September 23, 2023

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09/01 Links Pt1: PA continue to glorify murderer of 3 on Jerusalem bus; How the Syria conflict divided the left

From Ian:

PMW: PA and Fatah continue to glorify murderer of 3 on Jerusalem bus
Fatah to terrorist Alyan: “Glory kneels before you”
Palestinian terrorists Baha Alyan and Bilal Ghanem boarded a bus in Jerusalem this past October with a gun and a knife and murdered Haviv Haim (78) and Alon Govberg (51), and Richard Lakin (76). Alyan was shot and killed by an Israeli security guard at the scene and Ghanem was captured and is serving 3 life sentences.
Early this morning Israel gave over the body of terrorist Alyan for burial. WAFA, the official PA news service, honored the terrorist writing that:
“Martyr Baha Alyan ascended to Heaven last Oct. 13 [2015], after he carried out a stabbing and shooting operation together with prisoner Bilal Ghanem on an Israeli bus.” [WAFA, the official PA news agency, Sept. 1, 2016]
Significantly, the PA news agency assumes that stabbing Israeli civilians on a Jerusalem bus makes Alyan worthy of “ascending to Heaven.”
Fatah posted on its Facebook page the picture of the terrorist, calling him a “heroic Martyr”: “May Allah have mercy on Baha and all of our heroic Martyrs. Glory kneels before you.” [Official Fatah Facebook page, Sept. 1, 2016]

PMW: Israeli Army closes Palestinian radio station that has been publicizing Hamas messages

Early this morning, the Israeli army closed Radio Sanabel, an independent Palestinian radio station in Hebron, due to its incitement.
Although the Israeli army did not specify the nature of the incitement, Palestinian Media Watch has examined the Radio Sanabel Facebook page which is still functioning and found the following:
Sanabel recently posted on its Facebook page a threat by Hamas, including a picture of two masked Hamas terrorists, who issued the following warning to Israelis:
“Al-Qassam Brigades (i.e., Hamas’ military wing) Spokesman Abu Ubeida: ‘We warn the enemy against continuing its tyrannical steps against our captives. It should know that its captives with us will receive the same treatment that our captives receive in its prisons.’” [Facebook page of Radio Sanabel, independent Palestinian station, Aug. 21, 2016]
A few days before, Radio Sanabel publicized another Hamas warning, implying that it will be kidnapping and holding Israelis as prisoners:

Seth J Frantzman: How the Syria conflict divided the left, pro-Palestinian voices and exposed a murderous support for Assad

The Syrian war has caused a crises in some circles, pitting regime supporters and apologists against former friends and colleagues. This happened in the 1930s as well when the Communist party began to persecute its own and those in the West such as George Orwell began to have a jaundiced and nuanced view of what was happening in the USSR. In some ways the Syrian war has burst a bubble in relation to the pro-Palestinian movement, separating those who primarily only care about Israel and Palestine, some of whom don’t even really support Palestine but merely dislike Israel, from those who support more global norms of human rights. It has separated those such as Judith Butler and their claims that Hezbollah is part of the “global left”, from a more authentic left that doesn’t see theocratic militias with their militarism and chauvinism as “left.”
The debates are still grounded in the old slanders of “imperialist” and “fascist” but the issue is confused by the question of who is really an imperialist and a fascist. Is Assad a kind of Nazi or the Jihadists? Is Russia the imperialist or America?
Some on the right relish in watching their ideological opponents fight eachother, just as they relish watching Shia militias hack to death Sunni groups. But their relish is misplaced because the war in Syria is not a positive thing. Their relish is misplaced because it’s not altogether clear that the extreme pro-Assad “left” is actually part of the left, and it may be that it is actually part of the right. When Iran champions the “war on terror” and the right champions the “war on terror” and both celebrate bombing, they are both on the right. But there is another part of the historical right in the West that is more liberal and libertarian and whose natural affinity is for global human rights, like those who oppose Assad.
In the question of ‘what is to be done’, that Lenin and Thomas Paine both asked, there is a universal value of human rights and the right to life, the right not to be barrel bombed. When the cynics and pragmatists say “work with Assad” and “we don’t want chaos,” one might ask what they would have said of the American Revolution or the French Revolution. Yes, there can be chaos, but it can also be good for human rights. On that, the pro-Assad voices have sold out humanity.

