September 23, 2023

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05/31 Links Pt1: Thank You, Florida Governor DeSantis; Freedom from PLO and Hamas Rule awaits Gaza and West Bank Arabs; Terrorist attacks two in Jerusalem’s Old City, gets shot by police

From Ian:

JPost Editorial: Thank You, Florida Governor DeSantis
Even before his trip to Israel, in the weeks after DeSantis was elected governor last year, he immediately took action on behalf of the Jewish state. Florida’s cabinet recognized Jerusalem as “Israel’s eternal capital,” invested $10 million in Israel Bonds, and blacklisted Airbnb because of its plan to boycott listings in West Bank settlements, which the global company has since reversed.

This week, DeSantis repeatedly spoke out against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, leading the first official trade mission to the West Bank led by a U.S. governor – with two dozen business leaders.

“Anti-Semitism is driving the BDS movement, and you cannot separate the two,” he said at the Gush Etzion Industrial Zone on Wednesday, meeting with Jewish and Arab businesspeople who oppose boycotts. “We are not going to discriminate against certain Israelis – and if people do… we will take action accordingly.”

“You have people that are willing to trade with Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world – some of the worst regimes in the world – and yet they only want to boycott the one Jewish and democratic state in the world,” he said. “If you support BDS in Florida, you are dead, politically,” he added.

The Florida delegation signed over 20 memoranda of understanding in multiple fields including business, trade, academia, innovation and tourism.

David Singer: Freedom from PLO and Hamas Rule awaits Gaza and West Bank Arabs

The announced participation of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar in the “Prosperity for Peace Conference” in Manama on 25-26 June — jointly convened by President Trump and Bahrain (“Manama Conference”) — promises to offer unique opportunities for Gaza and West Bank Arabs to emigrate to other Arab countries to seek better lives for their families.

Tens of millions of desperate people have fled their birthplaces in recent years seeking entry illegally into other countries. There is no reason to believe that Gaza and West Bank Arabs would not similarly want to emigrate if offered the opportunity to do so legally.

Gaza and West Bank Arabs have personally suffered under the oppressive rule of Hamas in Gaza since 2006 and the Palestine Liberation Organization in the West Bank since 1993. They have not been given the opportunity at any time to determine their own future in free and fair elections— except in 2006 when the PLO refused to accept the result. A bitter internecine struggle since then has ensued between Hamas and the PLO for political control of the Gaza and West Bank Arab populations that still remains unresolved. Elections are not even being contemplated to resolve this impasse.

The policies espoused by both Hamas and the PLO in relation to Israel have wrought disaster on Gaza and West Bank Arabs both in regard to their personal lives and economic prospects for themselves and their children.

Rod Liddle: Tunnelling my way into Gaza

I’m meant to be peering into a tunnel hacked out by Hamas a few hundred metres from Gaza City into Israeli territory but my attention has wandered. The air around us, above this parched, scrubby wasteland, is fecund with life. A pair of black kites are circling and below them a steppe buzzard is lumbering amidst the thermals. And is that a lappet-faced vulture? Do you know, even without my specs, I think it is. The IDF guy in charge of this facility wanders up. ‘You are interested in the birds, my frent? They too are political. The Palestinians put all their filth, their garbage, right up against the fence, as close to us as possible. As a result, many vermin and many hawks, some endangered elsewhere. There is always an upside to misery. Now, let us go below, please.’

Down, down, then, into a passage fashioned by the perpetually infuriated and frantically scrabbling Morlocks from a Neolithic culture. The idea is this. They spend a million quid and take a year to tunnel into the middle of a sunflower field, suddenly pop up, murder everyone within sight, and then run away. But it’s still only a tunnel — seen one, seen ’em all. I exit sharpish, bored. You’d think if they were that good at digging they might create for themselves a decent sewage system or maybe a road. Instead of a Day of Rage, a Day of Clearing Things Up A Bit. All that’s missing from the tunnel is a blue plaque with yellow stars: the European Union funded this. Or the United Nations. Through their myriad succour for perpetual victims funds.

