Israel: The Settlements Are Not Illegal
Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired (Art. 26.1) and that the exercise of these rights shall be free from discrimination of any kind (Art. 2). — UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13, 2007.
Among others, Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Israel and Luxembourg voted in favor of the Declaration. Since 2007, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, who voted against, formally endorsed the Declaration in 2010. In their relations with Israel, these states cannot claim that the Declaration does not apply to Israeli Jews, since such position would amount to blatant racial discrimination.
[I]t cannot seriously be contended, as the EU, France, Britain, Russia, China and other states do, that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal and that annexation is contrary to international law. This position is political, not legal.
Article 80 of the United Nations Charter (1945) recognized the validity of existing rights that states and peoples acquired under the various mandates, including the British Mandate for Palestine (1922), and the rights of Jews to settle in the Land of Palestine (Judea-Samaria) by virtue of these instruments. (Pr. E. Rostow). These rights cannot be altered by the UN.
“Except as may be agreed upon in individual trusteeship agreements…nothing in this Charter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.” — Article 80, paragraph 1, UN Charter)
Does the Term “Annexation” Even Apply?
The territory that was to become British Mandatory Palestine was designated as a future Jewish National Home 100 years ago at the post-World War I San Remo Conference.
This history is pertinent to the debate that has emerged about Israel retaining parts of the West Bank this year in fulfillment of the U.S. peace plan.
This is commonly referred to as “annexation” and states have pointed out that they oppose the annexation of someone else’s territory. But can you annex territory that has already been designated as yours?
The Turkish invasion of Cyprus was an act of aggression. The Russian invasion of Crimea was an act of aggression. Israel in the West Bank is an entirely different story. International law draws a distinction between unlawful territorial change by an aggressor and lawful territorial change in response to an act of aggression.
In addition to the designation of these territories as part of the Jewish national home, one must remember that the West Bank was captured by Israel in a war of self-defense in 1967. That makes all the difference.
It would be more correct not to use the term “annexation” but rather “the application of Israeli law to parts of the West Bank.”
Caroline B. Glick: King Abdullah’s empty threats
If Jordan abrogated the peace deal, Israeli water and gas transfers would obviously cease. And since Israel’s sovereignty plan will be undertaken in the framework of the US peace plan, it is hard to imagine that US support for the kingdom would be unchanged in the event that Jordan abrogated its peace deal in retaliation for Israel’s move.
All this is not to say that Israel’s relations with Jordan are stable. Anti-Semitism is almost universal in Jordan. And support for the peace with Israel is non-existent. The Hashemite monarchy itself is deeply unpopular.
It is possible that one day, with his back to the wall, Abdullah will abrogate the treaty. It is equally possible that one day he will be overthrown and that the successor regime will abrogate the peace treaty with Israel.
Facing this state of affairs, Israel’s proper response is not to set aside the sovereignty plan, which among other things, secures Israel’s long border with Jordan by applying Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley. The proper response to Jordan’s enormous hostility – a state of affairs that existed long before the sovereignty plan and the Trump plan were conceived – is to draw up detailed contingency plans for the day after the Hashemites are overthrown or the peace treaty is abrogated.
In his remarks at the Foreign Ministry, Ashkenazy rightly praised US-Israel relations. “The United States is Israel’s closest ally and the State of Israel’s most important friend,” he said.
During his visit with President Donald Trump in the White House in January, according to a senior American official, Gantz committed himself to implementing the Trump peace plan, including the sovereignty plan.
To preserve US-Israel relations, Ashkenazy and Gantz need to uphold that commitment. Failure to do so is liable to undermine Israel’s credibility as a stable ally among administration leaders and other friends of Israel in Washington.
Ashkenazy acknowledged that through his peace plan, President Trump, “presents us with a historic opportunity to shape Israel’s future and its borders.”
Israel mustn’t permit King Abdullah, and his empty threats stand in its way to seizing that opportunity now.
Amb. Alan Baker: Can Jordan Revoke Its Peace Treaty with Israel?
It is highly unlikely that Jordan would want to take such a step, especially in light of the fact that a unilateral act by Israel of applying law or sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria, even if not favored by Jordan, would not constitute an act of aggression against Jordan’s sovereignty or territorial integrity and as such would not be grounds for revoking the treaty.
Since the issue of the status of Judea and Samaria is, in article 3, specifically excluded from the border delimitation provisions of their respective territory, Jordan cannot claim that unilateral application of law or sovereignty by Israel in such territories constitutes a violation of the peace treaty or grounds for its revocation.
