September 25, 2020

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07/04 Links Pt1: Foiled Iranian bomb plot overshadows Tehran’s European charm offensive; PA TV: Your fetus will be a “Martyr for Palestine”; Israel Wishes USA a Happy Birthday!

From Ian:

Seth J. Frantzman: Foiled Iranian bomb plot overshadows Tehran’s European charm offensive
On the eve of a visit by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Europe, two suspects in Belgium were detained and charged with preparing a terrorist attack. A diplomat from the Iranian Embassy in Austria was arrested in Germany.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif claimed the arrests were part of a “sinister false flag ploy,” and designed to sabotage Iran’s attempt to court Europe to stick with the Iran Deal.

However, the arrests will overshadow Tehran’s attempts to court European countries as the US pushes sanctions.

The arrest of terror plotters in Europe comes amid increasing pressure on the Iranian regime. Tehran has faced more than a week of protests that cap more than six months of unrest in Iran.

“We strongly condemn the Iranian regime’s support for terrorism which clearly continues to threaten out European allies. The recently announced US sanctions on Iran are designed specifically to stop this kind of destabilizing activity,” US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell said in reaction to the arrests.

Experts: Iran set up terrorist infrastructure in Europe

Iran has set up terrorist and intelligence ‎infrastructure across Europe with aim of ‎assassinating exiled Iranian dissidents and moderate ‎Arab leaders, particularly those whose countries ‎rival Iran in the Persian Gulf, intelligence experts ‎told Israel Hayom Tuesday.‎

According to both Israeli and foreign intelligence ‎experts, the vast Iranian infrastructure was set up ‎to serve the Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite black-‎ops arm, the Quds Force. ‎

One foreign intelligence official said that a prominent Arab ‎leader had recently canceled a visit to Europe ‎following solid information suggesting that an ‎Iranian terrorist cell was planning to assassinate ‎him.‎

Belgian authorities announced Monday that they have ‎exposed extensive infrastructure deployed by the ‎Quds Force and Iranian intelligence. Three people ‎were arrested, including an Iranian diplomat, on ‎suspicion of plotting to bomb a meeting of an exiled ‎‎Iranian opposition group in France.‎

The IntelliTimes intelligence blog said Tuesday that ‎former Prime Minister Ehud Barak was also in Paris ‎during that time. ‎

PMW: PA TV to pregnant Palestinians: Your fetus will be a “Martyr for Palestine”

Pregnant mothers all over the world are busy imagining the future of their unborn child and wishing him/her the best. The Palestinian Authority is promoting a song lately in which mothers are taught to see their unborn fetus as a future “Martyr for Palestine.” The song has been broadcast on official PA radio, Fatah’s Awdah TV, and now official PA TV.

“Our Martyrs are convoys and our bones are mountains
We don’t surrender to the lowly
We aren’t deterred by imprisonment
Palestine is etched on the heart of the fetus
A proud Martyr in his mother’s womb
And the Arab state will remain ours – Arab, Arab Palestine…
We [hold] the rifles to our chests and our eyes are raised to you
Our homes are trenches and our souls are the sacrifice for you
O Jerusalem, you will not remain stolen.”

[Official PA TV, June 19 and 26, 2018]

“Martyrs” (Shahids) are those who die for Allah. “Martyrdom” has been presented by the PA as the most honorable status achievable in Islam.

Palestinian Media Watch reported when this song appeared on PA radio together with five other songs all encouraging “Martyrdom.”

The “from fetus to Martyr” image has been used in the past by the PA and Hamas. When a Palestinian terrorist murderer, Yasser Hamdouni, collapsed while exercising in an Israeli prison in 2016, PA District Governor of Ramallah Laila Ghannam comforted his mother, using the image:

Text on image: “You carried him in your womb as a fetus to be separated from him as he is raised over your head as a Martyr (Shahid).
How long the separation, [due to] the jailer, and how you dreamed of embracing him in peace and security, and God’s decree arrived, and he left the grip of the jailer so that you will accompany him as a groom to Paradise (i.e., Martyr’s funeral is considered wedding to the 72 Virgins in Paradise in Islam).”

[Facebook page of District Governor of Ramallah and El-Bireh Laila Ghannam, Sept. 27, 2016]

Ending ‘Pay to Slay’ payments for the sake of peace

In its 2018 budget, the Palestinian Authority allocated $360 million – 7% of the budget – to two institutions that reward convicted terrorists imprisoned in Israel, released terrorists, and families of terrorists. This massive funding indicates that while the PA ostensibly claims to seek peace, it is actually funding and incentivizing the machinery of violent rejectionism and ongoing conflict.