Later I meet the mayor of a town nearby which is bombed each week, the Iranian-built Qassam rockets raining down from Gaza, killing indiscriminately. The town provides Gaza’s sewage system. ‘Yes,’ the mayor says to me, with the pungent ghost of a smile, ‘we even wash their shit’

Dr. Martin Sherman: The Bahrain Conference: Failure foretold

Inverting causality

Moreover, the endeavor to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by means of economic development and financial aid shows not only a grave lacuna in the comprehension of its underlying causes, but in fact inverts the causal relationship that generates and perpetuates it.

After all, the reason for Arab hostility in general, and of the Palestinian-Arabs in particular, is not rooted in economic deprivation. (Indeed, the Palestinian-Arabs have been the recipients of the most generous per capita aid on the planet.) Quite the opposite! The economic deprivation of the Palestinian-Arabs is, in great measure, the result of their anti-Israel hostility, which creates hugely wasteful allocation of resources, grave distortion in their use and facilitates the continued rule of a despotic regime, whose continued hold on the reins of power depends on sustaining the animosity towards the Jewish state.

Accordingly, focusing on the economic aspects alone will not contribute one iota to resolving the conflict or to reducing the Palestinian-Arabs’ enmity against Israel.

At the very most it will transform them from being hostile and poor to being… hostile and affluent. What could possibly go wrong?

Peace proponent Susie Gelman warns Israel against Trump plan

Susie Gelman says her love affair with Israel began in the summer of 1970, when as a teenager she visited the country with her confirmation class.

Some 40 years and dozens of international flights later, as the chair of the Israel Policy Forum (IPF), Gelman is working to shape the discourse around Israel and mobilize support among American policymakers for the realization of a viable two-state solution.

When Gelman, a former three-term president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, took on the role of IPF chair in 2016, it is unlikely she could have envisioned the Trump administration’s soon to be fully revealed “deal of the century,” which according to one of its masterminds, Jared Kushner, will pull back from long-standing mentions of a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

Speaking at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in early May, Kushner explained, “If you say ‘two-state,’ it means one thing to the Israelis, it means one thing to the Palestinians. We said, ‘you know, let’s just not say it. Let’s just say, let’s work on the details of what this means.’”

Gelman, a graduate of Harvard University and the Georgetown University Law Center, believes that Kushner is wrong.

Swiss Minister: UNRWA Is Part of the Problem in the Middle East

United Nations aid work for Palestinian refugees is a stumbling block to peace in the Middle East, hindering the integration of Palestinians who have lived in Jordan and Lebanon for years, according to Swiss Foreign Affairs Minister Ignazio Cassis.

So long as Palestinians live in refugee camps, they can dream of returning home, he said in an interviewexternal link published in several Swiss newspapers on Thursday.

Five million Palestinian refugees currently live in such camps, with aid and protection provided by the UNRWAexternal link, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

“It is unrealistic that all of them can fulfil this dream. Yet the UNRWA keeps this dream alive,” Cassis said. “For a long time the UNRWA was the solution to this problem, but today it has become part of the problem. It supplies the ammunition to continue the conflict. By supporting the UNRWA, we keep the conflict alive. It’s a perverse logic.”

He called for the integration of long-term refugees in their countries of residence. Instead of UNRWA schools and hospitals, he said Switzerland could support Jordanian facilities to promote the integration of Palestinian refugees.

Netanyahu shows off Trump’s map of Israel with Golan Heights

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner had gifted him an official State Department map, updated to incorporate the long-disputed Golan Heights as part of Israel.

Speaking at a news conference in Jerusalem on Thursday, Netanyahu addressed a nation rattled by the prospect of an unprecedented second election campaign, after the newly reelected Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition.

In a bid to play down the political chaos and focus public attention on his foreign policy prowess – in particular his close friendship with Trump – Netanyahu whipped out Kushner’s map, on which President Trump had scribbled, “Nice.”

American officials will attend a ceremony next month with Netanyahu to lay the cornerstone for a new town in the Golan Heights named for Trump, local officials said earlier this week.

The ceremony on June 12 will dedicate the new community to be built on the site of the existing village of Kela Alon in the northwestern Golan.

Last month Netanyahu said his new government would name a town in the Golan Heights after Trump in honor of the US president’s decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the northern territory.

Alan Dershowitz: Netanyahu Should Talk to European Nationalists

Ironically (or perhaps hypocritically) many of these same critics urged Israeli prime ministers to speak to Yasser Arafat and other terrorist leaders who have advocated and practiced the murder of Jews. What is the difference? In both cases elected leaders have to hold their collective noses to speak to other leaders of whose ideologies and actions they strongly disapprove. But when you are the leader of a country, pragmatic realpolitik must often prevail over pure ideology.