Since the Israel-Jordan peace treaty determines such basic bilateral components of their relationship such as the delineation of the international border between them (article 3), bilateral security arrangements (article 4), full diplomatic and consular relations as well as normal economic and cultural relations (article 5), it would appear to be virtually impossible to regress backwards from peaceful to hostile relations, unless one side conducts an act of aggression against the other.
Some of the central components of the peace relationship represent interests that are vital to Jordan such as water allocations (article 6), economic relations (article 7), Jordan’s special historic role in Muslim holy shrines in Jerusalem (article 9), freedom of navigation and access to ports (article 14), and civil aviation and rights of overflight, including Jordanian overflight of Israeli territory to reach points in Europe (article 15). To cancel or revoke such vital components would not serve the interests of Jordan and would undermine its very stability.
The parties agreed, in article 25, to fulfill in good faith their obligations without regard to action or inaction of any other party and independently of any other instrument inconsistent with the peace treaty.
Should Jordan wish to solve a dispute with Israel regarding the application or interpretation of the peace treaty, article 29 establishes a dispute settlement mechanism of negotiation, conciliation, or arbitration.
JPost Editorial: The Duma lesson
The Duma case should give the country pause for thought and reassess the way it approaches such crimes. There can never be a difference in the blood of the victims. The methods and parameters by which the perpetrators of such criminal acts are caught and brought to justice must also be the same, whether Jew or Palestinian.
The court showed that on Monday with an unequivocal ruling convicting Ben-Uliel. The government should now consider doing to his home what it does to the homes of Palestinian terrorists. For there to be true deterrence, Israel should now consider razing Ben-Uliel’s home as well.
Whether that takes place or not, fortunately such cases as the Duma arson attack or the kidnapping and murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir in 2014 – true abominations – are rare for Israel. After both, the country’s leadership unequivocally condemned them as did members of the right-wing camp, mostly associated with the settlement enterprise.
Such attacks need to be condemned in the strongest of terms and punished with the full weight of the law because they have widespread ramifications – ramping up tension between Israelis and Palestinians and fueling violence. They also go against everything being Jewish stands for when it comes to sanctifying life.
That is why the handling of such crimes is significant for Israeli society. While the Palestinian Authority fosters the cult of martyrdom and supports terrorism with its “pay-for-slay” policy of funding the families of terrorists, Israel realizes that such attacks can never be justified.
Ben-Uliel’s conviction for murder cannot bring back the three slain members of the Dawabshe family but it can act as a deterrent and send a clear message that Jewish violence will not be tolerated.
The Sinai peacekeepers are obsolete. The MFO is no longer separating potential combatants, but is instead an innocent spectator to an Egyptian effort to eradicate terrorism while Israelis cheer them on. The US troops are in greater danger of getting caught in the crossfire between el-Sisi’s forces and their antagonists than anything else. What the international community needs to do in the Sinai is to get out of the way of the Egyptians, not separate them from Israel.
Nevertheless, the idea of withdrawing US troops from the Sinai has generated opposition from Congress. A bipartisan group of 12 lawmakers representing the leadership of key committees in both the House and the Senate, including staunch friends of Israel like Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) — signed a joint letter calling on the administration to maintain American support for the MFO.
But like so many arguments about Middle East policy in the last three years, the debate on this issue mainly centers on the Trump administration’s willingness to question long-standing assumptions about the region. While the Obama administration thought about pulling the US out of the Sinai, in the end it didn’t do so. If Trump follows through on this plan, he’ll be accused of undermining peace or giving a victory to ISIS. But while the MFO was essential to peace in the past, it is largely a vestigial entity that carries on in spite of the fact that the problem it was created to solve no longer exists.
It’s possible that a day will come in the future when Egypt might once again threaten Israel. But if and when that day comes, the MFO won’t do any more to protect the Jewish state than other peacekeepers on its borders. The only guarantee of Israel’s security is the strength of the Israel Defense Forces, not the presence of foreign soldiers who are far from home and have no stake in the conflict.
Trump’s willingness to question conventional wisdom has led to his much-needed moves recognizing Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, as well as the need to hold the Palestinian Authority accountable for its support of terrorism. The MFO decision is just another, albeit small, opportunity for the United States to stop living in the past and start thinking about what it needs to do now. Critics of the president need to adopt that same kind of realism, rather than attacking him for slaughtering yet another sacred cow.