US court voids $655M verdict against PA over terrorist attacks

A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday threw out a $655.5 million judgment against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization after they had been found liable to a group of American families who accused them of supporting terrorist attacks in Israel.
By a 3-0 vote, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said a lower court judge erred in concluding he had jurisdiction over the case. The appeals court ordered that the civil lawsuit, which began in January 2004, be dismissed.
“The terror machine gun attacks and suicide bombings that triggered this suit and victimized these plaintiffs were unquestionably horrific,” Judge John Koeltl wrote for the appeals court. “But the federal courts cannot exercise jurisdiction in a civil case beyond the limits prescribed by the due process clause of the Constitution, no matter how horrendous the underlying attacks or morally compelling the plaintiffs’ claims.”
Wednesday’s decision is the latest setback for efforts to hold foreign entities liable in U.S. courts for damages related to terrorism.
The 10 families who had won the verdict had sued under the Anti-Terrorism Act, which lets American victims of international terrorism sue in U.S. courts.
“The very terrorists who prompted the law have now hidden behind the U.S. Constitution to avoid responsibility for their crimes,” Kent Yalowitz, a lawyer for the families, said in an email. “This cruel decision must be corrected so that these families may receive justice.”
Yalowitz said Congress and the State Department should intervene to ensure the families are compensated. (h/t Yenta Press)

Elliott Abrams: Another Defense of Sisi Down the Drain

Defenders of Egypt’s President Sisi have long claimed that he was a protector of that country’s beleaguered Christian minority. Roughly ten percent of Egyptians are Coptic Christians, and they suffer not only discrimination but repeated physical attacks (that the authorities do not fully investigate and do not punish). Moreover, for decades they have been refused permission to repair old churches or build new ones.
This week Egypt’s parliament adopted a long-awaited new religion law, and it does nothing for the Copts and their churches. Here’s a part of the Associated Press’s story:
Egypt’s lawmakers on Tuesday passed the country’s first law spelling out the rules for building a church, a step Christians have long hoped would free up construction that was often blocked by authorities. But angry critics in the community say the law will only enshrine the restrictions.
Church building has for decades been one of the most sensitive sectarian issues in Egypt, where 10 percent of the population of 90 million are Christians but where Muslim hardliners sharply oppose anything they see as undermining what they call the country’s “Islamic character.”
Under the law passed Tuesday, Christians must apply to the local provincial governor when they want to build a church.

IDF officer slammed for calling Israel ‘occupation champion’

Former GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. (res.) Gadi Shamni, drew ire Wednesday when he stated that Israel had “made an art of the occupation.”
Speaking at a conference for the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Shamni said, “We are the world champions of occupation, and we have made it into an art form. I was GOC Central Command — the general of the occupation. And I ask, is this what we want to be?”
According to Shamni, “Israel will never agree to a deal that doesn’t meet its security demands, and the Palestinians will never accept the continuation of the endless occupation. The only acceptable solution is an agreed-upon separation.
“The countries in the region are ready and interested in establishing complete ties with Israel, but they won’t do so as long as the Palestinian issue is not solved. It is up to Israel to influence the regional system through its ties with various countries and through its relationship with the United States.”
Shamni also charged that “The IDF’s task of controlling a population of 2.5 million civilians distracts the military from its primary function, and it is having difficulties preparing for the threats it must deal with. The military is loosing its values and capabilities and is becoming a punching bag for politicians.”

EXCLUSIVE: Palestinians Want Obama to Resume ‘Peace’ Talks After U.S. Election

Palestinian officials have recently met with White House staff to discuss the prospect of launching a new American effort to resume Israeli-Palestinian negotiations after November’s presidential election, a Palestinian diplomatic source told Breitbart Jerusalem.
Between the November election and his departure from office in January, President Barack Obama will be free to engage in diplomatic initiatives without the risk of hampering the campaign of the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.
The source added that American officials were very skeptical of the feasibility of the initiative, but said “it is worth looking into.”
“Clearly the Democratic Party has no intention of launching policy proposals that may alienate the Jewish vote, but we raised the option that they would do it immediately after the elections,” he said. “In the president’s remaining two months in the White House, we will be happy to see him launch a plan that would take the French and Arab initiatives into account and pave the way for the next administration to engage truthfully in trying to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
He said that European Union officials welcomed the idea, saying that the prospect of Obama leaving office after having laid the foundation for future negotiations is a good idea.