Recall the grimace on the face of Yitzhak Rabin when President Clinton urged him to shake the hand of Yasser Arafat, a man who was personally responsible for ordering the murder of Israeli children, women and men. When I subsequently discussed this with Rabin, he said that his hand was shielded by the velvet glove of diplomacy. The left praised Rabin, as well they should have. But many of the same people now condemn Netanyahu for extending the same velvet glove of diplomacy to extreme European nationalists.

There are lines, of course, that no one should ever cross even with the protection of a velvet glove. But if that line was not crossed with Arafat, it certainly is not being crossed with Viktor Orbán and other nationalist leaders. The line cannot be based on the whether the alleged villain is right-wing, left-wing, Muslim or Christian. It must be a line based on objective factors.

The United States dealt, though quietly, with the leaders of Iran, and even dealt with Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin back in the 1930s and 1940s. President Roosevelt, when asked why he was dealing with the tyrannical leader of a central American dictatorship, famously responded: “He is a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch.”

The nationalist leaders of central and eastern Europe are a mixed picture when it comes to Israel. They strongly support Jewish nationalism, Zionism, and the nation state of the Jewish people. But their attitude toward Jews and the Holocaust is often highly questionable. The prime minister of Israel must put the interests of his country before ideological purity or attitude toward Jews in general. In a world in which so few nations support Israel and in which so many vote routinely to condemn it at the United Nations, Israel must not easily give up support from right-wing nationalists.

MEMRI: Arab Writers Urge Palestinians Not To Reject ‘Deal Of Century’ Out Of Hand, Make Most Of Economic Workshop In Bahrain

The Trump administration’s Middle East peace initiative, known as the “Deal of the Century”, which has yet to be officially announced, as well as the “Peace to Prosperity” economic workshop, scheduled to be held in Bahrain on June 25-26, 2019 and aimed at garnering “support for potential economic investment and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement,” continue to be widely discussed in the Arab press. Amid much criticism of the U.S. initiative, and while the Palestinians have announced they would not attend the Bahrain workshop,[1] some leading columnists in the Arab press expressed a different opinion. They called not to reject the initiative out of hand, and strongly condemned the Palestinian and Arab rejection of many peace initiatives in the past.

The articles in the Gulf and Egyptian press harshly criticized the Palestinians and Arabs for repeatedly losing opportunities to resolve their problems and advised them to view the Deal of the Century with an open mind, enter negotiations and strive to make the most of them, while agreeing to make concessions where necessary. In Jordan, amid widespread opposition to the Trump administration’s initiative, a few articles argued that the country should participate in the Bahrain workshop in order to defend its positions on the Palestinian issue and also as an opportunity to improve Jordan’s economic situation. Support of the initiative was also expressed by Jordanian MP Fuaz Al-Zo’bi.

The following are excerpts from these articles and statements:
Editor Of Saudi Arab News Daily: The ‘Kushner Peace Plan’ May Be ‘The Palestinians’ Last, Best Chance’ For A State – And Saudi Arabia Can Help

In a May 14, 2019 article in the Saudi English-language Arab News, titled “A Gleam Of Hope As We Recall The Nakba,” the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Faisal J. Abbas wrote that “Jared Kushner’s peace plan” could be the Palestinians’ last, best chance to achieve a state. Saudi Arabia can help, he added, by persuading Arab and Muslim countries to back the plan, and by working with donor countries “to ensure a sustainable and prosperous life for Palestinians.”

He wrote: “Palestinians today mark the 71st anniversary of the Nakba, the ‘Day of Catastrophe,’ when displacement, occupation and injustice befell the people of Palestine as a result of the Israeli Declaration of Independence. Since that day in 1948, all attempts to restore Palestinian lands, whether by peaceful or military means, have failed…

“When Arab News marked last year’s 70th anniversary of the Nakba with a special issue, I wrote that peace was ‘remote but still possible’… However, an interesting development has been brewing for the past few months that may, just may, reverse the situation and make peace more possible and less remote – the Jared Kushner peace plan… It is all very well for veteran politicians and diplomats to carp about Kushner’s lack of experience in such matters, but what exactly have they achieved in more than 70 years of trying to resolve this conflict? Too much ‘process’ and not enough ‘peace,’ I would suggest…

Pompeo urges Germany to follow Britain’s lead in outlawing Hezbollah

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Germany to follow Britain in proscribing Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group and boost military spending.