WSJ, Walter Russell Mead: The Palestinians Should Move Fast toward Negotiations. Time Is Not on Their Side
Palestinian options are narrowing as they search for allies. Two of the most important Arab states – Syria and Iraq – are so torn by internal strife that they can no longer project power beyond their borders. With the U.S. looking to reduce its regional commitments, this has made Israel a vital strategic ally for the Sunni Arab world. Despite continuing sympathy for the Palestinians, Arab governments cannot escape the reality that for now, the existence of a strong Israel is a pillar of their own independence.
Russia’s ties to Israel are deep. The Palestinians have nothing to offer Russia to offset what it gains economically, politically and technologically from its ties to Israel. Europe is divided and preoccupied with crises closer to home.
The Palestinians have always believed that time was on their side. That confidence was misplaced. As Israel has grown into a tech giant and a regional superpower, the Palestinian bargaining position continues to erode. If the PA doesn’t move fast toward negotiations for a final peace, time will continue to work in Israel’s favor, and Palestinian options will only narrow.
69 senators call for the United States to “stand in full force against any biased investigation of Israel” at the International Criminal Court.
— AIPAC (@AIPAC) May 18, 2020
262 lawmakers in the House of Representatives “call on the ICC to cease its politically motivated investigations into the United States and Israel.”
— AIPAC (@AIPAC) May 18, 2020
Link below for the livefeed 👇https://t.co/sEr98o8rLY
— The Pinsker Centre (@PinskerCentre) May 18, 2020
The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday hit back against the European Union’s “megaphone diplomacy” after the bloc’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, again warned Jerusalem against the unilateral annexation of West Bank territory in a message congratulating the Jewish state on its new government.
“The Israeli Foreign Ministry would like to thank the EU for their message congratulating Israel on the swearing-in of a new government,” spokesperson Lior Haiat said in a statement.
“Israel and the EU share history, values, interests, opportunities and both face threats. It is regrettable that once again, the security of Israel, a key partner of the EU, and the threats that Israel face, were not mentioned at all and were not given the centrality that they should be in such a message,” he said.
“This ‘megaphone diplomacy’ is not a substitute for intimate diplomatic dialogue and will not advance the role the EU is seeking to fulfill,” Haiat added.
Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, in his inaugural speech as top diplomat, said Monday that Israel expects “a significant dialogue with our allies in Europe,” Haiat noted. (Ashkenazi’s exact quote was: “Israel and Europe are important partners, and I am sure that the relations we share will be fruitful and beneficial for both sides.”)
In that speech, Ashkenazi also hailed the US administration’s plan for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement as a “historic opportunity” to shape Israel’s borders, but stopped short of explicitly endorsing a unilateral annexation of West Bank territory.
On Monday evening, Borrell issued a brief statement that largely focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the need for a two-state solution, the importance of international and Brussel’s “grave concerns” over Jerusalem’s supposed plan to unilaterally annex the Jordan Valley and all settlements across the West Bank.
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) May 18, 2020
Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer is lobbying Republican lawmakers and White House officials, arguing that Israel should act swiftly with the annexation of settlements in the West Bank, Israel Channel 13 reported on Monday.
According to the report, Dermer said during his meetings in Washington: “We need to move ahead with annexation now because we don’t know what could be the outcome of the presidential elections in November.
“Joe Biden might win,” he reportedly said. “There is a narrow window, and we should act now,” Channel 13 reported. Dermer’s office did not respond to a request for a comment from The Jerusalem Post.
An administration official told the Post that Dermer expressed Israel’s desire to move ahead with applying its sovereignty to the settlements. “He said that it should be done, and the quicker the better,” the official said. “He did not necessarily mention any connection to the upcoming elections,” the official added.
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a briefing with Israeli journalists on Friday that if Israel were to apply its laws to West Bank settlements, it should be part of a team of Israelis and Palestinians working together towards fulfilling US President Donald Trump’s peace plan.
“We think these discussions should be part of the peace process, part of discussions between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” Ortagus noted.
The State Department spokeswoman emphasized this point more than once, saying: “We really think annexation should be part of a peace process where Palestinians should have a say.”
I’d rather read this in Hebrew, right to left:
Biden “would insist that the Palestinian Authority stop incitement, and most profoundly recognize once and for all the right and reality of a Jewish state in Israel” *before* restoring aid to the Palestinian Authority. https://t.co/jrPLNkaYXu
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) May 18, 2020
Victims of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa are entitled to $4 billion in punitive damages from the government of Sudan, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.
Survivors and family members of the deceased are engaged in a long-running lawsuit with Sudan over the country’s complicity in the attack. In 2008, Congress passed a law allowing terror victims to collect punitive damages from foreign governments that support extremism. At stake in Monday’s case was whether that law allows punitive damages for attacks that took place before 2008.
