site could be built.
The new neighborhood in Atarot would break a long stretch of Palestinian urban areas extending from the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Beit Hanina and Shuafat north to Kfar Aqab, Qalandiya and Ramallah on the other side of the security barrier.
The project will still need to be authorized in several other planning stages that can take several years, but the submission of the building plan marks a significant step toward construction after several years of delays due to lack of funds.
The site designated for construction is mostly on state land but parts of the new neighborhood would sit on parcels currently privately owned by Palestinians, requiring the demolition of at least 15 families’ homes, the Haaretz daily reported.
Throughout the years, the European Union has provided economic support in the tens of millions of shekels to Palestinian civilian organizations based on a standard stipulation applied to NGOs worldwide: To receive financial aid, they must have no affiliations with terrorist elements.
Lately, Palestinians have been outraged over an additional, legitimate stipulation the EU has introduced: The beneficiaries of EU grants must make sure that third-party elements (such as subcontractors, workshop participants and the like) with ties to them, who indirectly benefit from European funds, aren’t on the EU sanctions list. The Palestinians are furious and have outright refused to sign on the clause. They completely reject the European decision that groups such as Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine are terrorist organizations because from their perspective they are legitimate political parties.
The Palestinians’ feigned innocence and rejectionist stance are unsurprising. In late 2019, the Shin Bet security agency uncovered a comprehensive and organized PFLP terrorist network, which carried out the attack in which Rina Shnerb, 17, was murdered and her brother and father were wounded. The Palestinians claim the PFLP isn’t a terrorist organization, and have sought to hide the fact that several members of the terrorist network discovered by the Shin Bet filled a number of key posts in the Palestinian NGO Addameer. In recent years, Addameer has received aid worth upwards of NIS 8 million from European countries and institutions. In 2018, for instance, Addameer received a NIS 500,000 grant from Switzerland. Senior officials in other Palestinian NGOs were members of declared terrorist groups for years; some of them even served jail terms in Israel.
The refusal of the Palestinian de-legitimization organizations – which are supported officially by Palestinian Authority elements – to sever ties with murderous terrorist organizations, illustrates the extent to which NGO’s are used to camouflage and promote the armed campaign waged by terrorist organizations against Israel.
A message from the Hamas Ambassador in London. https://t.co/dO2j53BbjH
— Rɪᴄʜᴀʀᴅ Kᴇᴍᴘ ⋁ (@COLRICHARDKEMP) February 18, 2020
Palestinians’ violent ingratitude
Kuwait’s generosity intended to reduce the threat of Palestinian terrorism, and constrain the explosive potential of Palestinian migrants, who had been identified as a likely fifth column on behalf of Saddam Hussein. Like the rest of the Arab Gulf States, Kuwait was aware of the incitement, by PLO leaders, against all traditional pro-US Arab regimes.
In return for Kuwait’s hospitality and generosity, PLO leaders displayed deep sympathy towards Saddam Hussein. They spent much time in Baghdad during the months leading up to the August 1990 invasion, which was facilitated by three PLO battalions stationed in Iraq, and vital intelligence that was provided by Palestinians in Kuwait. The PLO heralded the plunder of Kuwait, lobbying – along Iraq and Libya – against an Arab League resolution which called for military action for the liberation of Kuwait. The PLO warned that a US military intervention would result in many American fatalities.
Palestinians, Arabs and US interests
Before, and since, the invasion of Kuwait, Palestinian violence has always been in collaboration with adversaries and enemies of the US, such as: Nazi Germany, the USSR, international terrorism, Saddam Hussein, Turkey’s Erdogan, North Korea and Iran’s Ayatollahs, haunting all pro-US Arab regimes.
Therefore, contrary to Western conventional wisdom, there has been an unbridgeable gap between the gloating pro-Palestinian Arab talk and the reserved and adverse Arab walk. Arab leaders have mustered the fundamental Middle East notions of dissolution and “on words one does not pay custom.”
Thus, irrespective of the ultra-generous pro-Palestinian Arab talk, no Arab country has ever fought Israel on behalf of the Palestinians. On the other hand, Arabs are determined to exert their military capabilities to abort Palestinian violence in Arab countries.