Obama may be out, but ‘Obamaism’ is here to stay, Israel’s Oren reportedly says

The isolationist policies of US President Barack Obama are likely to continue after he leaves office in January, Deputy Minister Michael Oren (Kulanu) reportedly said this week.
According to Channel 10, Oren said in a talk to the Harvard Alumni Club in Israel on Tuesday that “Obama may be going home, but ‘Obamaism’ will remain a permanent part of American policy.”
Oren reportedly referred to Obama as “more of a symptom than a cause.”
“America today is not prepared to send a meaningful force to the Middle East,” Oren argued. “This is an America that is prepared to sit on the sidelines while half-a-million people are murdered in Syria and while Europe is flooded with refugees,” the US-born Oren, a former Israel envoy to Washington added.
Channel 10 quoted Oren as saying that the tendencies of the American public which led to the election of Obama have continued to change the face of American society in recent years.
“This is an America that is not prepared to intervene in Syria, this is an America that doesn’t want to be the world’s policeman and prefers to focus on its own internal issues,” he reportedly added. “It suffers from many divides and is paralyzed by political polarization.”

‘Israeli Air Force takes part in US drill with Pakistan, United Arab Emirates’

Israel Air Force (IAF) jets, transport planes, and refuellers landed back in Israel on Wednesday night, after taking part in the 11-day Exercise Red Flag hosted by the US Air Force held at Nellis Air Base, Nevada from August 15 to 26.
The IAF took part in the drill together with the Pakistani and UAE air forces, according to American media reports.
Just getting to the far-away drill formed a significant training run for long-range flights, a senior IAF source said on Thursday, in reference to the air force’s need to maintain strike capabilities for potential future flights to Iran .
“We want to train forces for long-range flights. This is a very complex mission. I have not seen another country that alone gets there [to Red Flag] without external [American] services.This strengthened our air crews’ long-range ‘muscles,'” the source said.
During the exercise itself, dozens of planes took off for missions lasting a few hours, in which they encountered a US squadron simulating an enemy in the air, as well as mock surface-to -air missile batteries, and even cyber attacks on plane computer systems.

Israelis warned to stay away from restive regions of Ethiopia

Israelis were warned against traveling to some parts of Ethiopia Thursday, after clashes broke out between protesters and government forces in several cities.
The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said Israeli travelers should avoid the Amhara and Oromia districts of Ethiopia, including the cities of Gondar, Bahir Dar and Debre Tabor.
The ministry also cautioned against traveling within 10 kilometers of the Ethiopian borders with Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan and Kenya.
In July, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Ethiopia during a whirwind trip aimed at boosting ties with East Africa.
Demonstrations started in Oromia last winter and have sprung up more recently in the Amhara region and the capital Addis Ababa.
The Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergency in the Amhara region, one of nine ethnic divisions in the country.
Gondar, in the Amhara region, is home to several thousand Falash Mura Jews seeking to move to Israel.

In first since reconciliation, Erdogan meets with Israeli diplomat

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday shook the hand of an Israeli diplomatic official for the first time since Jerusalem and Ankara agreed on a reconciliation deal in June. The meeting was the first of its kind in two years.
Erdogan met and shook hands with Shani Cooper, the diplomatic attache to the Israeli mission in Ankara, during a reception with diplomats to mark Turkey’s Victory Day, a celebration of the nation’s independence.
In a sign of the warming relations between Israel and Turkey following the reconciliation deal, the photo was released to the press by the office of the Turkish Presidency.
Erdogan’s last meeting with an Israeli official took place at the same event two years earlier, when it was widely reported that he met with Yosef Levi Sfari, the charge d’affaires of Israel’s embassy in Ankara at the time. That meeting was the first in six years, and no photo was released on that occasion.
The latest meeting came a day before the Turkish president ratified the Israel-Turkey pact agreed to in June.

