March 24, 2023

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08/13 Links Pt1: UN Watch Shadow Report Exposes Palestinian Antisemitism Ahead of First UN Racism Review; The Palestinian war of attrition; The UK-PA partnership to reward terrorists

From Ian:

UN Watch Presents Report on Endemic Palestinian Antisemitism To UN’s Anti-Racism Committee
Before the UN’s anti-racism committee reviewed the “State of Palestine” for the first time today, UN Watch Legal Adviser Dina Rovner took the floor twice before the committee’s panel of experts to present UN Watch’s 32-page shadow report on Palestinian violations of the anti-racism convention. The first remarks presented below were delivered at a meeting between the panel members and non-governmental organizations. Following those remarks is Rovner’s in-depth speech on the UN Watch submission, parts of which were conveyed in an informal lunchtime briefing with committee members.

Full prepared remarks, delivered at the UN anti-racism committee’s meeting with non-governmental organizations:

We meet today to review the State of Palestine’s compliance with the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Yet one would not know that from reading the Palestinian Authority’s 62-page report to this Committee, which repeatedly blames the “Israeli occupation” for countless alleged violations of Palestinian rights, while seeking to evade responsibility for its own racism and discrimination. We remind all stakeholders that Israel will be reviewed for its actions in November, whereas the proper focus of today’s review is Palestinian compliance with the Convention, or lack thereof.

United Nations Watch submitted a shadow report, which is available at We were disappointed that NGOs like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International which lobbied for the Palestinians to join international treaties saying it would hold them to account did not submit reports for today’s review.

Ironically, the PA report acknowledges that there are almost no minorities in Palestine. According to the statistics provided by the PA, the various minority groups comprise no more than 1% of the population.

The Committee may wish to ask the PA why, by its own admission, it has virtually no minorities. By any objective standard, these figures suggest high levels of racism and discrimination. For example, if 1.9 million Arab citizens live in neighboring Israel, comprising 21% of the population, why is it that there are no Jews at all living under Palestinian jurisdiction?

UN Watch Shadow Report Exposes Palestinian Antisemitism Ahead of First UN Racism Review

UN Watch’s detailed submission reveals that the PA and Hamas routinely violate international commitments to combatting racism, through laws, policies, and statements aimed at denying any Jewish rights in Israel or the Palestinian-controlled territories.

By contrast, in its own report, the PA shirks its obligations as a party to the anti-racism convention by failing to address the problem of racism in Palestinian law and society, and instead seeking repeatedly to blame Israel.

“The PA exploits the reporting process of the anti-racism committee as yet another UN vehicle to attack Israel. This is a waste of the committee’s time and resources, as Israel is subject to its own review later this year,” said Neuer.

Highlighting the deficiencies in the PA’s report, UN Watch urged the anti-racism committee to focus its review on Palestinian laws and policies, detailing the following discriminatory practices for consideration:

1. Racist Palestinian laws criminalize the sale of land to Israeli Jews
Dozens of Palestinians have been arrested for attempting to sell land to Jews — a crime that is considered treason. In December 2018, an American-Palestinian man was sentenced to life in prison with hard labor for violating the Palestinian law prohibiting land sales to Israelis. Palestinian courts have ruled that the death sentence can be applied in such cases as well.

2. Palestinian laws incentivize the murder of Israeli Jews by providing financial rewards to Palestinian terrorists who kill or attempt to kill Israeli Jews
The payment by the PA of salaries and benefits to Palestinian prisoners serving time in Israeli jails for terror-related offenses is mandated in Palestinian law. Each year, the PA allocates approximately 7% of its budget to terrorist payments. This practice directly legitimizes acts of terrorism against Israelis and is aimed at keeping Jews out of areas controlled and claimed by the PA.

President Mahmoud Abbas recently reiterated the PA’s commitment to these payments, stating “even if we have only a penny left, we will give it to the martyrs, the prisoners, and their families.”

3. Regular incitement of antisemitic racial hatred by Palestinian officials, including PA President Mahmoud Abbas
While the PA report referenced Palestinian criminal laws concerning propaganda, it conveniently ignored the problem of rampant antisemitic propaganda that incites Palestinian terrorism. In his speeches and social media posts, Abbas has regularly incited terrorism and spewed classical antisemitic tropes. His comments have praised “martyrs” as the “priority” of Palestinian society, proclaimed that Jews “have no right to defile the Al-Aqsa Mosque with their filthy feet,” and claimed that European Jews were hated for their connection to usury and the banks rather than for their religion.