While the PA claims the funds are directed to welfare needs, the World Bank has stated: “The program is clearly not targeted to the poorest households. The level of resources devoted to the Fund for Martyrs and the Injured does not seem justified from a welfare or fiscal perspective.”

Indeed, the funding does not go to those most in need from a socioeconomic point of view, but rather increases incrementally and macabrely by the amount of death and destruction a terrorist wreaks on Israeli citizens.

The amount given to Palestinian terrorists is sometimes many times what they could receive as an average employee in the Palestinian territories. The Palestinian Authority is telling its people loudly and clearly that it really does pay to slay.

This incentivization to kill, murder and maim is a primary obstacle to the chances for peace. The payments to terrorists provide the gas for the persistence of the conflict.

Should our Palestinian neighbors genuinely seek peace in the future, the deducted funds could be rechanneled to the PA.

Planning For When Terrorism No Longer Pays

In fact, most analysts who spoke to The Media Line agreed that the PA is both unlikely to fall or even reverse course, thus begging the question: what, then, is the purpose of the pressure being applied?

Aside from the moral implications, the most-often cited reason was to force Abbas back to the negotiating table once the Trump administration unveils its much-anticipated peace plan. And while the PA chief has boycotted the White House since its recognition in December of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the prospect of financial meltdown might induce him to play ball, at least superficially.

More fundamentally, many are construing the seemingly coordinated move as a message to the Palestinian leadership that the longstanding status quo is being upended and therefore the PA needs to alter its collective mindset. As regards terrorism, specifically, countries are making clear that this route is a dead-end for the Palestinians; and with respect to statehood, generally, a signal is being sent that the PA must drop its maximalist positions as the geopolitical conditions that a decade ago compelled then-Israeli premier Ehud Olmert to offer Abbas a deal containing virtually every Palestinian demand no longer exist.

But to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, with the age-old Chinese adage—be careful what you wish for—seemingly applying in this case. With his back up against a wall, Abbas could still pull the trigger on one of a multitude of options, including following through on past threats to dismantle the PA; attempting, once again, to reconcile with Hamas in order to forge a united Palestinian front; or even taking the middle path of reducing or deferring “pay-to-slay” funding to some 36,000 Palestinian families, whose ire might then be redirected towards Israel.

Given the uncertainty, Jerusalem is in need of a comprehensive strategy that addresses the full spectrum of potential outcomes of its evolving relationship with the PA. As the Israeli government just contributed to fast-tracking the changing dynamics, one can only assume that numerous contingency plans are in the advanced stages of being devised.

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinian Authority: We’ll continue to pay prisoners and their families

In response to Australia’s decision to cease direct financial aid to the PA, senior PLO official Ahmed Majdalani accused the Australian government of “submitting to US and Israeli dictates and pressure.”

Majdalani called on the Australian government to revoke its decision, which, he claimed, “comes at a time when the Trump administration and the government of the occupation are trying to put additional pressure on the Palestinian leadership and besiege it politically so that it would accept the so-called deal of the century.” (Trump has referred to his upcoming plan as the “deal of the century”).

Majdalani claimed that the Israeli government was the one that was “funding organized state terrorism and settlement groups.” The Palestinians and their leadership “will remain loyal to the fighters who, according to the Geneva Conventions, are prisoners,” he vowed. “All this pressure will not stop our people from pursuing the struggle to end the occupation and establish an independent Palestinian state.”

Tayseer Khaled, another senior PLO official, accused the Australian government of using the aid issue as a “tool of extortion” against the Palestinians.

“This is also an ugly method to criminalize the struggle of the Palestinians against occupation,” Khaled argued.

He also called on Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop not to follow suit with the US and Israel and to refrain from “politicizing” Australian financial aid and using the money “to serve Israeli policies and propaganda.”

Some Palestinians warned on Tuesday that Hamas and other extremist groups would benefit from any punitive measures that are aimed at undermining the PA.

“By punishing the Palestinian Authority, you are awarding Hamas,” a member of the Fatah Central Council told the Post.

“Creating more bitterness and frustration on the Palestinian street will play into the hands of Hamas. And if the Palestinian Authority does not pay the prisoners and their families, there will always be others who are prepared to do. Do we really want Hamas and Iran to pay salaries?”