The United States is at odds with its German allies on a host of issues, from trade to military spending and nuclear non-proliferation.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her interior minister, Horst Seehofer, ignored an urgent plea from the country’s tiny Jewish community to outlaw the terrorist organization Hezbollah amid a shocking climate of antisemitism.

When asked on Wednesday by The Jerusalem Post numerous times if the German government – in response to a demand by the nearly 100,000-member Central Council of Jews – plans to ban the Lebanese Shi’ite terrorist organization, Merkel and Seehofer refused to answer.

The president of the Council, Dr. Josef Schuster, said on Monday that “a full ban of Hezbollah’s organization has already happened in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom,” adding that “Hezbollah is heavily financed by Iran, and poses, in its entirety, a threat to the entire world.”

The US Embassy in Germany wrote on its Twitter feed on Monday: “Germany’s federal courts decided years ago that Hezbollah is a unified organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Symbols of Hezbollah are banned, why not the entire organization?”

In Germany, Pompeo voices concern over kippa warning to Jews

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday voiced concern over a warning to Jews by a German official about the dangers of wearing the kippa skullcap in Germany in the face of rising anti-Semitic attacks.

The German government’s commissioner on anti-Semitism Felix Klein sparked alarm when he said in a recent interview that he “cannot advise Jews to wear the kippa everywhere all the time in Germany.”

Pompeo expressed his disquiet over the warning during a visit to Berlin on Friday.

“We were concerned to see Jews discouraged from wearing the yarmulke in public out of safety concerns. None of us should shrink in the face of prejudice,” he said at a press conference.

Germany, like other Western countries, has watched with alarm as anti-Semitic and other racist hate speech and violence rose in recent years while the political climate has coarsened and grown more polarized.

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin has voiced shock at Klein’s warning, calling it a “capitulation to anti-Semitism.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman subsequently stepped in to stress that it was the job of the state to ensure that “anyone can go anywhere in our country in full security wearing a kippa.”

Terrorist attacks two in Jerusalem’s Old City, gets shot by police

A harrowing video of Friday’s terrorist attack in the Old City of Jerusalem has been released by the Israel Police, showing the terrorist jumping a 16-year-old boy, and stabbing him in the back.

The incident takes place over mere seconds.

On Friday morning, a 19-year-old terrorist from the West Bank, who had allegedly come to the Temple Mount for Ramadan to pray, stabbed and critically wounded a 47-year-old man at Damascus Gate – which wasn’t captured in the video. Minutes later, while running through the Arab market, the terrorist stabbed the 16-year-old.

The teenager and his brother were walking through the Muslim Quarter’s Arab market while on their way back from praying at the Western Wall just before 6:30 a.m.

The video shows the terrorist running and then jumping at the 16-year-old who was slowly riding his bicycle as his brother walked next to him. As the injured teenager runs in one direction throwing of his jacket, the terrorist is then seen chasing after the other brother who begins running in the opposite direction.

As he continued to run up the stairs, the terrorist just behind him, border police arrived at the scene and shot the terrorist, neutralizing him.

Stabbing victim’s brother: He was full of blood

“We were walking back from praying at the Western Wall when he [the terrorist] came from my right side, jumped at my brother and stabbed him in the back. The knife was full of blood.”

These were the words of the young man who witnesses his brother being stabbed by a terrorist on Friday morning.

A 47-year-old man remains in critical condition, while a 16-year-old boy remains moderately-to-seriously wounded, following the stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday morning.

“He didn’t say a word,” the young man recalled, while speaking to the press at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. “I saw him [the terrorist] running with the knife, he just jumped at my brother… I ran up towards the police, my brother ran towards Hurva Synagogue for help. He saw a young man and asked ‘Is there anything on my back?’ and that’s when he was told that he was full of blood.”

Paramedics were called to the scene within minutes and he was taken to hospital.