Furthermore, financial support of the Palestinian cause was never a top priority for the Arab oil-producing countries, which have been less generous than the US, Japan and other developed countries.
When Hizb-ut-Tahrir says that negotiations and a peace process with Israel are acts of treason, their words are pointed straight at Abbas and the PA leadership. When Hizb-ut-Tahrir says it wants Muslim armies to liberate all of Palestine, the organization is actually calling on Muslims to march on Israel, kill Jews and destroy the state.
While the ideology of Hizb-ut-Tahrir might sound inhospitable, it is shared by Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and several other Palestinian terror groups — particularly regarding the goal of eliminating Israel.
By continuing to incite their people against Israel and the US… Abbas… and other PA officials are driving more Palestinians into the open, welcoming arms of Hizb-ut-Tahrir as well as Iran’s proxies, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. By allowing thousands of Islamists to call for the destruction of Israel on the streets of West Bank cities, PA leaders are digging their own graves: The same people they are inciting against Israel and the US will kill these leaders not only for being affiliated with Israelis and Americans but for being too “moderate.”
Finally, by making, as they usually do, contradictory claims to their own people, they are losing, among the Palestinians, the little credibility they have left.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinian officials face threats, abuse for normalizing ties with Israel
Palestinian officials in Ramallah on Monday defended recent meetings with Israelis and dismissed allegations they were betraying Palestinians by promoting normalization with Israel.
The officials insisted the meetings, which took place on Friday and Sunday, were approved by the leadership of the Palestinian Authority and the PLO.
The meetings with Israelis were part of the Palestinian leadership’s campaign to rally opposition to US President Donald Trump’s recently unveiled plan for Middle East peace, the officials said.
The campaign also aims to show the Israeli public that the Palestinians are partners for peace, they said.
“The attacks on us are disgusting and shameful,” complained one of the Palestinians engaged in the recent meetings. “The campaign of incitement serves the interests of Hamas and endanger our lives. We are not traitors. We are working to relay our message to the Israeli public. We are like the freedom fighters of the PLO but without weapons. We believe in peace and dialogue, and for that we are being condemned by many people.”
On Friday, 20 Palestinians, including former ministers, participated in a meeting organized in Tel Aviv by the Israeli Peace Parliament group.
On Sunday, the PA invited several Israeli journalists for a tour of Ramallah. It included meetings and interviews with a number of senior Palestinian officials.
Most of the Palestinians who took part in the two events are associated with the PLO’s Palestinian Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society. Established in 2012, the committee has arranged hundreds of meetings between Israelis and Palestinians.
Gracious hosts: The PLO’s Committee for Engagement with Israelis and the PA invited journalists to Ramallah, and then senior officials of the PLO and PA called *their own* actions a disgrace. I guess you need to clean house, @ErakatSaeb. pic.twitter.com/NPPV4ywxuz
— Lahav Harkov (@LahavHarkov) February 18, 2020
However, beyond the specific lie which informs the rational for the UNHRC blacklist – that the settlements represents the biggest obstacle to peace – exists a larger one: that Palestinians are merely victims, and that Palestinian leadership shares no responsibility for their people’s suffering and continuing statelessness.
Demanding that Palestinians enter into negotiations with Israel, without pre-conditions, requires viewing the conflict not through a facile, binary lens of oppressor vs oppressed, occupier vs occupied, but, rather, in all of its moral nuance and political complexity, whilst recognizing the fundamental principle that, as with all people, Palestinian decisions impact their outcomes.
Such boycott and blacklist efforts also pressure Israel to unilaterally relinquish strategically important and historically sacred territory outside the context of bilateral negotiations – thus allowing Palestinian leaders to pocket Israeli concessions without having to make any difficult corresponding compromises of their own.
If peace is ever going to be achieved, it will require that Israelis and Palestinians are both taken seriously as moral actors in a maddeningly complicated conflict that requires each side to make painful territorial and political compromises. It will also require the recognition that BDS, blacklists and other efforts which demonise Israel are inimical to the spirit of dialogue, co-existence and reconciliation – values that a real and lasting peace must be predicated upon.