He and many Palestinian officials in Ramallah said they were convinced that the increased threats to cut funds to the PA were part of a US-Israeli “conspiracy” to “blackmail” the Palestinians and force them to make far-reaching concessions to Israel. They believe the Trump administration and Israel will now increase their efforts to convince other countries to suspend funds to the PA in order to force them to accept whatever the ‘deal of the century” offers them.

“These measures are doomed to failure because the Palestinians are not going to abandon their national rights in return for money,” the Fatah official said. “Our people have already rejected the Trump plan and they are not going to change their mind because of the funding.”

IDF spokesman to French MPs: Hamas is spending your money on terror

IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis told French lawmakers in Paris on Tuesday that Hamas was taking France’s donations to Gaza and using them to build military infrastructure and prepare terror attacks.

“The Middle East conflict, as it is called, is not a conflict between neighbors,” Manelis told the French National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee. “Israel is dealing with and battling a murderous terror organization that stops at nothing in its efforts to attack children, women, innocent civilians, including civilians living under its rule. Hamas announces its murderous intentions at every opportunity and takes actions that are in clear contravention of international law and of the universal values of human society.”

Billions of shekels’ worth in funding from donor countries, “including from the French taxpayer, are diverted to building terror capabilities,” Manelis warned. “Don’t get suckered in by Hamas. This is a militarized terror group in every sense, with a general staff, fighting brigades, operational battalions and attack plans against Israel. This organization has murdered thousands of Israelis, Americans, French citizens and Britons in bus bombings, suicide attacks in malls and restaurants, and stabbing and car-ramming attacks.”

Manelis is on an official visit to Paris, where his schedule includes meetings with think tanks and local Jewish organizations.

In his briefing, Manelis also touched on Iran’s involvement in Gaza, charging that the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani, is a “mass murderer responsible for thousands of deaths around the world… [and] sends 100 million dollars each year to terror groups in Gaza. The money has one purpose: to build military capabilities for the purpose of carrying out terror attacks. Every place that Iran and Suleimani have touched has seen destruction and devastation — in Yemen, in Iraq, in Syria, and in Gaza.”

The courage to say yes

For years, smart and well-meaning “peace processors” have worked hard to find a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. They’ve never come close.

Commentators keen on being perceived as even-handed blame Palestinian and Israeli leaders alike. But ample evidence suggests that most Israelis long for peace and would toss out any leader who stood in the way of what they saw as a real deal. Palestinians don’t have that freedom. The last time Palestinians voted for a president was 2005 and that election was hardly free and fair.

Yasser Arafat, father of the Palestinian nation, saw himself as a revolutionary and a conqueror. He never seriously considered ending the war against the Jewish state.

His successor, the genteel Mahmoud Abbas, appeared to be a peacemaker. But, now in his 83rd year, he’s made clear that he prefers to go down in history as an unwavering leader of the “resistance.”

And then there’s Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules Gaza. Its commitment to Israel’s extermination is nonnegotiable. More on that shortly.

Despite all this, Yossi Klein Halevi, an American-born Israeli, remains defiantly optimistic. His new book, “Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor,” is addressed not to the Palestinian ruling class but to those living “somewhere on the next hill, just beyond my porch.”

Gerald M. Steinberg: The Knesset’s propaganda circus

The Knesset on Sunday hosted a conference on the rights of children – specifically, Palestinian children. This circus, titled “A generation without a future: Children under occupation,” was the initiative of Zionist Union MK Ksenia Svetlova, Meretz MK Michal Rozin and Joint Arab List MKs Ayman Odeh and Dov Khenin, and was attended by EU Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret, Dutch Ambassador to Israel Gilles Beschoor, Deputy British Ambassador to Israel Tony Kay, Human Rights Watch’s Israel and Palestine Director and BDS advocate Omar Shakir, as well as representatives from organizations like B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Physicians for Human Rights, Gisha, Moked: Center for the Defense of the Individual, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Combatants for Peace.

In recent years, nongovernmental organizations and U.N. agencies are increasingly accusing Israel of abusing and falsely arresting Palestinian minors while at the same time turning a blind eye to the minors’ involvement in terrorist activities.

In Nov. 2017, NGO Monitor alerted Israeli lawmakers, government offices and civil society organizations that this issue would become central this year and would be used to launch a political attack against us.