Egyptian Military Band Plays ‘Hatikvah’ as President Officially Welcomes New Israeli Ambassador (VIDEO)

An Egyptian military band played the Israeli national anthem “Hatikvah” as the Jewish state’s new ambassador presented his credentials during a ceremony at the presidential palace in Cairo, the Hebrew news site Ynet reported.
According to the report, Ambassador David Govrin, whose appointment was approved in April, arrived in Egypt earlier this summer. But he was officially welcomed on Wednesday by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who also received the credentials of the new ambassadors to Egypt from Belgium, Greece, the Netherlands, Mexico, Myanmar, the United Arab Emirates and Somalia.
“I’m very proud to be appointed to this position in Egypt — the mother of the world, a land of ancient culture and history,” Govrin said, adding that a close Jerusalem-Cairo relationship was vital to achieving peace and stability in the region.
In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace agreement with Israel, though the relationship was at times strained over the years. However, Israel-Egypt ties have improved since Sissi took power in 2013, after ousting his predecessor, Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
With shared regional interests — including the containment of Iran and combating ISIS in the Sinai and Hamas in Gaza — relations between Israel and Egypt have continued to blossom.

Soldier shot while guarding visit to Joseph’s Tomb

An IDF soldier was shot and moderately wounded while guarding a group of religious Jews visiting the Joseph’s Tomb holy site, in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, early Thursday morning, the army said.
The injured soldier was brought to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva for treatment and is currently in stable condition, an army spokesperson said.
The shots were fired at the entrance to the Balata refugee camp, which is located a few blocks away from the tomb, on the outskirts of Nablus.
“The circumstances of the incident are being investigated,” the army said in a statement.
Local residents also rolled burning tires and threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at troops guarding the area.
The forces responded with riot dispersal tactics, and the visitors were able to complete their prayers “as planned,” the army said.
Some 16 buses full of visitors entered the Palestinian city early Thursday morning, according to the IDF.

IDF hunting for Palestinian gunman who shot and injured soldier in Nablus

The IDF and Shin Bet intelligence agency have launched an intensive hunt for a Palestinian gunman who shot and injured an IDF soldier overnight between Wednesday and Thursday near Joseph’s Tomb.
Paramedics evacuated the soldier, in moderate and stable condition, to the Beilinson Medical Center in Petah Tikva.
The search for the attacker is focused on intelligence leads, army source said.
The shooting occurred as the IDF secured 16 buses of Jewish worshipers who arrived at the holy site, during which several riots broke out.
During the disturbances, Palestinians hurled Molotov cocktails and burning tire at security forces, who responded with riot dispersal means. The IDF said prayers went on without disruption.

In legal twist, expert says terrorist shot in Hebron was already dead

A forensics expert testifying Wednesday in the trial of a soldier accused of killing a subdued terrorist shocked the court by saying that he believes the terrorist had expired before the deadly shooting.
Testifying for the defense in the manslaughter trial of Sgt. Elor Azaria, former chief pathologist at the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine Yehuda Hiss ruled the terrorist, Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, died of “acute respiratory failure exacerbated by a blood clots to the brain, following a fatal injury to the right lung.”
Hiss further concluded that “the bullet Azaria fired most likely hit the Palestinian attacker post mortem.”
The testimony contradicted the autopsy results, according to which it was Azaria’s bullet to the head that killed Sharif.
Pathologist Hadas Gipes, testifying for the prosecution in June, said that the terrorist’s heart was still beating when the bullet struck his head. “Blood was still reaching the area of the wound. This means he was still alive at the time of the incident,” she said.
Hiss’ testimony may significantly impact the trial. Should the court find merit to it, the judge may order to revise the manslaughter charge pending against the soldier.
The testimony does, however, also refute Azaria’s version of the events, according to which he shot Sharif after seeing him move his hands and fearing he was trying to detonate an explosive device.

SpaceX rocket explodes, Israeli satellite on board destroyed

An explosion rocked a SpaceX launch site Thursday during a routine rocket test, destroying the rocket and an Israeli communications satellite in its payload.
SpaceX was preparing for the launch of the unmanned Falcon 9 rocket when the blast occurred shortly after 9 a.m., according to NASA.
The test was in advance of a planned Saturday launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which is next to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
A SpaceX spokesman said an “anomaly” during a static fire test caused the loss of the rocket and the payload, the $200 million Amos-6 satellite, operated by Israeli firm Spacecom.
Per standard procedure, the pad was clear and there were no injuries,” SpaceX said in a statement.
It did not give a reason for the blast.