The UNHRC blacklist is a perfect illustration of how the international community enables Palestinians, failing to demand that they learn from past mistakes and come to terms with the true ‘obstacles to peace’: their leaders’ maximalist demands and rejectionism, their society’s endemic antisemitism, incitement and glorification of violence, and the failure to promote tolerance, pluralism and other liberal democratic values.
Middle East historian Bernard Lewis has argued that there are two different ways in which individuals, groups and nations can choose respond to adversity. The first is to ask “Who did this to us?” The second is, “What did we do wrong?” The first one, Lewis maintained, leads to self-pity and the avoidance of personal responsibility, whilst the other leads to self-help and moral agency. One usually leads to failure and the other to success. The UNHRC blacklist is certainly unfair to Israel, but it’s also arguably unfair to Palestinians as well, in that it reinforces an infantilization which incentivizes the former whilst discouraging the latter.
The UN has earned all of the ire it has received from the likes of Secretary State Mike Pompeo, former ambassador Nikki Haley, and others over the Human Rights Council’s anti-Israel “blacklist” of 112 companies operating in Judea and Samaria.
And yet, one of the UN’s offenses here has been missed by its critics. The UN has labeled Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem as settlements.
According to the UN, the boycott “database” is made up of “business enterprises involved in … Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.”
This is very curious because, after all, “East Jerusalem” does not actually exist. At least not yet. Let’s remember that “East Jerusalem” is what the Bible means when it refers to Jerusalem.
Words, and especially names, have meaning — particularly in the Middle East. The UN obviously chose the terms utilized by Israel’s enemies deliberately.
So, just what is “East Jerusalem” and why is adding the word “East” to describe part of Judaism’s holiest city and Israel’s capital of any serious magnitude?
East and West in Israel are not simple geographic terms as they are in America. In Israel, where Judea and Samaria have been labeled by opponents as the West Bank, things are different. The term “West Bank” was created by Arab propagandists to de-emphasize the area’s inherent Jewishness, and to disassociate the land from the State of Israel. East Jerusalem was similarly invented.
What is “East Jerusalem”?
Israel is facing the greatest war-crimes challenge in its history from the International Criminal Court after the Office of the Prosecutor asked the judges on December 20 to approve a criminal probe of Israel and Hamas.
Up until last week, the deck was stacked against Israel.
Sure, the ICC Pretrial Chamber could reject ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s request to criminally probe Israel and Hamas for alleged war crimes. But these are the same three judges – Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, Péter Kovács and Reine Alapini-Gansou – who ruled against Israel regarding the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla incident.
In other words, if a 2-1 majority of the ICC Pretrial Chamber wanted a criminal probe of Israel for killing a mere (in relative terms) 10 Turkish passengers who violently fought with IDF troops, the chances they will give Israel a pass on the settlement enterprise and Operation Protective Edge in 2014, when some 2,100 Palestinians were killed (between 50%-80% civilians), is almost zero.
Last week may have given Israel a chance.
After more than 40 parties, including countries, NGOs and top experts, filed on behalf of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Jerusalem’s position may have improved.
No one beside Israel was paying attention to the Mavi Marmara case. Most of the world did not know it was happening, and anyone who did, viewed it as a tiny sideshow.
Whether the ICC judges followed their own personal legal or political perspectives in ruling, they were not looking at an avalanche of consequences.
Now they are presiding over the main event.
International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced on Tuesday that she met this week with “Mohammad Shtayyeh, Prime Minister of Palestine” on the sidelines of this week’s Munich Security Conference.
The announcement comes at the ICC Pretrial Chamber received legal briefs from over 40 countries and NGOs last week about whether “Palestine” is a state, and whether it can refer war crimes complaints against Israelis to the ICC for a criminal probe.
Bensouda also noted meetings with several other countries, including H.E. Antje Leendertse, State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office of the Republic of Germany, Germany being one of the country’s which supported Israel and said there is no State of Palestine for ICC purposes, as well as Human Rights Watch, which supports war crimes charges against Israel.