Slovakia declares it will move its embassy to Jerusalem

“Slovakia is on its way to relocating its embassy to Jerusalem,” Head of the Slovak National Council Andrej Danko told President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the visiting delegation of Slovak lawmakers announced the Eastern European country would open a cultural center in the Israeli capital.

The move, when it materializes, would mark a break from European Union policy on Jerusalem. Slovakia would join the Czech Republic and Bulgaria as the other European Union member states to expand their diplomatic presence in the city since US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The visiting lawmakers did not give a timeframe for when the new cultural center would be opened.

The decision, made by Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, came after Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein called on Bratislava’s government to follow the Czech Republic in opening an honorary consulate in the city.

Edelstein thanked the Slovaks, saying, “This is a tremendous diplomatic achievement for Israel and a pleasant surprise for all of us. I am certain that when additional delegations arrive here they will understand Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital.”

Yisrael Medad: Amanapour: Netanyahu is Trump’s “Director”

Yesterday, after catching CNN’s Christiane Amanpour’s interview with Ben Rhodes, I tweeted this:

@camanpour on @cnni chooses anti-semitic trope, asking @brhodes if @netanyahu “directs US MidEast policy”. Rhodes chooses “drives”.And later adds “Is Bibi egging on Trump” re: Putin and Syria and Rhodes adds “Ukraine”.

From the transcript:-
AMANPOUR: You know President Obama didn’t have a very good personal relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Now Prime Minister Netanyahu is thrilled to bits because he thinks he has his…


AMANPOUR: …ally in the White House. Do you see this Middle East policy being directed by the Israeli Prime Minister?

RHODES: I think the two most important people in American Middle East policy are Mohammad bin Salman and Bibi Netanyahu. I…

AMANPOUR: The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia?

RHODES: The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and the Prime Minister of Israel. I think they are driving this.

Ex-minister accused of trying to give Iran information dozens of times

A heavily redacted version of the indictment against Gonen Segev, a former minister-turned alleged spy for Iran, was released by the prosecution on Wednesday, including a number of details not previously shared with the public.

Segev was indicted in a Jerusalem court last month, but the specific charges against him were not fully released at the time, with only a general description of his alleged crimes offered.

According to the newly released charge sheet, Segev is accused of “aggravated espionage” — a more severe form of the crime of espionage — as well as assisting the enemy in wartime, attempted aggravated espionage and dozens of counts of attempting to provide information to the enemy.

Segev, whose former ministerial responsibilities included energy and infrastructure, allegedly met with Iranian intelligence officials repeatedly over the past six years, including twice in Tehran, having traveled to the Islamic Republic on a non-Israeli passport, according to the Shin Bet security service.

In addition to allegedly supplying the Iranians with information, the prosecution also said Segev “carried out various missions when he was asked.” The details of those “missions” were redacted.

The brief but exciting life of the bill to outlaw filming IDF soldiers

That majority has no voice in this political gamesmanship, in a discourse that degenerated from a politics of policy arguments to a politics of careful ignoring, where today’s left and right are defined not by their answers to Israelis’ questions, but by the questions they pointedly refuse to answer.

And, of course, there is one final group of losers from the whole episode.

The more grizzled and experienced of Israel’s politicians, when they meet for lunch over Knesset cafeteria trays, sometimes engage in a favored pastime: gently mocking colleagues who seem unable to get the joke, who take the right’s bills and the left’s horror too seriously, who refuse to recognize how feckless and essentially empty so much of Israel’s political discourse has become, and so are made unnecessarily anxious by it all.

One such ostensibly naive lawmaker is MK Eyal Ben Reuven of the Zionist Union, a decorated former armored corps commander and retired major general, who seemed genuinely horrified at Ilatov’s bill.

In the plenum debate over the bill, this is what Ben Reuven had to say: “For 35 years I wore the IDF uniform with pride. I never felt the need to hide from cameras except when secrecy required it. When I commanded IDF troops, I taught them to operate in areas with cameras. This law was written by those who don’t know our soldiers and our commanders. It will hurt them first and foremost. Our strength flows from our battle ethics too, so this law makes us look weak and helps makes a case for those who want to take our soldiers to the Hague. This bill goes against the IDF’s spirit and ethics, and merely publicizing it is a win for the boycotters.”

Ben Reuven doesn’t get the joke. Many IDF soldiers besmirched by the claim that their “morale” is so fragile and their behavior so troubling that photographing them should carry a ten-year prison term probably don’t either.