Several other PA and Hamas leaders have publicly called Jews “apes and pigs” and promoted other antisemitic libels.

The Emerging Gulf-Israel Alignment Fundamentally Changes the Palestinians’ Geo-Political Paradigm

Trends are accelerating an emerging regional alignment between the Gulf States and Israel. First, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Israel collectively regard Iran as an existential threat to their states. The differences with Israel over the future of Palestine are less consequential than the perception of the Iranian threat and the need for a tacit collective counter-strategy.

Second, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Israel are much more confident regional actors than they were in the mid-1990s. The UAE projects immense economic strength and Saudi Arabia has similar aspirations. Aside from its regional military strength, Israel has become a technology power that is attractive to global finance, investment, and talent.

Lastly, the political and economic elites in the Gulf and Israel desire these deepening economic and technological ties and are creating conditions on the ground where their citizens are increasingly open to these opportunities.

Israel’s inability to resolve its conflict with the Palestinians and its drag of regular wars in Gaza undermines its ability to assert the nation’s full potential. But this potential historic Gulf-Israel alignment fundamentally changes the geo-political paradigm for the Palestinians. The region is moving beyond a “post-1948” period where the Israeli-Palestinian conflict dominated nation-state relationships in the Middle East.

The next generation of Palestinian leadership will have to adopt a new strategy – one which will be quite uncomfortable for the old PLO guard. Freed from the dogma of the last 70 years, the Palestinians could envision a very different role for themselves in the Middle East.

The Palestinian war of attrition

Before treating the symptoms of a disease, one must understand what caused it.

Writing in The Jerusalem Post on July 12, in an article titled “Lessons from Israel’s most forgotten war,” Amotz Asa-El offers an insightful explanation.

“Wars of attrition are not decided by their parties’ balance of troops, arms or resources, but by their balance of spirit,” the article said. “The winner will not be the one left with more land, population or treasure, but the one whose spirit will last longer.”

This explains why Arabs and Palestinians continue to reject Israel’s legitimacy, regardless of the negative consequences and contrary to attempts to “make a deal” to resolve the conflict. The conflict itself defines their raison d’etre, their attempts to destroy Zionism and the State of Israel.

Seen as a “Palestinian war of attrition,” therefore, the conflict is not simply over land or people; it’s about essence – and spirit. For Arabs and Palestinians, any concession is an admission of defeat, humiliation and surrender. It means that all of their sacrifices were in vain, and that the ideal of being a “martyr” (shahid) was false. It means that the Palestinian narrative – “Free Palestine” and “End the occupation” – is a fraud, and that all the resources that were poured into supporting that ideology by the international community – e.g. UNRWA and the “two-state-solution” – were a waste.

From a Palestinian perspective, their war of attrition has been successful. Despite engaging in incitement and terrorism, they are recognized and supported by the international community, including their demand for statehood, and they control territory and major population centers – the basis for sovereignty and statehood. This is no small achievement. In the context of wars of attrition, it encourages the belief that they can win if they are committed and determined.

Trump undecided on when to release Middle East peace plan

President Donald Trump hasn’t decided whether to unveil his Middle East peace plan before or after Israeli elections set for next month, and the U.S. hopes eventually to engage with the Palestinian Authority on an accord, special envoy Jason Greenblatt said.

Greenblatt, who along with Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has been drafting a Middle East peace proposal for the last two years, said the U.S. isn’t looking for regime change with the Palestinian Authority, which governs in the West Bank. But he signaled the U.S. would continue to avoid any dealings with Hamas, the Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip.

“We are not looking for a regime change, President Abbas is the leader of the Palestinians, so we hope that he will be able to come to the table,” Greenblatt said in an interview Monday with Kevin Cirilli on Bloomberg Television, referring to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “We do hope to have continued engagement or an eventual re-engagement with the Palestinian Authority.”