On December 20, Bensouda announced her blockbuster decision to recognize a State of Palestine over Israeli objections as well as her desire to probe Israelis and Hamas members for a variety of alleged war crimes.
If the pro-Israel groups fail to convince the ICC Pretrial Chamber to drop the case, the IDF and the Israeli settlement enterprise could be in jeopardy.
— Pal Media Watch (@palwatch) February 18, 2020
What appeared to be the warhead from a rocket-propelled grenade attached to an inflated bag was found in southern Israel on Tuesday, apparently flown across the border from the Gaza Strip.
The warhead was found outside the community of Alumim and was attached to what appeared to be a large plastic bag filled with helium.
According to Hebrew-language media reports, police sappers were called to the scene to deal with the device.
This was the second time such an object was discovered in Israel in recent weeks. Earlier this month an RPG warhead was discovered in a field near Kibbutz Ruhama.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday met with mayors from the south over the ongoing violence around the Gaza Strip, and again warned that Israel could launch a military operation against Palestinian terror groups in the enclave before the March 2 election.
The premier’s statement came hours after a girl in Moshav Shuva east of the Gaza Strip found an explosive device in her yard that appeared to have arrived via balloon from the Hamas-controlled enclave.
Stand With Us: Israel is Under Attack
Terror group Hamas continues to terrorize innocent civilians in southern Israel with rocket attacks and explosives attached to incendiary balloons. This is a war crime.
Former Likud MK Yehudah Glick was handcuffed and arrested Tuesday morning on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and said he had been removed from the compound for “walking too slowly.”
A Israel Police spokesperson, however, said that Glick was arrested after violating visiting rules at the compound. According to police, following a visit to the Temple Mount with two United States congressmen and their families, Glick returned to the compound via the Mughrabi Gate on an uncoordinated visit and began provoking officers there.
“He [Glick] began to wander around the Temple Mount in violation of visiting rules, with which he is familiar from previous visits. He refused to adhere to police instructions and provoked officers, forcing them to detain him,” police said in a statement.
“After he continued to provoke officers they were forced to inform him that he was under arrest. When he still refused to cease his provocations, officers were forced to handcuff him. He was released from his handcuffs inside the compound and taken by police for questioning.”
The New York-born Glick is a veteran activist for Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount. He is a former director general of the Temple Institute and founded the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation. In October 2014, he was shot and seriously wounded by a Palestinian assailant as he left an event at the Begin Center in Jerusalem promoting Jewish visiting and prayer rights to the Mount.
Israel considered assassinating two high-ranking Hamas leaders due to their opposition to the parameters of the ceasefire agreement currently in place, senior Egyptian sources and officials in Gaza told the London-based pan-Arab media outlet Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
According to the report, the Egyptian security delegation mediating between Israel and Hamas persuaded Israel to stand down.
The two terrorist leaders Israel allegedly planned to target were Yahya Sinwar, leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and Marwan Issa, the deputy leader of Hamas’s military wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades.
Arab media outlets reported that Sinwar avoided meeting with members of the Egyptian delegation in Gaza out of fear that Israel would assassinate him.
According to reports, those close to Sinwar confirmed that during the Egyptian delegation’s recent visit to Gaza, the Hamas leader didn’t attend the meeting in his own bureau because of fears that Israel would exploit the opportunity to kill him.
Israel Advocacy Movement: Palestinian Child Soldiers
It is quite amazing how many palestinian propagandists just don’t understand their own history. https://t.co/OHCjRFnJUr
— (((David Lange))) (@Israellycool) February 18, 2020
PreOccupiedTerritory: Palestinian Official Torn Between Embezzling Aid Money And Paying Terrorists (satire)
A Fatah faction bursar finds himself unable to decide whether to forward the promised financial incentives to the family of a man shot in an attempt to stab Israelis, or to deposit the EU- and NGO-provided funds – or a hefty portion of them – in his own offshore account, a representative of his office disclosed today.