Oversight on the Mount

In the summer of 2004, history was made on a small scale in the Supreme Court in Jerusalem when the High Court of Justice ruled in favor of a petition filed by a Jewish group to protect the Temple Mount antiquities. In one of the last cases Justice Jacob Turkel handled before retiring, the judge adopted the petition filed by the Committee for the Prevention of Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount, forcing the government to take action that went against what was almost natural for it in those days – simply giving in to the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, the body that oversees what takes place on the Mount.

At the request of the committee, which included personalities such as the late Justice Meir Shamgar, writer A.B. Yehoshua, and former Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek, Turkel prevented the government and the Israel Antiquities Authority from removing some 3,000 tons of dirt and rubble rich in archaeological findings – which the waqf had wanted to truck off the site – from the Mount. Three senior archaeologists, Ephraim Stern, Ami Mazar, and Roni Reich, convinced Turkel that “the mounds of dirt must not taken outside the walls of the Temple Mount [compound] before they have been sifted under the supervision of a professional archaeologist, in situ” – meaning, on the Temple Mount itself, and that “the very [act of] loading and dumping it again could completely destroy some of the findings and cause irreparable damage to others.”

That landmark ruling, which astonished legal circles at the time, was influenced by the fact that the public still keenly remembered what former director of the IAA Amir Drori had a few years earlier called the biggest “archaeological crime” of all time. Or as then-Attorney General Elyakim Rubenstein put it: “the historic kick to the Jewish people.”

Netanyahu lifts ban on MKs visiting Temple Mount

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday that he will lift the ban on parliamentarians visiting the Temple Mount, three years after the government forbade them from entering the flashpoint site due to security concerns.

In a letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Netanyahu said that lawmakers could visit the Temple Mount once every three months, and this time, as opposed to a pilot held a year ago, ministers could also go to the site.

In October 2015, the government barred MKs from going to Judaism’s most holy spot — the site of the biblical Temples — as part of an attempt to reduce tensions amid a wave of terror attacks against Israelis that was linked to the site, known to Arabs as Haram al-Sharif, which contains the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

After the threats and violence on the site calmed down, Jerusalem police commander Yehoram Halevy recommended to Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich that MKs should be once again permitted to visit the Temple Mount.

Yisrael Medad: How Safe Was It?

How safe was it to go to the Western Wall to pray before the State of Israel was established and, supposedly, started all the problems?

And that’s all before the 1929 “Wailing War Affair” that supposedly led to the riots in which 133 Jew were murdered, many mutilated.

IDF chief visits Golan Heights as masses of Syrians flee to the area

IDF chief Gadi Eisenkot and other top military officers traveled to the Israel-Syria border on Wednesday to hear updated assessments from soldiers in the field about the battle raging next door between Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s forces and rebel groups in the Daraa province, the army said.

“During the visit, the IDF chief of staff held a situational assessment about the fighting in Syria and the preparedness of the Northern Command,” the army said in a statement.

Last month, Assad and his Russian allies launched a renewed offensive against rebel holdouts in the country’s southwest. Bombing raids by the Russian and Syrian air forces, along with a ground offensive, have resulted in dozens of deaths and the displacement of over a quarter of a million Syrians, according to UN assessments.

Tens of thousands of displaced Syrians have made their way toward the Israeli Golan Heights, settling in overflowing, under-resourced tent cities near the border. In some cases, the displaced person camps are located some 100 meters from the security fence, clearly visible from Israel.

Poll: Palestinians favor jailed leader Barghouthi as Abbas successor

Marwan Barghouthi, a Palestinian uprising leader jailed for life by Israel, would win most votes if an election were held to find a successor for 82-year-old President Mahmoud Abbas, a survey released on Wednesday found.

The poll was conducted by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR), which interviewed 2,150 adults in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Thirty percent of respondents named Barghouthi, a member of Abbas’ Fatah faction whom an Israeli court handed five life sentenced for murder in 2004, as their favorite to replace the president.

Israel accuses Barghouthi, 59, of masterminding attacks by Fatah’s armed wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Seen as a pragmatist, he enjoys strong grassroots support and has good relations with all factions, including with Islamist group Hamas.

The next most popular candidate was Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Islamist faction Hamas, with 23 percent support.

Questions about Abbas’s prospects were raised by his eight-day hospitalization in May for what officials said was a lung infection.

Wednesday’s poll found that 61 percent of the public want Abbas to resign and 33 percent want him to stay in office.