Greenblatt gave no indication of what the political plan would look like, but said Trump would have to “decide soon” whether to roll it out before the Israeli elections or after _ and whether to wait until after a new government has been formed. Those elections are set for Sept. 17 and surveys indicate a close race between blocs led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former military chief Benny Gantz. An election earlier this year ended in stalemate after Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition.

“This conflict will only be resolved by direct negotiations between the parties,” Greenblatt said. “It’s not for the United States or the European Union or the United Nations to demand how this conflict can be resolved.”

Master plan approved for east Jerusalem’s Ras el-Amud

The Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee has approved the master plan for the east Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Ras el-Amud sources inform Globes. The aim of the plan is to put in order and legalize existing and future construction in the neighborhood. In the future, residents and developers in the neighborhood can submit building plans to the local planning and building committee.

This is the third such master plan for an east Jerusalem Arab neighborhood following plans for Sur Bahir and Beit Safafa, which were both approved for objections by the Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee several years ago. However, since then the plans have not been discussed and approved by the Jerusalem District Committee for Planning and Building.

According to the Jerusalem Statistical Yearbook, Ras el-Amud has 26,000 residents living in 6,000 housing units. According to forecasts, by 2040, the neighborhood will have 51,000 residents and will require an extra 11,000 housing units. A plan drawn up by architect Danny Kaiser proposes building 9,729 housing units of 135-150 sq.m. in size.

The neighborhood is on the slopes of the Mount of Olives on the eastern limits of the Jerusalem municipality and its residents consider Ras el-Amud inseparable from Silwan, which adjoins it to the west. The last master plan for the neighborhood was drawn up in 1998, which zoned most of the area as residential. Since then there has been no overall planning for the neighborhood, just a few small partial plans. The latest master plan allocates 31,600 sq.m. for schools and kindergartens and 12,000 sq.m. for welfare and community services. The plan does allow for mix-use areas for ground floor commercial premises and offices for tourism.

An important part of the plan is the height restrictions imposed due to the historical and religious importance of the landscape and views. In 2000, buildings were restricted to four floors, but in some parts of the neighborhood this has now been relaxed to six floors.

The UK-PA partnership to reward terrorists

For years, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) knowingly funded the Palestinian Authority’s “pay for slay” terrorist reward policy.

Exposed in precise detail by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), the “pay for slay” policy is the system by which the PA pays monthly salaries to terrorist prisoners, including mass murderers, and allowances to wounded terrorists and the families of dead terrorists (so called “martyrs”), including suicide bombers.

Despite having positive knowledge that the PA used a considerable amount of its financial resources to implement its terrorism-rewarding policy, the DFID, via the World Bank, provided the PA, over a seven-year period, with over £430 million to be used as the PA saw fit. While DFID has adamantly claimed no UK funds were used to fund “pay for slay”, it did so relying on narrow audit reports that cannot and do not support its assertion.

Created in 2008, the World Bank’s Palestinian Recovery and Development Program – Multi-Donor Trust Fund (PRDP-MDTF) pooled the funds of multiple donor countries, including the UK, and provided steady and reliable quarterly cash flow to the PA. As the PRDP-MDTF clearly states, the donor funds were provided to the PA “untied and unearmarked.”

In order to create the impression of bona fide activities and to give the donor countries that needed it “plausible deniability” regarding the manner in which the funds were used, auditors were employed to follow the cash flow.

U.S. Knocks Germany in Row Over Middle East Peace Process

The Trump administration is pushing back against recent criticism from German representatives regarding U.S. efforts to foster peace between the Israelis and Palestinians in what sources described as an ongoing diplomatic fight over the American administration’s refusal to let the United Nations dictate the terms of the peace process.

Following an unprecedented July 23 speech before the U.N. Security Council in which Middle East peace envoy Jason Greenblatt scolded the body for its one-sided attempts to demonize Israel, Germany’s ambassador attempted to mischaracterize the Trump administration official’s remarks, sources told the Washington Free Beacon.

Greenblatt’s remarks were viewed as a shot across the bow to the Security Council, which has repeatedly attempted to hold Israel responsible for the violence perpetrated by Palestinian terrorists. The U.N.’s one-sided obsessions, Greenblatt said at the time, has done nothing to move the parties closer to the negotiating table.