A spokeswoman for Ma’ila Abu Sariqa, Al-Khalil (Hebron) Region Deputy Comptroller, told reporters Tuesday morning that her boss confessed feeling unable to come down firmly on either side of the dilemma: on one hand Palestinian Authority procedures ordain that he transfer the full amount to the bank account of the father of a local youth who succumbed to gunshot wounds following his failed attempt to kill a pregnant Israeli woman; on the other, precedent, custom, and the example of his superiors in both the Authority and the Fatah movement demand that he embezzle the monies, which came from the European Commission, various European governments, and international aid groups for purposes of assisting indigent locals and repairing infrastructure.
“The decision this time poses an even greater challenge than the dozens of others Mr. Abu Sariqa has handled,” stated Wafa Waddafuq. “In most previous cases, the amount in question was large enough to accommodate some skimming off the top that still left a respectable sum. This time, however, the martyr’s family comes from a clan currently on the outs with the Fatah leadership, and the amount of the payment falls far short of what others get. Skimming his customary amount would leave next to nothing for the actual martyr’s family, and that could result in some trouble if the wrong people find out. Taking any less than his customary amount, on the other hand, would be pointless – what is he, chopped liver? He should get bupkis? No, he worked hard kissing the right tuchuses his whole career and is not about to relinquish the privileges that accrue as a result. Quite the dilemma.”
ImageSat International (ISI) reported on Monday evening that heavy damage was inflicted upon Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) sites at Damascus International Airport on February 13. Airstrikes appear to have hit warehouses, a shelter, headquarters and infrastructure.
The airstrikes were reported in regional media, such as Turkey’s Anadolu. Reports indicated that seven people were killed, including four Iranian officers. The Anadolu report claimed the attack occurred after a cargo plane had landed. Syrian regime media blamed Israel and said that Syrian defenses had intercepted “hostile targets.”
According to the ISI assessment, a series of satellite photos show damage to buildings around the airport. The damage included a headquarters and warehouse near a runway. In addition, another warehouse was completely destroyed and a shelter was partially damaged.
In total, three different areas were struck.
The son of the leader of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah has aroused a storm of criticism on social media after he was photographed wearing American-made clothing.
Israeli news site N12 reported that Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah’s son Jawad wore the clothing despite a boycott imposed by his father on US products.
The rage on social media was immediate, with one user expressing anger that Jawad was wearing American products “instead of clothing manufactured by Iran or Syria,” which are allies of Hezbollah.
In one picture, Jawad is seen with two friends while wearing a shirt with the logo of the American company Timberland with “USA” underneath.
One comment on the photo said, “Jawad Nasrallah has to burn that shirt.”
Another comment accused Hezbollah of hypocrisy, saying, “Wow, hilarious — your salary is in dollars, your cars are American, your mobile phones are American, and even half your weapons are of American manufacture” despite the group’s anti-US rhetoric.
Echoing this, a third critic wrote, “Before you call on the public not to buy American products, take off your son’s shirt and dress him in an Iranian shirt.”
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Tuesday claimed “wealthy Zionists” control America.
America has reached the “peak of arrogance,” and it is controlled by “corporate owners,” which makes it a “manifestation of oppression, abhorred by the world,” he said in a tweet.
Attacking Zionists is the Iranian regime’s usual rhetoric. But claiming that “Zionists” control America is intended to push antisemitic conspiracy theories while hiding behind its official anti-Israel line.
The official slogan of some of Iran’s allies, such as the Houthis in Yemen, is “death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews.”
Khamenei wrote the tweet as part of Iran’s commemoration of the US killing of IRGC Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani.
The Iranian leader has slammed Jews before. He claims the US “Deal of the Century” is “satanic” and that it includes the “Jewishization” of Jerusalem.
Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and other Democratic senators had a secret meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during the Munich Security Conference last week, according to a source briefed by the French delegation to the conference. Murphy’s office did not respond to repeated requests for comment by press time.
Such a meeting would mean Murphy had done the type of secret coordination with foreign leaders to potentially undermine the U.S. government that he accused Trump officials of doing as they prepared for Trump’s administration. In February 2017, Murphy demanded investigations of National Security Advisor Mike Flynn because he had a phone call with his counterpart-to-be in Russia.