The High Court unanimously ruled that it does.
“Congress was as clear as it could have been when it authorized plaintiffs to seek and win punitive damages for past conduct,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote. Justice Brett Kavanaugh was recused from the dispute.
The decision will affect dozens of other lawsuits from victims seeking damages for acts of terror in the 1990s and early 2000s. The plaintiffs in Monday’s case said in court filings that they have identified 75 other disputes in which victims have won or are seeking punitive damages from countries such as North Korea and Iran for conduct predating 2008.
Though the federal government generally gives foreign countries immunity in U.S. courts, there is an exemption for state sponsors of terror. The Department of State designated Sudan a sponsor of terrorism in 1993.
Over 200 people were killed and another 4,000 were injured when al-Qaeda operatives simultaneously detonated truck bombs outside American diplomatic facilities in Kenya and Tanzania. Hundreds of victims sued the Sudanese government in U.S. courts beginning in 2001.
Arrests and plots linked to domestic Islamist extremism in the US increased by 50 percent last year, new data published by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Monday showed.
According to the data, compiled by the ADL’s Center on Extremism, there were a total of 30 arrests linked to domestic Islamist extremism in 2019, nine of which were for terror plots.
“While there were no attacks or murders linked to domestic Islamist extremism last year, the findings indicate that Islamist extremism still poses a significant threat to the United States,” an ADL statement said.
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt commented, “Make no mistake — the threat of Islamist extremist activity in the United States is serious and cannot be ignored. We are deeply grateful for the efforts of federal and local law enforcement to investigate and disrupt these potentially dangerous attacks.”
The ADL statement added, “In addition to the nine individuals arrested for plotting attacks, 21 others were arrested for engaging in domestic criminal activity motivated by Islamist extremism. Of those 21 individuals, a large majority faced charges for attempting to provide material support to ISIS. Approximately 70 percent of domestic Islamist extremist criminal activity in 2019 was inspired by ISIS, which has reportedly lost all of its territory in Iraq and Syria.”
Oren Segal — vice president for ADL’s Center on Extremism — noted, “ISIS’s ability to continue inspiring a large percentage of violent activity even after being effectively disbanded demonstrates the lasting influence of its violent ideology and propaganda on Islamist extremist activity in the United States. As long as the ideology persists and spreads online, extremists will continue to be inspired by violent rhetoric and instruction.”
The FBI cracked the iPhone encryption of the Royal Saudi Air Force trainee who killed three American sailors in a December attack at a US naval base in Florida and found evidence linking him to al Qaeda, Attorney General William Barr said on Monday.
The shooter, Second Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, 21, was killed by law enforcement during the Dec. 6, 2019 attack.
He was on the base as part of a US Navy training program designed to foster links with foreign allies.
The Justice Department succeeded in unlocking the encryption on the shooter’s iPhone after Apple declined to do so, Barr told reporters on a conference call.
“The information from the phone has already proved invaluable,” Barr said.
Barr called on Congress to take action forcing Apple and other tech companies to help law enforcement agencies get through encryption during criminal investigations.
“Apple’s decision has dangerous consequences,” Barr said. “Many of the technology companies that advocate most loudly for warrant-proof encryption … are at the same time willing to accommodate authoritarian regimes.”
The new Israeli government and foreign minister will face, from day one, numerous significant challenges in the international arena.
Some of these have long been centerpieces of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the government’s diplomatic-security efforts, such as maintaining and expanding sanctions on Iran, preventing the entrenchment of Iran and Iranian militias in Syria, and countering Hezbollah’s precision-guided missile program.
While strategies and tactics will have to be adapted to the new COVID-19 reality, this largely represents a continuation of ongoing efforts.
However, the shifting international landscape will also present new or evolving challenges and opportunities. Here are seven key steps that the new government should take in order to meet these challenges and take advantage of these opportunities.
1. If and when Israel moves forward with applying sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, it will face a wave of international pressure. Starting now, the government must make a tremendous effort to explain its steps and logic to all relevant stakeholders, including friendly European governments, the mainstream of the US Democratic Party, and influential Jewish communities. This is in addition to closely coordinating its steps with the US administration.
2. Prepare, on the diplomatic and communications level, for a security deterioration in the West Bank and Gaza. In the event of the application of sovereignty or the departure of Abu Mazen (Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas) from the political stage (and the resulting internal Palestinian power struggle), Israel may be faced with a deteriorating security situation in the PA and Gaza. In addition to security preparations, Israel must make greater investment in the PR “battle between the battles.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed 34 ministers to form his new government on Sunday, May 17. The list included 10 politicians of Moroccan roots, nearly one third of the government’s members.