‘Little loyalty to Israel inside of Arab villages’

Benzi Gopshtain, head of Lehava, spoke with Arutz Sheva in interview on Wednesday. When asked why he believes it took the high court so long to permit the demonstration, Gophstain responded: “When it deals with petitions from left-wing organizations, the High Court gives immediate permits, yet here we have had to wait so many months for a permit.”
According to the arrangement reached with the police, the activists will be able to conduct a protest at a distance of 130 meters from the house of the terrorist’s family in Ar’ara. For Benzi Gopshtain that is sufficient.
“We will arrive there with Israeli flags and will call on the villagers to express their allegiance to the state of Israel. After the attack there were people who helped the terrorist and we did not see a condemnation of the attack.
“To my great dismay” adds Gopshtain, “there is very little allegiance to the state of Israel in these villages, to put it mildly. We will be there and we will prove that there is no way that Jews will not be able to enter Arab villages in Israel. We are citizens of a Jewish state. If they are willing to accept the laws of the country, we too are willing to accept them.”

Israel to transfer 30m cubic meters of water to Palestinians

Israel’s ambitious project to construct a canal linking the Red Sea to the shrinking Dead Sea will also see the transfer of 30 million cubic meters of water to the Palestinian Authority, under an agreement signed Wednesday at a global water conference in Stockholm.
The agreement, signed at the annual The World Water Week, was backed by Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states, but sparked an angry outburst by the Palestinian representative against Israel’s water policies.
Likud MK Ayoub Kara, who represented Israel at the annual conference, said the transfer would begin within the next month.
“We brought up the creative idea for the transfer of 30 million cubic meters of water to the Palestinians next month within the framework of the canal project, and the initiative was praised by members of the council,” he told Israel Radio on Thursday.
“This praise for the initiative pressured the Palestinian representative, who took to the stage and was shouting like you’ve never seen, prompting security to remove him from the stage,” Kara added.

IDF stops Palestinians from building illegal road to Sussiya

The Civil Administration on Wednesday stopped the Palestinians from building an illegal road to the herding village of Sussiya in the South Hebron Hills region of the West Bank.
The attempt to construct the road comes as the High Court of Justice is deciding whether to raze some unauthorized 30 structures in the village which are believed to have been built after February 2014.
The HCJ has ordered a freeze on construction in Sussiya since that date, because of the court proceedings.
The South Hebron Hills Regional Council and the non-governmental group Regavim, saw the Palestinian road work and alerted the Cviil Administration.
“During a supervised tour in Sussiya, two pieces of illegal paving equipment were caught without approval from authorities in Area C,” the Civil Administration said.

MEMRI: Recent Violence In Nablus Reveals Rifts In Fatah, Triggers Calls For Tackling Fundamental Problems In Palestinian Society

In recent weeks, the Palestinian press has featured numerous reports on unrest and violence in the West Bank city of Nablus; the violence culminated, during the night between August 22 and 23, in the killing of Ahmad Halawa, an official in the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah movement, by PA security forces. According to official PA reports, Halawa, who belongs to a distinguished Nablus family and who was also an officer in the PA police, was arrested in the middle of the night and brought to Al-Junaid prison in Nablus, where he was attacked and beaten to death by security personnel.
The day after Halawa’s killing, on August 23, Nablus Governor Akram Al-Rajoub called Halawa the “brains” behind the August 20 killing of two PA security personnel and said that his death would be investigated.[2] Other sources reported that Halawa’s body had showed signs of torture.
Halawa’s killing marked the culmination of a series of violent clashes during the last few months between PA security forces and local armed forces, some of which belong to Fatah.[4] These clashes stemmed from the refusal of influential families in the city to accept the PA’s authority. Some of these families, including the Halawa family, belong to factions within Fatah that do not support Fatah Chairman and PA President Mahmoud ‘Abbas.

Scouts probing claim Palestinian branch lauded terrorist

The world Scout movement said Thursday it was investigating claims its Palestinian branch held an event in support of a terrorist who murdered three Israelis in a Jerusalem bus attack last October.
A Palestinian Scout troop in East Jerusalem is alleged to have held a training course dedicated to Bahaa Allyan, who along with another man shot and stabbed passengers on the bus.
Allyan was killed by security forces.
“We are definitely investigating and we hope to respond as soon as possible,” Srinath Venugopal, executive director at the World Scout Bureau’s office of the secretary general, told AFP.
“Due to the nature of the issue it takes a little time to establish the facts. Please be assured that the World Organization of the Scout Movement is not supportive of any terrorist activities.”
He said it was too early to speculate on potential punishments, though the family of one of the victims has called for the Palestinian Scout Association to be expelled.