Trump administration officials view the German ambassador as intentionally taking Greenblatt’s remarks out of context by claiming the United States puts no value in UNSCR resolutions.

Greenblatt described this as “a profound and damaging mischaracterization” of remarks that were aimed at highlighting how ineffectual UNSCR resolutions regarding the peace process have been over the years.

A Recent Missile Test Shows the Potential of U.S.-Israel Military Cooperation

In Alaska last month, the U.S. and Israel successfully tested the Arrow 3 missile, designed to knock high-altitude missiles out of the sky. Developed jointly by the two countries, this sophisticated weapon is used by the IDF, together with the Iron Dome and other systems, to protect the civilian population from an entire range of rockets, missiles, and mortar shells. Jacob Nagel and Jonathan Schanzer write:

The [Arrow 3] provides Israel with the ability to defend against long-range, advanced Iranian missiles like the Shahab 3. It allows for exo-atmospheric interception high in space, offering Israel ample time to defend itself. Unlike other missile-defense systems, the Arrow 3 also gives Israel the capability and flexibility to deal with nuclear warheads, and to do so with impressive interception rates.

American and Israeli coordination in missile defense has been important for both sides. The joint development of the Arrow 3 underscores this. Other Israeli missile-defense technology has proved to be very valuable to Washington. The U.S. Army recently signed an agreement to acquire two Iron Dome batteries for testing and possible broader acquisition. In the coming weeks, the Marines are going to test the system, as well. . . . Lasers are likely to be an important part of the next frontier in missile defense.

Missile defense will continue to be one of the largest expenses in Israel’s military budget. This is because of the spike in missile and rocket threats posed by Iranian proxies. The terrorist groups specifically aim to target Israel’s civilian population. This challenge will continue to prompt continued Israeli innovation.

French Jews Demand Investigation Into Alleged ‘Non-Aggression’ Pact With Palestinian Terror Group Following 1982 Massace at Paris Kosher Restaurant

France’s representative Jewish organization on Monday demanded a parliamentary investigation into last week’s revelations by a former French intelligence chief that the country’s security services agreed a secret non-aggression pact with a Palestinian terrorist group.

In a statement, Francis Kalifat — president of French Jewish organization CRIF — declared that if the revelations turned out to be true, “it would constitute an unprecedented state scandal.”

Last week,the newspaper Le Parisien reported that the former head of French intelligence, Yves Bonnet, had admitted to making a secret pact with the Abu Nidal terrorist organization, guaranteeing its operatives free movement within France in exchange for a promise of no further attacks on French soil.

According to Le Parisien, Bonnet made his sensational confession in January this year to the magistrate in charge of investigating the Aug. 9, 1982 attack by Abu Nidal terrorists on “Chez Jo Goldenberg,” a busy kosher restaurant on the rue des Rosiers in Paris. Six people were murdered and 22 wounded in the atrocity, for which no person has yet been convicted.

Kalifat said that Bonnet’s claims warranted “the establishment of a parliamentary committee of inquiry and the lifting of defense secrecy” around the investigation into the rue des Rosiers attack and its aftermath.

Guatemalan president-elect is a ‘friend of Israel,’ says Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Alejandro Giammattei on Tuesday, two days after the conservative, pro-Israel politician was elected as Guatemala’s president, defeating former first lady Sandra Torres in a runoff.

“I congratulate Alejandro Giammattei on his election as president of Guatemala. He is a friend of Israel and I am convinced that together we will strengthen the excellent cooperation between the countries,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

He also thanked outgoing President Jimmy Morales, saying that during his tenure “relations between Israel and Guatemala reached new heights, thanks also to his correct and brave decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the Guatemalan Embassy there.”

Morales announced in late 2017 that he had recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and intended to relocate his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, making Guatemala the first nation to follow the lead of the US. A small embassy was officially opened in Jerusalem’s Malcha Technology Park in May 2018.

Regarding Israel, Giammattei said late last month, “He who is Israel’s enemy is Guatemala’s enemy.”

David Grossman eulogizes settler teen who was murdered hugging his book

Those close to Dvir Sorek, the 19-year-old student who was murdered Thursday in a West Bank terrorist attack, described him as a unique young man.