Yisrael Medad: Marisa Papin, The Muslim Version

Here’s how the photo-shoot was reported in the Al-Bawaba Arab-language media outlet:

In a provocative act against Muslim sentiments, a Belgian tourist and model published naked photographs of her in front of the Al-Buraq Wall in the occupied Arab city of Jerusalem.

Marisa Babin? Papen [Arabic-speakers have trouble pronouncing “P”, which is why “Palestine” is “Filastin”] said she chose the holy site “to break the walls” and that she came to Israel to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the “establishment of an Israeli state.” The controversial photographs were taken on the opening day of the US embassy in Jerusalem five weeks ago.

She was filmed naked on a plastic chair on the roof of a house in the Old City of Jerusalem, overlooking the western wall, with the Al Buraq Wall Square.

That reporting is a naked act of stripping Jews and Judaism of our national and religious identity.

Egypt says it destroyed Gaza tunnels, killed 3 Sinai terrorists

The Egyptian army said Tuesday its forces killed three terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula and destroyed tunnels at Rafah on the Gaza border as part of a vast campaign against jihadists.

More than 200 suspected terrorists and at least 35 soldiers have been killed since Egypt launched operation “Sinai 2018” to rid the peninsula of Islamic extremists in February, according to the military.

Operations carried out in recent days resulted in “the elimination of three takfiris,” the army said, referring to Sunni Muslim radicals.

They also led to the “destruction of a number of tunnels in the city of Rafah in northern Sinai,” it said in a statement.

“A conscript was wounded in clashes with terrorists” and “two civilians died as a result of an explosion from a device targeting forces conducting raids,” it added.

The Rafah border crossing is the only entrance to the Gaza Strip not controlled by Israel, and Egypt’s sole frontier with the Palestinian enclave has remained largely closed since 2013.

MEMRI: Owner Of Egyptian Daily: Egypt Paid A Heavy Price For Rejecting An American Proposal For A Settlement With Israel In The 1950s

Salah Diab, Egyptian businessman and owner of the Al-Masri Al-Yawm daily, who writes under the pen name “Newton,” published an article on January 24, 2018 headlined “The Price of Refusal,” about Egypt’s rejection of a proposal for a settlement to end the Arab-Israeli conflict.

As part of this proposal – an American-British initiative dubbed “Operation Alpha,” which was submitted to Israel and Egypt in 1955 – Israel was to return to Egypt the territories in the southern Negev that it had conquered in 1948, and to absorb 75,000 Arab refugees and pay reparations to the rest, in exchange for the lifting of the Arab boycott and recognition of Israel by the Arab world. Both Egypt and Israel rejected the proposal, and it was finally shelved after Egypt chose to disconnect from the West and support the Eastern Bloc headed by the Soviet Union.[1]

In his article Newton bemoans the fact that the Egyptians rejected the plan, claiming that had they accepted it, “everything would have been completely different”: Egypt would have avoided all its wars with Israel, its losses and casualties and the waste of extensive resources, and wouldn’t have reached the situation in which it finds itself today. Newton claims that the proposal was offered up on a silver platter and that, in their current situation, the Arabs can only dream of a better proposal. He writes that a good statesman would not have rejected such a proposal but rather accepted it “so as to achieve the best possible practical results, which would serve the interests of his people.”

British Protests, Violence Mark 242 Years Since Expulsion from American Colonies (satire)

As Americans celebrate the 242nd anniversary of its independence with barbeques, parties and fireworks, rage in the United Kingdom set in as the British mark what they called the “Proper Mess,” British for ‘catastrophe‘. Peaceful protests against the United States’ independence turned violent, as clashes broke out between NATO troops and protesters demanding a “right of return” to the U.S. mainland.

Riots were held in London, Manchester and other major cities, as British citizens protested their expulsion from what they termed “Occupied Western England.” Many of the protesters consider themselves refugees, as their ancestors were British officials forcibly expelled from the colonies nearly 250 years ago.

“My parents, grandparents, and great-great-great grandparents may have lived in London, but my heart will always be in Philadelphia,” said Rupert Chesselwit, whose ancestors were expelled in 1776. “Baltimore and Charleston are as much a part of England as Birmingham, Leeds, and Northern Ireland.”

Though there were injuries reported in several of the riots, violence did not reach the level of previous years. In 2011, four Britons were killed by the U.S. Coast Guard after storming across the Atlantic Ocean and trying to enter Virginia.

Authorities are warning of potentially more violence next month, when India celebrates its Independence Day.

Israel Wishes USA a Happy Birthday!

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