Interior Minister Arye Dery was born in Meknes in 1959, while Economy Minister Amir Peretz was born in Boujad, near Beni Mellal, in 1952.
Meanwhile, the list of government members with Moroccan parents includes Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, Minister Responsible for the Government-Knesset Liaison David Amsalem, and Jerusalem Affairs Minister Rafi Peretz.
The list also includes Community Strengthening and Advancement Minister Orly Levy-Abekasis, Minister Responsible for Civil Affairs Michael Biton, and Equality Minister Merav Cohen.
Finally, Minister of Transportation Miri Regev has a Moroccan father and a Spanish mother, while the government coalition’s representative at the Knesset, Miki Zohar, was born to a Moroccan father and a Tunisian mother.
The newly-appointed government ends a 508-day political deadlock during which Israeli parliamentarians could not agree on a coalition. The Knesset voted 73-46 in favor of the new government.
A special team of police from the Shfela District and the Ramle police station have arrested a woman they suspect of having dug up the fresh grave of IDF Staff Sgt. Amit Ben-Yigal, who was buried at the military cemetery in Beer Yaakov last week after he was killed by Palestinian rioters during an arrest raid in Samaria.
The desecrated grave was discovered by a bereaved mother who was visiting the cemetery. Police officers arrived on the scene found a note on Ben-Yigal’s grave that read, “Your son has 72 hours to be resurrected.”
Investigators identified the suspect, a 41-year-old resident of Rishon Lezion, with the help of security camera footage taken from a construction site adjacent to the cemetery. One of the cameras shows a woman digging around Ben-Yigal’s grave. Police identified the suspect and proceeded to locate her whereabouts.
Police also collected various pieces of evidence from the grave itself, including tools and the handwritten note, all of which have been sent for forensic analysis.
The suspect has been jailed while the investigation continues. A hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, and police were expected to ask the court to extend her remand.
From the time the incident was first reported, police believed that the case was a criminal one, and not a terrorist hate crime. Eighteen years ago, the suspect survived a terrorist attack in Jerusalem and has been diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
The woman has not yet given investigators her version of the story and is slated to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether or not she is capable of standing trial. A year ago, she was a suspect in a similar incident involving the grave site of a relative.
Hardly a day goes by without PA leaders emphasizing to the Palestinian people that Israel has no right to exist, and that all of Israel is “Palestine.”
This song, recently broadcast to Palestinians on one of the PA’s official TV channels, presents a world without Israel in which the cities and places in Israel are said to be in “Palestine.” For emphasis, the words “they are ours,” are applied to the Israeli cities Tel Aviv, Be’er Sheva, Beit Shean, Tiberias, and Ramle, to guarantee no one misses the point that “Palestine” encompasses the entire State of Israel.
Lyrics: “O Paradise of Allah on His land
We love you Palestine…
We love Jerusalem and Ramallah,
We have not forgotten Hebron’s vineyards
Onward to Lod and Safed (i.e., Israeli cities),
We will reach Nablus and the Galilee (i.e., in northern Israel)
We won’t relinquish Tulkarem
We won’t agree to a replacement for Jaffa (i.e., an Israeli city)
We desire Tel Aviv and Be’er Sheva (i.e., Israeli cities) and Jenin
They are ours – Beit Shean and Tiberias, Ramle and the Jezreel Valley (i.e., all in Israel)
It is ours – historical Jericho, we have longed for the Negev (i.e., southern Israel) and Samaria…
Onward ship, bring us to Haifa and Acre (i.e., Israeli cities)”
[Official PA TV LIVE, April 27, May 3, 2020]
All of the following places in Israel were presented as “Palestinian”: Jerusalem, Lod, Safed, the Galilee, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Be’er Sheva, Beit Shean, Tiberias, Ramle, the Jezreel Valley, the Negev, Haifa, and Acre.