Following the attack, President Reuven Rivlin said, that “We are praying for the recovery of those injured in this morning’s stabbing attack in #Jerusalem. I am with the families who are at their dear ones’ sides in hospital in these difficult hours.”

“We will not be deterred by this despicable terror that seeks to cut short life, and its perpetrators and their accomplices will face the full force of the law,” he said.

260,000 Muslims pray peacefully at Al-Aqsa Mosque after terror attack

Hundreds of thousands of Muslims took part in the final Friday prayers of Ramadan at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem, as Israel heightened security following a Palestinian stabbing attack.

The Jerusalem Islamic Waqf organization which administers the site, the third holiest site in Islam, said in total 260,000 worshipers gathered for the lunchtime prayers.

The prayers came only hours after a Palestinian teenager stabbed two Israelis inside the Old City before being shot dead by Israeli police.

In a separate incident, another Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli forces in the West Bank as he sought to breach the security barrier and sneak into Jerusalem, reportedly to pray at Al-Aqsa.

In Jerusalem, a 19-year-old Palestinian stabbed one Israeli near Damascus Gate and another near Jaffa Gate on the other side of the walled Old City, police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said.

Over 4,000 Palestinian take part in Friday’s March of Return

Roughly 4,000 Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip are taking part in the Friday protests known as ‘March of Return’ in five different locations across the Gaza Security fence.

Roughly 36 explosive devices, including hand-grenades were thrown the IDF stationed along the Gaza security fence to prevent breaches into Israel. The IDF used riot dispersal means.

Friday marks the fourth Friday prayers held during the month of Ramadan and the beginning of the holiday of Laylat al-Qadr set to begin tonight.

Tens of thousands of Muslim worshippers arrived at Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Police Spokesperson reported on Friday, police units were mobilized in the area of the Old City to prevent any attacks. The prayers ended without any incidents.

Islamic Jihad leader: There will be surprises in the West Bank

In recent months, Islamic Jihad has been considered the main factor in continuously disturbing the peace in the south.

In the previous round of violence, a sniper from the group shot an IDF soldier, moderately wounding him, which started the round of fighting in which four Israelis were killed.

Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhala spoke with Hezbollah TV channel Al-Manar on Thursday night and threatened Israel.

“The Palestinian people are ready for a prolonged confrontation with the Israeli occupation. Not everything that they hope for in the framework of the ‘Deal of the Century’ will be carried out. The ‘Deal of the Century’ was born dead and has no value as long as the Palestinians oppose it,” he said

During the interview, al-Nakhala referred to the recent round of fighting, claiming that in the last Gaza battle “we operated with little military capability. I do not exaggerate when I say that we can launch more than 1,000 rockets a day into Israel for months. The resistance has the ability to harm any target within the Israeli entity.”

The terrorist leader said that the group had no red lines in fighting Israel and that “any aggression in Gaza will result in missiles to Israeli cities, including Tel Aviv,” adding that “we are not afraid of the results.”

“The West Bank is an integral part of the Palestinian resistance plan, and in the future there will be surprises in its territory – the attacks against Israel will take a new turn,” al-Nakhala promised.

Israeli TV report helps Palestinian baby, mother reunite after 6 months

The hospital’s director of human resources, Issa Elian, said that normally a baby can stay at the hospital for treatment for up to two months. This child was treated for six months.

Off and on throughout those six months, Sha’ad’s condition improved and then deteriorated. The hospital turned repeatedly to the Palestinian Authority to file a request to the Coordinator of Military Activities in the Territories (COGAT), which could allow the mother or father to enter Israel and reunite with their daughter.

“We tried again and again, and they refused,” Elian told Channel 13.

The worried family would monitor their daughter via video chat on the small screen of a private cellular phone.

Then, Channel 13 broke the story on Tuesday. By Thursday, the family was reunited.

Mom and baby just met for the first time in six months at the hospital. From there, they returned home to Gaza.

During Ramadan, late-night gyms boom in the Gaza Strip

It’s past midnight, but a dozen Palestinians are still running and sweating at a gym in the Gaza Strip.

During Islam’s holiest month of Ramadan, Techno-Gym transforms into a late-night hot spot for young men struggling to stay in shape. In addition to self-discipline and prayer intended to bring adherents closer to God, the month is famed for its lavish meals and heavy desserts that follow a daylong fast.