US said to have secretly eased Iran nuclear deal terms

The United States and world powers that negotiated last year’s nuclear deal with Iran “secretly” agreed to allow the Islamic Republic to evade a number of the agreement’s restrictions in order to meet the deadline for the lifting of international economic sanctions, Reuters reported Thursday.
According to the report, several “knowledgeable” officials involved in the negotiations told the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security that Tehran was permitted to exceed the agreed-upon limits of how much low-enriched uranium could be kept at its nuclear facilities. Low-enriched uranium can be purified into weapons-grade uranium.
The institute also said that the P5+1 negotiating powers — the US, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — also permitted Tehran to ship 50 tons of heavy water from its Arak facility to Oman and keep it there under Iranian supervision.
Its president, David Albright, said the “exemptions or loopholes are happening in secret, and it appears that they favor Iran.”
P5+1 officials agreed to the terms so that Iran would be in compliance with the agreement by the January 16 deadline to have the sanctions lifted, the report said.

German gov’t: No normalized relations with Iran regime until it recognizes Israel

Germany’s normalization of relations with Iran are tied to Tehran’s recognition of Israel, according to a letter released on Tuesday.
The letter, written in the name of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration said, “There cannot be normalized, complete relations with Iran so long as Iran does not recognize Israel’s right to exist.”
The comments, released on Tuesday, were submitted to the head of the German-Israeli Parliamentary Friendship Group, Volker Beck, in response to a July 6 parliamentary questionnaire.
They were part of a longer statement from Berlin on Iran’s jingoism toward Israel and that country’s abysmal human rights record.
The statement continued, “At the same time, the federal government has an interest in dialogue with Iran’s government over critical topics.”

UN Human Rights Investigator Condemns Iran’s Latest “Illegal” Executions

The United Nations’ top investigator into Iran’s human rights record blasted Tehran’s recent “illegal” execution of twelve people in a statement released on Monday.
Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed condemned the August 27 killing of Alireza Madadpour and eleven others on drug-related charges. Shaheed had asked Iranian authorities not to proceed with the executions the day before they were carried out.
“The execution of individuals for drug-related offences is simply illegal,” Shaheed said, observing that international law reserves the death penalty for the “most serious crimes,” which involve intentional killing, and only permits its application after a trial that strictly guarantees due process for the accused. None of these conditions were met in the case of the twelve executions, Shaheed said.
While the rapporteur acknowledged that Iran was permitted to crack down on drug trafficking, he observed that the crime “does not justify the use of the death penalty.”
“The execution of Mr. Madadpour and 11 others shows the Iranian authorities’ complete disregard of its obligations under international human rights law and especially of international fair trial standards and due process guarantees,” Shaheed added.
Earlier this month, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN’s high commissioner for human rights, called Iran’s execution of twenty Kurds a “grave injustice.” A few days earlier, Amnesty International condemned Iran’s execution of a gay teen in July as illegal.

Canadian Professor Detained by Iran for “Dabbling in Feminism” Is Hospitalized

A Canadian academic detained by Iranian authorities for nearly three months has been hospitalized due to her declining health, The Guardian reported on Tuesday.
According to a statement released by her family, Homa Hoodfar, an anthropologist at Montreal’s Concordia University, suffers from the rare neurological disease myasthenia gravis, which causes muscle fatigue and requires special care. She is said to frequently suffer headaches and had a mild stroke last year. Hoodfar is now disoriented, severely weakened, and having difficulty talking and walking, her family said.
“Given the alarming news of Homa’s hospitalisation and declining health, we are left with no choice but to publicise these travesties of justice widely, as it has become clear that the authorities are not prioritising her health and do not intend to respect Homa’s due process rights under Iranian law,” the statement read.
Hoodfar, who has dual Canadian-Iranian citizenship, traveled to Iran in February. As she was preparing to leave in March, Iranian intelligence personnel began questioning her and seized her computer, phone, and three passports. She was incarcerated in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison on June 6 and held in solitary confinement. While Hoodfar was indicted on unspecified charges, her family says that she was accused of “dabbling in feminism and security matters.”
Stéphane Dion, a spokeswoman for Canada’s global affairs minister, expressed her government’s concern “about the health, wellbeing and detention of Dr Hoodfar.”