A third militant in #Gaza has died in less than 48 hours to a non-combat related event. Hassan Muhammad Nasman, a Nasser Salah al Din Brigades militant, died Sunday from an nondisclosed illness. pic.twitter.com/GB2P8CeRyk
— Joe Truzman (@Jtruzmah) May 19, 2020
Jaysh al Islam in #Gaza publication of its activities including rocket attacks against #Israel. The group lauds the killing of the “apostate criminals” Brigadier General Jihad Tayeh & Moussa Arafat. Additionally, they honor one of its men who participated in the Shalit abduction. pic.twitter.com/fvcyTmTOXM
— Joe Truzman (@Jtruzmah) May 19, 2020
Long before Hamas asked its supporters for donations via Bitcoin, Jaysh al Umma, a pro-al Qaeda militant group, raised funds via cryptocurrency. In a recent publication they ask supporters to “equip a mujahid.” A Bitcoin address is provided & a way to contact the group. #Gaza pic.twitter.com/e0yb9OscW2
— Joe Truzman (@Jtruzmah) May 19, 2020
One thief definitely bet on the wrong horse when he decided to steal a head mobster’s favorite equine friend. Nissim Alperon, the head of a large mob family, led his private army into a Palestinian city just to get the stolen horse back.
Without consulting the IDF, Alperon led a convoy of ten vehicles into Qalqilya, located under Palestinian control in the West Bank east of Kfar Saba, to retrieve the horse, according to Channel 13.
Shalom Zohar, a friend of Alperon’s, told Channel 13 that “this horse was getting out of there even if 200 or even 300 Israelis had to enter [the town]. Nissim would make sure that they would go in and get the horse out. This is a horse that he raised like a baby.”
Alperon, who has survived multiple assassination attempts, realized that his horse, worth about NIS 300,000, had been stolen. It’s unclear if the thief realized who he was stealing from.
“We activated some connections with pretty respectable people on the Palestinian side. We really went in to Qalqilya, a half hour after the Ramadan fast ended. We arrived at the Palestinian police and demanded the horse,” said Zohar. “A gathering started of all sorts of residents who didn’t look kindly at the Israelis coming right up to their homes. There was a really big concern that there would be some sort of lynching, so the Palestinian Authority sent their police forces and succeeded in moving the crowd a bit.”
While they waited for the horse, the mobsters sat with the Palestinian police and had some kanafeh (a traditional sweet pastry) and sweets.
MEMRI: Wife-Beating Guidance By Qatari Official Dr. Ahmad Al-Farjabi On Al-Jazeera TV: Some Women Must Be Subdued By Muscles; Women Almost Unanimously Agree That Beating Is Better Than Letting The Wives Ruin Their Families
Dr. Ahmad Al-Farjabi, a shari’a expert from the Qatari Ministry of Religious Endowments, said in a May 6, 2020 interview on Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar) that Muslims are not the only people who beat their wives and that when a man suspects his wife might turn out to be rebellious, he should take the measures prescribed by the Quran, the third of which is beating his wife. Dr. Al-Farjabi added that even Western psychologists have said that wife-beating is “inevitable” for women who had been beaten while they were growing up and for women who have no respect for their husbands. He said that these kinds of women must be “subdued by muscles,” and that some kinds of women “may be reformed by beating.” Al-Farjabi also said that he has even heard from women at his lectures that it preferable to beat one’s wife than to allow her to ruin the home and lose her children. For similar statements from Dr. Ahmad Al-Farjabi, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 226
Islam “Treats [Women’s] Disobedience And Rebelliousness Right From The Start, When It Is Merely A Suspicion”
Interviewer: “Some say: ‘You claim that Islam fights violence against women and domestic violence, and that the Prophetic guidance opposes these things, but at the same time, you allow husbands to beat their wives,’ and this appears in the Quran itself. Allah says: ‘Admonish them, forsake them in bed, and beat them.'”
Ahmad Al-Farjabi: “Islam is not the religion that invented violence. The Muslims are not the only ones who beat [their wives]. The international statistics show this. In some big countries, 2,000-4,000 women die yearly from being beaten by their husbands. These are non-Muslim countries. In another country, one-third of the police force is dedicated solely to protecting battered women.
“The Quran says: ‘As for those on whose part you fear disobedience…’ The wondrous nature of Islam is revealed here. It treats [women’s] disobedience and rebelliousness right from the start, when it is merely a suspicion.”
“The Admonishment Is Very Important Because Women Need It”
“‘As for those on whose part you fear disobedience, admonish them.’ This is the order of things. The admonishment is very important because women need it. Admonishment means frightening [the wives] about what Allah will do and reminding them of the consequences.
Against the backdrop of the high tension between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the Saudi daily ‘Okaz published an unusually harsh article by Sattam bin Hadbaa mocking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The article tells a story about a monkey called Qirdowan (a play on the name Erdogan and “qird,” the Arabic word for monkey) who is adored by a group of foolish cats and dreams of becoming king of the jungle. The monkey tries to stand up to the real king, the lion, only to get slapped in the face again and again. Eventually, he sees a squirrel in a dream who tells him that, since he is a dishonest and greedy coward, he should try becoming a gang leader rather than a king and live at the expense of the foolish cats who admire him. Through this story, the writer implies that Erdogan, too, dreams of leading the world and renewing the glory of the Ottoman empire, but in reality he is more like a gang-leader who exploits the fools who admire him.