“I come here during Ramadan to maintain the vitality of my body,” said Anas al-Najjar, a music teacher, on a break from a set of back-muscle exercises. “As I have been training for a while, it’s not good for the body to stop in Ramadan.”

On a recent night, pop music mingled with the clanging of dumbbells and metal weight plates as fitness enthusiasts grunted and panted. The gym’s black-and-yellow color scheme and bright blue lighting had a disorienting effect as the clock ticked into the early hours.

The Ramadan routine, with high-calorie fast-breaking “iftar” buffets, sugary staples and hours of sedentary screen time, is a headache for fitness trainers. A growing group of middle-class men in Gaza are preoccupied with the prospect of gaining weight.

MEMRI: Egyptian Clerics, Articles: Ramadan Is The Month Of Jihad And Victories

As in past years during Ramadan, and especially ahead of the tenth day of this month, which is the anniversary of the outbreak of Egypt’s and Syria’s 1973 war with Israel, senior clerics in Egypt, chief of them Mufti Shawki ‘Allam, stressed that Ramadan is the month of jihad, in which Islam’s greatest victories took place.[1] The Egyptian press also celebrated Ramadan as the month of Islamic victories and conquests, mentioning the 7th century Battle of Badr and conquest of Mecca, the 8th century conquest of Andalusia and parts of southern France, the 12th century Battle of Hittin, the 13th century Battle of Ain Jalut and the 1973 war, among others.

The following are excerpts from these statements and articles:

Egyptian Mufti: The Greatest Victories In Islamic History Took Place In The Month Of Ramadan
On the 10th day of Ramadan, which occurred this year on May 15 and, as stated, is the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1973 war, Egypt’s Mufti Shawki ‘Allam devoted his daily Ramadan radio program to Islamic victories that took place during this month. He said: “Ramadan is a great month, the month of jihad. History demonstrates that no other month saw so many Islamic battles and victories as the month of Ramadan. These [victories] constitute another badge of honor for this month, in addition to the honor of [being the month] in which the Quran descended and [the Prophet] Muhammad had his first divine revelation. Ramadan has seen many victories, conquests and battles of decisive importance for the [Islamic] religion and nation. Chief among them are the Battle of Badr, on Ramadan 17, 2 AH [March 13, 624 CE]. On Ramadan 20, 8 AH, the conquest of Mecca took place, following which many people embraced Islam. During the time of the Mamluk kingdom, on Ramadan 25, 658 AH, Saif Al-Din Qutuz[2] and Zahir Baybars[3] managed to withstand the Mongol attacks in many parts of the Muslim world. In the modern era, our heroic forces won the Ramadan 10 war in 1973… Our mighty Egyptian army shattered the myth of the invincible Israeli army, as it was considered at the time, bringing this nation great honor with this victory.”

The Mufti called to “compare this glorious [past] reality to the situation of many Muslims today. It is very sad,” he said, “that this perception [of Ramadan] has now changed among many Muslims. Ramadan was once the month of action, struggle, jihad and sacrifice, but now it has become the month of leisure, sloth and love of food and sleep. This is a dangerous moral decline…”[4]

Speaking about Ramadan on a television show, Shawki said: “The month of Ramadan is strongly associated with victory and with great deeds in human history and especially in Muslim history… During Ramadan, the individual is rebuilt… Fasting rebuilds him and gives him hope and strength. This is one of the factors [that contribute to] victory in any struggle we wage, in every area: at work, on the battlefield, and in any other domain. The individual needs to be rebuilt. Therefore it is not strange that all the great and influential victories in Muslim history took place during Ramadan…”[5]

MEMRI: Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri: Jews Are Money-Hungry Even In Their Mother’s Womb

The Lebanese Al-Jumhouriyya daily quoted Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri as making the antisemitic remark that Jews are money-hungry even while still in their mother’s womb. [1] The article, titled “How to Recognize a Jew,” quoted Berri as saying: “If you see a pregnant woman, get close to her and toss a piece of gold near her or at her feet. If the fetus jumps out from his mother’s womb and grabs the gold, you know he is a Jew.” It should be stated that the article, including this statement, was also posted on Berri’s personal website.[2]