“Any effort to undermine our nation’s foreign policy – even during a transition period – may be illegal and must be taken seriously,” Murphy said in 2017 after anonymous leaks of Flynn’s phone call with Russian ambassador Sergey Kisylak were published. He also strongly criticized the open letter some Republican senators sent Iranian leaders during the Obama administration’s campaign for a nuclear agreement.
However, Murphy has previously defended rogue meetings if they’re done by Democrats such as former Secretary of State John Kerry.
“Unless it was authorized by the president or secretary of state, conducting independent foreign policy sends mixed signals to our adversaries,” said Christian Whiton, former State Department senior advisor in the Trump and George W. Bush administrations. “It seems very unpalatable. If we want to talk to Iranians, they know how to reach us and they don’t need to go through an intermediary.”
A State Department official who spoke on background said that the State Department was not aware of any side meetings with Iranian officials that Murphy was engaged in.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed on Tuesday a group of Democratic senators who reportedly met in secret with Iran’s foreign minister during a foreign policy conference held over the weekend in Germany.
A delegation of Democratic senators reportedly led by Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) held a secret powwow with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the annual Munich Security Conference, where Pompeo was an official speaker.
The meeting was not officially sanctioned by the U.S. government and appears to have been held in secret to avoid media scrutiny. State Department officials have been clear that they did not play any role in facilitating the meeting or backing it.
Pompeo, speaking to reporters during a tour through Africa, said that the Democrats who participated in the meeting are aiding and abetting the globe’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism and anti-Semitism.
“This guy is designated by the United States,” Pompeo said, referring to Zarif’s recent addition to official U.S. terrorism lists.
“He’s the foreign minister for a country that shot down an airliner and has yet to turn over the black boxes,” Pompeo continued, referencing Iran’s recent downing of a commercial airliner that killed all of those aboard. “This is the foreign minister of a country that killed an American on December 27. This is the foreign minister of a country that is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror and the world’s largest sponsor of anti-Semitism.”
A Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting this week in Paris will review Iran’s commitment to international regulations against money laundering and financing terrorism. In October 2019, FATF gave Iran four months “for the sixth and last time” to ratify new legislation relating to these issues.
In recent months Iranian hardliners have been pushing to reject the Palermo international convention against funding transnational organized crimes and the convention against financing terrorism. They are concerned that FATF commitments will prevent Iran from sending money to its regional allies such as Hizbullah and Hamas, who are designated as international terrorist groups by the U.S.
The FATF warned in October that “If before February 2020, Iran does not enact the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions in line with the FATF standards, then the FATF will fully lift the suspension of counter-measures and call on its members and urge all jurisdictions to apply effective counter-measures.” Iranian President Rouhani warned on Sunday that his administration was no longer able to have this legislation ratified.
Head of Khamenei’s Military Office, IRGC General Mohammad Shirazi: Qods Force Assists Foreign Movements pic.twitter.com/F8ZeG9wBiL
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) February 18, 2020
A Bahrain court sentenced a man to three years in prison for carrying out a riot during which he burned an Israeli flag, local media reported Monday.
The Supreme Court of Appeal refused to hear a petition from the Bahraini man, who was convicted of organizing an illegal gathering and rioting, among other charges.
At a pro-Palestinian demonstration last May, the defendant along with 10 other people blocked streets at the entrance to the village of Abu Saiba by setting a fire in the middle of the road and then burning an Israeli flag, Bahraini media reported.
The man was not immediately identified.
Several local news outlets noted that the sentencing sparked outrage among dozens of Bahrainis on social media, who accused their government of seeking to appease Israel amid Manama’s thawing of ties with Jerusalem.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz and his Bahraini counterpart Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa (R) pose for a photograph at the State Department in Washington on July 17, 2019. (Courtesy)
Though Israel has diplomatic ties with only two Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, there has been an opening with Bahrain and other Gulf states in recent years amid their shared antipathy toward Iran.
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