“Yesterday, five-year-old Turki (the name means “Turkish”) came to me and said, ‘Uncle, let met tell you the story about the greedy monkey.’ I smiled and said, ‘I’d love to hear it.’ He said: ‘Two cats were arguing over a piece of cheese, and asked the monkey to settle their dispute. The monkey cut the cheese into two unequal pieces and placed them on the scales. The larger piece tipped the scales [to one side], so the monkey bit a piece off it and put it back. Now the other piece tipped the scales [to the other side], so he bit a piece off that one, and so on and so forth, until both pieces were gone and there was nothing left for the two cats, who went away disappointed. The end!’
“Then the boy asked me some questions. The first was: ‘What were the cats arguing about?’ I replied: ‘The cheese.’ Then he asked: ‘Why did they go to the monkey?’ I said: ‘So he would judge between them.’ He thought for a bit and then asked his last question: ‘So what were they left with?’ I answered: ‘No cheese at all.’
“Now it was my turn to tell him a story called ‘Qirdowan,’ which may be similar to the one he told me, for Qirdowan also exploited every dispute to get a bite [for himself] and every problem to make a few pennies [of profit]. [This monkey] used to tell the cats about his dreams and ambitions to be king of the jungle, for his forefathers were lions and tigers and he wanted to renew their glory.
“The cats would greet him, applaud him and cry out his name [in admiration], and, since they were weak and foolish cats, they pinned many hopes on him. When [Qirdowan] blocked the lion’s path, the lion would slap him in the face and Qirdowan would slink away disappointed. But when he returned to the cats, they would praise him and spin imaginary fairytales in which he [managed to] block the lion and the lion was distracted from [his job of] ruling the jungle. Qirdowan would think a lot about [his ambitions] and about the dreams that recurred in his tiny brain, imagining [himself] ruling over the foolish cats and taking their food. Then he would return to the lion, drunk with the adoration, applaud and slogans of the foolish cats, only to receive the usual slap in the face and turn away disappointed.
The second strand of American policy recognizes that the idea that the LAF will someday use its new American weapons against Hezbollah is a pipe dream. The LAF will never address Hezbollah’s PGM program and arms buildup—because it is both politically controlled and physically constrained by the Iranian-backed terror group. Only Israel will fight Hezbollah.
The justification for the second strand of America’s “strengthen the LAF” policy is that American aid is needed in order to build a force for the day after a war between Hezbollah and Israel, in which Hezbollah—and Lebanon—will presumably come out the losers. This view is premised on the idea that such a war is inevitable. It is not premised on preserving stability inside Lebanon. If anything, it’s premised on restoring a modicum of stability following the cataclysm.
Of course, this imagined “day after” role for the LAF is just as misguided and fantastical as the idea that the LAF will actually fight Hezbollah on its own. Just because a fantasy is more modest doesn’t make it any more realistic. Only Washington policymakers could imagine that. An army that can’t and won’t fight with a command structure controlled by a foreign power isn’t going to suddenly become a forceful, unitary structure the day after Lebanon is bombed to pieces. More likely, it will fracture into its constituent pieces—Shia, Sunni, Christian—while most of its soldiers go home to care for their families.
As Lebanon disintegrates and social order frays, faulty American assumptions about the “Lebanese state” are likely to come crashing down—revealing the foolishness of the fantasies constructed by Washington policymakers looking to position themselves in internal American policy debates by wasting hundreds of millions of American taxpayer dollars.
Meanwhile, Israel is looking to stave off a future war with Hezbollah for as long as possible by taking as much preemptive action as it feels it can, while also warning about the inevitability of a conflict if “something” is not done by “someone” to stop the joint Iranian-Hezbollah missile program, which it has rightly assessed to be a strategic threat. The reality, for good or ill, is that Israeli security lies in Israel’s hands alone. It’s not anyone else’s problem. While Israeli talk is pointless, and in some cases counterproductive, the United States can help by ending the merry-go-round of fantasy about “strengthening” a Lebanese state that doesn’t exist, and let the Israelis fight Hezbollah on their own.