Al-Jumhouriyya quoted the statement in a report on Berri’s meeting several days ago with U.S. Congressman Eliot Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in Lebanon. The meeting was held as part of the U.S. efforts to mediate in the negotiations between Israel and Lebanon on demarcating the maritime border between the two countries, an issue having to do with oil and gas drilling rights in the Mediterranean. The report said:

“Asked what motivated the U.S. to agree to act as a fair mediator [between the sides], Berri replied: ‘When U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo visited me a while ago, he emphasized that the U.S. would make efforts to resolve the issue of demarcating the border.’ Asked what motivated Israel to soften its position and agree to demarcate the land and maritime borders simultaneously, Berri answered: ‘Someone was once asked, how can you recognize a Jew? The answer was: It’s simple. If you see a pregnant woman, get close to her and toss a piece of gold next to her or at her feet. If the fetus jumps out of his mother’s womb and grabs the gold, you know that he is a Jew.’ He added: ‘The Israelis want the oil [in the Mediterranean] and want to produce the oil and gas found in the Palestinian waters. If they had companies capable of drilling and producing [the gas and oil themselves], they would have acted immediately, without delay. But they need [the help of] international companies, and the latter are apprehensive. They want to operate and invest [their money] in a calm and stable climate. They do not dare to take risks and start operating in oil [fields] in the Palestinian waters, or in parts of the sea close to the 860 square kilometers that are disputed between Israel and Lebanon, as long as they feel insecure and believe that the situation can explode at any moment. That is why Israel withdrew [from its previous position].'”

Fmr. Yazidi Iraqi MP: Iraq Registers Children of Yazidi Women Raped by ISIS Members as Muslims

Former Yazidi Iraqi MP Vian Dakhil was interviewed on Al-Arabiya Network (Dubai/Saudi Arabia) on April 30, 2019. She criticized the Iraqi government for registering the children of Yazidi women who were raped by ISIS members as Muslims even though it is often said that ISIS does not represent Islam and that ISIS members aren’t real Muslims. She said that children that are registered as Muslims cannot be accepted into the Yazidi faith and society, and that there are many cases in which Yazidi women have given their children to orphanages or did not return to the Yazidi community because of the children. She said that while these Yazidi women could move to another country and register the children under their name, the Iraqi government should change the Personal Status Law and other laws so that the state can recognize the children as Yazidis if they are brought up in Yazidi society. She also said that the international community must intervene to protect these women and children.

Pompeo Says Iran Attacked Tankers To Help Raise Oil Prices

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Iran attacked oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) earlier this month in an effort to push global crude prices higher.

“These were efforts by the Iranians to raise the price of crude oil throughout the world,” Pompeo told reporters on May 30 before setting off on a trip to Europe.

Earlier in the day, the White House national-security adviser, John Bolton, said evidence that Iran was behind the attacks would be presented to the United Nations Security Council next week.

Asked if he had seen the evidence, Pompeo said: “Oh, yes. Ambassador Bolton got it right.”

Tehran has denied any involvement in the attacks, calling the accusations “ridiculous” and calling out what it called Washington’s “malign intentions” in the region.

Also on May 30, the U.S. special representative for Iran repeated a U.S. warning that Washington will respond with military force if Tehran attacks its interests or those of its allies.

JCPA: Iran Marks “Quds Day” by Saying No to Trump’s “Deal of the Century”

Ayatollah Khomeini and Supreme Leader Khamenei and the Dome of the Rock in the center. (This structure does not hold the sanctity of the al-Aqsa Mosque, but its iconic gold dome is the symbol often used.)
Detailed painting of U.S. and Israeli ships ablaze in Persian Gulf waters

A picture from the website of Supreme Leader Khamenei. Captions: “Palestine will undoubtedly be liberated and returned to its residents.” #No to the Deal of the Century. In the background, shining like the sun, is the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and detailed painting of U.S. and Israeli ships ablaze in Persian Gulf waters; the waters are in the form of keffiyehs that symbolize Palestine.1

On the eve of International al Quds [Jerusalem] Day in Iran, the country’s leaders and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are declaring that the “deal of the century” to be announced by the Trump Administration will never be implemented. They stand with the Palestinians, and they are committed to the “removal of the Zionists from Palestine.”

As they do every year on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan (which falls this year on May 31, 2019), the Shiite population centers both in and outside of Iran (including in several European capitals) will be marking International Jerusalem (al-Quds) Day. This day has been celebrated each year since 1979. According to a ruling by the founder of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, and the Iranian government, it is a day to express the yearning of all Muslims for the “liberation of Jerusalem.”