One of his friends from the West Bank settlement of Ofra, where Sorek’s family lives, described him to Ynet as “an upstanding person, a poet, a musician with a special connection to nature.”

This is perhaps the reason that he chose to give an unusual goodbye gift to his teachers at the West Bank religious seminary, or yeshiva, he attended: Instead of Jewish scripture, he bought them modern literature, including the latest book by David Grossman, a staunch opponent of Israeli settlements.

Sorek’s body was found not far from the yeshiva, still clutching those books, which he was bringing from Jerusalem to give to his rabbis. One of them was “Life Plays a Lot with Me,” the latest novel by Grossman, a celebrated Israeli author whose 1987 book “The Yellow Wind” was among the most influential on public opinion about Israel’s military presence in the West Bank.

On social media, Sorek’s final literary choices became a powerful symbol of unity in a country that is deeply divided over West Bank settlements and the role of religion in society.

But that’s only part of the reason that it deeply moved Grossman, the author said Thursday during a speech he delivered at a commemoration for Nechama Rivlin, the late wife of President Reuven Rivlin.

“I didn’t know Dvir Sorek, but from what I have heard today, he was such a humane boy,” Grossman said, according to Ynet. “Sensitive. Loved humanity and loved peace. An artist in his soul. My heart goes out to his parents, his family and all his loved ones. I know from experience that a difficult path lies before them.”

Israel and Hamas both said taking steps to secure Gaza border after breaches

Authorities on both sides of the Israel-Gaza border launched efforts this week to prevent infiltration attempts into Israeli territory, following three such incidents by armed terrorists over the course of 10 days.

The Hamas terror group, which rules the Strip, deployed additional troops to the frontier in a bid to prevent breaches of the border fence, understanding that these cross-border attacks risked provoking a harsh response by the Israeli military, according to the Palestinian Amad news outlet.

Israel’s Defense Ministry was also reportedly planning the construction of a six-meter (20-foot) high defensive wall inside Israeli territory across from the northern Gaza border, which is meant to provide nearby communities with additional protection from terrorist infiltrations.

In a span of 10 days, six armed Palestinian terrorists — many of them current and former Hamas members — got through the security fence surrounding the Gaza Strip before being killed by Israeli troops. In one case on August 1, the gunman opened fire at IDF soldiers, injuring three of them, before he was shot dead.

Last Saturday, a group of four heavily armed terrorists, carrying assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and rations, attempted to infiltrate into Israeli territory before they were spotted and shot dead by troops on the border.

A call to all the Jerusalemites to come to al aqsa on Sunday 9 b’Av

Official PA TV host: “We will note that a statement by Head of the Supreme Muslim Council Dr. Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, the Palestinian Supreme Fatwa Council signed by [Council Chairman and PA Grand Mufti] Muhammad Hussein, and also the Islamic Waqf Council led by [Council Chairman] Abdul Azim Salhab was published yesterday [Aug. 8, 2019] on the necessity to close all of the Jerusalem mosques on Sunday [Aug. 11, 2019], in order to mobilize the largest possible number of people for prayer at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque plazas.” [Official PA TV, Good Morning Jerusalem, Aug. 9, 2019]

Report from Temple Mount on Muslims delaying prayer to block Jews ,PATV,110819

Al-Aqsa Mosque “guard” Fadi Alyan: “Of course the Muslims are taking different steps to prevent the break-ins to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque. Of course [this is] the late morning prayer (i.e., not a mandatory prayer), and not the afternoon [prayer]. Strange sights are taking place at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, both the postponement of the holiday prayer by an hour (i.e., from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. in order to block Jews from visiting), and holding the late morning prayer.”
Reporter: “In other words, the prayers are being held at a different time than usual in order to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque?”
Fadi Alyan: “Exactly. The prayers are being held at a different time than usual in order to defend [it] and reinforce that this site belongs completely to the Muslims.” [Official PA TV, Holiday Morning, Aug. 11, 2019]

Khaled Abu Toameh: Can Palestinians in Gaza Revolt Against Hamas?