Iran: Anti-American Propaganda

Anti-American Propaganda Film Shows Young Iranians Destroy U.S. Aircraft Carriers with Battle Cries
A propaganda film titled “Steadfastness 2” was produced by the Organization of Islamic Information, an office under the supervision of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. According to the pro-Khamenei website Javan, the production of the seven-minute film took two years. It shows the Iranian response to a U.S. attack in the Persian Gulf, with young men brandishing the Iranian flag and and vanquishing the American aircraft carriers with their battle cries. The film drew the ire of a pro-government website,, which stated that the storyline was “weak” and that the video-clip was like “a ridiculous Bollywood movie,” which, moreover, “ignores Iran’s military capabilities.” The propaganda film appeared on the Javan website on August 21 and was posted on the Asriran website, along with the criticism, on August 24.

Amnesty International Condemns Obama’s ‘Deadly Hypocrisy’ in Selling ‘Vast Flood of Weapons’ to Saudi Arabia

Since President Obama assumed office in 2009, his administration has sold roughly $110 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia, according to the advocacy director for Middle East and North Africa issues at Amnesty International USA, Sunjeev Bery.
In an interview with left-wing Salon magazine, Bery decries the Obama administration’s “deadly hypocrisy” and “astonishing” willingness to supply weapons to brutal monarchies.
“One of the unspoken legacies of the Obama administration is the extraordinary uptake in the amount of U.S. weapons and military aid,” said Bery, pointing to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel as the primary recipients of US arms.
Amnesty’s anti-Israel bias is no secret. Within the last year alone, the rights group has issued a series of “fundamentally flawed” reports that betray a “compulsive obsessiveness towards Israel.”
In spite of Amnesty’s questionable positions on Israel, Bery’s interview with Salon reveals a disturbing reality about a supposedly human-rights conscious president the mainstream media prefers to ignore.

MEMRI: Saudi Writer: Islamic Law Prohibits Suicide Attacks – But Clerics Fear To Speak Out Against Them

On August 2, 2016, in his column in the Saudi daily Al-Watan, Sattam Al-Muqrin criticized clerics who fear to speak out against suicide attacks, which he states are prohibited by Islamic law. According to Al-Muqrin, terrorist organizations use Islamic texts to brainwash youngsters and recruit them to carry out suicide attacks with the promise of reward in the afterlife. At the same time, clerics issue weak admonitions but otherwise do nothing to combat the phenomenon and do not ideologically confront these groups.
The following are excerpts from his column:
“Suicide is prohibited in Islamic law and is considered one of the worst transgressions after polytheism, based on the Koranic verse ‘and do not kill yourselves. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful [4:29].’ Some Islamic clerics believe that one who kills himself commits a greater sin than one who kills another, and that he is a sinner and an aggressor against himself [and therefore] his body should not be washed or prayed over. Moreover, some clerics demand punishment for anyone attempting suicide…
“On this basis, the idea of suicide has become synonymous, in the consciousness of Muslim societies, with heresy and eternal hellfire. This begs the question: How do the theocratic leaders of terrorist groups manage to persuade innocent youngsters to blow themselves up and commit suicide, despite the opposition to this notion in Islamic societies?
“Terrorist organizations use two main methods to persuade terrorists to blow themselves up: First, they convince [the potential terrorist] that he will enter Paradise upon death – the Paradise of the black-eyed virgins – because he is a martyr for the sake of Allah, and it is known that a martyr does not die, but lives on and is rewarded by Allah, [as stated in Koran 9:111:] ‘Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties; [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah…’ Second, [they] convince the terrorist that he is killing himself to prove the righteousness of the cause [he serves] – victory for Islam and the Muslims and defense of the oppressed and weak, and making Allah’s word supreme.

Qatari Professor: Terrorism Is Not a Reaction to Political Injustices

Commenting on what he called the “culture of hatred,” Prof. Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, former Dean of Islamic Law at Qatar University, called to interpret the Quranic texts “in a progressive, humanistic way” in order to shield the youth from ideological fanaticism and to break away from the “discriminating, fanatic, and racist aspects” of our past. Prof. Al-Ansari, speaking on Sky News Arabia on August 5, said that while terrorism is often described as a reaction to political injustices, “this is not true. It’s an illusion. Terrorism is an action, not a reaction.”

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