Khomeini’s anti-Israeli outlook continues to dictate and shape the objectives and strategy of exporting the Islamic Revolution. Those objectives include perpetuating the fundamental hostility and hatred toward Israel and the calls for its destruction.

Today, Khamenei is committed to the legacy of Khomeini’s Jerusalem Day. A source in Basij News:
Jerusalem Day is marked with mass processions (usually after recruitment and organized transportation by the regime and its mechanisms) and condemnatory speeches that include the slogan “Death to Israel,” calls for its destruction, and denunciations of the United States (“Death to America”) and Saudi Arabia, which, according to the Iranians, is an accomplice of the U.S. and Israeli “intrigues” in the region and of the harsh sanctions being imposed on Iran.

‘Quds Day’ rallies across Mideast highlight unbridled hatred for Israel, US

Thousands of Iranians marched on Friday to mark Quds Day, which will see demonstrations across the Mideast as the Trump administration tries to offer an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem, and Iran says the day is an occasion to express support for the Palestinians.

The annual protests, also being held in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere, come on the last Friday of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Iran has marked Quds Day since the start of its 1979 Islamic Revolution by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Iran does not recognize Israel and supports the terrorist groups Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.

In Tehran, rallies began across the Iranian capital. They’ll all head to Tehran University, where the ceremony will end at Friday noontime prayers. Similar rallies took place in 950 cities and towns across the country.

On Wednesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the U.S. and its allies will fail to impose the Trump administration’s so-called “deal of the century” on Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has described the peace plan as “shameful.”

Iran’s Actions over Abu Musa and Tunb Islands Tell Us Everything about its Regional Designs

The islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunb, which lie off the UAE coastline and are regarded as strategically important waypoints in the Strait of Hormuz, provide the closest reminder of Iran’s sustained program of regional disruption and aggression, as well as its long-standing willingness to ignore international law.

All three were seized by Iran in 1971 as the UAE was formed. The Tunbs had historically belonged to Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Musa to Sharjah, when both emirates were still part of the Trucial States.

In the years since the islands were taken on November 30, 1971, the UAE had sought to settle the issue of Iran’s illegal occupation through peaceful methods and arbitration. This country has repeatedly pressed the case directly with international organizations and with Iran itself. The UAE enjoys widespread international support for its case. For its part, Iran has met this diplomatic outreach with inflammatory rhetoric and has consistently rejected referring the matter to the International Court of Justice. Seven years ago, Iranian officials declared Tehran’s occupation was “permanent and non-negotiable.”

Iran’s actions over Abu Musa tell you everything you need to know about its regional designs. Strident and unwilling to compromise, it has no apparent strategic vision save for aggression and expansion by proxy.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Iran Calls On People To Reject ‘Zionist’ Agricultural Advances, Calling Survival ‘Un-Islamic’ (satire)

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran demanded today that nations and organizations cease bringing in Israeli innovators to improve irrigation, water conservation, and other practices, stating that dying of starvation, thirst, pollution, or other maladies remains preferable to granting any legitimacy or positive association to anything or anyone tinged with sympathy for Jewish sovereignty.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave a public address Thursday in which he called on the governments of Islamic nations, states, municipalities, as well as private enterprises, to abstain from normalizing any business or consulting contacts with Israel, foremost among them any work to relieve drought and reduce water waste in agriculture. Engaging with Zionists on such matters, asserted Khamenei, violates the sacred trust with Allah, who would rather see large numbers of people die of thirst, disease, or hunger than avail themselves of any Israeli help.

“We cannot call ourselves true Muslims while not sacrificing our lives, welfare, and health in service of Allah,” admonished the cleric. “All the more so when we must sacrifice the lives, welfare, and health of those we love. If we truly loved our families and friends, we would spare them the everlasting shame and hellfire that awaits those who use drip irrigation, that invention of the Shaytan,” an allusion to the devil.

The ayatollah also warned his flock against the cherry tomato, advances in hydroponic agriculture, and other Israeli innovations, deeming them satanic phenomena that every Muslim must avoid, and must prevent other Muslims from succumbing to the evil temptation of living a healthy, prosperous life.

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