“Fifteen years ago, Hamas raised the slogan of ‘Islam is the solution’…. Now, there is rampant corruption [under Hamas]. The corruption is in all institutions, including the judiciary and the police. Today, the corruption is organized and managed by Hamas. The corruption is at the top of the pyramid. It is the corruption of politics, the corruption in the administration, the corruption in employment, the corruption in relief aid.” — Abu Safiyeh, a representative of the PLO’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in the Gaza Strip, in a Facebook post that caused his arrest.

The voices emerging from the Gaza Strip are anguished and reflect the Palestinians’ growing sense of disillusionment with Hamas. These voices, however, are still small in numbers. Hamas’s brutal methods of suppression and torture have deterred a large number of Palestinians from speaking out. These voices will grow only if the international community heeds them and calls out Hamas for its brutal crackdown on Palestinians.

Hamas is carrying out its current crackdown against Palestinian activists because it knows full well that the world will probably not utter a word. Why would it? Bashing Israel is much more rewarding than identifying Palestinian leaders as the champion violators of human rights that they are.

Poll Shows Gazans More Moderate than West Bankers on Some Issues

According to a survey conducted by the Palestine Center for Public Opinion on June 27-July 15, 68% of Gazans but only 50% of West Bank Palestinians agree that “Hamas should preserve a cease-fire with Israel.” When asked, “Would you like to see Israeli companies offer more jobs inside the West Bank and Gaza?,” 68% of Gazans but only 37% of West Bankers agreed. 44% of Gazans but only 29% of West Bankers agreed that “I hope someday we can be friends with Israelis.”

89% of Gazans and 72% of West Bankers agreed that “Right now, internal political and economic reform is more important for us than any foreign policy issue.” 78% of Gazans and 57% of West Bankers agreed that “Right now, the Palestinians need to pay much more attention to countering extremist Islamic trends in our own society.” 70% of Gazans and 60% of West Bankers agreed that “Right now, the Palestinians should focus on practical matters like jobs, health care, education, and everyday stability, not on big political plans or resistance options.”

However, 82% of Gazans and 68% of West Bankers agreed that “We should demand Palestinian rule over all of Jerusalem, east and west, rather than agree to share or divide any part of it with Israel.”

PreOccupiedTerritory: Muslim Scholars Explain Only Infidel Animals Abused Before/During Slaughter (satire)

Islamic leaders sought today to allay concern over videos circulating on the internet that show mistreatment of cows, sheep, and goats prior to their killing or in the process thereof on the occasion of the Eid al-Adha festival this past Sunday, explaining that such torture occurs solely in cases where the beast in question has committed some act of heresy and thus deserves the torment.

Prominent Islamic scholars throughout the region issued a joint statement Tuesday in response to worldwide uproar that the videos generated, clarifying that they examined each case depicted, and concluded that all the animals that underwent mistreatment before or during slaughter had previously committed blasphemy, apostasy, or some other grievous sin that warranted a slow, painful, terrifying death.

Videos circulating since Sunday showed various scenes from the Gaza Strip and Pakistan, among other locales, in which crowds cheered or actively participated in the torture of animals for the Eid slaughter. In Gaza, onlookers roared and clapped as the butcher appeared to violate Islamic procedure for halal slaughter, stabbing the animal’s neck again and again instead of a swift series of slices to sever the trachea, esophagus, carotid artery, and jugular vein; the animal can be seen thrashing in pain as it slowly bleeds out. Another animal awaiting the same fate stands nearby and panics, also in violation of halal procedure, which bars the creature slated for slaughter from seeing the knife, let alone being in the presence of a slaughter.

Lebanese actor calls for Palestinians to be burned in Hitler’s ovens

LEBANESE actor Soha Kikano sparked outcry at the weekend after she said that Palestinians should be burned in “Hitler’s ovens.”

She made the comments on Twitter while responding to protests by Palestinians in Lebanon against government legislation that restricts their working rights.

She tweeted: “The Palestinians in Sidon are protesting against the decisions of the labour minister. May they get blinded,” before suggesting that measures are needed to “get rid” of them.

The star of Lebanese soap opera Ajyal (Generations) suggested a number of such methods, including burning them in “Hitler’s ovens.”