MEMRI: Lebanese Journalist Nadim Koteich: Israel Is a Scientific, Economic, Cultural, and Military Power
Lebanese journalist Nadim Koteich said in a May 16, 2020 interview on LBC TV (Lebanon) that support for Lebanese President Michel Aoun, which he termed “Aounism,” is a disease and that no Aounist politician has ever remained “normal.” He also said that in Lebanon, each citizen’s share of the GDP is $360. Koteich added that in comparison, each Israeli citizen’s share is $3,600 per month. He said that Israel has become a scientific, economic, cultural, and military power, and that this makes him sad because in the 1960’s, Israel had been a “silly little country” while Lebanon had been respected. He added that Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah and President Aoun do not have the answers for restoring Lebanon’s respected status.
Israel carried out a recent sophisticated cyberattack on an Iranian port facility, causing widespread chaos, apparently in retaliation for an attempt by Tehran to target Israel’s water infrastructure, the Washington Post reported Monday.
The report, citing foreign and US officials, said Israel was likely behind the hack that brought the “bustling Shahid Rajaee port terminal to an abrupt and inexplicable halt” on May 9.
“Computers that regulate the flow of vessels, trucks and goods all crashed at once, creating massive backups on waterways and roads leading to the facility,” the Post reported, adding that it had seen satellite photos showing miles-long traffic jams leading to the port and ships still waiting to offload several days later.
Iran later acknowledged that an unknown foreign hacker had briefly knocked the port’s computers offline.
“A recent cyber attack failed to penetrate the PMO’s systems and was only able to infiltrate and damage a number of private operating systems at the ports,” Mohammad Rastad, managing director of the Ports and Maritime Organization, said in a statement carried by Iran’s ILNA news agency.
The port is a newly constructed shipping terminal in the Iranian coastal city of Bandar Abbas, on the Strait of Hormuz.
But the damage was far more severe than Iran acknowledged and was apparently carried out by Israeli operatives, the Post said, quoting a security official with a foreign government that monitored the incident.
The official, who spoke on the condition that his identity and national affiliation not be revealed, called the attack “highly accurate,” the Post said.
“There was total disarray,” said the official.
Iran’s parliament adopted a wide-ranging new “anti-Zionism” law that seeks to bolster support for Palestinian terror groups and other entities conducting terrorism against Israel.
Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee adopted what it calls a “double urgency motion that outlines the manner of confrontation on the national and international scale against the Israeli regime,” according to a copy of the measure published by Iran’s state-controlled media on Monday.
As part of this effort, Iran said it will step up its support for terrorist factions fighting against Israel. This includes the establishment of a special committee comprised of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and other military branches to provide assistance to the “Palestine intifada,” or war efforts against the Jewish state.
The bill orders the Iranian government “to deploy available national and international capacities towards confronting the Israeli regime’s actions.”
Iran also is seeking to establish a “Virtual Embassy in Palestine” to coordinate these efforts.
Further, Iranians are prohibited from all contact with Israelis or individuals Tehran deems agents of the “Zionist regime.” The law promises “severe punishment,” including imprisonment, for those who violate the decree. This would include anyone who travels to Israel or its surrounding territories.
Additionally, the law requires the Iranian government to prosecute “Israeli officials at competent tribunals for their atrocities.”
A more accurate headline for this article would have been “Iran suits up for escalating diplomatic crisis by sentencing hostage.” https://t.co/019xsslSHK
— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) May 19, 2020
Iranian lawmakers removed a motion banning Iranian athletes from competing with Israeli athletes from a list of anti-Israel measures presented by the Iranian parliament last week, according to Radio Farda.
The measures, presented in a bill featuring 14 articles, passed with 43 votes in favor and no votes against, according to the Iranian IRNA news agency. MPs chanted “down with Israel” after the bill was approved, according to the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar news.
The motion concerning sports was removed after the Islamic Republic Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs urged members of the commission to drop the motion, according to Radio Farda.
In May 2019, Iran’s National Olympic Committee (NOC) told the International Judo Federation (IJF) that it would allow Iranians to compete with athletes from all countries, including Israel. Iran was later suspended from competing in any future judo competitions after Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei was instructed by the Iranian authorities and the Iran Judo Federation to avoid competing against Israeli judoka Sagi Muki.
The ban on Iranian judokas will only be lifted if Iran and Israel hold a friendly match.
The draft of the bill approved by lawmakers last week made it formally illegal for Iranians to hold any competitions or sports competitions, whether official or preparatory, with Israelis. Iranian sports federations will be obliged to impose any penalties that may be imposed on Iranian athletes due to this law.
MP Qassem Mirzaeiniko blasted the planned motion to ban athletes from competing with Israelis, saying “Probably, they are after closing down Iran’s sports,” according to Radio Farda.
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