Ms Kikano described Palestinians as being “unleashed like monsters” and claimed that “they want to work without laws.” (h/t L_King)

Egyptian Journalist: The Holocaust Is Zionist Propaganda For the Purpose of Making Money

In a March 7, 2019 episode of Blue Line that aired on Channel 2 (Egypt), Al-Azab Al-Tayyeb, an Egyptian journalist working for the Al-Ahram newspaper, said that the “Zionist entity” has influential lobby groups throughout the world – particularly in the United States – that employ financial, media, and political control over decision-making centers such as the U.S. Congress, the President, the State Department, and think tanks. Al-Tayyeb said that the number of six million Jews burned in the Holocaust is heavily exaggerated and that no more than a few hundred thousand Jews had been killed. He also said that the gas chambers that the Nazis allegedly used were too small to burn millions of Jews; rather, he claimed that they had been used to cremate the bodies of prisoners who died of typhoid fever due to lack of medical services during the war. Al-Tayyeb then said that what the Zionists do to the Palestinians should be described in the same way that the Zionists describe the Holocaust because it is much worse. During the show, a brief documentary-style clip claimed that the Zionist propaganda used antisemitism and the lie of the Holocaust as a profitable business and in order to extort the West. The documentary’s narrator also claimed that the Jews inflated the number of Jews killed at the time and that they made up stories about gas chambers being used for mass murder in order to obtain more money.

Israel and Jordan Cast Wary Eye toward Syria

Russia pledged to both Israel and Jordan that security arrangements for southern Syria would keep Iranian forces 70 to 80 km. from their borders. Israel and Jordan took that pledge to include Iran’s proxies, especially Hizbullah. But one year later, Hizbullah has become increasingly entrenched in the area. “Russia promised that the Iranians and militias would be driven out from southern Syria, and Russia did not deliver the goods,” says Ely Karmon, senior research scholar at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel.

According to security sources, Hizbullah has 7,000 to 10,000 forces across Syria, with another 8,000 to 12,000 Shiite fighters loyal to Iran from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen that coordinate with it. But the sources say Hizbullah’s presence in southern Syria has grown dramatically – with 1,000 fighters in the Daraa region near Jordan and in Quneitra, facing Israeli forces on the Golan.

Former Free Syrian Army rebels who have returned to their hometowns in southern Syria after an amnesty agreement with the regime say Hizbullah is effectively “governing” several towns and villages. Hizbullah and Shiite militias patrol areas dressed as uniformed Syrian regime forces in order to avoid being hit by Israeli airstrikes, they say, and deploy former rebel fighters to patrol areas and provide intelligence directly to the Iran-backed group. “Either you answer to Hizbullah, or you leave,” says Abu Mohammed, a former rebel.

Multiple Syrians also report their homes and entire neighborhoods have been taken over by Shiite militias and their families – part of a planned “demographic change” in the south.

Syria’s Neighbors No Longer Welcome Syrian Refugees

As the war in Syria is nearing its end, the last rebel-held stronghold is in Idlib province in the country’s north. Because a great many Syrians who oppose the Assad regime found refuge in Idlib, the final stage of the war may force hundreds of thousands of Syrians to seek refuge in Turkey. However, Turkey has already declared it will not allow them entry and now, Ankara is busy trying to get rid of the two million Syrians already in Turkey.

Egypt, too, is seeing a groundswell of antipathy toward its quarter-million Syrian refugees. In Lebanon, the rising tide of criticism against the Syrian refugees has sparked tensions that have spilled into violence. And in Jordan, there are increasing calls to force the million and a half refugees in camps in the country’s north back to Syria.

The Syrian refugees, however, have no interest in returning to the regime from which they fled or were forced to flee. The Syrian regime views these refugees as potential enemies because they hail from those areas that spawned and waged the revolt.

Blasts from Iraqi Militia Weapons Depot Kill One, Injure 29

A large fire broke out on Monday at a weapons depot run by an Iraqi militia group, causing explosions heard across Baghdad, killing one person and injuring 29 others, authorities said.

The depot, run by a militia group under the umbrella of the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces, was located inside a federal police base in the southern suburbs of Baghdad.

The facility stored short-range and Katyusha missiles, a security source told Reuters.

The fire set off some of the rockets which struck neighborhoods several kilometers (miles) away and injuring mainly children, said Qasim al-Attabi, a spokesman for the district’s health directorate.

Iranian businessman tortured into saying he’s an Israeli spy

A former Iranian businessman says he was tortured by Iranian authorities into a false confession of being an Israeli spy and killing Iranian nuclear scientists, according to BBC.

Mazyar Ebrahimi now lives in Germany.

In 2012, Ebrahimi and 12 others appeared on Iranian state television to confess to multiple charges that all carried the death penalty. The 13 looked into the camera and all said they had been trained in Israel before they returned to Iran and assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists.

The people were given a script to read written by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry. The ministry also put out its own statement saying they dismantled an spy network created by the Zionist entity.

BBC’s Jiyar Gol sat down with Ebrahimi to hear his story.

“The interrogators were hitting the soles of my bare feet with a thick electric cable,” Ebrahimi said. “They broke my foot. The beating continued for seven months.”

He said he finally agreed to “confess” after being tortured around the clock for 40 days.

Iran Unveils Three New Locally-Made Guided Bombs Designed to Be Launched from Fighter Planes, Drones

On August 6, 2019, Channel 4 TV (Iran) aired a report about three locally-made air-launched guided bombs that were unveiled by Iran’s defense industries. The first bomb, Yasin, weighs 320 kilograms, has a 215-kilogram warhead, has collapsible wings, can operate in all weather conditions, and can reportedly glide up to 50 kilometers when launched from an altitude of 27,000 feet from a drone or fighter plane. The second bomb, Balaban, has collapsible wings, is designed to be launched from drones, and reportedly has a range of 25 kilometers. Finally, a new series of self-propelled Ghaem-generation bombs was unveiled. These bombs have a laser and infrared system and a range of 20-40 kilometers. They can be installed on drones like Shahed-129, Hamaseh, and Mohajer-6. The reporter explained that the design process of the bombs took approximately one year and that they will soon be delivered to the armed forces. The unveiling was attended by Iranian Defense Minister General Amir Khatami, senior defense industry official Colonel Nazarifar, and Iranian electronics industries chief General Shahrokh Shahram.

MEMRI: Addressing Muslim Women, Al-Qaeda Leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri Deems Western Battle Against Hijab To Be Part Of War On Islamic Ummah

On August 7, 2019, Al-Qaeda’s Al-Sahab media wing released a video featuring a speech by Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri titled “The Battle of the Hijab.” In the video, Al-Zawahiri addresses Muslim women and warns them of the war raging against the Islamic nation that seeks to force them to abandon their religion and hijab (“head covering”).[1]

The 12-minute video, which is the fourth episode of his da’wa (“preaching, invitation”) series, shows the Al-Qaeda leader in the usual setting, in what appears to be a studio, sitting behind a table on which a Quran is open. Al-Zawahiri begins by addressing “Muslim sisters,” particularly those who wear the hijab, saying the current war rages against the Islamic ummah at all levels – militarily, politically, ideologically, culturally, educationally, or economically and others. He says: “The reason behind this war is the danger the Muslim ummah poses to the existence of the modern global system, which is controlled by the leading [international] criminals.”

Comparing the Islamic nation with other non-Islamic nations, he says that the nation of Islam is a nation of monotheism, chastity, and jihad for the sake of Allah, while other nations believe in polytheism, lechery, and invasion. He then accuses other nations of “trying by all means to exclude the Islamic ummah or cause it to deviate from this religion and its shari’a.” He says that non-Islamic nations wage wars of ideas and ideologies and other types of wars, and that they want Muslims to abandon their monotheism and become “secularists, irreligious, atheists, Christians, communists, and utilitarians,” desert chastity, purity, virtue, and integrity, and indulge in lust and pleasures.

In a stark criticism of the United States and Western countries, Al-Zawahiri says: “Isn’t it awfully strange that those who bombarded Japan with atomic bombs, killed five million people in Vietnam, occupied our countries, smashed the Ottoman state, planted Israel in our midst, divided us into more than 50 countries, are stealing our wealth and even the wealth of the whole humanity, are disregarding the destruction of our planet by climate change for their our own interest, are supporting every tyrant and corrupt powerful leader in our countries, and then lecture us about human rights, freedom, civilization, and justice?”

“Is it not strange that the world is controlled by five criminal powers through their international legitimacy, and then they lecture us on democracy and equality?” he asks.

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